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Iowa DHS: 3 juveniles remain at large after escape


April 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ELDORA, Iowa (AP) – Health officials say eight juveniles escaped a north-central Iowa facility that treats delinquent youth, and three remain at large.  The state Department of Human Services says the students ran away Thursday night from the Eldora State Training School. The students were being escorted from the gymnasium to their cottages when the incident occurred. Additional information was not released.  All the students ran into a nearby wooded area. Five of them were returned to the cottages within an hour.

DHS Director Charles M. Palmer says law enforcement agencies continue to search for the three remaining students. The Eldora State Training School has 130 beds for delinquent youth between the ages of 12 and 18. The facility provides treatment and educational services as part of court orders.

Iowa Donor Network breaks ground on new, bigger building


April 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Donor Network broke ground this morning (Friday) on a new facility in Altoona. It’s scheduled to be completed in January of 2015 and will replace the current facility in Johnston. Iowa Donor Network spokesperson Tony Hakes credits the “generous nature” of Iowans for the necessary move into a bigger building. “We have 1.8 million people registered as organ and tissue donors. Our tissue donation has been on the rise for the last 10 years and organ donation was on the rise last year. As a result, we have just outgrown our current facility,” Hakes said.

The Iowa Donor Network administrative headquarters are located in North Liberty and will remain there, according to Hakes. The new facility in Altoona will include two recovery rooms, as opposed to just one, and will include upgraded equipment. “We’ll also have a state-of-the-art communications center which will allow us to make and take more phone calls,” Hakes said. “The end result will be we’ll be able to carry out the wishes of more Iowans and help more donor families.”

The communication center is staffed 24 hours a day and currently handles over 65,000 calls a year. Approximately 60 employees will work in the new building. Hakes said the three acres site will eventually include a memorial garden for donors and their families. The Iowa Donor Network is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

(Radio Iowa)

Johnny Carson mural planned for Nebraska hometown


April 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) – A mural depicting TV talk show legend Johnny Carson will be going up on the side of a downtown building in his Nebraska hometown of Norfolk.  The Norfolk Daily News says Norfolk artist Karl Reeder will use various images of Carson on the side of the former Andrew Bicycle building.  Carson was born in Corning, Iowa, but grew up in Norfolk, Neb., and attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He hosted NBC’s “The Tonight Show” for 30 years. He died in California in 2005.

Organizers hope the mural will be finished in time for the 2014 Great American Comedy Festival, set for June 11-14 in Norfolk. The festival was created as a way to honor Carson.

Social Security Workshop to be held in Atlantic this month


April 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A workshop for “Baby Boomers” on “Saavy Social Security Planning” will take place April 22nd in Atlantic, at Iowa Western Community College. The no-cost workshop runs from 6:30-until 7:45-p.m. Seating is limited.

Officials say after being told for years the Social Security is “Going Broke,” Boomers are realizing that it will soon be their turn to collect. The decisions you make now, can have a tremendous impact on the total amount of benefits you stand to receive over your lifetime. The informative seminar aims to cover the basics of Social Security, and reveals strategies for maximizing your benefits.

Seminar attendees will learn about: The 5 factors to consider when deciding to apply for benefits; Why you should always check your earnings record for accuracy; How to coordinate benefits with your spouse; How to maximize taxes on Social Security benefits, and how to coordinate your Social Security with your other sources of retirement income.

There will also be someone on-hand to answer your questions, such as “Will Social Security be there?”  How much you will receive, when you should apply, how to maximize your benefits and will Social Security be enough to live on in during your retirement.

To register for the seminar, call 712-243-5527, or e-mail majohnson@iwcc.edu.

Supreme Court rules coaches without teaching licenses not subject to sexual exploitation law


April 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Supreme Court has thrown out the conviction of a former Davis County Community School District coach who had sex with a student. Patrick Nicoletto was an assistant girls’ basketball coach from 2007 to 2009. He had a sexual relationship with a member of the Davis County varsity team that started when she was 16. A jury convicted him of sexual exploitation by a school employee and he was given a five-year prison sentence. Nicoletto had a coaching authorization, but worked nights at a local manufacturing company and was not a teacher.

He appealed his conviction saying he is not a licensed professional could not be charged under the exploitation law. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled in his favor, saying a coach who holds a teaching or other professional license is clearly subject to the sexual exploitation law — but someone holding only a coaching authorization without a professional license is not. They reversed Nicoletto’s conviction.

Justice Thomas Waterman wrote a dissent to the ruling, saying the “hypertechnical interpretation” opens a gaping loophole in the law that was enacted to protect students from sexual exploitation by adults at their school. Justice Edward Mansfield also signed on to Waterman’s dissent.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa finds 9 more wrongly rejected votes in 2012


April 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A review has found that nine more Iowans wrongly had their votes thrown out in the 2012 election because of inaccuracies in the state’s list of ineligible felons.    Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced Friday the additional cases were uncovered during a statewide review launched after news broke that three voters in Cerro Gordo County were wrongly rejected as felons.

Schultz says the 12 cases included three who were not felons but were wrongly included on the state’s list and nine others who had their voting rights restored and should have been eligible.     Schultz on Friday also formed a task force of state and local officials to fix inaccuracies in the felon file, which contains 46,000 names.

Iowans convicted of felonies lose their voting rights until restored by the governor.

8AM Newscast 04-11-2014

News, Podcasts

April 11th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Crawford County woman pleads guilty in connection w/March homicide


April 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A woman from Crawford County has agreed to plead guilty to a single felony count of Second-degree Burglary, in connection with a double homicide last month near Deloit, Iowa. The Omaha World-Herald says in her plea agreement, 36-year old Erika M. Dains, of Denison, also plead guilty Thursday in Crawford County District Court, to being an accessory after the fact. Dains had originally been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson in connection with the March 10th murders of Marvin Huelsing and Alice Huisenga on Huelsing’s property southeast of Deloit. Her two co-defendants, 19-year old Jayden Ray Chapman and 26-year old Michael David Schenk, both of Denison, have pleaded not guilty to murder and arson charges.

According to court records, Chapman told law enforcement officials that he, Schenk and Dains had gone to the farmstead to steal scrap metal. According to a complaint and affidavit filed earlier in Crawford County District Court, Chapman said he and Schenk shot Huelsing and Huisenga and then set fire to a trailer with the victims inside. As part of the plea agreement, Dains agreed to testify for the prosecution at her co-defendants’ trials.

The original charges against Dains were dropped without prejudice, which means the prosecution can refile the charges if Dains violates the terms of the plea agreement. All three have been held in the Crawford County Jail in Denison on $500,000 cash-­only bail since their arrest March 13th. Thursday’s plea agreement stipulated that Dains’ bail continue as previously set.

In pleading guilty, Dains agreed to prison terms of 10 years on the burglary charge and two years on the accessory charge. A determination will be made at sentencing whether Dains must serve the terms one after the other, for a total of 12 years, or at the same time, for a total of 10 years. Sentencing for Dains will not occur until after the cases against Schenk and Chapman are concluded.

(Podcast) 7-a.m. Area/State News, 4/11/2014

News, Podcasts

April 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.


IA West Foundation grants announced


April 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa West Foundation, headquartered in Council Bluffs, have announced $4.2 million in grants are being awarded for the first quarter of 2014. The grants will be used to assist 22 nonprofit organizations and governmental entities with funding for area projects.

The largest grant awarded in the quarter was to the Green Hills Area Education Agency for preschool programs in school districts located in Pottawattamie County. The $1.1 million grant ensures that 4-year-olds with the most at-risk factors for possible school failure will have the opportunity to participate in quality early childhood education.

Here is a partial list of the grant recipients:

·        The City of Council Bluffs – $850,000 for planning and improvements to the landing area of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge near Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park.

·        Bluffs Arts Council, $6,000 for music and movies in Bayliss and River’s Edge parks.

·        Crossroads of Western Iowa, $2,000 for a volunteer program for intellectually disabled.

·        Hospice of Southwest Iowa, $2,500 for medical records documentation upgrade.

·        Make-A-Wish Foundation of Iowa, $20,000 to fulfilling the wishes of southwest Iowa children.

·        Mills County Fair Association Free Fair, $150,000 for a community building at fairgrounds in Mills County.

·        Mills County Prevent Child Abuse Council Inc., “Circles4Support” program, $7,500

·        Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Inc., $50,000 for prevention education in on STIs and teen pregnancy in Douglas, Montgomery and Pottawattamie counties.

Funding for the foundation’s grants comes from investment earnings and the Iowa West Racing Association, which receives contracted license fees from casino operators, Ameristar and Harrah’s. IWRA distributes funds to the Iowa West Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) organization under the IRS Code. The foundation makes grants throughout southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.

Requests for Iowa West grant applications for the third quarter of 2014 will begin June 1, 2014, and will be accepted through July 1, 2014. Completed applications will be due July 15, 2014. The deadline to request applications for the second quarter has passed.

For more information including deadlines, interested organizations may visit the foundation’s website at iowawestfoundation.org or contact Deb Debbaut, director of grants administration, at (712) 309-3003. Guidelines and procedures can be viewed on the website, and applicants can apply online.