KJAN News

QR CODE 35357558

NEW!! SCAN (OR CLICK) THE QR CODE ABOVE TO SHOP THE KJAN BIG DEALS STORE!!

KJAN News can be heard:
Monday – Saturday at 6:30 am, 7:05 pm, 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 12:20 pm, 12:40 pm, 3:05 pm & 5:05 pm

Keep up-to-date with Fox News Radio, Radio Iowa,  Brownfield & the Iowa Agribusiness Networks!
Check our Program Schedule Page for times!

Villisca man arrested Tue. afternoon

News

February 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County report the arrest Tuesday afternoon, of a Villisca man. 36-year old Roger Eugene Straw was taken into custody at around 4:45-p.m., on a valid Fremont County warrant for Violation of a No Contact Order. Straw was being held without bond, in the Montgomery County Jail.

Bill to expand online schools in Iowa unlikely to be debated this year

News

February 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Efforts to remove barriers to more online schools in Iowa has been put on hold at the statehouse. Advocates for public schools are skeptical about a bill to allow an unlimited number of 100-percent online schools with no brick and mortar component, while backers concede there’s too much conflict to get the bill passed this year. Representative Ron Jorgensen, a Republican from Sioux City, led last year’s movement to lift restrictions on homeschoolers. This year, Jorgensen is sponsoring a bill he says would again expand school choice.

“One size does not fit all and online education does provide an alternative way of educating kids,” Jorgensen says. Currently there are only two school districts in Iowa that have 100-percent online schools. They’re Camanche Community Schools and Clayton Ridge schools, both in eastern Iowa. The bill authorizes additional online schools that would sign new performance contracts with the state. They could enroll as many students as they want from any district statewide. Amanda Brezina of Des Moines enrolled two of her children in the virtual academy that’s part of Clayton Ridge. She feared her oldest son would be bullied in a regular school.

“He’s very advanced and young for his grade, so this school has been very valuable for us,” Brezina says. “And my second son is testing several years ahead of his age.” Brezina says the curriculum provided by a for-profit company allows her younger son to advance at his own pace. But, critics from teachers to administrators to school boards have their doubts. Some argue public schools could be harmed if the virtual schools divert students and their state dollars away from local districts. Tom Marek is with the School Administrators of Iowa.

“We get a little sensitive when people say start taking shots at public schools saying we’re not doing the job,” Marek says. He urges lawmakers to give last year’s education reform package a chance to work before opening up more online schools. So far, only one group is registered in favor of the bill, a national education reform movement known as Students First. Patty Link is their representative at the statehouse.

“It is not intending to knock our public schools. I don’t see anywhere in (the bill) that implies that, nor is the intent to do that,” Link says. Students First has been promoting education reform in Iowa, backing mostly Republican candidates in the last election. Link says under the bill, the Iowa Board of Education would provide strong oversight for online schools. Critics say that takes local control out of the mix. Osage Republican Josh Byrnes is managing the bill. He recently declined to send it on to the full House Education Committee, but urged backers and critics to try to find consensus.

“There are just a lot of unknowns and a lot of what ifs, and we need a bill brought back to us that doesn’t have those what ifs,” Byrnes said. Backers believe when they take up the bill again next year, they should have plenty of evidence that the online schools are doing a good job.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News headlines: Wed., Feb. 12th 2014

News

February 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawmakers in the Iowa House have voted in favor of a bill that bars remote distribution of abortion pills to pregnant women in Iowa. In a 55-42 vote, the Republican-majority House endorsed the bill. It now moves to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it is unlikely to advance.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Des Moines youth pastor accused of sexually abusing two teenage girls has pleaded guilty in the case. Court records filed yesterday show that 27-year-old Ryan McKelvey has pleaded guilty to charges of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation by a clergy. He initially pleaded not guilty in September.

LAKE VIEW, Iowa (AP) — A 73-year-old man in northwest Iowa faces charges following a standoff with authorities. The Sac County Sheriff’s Office says James Verlyn Fertig, of Lake View, was arrested following an hour-long standoff at his home. Authorities were trying to serve Fertig warrants in connection to a separate incident Saturday. He is accused of calling a 911 center and making a threatening statement.

CASCADE, Iowa (AP) — A machine shed fire near the eastern Iowa city of Cascade caused at least one explosion and sent a plume of smoke into the sky that was visible for miles. The Telegraph Herald reports the fire started yesterday morning and drew crews from Cascade, Bernard and Monticello. Firefighters had to endure temperatures below zero as they tried to contain the fire to a building housing several tractors and other machinery.

Elliott teen cited following Tuesday accident in Cass Co.

News

February 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports an Elliott teen was cited for “Passing Contrary to Highway Markings,” following an accident this (Tuesday) afternoon about six-miles north of Griswold. Officials say deputies responded to the two-vehicle accident on 550th Street at around 1:40-p.m. 

A 1994 Nissan Maxima owned and driven by 47-year old Brenda Lee Seymour, of Atlantic, was turning left into a drive on 550th Street when it was struck by a 2003 Dodge Neon driven by 17-year old Cindy Daline Guffey, of Elliott. The accident happened as the teen attempted to pass on the left side of Seymour’s vehicle.

The damage amounted to $1,800. No injuries were reported.

Iowa Senate approves emergency utility bill funds

News

February 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate approved a bill to provide emergency funds to low-income families struggling to pay their utility bills. The Senate voted 41-to-8 Tuesday to approve the bill allocating money to supplement federal funds. The legislation now goes to the House.

The bill would appropriate $2 million to Iowa’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps people unable to pay their utility bills. The federal government funds the program, but states can supplement it.

Democratic Sen. Liz Mathis, the bill’s sponsor, says soaring propane prices and a frigid winter have left many Iowans struggling to afford heating bills. The program assists families with anything from broken furnaces to emergency propane deliveries. Mathis says funds are dwindling. House Republicans have called for waiting to ensure the extra funding is needed.

NE woman cited following Tues. accident in Red Oak

News

February 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Montgomery County say a Nebraska woman was cited following a collision this (Tuesday) morning, in Red Oak. Officials say a 2009 Hyundai Elantra driven by 58-year old Heidi Adams, of Papillion, NE, was stopped at the intersection of Highways 34 and 48 in Red Oak at around 10-a.m., when she pulled out into the intersection and hit the passenger side of a 1993 Ford Ranger pickup driven by 74-year old Fred Espinosa, of Red Oak, as he was headed southbound.

Damage from the collision amounted to $7,800. No injuries were reported. Adams was cited for Failure to stay stopped at a stop sign.

(12-p.m. News)

Harlan School Board hears Education Association’s initial proposal

News

February 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Community School Board, Monday, received the initial bargaining proposal from the Harlan Education Association (HEA), which represents the district’s teachers and staff. In a regular board meeting, Brian Kaster, representative of the HEA said they are asking for a 6.92% increase in salary for the staff at the Harlan Community School District. The meeting was just the first of what are usually several meetings between the board and the association. The school board did not make a counter offer, and future discussions will be held in closed session.

In other business, the school board held a public hearing with regard to the High School Gym Air Handler. The district is looking at replacing the air conditioning unit in the High School Gymnasium and held the hearing as required by Iowa Code, because the district will be soliciting bids for a project or projects. Having received no written or spoken comments on the matter, the board approved the preliminary plans for the air handler and moved to request bids for the project.

The board is expected to receive bids and finalize the project at a school board meeting in March. The school district will also be saying goodbye to eight teachers who qualified for early retirement. Superintendent Justin Wagner said teachers taking early retirement had to meet certain qualifications. “They have to be in the district ten years and be 55 years old. Basically that’s the IPERS eligibility age for them. With this group of eight, we have over 260 years of experience walking out the door.”

Wagner discussed the vacancies later in the meeting and said the district has already seen interest, and candidates applying for the positions. In one of the final motions, it was approved to hold a public hearing at the next Harlan Community School Board meeting February 24th, with regard to the 2014-2015 school calendar.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Atlantic School Board discusses Budget

News

February 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Board of Education Monday night continued discussions with regard to the 2014-2015 budget. Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein told KJAN News one of the things he recommended the Board look at is levying the SBRC (School Budget Review Committee) for the Special Education Deficit. The deficit was for how much more was spent for Special Ed programming than what was received, which amounted to around $670,000. Also, $600,000 on the cash reserve and $350,000 on the management levy.

Amstein said Board Secretary/Business Manager Mary Beth Fast is looking at how much the levy might be, and right now it appears it will be around $14.55 or $14.60 per thousand dollars of assessed property valuation. He said they’re also trying to find ways to trim the budget. Amstein said the district’s Unspent Balance has been dropping for a number of years. Even though the district is still in the “Safe range” according to the IASB – Iowa Association of School Boards – Amstein says they “Need to change that trajectory by trimming part of the budget.” Right now they’re looking at cutting $400,000 from the budget for the upcoming year. He says the Board would like to keep that part of the budget at 14-to 15-percent.”

The way the budget shakes out will influence where the levy rate will be for any bond issue the district may consider for planned Capital Improvement/Expansion projects. In other business, the Board discussed the 2014-2015 School Calendar. The focus currently is on an hourly calendar, or 1,080 hours as opposed to the present 180 days. He says an hourly calendar would give the district more flexibility as far as making up snow days, and teacher professional development.

The Atlantic District has had two snow days so far this school year. Those days will be added to the end of the current school year, which will mean classes will dismiss May 23rd instead of May 21st…assuming there are no more make-up days due to the weather.

The School Board, Monday, also approved a $50,000 matching Grant Award Letter of Agreement from the Iowa West Foundation. The funds will be shared by the Atlantic, Exira-EHK, CAM, AHST, Griswold, Harlan and Riverside. Amstein said the grant was possible due to the efforts of the six Superintendents in the region, who worked this past fall on a plan to expand Career Tech Educational opportunities in southwest Iowa.

And, the Board approved an agreement with Cass County Historical Museum for the donation of Native American artifacts in the school’s possession to the museum, with the stipulation that if the Museum should ever permanently close, those artifacts be returned to the district.

8AM Newscast 02-11-2014

News, Podcasts

February 11th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 02-11-2014

News, Podcasts

February 11th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play