KJAN News

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(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 1/25/20

News, Podcasts

January 25th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

More State and area news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & Funeral report, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020

News, Podcasts

January 25th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

The area’s latest and/or top news stories at 7:06-a.m. From KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Accident in Creston Friday morning, No injuries

News

January 25th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston report and accident Friday morning caused about $2,500 damage, but no one was injured. Officials say a 2008 GMC pickup driven by 57-year old Jackie Trichell, of Corning, was traveling south on Sumner Street at around 7:50-a.m., and had a green light to proceed into the intersection with Highway 34. A 2017 Jeep Cherokee driven by 35-year old Adam Goodvin, also of Corning, was traveling east on Highway 34, and tried to stop at the traffic light, but due to slush on the road, his SUV slid into the intersection and struck the pickup on its right side.

No citations were issued.

Riverside School District reaches settlement in fiery school bus accident

News

January 25th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

The Riverside Community School District has reached a settlement with the parents of a teenager who died in a fiery school bus accident in rural Pottawattamie County a little more than 2-years ago. The lawsuit had been filed against the District in April, 2018, by Glen and Natalie Klindt, the parents of 16-year old Megan Klindt. The teen, along with the school bus driver, 74-year old Donald Hendricks, died December 12th, 2017.

An investigation determined the bus was southbound on 480th Street, when Hendricks turned into a driveway to pick up Klindt–his first passenger. As the bus backed out of the driveway, it became stuck in a ditch. As Hendricks attempted to move the bus out of the ditch, a fire started in the vehicle’s engine compartment, and spread into the passenger compartment. Both Hendricks and Klindt were unable to escape the burning bus. Autopsies indicate both died of soot and smoke inhalation.

In a statement on the district’s website, Friday, Superintendent Tim Mitchell said “The District did not admit wrongdoing in reaching the settlement” with the Klindts. Mitchell added, “The parties recognize that no amount of money can represent this loss. However, the District’s sincere hope is that resolving this matter will assist the family and community in gaining closure for this devastating event.” He said also, “The District will continue to focus on providing excellent educational services to its student body and ensuring the safety of students and staff.”

UI dedicates $33M Psychological and Brain Sciences building

News

January 25th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — A dedication ceremony was held Friday afternoon in Iowa City, for the new Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences building on the University of Iowa campus. U-I Professor and department chair Mark Blumberg says the six-floor, 33-million-dollar structure replaces the aging Seashore Hall, located just east of Van Allen Hall. Blumberg calls the building “a wonderful addition to our lives.”

“It’s amazing. It’s got windows. It’s got light. It’s got state-of-the-art classrooms and labs and places for our students to teach, and our graduate students who TA in classes,” Blumberg says. “It’s got wonderful common spaces for undergraduates and graduate students to sit and talk and study and do all of the things that they do.”  This is the first centralized home for the psychology department and Blumberg says it will position the U-I to better prepare students for learning modern psychology and finding jobs in the field. “As the sixth oldest psychology department in the country, we were founded in 1890, you just never ran into students. You could never have a conversation because you never saw them,” Blumberg says.

“So finally, we have a place. We’re like other departments on campus now where students can come and study and meet professors and talk with each other and learn and do their research. It’s an amazing, big step for us.”  Blumberg says two of the top five psychologists in the nation during the 20th century earned degrees at the U-I. Ground was broken on the 64-thousand square-foot facility in October of 2018 and the project was completed on time and under budget. “That meant that we were able to finish up some things that were critical but that we didn’t know we were going to be able to afford,” Blumberg says. “By the summer, we will have completed everything we could have hoped to complete and still be under budget.”

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences is one of the largest U-I departments with 12-hundred declared majors, 500 minors, and some 23-thousand student credit hours taught in psychology every year.

Battle continues over residency of Woodbury County supervisor and congressional candidate

News

January 25th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — The controversy on where Woodbury County Supervisor Jeremy Taylor lives and how that impacts his standing as a voter and public official continued with new twists, Friday. County Auditor Pat Gill issued a ruling Friday, that Taylor’s voter registration is canceled because his new home on Christy Road is his primary residence instead of his previous home on Grandview Boulevard. Taylor says he still owns the original home and lives there part of the week — and the auditor ignore the “overwhelming evidence.” “Including five statements from adjacent neighbors who testified that I have met the legal requirements of residency — and do reside in the Grandview residence,” Taylor says.

Taylor says he is taking the auditor’s decision to court. “I’m going to appeal this decision, which is my right to do. And just made that intention known in the county attorney’s officer — which will stay the vacancy hearing on Monday,” Taylor says. Taylor is a Republican who is also a candidate for Iowa 4th District Congressional seat. The Monday hearing would have had Auditor Gill, County Attorney Patrick Jennings and County Treasurer Michael Clayton decide if Taylor should continue to serve as a supervisor representing his district.

A petition from the district questioned Taylor’s residency and he says it is an attack against him by local Democrats. Auditor Gill declined to comment on Taylor’s comments or his ruling.

Iowa early News Headlines: Saturday, Jan. 25th, 2020

News

January 25th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:50 a.m. CST

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An animal welfare group that gained access to an Iowa lawmaker’s hog farm has posted a video and photos online that show pigs suffering and even dying in what appear to be inhumane conditions. Members of California-based Direct Action Everywhere entered a hog farm owned by Iowa Sen. Ken Rozenboom last April through an unlocked door. Rozenboom says the farm was managed then by others who didn’t follow proper animal care protocols. He says his family is overseeing operations and properly caring for animals. Rozenboom managed a law passed last year that heightens trespass penalties for undercover operations on farms.

NEVADA, Iowa (AP) — A Fort Dodge man found guilty last month of the 2018 shooting deaths of two brothers has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Messenger reports that 28-year-old Tanner King was sentenced Friday for two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of 34-year-old El Dominic and 37-year-old Marion Rhodes on Oct. 22, 2018. Police say Dominic’s body was found in an alley and his older brother’s body was found in a nearby apartment parking lot. Police say King also tried to kill another man by firing a shot at him but missed.

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — Company officials say a central Iowa plant that produces bodies for electric buses is closing. TPI Composites announced Thursday that production at the Newton plant will be consolidated at a company plant in Warren, Rhode Island. The company says nearly all of the bus plant employees will be offered employment at the company’s wind blade facility in Newton or at other TPI facilities. Josh Syhlman is plant manager at TPI’s wind blade factory, and he told the Newton Daily News the bus plant had never reached adequate production and profitability levels.

OSAGE, Iowa (AP) — With Iowa caucus voting just over a week away, each of the Democratic Party’s leading presidential candidates has glaring holes in his or her political bases. The gaps raise questions about the candidates’ ability to build a coalition like the one Barack Obama built. The Democratic Party’s last successful nominee relied largely on three core groups: young people, minorities and working-class whites. Polling and interviews with campaign officials suggest each of the leading Democratic candidates is showing weakness with one or more of those groups. That is concerning to Democratic officials who, above all, want to defeat President Donald Trump.

Large machine shed fire near Wiota

News

January 24th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Anita and Wiota, with assistance from Cumberland and Massena, remained on the scene of a large machine shed fire southeast of Wiota, late Friday night. The blaze at 71737 Jackson Road, was reported at around 9:20-p.m. A nearby residence was unoccupied when law enforcement arrived on the scene. Crews worked to protect the home from the flames, which were being blown in the direction of the home.

Authorities say it appears the blaze started in the center of the building, which was completely destroyed, along with some pieces of farm machinery stored inside the structure. No injuries were reported.

In addition to the area fire departments mentioned, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon were also on the scene. (Pics below are courtesy the Cass County Emergency Management Agency/Mike Kennon)

Hamburg superintendent optimistic about recertification

News

January 24th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — The Iowa Board of Education had a split 4-4 vote Thursday — nullifying the Hamburg School District’s certification request. But Superintendent Mike Wells says it was still a positive meeting. “We had very good conversation, and they are considering a different model for education for small schools in Iowa. Sometimes you go in front of boards, and you figure it’s just lip service. They don’t really listen to you. This board took the time. It was only scheduled for 20 minutes, and we were in there for an hour-and-a-half,” Wells says.

Wells believes Hamburg had a solid plan to resurrect high school classes under a career academy format, in which students would receive a certificate for special skills, in addition to their high school diploma. Wells says the key to the plan is sharing instructors with Essex–where he is also superintendent. “Finding certified staff is very difficult,” he says. “By being able to share a high quality staff that Essex has for some of the programs–and we have some teachers that are certified at our current school for high school–without Essex, this doesn’t work.”

While saying the board liked the career academy format, Wells says some members questioned Hamburg’s projected enrollment numbers. “The numbers we presented to them were 25 students–not counting any kids from Sidney,” Wells says. “That would be the number for year one of the program. We do have kids in each grade level. We have home schooled kids that will be coming. We know that number will be higher than that, but we wanted to be realistic. We just assumed that those kids that are currently going to Sidney will stay there. So, there were concerns with that.”

Hamburg high school students are now attending classes in Sidney under a tuition-in agreement. Because one board member was absent, the board set another meeting with Hamburg for its February meeting. Wells says the district will be better prepared for the second go-around next month. “We will have an actual schedule as to what Hamburg’s schedule would look like. We will meet with the Iowa Department of Education, and we will go through to make sure we can meet, offer and teach,” Wells says.

“We feel that the plan we presented does that, but we want to make sure that when we get to that meeting, there are no red flags from the Iowa Department of Education.” State education board officials rejected Hamburg’s first certification request late last March–right during the Missouri River flooding that swamped most of the community.

Klobuchar to criss-cross IA next week, w/stops in Atlantic, C. Bluffs & Winterset

News

January 24th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat candidate for president, will be criss-crossing Iowa next week in the days leading up to the Feb. 3rd Iowa caucuses. The three-term senator plans on engaging with caucus goers in rural, urban and suburban communities.

On Thursday, January 30, Klobuchar will campaign in Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Atlantic and Winterset.  Details for those and other events are expected to be released soon. All events are subject to change IF the impeachment proceedings progress well into the week.

In the meantime, you can check her campaign’s website for the latest information.