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Ted Robinson Named “Scrooge”

News

December 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, announced Ted Robinson was named the 2015 Scrooge for the City of Atlantic. Ted will serve as Grand Marshal in the Lighted Christmas Parade on Saturday evening. Robinson earned his title by collecting the largest amount of donations for the Atlantic Area Chamber’s 15th Annual Scrooge Contest.

All contributions are donated to the Atlantic Food Pantry. The 2015 candidates included: Ali Buckner, Cass County Health System, Rich and Nedra Perry, Geis Perry Jewelry, Ted Robinson, First Whitney Bank and Tony Schmidtke, Fareway. Collectively the scrooges earned 10,607 points. One point is received for every dollar donated and one point for every two cans.

Ted Robinson, winner of the 2015 Scrooge title, along with all the candidates will be recognized at the Holiday Concert on Sunday, December 6th at 3-pm.  The Chamber says recognizing all the candidates at the Holiday Concert is something new in 2015.

Prairie City man arrested on A-PD warrant

News

December 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports a man from Prairie City was arrested Wednesday on an Atlantic Police Department warrant. 30-year old Benjamin John James Grulke, was arrested by deputies on the warrant charging Grulke with Theft in the 5th Degree.

Grulke was taken to the Cass County Jail and later released on his own recognizance.

State parties finalize Iowa precinct caucus locations

News

December 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Republican Party of Iowa says it has confirmed all of its precinct locations for next year’s presidential caucuses. The party announced Thursday that caucuses will take place in 1,681 locations throughout the state on Feb. 1. Party officials say they have opened three regional offices for the first time to help organize.

Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann says he wants to ensure a smooth and successful caucus to help preserve Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status. Iowa Democratic Party Communication Director Sam Lau says Democrats have finalized more than 90 percent of their precinct locations and posted them on the party’s website.

VA hospital offers gifts to veterans which they can give to others

News

December 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Veterans from western Iowa who are being treated at the V-A Medical Center in Omaha are being offered the chance to spread some holiday cheer, even if they can’t afford to buy presents. V-A spokesman Will Ackerman says volunteers from the American Legion Auxiliary have opened a special type of gift shop in the hospital that’s just for patients.

Ackerman says, “Veterans who are either in-patients at the Omaha V-A Medical Center or who are going through dialysis treatment or at our recovery center, they are allowed to select a certain number of free gifts for their loved ones.” The auxiliary volunteers take considerable time to buy and wrap the gifts using donations, he says, all in order to help the veterans share the spirit of the season with others.

“They also have a mobile cart to take a good selection of gifts to patients in their rooms and who can’t get down to the gift shop on the third floor so they can also select a gift or two,” Ackerman says. There’s no charge to the veterans for the gifts.

(Radio Iowa)

2 arrested on drug charges in Mills County

News

December 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports two, drug-related arrests. 24-year old Joshua Allen Deyoung, of Tabor, was arrested Tuesday evening on Highway 275 following a traffic stop. Deyoung was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. His bond was set at $300. Later that same night, 35-year old Leo Alan Edwards, of Pacific Junction, was arrested on Washington Avenue in Pacific Junction. Edwards was charged with Theft in the 4th Degree, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. His bond was set at $1,300.

Mills County authorities said also, 20-year old Cody Jo Hunter, of Glenwood, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on a warrant for Probation Violation. His bond was set at $5,000. And, Larry Steven Hutchings, of Emerson, was arrested for Driving Under Suspension. High bond was set at $300.

Atlantic Council approves Collective Bargaining Agreement

News

December 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, following a closed session for Collective Bargaining purposes, Wednesday evening, approved an agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Council 61. The union represents the City’s Police Officers and the confidential secretary, or a total of six members. The current agreement was set to expire July 1st, 2016.

City Administrator John Lund says negotiations began with the Union October 26th, with two additional meetings held in November, during which the Union presented its proposal and the City offered its proposal. Lund says in the end, there were some significant changes to insurance. He said the City eliminated its lowest deductible and double its highest. Single members will also now be required to pay into the system. Previously, there was no cost associated with the policy for those members.

Lund said everyone seemed to acknowledge that the so-called “Platinum Policies” or free-ride insurance policies are not sustainable. He says next year the City will pay 95-percent of the cost for singles, and 87-percent for families. The agreement also calls for wage increases to move away from Cost Of Living (COLA) percentages, to a “cent-based” system. For instance, effective July 1st, 2016, all patrolmen will receive a 69-cent per hour wage increase, while the secretary/dispatcher will receive a 56-cent per hour increase. The same amount of increases will take place in 2017 and 2018.

The Union, according to Lund, also proposed employees pass physical fitness tests. That previously was not something the State did not require, but he said it makes sense in terms of officer and public safety. Overall, Lund said he was pleased with the negotiation process. He says he has a lot of respect for both parties and the process by which an agreement was reached.

Iowa nursing homes ask for boost in pay for Medicaid patient care

News

December 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The state’s elder care industry is asking state officials to boost Medicaid reimbursement rates. Medicaid provides health care coverage to poor and disabled elderly. Susan Cameron is the lobbyist for the Iowa Health Care Association. “Iowa Health Care Association represents 470 long-term care facilities, assisted living programs and home health organizations in Iowa that serve over 75 percent of Iowa’s Medicaid residents.”

The group is pressing for a reset of the base level of reimbursement for nursing homes that care for poor elderly patients who have their stay in the home paid by the Medicaid program. State lawmakers approved a partial boost last year, about half of what the governor recommended. “It is greatly appreciated and was critically necessary because these providers of Medicaid services had not had a full recalculation of their rates for more than three years,” Cameron says. “As you know, during that time wages and federal regulations have driven the cost to provide quality care higher.”

Nursing facilities are asking state officials for 15-million more dollars to boost Medicaid reimbursement rates again. Cameron says the reset is critical as the state moves Medicaid patients into managed care plans over the next two years. “It is critical that they enter the program with a rate that reflects more closely the currently cost of caring for these Medicaid patients,” Cameron says. “If not, the costs will obviously be shifted to the private-pay residents.”

The Branstad Administration has estimated the state will save 51 million dollars by having private companies manage care for the 560-thousand Medicaid patients in Iowa. Thirty-four percent of that estimated savings comes from anticipated reductions in payments to Iowa nursing homes.

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 12/3/15

News, Podcasts

December 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More local, and state news, from Ric Hanson.

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(Podcast) KJAN News, 12/3/2015

News, Podcasts

December 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:06-a.m., w/KJAN News Director, Ric Hanson.

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4 arrests in Creston Wed.

News

December 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Creston Police report four people were arrested, Wednesday. 33-year old Becky Freeman, of Creston, was arrested at around 7:35-p.m., on two Union County warrants for Failure to Appear (on an original charge of Driving While Barred), and Failure to Appear (on an original charge of Forgery). Freeman was being held in the Ringgold County Jail while awaiting a bond hearing.

At around 5:30-p.m., Wed., Creston Police arrested 18-year old Justice Post, of Creston, at the Union County Law Enforcement Center, on a charge of Theft in the 2nd Degree. Post was later released on a $5,000 bond.

Creston Police arrested 36-year old MiahCahla Phillips, of Creston, and 35-year old Mangus Welch, of Creston, at around 11:15-a.m., Wednesday. Both were taken into custody at an apartment in the 100 block of Manor Drive, and charged with Viiolation of a Protection Order. Phillips was later released on a Promise to Appear in court, while Welch was being held in the Union County Jail while awaiting a bond hearing.