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(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 1/23/2018

News, Podcasts

January 23rd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

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

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Pat Grassley out, Gaesser and Lang to compete for GOP nomination for state ag secretary

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 23rd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

State Representative Pat Grassley — the grandson of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley — has announced he plans to seek reelection to the Iowa House. The move ends speculation the younger Grassley is hoping the governor named him state ag secretary whenever current Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey leaves for a job in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Texas Senator Ted Cruz has for months been blocking a confirmation vote for Northey in the U.S. Senate. Two OTHER Republicans have already announced they plan to run for state ag secretary in 2018. Ray Gaesser, a farmer from Corning who’s a former president of the American Soybean Association, launched his bid last week. “Strong family farms build a strong, healthy community and grow a strong, healthy Iowa,” Gaesser says. “And I will work with farmers, with legislators, with citizens to share that message that we’re all in this together and we all have responsibilities that we can share.”

Gaesser says the goal should be a “responsible, but profitable” agricultural sector. Gaesser Farms has been nearly 100 percent no-till since 1991 and Gaesser says his family plants cover crops on about half of their corn and soybean ground. “Our goal on our farm is to have 100 percent,” Gaesser says. “We just see real value in conserving the soil, giving that blanket of protection for Mother Nature in our soil that is needed and building organic matter, sequestering nutrients, all those things of being a benefit from the practice.”

In late October, former Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Lang announced he’s running for the Republican Party’s 2018 nomination for state ag secretary. Lang is a farmer from Brooklyn who also has served as president of the Iowa Board of Regents. No Democrat has stepped forward to announce plans to seek the elected post of state ag secretary.

(Radio Iowa)

Trial in Iowa City bail bondsman slaying moved to Des Moines

News

January 23rd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A trial will be moved to Des Moines for a parolee accused of killing a bail bondsman in Iowa City. Court records say a judge ordered the change of venue Friday at the request of lawyers for 41-year-old Curtis Jones. He’s accused of shooting 34-year-old Jonathan Wieseler in the head while committing a robbery on April 22. Police say Jones was seen on security video near the crime scene and that Wieseler’s DNA was found in Jones’ vehicle. The trial is set to begin July 16.

Jones is also charged with the June murder of Iowa City cab driver Ricky Lillie. He has pleaded not guilty in that case. The Iowa Board of Parole released Jones from prison years early in November 2016 in an armed robbery case.

Creston Police report (1/23) – 2 arrests

News

January 23rd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Creston Police Department reports the arrest early this (Tuesday) morning, of 22-year old Tyler White, from Creston. White was taken into custody at around 2:30-a.m. for Possession of Paraphernalia and Possession of a Controlled Substance. He was being held in the Union County Jail, on $1,300 bond. And, at around 4:10-p.m. Monday, 33-year old John Raymond Johnson, of Murray, was arrested on a Union County warrant for Violation of Parole. Johnson remains in the Union County Jail without bond.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report,1/23/2018

News, Podcasts

January 23rd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

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

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May trial scheduled for man accused of killing hunter

News

January 23rd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

CENTERVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A May trial has been scheduled for a man accused of killing a hunter in south-central Iowa. Court records say 27-year-old Ethan Davis entered a written plea of not guilty Monday to a charge of first-degree murder. His trial is set to begin May 1. Davis is charged with killing 31-year-old Curtis Ross, of Cedar Falls, whose body was found Dec. 2 in a remote area of Appanoose County. An autopsy report says Ross suffered several stabbing and gunshot wounds.

Officials say fingerprints on bullet casings discovered near Ross’ body led investigators to Davis. Investigators also say Davis’ fingerprints were found on a rifle that was hidden under farm equipment at Davis’ property about 3½ miles (6 kilometers) northeast of Promise City.

Adair County Sheriff’s report, 1/23/18

News

January 23rd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Adair County Sheriff Jeff Vandewater reports three arrests took place last week in his county. On Friday, 28-year old Colleen Nicole Denton, of Greenfield, was arrested on Adair County felony warrants for Violation of Probation and Contempt of Court for failure to be fingerprinted. Denton was being held in the Adair County Jail on a total of $5,100 cash or surety bond.

On Wednesday, Jan. 17th, 46-year old Kevin Jay Giles, of Orient, was taken into custody on a warrant out of Union County. Giles was turned over to authorities in Union County. That same day, 58-year old Steven Eric Vriezelaar, of Des Moines, was arrested on Highway 25 near Greenfield, following a traffic stop. A deputy smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, a 2003 Toyota Camry.

Vriezelaar admitted marijuana and a pipe for smoking were in the car. Both were seized into evidence. Vriezelaar was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance/marijuana – 2nd offense, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was later released on a $1,000 cash or surety bond.

The Adair County Sheriff’s Office reports also, two men from Creston were cited Jan. 14th and then released from the scene of their offense. Citations for Driving Under Suspension were handed out to 18-year old Alexzander Samuel Edward Stiers, and 23-year old Jeffrey Dewane Ott.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tuesday, 1/23/18

News

January 23rd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:30 a.m. CST

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Republican governor candidate Ron Corbett is receiving $185,000 in compensation from his conservative think tank even as it has largely stopped its public activities while he is campaigning. The organization, Engage Iowa, isn’t required to disclose its donors as a nonprofit research group. Some Democrats and Republicans say that arrangement is troubling because voters don’t know who funded the $150,000 annual salary and $35,000 in benefits Corbett has been receiving.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Six more Democratic representatives are joining a lawsuit that alleges Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and an aide illegally transferred $13 million to balance the state budget. Rep. Chris Hall filed the case against Reynolds and Department of Management Director Dave Roederer this month. Six more Democrats in the Iowa House joined the lawsuit Monday in an amended complaint. At issue is whether Reynolds acted legally when using $13 million from the State Economic Emergency Fund to plug a budget hole.

DELHI, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a Manchester man was driving when a vehicle broke through the ice at Lake Delhi, drowning his passenger. The body of 23-year-old Alex Salow was found in the vehicle Jan. 8. Records show 36-year-old Joshua Juengel is charged with vehicular homicide, reckless driving and related crimes. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney who could comment for him.

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) — A state audit of the city of Johnston books has determined that nearly $14,000 collected from library fines and fees and other revenue sources has not been deposited in city accounts. City officials say some records were falsified by a former clerk who’s since been fired.

Travel continues to be an issue in western Iowa

News, Weather

January 22nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Getting around on the western side of the state today (Monday) is a challenge as the winter storm moved in brought large amounts of snow with it. The Winter Operations Administrator for the Iowa Department of Transportation, Craig Bargfred says drivers are facing winter conditions in that area.

“Basically from the Sioux City area heading up towards the Minnesota border and then a little further east along the Minnesota border,” Bargfrede says. He says South Dakota has closed Interstate 29 roughly outside of Sioux City north. Bargfrede says they’ve issued an advisory for the Iowa area.

“In that Sioux City area and just south along I-29 we have areas where we are saying travel is not advised due to the blowing and drifting,” Bargfrede says, “but we have not officially closed I-29 if you will.” Things are much better as you head east, and he says they’ve caught one break from the weather.

“The fortunate thing is that most of the rest of the state of Iowa, the air and temperatures have remained high enough that we’re not seeing the icing occur that we had originally forecasted,” Bargfrede says. Bargfrede says drivers in areas where there is bad weather need to be patient.

He says you need to be careful operating around the plows and don’t crowd them or try to pass when the visibility is low. The Iowa State Patrol issued a tow ban for all of northwest Iowa. Reports from Le Mars showed they had received seven inches of snow by 12:30, and the snow was till falling. The city of Le Mars pulled plows off the streets until the visibility improves.

(Radio Iowa)

‘Suspended’ think tank pays Iowa candidate $185K

News

January 22nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Republican governor candidate Ron Corbett is receiving $185,000 in compensation from a conservative think tank that doesn’t disclose its donors and that, according to its treasurer, has “basically suspended” operations.

Engage Iowa stopped fundraising and holding public events last June when Corbett launched his primary campaign against Gov. Kim Reynolds. But Corbett says serving as the group’s president remains his day job, similar to candidates who work as lawyers or farmers. He says he continues to research education, environment and economic policy in that capacity. Corbett says he shouldn’t be expected to give up the job to run for governor.

Some critics say the arrangement is potentially troubling because voters don’t know who is funding Corbett’s salary and benefits. One critic has called it a “dark money” group.