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School superintendent gets probation for drunken driving

News

January 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa school superintendent has been given six months of probation after pleading guilty to drunken driving. Court records say 58-year-old Rod Earleywine also was given a deferred judgment at his Dickinson County sentencing last month. Under a deferred judgment, records of his conviction will be expunged if he completes the terms of his probation.

Earleywine was arrested Aug. 5 in Spirit Lake. The records say Earleywine’s blood alcohol level was above the legal limit in two tests. The president of the Sergeant Bluff-Luton Community School District board has declined to comment about the case. On Thursday the district website still listed Earleywine as superintendent.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. News, 1/18/18

News, Podcasts

January 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

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

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Creston Police report, 1/18/18

News

January 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Creston Police Department say 40-year old Melissa Y Clark, of Creston, was arrested Wednesday afternoon at the Union County Law Enforcement Center. Clark was taken into custody on a Union County warrant charging her with Forgery and Theft in the 3rd Degree. Clark was being held in the Ringgold County Jail on $7,000 bond. And, 61-year old Gregory Kaufman, of Creston, was arrested at around 3:25-a.m. today (Thursday), on a charge of Public Intoxication. His bond was set at $300.

Creston Police report also, a resident in the 600 block of N. Vine Street said Wednesday, that sometime around 7:55-p.m. , a window was broken out of the back door of her home. The glass was shattered by someone throwing a rock. The damage was estimated at $75. And, just after 9-p.m. Wednesday, a woman residing in the 600 block of N. Birch, in Creston, reported that sometime between 3-and 9-p.m., three windows of her residence were broken by thrown rocks. The damage there was estimated at $250.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 1/18/2018

News, Podcasts

January 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The area’s latest and/or top news stories at 7:06-a.m., w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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Atlantic City Council makes appointments

News

January 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday night, approved the appointments of Barb Barrick, to the Office of City Clerk, and Mark Bosworth, with the law firm of Lawrence and Wiederstein, to the Office of City Attorney. The City had appointed David Wiederstein as City Attorney on Oct. 7, 2015. When Bosworth joined the law firm, the City updated its retainer agreement to reflect that he would act as primary attorney. The Office of City Clerk requires appointment in the year following a regular City Election, which was held last November.

Barrick told the Council, Wednesday, that as part of Atlantic’s year-long Sesquicentennial (150th) celebration and monthly activities, during the month of February, they are asking people to find 150 reasons to “Love Atlantic.”  She handed out red construction-type paper to members of the Council and media, asking each one to mark, in a black marker, a reason to love Atlantic. Names are optional, but age or generation are requested, so people can see on an as yet to be assigned store-front, people from every walk of life, in Atlantic. She requested they be turned in to City Hall by no later than January 29th.

The hearts are available from City Hall and the Nishna Valley YMCA.

(UPDATE) 3 injured in crash near Redfield, Wednesday

News

January 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

(UPDATE) The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office has released additional information with regard to an accident that happened Wednesday afternoon, near Redfield. Officials say Danyelle Walls of Dexter, was driving a van with her two children inside, when she lost control of the vehicle, which entered a ditch and struck several trees and shrubs. The crash was reported at around 4-p.m.. It happened on 310th Street, about a mile west of Redfield.

The injured were transported to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, by Dallas County EMS. Damage to the van was estimated at $10,000.  The Iowa State Patrol, Redfield Fire and First Responders, Dexter Fire, and Stuart EMS aided at the scene.

DHS director says Medicaid managed care is ‘the future’

News

January 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

A key state administrator says progress has been made to fix problems in the privately-managed Medicaid program that serves half a million Iowans, but Department of Human Services director Jerry Foxhoven says reverting to a system where state employees manage care for patients is not a fix he’s willing to make. Private companies began managing the program in April of 2015.

“I don’t think there’s any question that managed care is the future, that most states are going to managed care. This is not uncommon,” Foxhoven says. “Most states, early in their programs, have struggled with the program — some of the same issues that we’ve struggled with.”

Foxhoven testified before the Senate Human Resources Committee yesterday (Wednesday). Health care providers have complained about lagging payments for Medicaid services and patients say their complaints about denied care fall through the cracks. Foxhoven says the billing issue is getting better and, with “millions of claims” processed, there have only been a “couple of hundred appeals.” However, Foxhoven is promising a “serious” review of those appeals. “If you look at the program as a whole, we’re really doing quite well,” Foxhoven says.

Legislators of both parties pressed Foxhoven for data to back that up.  Senator Julian Garrett, a Republican from Indianola, said “I’m kind of surprised that you can’t give us anything more than a general statement that, ‘Yeah, things are getting better.'”

After the meeting, Foxhoven told reporters there’s no infrastructure left to have state employees manage care for Medicaid patients. “It’s like we’re not going to go back to rotary phones,” Foxhoven said. “…The world of Medicaid anymore is managed care. Everybody’s moving in that direction, not away from it, but towards it because it’s the only way you end up making it sustainable in the long term.”

Foxhoven told reporters his agency may ask legislators to approve “small changes” in Medicaid, but he didn’t specify what those might be. Foxhoven also indicated most of the adjustments he envisions for the Medicaid system can be made under his orders.

(Radio Iowa)

Veterans seek legislative action on 11-point plan

News

January 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Veterans rallied at the statehouse Wednesday, seeking legislative action on a variety of fronts, including an increase in the property tax exemption for combat veterans. Dan Gannon, a Marine veteran who served in combat in Vietnam, says it takes more than just saying, “Thank you,” to honor Iowa’s veterans.

“Vietnam Veterans of America’s motto is (this): ‘Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another,” Gannon said. “I can promise you this — all of you here today in attendance or those of you who are listening, under my watch as chairman of the Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs and as a fellow veteran: ‘You will not be forgotten.'”

The Iowa Commission on Veterans Affairs has an 11-point agenda for the 2018 legislative session. In addition to the recommendation that the military property tax exemption increase to five-thousand dollars, there’s a call for some sort of state law requiring “Americanism and Patriotism” be taught in public K-through-12 schools. The commission is also asking for an expansion of Veterans Treatment Courts that help vets resolve substance abuse and mental health issues and gets criminal charges dismissed if they make progress.

Representative Steven Holt, a Republican from Denison who served two decades in the Marines, is chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the Iowa House. “I’m working for meaningful accomplishments that changes the lives of veterans,” Holt told the crowd.

There are more than 230,000 veterans in the state of Iowa. That’s nearly seven-and-a-half percent of the state’s population.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Thursday, 1/18/2018

News

January 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CST

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An investigator fired after complaining about speeding by the governor’s state vehicle claims he faced harsher discipline than other employees because he embarrassed then-Gov. Terry Branstad. Former state agent Larry Hedlund was removed from duty in 2013 after he reported that an SUV in which Branstad and current Gov. Kim Reynolds were riding was speeding and complained that it was a hazard. His wrongful termination lawsuit is scheduled for trial in April.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Sioux City police have arrested two boys in connection with vandalism at a honey business that resulted in the destruction of roughly half a million bees. The Sioux City Journal reports Wednesday that police arrested the boys, ages 12 and 13, on felony and misdemeanor charges. Their arrest followed the December vandalism at Wild Hill Honey, where owners found all of their 50 hives had been knocked over, killing at least 500,000 bees. Damage was estimated at $60,000.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Human Services is still trying to fix errors in its database of health care providers enrolled in a new state-funded family planning program. DHS Director Jerry Foxhoven said Wednesday the agency continues to have problems with a list that’s supposed to help the public find services. Foxhoven added preliminary data indicates a drop in the number of people using family planning services under the state program. He cautioned some health care claims are still pending.

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) — No charges will be filed in the shooting death of a man who broke into a home in Spencer. The Clay County Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that 26-year-old Andres Ramos was justified on Sept. 1 when he shot 30-year-old Nicolas Bandomo, who had broken into a home. Authorities say Bandomo, of Albert City, was prohibited from making contact with residents of the home by protection orders. Ramos, of Sibley, fired a single shot, hitting Bandomo. He died at a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, hospital.

Atlantic City Council hears Public Gardens proposal

News

January 17th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday night, received a presentation from Courtney Long, ISU Extension Community Design Lab, in Ames, and Atlantic Parks and Recreation Director Seth Staashelm, with regard to information gathered by the local Public Gardens Group.

Long gave a brief overview of the program. She said they started with a goal of creating opportunities for people to accept healthy food options and increase recreation. There were various public input sessions, and in the end, the group chose Mollet Park on the east end of 3rd Street Place, and Cedar Park, near 2nd and Cedar Streets, just west of the downtown area.

Seth Staashelm (left); Courtney Long (foreground)

The least developed area is Mollet Park, which Staashelm described to the Council. He said the design group came up with some ideas for upgrades. That includes making updates to the end of the drive, which is now a cul-de-sac, implementing community gardens with raised beds that could be rented by citizens or community groups for donation of vegetables to the Food Pantry or Farmers Market.

The Council however, seemed more interested in improvements to Cedar Park, which has the benefit of being close to the Schildberg Recreation Area, and downtown. Staashelm said it does have more to offer, and is a viable option.  A cost analysis for either or both parks has not officially been conducted, but Staashelm estimated Mollet Park would cost $25-to 35-thousand dollars to upgrade. Councilman Dana Halder said “We need to go back to our priorities, and talk about restrooms,” which are needed at the Schildberg Rec Area.

He said, “As far as the two parks, my opinion is, do one. Mollet is easy to mow. You put more up..and there’s more maintenance to do. If you want to go to Cedar Park, fine. My recommendation would be [to] buy the junk that’s to the south of it, and expand it that way. As far as [a proposed splash pad], why not put it at the pool?”

Courtney Long the reason they decided against having it at the Sunnyside Pool, is because some of the groups they spoke with, didn’t have access to paying to get in, so they’re looking at this as a public opportunity to have similar amenities. Staashelm said they’re budgeting for 2020 to update the new basketball court at Cedar Park and updating in general, both parks. The Public Gardens planning is just a long-term part of those improvements, which are still many years down the road. No action was taken on any of the concepts at Wednesday night’s meeting.