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Atlantic Police Chief issues another reminder about scams

News

December 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green is reminding area residents, especially those who are elderly, about the numerous, ongoing telephone scams that continue to circulate. Green says in recent weeks, the scams have been escalating to the point that the Police Dept. is receiving several complaints per week.

Green says two of the most frequent types of calls claim to be from either the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), or, from Publishers Clearing House (PCH). Some of the calls are automated. The Chief wants to stress that neither PCH nor the IRS will call you to tell you about prizes won or taxes owed. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should give provide any personal or financial information to the caller, nor should you send cash or money orders to persons who have called demanding payment for those types of services and others.

The only true way to handle the calls, is to HANG UP. Any new calls should either not be answered if they show up as being from the same number, or if your caller ID show no numbers, then don’t answer, or hang up. The scammers on the other end of the line are experts at trying to gain your confidence or compliance by tempting you to win prizes or threatening you with arrest.

Green says the P-D is aware of the scams, and individual reports to police are not necessary. He says it’s especially important that you sit down with elderly family members or friends and explain to them they may be receiving the scam calls, because those persons are most often targeted for exploitation of their finances and personal information.

Iowa court: VoIP providers must pay telephone tax

News

December 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court says companies that provide phone service through the Internet must be taxed the same as traditional telephone service providers. The court ruled 6-0 Friday that Voice over Internet Protocol providers operate “telephone lines” even if their service is provided through a broadband network. Therefore, justices say those companies are subject to annual property tax assessments based on the amount of cable and wire they use to provide the service.

The ruling rejected a challenge from Cable One, Inc., an Arizona-based company that provides cable, internet and VoIP service in the Sioux City area. Cable One challenged two years of Iowa Department of Revenue assessments totaling $1.4 million, arguing they didn’t apply because the company doesn’t operate a telephone line.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 12/19/2014

News, Podcasts

December 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

More area news from Ric Hanson.

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Area newspapers to cease publication citing declining revenue/circulation

News

December 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two area newspapers have announced they will cease operations next week. The Danish Villages Voice will publish its last issue on Christmas. Officials with the publication pointed to declining revenue. The Walnut Bureau’s last issue is also set to be on December 25th, with hopes of selling the business due to declining advertising and subscriptions.

(KNOD)

2 accidents in Glenwood Thursday: No injuries

News

December 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following two separate accidents Thursday morning, in Glenwood. According to the Police Department, the first accident occurred at around 7-a.m. at the intersection of north Linn and 11th Streets.

Officials say a 2000 Toyota Camry driven by 17-year old Jordan Grassau, of Glenwood, was traveling south on north Linn Street, as a 2003 Lincoln Navigator driven by 38-year old Molly Carr-Gross, of Silver City, was slowing to make a left turn onto 11th Street. Due to the snow covered, slick roads, the SUV was unable to complete the turn and continued south on Linn. Grassau was unable to stop quickly enough due to the slick conditions, and hit the SUV in the rear. Damage amounted to $4,000.

The second accident happened about an hour later, at 1st and north Walnut Streets, in Glenwood. Authorities say a 2012 Ford F-150 pickup driven by 58-year old Julie Snyder, of Malvern, was on 1st Street entering the intersection eastbound from a stop sign at Walnut, when a 1999 Dodge Dakota pickup driven by 18-year old Caleb Barns, of Glenwood, was unable to stop as it was traveling south on Walnut. The pickups collided, causing $2,250 damage to Snyder’s truck. Slick road conditions contributed to the crash.

No citations were issued following the accidents.

Ringgold County man arrested for going armed w/intent

News

December 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston say a Ringgold County man was arrested Thursday morning at the Union County Law Enforcement Center, on a warrant for charges of Going Armed with Intent, and Criminal Mischief in the 3rd Degree. 29-year old Aaron James Mangum, of Tingley, was being held in the Union County Jail on $5,000 bond.

(Podcast) KJAN News, 12/19/2014

News

December 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The 7:06-a.m. Newscast with KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Stanton man arrested Friday on 3rd offense OWI charge

News

December 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop early this (Friday) morning in Montgomery County resulted on a felony OWI/3rd offense charge for a Stanton man. Sheriff’s officials say 20-year old Cody Benjamin Johnson was taken into custody at around 12:20-a.m. and brought to the Montgomery County Jail, where he was being held on $5,000 bond.

IA Educator’s Board files ethics charges against Treynor Superintendent

News

December 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An ethics complaint filed against the superintendent of the Treynor Community School District has prompted two charges in an administrative law court seeking professional disciplinary action. According to the Daily NonPareil, Superintendent Kevin Elwood is accused of allowing the Treynor school district to hire a custodian in the summer of 2013 who Elwood allegedly was aware had sexually assaulted a student.

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners has charged Elwood with two counts of unethical practice. In a notice issued Nov. 4, the board alleges “Person A” sexually assaulted a Treynor student on or after May 21, 2013. The notice goes on to allege “Person A” was hired as a custodian under Elwood’s “consent and authority” and worked through July 16, 2013. The Board says Elwood failed to appropriately respond to similar allegations in the past. Based on the document from the IBOEE, it is not apparent that “Person A” refers to any of the publicly known claims of sexual assault investigated in Treynor.

A hearing is scheduled to begin Jan. 5, 2015, in Des Moines before Administrative Law Judge Laura Lockard. To avoid the hearing, Elwood has the option to surrender his professional license or negotiate a settlement agreement. Lockard is responsible for drafting a decision that would then go before the IBOEE for review and a final determination whether an ethical violation occurred and, if it has, what disciplinary sanction is appropriate.

Kim Cunningham, the IBOEE secretary, said Thursday that the Nov. 4 notice was the only document available for public inspection related to Elwood’s case. A complaint, which was not disclosed but was referenced in the hearing notice, was received Jan. 15, 2014, by the IBOEE. The notice also indicates Elwood had to file a response to the charges by late November.

Following an investigation, the board members determined probable cause to proceed with a hearing at its June 14 meeting. Minutes from the meeting show the decision was unanimous. At the hearing, Elwood will face accusations of violating two standards for ethical conduct “toward other members of the profession, parents, students and the community” as outlined in Iowa Administrative Code.

The investigation into Elwood’s alleged inaction is not the first case involving sexual assault allegations in the Treynor Community School District this year. Treynor made headlines in January after Elwood’s son, Kreighton Elwood, was accused of sexually assaulting several girls in 2012. He pleaded guilty to reduced charges and has to register as a sex offender for the next decade. The case involving his son prompted an online petition demanding Kevin Elwood’s immediate resignation. At the time, the petitioners said the superintendent did not properly investigate reports of alleged sexual abuse and harassment in the school district.

Another case came to light in May when Michael Travis, a Treynor teacher and assistant softball coach, was accused of inappropriately touching two softball players during separate incidents in 2002 and 2006. Additional charges against Travis were filed this week. He now faces two counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee related to new alleged victims from 2004 and 2005 as well as two similar counts from the original criminal complaint. Travis has pleaded not guilty to the initial charges and is scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 27. He has not had a preliminary hearing on the new charges.

New High School in Red Oak’s future

News

December 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Red Oak Community School District will build a $13 million new facility either as an addition to its existing high school or adjacent to it as part of the same campus complex. Superintendent Terry Schmidt told the Omaha World-Herald the school board decided Monday, in a 3-2 vote, to approve the first phase of Tiger Vision, the district’s facilities plan that seeks to eventually move all district schools to two nearby campuses.

Several community members spoke at the meeting, he said. The school board had already postponed a decision to seek an additional public hearing and community members were invited to participate in the Tiger Vision planning process. Schmidt said the plan will be to close Red Oak Community Middle School, which is more than 100 years old and has been temporarily shuttered since the Labor Day weekend because of flooding but will reopen its doors in early January.

The existing high school will be renovated for middle-schoolers, which is a common use for older high school buildings, he said. Grades six through 12 would be housed at the expanded campus, with fifth-graders possibly traveling to the new middle school location as well, depending on enrollment, Schmidt said.

Money for the project is being raised using the district’s physical plant and equipment levy and state sales tax proceeds. A general obligation bond is expected to be needed for the second phase, which would bring together elementary students into one renovated campus. Total estimated costs for the Tiger Vision projects are between $23 million and $27 million. Schmidt said work on the first phase will begin this summer, which was why the board needed to make a decision as soon as possible.