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Branstad awards funds to 2 renewable fuel sites

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has awarded grants to two fueling sites in an effort to expand access higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.  The Oak Street Station in Inwood and Farmers Cooperative in Mount Ayr will each receive $125,000 as part of the Fueling Our Future initiative.

Farmers Cooperative will construct a new fueling site to provide different ethanol and biodiesel blends. It also will receive $100,000 through the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure program.
The Oak Street Station will build a new site offering five renewable fuel dispensers.

Branstad says in a statement that supporting these projects will help grow the local economy as well.

Officials: Iowa law may void some absentee ballots


April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Lawmakers have been unable to change a state law on postmarked absentee ballots that may accidentally void some valid ballots.  Election officials say some valid ballots over the years could have been invalidated because the Postal Service doesn’t always postmark business reply mail envelopes.

The Des Moines Register reports the state law has been in effect for years. But an accompanying administrative rule that allowed election officials to check the date on the enclosed voter affidavit was repealed in 2011.  The newspaper reports data collected in local elections from 2011 and 2013 show the issue is widespread throughout the state.

Legislators this session have failed to find a solution to the problem. Officials say the practice could continue during high-profile statewide contests this year, including the race for governor.

Victor Borge Legacy Award winners announced


April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Museum of Danish America, today (Monday), announced this year’s winners of the Victor Borge Legacy Award in Omaha and southwest Iowa. Named in honor of the beloved comedian and musician, the Victor Borge Legacy Award is designed to encourage young pianists in the Omaha and Southwest Iowa regions. Four talented piano students have earned cash prizes of $1,000 and $500 dollars and will perform in public recitals at the Museum of Danish America.

The first-place winners, each receiving a $1,000 cash prize, are Emily Zhang of Omaha, Nebraska, and Emily Umphreys of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Second-place winners, each receiving a $500 cash prize, are Katherine Payne of Woodbine, Iowa, and Moriah Hellstrom of Omaha, Nebraska.

The winners were selected in piano competitions organized by the Southwest Iowa Music Teachers Association and the Omaha Music Teachers Association. Each competitor performed multiple piano solo works in front of a judge, and winners have also prepared a written essay about the legacy of Victor Borge.

All four winners will perform at the Museum of Danish America in public recitals. Emily Zhang and Emily Umphreys will perform on April 26 and Katherine Payne and Moriah Hellstrom on June 1st. The public is invited to enjoy these talented musicians as they perform on Victor Borge’s own piano, part of the museum’s collection. Each recital will begin at 2 p.m. and will be followed by a reception.

This is the third year of the Victor Borge Legacy Award, a program organized by the museum and funded by R. James and Janet Borge Crowle of Saint Michaels, Maryland, with additional support from the Eric and Joan Norgaard Trust.

Atlantic woman arrested; non-injury accident reported


April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest on Sunday of 28-year old Summer Cole. Cole, who’s from Atlantic, was taken into custody on a Cass County warrant for Contempt of Court. The woman was booked into the Cass County Jail.

And, officials say no injuries were reported following an accident Friday afternoon at 5th and Chestnut Streets, in Atlantic. The P-D says a vehicle driven by Randall Olsen, of Omaha, was traveling east in the 100 block of west 5th Street at around 12:25-p.m.,  when the trailer portion of his vehicle struck a vehicle owned by Jolene Roecker, of Atlantic, that was parked in the alley between Chestnut and Poplar. Damage from the collision amounted to $2,000.

Social advocacy group sponsors showing of HBO Documentary “American Winter”


April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A special, one-time showing of an HBO documentary that demonstrates what the producers say is the precariousness of the U-S economy, will be held next week in Red Oak. The Grand Movie Theater and Organizing For America-Southwest Iowa, will hold “American Winter,” beginning at 7-pm on April 24th. Admission is your free-will donation, either cash or canned goods, with the proceeds supporting local charities, such as food banks and the Southwest Iowa Free Medical Clinic.

Diedre Melson, who appears in the documentary,  says “[We] are not the people we see in the media — people taking advantage of the system — we’re the working poor. We’re people who get up every day, and try to pay our fair share, and try to pay our dues. But despite our efforts, we’re sinking.”

After the movie, local poverty experts will hold a brief panel discussion. The movies’ sponsor Organizing for Action (OFA) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing the policies that Americans voted for in 2012. As a grassroots funded social advocacy group, OFA says it is committed to tipping the scales of power back to the American people instead of special interests in Washington.


Accident in Red Oak this morning


April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak say no injuries were reported following an accident this (Monday) morning at the intersection of  North 8th and East Oak Streets. The collision occurred just before 8-a.m.  Officials say a vehicle driven by 18-year old Christopher Allison, of Red Oak, was traveling north on North 8th Street and approaching the intersection behind a vehicle driven by 44-year old Felisha Wingfield, of Red Oak.

Due to icy conditions, Allison was unable to stop. The 2000 Chevy pickup he was driving rear-ended Wingfield’s 2006 Dodge Caravan, causing a total of $1,900 damage. Officers said Allison was driving too fast for conditions, but because of the road conditions, he was not cited.

From shorts & t-shirts to heavy winter coats? That’s springtime in Iowa…

News, Weather

April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

It was a wild weather weekend for many Iowans, with a little something for everyone, including near-record high temperatures, thunderstorms, flooding, high winds, hail and snow. A tornado touched down around 6 P-M Sunday near Lone Tree in eastern Iowa’s Johnson County, but no damage was reported. Meteorologist Craig Cogil, at the National Weather Service, says it went from balmy to frigid pretty quickly.

“On Saturday, we saw highs in the state well into the 70s and up into the mid 80s,” Cogil says. “Since that time, it’s been downhill to where temperatures in the state this morning are anywhere from the mid 30s in the southeast to mid 20s in the northwest, so a good 50-degree drop in some locations.”

Some Iowans awoke today (Monday) to see their newly-sprouted green grass and tulip leaves covered with a white blanket of snow.  “We’ve had some reports of a half-inch to an inch-and-a-half in various locations in central and northern Iowa,” Cogil says. “It is sticking this morning however, I don’t anticipate it’ll last too long.” He expects temperatures to warm up very gradually this week.

“Today is going to be well below normal,” Cogil says. “We’re going to remain relatively cloudy in most locations with highs only rebounding up into the mid to upper-30s across the state. We’re not going to see better moderation until we get into Tuesday and Wednesday.” Highs on Tuesday are mostly expected in the 40s statewide, with 50s likely on Wednesday. There may be another chance for snow on Thursday.

(Radio Iowa)

Clarinda man arrested on drug charges


April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers reports the arrest Saturday evening, of a Clarinda man on drug charges. 21-year old Devin Ray Wallace, of Clarinda, was taken into custody at around 7:20-p.m., following a traffic stop. He faces a felony charge of Possession with the Intent to Deliver more than 5 grams of a substance believed to be methamphetamine, and a Possession of Drug paraphernalia charge.

Wallace was being held in the Page County Jail on $100,000 bail or bond.

(Podcast) 7-am News/Funeral Announcements: Mon., 4/14/2014

News, Podcasts

April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A podcast of the 7-am News & funeral announcements with KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


Atlantic native/Exira grad killed in eastern Iowa crash


April 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An eastern Iowa woman with ties to western Iowa, and her husband, died Friday, when the car they were in collided with an agricultural sprayer Friday night on the west side of Van Horne, in eastern Iowa’s Benton County. The Iowa State Patrol says a 2009 VW Jetta driven by 42-year old Paul Hofmeyer, of Iowa City, crossed the center line of 70th street and hit the eastbound sprayer driven by 42-year old Jeffrey Selk, of Keystone. Selk was injured and transported to a Cedar Rapids hospital, where he was being treated for his injuries and was expected to survive. Hofmeyer, and his wife, 44-year old Dr. Stacy Lynn Thompson, also of Iowa City, died in the crash. The couple were not wearing their seat belts.

Dr. Stacy Lynn Thompson

Dr. Stacy Lynn Thompson

Dr. Thompson was born in Atlantic, and graduated from the Exira High School before earning her undergraduate degree and medical degree in ophthalmology, graduating with high honors, from the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

She is survived by her parents, Mick and Judy Thompson of Exira, her brother, Zachary & wife Kelli, of Austin, TX. A Celebration of Life Memorial service for Dr. Thompson will be held 3-p.m. Wednesday, at the Exira Fellowship Church.