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Sen. Grassley proposes criminal justice system reforms


July 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

With rising tensions between police officers and some members of the public, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s introducing legislation calling for a series of reforms in the criminal justice system. Grassley, a Republican, says the bill would look at multiple issues, including ways to make the sentencing process more fair along with tighter regulations on law enforcement.

Grassley says, “In light of recent and justified public concern over treatment of suspects by some police and the treatment of police by people who would do them harm, the need for criminal justice reform is even greater now.” The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act aims to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. It would also enhance prison programs that are proven to reduce the likelihood of an inmate re-offending once released. Grassley says inmates who successfully complete those programs could see a reduced sentence.

“I’ve heard from Iowans who have raised concerns about the fast-growing federal prison population,” Grassley says. “I guess you hear at the state level as well, also about the cost to taxpayers to house those prisoners.” Grassley says he’s also hearing concerns about people who’ve committed relatively minor crimes being given lengthy sentences that are usually reserved for hard-core criminals.

Grassley says, “The bill I’ve authored is a step forward in healing wounds by closing some disparities in sentencing that disproportionately affect African-Americans and helping people already within the prison system become productive members of our society.”

The legislation would also require states receiving certain federal funds to report information regarding the discharge of a firearm by a law officer which results in the death of a civilian. Another element of the bill would offer various reforms to the federal criminal justice system, like allowing people convicted of certain crimes as juveniles to expunge their criminal records if they turn their lives around.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa Livestock Care Essential as Temperatures Soar Around the State

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – July 20, 2016 — Iowa’s continued heat wave isn’t just the subject of conversation at swimming pools and office water coolers; it’s also a concern on Iowa’s livestock farms.  Iowa’s farmers work around the clock to keep their animals safe, no matter the conditions.

Iowa Farm Animal Care Coalition (IFAC) Executive Director, Denny Harding says “Dog owners know that they can’t leave their pets in a hot car, even for a moment, because when temperatures climb, a pet can suffer brain damage or even death in as little as 15 minutes.  But, livestock farmers around the state are also keeping a watchful eye on their animals, because disaster can strike in minutes, without proper care.”

IFAC is a network of professionals, veterinarians, animal behavior scientists, and farmers committed to answering Iowans’ questions about farm animal care and ensuring that one vision is shared by all – that every Iowa farm receives proper, humane animal care.

Management is key for Iowa farmers, and thanks to technology and innovative animal housing, livestock are more comfortable than ever before. That’s because many of today’s modern hog barns are climate-controlled to allow for constantly-regulated temperatures, continuous air flow, ventilation, and individual water delivery systems.

Today’s farmers keep a watchful eye on their herds for signs of heat stress, and move fast to treat it appropriately. Iowa farmers frequently consult their veterinarians to ensure proper prevention and care to keep their livestock at an optimum level of health; an especially important practice for Iowa cattle farmers who keep their animals on pasture throughout the summer months.

Iowa State Veterinarian, Dr. David Schmitt, says, “Iowa livestock farmers know their animals and do a tremendous job caring for them regardless of what the Iowa weather throws at them. During the hot summer months it is very important farmers closely monitor their animals, whether they are raised in a building or outside. Animals need to have adequate water and access to shade to help them weather the extremely high temperatures. It is also important farmers remain in close contact with their veterinarian who can also provide more information and answer questions.”

If you have questions about livestock care in Iowa’s ever-changing weather, visit the Iowa Farm Animal Care website at:  http://www.iowafarmanimalcare.org/.

Cass County Fair Queen/King Contest Indoors Due to Heat!

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

July 20th, 2016 by Jim Field

The forecast for high heat and humidity has forced Cass County Fair officials to move the Thursday night program indoors to the Atlantic High School auditorium.  Deb Schuler, one of the organizers of the Queen/King contest, told KJAN today that there isn’t enough room in the community building on the fairgrounds with all of the projects to accommodate the contestants and the crowd.  When asked, the Atlantic school administrations was fine with holding the contest in the high school auditorium.

The night will begin with the new Little Miss/Mister contest at 7:00 pm followed by the King/Queen contest and senior recognition.  The high school boys baseball banquet will be held in the high school commons beginning at 6:30 Thursday evening, so school officials do ask that those coming to the auditorium to be courteous .

Glenwood woman arrested Tue. for Disorderly Conduct


July 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Glenwood Police Department reports the arrest on Tuesday, of 37-year old Wendy Meadows,  of Glenwood. Meadows was arrested on a Mills County warrant for disorderly conduct. Her cash bond was set at $500.

RAGBRAI riders taking to the roads Sunday in southern Iowa


July 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Thousands of bicycle enthusiasts and their entourages will be descending on Glenwood this weekend for the start of the 2016 Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). Each year RAGBRAI riders are treated to the best hospitality Iowa has to offer in cities along the route.

Some riders are early risers and take the roads early to get to the next town. Others sleep a little later and take a more leisurely pace moving from town to town. With so many riders moving at different times of day, the Iowa Department of Transportation is alerting motorists to be extra cautious of bicyclists over the next week, especially in the area of that day’s route.

Tips for motorists

  • Do not honk your horn at bicyclists. They may be startled and lose control.
  • Use extra caution when passing bicycles. Move entirely into the left lane; on a two-lane road, do not pass a bicycle if oncoming traffic is near.
  • Bicyclists might swerve to avoid road hazards. Common road hazards for bicyclists are potholes, debris, drainage grates, railroad tracks, and narrow bridges.
  • Be careful when opening your vehicle door. Road widths often force bicyclists to ride close to parked vehicles where they may be injured by an opening door.
  • When in doubt, yield to bicycles.

Tips for bicyclists

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Ride on the right. Ride in the right lane except when passing another vehicle, preparing for a left turn, or avoiding hazards.
  • Never ride against traffic. Always ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Obey traffic signs and signals. Use hand signals to advise motorists you plan to turn, change lanes, or stop.
  • Make eye contact with motorists. Never assume a motorist sees you or that you have the right of way.
  • Expect the unexpected. Watch for vehicles pulling into traffic from a parking spot; vehicle doors opening into your path; and debris on the road.
  • At night use a headlight, taillight, and reflectors.

Even though the RAGBRAI route is taking bikers through southern Iowa, many bicyclists in other parts of the state are getting motivated to get out and ride. The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to share the road. Remember that bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities on our highways as motorists.

CAM School Board to consult w/engineers on building plans


July 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Members of the CAM School District’s Board of Education met Monday evening during a regular monthly session. The Board continued with discussion pertaining to the four-year old Preschool Building in Massena. CAM Superintendent Dr. Casey Berlau told KJAN News the current, used portable building that has been occupied since 2008, is scheduled to be demolished. And, as we mentioned earlier this month, students in the building will be moved this fall to the music room at the school in Massena.

Berlau said what they decided Monday, was to ask for help from engineers, in determining what the best options are to move forward. Those options might include rebuilding a structure, or adding on to a building to make more space to accommodate all the district’s programs. They hope to present those options to the Board during their regular meeting in August. Berlau said also, they expect to be doing some type of project over the next year, so more permanent plans are in-place for the start of the 2017-18 School Year. He said they’re confident they can make the current solution – moving the kids into the music room – work, but that’s definitely not a permanent plan.

In other business, the CAM School Board approved the hiring of Paul Upmeyer, as Band Teacher. Upmeyer comes from a school district in eastern Iowa. Berlau says the Board also set 2016-17 lunch prices and fees. The lunch prices are going up five-cents, but the milk prices are going down a nickel. Admission fees for school events are going up one-dollar, to $4 for students and $6 for adults. The Board also approved an agreement with the Griswold School District for the sharing of an Art Teacher.

Exira-EHK School Board approves conveyance of real estate


July 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Exira-Elk Horn Kimballton School District’s Board of Education, this week, approved a Conveyance of Real Estate, with regard to the old Exira Elementary School Building Property. Exira-EHK High School Principal/Superintendent Trevor Miller told KJAN News after the school sold the property to an individual, it retained the right to have a say what was built on the property. Now, the purchaser’s plans have changed.

He says the buyer’s plans to construct a Senior Care Center have changed, therefore they want to sell the property to another person. The school board agreed to step away from that process and allow the transaction to take place without further delay. Miller says he understands the land may be used for condominiums or other form of housing.

He says it may be single-family housing or a duplex, maybe even a model home, to try and attract people to the community, and see what kind of interest there is in the community and area for more housing. Miller said the football sound system was also approved. He said there’s a bid in for an amount, which was capped, but allows for other options, so that it could be installed when the Press Box is done, before the first football game of the season takes place next month.

Miller said also, they’re looking at putting in new carpeting in the main area of the Elk Horn High School and Elementary area. The current carpeting is 15-to 18-years old and is starting to bubble. The hope is to have it replaced before school starts.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 7/20/2016

News, Podcasts

July 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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


Creston Police report, 7/20/16


July 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Creston Police Department reports 47-year old Mary Giles, of Creston, was arrested Tuesday night at her home, on a Union County warrant for Theft in the 4th Degree. Giles was brought to the Union County Jail and later released on $1,000 bond.

And, 56-year old Michael Fry, of Creston, was arrested early this (Wednesday) morning, on a charge of Driving While Barred. Fry was being held in the Union County Jail on $2,000 bond.

Authorities said also, 30-year old Tawayna Wyett, of Creston, was cited Tuesday evening for Allowing an Animal to Run At-Large. Wyett was released on a Promise to Appear later, in court.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 7/20/2016

News, Podcasts

July 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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