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Former Iowa city clerk convicted in Nebraska child sex case

News

September 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

LAWTON, Iowa (AP) – A former city clerk in northwest Iowa has been convicted after making a plea deal in a Nebraska child sex case. Court records say 61-year-old Douglas Furlich, of Lawton, Wednesday entered a plea of no contest to an amended count of attempted sexual assault by use of an electronic communication device. Sentencing has been set for Nov. 9th. The Lawton City Council in Iowa fired Furlich after his arrest.

The Nebraska State Patrol says Furlich posted an ad online saying he was “looking for a younger guy.” Officials say an undercover officer responded, pretending to be a 15-year-old boy. Court documents say Furlich went to a South Sioux City, Nebraska, park in June to meet the boy. Furlich was arrested there.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 9/22/2016

News, Podcasts

September 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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

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Airport trying to ease parking crunch during construction

News

September 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Eppley Airfield officials have made changes to ease the parking crunch during construction of another parking garage. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the existing rental car parking garage will be demolished next spring, making way for a six-story parking garage with 3,000 parking stalls. Of those, 900 will be for rental cars. The existing rental car garage has 519 public spaces and 555 spots for rental cars.

During construction, rental cars will be relocated to a new parking lot nearby. A shuttle will take customers to the temporary facilities.  The construction project doesn’t affect the airport’s main parking garage, but a parking guidance system has been installed to show drivers the available spots on each of the six floors in the garage.

State Forest Nursery looking to buy walnuts

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

If you’ve got walnut trees and some time to rake up the walnuts that fall from them, you can make a little money from the State Forest Nursery. Nursery spokesperson Candace Weigel says they collect walnuts every year to grow into thousands of seedlings. They are a little short on their seed supply this year. “This year and last year there’s been kind of a short of walnut seed, so we are having enough trouble getting enough walnuts to fulfill the walnut seedlings that we need to supply for the state,” Weigel says.

She says the walnut shortage is something that happens from time-to-time. She says seeds on trees tend to be cyclical as walnuts are prolific some years and other years are down. Weigel says that happens with other species too such as oaks. Weigel says they will pay you two dollars, 50 cents for each bushel of walnuts you bring to collection sites around the state.

“Just the native black walnut, which most trees are around here,” Weigel says. “If you know that you have an English walnut, then we don’t want that, just the native black walnut.” Weigel says the walnuts should be fresh and in good condition, free of debris like sticks and leaves. The seed can just be in buckets, or loose in a pickup bed or trailer. And the hulls can be left on,” she says. Weigel says most people don’t do anything with the walnuts that fall off their trees.

“Most of the walnuts will just be left for the animals and the squirrels bury some of them and they will grow up and produce little walnut seedlings,” according to Weigel. “Some people do collect them and crack them completely open and do eat the black walnut.” You can sell your walnuts at the State Forest Nursery in Ames (800-865-2477), Shimek State Forest (319-878-3811) in Farmington, Stephens State Forest (641-774-4559) in Chariton and Yellow River State Forest (563-586-2090) in Harpers Ferry.

Weigel says you should call first to schedule a time to drop off walnuts to be sure someone will be there to collect them and pay you.

(Radio Iowa)

Flooding follows heavy rainfall in northeast Iowa

News

September 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say flash flooding is occurring across several counties in northeast Iowa, thanks to heavy rains. The National Weather Service said Thursday that 1 to 2 inches an hour have fallen in spots, and more thunderstorms are expected to produce another 1 to 2 inches. The same storms also may also be capable of producing hail and strong winds.

The service says water is covering some streets in Hawkeye and says there’s water over the pavement on U.S. Highway 18 west of Hawkeye. The service also says at least three tornadoes were reported Wednesday evening in parts of southern Floyd County and northern Butler County. Two machine sheds were destroyed southeast of Marble Rock, and trees were knocked down in several areas. It’s unclear whether the storms caused any injuries.

Survey finds 1 in 5 UI female students say they were raped

News

September 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A survey conducted last year at the University of Iowa shows 1 in 5 female students said they were raped. UI Sexual Response Coordinator Monique DiCarlo says freshmen are most vulnerable as 11-percent reported they were raped in their first semester on campus. “It’s the first time they’re away from home in a significant way and they’re establishing intimate relationships for the first time,” DiCarlo said.

The results of the sexual assault survey were presented at a news conference Wednesday on the Iowa City campus. DiCarlo said the UI’s response plan involves adding staff, but also extensive education and student involvement. “The reason we’re doing that is our climate data suggests students are most likely to tell their peers about an incident and so we want to make sure that students are prepared to hear their peers’ disclosure and they know an effective way to respond,” DiCarlo said.

The plan also involves expanding resources for people accused of sexual misconduct. Nearly 2,700 students responded to the “Speak Out Iowa” survey conducted last year. DiCarlo noted the response rate to the survey was only 9.3 percent and three-fourths of the respondents were women.

(Radio Iowa)

Flexsteel to close Dubuque plant where 250 people work

News

September 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Two-hundred-50 workers in Dubuque were notified Wednesday that the furniture plant where they work is closing. December of NEXT year is the target date for closing the Flexsteel plant in Dubuque. Flexsteel executives say the plant dates back to 1897 and is “inefficient for manufacturing and costly to maintain.” Flexsteel’s corporate headquarters is in Dubuque.

Flexsteel’s president says the company hopes to find a new facility in the Dubuque area, but must ensure its manufacturing operations are competitive. Flexsteel plans to invest 25-million dollars in manufacturing infrastructure over the next two years.

Flexsteel’s roots date back to the 1800s in Minnesota. In 1936, the company moved to Dubuque. Eight years ago Flexsteel closed plants in Pennsylvania and Indiana. Flexsteel operates facilities in seven other states as well as China, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Thursday, Sept. 22nd 2016

News

September 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A third top official of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign has been sentenced to three months in prison for conspiring to cover up campaign payments to a former Iowa state senator. Deputy campaign manager Dimitri Kesari was convicted of conspiracy and three charges related to false campaign reporting, the same charges for which a jury convicted the campaign’s chairman Jesse Benton and its manager John Tate.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A special election has been scheduled to fill the District 45 seat left open by the recent death of Iowa Democratic Sen. Joe Seng. Gov. Terry Branstad says Wednesday a special election will be held Dec. 27 to select a senator to represent the eastern Iowa district that includes Davenport. Branstad says he wanted to hold the special election on Nov. 8 but Roxanna Moritz, the county auditor who will oversee the special election, says that early date would have complicated ballot printing.

VINTON, Iowa (AP) — A Benton County jury has found David Miller guilty of a lesser offense in the death of his girlfriend, whose body was found beside a stolen truck in Miller’s driveway last year. Miller was convicted Wednesday of voluntary manslaughter in the Oct. 25 death of 25-year-old Sabrina Janish, of Shellsburg. Prosecutors had sought a first-degree murder conviction. Miller was also convicted of two counts second-degree theft. He will be sentenced at a later date.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa State University Research Park is facing a major financial loss after a once-promising tenant was allowed to fall behind on rent for years before going bankrupt. The Ames business hub says it’s likely the single biggest creditor of Etrema Products and is owed roughly $480,000 in uncollected rent.

Dedication ceremony held for new Riverside Jr.-Senior High School

News

September 21st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A dedication ceremony was held Wednesday evening just outside of Oakland, for the new Riverside Community School District Junior-High School.

Riverside Jr-Sr. High School Principle David Gute

Riverside Jr-Sr. High School Principle David Gute

The 22-million dollar facility located at the intersection of Highways 59 and 6 just south of Oakland was designed to replace the facility that was built around 1930, and is the first built since reorganization of the Carson-Macedonia and Oakland school districts into Riverside in 1993.

It has three levels: two gyms and locker rooms on the bottom floor; an auditorium, office, music, art and kitchen on the second floor; and classrooms – grouped into middle-school and high-school spaces – and media center on the third floor.Riverside CSD Dedication Invite_Digital_Final Again

Superintendent, Dr. Timothy Mitchell, who took over the job in July from Dr. Jim Sutton who had earlier this year announced his resignation, asked those in attendance, “What does it feel like to be the showcase school in all of southwest Iowa?”  Mitchell said he’s been a school superintendent for 22-years, and I have never been in a school district that started the year with so much energy, and so much pride, and so much enthusiasm. It has been an absolutely humbling experience for me and an honor for me to come in here as your new Superintendent.”

{From left to right) Riverside Seniors Lucas Wilber & Lillian Smith, Superintendent Dr. Timothy Mitchell, DLR Design firm rep. Paul Ahrend, & School Board President Murrary Fenn

{From left to right) Riverside Seniors Lucas Wilber & Lillian Smith, Superintendent Dr. Timothy Mitchell, DLR Design firm rep. Paul Ahrend, & School Board President Murray Fenn.

Other speakers at the event included Seniors Lucas Wilber and Lillian Smith. Wilber said he’s elated be part of the first class to graduate from the new facility, and that spirit and pride extends to the rest of the student body. Smith echoed those sentiments. A member of the FFA, Wilber mentioned the new Ag/Vo-Tech building and how it would serve the students well. She choked-up though, when she spoke of beloved Voc-Ag Teacher-year-old Sherman Rhoten, who died on May 31st.

After six attempts, voters approved a $15.1 million bond issue for the new building in June 2013. Groundbreaking on the project began in July 2014, but there were several delays resulting from heavy rain during the summer of 2014, excavation and other issues, that kept pushing the move-in date back to the spring of this year, a subject Paul Ahrend, with the Design/Architectural firm DLR Group alluded to. Ahrend said getting the project off the ground was a challenge, especially where the soil was concerned, but he said the contractors overcame those challenges. He presented School Board President Murray Fenn with a “Gold Key” to the building, as a symbol of the complete work.

Superintendent Mitchell announced however, that the project is not done yet. He said there’s still some grass seeding to be completed, the erection of scoreboards and other athletic facility improvements. And then there’s a new Tornado Safe room. Mitchell said the School Board last Monday approved the addition of the Safe Room, which is made possible thanks to Federal and State Grants. The Safe Room, which will be completed within a couple of years, will be accessible to students and the public during severe weather.

More information released on Sac County shooting

News

September 21st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Sac County Sheriff’s Office today (Wednesday) released additional details about a fatal shooting that took place at around 11:40-a.m. Sunday, two-miles east of Lake View. Sheriff Ken McClure officially identified the victim as 24-year old Megan Quinn Sloss, of rural Guthrie Center. Twigg Funeral Home released information about her services on Tuesday.Sac County Sheriff badge

The Sheriff said Quinn, and her brother, 26-year old Spencer Lee Sloss, also of Guthrie Center, were riding together to a family event in Ida County, with plans in store for some target shooting. As they were driving at highway speeds, Megan and Spencer were talking about how to tear down a gun for cleaning, and Spencer was attempting to show his sister how to clean his Sig Sauer .9-millimeter handgun, when the weapon discharged, striking Megan in the hip region.

After the shooting and while the vehicle was moving, Spencer climbed over the center armrest to bring the car to a stop before calling 911. He got his sister out of the car at about the same time a doctor was driving by. The doctor administered aid to Megan Sloss before she was transported to Loring Hospital in Sac City and then flown to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, where she died from her injuries.

Megan Sloss (Photo from her obituary page at Twiggfuneralhome.com)

Megan Sloss (Photo from her obituary page at Twiggfuneralhome.com)

Sheriff McClure said Spencer Sloss did have a valid permit to carry his weapon. The permit was issued out of Guthrie County. An autopsy was scheduled to have been performed today (Wednesday) on Megan Sloss. The incident remains under investigation by the Sac County Sheriff’s Office, and Iowa DCI. Once the investigation is complete, it will be forwarded to the Sac County Attorney’s Office for further review.