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Shelby County road closed since Aug. has re-opened

News

October 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Shelby County road that was closed more than two months ago for a bridge replacement project, is now open. Emergency Management Director Bob Seivert reports the bridge in the 400 block of Redwood Road which was closed August 15th, is open to traffic. The bridge is over the Dutch Branch of the East Branch of the West Nishnabotna River, between Monroe Townships 16 & 17.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN area/State News, 10/30/2014

News, Podcasts

October 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.

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Adair County man arrested on numerous ID Theft charges

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October 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston say a man from Adair County was arrested late Wednesday morning on four Union County warrants charging him with 15 counts of Identity Theft (under $1,000) and three counts of Identity Theft (over $1,000). 37-year old Corey Davey, of Orient, was being held in the Union County Jail awaiting a bond hearing.

Earlier in the day, Wednesday, 23-year old Aaron Turlock, of Lenox, was arrested at the Union County Jail in Creston, on a warrant for OWI/1st offense. Turlock was released from custody after posting a $1,000 bond.

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. KJAN News & funeral report, 10/30/2014

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October 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Walnut-AHST merger begins

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October 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Walnut Community School District has officially begun the process of reorganizing with the AHST Community School District. The Daily NonPareil reports the Walnut school board approved beginning the process at its Monday meeting. Superintendent Jesse Ulrich says circulating a petition to collect signatures from 400 eligible electors or 20 percent of the district’s registered voters, whichever is smaller, is the first step toward holding a special election, with a reorganization vote taking place in June, 2015.

Walnut already whole-grade shares seventh through 12th grade students with AHST, as well as sharing Ulrich as superintendent. The Green Hills Area Education Agency has recommended Walnut look at reorganization as it and several other smaller districts are “facing a trend of declining enrollment.”

The reorganization process begins with a petition, which has to receive enough support from the community to generate a hearing before the Green Hills Area Education Agency. The AEA board confirms requirements are met and provides an opportunity for residents to object to the proposed combined district.

Iowa requires school special elections to be held on certain dates. According to the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office, opportunities for special elections next summer would include June 30 and Aug. 4.

Ulrich said the district plans to announce details on the reorganization plans today. He said reorganization is a community action – not a board action – so while the AHST school board will mutually consent to the petition and can support the petition, the board itself is not involved in the process.

While Walnut has maintained an independent school district for the past 142 years, it’s likely the 2015-16 school year would be its last. The Walnut district saw the largest enrollment decline in the state – a 25-percent plummet – over the past five years, Ulrich said. Ulrich wrote that reorganization would keep representation for Walnut on a new combined school board, allowing Walnut residents to continue to have a voice in educational decisions. He said in an interview Wednesday that he does not expect the reorganization will meet with much resistance.

However, the name of a consolidated district could prompt some debate, Ulrich said. The district currently calls its secondary facilities AHSTW as a nod to the grade sharing. Two other southwest Iowa school districts are currently asking voters to approve a reorganization. Voters in Hamburg and Farragut will decide Dec. 2 whether to approve a merger forming the Nishnabotna Community School District.

Last year, the Elk Horn-Kimballton and Exira school districts came together. The Iowa Department of Education lists six other districts that consolidated and one that was dissolved last year. Other than Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton, the last merger of local districts was in 2011 when Nishna Valley and Malvern formed the East Mills Community School District. That year also saw Manning and IKM (Irwin, Kirkman and Manilla) form IKM-Manning and C&M (Cumberland and Massena) and Anita form CAM.

Red Oak man shot in the face Wed. night – believed to be accidental

News

October 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities are investigating a shooting incident in Montgomery County that left the victim in critical condition. According to Red Oak Police, the Montgomery County Communications Center received a call just before 10-p.m. Wednesday, with regard to a shooting at a residence in the 400 block of east Coolbaugh Street. When officers arrived, they found 28-year old Cody Allen Keith Tunnell, of Red Oak, had suffered a severe gunshot wound to the face.

Red Oak Fire and Rescue personnel performed treatment at the scene before transporting Tunnell to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital. The man was later transferred by helicopter to Creighton Medical Center in Omaha, where he was reported to be in stable but critical condition this (Thursday) morning.

The Iowa DCI was contacted to investigate the scene, and a search warrant was obtained. Following a thorough forensic examination and interviews with witnesses to the incident, preliminary evidence gathered indicates Tunnell’s injuries are possibly accidental. Authorities say Tunnell may have thought the weapon he was handling was properly unloaded.

The case will remains under investigation until authorities can speak with Tunnell about the incident.

Iowa Policy Project report recommends changes to programs designed to help poor

News

October 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A new report from the Iowa Policy Project (IPP) finds many work-support policies for low-income Iowa families are presenting barriers to those families moving out of poverty. IPP research director Peter Fisher says the “basic needs” cost of living for an Iowa family is two to three times higher than federal poverty guidelines. “Therein lies the problem, because most public benefit programs, including these work supports, are geared to the official federal poverty guidelines and most of them cut off benefits well before that self-sufficiency wage is reached,” Fisher says.

This is the last of three reports on “The Cost of Living in Iowa” issued by IPP this year. An earlier report stated 1 in 6 Iowa households do not earn enough to provide for a basic standard of living. Fisher says programs, such as Child Care Assistance, have “cliff effects.” Eligibility for the program vanishes when an family makes just 145-percent of the federal poverty level, which is very low, according to Fisher.

“That’s a huge penalty to take for someone who’s in a low-wage job, find they can work more hours or get an opportunity to get a better job, they can find themselves in a position of making their families worse off by earning more money because they would lose all of that child care assistance,” Fisher says. “We have one of the lowest eligibility ceilings in the country at 145-percent of poverty. Many states go to 200-percent of poverty or close to it.”

The IPP report recommends several reforms to Iowa’s work-support policies, such as raising the eligibility for the Child Care Assistance program to 200-percent of the poverty level and implementing a copay schedule that “eases people off the program” as their income rises.

(Radio Iowa)

McCain campaigns with Ernst

News

October 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Arizona Senator John McCain campaigned with Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst, Wednesday. “Iowans are concerned about out national security, about the treatment of our veterans and the need to fix that,” McCain says. “I think they realize that Joni is exactly the kind of person with her experience and background, also in the legislature, that will make her hit the ground running when she gets to the United States Senate.”

McCain, who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, is among a dwindling number of senators with a military background. Ernst, a battalion commander in the Iowa National Guard, is one of a handful of 2014 candidates for the U.S. Senate who have run campaign ads featuring photos of themselves in their military uniforms. McCain says military experience isn’t required, but it’s an “enormous asset” for a member of the senate.

“Joni Ernst has served in a position of command. She understand what morale, efficiency, the capabilities of the men and women who are serving and, most of all, the hardships that men and women undergo as they are serving the country,” McCain says. McCain and Ernst met with veterans at an American Legion Post in Coralville Wednesday, where McCain referred to President Obama’s foreign policy as “feckless” and he called the present state of the Veterans Administration “unacceptable.”

(Radio Iowa)

Chase in western IA ends in Missouri River 2 suspects caught, 1 missing

News

October 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two people were in custody and a third was at large after a vehicle chase ended in the Missouri River Wednesday afternoon. The Omaha World-Herald reports the incident began at around 1:45-p.m., when officers with the Missouri Valley Police Department attempted to pull over a pickup occupied by two men and a woman for speeding. According to Pottawattamie County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Reynolds, the truck — which was hauling an all-terrain vehicle on a trailer — fled, leading officers on a chase down Old Lincoln Highway.
At one point sheriff’s deputies deployed stop sticks, but the driver continued, eventually taking Old Mormon Bridge Road to northbound Interstate 29. The pursuit continued to the Honey Creek exit, where the suspects fled west on Rosewood Road, eventually driving over a levee and into the Missouri River, ATV and all.  Sgt. Dwayne Riche with the Sheriff’s Office said the suspects got out of the truck and authorities pulled one man and the woman from the river.
The other man floated down the river, and a police helicopter overhead eventually lost sight of him. Authorities have not yet released the names of the two in custody.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Oct. 30 2014

News

October 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

SHENANDOAH, Iowa (AP) — A southwest Iowa man has been charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 death of his girlfriend. The state Department of Public Safety says 34-year-old Brian Davis of Shenandoah, Iowa was arrested Wednesday. He is being held at the Fremont County Jail on $1 million cash bond.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Three men have been arrested on suspicion of robbing a liquor store in Cedar Rapids. Police say two men entered Big Discount Liquor on Tuesday night with guns and demanded money. No injuries were reported and the men left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Architects and engineers have unveiled proposals to improve downtown Iowa City that could cost more than $10 million. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the plans were shown Tuesday inside of a hotel ballroom. During the open house, Iowa City residents and business community members studied the designs.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Officials in two eastern Iowa counties are considering trail expansions that could one day be part of a trail stretching from the Waterloo area to Burlington. The Iowa City Press-Citizen says that Johnson County officials want to expand six miles of eastern Iowa’s Hoover Trail by 2016. The project is expected to cost at least $3 million.