Flu Activity Continues In Northwest Iowa

flu shotNorthwest Iowa — Influenza activity across Iowa has been unusually high this year. It hit early and the Centers for Disease Control says it’s been severe. Health officials say this is the worst nationwide flu outbreak in four years.

Dr. John Weber at Orange City Area Health System says flu activity is higher than has been seen in past years. He says we’re just now getting into what is traditionally the “flu season”, so it’s not too late to get your flu shot if you haven’t yet.

Weber says if you have the flu, outside of unusual circumstances, there isn’t a recommended remedy, except to treat the symptoms.

Dr. Weber says the best things you can do to prevent the flu are frequent hand-washing and avoiding contact with people who you know or even suspect may have the flu.

He says they take some measures to prevent the flu in their facility.

He says providers aren’t required to receive flu shots themselves, but most of them do, as a precaution.

Iowa Department of Health spokesperson, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says all three strains of the seasonal flu have been confirmed in Iowa this season and all are covered by the vaccine.

And just a reminder — we’re talking about the real flu — severe body aches and fever, along with stuffy or runny nose, headache, sore throat, and that sort of thing. The stomach “flu” isn’t really flu at all, and is actually normally caused by something called norovirus. The flu shot does not prevent what people call “stomach flu”, but it does protect against most active forms of the influenza virus.

Train Derails At Ritter

20130131_181449This story has been updated.  Click here for the new information posted on Friday Morning just before 11 AM.

Ritter, Iowa — A train derailed on the Union Pacific Tracks Thursday night near Ritter, or about four miles northeast of Sheldon.

Reports from the scene indicated the derailment happened about 6:10 PM and involved 16 empty grain cars.

We have also been told the train blocked the crossing at B14 — the Matlock blacktop. However Northwest Boulevard — Old Highway 60 — remained open. We’ve received reports that B14 is again open and crews are on-scene cleaning up the area.

According to the engineer, the train derailed due to a broken rail.

The official spokesperson for the railroad has not returned our calls, and since there was no need for emergency personnel at the scene, the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office didn’t have any details either.

We’ll have more, if it becomes available here on kiwaradio.com.



Make Less Than $50K And Have 3 Kids? You May Qualify For A Big Tax Credit…

eitc moneybagIowa — Iowa families could get thousands of dollars by taking advantage of a federal tax credit. Christopher Miller, the Iowa spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service, says the agency is trying to raise awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit.

(As above) “The EITC is a huge credit for working families, generally low to moderate-income families, that may not make a lot of money,” Miller says. “Depending on their income, for a family with three or more children, it can be a credit of up to $5,891.”

To find out if you may be due some dough, Miller says to visit the agency’s website, i-r-s-dot-gov.

(As above) “We have an EITC assistant and it will allow you to plug in all of your information and find out if you qualify,” Miller says. “You can also go to a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site, or a VITA site in your community and they will help you prepare your tax return for free and electronically file it.”

Miller says Iowans who work and earn less than roughly 50-thousand dollars from wages, self-employment or farming may be eligible for the EITC, as well as free help preparing their return.

(As above) “Last year, around 207,000 families in Iowa received around $425-million in EITC and the average check was around $2,062,” Miller says. “This is certainly money that can make a real difference to families trying to make ends meet.”

Although an estimated four out of five eligible workers and families get the credit, Miller says one in five still miss out, either because they don’t claim it when filing, or don’t file a tax return.

Also, the EITC is what’s called a “refundable” tax credit. That means it can produce a federal tax refund that is larger than the amount of money a person actually paid in during the year. In fact, even if you are in an income situation where you owe NO tax, you could still get money from the IRS if you qualify for the EITC and file a return claiming it. Most other tax credits can reduce the amount you have to pay to zero, but that’s all. Refundable credits like the EITC actually pay YOU after the amount you have to pay reaches zero.

Sheldon’s Proposed City Budget Features Many Projects and Lower Tax Levy

community services center 300pxSheldon, Iowa — The City of Sheldon’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year is filled with many fairly large projects, but the tax levy for 2013/14 will actually be lower. The levy for the current fiscal year is 12.86686 but the next fiscal year that will drop to 12.70082.

Some of the major projects include the infrastructure for the Trilogy development in the Fieldcrest area and the Sheldon Crossing Residential Development. The city and state Department of Transportation are planning on improvements of Highway 18 from Country Club Road to the expressway, and a complete overlay of the highway beginning at the junction of Highway 18 and Business 60. Another project will be the rebuilding of Country Club Road from Highway 18 to Ninth Street as well as improvements to Ninth Street in that area. And the city plans to spend about one hundred thousand dollars on blacktop overlay on several streets.

New bleachers are to be installed at the Sheldon City Park to replace the existing wooden bleachers. The cost will be about fifty thousand dollars.
At their budget workshop the council also addressed several requests for funding. In response to their requests, RIDES Transportation will receive ten thousand dollars, and Children’s World will receive one hundred thousand dollars to be paid over a three-year period. The city will look into the possibility of getting part of that funding from the Hotel-Motel tax proceeds, which is administered by the Marketing Committee. There are some limits to the type of projects this money can fund.

And, the council agreed that it’s important for the city to proceed with plans for drilling a new deep well. We’ll have more details on this project and concerns about the city’s water supply on a later newscast.

At their next regular meeting the Council is expected to set a date and time for a public hearing on the budget.

Sheldon Police Handle Accident, Arrest One On Public Intox Charge

sheldon police pdSheldon, Iowa — In the latest from the Sheldon Police Department:

Officers report that they arrested 21-year-old Dillon Thomas Stave of Sheldon on Tuesday (1/29) on a charge of Public Intoxication. He was taken into custody and transported to jail in Primghar.

They also took a report of an accident:

A Sheldon woman was taken to the hospital after the accident on Tuesday (1/29) in Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police Department reports that about 11:50 AM, 75-year-old Jeanne Feekes was northbound in the Prairie Court parking lot, in central Sheldon in a 2012 Ford SUV.

According to the report, Feekes reported that she accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake pedal. The SUV struck a light pole in the lot. The pole was owned by Poppema-Sikma Construction.

Feekes was taken to Sanford Sheldon by SCAT.

Feekes’s Ford received $4000 damage. The pole sustained about $1500 in damage.

Sioux Center Police Arrest Two, Cite Four On Various Charges

Sioux Center PDSioux Center, Iowa — In the latest from the Sioux Center Police Department,

The police arrested two people on Wednesday, January 23rd on a charge of driving while their licenses were suspended. They arrested 48-year-old Raunel Cruz Jaramillo of Sioux Center, and 28-year-old Barbra June Ortega of George on that charge.

They also cited 20-year-old Dylan James Van Vliet of Oakdale, California on a charge of Misuse of License to Acquire Alcohol on Thursday, January 24th.

Plus, they cited three out-of-state teens on a charge of possession of alcohol under the legal age on Sunday, (1/27). All three of the teens were 19 years of age. Cited were Devin James Carberry of Lynden, Washington; Aaron John Visscher of Ariss, Ontario, Canada; and Nicolas Oak Enerson of Byron, Minnesota.