Archive for  November 2018

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OSKALOOSA, Iowa — Southeastern Iowa is preparing for the worst with some of the higher snowfall totals predicted across the state. People in the snow removal business in Oskaloosa are ready for a busy Sunday. The town is right smack dab in the area of most concern, where the blizzard warning is set to go into effect early Sunday morning.

That’s why Mark Vander Wilt, who helps neighbors and friends with snow removal spent his Thanksgiving weekend prepping his snow blower in case he wakes up to a thick blanket of snow.

“Blizzards I can do, it’s a lot more. Regular snow storms I just do my regulars but if it blizzards people call me left and right,” Vander Wilt said. “I try to get to them as quick as I can but sometimes it takes awhile before I can get to them.”

Saturday night Oskaloosa’s town square is still green but come Sunday morning snow could be falling at rates of an inch an hour. Residents were quick to hit the grocery store making sure they had all the essentials. Eggs were sparse at the local Fareway and the line at the meat deli was more than usual, as families stock up for a Sunday probably spent at home.

“A couple of essential items that is right. I’m going to stay home tomorrow and make candies and fudge and stuff like that,” Oskaloosa resident Karen Monson said.

“You know everybody is getting their odds and ends and anything else in case something does happen and they are trapped inside,” Fareway  Market Manager Robert Syverson said.

Like many towns, when there is an issued snow emergency or the snow ordinance goes into effect, no on-street parking is allowed. You also must have your sidewalks cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours of the end of the storm.

CLIVE, Iowa — Following the holidays most people like to kick back and relax, but with the impending snow storm on Sunday it gives them little time to look over their snow blowers.

“I looked at it about an hour ago today, it wasn’t starting so I’m guessing the carburetor’s dirty so I came and bought a new carburetor” said Josh Johnson.

Johnson plans to use Saturday’s weather to his advantage.

“I’m gonna try to fix it myself, got the snow tomorrow, beautiful day today, so I figured better get it done now” he said.

Johnson isn’t alone. Clive Power Equipment say they have 90 snowblowers in their shop for repair.

“We’re about five days six days out right now, so we got a full shop out back and we’re doing our best to get things going for everybody” said General Manager Jerry Carson.

By 11 a.m. Saturday morning Carson says they had already sold 13 new snow blowers, and had their staff putting together more to make sure they had enough in stock for everyone.

“It started yesterday, it started flowing in and we knew today we were going to be bombarded pretty good which is great, I love the fast paced, today’s going to fly by” said Carson.

While it might be too late to figure out what needs to be fixed for this snowstorm, Carson has a list of things to check if you don’t have yours up and running yet.

Paddles and scrapers are the biggest thing right now. Most of the Toro ones, and I think the other ones do too, have a wear hole, you can see it right on your paddle, and if you’re down below that wear hole you know it’s time to replace it. The scrapers also, you need to make sure you put new scrapers on there because if you don’t it ruins the backside of the snowblower; costs a whole lot more to repair” said Carson.

Carson also says you shouldn’t use fuel with ethanol because it can ruin the snowblower’s carburetor.

BONDURANT, Iowa — It was something Marshalltown High School and University of Iowa graduate, Maddison Wignall, had never done before, travel to Europe.

“I went to Croatia to meet my friends where we lived aboard this sailboat and kind of sailed around different islands,” 23-year-old Maddison Wignall said.

On the second to last day, she and her friends rented mopeds to go up a mountain for a beautiful ocean view, but Maddison never made it all the way to the top.

“I remember right before I watching just down the mountain over the water and I had my arms out and then I saw this curve coming up and I saw this car. I knew that it wasn’t going to be good, and we were going to get hit. Then I black out and then I wake up under the car,” Wignall said.

Her first reaction was to try and get up. “I could hear the idling engine sound and so I realized I was under the car and I thought ‘ok well this is it,’” Wignall said.

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An ambulance ride down the mountain, and then a helicopter ride to the mainland got her to a hospital where she quickly realized this experience would be like no other.

“We got to the hospital and we got wheeled in and nobody spoke to me,” Wignall said. “I was just laying in the hallway for a really long time. I was kind of just staring at the ceiling because I was in a neck brace.”

Trying to keep herself awake, Maddison just replayed moments from her trip, avoiding the worst of thoughts.

“I didn’t know what city I was in or kind of anything that was going on, what test they were running, what my physical injuries looked like,” Wignall said.

Finally a swarm of 10 or more doctors surrounded her in the emergency room. “They said like in this simple English like ‘have to put bones back in.’ Right before that they put a wet towel in my mouth for me to bite on, for the pain I guess,” Wignall said.

To her knowledge no pain medications were ever given.

“They just went simultaneously on both sides and set both shoulders and set both arms and then the doctor said I had to relax and stop screaming otherwise they couldn’t set this left arm that was the compound fracture. So I relaxed,” Wignall said.

Eventually she stopped crying and just accepted the pain. Three titanium implant procedures were done to fix a laundry list of broken bones and a punctured lung. But the recovery wasn’t easy in Croatia.

“I was in a big ward with a lot of other people. After I left the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on day three, I wasn’t hooked up to any sort of monitors. You’re just in a bed and mine was broken. I think a lot of them were broken,” Wignall said. And if she needed a nurse for a glass of water or to use the restroom she’d just have to wait.

“I just had to scream for sometimes 40-45 minutes at a time through a steel door that closed our room off and hoped someone would walk through the hall and hear me,” Wignall said.

Luckily Maddison’s phone survived the crash and her friend immediately got a hold of her mom and step dad who got on the next available flight.

“During that time in the ICU, I wasn’t allowed to have a phone or make an international call. So I couldn’t give them any information. My parents didn’t know until they landed in Germany and were out of the air that I was even alive,” Wignall said.

Her father stayed back, working what she called a “war room” in his office, finding a doctor back in Des Moines and exhausting all efforts. That included getting the United States Embassy involved to try and help foster a relationship.

“Then we learned they don’t have electronic medical records. They write everything down on paper. They weren’t going to release any of my records to anyone in the states,” Wignall said.

So Maddison’s doctor back in Iowa started communicating through text across seas every single day, getting ready for her return to the states.

“I think to maximize, to give her the best possible outcome, a young healthy girl that she is, we had to change a thing or two just to make it a bit better in my opinion,” Dr. Chine Nwosa, Iowa Ortho orthopedic trauma surgeon, said.

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After three extra weeks spent in Croatia, Maddison finally flew home to have yet another surgery to upgrade some of the titanium implants.

“Once we kind of pulled up to my house I experienced a panic attack. I was kind of coming out if survival mode,” Wignall said.

She’s now regaining over 22 lbs. of muscle mass loss from not being able to get out of her hospital bed in Croatia, and gaining more functionality in her arms every day. In fact, her doctor just cleared her to move back to her studio apartment in Chicago.

“It’s a huge milestone. I think I’m really proud of myself and of my family and I can’t believe it’s only been two months,” Wignall said. “When we got back to the states I could only move my hands and now I can move my arms a little bit or a lot I guess. So taking care of myself will be awesome, and i’m excited to kind of have my bed back and my little neighborhood back and different little things I like to do in Chicago.”

“But I will miss my family and it will be a struggle. I think at first but it’s the next best step.”

First her family is spending this Thanksgiving weekend being thankful for every moment with their loving and goofy girl.

“They say it takes a village to raise a kid but it always takes a village, you never know when you’ll need it,” Wignall said.

DES MOINES, Iowa — “We know a lot of people that make cool stuff and we wanted to bring the people that make great things together with audiences who are local, who might want to support these local businesses,” said Dani Ausen, Director of Market Day. “And, that`s how Market Day was born.”

Market Day had small beginnings. When it started in 2009, the event had only 15 vendors, but the free event has come a long way since then. It’s now held in the Atrium at Capital Square, where thousands of local shoppers can discover original gifts from more than 75 Iowa and Midwest makers.

Daphne Sayers is one such maker. Sayers, has a really creative way of making things. It’s a process that involves a lot of recycling.

“I recycle old books into journals,” said Sayers. “So, like books that people are getting rid of, I take them apart. I make them pretty inside and coupling pages, so it recycles them and makes them useful again.”

The opportunity for shoppers to meet product makers is a selling point for Market Day; it’s something vendors say the event brings to the table, that other shopping experiences don’t always offer.

“I think it’s nice to meet the person who actually makes the item you’re buying,” said Sayers. “And also, then you know who you`re helping out when you spend your money, whereas I think Walmart probably has enough money. I think it’s nice to know I`m helping out a real person in my community or in my area, and I like to find out the story behind what they do and why they do it.”

It’s a point not lost on Alexandria Stratton, a local shopper.

“This stuff is not mass-produced,” said Stratton. “A lot of it is local. It`s found in Iowa and I always like to support the community and it gives to the community and it puts money into the people that live in Iowa.”


DES MOINES, Iowa– Changes are coming to Iowa’s criminal justice system.

Governor Reynolds plans to spell out her proposal ahead of the new legislative session in January.

Federal lawmakers are considering their own changes and they could make to the president’s desk before the end of the year.

“I was convicted back in back in 2015 for possession with intent to deliver,” Des Moines resident Danielle Robinson said.

Robinson served the federal minimum requirement for a nonviolent drug crime which is 18 months of a 10-year sentence.

“On top of that you have to do five years of parole, so it’s a nonviolent crime,” Robinson said.

United States Senator Chuck Grassely is a sponsor of the ‘First Step Act’.

The measure aims to shorten how long people like Robinson spend behind bars.

If passed, it would shorten mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, create programs to help prisoners re-adjust to their communities, and improve conditions for women in prison.

“It’s a start, it to help other woman we are mothers we are daughters we have a family just because we made a mistake doesn’t mean we have to pay for it for the rest of our lives,” Robinson said.

According to the Iowa Department of Human Rights in 2017 more than 9,500 people in Iowa were convicted of non-violent drug crime.

Robinson says prison time doesn’t help with rehabilitation.

“When it comes to people doing drug charges it is rehab or mental health or treatments like that,” Robinson said.

Robinson hopes this measure is a step in the right direction.

Senator Grassely hopes to pass this measure before congress adjourns in December.

That could be a challenge Congress is in session just 15-days between now and the end of the year.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–  Before the leftovers are even packed into the fridge, some Americans are making the shift from giving thanks, to giving gifts

The doors opened at Macy’s in New York City earlier this evening for early bird shoppers.

While most people were there for deals, some just wanted to do a little people watching.

“We just wanted to see all the crowd, we just wanted to see to enjoy with all the people, its more exciting I guess,” a shopper in NYC said.

Some Iowans are excited because their holiday shopping is already done.

Best Buy stores in the metro were opened at 5 p.m.

They will reopen at 8 tomorrow morning for Black Friday sales.

Don’t expect these shoppers to set an alarm.

“They got great deals at Best Buy and I something for my husband and my son and my son in law so here I was,” Clive resident Rhonda Miller said.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa –November is Diabetes Awareness Month. 300,000 Iowans have the disease. That’s about 11 % of the state’s population, and the number is projected to climb.

Taking care of her young children is a top priority for Tammy Schmidt. “And I didn’t really take care of myself. I just ate what I wanted to, didn’t exercise.”

The mother of three with Type 2 diabetes recently added her health to the list. “Back in May, I went to my doctor and my A1C was 10.5, and I was sick all the time. She said, do you want to see your kids grow up?”

The 50 year-old started working out. Then, she found Iowa Diabetes Research. “I’m part of a study they’re doing. It’s a once weekly injection that I do, and then I log all my food. I have access to a dietitian,” said Schmidt.

“Diabetes is a massive problem. I call it the diabetes tsunami,” said Dr. Anuj Bhargava. The Endocrinologist started Iowa Diabetes Research 11 years ago. It’s one of a handful locations in Iowa taking part in studies of new diabetes drugs. The medicine is free to participants and they get a stipend to take part.

“The pharmaceutical companies who are making these medications really need to prove these medicines work, they’re safe, effective, and that’s why they’ll provide the medications, they provide the protocol and then we’ll work with the patients under very strict protocol,” said Bhargava.

Schmidt still has a few months left in her study but has already noticed a change. “Tammy’s drop in A1C is quite remarkable. Going from 10.5, which I would say is very poorly controlled diabetes to 5.8 yesterday, like normal glycemic, that’s amazing,” said Dr. Bhargava

She’s also lost more than 40 pounds and gained a new outlook. “A whole lot brighter than it did. I want to continue losing weight, continue getting healthy and in the future. I want to help educate people on nutrition and preventing this disease,” said Schmidt.

Iowa Diabetes Research offers free diabetes screenings every Thursday from noon to 6 p.m. People with diabetes can get their A1C checked at that time too.

For more information on how to be a part of a study, go to the Iowa Diabetes website.

DES MOINES, Iowa–  Bumper to bumper traffic, long lines, and even longer waits at the airport.

The irritations of holiday travel become an afterthought once you finally arrive.

30 million people are expected to travel by air this Thanksgiving.

Sara Shunkwiler’s husband was one of them.

Shunkwiler says she was excited to welcome her husband home for the holiday.

While other travelers like Kevin Gill scrambled to depart on a flight on a flight to Denver.

“We made the right decision because just watching people drop off their cars, it’s going to be a busy holiday season” Kevin Gil said. “I would tell people to come early”.

Good thing Gill did, we watched it take him more than thirty minutes to check his bag and get a ticket.

The busiest days to travel are the day before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after.

“Give yourself some time to park your car, to get into the airport terminal and certainly to get through security,” David pekoske s TSA Administrator said.

Which starts with packing wisely.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A crash brought traffic to a standstill Tuesday during the evening commute.

The crash happened on I-235 between 5th and 6th Avenues and at one point shut down all westbound lanes of the interstate.

Police also closed 2nd Avenue onramp to prevent more congestion.

Police said three vehicles were involved in the crash and one person was hospitalized with minor injuries.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines Police are still searching for the suspects in a Tuesday afternoon shooting that sent two people to the hospital.

Police said the incident happened around 3 p.m. near East 14th street and Thompson Avenue.

Officials said a gray SUV pulled up next to a sedan and two black males in the SUV rolled down their window and exchanged words with the passengers in the other car.

Then the men in the SUV began shooting and the people in the other car.

The male driver of the sedan was shot in the leg, along with his male passenger.

A female passenger was uninjured.

The SUV took off southbound and the victims drove themselves to Mercy hospital.

The investigation is ongoing.