Northwest Iowa — If you have internet through Premier Communications, your service may have had a hiccup Sunday night.

Premier officials say that some of their customers experienced intermittent internet connectivity Sunday night. Premier’s Chief Technical Officer Frank Bulk tells us they were on the receiving end of a high volume DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack.


Bulk tells us what a DDoS attack is.


He says that someone out there sent that traffic maliciously. He helps us speculate as to why someone would do such a thing.


Premier Communications’ Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Scott Te Strote says that they don’t know how many customers were affected. He says it wasn’t in any particular geographic area or town, but it affected a subset of their network.

They tell us the malicious overload of Internet traffic caused some of their customers to experience brief and/or intermittent Internet outages Sunday evening. They say the high rate of malicious traffic dropped off by 8:15 p.m., and that mitigation steps were put into place, so that things returned to normal shortly thereafter.

October 14, 2019 - 1:38 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — October is recognized as “National Domestic Violence Awareness Month”, and Cathy Van Maanen with the Le Mars office of the Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence says statistics show one in every three to four women will experience some type of domestic violence in her lifetime.

Van Maanen says domestic violence is a common occurrence in Iowa and it happens to across the spectrum regardless of your income. And victims can be both males and females.

She says many people are showing support for domestic violence victims by wearing purple colored ties, scarfs, or other purple colored clothing. Businesses have also hung purple ribbons on their doorways.

A victim of domestic violence will often return to their abuser. Van Maanen says the abuser will use power, control, along with intimidation on the victim, making that victim feel compelled to return. She says abuse is not always the hitting and things that we know are not legal.

She says a person averages leaving five to seven times before they leave for good. Van Maanen says she deals with more than 150 reported cases of domestic violence in Plymouth County each year, and every week on average, two new cases of domestic violence are referred to her agency.

October 12, 2019 - 7:32 pm - Posted in News

Washington, DC — the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has released results of an annual national poll of registered voters designed to measure awareness of and attitudes toward biodiesel and federal policies that support the industry. The results show a candidate’s support for policies to promote clean energy, including biodiesel and renewable diesel use, can influence votes.

NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen says voters are consistent year-to-year in saying they support political candidates who champion federal policies to encourage development and use of cleaner fuels such as biodiesel. He says results of the poll indicate that environmental concerns are growing in importance for voters. Biodiesel can deliver environmental benefits to address those concerns today, according to Rehagen.

Among the respondents, nearly three-quarters (73%) had previously heard some information about biodiesel. More than half (57%) of all respondents agreed that federal policy should encourage use of biodiesel and renewable diesel. When asked if federal policy should support petroleum, 45% said “no,” while only 34% said “yes.”

When asked about issues that affect their votes, a strong majority of the polled registered voters (81%) indicated that a candidate’s position on renewable fuels is important. Overall, 86% of respondents indicated that a candidate’s position on clean energy is important or very important to their voting preferences. Further, 85% of respondents agreed that it is important that President Donald Trump keep his promises on the RFS.

When informed that biodiesel is America’s first and most widely available advanced biofuel and has demonstrated environmental benefits, more than three-quarters (76%) of respondents supported increased use. High percentages of respondents agreed that the government should “stand with American workers, manufacturers, rural economies and businesses” to support a clean fuels industry (83%) and “follow the law to implement an existing mandate that creates jobs and economic development across the country” (82%).

Nearly four of every five respondents expressed support for existing federal programs that encourage increased production and use of advanced biofuels. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of respondents support the federal tax incentive for biodiesel, and 79% support the Renewable Fuel Standard. Additionally, 79% of respondents would encourage local communities and governments to promote use of biodiesel.

KIWA Archive Photo

 

St. Louis, Missouri — Reports of a partial agreement came late Friday after a week of meetings between the Trump Administration and Chinese officials.

The American Soybean Association issued a statement Saturday, saying they’re hopeful this “Phase 1” agreement will signal a deescalation in the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.

The Soybean Association says while it’s good news to hear the U.S. and China have reached a partial agreement in this conflict, the ASA is still awaiting additional information on the initial agreement, and the potential impact on U.S. soy growers. The statement went on to say the ASA remains hopeful this is a step toward rescinding the tariffs and helping restore certainty and stability to the soy industry.

 

October 12, 2019 - 6:49 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — A University of Iowa pain researcher has won two grants as part of a national effort to improve treatments for pain and cut the use of opioids. Professor Kathleen Sluka says one grant funds research into why 40 to 50 percent of people develop acute pain after surgery or following a broken bone.

She says very little is known about why some people recover easily from acute pain, and they hope to find pain signatures that can help them ease the pain.

Sluka says cutting the source of the pain should lead to a drop in the use of opioids.

Sluka is a professor of physical therapy and rehabilitation science and says they also received a grant to examine a treatment that doesn’t use opioids.

She says there are a lot of benefits to using the body’s own pain killers.

She says there are some products available now that use this system, but they haven’t had a lot of testing.

She hopes they want a lot more data on this type of treatment.

Sluka says there’s been a lot of money put into finding ways to slow or end the opioid epidemic. She says some of it is going to be a matter of going away from the old idea that you have a pain, so you just pop a pill to take care of it.

The first grant is six-and-a-half million dollars for four years. The second award is around the same dollar amount for five years. Sluka is working with Laura Frey Law, a University of Iowa associate professor of physical therapy and rehabilitation science, and Christopher Coffey, a U of I professor of biostatistics on the first project. The second trial is being done in collaboration with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Photo: Kathleen Sluka ~~Photo courtesy Radio Iowa

October 12, 2019 - 6:22 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — Another lawsuit challenging the updated process for selecting Iowa Supreme Court justices and appeals court judges was heard in Polk County District Court Friday.

A judge dismissed the first lawsuit that claimed Republican lawmakers violated the constitution when they gave the governor an additional appointment to the panel that nominates high court judges. That judge said lawyers and Democratic lawmakers didn’t prove they’re adversely affected by the change. Attorney Bob Rush says the second lawsuit directly involves Thomas Duff, who applied to be an appeals court judge, but wasn’t chosen as a nominee.

Assistant Attorney General David Rantsch argued that doesn’t prove Duff is adversely affected by the law.

The state is asking the Polk County judge to also dismiss this second lawsuit. The original legal challenge of the new law is expected to be heard by the Court of Appeals next month.

KIWA Archive Photo

October 12, 2019 - 6:04 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — Iowa’s two U.S. Senators have both weighed-in on the partial U.S. Trade Agreement with China.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley released the following statement regarding the partial trade deal with China that has been reached.

“Any time progress is made, that’s good news. Farmers in Iowa know far too well that the trade war has caused real financial pain in the heartland. But we need to know more about this deal and follow-through from China will be key. I welcome the news that progress on some areas has led to a delay in tariff hikes that would impact U.S. consumers, and that President Trump plans to meet President Xi at the APEC Summit in Chile next month. A final deal must address the full scope of structural issues identified in USTR’s Section 301 report and include strong enforcement mechanisms,” Grassley said. “After so much has been sacrificed, Americans will settle for nothing less than a full, enforceable and fair deal with China. I look forward to learning more details in the coming days.”

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst says she’s glad the administration is making positive progress on a trade deal with China. She said no new tariffs on goods plus additional purchases of agricultural products, like Iowa soybeans and pork, is a good sign. The senator says she looks forward to learning more details about this phase of the deal. And she assures Iowans that she’ll continue fighting on behalf of Iowans to ensure we’re getting a good, fair deal for folks in our state and across the country.

 

October 11, 2019 - 3:45 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — After a nearly five-day delay, absentee ballots are now available in every county in our four-county listening area.

Absentee ballots were supposed to have been available on Monday of this week, but due to a delay at the printing company, almost all the ballots were late to arrive.

In Sioux County, election officials tell us that the ballots shipped from the printer on Wednesday and they arrived on Friday. O’Brien County election officials tell us their ballots also arrived on Friday. Osceola County ballots came in on Wednesday, and Lyon County ballots came in on Tuesday.

No one that we’ve talked to knows why there was a printing delay, but some speculate that it was because with the new combination school and city election this fall, a number of counties had to have many more ballot styles than they would have with a city or a school election on their own. The reason for that is that most school districts in our area include many cities.

You can request an absentee ballot be sent to you if you hand-deliver or mail in a special form. You can also vote in person at the auditor’s office. But you cannot go to the auditor’s office and take a ballot home with you, as all absentee ballots may only leave the auditor’s office through the mail. Contact your auditor’s office for more information.

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First update, posted Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 3:56 p.m.:

Primghar, Iowa — Absentee ballots for the Tuesday, November 5th city and school general election should have been available from the County Auditor’s Office in your county on Monday. But at least in O’Brien County, they are STILL not available.

According to O’Brien County Auditor Barb Rohwer, the proof ballots have been slow to come in, not only in O’Brien County, but elsewhere as well. She says she hopes to have the ballots sometime this Thursday, October 10th.

You can request that a ballot be mailed to you when they come in. And, after they come in, you can vote in-person at the Auditor’s Office in the O’Brien County Courthouse in Primghar if you are an O’Brien County resident.

As far as other counties in the area — in Sioux County, election officials tell us that the ballots shipped on Wednesday and they also hope to receive them this Thursday. Osceola County ballots came in on Wednesday, and Lyon County ballots came in on Tuesday.

Officials in the auditors’ offices tell us that the delay has been with the printing company. But the company did have many more ballots than usual to print since the election is now a combined city and school election.

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Original story, posted Friday, October 24th at 4:17 p.m.:

Northwest Iowa — Absentee ballots for the Tuesday, November 5th city and school general election SHOULD be available from the County Auditor’s Office in your county on Monday. But, there’s an issue.

According to O’Brien County Auditor Barb Rohwer, the proof ballots have been slow to come in, so it’s highly possible that the ballots will not be ready on time on Monday. She says other counties may have the same issue. She says you may still request a ballot on an official form and send it in or drop it off, but they’ll have to send you the ballot when it’s available. The forms are available at the office, by mail, or online at the Iowa Secretary of State’s website. CLICK HERE for the form.

Hopefully, says Rohwer, the ballots will be available by Wednesday, October 9th.

Absentee voting has been on the rise in Iowa. Many political campaigns have been suggesting early voting, saying “life is uncertain.” They want to make sure you have the opportunity to vote, no matter what happens in your life on election day.

Officials tell us you can also vote in-person at the Auditor’s office (once the ballots are available). But Rowenhorst emphasizes that at no time can you fill out a request form, drop it off, and expect to take a ballot out of the Auditor’s office that day — for yourself or anyone else. The two options are voting right there and then (if the ballots are available), or having it mailed to your address. No ballots leave the Auditor’s office except by mail. So if you’re going to drop off the form, you should know how you’re going to vote when you go, or expect at least a few days’ delay for the ballot to come in the mail. You may drop off filled-out and signed ballot request forms for others, but the ballots will have to be mailed to the voters, no matter if you come in before or after they are available.

October 11, 2019 - 2:48 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa (RI) — A new report on childhood obesity finds Iowa’s numbers aren’t budging, with more than 50-thousand kids statewide falling into the category. Victoria Brown, senior program officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says the report looked at children between the ages of 10 and 17 over the past two years.


That’s about one in seven children. Nationwide, the report found four-point-eight million children in that age range are obese, a number that’s also remained essentially unchanged since the last report.


While it’s discouraging the state and national numbers haven’t fallen from year to year, Brown says it’s also important to note they’re not rising either.


She says it’s also important to maintain access to SNAP or food stamp programs, that we continue to build “walkable” communities, and address things like “food deserts” or urban areas where it’s hard to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food. The report found Mississippi has the highest childhood obesity rate at 25-point-4 percent, while Utah has the lowest rate at 8-point-7 percent.

Click here for more information on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

October 11, 2019 - 2:15 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — Nationwide there are now 1,299 reported cases of severe respiratory illnesses associated with vaping, including 26 deaths, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Iowa, 38 cases have been reported, with more currently under investigation. No deaths have been reported. Most cases (33) report vaping illicit THC products; the rest report using only nicotine products or the product used is not known. The Iowa Department of Public Health says they’re continuing to work with clinical and public health partners to investigate these cases.

IDPH urges Iowans to not use vaping and e-cigarette products, since the cause of this outbreak is not yet clear and the long-term health impacts of these products are unknown.

Anyone who has been vaping or using e-cigarette products and is having trouble breathing should seek medical care, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

For more information, visit idph.iowa.gov/ehi/lung-disease-vaping.