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Give Back Iowa Challenge April 14-May 31


April 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Today (Tuesday) is the start of the seven-and-a-half week long “Give Back Iowa Challenge.” Leah Rodenberg, of Alliant Energy, is co-chair of the effort, which is designed to get Iowa business owners to encourage their employees to volunteer.
“Participating in the Give Back Iowa Challenge will be a chance for your company to see the positive effect volunteering has on your employees, company and the community,” she says.

Angela Ten Clay of Wellmark Blue Cross-Blue Shield is the other co-chair. “At Wellmark, we understand the impact volunteering has on employee wellness and we hope other companies will join us in participating in the challenge to boost both Iowa’s goals to be the healthiest state and a leader in volunteerism,” Ten Clay says.

Companies can sign up for the challenge online at volunteer-Iowa-dot-org (www.volunteeriowa.org). The challenge starts today (April 14th) and ends May 31st. Businesses that wind up with the highest average of volunteer hours per employee will get a congratulatory visit from the governor or lieutenant governor. Iowa currently ranks sixth among the states for the number of volunteer hours per resident.

(Radio Iowa)

A Dangerous Deal: Car Seats at Iowa Garage Sales


April 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – With the start of garage sale season, a reminder that there may be appealing deals for products like car seats, but buying used seats could also be dangerous. Kristel Wetjen, pediatric trauma nurse coordinator at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, says it’s recommended people do not buy car seats at garage sales because their history is unknown, such as whether they’ve been involved in a crash.

“Once a car seat has been in a crash, there’s been extra stress put on that plastic and the webbing for the harnesses,” she says. “When you buy a car seat at a garage sale you have no idea if that seat has already been exposed to that, therefore making it less safe for your child in your car.”

Wetjen says some car seats being sold at garage sales could also have missing or broken parts, or may have been subject to a recall in the past. While Wetjen says you shouldn’t buy a child safety seat at a yard sale, she says it is vital for parents to have car seats for kids, as they can greatly reduce the risk of injury or death.

“Somebody being restrained in a car seat can reduce the risk of injury by 80 to 90 percent, based upon how they’re restrained,” she says. “The biggest new change from the American Academy of Pediatrics is to keep children rear-facing longer than forward-facing. That reduces the risk of injury by 500 percent.”

Wetjen also stresses the importance of proper installation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 75 percent of children are riding in car safety seats that aren’t properly installed or don’t fit correctly.

(Iowa News Service)

(Podcast) KJAN News & funeral report, 04/14/2015

News, Podcasts

April 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:07-a.m. report w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson


CAM & Adair-Casey School Board to hold a joint meeting Tuesday


April 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Members of the CAM and Adair-Casey School District Boards of Education will hold a joint meeting this (Tuesday) evening in the CAM High School Media Center, in Anita. The 6-p.m. meeting will include discussion between the two boards about possible Whole Grade Sharing opportunities. No action will be taken. The Adair-Casey Board met with the Guthrie Center School Board Monday evening, and is set to meet with Board members from the West Central Valley School District, on Wednesday.

In other business, the CAM School Board will hold a public hearing at 6:30-p.m., on the 2015-16 Budget, followed later in the session by a Resolution approving the budget. Other action items include the 2015-16 School Calendar, Gym Floor bids, approval of graduates from the CAM High School and Iowa Connections High School.

The meeting will conclude following an exempt session for negotiations.

Montgomery County/Red Oak Police report, 4/14/15


April 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports a woman from Elliott was arrested Monday night. 29-year old Jennifer Nicole Rains was taken into custody at around 7:30-p.m. on a valid warrant out of Shelby County, for Probation Violation. Rains was booked into the Montgomery County Jail and later released on bond.

Police in Red Oak report three recent arrests. At around 10-p.m. Monday, officers arrested 21-year old Tyler Lynn Gobert, of Shenandoah, on a charge of Theft in the 5th Degree. Gobert was taken into custody in the 100 block of West Coolbaugh Street and booked into the Montgomery County Jail, where his bond was set at $300.

At around 10:15-p.m. Monday, Red Oak Police arrested 28-year old Benjamin William Hrabik, of Red Oak, on a charge of Criminal Trespass. Hrabik was also being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond.

And, at around 1-a.m. today (Tuesday), Red Oak Police arrested 35-year old Jason Weston Szymarek, of Red Oak. The man was taken into custody for Neglect or Abandonment of a Dependent Person. Szymarek was brought to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $10,000 bond.

Avoca man arrested on sex abuse charges


April 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Pottawattamie County man faces sexual abuse charges for alleged acts with two young girls. The Daily NonPareil says arrest reports show 78-year old Merlin R. Jensen, of Avoca, was taken into custody after two female children told family members about alleged inappropriate acts. Jensen is accused of inappropriately touching 7- and 4-year-old girls in private areas and exposing himself to the girls. According to the affidavit, Jensen allegedly gave the 7-year-old a vibrating toy, describing what she could do with it, and attempted to have sex with her at least once.

An affidavit stated that in early April, a relative of the girls called Jensen and confronted him about the abuse, also alleging abuse against a pair of now-adult women when they were children.  Jensen allegedly told the woman, “to just leave him go and he won’t bother anyone and everyone will be happy.”

Deputies with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jensen on April 3rd. When they arrived Jensen is said to have told authorities that he had been waiting for them. Jensen remains at the Pottawattamie County Jail on a $50,000 bond. He’s scheduled to make an initial court appearance at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Stun gun used on two suspects in Council Bluffs


April 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs used their stun guns during two recent, separate incidents. According to the Daily NonPareil, at around noon on Monday, 22-year-old Quadir-Ali Murray of West Bloomfield, MI., attempted to purchase a phone at the Verizon store at 3265 Marketplace Drive using fake identification. The business called police and when officers arrived the man fled the store on foot.

Police reports stated a brief foot pursuit ended with officers using a stun gun on Murray on the south side of the Shopko shopping center. Authorities arrested the man on suspicion of second-degree theft, eluding police, disobedience to a peace officer and identity theft. Because Murray was using fake identification authorities were initially unable to determine who he was. The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office entered his fingerprints into a national database to determine his name. Murray remains at the jail on a $5,000 bond.

On Saturday, Bluffs police used a stun gun to detain 32-year old Philip S. Teplitsky,  who was wanted on drug charges. Sgt Chad Meyers said shortly after 12:30-a.m., an officer approached Teplitsky, who was the passenger in a sport-utility vehicle backed into a parking space at 520 30th Ave in the Manawa Power Center. Teplitsky willingly offered his identification to the officer, who checked his name in the police database.

The officer found active warrants for Teplitsky, but before an arrest could be made, the man fled on foot. A brief chase ensued before the officer deployed his stun gun on Teplitsky in a nearby parking lot. Authorities arrested Teplitsky on a warrant for possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine and on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, possession of drug equipment and eluding a police officer. Teplitsky is free after posting $26,000 bond.

Some fieldwork getting done, planting could begin next week

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The U-S-D-A weekly crop report shows farmers got some field work done last week, but wet conditions — including snow in northern Iowa — slowed things down. Iowa State University Extension crop specialist, Joel DeJong, covers northwest Iowa, and says farmers are off to a good start as they move toward planting. “And as I think as the conditions warm up and dry up and if we can stay dry this week, I think early next week we can see a lot of planters in the field,” DeJong says.

Soil temperatures dictate when farmers will start putting seeds in the soil. “We’d like to see 50-degree soil temperature at four inches and rising, is kind of what our goal is. We’ve been measuring temperatures all the way into the upper 40’s, it’s dropped back just a shade again, because we cooled back again,” DeJong says. “If you want a real rough rule-of-thumb of what the temperature is at four-inch depth, you average the last three days of temperatures and you are usually pretty close at this stage of the game — unless there is a huge swing — and then sometimes it isn’t quite right.”

DeJong says there are some reports of drought-like conditions, but sub-soil moisture levels in northwest Iowa seem to be sufficient. Dejong says they took several measurements last November down to five feet, which is the rooting depth for corn and bean growth, and the numbers were a little higher. “And that doesn’t go away the winter time, it takes crops or plants growing in it to have it go away. So that tells us that we are at least average at all out sites or maybe a slight bit above average at this stage of the game,” DeJong says.

The U-S-D-A report shows soil moisture levels are adequate for most areas of the state. DeJong says most Iowa farmers will probably plant this year’s corn crop between April 20th and May 10th.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., April 14th 2015


April 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton will begin raising money to pay for her second bid for the White House the same way she plans to start campaigning: small. Clinton is forgoing the celebrity-studded fundraisers that marked her husband’s presidency, as well as the high-dollar private events put on this year by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Instead, Clinton’s initial appeals for money will be for small-dollar donations collected over the Internet.

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) — A Cherokee man has been sentenced in connection to a lengthy standoff with police. Thirty-six-year-old Joshua Allender was sentenced Monday to up to 10 years in prison. He took a plea deal in March to intimidation with a dangerous weapon and assault on a peace officer, dropping attempted murder, assault and weapons charges.

GARNER, Iowa (AP) — Another doctor has testified in the trial of a former Iowa lawmaker accused of sexually abusing his wife, saying the woman’s mental capacity deteriorated rapidly in the months before the alleged incident. Dr. John Brady, medical director of Garner’s Concord Care Center, testified in the third-degree sexual abuse case against 78-year-old Henry Rayhons. Prosecutors allege Rayhons had sex with his wife, Donna Lou Rayhons, in May at the nursing home after being told his wife was no longer mentally capable of consenting. She died in August.

Atlantic School graduation rate down slightly; dropouts down too


April 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Education recently released its figures for graduation and drop-out rates for schools across the State. Atlantic School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein said at Monday night’s School Board meeting, Atlantic’s four-year graduation rate was down slightly from last year’s 89.12-percent to 87.40-percent this year. The five-year graduation rate is 89.13-percent, which is down slightly from 2012’s 90-percent.The drop-out rate continues to decline, however. Last year it was 1.54-percent, which Amstein said is below the statewide average.

Atlantic School Board members don new headsets designed to make it easier for persons attending the meetings to hear Board conversations better.

Atlantic School Board members don new headsets designed to make it easier for persons attending the meetings to hear Board conversations better.

This past year (2014), the dropout rate was 1.05-percent, which is also below the state average. Amstein said the district is doing well in preventing dropouts, but needs to work harder on the graduation rate. He said also, the Iowa Assessment data was received last week, but he didn’t have the numbers crunched to provide the board during their meeting Monday evening, but overall he says, “I think we did pretty well.

Atlantic he says, will start the 2015-16 School Year on August 24th, now that Governor Branstad signed the School Calendar Bill last week. And, the district will not have to make up three days missed due to snow earlier this year, prior to the end of the current school year. That’s because the district, which runs on an hourly calendar instead of a daily calendar, more than exceeded the State recommended 1,080 instructional hours of education. Atlantic has had 1,115.76 hours on the books so far this current year.  The district will continue with the hourly calendar in the coming school year, which will also exceed the state recommended hours. Staff members will continue to meet as required for those three days, however, but Amstein said there are plenty of activities planned for those persons.

And, the price for school lunches during the 2015-16 School Year will increase 10-cents across the board. When the year begins, High School lunch will run $2.60, Middle School and Schuler lunches will be $2.55, and lunch at Washington Elementary will cost $2.30. The increases were recommended by Food Service Director DeeAnnSchriener, as she strives to meet the State goal of $2.70 within the next three-years. The lunch prices for Atlantic have traditionally been lower than those of other schools in the Hawkeye 10 conference, according to Amstein.

In other business, the School Board approved a recommended 3.2-percent settlement with the District’s Certified Staff. The move will cost $306,000, and is based on the assumption the district will receive $252,000 (1.25%) in State Supplemental Aid for 2015-16.