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Some lawn care dos & don’t s on this first full day of Spring

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Today’s (Saturday) the first full day of spring and many Iowans are getting the itch to launch into their yard work, sprucing up their lawns and starting to plant flowers, trees and other vegetation. Even though Iowa has already had a lot of unseasonably warm days in recent weeks, horticulturist and arborist John Fech says to hold off on doing any fertilizing of your grass.  “Some of the lawn services have started with that but they tend to have different products than the average homeowner uses,” Fech says, “so, probably wait another three weeks or so.”

Fech says now would be a good time to rake up last season’s dead leaves, aerate the lawn and inspect trees and shrubs.  “Pruning your fruit trees,” he says. “Take out all the crossing limbs and limbs that have broken through the winter.” Look over the shrubs, too, and use sharp shears. “The shrubs that don’t bloom much at all and the ones that bloom in the summer, those are the ones that need a good thinning out, not a haircut, but a thinning out where you take the oldest stems out and let light to the center of the shrub,” he says.

Since much of the region had very dry weather heading into winter, dormant plants could likely use a drink. Fech suggests prioritizing and picking out the plants that are most important to you, roses or shrubs, and use a soaker hose to get them primed for the spring ahead.

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) KJAN News, 03/21/2015

News, Podcasts

March 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 8-a.m. Newscast w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Traffic stop in Red Oak results in an arrest Sat. morning

News

March 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop this (Saturday) morning in Red Oak, resulted in the arrest of a man from northwest Iowa. Red Oak Police say 32-year old Chad Curtis McGonagle, of Ruthven, was pulled over at around 2:45-a.m. at the intersection of West Walnut and North Broadway Streets. During an investigation, McGonagle was found to allegedly be under the influence of a controlled substance.

He’s been charged with OWI-Drugged/1st offense, and was being held at the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on $1,000 cash bond. Red Oak Police were assisted at the scene by officers with the Shenandoah Police Department.

(Podcast) KJAN News & funeral report, 3/21/2015

News, Podcasts

March 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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

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Fundraiser for Atlantic man/Vietnam war-era Vet fighting lung cancer

News

March 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A fundraiser is being held for an Atlantic man diagnosed with lung cancer. 65-year old Ron Shipley, of Atlantic, was diagnosed with lung cancer in Oct. 2014.

Ron Shipley

Ron Shipley

A former Marine who served during the Vietnam War teaching machine gunners at a base located in the U-S. He’s been a resident of Atlantic since 1990. Shipley is currently at Methodist Hospital in Omaha, where he has undergone resection of the lower lobe of his left lung.

In light of a recent local, cancer-related scam, and the public’s skittishness at contributing to persons they may be unfamiliar with,  family friend Sherry Toelle  said she has a written statement from the physician caring for Shipley, confirming the diagnosis and prognosis.

Ron Shipley and his wife Betty are both retired and are drawing Social Security benefits. He worked at Abild’s from 1992-1993, then at Service Master from 1994 to 2000 where he was an area supervisor. In 1995, he went to work at Mahle’s as a plant cleaning supervisor for five years before being employed in the maintenance department at WalMart from 2004-2006. He has suffered from knee problems which have limited his ability to work.

1966 photo of Shipley

1966 photo of Shipley

While eligible for Medicare, Shipley’s finances do not extend to being able to pay for a Medicare Supplement so he is, therefore, responsible for at least 20% of his cancer treatment costs. Toelle says for anyone who has personally dealt with cancer or has friends/relatives who have had cancer, they know what a financial burden even 2-percent can be.

Learning about his cancer diagnosis, friends decided to try to raise funds for Ron. A special bank account—the Ron Shipley Medical Fund—has been set up at the Great Western Bank at 1407 E. 7th Street in Atlantic. Donors can send checks or take cash to that location for deposit in the benefit account which will be used solely to defray Ron’s medical and incidental expenses. Donation canisters have also been placed throughout Atlantic—at HyVee, Fareway, all three Casey’s, Cappels, Deter Motors, and the Atlantic Animal Health Clinic, to name a few.

The fundraising effort is being sponsored by Friends of Ron Shipley. For more information, contact Sherry at 243-4861 or Kathy Kerns at 243-1109.

2 people arrested on drug & child endangerment charges in Fremont County

News

March 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop Friday in Fremont County led to the arrest of two people on drug charges. Sheriff’s officials say 38-year old Michael Beltran and 31-year old Lacey Smalley were taken into custody. Beltran and Smalley both face charges that include Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Child Endangerment. Beltran was also charged with Driving While Suspended.

Beltran was being held in the Fremont County Jail on $7,600 bond, while Smalley was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $4,300 bond.

Daughtery sex abuse trial delayed in Council Bluffs

News

March 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The trial of former Council Bluffs teacher Jeffrey Daugherty won’t begin as previously scheduled on Tuesday. According to the The Daily NonPareil, a judge will hear a motion Monday to consolidate the cases based on two students’ allegations. A new trial date has not yet been set. The 29-year old Daugherty is accused of two counts of third-degree sexual abuse, five counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee and one count each of sexual exploitation of a minor and lascivious conduct with a minor.

The charges stem from an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old female student while he was a math teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School. Daugherty has pleaded not guilty, according to Pottawattamie County court records. He resigned his teaching position on Feb. 3rd. Police arrested Daugherty on Jan. 8th.

An arrest affidavit notes the alleged relationship lasted about two months. The alleged victim reportedly said she was failing a class and went to Daugherty for help. Daugherty and the girl allegedly began talking, texting and communicating via social media site Twitter about explicit acts and also exchanged multiple topless photos, according to court records.

The victim told police Daugherty kissed her one evening after school, while two other instances included the teacher touching the victim’s private areas. At least one of the encounters happened after school in a classroom. Daugherty denies the charges.

In late January, a second former student came forward. The now 18-year-old female – who was 17 at the time of the alleged acts – told police that she exposed herself to Daugherty after being asked to do so. On multiple occasions, Daugherty allegedly asked the girl to perform sex acts on him, and she complied. An arrest affidavit notes the victim told police she was not forced to engage in sex acts with the teacher.

That matter is set to go to trial on May 12th.

Supreme Court rules on definition of rain

News

March 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled in a case that defines the definition of rain when it comes to insurance claims. The Amish Connection Store in Crossroads Mall in Waterloo was flooded after a corroded drain pipe carrying rainwater through the building burst during a heavy rainfall in 2010. State Farm insurance refused to cover the losses, citing a provision in its policy that loses for rain are only covered if there is first damage from a storm that allows the rainwater to get into the structure.

The Amish Connection argued once the rain left the roof and entered the drain pipe it was no longer rain, and the damage was caused by the failure of the drain pipe. The district court dismissed the case based on the rain provision in the insurance policy, but the Court of Appeals overturned the district court ruling. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled the water in the drain pipe is still rain and not covered under the insurance policy.

The court says the insurer expects the property owner to keep the rain out and writes the policy to avoid paying for damage from rain resulting from deferred maintenance. Justices Hecht, Wiggins, and Appel had a dissenting opinion. They say the case should have gone to trial as it is reasonable that it could be found the loss Amish Connection suffered was not from the rain alone, but only because the pipe failed while the rainwater was passing through it.

(Radio Iowa)

Tips to help Iowa Facebook users navigate new rules about content

News

March 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The tens of thousands of Iowans who frequent Facebook are getting used to the social networking website’s managers doctoring policies. A few days ago, new standards were announced about what can and cannot be posted in terms of bullying, harassment, nudity and graphic content. Thor Schrock, a technology consultant in Omaha-Council Bluffs, says if a terrorist group posts a video with violent content, it’s removed immediately.

“However, if you are a Christian activist who is worried about the slaughter of Christians in Iraq and you post a video on your account, the exact same video the terrorists would have posted, then it’s okay because you’re trying to raise awareness,” Schrock says. “So, what it comes down to is, Facebook is trying to determine the intent of the person who is posting.” This latest change in policy, Schrock says, stems from an effort a few months ago to raise awareness about breastfeeding and the photos that were posted offended some users.

“Facebook has made the clarification now that the bare breast is not allowed unless you’re breast feeding or unless you’re showing a nude statue which is considered art, then that’s okay,” Schrock says. “As far as mooning people and stuff like that, it goes back to the definition of pornography. It’s hard to define it but you know it when you see it.” The new rules help clarify what is and is not allowed on the website. Schrock says Facebook relies heavily on users reporting content which they think is inappropriate.

“The trouble is, what Facebook does is, they don’t actually actively police their users,” Schrock says. “They wait for someone to report that a user has violated the rules and then they look into it and make a decision based on the content there.” Schrock says users can also self-police the site and simply block content they don’t want to see or “unfriend” the people who routinely post it.

(Radio Iowa)

State Auditor review questions spending by four boards

News

March 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A review by the State Auditor’s office that questioned the spending of four boards under the Iowa Department of Public Health has led to changes in procedures. State Auditor Mary Mosiman says the process for buying electronics raised concerns during an audit. “Expenditures that were reimbursed to employees who had used their personal credit cards or made individual purchases of technology devices — including i-Pads, printers, scanners, laptops, G-P-S navigators, some cameras, a Kindle was in there, some wireless speakers — instead of going through the normal purchasing process.

The review involved the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, Iowa Dental Board, the Iowa Board of Medicine, and the Iowa Board of Nursing. “One particular individual, he has used his personal credit card to the tune of a little over 18-thousand dollars,” Mosiman say. “And when you are using your individual credit card, you can be earning reward points or other incentives that typically should be the property of the state for future savings instead of being the property of the individual. So, it’s not recommended practice.” She says individuals also paid some sale taxes that would not have been paid through the state purchasing process.

Mosiman says failing to follow state procedures left the devices open to not having the proper protection. “Without going through the department’s I-T department they did not have the necessary security for data and protection that is necessary, specifically in health boards,” Mosiman explains. The report covers purchases made from July 1st of 2011 to August 31st of 2014. Mosiman says most of the purchases took place in 2011 and 2012. The Iowa Pharmacy Board had reimbursements for equipment of more than 45-thousand-500 dollars.

“We’re questioning whether all of these pieces of equipment were necessary. Because as we interviewed or discussed the matter with different employees, some of the i-Pads did not perform all of the services that they needed for technology, so they still had to use their previously issued pieces of equipment,” Mosiman says. “So, we were questioning the public purpose for all of these pieces of equipment that were purchased.”

Mosiman says they also questioned why the Pharmacy Board paid the full cost of internet service for employees, which totaled more than 14-thousand dollars in the 2013 fiscal year. There were cellphone plans paid for by the state, when there were very few calls made on the plan. The State Auditor says her organization made several recommendations on changes to bring the boards into compliance with state rules. She says changes were made soon after her office started the review.

“I think once the realized that it is considered questionable, they put procedures into play to make sure they are doing a better job of that,” Mosiman says. “So, for the most part there was a favorable response to the recommendations within our report.” Mosiman says the problems surfaced in a routine review of the purchasing process for the boards.

(Radio Iowa)