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SWIFS releases year end financial report

News

April 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with SWIFS (Southwest Iowa Family Services, Inc.), have released their 2013 year-end financial reports and IRS Form 990. SWIFS President Hal Gronewold said in a news release that “All outstanding pledges for construction of the Ann W. Wickman Child Development Center (in Atlantic) have been collected, and the time has come for the next phase of fund-raising, which is to eliminate or substantially reduce the mortgage debt incurred.”

Gronwold says the net mortgage debt at year-end amounted to $408-thousand, while the annual debt service cost amounts to $26,500. The Wickman Center is being operated by the Nishna Valley Family YMCA. Gronewold says there are 130 children registered at the Center, with a daily attendance of between 65 and 85 children. An application is pending with the State of Iowa, for a Level 5 Quality Rating. That’s the highest level rating a child care facility can attain.

Gronewold says the original plan envisioned the YMCA assuming ownership of the Center after 5-years, but that the Center would also be free of debt at the end of that time frame as well. Since it is not, they are “In need of significant gift or bequest(s) and will be attempting to identify some situations where a gift of appreciated real estate or securities would result in a monetary benefit for both parties.”

Gronewold says if the fundraising campaign in successful, no further fund-raising will be necessary. If not, SWIFS will retain ownership of the Center and continue to be responsible for the debt, which will necessitate an annual fund drive. For more information, go to www.swifs.org.

Iowa lawmaker getting paid despite staying home

News

April 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A southwest Iowa lawmaker who has stopped joining in legislative action at the Capitol is still receiving his salary and daily expense payments.  Secretary of the Senate Michael Marshall told The Des Moines Register on Monday that Sen. Hubert Houser was receiving his $144 daily expense payments and his $25,000 annual salary, though he hasn’t voted on a measure since March 4.

Houser told the Register earlier he was too busy with work on his farm to join in legislative business, adding that as a Republican in the Democratic-controlled Senate, he had little to do. On Monday, Houser told the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil he’s willing to return his legislative pay to the state if anyone requested he do so.

Houser, a Republican, has served 22 years in the Legislature.

IRS changed the rules on automatic tips for large restaurant groups

News

April 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A tip that’s required is no longer considered a tip under new I-R-S rules — and that has caused a change for restaurants. Restaurants have had policies for years where they add an automatic “gratuity” or tip when they serve large groups. Iowa Restaurant Association President, Jessica Dunker, says the I-R-S changes things at the start of the new year. “You can have an automatic gratuity — but then that has to be treated as a service charge,” Dunker explains.

The I-R-S now treats a service change as worker wages from the employer. “And that means as an example, if you have worked more than 40-hours this week, what’s included in your wage is part of that service charge,” Dunker says. “So that the calculations for an employer become very difficult. In addition to that, a service charge. an employer has no obligation to give to the employee.”

While restaurants used to include an automatic gratuity of 20-percent or more for large parities, most now list a suggested but not mandatory tip for larger groups.

(Radio Iowa)

BBB warns of Facebook scam involving missing jet

News

April 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who use a popular social media website are being warned about a new scam that involves that missing passenger airliner, according to Jim Hegarty at the Better Business Bureau. Hegarty says, “If you’re on Facebook and a post catches your attention with the headline, ‘Video of Malaysia 370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle, Passengers Alive,’ it’s designed to trick you into clicking on the link that would lead you to the video that doesn’t exist or it’s a phony one.”

He says it would be a mistake to click on that link, even if it appears to be from a friend you trust.  “A pop-up may appear, prompting you to update your video player but when you click on that, what you’re doing is downloading malware into your computer that can do all sorts of bad things,” he says.

That malware may record your keystrokes to obtain passwords and access to your personal financial information. Hegarty says while you can trust your friends, you many not be able to trust their Facebook accounts as they can be hacked.  “Don’t click on these because lots of times people’s Facebook can get highjacked and folks will send you things that appear to be coming from them when in fact they’re coming from scammers,” Hegarty says. “These guys are trying to do whatever they can to get unsuspecting consumers to click on these links.”

Hegarty says stay away from links to video footage that claims to be “exclusive,” and he suggests you just hover your cursor over the link to see if it’s really going to the address it claims.

(Radio Iowa)

(Update 8:50-A.M.) Victim of Oakland shooting was from rural Cass County

News

April 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A 64-year old woman from rural Cass County is dead following a shooting stemming from a domestic situation early this morning in eastern Pottawattamie County. Sheriff Jeff Danker says authorities responded to 303 Brown Street in Oakland shortly after they received a 9-1-1 call at around 3-a.m. He says initially the suspect was uncooperative but they were able to take him into custody without further incident.

The 63-year old suspect owns the home and resides there with his wife. The Pottawattamie County Assessor’s Office says the home is owned by Robert A. Reynolds Jr. Two other people were in the home in addition to the victim. Danker said he believes the witnesses included an adult female and her daughter. The victim, he says, appears to have been a family friend or acquaintance.  A reason for the shooting remains under investigation.

The weapon used during the incident was said to have been a semi-automatic handgun.The suspect was taken to Council Bluffs to be interviewed. Danker says charges are pending completion of the investigation. The victim’s body remained in the home as of 8:30-a.m., while authorities were waiting for a search warrant to conduct a further investigation of the crime scene. No names have been released.

8AM Newscast 04-08-2014

News, Podcasts

April 8th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Iowa judge releases bar shooting suspect

News

April 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A judge has released from state custody a 25-year-old man suspected of shooting a foreign exchange student outside a Sioux City bar in 2012.  The Sioux City Journal says  Solomon Harris left jail on Monday. Judge Mary Sokolovske had said the state has no authority to civilly commit Harris, so it can’t keep holding him although it’s been determined that he’s a threat to public safety.

In October Harris was ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial in the shooting of 20-year-old Natacha Butera, who is from Rwanda. Police say Harris fired the gun while arguing with another man on Nov. 18, 2012.

Sokolovske says the U.S. Supreme Court has said that mentally incompetent defendants who aren’t expected to regain competency must be released if they cannot be committed civilly.

Oakland shooting update 7:20-a.m.

News

April 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OAKLAND, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say one person has been killed and another arrested in   Oakland.  Officers were sent to a home on Brown Street around 3 a.m. today (Tuesday) after someone called 911 to report that a woman had been shot.  There was a brief standoff at the home, but a 63-year-old man who owns the home came out and surrendered without incident.

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says the 64-year-old woman who was killed was a visitor at the home. Authorities also say there were children inside the home, but the children were able to get out safely.

The names of those involved and other details haven’t been released.

7AM Newscast 04-08-2014

News, Podcasts

April 8th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Workshop to be held in Exira

News

April 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of child sexual abuse will present a workshop on the topic in Exira later this month. The Family Resource Center, Prevent Child Abuse Iowa  and Community Partnerships for Protecting Children are hosting the event created by the “Darkness to Light” organization. The workshop will be held April 22nd from 6:30-until 9-p.m., at the Exira Public Library. There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is requested by calling 712-792-6440 or 1-800-999-5101. The training is approved for credit for foster parents and child care providers.

The training is open to the public and should be of specific interest to parents, youth sports organizations/coaches/camp counselors, youth service organizations, teachers/school personnel and faith centers. The two and a-half hour workshop is designed to educate adults on how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of child sex abuse.