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Impact of closing MHIs in Clarinda, Mount Pleasant ‘terrifying’

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Mental health professionals from Cedar Rapids are telling lawmakers that the governor’s plan to close two of the four state-run Mental Health Institutes is “terrifying.” Kent Jackson, the administrative director for behavioral services at UnityPoint in Cedar Rapids, says he doesn’t know where patients who would otherwise be sent to the M-H-Is in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant will go. “If there is a plan, I have not found it. I’ve searched for it,” Jackson says. “The day that I heard this, I started calling colleagues and saying: ‘Have you heard this?”

Jackson says the psychiatric units at most Iowa hospitals are nearly always full and the governor’s plan means mentally ill patients will wind up “boarding” in emergency rooms for “days” while administrators search for a space for them. “To say what the impact is — it’s terrifying to think about,” Jackson says. Jackson is asking legislators and the governor to think about how they’d want a member of their own family treated if they’re diagnosed with a mental illness.

“I just think that a lot of times payers, government entities make decisions about these people and they don’t really understand them at all,” Jackson says. “They don’t know what they’re doing.” Jackson’s comments provided courtesy of The Cedar Rapids Gazette. And Dr. Al Whitters, the medical director at Mercy Center Behavioral Services in Cedar Rapids, says a residential program at the M-H-I in Mount Pleasant that caters to people with both psychiatric AND substance abuse issues is crucial.

“People with serious mental illness have a tendency to try to treat themselves with alcohol,” Whitters says, “and then once they start drinking it develops into a life of its own where the first thing that needs to be done is to put out the fire of substance abuse before you can even start reaching into some of the primary psychiatric disorders.”

Whitters and Kennedy testified Wednesday before the Iowa Senate Human Resources Committee. While the governor’s budget outline for the next state fiscal year includes no money for the Mental Health Institutes at Clarinda and Mount Pleasant, lawmakers say the shut-down is already underway because patients are no longer being accepted at the facilities.

(Cedar Rapids Gazette/Radio Iowa)

Neola man injured in a crash Thu. morning

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An accident this morning in Pottawattamie County resulted in one-person being flown by helicopter to a hospital in Omaha. The Pott. County Sheriff’s Office says 59-year old Roger Schneckloth, of Neola, was injured after the 2003 Chevy Silverado pickup he was driving left southbound Railroad Highway at around 7:20-a.m., entered the east ditch, and hit a bridge support. The accident took place on the east edge of Neola.

Schneckloth was trapped in the pickup and extricated by Neola and Minden Rescue personnel. His pickup was totaled in the crash, which remains under investigation.

Atlantic property tax levy to decrease in FY 2016

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council held a budget work session Wednesday evening to review and make any changes to the proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget, which amounts to a little more than $9-million. That’s about one-half million more dollars than last year, but according to City Administrator John Lund, while the budget has increased, the property tax asking, or levy, has actually gone down. He says the levy will decrease from 18-dollars per thousand dollars valuation last year, to $16.79/1,000 in the coming fiscal year, or a reduction of $1.21/per thousand dollars taxable valuation.

The reasons for the decrease include the elimination of Police and Fireman’s pension, for which he says a levy is no longer needed, and there are surpluses in the employee benefits and debt service funds, which the Department of Management wants the City to draw-down on. In addition, with the new bond, Lund says there shouldn’t be any increases in the debt service, and final payments are being made on other bonds that will give the City greater bonding capacity next year, if needed.

He said they will also be able to renew bonds, as necessary. Lund says he hopes the tax asking can remain stable now, since it’s been “all over the place,” for more than a dozen years.  The current 18-dollar levy is the highest assessed by the City in the last 14-years.  Lund says based on the rollback, a person with a $100,000 home will see a $50 dip in their property taxes from the City. He says with the City’s reserve funds “doing just fine,” there shouldn’t be a need for tax increases anytime soon.

The City Council will act on approving the Preliminary Budget during the meeting on Feb. 18th, and the Final Budget March 4th. The certified budget must be submitted to the State by no later than March 15. Lund says they should have no problem getting it in before that date.

3 arrested after search warrants executed at 2 homes in Red Oak

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A lengthy investigation into drug-related activity resulted in the execution of two search warrants at residences in Red Oak Wednesday night, and the arrest of three people. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says officers with the Red Oak P-D, agents with the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and Sheriff”s Deputies, executed the warrants at around 11-p.m., at homes in the 400 block of north 4th Street and the 1000 block of east Reed Street, in Red Oak.

Following  a search of the homes, authorities arrested 32-year old Jason Robert Kyzer, 37-year old Joshua Shane Morrison, and 28-year old Stacie Lynn Ransom, all of Red Oak. Kyzer and Morrison face felony charges that include Delivery of a Controlled Substance/Methamphetamine, and Possession with the Intent to Deliver/Meth, and a Simple Misdemeanor charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Kyzer also faces felony charges of Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance/Meth and Delivery of Marijuana, along with an Aggravated Misdemeanor charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance/3rd offense.

Morrison also faces felony charges that include Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance/Meth, Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance/Marijuana, and Possession of a Controlled Substance/Cocaine, 3rd or subsequent offense, as well an Aggravated Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana/3rd or subsequent offense, charge.

Stacy Lynn Ransom was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – a Simple Misdemeanor.

All three were being held in the Montgomery County Jail, where Kyzer and Morrison’s bonds were set at $100,000, each, and Ransom’s bond was set at $300.

(Podcast) KJAN News, 2/12/2015

News, Podcasts

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 8-a.m. Newscast w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

Play

5 finger discount at Creston Wal-Mart

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston say a theft was reported Wednesday night at the Wal-Mart store there, but they were unable to find the person responsible. Store officials say a man left the store at around 11-p.m. without paying for a shirt. Store employees were unable to detain the suspect until police arrived. The loss was estimated at just under $11.

(Podcast) KJAN News & funeral report, 2/12/2015

News, Podcasts

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:07-a.m. report w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Man pleads guilty to having drugs, leading police on chase

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A 31-year-old man has pleaded guilty in Woodbury County District Court to leading police on a high-speed chase and possessing drugs in October. The Sioux City Journal reports Chad Hughes of Pender, Nebraska, was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in prison. He was charged with eluding, operating while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance.

As part of his plea agreement, a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia and other traffic offenses were dropped. Court documents state Hughes led police on a chase on U.S. Highway 75. Police were able to stop Hughes. He then fled his vehicle into a cornfield and was tracked down with the help of a police dog.

“Fast & Furious” bicycle stolen in Red Oak

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak are asking for the public’s help in locating a stolen bicycle. Officials say a yellow and black “Fast and Furious” chopper-style bike was stolen from a residence in the 200 block of east Hammond Street. The theft occurred sometime on or about January 28th. The bike was valued at $400.

If you have information about the incident call the Red Oak Police Department.

“The Donald” to speak during Pott County GOP event in May

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Donald Trump will be the featured speaker at this year’s Pottawattamie County GOP Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner on Friday, May 15th. According to the Daily NonPareil, the dinner will be held in the student center of Iowa Western Community College. Specifics – such as the starting time and the guest speaker who will introduce Trump – will be finalized later.

Jeff Jorgensen, chairman of the county Republicans says joining Trump, is former U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, who will be given the local party’s Distinguished Legislative Service Award for his 20 years in Washington. Besides being an internationally known businessman, investor and author, Trump is also known to millions as the host of the reality TV show, “The Apprentice.”

Trump is also said to becontemplating a bid to seek the Republican nomination for president. For more information, call Jorgensen at (402) 871-6505 or email requests to pottawattamie.gop@gmail.com.