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(Update) Name released in Fremont County ATV fatal accident


October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Aistrope, today (Tuesday) released more information on a fatal ATV accident that took place Monday evening. The Sheriff says 14-year old Cameron Owen, of Hamburg, was found unresponsive, after suffering numerous injuries when the ATV he was riding in a bean field, went out of control and the teen, who was wearing a helmet, was ejected from the machine. The accident happened at around 6:30-p.m. Monday, about three-miles east of Hamburg.

Owen was transported to Grape Community Hospital in Hamburg, where he died from his injuries. The accident remains under investigation by the Iowa DNR and Fremont County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s deputies were assisted at the scene by Shenandoah EMS, Hamburg, Sidney, and Riverton Rescue units, and LifeNet.

Griswold School Facilities Committee news


October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Griswold School District’s Facilities Committee met Monday evening in a work session to process their plan of action since their last Board meeting on Oct. 17th. Superintendent David Henrichs told KJAN News at their last meeting, the Committee asked the School Board if they were planning an architectural firm to put together some firm numbers, because the Committee felt it could not present an accurate total cost analysis without that information. The Board indicated it would pursue that course of action.

(He said the Committee is planning how to move forward. There are two parts to their strategy: Waiting until the firm numbers come in from the architectural firm, and continuing in an effort to break down the Operational cost savings, so if there comes a time when they go before the public, they can better justify those figures.”)

Henrichs says for example, instead of just making a blanket statement such as “We’re going to save $30,000 in transportation, they can see if a bus driver at so many hours per day at this rate, plus FICA and IPERS, plus gas, etc.,” those numbers are firmed-up before they are presented to the public.

The Committee’s next meeting is set for Nov. 15th.  In the meantime, a draft RFP (Request for Proposal) for the architectural firm will be drawn-up for the Griswold School Board to review, offer thoughts and comments about, and consider approving the following Monday.

Man shot at by Council Bluffs officer gets 25 years


October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A man who was shot at by a Council Bluffs police officer has been given 25 years in prison. The Daily Nonpareil reports 28-year-old Adam Thomas was sentenced Monday. He’d pleaded guilty in September to a charge of ongoing criminal conduct after making a deal with prosecutors.

Officer Ben Lake had arrested Thomas in October 2015 at a farm supply store. Thomas managed to free himself and then bumped Lake with his truck while trying to flee. Lake fired six shots into the truck, missing Thomas.

Authorities say Thomas will serve his time for Nebraska crimes before being returned to Iowa. Nebraska court records say Thomas was sentenced in May to six years in prison on Douglas County convictions for burglary and two weapons crimes.

City of Atlantic Personnel & Finance Committee to review City Clerk apps


October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Personnel and Finance Committee will meet Wednesday evening at City Hall, to review applications filed for the City Clerk position. Long-time City Clerk Deb Wheatley Field announced on Sept. 26th she would be retiring after working for the City for 35-years. Her last day on the job will be February 24th, 2017.

In other business, the Personnel and Finance Committee will hold discussion on Centralized Reception, Staffing and Phone Systems, as well as City Employee Compensation for Fiscal Year 2017-18. Other discussion will cover additional findings on Iowa Municipal Drug-testing policies.

And, since officials with FEMA have informed the City the Murphy Lease is unacceptable, the Committee will discuss the matter and action the City can take.

The Committee meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30-p.m., Wednesday.

IDPH Announces First West Nile Virus Death Since 2010


October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today (Tuesday) announced the first West Nile virus death in Iowa since 2010, an elderly (81 years of age and older) individual from Northwest Iowa. Testing at the State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) has confirmed 33 cases of West Nile virus in Iowa, with several more under investigation. This is more than double the number of cases reported last year at this time.

IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says “Though autumn weather is beginning, this death and continuing reports of West Nile virus cases are reminders that mosquitoes are still biting and Iowans should still be mindful of that when outdoors.” IDPH

Iowans should take the following steps to reduce the risk of exposure to West Nile virus:

  • Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. For example, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old and oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years old.
  • Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks whenever possible outdoors.

Approximately 20 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and vomiting. Less than one percent of people infected become seriously ill and rarely, someone dies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people over 60 years of age are at greatest risk for severe disease.

Since West Nile first appeared in Iowa in 2002, it has been found in every county in Iowa, either in humans, horses, or birds. In 2015, 14 cases of West Nile virus were reported to IDPH. Previous to this year, the last death caused by West Nile virus was in 2010, and there were two deaths that year. For more information about West Nile virus, visit idph.iowa.gov/cade/disease-information/west-nile-virus.

(Update) Omaha woman hit by car in Council Bluffs


October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Council Bluffs Police say a Nebraska woman is in critical but stable condition after being struck by a car Monday night, in Council Bluffs. Authorities say 33-year old Sharee Rhoades, of Omaha, was transported to Creighton CHI in Omaha, after she was hit. Authorities said Rhoades was struck by a 2008 Acura as she was walking east on 9th Avenue at around 7:45-p.m.

The driver of the car, 54-year old Tamara Chamberland, of Blue Springs, MO.,  said she noticed Rhoades walking in the roadway, but was unable to take evasive action in time to avoid striking her. Chamberland was not injured in the crash.

Preliminary investigation indicates that neither speed nor driver impairment appear to be factors in the accident. The Council Bluffs Police Department traffic unit is conducting an investigation into the incident. Any witnesses are asked to call 712-328-4948.

(9-a.m. News)

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 10/25/2016

News, Podcasts

October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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


Man sentenced to 50 years for killing father after theft


October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A judge has sentenced a Council Bluffs man to 50 years in prison for killing his father. The Daily Nonpareil reports Sean Schendel was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter, first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree theft, unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and obstruction of justice.

Schendel admitted killing Robert Schendel in August 2015 after his father realized his son had stolen $100 from him. During an altercation, Schendel shot his father with a handgun. He then transferred $15,000 from his father’s bank account to his own and drove his father’s minivan to Colorado, where he was arrested in Sterling. Prosecutors say he went to Colorado to buy marijuana from a dispensary to celebrate his 21st birthday.

County Attorney Matt Wilber called it, “A very sad deal.”

Insurance Commissioner files charges accusing false Medicare supplement information


October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart has filed charges against two agencies which allegedly sent out mailings to Iowans that misrepresented the terms of insurance plans meant to supplement Medicare. Insurance Division spokesman, Chance McElhaney, says the charges with filed against Cynthia Fitzgerald of the Robert J. Stillwell Agency in Pennsylvania and Senior Direct, Incorporated of Texas.

“As Iowans are making these choices, they need to have the right set of facts in front of them, and so when we see something like this that is misleading to Iowans, we work to put an end to it as soon as possible,” McElhaney. Fitzgerald and the Robert J. Stillwell Agency face four charges and Senior Direct faces three. He says the two contacted thousands of Iowans. “The mailings from Fitzgerald had over 30-thousand mailings to Iowans and the target leads of the division Senior Direct had also a lot of other mailings that went out containing misleading language,” McElhaney says.

The two will get a chance to answer the allegations of the Insurance Division. He says they both will have a hearing. Those hearings are set for December. McElhanney says some Iowans raised concerns about the mailings, and that is exactly what they advise people in their insurance fraud education.”We tell people to ask questions when you get unsolicited emails or phone calls. Ask questions, make sure the information is accurate. If something doesn’t seem right, please let us know,” McElhaney says. “We really encourage Iowans contact the Senior Health Insurance Information Program — SHIIP as it is better known — contact them if you have questions, if you aren’t sure if this is correct.”

He says SHIIP is a good resource for these types of questions. He say you can contact SHIIP to get free and unbiased information about Medicare and Medicare Supplements. McElhaney says Medicare supplement insurance is an important tool for managing health care costs. “It can be a big difference financially for seniors if they either don’t choose a Medicare supplement, or they chose the wrong one,” according to McElhaney.

If you have questions you can go to the Iowa Insurance Division website (www.iid.state.ia.us), or call SHIIP at 800-351-4664. Or visit the SHIIP website at: www.therightcalliowa.gov.

Local Residents Honored for Volunteer Work


October 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Health System (CCHS) report local residents Connie Weichman and Dick Hensley recently accepted an award on behalf of Cass County communities for 15 years of local participation with the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP). Hensley also received an individual award for 10 years of volunteer work with the program. SHIIP Director Kris Gross presented the awards. 15yrhensleywiechmanngross_cass

SHIIP offers confidential, one-on-one counseling throughout Iowa from trained volunteers to help seniors make informed decisions about Medicare and other health coverage options.

SHIIP appointments are available now during the open enrollment period. To make an appointment with a SHIIP counselor, call Carole Schuler at 243-7545.