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(Podcast) 7-a.m. KJAN News & Funeral report, 12/25/2014

News, Podcasts

December 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Research shows benefits of volunteering, 1 in 3 Iowans volunteered in 2013

News

December 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A report released this month ranks Iowa 7th in the country for the percentage of residents who spend time volunteering. Those efforts not only benefit those in critical need, but the head of the federal agency in charge of volunteering and service says it also benefits the volunteers themselves. Wendy Spencer is CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. She says they’ve conducted research about the impact of volunteering on those who donate their time and energy.

“Here’s what we’ve found, especially with our seniors and older volunteers, it’s good for your health,” Spencer said. “You live longer, you have a reduced sense of isolation, you’re happier, and you’re connecting with friends. So, there’s a personal benefit.” People who are unemployed can also find reward in volunteer work. “We also have research that tells us if you volunteer — and you’re unemployed and looking for work — that you increase the likelihood of getting a job by 27-percent,” Spencer said. “If you live in a rural community, that likelihood jumps up to 55-percent. So, there are some benefits to get a job as well.”

The report states slightly more than 1 in 3 Iowans (34.7%) volunteered in 2013. Spencer notes the people who volunteer the most are working mothers. “Which is really interesting because they’re the busiest people I know,” Spencer said. “But, they’re very connected to their community and schools. College students are actually volunteering at a higher rate than the national average as well. That’s encouraging for our young people.”

Nationally, one in four Americans volunteered last year. Utah ranked as the top state for volunteerism. Idaho, Minnesota, Kansas, Wisconsin and Nebraska round out the top six, followed by Iowa. The report found those between the ages of 35-44 had the highest volunteer rate, while those over the age of 65 spent the most time volunteering.

(Radio Iowa)

Judge orders evaluations of ‘dangerous’ western Iowa teen

News

December 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

LOGAN, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa judge has ordered more evaluations of an 18-year-old found not guilty of killing his foster brother. The Des Moines Register reports that in her order earlier this month, Judge Kathleen Kilnoski said Cody Metzker-Madsen remains “dangerous to himself and others.” In November Metzker-Madsen was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of 5-year-old Dominic Elkins. The Atlantic boy was attacked in August 2013 while the two played on their foster parents’ rural property in western Iowa.

Kilnoski says Metzker-Madsen must remain for now at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville. After the trial, a psychiatrist there diagnosed him as having an unspecified psychotic disorder and with oppositional defiant disorder and intermittent explosive disorder. Experts say the disorders can cause violent tantrums and aggression.

2 men arrested on drug charges Christmas morning in Montgomery County

News

December 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two men were arrested early this (Thursday) morning on drug charges, in Montgomery County. The Sheriff’s Department says 26-year old Mackenzie John Gnaedinger, of Littleton, CO., and 23-year old Jackson Dean Gnaedinger, of Chesterfield, MO., were taken into custody at around 1:30-a.m, in the area of 200th and T Avenue.

Mackenzie Gnaedinger was charged with Unlawful Possession of Prescription Medication. Jackson Gnaedinger faces Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, charges. Both men were released on a citation following the completion of an investigation.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Dec. 25th 2014

News

December 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A company that makes products for animal health will invest $110 million in its plants in Fort Dodge and Ames over the next four years. The Iowa Economic Development Authority said yesterday that state and local financial assistance packages helped secure the investment by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A nonprofit health insurer has been taken over by Iowa’s insurance regulator and is ending enrollments after suffering financial problems. Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart’s office said that the 120,000 members of CoOpportunity Health in Iowa and Nebraska may find it in their best interests to find new carriers by February 15th. That’s the deadline for enrolling in 2015 coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A University of Iowa researcher has resumed work on the deadly MERS virus under tighter oversight after being sanctioned for not following proper safety guidelines. The university’s biosafety officer in February halted research by microbiology professor Stanley Perlman after discovering it started without approval of the school’s biosafety committee. Perlman tells the Des Moines Register the incident was unfortunate but “no safety was compromised.”

EARLY, Iowa (AP) — A court is refusing a new trial for an Iowa man convicted of killing his mother and kidnapping a woman. The Iowa Court of Appeals said Wednesday that Kirk Levin’s statement about wanting a lawyer wasn’t enough to force officers to stop their interrogation. Levin’s serving life in the 2013 slaying of his mother.

House destroyed by fire south of Logan Wed. evening

News

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following a fire that destroyed a home in rural Harrison County, Wed. evening. According to fire officials, the blaze occurred 2882 Price Place, northeast of Beebeetown.  Firefighters from Magnolia, Modale, Persia, Logan and Missouri Valley responded to the scene. The cause of the fire is unknown, but a wood burning stove is suspected. The family has been placed with their neighbors.

Crews were still on the scene checking for hot spots, as of about 6:30-p.m.

Court rejects appeal in Iowa slaying, kidnapping

News

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

EARLY, Iowa (AP) — A court is refusing a new trial for an Iowa man convicted of killing his mother and kidnapping a woman. The Iowa Court of Appeals said Wednesday that Kirk Levin’s statement about wanting a lawyer wasn’t enough to force officers to stop their interrogation. Levin’s serving life in the 2013 choking and stabbing death of his mother, Marilyn Schmitt, at her Early farmhouse.

After the slaying, Levin lured a 21-year-old woman to a barn on the property, tied her up and drove off. She escaped when Levin’s car skidded into a ditch. The crimes came just hours after Levin was released from prison.

Levin waived his Miranda rights, but later told made a statement about wanting a lawyer. The court says the vague statement wasn’t “an unambiguous request for counsel.”

Japanese language classes gain popularity in Iowa schools

News

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Some Iowa high schools offer only Spanish, German or French as foreign language courses, but in recent years, other options are beginning to make a stronghold in the curricula. Dan Carolin teaches Japanese and is co-chair of World Languages at Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School. Carolin is among seven teachers in Iowa high schools who exclusively teach Japanese. “It’s important for students to really learn about any foreign culture they have an interest in,” Carolin says. “That’s what I think is terrific about having the program here. We’re not limited to European languages as many schools are, that our students do have other options to explore.”

Some 25 years ago, there was a renewed interest in Japanese language thanks to the island nation’s growth as an economic power, but Carolin says that’s shifted in this age of the Internet. “These days it’s really sort of more Japanese pop culture which is very often driving an interest in the study of Japanese,” Carolin says. “Video games, anime, manga, Japanese pop music are very often some of the interests my students have and what motivates them to study Japanese.” While Japanese is also offered at high schools in Des Moines and Davenport, he say the Cedar Rapids school district is very dedicated to offering a host of foreign language options.

“Kennedy has Spanish, French, German, Japanese and Chinese,” Carolin says. “I’ve been here for 11 years and I have a steady stream of students and that’s true at the other schools as well. Both Jefferson and Washington have full-time Japanese programs. Washington also has Arabic and Russian programs as well.” Carolin is a New York native who got hooked on the Asian culture in the late 1980s after taking a job as teacher of English in Japan.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic Police Chief grateful for community support of A-PD Christmas programs

News

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green has provided an update on the annual “Shop with a Cop” and “Family Dream Christmas” programs that took place recently. Green says on Sunday December 21st, officials with the Atlantic Police Department held their annual “Shop with a Cop” program at the Atlantic Wal-Mart. This year the APD decided to try and bring more children shopping than ever before. In total 34 children from around Cass County went shopping with A-PD officers.

shop2

All photo’s from the Atlantic Police Dept.’s Facebook page.

Green says knowing that it would take more manpower than originally planned, they “called for backup,” from the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa State Patrol. The APD, APD Reserves, CCSO, and ISP representatives arrived around 1:00 PM in full uniform to be matched up with children.shop5 Shop1 shop3 shop4 Once everyone was paired up, the children were taken shopping through the store and allowed to pick out many of the items they were in need of such as shoes, clothes, coats, boots, and snow pants. The children were also allowed to pick out a few toys that they wanted.

After each group finished shopping, officers and their partners were provided lunch at Subway located inside Wal-Mart. The Atlantic Police Department would also like to thank Subway for providing 50% off the entire bill.  Together with the “Family Dream Christmas” program the Atlantic Police and Reserve Departments were able to help a total of 62 children and 18 adults within 29 families to have a much more joyful Christmas experience.

The “Family Dream Christmas” program took place on Saturday, Dec. 20th. Eight families were taken shopping at local businesses, by Atlantic Police Reserve officers. Those same families also received a full Christmas dinner featuring a turkey and ham. Gift cards were also distributed for use at local businesses to help with the cost of food during the holidays. Two families were provided with a trip through the Reserve Department’s Toy Room, which includes toys that are donated throughout the year. Children in the families went into the room and picked out a few items that they would each like to have. Their families were also provided with a Christmas dinner and gift cards to local businesses.

Green says thanks to generous donations over the past year, the department was able to help two additional families, who were taken shopping in the community and provided with items needed for each member of the family. Chief Green expresses his gratitude to all of the MANY generous PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS, and to the nearly two-dozen businesses and groups that contributed to the cause.  Those businesses and groups include:

The Salvation Army Red Kettle Fund; Smith Land Service Company; Atlantic New Telegraph
Richter and Son Towing; Nick Baier (Joe Dirt) Pool Tournament; Atlantic Lions Club; BPOE Does
Royal Neighbors of America; The TV Store; Browns Shoe Fit; Atlantic Daisy Scouts Troup 116
Atlantic Cub Scouts pack 53; Employees at Oakland Foods (OSI); Employees at Schuler Manufacturing
Students of the Atlantic Middle School; United Church of Christ; Holy Trinity Lutheran Church; The Bicycle Store; Atlantic Walmart; Meyer and Gross Real Estate; Little Cobbler; Women in Management
and the NGA Club.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 12/24/2014

News, Podcasts

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.

Play