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Cass County Board to discuss workforce issues & lease of bldg.

News

December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will hear from Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Director Ouida Hargens, Wednesday morning, with regard to Workforce Issues in Cass County. Also set to meet with the Board on the same topic, is a training coordinator from Iowa Western Community College. Together, they will discuss a vision to increase and sustain economic development by building a highly educated workforce that’s responsive to the needs of local businesses. The Board of Supervisor’s meeting begins 8:30-a.m. Wednesday, at the Cass County Courthouse.

In other business, the Board of Supervisors will discuss and possibly act on leasing a portion of the Walnut Street Annex to Adult Probation of the Fourth Judicial District, and, they’ll act on an abatement of taxes on property owned by the City of Atlantic. That includes Airport buildings and land, Washington Township, and a parcel near the Schildberg Rec Area.

They’re also expected to act on approving an amended 28-E Unified Law Enforcement Agreement by adding the City of Marne to other member communities that include Cumberland, Lewis, Massena and Wiota. The matter was tabled during last week’s meeting while a legal question was looked into.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 12/8/2015

News, Podcasts

December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Branstad: no change to gun-free schools law

News

December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Republican Governor Terry Branstad is faulting President Obama for failing to outline a new approach to fighting terrorism. But Branstad himself is expressing opposition to one idea some of his fellow Republicans have proposed: allowing guns in schools. “That’s a very controversial issue and I’m not going to wade into it because it just divides the country,” Branstad says. “Instead, we need to focus on constructive things we can do that focuses on the real threat.”

Iowa schools are currently “gun-free” zones. Critics say that makes them a target for mass shootings.  “I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment, but I don’t want to try to divide people on an issue that people have real strong opinions on,” Branstad says. The governor says he is “satisfied” with the law as it currently stands. In 2013, Republicans in the the Iowa Senate tried to let teachers, administrators and other school staff who have a permit to carry a gun to be allowed to bring a gun to school.

Their proposal was not adopted in the Democratic-led Senate. That debate came in the wake of a mass shooting at a Connecticut school that killed 26. Last night, President Obama addressed the nation after a mass shooting at a government facility in California and Governor Branstad says Obama has made a “big mistake” by bringing up gun control rather than seeking to unite the country against a common enemy.

“I think people are concerned about the safety of our country and the threat we have from ISIS and this Islamic terrorism,” Branstad says. “We know that gun control is a very divisive issue and people have very different views on it.” Branstad made his comments to reporters after speaking to at an elementary school assembly in West Des Moines.

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 12/8/2015

News, Podcasts

December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The area’s top news at 7:07-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Earlham man who broke into Iowa home died of stabbing, official says

News

December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a man who broke into a Des Moines home died of a stab wound. On Monday, following an autopsy, Polk County Medical Examiner Gregory Schmunk confirmed the cause of 31-year-old Travis Williams‘ death. Police say Williams, of Earlham, died early Saturday morning after an altercation with two people at the Des Moines home.

Investigators believe Williams broke into the home before the confrontation. The two people were identified as 19-year-old Ali Cano and his girlfriend, 18-year-old Whitney Campbell. The case is still being investigated. No arrests have been reported.

Veterans in western Iowa can attend VA town hall meeting tonight to sound off

News

December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Veterans across western Iowa are invited to attend a town hall meeting later today (Tuesday) in Omaha. Veterans Administration spokesman Will Ackerman says the goal is to provide an opportunity for the V-A to get feedback from the people the agency is supposed to be serving. Ackerman says, “The VA secretary is emphasizing being open and transparent with our veterans and our stakeholders in the community about VA health care, benefits and services and answering any questions or concerns that they may have.” He says the town hall meeting will be a two-way discussion.

“The purpose of this is to share some updated information about benefits and services with our veterans,” Ackerman says, “and then the second and most important part is to gain open and honest feedback from veterans, family members and other beneficiaries.” The town hall meeting will be held at 5:30 P-M in the Education Conference Room at the V-A Medical Center at 4101 Woolworth Avenue in Omaha.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Master Gardeners Offer Horticulture Scholarship

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Extension Master Gardeners group is excited to announce that they will be offering a $500 scholarship to encourage local youth with an interest in horticulture to pursue it as a career. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide post-secondary tuition funds to Cass County youth who are studying, or intend to pursue a career in, a horticulture-related field.

This scholarship is available to students from Cass County who are currently enrolled in their second year or higher of a college or trade school, studying in a horticulture related field. Applications are due December 30 to the Cass County Extension Office. Selection will be made by a Cass County Master Gardeners committee, and winners will be notified in January. Scholarship checks will be written to the college or trade school in the student’s name following the first semester of the recipient’s sophomore (or subsequent) year.

The goal of the Master Gardener program is to support horticulture education and community service. To this end, scholarship winners will be selected based on their academic success, history of community service, and career goals after graduation. Quality and completeness of application will also be taken into consideration. Application forms and further details can be found on the Cass County Extension web site at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass. For more information, call the Cass County Extension office at 712-243-1132 or email Kate Olson, Master Gardener Coordinator, at keolson@iastate.edu.

Manpower survey: 24% of Iowa business plan to hire workers in early 2016

News

December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A survey of Iowa employers released today (Tuesday) shows nearly a quarter of them expect to add workers in the first few months of 2016. Karen Miller is spokesperson for Manpower Group. “Twenty-four-percent of those employers we surveyed said they’re looking to increase staffing levels in the first quarter of the year,” Miller said. While that’s positive news for those Iowans seeking employment, many other Iowans could be losing their jobs, according to the new survey.

“Nine-percent (of the Iowa employers surveyed) said they’re looking to do some decreasing,” Miller said. Another 66-percent of the Iowa employers surveyed believe they’ll maintain their current staff levels between January and March. The Q-1 Manpower survey gives Iowa a “net employment outlook” of 15-percent. That’s down from 20-percent three months ago and 16-percent one year ago.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., 12/8/15

News

December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

Authorities are investigating the discovery of a body in the Cedar River near Gilbertville. A trapper found the body Sunday morning while checking traps, just northwest of Gilbertville. The Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office and Waterloo police are joining in the investigation. Authorities wouldn’t disclose the gender of the body and say it’s not clear when the person died. An autopsy is planned Tuesday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Some Iowa lawmakers have reiterated their skepticism that private health care companies are ready to take over the state’s $4.2 billion Medicaid program in a few weeks. Democrats and Republicans on the Health Policy Oversight Committee sought clarity from representatives for the four private companies about the switch to managed care on Jan. 1.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court will consider a long-running dispute between a major Iowa trucking company and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. At issue is whether the EEOC has to pay Cedar Rapids-based CRST Van Expedited $4.7 million in legal fees and costs stemming from a major investigation into allegations that female truckers and trainees were routinely sexually harassed.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Some Davenport businesses say they may not survive after extended roadwork limited access to their stores, even though the project ended a month ahead of schedule. The Quad-City Times reports that barricades went up on August 17 in front of businesses so a roadway could be resurfaced and sanitary and storm sewers could be improved. A similar upcoming project will limit access to other businesses.

 

SUV hits car and pedestrian in Council Bluffs, Monday

News

December 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Two people – including a pedestrian – were injured during a collision witnessed by police Monday afternoon, in Council Bluffs. Authorities say a passenger car driven by a 17-year old male and occupied by a 15-year old female, was crossing the intersection of 25th and Avenue B and making a left turn at around 4:30-p.m., when an SUV driven by 71 year old Lila Moore, of Council Bluffs, ran a stop sign at the intersection. The SUV hit the car on the passenger side, causing the vehicle to spin around to the north. The car continued northbound because its brakes malfunctioned after the impact.

The SUV accelerated after impact with the passenger vehicle and traveled North through the intersection before driving up on the northeast corner sidewalk and hitting a Utility/Electricity Box, and then a pedestrian, 48 year old Rhonda Alvarez, of Council Bluffs, who was walking on the sidewalk with her dog. Alvarez was thrown in the air and landed on the eastside curb in the 200 block of North 25th Street. Alvarez was transported by Ambulance to CHI Creighton Hospital in Omaha as a precaution for her injuries. She complained of Back and Shoulder injuries while at the scene and later it was determined that her injuries were not life threatening. The 15 year old female passenger in the car suffered minor injuries in the crash.

The SUV continued to travel Northwest crossing North 25th Street, striking a parked unoccupied passenger vehicle, causing the vehicle to be pushed up into the backyard of 2502 Avenue B. The SUV stopped in the back yard of the same address and struck the garage of the home. As officers were gathering information, they were advised by a male witness who resides in a home at the corner of North 25th and Avenue B, that he had recorded this accident on his home surveillance video system. The video was reviewed and later recorded by a Council Bluffs Police Ident Tech as evidence.

Authorities say Moore was cited for Failure to obey a stop sign or signal.