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VA health care facilities put out urgent call for volunteers


May 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

There’s a dire need for volunteers to help out at several Department of Veterans Affairs facilities in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Will Ackerman, spokesman for the V-A’s Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System, says the vital corps of hundreds of volunteers absolutely help to keep the system running.  “We’re seeing a lot of our volunteers aging and certainly some of them are retiring or even passing away,” Ackerman says. “We’re really trying to encourage people of all ages, but especially some of our younger population, to get involved.” He says volunteers are needed for a number of services throughout the V-A health care system.

“We have about 800 volunteers throughout our Nebraska/Western Iowa Health Care System,” he says. “They do so many things that we just don’t have staff to do, such as doing coffee rounds in the lobby or around the floors, we have a transportation network and just greeters at our front door.” Ackerman says it isn’t just the V-A Hospital in Omaha that needs volunteers, but there are veterans’ clinics, community living centers and other facilities in many cities around the region, including Shenandoah.

“Volunteers do a lot of very important things and certainly there’s an opportunity for them to volunteer at a location that’s even closer to where they might live,” he says. Volunteer orientation classes are being held frequently in various facilities, often twice a month. An orientation class for teens, between 13 and 18, is planned at the Omaha V-A Medical Center for June 1st. Contact your nearest V-A facility for details on volunteering opportunities.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Group helps wounded soldiers recover


May 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A group that was formed by military wives in 2006 to help wounded soldiers is reaching out to Iowa veterans. Robin Kelleher is the president of the “Hope for Warriors” organization. She says “We have 10 different programs that begin at bedside, and so we are at the hospitals when our servicemembers come in from Iraq or Afghanistan. We work with the families on the onset of injury to sort of help alleviate some of the financial pitfalls that they may see on that path to recovery. And then later into the recovery process we offer other programs.” Kelleher talks in more detail about the organization’s programs. “Spouses scholarships, financial needs assistance grants, we have warrior’s wish program that grants wishes to severely wounded, we have a team that supports and trains our servicemembers to do athletic endeavors despite their different injuries. At the end of that cycle you would see a program called Above and Beyond,and that’s where we really work in that transition piece for them,” Kelleher says.

The group has joined in a partnership with the Casey’s Convenience store chain to help raise awareness about their programs. “We have a website that’s very comprehensive on our different programs, and that’s hope-for-the-warriors-dot-org (hopeforthewarriors.org). If you go to Casey’s this month and buy one of their large specialty pizzas, there’s a sticker on the outside of the box that gives you all of our contact information. And for every large specialty pizza they sell, they are donating one dollar to Hope for the Warriors,” Kelleher says. She says anyone who wants to help the effort can make a donation. “We have people who do beneficiary events for us allt he time from lemonade stands to putting on runs in their own community. You can certainly make a donation on-line,” Kelleher explains. “As of this weekend, if you text ‘Warriors’ to 20222, you can make a 10-dollar donation.” The organization is headquartered in North Carolina, but Kelleher says they are expand their presence across the country in states like Iowa that have soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Monday, May 21st 2012


May 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — President Obama’s visit to Iowa this week will include a grassroots event at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines. The White House previously announced that Obama will give an economic speech in Newton and meet with supporters in Des Moines. Doors open at the fairgrounds at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. It’s open to the public, and no tickets are required. Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was campaigning in Iowa on Tuesday.

UNDATED (AP) — The body of a fourth missing person has been found after a boat crash on the Mississippi River in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says four bodies were found yesterday within 100 yards of the crash site, where the river is about 12 feet deep. The victims’ names have not been released, pending notification of their families.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Crews have suspended their search for a man believed to have drowned while trying to cross the Cedar River. Cedar Rapids police say firefighters and dive teams searched for several hours Saturday and for much of yesterday, halting the search about 4:30 p.m. Sunday. They’re scheduled to resume the recovery effort at 1 p.m. today.

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — Ricky Stenhouse Junior led for 209 of 250 laps and won the NASCAR Nationwide race at the Iowa Speedway yesterday. It was his third straight win in Newtown. Stenhouse, who won both races in Iowa in 2011, picked up his third victory of the season.

Storage unit burglary under investigation


May 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in their investigation into the theft of a motorcycle from a storage unit in Red Oak.  Deputies were called to investigate the incident Sunday, at Hawkeye Storage (2505 N. Broadway), in Red Oak.

Sondra Stogdill, of Red Oak, reported entry to the storage unit she rents, and the theft of a red, 1981 Yamaha Enduro motorcycle. The cycle was valued at $1,000. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 712-623-5107, or Montgomery County Crimestoppers at 1-800-432-1001.

CAM, EHK & Griswold School Boards to meet (separately) Monday


May 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The CAM, EHK and Griswold Community School District Boards of Education will hold their regular (separate) meetings, Monday evening, in Anita, Elk Horn and Griswold, respectively. The Griswold School Board will meet at 5:30-p.m., in the Central Office Board Room.

On their agenda is an update on various district projects, action on accepting bids and awarding contracts for, a bus or buses, and a freezer, along with the approval of contracts for the Administrative Team and Central Office.

In Anita, the CAM School Board will meet at the High School Media Center, beginning at 7-p.m. Discussion and/or action items on their agenda include: approval of open enrollment applications; approval of resignations and/or contracts, along with director district boundaries, and method of election of the Board of Directors; approval of 2012 graduating Seniors, and other matters.

In Elk Horn, the Elk Horn- Kimballton School Board will gather at 7-p.m. in the Family and Consumer Science Room at the High School. The meeting will begin with the administering of Oath to the Shared Business Manager. New business discussion and/or action items include: Fees for next year; approval of an amended budget for 2011-2012; approval of bids for the boiler repair, new lights in the Main gym, a new heat pump, and,a Resolution of Intent to Propose Reorganization  with Exira.

The EHK Board will also take action on: Approving a reduction in Force; the District Developed Special Education Service Delivery Plan; Contracts issued to staff and support staff; and, a revised Calendar for 2012-2013.

Atlantic Parks and Rec Board to meet Monday


May 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Board of Directors are scheduled to meet Monday evening, in the Council’s Chambers at City Hall. Action or New Business items on their agenda include: Updates on the various Capital Improvement Projects (including Park Maintenance Bldg., Sunnyside Park Improvements & Tennis Court reconstruction…Softball Field fencing and renovation…Swimming pool…entrance signs & the Park Shelter….City Park sidewalk improvements; Holt Park playground equipment; and, Sunnyside Skate Park equipment refurbishment).

There will also be updates on: the Summer Rec program enrollment numbers; the Schildberg Recreation Area Campground, Dog Park, and Eagle Scout bench project and other matters. In his report to the Board, Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring will talk about the Cass County Community Foundation Grant, the Seasonal Personnel report, and Budget matters.

The meeting is slated to begin at 5:15-p.m.

“Click it or ticket” mobilization effort begins Monday


May 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

If you were traveling on Interstate 80 in western Iowa this (Sunday) afternoon, you noticed a heavy presence of State Troopers, many of them in unmarked vehicles. That was just a prelude to a national “Click it or Ticket” seat belt enforcement mobilization which officially begins Monday (May 21st). In Iowa, city, county and state law enforcement officers are teaming up with highway safety advocates across the country, to help save more lives by enforcing seat belt laws around the clock.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows in 2010, 61-percent of the 10, 647 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes which occurred between 6-p.m. and 6-a.m., were not wearing their seat belts. The daytime, unbelted traffic fatality rate is 42-percent. In 2011, there were 360 motorists killed in crashes on Iowa’s roadways. And, while that was a 66-year low, 115 of those deaths involved vehicle occupants who were not wearing their seat belts.  Iowa’s mandatory seat belt law has been in effect for nearly 26-years.

This year’s “Click it or Ticket” enforcement effort runs May 21st through June 3rd.

Bodies of 4 missing boat passengers recovered from area near MS River in IA


May 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

BURLINGTON– The bodies of four missing people following a boating collision early Saturday morning near Burlington have been recovered. All four of the victims were in their early twenties and their bodies were recovered within approximately 100 yards of where the collision occurred in about 10 to 12 feet of water. None of the victims were wearing life jackets.  The names of the victims as well as eight others who were injured in the collision are still being withheld pending notification of family members.

The collision occurred between two jon boats, one with a single passenger and the other carrying 11 people, in the O’Connell Slough area of the Mississippi River near Burlington. The call for rescue personnel came in at 1:43 a.m. The Des Moines County Sheriff’s Department, the Burlington Police Department, the Burlington Fire Department and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources responded to the call.

One of the people injured was air-lifted to University Hospitals in Iowa City while the other seven were transported to Great River Medical Center in Burlington.


News, Sports

May 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Fourth Annual “Tour de Tivoli” bike ride will be held on Sunday, May 27th.  This year, riders have a choice of either a 26-mile route or a 50-mile route. SAG (Support and Gear) stops will be available along the way to revitalize riders. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Danish Windmill. The official start of the ride is at 9 a.m.

Tour de Tivoli Jersey 2012

A Post-Bike Ride Party will be held at the Depot Grounds, north on Main Street Elk Horn. Bikers AND non-bikers are encouraged to attend. For registered bike riders, Frikadeller on a Stick, salads, chips, pop and water will be available at no cost. For non-registered bike riders, the cost of the meal is $5.00. You can also purchase locally brewed beer from the Norsemen Brewing Company. Alumni, Mark Christensen, will be singing between 10:30 a.m. – Noon. Before and after Mark’s performance, other music will keep you entertained.

For more information about the Tour de Tivoli Bike Ride or the Post-Ride Party, please call Debbie Copic at 712-249-7257 or email at debbiecopic@gmail.com.

Lamberti arrested on suspicion of DUI in Iowa

News, Sports

May 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Republican Senate leader Jeff Lamberti has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. A police report cited by the Des Moines Register says the 49-year-old Lamberti, of Ankeny, was stopped on Interstate 235 in Des Moines about 10 p.m. Friday for weaving. Police say Lamberti told the officer he was texting and earlier had two beers — a number he later changed to four and then six. Police say the officer found a cup and near-empty bottle of whiskey in the car. Police say two tests showed Lamberti had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit. Lamberti told the newspaper he made a “stupid mistake” that will never happen again. Lamberti is president of the Iowa Barnstormers, part of the Arena Football League. He served in the Iowa Senate from 1995 to 2006 and ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell in 2006..