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Recently, I was having a conversation with a gentleman and he seemed disinterested. I tried not to take things too personally, but I thought maybe he didn’t like me, or maybe he was just not very friendly. It turns out, this gentleman suffered from hearing loss, and he had not taken any steps to fix his hearing. I wondered to myself: how many people literally suffer in silence because they don’t know about the advancements in audiology, or because they are afraid a cumbersome hearing aid will make them look older?

Today, hearing aids are smaller, more powerful and less expensive than ever before. Loss of hearing affects millions of Americans and hearing aids are the best way to correct hearing loss for the majority of these people. Hearing aids are not just for your grandfather! A hearing device can help anyone needing additional assistance with their auditory range.

There are two standard types of hearing aid devices: the in the ear models called (ITE) and the behind the ear models, called (BTE). Each of these models has several different sizes ranging from almost imperceptible to large, depending upon what the patient needs. A doctor will help you determine the correct aid for your particular situation.

hearing aidThe smallest hearing aids made are called Invisible in the Canal and Completely in the Canal aids. The fit snugly into the ear canal and are designed for people with minimal hearing loss. These are a great option for folks who want their hearing aid to be virtually invisible. In the Canal hearing devices are placed on the lower part of the outer ear bowl and they are very comfortable and easy to use for the wearer. Since this type of mechanism is larger than the Invisible in the Canal and the Completely in the Canal styles, they have a longer battery life and are a great option for people with all types of hearing loss. Larger devices, known as low profile hearing aids, come in the half shell designs to devices that almost fill the entire outer ear bowl. These types of appliances are excellent for people with limited dexterity, since they are easier to handle. Many of these kinds of hearing aids are large enough to have microphone and volume controls to accommodate the wearer.

Behind the ear devices have not been too popular over the years because they used to be so obvious, but today, these appliances have thin ear tubes and ear tips, making them almost undetectable! These types of hearing aids are gaining a resurgence in popularity due to their sleek cosmetic look, long battery life, and their ease of use. There are several BTE devices to choose from, including the Mini BTE, made with the ultimate discretion in mind; the receiver in the ear or receiver in the canal aids which have speakers built into the ear tip; and the traditional BTE OKC hearing aids with ear molds, constructed for any type of hearing loss, from mild to extreme loss.

Not sure which hearing aid is right for you? Keep in mind that all digital hearing devices have at least one microphone to gather sound, an embedded computer chip to amplify the sound and a speaker portion to send signals to your ear, as well as a battery to make the aid function properly. When you meet with your audiologist or regular doctor, they will take into consideration your level of hearing loss, your budget and your lifestyle. Since there are many hearing aid manufacturers and new innovations are being made almost daily, speak to your hearing care professional about the products available and then have them make recommendations regarding the best device for you.

Once the selection has been made regarding the type of hearing aid that best suits you, you will need a professional fitting and programing by an expert in the field. In addition to the consideration given to your budget and needs, attention will be given to your hobbies, your career and your cosmetic preferences. If you are not particularly tech-savvy, that might play into the hearing aid selection by your audiologist. In addition, your doctor or hearing professional will also consider any other physical limitations you may have, including your dexterity. These factors will make your new device comfortable and user friendly. The most important part of this consultation will be the setting for your new hearing aid; an audiologist or hearing specialist can precisely adjust your device to the frequencies needed to help you hear what you have been missing!

Once you have been fitted with your new hearing device, recognize there will be an adjustment period. It may take some getting used to, even if you have worn a hearing aid in the past. Make sure to ask your audiologist or specialist for instructions and advisement when breaking in your new mechanisms.

Some of the most recent advancements in hearing aid technology is the use of wireless electronic components. With this innovation, two hearing aids can work in conjunction with one another as one complete system. Wireless systems also let the person wearing the hearing aid to customize and program the devices to their specifications. Another great aspect of the wireless hearing aid—it can connect with MP3 players, computers, televisions and even mobile phones.

Now that you have gone through the process of determining your level of hearing loss, you have discussed the various options with a professional and have decided on a model, what will it cost you? The amount depends upon the features, size and the level of customization, but you can expect to spend anywhere from $1000.00 to $4000.00 per ear piece. You can find discounts, depending upon affiliations you may have, but generally, hearing devices are not covered by insurance. You can find financing to make them affordable, however.

A hearing aid can drastically compliment your quality of life. The subtle sounds of nature, the dialogue of a movie, even a conversation with a loved one will be enhanced. With the strives in technology, hearing never sounded so good! Here is a map direction to the nearest hearing aids near me (where I live). They have Norman and Moore locations as well.

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Until several years ago, skimmers weren’t a big topic of conversation, but today it seems as if they can be found everywhere.

Thieves hook up these devices to ATMs or other places where devices normally scan debit cards. Then, information–and eventually cash–can be stolen. The process is complicated and high-tech, but critics say the punishment has not been strong enough to stop this. Now, there’s an effort to change that.

Patrick Dix is the Vice President of Public Relations from the SHAZAM Network, and he sat down with Political Director Dave Price to talk about plans to prevent against the theft.

INDIANOLA, Iowa  —  At the center of the government shutdown are Dreamers–people brought into America by their immigrant parents.

DACA is the program that allows them to stay in the U.S., but now it’s on the chopping block. Simpson College senior Cecilia Martinez and her friend Natalia Olivas are concerned when they think about the future.

“I sit there and I run thousands of scenarios through my head of what could happen if I were to end up back in Mexico. I have family there, yes, but I have no memories of that place, I have no memories of what life is like there,” Martinez said.

Martinez and Olivas both came to the U.S. illegally from Mexico with their parents. If Congress ends DACA, though, Martinez could get deported and not have the opportunity to finish the education she has dreamed of for years.

“If DACA is taken away and I am not able to renew or even apply for any other type of documentation, my social security will be taken away, so everything that comes with that like an ID, driver’s license, any taxes that I’m paying, you know, I can’t contribute anymore,” Martinez said.

Martinez said her parents have been working most of their lives to become U.S. citizens.

“It has taken over 20 years for them to even be able to get to that point, and they’ve been working and they’ve been applying since we got here. So it’s not like we’ve just been sitting around waiting for some handout, it has just been this is the situation we are in,” Martinez said.

Olivas says most people flee their home county to escape poverty and seek a better life in America.

“I’m just absolutely heartbroken. These are people that have been part of this country, as I have, I, too, feel like an American even though I wasn’t born here,” Olivas said.

But Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King has made it clear he believes people like Martinez, who aren’t documented, shouldn’t stay. King tweeted, “Democrats in #SchumerShutdown mode are punishing the military & have shut down the government in a foolish effort to force amnesty for illegals at the expense of Americans.”

It’s hurtful for these two women fighting for their American dream.

“Make sure that your heart is in the right place when you disagree, because it usually isn’t,” said Olivas.

Nearly 700,000 Dreamers currently exist nationwide, and they are waiting in limbo for Congress to decide on the future of DACA.

IOWA  —  Iowa politicians are speaking out in response to the government shutdown that began this weekend.

Congressman David Young spoke to Channel 13 on Saturday.

“Regardless of who’s in power in the White House or in Congress, I’m always concerned and disappointed when the federal government shuts down,” he said. “You know, there are tough issues out there, but we owe it to the people that we represent to address these tough issues in a way that truly addresses them, working together. You know, home in Iowa, you got an issue, you sit around the coffee table, you hammer it out, you get it done, and you solve the problem. I’m concerned, I’m disappointed that we didn’t get it done on time, and that’s why I’m still here to work on this and make sure that the people’s government remains open.”

Senator Joni Ernst is calling the shutdown “reckless.” In a statement, she said, “it’s my hope that Senate Democrats will put their reckless games aside and start working with us on a path forward to fund the government, ensure low-income children have access to health care, provide resources our military needs, and to find a solution for DACA recipients.”

IOWA CITY, Iowa  —  Oftentimes sports fan-bases are brought together through an event, either a come-from-behind-win or a tough loss. On Saturday, the Iowa faithful gathered to remember Chris Street, their basketball star who died in a car accident 25 years ago.

The white shirts bore his number 40 in the stands, on the bench sat his jersey, and his name and legacy were on the mind of Hawkeye fans all over the arena.

“I think it’s really special because he had such an impact on a lot of people, and I think being here today really brings the spirit back into Carver like he was 25  years ago,” said fan Riley Sauser.

Spirit, passion, and energy–that’s how those who knew him best described him, like his former Indianola High School coach Bert Hanson.

“Fun to be around, hardworking, competitive, unselfish, he’d do anything he could to win the game, shake your hand when it was done and smile and be your best friend, so he was just a great, great kid,” said Hanson.

During half-time there was an emotional tribute to Street, who they called not just a great basketball player, but someone who embodied the spirit of Iowa.  A spirit that lives on.

“You really just see Chris everywhere, I mean that’s what it’s all about. These people, 25 years later, to think he has had so much impact on everyone in the state of Iowa, it’s really special, it’s really heartwarming to me to see that he’s had that much effect on all of our lives,” said Hanson.

The lives of those he played with…

“He threw himself into everything, he went 100% always, he was a fierce competitor and to keep going and going,” said Street’s teammate Troy Skinner.

…and those who never saw him step on the court.

“My dad was a really big fan of him when he was younger, and he talks about him a lot.  I think everyone wearing white just really reminds everyone of him and we can celebrate the joy he brought when he played for Iowa,” said Sauser.

A joy, even in a loss, that could be seen in the faces of those in the arena.

WASHINGTON D.C.  —  The federal government shut down at midnight Friday as senators continued to scramble to reach a deal to fund the government.

This is the first modern government shutdown with Congress and the White House controlled by the same party, and it comes on the on-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Sixty votes were needed to advance the bill to keep the government open for four weeks. Republicans only control 51 seats, so GOP leaders needed Democratic votes to cross that threshold. As of midnight on the East Coast, the vote was still technically ongoing but enough senators had voted against the plan to prevent it from advancing.

Congressional leaders — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — are working to come up with a deal on the floor of the chamber. The source says the talks on the floor are, indeed, real and “potentially productive” but the gap is too big to bridge right now, a senior GOP source said.

One of the key issues Friday has been just how long to extend funding. The House passed a measure Thursday night to continue funding the government through February 16, and that measure is the one that appeared on track to fail in the Senate on Friday night. Democrats have pushed for a shorter-term continuing resolution of a couple days. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who said he would not vote for the House proposal, pushed a plan to keep the government open until February 8.

Two sources say Democrats have pitched a new continuing resolution that would expire on January 29, the day before Trump’s State of the Union address. Republicans are not willing to consider that, one source says, but conversations are still ongoing.

Two GOP sources say that Graham’s three-week compromise idea wasn’t by accident — it is the off-ramp on the table, if Democrats are willing to take it.

“It’s a live option,” one of the sources said — one Democrats have been told is an acceptable change for Republicans. The big question, the sources said, is whether it goes nearly far enough for Democrats who’ve listed a litany if reasons for their opposition.

Searching for a deal in the Senate

On Friday afternoon, McConnell got a second and third Senate Democrat — Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana and later Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — to say that they would vote to keep the government open until February 16. However, since at least two Republicans have said they’ll vote against the measure, the Kentucky Republican still might need as many as dozen more members of the opposing party in order to pass the plan.

Trump showed his support for the House plan just hours before that vote was scheduled.

“Excellent preliminary meeting in Oval with @SenSchumer – working on solutions for Security and our great Military together with @SenateMajLdr McConnell and @SpeakerRyan. Making progress – four week extension would be best!” Trump tweeted Friday evening, a reference to the Republican-backed plan of funding government for the next four weeks as opposed to just a couple of days, as pitched by Democratic leaders.

RELATED: Shutdown looms larger in Senate after House vote

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” that as efforts continue to reach an agreement, “we’re in a weekend so we have a little more flexibility here.”

House Democrats prepare for shutdown

Rep. John Yarmuth, a Kentucky Democrat, told reporters that the House Democratic leadership team concluded at their meeting Friday night there would be a government shutdown and the group expected it to last through early next week.

“I think it is almost 100% likely that the government will shut down for some period of time — now my guess is it won’t go past the first of the week — in which the disruption won’t be particularly severe,” said Yarmuth, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

Pelosi gave a very brief overview to the leadership team of what Schumer told her about his meeting with the President. According to Yarmuth, Schumer laid out what his priorities are and the President said he wanted the Senate to pass the House bill. Asked why the meeting lasted so long, he quipped, “Well, Trump repeats himself, that’s what I understand.”

Yarmuth expected the House, which was scheduled to be out of session next week, would likely come back just for a day to approve some type of stopgap bill.

“There are all sorts of things being discussed apparently, from one day to three days, to five days, to three weeks to four weeks. Four weeks being the president’s position.” He said Democrats would be fine with backing some type of short term continuing resolution.

Some Democratic aides for progressive members have been worried that Schumer would cut a deal and give away leverage on some of their priorities, but Yarmuth insisted that the House and Senate Democrats are “in 100% agreement on this and totally working hand in hand.”

Details of the Schumer meeting

Earlier Friday, Trump called Schumer and invited the New York Democrat personally, a person familiar with the plans told CNN.

Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly was the only White House official present at the meeting, a person familiar told CNN.

McConnell was not at the meeting, a source said, adding that he and Trump have been in touch during the day by telephone. Neither was Ryan, who was addressing the “March for Life” rally around the same time. McConnell and Ryan were aware that the White House was going to invite Schumer to the White House, one Republican source said.

“We had a long and detailed meeting,” Schumer told reporters in brief remarks he made upon returning the Capitol, but he did not include any specifics from their discussion. “We made good progress and will continue.”

Schumer then met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin in his office.

“I think the leader made a statement that progress had been made but much more needs to be done,” Pelosi told CNN upon leaving Schumer’s office.

“It’s in the hands of the leader,” Durbin told CNN.

White House aides made clear to GOP staff this morning there was no daylight between the President and Hill Republicans this morning, especially on immigration, according to two sources.

Still, some congressional leaders eyed the Schumer meeting warily.

When asked by CNN if he was worried about Trump meeting with only Schumer, Sen. John Cornyn responded, “The thought did cross my mind.”

“I don’t think there is” going to be a shutdown, Cornyn said, but added, “I can’t tell you exactly what the path forward is right now.”

The mood on Capitol Hill: Both sides talking past each other

A Democratic senator told CNN a realization set in at the Senate gym Friday morning that Republicans and Democrats were just talking past each other and making incorrect assumptions about how to address each others’ issues and demands seriously upping the odds of a shutdown.

Several GOP senators, for example, were trying to find out from Democrats why they are dug in against the House’s short-term spending mechanism. Why won’t they believe that Republicans will deal with DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, later? The program expires March 5, but Republicans’ message to their colleagues was “come on, you know we won’t deport DACA recipients.”

Democrats, however, feel trust has eroded after immigration negotiations broke down last week when Trump went from saying he’d accept a bipartisan solution on DACA in one meeting and then two days later rejecting a bill authored by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, and Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. In that same meeting Trump used vulgar language to describe the African countries where some immigrants come from.

Adding to the angst was the fact that Graham and Durbin thought they were gaining momentum on their bill this week and were winning over more Republicans only to hear that GOP leaders had convinced several of those Republicans to peel back off. Graham and Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona who also worked on the bipartisan bill, have said they will not support the House-passed CR.

At this point, Senate Republicans are hoping to get more guidance from Trump and the White House about how to proceed. However, a bipartisan group of senators — members who know and have long-standing relationships with one another– have yet to sit down and try to hammer out a compromise.

House members had been scheduled to be on recess next week, but many said they weren’t going home until they knew there was resolution.

“I’m not going home if the government shuts down,” said Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson.

Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican from Georgia, told CNN that he was also prepared to stay, although he added “Mitch McConnell needs to stand and fight.”

JOHNSTON, Iowa  —  “This is the second time we’ve gone through this in the last 4 1/2 years,” said Colonel Greg Hapgood, Director of Public Affairs for the Iowa National Guard. “The last time we were furloughed for five days, and it’s just extraordinarily frustrating.”

A government shutdown would first directly impact 900 soldiers and airmen who are on duty in the Iowa National Guard. That impact would be felt on Saturday.

“They will report to their duty locations,” said Col. Hapgood. “They’ll stay for four hours and then they’ll be dismissed.”

Normally they would be on duty all weekend, going through training.

“This is a difficult drill for us because it greatly impacts our training time, which is incredibly valuable to begin with, and then you have complications like this that just really pretty much puts a drill weekend away,” said Col. Hapgood. “You just you can’t do anything.”

If lawmakers can’t come up with a fix by Monday, additional people in the Guard would be impacted.

“Starting Monday, if they don’t pass a continuing resolution, we have another approximately 1,100 personnel that will be sent home that won’t come back to work until a continuing resolution is reached or a budget’s passed.”

INDIANOLA, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Corrections has ordered the closure of the Warren County Jail, following years of ongoing issues at the aging facility. An inspection this month found the Warren County jail is outdated, has outgrown its capacity, and does not meet the needs of the county, prisoners, or staff. As of February 2, the jail will no longer be able to house inmates.

“I`m fed up,” said Warren County District 2 Supervisor Crystal McIntyre. “I`m fed up with their games. These are people`s lives, people`s jobs and you just keep pushing this can down the road and it stops. It needs to stop.”

McIntyre said the county is where it is because of a lack of action by the other two people on the Warren County Board of Supervisors: Doug Shull and Dean Yordi. 

“I`ve been willing to talk and work things out and this last year I think i just threw up my hands, saying, I`m tired of talking,” said McIntyre. “I`m just gonna yell at you guys, because you just don`t listen and maybe they`re listening, but they just don`t want to do anything and I think the taxpayers deserve to have someone stand up for them, as well as someone who will try to get these guys to do something.”

McIntyre says Board Chair and District 3 Supervisor, Doug Shull and Board Vice Chair and District 1 Supervisor Dean Yordi simply have not been willing to spend money to address the kinds of problems that have plagued the Warren County Courthouse and Jail.

“You know, as a taxpayer, that chaps my hide,” said McIntyre. “That you’re sitting there earning interest on my money, when I could have that money, or I could have better services.”

McIntyre says the county has millions of dollars saved in the bank.

“I understand rainy day fund,” said McIntyre. “Rainy day fund should be 25% of our budget and we have a $30 million budget. And right now, we`re sitting at over 40% of our budget in reserves. That doesn`t sit very well with me.”

And with the state closing the Warren County Jail, local police departments like Carlisle and Indianola will be left to pick up the cost of having to transport inmates to other facilities.

“This is unbudgeted funds that we`re gonna have to ask city council for to house prisoners, transport prisoners,” said Captain Brian Sher of the Indianola Police Department. “There`s gonna be extra wear and tear on the vehicles, extra gas, so we`re not looking forward to it.”

Dean Yordi declined to do an interview for this report.

Doug Shull could not be reached for comment.


FOREST CITY, Iowa- While the Minnesota Vikings are still alive in the quest to make the Super Bowl, one Iowa fan has a collection for most every Viking player to step on the field.

Doug Arispe of Forest City has a room in his basement lined with thousands of pieces of Viking memorabilia. That includes football player cards, photos, posters, helmets, end zone pylons, and mini player statues.

“I come down here to watch the game I find myself looking around the room, when a player makes a play a wonder, – oh I have him.”

Of the thousands of items almost all are autographed, and for the bulk of the collection Arispe has gotten the autograph himself.

He spends his vacation each summer, at the Viking Training Camp, which has been held in Mankato.

His wife Dawn is very understanding, though she is not a Viking Fan.

“As long as it’s in this area down here, and doesn’t filter into the family room, or the parlor up there, she’s fine with it,” said Doug.

“I’m a husband fan,” said Dawn.”Before we were married, it was, you got to go to training camp with me, and I’ve not been back, it was not something that I enjoyed doing, but he absolutely enjoys doing.”

With the huge collection, a common question for Doug is what is it worth?

“People always ask me that too, I don’t look at that part, it’s more enjoyment for myself,” said Doug. “I don’t look at it dollar wise, it’s more of a kind of relaxation thing for me.”

And he does not sell things, unless he has four of one thing, only then can he part with it.

Doug is looking forward to Sunday, to see if the Vikes can make it to the Super Bowl.

“It’s going to be a tough game, two good defenses, so I’m not expecting a high scoring game,” said Arispe. “Hopefully the Vikings are going to squeak out a 3-7 point win.”

For nearly five years now, Iowa has been operating under the Nutrient Reduction Strategy. That has a goal of reducing non-point source pollution, particularly on farms, in nitrogen by 41 percent and phosphorus by 29 percent.

Since the strategy began, there has been a 25 percent increase in no-till and nitrogen stabilizer use and a 20 percent increase in the use of cover crops according to Iowa State University.

A key aspect of the strategy is that the reductions are voluntary. But who exactly is getting involved depends a lot on how active they are in social networks, like associations, or if they’re considered a community leader. That’s according to a study from the Iowa Water Center and Iowa State University.

With data from the Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll, which is managed through Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, the study looks at the connections between implementing diverse nutrient management practices and social ties of farmers.

Hanna Bates with the Iowa Water Center says, “Research indicates that conservation practice adoption’s not related to discreet choices, ‘Yes, I’m fully adopting conservation practices,’ or ‘No, I’m not going to do it.’ Farmers talk about it, they trial it and they ultimately try. So really these practices become a community of practice.”

That can influence what farmers do, Bates says they are more likely to adopt practices if they have face-to-face interactions, which is helped if they’re also involved in an agriculture organization or association that is trying to promote conservation.

Farmers who view themselves as leaders or role-models also tend to have diverse nutrient reduction practices.

Bates says that gives validation to the groups that work to put together field days or workshops, “You have organizations that either have a peer-to-peer network for sharing trial information or you have groups that have research that they have ongoing conservation practices. So, it’s kind of a validation, a thumbs up to keep doing what you’re doing. In that sense. And also, it’s kind of presenting them with an issue of recruitment, because those who are involved are doing something, but what about the people who aren’t involved.”

The research concludes that farmers who are most in need of engagement on nutrient management are also more difficult to reach.

The strong positive correlation it found suggests that focusing on opinion leadership in future research could better explain variation of conservation practices.

INDIANAPOLIS – Police say a mother left her two young kids alone in a freezing car for more than an hour outside a hospital in Indianapolis, where dangerously cold temperatures have gripped the city.

The 26-year-old mother allegedly left her 4-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter alone in her car in the parking lot at Community Hospital North while she went for a job interview, according to WXIN.

A police report details how the two kids eventually went to the front desk where they “appeared to be cold with a pale skin tone and (were) slightly shivering. The kids advised they were freezing… and walked in on their own because they were cold and scared.”

According to the report, the temperature outside the car was just 5 degrees. Using a laser thermometer, law enforcement measured the temperature inside the car and found it to be just 10 degrees.

“No matter what temperature it is, it’s always a bad idea to leave young children in a car by themselves,” said Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine.

Sgt. Perrine and Wayne Township Fire Captain Mike Pruitt locked themselves inside a car last June and live-streamed the ordeal for 40 minutes to illustrate the dangers of hot cars.

Perrine says extreme cold can be just as dangerous.

“Hypothermia sets in instantly. As soon as you get in these cold temperatures, in a matter of minutes your body goes into a hypothermic state and it can be detrimental to anyone, especially a child,” said Perrine.

Although the mother claimed she left the car running, the officer at the scene noted the windows were all frosted over and by checking surveillance video the deputy calculated the kids were alone in the car for 1 hour and 19 minutes.

Although arranging child care can be tricky, police say there are always safer options than leaving children alone inside a car at any temperature.

“Take the children inside with you. I know finding a babysitter is not always an option, but take them inside. It’s not always convenient, but safety isn’t always convenient and you have to make sure you do things the safe way,” said Perrine.

Ultimately, the mother in this case was not arrested and was able to take her kids home. A report was made with CPS and sent to the child abuse division.