KJAN News

QR CODE 35357558

NEW!! SCAN (OR CLICK) THE QR CODE ABOVE TO SHOP THE KJAN BIG DEALS STORE!!

KJAN News can be heard:
Monday – Saturday at 6:30 am, 7:05 pm, 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 12:00 pm, 12:40 pm, 3:05 pm & 5:05 pm

Keep up-to-date with Fox News Radio, Radio Iowa,  Brownfield & the Iowa Agribusiness Networks!
Check our Program Schedule Page for times!

Possible new mission coming for Iowa’s school for blind & visually-impaired students

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The campus for the state’s second-oldest educational institution may be adapted for a new mission. The Iowa Braille and Sight-Saving School began operations in Vinton 154 years ago, but blind and visually-impaired students no longer live on the campus. Instructors now rotate around the state to work with students in their home school districts. The AmeriCorps program has been using facilities on the campus, but Board of Regents president Bruce Rastetter says since the whole campus is not being “fully utilized,” there are discussions about what’s next.

“We’ve been in visits with the community because there are other uses for it, to make sure that campus stays intact,” Rastetter says. The main building on the Vinton campus was damaged by a tornado in 2011, but has been repaired. In 2012, the Mary Ingalls Society was founded to highlight the school’s connection to the family depicted in the eight popular “Little House” books.

Mary Ingalls — the blind sister of author Laura Ingalls Wilder — attended the Vinton school in the 1880s. The Laura Ingalls Wilder home in Missouri is a tourist site and a “National Historic Landmark.” Vinton residents are hoping to boost tourism in the town by highlighting Mary Ingalls’s connection to Vinton.

(Radio Iowa)

Requiring parental permission for attendance at LGBTQ conference

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A committee in the Iowa House is considering a bill that would require parental permission for students to attend an annual statewide conference for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Representative Greg Heartsill, a Republican from Columbia, says the bill would require parental permission slips for ANY conference or seminar where “human growth and development information is provided.”

“It’s just giving parents more opportunity to make an informed decision on whether or not they want their kids to participate in subject matter that can be very sensitive,” Heartsill says. Heartsill has been leading a House Government Oversight Committee investigation of complaints about inappropriate content at the annual conference for L-G-B-T-Q youth.

“If it’s not on school time, you know, that’s a different matter,” Heartsills ays. “But this is on school time and parents should be given information on what’s being presented.” Critics say the bill is unnecessary because schools already get parental permission slips for student trips to the conference. Other say the bill could prevent some kids from attending the conference and finding support from other students who are bullied because they’re different.

(Radio Iowa)

Ba-Da-Ba-Da Bing Bang Rally Redux

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

An event that brought historic military vehicles and their enthusiasts to Atlantic last year, is back for the second year in a row. Steve Livengood is the founder of the Ba-Da-Ba-Da Bing Bang Military Vehicle Rally, that takes place this year May 21st, which, not coincidentally, is Armed Forces Day. Livengood said it’s being brought back because it was a success last year, even though Mother Nature tried to put a damper on attendance by the owner/operators of the vintage equipment.

The assortment of vehicles and equipment will be available for you to see, touch and maybe even ride in. HalftrackOver 20 vintage military vehicles will be on display that the owners have spent a lot of time and money acquiring and restoring to their original condition. Livengood says other similar rallies are being held throughout the country this summer, but you’d have to drive quite a ways to participate in those events.

Others will be held on May 21st in Findley, OH., the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, in Maryland [May12-14], one in Iola, WI. [August 13-14], and another in Arizona. The event in Arizona takes place this weekend (March 26-27).

Livengood says the collection in Atlantic is expected to include many different types of vehicles and military equipment. They’ll be on display in the Armory parking lot between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on May 21st. Afterward, there’ll be a cruise for those vehicles and their operators, and an ice cream social in the Wal-Mart parking lot before they head back to the Armory.

Look for additional details to be released later. If you have any questions, call Steve Livengood at 712-243-5445.

13th Annual Prairie Chicken Day April 2

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the Kellerton Grasslands Bird Conservation Area in southeast Ringgold County will be the site for the 13th annual Prairie Chicken Day on April 2nd, beginning at 6 a.m., at the booming ground viewing platform, two miles west of Kellerton on Hwy. 2, then 1.25 miles south on 300th Street.

Prairie Chicken Day is an opportunity for Iowans to experience this unique bird during its demonstrative and entertaining mating display where males work to gain the favor of females during the breeding season.  The birds compete by showing their worthiness through aggressive charges and leaps of battle with others on the booming ground. The activity takes place from middle to late March through middle May beginning around sunrise and until mid morning, then usually resuming in the evening.

“They will be out there every day defending their territory, trying to attract a female,” said Chad Paup wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Iowa DNR has been reintroducing the greater prairie chickens to the grasslands of Ringgold County since the 1980s with varying success. In recent years, the DNR has partnered with Blank Park Zoo, The Nature Conservancy and the Nebraska Fish and Game Department to capture and transport wild prairie chickens from southwest and central Nebraska to be released on the Kellerton lek and on the Dunn Ranch lek, a few miles to the south in Missouri.

The four year effort of introducing wild birds has increased the Iowa flock to more than 100. These birds have since produced broods in Iowa. “The prairie chicken population trends follow similar tracks as bobwhite quail. When quail do well, prairie chickens do well and they did well in 2014,” Paup said. “This year, we’ve had a mild winter in our area and if we can get a spring that’s not too wet and not too cool, I think we can have another good production year.”

A limited number of spotting scopes and binoculars will be available to visitors who need them on Prairie Chicken Day with expert birders on hand to help identify other birds in the area. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is encouraging visitors to and residents of Ringgold, Decatur, Taylor, Union, Wayne, Adams and Clarke counties to report any sightings of a group of prairie chickens gathered together, displaying and calling on the leks sites in March and April.

“People may hear them – the haunting ‘booming’ sounds interspersed with whoops and cackles – or they may see the birds jumping or facing off with one another,” said Stephanie Shepherd, wildlife diversity biologist with the Iowa DNR.  “Sightings of individual birds are also welcome but we’d primarily like to hear about lek sites.”

The DNR has a video of this activity online at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Conservation/Wildlife-Stewardship/Non-Game-Wildlife/Diversity-Projects/Prairie-Chicken-Project. Anyone who sees the activity is encouraged to call or e-mail Shepherd at 515-432-2823 ext. 102, Stephanie.shepherd@dnr.iowa.gov.

Fourth of July Campsite Reservations open Soon

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Campers anxious to reserve spots for the Fourth of July weekend should mark April 1 on their calendars, when reservations for a Friday arrival open. Campers can make reservations for sites three months ahead of their first night’s stay. “Electric sites go quickly,” reminds Todd Coffelt, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau. “And some sites will already be reserved by campers arriving prior to the holiday weekend.”

Not every campsite is available on the reservation system. Parks maintain between 25 and 50 percent of the electric and nonelectric sites as non-reservation sites, available for walk-up camping. Information on Iowa’s state parks is available online at www.iowadnr.gov including the link to reservations. Campers can also log on directly to http://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com; enter their preferred dates and/or parks to see what sites are available and make a reservation.

Campers are encouraged to note closures when making their reservations. A few campgrounds are currently closed for renovation and weather will play an important role in how soon they will be back online. Road and bridge work at Springbrook State Park should be completed in early June, and the park and campground are scheduled to reopen June 10.

Up-to-date closure information is available on the DNR website and reservation system.  Closure information can be found at www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks-Rec-Areas/Closure-Information and on individual park webpages.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 3/25/2016

News, Podcasts

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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

Play

(Podcast) KJAN Morning Sports report, 3/25/2016

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The 7:20-a.m. Sportscast w/Jim Field.

Play

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 3/25/2016

News, Podcasts

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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

Play

Travel was difficult in western Iowa Thursday due to heavy snow

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Some sunshine Thursday afternoon helped snow plow drivers and motorists in western and northwest Iowa deal with the big snowfall there, but the heavy wet snow has made progress slow going on hard surface roads. Woodbury County Deputy, Lieutenant Tony Wingert, says it took crews much longer to deal with what was 15 inches of snow that had drifted. “It’s such a heavy snow, it has taken them a lot more passes to get it wider — because they just can’t push that much weight off to the shoulder. But with every pass, the roads are getting a little wider and a little better,” Wingert says.

Wingert says some of the county’s roads are still in rough shape, and it may take some time for them to recover. “They were soft prior to this because of the frost going out and everything, and now you put this much moisture on them. A lot of those, they may be impassible for days,” according to Wingert. He says it made it tough for emergency vehicles to get to rural areas.

Wingert says in one case they had to call in the helicopter to go to a call because the Correctionville Ambulance wasn’t able to get there. “If you are on a main thoroughfare we should be okay. But if you are on a gravel, it may take emergency vehicles a while to get to you,” Wingert says. At least one county snowplow got stuck. Wingert says travel conditions should improve today (Friday) as crews have more time to clear snow and make the roads safer.

(Radio Iowa)

Despite the snow, Pony Express riders are hitting the Iowa trail today

News

March 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Some 300 riders on horseback are taking part in an Easter weekend tradition in Iowa today (Friday) as the 49th annual Pony Express Ride for Camp Sunnyside gets underway. Tim Allen of Whittemore is president-elect of the Pony Express Riders who are all headed for the Easter Seals facility in Ankeny, just north of Des Moines. “There’s rides all over Iowa from northeast to southeast to southwest to northwest,” Allen says. “We all start off in our designated counties and we all end up at Easter Seals down at Camp Sunnyside.”

The riders are bringing with them money from dances, toll roads and other fundraising activities to present to Easter Seals. They’re all due at the camp on Saturday afternoon and that night, there will be a dance at Lake Robbins Ballroom near Woodward. “All of the Pony Express riders are volunteers,” Allen says. “We do this out of the kindness of our hearts. None of us get any kickback out of it other than the joy from the kids and adults that benefit from what we do throughout the year at Camp Sunnyside.”

In recent years, the riders have brought in a quarter-million dollars or more to help with the camp that’s been in operation more than 80 years. The ride has been held every year since 1968. Learn more at: www.ponyexpressridersofiowa.org.

(Radio Iowa)