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Planning for summer travel? Plan to pay more…


May 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

With Memorial Day behind us, many Iowans are now thinking ahead to summer vacation with plans to visit the beach, the mountains or other far-away destinations. Travel advisor Chris McGinnis says gas, lodging and food costs have risen four-to-six percent from last summer, while airfares and fees are bounding, too. “Just in the last two weeks, the major carriers have increased the fee that they’re charging for changes to non-refundable tickets to $200, that’s up from $150 prior to that,” McGinnis says. “So, if you’re a family of four and you decide to make a change to your airline ticket, that could cost you up to $800.” 

McGinnis says airfares have risen four-to-five percent in the past year but he says it’s the add-ons that really add up. “Airlines are now getting about 30% of their revenue from fees,” McGinnis says. “They range from the $200 fee to make a change to a non-refundable ticket to the $25 and $35 bag fees, fees for talking to a human agent on the phone, fees for a little bit of extra legroom.” 

The days of the week you fly may make a big difference in the price you pay for a ticket. “If you can travel midweek, on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, those tend to be the least crowded and least expensive days,” he says. “The airlines are saying Thursdays and Fridays this year are going to be the most crowded and the most expensive so you may want to avoid those days.” McGinnis says expect to pay premium travel prices from late June through early August — so the entire month of July will be very expensive.

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) 8-a.m. News – May 30th 2013

News, Podcasts

May 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director, Ric Hanson….

(Podcast) Local/Western IA News – Thu., May 30th 2013

News, Podcasts

May 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A podcast of the 7:06-a.m. news with KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

Strong Storms & Heavy Rain possible…again

News, Weather

May 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An upper level low pressure system will push a fairly strong disturbance across Iowa today. This will lead to periods of strong to severe storms across the state…especially during the afternoon and evening hours. Some storms will also produce heavy rain which may lead to additional flooding. Monitor forecasts for the latest updates on this storm system. (NWS/Des Moines)

Iowa sex offenders unit to remove bathroom cameras


May 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A treatment center for Iowa sex offenders will remove surveillance cameras from bathrooms and pay $22,000 in legal fees to settle a lawsuit brought by patients.    The settlement confirmed Wednesday comes after the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that the cameras violated offenders’ right to privacy.  The Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders in Cherokee houses sexually violent predators that are involuntarily locked up for treatment after their prison terms expire.
The cameras were installed after a sexual assault and another incident in which a patient with a disease had sex with another patient unaware of his condition. The appeals court said cameras might deter such behavior, but there are less intrusive ways to do so.  Plaintiffs’ attorney Pamela Wingert says the ruling “breaks new ground.”

Iowa early News headlines: Thu., May 20th 2013


May 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DAYTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are halting their search for an Iowa teenager who was abducted more than a week ago. The Iowa Department of Public Safety announced yesterday that investigators have exhausted their ground search efforts for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard. Officials also say flooding has affected their efforts. Officials have searched more than 250 square miles in the Dayton area, about 60 miles north Des Moines.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa says it will shut down three buildings on its arts campus ahead of flooding that is forecast to hit in the coming days. University official Rod Lehnertz said yesterday that an art building, a former art museum now used for music programs, and a theatre building would be emptied and closed by tomorrow.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines police say a 2-year-old girl has survived a fall from a second-floor window. The Des Moines Register reports officers and medics were called to a home Tuesday evening. Medics took the girl to a hospital, where police say she was in stable condition.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Donna Ginter, a Dubuque philanthropist who organized a longstanding Thanksgiving dinner for the needy, has died. She was 84. Ginter’s daughter, Genny, told the Telegraph Herald of Dubuque that her mother died Tuesday at Unity Point Health-Finley Hospital.

Storms bring heavy rain to parts of western/sw Iowa Wednesday

News, Weather

May 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Storms that passed through eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa brought heavy rain Wednesday, but there was little in the line of severe weather through late Wednesday night. The exception, according to National Weather Service, was thunderstorm winds that blew through the Monona County community of Onawa at around 8:10-p.m. Wednesday, causing part of roof to be blown off a business. The roof fell onto some vehicles.

Flash flooding occurred in Fremont and Montgomery Counties Wednesday afternoon. In Fremont County, a flash flood over Manti Road in Farragut only lasted about 15 minutes at around 2-p.m.

8th & Senate Streets in Red Oak (Montgomery Co. EMA photo)

1st & Cherry Streets in Red Oak Wednesday afternoon (Montgomery Co. Emergency Mgmt. photo)

In Red Oak, street flooding was reported just after 3-p.m, with water running two- to three-feet deep in some places. Heavy rain was also reported at around 7:45-p.m. two-miles northwest of Little Sioux, in Harrison County, where nearly an inch fell in less than 80-minutes.

Flash Flood warnings were issued for also issued for Cass and Audubon Counties early Wednesday afternoon, but there were no reports of flooding received by the Weather Service.

A Flood Warning remains in effect until Saturday afternoon for the East Nishnabotna River at Red Oak, and until Sunday evening, for the Nishnabotna River near Hamburg. And, a Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through Thursday evening for the much of Iowa, including the entire KJAN listening area.

Pickup/flatbed w/ag chemicals stolen but recovered in Page Co.


May 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Page County are investigating the theft of a full-sized pickup belonging to FSC (Farm Service Company), in Council Bluffs. The Sheriff’s Office received a call at around 5-p.m. Tuesday with regard to a missing, white, 2006 GMC Sierra K-3500 pickup, with a black flatbed. The truck, carrying $18,000 worth of agricultural chemicals, was taken from a field near 260th & Ironwood.

While authorities were processing the theft report, the Clarinda Police Department received a report of a suspicious vehicle near the intersection of 17th and Boundary, in Clarinda. The license plate matched that belonging to the stolen flatbed truck. The vehicle was processed for evidence and returned to a representative of FSC/Council Bluffs.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact the Page County Sheriff’s Office.

Farmers Market Vouchers for Seniors 2013

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Southwest 8 Senior Services has announced that the state of Iowa is continuing the Farmers Market voucher program for senior citizens.  With this program, seniors meeting income requirements can obtain vouchers that they can use at participating area Farmers Markets to buy $30.00 worth of fresh, locally grown produce.  If you have questions about eligibility, please check with your local senior center.  

Applications for the vouchers will be available at your local senior center on 5/31/13.  Your completed application guarantees you a booklet, but there is a limited number, so contact your local senior center if you are interested in this program. Once you have a completed application, you can return to your local Senior Centeron 6/6/13 or after to pick up your vouchers.  

Council Bluffs residents can pick up an application for the vouchers starting on 5/31/13 at The Center, located at 714 S. Main Street.The distribution date for Council Bluffs vouchers will be once again held at The Center on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 from 9am – noon.  Again, your completed application guarantees you a booklet, so you may come at any time on June 11th to the Center to present your completed application and obtain your vouchers.  

Seniors (age 60 and older) in all other communities in Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie and Shelby Counties will receive their vouchers through their local senior center. 

Program Criteria:

  • Must be at least 60 years of age or older
  • Annual income must be less than

$21,256           Single

$28,693           Married

  • Only one original application allowed per individual.  No photocopies or duplicate applications allowed 

Dates to Remember:

  • May 31, 2013:  Applications will be available at all local Senior Centers and in Council Bluffs at The Center, 714 S. Main
  • June 6, 2013:  Vouchers will be available for seniors with completed application forms at all local Senior Centers outside of Council Bluffs
  • June 11, 2013: Council Bluffs Farmers’ Market voucher distribution at The Center, 714 S. Main from 9am – Noon for seniors with a completed application.

Manilla VFD to receive $22,474 AFF grant


May 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The United States Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program has announced 7 fire departments including one in Crawford County, received grant monies totaling $292,675. Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin announced the news in a press release today (Wednesday). The funds will be used to increase the effectiveness of fire operations and to support firefighter safety. The Manilla Fire Department received $22,474 in grant funds. The fire department will use the funding to replace old equipment, mainly hoses, with new.

The assistance to firefighters grant program places a particular emphasis on rural fire departments. At least 55 percent of the program’s funding must go to fire departments that use volunteer firefighters. This means that smaller towns are not competing against larger cities. Senator Harkin said in the press release, “This grant will allow these fire departments to improve and update operations and safety procedures to better assist Iowa’s citizens in need.”