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17 laptop computers stolen from Iowa state office in Pott Co.

News

November 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Seventeen aging laptop computers have been stolen from an Iowa Department of Human Services office in Pottawattamie County.Nine of the social workers’ laptops were missing when workers arrived on Sept. 26. Department spokesman Roger Munns says police found no sign of forced entry. When workers arrived on Sept. 30, eight more laptop computers had been taken. The door locks have been changed and the county is getting estimates for installing an electronic-key entry system. Munns says the computers were 5 to 6 years old and were scheduled for replacement. He says no private information was stored on them.

NWS: IA Tornado Season started big, ended with a whimper

News, Weather

November 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Johnston says there were 50 tornadoes in the state this year, which is just above the 30-year average of 47 tornadoes. Altogether, 16 people were injured by the events, but there were no fatalities. Craig Cogil says the season started-up rapidly in March and early April, but lost steam as the season progressed. Cogil says two significant tornado days occurred early in the season, on March 22nd over southwest to south central Iowa during the late afternoon and evening hours. The event produced 8 tornadoes over a 2-hour period, including an EF-2 in Madison County, which caused property damage to several farms and one home.  EF-2′s produced winds of 111-to 135 miles per hours.

An event on April 9th was the largest outbreak of tornadoes for one day across Iowa since May, 2004, when 20 tornadoes twisted their way across the state. The event started during the mid-evening hours when the first tornado, an EF-3 (with winds of 136-to 165-mph), hit Mapleton, in Monona County. Nearly 100 homes were destroyed and many other severly damaged in a 12-to 15-block area. The event resulted in 14 injuries and 500 residents being displaced. Several other tornadoes formed over the next several hours that day, from west central into north central Iowa, including one that tracked more than 29-miles from northern Sac through southeastern Buena Vista and western Pocahontas Counties.  It had the distinction of being 1.5-miles wide at times, and produced numerous “Satellite” tornadoes, which tracked around the main tornado. One of the satellites was an EF-4 (winds from 166- to 200-mph). It destroyed a farmstead and tossed a combine nearly 300-yards.

Two significant tornado events occurred in May, including two on May 11th that hit the town of Lenox within a span of 5-minutes. Both tornadoes were rated as EF-1′s, producing winds of 86 to 110-miles per hour. Both tornadoes caused extensive roof and tree damage. The other tornado event in May was in eastern Iowa’s Howard County.

The remainder of the season saw 10 more tornadoes occurr on six different days. The most occurred on June 20th, when four twisters were observed. The last tornado of the season was on July 11th. It caused extensive damage in portions of central and eastern Iowa. The fact the last tornado was confirmed on that date marked the earliest cessation of tornadic activity in the state since reliable records started in 1980, beating the previous earliest cessation record set on July 24, 1992.

For more detailed info., surf to www.weather.gov/desmoines.

Iowans warned about using online pharmacies

News

November 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Rural Iowans who have to make a long trek to a drug store might consider buying their prescription medications online, but they’re being warned against it. Carmen Catizone, executive director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, says most of those websites are flaunting the law, in addition to selling bogus drugs.

“It’s a $75-billion industry and you really can’t buy medications online without a prescription, legally, but unfortunately, you’re able to do so and you’re able to do so with websites that are operating illegally, are dangerous and are probably selling counterfeit drugs,” Catizone says. An association study of online drug stores revealed just how crooked most of those businesses have become.

“We looked at over eight-thousand websites selling prescription drugs,” Catizone says. “Ninety-six-percent of those websites were fake, rogue or illegal sites that were breaking both federal and state law.” He says it’s even more disturbing to hear that any type of drug, from diet pills to pain killers, can be purchased online and without a prescription. 

Catizone says, “You can order virtually any prescription drug in the world that you want, but the other side of the issue is, if you’re not using a legal, on-site pharmacy or talking to your doctor, the chances of what you are getting being a real med are probably nil and the dangers of using or taking or buying those meds are high and very significant.” He says counterfeit medication manufacturers have become very skilled at producing convincing products that look like the real thing, but they’re usually made in unsanitary conditions and contain dangerous substances, like rat poison or lead. Erectile drugs are the most-counterfeited. The study also found one in six Americans bought medications online last year.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Know the store policies when you go shopping

News

November 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A spokesman for Iowa’s Attorney General says you can save yourself a lot of holiday hassles if you take a little time to keep know some shopping rules. Geoff Greenwood says the first thing to know is that stores set the conditions on things like returns. Greenwood says a lot of people get confused because they think that state law requires stores to accept returns, but he says there isn’t such a law for a refund, exchange or credit unless a store advertises such a policy. Many stores are offering layaway plans this year in an effort to boost sales. The stores also set layaway rules.

“Make sure your eyes are wide open what the rules are, and also pay attention to how much they’re charging you, in some cases they will charge you a storage fee for the layaway,” Greenwood says. He says make sure you know what the storage cost is up front on an item. Greenwood says the return polices vary widely, so don’t think what works at one store will also work at another.

He says some stores require a receipt for a return, others don’t. Some can look up your purchase, while others can’t. There are set rules stores have to follow when it comes to gift cards.
Greenwood says money on a gift card cannot expire for at least five years from the time you buy it or from the time you load it with money. He says it is possible to charge you an inactivity fee if you don’t use the card. Greenwood says you should ask the stores about their policies if you are unsure of their rules.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)

Record High Temperatures were set today (Thursday)

News, Weather

November 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

As  meteorologists had expected, record high temperatures were set across the state this (Thursday) afternoon. Here at KJAN, the OFFICIAL National Weather Service reporting and record-keeping station for Atlantic, a 96-year old record high temperature fell by the wayside when we topped out at 68-degrees.  The old record of 62, was set in 1915.  A record high of 64 in Shenandoah was broken when the community topped out at 70-degrees at around 3:15-p.m..

In Des Moines, the record high was broken just after 3-p.m., when the temperature hit 67-degrees. The old record was 65 set in 1915.

Iowa VA hospitals to be monitored by docs in Minneapolis

News

November 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Veterans in intensive care units at Iowa’s two V-A hospitals will soon be under the care of doctors in Minneapolis via the Internet. The Department of Veterans Affairs is going to the “hub and spoke” concept for providing health care in I-C-Us. Dr. Craig Piquette, at the Omaha V-A Medical Center, says advanced technology will make the Minneapolis V-A the hub for several other hospitals in the Midwest. “Due to the availability of intensive care-trained physicians in Minneapolis, they just have more of them than what we do here,” Dr. Piquette says. “Then the spokes are the seven ICUs across the region which includes facilities in Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota and Nebraska.” The technology involved in creating an electronic or “tele-ICU” is already in place in Omaha and Fargo and will be coming soon to Iowa and elsewhere.

He says “That hub in Minneapolis will eventually monitor intensive care units in Iowa City, Des Moines, Omaha, Fargo, Sioux Falls and the Black Hills facilities in western South Dakota.” Equipment can be placed in a patient’s room at any of the spokes and medical experts at the hub in Minneapolis will monitor that patient’s conditions, in addition to the local staff.  Piquette says, “Our nurse-to-patient ratio is one nurse to every two patients in the ICU but the electronic ICU provides a safety net, another set of eyes that is constantly watching the patient.” There is a restricted area at the Minneapolis V-A equipped with a bank of monitoring screens showing vital signs. There is also a live two-way audio-video feed that instantly connects the patient, bedside provider and the team of critical care nurses and specialists in Minneapolis. Piquette says the cameras and monitors show real-time events and the video resolution is remarkable.

He says, “The cameras can focus in on the patient and are able to allow the physician to assess things such as the size of their pupils and a rash on their skin.” When installation of the tele-ICU service is complete, 75 ICU beds at seven hospitals in five states will be monitored by critical care specialists in the Twin Cities.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

8AM Iowa News (podcast)

News, Podcasts

November 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The latest state news with KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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7AM Western IA News 11-24-11 (podcast)

News, Podcasts

November 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Atlantic man Installed as President of the Iowa Association of Realtors®

News

November 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Association of Realtors® (IAR) this week reported that at its annual convention held in West Des Moines this fall,  Dale Gross of Atlantic was installed as President of the organization. Don Marple of Davenport was installed as President-Elect and Kathy Miller of Sioux City was installed as Treasurer.

Gross has been a licensed Realtor® in Iowa for more than 34 years, and has been the broker and owner of Meyer & Gross Real Estate Company in Atlantic since 1978. He has been an active member of the IAR since 1978, serving on numerous leadership committees, and as past chair of the communications and education committees. He served as IAR’s 2011 president-elect and received the IAR Realtor® of the Year Award in 2008.

The IAR says Gross has also served in various leadership roles on his local board, the West Central Iowa Board of Realtors, and he contributes a great deal of time and energy to his local community. He is active in the Rotary, Za-Ga-Zig Shriners and the Atlantic Chamber Ambassadors. Gross supports numerous local organizations, including the Boy Scouts, YMCA Partnership for Youth, Food Pantry and the Family Crisis Center.

Portion of Council Bluffs Exceeds Lead National Air Quality Standard

News

November 23rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa DNR Wednesday said they had received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) finalized determination that a 3.4 square mile area of central Council Bluffs violated the national air quality standard for lead in 2010 and is designated in nonattainment. The only known source of lead emissions in this area is Griffin Pipe Products Company.

The DNR began working with Griffin Pipe in 2010 to implement changes to reduce lead emissions. Griffin Pipe completed facility modifications and installed controls to reduce lead air emissions in early 2011. As of Nov. 15, 2011, the DNR’s Council Bluffs lead monitor has not registered any violations. In 2010 the Council Bluffs lead monitor measured six violations of the national standard.

The lead nonattainment area in Council Bluffs consists of industrial, commercial and residential areas. It is bounded by Avenue G on the north, North 16th/South 16th Street on the east, 23rd Avenue on the south, and North 35th/South 35th Street on the west. The EPA allows areas in nonattainment 18 months from the effective date of designation ― in this case Nov. 22, 2011 ― to develop and implement plans to reduce the exceeding air pollutant within five years.

The DNR will continue to monitor the area to determine whether additional measures may be needed to remain at or below the national air quality standard for lead. The standard is 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter of air, measured as a consecutive three-month rolling average.

Lead emitted into the air can be inhaled or ingested after it settles. Depending on the level of exposure, lead can affect the nervous system, kidney function, immune system, reproductive and developmental systems, and the cardiovascular system. There is no known safe level of lead in the body.