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Iowans warned about the dangers of laundry detergent “pods”


February 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who use laundry detergent “pods” are being warned to use extra caution with the products if there are kids in the house. Curious children might squeeze the packets and get squirted in the face. Registered nurse Joan McVoy says if that blue goo hits them in the eye, you need to act quickly. “What’s different about these laundry packets as opposed to liquid detergents is these are much more alkaline in nature and they really have a potential to cause a serious burn to the eye,” McVoy says. “The most important thing parents can do if this happens is to irrigate the eye and then they’re going to need to go to an emergency room.”

Poison center hotlines in Iowa and elsewhere have been receiving a lot of traffic because of the laundry pods. “Already in January, poison centers across the country have gotten close to 800 calls on laundry packets, last year, close to 12,000,” McVoy says. “These are things people have in their homes and if they have small children, they need to know exactly what to do if kids get into it.”

The packets had been subject of warnings months ago as a child, mistaking the packets for candy, might pop them in their mouth. The new advisories are specifically about the packets being a threat to young eyes.  “They’re super-concentrated detergents and since they are more alkaline, they have a chance to penetrate quickly and they cause a lot of pain when children get it in their eyes,” McVoy says. “If the irrigation isn’t done immediately, they can cause a pretty bad chemical burn to the eye.”

For questions, call the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.

(Radio Iowa)

Field/Grassland Fire Danger Assessments begin in Shelby County

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

February 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency say Local Fire Danger Assessments for this spring season have begun, as a result of several, recently experienced grass and brush fires. EMA Coordinator Bob Seivert says with the record breaking and unseasonably high heat , dead vegetation is extremely flammable. The National Weather service is issuing Fire weather watches for tomorrow (Tuesday) for parts of southeast Nebraska.

Seivert says one change you should be aware of, is that when conditions rapidly change to the very highest category and or the NWS issues a Red Flag Warning, the Shelby County EMA will immediately change the local Fire Danger Boards to Extreme and all burning will be prohibited, unless prior arrangements are made with the local Fire Chief and a burn plan is completed and filed. Fire departments will be notified via “I am responding.”

Seivert says even with the snow in the forecast, once it is gone, drying occurs much more rapidly than most people realize. Their goal, he says is to reduce unnecessary emergency response, by elevating the public’s awareness of conditions favorable to burning, and offering burn plan assistance, for any size burn. The cooperative initiative between the local fire Departments, their Chiefs, and Emergency Management in Shelby County has proven effective in every aspect.

Participating businesses and fire stations should place their Local Fire Danger Signs in the HIGH Category until the next update on Thursday, Feb. 23rd.

As a reminder: The High Fire Danger Category means Burning of any kind is restricted unless approval is received from local Fire Chief. Controlled burns that are not reported will result in Fire Department being dispatched, and Fires extinguished if determined to be un-safe. Call 712-755-2124 if you have any questions.

Bluffs man arrested after high-speed, two county chase Saturday night


February 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s Deputies in Guthrie County, along with Panora Police, Panora Fire and EMS and the Iowa State Patrol, assisted Dallas County Deputies over the weekend, following a chase that began in Dallas County Saturday night, and resulted in the arrest of a Pottawattamie County man.

According to reports, 23-year old Zachari Tyler Smith, of Council Bluffs, faces charges that include eluding, possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of prescription drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. Smith, who had numerous convictions for assault and burglary in Pottawattamie County over the past few years, was being held in the Dallas County Jail on $2,000 bond.

He was apprehended at around 11-p.m. in a wooded area near Panora, following a foot pursuit near the Raccoon Valley Trail, after leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase from Dallas into Guthrie County. The incident began when a Dallas County Deputy tried to stop a car for a defective taillight on Highway 44, at around 10:15-p.m., Saturday. Smith had ditched the vehicle before fleeing on foot.

Frederickson Memorial Fund now taking Scholarship Applications


February 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Trevor Frederickson Memorial Fund report applications are now being accepted for the 8th Annual Trevor Frederickson Memorial Scholarship.  Trevor’s mom and fund spokesperson Melanie Petty, says applications may be obtained from the Atlantic High School guidance office at 1201 E. 14th Street or the Atlantic High School website: www.atlanticiaschools.org.

Up to two $750 scholarships are available to those graduating from Atlantic High School in the spring of 2017.  Applicants must plan to attend a college or vocational school, show involvement in school and/or community activities, supply a copy of their college acceptance letter, provide two letters of reference along with their 7 semester transcripts, and maintain academic achievement of 2.5 or better.  The scholarships will be awarded at the Atlantic High School Class Night held in May.

Trevor Frederickson

Trevor Frederickson graduated from Atlantic High School in 2006.  He went on to further his education at Southwestern Community College in Creston where he studied automotive mechanics and played baseball for the Southwestern Spartans.  Two additional $750 scholarships will be available for Southwestern Community College students this fall.

Melanie Petty says Trevor, who passed away in 2009, had plans of pursuing a career in law enforcement and returning to his hometown of Atlantic.  “Anyone who knew Trevor, knew he valued family, life and community.  Trevor continues to live on in our hearts and minds.  To this day, Trevor is still giving back to the community he loved to be a part of.”

Funds for the scholarships are raised at an annual golf tournament.  Plans are already in the works for the 9th Annual TFred Memorial Golf Tournament to be held on Saturday, August12th, 2017.  Organizers look forward to another successful tournament so they can continue to grant scholarships for many years to come.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, Monday, Feb. 20th, 2017

News, Podcasts

February 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:06-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson


Obstacles arise in path of Le Mars-Sioux City trail proposal


February 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Obstacles have arisen in the path of a proposed recreation trail between Le Mars and Sioux City. The Sioux City Journal reports that the Plymouth County Conservation Board has declined ownership and maintenance responsibilities. Also, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors has told the PlyWood Trail Advisory Board that the county favors the project but only if no county property tax dollars will be sought for construction and maintenance.

PlyWood Trail leaders say that if Plymouth County officials don’t reverse their decisions, the trail leaders will approach the city councils in Le Mars and Sioux City about each city taking possession of segments of the trail closest to their respective boundaries.

The PlyWood name is derived from the first few letters of the neighboring counties of Plymouth and Woodbury.

Multiple injuries after drive-by shooting in Ames, suspects jailed


February 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Four men are jailed after a drive-by shooting in the Campustown area of Ames. Officers were called to the area at 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning in reference to a fight. A short time later, a red passenger car stopped in the 200 block of Welch Avenue. Shots were fired into the crowd from the vehicle. Officers responded by firing into the suspect vehicle. The assailants then fled northbound on Welch Avenue and then west on Lincoln Way.

Three victims were treated for gunshot wounds at the scene. One of the victims was taken to a Des Moines hospital and the other two to Mary Greeley Medical Center for treatment. It is believed that none of the injuries were life threatening. The names of those wounded have not been released.

In a news release, Ames Police reported that 20-year-old Terrion Maxfield and 19-year-old Desmon Siner. both of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. were arrested by Fort Dodge Police for attempted murder. Both men were located at a Fort Dodge hospital with the suspect vehicle also located in Fort Dodge. Two other men, 20-year-old Charles Smith and 21-year-old Traveion D. Henry, both of Milwaukee were also arrested in Fort Dodge and charged with attempted murder-aiding and abetting. All four men are in the Story County Jail in Nevada.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is assisting the Ames Police Department in the investigation. The officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave pending a review by Ames Police.

(Radio Iowa)

1 arrested in Red Oak Monday morning; 2 arrested Sunday night


February 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Red Oak Police report the arrest just after 1-a.m. today (Monday), of 28-year old Zachary Charles Burkes, of Red Oak, on a charge of Domestic Abuse Assault, a simple misdemeanor, and Obstruction of Emergency Communications. Burkes was being held in the Montgomery County Jail without bond, pending an appearance before the magistrate.

At around 9-p.m., Sunday, Red Oak Police arrested 38-year old Tina Marie Shavers, of Red Oak, on charges of Aiding and Abetting a Theft in the 3rd Degree, an aggravated misdemeanor. Shavers was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $2,000 bond.

And, at around 5:45-p.m., Sunday, 32-year old Robert Benjamin Harris, of Red Oak, was arrested by Red Oak Police, for Theft in the 3rd Degree, and Trespass. Harris was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $2,000 bond.

Pension reform may be next target for lawmakers


February 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

One of Governor Branstad’s former budget directors says she hopes Iowa lawmakers tackle pension reform soon. Gretchen Tegeler, who served as Branstad’s budget director in the 1990’s, says “I hope they are teeing up the look at what we have. Is it the best thing going forward for new employees? We need to do some things different.”Tegeler is now president of the Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa.

Branstad has indicated he wants Tegeler to be part of a review of public worker pensions. “Pension reform means lots of different things,” Tegeler says. “It’s very important to understand that our approach is about retirement security. The people that are in these plans now, if we don’t do something different for future employees and we continue to compound the risk that is in these plans, then everybody in these plans now is at much greater risk.”

While some public worker pension systems in other states are teetering toward insolvency, Iowa’s system was recently ranked as the 10th best positioned pension system in the country. There are four main systems for public worker pensions in Iowa, but by far the largest is the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System, commonly called IPERS. It covers more than 325-thousand current, former and retired employees of the state, counties, cities and school districts.

Critics say new workers should no long be promised a defined pension, but instead should invest money in accounts similar to the 401-K programs in the private sector. The Republican leader in the Iowa Senate expressed support for that move three years ago. Tegeler made her comments during an appearance on Iowa Public Televisions’s “Iowa Press” program.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Monday, Feb. 20th 2017


February 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CST

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After decades as the crossroads of prairie populists and checkbook conservatives, Iowa has suddenly become solidly Republican like many of its Midwestern neighbors. It was one of four states _ along with Kentucky, Missouri and North Carolina _ that flipped to complete GOP control since the November election, but Iowa’s rush of new legislation has been the most intense. In an all-night session last week, the Legislature voted strip long-held collective bargaining rights.

ATLANTA (AP) — A bustling city street filled with cars, buses, bicyclists and college students in the heart of Atlanta is being eyed as a real-world proving ground for self-driving vehicles. It’s one of several communities nationwide vying to be test sites for the emerging technology. Atlanta would become one of the largest urban areas for testing self-driving vehicles if its plans for a vehicle demonstration this summer can be accomplished.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As House Republicans push for a bill that would prevent local governments from determining minimum hourly wages, workers in some Iowa counties are expressing bewilderment over the potential loss of raises that have improved their lives. The Iowa House is ready to debate the bill, which would prohibit Iowa’s counties and cities from increasing their local minimum hourly wages above the state standard of $7.25 and cancel higher wages already approved in Polk, Linn, Johnson and Wapello counties.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new lawsuit seeks to stop the city of Des Moines from garnishing the state income tax refunds of people it says owe traffic camera violation fines. The Des Moines Register report that the city has seized refunds for such fines for three years. The lawsuit asks that Des Moines be ordered to immediately stop the practice and for the court to declare it illegal.