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Burglary & theft reported in Red Oak

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Red Oak resident reported to police Thursday, that someone had kicked-in the front door of her residence on East Market Street, and stole items valued at $50. The incident happened sometime over the course of the two previous day. The victim reported the loss of a Harley Davidson collectible sign and cell phone, in addition to damage to the door, which was estimated at $100.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Red Oak Police at 712-623-6500, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-432-1001.

Adair County BOS to meet Friday morning

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Adair County Board of Supervisors will hold their first regular meeting of the year today (Friday), in Greenfield. Their meeting begins at 9-a.m. The Board will take care of several administrative matters, including: Electing a Board Chair and Vice-Chair; Approve Deputy/Assistant/Clerk appointments by County Recorder, Treasurer and Attorney. They’ll also act on: a travel policy resolution; Master Matrix resolution and the appointment of Supervisors to area board and commissions.

The Adair County Supervisors will hold a Public Hearing at 9:30-a.m. with regard to a FY 2015 Budget Amendment, along with resolutions approving the amendment and appropriations. At 10-a.m, they’re expected to receive a Compensation Board FY 2016 recommendation for Elected Officials, which they will take under consideration, along with the FY 2016 hourly wage increases for full- and part-time County employees.

And then at 10:15, County Engineer Nick Kauffman will address the Board with regard to various administrative and other departmental matters.

Iowa’s “special schools” for blind & deaf serving over 1000 children & adults

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials at the state’s so-called “special schools” are aiming to improve their students’ math and reading proficiency by 15 percent. Steven Gettel, the superintendent of the Iowa School for the Deaf and Iowa Educational Services for the Blind, says the goal is within reach.

“In the first four years with the Iowa Educational Services for the Blind students’ proficiencies increased by 13.3 percent in reading and 13.6 percent in math and at the Iowa School for the Deaf the achievements were 12.3 percent in reading and 13.3 percent in math, so we’ve nearly achieved our goals there,” Gettel says. “It shows what you can do when you consolidate your efforts and your resources around improving instruction and understanding the needs and the that our kids have.”

There are 109 students enrolled at the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs this year. Students no longer attend the Iowa School for the Blind in Vinton. Instead, teachers are sent around to Iowa school districts to teach 562 students who are blind or visually impaired. “And we’re providing sign language instruction across the state to between 400-500 adults and children,” Gettel says. Those sign language classes are conducted online. About a dozen students who graduated from the Iowa School for the Deaf are also enrolled in what Gettel calls the “Four-Plus” program.

“Brings students back who finished their high school credit requirements, but they still need additional training and education around the areas of literacy, math skills, pre-vocational skills and independent living skills,” Gettel says. In total, the state’s “special schools” for deaf and blind Iowans are providing services to more than a thousand children and adults in the state.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Jan. 2nd 2015

News

January 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — The University of Northern Iowa has been scrambling to pay about 2,400 employees after a computer problem caused a delay in direct deposits to their bank accounts. A university vice president, Michael Hager, wrote in an email to the employees on New Year’s Eve that paper checks would be delivered to “as many of our employees’ financial institutions as possible” before the end of business on Wednesday.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Dubuque nurse has fulfilled her dream, spending more than 60 years caring for ailing babies and their families. The Telegraph Herald Weber reports Betty Weber retired Wednesday from her work at Mercy Birth Center in Dubuque.

FARLEY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa couple has been credited with helping a man get out of his wrecked vehicle before it caught fire. Peosta Police Department Sergeant Nicole Minnihan says the couple was traveling westbound Tuesday on U.S. 20 in northeast Iowa when another vehicle driven by 65-year-old Mark Schuster went off the roadway. The Telegraph Herald reports Sandy Gassman, along with her husband, Tom, pulled over to help. Sandy Gassman put Schuster’s arm over her shoulder and they walked away from the wreck. Tom Gassman called 911.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a Des Moines man who fatally stabbed an intruder in self-defense likely won’t be prosecuted. Police Sergeant Jason Halifax says 35-year-old Christopher Bear killed 34-year-old Jahron Parker after Parker attacked Bear at a house on Amos Avenue early Wednesday morning.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 1/1/2015

News, Podcasts

January 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.

2014: coolest year in Iowa since 1917

News, Weather

January 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Several locations in Iowa recorded low temperatures in the double-digits below-zero over the final two days of 2014 — which will enter the record books as one of the coldest years in the state’s history. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says only three of the 12 months posted an above normal average temperature (May, June, and December). “And we had three top 10 months as far as low temperatures — the 7th coldest February on record, 5th coolest July and 4th coolest November,” Hillaker said. “Those are all based on 142 years of records, so rather unusual in all those cases.”

The statewide average temperature for the entire year was 45.4 degrees. “The year as a whole…almost the coolest in nearly 100 years. You have to back to 1917 to find a cooler calendar year than 2014,” Hillaker said. The coldest official temperature recorded in Iowa this year was 29-below zero in Elkader — both on January 28 and February 11. “On the other extreme, the warmest reading we had was only 97 degrees on May 7, very early in the season,” Hillaker said. “Clarinda, Shenandoah and Sidney all hit 97 on May 7.”

Not a single Iowa city recorded a temperature in the triple digits through all of 2014.  “Statewide, I think we’ve had about a dozen years when no place in the state reached 100 degrees during the course of the year. So, that’s somewhat unusual, but not unheard of by any means,” Hillaker said.

Two-thousand-fourteen will go down as the 15th wettest year in Iowa history. The month of June was especially wet — with record flooding across northwest Iowa. “Some part of the state had a lot of rain during the late summer, especially west-central and southwest Iowa,” Hillaker said. “We had a very wet August. Greenfield has almost a foot-and-a-half of rain just during the month of August.”

Although the year was a wet one, there weren’t many large snow events.  “I think the largest snow storm total was 9 inches, which is kind of small for a statewide extreme,” Hillaker said. According to the National Weather Service, there were 55 tornadoes in Iowa in 2014 — slightly more than the 46 twisters that Iowa sees in a typical tornado season (averaged over the years 1980-2013).

For the month of December (2014), the Average High in Atlantic was 36. The Average Low was 22. The normal average High is 33. The normal average Low is 14.We had just 1.06 inches of precipitation last month, with some of that coming from the four-tenths of an inch of snow and/or mixed precip. Normal precipitation for the month is 1.11 inches.

Southwest Iowan faces federal firearms charge

News

January 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

RED OAK, Iowa (AP) – A southwest Iowa man accused of planting audio recording devices in a woman’s home now faces a federal charge of being a felon in possession of firearms. As we reported earlier this week on KJAN, 38-year-old Aaron Johnson was arrested Monday at his Red Oak home on a federal warrant. He’d been freed on bond. He’s pleaded not guilty to state charges of eavesdropping and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Johnson originally was arrested Nov. 3 on the state charges. The woman reported finding one of the audio bugs, and then authorities found another in her bedroom. She says the only person granted access to her residence was a pest control technician, Johnson.

Police say a search of Johnson’s home turned up similar devices and guns and ammunition.

Study: Teens who use e-cigarettes 2X as likely to smoke regular cigarettes

News

January 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Quitting smoking is a popular New Year’s resolution, but a federal study finds teenagers who use e-cigarettes are twice as likely to say they intend to smoke traditional cigarettes in the next year. E-cigarette retailers are popping up in cities across Iowa, though state law forbids their sale to anyone under 18. Tobacco researcher Michael Fiore says the report from the Centers for Disease Control confirms long-held suspicions.

Dr. Fiore says, “One of the biggest concerns about e-cigarettes is that they will serve as a gateway drug to lifelong nicotine dependence and all of the harms we know result from cigarette smoking.” The population tracked by the C-D-C study included kids in grades six through 12, years when they’re considered particularly vulnerable. “We know that the adolescent brain is very sensitive to nicotine,” Fiore says. “Use of e-cigarettes, with its exposure to nicotine, puts these adolescents at risk of lifelong nicotine addiction.”

The C-D-C study found more than 263-thousand young people who had never smoked used an electronic cigarette last year, three times the number from 2011. About three out of four teen smokers become adult smokers, according to the report. Fiore says the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes among young people is worrisome. He says, “We are at risk of having a generation of young people who are exposed to e-cigarettes, begin using them and both have changes in their brain related to this nicotine exposure but also tend to go on to use combustible cigarettes.”

The overall smoking rate in Iowa is 19-point-six percent, just slightly below the national average of 19-point-seven percent.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa man pleads not guilty to head-butting son

News

January 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A February trial has been scheduled for a Sergeant Bluff man accused of head-butting his teenage son. The Sioux City Journal reports that 47-year-old Bradley Graff entered a written plea of not guilty on Monday in Woodbury County District Court. The charge is child endangerment causing injury. His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 3.

Court documents say the incident occurred while Graff was practicing wrestling with his 11- and 13-year-old sons at his business, Wall of Fame. The documents say the older boy asked to stop practicing, but Graff threw him onto a mat several times and head-butted him. The documents also say Graff later stomped his son’s head onto the mat, giving the boy a bloody nose.

(Podcast) KJAN 7-a.m. News, Jan. 1st 2015

News, Podcasts

January 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.