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(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 10/6/2015

News, Podcasts

October 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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

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UnityPoint at Home offers community flu clinics throughout Cass County

News

October 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Halloween kicks off the beginning of the fall and winter holidays, but treats and cheer aren’t the only things being spread this time of year. It’s also the start of flu season, and UnityPoint at Home and Cass County Public Health are offering six community flu clinics beginning Monday, October 19 and continuing through Thursday, October 29.

Flu vaccines are designed to protect against the main flu viruses that research suggests will be the most common during this season. The viruses in the vaccine change each year based on international surveillance and scientists’ estimations about which types and strains of viruses will circulate in a given year. The 2015-2016 influenza vaccine is quadravalent, meaning it covers four types of strains; H1N1, H2N3, and two types of Influenza B.

Groups at a higher risk for flu complications include the elderly and people with health conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. Those in the high risk group are encouraged to get vaccinated early.

Flu shots will be billed for those presenting Medicare Part B and Medicaid documentation. No other insurance companies will be billed. The cost is $30 for the Fluzone shot or $40 for the FluMist vaccine, which is a nasal spray. Officials note that there is a limited supply of the high-dose flu vaccination, which is $35. Payment is accepted in cash or check. All children present with a parent or guardian may receive the vaccination. No physician’s order is required. For more information, call UnityPoint at Home at 712-243-7551.

The schedule for the community flu clinics are:

Monday, October 19, 9 a.m. – noon

Anita Health and Wellness Center – 900 Victory Park Road, Anita

Tuesday, October 20, 2:30 – 5 p.m.

Rex Pharmacy – 507 Chestnut Street, Atlantic

Monday, October 26, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

First United Methodist Church of Atlantic – 800 Poplar Street, Atlantic

Wednesday, October 28, 9 – 11 a.m.

Massena Medical Center – 92 Main Street, Massena

Wednesday, October 28, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Griswold Medical Center – 1109 Morningside Drive, Griswold

Thursday, October 29, 3 – 5 p.m.

UnityPoint at Home – 1408 E. 10th Street, Atlantic

Creston man arrested for possession of meth

News

October 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston report a local man was arrested on a drug charge late Monday night. 56-year old Michael Fry, of Creston, was taken into custody at around 11:05-p.m. for Possession of a Controlled Substance/Methamphetamine. Fry was later released from the Union County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Also arrested Monday, was 31-year old Jason Dames, of Creston. Dames, and 17-year old Nicole Arfman, also of Creston, were charged with two counts of Theft in the 5th Degree, following an incident at the Creston Wal-Mart. Dames was subsequently cited and released on a promise to appear later in court, while Arfman was referred to Juvenile Authorities and then released to a family member.

Creston Police said also, a resident in the 600 block of Maple Street reported Monday morning, that someone had been stealing firewood from a stack in an alley behind the residents’ home. About a truckload of Walnut Firewood was taken, with the loss estimated at $100.

Gas prices up slightly but should be at $2/gallon soon

News

October 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowans are paying a few cents more a gallon for gasoline lately, but market analysts say prices should be falling within a few weeks toward two-dollars a gallon. Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for Triple-A Iowa, says this slight boost in pump prices is temporary. Weinholzer says, “Currently, the average across the state of Iowa is $2.33 and that’s up about 2-cents from a week ago but still down about 14-cents from a month ago.”

Refineries are in the process of switching from the summer grade of fuel to the winter blend. “As we go through it, prices tick upwards just a little bit, but once we’re through it, by the end of October, we’ll see price relief in the form of about 20 to 25 cents,” Weinholzer says. “Iowa could approach $2 sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving.”

With summer vacation season well behind us now, she says gas prices often fall toward the holiday season.  “Demand declines during this time of the year and when the switchover is complete, after the 1st of November, typically prices will continue to decline right through the end of the year,” she says. “We should be near $2 for much of the last month or two of this year.”

While Iowa’s current statewide average is two-33 a gallon, that’s down from two-47 a month ago and down from three-15 a year ago. The cheapest gas in the state right now is selling in Davenport at two-21 a gallon while the most expensive gas is in Des Moines, averaging at two-42.

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) KJAN News, 10/6/15

News, Podcasts

October 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

(Podcast) A check of the area’s top news at 7:07-a.m. from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Push back on Branstad’s proposed $37 million business tax break

News

October 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The chairman of the committee in the state senate that drafts tax state policy says Governor Terry Branstad is trying to push through a 37-million dollar tax break for businesses that senators reviewed but did NOT approve two years ago. Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, says the Governor is “Making an end run around 150 legislators who, at this point, have not come to consensus on whether or not in fact we ought to approve this policy.”

Bolkcom is chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. He says the governor is abusing executive power by having the proposal drafted as an administrative rule and implemented by his state agency. “This governor has been around so long he thinks that he gets to make all the decisions and this is just another example,” Bolkcom says. “Earlier this year he closed two Mental Health Institutes. A year and a half ago he closed the Juvenile Home for girls. He shut down 60 Workforce Development centers. All of those things illegal, but he believes that he has absolute power at this point.”

Bolkcom says the move is also suspect because Branstad item vetoed millions of dollars worth of state spending for schools in July. “Three months later we apparently are flush with money and are able to give another major corporate tax cut,” Bolkcom says.

The proposal deals with “consumable supplies” that are used in the manufacturing process, like hydraulic fluids and drill bits. Branstad’s Department of Revenue is proposing an administrative rule that would exclude “consumable supplies” from the state sales tax. It’s an estimated savings of 37 million dollars for Iowa businesses.

Branstad describes it as a way to “modernize” the tax code. A bill that would have achieved the same goal passed the Republican-led Iowa House in 2013, but stalled in the Iowa Senate, where Democrats control the debate agenda. A legislative committee reviews all administrative rules and could block the proposal.

(Radio Iowa)

Bluffs man arrested after stun gun deployed

News

October 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A man from Council Bluffs who allegedly attempted to run over a person with whom he had a dispute was arrested early this (Tuesday) morning, but not without a fight. According to Bluffs Police, Michael Wurtz was taken into custody in the basement of his residence, after officers forced their way into his home and used a stun gun to bring him under control.

The incident began at around 1:45-a.m. , with officers being dispatched to the 1700 block of 6th Ave for a disturbance between two parties. As officers were in route witnesses stated one of the males attempted to run over the other male. Officers made contact with the victim and he stated he was assaulted by the suspect, Michael Wurtz, and that Wurtz attempted to run him over and did strike the victim’s vehicle.

Officers checked for the Wurtz at his residence and saw the man enter his home. Officers attempted to make contact with Wurtz but he continually refused to open the door. Police then made a forced entry into Wurtz’s home and located him hiding in the basement. Wurtz refused to comply with officers, forcing them to deploy a Taser to gain control of the man. Wurtz was treated on scene by medics for the Tazer deployment and transported to the Pottawattamie County Jail.

Harvest moves ahead with dry weather

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says the latest U-S-D-A crop report shows good progress in the harvest. According to Northey, “Last week we had five percent of the corn, seven percent of the beans out. Now we’re up to 13 percent of the corn — 32 percent of the soybeans.”  Northey says he’s hearing good things about yields.

“It’s gonna vary every place, but certainly in some areas of north-west and north-central Iowa we’re seeing 60-bushel soybeans where sometimes those are normally 50-bushel soybeans. Certainly corn in a lot of places over 200 bushels (an acre) in place that don’t always get that,” according to Northey. “We are going to have other parts of Iowa that are not going to have their best crop, but in some of these areas, that’s the best crop they’ve harvested.”

The corn harvest is 10 days ahead of last year, but eight days behind average. The soybean harvest is one week ahead of last year, but one day behind average. He expects thing to move forward quite a bit this week. “If we get a good week this week and dodge some moisture in the middle of the week, we’ll be moving along real good,” Northey says.

He says the crop appears to be pretty dry. There have been some concerns about the beans not being dry enough. “Stems are a little damp in some places, so it makes it a little hard to harvest. It takes a lot of power to get those damp stems through the combine, but with good yields, you’ll certainly take that,” Northey says.

Northey farms corn and beans near Spirit Lake.

(Radio Iowa)

Former clerk in Mills County town faces Theft & other charges following State investigation

News

October 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The former city clerk in Pacific Junction faces a charge of first-degree Theft following a state investigation that revealed she gave herself unauthorized Christmas bonuses, vacation and sick pay. The Omaha World-Herald says 43-year old Kari Williams was also charged with felonious misconduct in office, tampering with records and failing to publish city expenditures. The latter two charges are misdemeanors, while the Theft and misconduct charges are classified as felonies. The four charges result from an investigation conducted by the Iowa Auditor’s Office.

According to the criminal complaints, Williams accepted full-time employee benefits, such as vacation and paid sick leave, even though she knew she was not working the required number of hours to be considered full time. Williams also issued Christmas bonus checks to herself for amounts greater than what had been approved by the city council. She also knowingly published city expenditures in a public notice in a newspaper that were not accurate and concealed unpaid federal taxes, according to court documents.

Williams resigned in March, before the results of the auditor’s investigation were announced in April. The criminal complaints were filed against her in August following an investigation by the Mills County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation found nearly $32,000 in improper disbursements.

The investigation covered the period from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2013. Williams became city clerk on May 17, 2004. According to the auditor’s investigation, Williams was paid $15,857 in improper vacation, sick leave and holiday pay, $702 of improper payroll due to double-counted hours and a $460 payout which could not be identified as vacation or sick leave. There were also thousands of dollars in improper vacation and sick leave payouts, and improper bonuses to her and another employee, who also no longer works for the city.

Mills County Attorney Tricia McSorley said Monday that the other person will not be charged. The paper says the city also owed the IRS for unpaid payroll taxes, penalties and interest totaling $73,826 as of the end of last year. The city took a loan to pay it.

Red Oak man arrested for trespassing

News

October 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak man repeatedly in trouble with the law was arrested again early this (Tuesday) morning on a Trespass charge. 53-year old David Lawrence Howe was taken into custody around 3:20-a.m. and brought to the Montgomery County Jail, where he was being held on $300 bond.

Howe was previously arrested Sept. 27th for Public Intoxication, and on July 19th for OWI.