Winter Weather update, 5:57-pm 11/26/15


November 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson





Judge recommends Iowa throw out 1of 4 Medicaid contracts


November 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An administrative law judge has recommended Iowa throw out one of four contracts awarded to private companies set to take over the state’s Medicaid program in January. Judge Christie Scase says in a ruling Wednesday that Iowa should reverse its contract with Florida-based WellCare. The Des Moines Register reports the ruling is considered a “proposed decision.” It’s unclear how it will affect plans to let WellCare and three other companies run Iowa’s $4.2 billion Medicaid program for the poor and disabled.

The ruling says WellCare should have disclosed information early to state officials about fraud or mismanagement involving former executives. WellCare officials said in a statement it will challenge the ruling. Gov. Terry Branstad said in a statement Wednesday his office is working to ensure things remain on schedule.

No. 25 Iowa women defeat Wright State 83-77


November 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR PARK, Texas (AP) — Chase Coley scored a career-high 22 points and No. 25 Iowa beat Wright State 83-77 on Thursday at the Lone Star Showcase. Coley was 11 of 16 from the floor and Alexa Kastanek was 6 of 9 from 3-point range for all 18 of her points. The Hawkeyes shot 49 percent to the Raiders’ 34 percent.

Kim Demmings had 28 points but was only 1 of 9 from 3-point range. Emily Vogelpohl added 15 points while Antania Hayes had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Richelle van der Keijl 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Raiders (4-2) led by five in the second quarter before they were outscored 32-6, leaving the Hawkeyes ahead 51-30.

Wright State was within 80-77 with a minute left but Demmings missed a long 3-pointer and Whitney Jennings made three free throws. Iowa is 5-0 for the second straight season and ninth time in program history.

Backyard and Beyond 11-26-2015

Backyard and Beyond, Podcasts

November 26th, 2015 by Chris Parks

Lavon Eblen talks about being thankful for collaboration.


Fargo attorneys say ruling on drug dogs shows flaws in law


November 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

FARGO, N.D. (AP) – Defense attorneys in Fargo who have argued that unwarranted searches with drug-sniffing dogs are unconstitutional and unfair to lower-income people say an 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling earlier this week backs their premise. The 8th Circuit says it was wrong for police in Iowa to bring a drug dog within inches of a resident’s apartment window without first obtaining a warrant. The court threw out the evidence.

Fargo lawyers who have had appeals on warrantless sniffs rejected by the state Supreme Court say the opinion shows flaws in the law that allows drug dogs in apartments and condos without warrants, but not in private homes. Cass County (North Dakota) State’s Attorney Birch Burdick says he hasn’t had time to review the 8th Circuit ruling and could not comment.

First of its kind interchange (for Iowa) to open next week


November 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A new interchange set to open next week on Interstate 80 features something new to the state. Iowa Department of Transportation district four engineer Troy Jerman says the “diverging diamond” interchange will provide access to western areas of Waukee and West Des Moines. “This interchange is the first-of-its-kind in the state. Other states have had them for years, but this is the first one in Iowa,” Jerman said. The new interchange, located about 3 miles west of the Jordan Creek Parkway interchange, is scheduled to open Tuesday (December 1) at noon.

The diverging diamond design has at least a few benefits, including less landuse, increased vehicle capacity, and improved safety. “It takes some of the left turn conflicts out of play, which is where many crashes happen,” Jerman said. The new interchange allows for “free-flowing” turns, instead of left turns, for drivers entering or exiting the interstate. Drivers crossing I-80 are directed to the opposite side of the road, then directed back to the original driving pattern.

Jerman isn’t worried about the “new-to-Iowa” design confusing motorists. “They’re pretty self-explanatory, just don’t try to over think it,” Jerman suggests. “As people drive through them, they get through and then realize ‘hey, I just went through that new diverging diamond.’ It’s not terribly complicated to drive through.” Construction work on the interchange began around one year ago with a total cost of $50 million. It’s designed to relieve congestion at major interchanges in West Des Moines and Waukee, two of the fastest growing cities in the state.

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 11/26/2015

News, Podcasts

November 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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


“The Bridges of Madison County” makes its national debut in Iowa with native woman playing Francesca


November 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Broadway production of “The Bridges of Madison County” is opening its national tour in central Iowa this weekend and one of the musical’s main stars is an Iowa native. Elizabeth Stanley plays Francesca, the Iowa housewife who has a whirlwind four-day romance with a traveling photographer. Stanley was born in Cedar Rapids, grew up in Denison and has a host of relatives across the state, from Creston to Stanton to Gilbert. She says it was natural for the tour to debut in Des Moines and it’ll be a tremendous holiday homecoming.

“Oh my gosh, it absolutely is,” Stanley says. “It’s really special for me. Even though I lived there about half my childhood, it so really feels like the state that I’m from and where my roots are and generations of my family have been from, so it’s really, really special for me to be there again.” Based on the best-selling novel by Robert James Waller, the story is set in rural Madison County, famous for its decades-old covered bridges. Since the real bridges of Madison County are a matter of 35 miles from Des Moines, Stanley says she and the entire cast know how necessary it is to start their nine-month national tour here and to give a stellar performance for Iowa.

“Probably no other place we go will people know the story so well and be familiar with it, and in addition to that, really know about the place in which it’s set,” she says. “I think there’s a lot of care and thought that’s put into making it be as authentic as possible.” Her father’s job with the Rural Electric Cooperative forced the family to move several times, and the Stanleys left Iowa for Illinois when she was in junior high. She’s planning to have Thanksgiving dinner with family members at her uncle’s farm in Stanton and Stanley says she’ll likely need to borrow a car.

“It will be imperative that, at some point, I just take a drive and I get lost on some country roads and just spend some ‘alone time’ amongst the fields,” Stanley says, laughing. “It feels kind of right. It’s very similar to where I grew up, even in Illinois, just the rural life and that’s very much what my character is doing also but I happen to like that myself so I’m sure that’ll be happening.” The character Stanley is playing onstage was first portrayed by Meryl Streep in the popular 1995 film, a role for which Streep was nominated for Best Actress. Streep has won three Oscars and is considered one of the world’s greatest actresses, so Stanley realizes many people will compare her Francesca to Streep’s version. At first, she says, that was “terrifying.”

“Usually I don’t watch a film if I know I’m going to be playing that role in some other capacity because I don’t want to confine my creative ideas to what that person has done,” Stanley says. “Sometimes, when you watch a performance, it’s hard to get that version of it out of your head, even subconsciously, but with Meryl Streep I felt -not- scared about that. I thought, you know, fine, I’ll watch the movie and if some of that sticks in my brain, I would be so lucky!” The show opens Saturday and will run through December 5th at the Des Moines Civic Center.

(Radio Iowa)

Heartbeat Today 11-26-2015

Heartbeat Today, Podcasts

November 26th, 2015 by Chris Parks

Jim Field speaks with Lisa Steen Riggs about Julefest coming up in the Danish Villages of Elk Horn and Kimballton.


INA All-State Football Honorees announced


November 26th, 2015 by Chris Parks

The Iowa Newspaper Association announced their All-State Football honorees on Wednesday.  6 honorary captains were named for each class along with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd team honorees in each class.

The honorary captains will be up for the Ed Thomas Mr. Football and they include:  4A- Shaun Beyer, Cedar Rapids Kennedy WR/DB.  3A- Noah Clayberg, Pella QB.  2A- Logan Backhaus, Spirit Lake QB.  1A- Carson Lensing, South Winnishiek DE/TE.  A- Colton Dinsdale, Gladbrook-Reinbeck MLB/RB/WR/KR.  8-Man- Ben Specht, MMC QB.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Team honorees from the area in each class are listed below:


First Team

RB: Christopher Brown, SR, Glidden-Ralston

DL: Noah Borkowski, SR, Glidden-Ralston

DL: Spencer Brown, SR, Lenox

LB: Drew Buckholdt, JR, Exira/EHK

P: Drew Ticknor, SR, CAM

Second Team

RB: Brandon Riley, JR, Coon Rapids-Bayard

RB: Josh Hopkins, SR, East Mills

OL: Nathan McNamara, SR, Glidden-Ralston

WR: Derek Schurke, JR, Ar-We-Va

LB: Alex Bechtold, SR, Stanton

DB: Carson Cline, SR, Lenox

DB: Brady Hansen, SR, Exira/EHK

P: Sam Philips, JR, Fremont-Mills

Third Team

RB: Mike Ward, SR, East Union

OL: Matt Glockel, JR, East Mills

OL: Isaac McAlister, JR, Coon Rapids-Bayard

LB: Sam Obert, JR, Coon Rapids-Bayard

DB: Parker Powers, JR, Fremont-Mills


First Team

WR/TE: Kyle Dolecheck, SR, Mount Ayr

LB: Riley Wohlers, SR, Logan-Magnolia

DB: Jacob Taylor, SR, Mount Ayr

Second Team

RB: Jake Mulford, SR, Audubon

OL: Jameson Muxfeldt, SR, Logan-Magnolia

DL: Logan Stark, SR, Mount Ayr

LB: Matthew Smith-Petersen, SR, Audubon

P: Nick Wurster, SR, Mount Ayr

Third Team

RB: Brennen Weiland, SR, Nodaway Valley

OL: Cole Jensen, SR, MVAO

OL: Lincoln Lutrick, SR, Mount Ayr

OL: Kole Thompson, SR, Bedford

DL: Jed McCreary, SR, Mount Ayr

LB: Danny Koch, JR, St. Albert

DB: Jarek Richardson, SR, Logan-Magnolia

P: Luke Waters, SO, St. Albert


First Team

WR: Tyler Conn, SR, Underwood

DL: Tameron McGurren-Leal, SR, AHSTW

LB: Justin Miller, SR, Missouri Valley

Second Team

QB: Nick Pedersen, SR, Underwood

K: Colin Opstvedt, SR, Underwood

DB: Nathan Herbst, SR, AHSTW

Third Team

OL: Seth Jimmerson, SR, Missouri Valley

OL: Jacob Thraen, SR, IKM-Manning

WR/TE: Nolan Chapman, SR, Treynor

DL: John Reber, SR, Treynor


First Team

RB: Chase Shiltz, JR, Creston/O-M

LB: Carter Von Essen, SR, Glenwood

K: Ethan Knudson, SR, Harlan

Second Team

RB: Matt Pauk, SR, Carroll

OL: Caleb Sanders, SO, Glenwood

OL: Reese Fitzpatrick, JR, Carroll

OL: Trevor Downing, SO, Creston/O-M

WR/TE: Mavrick Decker, JR, Glenwood

WR/TE: Dayton Ross, JR, Carroll

DL: Soren Jensen, JR, Carroll

DL: Cole Loeffelbein, JR, Glenwood

LB: Seth Maitlen, SR, Creston/O-M

Third Team

RB: Nick Tarney, JR, Harlan

OL: Max Langenfeld, SR, Harlan


First Team

DL: Mitchell Brinkman, SR, Lewis Central

Second Team

K: Caleb Shudak, SR, Lewis Central

Third Team

LB: Mac Southard, JR, Lewis Central