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NE man and a transient arrested in connection w/Bluffs burglary


March 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A man from Nebraska and another man, who was said to be a transient, were arrested late Tuesday night in connection with a burglary. 47-year old Chris Miller, of Omaha, and 22-year old Joseph C. Smith, Jr., were both arrested and charged with Theft in the 2nd degree and Burglary in the 3rd degree. They were booked into the Pottawattamie County Jail.

The pair were arrested during an investigation into a garage burglary reported just after 11-p.m., Tuesday, in the 1600 block of 3rd Avenue, in Council Bluffs. Upon meeting with the victim of the burglary, officers were shown home surveillance video of the break‐in taking place, which recorded two male suspects and the vehicle they had been driving. While officers were still at the scene, completing reports, one of the suspects approached and asked what was going on.

Joseph C. Smith, Jr.

Chris Miller

An officer recognized him from the video and detained him for questioning. Other officers checked the surrounding neighborhood and were able to locate the vehicle that had been used in the burglary, a red Ford Ranger pick up. The bed of the truck contained several items that had been taken during the burglary. Officers contacted and arranged to meet with the owner of the Ford Ranger who advised Officers that his truck had been stolen.

The Officers recognized the Owner of the truck from the video as the other suspect in the burglary. He was also taken in for questioning by detectives. Over $3,000 in stolen property from the garage was recovered from the pickup and returned to the burglary victim.

Woman pleads guilty in Union County murder case


March 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

CRESTON, Iowa (AP) – A 44-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to seven of eight charges filed against her in a Union County murder case. Court records say Jennifer Hartley changed her pleas last week to conspiracy, arson and other charges related to the September 2015 slaying of Loretta Dillinger by Dillinger’s former brother-in-law, Jerry Dillinger. Prosecutors say Hartley provided him a gun. Union County Attorney Tim Kenyon said Wednesday that he anticipates dropping the eighth charge – murder – after Hartley’s sentenced May 25.

Jerry Dillinger pleaded guilty in January 2016 to two counts of first-degree murder in the killings of Loretta Dillinger and Michael Robinson, who was in a relationship with a Dillinger family member.  Authorities say Jerry Dillinger killed himself in February 2016 at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville.

Federal drug raids in Marshalltown & Des Moines net drugs, guns & 5 arrests


March 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Federal agents conducted drug raids in Marshalltown and Des Moines that netted drugs, guns and five arrests. According to court documents filed in the U-S District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, search warrants were executed at five locations in Marshalltown and at one address in Des Moines. The source of a drug trafficking operation was reportedly Raul Rios Muro who allegedly was distributing methamphetamine and weapons.

Also arrested in the case was Jesus Torres and Hilda Garcia Hernandez from Marshalltown and Vernon Junior Creason of Des Moines. The case dates back to last year.

(Radio Iowa)

Red Cross calls for type O negative and AB blood donors


March 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The American Red Cross is issuing a call for type O negative and AB blood donors to make an appointment to give after severe winter weather in some parts of the country caused about 250 Red Cross blood drives to cancel in March, resulting in more than 8,500 uncollected blood donations.

Type O negative blood and type AB plasma are two of the most in-demand blood products by hospitals. Those who give can help patients locally or across the country as the Red Cross has the ability to move blood products where and when they are needed most.

Type O negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is often needed in emergency situations when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s blood type. While less than 7 percent of the U.S. population has type O negative blood, hospitals depend on frequent O negative donations to ensure it’s always available for patients in need. Type O negative blood donors are an important part of the Red Cross trauma team.

Type AB is the universal plasma type and can be transfused to patients of any blood type in an emergency. Plasma helps maintain blood pressure and supplies critical proteins for clotting and immunity. Plasma can be donated through a blood donation.

How to help

Eligible donors can learn more, find a donation opportunity and schedule an appointment by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can save time at their donation appointment by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

Bird expert unlocks mysteries of huge migrating flocks in Iowa skies

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a super-sized flock of birds! Iowans are seeing huge congregations of feathered creatures filling the morning and evening skies, giant clouds of birds that often take several minutes to pass. Steve Dinsmore, a central Iowa ornithologist and bird watcher, says it’s typical during the spring and fall to see the birds migrating in tremendously large numbers over Iowa.

“Those could represent a number of different species of birds,” Dinsmore says. “One of them is European starlings, so we call those a murmuration of starlings. We also, right now, have very, very large numbers of blackbirds, primarily redwing blackbirds and common grackles, and also other species that are also migrating. Those birds, just like starlings, form these large, wavy, meandering flocks.”

Dinsmore is a professor of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University. He says birds of a feather do flock together for several reasons. “One of them certainly deals with predator avoidance, a sort of safety-in-numbers component,” Dinsmore says. “These birds also feed en mass so one of the other advantages of them associating in flocks is the transfer of information about foraging sites or feeding sites. They do that through these large flocks as they’ve moving to and from roosting and feeding areas.”

The miles-long undulating flocks are fascinating to watch and may contain tens of thousands of birds, perhaps more. “One of the real fun questions to try and answer is, ‘How many are there?’ and certainly, those flocks are very, very large, to the point where you can’t count individuals,” Dinsmore says. “Sometimes, we use estimation techniques or approximation techniques. Pushing 100,000 is pretty unusual but there are records in the hundreds of thousands and some estimates even up to a million individuals.”

Robins are out in plentiful numbers this spring, and some Iowans who live in larger cities are being surprised to spot wild turkeys in their back yards, though they’re typically thought of as county birds. “Those birds, in some cases, do pretty well in urban environments,” Dinsmore says. “It also turns out, because we just came off of a really mild winter, many species of birds, turkeys included and other game birds and other song birds, probably are going to do really well this year because they were able to survive what turned out to be a relatively mild winter.”

The waterfowl migration is also at its peak now in Iowa and in some areas, “spectacular numbers” of geese and ducks have arrived early and are staying later.

(Radio Iowa)

Judge OKs sale of Marshalltown hospital to UnityPoint


March 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) – One of the state’s largest hospital chains has gained approval to buy Marshalltown’s struggling hospital for nearly $12 million. The Des Moines Register reports a federal bankruptcy judge last week approved the sale of Central Iowa Healthcare’s 49-bed hospital to UnityPoint Health-Waterloo, an affiliate of Des Moines-based UnityPoint Health. UnityPoint spokeswoman Teresa Thoensen says the $11.9 million deal is expected to close this spring.

The sale followed Central Iowa Healthcare’s declaration of bankruptcy after losing $20 million last year. The losses were blamed on a poor launch of an electronic billing system and difficulties of operating an independent hospital amid moves of most hospitals to larger systems.

Central Iowa Healthcare also owns clinics in Marshalltown, Conrad, State Center and Toledo. Thoensen says Central Iowa Healthcare employees will be encouraged to apply for jobs with UnityPoint.

Creston Police report (3/22)


March 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston report 19-year old Adam Austin, of Creston, was arrested early this (Wednesday) morning, for Public Intoxication/2nd offense. Austin was being held in the Union County Jail on a $1,000 bond.

And, 34-year old Casey Claiser, of Creston, was cited Tuesday afternoon, for allowing an animal to run at-large.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 3/22/2017

News, Podcasts

March 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

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


Iowa man convicted of hacking 3 to death with machete


March 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

PERRY, Iowa (AP) – A 25-year-old man has been convicted of hacking to death his girlfriend, her teenage daughter and the landlord of their home in central Iowa.

A Dallas County jury took just two hours Tuesday to find Carlos Hernandez-Ventura guilty of three counts of first-degree murder. Prosecutors say he used a machete on Oct. 29 to fatally attack 34-year-old Lourdes Flor De Leake, 14-year-old Melany Barraza and 78-year-old Juan Jimenez Tejada at the home in Perry.

Hernandez-Ventura testified that Leake’s estranged husband ordered him to kill the three because the man feared they knew about his drug dealing. Hernandez-Ventura said Daniel Leake told him that he would kill Hernandez-Ventura and his family if he didn’t kill the three.

Investigators testified that they found no evidence Daniel Leake was dealing drugs.

Michigan woman arrested on assault & drug charges in Adams County


March 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A woman from Michigan was arrested for Domestic Abuse Assault, Assault and Possession of Controlled Substance/Marijuana, following a 9-1-1 call this (Wednesday) morning, in Adams County. The Adams County Sheriff’s Office reports dispatchers received an incomplete 9-1-1 call from a distraught female indicating she’d been assaulted. The caller said she and the other party were heading north on Highway 148. Their location appeared on dispatch screens as being south of Corning.

Deputies located the vehicle in the Casey’s General Store parking lot at around 1:05-a.m. and discovered the verbal argument had turned physical. Upon further investigation, 54-year old Debra Lynn Califf-Griswold, of Muskegon, Michigan, was placed under arrest.

Califf-Griswold was being held in the Adams County Jail without bond, pending an appearance before a magistrate.