KJAN News

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Fiery, fatal crash in Shelby County Sunday evening

News

June 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Two people were killed, another was injured during a fiery crash between an SUV and a semi Sunday afternoon, in Shelby County. The Iowa State Patrol says a 1998 GMC Envoy driven by 63-year old John Veral Smith, of Portsmouth, was pulling a boat on a trailer west along Highway 44 at around 4:35-p.m., one-mile east of Portsmouth, at the same time a 2011 International semi driven by 64-year old Dennis Johnson, of Luverne, MN, was traveling east.

The SUV crossed the center line of the road and into the eastbound lane as it was rounding a curve. Johnson saw the SUV approaching and tried to avoid the collision by braking and steering toward the south ditch, but the semi and SUV collided head-on. Both vehicles were then engulfed by fire. Both drivers, and a passenger in the GMC, 68-year old Mary Louise Smith, of Portsmouth, were transported by Medivac Ambulance to Myrtue Hospital in Harlan, where the drivers of the vehicles where pronounced dead. The Patrol says all three of the crash victims were wearing their seatbelts.

The crash resulted in a stretch of Highway 44 from Highway 191 to Shelby County Road M-16, being closed for more than five-hours Sunday, while the accident was investigated, and the wreckage cleared from the scene.

3 pedestrians injured during Bluffs hit & run accident Sunday

News

June 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are looking for the female driver of a vehicle involved in a pedestrian hit-and-run accident early Sunday morning that injured three people, two of them critically. Officials say the accident happened just before 2-a.m, at South 21st Street and 8th Avenue.

According to the Police report, the victims included a 34-year old man from Omaha, a 27-year woman from Council Bluffs, and a 31-year old female from Arlington, NE. The two women suffered life-threatening injuries and were taken to Creighton University Medical Center. The names of the victims were being withheld pending notification of relatives.

The vehicle fled the scene, but was located a few blocks away. The suspected driver, a white female with blonde hair, took off on foot and at last report, had not been found. The crash remains under investigation by the Council Bluffs Police Department’s Special Operations Traffic Unit. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Bluffs’ Police at 712-328-4948.

Identity and credit card thefts on the rise in Iowa, but convictions aren’t keeping up

News

June 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An investigation by the Des Moines Register reveals that while complaints about identity and credit card theft is in the rise in Iowa, the number of convictions for the crime are few and far between, especially outside the metropolitan areas. Identity theft ranks as the number one consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, but it often ranks low as a law enforcement priority according to the paper, because it’s difficult to catch those responsible, and many of the losses are absorbed by banks and credit card companies. 

The Register’s analysis of data from Iowa’s Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning shows of the 558 crimes related to identity theft resulted in felony or misdemeanor convictions during a three-year period covering 2009 to 2011. Sixteen Iowa counties had no convictions for identity theft or unauthorized credit card use, from 2009 to 2011. 46 counties had anywhere from one-to five-convictions, 37 had six or more convictions. In the KJAN listening area, there were two convictions reported in Cass and Mills Counties, according to the data; Pottawattamie County reported 78 convictions…the most for any southwest Iowa county; Guthrie County reported three convictions for ID theft, Shelby, Harrison and Union Counties each had one conviction over the three-year period. 

One of the ways thieves can get your information and steal your money, is through the use of a skimmer device, which attaches to the card slot of an ATM, allowing thieves to copy debit and credit card numbers. A vehicle pulled over on Interstate 80 in Cass County last year by Trooper Jaerod Clyde, contained a skimmer, wrapped in a garment bag, Inside the trunk of the vehicle, the Trooper also found a Micro SD card, a card reader and USB cord, along with other items used to copy and transfer financial data to fake credit cards. The driver of the vehicle is set to stand trial September 10th. He faces up to 15-years in jail if convicted on the felony charge of “Unauthorized access devices.”

A computer crime expert and professor in information systems at ISU in Ames predicts identity crimes will become a greater problem in Iowa and the rest of the country, as criminals stay ahead of law enforcement in their understanding of technology. For tips on keeping your identity safe, visit the Iowa Attorney General’s website. http://www.iowaattorneygeneral.org/consumer/brochures/avoid_identitytheft.html

Restaurant burglary reported in Villisca

News

June 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County are investigating a break-in and theft which occured Saturday night or early this (Sunday) morning in Villisca. Authorities report the investigation began just before 4-a.m. at T-J’s Cafe, located at 307 East 4th Street, in Villisca.

Officials say someone forced entry into the business by shattering a window. An undisclosed amount of merchandise and money were taken from the restaurant. Damage to the restaurant’s window was estimated at $225. Anyone with information about the crime should contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office or Montgomery County Crimestoppers.

Nebraska man sentenced for federal wire fraud

News

June 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A Fremont, NE, man has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for a wire fraud conviction that cost banks and insurance companies in Nebraska and Iowa millions of dollars.  Thomas Herink was sentenced Thursday in Omaha’s U.S. District Court. In addition to prison, Herink was given three years of supervised probation following his release and ordered to repay more than $5 million to his victims.
 
U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg says Herink falsified financial statements for his golf course construction company to defraud lenders and insurers.  Gilg says Herink carried out the scheme in order to participate in large construction contracts throughout the country. Prosecutors say when Herink defaulted on some of the projects, the banks and insurance companies lost more than $8 million.

Two Iowa Nursing Home Groups sanctioned by Feds

News

June 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A nursing home management corporation which runs 11 facilities in Iowa, including the Colonial Manor in Anita, and the Denison Care Center, has been sanctioned by the federal government for allegedly employing workers who had been barred from working in a federally funded health care facility. The Des Moines Register reports in its Sunday edition, that HCM Management has agreed to pay more than $200,800 for the violation. In a separate settlement agreement, Bethany Lutheran Home in Council Bluffs, which allegedly overbilled the government for Medicaid and Medicare claims, agreed to pay $675,000. A total of $875,000 in penalties was levied against the two nursing home groups. 

The Register reports, that in the HCM case, the Inspector General at the U-S Department of Health and Human Services alleged the company employed two persons it knew or should have known where excluded from participating in federally funded health care programs. HCM officials issued a written statement to the Register saying all persons applying for work at HCM managed properties “Undergo a rigorous background check.” 

In addition to the financial settlement with the Feds, Bethany Lutheran Home in Council Bluffs agreed to enter into a “Corporate integrity” agreement, which requires the facility to provide additional staff training in what services can be billed to Medicaid and Medicare. The 121-bed care facility is also required to create annual reports detailing efforts to ensure compliance, and submit those reports to the I-G’s office.

Weirich Rides World’s Largest Bicycle in Lewis

News

June 23rd, 2012 by Jim Field

On Saturday, June 23, 2012, Duane Weirich rode his World’s Largest Bicycle along the street in downtown Lewis.  The bike stands 18 feet high and 32 feet long.  It was originally built for a RAGBRAI visit through Lewis, but Weirich added a chain system and other modifications to make it a working bicycle.  It looked like a lot of pedaling to get it up the street!  Duane was never in danger of getting a speeding ticket!!!  Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pictures.

 

Alleged Hamburg bank robber arrested in MO.

News

June 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A man who allegedly robbed the Great Western Bank in Hamburg June 11th was taken into custody on unrelated charges in Missouri.

Nathan W. Smith (Bank robbery suspect)

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday (today), Police in Higginsville, MO., arrested 47-year old Nathan Wayne Smith of Lexington, Missouri, on Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Possession of a Controlled Substance (PCS) charges.  Smith was also being held in the Lafayette County, MO., jail on a warrant out of Fremont County, for 2nd degree robbery.

8-AM Local/State News (Podcast)

News, Podcasts

June 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

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7:06-a.m. News (Podcast) – June 23rd, 2012

News, Podcasts

June 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The latest area News from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

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