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Pottawattamie County Resident Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Interstate Travel with Intent to Engage in a Sexual Act with a Juvenile

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Pottawattamie County man was sentenced Monday to 60 months in prison. 25-year old Tyler Lewis Gunderson, of Avoca, was sentenced Monday by Senior United States District Court Judge Robert Pratt on the charge of interstate travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile. Gunderson was also ordered to serve ten years of supervised release following the period of imprisonment.

United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt said Gunderson entered a guilty plea to the charge on July 2nd, 2015. The guilty plea proceeding established that Gunderson traveled from Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska, to pick-up a juvenile he had met in Omaha, and that Gunderson then drove the juvenile to various locations in and around Council Bluffs, for the purposes of engaging in sexual intercourse.

An investigation in the case was conducted by the Council Bluffs Police Department, the Omaha, Nebraska, Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Council Bluffs, Iowa, Resident Sentenced for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Attorney General’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa said Tuesday (today), 40-year old Daniel Eugene Hannan, of Council Bluffs, was sentenced Monday to serve 120 months in prison on the charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a stolen firearm. Hannan was also ordered to serve five years of supervised release following the period of imprisonment.

An investigation into the case began as a result of Hannan fleeing from law enforcement. When located, Hannan was found to have a large amount of methamphetamine which Hannan intended to distribute. A subsequent search warrant located additional methamphetamine and a shotgun which had been stolen from a burglary in Red Oak. Hannan entered a guilty plea to the charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a stolen firearm on June 4th, 2015.

The investigation was conducted by the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force, the Council Bluffs, Iowa, Police Department, and the Red Oak, Iowa, Police Department. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Atlantic City Council to learn about Code Enforcement

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will meet in a regular session beginning 5:30-p.m. Wednesday, at City Hall. During the meeting, the Council will hear from Kris Erickson, a wastewater treatment plant employee who also serves as a part-time City Code Enforcement person. City Administrator John Lund says since Erickson assumed responsibility for Code Enforcement, the process has become “Less bureaucratic, more efficient and much more effective.” Erickson will talk to the Council about the past summer’s code enforcement activities and answer questions the Council may have.

The Council will discuss as well, three applications received for City Attorney. Applications have been submitted by: Clint Fichter, with Fichter Municipal Services and Law; J.C. Van Ginkel, with Van Ginkel Law Offices; and, David Weiderstein, wito Otto, Lawrence and Weiderstein Law Offices. Weiderstein is the Cass County Attorney and former Attorney for the City of Atlantic, who has agreed to step-in temporarily, until the position is filled. The City Attorney’s job became open when Jamie Arnold resigned, in August. The City’s Personnel and Finance Committee does not have a recommendation for the Council with regard to the current applicants, and want the Council to offer input before a motion is made.

In other business, the Atlantic City Council will act on setting Sat., Oct. 31st, from 5-until 7-p.m., and the date and times for Halloween trick or treating. Mayor Dave Jones will also act on a proclamation declaring Sept. 17th through the 23rd as “Constitution Week,” marking the 238th Anniversary of drafting of the U-S Constitution, and, the Council will act on an order closing certain City streets for the Oct. 10th 2015 Fireman’s Parade, the route for which remains unchanged from last year. Downtown streets will be closed along the route beginning at 5:30-p.m. Oct. 10th, with the parade line-up beginning on 2nd Street, from Walnut to Linn.

The Council will also hold the second reading of ordinances pertaining to provisions for Mayor and Council Compensation, and Fiscal Management and Accountability. And, prior to adjourning for the evening, the Council will enter into a closed session to discuss strategy with legal counsel over matters that are presently in litigation or where litigation is imminent, and where disclosure would likely be prejudice, or a disadvantage to the position of the City.

CCHS Receives Iowa 2015 Top Workplace Award

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

ATLANTIC, IOWA – Cass County Health System has been awarded a 2015 Top Workplaces honor by the Des Moines Register. The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including Alignment, Execution, and Connection, just to name a few.

TopFBsquare“The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest. And oftentimes, people assume it’s all about fancy perks and benefits.” says Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics. “But to be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together. Claffey adds, “Without this sense of connection, an organization doesn’t have a shot at being named a Top Workplace.”

“We are very proud to have been recognized as one of the Iowa 2015 Top Workplaces!” said Todd Hudspeth, CEO. “This honor is particularly meaningful because it comes from our staff, who of course lead the way in making CCHS such a great place to work. It really is a cycle – great people make it a great place to work, which attracts other great people. It truly is a privilege to work with this team of dedicated professionals at every level.”

Sen. Grassley offers bill to reduce college student borrowing, debt

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

While President Obama was in Iowa on Monday talking about how to make college more affordable, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is introducing a bill this week designed to reduce student loans — and debts. Grassley, a Republican, says borrowing too much money on a student loan can turn academic dreams into financial nightmares. He says he based part of the legislation on a successful program at his alma mater.

“The University of Northern Iowa has started out counseling students about how much to borrow and not to get too far into debt,” Grassley says. “The average debt of UNI students has gone down $842 over the last year.” U-N-I’s “Live Like a Student” program includes workshops and courses designed to educate students on the importance of living within their means while they’re in school so they don’t need to live like a student later in life.

A few years ago, Grassley met with then-University of Iowa President Sally Mason to discuss the massive amount of debt students can quickly rack up when they borrow more money than they need for tuition, books and room and board. “The average student graduates from the University of Iowa with about 29-, 30- or maybe now it’s $31,000 of debt,” Grassley says. “She said if they borrowed what it took to actually get the degree based upon the costs that I just mentioned, that it would be about $13,000 less.”

More than 200-thousand Iowans have student loans, or about 72-percent of Iowa’s college graduates, the fourth highest percentage in the country. Grassley says his bill, called the Know Before You Owe Federal Student Loan Act, would make counseling an annual requirement before new loans are handed out, rather than just for first-time borrowers. “It increases the amount of information students receive about federal student loans,” Grassley says. “This includes their potential ability to repay but rather than after signing on to tens of thousands of dollars in debt to Uncle Sam. In other words, if you can’t repay your loan, maybe you better think about whether you ought to take it out in the first place.”

The bill adds several key components to the information colleges would be required to share with students as part of loan counseling, including:
· An estimate of the student’s projected loan debt-to-income ratio upon graduation based on the starting wages for that student’s program of study and the estimated total student loan debt the student will likely take out to complete the program.
· A statement that the student should borrow the minimum amount necessary to cover expenses and that the student does not have to accept the full amount of loans offered.
· A warning that the higher a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio is, the more difficulty the borrower is likely to experience in repaying the loan.
· Options for reducing borrowing through scholarships, reduced expenses, work-study or other work opportunities.
· An explanation of the importance of graduating on time to avoid additional borrowing, what course load is necessary to graduate on time, and information on the impact of adding an additional year of study to total indebtedness.

(Radio Iowa)

Federal grant to address backlog of untested rape kits in Iowa, other states

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Thousands of sexual assault victims in Iowa are hoping a federal grant to the state could lead to criminal charges in their cases. Rebecca Stout, with the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault (IowaCASA), says Iowa has a large backlog of untested sexual assault kits. Many victims are unaware that their cases have been on hold because of the situation. “It can be very disheartening for them to find out that their kit has never been tested and there’s never been an active investigation into the crime committed against them,” Stout says.

IowaCASAThe U.S. Department of Justice last week announced Iowa will receive a $2 million federal grant to conduct an audit of the untested kits. “We don’t have an exact number of untested kits in Iowa, so that’s going to be part of this process — doing a survey of law enforcement to see how many kits they do have that have not been tested,” Stout says. The process could lead to criminal charges in unsolved cases where DNA evidence was collected. One of the reasons for the backlog is money. Testing costs around $1,000 per kit. Another issue, according to Stout, is a lack of national protocols for handling the kits.

“There are times when the lab is either backed up or they’re down in numbers of personnel and they’ll ask that only kits (cases) that are actively being investigated should be sent in for processing,” Stout says. Iowa isn’t the only state with a backlog of untested rape kits. The $2 million for Iowa is part of a $79 million grant to combat the accumulation of untested sexual assault kits held by law enforcement agencies across the country.

(Radio Iowa)

Man pleads guilty to lesser charge in western Iowa shooting

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) – A 23-year-old has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge stemming from the shooting of another man in western Iowa. The Sioux City Journal reports that Joshua Beam, of Arion, was convicted last week of reckless use of a firearm. Prosecutors had lowered the original charge and dropped others after making a deal with Beam. His sentencing date hasn’t been set.

The Monona County Sheriff’s Office says Beam was arrested in December in Mapleton after authorities found Eric Franco with a gunshot wound to the head. Authorities say Beam and Franco had consumed alcohol and then began to wrestle. Authorities say Beam pulled out a handgun and fired three shots. One struck Franco.

Glenwood man arrested on Theft & other charges

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Glenwood man was arrested Monday on Theft and other charges. According to Glenwood Police, 25-year old Adam Houchin was taken into custody for Theft in the 3rd Degree and ongoing criminal conduct. His cash bond was set at $27,000.

(Update) Iowan accused of kidnapping, sexually assaulting woman

News

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

STUART, Iowa (AP) – A 36-year-old Des Moines man has been charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting an acquaintance. Stuart Police Sgt. Ryan Harding says Corey Drake held the woman at a motel in Stuart overnight Saturday. She talked to police on Sunday, and Drake was arrested at his home.

Adair County Jail records say Drake remained in custody Tuesday. News about the allegation stunned some residents in Stuart. Resident Nate Westre told Des Moines television station KCCI that, “You never want to hear about that anywhere, but especially in your hometown . your backyard.”

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 9/15/2015

News, Podcasts

September 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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

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