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Council Bluffs assault leaves man in critical condition

News

July 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are investigating an assault that left a man in critical condition, Friday night.Bluffs Badge Sgt. Mark Stuart with the Council Bluffs P-D said Saturday, officers responded to the vicinity of 10th and West Broadway Streets at around 10:30-p.m. to a report of an unconscious man lying in the middle of the street under the Broadway viaduct.

The male subject suffered severe injuries and was transported to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.  The victim’s name is not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin.

The incident remains under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Council Bluffs Police Department. Anyone having information is encouraged to contact the Police Department at (712) 328-4728 or Crime Stoppers at (712) 328-7867.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 7/4/2015

News, Podcasts

July 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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

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(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 7/4/2015

News, Podcasts

July 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:06-a.m. report w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Guilty pleas reached in cattle rustling cases

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Three counties in Nebraska and Iowa are prosecuting a group of Omaha residents they suspect of slipping into feedlots in the dark of night and hauling off steers and cows to sell at sale barns and livestock auctions. According to a report in the Omaha World-Herald, the modern-day cattle-rustling suspects, Ervin John Jacob, James Michael Brunzo and Amy Louise Springer, face charges in connection with cattle thefts in Cass County, Iowa, and Cuming County, Nebraska. Jacob and Springer also face charges in York County, Nebraska.

Jacob, who is 57, and Springer, age 42, have already pleaded guilty in some of the cases. Brunzo, 49, is in federal custody after pleading guilty in a drug case in January. Brunzo’s warrant in Cass County remains in effect until he can be brought here for prosecution. The other two have been ordered to pay restitution. In addition, Springer was given two-years probation in Cass County and a deferred judgement on a felony theft charge, while Jacob plead not guilty this past Thursday in Cass County District Court, to a misdemeanor Theft charge. He received probation, in an agreement with prosecutors.

Iowa Job Honor Awards tout ‘second chance’ successes

News

July 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A new non-profit group is putting the spotlight on Iowans who’ve made the most of “second chances” and recognizing the companies that have hired them. Kyle Horn is the founder of the “Iowa Job Honor Awards” program. “The case that we attempt to make is not for the indiscriminate hiring of candidates with ‘red flags’ but rather fair consideration of individuals, so that people whose lives are demonstrably on a new trajectory, so they’re given a fair shot,” Horn says. “Certainly not all individuals with ‘red flags’ in their background change, but some do.”

A criminal history can be a big “red flag” that sidelines job opportunities in the future, but Horn says physical or intellectual disabilities as well as a lack of marketable skills also put a job-seeker at a disadvantage. “Many of those individuals, their lives are completely on a new track, they have great skills, they’re looking for a job and, once hired, they become an incredibly and committed employee,” Horn says.

“…Unfortunately, a lot of employers have pre-screen requirements that automatically exclude such candidates and the case we make is that there are some individuals…who have overcome those barriers. They not only make acceptable employees, they make outstanding employees and a lot of the employers who have taken a chance on them report they tend not to have the sense of entitlement that we see so frequently with other candidates. but rather a sense of appreciation and commitment to the job.”

The first “Iowa Job Honor Awards” were handed out in 2014. This year’s recipients include Haley Equipment in Carroll, a family-owned business that sells and repairs heavy equipment. Workforce Solutions in Burlington was also recognized for helping people find a job after they’ve been released from prison. Horn’s vision is to spread this kind of a spotlight beyond Iowa’s borders. “We’re rolling out the Wisconsin Job Honor Awards later in 2015 and plan to continue to move on, state-by-state, until we’ve covered the nation,” Horn says.

One of the individual Iowans honored this year is Edward Roberson, of Ankeny, a veteran who got job after his release from prison and just got married. The other individual is Angela Avila, of Afton, who suffered from a social anxiety disorder. She was praised for conquering her fears and being willing to work as an intern before she was hired full-time.

(Radio Iowa)

Former Le Mars firefighter “overwhelmed” by support as he battles cancer, recovers from heart surgery

News

July 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A retired firefighter in northwest Iowa is collecting t-shirts from fire departments across the country as he battles cancer and recovers from heart surgery.

Doug Harms

Doug Harms

Doug Harms retired from the Le Mars Fire Department last year due to health issues related to his heart. Since that time, he has also been diagnosed as having cancer in his neck and throat. Harms’ girlfriend had the idea to spread a message on Facebook asking for the t-shirts as a way to help boost Harms’ morale. As of this week, he’d received around 150 shirts from departments across the state and country.

“We’d like to get one from every state and as of right now, we’re 26 states short,” Harms said. Harms served with the Le Mars Fire Department for 27 years and was promoted to the rank of Captain before his health issues forced him into retirement. Following the heart surgery last year, Harms was diagnosed with cancer.

“I got all healed up from (the surgery) and thought if I exercise and stuff I can get back on the fire service, well then, I had a physical and they found a mass in my neck,” Harms said. This past Sunday, a benefit auction organized by his siblings was held in Le Mars and more than $10,000 was raised to help with Harms’ medical bills.

“I can’t thank people enough for the donations…it was overwhelming,” Harms said. The Le Mars Fire Department is planning to hold a benefit for Harms on July 22. Harms receives both chemotherapy and radiation for his cancer. His doctors are hopeful that Harms will one day be cancer free and make a full recovery.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., July 4th 2015 – Independence Day

News

July 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

AMES, Iowa (AP) — An Ames native and member of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors is serving as grand marshal for his hometown’s Fourth of July parade. The Des Moines Register reports former Ames High School star Harrison Barnes will be the parade’s grand marshal today and plans to show off the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A newcomer to the Cedar Rapids area had 10 of 11 speeding tickets dismissed after telling police that he didn’t know he could get cited by the traffic camera system deployed on Interstate 380. Alexander Hartman moved to Marion a few weeks ago and was stunned when he found the stack of tickets in his mail. He told Cedar Rapids television station KCRG that he thinks being ticketed was “wrong, because people should know what’s going on before it happens.”

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) — A 142-year-old school in Bettendorf is getting a new look thanks to volunteers, grants and donations. The Quad-City Times reports the long-dilapidated Forest Grove School no longer has its familiar gray and weathered-wood appearance. Volunteers have been working since 2012 to restore the school, built in 1873. They want to turn it into a museum.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Two kayakers were rescued from the steep sides and swift water of Black Hawk Creek in Waterloo. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports Larry and Barb Lamfers put their kayaks into the creek Thursday afternoon but soon floated into a tree before being rescued.

Popcorn Button to perform in Atlantic July 18th

News

July 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Local jazz band Popcorn Button invites the community to a free big band dance, titled Let Freedom Swing, on Saturday, July 18th at the Atlantic Elks Lodge. The group of volunteer musicians has been putting on semi-annual dances in Atlantic since 2010. Events feature three hours of live music, with experienced and beginning dancers filling the floor throughout the night.

Veteran Popcorn Button member Sam Johnson says “It wouldn’t be summer in Atlantic without playing trumpet at a big band dance with my friends.” Johnson is a 2010 graduate of Atlantic High School and a music major at Iowa State University. The band’s membership varies from dance to dance, but largely consists of Atlantic High School alumni and students, and citizens from the surrounding community.

Kyle Sloup, a frequent soloist in the group, will be featured again on alto sax. Sloup was a prolific musician during his time at Iowa State (Political Science ’12), noted for his work in the jazz and athletic bands.

A foundational tenet of the volunteer band has been bringing music and dancing to the community. Early dances featured group lessons in swing dancing, and long-time dancer Jake Auerbach will be available at Let Freedom Swing to teach beginning steps to anyone interested. Since 2012, Popcorn Button has offered a semi-annual scholarship for middle and high school students to attend honor bands, band camps, and music lessons.

Prior to the dance, the Atlantic Elks Lodge invites you join them at five o’clock for an evening breakfast. The cost is $8 per person and all are welcome. Let Freedom Swing will be held from 7-10 pm on Saturday, July 18th at the Elks Lodge in Atlantic. The event is free, with free-will donations accepted at the door to help cover the band’s expenses. Dancers and listeners of all ages are encouraged to attend.

For more information on Popcorn Button, its scholarship, or Let Freedom Swing, visit www.popcornbutton.org or email info@popcornbutton.org.

Red Oak woman arrested Friday afternoon

News

July 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report the arrest at around 4:25-p.m., Friday, of 35-year old Peggy Sue Gurney, of Red Oak. Gurney was taken into custody following a traffic stop in the 500 block of N. 6th Street, for Driving While Suspended, Operating a motor vehicle without registration, and having a defective muffler. Gurney was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond.

Avoid areas of heavy smoke near fireworks displays

News

July 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

As spectacular as Fourth of July celebrations can be, drifting smoke following the fireworks can cause breathing problems for some. If the air is stagnant, fine particles can be trapped near the ground and build to unhealthy levels. The Iowa DNR encourages sensitive individuals to stay upwind a safe distance away from
fireworks displays. People with asthma or respiratory difficulties, the elderly,
children and pregnant women are most likely to suffer.

Smoke contains fine particles and gases, which can be hard on the lungs. Fine
particles in fireworks’ smoke are produced from the black powder used to shoot
fireworks skyward along with the metals that produce brilliant colors. Those unable to avoid areas of dense smoke should limit outdoor activity and contact their health care provider if they experience difficulty breathing.

An air pollution monitor in Davenport recorded unhealthy levels of fine particles
after Fourth of July fireworks in 2008.