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Creston man arrested on drug charge Mon. morning


January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A man from Union County was arrested this (Monday) morning in Red Oak, on a drug charge. Police say 38-year old Jeremy Gordon King, of Creston, was arrested for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 cash bond.

(Update) Clarinda Academy escapees captured


January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Three females who escaped Sunday night from the Clarinda Academy have been captured. Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers says the girls, ages 14, 15, & 17, left the academy at around 6:45-p.m. Sunday, and allegedly stole an Academy employee’s car. The teens included two white females and one black female. Two are from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The third female is from Texas.

According to Brothers, the juveniles were recaptured late Sunday night near West Branch, following a high speed chase, during which a tire on the stolen vehicle blew out. The escapees were transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Eldora.

(Podcast) 7:05-a.m. KJAN News/funeral report 1/19/2015

News, Podcasts

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Area News with KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Council Bluffs convenience store robbed Mon. morning


January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs say a convenience store was robbed early this (Monday) morning. Sgt. Rob. Radford says at around 1:20-a.m., a white male subject entered the Kwik Shop store at 3632 Avenue G in Council Bluffs, displayed a handgun and demanded money from the cash register. The suspect, who wore a black hoodie and black pants, left the business and was last seen riding a bicycle eastbound on Avenue G.

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the crime should contact the Council Bluffs P-D at 712-328-4728.

Slauson sentencing set for Tuesday


January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Cass County woman convicted on numerous charges associated with faking her 5-year old daughter’s cancer is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday (Jan. 20th) at 10-a.m.  30-year old Leatha Kaye Slauson’s sentencing was continued until January 20th while a court-ordered pre-sentence investigation was being completed, and other statements are gathered, such as a court-ordered mental health evaluation and victim impact statements.

Slauson has admitted to giving her daughter Cannabis Oil and Neupogen without a prescription. She also admitted she raised money for her daughter’s supposed cancer treatment, under false pretenses. In her plea bargain, Slauson agreed to plead guilty to Class D felony charges that include two counts of Child Endangerment/Bodily Injury, with regard to the administering of Cannabis Oil and Neupogen to her daughter Riley, as well as a count of Administering Harmful Substances.

She also plead guilty to a Serious Misdemeanor charge of Unlawful Possession of a prescription drug/Neupogen, and a reduced felony charge of Theft in the second degree, also a Class D- felony. She was originally charged with Theft in the 1st degree, a Class C felony.

Fate of health co-ops questioned after collapse of provider in Iowa


January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s insurance commissioner says it’s too early to make predictions about the fate of health co-ops set up under the Affordable Care Act, but thousands of Iowans are scrambling to find a new insurer after one of those co-ops essentially collapsed last month. Nick Gerhart was recently assigned management of the nonprofit insurance provider CoOportunity. The leaders of CoOportunity initially thought they would enroll about 12,000 people in Iowa and Nebraska, but they got about ten times that, according to Gerhart.

David Fairchild and Clara Peterson own a small cleaning business in Iowa. The couple had health insurance via CoOportunity Health before the co-op faltered.

David Fairchild and Clara Peterson own a small cleaning business in Iowa. The couple had health insurance via CoOportunity Health before the co-op faltered.

“Ours was the second largest (health co-op) in the country, so you’ve got to look at it that way.” Gerhart says. “If the second largest can’t make it, how viable are the other ones? I don’t know. But at the end of the day they didn’t have enough capital to support 120,000 members.” CoOportunity hit a kind of perfect storm, according to Peter Damiano, director of the University of Iowa’s public policy center. First, the co-op had to pay a lot more medical bills than those in charge expected.

“CoOportunity Health’s pool of people was larger than expected and was sicker than expected,” Damiano says. “So their risk became much greater than the funds that were available.” The reason the co-op’s customers were sicker has a lot to do with what the insurance market looked like in Iowa before Obamacare.

The largest insurer by far in the state was and still is Wellmark. But Wellmark decided not to offer any plans on Iowa’s health exchange, leaving just CoOportunity and one other insurer – Coventry – offering plans on the exchange throughout the state. Gerhart says, the co-op thought it was going to get more federal money, but learned on December 16 that financing wasn’t being extended. Gerhart says even though CoOportunity is not officially dead yet, customers should switch insurers.

David Fairchild and his wife, Clara Peterson, own a small cleaning business in Ames. David has chronic leukemia but treats it with expensive medicine. Last year, the couple saved hundreds of dollars switching from the insurer Wellmark to a plan run by CoOportunity Health. For the first time in a long time, Fairchild said, they felt like they had room to breathe. “Basically it covered our office visits; covered exams, it covered all but $40 of the medicine every four weeks. It was just marvelous. It probably was too good to be true,” Fairchild said.

Fairchild and his wife have already applied through healthcare.gov to switch to Coventry. In a written statement, Dr. Martin Hickey, chairman of the board of the National Alliance of State Health Co-Ops, said, “The news about CoOportunity Health is not a statement on the health insurance co-op program or the co-op concept. It’s a reflection on the fact that all insurers – not just co-ops – are operating in unique markets with unique business plans and varying state regulations. The circumstances for CoOportunity Health in Iowa are not the same as those in the 23 other states in which co-ops are currently operating.”

(Radio Iowa/Iowa Public Radio)

Paddle fish season returning to western Iowa rivers

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

One of the stranger looking fish in Iowa waterways will once again be a target of anglers in March on the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers in western Iowa. D-N-R fisheries biologist, Van Sterner, says it will be the first time you can legally go after paddlefish on those two rivers since 1986 when fishing was cut off out of concern for their survival.  “The Missouri River has undergone a lot of changes over the last several decades with the channelization for commercial barge traffic, the construction of the reservoirs.

The river experienced some very dramatic habitat loses and changes in habitat diversity and that sort of thing,” Sterner says. “So, the thinking back then was the paddlefish population would have difficulty, was in jeopardy, because of these changes.” The fish has a flat front that looks kind of like a paddle. They are referred to by many as a spoonbill, it’s got a long nose or rostrum that measures out to 15 inches sometimes, it’s a scaleless it actually has not bones as well, it’s skeletal system is all cartilage. So it is a unique looking fish,” Sterner explains.

He says the fish now found in the Missouri River will range between 15 and 20 pounds at a length of 30 to 40 inches. There is a length limit on the fish. Fish between 35 and 45 inches have to be immediately released to protect their ability to reproduce. Sterner can’t say how the fish uses its unique nose. “Nobody knows for sure. There’s been some things speculated that it has something to do with finding prey species, speculation that it gives the younger fish some protection from predation by making them appear larger than they are, but nobody is certain,” Sterner says. He says there should be some good areas of habitat for the fish.

Sterner says the fish seek out deep and slow waters as they strain plankton from the water and often can be found in the calmer water behind the many wing dikes that line the Missouri River. It’s a unique fish and it’s not caught in the standard method of baiting a hook and tossing it in the water to wait for the fish to bite. “The method is actually snagging, where you pull a treble hook through the water hoping to actually snag the fish in the body, hoping to retrieve it that way,” Sterner says. He says those who find a keeper paddlefish will enjoy a good meal.

“They’re very good to eat, a good firm white flesh,” Sterner says. “When you clean this fish, there will be a little bit of red meat right below the skin, and you’ll want to trim that off and get down to the good white stuff.” A special license is required for the paddlefish on the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers, but they can be caught on the Mississippi and Des Moines rivers without a license. Sterner says they learned some things about the fish through a program that tags some of the western Iowa fish.

“We put that into the lower jaw…part of it is for a mark and recapture population estimate, so recovering those tags is important for us actually getting a population estimate, it also gives us interesting information on movement. We’ve had tagged fish recovered down in Memphis, and also up in South Dakota. It’s a highly mobile, migratory fish,” Sterner says. He asks anyone who catches a fish with a tag to report it to the D-N-R.

(Radio Iowa)

Females escape from Clarinda Academy Sunday night


January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

(Update 7:45-a.m. Mon., 1/19/15- Escapees have been captured)

Three females escaped Sunday night from the Clarinda Academy. Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers says the teens ages 14, 15, & 17., left at around 6:45-p.m. and allegedly stole a gray, 2012 Hyundai Sonata gray that was owned by an Academy employee. The vehicle has Iowa license 155-SMH.

The teens, two white females, one black female took off in an unknown direction of travel. Two of the females are from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The third female is from Texas.

Offutt Air Force Base cancels this year’s air show


January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The annual air show at Offutt Air Force Base won’t be held this year because of planned construction. The Omaha World-Herald reports that air show fans in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa will have to drive several hours to find one in 2015.

Maj. James Lee with the 55th Wing says the air show is being cancelled because Congress approved funding for a taxiway project at Offutt this year. The Air Force plans to spend roughly $7 million to repave part of a taxiway that’s normally used for static displays and spectators at the air show. The Air Force Thunderbirds were expected to headline this year’s show.

Lee said he expects the air show to return in 2016.

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., Jan. 19th 2015


January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The afterglow of Governor Terry Branstad’s sixth inauguration is still hanging in the air, but Iowa Republicans are already speculating about the political future for Branstad’s faithful Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds. The 55-year-old serving her second term as Branstad’s second-in-command, is widely viewed as a likely candidate for governor in 2018, if Branstad steps aside.

MANNING, Iowa (AP) — Veterinarians are working hard to monitor a virus that killed millions of baby pigs in the United States last year. The Sioux City Journal reports Iowa veterinarian Michelle Sprague is president of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians. Sprague says keeping track of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus means more paperwork for veterinarians and more testing.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — More than 300 people came out this weekend to say goodbye to a northern Iowa elementary school that is scheduled to be demolished this year. The Mason City Globe-Gazette reports the Mason City district held an open house Saturday for the former Madison School. Twenty-five-year-old Lorra Sappenfield got emotional as she walked through the 91-year-old building because she says the teachers there changed her life.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are searching for a 19-year-old man they believe is responsible for the shooting death of a 20-year-old Marshalltown man. The Times-Republican reports the fatal shooting was reported after 11 p.m. Saturday. The victim was rushed to a local hospital where he died shortly after midnight Sunday. His identity wasn’t immediately released.