QR CODE 35357558


KJAN News can be heard:
Monday – Saturday at 6:30 am, 7:05 pm, 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 12:00 pm, 12:40 pm, 3:05 pm & 5:05 pm

Keep up-to-date with Fox News Radio, Radio Iowa,  Brownfield & the Iowa Agribusiness Networks!
Check our Program Schedule Page for times!

Regents approve U-I tuition increase


December 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Regents gave final approval Wednesday to the proposal to increase the tuition at the University of Iowa by three percent next fall. That brings the U-I into line with the tuition increase implemented for Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa in September for this spring semester. Student Regent Rachael Johnson joined the board this year and says there has been a lot of discussion about tuition in that time.

“Throughout these long conversations I have come to believe that the current way we as a board go about setting tuition is neither predictable to the students and their families, nor sustainable,” Johnson says. “This lack of predictability, reliability and sustainability is a point of concern for me as a student and as a regent.” Johnson, who is originally from Sioux City, says the board should look at the recommendation of a consultant that they use a need-based aid system for students in the public university system.

“I think the way in which tuition rates are decided needs to be carefully looked at and discussed to find the best methods for the state, the Board of Regents, our universities and out students and their families,” Johnson says. The increase is for undergraduate students who are residents of the state. Board of Regents president, Bruce Rastetter says they have continued to work with state officials to turn around the trend that saw students paying more of the burden of college and the state less. Rastetter says that continued as the presidents of the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa all made pitches to the governor for more state money during budget hearings this week.

“So, if we’re not successful in doing that, it would be my recommendation that this board come back and revisit tuition increases. Because at the end of the day, the universities need the resources to compete and improve programs and maintain quality,” Rastetter says. “Student debt without quality isn’t something that this board is going to support.” Regent Larry McKibben of Marshalltown, says the board needs to keep up the push for the state to spend more on higher education.

“It is time that we stop the decline in the amount of support we get from our legislature and from our state of Iowa. It has been a downturn for the last decade and it is time it stops,” McKibben says. “We’ve made some headway…. but we have not made enough, in my estimation.” McKibben is a former legislator and says it is important that lawmakers hear about the issue.

“I’m asking all Iowans that might listen and hear this — it is time to talk to your resident legislator. It is time to get into their back yard, get into their town halls and deliver the message. The only way you do it is to deliver it to one senator or one representative at a time,” McKibben says. The tuition rate had been frozen for three years before the increase in the spring semester.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Dec. 3rd 2015


December 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A House Republican leader says Iowa lawmakers will need to make deep cuts to the budget next year, but he did not elaborate. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Grassley of New Hartford said yesterday that Republicans will base their budget priorities for the fiscal year beginning in July on roughly $7.35 billion in current revenue projections.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — The Cedar Falls fire department has purchased small cameras that can be attached to helmets, and plans to start using them next year. The Courier reports Cedar Falls Fire Chief John Schilling plans to put the high-definition video cameras to use in January after developing written policies on their use to respect patient privacy in the event of injuries.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Fort Dodge police have arrested an 18-year-old man on charges including possessing pictures depicting bestiality. KCCI-TV reports police charged 18-year-old Nicholas Loftus of Fort Dodge, with possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana, purchase and possession of depictions of minors in sex acts as well as possession of pictures depicting bestiality. Loftus was booked into the Webster County Jail on Tuesday and released pending his next court appearance.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Peter Jok scored 24 points, including a 3 with 25 seconds left in overtime, and Iowa rallied to beat Florida State 78-75 Wednesday night to seal the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for its league. Jarrod Uthoff added 15 with eight rebounds for the Hawkeyes at home.


Atlantic City Council approves AMU budget & rate increases


December 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The City Council in Atlantic met Wednesday night and approved the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget for Atlantic Municipal Utilities (AMU), following a presentation by AMU General Manager Steve Tjepkes. The $17.9-million dollar budget was approved earlier by the AMU Board of Directors, following a public hearing. The City Council’s adoption of the budget was merely a formality, and is an opportunity for the Council to ask questions about how the utility spends its money.

Tjepkes said along with the budget is a proposed three-percent rate increase for both electric and water users, effective Feb. 1st, 2016, for usage beginning in January. He said electric rates are being increased because of expenses associated with the coal powered generating plant in Council Bluffs. He said EPA regulations on the handling and disposal of coal ash will result in an increased cost to AMU of to $2.3-million.

AMU has a 2.5-percent investment in the plant, from which it receives about two-thirds of its power. The costs to run and maintain the plant are shared by three other utilities, including Mid-American Energy, which is an 80-percent share holder. Cedar Falls Utilities and two rural electric cooperatives are the other owner-investors.

Locally, Tjepkes said the utility is in the process of burying many of its overheard power lines in order to reduce the number of power outages related to power lines being down from ice and wind damage, and, they are continuing to work on the installation of “smart” electric meters, which relay real-time two-way communications to AMU on usage and power outages. Tjpekes said overall, the three-percent rate increase will mean about an extra $1.80 per month on their residential electric bill.

Water rates in Atlantic will increase about 70-cents per month to help cover the costs of new lines being installed in the residential area near the Sunnyside Pool, and near.
Councilman Dick Casady asked “What would happen if [AMU] didn’t get the three-percent raise. Tjepkes said the utility issues revenue bonds, which are paid for by revenue from the utility. AMU he said, needs to keep up its cash reserve level in order to maintain its revenue bond rating.

He said there is also a huge risk associated with maintaining the Council Bluffs plant, and funds need to be set aside to purchase electricity from other sources, should the Bluffs plant go down. If AMU didn’t have a cash reserve, Tjpekes said there could be a substantial rate increase in that type of emergency situation. Tjepkes said utilities such as AMU should have an eight-to 10-million dollar cash reserve. Right now, he says they have about five-to six-million dollars.

The last rate increase from AMU came about two-years ago, and about three-increases over the past 10-years, due to environmental improvements at the Council Bluffs generating plant. Tjepkes says Atlantic is still “On the low end” for electric rates, when compared to utilities of similar size.

Republican lawmaker says deep cuts needed for Iowa budget


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A House Republican leader says Iowa lawmakers will need to make deep cuts to the budget next year, but he did not elaborate. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Grassley, of New Hartford, says Wednesday that Republicans will base their budget priorities for the fiscal year beginning in July on roughly $7.35 billion in current revenue projections estimated by state experts. He says that’s about $175 million in new revenue.

Grassley says his data show Iowa is facing hundreds of millions of dollars in expected new costs, so “tough decisions” will be needed. He says he can’t elaborate on potential cuts until a final revenue projection is issued. Lawmakers are expected to debate again over supplemental aid for K-12 schools. Grassley says Republicans are still meeting over what amount to support.

Pursuit in Council Bluffs Wed. morning leads to crash & arrest


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs arrested a 25-year old man following an attempted traffic stop, pursuit and crash, Wednesday morning. Officials say Ryan M. Knight, of Council Bluffs, faces charges that include Theft in the 2nd degree, felony eluding, reckless driving, speeding, no driver’s license and no registration. The vehicle he was driving was later reported to have been stolen from the Ameristar Casino.

Ryan Knight

Ryan Knight

The incident leading to Knight’s arrest began at around 9:23-a.m., when a Council Bluffs Police Officer observed a green Honda Accord near the area of I-29 and North 25th street. The vehicle entered I-29 SB at an extremely high rate of speed. The officer was able to catch up to the Accord, checking its speed on radar at 95 mph in a 55 mph zone. The officer activated his emergency lights and siren and the vehicle failed to stop, while passing a car on the right shoulder.

The vehicle entered I-480 westbound toward Omaha and the officer shut down his emergency equipment and discontinued the pursuit. The vehicle continued at a high rate of speed and as the officer was exiting at 10th street, he witnessed the vehicle crash into the guardrail west of the 10th street exit. As the officer approached the area of the crash, the suspect (Knight) ran from the vehicle on foot. He crossed the EB lanes of I-480, ran down the on ramp to the area of 8th and Douglas Street where he was taken into custody by the Council Bluffs Officer.

Omaha police responded and arrested Knight.

IFA awards $6.3-million+ to Local Housing Trust Funds to advance affordable housing priorities


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors today (Wednesday), approved a total of more than $6.3 million in grants to 27 Local Housing Trust Funds to support local affordable housing initiatives which will assist 2,469 Iowa families. The funding is provided from the State Housing Trust Fund’s Local Housing Trust Fund program.

IFA logoThe grant funds will be used for initiatives such as preserving aging housing stock, subsidizing local down payment assistance programs, providing low-interest loans or grants to assist Iowans in home rehabilitation, financing construction of new single-family housing for low-income Iowans and supporting housing for persons with disabilities and homeless assistance programs.

Among the grant recipients is:

  • the Council Bluffs Housing Trust Fund, Inc., which received $152,788.
  • CDG Housing, Inc., which serves Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie and Sac Counties, received a grant for $243,339.
  • the Southern Iowa COG Housing Trust Fund, Inc., serving Adair, Adams, Madison, Ringgold, Taylor, Union and Clarke Counties, received a $236,394 grant.
  • the Southwest Iowa Housing Trust Fund, Inc. – serving Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Shelby and Pottawattamie Counties (excludng the City of Council Bluffs), received a grant amounting to $301,439.

IFA Executive Director Dave Jamison says “The partnership between the Iowa Finance Authority and Local Housing Trust Funds is one that pays dividends to affordable housing in Iowa. The grants announced today are leveraging an additional $2.7 million in local contributions, which is a testament to the shared commitment to meeting these vital housing needs.”

The State Housing Trust Fund was created by the Iowa Legislature in 2003. Since its inception, the program has provided $50.1 million in affordable housing assistance that has benefited more than 17,600 Iowa families. This funding has leveraged another $151.2 million in other funds or $2.68 for every dollar of State Housing Trust Fund investment.

Report say Iowa public pension fund has $5 billion shortfall


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A report says Iowa’s largest public employees’ pension fund has a long-term shortfall of about $5 billion. The Des Moines Register reports that Gov. Terry Branstad was briefed Tuesday on the status of the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS), which has 346,000 members. The report says the pension fund’s assets total about $28 billion and is nearly 84 percent funded, slightly up from a year ago.

The system serves current, former and retired employees of state government, cities, counties and school districts. The contribution rate by local government and state public employees to the main pension fund has increased in recent years to almost 15 percent of an employee’s earnings.

Donna Mueller, the fund’s chief executive officer, says the report shows progress and stability. Mueller said the system’s $5 billion in unfunded liabilities could be paid off in 23 years.

Rollover accident in Union County


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Union County Sheriff’s Office says a woman and a child suffered unknown, possible injuries during a single-vehicle, rollover accident this (Wednesday) morning. 27-year old Lindsey Weber, of Kent, was traveling north on Clover Avenue at around 8-a.m., when the 2008 Ford F-350 Super Duty pickup she was driving went out of control on the slick road. The pickup slid sideways before entering the east ditch and rolling once, coming to rest on the driver’s side. Weber, who was wearing her seat belt, was transported by ambulance to the Greater Regional Medical Center, in Creston. A passenger in the truck, 6-year old Karleen Kruse, of Lenox, also suffered possible/unknown injuries and was transported to the hospital, by ambulance.

Damage to the pickup the was estimated at $10,000.

Harlan Police report: 3 arrests, 1 accident


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department today (Wednesday), released a report on recent arrests and an accident. Officials say 19-year old Gage Johnston, of Harlan, was arrested Nov. 24th on an active warrant for failure to appear on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. Johnston was transported to the Shelby County Jail.

Also arrested Nov. 24th, was 32-year old Malcolm McDonald, of Harlan, who was taken into custody following a traffic stop. McDonald was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with driving while suspended. And, on Nov. 27th, Harlan Police arrested 34-year old Michael Wiser, of Harlan, following a traffic stop. Wiser was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with driving while suspended. Wiser was also cited for failure to wear a seat belt.

And, no injuries were reported following an accident Nov. 23rd, in Harlan. Authorities say a 2008 Ford driven by Ruth Weaver, of Harlan, was hit by a 2000 VW, driven by Rufino Martinez, also of Harlan. The accident happened when Martinez turned right out of a trailer court driveway at 3002 12th Street. In doing so, police he he failed to yield to Weaver, who was traveling north on 12th Street. Damage from the collision amounted to $3,500. No citations were issued.

Former Sioux City coach gets probation in student sex case


December 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A former Sioux City high school soccer coach has gotten three years of probation and a suspended five-year prison term for having sex with a student. Thirty-year-old Erick DeLeon was sentenced on Tuesday after being convicted in October of sexual exploitation by a school employee.

DeLeon was in charge of the iJAG program, a nonprofit program that works with at-risk students at West high School. He also coached soccer at the school. Prosecutors say DeLeon, of Sioux City, exchanged inappropriate text messages with one of his 16-year-old iJAG students and had sex with her at her home in October and November last year.