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(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 3/30/2016

News, Podcasts

March 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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

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(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 3/30/2016

News, Podcasts

March 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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

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Gronstal says Democrats drafting their own water quality plan

News

March 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The top Democrat in the Iowa legislature is not optimistic lawmakers can pass a bipartisan plan to spend more state money on water quality initiatives. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal says he and his fellow Democrats want to spend “more” on water quality, but haven’t seen a workable proposal from Republicans.

“Several of the plans we’ve seen are little more than shell games, moving money around,” Gronstal says, “taking money away from somebody for the same of somebody else.” In January, Republican Governor Terry Branstad proposed shifting some state tax dollars from school infrastructure projects to water quality programs. Last week House Republicans outlined a different approach, using some state gambling taxes along with 28 million dollars in state sales taxes paid on water usage. Gronstal told reporters Democrats are hammering out the final details on their own plan to dedicate “more” state money to water quality projects, although he’s not saying how much more.

“We’re looking at some ideas that would at least, maybe, help us get started on this,” Gronstal says. Gronstal says key legislators are “working through” a host of budget decisions right now and hope to agree on a state spending plan for the next budgeting year “relatively quickly.”

(Radio Iowa)

Legislation to expand home-baking businesses in Iowa

News

March 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa legislature is poised to give Iowans running a baking business out of their home a chance to boost their income. Under current Iowa law, “home food establishments” can only gross 20-thousand dollars a year. That’s not profit, but represents total sales of the home-made goods BEFORE any expenses are deducted. A bill that’s likely to gain final approval in the Iowa Senate soon would raise that limit to 35-thousand dollars a year.

Tod Bowman of Maquoketa drew laughter and groans as he asked his fellow senators to support the bill. “In this case, you can have your cake and eat it, too,” Bowman said. Representative Linda Miller, a Republican from Davenport, spoke just before the House passed the bill unanimously this week. “This is truly a bipartisan effort,” Miller said, “…because we all like pie.” There are 319 licensed “home food establishments” in Iowa today. Lana Shope, of Indianola, has one of them. In 2009, she won the American Pie Council’s top prize with her Harvest Apple Pie recipe.

“So you could say I was the best apple pie baker in America in 2009,” Shope says, with a laugh. “But I’ve won lots and lots of ribbons at the Iowa State Fair. I love to make pie.” Shope and a business partner got a state license to operate last year and their pie “coop” now has 35 customers. Another 30 people are on a waiting list and they might be able to get one of Shope’s monthly pies if this bill becomes law. Shope says it’s mostly women who are trying to make money selling baked goods out of their homes.

“It’s another way to support and promote small, independent businesses where people are really following a passion, doing things they love to do and pleasing people who want a more unique, fresh product as opposed to a mass production item,” Shope says, “which is kind of the trend in the world of food these days.”

(Radio Iowa)

Funeral is today for Des Moines police officer

News

March 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The first of two Des Moines police officers killed in an accident Saturday will be laid to rest today (Wednesday). Officer Susan Farrell and partner Carlos Puente-Morales died when a car traveling the wrong way on Interstate 80 hit their police S-U-V head on. Farrell’s funeral is this morning at 11 o’clock. Des Moines Police Department spokesperson, Sergeant Paul Parizek says they’ve gotten responses from officers in other states who will attend the funeral.

“We’ve had phone calls from as far away as Georgia, people inquiring about the services. There’s a teletype we sent out to every agency in the nation and we’ve had a lot of response — particularly from the midwest,” Parizek says. He says the funeral procession will stretch between eight and 10 miles. Parizek says things will be congested as they leave West Des Moines and head down the Interstate to the cemetery.

He says they are expecting well over one-thousand emergency vehicles in the funeral procession. The Des Moines Department will stretch ladder trucks over the roadway to hold a large American flag. Officer Puente-Morales’ funeral is set for Friday. Two others also died in the accident, Tosha Hyatt of Des Moines was being transported from Council Bluffs to Des Moines by the officers.

The State Medical Examiner identified 25-year-old Ben Beary, of Knoxville, as the driver of the car which crashed head-on into the Des Moines police S-U-V. The State Patrol is still investigating how the accident happened.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., March 30th 2016

News

March 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Legislature is on track to approve a bill that would add penalties for people accused of peeping on others. The House voted in support of the legislation Tuesday and the bill passed unanimously in the Senate last month. New language added in the House means it will return to the Senate before it can reach Governor Terry Branstad.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court is considering whether thousands of felons have been appropriately stripped of their voting rights for life. The outcome of the case will likely have a major impact on five defendants who are charged with illegally voting in the 2012 presidential election. At issue is the definition of the wording in the Iowa Constitution that strips anyone convicted of an “infamous crime” of their voting rights.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — The city of Fort Dodge has committed $20,000 to a study to determine the future of a vacant and deteriorating downtown building. The city and the Fort Dodge Community Foundation are trying to decide how to best use the Warden Plaza. The eight-story building was constructed around 1925 and has been vacant for a decade.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of two Des Moines police officers killed when a wrong-way driver struck their cruiser over the weekend. Flags will be flown at half-staff Wednesday and Friday for officers Susan Farrell and Carlos Puente-Morales.

Cass County pursuit ends in PIT maneuver & arrest

News

March 30th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(Update 4:55)

An investigation into suspicious behavior early this morning in Cass County quickly evolved into a pursuit that ended with the vehicle in a ditch east of Wiota, and one person being taken into custody. Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Bartholomew told KJAN News he was passing an SUV while on routine patrol a little after 1-a.m., when he noticed the vehicle made a sudden turn onto a gravel road in the vicinity of 720th and Fairview Road, west of Anita.

When he attempted to catch up to vehicle, it sped-off, with the chase traversing down gravel and dirt roads. The vehicle, a 2002 Mitsubishi, eventually made its way onto 690th and turned west onto Whitepole Road (Highway 6) toward Wiota, with speeds approaching 85-90 miles per hour. The deputy used his Dodge Charger in a PIT (Precision Immobilization Technique) maneuver. The move caused the SUV to enter the south ditch off Whitepole Road, where it came to rest facing northeast. The chase ended at around 1:20-a.m.

The driver of the SUV, Denise Chamberlain, of Atlantic, was taken into custody on charges that include OWI/drugged, felony eluding and other, moving violations. A passenger in the vehicle was not charged. The Sheriff’s cruiser sustained damage to its right front quarter panel and left rear bumper/valance area. The rear damage was sustained when the car was on a dirt road and struck several deep ruts.

No injuries were reported.

(Photos by KJAN News Director Ric Hanson)

(Photos by KJAN News Director Ric Hanson)

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Iowa Legislature on track to approve bill on peeping

News

March 29th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Legislature is on track to approve a bill this session that would add penalties for people accused of peeping on others. The House voted 97-0 Tuesday in support of the legislation, which would include new language and penalties in Iowa law regarding scenarios where a person may be caught secretly watching or recording another person in a private space.

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate, and new language added in the House means it will return to that chamber before it can reach Gov. Terry Branstad.

Current Iowa law says a peeping victim must be nude or partially nude. Supporters of the bill say state law is too ambiguous to convict in some cases, and the legislation will add clarity.

 

Tractor fire at FSC north of Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 29th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Atlantic were called to the scene of a tractor fire Tuesday evening, north of town. The tractor was burning near some anhydrous tanks when the call came in at around 5:58-p.m. from FSC, located at 54464 Olive Street.

Authorities say after FSC employees completed fueling the tractor that was hooked to an anhydrous tank, a worker started the tractor and began to pull away from the fuel tank when the fire started. Employees quickly disconnected the tractor from the tank before fire fighters arrived. Firefighters were quickly able to extinguish the blaze.

No injuries were reported.

(Photo’s courtesy Mike Kennon, Cass County Emergency Management Agency)

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Bluffs bank robbed late Tue. morning

News

March 29th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are on the lookout for two men who robbed the American National Bank at 2650 W. Broadway, this (Tuesday) morning. Officers were notified at around 11:37-a.m. According to witnesses inside the bank, the two men entered thru the front doors, wearing white masks, black hoodies, black pants, sunglasses and gloves. One of the men had a white short sleeved shirt over the black hoodie he was wearing.

One of the men who was dressed all in black, was armed with a black colored semi-automatic handgun and remained in the lobby area, while the man in the white short sleeved shirt jumped the counter and removed an undetermined amount of money from the cashier’s drawer. The witnesses could not determine the race of the suspects.

bankSuspects Lobby (1) (2)Once outside, the suspects left the area in a silver colored Chevrolet Cavalier, traveling northbound on North 26th Street. Within minutes, the suspect vehicle was found abandoned in the 2500 Block of Avenue A.

A check of the vehicle’s license plate indicated that the car had been stolen from the 7000 Block of No. 34th Street in Omaha, at 1:02 a.m. today (Tuesday). The Council Bluffs Police Department is working jointly with the Federal Bureau of Investigations to solve this crime. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at (712) 328-STOP. Your tip could be eligible for a cash reward and you can remain anonymous.