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(Podcast) KJAN News & funeral report, 3/26/2015

News, Podcasts

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:06-a.m. report w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Wells Fargo’s Mendlik Promoted to Senior Business Relationship Manager and Vice President

News

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Wells Fargo announced Wednesday Jay Mendlik has been promoted to senior business relationship manager and vice president for the Business Banking team serving customers in both Denison and Atlantic. Mendlik, a long time member of the Denison business community, works out of Wells Fargo’s Denison location on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Mendlik covers the Atlantic store location at 600 Chestnut on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In his new role, Mendlik will continue to serve both business and ag banking customers throughout Western Iowa. A 1998 graduate of University of Nebraska-Omaha, Mendlik started his career with Wells Fargo in 2007 as a business relationship manager in Denison.

‘Rescue vehicles’ cleared for speed if House bill becomes law

News

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa House has voted unanimously to let the drivers of “rescue vehicles” speed and run stop lights and stop signs, just as police cars, ambulances and fire trucks may in response to an emergency. So what is a rescue vehicle? Representative Sandy Salmon, a Republican from Janesville, explained it’s a motor vehicle equipped with rescue, fire or life-support equipment used to assist or rescue people in emergencies.

The Iowa D-O-T requires the drivers of rescue vehicles to go through the same training as ambulance drivers and fire truck operators. Salmon says when it’s a “matter of life and death” — rescue vehicles play an important role. “This is a good bill that will assist in getting life support equipment to where it is needed in as rapid time as is safely possible,” Salmon says.

The bill, which passed the House Wednesday, now goes to the Senate for consideration. The Iowa D-O-T is the agency that determines if a vehicle can be licensed as a rescue vehicle. To qualify, a vehicle must have at least 75-hundred dollars of equipment that would be exclusively used for rescues and emergencies.

(Radio Iowa)

Villisca woman hurt in Red Oak accident

News

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A woman from Villisca suffered minor injuries during a collision Wednesday afternoon, in Red Oak. Authorities say 60-year old Janice Robinson was transported by Red Oak Rescue to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital, after the 2003 Ford Explorer she was driving was rear-ended by a 2003 Chevy Suburban. The accident happened at around 4:35-p.m., on Highway 34 at the entrance road to Senate Avenue next to the Red Coach Inn.

Officials say Robinson, and the driver of the Suburban, 55-year old Ronda Woods, of Red Oak, were traveling west on Highway 34, when Robinson signaled to turn onto Senate Avenue and began to brake for the turn. The SUV sustained minor damage, estimated at $2,000. The Chevy sustained $7,000 damage, and was declared a total loss. Woods was cited by Red Oak Police for Following too closely.

Semi rolls off I-80 near Underwood Thu. morning

News

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A truck driver from Kansas was injured early this (Thursday) morning when his rig rolled into a ditch off of Interstate 80 in Pottawattamie County. The Iowa State Patrol says 57-year old Steven Cain, of Wichita, KS, was traveling west on I-80 at around 12:40-a.m., when he noticed the trailer lights on his semi were not working properly.

When Cain attempted to pull over onto the right, westbound shoulder near the 17-mile marker, he pulled too far off the road. The soft ground pulled the 2015 International semi into the ditch, where it rolled onto its side.

Cain, who was wearing his seat belt, was transported by Underwood Rescue to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, where he was being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

State on the lookout for bird flu

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

State officials are keeping an eye out for signs of a bird flu that has recently been discovered in other states. State Veterinarian David Schmitt says the influenza is highly pathogenic, or has a high death rate, particularly in turkeys and chickens. “It first appeared in the northwest part of the United States in the Pacific Flyway in some commercial and backyard poultry that were affected. It’s now show up in the Mississippi Flyway here in the central states region — first in Minnesota and then a couple of turkey farms in Missouri, one in Arkansas, and then a backyard group of birds in Kansas,” Schmitt explains.

Schmitt says waterfowl carry different types of influenza across the country. “This one here happens to be an H-5-N-2, it’s highly pathogenic, and birds in this flyway as in other flyways, they commingle in the northern countries and they can bring it back. And when they’re coming through they stop, and they can be shedding it in their feces,” Schmitt says. There have been some samples taken of snowgeese in Iowa and so far the disease has not show up in the state.

“That’s pretty exciting, because it means that hopefully everybody is doing their due diligence as far as in protecting their birds,” Schmitt says. It’s an important issue to Iowa as the state is a leader in egg laying and a leader also in turkey production. Schmitt says he’s confident those industries are taking the proper steps to keep the disease away. “In the state of Iowa, our commercial operations are very well in tune in as far as biosecurity operations,” according to Schmitt. “Certainly a lot of those have seen what’s going on and have even intensified and reviewed those biosecurity to make sure that it is not introduced into their populations of birds.”

He says the operations have had such biosecurity measures in place long before this outbreak in other states. He says the operations don’t allow visitors and those who come in cannot have any contact with birds in the last three days, and he says those who work in the facilities are not allow to own their own private birds. Schmitt says anyone who keeps chickens or other birds privately should take precautions.

“If you are walking through areas where wild waterfowl have been and you have a backyard population — its extremely important to change your shoes, make sure things are clean before you walk in with any poultry,” Schmitt says. Schmitt says the influenza cannot be transferred to humans and is not a health concern in that regard.

(Radio Iowa)

Study: distracted driving a more serious problem than previously thought

News

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A University of Iowa study of hundreds of dash-cam video recordings of teenage drivers who were involved in crashes finds they’re a lot more distracted than originally thought. Gail Weinholzer, at Triple-A-Iowa, says the comprehensive research found significant evidence that distracted driving is likely a much more serious problem than previously known.

“We found that six out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes involved distraction, which is four times more than has been reported on police records,” Weinholzer says. “Of course, the average person isn’t going to admit to law enforcement that they were horsing around with other teenagers or talking on their cell phone.” Researchers at the U-of-I analyzed the six seconds leading up to a crash in nearly 17-hundred videos of teen drivers taken from in-vehicle event recorders.

“The #1 cause was interacting with one or more teen passengers, that was 15% of all crashes,” Weinholzer says. “Cell phone use, whether it be dialing the phone, talking on the phone, using it to text or something of that nature was 12% of all crashes, and daydreaming and looking around at what was going on outside of the car not relevant to the driving process was about ten percent.”

Other top distractions include: singing and moving to music, grooming and reaching for an object. An earlier federal study had estimated distraction is a factor in only 14-percent of all teen driver crashes. This new report showed distraction was a factor in 58-percent of all crashes studied, including 89-percent of road-departure crashes and 76-percent of rear-end crashes. Parents play a critical role in preventing distracted driving, according to the motor club.

“Parents need to model good behavior,” Weinholzer says. “If their teens are seeing them texting and driving or talking on the cell phone and driving, it’s no surprise that the teens are going to do that themselves. Second, parents need to limit the number of teens in the vehicle as well as the cell phone use that’s going on in the vehicle.” Those things might be accomplished, she suggests, with parent-teen contracts and through stronger graduated drivers licensing laws.

Researchers found that drivers who were using their cell phone had their eyes off the road for an average of four-point-one out of the final six seconds leading up to a crash. The researchers also measured reaction times in rear-end crashes and found that teen drivers using a cell phone failed to react more than half of the time before the impact, meaning, they crashed without braking or steering.

(Radio Iowa)

Google addresses concerns over fill dirt issues

News

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Internet giant Google earlier this week suspended digging at an excavation site in southwest Iowa after locals complained that truckloads of dirt being hauled away for use by the company were creating problems for residents. The Omaha World-Herald reports company officials said in a written statement Tuesday evening “In the past few days, we have been contacted by members of the community concerning a borrow pit in Mills County that has been used to supply dirt to our facility. We take these concerns seriously and have ceased all transportation of fill until we have had a chance to review the situation.”

In its statement, Google did not specify how it planned to use the dirt. The Mountain View, California-based company opened its first data center in Iowa on 200 acres of land in the Lake Manawa area in 2009. The company then opened a second Bluffs data center on a 975-acre site about a mile east of the MidAmerican Energy plant that it is continuing to develop.

The complaints center on a tract of land west of Mineola, in northern Mills County, owned by Cory Leick, where the company has gotten dirt in the past. The complaints came to Google’s attention as Leick applied to the Mills County Zoning Board of Adjustment for a proposal to excavate a different site, a nearly 40-acre parcel roughly a half-mile southeast of the current dig. Four of the five members voted Tuesday to approve Leick’s proposal. The fifth member was Leick, who recused himself.

Leick said in an interview after the vote that Google was only one of many clients getting dirt from the first site. Others included the Iowa Department of Transportation, which used some of his dirt on various projects in western Iowa. Locals say trucks hauling tons of dirt from that site are often uncovered, leading to dust and rocks flying about on Barrus Road, a primary route out of town.

About 45 people attended the board meeting Tuesday evening. Several people spoke in opposition to granting Leick the permit, citing the performance standards laid out for special use permits, which do not allow projects that would lead to, among other things, “objectionable” noise and “discernible” vibration. Leick said he would work to meet performance standards.

 

Boil water advisory in Tabor

News

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Authorities on Wednesday asked residents of Tabor, in Fremont County, to boil their water until until further notice. The Omaha World-Herald says repairs to a leaking water line lowered pressure temporarily, City officials said water tests to ensure safety could take 48 hours.

7 middle school students from Treynor honored for their efforts following school bus rollover

News

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Seven Treynor Middle School students were honored for their roles in keeping other students calm and safe following a school bus rollover accident March 13th. The bus was taking about 20 students home from school when it slipped off the edge of the road and toppled onto its side near 290th Street. The Daily Non Pareil reports Warren Rolf, Nathan Nelson, Alora Nowlin, Chloe Mass, Amanda Stephens, Claire Rolf and Max Hayes were given service awards for their efforts to keep children calm, help them out of the bus and in seeking help.

Before the first rescue crews were even on the scene of the accident, the children were already out of the bus and acting calmly. Only two children suffered minor injuries.

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker addresses the 7 students at an assembly Wednesday, who helped their classmates after a bus rollover accident. (Photo from Pott. Co. S/O Facebook page)

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker addresses the 7 students at an assembly Wednesday, who helped their classmates after a bus rollover accident. (Photo from Pott. Co. S/O Facebook page)

On Wednesday, Rolf and the others were escorted to the gym and greeted with a standing ovation from their peers, parents, teachers, the Treynor Fire Department and the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Jeff Danker handed the awards to each student followed by a firm handshake and a thank-you. He said the students should feel proud of their actions.