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Head of Iowa National Guard: More positions open to women

News

January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The head of the Iowa National Guard says nearly 1,700 positions have been opened up to women this year following a federal policy change.
Major General Timothy Orr told the Iowa General Assembly on Wednesday the spots became available after Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced in late 2015 that women in the U.S. armed forces may serve in any position, including combat roles.

Orr announced the development during his annual “Condition of the Guard” address at the Capitol. The speech included the latest figures on active duty and training. The guard currently has 15 soldiers and airmen deployed around the world. Orr also noted Kosovo will open the first-ever foreign consulate office in Iowa. It is scheduled to open Friday in downtown Des Moines.

Officers follow tracks in snow, catch fugitive Iowa inmate

News

January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say officers have captured an inmate listed as escaped from the Council Bluffs Work Release Facility. Council Bluffs police say Roger Madsen ran from a pickup after it was pulled over Tuesday. The officers caught Madsen after following his tracks in the snow. The Daily Nonpareil reports the 32-year-old was listed as escaped when he didn’t return to the facility after work on Jan. 14.

Madsen is serving a 20-year sentence for prohibited acts involving a controlled substance, two counts of theft, assault with intent to injure a peace officer and assault with a weapon on a peace officer.

Sioux City work release inmate listed as escaped

News

January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Corrections Department says a 26-year-old inmate has been listed as escaped from the work release facility in Sioux City. The department says Jacob Petty didn’t return Tuesday from an outpatient treatment program. In October 2008 Petty began serving a 10-year sentence for robbery in Woodbury County. He was transferred to work release on Oct. 8 last year.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 1/27/16

News, Podcasts

January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN’s Ric Hanson.

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Iowa U. fight song plays 7 hours a day at vacant NY building

News, Sports

January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) – An instrumental rendition of the University of Iowa fight song has been playing for several hours every day since last summer over speakers mounted on a vacant building in the city of Niagara Falls. And it’s driving the neighbors crazy. The music starts in the mid-afternoon and repeats in about 50-second loops for the next seven hours before turning off.

The owners of a restaurant directly across the street from the building say they have been told by police that the music’s volume and the time it’s being played don’t violate any city noise ordinances. Kevin Robertson, the restaurant’s chef, lives above the eatery. He says being subjected to hours-long daily doses of the Iowa fight song is torture.

The company that owns the building hasn’t responded to media requests for comment.

(Podcast) KJAN News & funeral report, 1/27/2016

News, Podcasts

January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The 7:06-a.m. newscast w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Group calls for more talk on affordable child care

News

January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A liberal advocacy group is calling on the presidential candidates to talk more about affordable child care during their stops in Iowa. The group Progress Iowa sponsored a news conference that included Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “The reality is, in a time where wages are pretty stuck for most families, the rising cost of child care is really contributing to the squeeze families are facing,” Tanden says.

“For the average American family with an infant and a toddler, child care costs nearly 18-thousand dollars every year — let me say that again, nearly 18-thousand dollars every year — which amounts to a third of the average income for those families.” Tanden says high quality child care can cost a family the same amount each month as a mortgage payment. And then you add in other costs such as transportation, food and utilities.

“And it’s that kind of squeeze I think a lot of families are facing and are contributing to the debate that we are having on national issues right now,” Tanden says. Tanden says her organization is a “think tank” that commissioned a poll that showed 70 percent of likely caucus goers in Iowa believe child care is too expensive and out of reach for working families. She says our country is way behind others on the issue.

“In American families, 65 percent of children under age six have both parents in the workforce. This is the reality, this is what’s happening,” Tanden says. “And yet we do very little as a country to help those families struggling with those costs. We have really not national child care policy that makes it possible for most families to afford child care.” Former U-S Senator Tom Harkin also spoke at the event.

“Child care is completely out of reach for too many American families. And for too many children of low income, it means their growth and their development is stunted from the start,” Harkin says. Harkin, a Democrat who retired last year, says the issue should be getting more attention from the candidates looking for Caucus votes.

He says there’s a lot of discussion by the political campaigns about helping working families, including raising the minimum wage, strengthening Social Security and keeping drug prices down. “All important middle class family issues,” Harkin says. “But one big part is not being discussed enough, and that is affordable, quality child care.”

Harkin says the federal block grant program to help low income people with child care was re-authorized before he retired, but he says the proper funding needs to be appropriated for the program. He urges voters to ask the candidates about the child care issues.

“We all focus on the presidential race right now obviously in Iowa. But next year is also the legislative races here in the state of Iowa,” Harkin says. “Ask your legislative candidates what they are going to do in Iowa and put the funding at the state level to match the block grant program from the federal government.”

The news conference was held during the noon hour at a Des Moines child care center.

(Radio Iowa)

4 sentenced for selling methamphetamine in N.W. Iowa

News

January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Four people convicted of selling meth in O’Brien County have been sentenced to federal prison. The Sioux City Journal reports that 49-year-old Joe Leal, 31-year-old Mackenzie Jellema, 37-year-old Isaac Esquivel and 30-year-old Valerie Ortega were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Sioux City.

Leal was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison, and Ortega received three years and six months. Jellema was sentenced to four years in prison, and Esquivel was sentenced to a three-year prison term.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the four admitted to the sale of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. Law enforcement officers also made undercover purchases from them totaling 271 grams.

Moderate temps this weekend; Strong Winter Storm expected next week

News, Weather

January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service says while temperatures will moderate through the weekend with highs from the mid 30s to around 50 through Sunday, a strong winter storm is likely next week. A couple of weak disturbances will affect Iowa today and Friday with the main impact being clouds and a slight chance of snow showers.

A strong winter storm is expected to develop over the Southwest U.S. into the Southern Plains then lift into the upper Midwest Tuesday through Wednesday. Officials say while it is too early too accurately assess track and timing, the storm will tap some gulf moisture and pull in a lot of cold air as it lifts Northeast. Moderate to heavy snowfall and strong winds are likely with this system. Watch and listen for updates on this developing storm system.

Harlan Police report (issued 1/26/16)

News

January 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department, Tuesday, issued a report on recent activity.  On Jan. 19th, 31-year old William Merkle, of Harlan, was cited for Theft in the 5th degree, after surveillance cameras showed him allegedly taking an item from the Harlan Cenex station. Merkle was cited, given a court date, and released.

On Jan. 20th, Robert Sommer, Harlan, reported to the police department that someone had broken into his residence in the 900 block of Farnam St. Missing were a television, several gaming systems and games. The estimated value of the missing items was $1950.00. Authorities remind you, that Shelby County Crime Stoppers makes cash awards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.

And, on Jan. 23rd, 19-year old Kyle Croghan, of Woodbine, was arrested following a traffic stop in Harlan. As a result of that stop Croghan was cited for possession of alcohol under legal age. Croghan was also given a warning for speed.