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House destroyed by fire south of Logan Wed. evening

News

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following a fire that destroyed a home in rural Harrison County, Wed. evening. According to fire officials, the blaze occurred 2882 Price Place, northeast of Beebeetown.  Firefighters from Magnolia, Modale, Persia, Logan and Missouri Valley responded to the scene. The cause of the fire is unknown, but a wood burning stove is suspected. The family has been placed with their neighbors.

Crews were still on the scene checking for hot spots, as of about 6:30-p.m.

Court rejects appeal in Iowa slaying, kidnapping

News

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

EARLY, Iowa (AP) — A court is refusing a new trial for an Iowa man convicted of killing his mother and kidnapping a woman. The Iowa Court of Appeals said Wednesday that Kirk Levin’s statement about wanting a lawyer wasn’t enough to force officers to stop their interrogation. Levin’s serving life in the 2013 choking and stabbing death of his mother, Marilyn Schmitt, at her Early farmhouse.

After the slaying, Levin lured a 21-year-old woman to a barn on the property, tied her up and drove off. She escaped when Levin’s car skidded into a ditch. The crimes came just hours after Levin was released from prison.

Levin waived his Miranda rights, but later told made a statement about wanting a lawyer. The court says the vague statement wasn’t “an unambiguous request for counsel.”

Japanese language classes gain popularity in Iowa schools

News

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Some Iowa high schools offer only Spanish, German or French as foreign language courses, but in recent years, other options are beginning to make a stronghold in the curricula. Dan Carolin teaches Japanese and is co-chair of World Languages at Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School. Carolin is among seven teachers in Iowa high schools who exclusively teach Japanese. “It’s important for students to really learn about any foreign culture they have an interest in,” Carolin says. “That’s what I think is terrific about having the program here. We’re not limited to European languages as many schools are, that our students do have other options to explore.”

Some 25 years ago, there was a renewed interest in Japanese language thanks to the island nation’s growth as an economic power, but Carolin says that’s shifted in this age of the Internet. “These days it’s really sort of more Japanese pop culture which is very often driving an interest in the study of Japanese,” Carolin says. “Video games, anime, manga, Japanese pop music are very often some of the interests my students have and what motivates them to study Japanese.” While Japanese is also offered at high schools in Des Moines and Davenport, he say the Cedar Rapids school district is very dedicated to offering a host of foreign language options.

“Kennedy has Spanish, French, German, Japanese and Chinese,” Carolin says. “I’ve been here for 11 years and I have a steady stream of students and that’s true at the other schools as well. Both Jefferson and Washington have full-time Japanese programs. Washington also has Arabic and Russian programs as well.” Carolin is a New York native who got hooked on the Asian culture in the late 1980s after taking a job as teacher of English in Japan.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic Police Chief grateful for community support of A-PD Christmas programs

News

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green has provided an update on the annual “Shop with a Cop” and “Family Dream Christmas” programs that took place recently. Green says on Sunday December 21st, officials with the Atlantic Police Department held their annual “Shop with a Cop” program at the Atlantic Wal-Mart. This year the APD decided to try and bring more children shopping than ever before. In total 34 children from around Cass County went shopping with A-PD officers.

shop2

All photo’s from the Atlantic Police Dept.’s Facebook page.

Green says knowing that it would take more manpower than originally planned, they “called for backup,” from the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa State Patrol. The APD, APD Reserves, CCSO, and ISP representatives arrived around 1:00 PM in full uniform to be matched up with children.shop5 Shop1 shop3 shop4 Once everyone was paired up, the children were taken shopping through the store and allowed to pick out many of the items they were in need of such as shoes, clothes, coats, boots, and snow pants. The children were also allowed to pick out a few toys that they wanted.

After each group finished shopping, officers and their partners were provided lunch at Subway located inside Wal-Mart. The Atlantic Police Department would also like to thank Subway for providing 50% off the entire bill.  Together with the “Family Dream Christmas” program the Atlantic Police and Reserve Departments were able to help a total of 62 children and 18 adults within 29 families to have a much more joyful Christmas experience.

The “Family Dream Christmas” program took place on Saturday, Dec. 20th. Eight families were taken shopping at local businesses, by Atlantic Police Reserve officers. Those same families also received a full Christmas dinner featuring a turkey and ham. Gift cards were also distributed for use at local businesses to help with the cost of food during the holidays. Two families were provided with a trip through the Reserve Department’s Toy Room, which includes toys that are donated throughout the year. Children in the families went into the room and picked out a few items that they would each like to have. Their families were also provided with a Christmas dinner and gift cards to local businesses.

Green says thanks to generous donations over the past year, the department was able to help two additional families, who were taken shopping in the community and provided with items needed for each member of the family. Chief Green expresses his gratitude to all of the MANY generous PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS, and to the nearly two-dozen businesses and groups that contributed to the cause.  Those businesses and groups include:

The Salvation Army Red Kettle Fund; Smith Land Service Company; Atlantic New Telegraph
Richter and Son Towing; Nick Baier (Joe Dirt) Pool Tournament; Atlantic Lions Club; BPOE Does
Royal Neighbors of America; The TV Store; Browns Shoe Fit; Atlantic Daisy Scouts Troup 116
Atlantic Cub Scouts pack 53; Employees at Oakland Foods (OSI); Employees at Schuler Manufacturing
Students of the Atlantic Middle School; United Church of Christ; Holy Trinity Lutheran Church; The Bicycle Store; Atlantic Walmart; Meyer and Gross Real Estate; Little Cobbler; Women in Management
and the NGA Club.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 12/24/2014

News, Podcasts

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.

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Antiques stolen from a home in Creston

News

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A resident in Creston reported to Police on Monday that someone had broken into his some and taken several antiques. According to Creston Police, Mike Burton told authorities the incident at his residence at 504 S. Mulberry Street happened sometime between 3-p.m. Sunday and 2-p.m., Monday.

Burton said he was missing several antique lamps, oil lamps, a Bunn coffee pot and two jars of antique buttons, along with a box of antique knickknacks. The loss was estimated at $500.

(7-a.m. News)

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. KJAN News & funeral report, 12/24/2014

News, Podcasts

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Some of the area’s top news, with KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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ISU to hire 235 new faculty over two year period

News

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa State University’s president says enrollment at the Ames school has been growing at a “record pace” and that’s why he’s on a hiring spree. Last year, I-S-U president Steven Leath approved hiring 105 new faculty members. “We’re going to do 130 this year,” Leath says. “I think we’re the only university in the country that’s hiring that many faculty in the two-year period.”

According to the American Institutes for Research. Iowa State is the only university in the country to have reduced administrative costs while increasing the number of faculty hired over the past eight years. That trend started with former I-S-U president Gregory Geoffrey and continued with Leath when he took over as I-S-U’s president nearly three years ago.

“This is really about making sure we can teach the students,” Leath says. “And it’s also about doing research in some critical areas and so these are very targeted recruitments.” Nearly 70 percent of all I-S-U classes have fewer than 20 students and to accommodate both record enrollment and more faculty, Leath ordered some administrative offices that had been on the central campus to move off campus.

(Radio Iowa)

Workforce Development program will train low income women in male dominated jobs

News

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) Foundation has won a 75-thousand dollar grant from the Walmart Foundation to promote career opportunities for low-income women. I-W-D spokesperson, Kerry Koonce, the grant will be used to establish the “Women’s Occupational Matching and Networking (WOMaN) Project” to help women find jobs in non-traditional occupations. “Particularly in the construction and advanced manufacturing area, and so we are going to be working with our customers in our food assistance and our promise jobs programs to really be targeting these individuals and getting them trained and ready to go into these careers,” Koonce says.

Koonce says they picked the two areas of focus based on their potential. “Well they are the two areas where there is demand and growth. They are two areas that women traditionally are much lower in the employment ranks in,” Koonce says. “But they are very high-paying jobs and very self-sustaining. And a lot of these individuals are single parents with young children at home, so strong middle-income wages with good benefits are really important for these families.” She says the program will have a couple of benefits. “You are getting people off of any kind of public assistance, and their life is better, they’re self-sustaining, they are contributing to their own families,” Koonce says.

A recent study compiled by Iowa Workforce Development found the hourly wages of women were 25 percent less than men, and salaried women earn 19-point-four percent less. The study found a primary reason for this disparity in wages was select female-dominated career fields that pay less, along with male-dominated occupations that tend to pay more. Koonce says they are working with partners, such as the Master Builders of Iowa.

“We’ve targeted four areas across the state where we can have the highest impact, and that is: Waterloo, Ottumwa, Davenport and Des Moines,” Koonce says. “And that is based on the ratio of individuals who qualify within this low-income program. And also where there is the need and the opportunity for the growth in these nontraditional occupations.” Koonce says they will get in touch with those already in the two state programs she mentioned. “But we will also be opening it to other people who may qualify, but they are not completely on the assistance program. And we will be kicking it off at the end of January,” Koonce explains.

Koonce says grants like this to the I-W-D foundation allow them to run the program without state dollars. “It’s an area that we’ve begun targeting more heavily within the last couple of years. There’s a lot of programs out there that we can use, and we want to be sure that we are providing all of the resources available to our customers.” Koonce says the non-profit status of the I-W-D Foundation allows them to go after such grants.

(Radio Iowa)

Accident in Audubon County Tue. evening

News

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

One person escaped serious injury when the vehicle they were driving went out of control and rolled over in Audubon County, Tuesday night. Sheriff Todd Johnson reports 41-year old Tricia Kay Deist, of Audubon, was traveling east on 190th Street at around 6:30-p.m., when her 2003 Dodge went out of control due to the road conditions. The vehicle entered the east ditch near the intersection with Kingbird Avenue, and rolled over before coming to rest on its top. The damage was estimated at $3,500.

Deist refused medical treatment at the scene. There were no citations issued.