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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.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Just weeks ago, Florida’s governor announced an executive order to eliminate common core in his state’s education. Here in Iowa, a veteran educator is working to “combat the weaknesses of common core” on her own.

After 25 years working as an instructor in a fully accredited preschool and kindergarten classroom, Judy Hintz is offering a different way of education.

“We were the only independent preschool and kindergarten to be credited in the entire history of Iowa. Then common core came around and I reviewed it and I saw what it was for young kids and I closed my preschool,” said Hintz, owner of Education Resource Associates. “It just wasn’t anything that I wanted to teach.”

Now, she is offering an extended day school called Whiz Kid Academy that is filled with a curriculum she says will teach young kids skills to keep them from failing in common core before they reach the classroom.

“The last 10 years I have seen all ages of children who are truly victims of common core, but the one that tugs on my heart strings are children who are ages kindergarten [and] first grade getting to school thinking they are going to have the time of their life. Their parents think they are going to have the time of their lives, and then they present a curriculum that for many many kids is just impossible for them to learn to read and to do math,” Hintz said.

She says the biggest difference is offering a phonetic way of learning rather than the sight words kids are now failing at.

“There’s a big trend now to label these kids as dyslexic. That’s a big topic, and really they are not. That`s a curriculum issue,” Hintz said.

But the Department of Education online says the Iowa Core curriculum ensures all students are experiencing higher levels of education and are learning the skills that are expected by students in the 21st century.

Hintz says Whiz Kid Academy will also offer material like yoga to work on focus and active learning programs to promote brain development.

DES MOINES, Iowa — President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency to help fund a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has Iowa’s Latino community and its advocates speaking out.

“There is definitely fear and there is anger and exhaustion as to why we keep having to say that these people aren’t dangerous, that there is not a crisis at the border and why this community is so important to our state and country,” said Briana Reha-Klenske of the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project.

Advocates gathered at Latino-owned businesses along East Grand Avenue Saturday afternoon. The event was hosted by LULAC and the Latino Immigrants of Iowa group. Organizers called for unity, respect and inclusion. They say the country will not be better with a border wall.

According to the Hispanic Institute, Hispanics make up six percent of the Iowa population. The number is expected to double within the next 30 years.

 

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — A concert scheduled at the University of Northern Iowa campus Saturday night is drawing a lot of controversy.

Word spread quickly when hip-hop artist Waka Flocka Flame announced a concert at the University of Northern Iowa`s Maucker Union.  University President Mark Nook claims public safety issues from local law enforcement in nearby Waterloo spread just as fast.  He said he was told, “We’ve got evidence that gang members are planning to come and they are members from different gangs in our community and a very high probability of having an incident.”

A string of controversial changes followed.  “The concert was being cut off from the public, students only allowed one ticket instead of two and moved to the field house,” said Ryan Frank, a member of the Northern Iowa Student Government.

Nook said cutting off the public from tickets has already helped and allowed the concert to move back to the union on Saturday.  “Since we limited ticket sales to only students and a guest, the threat level they were seeing and monitoring decreased significantly,” said Nook.

Mahlia Brown, a member of the Northern Iowa Student Government, says many students and parts of the community see it differently.  “This is racially motivated.  There is racial bias here.  Why was this specific concert so heavily watched when other concerts that is not the case?,” she said.  Brown also points to the perception that most of the public ticket sales would come from Waterloo.  “There’s that divide because Waterloo is very black dominated and Cedar Falls is very white dominated.”

In a letter to students on Friday, Nook apologized for any perceived racial bias.  “Whether that was conscious or unconscious, it just contributes to the perpetuation of the implicit bias that is in the community and on campus,” said Frank.  It is a campus that Nook believes will be made stronger after a conversation he doesn’t want anyone to shy away from.  “We knew that as we took this on there were going to be not just undertones, clear overtones of issues of race.”

Public tickets that were purchased have been refunded.  Calls to the Waterloo Police Department were not returned.

 

AURORA, Illinois — The workers at a manufacturing warehouse in the Illinois city of Aurora were beginning to wind down their week when a gunman opened fire Friday, beginning a chaotic rampage that ended with five victims dead, five police officers wounded and a shooter killed by cops.

The first 911 calls came to Aurora police around 1:24 p.m. CT, with callers saying there was an active shooter at the Henry Pratt Company, which says it is one of the United States’ largest manufacturers of industrial valves.

An employee at the company, John Probst, told CNN affiliate WLS the shooter was a co-worker and had a pistol.

“He was shooting everybody,” Probst said.

A slew of law enforcement officers raced to the scene and a team of four entered the building, located in a small industrial area.

There was gunfire immediately, Aurora Chief of Police Kristen Ziman told reporters Friday evening. Two of the four officers were wounded.

The battle went further into the 29,000-square-foot warehouse. Three more officers were hit. The shooter was killed by officers, the chief said. A sixth officer hurt his knee and needed to go to a hospital.

The shooter was identified by Ziman as Gary Martin, 45, and authorities believe he was an employee at the company where the shooting occurred. Police said there was no obvious motive.

“My heart goes out to the victims and their families who simply went to work today like any other day,” Ziman said.

Authorities were still working Friday night to identify the deceased, city spokesman Clayton Muhammad said.

Police didn’t say what kind of gun was used but Probst said he saw Martin using a pistol with a laser site.

Probst told WLS there were about 30 people in the building at the time of the shooting. Probst said he and a coworker escaped through the back door. Probst said a nearby resident allowed him and his coworker to shelter in a home.

Four patients went to hospitals in Aurora, medical officials said. The chief said two wounded police officers were taken by air to trauma centers in Chicago, about 40 miles to the east.

Aerial video from the scene just after the shooting showed scores of police vehicles outside the neighboring companies. The response included at least six ambulances and six firetrucks.

After the incident, police also put up crime scene tape near the Alro Steel Company.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI were responding to the scene, the agencies tweeted.

Aurora, with about 200,000 people, is the second-largest city in Illinois, according to the city’s website. Locals refer to Aurora as “City of Lights,” a nod to it being one of the first American cities to implement a fully electric street lighting system.

Aurora has a strong music and arts scene, and is even the setting of the popular buddy-film “Wayne’s World.” Although a suburb of Chicago, Aurora has a long tradition of manufacturing.

DES MOINES, Iowa–  A growing number of people are saying the same thing about former Des Moines sports radio host Marty Tirrell.

Some of the accusations date back decades but police say it’s his most recent scam that led to a federal indictment.

Tirrell is charged in the six-count indictment with mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud.

He’s accused of convincing eight people to invest in a plan to buy and sell tickets to sporting events.

Instead of buying the tickets, the indictment claims Tirrell used the money for unauthorized purchases and for his personal use.

The group of investors say they’re out more than $1.5 million.

Tirrell was in handcuffs as he was led into the federal courtroom Thursday afternoon.

With his attorney by his side, Tirrell showed little emotion during the hearing.

Also, in the courtroom was three of Tirrell’s alleged victims and as we found they aren’t the only ones who say they were scammed.

“I was very upset about the situation,” PJ Caffrey said.

What was supposed to be a relaxing trip to San Antonio, Caffery says was ruined because of
Tirrell’s web of lies.

“He is very good at what he does being a broadcaster,” Caffrey said.

Back in 1999 Caffrey was the winner of one of Tirrell’s radio contests.

“An all expenses paid to the big championship in San Antonio,” Caffrey said.

Caffrey says getting to San Antonio was fine but returning home wasn’t.

“When we get back to the airport in San Antonio and try to check into the flight, well he is such a degenerate gambler that he lost all of his money and he cancelled our plane tickets, so we had to pay for airfare to get back to Kansas City,” Caffrey said.

Caffrey says he was out a couple thousand dollars.

“Four times, three of the times he kept bouncing checks to me to reimburse me,” Caffrey said.

Caffrey doesn’t expect to see a dime but is glad someone is seeking justice.

Originally, Tirrell wanted out of jail, but a judge did not allow it.

Instead offered him the opportunity to stay at a residential treatment facility pending a mental evaluation.

 

DES MOINES, Iowa — The solution seems simple on paper for Des Moines University.  They currently have 1,597 students, 346 employees, 220 daily patient visits but only 723 parking spaces.  “Imagine patients who come to the clinic with difficulty walking, they are diabetic or have other health issues and can’t walk well.  Often they don’t find parking or have to walk a long distance,” said Mark Danes, DMU Chief Strategic Communications Officer.

It is the distance the additional forty-five proposed parking spaces would extend that nearby neighbors have a problem with.  South of the university’s existing lot at 3200 Grand Avenue, into a wooded area that backs into the historic Greenwood Neighborhood in Des Moines.  “First of all, we don’t want them to take any more of the wooded area.  There has been a long-standing agreement they wouldn’t,” exclaimed Dan Spellman, who has lived in the neighborhood for nearly two decades.  “We need to show we are serious about preserving our neighborhood, the integrity of it,” said Spellman.  It is an integrity of land that DMU says they own outright.  Danes said, “DMU owns twenty-four acres and we only occupy eleven of those acres.”  DMU also wants to build a new generator.  “We have lost power twenty-six times as of this week, in the last ten years,” said Danes.

Residents feel all that new construction would aggravate an already susceptible area, downhill from campus that is prone to severe flooding.  “Five or six times a year there will be blowout floods coming down,” Spellman said.

The historic Greenwood Neighborhood Association’s concerns were strong enough to lead the city plan and zoning commission to unanimously recommend that the city council deny DMU’s  proposal.  “It is the only real spot we can add to the campus and we expect them to understand that.  We have the same vested interest in the neighborhood quality as they do,” Danes said.  Spellman added, “We feel like they are gonna keep pushing until they get what they want and we are going to stand up against it.”

A public forum is set for February 25th at the scheduled city council meeting.  A super majority of six council members siding with DMU’s proposal will be needed to overturn the plan and zoning commission’s recommendation.

 

DES MOINES, Iowa — Like many Iowans, Emily Wharton makes zero excuses when it comes to winter.  “This is Iowa.  You put your boots on, you put your coat on and you go out there and trudge through it like everybody else,” she said.  Unlike mos, Emily is blind.  “Normally you are gonna hit the grass line, so in the winter time it is the snow line,” she said with a laugh.

Also serving as the Director for the Iowa Department for the Blind, she really appreciates clear walkways during the winter.  “You walk up one block and for a while it is just trudge, trudge and then it opens up and that is nice, then trudge, trudge, trudge,” she said.

Her secret weapon no matter the terrain.  The “Iowa Cane,” made of a thick flexible fiberglass with a metal tip that can bend in a tall snowbank she can navigate.  “I don’t leave home without it.  It is my American Express Card, it is my arm,” said Emily.

In the winter, Emily also alters her usual tapping to a more scraping technique.  She said, “If there’s any slick spot or ice or anything, I want to catch that before.”  Snow and ice doesn’t just make things slippery, it also acts as a sound barrier, muffling noises the blind community needs to navigate.  Emily said, “Particularly if you go outside right after a snow storm. The way the cars tires sound, I think I would have heard it a little sooner if there weren’t as much muffle because I didn’t hear it until it came really close.”

With practice, Emily has adjusted and she teaches those who utilize the Department of the Blind to embrace all obstacles.  “There’s so much to do in life and that is really a big part of our mission.”  Fortunately for Iowans it is a mission that unlike the snow will not melt away.  “You don’t have to let blindness stop you from doing what you need to do and you don’t need to let winter stop you from doing what you need to do either,” said Emily.

If you wish to help volunteer or just looking for help from the Iowa Department for the Blind, visit https://blind.iowa.gov/

 

DES MOINES, Iowa — The limited access placed on Iowa’s child abuse registry is raising questions on how to better protect your child from potential further abuse.

On Tuesday, Channel 13 revealed some unknown information about the state’s registry, how Iowans end up on it and how few people have access to the list which is made up of nearly 50,000 alleged offenders.

The Department of Human Services investigates allegations and determines who should be placed on the registry. Since the process is not criminal, offenders are not given the right to an attorney.

Iowa Legal Aid says that is reason why the registry’s information is kept away from most of the public.  “We can’t depend on the Department of Human Services procedures and assessments to be the only manner in which we protect children in the state,” says Alex Kornya and assistant litigation director at Iowa Legal Aid.

The public has the right to contact lawmakers directly to recommend altering who has access to the registry. Parents and guardians can  also file for a sex abuse civil protective order; paperwork can be found at the clerk of court office. The law allows for a judge to implement a protection order before the suspect is arrested. For those who have access to the registry such as a daycare provider, they are not allowed to share their findings with anyone else or they could face jail time. The only other way for someone to gain access to information off of the registry is if an alleged offender shares the information freely .

Dozens of Iowans commented on the WHO – HD Facebook page how the registry has impact their lives. One woman claims she is on the registry but never abused her children and says it’s preventing her from getting a job. Others are coming to the Department of Human Services defense, applauding them for rightfully removing children from abusive homes.

According to the Department of Human Services roughly 3,000 Iowans were added to the child abuse registry in 2018. Close to 50,000 people are on the list.

DES MOINES, Iowa — From domestic abuse-related convictions to probation violations where Akil Jabbar admitted to carrying a gun although he was a felon. The 39-year-old has never shied away from his run-ins with the law. Most recently, the former Creative Visions employee is accused of enticing a minor with illegal drugs and alcohol. Jabbar remains in the Polk County Jail after a judge decided a request to reduce his bond in December.

In the past, Jabbar spoke openly with Channel 13 about his previous gang activity as a victim advocate and intervention specialist for the Des Moines non-profit, Creative Visions, that helps at-risk youth and adults. However, some who know him say there was something he was hiding.

During the summer of 2009, a woman says Jabbar preyed on her in her own home. She was 11-years-old at the time. She accuses Jabbar of secretly filming her inside of her bedroom. Channel 13 is protecting her identity for safety reasons.

“I was getting ready to go to my friend’s house, and I heard something vibrate and fall down. I found the phone and picked it up and found it was recording,” the woman claims. The alleged victim says she looked at the recorded videos, then immediately deleted them. She said she was afraid to show them to her mother, who was dating Jabbar at the time.

“There were two videos. One was of him stepping away from the camera like he was setting it up, then he walked out of the room,” the alleged victims says. “He then came back in to check to see if it was still going and that it was adjusted right. It then showed me coming in to my room and getting undressed. I had a towel on then took it off. I was doing my hair and lotion. All that stuff,” she says.

The alleged victim’s mother tells Channel 13 that a year prior, she found another recording of her daughter. She claims Jabbar convinced her it was nothing, just a way to monitor the girl’s activity.

“I was really sick. I realized he lied the first time and I believed him. I felt guilty and ashamed. I felt like I could have protected my daughter and didn`t. I was angry,” the woman says, whose identity is being protected out of the safety of her daughter. The woman says the family tried to press charges that summer, but since the videos were deleted, police told them they didn’t have a case. She says the accusations were brought to the Department of Human Services (DHS), the organization that ultimately placed Jabbar on the child abuse registry list after he and the alleged victim were interviewed.

According to DHS, child protection workers are responsible for investigating reports of suspected child abuse. If the abuse is substantiated, it is considered to be founded and the offender is placed on the registry. The allegation never turned into a formal charge against Jabbar and a DHS spokesperson could not confirm to Channel 13 if he was placed on the registry. Officials say only child care facilities and certain employers have access to it, otherwise the registry is not available to the public.

“It doesn’t make any sense to me, and I don’t know why our society would protect abusers,” the girl’s mother says.

A Problematic System

“It is problematic in many ways,” says Alex Kornya with Iowa Legal Aid. “Any process that does not involve as a core part of the process, access to counsel or access to good information I think is fundamentally flawed.” Kornya explains the registry as a civil process, not a criminal matter.

“Hearsay is completely usable in these circumstances. It doesn`t have many of the protections that a criminal procedure such as a sex abuse registry would.” He says since offenders are not given the right to an attorney in a child abuse registry cases, it is one of the main reasons the public has extremely limited access to it.

“This system, as flawed as it is, does attempt to strike a balance between the less reliable information created by this process,” Kornya says. “Without these protections and their right to know by the parties who are most potentially impacted by it.”

According to DHS, offenders are placed on the registry for up to 10 years. Those who are placed on it have the chance to appeal. A DHS spokesperson says the registry does not appear on standard background checks. Employers must specially request the information. DHS says it is not responsible to notify employers if an employee is placed on the registry.

Creative Visions, Jabbar’s most recent employer, says it did not issue a background check on him when he was hired. Since then, its CEO has decided to require all employees to undergo a background check. A previous place of employment, Urban Dreams, says it is uncertain if a background check was preformed. The alleged victims wonder had Jabbar’s employers known, would he still have been allowed to work with young people.

“I wasn`t aware that he was able to work with youth, otherwise I would have said something and notified them of his record and questioned why he was able to work with youth,” the alleged victim’s mother says. Adding, Jabbar’s most recent child enticement accusation validates what her daughter endured a decade ago.

“In a way, I feel like my daughter is getting justice through him being caught this time,” she said.

Those placed on the registry can appeal, however, due to the restrictions of the registry, Channel 13 was unable to confirm if Jabbar tried to do so. Although we applied to be granted access, we did not hear back. According to DHS, in 2018, 33,579 cases were investigated to determine if an offender should be placed on the child abuse registry. Of those investigations, 3,116 perpetrators were added to the list. Although, DHS says data collected from last year is not complete due to open cases from December. In all, there are roughly 50,000 people on the child abuse registry.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder previewed themes of a possible presidential campaign Tuesday at Drake University in Des Moines by calling President Donald Trump’s administration “rife with corruption”  and saying the public deserves to know the findings of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia in an effort to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“I think that given the nature of what Bob Mueller has investigated into whether or not a foreign power actually had an impact on the 2016 presidential election, that the default should be to share more with the public not less,” Holder told reporters at Drake University Tuesday, “…taking out grand jury information, national security information. I would hope that (Trump’s nominee) Attorney General (William) Barr would share most if not all of the report.”

Holder spoke before about 125 Drake law students, faculty and guests Tuesday afternoon. He reminded the audience that he traveled through Iowa in 2007 on behalf of “my friend, Barack Obama, who pulled off an upset win the Iowa Caucuses.”

During his half hour speech that he read from a TelePrompTer, Holder lamented that too many Americans still face discrimination, income inequality, racial disparity and tension between law enforcement and the African-American community.

And he chided the current president, “We should be dissatisfied with an administration rife with corruption, stunning incompetence and shameful intolerance.”

Holder told reporters that he is getting close to a decision about whether to run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. He said he would reach that decision in the next month or “maybe less than that.”

Tuesday night Holder shared a stage with former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Marsha Ternus at an event with the Harkin Institute where he discussed voting rights.