Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 Today's Weather Outlook - (11-24-20) - It has been a wet night across the region with cloudy skies, rain and snow spreading across Iowa and neighboring states. Light snow accumulations have occurred over much of northern and eastern Iowa, resulting in slick travel conditions at times. Temperatures have hovered near freezing, but begin to slowly creep up into the mid 30s in the south and west overnight. Winds remain from the southeast at 10 to 15 mph early this morning. Snow will linger in northeastern Iowa this morning, then gradually change to rain before noon, with rain continuing at intervals across most of Iowa and making for a gray and soggy day. The rain will persist through tonight and into Wednesday, mainly over the southeast half of the state, then gradually clear out on Wednesday afternoon. Thereafter, generally dry and quiet weather is on tap for the rest of the week. From Thanksgiving through Saturday daily high temperatures will generally range in the 40s to lower 50s with no additional precipitation forecast. PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS AS OF 7 AM - KNOD - .27; southeast of Irwin - .27. Covid-19 News
Iowa COVID-19 Update - (11-24-20) - updated 6 am - The Iowa Department of Public Health’s latest data shows 194 additional positive cases of COVID-19 in Region 4, from 5:30 a.m. on Monday, November 23, to 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 24.The Iowa Department of Public Health reports 105 additional positive cases in Pottawattamie County, 26 additional positive tests in Crawford County, 20 additional positive cases in Cass County, nine additional positive cases in Harrison County, eight additional positive tests in Shelby County, eight additional positive tests in Mills County, six additional positive tests in Page County, five additional positive tests in Montgomery County, three additional positive cases in Fremont County, three additional positive cases in Adams County, and two additional positive tests in Audubon County. In RMCC Region 4, there are 71 patients hospitalized, 18 are in ICU, 13 individuals were admitted in the past 24 hours, and seven patients are on ventilators. The Iowa Department of Public Health reports one additional death in Shelby County and one additional death in Fremont County. State wide, the dashboard shows 17 additional deaths attributed to COVID-19 for a total of 2,222. Officials say there have been 3,847 new confirmed cases of the virus since 10 am Monday morning for a total of 215,569 since the pandemic started. There are a total of 13 more Long-Term Care facility outbreaks for a total of 132. Those care facilities report 4,535 positive cases and 1,979 recovered. Iowa's 14-day positivity rate is 19,7%, and the individual positivity rate is 18.3%. Union County (Creston) has the highest rate in southwest Iowa at 25%. Here are the number of cases in the surrounding counties: Listed below are the total number of positive cases and recoveries per county in Region 4. Shelby - 726 cases - 436 recovered - 5 deaths Audubon - 283 cases - 151 recovered - 1 death Cass - 754 cases - 494 recovered - 19 deaths Crawford - 1,707 cases - 1,364 recovered - 6 deaths Harrison - 1,023 cases - 669 recovered - 28 deaths Pottawattamie-5,851 cases - 3,354 recovered - 6 deaths
Iowa nursing home virus infections and deaths climb - 11-24-20 - Iowa reported 143 nursing homes with coronavirus outbreaks, and thousands of residents have tested positive for the virus. The state Department of Public Health says more than 4,500 residents of care center are infected with the virus. State data shows 1,008 residents of long-term care facilities have died with COVID-19 in the past eight months. The deteriorating situation for nursing homes is reflective of overall virus trends in Iowa, which on Tuesday reported 18 additional deaths. More than 500 people with COVID-19 have died in Iowa so far this month and 2,224 overall. In the past 24 hours as of Tuesday morning, there were 3,860 additional confirmed cases.
Hy-Vee to return to high-risk COVID hours – 11/23/20 - Officials with Hy-Vee food stores have announced the chain will bring back special hours for customers who are high-risk as COVID-19 cases rise in Iowa. The company announced the plan on social media that customers 60 years old, pregnant mothers and those with underlying health conditions are welcome to shop from 7 to 8 am Monday through Friday. Hy-Vee kindly asks that all other customers please respect this hour and limit your shopping to 8 am or after on those days.
General News -
Time to have your Medicare Part D checked to make sure you have the best plan for you for 2021. Plans change premiums, move drugs to higher tiers, change formularies. If you want to check your plan call the SHIIP (Senior Health Insurance Information) Office, located within the Therkildsen Activity Center for unbiased information we can compare all plans offered. There are 3 SHIIP counselors available to help you and explain your options. To make an appointment call 755-2757. Please leave a message if they are not available when you call and your call will be returned. The deadline for the open enrollment in Medicare Part D is December 7th.
Shelby County county-wide mask mandate a possibility – 11-23-20 – The Shelby County Board of Supervisors will meet at noon Tuesday by way of Zoom to vote on a county-wide mask mandate. The Board is expected to implement a county-wide mask requirement effective today if approved by the board at their special meeting. The resolution calls for anyone two years of age and older to wear a CDC approved face covering when in public, inside any indoor public settings, outside if keeping six feet away from others is not possible and when using public transportation. All businesses open to the public must post signs as such and should provide masks for their customers. Masks for businesses will be provided. There are exemptions such as those under 2 years old, those with breathing troubles or those actively engaged in a public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel, although a mask should be worn if possible. People also don’t have to wear a mask when in a personal vehicle alone or with family members, alone or in the presence of only household members, while outside and socially distanced, while exercising such as jogging or biking, while seated eating in a food establishment, while obtaining a service that would require temporary removal of the face covering, when federal or state law prohibits wearing a face covering or requires the removal of the face covering, or while attending a spiritual or religious gathering, although the church or other host are asked to implement reasonable measures to have social distancing, increased hygiene practices and other measures to prevent the risk of transmission of COVID-19. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Harlan Police Department are directed to monitor compliance with and enforce the provisions of the resolution.
Free Drive-thru Influenza clinic Tuesday - 11-23-20 - Myrtue Medical Center's Public Health Clinic at 2712 12th Street in Harlan, will offer a free drive-thru influenza clinic for adults only, Tuesday, November 24th and Wednesday, December 2nd, from 4 to 7 pm. This is for the standard vaccine and flumist. The drive up clinic will allow the nurses to maintain social distancing when administering your influenza vaccine. When you arrive, just call from your car and the staff will come to you. To schedule an appointment call 755-4422, or go online to Shelbycountyclinics.com. Please wear clothing that will allow for a shot, such as a short sleeved shirt and remember masks are required to protect the public health staff.
Iowa Community Kitchen - Harlan - (10-28-20) - The Iowa Community Kitchen in Harlan and Earling will be closed until further notice, until the numbers of COVID- 19 cases goes down.
November activities at the Harlan Community Library - All through November – Magic Time – November kids’ Take and Make – pick up your magic kit at the library. Tuesday, November 24th – 3 pm – Tech Time – Transparent Language with Dena Wednesday, November 25th – 10:30 am Story Time online with Emily Thursday, November 26th – Library closed for Thanksgiving Friday, November 27th – Library closed for holiday – 12 noon Reader’s Advisory Book discussion Saturday, November 28th – 10 am Babies and Books online – Baby Bouncy Time
Blood Donations Needed - Upcoming blood donation opportunities include: Tuesday, November 24th - 11:30 am to 5:30 pm - Veteran's Memorial Building in Harlan Friday, November 27th - 12:30 pm - 6:30 pm - Templeton Center in Templeton Monday, November 30th - 12 noon to 6 pm - Exira REC Center Tuesday, December 1st - 11:30 am to 5:30 pm - United Methodist Church in Denison Wednesday, December 2nd - 12 noon to 6 pm - American Legion Hall in Avoca Friday, December 4th - 8 am to 2 pm - Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan Saturday, December 5th - 7:30 am to 12:30 pm - Shelby Community Building Thursday, December 10th - 12 noon to 6 pm - Rand Community Center in Missouri Valley Friday, December 18th - 12 noon to 6 pm - Sacred Heart Church in Manning Wednesday, December 23rd - 8:30 am to 2:30 pm - Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic Tuesday, December 29th - 12 Noon to 6 pm - St. Patrick's Parish Center in Audubon
Gun and other paraphernalia found in Clarinda High School student’s vehicle - 11-24-20 - Police in Clarinda report a male 16-year old at the Clarinda High School is being referred to juvenile authorities after a gun and paraphernalia were found in his vehicle. Officer were summoned at around 11:30 a.m. this morning to the Clarinda High School, to assist school officials with the search of a vehicle. During the search of the vehicle, a Ruger .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a glass pipe believed to be used for the ingestion of controlled substances and tobacco products were located. Authorities say “It is believed the items belong to a 16-year-old student who attends Clarinda High School. The student is being referred to juvenile court authorities for unlawful possession of firearm on school property, possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of tobacco products.” The student was released to the custody of his parent pending additional court action.
Bagged romaine lettuce recall affects Iowa & 14 other states - 11-24-20 - Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. is voluntarily recalling a limited number of cases of organic romaine hearts sold in 15 states, including Iowa. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the products being recalled are Dole Organic Romaine Hearts 3pk, combined English/French packaging, with Harvested-On dates of 10-23-20 and 10-26-20, and Wild Harvest Organic Romaine Hearts, with Harvested-On dates of 10-23-20 and 10-26-20. The FDA said the recall is being conducted due to a possible health risk from E. coli in the two products. Dole Fresh Vegetables is coordinating closely with regulatory officials. Consumers are advised to check products they have in their homes and discard any product matching the production description, UPC codes and Harvested-On dates listed. No illnesses have been reported to date in association with the recall.
Montgomery County News – 11-24-20 - At 5:17 this morning, officers with the Red Oak Police Department conducted a traffic stop near Highway 34 and Ironwood Avenue. Upon further investigation, 37 year old Jimmy Spencer Cooper of Creston was placed under arrest for Operating While Intoxicated – 1st offense – a Serious Misdemeanor. Cooper was transported to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $1000 bond. Officers were assisted by deputies from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Red Oak Police have arrested two people on separate charges. At 2:30 this morning, 23 year old Skylar Lee Bingham of Red Oak was arrested on a Cass County warrant for Domestic Abuse Assault by impeding air flow. Bingham was taken to the Montgomery County Jail and held on a $2,000 bond. And at 10:30 Monday night, Red Oak Police arrested 18 year old Angel Rose Arzola of Red Oak for Simple Assault. She was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond.
Red Oak woman charged with 3rd degree theft in Carroll County – Carroll Broadcasting - 11-24-20 34 year old Sara Sue Batten of Red Oak, the woman charged in Carroll County for using a stolen debit card has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors. Carroll Broadcasting says court records show Batten was originally charged with third-degree theft, an aggravated misdemeanor, after a Carroll Police Department investigation determined Batten had used the victim’s card at least 10 times in February for a total of $860. The charge was reduced to 5th degree theft, a simple misdemeanor, after Batten reached a plea agreement with prosecutors. Batten was ordered to pay a $65 fine, surcharges and victim restitution equaling the amount she had stolen.
Audubon County Sheriff’s Report – 11-23-20 - The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office reports 28 year old Antione Miller of Holstein was arrested on Tuesday, November 17th, for operating while intoxicated. He appeared before the magistrate and was released on his own recognizance. On Sunday, November 15th, Audubon County Deputies arrested 32 year old James Humlicek of Exira for Trespass. While in jail, he was also charged with Criminal Mischief 5th. Humlicek appeared before the magistrate and was held on his charges until he posted bond a few days later.
Burglary stopped by passer by- 11-23-20 - A person who saw some individuals leaving from a building and into an alley in Villisca, early Saturday morning, thwarted a burglary in progress. According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at around 6-a.m., a person passing by saw four individuals exiting a building into the alley at 327 E 4th Street, the site of the Jones Store and former Museum in Villisca. The citizen called authorities and detained a juvenile male until Law Enforcement arrived. An investigation resulted in the arrest of 18-year-old Drake L. O’Briant, of Villisca, and three male juveniles (ages 12, 13, and 16). Each was charged with Burglary in the 3rd Degree, a Class D Felony. The three juveniles were subsequently released to the custody of parents, while O’Briant was being was held in the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000 bond. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says their personnel are thankful for the actions of the passerby that allowed the crime to be cleared by arrest, but at the same time, they advise others against directly confronting individuals suspected of a crime, “as it may be detrimental to one’s personal safety.”
Fremont County man arrested for child pornography – 11-23-20 - On Friday, 32 year old Kenneth Howard Crum Jr of Sidney was arrested by Fremont County Deputies in connection to an ongoing criminal investigation into the possession and distribution of pornographic material depicting minors engaged in sexual acts. Deputies received a tip concerning online posts made by Crum. Deputies executed a search warrant at his residence in Sidney and after investigating, lead to the discovery of multiple images and videos containing children engaged in sexual acts. Deputies also discovered obscene materials of adults, shared online without their consent as well as images of both local adults and children taken from social media posts and shared to pornographic websites. Crum is charged with 11 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a Class D Felony – 1 county of Harassment 1st Degree, an aggravated misdemeanor. He is being held at the Fremont County Jail on $55,000 cash bond.
McDermott to be arraigned November 25th – (11-13-20) The prelimnary hearing for 53 year old Rex Dean McDermott of Atlantic was held on Thursday, November 12th. During the arraignment, the court formally informed McDermott of the charges contained in an indictment or information, providing the defendant with a copy of the charging instrument and taking the defendant’s answer to those charges in the form of a plea. An order ordering the appointment of Counsel at State Expense was denied. McDermott was released on bond from Adair County on Tuesday. A criminal complaint against McDermott alleges that at around 11 pm, October 30th, McDermott pulled a woman out of a pickup near Fontanelle, punched her and then struck her with an unknown wooden object. The victim suffered a laceration above her right eye, bruising and swelling of the face and other areas of pain. McDermott has been charged with Willful Injury causing bodily injury and Going Armed with Intent. His arraignment on those charges will be held at 9 am, November 25th.
Need for convalescent plasma becomes critical – (11-11-20) - LifeServe Blood Center is seeking community members who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19 antibodies to donate convalescent plasma to meet the dramatically rising plasma needs of local hospitals. As the number of daily COVID-19 cases in our region rises, so does the need for convalescent plasma in local hospitals. This month has seen the highest CCP usage since the beginning of the pandemic. As patient hospitalizations continue to increase, it is projected that the amount of CCP needed for treatment will outpace the amount of donations of this lifesaving blood product. An eligible COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor will have tested positive for COVID-19 or have tested positive for the COVID-19 antibodies. Individuals who believe they had COVID-19 but never received positive confirmation are encouraged to complete the CCP assessment form at lifeservebloodcenter.org to determine eligibility. Additionally, all blood donors receive an antibody test as part of the regular donation process. Potential donors can schedule an appointment or seek more information at lifeservebloodcenter.org or by calling 800-287-4903.
Julefest to be held Next Friday and Saturday with a few changes – 11-20-20- Even though it’s been a rough year, getting into the holiday spirit is easy in the Danish villages. The 42nd annual Julefest will be held November 27th and 28th. Julefest promises an array of traditional Danish food and tasty treats such as pastries, wine, glogg and pebbernodder. You can shop for a number of unique Christmas presents and decorations at their many shops in both towns. Plus you can visit the windmill, the museum and Bestemor’s house. New this year is the Danish Windmill’s Silent Auction at the Elk Horn Fire Hall from 1 to 6 on Saturday, along with a Vintage Quilt Show sponsored by Log Cabin Quilt Shop. For this year only, the Danish Windmill is sponsoring a Frikadeller meal to go from 4 to 7 at the Elk Horn Fire Hall. This is RSVP only by calling 764-7472 to reserve your ticket. Both towns will be decorated for Christmas and the streets will be lined with American and Danish flags. The usual Pancake Breakfast, Polar Run, two craft fairs and evening concert have been cancelled for this year. Safety is a priority this year and they will be following CDC guidelines for events. Masks are required.
Avoca Holidays on Main will have an Ugly Christmas Sweater 3K run – 11-24-20 - Avoca Holidays on Main will present “The Ugly Christmas Sweater 3K Run” Saturday, November 28th, starting at 5 pm at the Avoca Courthouse. Registration will begin at 4:30 pm. Dress up in your best ugly holiday sweater, bring a mask and a flashlight and join them for a run around town. There will be $20 cash age group prizes plus prizes for best dressed. Please bring a donation of your choice for Children’s Square of Council Bluffs. They are requesting sweatshirts, sweatpants, socks and underwear for ages 10 and up, art supplies, toiletries and diapers. The Holidays on Main Christmas Cruise will be held from 5 to 6:30 so please join the festivities following the run. Santa and his elves will be on Main Street. The elves will have baskets for your kiddos to give Santa their wish lists and they can get a candy cane! For more information, check out their Facebook page – Avoca, Iowa Holidays on Main.
The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce invites everyone to step out onto their porch, driveway, or even their front lawn and say happy holidays to Santa this Saturday starting at 5 pm during the Santa Cruise through Harlan. Santa will be teaming up with the Harlan Fire Department to cruise through Harlan on a fire truck.
Letters to Santa - (11-16-20) - Children are invited to drop off a letter to Santa in Elk Horn Public Library's special mailbox located in their entryway beginning November 28th through December 12th. Santa and his helpers will be sending replies to letters they receive, so be sure to include your name and return address.
Audubon Chamber hosting Santa at your doorstep Saturday – 11-24-20- Audubon’s Hometown Christmas and Winterpalooza were cancelled this year in Audubon, but the Audubon Chamber of Commerce wanted the kids to be able to see Santa. That’s when they came up with the idea for Santa at your Doorstep. Families had to sign up by this Wednesday for the visit and Santa will visit children door to door on Saturday from 10 to 2. There is no specific time for Santa to arrive, just sometime between 10 and 2. There is a suggested donation of $25 that can be paid to the Audubon Chamber’s PayPal or you can stop by the Chamber. Kids will be receiving a goody bag with their Santa visit. The bag will contain a cookie decorating kit, fruit snacks, candy , a painting activity sheet, Chamber Cash and more. Santa will only be visiting kids in the City of Audubon, but they are finalizing some details so kids who live in the country can meet up in town to see Santa as well. For more information, check out the Audubon Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.
Padfoot Ponderosa to hold pet pictures with Santa – 11-24-20 - Padfoot Ponderosa invites you to bring your pet to Bomgaar’s this Sunday, November 29th, from 11 to 2 and have their picture taken with Santa. All animals are welcome. They must be on a leash or in a carrier. If you have a shy pet, come see one of the Santa Helpers and they will make accommodations. Digital images will be sent by way of email within a few days for you to print your own unlimited amount of pictures. The cost is $10 cash. This is for pets only. Masks are required to be in the store. Social distancing is a must. All proceeds go towards spay and neuter programs and vaccinations and microchips.
Tree of Light Ornaments now available - (12-16-20) - The 2020 Myrtue Medical Center Auxiliary Tree of Lights Cross Ornaments are now available. The deadline for ordering ornaments has been set for Monday, November 30th. Forms are available at the Myrtue Medical Center gift shop. Completed forms may be dropped off at the gift shop or mailed to Deb McCarthy, 30516 430th Street, Avoca, IA 51521.
Applications being accepted for health care educational grants - (10-22-20) - Applications for healthcare educational grants from the Endowment for Education are now being accepted. The grants are made available through the Lucille Petersen Endowment Fund, which was established in 1988. The funds will be distributed to selected applicants seeking short or long-range educational assistance to pursue healthcare occupations. A November 30th deadline has been set for applications to be submitted for the spring 2021 semester. The funds will be distributed as grants—loans that will be forgiven if the recipient is employed within a 20-mile radius of Harlan in his or her specialized healthcare occupation following completion of courses. If a recipient cannot fulfill the service terms under which the loan will be forgiven, the money is subject to a five percent interest rate and repayment of principal. Application forms and more information are available by contacting Ruth Pitkin, Myrtue Medical Center, 1213 Garfield Ave., Harlan, IA, 51537, phone 712-755-4316 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The grants can be for new, entry-level, or advanced training or certifications.
Walnut Christmas Open House December 5th – 11-24-20 The Walnut Christmas Open House Vendor Show will be held Saturday, December 5th from 9:30 to 12:30 at the Walnut Community Building. Come and shop from a variety of vendors including Scentsy, Thirty-on, Wreaths by Kathy, Once Upon a Craft, Piece of Peace, Color Street Nails, Karen’s Cakes and Kreations, Creative Cups by Jenny, Cows Coffee, Rustic Charms Earrings and Walnut Celebration Committee Bake Sale. Santa will be there as well.
EJ Leinen at State Farm Insurance in Harlan is currently collecting gloves, scarves and hats for our local schools for students in need through December 5th. Bring new or slightly used items to EJ Leinen State Farm, 513 Court Street in Harlan. If you have any questions, call 755-5825.
CANCELLED - Annual Cookie Walk and Lunch - (10-1-20) The Harlan United Methodist Church has cancelled their annual Cookie Walk and Lunch this year .
LifeServe Blood Center is asking community members to book an appointment to give blood at an upcoming area blood drive. Bloodmobiles will be held on Monday, December 7th, from 9:30 am to noon at the Charter Oak Library and from 1 to 6 pm at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Manilla. Appointments are required by calling 800-287-4903.
West Central Community Action Holiday Adoption Program is underway – (12-16-20) - Applications for families wishing to be adopted by West Central Community Action will be accepted now through December 11th. Children age 18 and under, along with elderly ages 65 and up, who are at or below 175% poverty level may apply. Families interested in applying, please contact West Central at 755-5602.
The Shelby County Conservation Board and Iowa DNR will be hosting a series of outdoor cooking classes over the next few months. All classes will be done through Zoom. They will all be about breakfast foods and begin at 9 am. The class on December 12th will be over the fire recipes that don’t require any special equipment. The class on January 16th will be about sandwich makers and pie irons. The class on February 6th will be on Dutch ovens. Participants are encouraged to cook along with the presenters and interact with the presenters. Ingredient lists and any prep work instructions will be sent out prior to class. Preregistration is required. Links for registration can be found on the Iowa Becoming an Outdoors women Facebook page or Shelby County Conservation Board Facebook Page. Everybody is welcome to attend. If you have any questions, contact Christina at 744-3403.
Powerful Tools for Family Caregivers class – 10-21-20 Connections Area Agency on Aging is pleased to offer Powerful Tools for Family Caregivers, which is an evidence-based class starting on January 12th to benefit Family Caregivers. Powerful Tools for Family Caregivers provide caregivers with tools and strategies to better handle the unique caregiver challenges you face. The classes meet online by way of Zoom once a week for six weeks starting Tuesday, January 12th and ending Tuesday, February 16th. Classes are held from 1:30 to 3 pm or 6:30 to 8 pm. It is for caregivers of adults with chronic conditions. The class size is limited and registration is required by January 4th. For more information, contact Jan Schnack, Family Caregiver specialist at Connections Area Agency on Aging at 800-432-9209, ext. 8116.
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