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Construction workers save two kids from burning house in Evansdale

News

April 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two construction workers are credited with saving two children from a burning duplex near Waterloo on Monday afternoon. Travis Moen and Ryan Siems were pouring concrete on a driveway in Evansdale when the fire broke out across the street. Wendi Smith ran from the two-story duplex screaming that her bedroom was on fire and her children were inside. Evansdale Police Sergeant Jeff Jensen says Moen and Siems wasted no time and rushed into the home through thick smoke, disregarding personal safety. Evansdale Duplex

“They both went up there and got that child out of the back bedroom and brought him out,” Jensen says. “The mom had handed off one of her other children, a small girl, to one of the men and they brought them out. They got everybody out of the apartment by the time I arrived on scene, which was a godsend because I don’t know what would have happened had they hesitated a moment.”

The two rescuers found the three-year-old boy upstairs and the five-year-old girl on the ground floor. “There was a mattress that was on fire and I arrived seconds later,” Jensen says. “When I got here, there were flames coming out of the window of the bedroom and the windows were popping.” Jensen says he was patrolling nearby and arrived at the scene just seconds after receiving the call. In that short of time, the fire had already grown very intense.

“I got the call and I was here probably 30 seconds later and the smoke was rolling out of that window bad and flames had blown out the window already and were taking over and were lapping at the roof.” Fire crews from Evansdale, Waterloo and two other nearby communities — Gilbertville and Raymond — were called to the scene.

Jensen says the apartment where the fire started was heavily damaged, while the adjoining unit sustained mainly smoke damage. Investigators believe the fire was started by the three-year-old playing with a lighter. No injuries were reported, but Jensen says six people were displaced by the fire. The Hawkeye Chapter of the American Red Cross was called to assist both families with emergency shelter.

(Radio Iowa)

Sen. Grassley authors bill to address asset seizure by the IRS, feds

News

April 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A northwest Iowa restaurant owner gained national attention last year after the Internal Revenue Service seized more than 30-thousand dollars from her account, forcing the eatery to close — but the I-R-S later dropped its case. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says there are many similar situations popping up lately that involve the U-S Justice Department or the I-R-S wielding far too much power. “There can be good reason to seize property in a criminal investigation, but the law ought to be about protecting innocent people,” Grassley says. “Too often, we’ve seen just the opposite with civil asset forfeiture laws. It’s become a big business for the federal government.”

The Justice Department is taking steps to put more restrictions on how assets can be seized, but Grassley, a Republican, says there are still too many loopholes and opportunities for abuse.  “I’m working on bipartisan legislation that will protect innocent people from being caught up in any sort of a dragnet,” Grassley says. “The bill I’m working on would enhance procedural protections for individuals if property is seized.”

According to Grassley, the bill would also reduce incentives for law enforcement to seize civil assets in these cases. Carol Hinders had run Mrs. Lady’s Mexican Food in Spirit Lake for 38 years, accepting only cash. Her frequent cash deposits caught the eye of the I-R-S and the whole ordeal began. While she did eventually get back the 33-thousand dollars the I-R-S had seized, she sold the restaurant and retired.

(Radio Iowa)

Red Oak woman arrested in Mills Co. for Forgery & being a Fugitive from Justice

News

April 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports a woman from Red Oak was arrested twice in two days. 23-year old Desiree Pauline Willis, was arrested Sunday evening along Highway 59, on a warrant charging her with Forgery, the bond for which is $5,000. The next day, Willis was arrested at the Mills County Sheriff’s Office and held without bond, for being a Fugitive from Justice.

Greenfield woman rolls car near Griswold – no injuries

News

April 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A woman from Adair County escaped injury during a single-vehicle rollover accident Monday afternoon. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says 22-year old Laura Jo Marnin, of Greenfield, was traveling south on 540th Street at around 1:15-p.m., when she lost control of the 2005 Ford Taurus she was driving. The car entered the west ditch about two-miles south of Griswold, and rolled onto its top. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at $4,500. No citations were issued.

Dow City man arrested last week on drug charges in Shelby Co.

News

April 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Information was released today (Tuesday), concerning a drug bust that took place last week, in Shelby County. Sheriff’s officials say 35-year old Willam Soll, of Dow City, was arrested on felony charges that include Possession of a Controlled Substance/Methamphetamine, and Failure to Affix a Drug Tax Stamp, along with an Aggravated Misdemeanor charge of Prohibited Acts.  Soll posted a $100,000 bond on April 1st, and was released from custody.

Authorities say Soll was arrested March 30th in Portsmouth, after a Shelby County Deputy on routine security patrol, observed a suspicious vehicle. Upon further investigation, the deputy suspected Soll – the driver of the vehicle – was under the influence. With the assistance of a second Deputy and the Harlan K9 Unit, a search of the vehicle was conducted, with the K9 alerting to the presence of narcotics.

When deputies found a quantity of meth in the vehicle, near the driver’s position, Soll was taken into custody.

(Podcast) KJAN News, 4/7/2015

News, Podcasts

April 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 8-a.m. Newscast w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Lewis Central School Board accepts $10k donation for softball field dugouts

News

April 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An anonymous donor’s generous gift of $10,000 was accepted Monday night by the Lewis Central School Board. The Daily NonPareil says a softball booster offered to donate the money, to be used toward new dugouts for the high school softball field. The gift will cover the cost of the improvements, and the dugouts will be placed in the same place on the field. The upgrading would be done on weekends to avoid conflict with the softball season.

Lewis Central School Board members also approved the 2015-16 fiscal year budget, which includes a 1.3 cent decrease in the overall property tax levy for Lewis Central Community School District residents. Next year’s levy was set at $12.76152 per $1,000 of taxable valuation.

Dale Kreher, the district’s business manager, said the budget assumes a 4 percent increase in state supplemental aid, which has yet to be resolved by the Iowa Legislature. He said the Iowa Department of Management will adjust the budget should a lower rate – or no increase – be approved.

The board also approved summer maintenance projects, representing about $780,000 across the district, with almost half invested in Titan Hill Intermediate School. Most of the work will be funded by the physical plant and equipment levy, with proceeds from state sales tax paying for the rest. Work at the Lewis Central Pool will include new deck covers, bleachers, lockers and heating and air conditioning, along with new bleachers and a new floor for the school’s gym. Other significant summer projects include asbestos removal at Titan Hill, bleacher expansion for the high school sports complex and a new boiler at Lewis Central Middle School.

Superintendent Mark Schweer said not all projects will be finished by the end of the summer. Funding for the projects will carry over into the next fiscal year, as well.

Florida buying club agrees to refunds for Iowans

News

April 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The state Attorney General’s office has reached an agreement with a Florida buying club to refund money to 26-hundred Iowans. A-G spokesman, Geoff Greenwood, says they looked into Global Travel International after a call from a Des Moines woman who had gotten a postcard from the company offering a free store gift card. “So she calls to get the gift card and is told she has to pay a three-dollar, 95 cent shipping and handling card for the gift card. She asks some questions — rightly so — and she gets a confusing pitch, but is told ‘you are not buying anything’ this is just a handling charge for the gift card,” Greenwood says.

Greenwood says it’s a pitch that they have seen many times in the Attorney General’s office.
“Someone contacts a consumer and says you’ve got a free offer, the consumer enrolls and unwittingly enrolls in a buying cub that results in monthly transactions on their account,” according to Greenwood. He says they looked into this particular club and found some things that weren’t right. “The disclosures weren’t there, consumers were confused and consumers were unwittingly enrolled,” Greenwood says. “So, we’ve reached an agreement with the company, the company is to provide the state about 45-thousand dollars in refunds that we will distribute to approximately 26-hundred Iowa consumers.”

You do not have to do anything if you were one of the people who got into the buying club. “We’ve been provided a list by the company, a list that includes who has been charged across the state, and we will issue checks to those consumers,” Greenwood says. Greenwood says there are some key things to look for if you get this type of offer. “Consumers should just be naturally suspicious if a company wants to give you something for free, or a free trial offer out of the blue,” Greenwood says. “Some of these companies will give you the free trial offer and will enroll you unless you stop it. So consumers, whenever they hear the words free trial offer, free gift card, they should be suspicious.”

He says the companies often charge you small amounts for the buying club that tend to go unnoticed, so you should review all your financial statements to be sure you aren’t being billed for a club you did not want to enroll in. For more information or to file a complaint, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division through the Attorney General’s website at www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.gov.

(Podcast) KJAN News & funeral report, 4/7/2015

News, Podcasts

April 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:07-a.m. report w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Atlantic P&Z Commission to review site plans & other matters

News

April 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Planning and Zoning Commission will meet this evening at City Hall. On their agenda is a review of site plans for a development project along Ash Street and the Heritage House Addition, as well as a review of a rezoning request and a request to vacate a platted alley. None of the matters require a public hearing. The meeting begins at 5:30-p.m. in the Atlantic City Hall.

With regard to the Ash Street project, Marty Boose, owner of Boose Building Construction L.L.C. has submitted site plans to build six, single family residential homes on 77,793 acres, from 1405 to 1503 Ash Street. The project is estimated to cost $1.2-million.

City officials say Civil Design Advantage, the architectural firm for Wesley Life, the owner of Heritage House, has submitted site plans for a 6,813 square foot addition to their existing 68,585 square foot complex. The proposed addition will be located at 1200 Brookridge Circle.

In other business, the Commission will review a request from a resident to rezone a section of land from 3rd to 4th Street, from Hickory, east to the alley between Hickory and Birch. The resident requests the section of land be rezoned to residential instead of light industrial. And, the request to vacate an alley located north of 1st Street and west of Locust, is from Terry Hepler, who has maintained the “Phantom alley” for several years.

City Administrator & Zoning Administrator John Lund says the alley serves no connective purpose, and is recommending the Commission proceed with the process to vacate the property.  The Commission will forward its recommendation on each of the matters to the City Council for approval.