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Iowa uses corn rows to keep snow off highways

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Department of Transportation is paying dozens of Iowa farmers to leave rows of corn that can create snow barriers along highways. KCRG-TV reports the state agency has about 70 contracts with farmers. Agency transportation planner Cathy Cutler says farmers are asked to leave four to 10 rows adjacent to roads. The corn acts as a natural barrier, keeping the snow off highways.

Dean Williams, who farms near Vinton, participates in the program. He says his corn can cause up to 4 feet of snow to pile up in the stalks, keeping Highway 150 clearer. The farmers are paid a little more than they would earn from the corn, and they still can harvest the rows in the spring.

Friday morning fire near Oakland

News

January 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A residence southeast of Oakland was destroyed by fire early this (Friday) morning, but the family was able to escape without injury. According to reports, the blaze at 18333 450th Street, occurred at around 4-a.m. Residents were alerted to the situation when they heard popping and cracking noises.

Crews with the Oakland, Carson and Hancock Fire Departments responded to the scene and upon arrival discovered heavy smoke and flames coming from the basement and first floor areas.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

Fire fighters respond to outbuilding fire Thursday, near Minden

News

January 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Minden, Underwood  and Neola responded to an outbuilding fire in rural Pottawattamie County, Thursday morning. The call came in at around 8:30-a.m. Upon arrival at the farm west of Minden, crews reported heavy smoke and flames coming from the structure. Crews battled windy and cold conditions for about an hour.mindfire2

Photos from the Minden Fire & Rescue Dept.'s Facebook page.

Photos from the Minden Fire & Rescue Dept.’s Facebook page.

Minden fire was assisted at the scene by crews from the Neola and Underwood Fire and Rescue Departments. There was no immediate word on what caused the blaze. No injuries were reported. Additional details are currently not available.

Heifer shot in Union County

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Union County Sheriff’s office reports a heifer was shot sometime over the past couple of days in a rural part of the County. The incident was reported Thursday afternoon. The heifer, belonging to Randy Wuebker, was located in a field on Redwood Avenue. It was valued at $1,500. No arrests have been made. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

Shoplifters arrested in Creston

News

January 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two Creston residents were arrested Thursday for allegedly shoplifting items from the Creston Wal-Mart store. Creston Police says Loss Prevention officials at the store detained 33-year old Cynthia McIntosh and 33-year old Raymond Davis. An investigation determined the pair allegedly tried to take a stocking cap valued at slightly more than two-dollars. McIntosh and Davis were arrested for 5th Degree Theft. Both were later released from the Union County Jail and given a summons to appear in court.

Iowa residents face abduction charges in Virginia

News

January 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

NEW KENT, Va. (AP) – Two Iowa residents are charged with abduction with intent to defile in New Kent County. WTKR-TV reports that Aldair Hodza and Laura Sorensen of Clive, Iowa, were arrested Tuesday after a truck driver called the New Kent Sheriff’s Office reporting suspicious activity around an RV at a gas station. Police found a man and two females inside the RV.

According to court records, one of the females seemed afraid and malnourished. She was taken outside and questioned. She said she was being abused and held against her will, and she begged police not to let her go back in the RV. Hodza and Sorensen are scheduled to appear in New Kent County General District Court on Feb. 11.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 1/9/2015

News, Podcasts

January 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.

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2nd Sac City slaying trial also moving to different county

News

January 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – The second trial of a man accused of killing his former roommate in 2009 also will be held in a different Iowa county. On Thursday a judge ordered that John Green’s next trial begin March 30 in Boone County. The 55-year-old Green is charged with first-degree murder of 58-year-old Mark Koster in Sac City.

Green’s first trial was held in Webster County because his attorney had argued that pretrial publicity would make it impossible for Green to receive a fair trial in Sac City. The same argument was used against holding the second trial in Fort Dodge. The first trial ended in a mistrial.

Koster was reported missing in 2010 and declared dead in 2011. His remains were found buried in the basement of his Sac City home in 2012.

(Podcast) KJAN News & funeral report, 1/9/2015

News, Podcasts

January 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:06-a.m. Newscast with Ric Hanson.

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Wellmark Foundation announces 2014 “MATCH” grant recipients

News

January 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Wellmark Foundation have announced 14 recipients of its 2014 Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) grant program in Iowa.image001 The 14 competitively awarded grants create pilot efforts or expand health initiatives that focus on childhood obesity prevention and community-based wellness projects. Among the grant recipients was Live Well Council Bluffs, which received a $75,000 grant for the “Council Bluffs Bike Sharing Pilot” project.

Live Well Council Bluffs is creating a pilot bike-sharing program in Council Bluffs that will be run in conjunction with an existing bike-sharing program in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area: Omaha B-Cycle. The funding request is to start the program, not to maintain it.

And, the Rebuild and Recover Mapleton Foundation and the Monona County Alliance, which was awarded a $75,000 grant, for their “Mapleton Active Living by Design” project.

While planning for long-term disaster recovery, Mapleton’s Rebuild and Recover Committee became aware that many in Mapleton could not walk to or safely access recreational and educational sites by any means other than driving. In an analysis of infrastructure and activity, assisted by Iowa State University, landscape architects and Iowa DOT, they learned that the barriers of highways and discontinuous and broken sidewalks combined with poor lighting inhibited children from walking or biking to school and made access to recreational facilities and nearby necessities like groceries difficult for every age group. They plan to build safe highway crossings and well-lit complete sidewalks to enhance access to school.

This was the second year that The Wellmark Foundation offered the MATCH grant program. To view the grant opportunities available for 2015, visit the Wellmark Foundation website.