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Prosecutor amends charges against Sioux City pair


November 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A prosecutor has amended charges against a Sioux City couple for the death of their 2-month-old son. The Sioux City Journal reports that 27-year-old Michael Williams and 24-year-old Rebekah Williams-McCarthy now are both charged with child endangerment resulting in the death of a child, child endangerment resulting in bodily injury of a child and three counts of neglect of a dependent person. The baby, Leonard Williams, was taken to an emergency room on April 29. An autopsy showed that he died of malnutrition and dehydration.

His father originally was charged only with neglect and had pleaded not guilty. The charge of child endangerment resulting in bodily injury is new for Rebekah Williams-McCarthy. She, too, has pleaded not guilty.

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. KJAN News & funeral report, Thu. 11/14/2014

News, Podcasts

November 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Structure fire in Anita Thu. morning


November 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Anita and Wiota responded to a reported structure fire early this (Thursday) morning. Anita Fire Chief Josh Peach says the call about the fire at 409 Chestnut Street was dispatched at around 1:40-a.m.

Peach says when they arrived the structure, a small outbuilding, was already fully engulfed in flames and the flames were in danger of spreading to a nearby garage with a vehicle inside. Firefighters were able to knock down the flames before they spread, though. Another vehicle parked nearby, was “scorched”, according to Peach.

The fire, he said, appears to have been electrical in nature. No injuries were reported. Crews from Anita were on the scene for about 90-minutes. The approximately 12-foot by 12-foot outbuilding was declared a total loss, along with a walk behind mower, a work bench and air compressor that were stored inside.

Shenandoah man arrested Thu. morning on drug charges


November 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report the arrest early this (Thursday) morning of a southwest Iowa man on drug charges. 22-year old Michael Ryan Weeden, of Shenandoah, was taken into custody at around 4:40-a.m. following a traffic stop at the intersection of north Broadway and west Corning Streets, in Red Oak.

Weeden was charged with Possession of drug paraphernalia and Possession of a Controlled Substance/Marijuana. He was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $1,000 cash bond.

Carroll resident turns corncrib into gazebo

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CARROLL, Iowa (AP) – Some residents of Carroll are annoyed when they look into a neighbor’s backyard and see a corncrib that’s been turned into a gazebo. Allen Nieland lives near the property, and he told Des Moines television station KCCI that the corncrib would look nice on an acreage or a farm, but it just doesn’t fit the character of his subdivision. The corncrib is the see-through type with a metal roof.

Nieland says he’s started a petition to have the corncrib removed. But city officials say the corncrib meets zoning and building codes and is legal because it’s being used for outdoor entertainment, not to store or dry corn.

Another neighbor, Brad Kirsch, says the corncrib is better to look at “than junk cars or an old boat.”

Trial for man accused of murdering a Cass County woman to begin next week


November 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A 63-year old Oakland man is set to stand trial next week for murder, following numerous delays in bringing his case before a jury. Online court records show a pre-trial conference for Robert Arthur Reynolds will begin 9:30-a.m. Monday (Nov. 17th), in Pottawattamie County District Court. His trial is set for 9:30-a.m., Tuesday.

Reynolds faces a felony, 1st degree murder charge, in connection with the April 8th fatal shooting in his home, of 64-year-old Patricia Kinkade-Dorsey, from rural Cass County. He’s pleaded not guilty to the charge. First-degree murder is a Class A felony and carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A criminal complaint says Reynolds acknowledged shooting Kinkade-Dorsey after an argument. Last week, Reynolds’ attorney filed a request by Reynolds to confront any and all witnesses to the shooting.

Omaha railroad: Use caution in winter at crossings


November 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – As a blast of wintry weather hits the Midwest, Union Pacific Railroad is reminding motorists to use caution at rail crossings during slick, cold-weather conditions.

The Omaha-based railroad says that with blowing and drifting snow, it could be difficult for motorists to see where crossing surfaces are located. When possible, motorists should use overpasses or underpasses to get to the other sides of railroad tracks.

The railroad also warns that those driving too fast for slick conditions could slide into the path or the side of a moving train at a crossing. It can take a mile or more for a moving train to come to a stop.

Unconscious driver crashes pickup into tree


November 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An elderly man who lost consciousness while driving Wednesday afternoon in Montgomery County, crashed his pickup into a tree, but was not injured. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says 76-year old David Otto Berggren, of Red Oak, was traveling east on 230th Street at around 3-p.m., when he lost consciousness. Berggren’s 2002 Ford F-150 Supercab pickup left the road to the right and entered the south ditch before it hit a power pole, snapping it in two.

The pickup continued in the south ditch, finally coming to rest after striking a tree. Berggren was transported to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital by Red Oak Rescue, to be checked for injuries. Damage to his pickup was estimated at $25,000 (a projected, total loss).

No citations were issued. Sheriff’s deputies were assisted at the scene by Red Oak Police and members of the Red Oak Fire and Rescue Dept.

Gates to limit access to Lake Manawa

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say gates will be installed at Lake Manawa State Park between now and next spring, to limit access to the park. The Daily NonPareil says the change, announced Wednesday, came after residents showed concern about “security issues” and “roads to nowhere.” About 20 people attended a Wednesday meeting at the Council Bluffs Fish and Game Club to discuss an October forum about two projects at the lake that, when combined, will cost more than $10 million.

Todd Coffelt, Iowa DNR Bureau Chief for the state parks, says the gates will restrict access to the park before 4 a.m. and after 10:30 p.m.  Bike trails and 24-hour overnight fishing will not be restricted.

Last month, residents were asked to gather feedback from their neighbors and bring it to Wednesday’s meeting. Residents were mostly concerned with public safety and a dredging project that would remove 5 million cubic yards of sand from the lake to promote water clarity and a healthier wildlife environment. Iowa DNR officials stressed the need for residents to address 51 proposed full-hookup campsites that would be created under the proposed plan.

Coffelt says the department has been working on renovating the park’s campsites for about 14 years, but residents were more worried about overall safety and future park usage. Many who attended the meeting echoed comments about keeping troublemakers out of the park and the effects of the dredging project slated to begin by summer 2015.

Coffelt said residents need to stay focused and agree on camping renovations before officials can move forward with the projects. The department has $400,000 set aside for the campsites, but the remaining funds must be raised by community groups.

Iowa hospital group reports Medicaid expansion has cut visits by uninsured patients in half


November 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A spokesperson for the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) says new data shows the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program is benefiting both hospitals and patients in the state. Scott McIntyre says an I-H-A study compares numbers between January and June of this year and to the same six month period a year ago. “In 2013, we saw about 8,000 patients who were uninsured and in 2014, during the same time period, it was only about 4,000 patients,” McIntyre says.

The IHA supported the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program, using federal money provided by the Affordable Care Act. Many states with Republican governors rejected such efforts, but Iowa Governor Terry Branstad agreed to an alternative proposal dubbed the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan. Federal officials granted a waiver for Iowa’s Medicaid expansion plan, which provided more than 100,000 low income Iowans with health care coverage.

McIntyre says the result is Iowa hospitals’ charity care costs fell 18.5 percent, or $32.5 million, in the first six months of this year. “Whenever we see an increase in people being covered, it’s not a surprise to see a decrease in the need for charity care. That helps hospitals be a little more prepared, flexible, and viable in terms of their finances,” McIntyre said. The decrease in charity care costs benefits all Iowans, according to McIntyre.

“Health care isn’t free and when people who aren’t insured come to the hospital and they can’t cover the cost of their care, part of that expense is passed along to people who are insured,” McIntyre said. “So, every time we insure someone, that helps everybody…that improves the situation for the entire state.” The analysis, based on data collected from 101 Iowa hospitals, also found overall inpatient admissions declined 4.4 percent over the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2013.

(Radio Iowa)