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Independent US Senate candidate showed up in Sioux City last night

News

October 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Rick Stewart, the independent candidate for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat, did not meet the criteria for participation in Thursday’s night’s debate in Sioux City between Democratic candidate Bruce Braley and Joni Ernst, the Republican candidate. Stewart showed up anyway, with a mock-up of his living room in a cargo trailer parked outside of the auditorium at Morningside College where the debate was held. “Since a lot of Iowans didn’t have a chance to come visit me for waffles on Sunday morning, I’ve got a sofa and some chairs and some homemade cookies and I invite Iowans to come in and sit down and chat about politics in general,” Stewart said.

Stewart, who lives in Cedar Rapids, was disappointed he wasn’t allowed to participate in the debate. “I’m actually even more disappointed for the state of iowa. The voters didn’t get to see the candidates. They only got to see two of ‘em,” Stewart says. “…I think most Iowans would have liked to see all of us, at least once.”

Six candidates are listed on Iowa’s 2014 General Election ballots in the race for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat. In addition to Braley, Ernst and Stewart, there are two other independent candidates on the ballot.

One is Bob Quast of Blue Grass, representing “Bob Quast for Term Limits.” The other is Ruth Smith of Lamoni, who has run before as a Democratic candidate for seats in the Iowa House and Senate but is now running as an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate. The sixth candidate, Libertarian Doug Butzier, died this week in a plane crash in Dubuque. At the start of last night’s debate between Braley and Ernst, both major party candidates offered their condolences to the Butzier family.

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) 8-a.m. News & funeral report, Fri. 10/17/2014

News, Podcasts

October 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Creston woman arrested for violating a court order

News

October 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Creston woman was arrested Thursday evening for violating a court order. Creston Police report 30-year old Alicia Lovell was arrested at her home for Violation of a No Contact/Protection Order. Lovell was being held in the Ringgold County Jail, while awaiting a bond hearing.

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. Area/Local News, Fri., 10/17/2014

News, Podcasts

October 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Iowa student suspected of creating explosives

News

October 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ROLFE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have confiscated homemade, chemical-based explosives from the home of a student in the northern Iowa town of Rolfe. Ron Humphrey of the State Fire Marshal Division says about a quarter pound of the explosive was found Thursday and that the material could have seriously injured someone, had it exploded.

Pocahontas County Sheriff Bob Lampe says an adult and a juvenile have been detained and will be charged. Classes in the Pocahontas Area Community School District were dismissed early Thursday afternoon as a precaution. Superintendent Joseph Kramer says there were no direct threats against the school, its students or staff members.

Traffic stop late Thu. night results in arrest

News

October 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop late Thursday night in Red Oak, resulted in the arrest of a woman on a warrant out of Page County. According to Red Oak Police, an SUV driven by 35-year old Malissa Ann Bissell, of Red Oak, was pulled over at around 9:50-p.m. , on the 2400 block of Highway 48.

After officers learned Bissell was wanted for Theft in the 5th degree, they placed her under arrest and transported her to the Page County line, where one of their deputies took her to the jail in Clarinda. Bissell was being held in the jail on $300 bond.

Carson, Malvern & Farragut to save interest on H2O projects

News

October 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Three southwest Iowa cities will save interest money over the life of loans for water quality projects. According to the Daily NonPareil, 27 cities will save a total $1.3 million through the state revolving fund interest rate reduction program. Carson, Malvern and Farragut received loan interest rate reductions from 3 percent to 1.75 percent. Carson will save more than $33,830 over the life of a water project loan, while Malvern will save over $29,180 on a project loan. In Farragut, the city will save a little over nearly $17,693 on a loan.

In total, the program has provided low-cost financing worth more than $2.3 billion to more than 500 Iowa cities. The state program allows communities to take on lower startup costs without needing a reserve. Assisted projects typically include upgrades or the construction of public wastewater or drinker water systems.

Officials say the ultimate goal is for those savings to translate to lower water rates for Iowa residents.

$4.5-million in grants award to 18 area non-profit groups

News

October 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Council Bluffs-based Iowa West Foundation have announced they are distributing nearly $4.5 million in grants for the third quarter of 2014. The grants will be used to assist 18 non-profit organizations and governmental entities with funding for area projects. Among the grant recipients, was the Griswold Public Library, which is receiving $1,500 toward technology improvements.

Here is the complete list of grant recipients:

  • Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Council Bluffs Latino capacity building/leadership program, $25,000.
  • Children’s Square U.S.A., Phase II of Kanesville-Tinley Neighborhood Initiative in Council Bluffs, $158,085.
  • City of Dedham, baseball field improvements and playground construction, $10,000.
  • Council Bluffs Public School District, Iowa West Foundation initiative for School Administrative Managers and summer school programing, $2,957,218.
  • Community Education Foundation, grants for improved educational opportunities in Council Bluffs classrooms, $33,500.
  • Council Bluffs Senior Center Inc., locker room renovation and equipment upgrades, $150,000.
  • Credit Advisors Foundation, financial management counseling for residents in the Council Bluffs region, $10,000.
  • Downtown Omaha Inc. Foundation, 2014 Holiday Lights Festival, $15,000.
  • Griswold Public Library, technology improvements for patrons of Griswold library, $1,500.
  • Heartland Family Service, “Iowa Family Works” residential substance abuse treatment, $175,000.
  • Iowa West Foundation, update of Council Bluffs entryway towers on West Broadway to LED lighting, $671,492.
  • Iowa Western Community College Foundation, programming at the Arts Center in Council Bluffs, $30,000.
  • Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska, expansion of legal services into southwest Iowa, $60,681.
  • Lewis Central Community School District With Heartland Family Service, an Iowa West Foundation Initiative for a mental health program, $150,943.
  • Live Well Council Bluffs, CURB: “Creating Ultimate Residential Beautification,” $60,000.
  • Manning Betterment Foundation, Manning child care center renovation, $12,500.
  • Opera Omaha, for season production of Rigolett, A Flowering Tree, and Fidelio, $30,000.
  • Pottawattamie County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Network, general operating support, $30,000.

Funding for the foundation’s grants comes from investment earnings and the Iowa West Racing Association, which receives contracted license fees from casino operators, Ameristar and Harrah’s. IWRA distributes funds to the Iowa West Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) organization under the IRS Code. The foundation makes grants throughout southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.

For more information including deadlines, interested organizations may visit the foundation’s website at www.iowawestfoundation.org or contact Deb Debbaut, director, grants administration, at 712-309-3003. Guidelines and procedures can be viewed on the website, and applicants can apply online.

Iowa’s U.S. Senate candidates debate who has the ‘pure heart’

News

October 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The two major party candidates for the U.S. Senate disagreed over some familiar issues during their third and final debate in Sioux City last night, but their argument over who had the “pure heart” of a devoted Christian sparked an intense exchange. Republican Joni Ernst brought it up first when a debate moderator asked what set her apart from Democrat Bruce Braley. “Soundbites do have consequences and I believe that I have a pure heart, willing to serve Iowans, where Congressman Braley behind closed doors has poked fun at our senior senator, Chuck Grassley,” Ernst said. “I don’t call that building bridges. I call that burning bridges, congressman.”

Braley immediately responded, saying he had apologized to Grassley and to Iowa farmers for his remarks at a Texas fundraiser in which Braley warned that Grassley — a farmer who isn’t a lawyer — would become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee if Republicans win the U.S.Senate. “So if you’re questioning my pure heart, senator, I can tell you that I’ve been an elder in my church. I’ve taught Sunday School to adults and children. I’ve never seen a corporation sitting next to me in the church pew and yet you believe that their interests outweigh those of women in Iowa when it comes to contraception,” Braley said.

Ernst replied: “Oh again, very misleading. I have said I support a woman’s right to contraception.” Ernst agrees with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling which says some family-owned corporations like the Hobby Lobby chain do not have to provide their employees insurance that covers contraception if the family has religious objections. “But that doesn’t mean a woman can’t get reliable, safe birth control,” Ernst said. “She can still go to her doctor and receive birth control. It’s not outlawing birth control.”

Braley says no business should be able to select the types of contraception their employee insurance plans cover. “She supports a Supreme Court decision that allows employers to interfere with an individual woman’s health care decisions about her contraception,” Braley says. During a discussion about taxes, Ernst touched on her support for a “flatter, fairer, simpler” tax, like a national sales tax instead of a federal income tax.”I say, ‘Scrap the IRS,’” Ernst said. “Let’s start all over again.” Braley replied. “Senator Ernst’s answer to everything is ‘Scrap it.’ Scrap the IRS. Get rid of it. Get rid of the Department of Education. Get rid of the EPA.” And Ernst responded.

“I don’t believe in a bloated federal bureaucracy,” Ernst said. “We need to return a lot of that power to the states.” The candidates began the debate by addressing concerns about Ebola and both said it may be necessary to temporarily ban flights into the U.S. from west Africa. Midway through the debate both candidates denounced the negative campaign advertising swamping Iowa’s airwaves. Braley supports efforts to reign in the outside spending, but Ernst says they’re “exercising political free speech” and “that’s a right.”

The debate was held at Morningside College in Sioux City and sponsored by T-V stations K-C-A-U in Sioux City and W-O-I in Des Moines.

(Radio Iowa)

Fuel analyst sees continued downward trend in gas

News

October 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Dropping oil prices are partly responsible for a drop of prices at the gas pump. Department of Agriculture fuels analyst, Harold Hommes, says a lot of the state is seeing gas for under three bucks a gallon. “Right now we’re finding things are fairly varied. We do have some in the low three’s yet, but most of the gasoline has crossed the three-dollar mark and has fallen into that two-70 to two-90 mark,” Hommes says. He expects prices to continue to drop.

“I do look for that trend to continue, there’s a lot of downward pressure right now on crude right now from the general economy, and recently, European recession woes,” Hommes says. He says one of the biggest factors is the substantial build up of crude oil stores. “We are producing a lot of it, and most storage hubs are sitting on ample supplies and inventories.” Switches in production to produce heating oil can make the price go up, but Hommes says that’s no long a factor.

“The heating fuel production, it’s really already occurred. And I think the industry is ready to move that and has been moving it through pipelines. It’s pretty much placed where it needs to be placed for this winter,” Hommes says. While the gas in your area may be under the three-dollar mark, others may still be paying much more. Hommes says there can be wide variations on price, and sale philosophy and location are a couple of keys for the differences.

“Some retailers have a bit wider margins. Some focus on narrower margins to attract customers in for other products,” Hommes explains. “But maybe the single biggest factor is location. When you’ve got to drive more than an hour to get your product from a terminal, those costs add up.” He says competition can also be a factor in gas pricing.

“And in most places in Iowa we do have that competition,” Hommes says. He says when there are a lot of stations in one area, it is hard to not match a station that drops its gas price, as customers can quickly move to the lowest priced station. Crude oil prices dropped nearly six dollars or more this week — leading to the drop in gasoline prices.

The Triple-A average price for regular unleaded gasoline in Iowa Tuesday was three-dollars, three cents. That is down nine cents from last week and down 25 cents from one year ago.

(Radio Iowa)