Muscatine made the cut. It’s now a Blue Zones city.

The official announcement that Muscatine was chosen as a Blue Zones Demonstration site came Wednesday via conference call from Wellmark Headquarters in Des Moines. Organizers and volunteers have six months to develop a blue print indicating healthy initiatives that the community might participate in on a long-term road to wellness. The five other cities chosen are Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Oskaloosa, Marion and Iowa City. The Blue Zones Project by Healthways is sponsored by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield which will provide funding for three positions to market, organize and support the program, as well as offer expertise and resources to impliment healthy living in Muscatine. Blue Zones will focus on educating local restaurants, grocers, schools and work-sites about healthy options.

It was in the 60s on Tuesday. But winter weather returned to the area with a vengeance Wednesday, with a falling temperature and snow and blowing snow that made roads treacherous for motorists.

A federal grand jury has indicted a Muscatine doctor on 95 federal charges. WQAD-TV reports Dr. David Gierlus is accused of illegally dispensing prescription drugs to female patients in exchange for sexual favors. Gierlus appeared in federal court in Davenport on Monday. He pled not guilty to all charges. Trial is set for April 16th.

Muscatine native Chris Hassel has been named 2012 Iowa Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportcaster and Sportwriters Association. Hassel recently left WHO-TV in Des Moines after five years in the sports department to take an anchor position at ESPN. He will formally receive his award at a banquet in June in North Carolina.

I’m Phil Roberts, KWPC News.


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