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Study: Rural Iowans lack access to fruits & veggies

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

While Iowa is one of the nation’s top food producers, people in some areas of the state don’t have easy access to fruits and vegetables. Courtney Pinard, a research scientist, says a study finds neighborhoods that lack access to healthy foods have obesity rates 52-percent higher than communities with ready access to fresh produce.  “A lot of communities are considered what we call food deserts and that’s when the distance to the nearest full-service grocery store is more than a mile for urban areas and for rural areas, it’s ten miles,” according to Pinard.

Pinard, who works at the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition in Omaha, says”Many communities, especially in Iowa, do have this challenge.” While many Iowans have large supermarkets nearby featuring well-stocked produce sections, she says not everyone is as fortunate. “They don’t really have access and for the majority of the population, the middle- to upper-income, they don’t really see that but, if you go into a store in a lower-income community, even the quality of the products might not be the same,” Pinard says. “The fresh fruits and vegetables just don’t even look that good.”

Efforts are underway to improve all Iowans’ access to five food categories: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy and whole grains. Pinard says, “Moving forward, we’d like to have a national program to be able to support the type of work that we’re doing and also just to increase food access in our communities.”

The Farm Bill, which is still tied up in Congress, is expected to include funding for what’s called the Healthy Food Financing Initiative. The program promises to improve access to healthy food, bringing with it health benefits and revitalized communities by creating jobs and supporting small businesses.

(Radio Iowa)

Shelby County “Fire Danger” index at “Moderate” through Thursday

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says the Fire Danger index in the County will remain in the “Moderate” category through at least this Thursday, Oct. 10th. Moderate Fire Danger ratingWith winds expected to increase this week to around 30 miles per hour, Seivert says open burning should be avoided, especially on Tuesday.

Local realtor donates to CCMH Foundation to bring Simon Estes to Atlantic

News

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Efforts to bring a concert featuring renowned singer Simon Estes to Atlantic, have resulted in a donation from an area realtor to make his presence possible. Melissa Ihnen, owner of Meyer and Gross Real Estate, in Atlantic, recently presented a check for $500 to Cass County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) Foundation Director, Dawn Marnin. Meyer and Gross is a “Silver” partner in the Foundation’s fundraising efforts.Simon Estes’ “Roots to Wings” concert is scheduled for 3:00 pm on Sunday, October 27th. Ihnen says she believes in giving back to the communities that support her, and one way to do that, is by being a partner in bringing Simon Estes, to Cass County.Estes will not only perform for the public, but will also share his inspirational message with Cass County High School Students the following day.

 

 

 

Meyer and Gross Real Estate is one of several locations with tickets available for the Simon Estes Concert. Stop in today at 621 Poplar Street to purchase yours! Tickets are $20 each and the concert will be held at the Atlantic High School Auditorium. For more information, contact Marnin at 712-243-7409.

 

 

Area Extension officials celebrate National 4-H week

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Extension education officials and more than 6-million young people from across the country are celebrating National 4-H week, which runs October 6th through the 12th. Beth Irlbeck, Cass County Extension Youth Coordinator says the week will be marked with of a lot of different activities.4H week Oct 2013

The Iowa 4-H Foundation has dedicated each day to one of the four “H’s” of 4-H (Head, Heart, Health and Hands), with the final day celebrating the 4-H color, green.  Irlbeck says area businesses are showing their support of the organization, through window displays created by several community clubs.

There are 15 4-H Clubs in Cass County, with more than 300 members and 30 volunteers. Cass County Extension will be hosting a coloring contest for all kindergarten through third grade youth. You can visit the extension’s website, download the coloring sheet and return it to the Extension Office. On Saturday, Oct. 12th, during Atlantic’s HarvestFest, there will be additional activities for youth, and opportunities to learn more about 4-H. Extension personnel will be available during the event, from 10-a.m. until 4-p.m. She says there’s also a petting zoo in the parking lot of the Orschelen’s Store on 7th Street in Atlantic this Saturday.

Irlbeck says one area 4-H has been focusing on recently, pertains to STEM. She says for the upcoming year, they plan on offering many great opportunities for youth in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – STEM. They’re also activities designed to expand on communication, citizenship, healthy lifestyles, leadership, and other important skills.

To find out more about the 4-H program in Cass County, contact the Cass County Extension and Outreach Office at 712-243-1132.

Iowa 92 open near Massena – IA DOT wants your feedback

News

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

After being closed only nine days, Iowa 92 near Massena is open to traffic with a brand new bridge. The Iowa Department of Transportation’s District 4 Office in Atlantic reports that the unique project went very well from the Iowa DOT’s perspective, but they want to know what you think.

Artists rendition of the new Hwy 92 bridge prior to its construction. (IA DOT photo)

Artists rendition of the new Hwy 92 bridge prior to its construction. (IA DOT photo)

Road users in the area are encouraged to complete the customer satisfaction survey on the project website http://www.iowadot.gov/MassenaBridge/index.html

 

8AM Newscast 10-07-2013

News, Podcasts

October 7th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

(Podcast) 7:06-a.m. Area/State news, Mon., 10/7/13

News, Podcasts

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director, Ric Hanson….

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Students help retired Iowa teacher with cleanup

News

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

ROCK BRANCH, Iowa (AP) – Friends and students of a retired teacher have begun helping him recover from tornado damage at his home in northwest Iowa. Nine tornadoes struck northeast Nebraska and northwest Iowa on Friday, injuring at least 15 people.

The Sioux City Journal says that on Sunday, two buses carried about 50 students, staff members and parents from Hinton High School to the rural Rock Branch home of Wayne Stadler and his wife, Debbie. One of the twisters had ripped off the roof of their home and destroyed their barn and several sheds. The Stadlers weren’t injured.

Wayne Stadler had taught at the high school for 32 years. The damage was almost overwhelming, but the hard work by his friends and former students gave him a good start on the cleanup.

Red Oak man arrested at the scene of a fire

News

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

One person was arrested early this (Monday) morning after he crossed a barricade at a fire scene and refused to leave. Authorities say 29-year old Matthew Daniel Sloan, of Red Oak, was taken into custody at around 2-a.m. on a charge of interference with official acts. After he was transported to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center, Sloan was allegedly found to be in possession of a controlled substance. He was subsequently charged with introducing a controlled substance/marijuana, into a secure facility. Sloan was being held in the jail on $5,000 cash bond.

Red Oak business fire

News

October 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from the Red Oak Fire Dept and surrounding communities are at a working structure fire in Red Oak this morning at 5th and Reed Streets, the site of the old Pit Stop Bar.

Photo courtesy Montgomery County EMA.

Photo courtesy Montgomery County EMA.

Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Brian Hamman reports the call came in at roughly 12:30am. Mutual aid was immediately requested from Stanton Fire, Elliott Fire & First Responders, Essex Fire & Rescue, and Shenandoah Fire and Clarinda Fire depts provided aerial support.

Crews are still operating at the fire scene and will be for several hours. Hamman asks residents to please avoid the area. The investigation is on going and the State Fire Marshals office has been notified.

Power is out in the area and Mid American Energy is working to restore those that were cut due to the fire.