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Rethink posting holiday plans and presents on social media websites


December 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who will be away from home for the holidays may want to reconsider telling the world about their plans on Facebook and Twitter. Scott Parsons, an insurance agent in Waterloo, says your cheery news could quickly end up being read by an evil-minded Grinch. Parsons says it’s best to keep your travel plans to yourself. Parsons says, “It would help to prevent broadcasting your private information to everybody that is a friend and an acquaintance of yours but it would also prevent it from going out to all of their friends and acquaintances as when you make a post, it shows up on their social media website, too.” The way social media often works, Parsons says your simple comment might end up bringing you a lot of trouble.

“There could be thousands of people who know that you have left to go to your mom and dad’s for Christmas,” Parsons says. “It could really set you up for a loss, somebody breaking in and stealing your property.” Parsons says you should also be careful about posting pictures and videos on social websites, because you really don’t ever know how far and wide they’ll be seen. “When you make a video, you could reveal your house number so people will know where you live,” Parson says. “If you purchase a new car, you may put some nice photos on the Internet but it also has your license plate information on there.” That, he says, makes it easy for someone to track down your address. While there may be some amazing gifts under your tree and you’d like to brag online, Parsons says to stifle that urge.

“Resist the temptation to post updates about any big-ticket items to your household,” he says. “That 60-inch TV or the X-box 360 games are high targets for people who want to steal, so putting it on Facebook that you have those new items could set you up for being a target.” Parsons also says using the “Find Friends” feature is something you might want to disable on your mobile device as the information about your exact location using GPS mapping technology could also be abused. 

(Pat Powers/Radio Iowa)

Lenox women arrested on OWI & other charges


December 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Adams County report a Lenox woman was arrested and her vehicle impounded to be searched for additional investigation, following a traffic stop early this (Friday) morning. 54-year old Vicki Abell was charged with OWI, speeding, having no insurance, no valid license, and expired plates on her vehicle.

The womans’s vehicle was impounded after a Ringgold County K-9 unit was deployed and alerted his handler to the possibility drugs may be, or had been used, in the vehicle. Abell was taken into custody at around 1-a.m. and brought to the Adams County Jail.

Sick? Don’t prepare food for others! Recent norovirus outbreaks prompt health officials to urge caution


December 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

An alarming number of outbreaks of stomach illness across the state should be a reminder to Iowans participating in gatherings where food is served. With more than a week remaining for holiday and year-end celebrations, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is asking sick Iowans to think twice before preparing food for others.

“If you’re healthy and you’ve been healthy for the last few days, go ahead and mix up a batch of cookies or slice up a fruit tray,” said IDPH Medical Director Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “But if you’ve had any sort of stomach illness, do not prepare food of any kind for others. In particular, symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea should be your ticket out of the kitchen until 48 hours have passed since your recovery.”

In the last 10 days, IDPH has been investigating reports of eight medium to large outbreaks of probable norovirus in five counties. Norovirus is a common cause of viral gastroenteritis (also called “the stomach bug”) and most of these outbreaks are associated with sick people preparing food for others.

Three groups got ill after eating at a restaurant where several food handlers had also been ill. Outbreaks were also associated with events like holiday parties and holiday potlucks, where foods were likely prepared and served by recently ill people.

“We’re also getting lots anecdotal reports of probable norovirus outbreaks in other areas of the state,” Quinlisk added. “This virus can be a real holiday spoiler, making your friends and loved ones sick for several days. So, if you are or have been sick, you’ll just have to wait for the next opportunity to make your signature fudge-you’re off kitchen duty until 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped!”

To learn more about norovirus, visit

Firefighters extinguish locomotive blaze in Council Bluffs


December 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Firefighters have extinguished a fire on a train locomotive near Council Bluffs. Crews from fire departments in Council Bluffs and Crescent responded to the blaze Wednesday night north of Council Bluffs. Firefighters used foam to contain the flames that were inside the locomotive. It took about 90 minutes to extinguish the fire. The investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing.

Atlantic woman cited following 3 vehicle accident


December 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports one person received three citations following an accident Wednesday morning at 4th and Poplar Streets. LaVonne Rudnick, of Atlantic, was cited for Failure to Obey a Stop Sign, and for having both no proof of Insurance and a Driver’s License. The accident happened at around 9:15-a.m., when Rudnick, who was traveling east in the 100 block of West 4th Street, stopped at the intersection with Poplar, before continuing into the intersection, where her vehicle hit  a car driven by Julie Tjepkes, of Atlantic, as Tjepkes was traveling north on Poplar.

Following the initial impact, the Tjepkes vehicle spun and hit a vehicle driven by Jeffrey Kamies, of Atlantic, as he was traveling west on West 4th. Damage from the crash amounted to $8,600. No injuries were reported.

Atlantic Police’ Christmas programs raise over $7,600 for needy families


December 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Individuals and businesses stepped forward this year in Atlantic, to make the annual Atlantic Police Department and Reserves Christmas programs for families in need, a huge success. Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green expressed his gratitude for the outpouring of donations, during Wednesday night’s City Council meeting. Green says in all, over $7,600 was raised by donations, and used for two programs run by the Police Department. He says over 44 children and 12 adults were provided with a Christmas that otherwise would not have been possible. Green says without the donations…including $3 given by a 5-year old, and $2,000 from a local businessman…the programs would not have been as successful as they were. 

The Police and Police Reserves ran two programs, and have done so for many years. The 1st program, “Family Dreams,” is run by the Police Reserves. This year, the Reserve Officers took seven families on shopping trips in the downtown area, and allowed parents to purchase clothing, coats, boots, and toys for their children. An additional four families were taken for a more limited shopping excursion. Grocery money to purchase needed personal items and/or Christmas dinner, was also supplied to each family. 

The second part of the Christmas program is handled by both the Regular Officers and Reserves, and is labeled “Shop with a Cop”. Green says this year, 14 children were taken to the Atlantic Wal-Mart and allowed about $175 each, with which to shop – accompanied by an officer — for necessities such as boots or gloves, and a few toys. The kids were encouraged to develop the spirit of giving, by spending some of the money on their parents and/or siblings. Afterward, the kids and their parents were treated to sandwiches and cookies at the Sub-Way store, located inside the Wal-Mart. 

Green says about 50-percent of the cost of the “Shop with a Cop” program is provided by Wal-Mart and funds from the Salvation Army Red Kettle donations.

FBI arrests 11 suspects in Omaha area for meth & cocaine


December 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Federal authorities in Omaha say they’ve broken up a substantial drug ring with the arrest of 11 suspects. FBI Special Agent Weysan Dun hopes the sting will bring a sizeable disruption to drug trafficking in the region. Agent Dun says, “These individuals are suspected of being significant sources of much of the methamphetamine that is being trafficked in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.” 

It’s not just meth. He accuses the 11 suspects of dealing cocaine as well. Dun says the FBI coordinated some 50 local, state and federal agents over the past day or so to make the arrests, mostly in the Omaha area. Dun says, “We believe these individuals were supplying drugs to, or were affiliated with, a number of gangs, including the Rebels, The 18th Street, and the Playboy Seranos.”  In addition to bringing in nearly a dozen suspects, Dun says officers also seized a untold quantity of drugs. “The high purity levels of the methamphetamine that we seized suggests that the drugs had not been cut,” Dun says. “They were likely coming directly to Omaha from a primary source of supply.” 

Warrants have been issued for four more suspects who were not caught in the initial round-up.

(Matt Kelly/Radio Iowa)

Wal-Mart pulls formula after baby dies in Missouri


December 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

LEBANON, Mo. (AP) — Wal-Mart has pulled a batch of powdered infant formula from more than 3,000 of its stores nationwide after a newborn Missouri boy who was fed the formula died from what preliminary tests indicate was a rare bacterial infection, the retailer said. The government has not ordered a recall of the 12.5-ounce cans of Enfamil Newborn powder with the lot number ZP1K7G. Manufacturer Mead Johnson Nutrition said its records showed the lot tested negative for the bacterium before it was shipped.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Dianna Gee said Wednesday that the company decided to pull the lot “out of an abundance of caution” while health officials investigate Sunday’s death of 10-day-old Avery Cornett. The product could go back on shelves depending on the outcome of the investigation, but customers who bought the cans have the option of returning them for a refund or exchange, Gee said. Gena Terlizzi, spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said Wednesday that samples of the formula given to Avery were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for testing. “At this point it has not been determined whether the illness is linked to the formula or an outside source,” Terlizzi said in a statement.

8AM Newscast 12-22-2011

News, Podcasts

December 22nd, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


WWII battleship USS Iowa nearing final voyage


December 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — The final voyage of the USS Iowa is near. The last surviving World War II battleship without a home is docked at the Port of Richmond, where it is being prepared for its journey to the Port of Los Angeles for a new mission as a museum and memorial to Navy might. The San Francisco Chronicle says it will be towed beneath to Golden Gate Bridge and into the Pacific for its last voyage to Los Angeles in February or March. The Pacific Battleship Center raised $8 million to rescue the 68-year-old ship from the Ghost Fleet in Suisun Bay. The 800-foot Iowa, commissioned in 1943, served in World War II and the Korean War. It last sailed in 1990.