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7AM Newscast 06-05-2012

News, Podcasts

June 5th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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Maximum unemployment benefit is going up

News

June 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The state will increase the maximum benefit paid for unemployment at the start of the new fiscal year on July first. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson, Kerry Koonce, says the amount paid is going up about three percent.”Every year we do a review of what they call the average annual wage for Iowans across the state, and that affects any changes that would take place in what an individual could receive for maximum weekly benefits on unemployment,” Koonce explains. “And since Iowa’s average annual wage increased for calendar year 2011, that means for our fiscal year that starts July first of 2012, the average weekly benefit for unemployment will also increase.” The average annual wage now used to calculate unemployment benefits is 38-thousand-949 dollars. The change will result in just over 10 dollars more each week for those who earn the maximum unemployment benefit.

“You know it’s not a large change, for example, if you are a family that has two dependents lets say, it goes from 415 to 426 a week. However, if you’re on unemployment, every little big extra you get each week helps out greatly,” Koonce says. Workforce Development figures show about half those who are eligible for unemployment benefits have enough earnings to qualify for the maximum benefit. There’s also a change for those who become disable and can’t work. Koonce says the change for temporary total disability rises weekly to one-thousnd-498 dollars ($1,498) and the amount for permanent partial disability, the maximum increases to one thousand-378 dollars ($1,378). Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped to five-point-one percent (5.1%) in April, and has dropped every month this year.

(Radio Iowa)

Primary election to be held today

News

June 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Voters across Iowa are heading to the polls today (Tuesday), to cast their ballots in the Primary Election. Winners in the Primary will have their names appear on the ballot for the November 6th General Election. The polls opened at 7-a.m., and will close at 9-p.m. In Cass County, there are no contested local races.

In Audubon County, five men, four Republicans, including one incumbent (Todd M. Nelson), and one Democrat, are vying for two seats on the Board of Supervisors. One seat was left open by the announcement by Vernie Venteicher that he is not running for re-election. Facing-off against Nelson for one of the seats is Duane Deist, Monte L. Dreher, and Roger Merk. Jerry R. Carter is unopposed on the Democratic ticket. Also in Audubon County, Democrat Blake Asberry is running against incumbent Todd Johnson, a Republican, for the title of Sheriff. It’s the first time in more than a decade there is a race for the Sheriff’s job, in Audubon County.

There are no contested races in Adams County, where the Republican incumbents for County Supervisors in Districts 2 and 5, along with Sheriff Alan Johannes, County Attorney Duane Golden and Democrat Auditor Nancy J. Carmichael, are unopposed. In Guthrie County, there are two Democrats on the ballot for Board of Supervisors in District 1: Jerome F. Caraher, of Bayard, and John Milhollin, , of Yale. Only one will be elected, and move on to meet Republican, James Carroll, in November. Carroll is unopposed in the Primary. In District 5: Democrat David Guisinger is unopposed on the ballot, while Republicans Mike Dickson, of Stuart, and Robert Schemmel, of Dexter, are squaring-off, each with hopes of moving on to face Guisinger in the November election.

In Montgomery County, incumbent Republican Sheriff Joe Sampson faces a challenge from fellow Republican, Chris Stephens. In Pottawattamie County, incumbent Sheriff Jeff Danker faces a challenge from fellow Republican John Hitchcock. The man who wins today’s election will likely be the next Sheriff, as no Democrat has filed to run.

There’s a six-person Republican race in Shelby County for the Board of Supervisors. Scott Burchett, Delbert Hull (who is seeking re-election), Steve Kenkel, Randy Nelson, Charles Parkhurst and David Yamada are all on the ballot. On the Democratic ticket men are in the running: Herb Christensen, LaVon Christensen and Jerry Henscheid. There is also a State Representative Race in District 18 on the Democratic side, with Kasey Friedrichsen and Bernard Murphy vying for a win. The biggest race in Shelby County though is the Republican Sheriff’s position. Since there isn’t a candidate running on the Democratic side, it’s down to current Sheriff Mark Hervey and Nathan Dee Christensen.

Other races to watch include those for State Senate in District 10 (which includes parts or all of Audubon, Guthrie, Adair, Dallas & Cass Counties), featuring Republicans Jake Chapman and Matthew T. Mardesen, and, Senate District 6 (parts or all of Audubon, Carroll & Crawford Counties), where Republicans Matthew Biede (a Sac County Sheriff’s Deputy), Adam Schweers (The Mayor of Carroll) and Mark Segebart (a farmer from Vail & member of the Crawford County Board of Supervisors) are in the running, with only one in each district moving on to the November General Election, where they will face Democrat Mary Bruner. Incumbent legislator, Greg Forristal, is being challenged by Clint Fichter for the GOP nod in the new 22nd district, which covers most of Pottawattamie County.

If you are not sure where your voting precinct is, call your County’s Auditor’s Office, or go the the Iowa Secretary of State’s website at https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterreg/pollingplace/search.aspx We’ll have the results of the election for you Wednesday morning, on KJAN and on the web at kjan.com.

Iowa gets rain but needs more

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

June 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Much of Iowa has received some rain, but the state could use some more to help ease the dry spots.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday’s crop report that corn conditions declined slightly for the second consecutive week. The report shows 75 percent of the corn is rated good to excellent. That’s down from 77 percent a week ago and 81 percent two weeks ago. The first soybean rating puts the crop at 71 percent in good to excellent condition.  The USDA says 46 percent of Iowa’s topsoil and 45 percent of the subsoil is dry.  Last week’s rain totals ranged from 0.35 inches at Bloomfield to 3.7 inches at Akron. The statewide average was 0.84 inches. In Atlantic, rainfall from May 27th through June 2nd amounted to .43″.

Iowa early News Headlines – Tue., June 5th 2012

News

June 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

UNDATED (AP) — Iowa’s congressional hopefuls plan to keep working for votes through primary election day by making calls, meeting voters and giving media interviews. The races in the eastern half of the state will narrow the GOP field to one candidate in the two districts, and determine whether Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack can seek a fourth term. Loebsack faces a primary challenger, Davenport state Sen. Joe Seng.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man charged with running a nationwide sex trafficking ring that used Backpage.com to solicit customers will be detained pending trial. U.S. District Judge James Gritzner rejected Johnelle Bell’s request for release Monday.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Locked-out union workers at American Crystal Sugar Co. are heading to the negotiating table. The two sides are set to resume talks Friday after the union asked a federal mediator to call the meeting. It has been more than 10 months since the lockout started and more than four months than the two sides last met.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are seeking a 40-year-old man who escaped from a residential work release facility in western Iowa’s Sioux City. The Iowa Department of Corrections says Cletus Antonio Armell failed to return to the facility Sunday from a shopping pass.

Woman rescued from Missouri River

News

June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An unidentified woman was rescued from the Missouri River near Council Bluffs this (Monday) morning. Council Bluffs Police Sgt. Patrick Norris says Officer Chad Selander found the woman near a boat dock at Lake Manawa, along the river, around 8:15 a.m. As he approached her, she then jumped into the river and swam to about the center of the river and then started floating down,” Norris said. Selander called for rescue boats.  “The whole time, (Selander) kept a visual on her and talked to her while running through the shrubs and the trees. It was pretty taxing,” Norris said. Selander ran about three miles along the riverbank as the water carried the woman downstream. He was then able to direct the rescue boats to her location.  “It is almost like a needle in a haystack. He did a great job,” Norris said of the officer. “He did a bit more investigating than maybe some would do. She jumped in and luckily he kept a good eye on her and could keep up with her.” Norris said the woman was “combative” when she was pulled from the water. She was then taken to a hospital for an evaluation. Norris said he believes Officer Selander’s actions saved the woman’s life.

(Radio Iowa)

Man escapes Iowa residential work release facility

News

June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are seeking a 40-year-old man who escaped from a residential work release facility in western Iowa’s Sioux City. The Iowa Department of Corrections says Cletus Antonio Armell failed to return to the facility Sunday from a shopping pass. Armell had been serving a 15-year sentence for armed robbery. He was transferred to the work release facility in Sioux City on Dec. 15.

Lab: Iowa egg company warned of salmonella in hens

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Records show an Iowa State University scientist found evidence sick hens at farms owned by an Iowa egg producer were “almost certainly” laying eggs contaminated with salmonella months before one of the nation’s largest outbreaks of food-borne illness. Testing records filed as part of a civil lawsuit show scientists at ISU’s Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory found salmonella in manure at several Iowa egg-laying plants and in the internal organs of dead birds in the months before the August 2010 recall of 550 million eggs.

The laboratory reported the results to the company requesting tests, but scientists say they had no legal or ethical obligation to alert regulators or consumers since salmonella is not a reportable disease. Lab director Rodger Main says it was up to the company to take appropriate action.

Survey: Iowa hospitals #1 in patient experience

News

June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s hospitals scored top marks in a U.S. government survey of hospital patients. Scott McIntyre is spokesperson for the Iowa Hospital Association, which represents 118 hospitals in the state. “When patients responded to the survey, considering their overall hospital experience and how they perceived the hospital overall, Iowa was ranked first in the nation tied with two other states,” McIntyre said. 

Iowa tied for first with Kansas and Nebraska. The survey was administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly three out of four patients gave Iowa hospitals the highest possible rating — either a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. In addition to the overall rating, patients were surveyed about nine other aspects of their hospital experience. Iowa ranked in the top 10 in all nine of those categories.  “One area where we faltered a little bit, compared to how well we did in the other areas, was in quietness,” McIntyre said. “That’s always a struggle because it’s tough to keep a hospital as quiet as somebody who’s not feeling well would like it to be. That’s something our hospitals work at continually every day.” 

Iowa ranked eighth for hospital quietness. The survey was based on patients discharged from hospitals between July 2010 and June 2011.

Griswold woman backs out of garage, hits parked pickup

News

June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Griswold woman was cited for Unsafe Backing this (Monday) morning, after the vehicle she was driving hit a parked pickup. The accident happened at around 9-a.m. on Union Street, in Griswold. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says a 2010 Ford Taurus owned and driven by 66-year old Julianne Margaret Adams, of Griswold, was backing out of a garage onto Union Street, when the car hit a parked 2008 Nissan Titan, owned by Christopher Thomas McCoy. Adams’ Taurus sustained $600 damage during the mishap, while the damage to McCoy’s truck was estimated at $2,000.