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Halloween Safety Tips

Monday, Oct, 28 2013

Halloween is Thursday.  Are you prepared for Trick-or-Treating?  If you plan on venturing out with your little ghouls, goblins, minions and so on, there is a lot of information you should become familiar with.

Here are some safety tips from the Iowa City Police Department:

Halloween Safety Tips:
• If a mask is part of the Halloween costume, it should be easy to get on and off, and should not obstruct a trick-or-treater's ability to see or breathe. Don't hesitate to cut out larger openings for eyes, nose, and mouth, if necessary. Consider using non-toxic face paint instead of a mask.
• Avoid any costumes that drag on the ground to avoid tripping hazards, and make sure costumes are made with fire-retardant materials.
• Have your children wear good-fitting shoes rather than costume footwear, such as pretend high heels or too-large boots.
• For young ninjas and other similar characters: Knives, swords, and other costume props should be made of cardboard or another flexible material that won't cause injury in case of a fall. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
• Make sure that your child is easy to see: Have your trick-or-treater carry a flashlight or wear something lighted, such as a glow bracelet or necklace, flashing attire, or shoes that light up. Or, dress your child in light-colored clothing, which is easier to see, or add reflective tape to a Halloween costume or coat.

Additional ways to keep trick-or-treaters safe:
• Consider the safety of trick-or-treaters when doing your exterior decorating. Make sure that jack-o-lanterns or other seasonal decorations that feature candles, lights, or cords do not pose a danger to children and the adults who accompany them, and remove these items from sidewalks and porches when the time comes for trick-or-treaters to arrive.
• Drivers are asked to be especially alert on Halloween. Keep a close watch for children who may be dressed in dark clothing or walking on roadways, medians, and curbs, or who may dart out from between parked cars. Also, be sure to enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
• Parents, guardians, or a responsible older youth should accompany children when they're trick-or-treating, even if they're staying close to home. Instruct children to never enter a stranger's home.
• Trick-or-treat at homes in familiar neighborhoods, and only stop at homes where the porch light is on and the area is well-lit.
• Plan a trick-or-treat route in advance to look for any obstacles that might cause problems, such as broken sidewalks or construction projects. Remind your children not to cut across lawns or driveways, to avoid potential hidden obstacles and upset homeowners.
• Dress children appropriately for the weather. Make sure they stay hydrated and don't over-heat in a heavy costume.
• Keep track of time and don't go past the posted end-time.
• Don't let the kids eat any Halloween treats until they're brought home and examined by parents. Fruit that's been offered should be washed prior to eating. When in doubt, throw it out.
Halloween is also a time for pranks that may have the potential to harm a person or property. If you see any unlawful or suspicious activity, call 911.

Follow this link for the Trick-or-Treat hours in the KXEL listening area: http://www.kxel.com/index.php/Calendar/All_Events/Event/153

Be safe and have fun!

posted by: Dennis Lowe 10 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Who shut down the government?

Monday, Oct, 14 2013

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of hearing about the partial government shutdown.  My indifference to the situation is probably due to the fact that I haven’t been affected by the shutdown.  That said I know people have impacted by the shutdown.

So who is to blame?  Democrats blame Republicans.  Republicans blame President Obama and the Democrats.  There is plenty of blame to go around.

Dr. Thomas Sowell is a prominent black conservative columnist, though he considers himself more libertarian.  He is an economist, social theorist, political philosopher and author.  He is currently the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

I’ve attached a link to his column, “Who Shut Down the Government?”  It’s an interesting read and food for thought.

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2013/10/04/who-shut-down-the-government-n1716292/page/full

posted by: Dennis Lowe 10 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Waterloo has a pit bull problem, right?

Friday, Sep, 20 2013

As Waterloo animal control staffers work on a new, tougher ordinance to control pit bulls, we hear of yet another attack.

On Wednesday, 79-year-old Bill Winder of Waterloo was walking in George Wyth State Park with his Wheaton terrier, Snickers.  Three pit bulls attacked Snickers.  While Winder tried to pull the dogs off, two women who appeared to own the dogs grabbed them and put them in a car.  They refused to give their names and drove off.

Winder received 14 puncture wounds.  Snickers had severe bites to its neck.

Last week, a Waterloo woman who was letting her dogs out had a pit bull push past her and attacked her two dogs, a dachshund and a Rottweiler.  Her boyfriend hit the pit bull over the head with a rattan table five times before it stopped its attack.

A few weeks ago, a 65-year-old woman was bitten over 200 times by two pit bulls and a Boston terrier mix as she was on her morning walk.  A 13-year-old boy who came to her aid suffered bites and scratches from an attack by the same dogs.

It’s easy to blame the breed.  The pit bull is not to blame.  Irresponsible owners are to blame.

That’s something city officials need to keep in mind as they consider stricter animal control laws.

posted by: Dennis Lowe 11 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Back to School Safety

Tuesday, Aug, 27 2013

With the start of another school year, I feel compelled to remind ALL motorists to be especially careful.

A lot of kids walk to and from school, ride their bicycles, ride the bus or get dropped off and picked up by parents, guardians or car pools.  My friends in law enforcement offer some basic safety tips to remember:

• Slow down in school and residential areas.
• Watch for clues that kids are in the area (bikes, adult crossing guards, school buses).
• Obey school bus stop laws.
• Clear fogged windows before driving.
• Avoid school zones during arrival and dismissal hours.

Cedar Rapids police also encourage parents of children walking or riding their bikes to school to follow some basic safety tips as well:

• Walk the route to school to know the safest route.
• Find a friend to walk with to and from school.  Avoid walking alone.
• Know where there are “safe” places to go in case of emergency.
• Use crosswalks and designated school crossing zones whenever possible.
• Help children learn to estimate if there is enough time to cross the street.
• Never cross the street between parked cars.
• When there is no sidewalk and it is necessary to walk on the roadway, walk on the far-left side of the street, facing traffic.

Bottom line: use extreme caution when driving in school zones.  A life may depend on it.

posted by: Dennis Lowe 12 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


A great voice is silenced

Tuesday, Aug, 20 2013

Monday, August 19th, 2013 will be remembered as the worst day of my professional life.  That’s the day I found out that my friend and colleague, Paul Michaels, had died.

Monday started like any other day.  Up at 3 a.m., at the radio station by 4.  Within minutes of arriving, all of us on the morning crew are greeted by Paul’s signature, “Goooooood morning.”  At about 4:10 I asked Gary Edwards if he had seen Paul.  He had not.  I looked out the back door to see if Paul’s car was in its usual spot.  It was not.  I checked my schedule to see if I had forgotten vacation days Paul had requested.  No vacation.  I said out loud, “This is not good.”  Gary called Paul’s cell phone, which went to voice mail.  I tried again a few minutes later.  My call went to voice mail too.  My bad feeling got worse.

After consulting with our general manager, I called the Black Hawk County Dispatch Center and requested a welfare check.  A short time later, Waterloo police officers forced their way through Paul’s front door.  He was found lying on his couch.  My guess is Paul died sometime late Saturday or early Sunday.

Paul Michaels was a unique talent.  He had a passion for radio.  That passion inspired others.  His enthusiasm was contagious.  I’m fairly certain Paul had no idea how many lives he’s touched.  I’m not sure I fully realized it until he was gone.  Since Monday, I’ve received dozens of phone calls, emails, texts and Facebook messages.  To a person, what people remembered most about Paul were his ever-present smile and his laugh.  It was a great belly laugh.  Just thinking about it makes me smile.

Paul’s passing has left a void in our building.  Our broken hearts will heal.  We may find another person to do Paul’s job, but Paul will never be replaced.  He was that special.  All of us who worked with Paul are better people for it.

Rest in peace, my friend.  You’ll be missed.  You are missed.

posted by: Dennis Lowe 12 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


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