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Bluffs Elementary School named best in IA in English education

News

October 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Education has named Bloomer Elementary School in Council Bluffs, as the best in the State at educating students in learning English. The school is set to receive the IDED’s “Breaking Barriers” award, next month. The institution is one of five schools scheduled to receive the honor.

The IDED says Bloomer Elementary was the only Iowa schools awarded for how its English-learning students did on the state math and reading tests, as compared with the state average for the same group of students. Districts and schools receive the distinction for narrowing the achievement gaps between better-off groups of students, and disadvantaged groups, such as those students learning English or students from low-income families.

(Update 7:11-p.m.) One killed after vehicle crashes into Council Bluffs house Saturday

News

October 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Council Bluffs Police Department reports a passenger in a vehicle that crashed into a house Saturday died, while the driver of the car was injured. The accident happened at around 4:47-p.m. Saturday, near North 16th Street and Avenue F. The names of the victims were released late Sunday night.

Officials say a 1990 Geo Prizm driven by 47-year old Patrick Coover, of Council Bluffs, was traveling north on North 16th Street, when for reasons unknown, the car crossed over the center median heading in a westerly direction across Avenue F. The car then crashed into the side of an unoccupied  residence at 1602 Avenue F. Coover and a transient passenger in the car, 36-year old Rogers Williams Jackson, were transported to the hospital, where Jackson was pronounced dead. Coover was being treated at the Creighton University Medical Center. A report on his condition is not available.

The crash remain under investigation. Authorities say alcohol is believed to have been a contributing factor to the crash, while speed may-or-may not have played a role. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact the Council Bluffs Police Department’s Special Operations/Traffic Unit. Call 712-328-4948.

Iowa gets much-needed rain as storms hit Midwest

News, Weather

October 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Severe thunderstorms were expected throughout the midsection of the country on Saturday, but many in Iowa are likely happy to see the rain after a summer of drought. The National Weather Service says much of the state will get at least some rain, with some areas in south central Iowa getting as much as 2 inches by today (Sunday). Iowa has struggled with record drought this year. As late as Thursday, three-fourths of the state remained in extreme or exceptional drought — the two worst classifications.

Iowa early News headlines: Sun., Oct. 14th 2012

News

October 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Bruce Springsteen’s campaign tour to support President Barack Obama will bring him to Iowa. The musician will be in Ames on Thursday. A news release from Obama campaign says Springsteen’s appearance will be free and open to the public, but does not say whether he’ll put on a musical performance. Springsteen campaigned for Obama in 2008, but his appearances next week will be his first of the 2012 cycle.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) —The National Weather Service says it expected as much as two inches of rain for south central Iowa by midafternoon yesterday. Iowa has struggled with record drought this year. As late as Thursday, three-fourths of the state remained in extreme or exceptional drought — the two worst classifications.

PALO, Iowa (AP) — Residents of the eastern Iowa town of Palo are being urged to boil their tap water before using it following a water main break. Cedar Rapids television station KCRG-TV reports that city officials issued the boil order Friday afternoon. The break happened while construction equipment was installing more public water lines to residents in the area.

SWISHER, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa father has been arrested, accused of assaulting his teenage daughter and threatening her friends with a gun. The 46-year-old Swisher man faces seven charges, including assault, harassment and weapons counts. He’s being held at the Johnson County Jail in lieu of $72,500 bail. The man was arrested Thursday.

NM company linked to illness expands peanut recall

News

October 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — A New Mexico food company that produced the peanut butter linked to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning has expanded an ongoing recall of its products to include raw and roasted peanuts. The federal Food and Drug Administration said Saturday that Sunland Inc. added raw and roasted shelled and in-shell peanuts sold in quantities from two ounces to 50 pounds to its recall. FDA inspectors have found salmonella in raw peanuts from the Sunland processing plant. Sunland manufactured the peanut butter sold by Trader Joe’s that’s been linked to 35 salmonella illnesses across 19 states. Sunland has recalled everything made in its contaminated plant since March 2010. Salmonella causes diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk.

(Podcast) Local News – Sat., Oct. 13 2012

News, Podcasts

October 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The 7-a.m. News podcast from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

Authorities now say grave marker found in Council Bluffs was not stolen

News

October 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A grave marker belonging to a 6-month old child who died in 1986 apparently wasn’t stolen after all. Last week, employees of the Council Bluffs recycling Center found a plaque with the name Megan Alaine Kjellberg, in a recycling bin. A report Thursday in the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil stated Council Bluffs Police Capt. Terry LeMaster and other authorities, feared someone had stolen the marker in an attempt to sell it for scrap metal. LeMaster said area cemeteries and funeral directors were checked, as well as funeral and obituary databases and reports about stolen items.  He wondered if someone might have stolen the marker thinking it was solid copper. When it turned out to be only copper coated, it was tossed into a recycling bin.

While an initial attempt by authorities to find where the marker belongs failed, newspaper and broadcast reports  asking citizens for help in locating the child’s burial site paid off. LeMaster told the Nonpareil that they received several phone calls, some coming from as far away as Wisconsin.  But one call in particular solved the mystery. A person left a message asking authorities to check the website of Forest Lawn Cemetery in Omaha.

The Forest Lawn Cemetery has an alphabetical online record of everyone buried at the facility, and there in the K section was the name Megan Alaine Kjellberg. According to the cemetery, she is buried in the “Garden of the Apostles,” on the eastern edge of the property one row back of a lane that passes through the section. LeMaster said his department called the cemetery, which confirmed the plot number. After checking the records, it was determined the girls’ family had placed a new headstone on the grave in 1999 and had taken possession of the old one.

It’s still not clear how the removed marker made it to the recycling bin, though. If the family does not respond to the calls from police asking them to claim the marker, it would be considered found property and processed accordingly. LeMaster told the paper he was happy to know there isn’t a child’s grave out there without a marker, and that concerned citizens worked in concert to make sure that is wasn’t the case.

Funeral for Carter Lake solider killed in TX to be held today (Oct. 13th)

News

October 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Funeral services will be held today (Saturday) in Council Bluffs, for a Carter Lake soldier who was shot during an incident on Oct. 4th, near Ft. Hood, Texas. According to the Killeen (Texas) Police Department, a loud party at the home of some soldiers started the chain of arguments that led to the shooting of 22-year old Army Specialist Jamie Lee Schnider.

Schnider graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School with the class of 2008. He enlisted in the United States Army and served two tours in Iraq. His funeral service is today, beginning at 10:30 a.m.,  at Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home, 1221 N. 16th St, in Council Bluffs.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., Oct. 13th 2012

News

October 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — One woman has been injured before fleeing with her sister and four children from a house fire in Waterloo. Nineteen-year-old Iesha Coffer says she was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom just before noon Thursday when she was awakened by heat and soon noticed the fire. Damage from the fire was estimated at $15,000.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — A former prison guard at the state prison in Fort Dodge is accused of providing contraband to an inmate and performing a sex act on him. Thirty-five-year-old Rhiannon Quintana of Fort Dodge, Iowa is charged with providing electronic contraband and sexual misconduct with an inmate. The newspaper says the alleged incidents happened on July 15th. The inmate is not identified in a criminal complaint filed with the Webster County attorney’s office.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Several people have been arrested during a prostitution bust at a motel in western Iowa. Authorities say the operation began just before 1 p.m. and ended with the last arrest at 10:25 p.m. Wednesday. The name of the motel in Council Bluffs wasn’t disclosed.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — The matchup of the year in Big 12 appears to be just a little over a week away, when sixth-ranked Kansas State travels to face 5th ranked West Virginia. The unbeaten Wildcats first need to beat Iowa State in Ames, and the Cyclones aren’t the pushover they used to be. ISU knocked off then 3rd ranked Oklahoma State in Ames last year.

Ark. woman admits guilt in sex trafficking ring

News

October 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — An Arkansas woman has pleaded guilty to helping run a violent nationwide sex trafficking ring that solicited customers for prostitutes as young as age 17. Brittany Lawson, of Hot Springs, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking in federal court in Council Bluffs. She faces a lengthy prison term when she is sentenced because the charge carries a maximum of life in prison. But prosecutors agreed any recommended sentence should be shortened because she was under the coercion of co-defendant Johnelle Bell, described as a violent New Jersey pimp and mastermind of the ring. Bell has pleaded not guilty and faces trial next month. Lawson admitted that she posted ads on backpage.com soliciting customers in Iowa and elsewhere, recruited prostitutes, secured rental cars and rented motel rooms.