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“Operation Blessing” deemed a success in Clarinda

News

December 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers is pleased to report that the Clarinda Police Department’s “Operation Blessing” program was a tremendous success. Christmas gifts were provided to 85 children in Clarinda thanks to the generosity of citizens, civic groups, businesses, church groups, club groups and foundations within the community. The most often requested items this year were clothing and Lego toys.

Retired Clarinda Police Chief Joe Newton and Retired 911 Dispatch Supervisor Diane Newton again worked countless of hours this year, coordinating the program from A-Z. Brothers extends a special thank you to the Newton’s for the work they put into the program each year, all of the members of the community who support the program year in and year out, and the 911 dispatchers at the Clarinda 911 Dispatcher for taking the requests and the area media for helping spread the word about the program.

This year’s program concluded on December 19th.

Creston Police report, 12/22/14

News

December 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested recently, in Creston. On Friday, 21-year old Jose Salomon Pascual, of Osceola, was arrested at the Union County Law Enforcement Center on a Union County warrant for Violation of Probation related to a Controlled Substance violation. Pascual was later released on $5,000 bond.

Early Sunday morning, Creston Police arrested 35-year old Nathan Shinn, of Creston. Shinn was charged with OWI/1st Offense and later released on $1,000 bond.

And, Creston Police received a report Friday from a resident who said someone had tried to break into his garage in the 400 block of north Pine Street. No entry was gained and nothing was taken. The incident, which happened sometime between 1:30-p.m. and 7:30-p.m., Friday, remains under investigation.

(9-a.m. News)

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 12/22/2014

News, Podcasts

December 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.

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(Podcast) KJAN News, Dec. 22nd 2014

News, Podcasts

December 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The 7:06-a.m. Newscast with KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Home sales down, prices up in November

News

December 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Association of Realtors found the number of homes sold in November were down from one year ago. Association president, Jon Yocum, says that’s only part of the story. “We did have a decrease over a year ago in the number of homes sold, but our sale price is up, so that’s telling us that the market is still strong,” Yocum says. Home sales were down nearly 11 percent from the same month last year to 26-hundred homes. He says several factors held back sales in November, including the election.

“Everybody was bombarded with advertisements on a regular daily basis. Every time you watched a program it seemed like you had to watch what seemed like five hours of election coverage,” Yocum says. “I think that just weighed heavy on peoples’ decision to say ‘hey let’s see what happens, see what plays out’.” Yocum says the weather also had an impact. He says the temperatures were a little colder in October and early November than usual and that kept people from getting out.

The average sale price of a home sold in Iowa was up four-point-one percent over November of last year. Yocum says the November numbers are based on the sales that closed, so the transactions that started in late November aren’t reflected. He says it appear business picked up late in the month and into this month. “A lot of agents are busy, even though it is the holiday season. So, there’s still a lot of activity going on,” Yocum says. He says the little warm spell we had recently should translate into some more sales.

Gas prices have been steadily going down, and Yocum says that impacts one segment of the housing market. “When you get into your smaller rural communities where people want to live in that rural area, but the drive time and fuel cost weighs heavy on their decision, ” Yocum says. “With the fuel prices dropping as much as they have, that’s opening the doors for people to say now is maybe the time to make the purchase out in the smaller communities.” Yocum says interest rates remain very low, which also continues to be a factor in people making a decision on home ownership.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Mon., Dec. 22nd, 2014

News

December 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Texas Governor Rick Perry will attend a conservative summit in Iowa next month. Jeff Marschner, a spokesman for the conservative group Citizens United, said yesterday that Perry will attend the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24th in Des Moines. The event is being sponsored by Citizens United and Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The future of the former Iowa Juvenile Home facility in Toledo remains murky, and questions about how the state will care for delinquent girls linger. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports supporters of the facility hope the state will decide soon what to do with it, but lawsuits related to the closure of the juvenile home complicate the situation. Bill Skow says it’s sad to see the facility set empty like a ghost town.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A 22-year-old man is dead after police say he accidentally shot himself in the face inside a Des Moines apartment. KCCI reports the incident happened shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday. According to police reports, investigators believe Fabiano Aguiniga accidentally shot himself with a shotgun while five other people were in the apartment.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Samantha Logic’s contested drive through traffic with less than 3 seconds remaining gave Number 23 Iowa a wild 100-98 win over Drake on Sunday in a game that saw the teams combine for 24 points in the last 65 seconds. Melissa Dixon hit 10 3-pointers and scored 31 points for the Hawkeyes.

Structure Fire in Harlan Sun. evening

News

December 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A fire late Sunday afternoon in Harlan resulted in the destruction of the former St. Michael’s Catholic Church, despite the efforts of firefighters from Harlan and at least four other communities, to limit the damage. The blaze at the vacant building on 8th Street took several hours to bring under control, but no injuries were reported. Crews from Harlan, Denison, Kirkman, and elsewhere responded to the scene. Crews were called-out again Monday morning to deal with a rekindle of the flames. The cause of the blaze remained under investigation.

From the Harlan Fire and Rescue Facebook page.

From the Harlan Fire and Rescue Facebook page.

From the Harlan Fire and Rescue Facebook page.

From the Harlan Fire and Rescue Facebook page.

From the Harlan Fire and Rescue Facebook page.

From the Harlan Fire and Rescue Facebook page.

Courtesy Jim Wolf

Courtesy Jim Wolf and Rita Knights

Photo courtesy Jim Wolf

Photo courtesy Jim Wolf and Rita Knights

Audubon man charged with Possession of Stolen Property

News

December 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Several arrests were made recently, in Audubon County. Sheriff Todd Johnson reported on Sunday, that 33-year old Joshua Lee Larsen, of Audubon, was arrested Friday evening and charged with Possession of Stolen Property. The charge stems from an ongoing investigation and a second search warrant executed at Larsen’s residence at 311 South Division Street, in Audubon. Larsen was booked into the Audubon County Jail, and later released after appearing before a magistrate. Audubon Police assisted in the execution of the search warrant and arrest. The incident remains under investigation.

Also arrested Friday, was 24-year old Rhiana Marie Christensen, of Cumberland. She was taken into custody at around 8-p.m. in Monona County, on an outstanding Audubon County bench warrant issued for Contempt, when she failed to appear for a court hearing. Christensen was being held in the Audubon County Jail on $1,500 cash bond.

28-year old Ryan Bryce Nichols, of Gray, was arrested at around 9-p.m. Friday for Driving while Suspended. The arrest stems from a traffic stop on Highway 71, near North Division Street. Nichols subsequently posted a cash bond and was released. A passenger in the vehicle, 29-year old Benjamin Daniel Jobe, of Audubon, was arrested for Possession of Marijuana. He was later released, after appearing before a magistrate. Audubon Police assisted in making both arrests.

And at around 2-a.m. Sunday (Dec. 21st), 25-year old Matthew Steven Randeris, of Hamlin, was arrested on a charge of OWI/2nd Offense, following a traffic stop in the 1900 block of Highway 44. Randeris was booked into the Audubon County Jail and later released after appearing before the magistrate.

OWI arrest in Red Oak Sunday morning

News

December 21st, 2014 by Chris Parks

A Red Oak man was arrested early this (Sunday) morning, on an OWI charge. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports 43-year old Kipp Michael Brower, of Red Oak, was taken into custody at around 2:25-a.m. on a charge of OWI/1st Offense. Brower was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $1,000 cash bond.

Fire in Casey last August likely caused by arson

News

December 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A fire last August in Casey that destroyed the City Hall there, was likely caused by arson. And, while arson is suspected as the reason for the blaze, in an interview with the Omaha World-Herald, Ron Humphrey, Iowa’s  chief fire investigator said the damage was so extensive that the cause might never be officially determined.

The combination City Hall and Community Center burned down early Aug. 20th, the day that state auditors were scheduled to arrive to look at the city’s books. Flames were first spotted in the part of the building where the city offices were located. Humphrey said while all the signs point to arson, proving it is difficult.

Investigators, including those from the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are awaiting the release of the state audit, which is likely months away. The city’s records burned in the fire, making the audit far more difficult.

There have been no arrests. A search warrant, which remains sealed, was executed shortly after the blaze at the home of the longtime city clerk, Dorothy Dillinger. Casey Mayor Forrest Schnobrich said Dillinger was interviewed by investigators a few days after the fire. He said she never returned to work after the interview and later resigned. Humphrey said Dillinger was very cooperative and denied having anything to do with the blaze.

Local officials knew the state auditors were scheduled to arrive that day. The audit of city finances was being done as the result of a petition signed by more than 160 local residents. While larger communities in Iowa are audited annually. The City of Casey hadn’t been audited in more than 20 years. Residents in Casey and three other small communities petitioned for an audit in the 2014 fiscal year.

Judi Zimmerline, who owns a hair salon in Casey, was an organizer of the petition drive. It was circulated, she said, because an audit hadn’t been done for so long and because there were suspicions of shoddy bookkeeping. Casey’s mayor has described the call for an audit as a “fishing expedition.” He believes the timing of the fire to be a coincidence.

Joh Ham, spokesman for the ATF’s Fire Research Lab in Maryland, told the paper evidence from the fire is being tested. Meanwhile, a new city clerk is on the job. The city offices have moved temporarily to the basement of the Rolling Hills Bank & Trust across the street. Schnobrich says he hopes the city can rebuild a new city hall-community center on the site of the old one. The city is insured to cover the cost up to $1.2 million.