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Iowa insurance pool leader defends Michigan resort meetings


September 20th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The chairman of an Iowa government insurance program is defending its long practice of holding public meetings at resorts in Michigan and Florida and private clubs in Iowa. Jody Smith, board chairman of the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool since 1992, addressed the board’s meeting practices and spending in a letter to its roughly 800 local government members.

Smith claimed the board doesn’t travel to Michigan for meetings every year. Records show the board has met in Michigan in 9 of the last 11 Augusts and is planning to do so next year. Instead of Michigan, the board went to Lake Okoboji resorts for its August 2010 and 2016 meetings. Smith said the meetings are in Michigan so that employees of York Risk Services, the pool administrator, can “work in-person with the board.” Its Farmington Hills office is often three hours or farther from the resorts where the board meets in places like Mackinac Island.

Smith says its Iowa meetings are always open to the public even when held at suburban Des Moines clubs that require membership. He says the Florida meetings coincide with an annual reinsurance conference.

City/School Board Election candidates in Adair County for Nov. 5 Elections


September 20th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

The Combined City/School Election will be Tuesday, November 5, 2019 in Adair County. The Adair County Auditor’s Office has released the names of those candidates who will appear on the ballots. They include:

Adair City City Council – elect 3: Jeremy Marvin Gettler; Perry Lee Leeper.

Mayor – elect 1 John M Larsen

Bridgewater City City Council – elect 3: Debra J Tindle; Kristen Walker Haley Williams

Mayor – elect 1 Roberta Carpenter

Fontanelle City City Council – elect 3: James Campbell; Marlene Davis; Dixie D Dukes; John Huddleson
Mayor – elect 1: Ryan Cooper; Mary Sturdy-Martin

Greenfield City City Council – elect 2: Holly Dullard; Rod McMorran; Joshua Nelson

Greenfield Parks Board – elect 1: William A Raasch

Mayor – elect 1: Jimmie A Schultz; Ron Smith

Orient City City Council – elect 2: Josh Madison; Gary R Metzger

Orient City Council (To Fill Vacancy) – elect 1: Clarissa Pashek

Mayor – elect 1 No Candidate Filed

Stuart City City Council – elect 2: Michael Kalbach; Kristina A Renslow

Adair Casey School School Board – elect 2: Randy Carney; Dallas Dinkla

Nodaway Valley School School Board (District 2) – elect 2: Rebecca McCann; Susan Stevens

Orient Macksburg School School Board (District 2) – elect 1: No Candidate Filed

School Board (District 3) – elect 1: Eldon Ray

School Board (District 4) – elect 1: Jana Scott

The Combined City/School Election will be Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Voter pre-registration deadline is 5:00 p.m. Friday, October 25, 2019. Pre-registered voters are required to provide an approved form of identification at the polling place before receiving and casting a regular ballot. Voters who are not pre-registered – such as voters registering to vote on election day – and voters changing precincts must also provide proof of residence. A voter who is unable to provide an approved form of identification (or prove residence if required) 1) may have the voter’s identity/residence attested to by another registered voter in the precinct, 2) prove identity and residence using Election Day Registration documents, or 3) cast a provisional ballot and provide proof of identity/residence at the county auditor’s office by 12:00 p.m. (noon), November 12, 2019. Election Day Registrant attesters must provide an approved form of identification. For additional information about providing proof of identity and/or residence visit: https://sos.iowa.gov/voterid or phone (641) 743-2546. Voters may request an absentee ballot from the Auditor’s Office. Voters may vote in the office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning October 7, 2019 or they may request a ballot be mailed to them. The deadline to request an absentee ballot be mailed is 5:00 p.m. Friday, October 25, 2019. The last day to vote absentee in the Auditor’s Office is Monday, November 4, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Polls will open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day November 5, 2019.

Western Iowa Networks To Host Cybersecurity Conference


September 20th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

Breda, IA (September 19, 2019) – Western Iowa Networks (WIN) will be hosting their first ever Cybersecurity Conference on Tuesday, October 8th 2019at the Carrollton Centre in Carroll, Iowa. The conference will begin with registration from 9-9:30am with the conference beginning at 9:40am and ending at 3pm. There is no cost for the conference and lunch and snacks will be provided. Business owners and IT professionals can register for free at registration at westianet.com.

The focus of the conference is to educate small business owners as well as IT professionals on cybersecurity and the harm that hackers are putting on small businesses, especially in rural areas. The conference will not only focus on how to mitigate the risks of a cyber attack but also how to properly recover from an attack as well. Wes Treadway, WIN Marketing Manager, said “The statistics of small businesses being attacked with ransomware, to me, was alarming. I think many small business owners, especially in rural areas, think that they are safe because of where they are located but in reality, those are the types of businesses hackers are targeting these days. An attack such as this can be devastating to a small business, so our aim is to help educate these folks so they can make sure they are protecting their information, as well as their customer’s information.”

The day will begin with opening remarks from WIN CEO Jeff Roiland. That will be followed by a presentation from Brandon Knutson from Vantage Point Solutions. Brandon is a Data Network Specialist and will talk about the new and unique ways hackers are stealing data. Chris Danielson, Vice President/Risk Advisor from Unitel Insurance will present on the insurance aspects of a cybersecurity breach. That will be followed by a free lunch.

Once we return from lunch WIN Director of Operations, Chris Neiland will lead a panel discussion with Troy Cook, COO of Midwest Data Center, Kevin Rihner, CIO from Availa Bank and Michael Hindman, VP & CIO of Birkshire Hathaway Energy. The day will then end up with Kenneth Schmutz, Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI. Kenneth will discuss current cases that are being worked by the FBI’s Cyber Task Force as well as ways businesses and individuals can better protect themselves.

The conference will be held in partnership with Midwest Data of Iowa, which is owned by five member companies including WIN, Midwest Data Center, Farmer’s Telephone Company, Griswold Communications and Farmers Mutual Telephone Company.

Iowa unemployment rate remains unchanged at 2.5%


September 20th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s unemployment rate remained at 2.5% in August. Iowa Workforce Development reported Friday that the rate didn’t change from the previous month as the number of unemployed people and the number of residents with jobs both increased. Iowa is tied for the nation’s third-lowest unemployment rate, behind Vermont and North Dakota. Iowa’s rate ties with the rate in New Hampshire. The national unemployment rate for August was 3.7%.

4-H Foundation plans to sell central Iowa camp


September 20th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

MADRID, Iowa (AP) — A central Iowa camp that hosted thousands of 4-H participants over the decades is up for sale. The Des Moines Register reports the Iowa 4-H Foundation announced this week it’s selling the Clover Woods Camp & Retreat Center in Madrid. The foundation itself was formed in 1949 to build the camp, which is located on 1,000 acres along the Des Moines River. The camp is split into separate “villages” and includes a ropes course, climbing tower, swimming pool and 20 miles of trails.

Iowa 4-H Foundation Executive Director Emily Saveraid says the needs of 4-H participants and their families have changed and they now prefer camping options closer to home. She says the foundation will focus more on camping and other outdoor activities at the county and regional levels.

Is America ready for gay president? Iowa casts first votes


September 20th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The nation’s first gay presidential candidate to reach his party’s top tier, Pete Buttigieg, is scheduled to be among 10 Democrats at a LGBTQ forum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday. Buttigieg and the first-ever such Iowa caucus forum beg the question he faces: Is America ready for a gay president? Iowa’s leadoff Democratic presidential caucuses could go a long way toward rendering a verdict. And there’s reason to suggest most of its participants are.

A June Iowa Poll by The Des Moines Register and its partners found that a solid majority of likely Iowa caucus participants said it would make no difference to them for a Donald Trump challenger to be gay. More were concerned about a Democratic nominee being over 70 years old.

Man accused in corn rake killing testifies: I didn’t do it


September 20th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa hog farmer accused of using a corn rake to kill his wife says he didn’t do it and doesn’t know who did. The Telegraph Herald reports that 43-year-old Todd Mullis also testified Thursday in Dubuque that he didn’t know who used his iPad to conduct internet searches about cheating spouses. He said his wife, Amy, and others knew his password.

Mullis is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Amy Mullis on Nov. 10 at the farm about 40 miles west of Dubuque. A prosecutor has said Todd Mullis was irate over his wife’s affair. A state investigator testified that Mullis never denied killing his wife. Mullis said he told the investigator that he wanted Mullis “to confess to something I didn’t do.”

Cass County City/School Board elections set for Nov. 5th


September 20th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

With the closing of the nomination filing period Thursday, the stage is set for the Nov. 5th City/School Elections in Cass County. This list will be updated with School Board candidates later today. Here is current list of candidates whose names will appear on the ballot (I= Incumbent, TFV= To fill a vacancy):

City of Atlantic

  • Ward 1 – Jim Behrens
  • Ward 3 – Pat McCurdy (Incumbent by appointment)
  • Ward 4 – Linda Kartkopf (I)
  • At Large (vote for 1) – Grace N. Garrett, Dana Halder (I)
  • Parks  Recreation Board (elect 2)- Erin McFadden (I), Ashley Hayes.

City of Anita

  • Mayor – Thomas R. Harris
  • City Council (elect 2) – Mark Harris, Kevin Littleton and Pat Cassell

City of Cumberland

  • Mayor – N. Virginia Coughlin (I)
  • City Council (Elect 2) – Sandra Eversole (I), Scott Becker (I)

City of Griswold

  • City Council (elect 3) – Carmen Sorensen (I)

City of Lewis

  • Mayor – Russell Hansen
  • City Council (elect 3) – Richard L. Clark, Ryan Lockwood (I), and Duane Scott Anderson (I).
  • The following is the Public Measure that will be included on the ballot for the City of Lewis voters: “Shall the City of Lewis, Iowa be authorized to amend Section 5-1-2 of the City of Lewis 2018 Code of Ordinances changing the composition of the Lewis Library Board of Trustees as follows from: “Five (5) voting members shall be from the Community At-Large, and one (1) non-voting member shall be the Librarian” And changing to: “Five (5) member Board of Trustees with Four (4) Bona Fide Citizens and Residents of the City and One (1) Non-Resident?”

City of Marne

  • Mayor – Randall I. Baxter (I)
  • City Council (elect 5) – Vergil W. Anderson, Jericho Schmitt, Mark Opbroek, Wayne Preister, Aaron Williams, and Angela Redler (I).

City of Massena

  • City Council (elect 3) – Micah Lee, Kevin McCunn and Adam McCunn, all incumbents.

City of Wiota

  • City Council – Jim Fisher and Steven R. Havens, both incumbents.

Griswold School Board

At Large – Ryan Askeland.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 9/20/19

News, Podcasts

September 20th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

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


Man who embezzled from union gets 18 months in prison


September 20th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man who admitted embezzling from his union has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. U.S. District Court records say 54-year-old Theodore Watson had pleaded guilty to embezzlement and mail fraud. He was sentenced Tuesday in Des Moines and ordered to pay restitution of more than $125,000. The Altoona resident was employed as business manager for Local 74 of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers.

Prosecutors say Watson took cash advances and made unauthorized purchases on a union credit card and then submitted altered credit card statements and false monthly reports to the union. Prosecutors also say Watson defrauded United Way of Central Iowa by sending fraudulent requests for grant funds to train adults.