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Wednesday morning fire destroys vacant home in Oakland: suspicious origin


November 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Investigators examining the remains of a home in Oakland that was destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning, consider the cause to be suspicious. According to the Daily NonPareil, firefighters were called to the unoccupied rental home at 208 Oak Streetin Oakland, a little after 12-a.m., Wednesday. Oakland’s Fire Chief Brant Miller told the paper the house was fully engulfed in flames and the entire structure collapsed within 10-minutes of crews having arrived on the scene. Firefighters were able to prevent the flames from spreading to another, nearby home.

Firefighters from Oakland and Carson were on the scene for about 5-hours. No injuries were reported. The house, assessed at $57,000. was a total loss The fire is considered suspicious because of the manner in which it started, and because there had been unusual activity in the home in recent weeks. The cause remains under investigation.

Former SW IA physician to undergo competency exams


November 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Board of Medicine has come to terms with a former Shenandoah Medical Center physician charged for practicing without informing the board he had received discipline from the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine. Under the settlement agreement, 55-year old Subir Ray, who is no longer employed by the medical center, will  undergo several health and behavioral exams to determine his competency to practice medicine.The board issued Ray a citation and warning, and ordered him to pay a $2,500 civil penalty, according to a press release.

Ray must also complete a comprehensive clinical competency evaluation, a comprehensive physical, neuropsychological, mental health, and disruptive behavior evaluation and a professional ethics program. He was placed on indefinite probation subject to board monitoring and a board-approved practice monitoring program.

The Iowa board filed disciplinary action against Ray on Aug. 30th, and the Shenandoah Medical Center suspended him on Sept. 6th. Ray, who provided minimally invasive surgery at SMC, previously worked at PinnacleHealth in Harrisburg, Pa. He began working in Shenandoah in September 2010.

He was disciplined by the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine in November 2011 after the board concluded that Ray practiced medicine with a “mental disability” and engaged in unprofessional conduct, according to a report from the Iowa Board of Medicine. His medical license is valid until July 1st, 2014.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Nov. 7th 2013


November 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

SLATER, Iowa (AP) — The family of a man shot by police after a car chase at Iowa State University is questioning why he was killed. James Comstock told The Des Moines Register he’s outraged police shot and killed his son, 19-year-old Tyler Comstock. Ames police say Tyler Comstock of Boone drove a stolen truck onto the ISU campus on Monday. Patrol officer Adam McPherson fired six shots into the truck, fatally wounding Comstock.

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) — Video of a former Iowa jail guard accused of killing his pregnant wife shows the man denying involvement in her death. The Ottumwa Courier reports (jurors watched more video yesterday in the murder trial of Seth Techel. It features an investigator questioning Techel about his actions on the morning of his wife’s death.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a man found dead outside a Des Moines duplex. Des Moines police say 28-year-old Shay Zeller was discovered Monday morning by a woman leaving for work.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Court of Appeals says a woman who trains service dogs may proceed with a lawsuit against Drake University, which she says did not allow her to attend classes in 2009 with a dog at her side. Nicole Shumate, a 2009 Drake Law School graduate, says in her lawsuit people training service animals are permitted by Iowa law to seek civil damages when denied the right to be accompanied by their animal.

Travelers likely won’t have to pay bridge toll


November 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DECATUR, Neb. (AP) — Traveling over the Missouri River at Decatur, Neb., should soon be cheaper and a little quicker. The Sioux City Journal reports motorists will no longer have to pay a toll to use the bridge, which links Nebraska and Iowa about half way between Omaha and Sioux City. The change comes as the Burt County Bridge Commission turns over ownership of the bridge to Iowa and Nebraska.

Bridge manager Clark Beck says it’s good news for Decatur residents who will no longer have to pay the $1 toll to drive a car or pickup truck over the span. But he notes it also means the loss of more than a dozen part-time toll-taking jobs.

Iowa and Nebraska still must give final approval to the ownership change, but that’s expected soon.

MidAmerican continues with wind energy expansion projects


November 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

MidAmerican Energy has released more details about a plan to add nearly 450 wind turbines across the state. Construction is underway on the projects around O’Brien, Webster, Grundy, Madison, and Marshall Counties. The company says it has reached an agreement with RPM Access, LLC for the acquisition of the approximate 117-megawatt Macksburg wind project site in Madison County. The Macksburg wind project will be constructed by Mortenson Construction, which is based in Minnesota.

The utility has announced the blades for the expansion will be manufactured by a Siemen’s plant located in Fort Madison. Once completed by the end 2015, MidAmerican officials say the new wind projects will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 317-thousand (317,000) Iowa households.

MidAmerican says the wind energy expansion projects will provide more than $3 million in landowner payments each year and more than $360 million in additional property tax revenues over the next 30 years. Construction will take place at no net cost to the company’s customers, and officials say it will help stabilize electric rates over the long term.

Approximately 1,000 construction jobs will be added to Iowa’s economy during the two-year construction period, and approximately 40 new permanent jobs will be added when the expansion is complete.

King says Obama to pay a price for lying about ObamaCare


November 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Republican Congressman Steve King says President Obama has lost the “moral authority to govern” because Obama repeatedly promised Americans if they liked their health care plan, they could keep it.  “Nixon lied and was severely punished for it,” King says. “That set a standard. We severely punish presidents for lying.” King says modern presidents have paid a price for lies or statements that were perceived as lies, like George Bush’s assertion that Iraq was trying to buy nuclear material in Iraq to his father’s decision to break his “no new taxes” promise.

“There’s been a very, very harsh criticism of presidents who were accused of lying whether they told the truth or not,” King says. “This one you can’t peel it off. The ObamaCare brand is branding on Barack Obama dn not only did he sell us ObamaCare with a series of big lies, but he retained…his place in office by repeating them over and over again.” King backed the recent partial government shutdown and has accused the president of being a “narcissist” by closing National Parks and public monuments in Washington, D.C. during the 16 day impasse with congress.

King says over the past 72 hours he’s come to the realization that Obama “had to know” he was lying when he said Americans would be able to keep their insurance.  “I think he is a smart guy. I don’t think he was duped. I think he was part of the duping. If he was willing to dupe the people on ObamaCare and dupe the American people to get reelected and take this vindictive, spiteful, narcissistic position when we call him on it in congress, I think that brand sticks hard and I think that the next three years of his presidency he can’t lead with moral authority any longer,” King says. “He can lead, perhaps, with presidential edict until the people refuse to follow, but he can’t lead with moral authority any longer.”

King says Obama’s lying would have more impact today if Obama hadn’t given employers another year to meet the health insurance mandate in the Affordable Care Act, as that affects far more people than are being impacted by the individual mandate.

(Radio Iowa)

Harlan City Council News


November 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan City Council, Tuesday, set a date for a public hearing on the next three phases of the 2014 Sewer Rehabilitation project. City Administrator Terry Cox reported the three phases were combined to help receive bids from contractors. The estimated cost of the project is $650,000. A public hearing will be held at the next Harlan City Council meeting, Tuesday, November 19th, with bids coming to the city between the 19th and their first December meeting.

Cox said even though it is three phases, he believes the project will be completed in one fiscal year. The discussion on the 2014 Sewer Rehab project was brought up first at a Public Health and Sanitation Committee meeting on October 25th. In other business, the Harlan City Council approved the 19th as the date for a public hearing on the sale of city owned property, 1901 Hawkeye Ave.

Cox also brought up the new Christmas lights around town which came from money from Hotel/Motel Tax and the City and was discussed at a Hotel/Motel Tax Committee meeting last week. Cox said “They were tracking the Christmas lights with the music to go with them. Knock on wood that everything works as we all plan. The tree will be placed about a week ahead of time. If you watch around town, utilities are putting up the lights. If you haven’t driven down Cyclone, all those lights are LED. They are brighter and save 50 percent energy. They look good. So if you drive around town, make sure you go down Cyclones, it looks nice.”

Harlan Municipal Utilities were placing new lights on Chatburn Ave as well. The city is planning a big lighting ceremony the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 29th on the square in downtown Harlan.

Towards the end of the meeting, Mayor Gene Gettys read a portion of a letter from Turk Therkildsen that was sent to the Harlan Community School District as well as the city. Therkildsen was a graduate of the Harlan school district in 1955 and has since given many donations to the city including large sums for the Therkildsen Center. The letter announced two more large contributions to both the school district and city….

“So it is with continuing pride in my hometown that I commit $250,000 for the Merrill Field renovations. I am equally proud to commit $250,000 to the C.G. Therkildsen Activity Center in continuing support of an essential community activity center.”

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Wear a Cap Save a Life


November 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Griswold Schools have announced the district is participating in the statewide Iowa Pride Challenge. The Challenge promotes schools to participate in a community service project of their choosing. The schools that participate are eligible for statewide recognition and grants. Griswold’s service project for the challenge is Caps for Kids.caps

Caps for Kid’s is a non-profit organization whose goal is to provide children diagnosed with cancer and who are receiving chemotherapy, a signed cap by a celebrity of their choice. Griswold Schools will be playing in an Iowa Pride Game on Friday, November 22nd against Fremont Mills. Students will also give a dollar on Friday to be allowed to wear a hat at school. That money will go to Caps For Kids. Money will also be given at the game for spectators that wear a hat.

Griswold Schools will also be taking part in a Change War the week before the game. The Change War will be a competition between all classes of the high school, middle school, and the elementary to see who can raise the most change. All proceeds from the Change War and money collected during the game to wear a hat will go to Brooklynne’s family.

Brooklynne is a first grader who is battling kidney cancer and currently going through chemotherapy. Also, after every three pointer made, the cheerleaders will be accepting free will donations for Brooklynne. The basketball girls invite everyone to attend the game Friday November 22nd, at 6 p.m.  The cost to attend the game is $1 if you wear a hat, otherwise you’ll pay the regular admission prices of $5 for adults and $3 for students.

8AM Newscast 11-06-2013

News, Podcasts

November 6th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


CCMH Trustees announce new CEO


November 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A new CEO has been elected to the Cass County Memorial Hospital. During a brief, special session this (Wednesday) morning, the CCMH Board of Trustees unanimously selected Todd Hudspeth to succeed retiring CEO Pat Markham, whose 29-year career ends January 17th. Hudspeth, who brings more than 15-years of experience as a CEO in critical access hospitals, will take over as CEO at CCMH, on January 20th.

Todd Hudspeth, MBA, FACHE

Todd Hudspeth, MBA, FACHE

CCMH Board Chair Ned Brown said the Board is “Confident (Hudspeth’s) expertise and leadership are just what (is needed) to guide (the) health system through the many challenges facing the healthcare industry today, and in the years to come. Hudspeth was selected from more than 100 applicants for the position, which Brown says reflects on “The positive reputation of the CCHS workforce and facilities.”

Hudspeth was most recently the President and CEO of Jamestown Regional Medical Center, a 25-bed regional hospital in Jamestown, ND. Prior to serving there, he was CEO at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake. He’s also served as CEO at the Guthrie County Hospital in Guthrie Center. His other experiences include positions at the Storz Cancer Institute at Clarkson Hospital in Omaha, and at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Hudspeth graduated from ISU in 1989 with a BS in Industrial Engineering. He also received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska. He is board certified in healthcare management, and in 2007, became a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Todd Hudspeth and his soon to be wife Jessica, along with two of her five sons will relocate to Atlantic, with Jessica and her boys moving here at the end of the school year. The boys will be in the sixth and fourth grades next fall.