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School leader repays $2,800 in district card purchases

News

November 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

LAWTON, Iowa (AP) – A northwest Iowa school district is facing scrutiny after an administrator purchased thousands of dollars’ worth of food and alcohol, and reimbursed staff members without receipts. The Des Moines Register reports it made an inquiry into nearly $300 Superintendent Jeff Thelander charged to the Lawton-Bronson School District credit card for a meal for several teachers, a medical researcher and his friends at a Sioux City steakhouse.

Thelander said the meal was a “thank you” for the researcher’s participation in a school event. After the inquiry, Thelander repaid the school district for $2,800 for reimbursed food and alcohol purchases for which he had no receipts. The superintendent said he had lost many of his receipts for purchases made with the district card. According to district expenses, administrators would also often purchase lunches as a thank you for staff members.

Omaha Tribe moves forward with plans for Iowa pot farm

News

November 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Omaha Tribe are moving ahead with a feasibility study on a proposed marijuana-growing operation in western Iowa that would provide pot for medical, industrial and recreational uses. Tribal members have voted on three referendums now giving the Tribal Council the authority to legalize marijuana on the reservation in northeast Nebraska. Chairman Vernon Miller says input from tribal members was vital.

“We needed to really gauge the opinions of the Omaha Tribal members,” Miller says. “We didn’t want to take action without their approval and their opinion. They are pretty controversial issues. We posed those questions to the people and they voted on all three and supported all three.” Miller says the Tribal Council will take the time to research what’s viable.  “Recreational is the most controversial from a legal standpoint so we really need to weigh what’s going to be most feasible at this time…dealing with law enforcement agencies as well as U.S. Attorneys from both Nebraska and Iowa,” Miller says. “That’s something we’re really going to have to weigh after the feasibility study is done, what’s going to be something that we can really effectively do here.”

Miller says generating cash for the tribal community is the biggest priority. “Is it something that’s going to require the least amount of investment but that’s going to provide the biggest ROI, return on investment,” Miller says. “That’s the only reason we’re really pursuing the profit aspect of it, to generate some revenue. My community has a 69% unemployment rate. We have no jobs. Being a sovereign nation, we’re going to take that sovereignty and provide for ourselves.”

Miller says the tribe will work to ensure that any plan would not violate federal or state laws. The proposal would allow for the creation of the crop on tribal land in western Iowa’s Monona County. For more than 20 years, the tribe has operated a casino there, near Onawa, with Las Vegas-style gambling.

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 11/18/2015

News, Podcasts

November 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Clarinda man arrested for drug-related offense

News

November 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers reports his officers arrested 22-year old Dalton Christopher Wise, of Clarinda, Tuesday night. Wise was taken into custody at 1100 East Lincoln Street, in Clarinda, on an outstanding Page County warrant for Failure To Appear for an arraignment.

Pursuant to his arrest, Wise was found in possession of controlled substances believed to be methamphetamine. He was charged for possession of the substance in addition to being taken into custody on the arrest warrant. Wise is currently being held at the Page County Jail on $5,000 bail.

Creston man arrested on drug charge

News

November 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston report the arrest Tuesday afternoon of a man wanted on a warrant for a Controlled Substance Violation. 41-year old Hollis K. Major, of Creston, was taken into custody just before 3-p.m. and held in the Union County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

Western IA man pleads guilty to lesser charges in connection w/I-29 incident

News

November 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A man from Harrison County who had been arrested for attempted murder, has reached a plea deal with prosecutors that resulted in two-years of supervised probation. The Daily NonPareil reports 39-year old Shane Vanderlinden, of Logan, admitted in court that he pushed his wife Ashlee Anderson out of a 2007 Land Rover on Friday, Aug. 7th, at 73-mile marker on Interstate 29 and drove off.

According to the court documents, the vehicle was traveling at roughly 30 mph when Anderson fell to the road. An off-duty Logan Police Office witnessed the incident and stopped to help Anderson. She was transported to the Nebraska Medical Center by a medical helicopter. While at the hospital, she was treated for skull fractures, bleeding on the brain, road rash and lacerations.

Vanderlinden was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder on Wednesday, Aug. 12. Tuesday morning, as part of a plea agreement, Vanderlinden pleaded guilty to two amended charges: assault causing injury and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, both misdemeanors. He was also sentenced Tuesday on a charge out of Harrison County. Vanderlinden pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Pottawattamie County Chief Deputy Attorney Jon Jacobmeier said he signed off on the plea agreement because Anderson was unwilling to cooperate with the county attorney’s office. Vanderlin received a five-year prison term for possession of a firearm and two 2-year sentences, which will run concurrently, for the misdemeanors resulting from the assault on his wife. Fourth Judicial District Chief Judge Robert Larson suspended all the prison time and placed Vanderlinden on supervised probation for two years.

Larson said he had to follow the plea agreement, which meant he couldn’t place Vanderlinden in prison. The Logan resident has not escaped possible jail time completely. He will be on probation for two years and if he violates his probation he could be sent to prison. Vanderlinden’s attorney Mike Hooper said alcohol played a big role in his client’s decision to push his wife out of the vehicle. Hooper also said that Anderson did not want her husband prosecuted, and that Vanderlinden has been in anger management training.

Hooper also asked Larson to lift the no contact order, so Vanderlinden could see his wife again. Larson asked Anderson, who was in the courtroom, if she felt safe. She answered that Vanderlinden wouldn’t hurt her. For now, Larson kept the no-contact order in place as he considers Hooper’s request.

Traffic stop/assault on an officer/pursuit, in Council Bluffs

News

November 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Council Bluffs Police are looking for a suspect involved in a traffic stop that escalated  into an assault on an officer and pursuit. Authorities say the incident began just after 1-a.m. today (Wednesday), when Council Bluffs Police stopped a silver 2000 Infiniti i30 for an equipment violation at 31st St and Ave E.

Bluffs BadgeThe driver was unable to show identification and showed signs of impairment while speaking to the officer. When the officer asked the driver to step out of the vehicle, the suspect refused by starting the vehicle and driving off. The officer attempted to stop the suspect by grabbing him. The suspect then grabbed the officer’s arm as he drove forward. The officer was able to pull away from the suspect when he feared being dragged.

Other officers attempted to chase the suspect but lost sight before locating the suspect vehicle abandoned at 34th St and Ave H. Officers checked the area but were unable to locate the suspect. The Officer suffered minor injuries to his arm but did not require medical attention.

The investigation is ongoing. If you have any information regarding this incident or
any other crimes please contact Crime Stoppers at (712) 328 STOP (7867).

Red Oak man arrested Tue. evening for Malicious Prosecution

News

November 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County say a Red Oak man was arrested Tuesday evening on a valid Montgomery County warrant for Malicious Prosecution. 26-year old Zakary Allan Colebank was brought to the Montgomery County Jail and held on a $1,000 bond.

91,000 Iowa households get utility disconnect notices this fall

News

November 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The chief of the state’s energy assistance bureau says more than 31-thousand low income Iowa households already have qualified for help in paying their utility bills this winter. Jerry McKim works with Community Action Agencies across the state to enroll Iowans in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. “Energy is clearly unaffordable for a large segment of our population,” he says. Each Iowa household that qualifies for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will receive a one-time payment this winter of about five-hundred dollars.

“Between the weather and some of the fuel prices, we’re maybe holding our own — up to a point,” McKim says. “I still believe my benefit is wholly inadequate to address the energy insecurity that a lot of Iowa households experience.” Iowa utilities sent disconnect notices to 91-thousand Iowa households in September.  “My phone number is on every one of those notices,” McKim says. “Now, I don’t get 91,000 calls, but I’m getting probably about half a dozen a day, folks who are being threatened with disconnection and they’re wanting to know what we can do to help them, if they’re eligible, etc.”

The state ban on disconnecting gas and electric service went into effect November 1st and lasts through April 1st, but it ONLY applies to low-income households that are signed up for a government program to weatherize their home or the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program McKim manages in Iowa. “Even if a household’s eligible, but doesn’t apply, they could be disconnected,” McKim says. “The only other protection from disconnection is a severe weather one that if the National Weather Service says it’s going to be 20 degrees or colder within 24 hours of your scheduled disconnection the utility has to hold off, but of course they’ll have to hold off until it’s a balmy 21 degrees.”

Applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program are accepted from October 1st through April 30th.

(Radio Iowa)

Red Cross helping victims of 15 home fires around the state since Friday

News

November 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

There have been a lot of home fires in recent days around the state and Kara Kelly, with the American Red Cross in Des Moines, says volunteers from her agency are working to help the victims. “We’ve been incredibly busy the last four days…with 15 home fires since Friday,” Kelly said. Those fires have occurred in Lamoni, Centerville, Des Moines, Denison, Libertyville, Hampton, Albert City, Strawberry Point, Dubuque, Charles City, Ogden, and Cedar Rapids. The Red Cross volunteers are helping more than 60 Iowans affected by the fires.

“In most cases, the homes are deemed unlivable so we want to make sure they have a hotel, or a family member, or somebody to stay with. From there, we make sure they have money for clothes and food. We want to move them toward recovery,” Kelly said. Temperatures are expected to plummet around Iowa in the coming days, so Kelly is urging Iowans to be cautious when heating their homes.

“Typically, when the temperature starts to go down and people start to use alternative heating sources like space heaters and fireplaces, we tend to see an uptick in home fires,” Kelly said. “We really want people to be aware of some safety tips so they can make sure they stay safe.”

To reduce the risk of heating related fires, the Red Cross recommends the following tips:
* All heaters need space. Keep children, pets and things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets, and rugs) at least three feet away from heating equipment.
* Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended, and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.
* Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
* Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
* Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, and chimneys inspected annually by a professional, and cleaned if necessary.
* If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.

(Radio Iowa)