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West Central Comm. Action seeks continued funding from Cass County

News

December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Executive Director of West Central Community Action (WCCA), based in Harlan, appeared before the Cass County Board of Supervisors this (Wed.) morning, to present his annual report and request for continued funding. Joel Dirks asked the Supervisors for $4,000 funding in the upcoming Fiscal Year, which is the same amount he asked for last year. The Supervisors took Dirks funding request under advisement. Funds provided by the County provide a local match for some of WCCA’s federal programs and assist in supporting the organizations’ efforts to maintain safe and affordable office space for local outreach centers.

WCCA provides services for Cass and nine other western Iowa Counties. Dirks said in Fiscal Year 2015, WCCA provided more than $1.57-million worth of services to residents in Cass County. Dirks said the report, which covers a period from Oct. 1st, 2014 to Sept. 30th, 2015, shows 516 client households comprised of 1,149 individuals, received services over the past Fiscal Year.

$1.32-million was provided to Cass County by WCCA in the form of direct client program services. And, the organization incurred $250,902 in administrative and program delivery costs, for Cass County.

WCCA operates three Head Start classrooms in Cass County, located in Anita and Atlantic, serving 57 children. And, they coordinate with Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R), to help people who care for and about children, as well. Other services they provide include the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). 410 households in Cass County received LIHEAP assistance in FY2015, for a total of $184,100. Assistance was also provided in the form of the Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps low income households increase the energy efficiency of their homes. Eight households in Cass County received nearly $69,670 worth of help in that area from WCCA.

Harlan woman arrested on a warrant

News

December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports a woman from Harlan was arrested Monday on an active Shelby County warrant for 5th Degree Theft. 19-year old Cassie Swensen was transported to the Shelby County Jail.

Council Bluffs police officer cleared in shooting of suspect

News

December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A western Iowa prosecutor says a police officer who shot at a fleeing suspect will not face charges and that attempted murder and assault charges levied against the suspect have been dropped. Pottawattamie County Attorney Matthew Wilber tells the Daily Nonpareil that Council Bluffs Officer Ben Lake will face no charges in the case.

Wilber says Lake had arrested Adam Thomas on Oct. 14 at a farm supply store. Wilber says Thomas managed to free himself, them bumped Lake with his truck while trying to flee. Lake fired six shots into the truck, missing Thomas.

Wilber says he dropped the most serious charges against Thomas after seeing surveillance video of the incident. But Thomas still faces a slew of charges, including fraud, fleeing police and possessing stolen items.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 12/16/2015

News, Podcasts

December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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

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More vandalism and thefts, in Creston

News

December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston are investigating more incidents of vandalism and theft. On Tuesday, a woman residing in the 500 block of N. Division Street, reported to police items she purchased at the Creston Wal-Mart were stolen from her cart by an unknown female. The incident happened Monday, sometime between 2:50-and 3-p.m.  The loss was estimated at nearly $76.

A resident in the 200 block of N. Maple Street in Creston reported Tuesday, that sometime between Saturday and Tuesday, someone damaged the steering column on his 1998 Chevy Blazer parked behind 304 S. Vine Street. The damage was estimated at $300.

Also on Tuesday, a resident in the 700 block of N. Elm Street in Creston, told police sometime between 9-p.m. and 11:15-p.m. Tuesday, someone threw a brick through the window of her vehicle and stole her purse. The incident happened while the vehicle was parked at 403 E. Townline. The loss was estimated at $15. A brick was also thrown through the window of a vehicle parked in front of a residence in the 1000 block of Birch Street in Creston, Tuesday night. A cup of change was taken from the vehicle, also. The loss was estimated at $150.

Also late Tuesday night, a resident in the 1500 block of W. Townline Road reported someone threw a rock through her car window and took a Vape Pen while the vehicle was parked at 301 W. Taylor. The incident, which took place during the evening hours, Tuesday, resulted in a loss estimated at $130.

And, 17-year old Natalie Eslinger, of Creston, was referred Monday by the Union County Law Enforcement Center to Juvenile Authorities, with regard to a 5th Degree Theft charge. The teen was then released to the custody of her grandmother.

Holiday travel forecast calls for roads to be record-level busy

News

December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Almost one in every three Iowans is expected to take a trip for the year-end holidays, according to a survey. Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for Triple-A Iowa, says if the weather isn’t too frightful, a record number of people will be on the nation’s roads and bustling through airports, train stations and bus depots. “We are expected to top 100-million people traveling for the Christmas/New Year’s holiday for the first time ever,” Weinholzer says. “We expect just over 100.5-million Americans to travel at least 50 miles from home between Wednesday, December 23rd and Sunday, January 3rd.”

She says the boost in holiday travel is being driven by continued improvement in the labor market, rising incomes and low prices, including gasoline prices, which remain well below last year’s levels.  “In part, it is due to gas prices, this is however, the 7th consecutive year that we’ve seen growth in Christmas/New Year’s travel over the previous year,” Weinholzer says. “It’s not entirely due to gas prices but certainly in large part due to gas prices as we’re seeing record low prices for the Christmas/New Year’s holiday season. This is the lowest people have paid since 2009.”

Gasoline prices in Iowa have been steadily dropping for several weeks and now are averaging just under two-dollars a gallon statewide. While many Iowans will be taking buses, boats or planes to their holiday destinations, she says most of us will be on the road. “The overwhelming majority are traveling by personal automobile,” Weinholzer says. “Ninety-percent of all travelers, which equates to just over 91-million people. We encourage people to drive safely and that includes slowing down, paying attention, driving sober and buckling up.”

Triple-A says airfares for the top flight routes are six-percent lower this holiday season, car rental rates are up three-percent from a year ago, while lodging at most of the nicer hotels is up between four and 11-percent.

(Radio Iowa)

Pickup stolen from Red Oak Wed. morning

News

December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak are asking for your help in locating a pickup that was reported stolen early this (Wednesday) morning. A grey, 2010 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab was stolen from in front of the United Farmers Mercantile Cooperative, in Red Oak, at around 5:30-a.m. The vehicle has clearance lights on the roof, chrome rocker panels down the sides, and black racing-style rims and tires. A Ruger, Single Six .22-caliber firearm and ammunition were inside the vehicle.

The incident took place while the owner, Daniel Phelps, of rural Red Oak, stopped at the store and parked his pickup on the east side of the business. A person or persons unknown entered the pickup and took off heading northbound on N. Broadway Street.

Anyone with information about the theft or location of the pickup, should call your local law enforcement agency.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 12/16/2015

News, Podcasts

December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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

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Bluffs woman gets 10 years on meth charge

News

December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison after a drug task force found her with more than six grams of methamphetamine. The Daily NonPareil says 32-year old Amber Walker fought back tears as she pleaded guilty Tuesday, to an amended charge of drug possession with intent to deliver. The amended charge is a Class C felony. Walker was initially charged with a Class B felony for being in possession of more than five grams of meth.

Fourth Judicial District Judge Mark Eveloff sentenced Walker to 10 years in prison. She will need to serve at least one-third of the sentence before she will be eligible for parole. Walker was arrested and booked into Pottawattamie County Jail, where she will remain until she is transferred to the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women in Mitchellville.

According to the arrest affidavit, on Sept. 28th, Walker, and her boyfriend at the time, Vicente Gomez, were inside an apartment on the 800 block of Fifth Avenue when Council Bluffs police officers and investigators with the Metro Fugitive Task Force appeared at the door. The task force was looking for Gomez, who had a warrant out for his arrest from Sarpy County, Nebraska.

According to police, while apprehending Gomez, investigators saw drug paraphernalia and suspected meth in the apartment. Gomez and Walker were in the back room of the apartment, and Walker did not allow investigators to search the room. Council Bluffs narcotics officers arrived with a search warrant. After the entire apartment was searched, police found 6.1 grams of meth.

Gomez remains held in the Pottawattamie County Jail on $50,000 bond. His trial is set for Feb. 16, 2016.

TV station reporting live when Minnesota bank robbed again

News

December 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) – An Iowa television station was doing a live update on a Minnesota bank robbery when police say the suspect returned to rob it a second time.
KIMT-TV of Mason City, Iowa, was outside Sterling State Bank in Rochester on Tuesday when a bank employee ran out and pointed out the robbery suspect. Reporter Adam Sallet broke away from the report, saying: “I have to go. I have to call 911.”

The Post-Bulletin reports that police spotted the suspect’s vehicle on U.S. Highway 52. Minnesota State Patrol says the 36-year-old Rochester man was pulled over south of Minneapolis and arrested. Police Capt. John Sherwin says the man is suspected of robbing the bank two days in a row. In both robberies, the suspect presented a note and escaped with money.