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EPA urges states to publish individual lead water samples

News

July 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says states are taking action to address the risk of lead in drinking water but more needs to be done to share key information with the public. EPA urged states in letters sent Thursday to post individual lead sampling results on public websites. That practice will allow residents to see which homes and buildings have been tested and what level of lead was identified.

The EPA said a “substantial number” of states were already posting such information but others haven’t, citing information technology hurdles and privacy concerns. The agency’s push comes after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, where residents were exposed to high lead levels when the city switched to a more corrosive water source that wasn’t properly treated.

(Update) 1 lane of I-80 eastbound open at Hwy 25 exit

News

July 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation reports one-lane of Interstate 80 eastbound near the Highway 25 overpass (in Adair County), is open, following a crash that took place earlier this morning. The accident involved two semi-tractor trailers, and reportedly occurred at around 6-a.m. Both lanes had been blocked for about 3 1/2 hours. As of the latest report, only the right lane remained closed while crews clean-up the scene and remove the semis. Eastbound traffic near Casey was moving slow on I-80, and motorists should expect some delays.

Additional information is not currently available.

Ag Secretary says crops looking good overall

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says the state entered July with the crops looking good despite some fields that need some moisture. “We have a lot of areas that look pretty good, but we do definitely have some dry area in parts of Iowa — especially across southern Iowa,” Northey says.

The weekly U-S-D-A crop report showed south-central and south-east Iowa had the lowest levels of topsoil moisture with two-thirds of the state short to very short. There have been reports of the corn leaves curling in some places where the moisture is low. Northey says the hot days in the 90s will make the corn leaves curl and the soybeans will wilt a little bit. He says in the areas where it is not really dry the crops will be able to handle the heat.

Northey farms near Spirit Lake in northwest Iowa and got some of his corn in late due to wet conditions. “And it only made knee high by the Fourth of July, so we have spots that are drowned out and not very far away we have spots that are too dry,” according to Northey. ” For the most part when you look at the state, the crop looks good for this time of year.” Northey says he’s only had a few reports of issues with the crops outside of the weather.

He says he’s seen some soybean aphids being talked about as people get out and scout the fields. But he says there’s not been anything major. Northey says storm damage is one thing that could impact crops in July. He says the impact of storms is much like the impact of rain, as it can hit one field hard, but leave others untouched.

(Radio Iowa)

(Update) Heavy storms and strong winds bring widespread damage, power outages

News, Weather

July 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Widespread damage to homes, businesses and crops was reported across western and northern Iowa after overnight thunderstorms brought heavy rain and strong winds approaching 70 miles an hour. Montgomery County emergency management coordinator Brian Hamman says severe storms rolled through Villisca at around 2 A-M. “I was out and followed the storms and entered the city of Villisca and found numerous tree limbs down,” Hamman says. “About the same time, the Villisca Fire Department was paged out to Forsman Farms, the chicken farm just southwest of town, for significant damage.”

Forsman Farms damage (Brian Hamman - Montgomery EMA photos)

Forsman Farms damage (Brian Hamman – Montgomery EMA photos)

He says the damage at that facility is incredible. “The chicken plant at Forsman Farms sustained significant damage to pretty much every building, from minor roof damage to significant damage,” Hamman says. “The walkway has been blown off completely between two buildings and multiple garage doors were ripped out.”

In addition, Hamman says Villisca’s Municipal Power Plant sustained significant roof damage. “They’ve had the majority of their roof blown off,” he says. “They have a pitched roof on top of a flat roof and the majority of that pitch is off.”

Villisca Power Plant

Villisca Power Plant

Downed trees and tree limbs dot the community and cleanup operations were underway Thursday morning. “The city of Villisca is taking care of all the tree branches that are down in the roadways and Forsman Farms has already contracted with a contractor to come out and make the repairs that are needed,” Hamman says. “Thankfully, it doesn’t sound like any of their chickens were affected and they still have electricity and are business as usual.”

(Radio Iowa)

I-80 eastbound blocked by crash involving 2 semis near Menlo

News

July 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation reports Interstate 80 eastbound near the Highway 25 overpass, is completely blocked (as of 9-a.m.) due to a crash involving two semi-tractor trailers. Eastbound traffic is being re-routed around the crash scene via the Exit 86 off-ramp, across Highway 25, and then back down the entrance ramp to I-80 eastbound. The accident reportedly occurred at around 6-a.m.

Additional information is not currently available.

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

News, Podcasts

July 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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

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Panel searches for ways to help drug-endangered Iowa kids

News

July 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A task force will soon meet in Des Moines looking for new protections for children living in homes where caregivers are involved with illegal drugs. The working group was authorized after legislators failed to pass a bill this year governing so-called “drug-endangered” children. Dale Woolery, spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, says the panel will include child welfare advocates, substance abuse experts and law enforcement officials.

Woolery says, “The concerns generally are for the welfare, what’s best for children, who may be exposed to drugs that wind up in their system or are living in an environment where drugs are used or sold or in some cases manufactured.”

Child welfare advocates say fewer children are being tested for drugs in their systems under a new child abuse investigation protocol at the Iowa Department of Human Services and a D-H-S spokeswoman says more families are taking advantage of services under the new system. Woolery says child welfare is at stake.

“Once someone knows that caregivers have been drug-involved is that child or are the children in that home are they safe, are they safe a month from now, six months from now?” Woolery says. “What’s happening to intervene in that situation?”

A bill which failed to pass the legislature this year would have required notifying law enforcement if investigators determine that a child is “drug-endangered,” which would be a new term in Iowa law. Now, law enforcement is notified if a child is in imminent danger.

(Radio Iowa)

Dog stolen from Creston property

News

July 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston say a resident in the 400 block of N. Vine Street reported this (Thursday) morning, that sometime during the overnight hours Wednesday into this morning, someone opened a dog pen on his property and took his female Collie. The dog is wearing a pink/purple collar. The animal was valued at $400. If you have any information about the location of the dog, contact Creston Police. collie

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

News, Podcasts

July 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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

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Ernst has reportedly ruled out being Trump’s running mate

News

July 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst told a reporter for the Washington, D.C. publication “Politico” that she can provide the best “assistance” to Donald Trump as a senator rather than as his running mate. Ernst spoke briefly with Radio Iowa early Wednesday afternoon, saying she was “very impressed” with Trump after meeting privately with him Sunday.

When asked directly if she could envision being Trump’s vice president, Ernst said “any number of Republicans” could fulfill that role. “That’s entirely his decision and he will most certainly pick the right person for his ticket and I look forward to supporting that ticket,” Ernst said. Ernst told the Politico reporter she is just getting started in the U.S. Senate and expects to be an “advocate” for Trump on the campaign trail.

The New York Times is reporting the Trump campaign will give Ernst a prime-time speaking slot at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland later this month.

(Radio Iowa)