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(Podcast) KJAN News & funeral report, 1/7/2015

News, Podcasts

January 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:07-a.m. Newscast with KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Dangerously cold keeps many Iowa, Nebraska schools closed


January 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Hundreds of Nebraska and Iowa schools and some businesses have been closed or will open late because of the below-zero temperatures and bracing winds. A National Weather Service wind chill warning for northeast Nebraska and nearly all of Iowa says dangerously low wind chills could reach minus 35 on Wednesday morning.

In Mason City, Iowa, the air temperature of minus 6 combined with 30 mph winds to make it feel like 34 below zero. In Des Moines, the wind chill was minus 24. In South Sioux City, Nebraska, the temperature of minus 2 and the winds above 20 mph combined for a wind chill of minus 26.

Des Moines water nitrates problem likely to lead to lawsuit

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An official says Des Moines Water Works likely will sue three counties that manage drainage districts with high concentrations of nitrates. Water Works officials say the nitrates flow into the Raccoon River and threaten the city’s water quality. Water with concentrations above a certain threshold can be deadly to children younger than 6 months because nitrates can reduce the amount of oxygen carried in their blood.

Water Works board chairman Graham Gillette told The Des Moines Register that the board will vote Thursday to move forward with the lawsuit.  The trustees’ vote would trigger a notice to the boards of supervisors in Buena Vista, Calhoun and Sac counties, notifying them of Water Works’ intention to sue.

Experts say most of the nitrates come from fertilizer applied to farm fields.

IA House Republicans seek ‘conversation’ about income tax changes


January 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

House Republicans hope to advance an alternative way for Iowans to file their state income taxes, but Republican Governor Terry Branstad says the reality is Democrats in the Iowa Senate won’t go for the idea. Nonetheless House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, the top Republican in the legislature, says Republicans in the House want to “have a conversation about income taxes.” “We’ve tried to have that conversation for several years now,” Paulsen says. “We’ve sent several proposals over to the senate and we have not had any success on landing on an idea that we can get to the governor’s desk.”

Iowa’s top income tax rate today is just under nine percent. One plan Paulsen and other Republicans have favored would allow Iowans to file under the present system or to opt pay a “flat tax” of four-and-a-half percent on their income. “We think that makes the state more inviting to employers and to individuals to come and invest in the state of Iowa and invest in our workforce,” Paulsen says. Branstad will lay out his priorities for the 2015 legislative session next Tuesday, but income tax reform won’t be on his list.

“I believe in recommending things that have a realistic chance of getting bipartisan approval and I don’t see that as something that’s going to happen this session,” Branstad says. While Branstad supports the idea of a flat tax that would lower Iowa’s top income tax rate, the governor says key Democrats like the long-time chairman of the Senate’s tax-writing committee will not even consider it. Democrats say a “flat” state income tax of four-and-a-half percent would be a big tax break for upper income Iowans.

Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal says Democrats are interested in making the tax system fairer, to help more Iowans move into the middle class. “We have always been open to discussions about targeted tax relief that will help grow Iowa’s economy,” Gronstal says. The 2015 legislative session begins Monday.

(Radio Iowa)

Troopers respond to at least 170 car wrecks on snowy roads


January 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa State Patrol says that troopers responded to at least 170 reports of vehicle accidents since snowfalls between four and seven inches fell earlier this week. Cedar Rapids television station KCRG reports at least one of those crashes was fatal. Troopers also responded to more than 230 calls for roadside help as of Tuesday.

The state’s transportation department said 12 of its snow plows were involved in the wrecks. The accident that resulted in the most damage occurred in western Iowa, where a plow crashed with a semitrailer, causing nearly $158,000 in damages. Officials say there were no serious injuries.

Symptoms of flu? Call doctor ASAP


January 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The waiting rooms in many of Iowa’s hospitals are packed with people suffering from the flu. Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) medical director Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says it’s critical for those who are at high risk for complications and those who are suffering from more severe symptoms — such as trouble breathing — to contact their health care provider. “This year, it’s especially important that you contact your health care provider quickly because we know the strain of the flu that’s going around right now can be quite serious. It’s causing some people to be hospitalized and even some deaths,” Quinlisk says.

The IDPH has confirmed two recent influenza-related deaths of children in Iowa, while a third is under investigation. The two confirmed victims, a 14-year-old girl from Redfield and a 3-year-old girl from Elk Horn, were both said to be healthy and had flu shots. Quinlisk is urging parents to contact their doctor right away if their child shows symptoms of the flu. “The antiviral medication that can be given to people to help them combat the flu has to be given within 24 to 48 hours within the onset of illness for it to be effective,” Quinlisk says.

Nationally, the flu outbreak has been declared an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quinlisk says it’s not too late for Iowans to get the flu shot, even though the vaccine it’s not entirely effective in treating the strain known as influenza A. “While the flu shot is not 100-percent effective, it’s one of the best tools we have to provide you protection from getting seriously ill or dying of the flu,” Quinlisk says. In addition to vaccination, Quinlisk recommends following the “three Cs” for preventing flu illness: clean your hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes, and confine germs by staying home when ill.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Jan. 7th 2015


January 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Public health officials are investigating the death of a 7-year-old Iowa boy who was diagnosed with influenza. The Iowa Department of Public Health says it’s investigating three pediatric deaths that they believe resulted from flu-related complications. The family of 7-year-old Travon Epps says the boy was taken to Blank Children’s Hospital on New Year’s Day. He was diagnosed with the flu and later died.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say they’re investigating a shooting in southeast Iowa that left one person dead and an officer injured. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says the Burlington Police Department responded to a domestic dispute Tuesday morning. Authorities say the response resulted in a shooting that left one person dead and an officer receiving treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) — A Houston, Texas-based company has agreed to pay a $59,000 penalty as part of a settlement over alleged clean air and emergency planning violations at its facilities in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. Inhance Technologies LLC, formerly known as Fluoro-Seal International LP, will spend at least $180,000 on systems to recycle hazardous hydrogen fluoride gas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency inspected the company’s Mount Pleasant, Iowa, facility in November 2010. Federal officials say the facility did not follow rules for using or storing certain types of hazardous or potentially hazardous chemicals beyond specified threshold amounts.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Pharmacy Board recommends that state lawmakers reclassify a marijuana extract that is used to treat people with epilepsy. But the board has declined to make any broader changes supported by medical marijuana advocates.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s newly sworn-in Sen. Joni Ernst says she is thrilled to be getting down to business. Ernst was officially sworn in Tuesday morning in Washington. The Republican from Red Oak says she is excited to be working for Iowans and pledged to protect the state’s farmers and push for government efficiency.

Arrest late Tuesday night in Montgomery County


January 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Red Oak Police Department report the arrest at around 9-p.m. Tuesday, of a Red Oak man. 33-year old Paul Earl Lemburg, II, was taken into custody on a warrant issued out of Montgomery County for Failure to Appear in Court. The warrant was based on an original charge of Theft in the 4th Degree. Lemburg was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s report


January 6th, 2015 by admin

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest on Tuesday, of a Villisca man. 30-year old Joshua Dean Cooney was arrested on a bench warrant for failure to appear. Cooney was being held on $25,000 bond.

Atlantic City Council to hold 1st meeting of 2015, Wednesday


January 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will hold its first, regular meeting of the new year, beginning at 5:30-p.m., Wednesday, at City Hall. During the session, the Council will meet Jamie Arnold, with the law firm of Otto, Lawrence and Weidertsein. The Council has indicated it’s interest in making Arnold the City’s Attorney. If approved, he will take over for Dave Weiderstein, who won the election in November for Cass County Attorney. While Arnold has moved to Atlantic, at last report he still needed to have his paperwork processed by the State in order to practice law, in Iowa. City officials hope to appoint him to the position on January 17th.

In other business, the Atlantic City Council will take care of annual administrative matters, including: approval of First Whitney Bank and Trust as the City’s official 2015 bank for checking accounts; the local newspaper as the City’s official newspaper for 2015; and approval of City Council Committee Assignments and Council Liaison Assignments for 2015.

They’ll also discuss the City of Atlantic’s role in the Cass County Public Safety Commission, following the recent withdrawal of the Cities of Anita and Griswold from the Commission, which has sparked a number of questions regarding cost distribution and taxpayer equity for services. The Council will also consider and possibly act on a recommendation by the Personnel and Finance Committee with regard to a TIF application for the Southern Heights  View development area.