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State Fire Marshal Anticipates Fireworks Injuries, Advises Safety

News

July 2nd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – With anecdotal information circulating on increased sales and use of consumer fireworks, as well as the reduced number of community Independence Day celebrations and fireworks shows, State Fire Marshal Dan Wood is advising Iowans to take extra safety measures this long, holiday weekend. “We understand the desire to fully embrace the July 4th holiday and find fun and creative ways to celebrate and let loose after a difficult spring,” said Wood. “If you choose to do this with fireworks, there are some very important safety measures you should take.”

Nationally, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports annual injuries of around 10,000. Specifically, Iowa has experienced a dramatic rise in injuries the last few years with the Iowa Department of Public Health reporting 143 emergency department visits for fireworks-related injuries in 2018. It’s important to note that roughly 46% of those who are treated in Iowa emergency departments are between the ages of 15-34. This is clearly a higher-risk age group.

As part of its education and outreach efforts the State Fire Marshal Division is encouraging Iowans to visit the office’s website The4thRules.com. Here you can find a host of fireworks safety tips including:
•    Refrain from drinking alcohol before and while discharging fireworks
•    Keep spectators at least six feet away from lit fireworks
•    Always supervise children near or handling fireworks. Even simple products like fireworks can be dangerous – burning at up to 2000 degrees
•    Keep a water source handy to douse “duds” or in case of emergency.

In addition to safety measures, it’s important to make sure you’re discharging fireworks legally:
•    Always purchase from a licensed vendor. You can find these listed at The4thRules.com as well
•    Children 18 and younger cannot legally purchase fireworks
•    Be sure you’re purchasing and discharging consumer fireworks. If you check the label anything marked 1.3G or below is for professional use only
•    Check local city or county ordinances. Some communities have increased restrictions on if and when you can shoot consumer fireworks.

The State Fire Marshal Division wishes all Iowans a safe, July 4th holiday.

2 from Atlantic arrested on animal neglect warrants after dog found in a ditch

News

July 2nd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Two people from Atlantic were arrested this (Thursday) morning, in association with a deceased, emaciated dog left in a ditch in rural Cumberland last weekend. 20-year old Anthony Michael Palijo and 18-year old Makayla Marie Palijo, turned themselves in to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office on Sheriff’s Office warrants charging each of them with one Animal Neglect Causing Injury/Death. Both parties remain held at the Cass County Jail on $1,000 bond each.

The charges stem from the report of a neglected/deceased dog found in a ditch near 650th and Pella Roads on Saturday, June 27, 2020. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office extends its true appreciation and thanks to the public for the information that assisted in charging the subjects.

Gov. Reynolds directs $490 million of CARES Funds into Unemployment Trust Fund

News

July 2nd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has directed $490 million of the $1.25 billion in Coronavirus relief funds Iowa was provided through the CARES Act, to be deposited into Iowa’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.  The deposit will ensure that eligible Iowans continue to receive unemployment insurance benefits, and will also enable Iowa employers to remain in Tax Table 7 for 2021.   Reynolds  says “As we move forward with recovery, I want to minimize the pandemic’s impact on employers so they can focus on growing and reinvesting in Iowa,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Iowa’s employers continue to do an outstanding job during these unprecedented times and today’s action will provide them greater certainty. This move also ensures that our trust fund remains healthy and in a position to weather any storm, including COVID-19.”

According to the Governor, “From the beginning of the pandemic, Iowa has not been charging employers with claims made by laid off employees to ensure employers would not see their tax rates go up because of these claims,” Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend added “Keeping employers in Tax Table 7, saves them over $400 million in unemployment taxes.”

For more information about the Iowa Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, please review https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/2019-status-report-iowa-unemployment-compensation-trust-fund

Number of licenses to sell fireworks dropped this year

News

July 2nd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – State Fire Marshal Dan Wood says the number of licenses approved by his office to sell consumer fireworks was down this year. “We are at 550 for 2020, in 2019 we had 621. In 2018 — it was our high year — we had 891. And in 2017, our first year, we had 674,” according to Wood. He says the pandemic is the likely reason for the drop. “I would say one of the reasons we are down is probably the COVID. I know there was also some question about the availability of product — so that would have something to do with it also,” Wood says.

His office issues the licenses and inspects the places where the fireworks are sold. The rules regarding the use of fireworks is left up to local leaders. “Each local jurisdiction has the ability to set their own hours and dates accordingly. And some don’t and some do,” Wood says. Consumer fireworks can be sold from June 1st through July 8th.

Clay County Fair cancels due to COVID-19

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 2nd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The Clay County Fair, one of northwest Iowa’s biggest county fairs, is joining the list of casualties from coronavirus. The Clay County Fair Association says the decision was made amid concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. After weeks of looking at various options, the fair decided it could not protect the health and safety of fairgoers, staff, and volunteers.

Despite the postponement of the fair, 4-H/FFA livestock competitions will be held this fall. The 2021 Clay County Fair will be held September 11th through the 19th.

IA COVID-19 (Update 11:40-a.m., 7/2/20) – 3 more cases in Cass County

News

July 2nd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

There’s are three more positive cases of COVID-19 in Cass County. The Iowa Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard showed 20 cases of COVID-19 in Cass County as of 11:40-a.m., and 17 persons have recovered. Not much change was reported though, in the surrounding counties:

  • Adair County has 15 cases/11 recovered
  • Adams County has 8 cases & 8 recovered
  • Audubon County has 16 cases of COVID-19, with 15 recovered
  • Guthrie County reports 64 cases & 58 recovered
  • Montgomery County shows 10 cases & 8 recovered
  • Pottawattamie County has 714 cases & 601 recovered
  • Shelby County reports 110 cases, & 89 recovered.

The IDPH says there were no new deaths from the virus over the past 24-hours. The toll remains 717. However, a total of 29,966 have tested positive. Negative test results amount to 285,897 (over 7,000 more than yesterday). More Iowans are continuing to recover from the virus, with at least 310 added over the past 24-hours, for a total of 23,868.

In Regional Medical Center Coordination (RMCC) data: 145 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized (compared to 149 yesterday); 36 are in an ICU (37 yesterday); 18 were admitted to a hospital (compared to 29 in Wednesday’s report), and 18 are on a ventilator. That’s 3 less than reported earlier. There was no change in the RMCC Region 4 (western/southwest IA) data.

Long-Term Care (LTC) facility outbreaks is back up to 21. At those facilities, 559 persons (Staff & patients) have tested positive,. Recoveries from the virus amount to 420, while COVID-19 deaths at LTC’s amount to 381.

Don’t let summer holiday fun result in you being on a ventilator

News

July 2nd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Many traditional 4th of July weekend festivals and fireworks displays have been called off this year due to the pandemic, and Iowans who plan gatherings with friends and family are urged to take health precautions. Mask wearing is still very important, according to Shelby Kroona, Hamilton County’s public health director. She fears a sharp uptick in COVID-19 cases if people don’t use common sense. “We want to see our friends and neighbors, but please do it responsibly,” Kroona says. “Wear a mask and keep yourself distanced away from people.”

Maintaining that six-foot space can be irritating, especially after many of us have been isolated for so long. Still, Kroona says it’s crucial. “If you’re feeling ill, please don’t go,” Kroona says. “I know it’s hard to stay home, but we could potentially see a spike here in five to seven days.”  With warm weather in the holiday weekend forecast, Kroona fears thousands of people will be drawn to Iowa’s parks, beaches, lakes and rivers, raising the risk for transmitting the disease.

Volunteers needed to glean leftover veggies from Iowa fields to feed the needy

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 2nd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – A report finds up to ten-percent of food grown in Iowa is left in the field because it’s not visually attractive or can’t be sold, while more than 300-thousand Iowans can’t cover their basic food needs. Those facts are prompting an effort to find volunteers to glean surplus vegetables from Iowa’s fields to donate to the hungry. Nicki Ross, executive director of the Table to Table Food Rescue, says nutritious food is vital, now more than ever. “We need volunteer gleaners, folks who are willing to get out there and pick the food from the farm and prepare it to be delivered to people who need it,” Ross says. “We are also looking for farm partners. We know there are a lot of local farms, a lot of them are organic farms, who sell what they can and then leave the rest.”

That produce would otherwise go to waste. The Feeding Iowans Task Force also seeks AmeriCorps members and hunger relief organizations willing to be host sites to help in the effort to harvest food, fight hunger and build community. Gleaning leftover produce is not an easy job, but it’s rewarding. “If I know anything about Iowans, it’s that they’re hearty,” Ross says. “Getting out there and doing hot, maybe challenging work would appeal to some folks. Also, with so many things across the state cancelled, people are looking for things to do with their time.”

Potential volunteers, she says, would -not- be spending eight hours a day, toiling in the summer sun. “We will keep those gleaning operations to a few hours a piece with a few people at a time to make it as enjoyable of an experience as possible,” Ross says. “I think ultimately, folks know that they’re doing something that’s really valuable to their community and getting food to people who really need it.” Blueberries are already ripe and ready to be picked, while Ross says there’s a cornucopia of other veggies that need to be harvested now or very soon. “There’s all kinds of crops like green onions, kale, lettuces, kohlrabi and even broccoli is coming right up,” Ross says. “We’re watching this now and we expect in another month, we’re going to have even more things to glean from the fields, like tomatoes and zucchini and cucumbers, and of course, corn when it comes ripe.”

People who want to volunteer should send an email to the Iowa Gleaning Network at gleaniowa@table2table.org.

https://table2table.org/

Carroll man arrested on Mills County warrant

News

July 2nd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

A man from Carroll was arrested Wednesday morning on a Mills County warrant. 19-year old Michael John William Lyons was arrested at the Carroll County Jail, on a Mills County  warrant for Violation of Probation. Lyons was being held in the Mills County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

(9-a.m. News)

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 7/2/20

News, Podcasts

July 2nd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

More State and area news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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