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Number of Iowa high school students taking college level courses on the rise

News

February 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A report from the Iowa Department of Education shows the state leads the nation in the percentage of students under age 18 enrolled in college level courses. Jeremy Varner of the department’s Division of Community Colleges, says another report shows the number of students enrolled in both high school and community college classes or “jointly enrolled” hit a record of nearly 43-thousand. “It is pretty significant, Iowa has some great policy in place that gives students the opportunity to get a jump start on their college education, which saves them money, reduces student debt, provides them a lot of opportunity,” according to Varner.

Varner says Iowa provides opportunities to students across the spectrum. “Many states focus on kind of elite students and giving them kind of a jump on a liberal arts education,” Varner explains. “But we, 42-percent of the courses that are offered are in the career and technical areas. And so Iowa provides students broad access to career tech opportunities as well.” Iowa students enrolled in an average of seven-point eight (7.8) credit hours, or two to three college courses during the 2013-14 school year.

“It’s an opportunity for students to reduce their debt, get a jump on college, maybe get some general education courses out of the way that might help them to reduce their time to degree — or maybe take on a second major,” Varner says. “It also allows students to start down a career pathway in career technical areas, so students can make progress toward a nursing degree or a degree in information technology or something like this.” There is another advantage for students who take a college course while still in high school.

“They get a sense of what college is about before they show up,” Varner says, “so it reduces that shock when students matriculate. They get a sense of what those expectations are, get some success under their belt, especially for first-generation students.” Students take college courses in three ways: through joint programs at their high school, through colleges where the courses aren’t available at the high school, or by paying tuition on their own to attend. Varner says 88-percent of the students take the college courses through a joint relationship with their high school, which they can take for no cost.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa couple charged in Va. with sex trafficking

News

February 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — An Iowa couple are being charged in Virginia with sex trafficking after a woman found in their recreational vehicle said they were holding her against her will. The U.S. attorney’s office says 36-year-old Aldair Hodza and 31-year-old Laura Sorensen of Clive, Iowa, made in an initial appearance Thursday in federal court.

The two were arrested on Jan. 6 east of Richmond in New Kent County after police said a frightened and malnourished 20-year-old woman told officers the couple had physically and sexually abused her. She also said she had been forced to engage in prostitution during the trip from Iowa to Virginia.

The government said Sorensen and Hodza told officers they were on vacation.

IA native, former Creighton President Schlegel diagnosed with cancer

News

February 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Former Creighton University President John Schlegel has been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. The Omaha World-Herald reported Thursday the Jesuit priest who led Creighton during a period of growth between 2000 and 2011 shared news of his diagnosis in a letter. Schlegel asked for prayers from his family and friends as he decides whether to undergo chemotherapy or let the disease take its course. He says this week’s letter may be his farewell, but he does not fear death.

Schlegel is currently pastor of Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee. He was born in Dubuque, Iowa in 1943. Before becoming president at Creighton, Schlegel was president of the University of San Francisco, another Jesuit college. Earlier in his career, he also worked at Marquette University and John Carroll University.

Iowa early News Headlines: Friday, Feb. 13th 2015

News

February 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — By posting online all of his personal email from his eight years as Florida’s governor, Jeb Bush sought to show himself as a tech-savvy executive, in touch with constituents and an active administrator. But tucked away in a small percentage of those hundreds of thousands of messages were the names, birthdates and Social Security numbers of more than 12,000 people. A data security firm, Identity Finder, audited the database. By Thursday, Bush had removed the private information from all but a few hundred of the emails he had posted to a website, jebemails DOT com.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a 28-year-old man who fell into a large tank filled with chemical cleaning solution has been rescued. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says deputies responded yesterday to a call that an employee had fallen into a vat of chemical cleaner at Chemorse, Limited in Des Moines.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A 30-year-old Davenport man has been sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and other crimes. The Quad-City Times reports that Devyn Fix was sentenced Thursday for the shooting death of 18-year-old Thomas Taylor in September.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa assistant coach Brian Ferentz has been named the program’s running game coordinator. Ferentz, the son of head coach Kirk Ferentz and a former three-year starter for the Hawkeyes, has served as Iowa’s offensive line coach for the past three seasons. He’ll continue to coach the linemen.

House fire reported in Wiota Thu. afternoon

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Anita and Wiota were called to the scene of a house fire this (Thursday) afternoon, on the east side of Wiota. The call about flames and smoke visible from the roof at 69424 White Pole Road, came in at around 3-p.m. Anita Fire Chief Josh Peach told KJAN News when they arrived there was just smoke visible from a wood stove chimney that caught an external decorative rooftop box on fire. The flames had been extinguished before the bulk of the firefighters arrived.

Peach said the fire never entered the house, and there was minimal structural damage from the water and firefighting efforts. The home’s owners…Jim and Kathie Mailander…were outside and safe when crews arrived. Firefighters were quick to get the situation under control. Peach said they remained on the scene for about one-half hour.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Manager Mike Kennon were also at the scene for the event.

Iowa Democrats introduce $8.75 minimum wage bill

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Democrats have introduced a bill that would raise Iowa’s minimum wage to a level they say is lower than they’d like, but maybe one that would garner more Republican support. Democratic leaders said Thursday the bill would raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.75. It would increase gradually by 2016.

Some Democrats had expressed support earlier in the session for a bill that would have raised the minimum wage gradually to $10.10. Senate President Pam Jochum, a Democrat from Dubuque, said the new bill will still address people who work minimum wage jobs and have families to support.

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Hiawatha Republican, declined to comment on the bill’s chances. Paulsen said he wants to focus on training for higher-paying jobs.

House panel OKs bill that would increase Iowa’s fuel tax

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A House panel has approved a bill that would increase Iowa’s fuel tax, a move that mirrors action in the Senate. Members of a transportation subcommittee approved the bill Thursday. It now moves to a full committee for consideration. The bill would raise the state fuel tax by 10 cents. A Senate transportation subcommittee approved similar legislation Wednesday. A full committee can now review that bill.

Iowa’s current fuel tax is 22 cents per gallon for gasoline, including fees. Diesel fuel has a slightly higher tax and ethanol blends are a bit lower. The tax hasn’t been raised since 1989. Gov. Terry Branstad and lawmakers have been vocal about raising money to help fix the state’s network of bridges and roads, many of which are in disrepair.

2 arrests and chain-reaction accident in Atlantic

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports there were two arrests made and one, chain-reaction accident investigated, Wednesday. 19-year old Jacob Dvorak, of Atlantic, was arrested on a charge of Assault causing serious injury. He was booked into the Cass County Jail. And, 33-year old Jamie Smith, of Cedar Rapids, was arrested in Atlantic on a Johnson County warrant for Theft in the 3rd Degree. Smith was booked into the Cass County Jail, and later transported to Johnson County.

And, no injuries were reported following an accident Wednesday evening at 7th and Pine Streets. Officials say vehicles driven by Donna Joyce, of Marne, Stephanie Kinzie, and Keesha Bruce, both of Atlantic, collided at around 5:12-p.m., as they were westbound on 7th Street. Authorities say Joyce Failed to Stop in an assured clear distance, and ran into the back of the Kinzie vehicle. The impact caused that car to be pushed into the rear of Bruce’ vehicle, which was stopped for traffic ahead of it.

Damage from the collision amounted to $16,500.

Senate panel OKs bill that would focus on aggressive elders

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Senate panel has approved a bill that would establish a commission to study housing of elderly people who are sexually aggressive or combative. Members of a human resources subcommittee discussed the bill Thursday (today). It now moves to a full committee for consideration.

The commission would explore different factors for housing such people. Among the issues are costs and whether a new facility should be built. The commission would be expected to present a report on its findings by the end of the year.

Several groups expressed support for the bill but also made suggestions for the study, including having a complete count of the intended population. Democratic Sen. Liz Mathis, who heads the human resources committee, says the bill will likely be amended as it moves forward.

Six Powerball tickets sold in Iowa came closer to sharing $564 million jackpot

News

February 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A half dozen tickets purchased in Iowa came within one number of having at least a share of last night’s (Wednesday) massive Powerball jackpot. The $564 million jackpot was split by three tickets purchased in North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico. Iowa Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer says six tickets in Iowa were close — matching five of the six numbers drawn. “We saw tickets purchased in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Mount Vernon, Newton, Waukee and Waukon – each of those matched four of the first five numbers and the Powerball,” Neubauer said. “Four of them won a $10,000 prize and two of them won a $30,000 prize because in addition to matching the numbers they also had the Power Play option on the ticket which multiplied the prize.”

As of late this (Thursday) morning, Iowa Lottery officials had not identified any of the people who purchased the six tickets in the state that came within one number of sharing the third largest jackpot in the history of the game. “We haven’t heard from any of those big winners yet, but because people were paying so much attention to this drawing, I anticipate we’ll see them soon,” Neubauer said.

In Iowa, nearly $4.7 million in Powerball tickets were purchased for Wednesday’s drawing. “The day of the drawing is always the day with the highest sales for that particular drawing and yesterday in Iowa, players bought about $3 million in tickets alone,” Neubauer said.

A total of 67,320 plays purchased by Iowa Lottery players won prizes ranging from $4 up to $30,000.

Here is a closer look at Wednesday’s drawing and the Iowa results:

·A total of 67,320 plays purchased by Iowa Lottery players won prizes ranging from $4 up to $30,000. Four tickets matched four of the first five numbers and the Powerball to win a $10,000 prize each. They were purchased at: Hy-Vee Gas, 1025 E. Hickman Road in Waukee; Hy-Vee Gas, 4701 Fleur Drive in Des Moines; Casey’s, 20 Miller Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids; and Casey’s, 323 Iowa Highway 30 W. in Mount Vernon.
·Two more tickets also matched four of the first five numbers and the Powerball, but also had the Power Play® option added to them, which multiplied their prize to $30,000. They were purchased at: Casey’s, 1018 First Ave. E. in Newton; and Huba Huba, 9 Ninth St. SW in Waukon.
·The winning numbers in Wednesday’s $564.1 million Powerball jackpot drawing were: 11-13-25-39-54 and Powerball 19. The Power Play number was 3. The final jackpot amount surged well above the $500 million annuity estimate heading into the drawing. The Powerball jackpot returns to its starting amount of $40 million annuity ($22.8 million cash option) for Saturday’s drawing.
·Iowa Lottery players bought nearly $4.7 million in Powerball tickets for Wednesday’s drawing, including about $3 million in tickets on Wednesday alone. During Wednesday’s busiest stretch from about 5-6 p.m., Powerball tickets were selling at more than $6,100 per minute in Iowa. However, the average Iowa Powerball purchase on Wednesday remained just $6, or three plays per ticket. Lottery officials were pleased that Iowans enjoyed playing at a fun level and didn’t go overboard.
·The odds of winning the jackpot in Powerball are about 1 in 175.2 million because there are about 175.2 million ways you can combine the numbers in the game to make a play. By tracking sales, lottery officials can estimate how many of the possible combinations have been purchased for a particular drawing. About 66 percent of all the possible combinations were purchased in Wednesday’s drawing.

(Radio Iowa)