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(Podcast) KJAN News & funeral report, 1/27/2016

News, Podcasts

January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The 7:06-a.m. newscast w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Group calls for more talk on affordable child care


January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A liberal advocacy group is calling on the presidential candidates to talk more about affordable child care during their stops in Iowa. The group Progress Iowa sponsored a news conference that included Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “The reality is, in a time where wages are pretty stuck for most families, the rising cost of child care is really contributing to the squeeze families are facing,” Tanden says.

“For the average American family with an infant and a toddler, child care costs nearly 18-thousand dollars every year — let me say that again, nearly 18-thousand dollars every year — which amounts to a third of the average income for those families.” Tanden says high quality child care can cost a family the same amount each month as a mortgage payment. And then you add in other costs such as transportation, food and utilities.

“And it’s that kind of squeeze I think a lot of families are facing and are contributing to the debate that we are having on national issues right now,” Tanden says. Tanden says her organization is a “think tank” that commissioned a poll that showed 70 percent of likely caucus goers in Iowa believe child care is too expensive and out of reach for working families. She says our country is way behind others on the issue.

“In American families, 65 percent of children under age six have both parents in the workforce. This is the reality, this is what’s happening,” Tanden says. “And yet we do very little as a country to help those families struggling with those costs. We have really not national child care policy that makes it possible for most families to afford child care.” Former U-S Senator Tom Harkin also spoke at the event.

“Child care is completely out of reach for too many American families. And for too many children of low income, it means their growth and their development is stunted from the start,” Harkin says. Harkin, a Democrat who retired last year, says the issue should be getting more attention from the candidates looking for Caucus votes.

He says there’s a lot of discussion by the political campaigns about helping working families, including raising the minimum wage, strengthening Social Security and keeping drug prices down. “All important middle class family issues,” Harkin says. “But one big part is not being discussed enough, and that is affordable, quality child care.”

Harkin says the federal block grant program to help low income people with child care was re-authorized before he retired, but he says the proper funding needs to be appropriated for the program. He urges voters to ask the candidates about the child care issues.

“We all focus on the presidential race right now obviously in Iowa. But next year is also the legislative races here in the state of Iowa,” Harkin says. “Ask your legislative candidates what they are going to do in Iowa and put the funding at the state level to match the block grant program from the federal government.”

The news conference was held during the noon hour at a Des Moines child care center.

(Radio Iowa)

4 sentenced for selling methamphetamine in N.W. Iowa


January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Four people convicted of selling meth in O’Brien County have been sentenced to federal prison. The Sioux City Journal reports that 49-year-old Joe Leal, 31-year-old Mackenzie Jellema, 37-year-old Isaac Esquivel and 30-year-old Valerie Ortega were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Sioux City.

Leal was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison, and Ortega received three years and six months. Jellema was sentenced to four years in prison, and Esquivel was sentenced to a three-year prison term.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the four admitted to the sale of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. Law enforcement officers also made undercover purchases from them totaling 271 grams.

Moderate temps this weekend; Strong Winter Storm expected next week

News, Weather

January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service says while temperatures will moderate through the weekend with highs from the mid 30s to around 50 through Sunday, a strong winter storm is likely next week. A couple of weak disturbances will affect Iowa today and Friday with the main impact being clouds and a slight chance of snow showers.

A strong winter storm is expected to develop over the Southwest U.S. into the Southern Plains then lift into the upper Midwest Tuesday through Wednesday. Officials say while it is too early too accurately assess track and timing, the storm will tap some gulf moisture and pull in a lot of cold air as it lifts Northeast. Moderate to heavy snowfall and strong winds are likely with this system. Watch and listen for updates on this developing storm system.

Harlan Police report (issued 1/26/16)


January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department, Tuesday, issued a report on recent activity.  On Jan. 19th, 31-year old William Merkle, of Harlan, was cited for Theft in the 5th degree, after surveillance cameras showed him allegedly taking an item from the Harlan Cenex station. Merkle was cited, given a court date, and released.

On Jan. 20th, Robert Sommer, Harlan, reported to the police department that someone had broken into his residence in the 900 block of Farnam St. Missing were a television, several gaming systems and games. The estimated value of the missing items was $1950.00. Authorities remind you, that Shelby County Crime Stoppers makes cash awards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.

And, on Jan. 23rd, 19-year old Kyle Croghan, of Woodbine, was arrested following a traffic stop in Harlan. As a result of that stop Croghan was cited for possession of alcohol under legal age. Croghan was also given a warning for speed.

Red Oak man arrested on drug charges Tue. night


January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s deputies in Montgomery County, assisted by Red Oak Police, arrested a Red Oak man on drug charges Tuesday night, following a traffic stop in Red Oak. 53-year old Michael Robert Ransom was taken into custody at around 9:50-p.m. for Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Driving While Suspended. Ransom was brought to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $1,000 bond.

Jeb Bush to visit parts of western IA this week


January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Florida Governor Jeb Bush will be in Iowa this week. Today (Wednesday), Governor Bush will attend the Nationwide Speakers Series in Des Moines.. On Friday, Governor Bush will start his Countdown to Caucus tour with stops in Carroll, Sioux City and Sioux Center. On Saturday, Governor Bush will stop in Okoboji, Clear Lake, Cedar Falls and Dubuque. And, on Sunday, Governor Bush will finish his tour with stops in Cedar Rapids, Clinton and Davenport.

In Carroll, Bush will attend an event at the Greasewood Flats Ranch, Friday. Later that day, he’ll be at Bev’s on the River, in Sioux City, and Dordt College, in Sioux Center.

Home invasion leads to shooting in Council Bluffs


January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Authorities say officers were called to an apartment at 901 North 35th Street in Council Bluffs at around 9:12-p.m., Tuesday, with regard to a shooting. Upon their arrival, it was learned that a home invasion had occurred. The adults that were present were 25-year old Amber Day, 30-year old Arnell Wynne, Crystal Belden, and 56-year old Venice Wynne. There were 5 children present inside the apartment ranging from 5 months to 11 years in age. Bluffs Badge

The Criminal Investigation Division was notified and based on their initial investigation, determined the victims heard a knock on their apartment door. When Belden answered the door, two black male suspects wearing dark clothing and dark colored handkerchiefs over their faces forced their way into the apartment. One of the suspects was carrying a firearm described as a black semiautomatic handgun. The suspect carrying the handgun immediately ran upstairs and met Arnell Wynne at the top of the steps in the hallway.

The two then began to wrestle with one another. Belden attempted to go around them to get the children in one of the bedrooms. The suspect then fired one shot above her head that traveled into the wall next to the bedroom where her children were located. While Amber Day was in the process of dialing 911 in the children’s bedroom, Wynne continued to wrestle with the suspect which led into the bathroom. As they wrestled in the bathroom, Wynne said the suspect fired another round.

After the second shot was heard, the suspect made his way into the children’s bedroom where he allegedly held the gun to Days’ head as she was on the phone with 911. As the suspect held the gun to the woman’s’ head, Wynne came into the bedroom, grabbed the suspect and pulled him into the hallway. Wynne said the suspect broke free from him and ran downstairs.

While the upstairs incident was occurring, Belden ran out the back sliding glass door, where a third unknown suspect was waiting and struck her in the face with an unknown object. All three suspects then fled the apartment out the back door. Several spent rounds were recovered from the apartment. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Jan. 27th 2016


January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Planned Parenthood of the Heartland announced plans to close its Dubuque health center, ending clinical services immediately. Angie Remington, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit organization, said the demand for services at the Dubuque location remained flat, while the demand has grown at the Cedar Rapids Planned Parenthood. The change will allow the Cedar Rapids site to see more patients and expand its hours. Once the clinic closes, the nearest location will be 70 miles away in Cedar Rapids.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The head of a gay rights organization in Iowa says a legislative oversight committee is unfairly targeting his group over programming at an annual anti-bullying youth conference. Nate Monson, executive director of Iowa Safe Schools, says members of the House Government Oversight Committee plan to sensationalize his group’s work at a meeting Wednesday at the Capitol. Monson helps organize a conference on resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) — Hillary Clinton’s most loyal and enthusiastic supporters in Iowa — women middle-aged or older — are unwavering in their support of the Democratic presidential candidate. But some are grappling with a combination of confusion and anxiety that another race in Iowa could be slipping away, just like in 2008. This time around, the unexpected challenge to Clinton comes from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the self-described democratic socialist who has energized young voters and liberals with his calls for a “political revolution.”

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The department that oversees Iowa’s flagship history museum says a nearly $80 million renovation to the building will cut its square footage but enhance its presence near the Capitol. Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie told lawmakers that the State Historical Museum in downtown Des Moines would shrink from about 230,000 square feet to about 155,000 square feet under a renovation plan that would span several years. The department is seeking $65 million from the Iowa Legislature through an infrastructure fund that is separate from general state dollars.

Slick roads contribute to Montgomery County crash Monday


January 26th, 2016 by Chris Parks

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports a two vehicle accident occurred on Monday afternoon and resulted in suspected minor injuries to one person.  At about 4:05pm 18-year-old Jared Mattson of Villisca was traveling in a 1985 Ford Explorer westbound on 200th Street about 1/2 mile West of Highway 71.  Mattson lost control on the icy, snowy road and slid into the path of a 1994 Buick LeSabre driven by 61-year-old Michele Stevens of Villisca.  The vehicles hit head on in the middle of the eastbound lane.

Stevens was transported from the scene by Villisca Rescue to Montgomery County Hospital with suspected minor/non-incapacitating injuries.  Mattson refused treatment at the scene.  Mattson was cited for Failure to Maintain Control and No Insurance.  The Explorer sustained $3,000 damage while the LeSabre sustained $2,500 damage.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Villisca Fire Department, Red Oak Rescue, and Montgomery County Emergency Manager.