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Bomb threat cleared in Council Bluffs rail yard

News

January 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A bomb threat at the Union Pacific rail yard in Council Bluffs has been cleared after no device was found. Police searched the rail yard for four hours late Friday and early Saturday before determining the area was safe. Police ended their search about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. No other information about the incident has been released.

Police investigate hazing claims at Nodaway Valley HS

News, Sports

January 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

GREENFIELD, Iowa (AP) — Police say they are investigating allegations of hazing involving the wrestling team at Nodaway Valley High School in Greenfield. KCCI-TV in Des Moines reports the city’s police chief confirmed the incident but declined to reveal details other than to say it involved several students. The school’s athletic director, David Huff, sent a letter to parents Friday saying the school is aware of a hazing incident on the wrestling team and that the school conducted its own investigation. He says disciplinary action is being taken and the school is taking action to prevent a similar incident in the future. In the letter, Huff says school officials were “disturbed by this incident.” Superintendent Casey Berlau declined to say if any students had been disciplined and declined further comment.

7-A.M. Local News (Podcast) 1-7-2012

News, Podcasts

January 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The latest area news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

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Bluffs youth bring BB guns to school

News

January 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Superintendent of the Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Council Bluffs says three boys were cited Thursday for carrying weapons to school. Superintendent Marsha Bruckner said the boys – two 11-year olds and a 12-year old — were cited by Council Bluffs Police and released to their parents.

Bruckener said students at the school were never in any danger, and there was no evidence of intent to commit harm. She said the boys were “Trying to be cool,” but now they’re in “Serious trouble.” The boys are no longer in school, and disciplinary measures are still being investigated.

3 arrests in Montgomery County

News

January 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County report three people were arrested Friday night. 24-year old Jacob Edward Eggleston, of Red Oak, was arrested at around 5:50-p.m. on possession of marijuana and domestic assault charges. At the same time, 19-year old Cassandra Dawn Redd, of Red Oak, was arrested on a charge of domestic assault. Eggleston and Redd were brought to the Montgomery County Jail, where Eggleston was being held on $1,000 cash bond, and Redd’s bond was set at $300.

And, at around 10:20-p.m., Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 45-year old Thayne Alvin Kinnison, of Stanton, on a warrant out of Montgomery County for 4th degree theft. Kinnison was being held in jail on $1,000 bond.

Trail of blood leads officers to accident suspect in C. Bluffs

News

January 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Pottawattamie County say a trail of blood led Council Bluffs police officers to a hit-and-run driver Friday morning. Officers responded to the 1100 block of Sixth Avenue shortly after midnight following reports of a vehicle striking a parked minivan.

According to police reports, a 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse was westbound on Sixth Avenue when it struck a parked 2007 Hyundai Entourage, pushing it more than 10 feet. After striking the minivan, the Eclipse rolled onto its top. Witnesses told police they could hear the driver – later identified as a 24-year-old Council Bluffs man – cry for help. After assisting the man from the vehicle, witnesses tried to get him to sit down, but he said he would walk home.

Officers found blood at the scene and believed that the driver had a significant laceration. They notified area hospitals but also followed a blood trail that led to a nearby home. A resident there told officers her daughter had just left with “someone.” About the same time, Jennie Edmundson Hospital notified officers that a man matching the driver’s description had arrived at the hospital. The unidentified man was moved to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha with what was believed to be a non-life threatening head injury.

Winterset Teacher Arrested on Sexual Exploitation Charges

News

January 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Safety said today (Friday) agents with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) arrested 26-year old Drew C. Lipovac, of Winterset this morning, on three charges of Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee. Lipovac, a third grade teacher at Winterset Elementary, was arrested following a criminal investigation conducted by the Winterset Police Department and the DCI.

On December 15th, 2011 a member of the Winterset Community School District contacted the Winterset Police Department to report an allegation of inappropriate physical contact between Lipovac and at least one high school aged female student. The criminal investigation revealed that during September, 2011, Lipovac, while at a private residence, consumed alcohol with multiple high school aged students and had inappropriate physical contact with two high school aged females.  The investigation also revealed that Lipovac consumed alcohol with and had inappropriate physical contact with one of the high school aged females at a later date.

Lipovac is currently being held on $10,000 cash bond at the Madison County Jail.

Missouri River management plan for 2012 released

News

January 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers says it is trying to improve the way it manages the Missouri River’s reservoirs after last year’s historic flooding, but the 2012 plan released today (Friday), doesn’t include any additional flood-storage space. The corps has been criticized by people living all along the river because of the way it managed last year’s flood that caused $630 million damage to flood-control structures and covered hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland along the 2,341-mile-long river for months. The corps said it tried to address some concerns by promising to improve communication and react swiftly to signs of high runoff, but officials say there wasn’t time to clear more space than normal in the reservoirs. Officials say the levees, dams and channels along the river remain vulnerable going into 2012 because many more repairs are needed. Still, the corps said there is only a 10 percent chance that the amount of water flowing into the Missouri River from melting snow and rainfall this year will exceed the amount the plan can handle.

Last year, the corps had to release massive amounts of water from the six dams along the river all summer to deal with unexpectedly heavy spring rains and above-average mountain snowpack. That caused flooding that began in June and continued well into the fall in some places. A report from outside experts released last month said the corps did the best it could to deal with last year’s record flooding, but the panel recommended several changes that could prevent a disastrous repeat.

The corps said it has already started implementing some of those recommendations, including updating the hydrologic studies it uses. But the corps says many of the suggestions require either detailed study or additional funding, so they couldn’t be implemented right away. The corps said that if it gets any sign of heavy runoff in 2012 it will try to aggressively release water. And the corps said it will try to improve communication by holding conference calls twice a month.

Branstad presents revised education reform plan

News

January 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad this (Friday) morning unveiled a $25 million plan to reform the state’s education system. Many of the proposals were first released in October. One of the more controversial pieces remaining in the package would require children to repeat third grade if they fail to pass a literacy test. “Promoting an illiterate child is far crueler than holding back a child to get them back on track,” Branstad said at a press conference held at a Des Moines elementary school. Teachers and some school administrators and parents have opposed the idea of holding back third grade students. State Representative Sharon Steckman, a Democrat from Mason City, is a retired educator.

“I think you’ve done irreparable damage to a child sometimes when you hold them back and haven’t given them the opportunity to improve,” Steckman said. Branstad’s other proposals would “make seniority a minor factor” in deciding which teachers should be laid off when a school district is forced to make cuts. Teachers would also be evaluated annually instead of every three years, which is the current requirement. Branstad said he will outline how the package would be financed next Tuesday when he delivers the annual Condition of the State Address to the legislature.

link to full legislative brief on education reform proposals:

https://governor.iowa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/World-Class-Schools-final1.pdf

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Walnut City Council discusses business incentives and more

News

January 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Walnut City Council, Thursday, held discussion on ways to entice businesses to locate to “Iowa’s Antique City.” City Clerk Terry Abell said the Council, during their first meeting of the new year, talked about offering “incentive packages” to bring new business to town, but no action was taken. Abell said also, the Council reappointed Larry Humann to the Zoning Commission. The Council, in it’s review of the State Audit Report, noted some policy changes that need to be addressed. Abell said that includes a Disaster Recovery Policy for City Hall records, a written internet/password protection policy, and a new investment policy. The audit report, she said was “Clean,” and showed no discrepancies.