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(Podcast) 7:06-a.m. KJAN News & funeral report, 1/5/2015

News, Podcasts

January 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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For Hottest Fire, Use Driest Wood

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

January 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – Burning a cleaner fire in wood stoves or fireplaces over the winter months is helpful to the health of Iowans, and also to the state’s climate, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Alison Davis, a senior adviser in the EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, says a good way to burn the hottest and most efficient fire is to use only dry, seasoned wood.

“The reason this is important is that dry wood burns more completely, and that benefits you in two ways,” she explains. “One, you get more energy out of the firewood, because it burns more of the actual wood itself. And the other is, the fire then produces less smoke.”

It’s also suggested that to maintain proper airflow and efficiency, regularly remove the ashes from your wood burning stove or fireplace. Davis adds that wood smoke produces fine particle pollution, which can be harmful to human health.

“When you breathe in air that has fine particles in it, it can penetrate deep into the lungs where it can harm the heart, the blood vessels and the lungs,” she stresses. “Fine particles are linked to heart attacks, strokes.” In addition to particle pollution, there’s also the danger of smoke filled with toxins or harmful chemicals if certain materials end up in the fire.

So, the EPA advises never burning such items as plastics, foam and other garbage, or wood that’s been coated, painted, or pressure treated.

(Iowa News Service)

Looking for winter-time weekend retreat? DNR suggests state park cabins

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is encouraging Iowans who are looking for a post-holiday getaway to consider a weekend in a state park cabin. The DNR’s Jim Lawson says there are nine state parks and one state-owned resort that have cabins available for use in the winter. “The amenities range anywhere from our camping cabins, which are heated and use alternate restroom facilities, to the more modern cabins at Honey Creek Resort, which has an indoor water park nearby,” Lawson said.

Sherburne House at Springbrook State Park near Guthrie Center.

Sherburne House at Springbrook State Park near Guthrie Center.

The four cabins available for rent at Pine Lake State Park in Eldora include built-in fireplaces and two have attached bedrooms. There’s a large house available at Springbrook State Park near Guthrie Center, while other cabins scattered around the state are small and don’t include much more than an electric heater and a futon. “Prices vary quite a bit according to the area, but they can range from several hundred dollars a night at the resort…to just 35-dollars a night for our camping cabins,” Lawson said.

“We try to have a certain percentage, in some cases just one cabin in an area available, that will accept pets,” Lawson said. Many of the state park cabins are available for reservation just a few weeks in advance. In the summer, those same cabins are often fully booked many months ahead of time.

(Radio Iowa)

Ex-Iowa teacher accused of sex with student takes plea deal

News

January 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) – A former Glenwood teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student and of giving alcohol to a minor has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge as part of a plea deal. The Omaha World-Herald reports 39-year-old Russell Crouch was arrested and charged in May with sexual exploitation by a school employee and supplying alcohol to a minor.

Crouch was given deferred judgment, meaning if he successfully completes a year of probation, the charge of misdemeanor aggravated assault will be removed from his record. A district court judge has ordered him to complete counseling and therapy.

Crouch taught at Glenwood High School before he resigned. He had been a teacher in the district since 2006 and taught in Hyannis and Ansley, Nebraska.

Select a tax preparer wisely

News

January 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The end of the calendar year also marks the end of the tax year and the clock is now ticking on the deadline for you to file your tax return. I-R-S spokesman, Bill Brunson, says it’s important that you get someone who knows what they are doing to do your taxes. “More than half of all Iowans will go to a paid preparer, so you want to make sure that you chose wisely in this area, because you are sharing personal financial information with that business that’s going to prepare your tax return,” Brunson says. He has a few tips for selecting a tax preparer.

“Make sure that you go to one that is ethical, will be around after the filing season in case you get a letter from the I-R-S in your mailbox,” Brunson says. “Make sure that they’ve gone back to the schoolhouse and learned about the current tax law so they can provide you benefit from it.” Brunson says you should be concerned if the tax preparer makes big promises without first knowing your situation.

“A good tax preparer is going to ask you a lot of questions and ask you for your receipts and documents. A bad preparer will say to you ‘hey I can get you a large refund’ without running any numbers through the form. Or they might say ‘I am only going to charge you a percentage of what I can get back for you,'” Brunson says. “Those two items are red flags. You don’t want to go to those folks.” He says there are steps you need to take to protect yourself no matter who you have do your taxes.

“You never want to sign a blank return. You always want to review your return before you sign it. You are legally responsible for that information reported to the I-R-S, even though someone else prepared it,” Brunson says. For more information on filing your taxes, go to I-R-S-dot-gov (www.irs.gov).

(Radio Iowa)

Storm warning: snow, followed by “dangerously cold conditions”

News, Weather

January 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service is warning snow will fall in much of Iowa this (Monday) afternoon and “dangerously cold conditions” will arrive by Tuesday morning. Meteorologist Jim Lee of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Des Moines posted a video online describing the forecast. “The storm will produce moderate to heavy snowfall accumulations, generally in the four to eight inch range, extending from northern through central and into eastern portions of Iowa,” Lee says. “The heavy snow will fall on Monday afternoon and evening, causing slick roads and travel difficulties during the afternoon commute in many areas.”

The National Weather Service predicts wind speeds of 15 to 20 miles per hour and perhaps even higher in some areas as the snow is falling. “As snow tapers off Monday night, very cold air will stream into Iowa resulting in wind chills of 20 to 30 below zero by Tuesday morning and even colder on the following days,” Lee said in the video. Snow fell across much of Iowa as Saturday night turned into Sunday morning.

The Iowa Department of Transportation reported roads in southeast Iowa were completely covered in snow by Sunday, with most of the rest of the state’s roads at least partially covered in snow. Dozens of Iowa churches cancelled services on Sunday morning as temperatures plummeted. By Sunday evening, roads in a chunk of northwest Iowa, including the Sioux City and Fort Dodge areas were still partially covered in snow.

Snow was also causing Sunday night travel problems north of Davenport and in a triangular section of southeast Iowa that stretched from Iowa City, down to Ottumwa and then over to Burlington.

(Radio Iowa)

Winter Weather Advisory for Monona-Harrison-Shelby-Pott. Counties

News, Weather

January 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

338 AM CST MON JAN 5 2015

A CLIPPER SYSTEM DROPPING OUT OF THE NORTHERN HIGH PLAINS WILL BE THE FOCUS FOR INDUCING SNOWFALL OVER PORTIONS OF NORTHEAST NEBRASKA AND WEST-CENTRAL IOWA LATER THIS AFTERNOON. THIS SYSTEM WILL BE QUICK IN NATURE…THUS THE SNOW ACTIVITY SHOULD BE COMING TO A CLOSE BY EARLY THIS EVENING.

Winter Weather Advisory & Watch graphic (NWS/Des Moines). For more see www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/

Winter Weather Advisory & Watch graphic (NWS/Des Moines). For more see www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/

MONONA-HARRISON-SHELBY-POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTIES….WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 6 PM CST THIS EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN OMAHA/VALLEY HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOWFALL ACCUMULATION AND SUB-ZERO WIND CHILL INDICES…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 6 PM CST THIS EVENING.

* TIMING…THE SNOW ACTIVITY SHOULD LAST THOUGH THE MAJORITY OF THE AFTERNOON HOURS. TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS FROM 1 TO 2 INCHES ARE EXPECTED BY EVENTS END THIS EVENING. IN ADDITION…WIND CHILL INDICES AROUND 5 BELOW ZERO ARE EXPECTED AS WELL THIS AFTERNOON.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS

PERIODS OF SNOW MAY CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS…AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

 

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., Jan. 5th 2015

News

January 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Part of the fun of sledding is the risk that comes with flying down a steep hill. No one tracks how many cities have banned or limited sledding, but the list grows every year. One of the latest is in Dubuque, Iowa, where officials are moving ahead with a plan to ban sledding in all but two of its 50 parks. Parks manager Marie Ware says Dubuque is hilly and the risk is too prevalent.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Many small Iowa towns are struggling to afford required costly upgrades to their sewage systems to limit pollution. The Des Moines Register reports some towns are considering un-incorporating to avoid the cost of installing a centralized sewage system. In the central Iowa town of Luther, the dispute over a proposed $1.4 million plumbing system for about 120 residents prompted several top officials to resign.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials have been moving slowly to implement a law allowing for an extract of marijuana to be used for medical treatment, and advocates say they’ll keep pressing for more access to the drug. The Quad-City Times reports the state Department of Public Health has yet to issue a single marijuana use card.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Waterloo firefighters and narcotics investigators are probing a suspicious weekend fire that injured a man. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports officers with the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force searched the home several hours after Sunday’s fire.

Adair County Board of Supervisors to hold Special Session Monday

News

January 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Supervisors in Adair County will hold a Special Session at 9-a.m., Monday, to discuss and possibly act on funding requests. The Fiscal Year 2016 requests will be from: the County Ag Extension; Midwest Partnership; Dept. of Human Services; The Adair County Historical Society; Southern Iowa Trolley; and the Tourism Department.

In addition, County Engineer Nick Kauffman will present to the board a contract for signing, with regard to a bridge repair/replacement project, and County Auditor Mindy Schaefer will speak with regard to: Claims; Valuation information; the Clerk of Court and Medical Examiners’ FY 2016 Departmental Budget Requests.

Afterward, the Board will hold a budget work session.

Red Oak woman arrested Sunday morning

News

January 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report a woman was arrested early Sunday morning, for “Breach of Peace.”  44-year-old Shelby Joann Olivares, of Red Oak, was taken to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center and held on $300 bond.