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(Podcast) 7:06-am. KJAN News & funeral report, 1/15/2015

News, Podcasts

January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Caesars Entertainment files for bankruptcy protection


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The owner of dozens of Casinos across the U-S, including two in Council Bluffs, has filed for bankruptcy protection. Omaha television station WOWT reports Caesars Entertainment filed for bankruptcy protection early this (Thursday) morning. The company owns 53 properties, and 18 of them were included in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Two of the 18 are located in Council Bluffs: Harrah’s Council Bluffs and Horseshoe Council Bluffs. A statement from the company says, “There are no planned job reductions as a result of this action. The business performs well at an operating level but the balance sheet still needs to be addressed.”

Caesar’s is trying too shed more than half of its $18.4 billion debt burden. The company has been negotiating with creditors and lenders for months on a reorganization plan that would turn the division into a real estate investment trust – one to own properties and the other to lease properties – promising creditors cash or new debt.

Caesars says the voluntary filing gives companies a chance to restructure their businesses to restore their finances without being forced into bankruptcy. The company says all properties will remain open for business. It also says rewards programs will remain the same and services offered at casinos and hotels will operate as normal.

Caesars casinos struggled after missing out on the casino boom in Asia. The company was also reluctant to upgrade and expand in its traditional U.S. markets. The operating division employs 36,000 people at 38 casino-hotels including the flagship Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip.

Villisca woman in trouble – again


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Villisca woman who was arrested twice Tuesday, was arrested again early this (Thursday) morning. Red Oak Police say 21-year old Amanda Lee Smith was taken into custody a little after 2-a.m., after being stopped in the 1200 block of Senate Avenue, in Red Oak. on an OWI charge.  Smith was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond.

Early Tuesday morning, Smith was arrested for an OWI-drug related. Later that same day, she was arrested for Theft in the 4th Degree.

X-L pipeline one of the first priorities of Senator Ernst


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

U-S Senator Joni Ernst says the bill authorizing the Keystone X-L pipeline is one of the first pieces of legislation she is working as she begins her term in Washington, D-C. “I do believe that this bipartisan legislation is a great step forward and it is an engine of opportunity to grow a better and stronger economy,” Ernst says. “And it really does show, it demonstrates that Republicans and Democrats can work together, certainly work together to find ways to make American stronger. And I believe this bill does that.”

Oil prices have been in a free-falll in recent weeks with gasoline prices following. Ernst says some lawmakers my see that as a reason to have less urgency to pass the bill to bring oil into the U-S from Canada. “We do have lower prices at the pump right now — which I am thankful for — however, as we look at the Keystone X-L pipeline, this does provide infrastructure for the future,” Ernst says. The Republican from Red Oak says they need to look at the total impact of the pipeline. “We can’t be short-sighted, because how long are these gas prices going to remain low? That is a question we don’t know. But we need to look long-term at opportunities that exist, and part of the infrastructure is the Keystone X-L pipeline,” according to Ernst.

She is hopeful they can gain enough bipartisan support to pass the bill in both the House and Senate and possibly override a presidential veto is necessary. Ernst was asked about the ongoing debate in Iowa on water quality and nitrates in the water. “This is something that needs to be addressed at the lowest possible level and that starts with the communities and it does start with our farmers and our conservation techniques,” Ernst says. The former state senator says there are already some voluntary programs in place and they have shown success.

“I do think that a number of areas have seen reduced nitrate levels across the state of Iowa, so I do think that those programs work, they do need to be implemented,” Ernst says. “A lot of that funding comes through the state, we do have other funding sources through the federal government too, but again I do think those communities and the state need to figure out what is appropriate for that type of community.” Ernst says she was recently talking with representatives of a southwest Iowa community that is trying a program.

“It’s a very small rural community, and what they are doing is a type of filtration process through a wetland area,” Ernst explains. “And that was just implemented not all that long ago, so I am anxious to see what their water levels are looking like with the numbers and types of contaminants.” Ernst made her comments during a teleconference with reporters.

(Radio Iowa)

Classes expected to resumed in Harlan this morning following Wed. bomb threat


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A bomb threat in Shelby County, Wednesday, prompted the evacuation of students and the cancellation of classes at the Harlan Community High School. Authorities were notified of the threat by district officials at around 12:16-p.m. Students were evacuated to two, separate secure locations while authorities and firefighters searched the premises. Officials decided to dismiss classes for the day at around 2:10-p.m.

After the school was secured at around 4-p.m., students and staff were allowed to return to the parking lot and retrieve their vehicles. Classes were expected to resume today (Wednesday), as normal.

An investigation into the incident was ongoing.

Branstad proposes closing Clarinda and Mt. Pleasant mental health facilities


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has proposed the closure of two of the state’s four mental health institutions. Amy Lorentzen McCoy, an Iowa Department of Human Services spokeswoman, said Wednesday that Branstad didn’t include funding for the Clarinda and Mount Pleasant facilities in his budget proposal released this week. Money to the facilities will be cut off July 1st.

The Des Moines Register reports the institutions have experienced a population decline for decades, with only 24 residents currently at Clarinda facility and 47 in Mount Pleasant. McCoy says a 2009 taskforce previously recommended closure under Governor Chet Culver, but the proposal was dropped. Branstad also discussed consolidating mental health services last month, but said there were no immediate plans to do so.

Facilities in Cherokee and Independence will remain open.

Police rule Sloan man’s death a homicide


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SLOAN, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have ruled the death of a Sloan man found slain inside his home last week as a homicide.  The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department announced Wednesday that it’s developed a person of interest in the death of 29-year-old Dustin Taylor Wilder. But the department says no arrests have been made yet.

Lt. Tony Wingert declined to comment to the Sioux City Journal about Wilder’s death since it’s still under investigation. He says more details are expected to be released as the investigation continues. Law enforcement officials found Wilder on Friday inside his residence after they say they received a report about an unconscious male.

2 arrests & theft investigation in Montgomery County


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports two recent arrests and one theft investigation. Authorities say 31-year old Charles Bradshaw, of Clarinda, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of Criminal Mischief in the 3rd Degree. The arrest stems from an incident that took place Jan. 11th, during which Bradshaw allegedly damaged a sprinkler head in his cell at the Montgomery County Jail, which resulted in the fire suppression and alarm system being activated. The incident caused $550 damage.

On Monday, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 29-year old Joshua Poe, of Villisca. The man was taken into custody following an investigation into an incident which took place on 260th Street east of Villisca, on Sunday. Poe was charged with Aggravated Domestic Abuse Assault, and Obstruction of Emergency Communications. He was being in the Montgomery County Jail on a $2,000 cash bond.

And authorities investigated a burglary which was reported Wednesday. The event took place sometime between Dec. 15th and Dec. 31st 2014, at Hawkeye Storage unit located on Highway 48, north of Red Oak. The victim reports numerous tools and power tools were taken from a storage unit. The loss was estimated at $3,250. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 712-623-5107 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-432-1001.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Jan. 15th 2015


January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has proposed the closure of two of the state’s four mental health institutions. The Des Moines Register reports Amy Lorentzen McCoy, an Iowa Department of Human Services spokeswoman, said Wednesday that Branstad didn’t include funding for the Clarinda and Mount Pleasant facilities in his budget proposal released this week. Money to the facilities will be cut off July 1st. Facilities in Cherokee and Independence will remain open.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Officials have voted to revoke a dog ban in most Dubuque parks. The Telegraph Herald reports the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission on Tuesday narrowly approved a plan that would allow leashed and licensed dogs and cats in parks in the area. Following a 4-3 vote, the commission sent its recommendation to the City Council. Council members will consider the proposal February 2nd.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — An industrial service company has decided to demolish four 1800s buildings on a Burlington thoroughfare. The Hawk Eye newspaper reports Frank Millard Company will soon take down the historic Burlington buildings to construct new workspaces to expand its manufacturing services.

FREMONT, Neb. (AP) — A 68-year-old Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide and other charges stemming from a November collision in Nebraska’s Dodge County. The Fremont Tribune reports that Harry Beckner, of Sioux City, Iowa, made his pleas on Monday.

Western Iowa man gets 30 years for robbery-related charges


January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A western Iowa man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after admitting to breaking into and stealing from two residences. The Sioux City Journal reports 25-year-old Dewayne Hendershot pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree robbery and two counts of second-degree burglary. Hendershot must serve a minimum of seven years in prison to become eligible for parole, as outlined in his plea agreement

Hendershot confessed to breaking into a home and robbing a resident at gunpoint in Dec. 2013. He also admitted to breaking into a home in Nov. 2013 and stealing guns. Charges from another robbery were dropped as part of Hendershot’s plea agreement.