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Hy-Vee warns of onions potentially contaminated with Salmonella


October 23rd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(West Des Moines, Iowa) — Officials with Des Moines-based Hy-Vee, Friday, warned its customers that some onions sold at Hy-Vee stores between Aug. 13 and Sept. 1, 2021 are part of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration recall. The only affected products sold at Hy-Vee stores were three-pound bags of yellow onions, the company said in a news release.

In a statement, Hy-Vee said “The affected onions are no longer available at any Hy-Vee stores; however, consumers may have product remaining in storage or freezers, or in canned or frozen goods produced with the affected onions. Out of an abundance of caution, Hy-Vee advises consumers to discard any affected product or return the product to their local Hy-Vee store for a full refund.”

Hy-Vee said it was notified by its supplier Capitol City Fruit that in August the grocer had received a shipment of onions that are part of the recall. Anyone with questions may contact Hy-Vee Customer Care representatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-772-4098.

Iowa City man died after being struck by a pickup on I-35


October 23rd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(New Virginia, Iowa) – A passenger in a car was struck and killed by a pickup Friday night in Interstate 35, in central Iowa. According to the Iowa State Patrol, 69-year-old Steven Kohli, of Iowa City, got out to check out the damage to the 2017 Lincoln MKC he was riding in, after the car struck a deer on I-35 southbound, at mile marker 45.

The man was struck by a 2018 Dodge RAM 2500, driven by 69-year-old Terrence Sack, of Pequot Lake, MN. The Patrol says Sack attempted to drive around the car on the right side, due to vehicles on the left. Steven Kohli died at the scene. The accident happened at around 7:25-p.m.

House gutted by fire in Red Oak – no injuries reported


October 22nd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Red Oak, Iowa) — A fire Thursday morning in Red Oak gutted a house, but there were no injuries reported. Fire officials say faulty wiring sparked a house fire in Red Oak Thursday morning. Firefighters responded at around 9:20-a.m. to a structure fire at 300 Market Street. The first crews to arrive on the scene encountered heavy flames in the rear of the residence. They were also notified children and an adult male may be inside the home.

As firefighters made entry into the structure to find any potentially trapped or injured victims, word was received that neither the children or the adult were inside. Firefighters suppressed the fire and conducted salvage and overhaul operations, bringing the fire under control at 10:20 a.m. Firefighter’s terminated ground operations at 11:25 a.m.

Photo courtesy the Red Oak Fire Department

An investigation determined that faulty wiring igniting combustibles on the back porch. The house sustained significant structural damage and was expected to be declared a total loss. Assisting Red Oak Fire at the scene, was: The Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency; The Stanton, Essex and Emerson Fire Departments; Red Oak Police; The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office; MidAmerican Energy; City of Red Oak water and street departments crews; The Montgomery County Communications Center, and the State Fire Marshall’s Office.

Landus Acquires Grain Elevator in Atlantic, Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 22nd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

AMES, IOWA (October 22, 2021) – Landus, Iowa’s largest farmer-owned grain cooperative, announced today the acquisition of a 3.4-million-bushel grain elevator in Atlantic, Iowa. The facility was most recently operated by Pipeline Foods through a joint venture with ADM. Landus purchased the facility through a public bidding process following Pipeline Foods’ recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

“This well-maintained asset is a win for Landus farmer-owners. The facility will round out our grain and agronomy offerings in this southwestern region of our territory and open the door to improved services to local Atlantic-area farmers,” said Matt Carstens, President and CEO of Landus.Landis Logo

The grain elevator is strategically positioned at the crossroads of major truck and rail routes in the heart of corn and soybean country. This site enables grain shipment out of the state via the Iowa Interstate Railroad. Landus currently operates a separate agronomy facility in Atlantic.

Landus will move quickly to assume full ownership and operation of the facility in early November.

Unemployment rate drops


October 22nd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The state unemployment rate dropped slightly in September. The rate in September fell to four percent, down from four-point-one percent in August. Iowa Workforce Development says the unemployment claims in September dropped more than 68 percent compared to one year ago. And it was the second-lowest monthly unemployment claims Iowa has seen over the past 20 years.

The U-S unemployment rate fell to four-point-eight percent in September.

Four casinos fined for violations


October 22nd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Four casinos are paying a combined 130-thousand dollars in fines to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission for gambling violations involving minors. Racing And Gaming administrator, Brian Ohorilko, says the Catfish Bend Casino was fined for the actions of an underage male.

“Entered the casino floor unchallenged, was on the floor for 47 minutes. It was not discernible whether the individual had gambled — pulled a ticket out of the machine, and based on a preponderance of the evidence, we felt the individual did gamble,” he says. Ohorilko says the casino agreed to a 30-thousand-dollar fine.

“Normal fine for this is 20 (thousand dollars), but there were the aggravating circumstances of a lack of surveillance coverage, and the age of the minor elevated that fine,” Ohorilko says. The Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs was fined 60-thousand dollars for two underage violations. The first involved a minor female in January who entered the gambling floor with an adult.

“Had gambled at a number of slot machines and was on the gaming floor for over 30 minutes, In the second count — it occurred a couple of months later — there was another individual, a 17-year-old female who had entered the gaming floor. She was on the floor for five hours and had gambled,” according to Ohorilko. Prairie Meadows in Altoona was fined 20-thousand dollars for an underage male who got onto the casino floor with two adults.

“Was not challenged at the turnstile, had gambled, and was on the floor for approximately 60 minutes. This individual was identified by another security officer who was conducting their routine business,” he says. The final violation involved a minor at the Diamond Jo Worth casino who entered the gambling floor unchallenged.

“Was on the floor for over two hours and had gambled. This minor was identified by staff at Diamond Jo,” Ohorilko says. Diamond Jo Worth agreed to a 20-thousand dollar penalty for the violation. Ohorilko says the violations for all four casinos were their first in the last 365 days.

CDC Approves COVID-19 Booster Doses for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Vaccines


October 22nd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Des Moines, IA) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has approved the use of booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. Pfizer booster doses were approved for use last month. Additionally, the CDC’s recommendations now allow for “mix and match” dosing for booster doses only. These approvals and recommendations are effective immediately.

Moderna Booster

For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People 18 years and older who reside in long-term care settings
  • People aged 18 years and older with underlying medical conditions
  • People aged 18 years and older who work or live in high-risk settings

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) Booster

Anyone aged ≥18 years who received a single dose Johnson & Johnson primary series (1 dose) can receive a COVID-19 booster dose at least 2 months after completing the primary series.

  • J&J vaccine does not have eligibility criteria for the booster dose.

Mix and Match Use

Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the Emergency Use Authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines to allow for the use of each of the available COVID-19 vaccines as a heterologous (or “mix and match”) booster dose in eligible individuals following completion of primary vaccination with a different available COVID-19 vaccine. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots. Mix and match dosing may be considered for the booster dose only.

Iowans with questions about which booster dose is right for them should consult with their health care provider. The vaccine is the best tool we have to keep ourselves and our families healthy and to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death from the COVID-19 virus. Find a COVID-19 vaccine provider here.

As flu season approaches, IDPH urges all Iowans to get the flu vaccine. By getting vaccinated for both influenza and COVID-19, we can prevent avoidable hospitalizations and help preserve health care resources for other needs, including illnesses, injuries and emergencies. Anyone with questions about either vaccine should reach out to their health care provider.

Housing needs survey underway in Atlantic


October 22nd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Atlantic, Iowa) – The City of Atlantic’s Housing Committee is asking members of the public to participate in a survey about housing needs in conjunction with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The survey will accept responses until Friday November 5th at 5 p.m. and only takes a few minutes to complete.

To access the survey, go to https://bit.ly/3AMu5Zc, or access it on a smart phone using the QR code. Contact City Hall with questions or comments at 712-243-4810.,

IAR: September housing sales dip, new listings increase


October 22nd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(West Des Moines, Iowa) – Iowa home sales dipped slightly in September, falling 3.6% percent from September of last year. According to Housing Trends by the Iowa Association of Realtors (IAR), the median sales price rose 7.6 percent from a year ago. IAR President Jen Burkamper says homes continue to sell quickly. Iowa properties sold in an average of 32 days, which continues to be near record-lows for Iowa. In September 2020, homes sold in 54 days on average.

Median sales price rose 7.6 percent over September 2020. The median price for September 2021 came in at $199,000 compared to $185,000 in September of last year. There were 4,285 properties sold in Iowa during September. The year-to-date sales total is 6.6 percent higher than the first nine months of 2020. The year-to-date sales total is 36,380 properties. The number of homes available for sale is slowly rising. After almost a year of declining inventory, Iowa has seen 8 months straight with a gradual increase of homes on the market.  Our inventory of homes was 16.4 percent lower than in September 2020 with 9,545 homes on the market statewide. IAR

According to Burkamper, “While home sales dipped a little bit, we saw some positive signs with a small gain in new property listings and the overall number of properties on the market continues to rise. As the inventory increases, we hope that the competition for homes may ease up and bring moderation in sales prices, which would be welcome news to our potential Iowa homebuyers. There is still time for buyers to get into a new home before the end of the year.”

Atlantic Area Chamber Ambassadors Visit with Vodec


October 22nd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Atlantic, Iowa) – The Atlantic Chamber Ambassadors hosted Jolene Sonntag, Daryn Richardson, and Jeremy Dunkirk on Thursday, October 21st, 2021, to welcome Vodec to the Chamber and learn about the services the organization provides throughout the state. Vodec is a vocational development organization that provides life-enriching services for people with disabilities, including day programs, employment training and residential options.

photo submitted

The organization provides support to individuals with disabilities from providing a place for parents to take their children while working, to helping individuals learn healthy habits. Vodec will help individuals find jobs that are right for their skill set while working with a job coach that provides support for both the employee and employer.

Vodec serves over 400 clients in communities spanning from Omaha to Council Bluffs and on into Urbandale. Chamber officials say Vodec prides themselves in their values and employees that nurture their clients with compassion, integrity, leadership, creativity, accountability, patience, and kindness.

To learn more about Vodec, please contact 712-328-2638 or visit that their website at https://vodec.org/     Vodec Corporate Headquarters is located at 612 South Main Street Council Bluffs, Iowa 51503.