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Audit: Sac County employee promoted personal work


November 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) – An audit shows a former employee at the motor vehicle department in Sac County was fired because officials suspected she was promoting a personal business while at work. A state audit released Monday says the department for the Sac County Treasurer’s Office had more than $3,500 in improper disbursements and deposited collections between January 2010 and the end of February of this year. Most of the money was paid to Lisa Phillips, the department’s former deputy treasurer, for compensatory time.

Phillips is accused of promoting a personal business during normal working hours. County workers told officials they saw her spending two to three hours per day doing non-county activities. The audit has been sent to the county attorney’s office and other agencies.

Congressional races highlight Tuesday’s General election


November 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Tuesday’s General Election will be watched closely in Iowa, where six candidates’ names are on the ballot for the U.S. Senate seat held since 1984 by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin. Recent polls have shown Republican Joni Ernst and U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, a Democrat neck-and-neck in the race.

Democratic state Rep. Pat Murphy and Republican businessman Rod Blum are facing off to replace Braley in a tossup in District 1. GOP U.S. Rep. Tom Latham’s District 3 seat also is open and a tossup. Candidates include former Democratic state legislator Staci Appel and Republican David Young, the former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley. Experts say the 4th District in conservative northwestern Iowa appears likely to stay with Republican Representative Steve King.

The Secretary of State’s office is open, where incumbent Republican Matt Schultz stepped aside to make an unsuccessful bid for Latham’s congressional seat. Candidates include: Paul Pate; Brad Anderson; Jake Porter and Spencer Highland.

The State Auditor’s race pits Republican Mary Mosiman against Democrat Jonathan Neiderbach. Three candidates are running for Treasurer of State, including incumbent Democrat Michael Fitzgerald, Republican Sam Clovis, and Independent party candidate Keith Laube. Incumbent Republican Bill Northey is running for re-election against Democrat Sherrie Taha and New Independent Party of Iowa candidate Levi Benning for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. And, incumbent Democrat Tom Miller faces a challenge from Republican Adam Gregg, for the Iowa Attorney General’s job.

Incumbent GOP Gov. Terry Branstad faces four candidates, including Democratic state Sen. Jack Hatch. Incumbents also are up against challengers in races for auditor, treasurer, agriculture secretary and attorney general. State Senate and House seats also are on the November ballot.

The stage is set for Tuesday’s General Election in the KJAN listening area


November 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who have grown weary of the constant advertising leading up to Tuesday’s General Election have only to endure the barrage of mailings and on-air assaults a little longer. And, while most eyes in Iowa will be on the polling numbers where candidates are running for Congressional and State offices, there are some races we’ll be following locally here at KJAN, as well.

In western Iowa, incumbent Republican Jack Drake from Griswold is being challenged by Democrat Tim Ennis, of Corning, for State Representative in District 21. Republican Tom Shipley is unopposed in his bid for State Senate in District 11. Meanwhile, Republican Brian Best, from Glidden, is running against Democrat Dan Mulhbauer, from Manilla, in District 12. Also, incumbent Republican Clel Baudler, from Greenfield, faces a challenge from Steve Roe from Lake Panorama, for State Representative in District 20.

There are no contested races here in Cass County. Supervisors Gaylord Schelling and Mark Wedemeyer are running unopposed in Cass County Districts 2 and 3. There will be a Public Measure on the ballot however, for residents living in the Edna and Union Townships, calling for a vote on whether or not the Trustees and Clerks of Court in those townships should be appointed by Board of Supervisors as the terms expire.

In Adair County, Republican Clint Hight and Democrat Incumbent Mike Maynes are vying for the County Attorney’s job. There’s also a race for one seat each on the Board of Supervisors in Districts 2 and 4 in Adair County. In District 2, Republican Ralph Lents faces a challenge from Incumbent Democrat Steve Shelley. And in District 4, Democrat Jodie Hoadley hopes to defeat her Republican opponent Brian Rohrig. Jeff Vandewater is running unopposed to fill a vacancy as Adair County Sheriff.

In Adams County, Republican Doug Birt faces a challenge from Democrat Larry Sawyer for the Board of Supervisor’s seat in District 1. In District 3, there’s a race between Republican Linda England and Democrat Kevin Wynn. And in District 4, Republican Leland Shipley is running against Democrat Tyler Edwards, in Adams County. There’s also a race for County Treasurer between Republican Jamie Stargell and Democrat Iona Allen. Voters in Adams County will also act on a Public Measure asking if the County shall issue General Obligation Capital Loan Notes in an amount not to exceed $1.3-million, for improvements to the Lake Icaria Timber Ridge Campground, managed by the Adams County Conservation Board. Tthe full-service campground has been untouched since it was first constructed 35 years ago. The renovation would include new electrical services and sewer hookups to about 40 spaces. The bond issue’s passage requires a 60 percent supermajority.

In Audubon County, there is a race between Republican Gary VanAernam and Democrat Jerry Carter, for a seat on the Board of Supervisors. In Guthrie County, Republican Cliff Carney is being challenged by Democrat Kerry Sheeder for the Board of Supervisors in District 2. In District 3, Republican Everett Grasty and Democrat Kathy Miller are vying for a seat on the Guthrie County Board of Supervisors. And, there are six candidates vying for five seats on the County Agricultural Extension Council.

In Montgomery County, Republican Joshua Wiig is being challenged by Karen Blue for a seat on the Board of Supervisors, in District 2. Six candidates are running for five seats on the County Agricultural Extension Council, and four people are in the running for two seats on the Soil and Water Conservation Commission.

There’s only one contested race in Shelby County, where Democrat Jessica Gessert faces a challenge from Republican Geralyn S. Greer, for the title of County Recorder. In Pottawattamie County: Democrat Flory Blount and Republican Mark Brandenburg are running for County Recorder; Incumbent Republicans Scott Belt, Loren Knauss and Justin Schultz are running for three seats on the Board of Supervisors, along with former Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan, who has no party affiliation.

Page County Sheriff’s report 11/3/14


November 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer reports one person was transported to the hospital following an accident Sunday afternoon near the intersection of 201st Street and Page/Taylor County Avenue. Palmer says 37-year old James Allen Edward O’Connor of New Market, was operating a 1998 Saturn car when he lost control of the vehicle. The car slid into a ditch and landed on its top. Injured in the accident was 13-year old Paytan Hiatt, also of New Market. Hiatt was transported to the Clarinda Regional Health Center by Clarinda Ambulance Service for unknown injuries.

Sheriff Palmer said also, that deputies on Saturday recovered a stolen John Deere 825i Gator UTV in the city limits of Coin. The Gator had been reported stolen from a rural residence in Montgomery County on October 31st. The recovery is under investigation with the Page and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Offices.

Vehicle burglaries reported in Union County


November 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Union County are investigating incidents of theft, in Lorimor. A resident reported someone entered two of his vehicles. In one of the vehicles,  a mothers ring and perfume was taken. A socket set and miscellaneous wrenches were taken from the other vehicle. The loss was estimated value at $750.

Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

Even falling back an hour can be hard on our systems


November 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Many Iowans are dragging at work or school today (Monday), thanks to the weekend switch from daylight saving time to standard time. Even though we “gained” an hour, the disruption in sleep schedules can make some people feel groggy and lethargic. Dr. Brett Kuhn (COON), director of the Behavioral Sleep Disorders Clinic in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says many of his patients are sleep-deprived.

“If you’re having trouble maintaining alertness and attention during the day, you’re probably not getting enough sleep,” Dr. Kuhn says. “A telltale sign, I hate to say it, but if you’re having to be awakened by your alarm, you’re not getting enough sleep.” It may be next week or well into November before some people’s body clocks can properly recover from the change.

“Depending on your age, your natural sleep rhythm and how sleep-deprived you are, this could take a matter of three or four nights or it could actually take two weeks to adjust,” Kuhn says. “Sleep-deprived adults and teenagers probably look forward to this time of the year where, if they choose to do so, they can always sleep that extra hour.”

If you’re having a tough time, Kuhn says it’s not just the time but the lack of sunlight that may be putting you on edge.  “We always talk about making adjustments to your sleep schedule but light is actually the number-one influence on our sleep-wake routine,” he says. “You want to make sure that while you’re making adjustments in clock time, that you’re also carefully managing your light exposure.”

It may help if bright lighting is used at home during the early evening hours. The time change is likely the hardest on young infants and those early to bed and early to rise. He says more people have problems adjusting in the spring when we turn our clocks forward one hour for daylight saving time.

(Radio Iowa)

Latest Quinnipiac Univ. poll shows Braley in a dead-heat with Ernst; Hatch trails Branstad


November 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley has closed the gap with Republican State Sen. Joni Ernst, leaving the Iowa U.S. Senate race a 47 – 47 percent dead heat, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today (Monday). Four percent remain undecided. That as compared to results of an October 29 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, showing Sen. Ernst at 49 percent and Rep. Braley at 45 percent.

The latest results show independent voters divided 44 – 44 percent. Republicans back Ernst 95 – 2 percent. Democrats back Braley 94 – 5 percent. Men and women still are locked in a reverse gender gap as women back the Democratic man 51 – 42 percent, while men back the Republican woman 52 – 44 percent. Braley leads 56 – 36 percent among those who already have voted.

One day before Election Day, 95 percent of Iowa likely voters who name a Senate candidate say their mind is made up, while 5 percent say they might change their mind. Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, says “Iowa’s U.S. Senate race is a dead heat. The candidate who best gets his or her folks to the polls is going to win.”

Iowa likely voters remain divided on their feelings about the candidates:
• Ernst gets a 47 – 45 percent favorability;
• Braley gets a 43 – 45 percent likability score.

In the Iowa Governor’s Race, State Sen. Jack Hatch, the Democratic challenger in the governor’s race, inches up on long-time Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and now trails 52 – 41 percent among likely voters. This compares to Gov. Branstad’s 56 – 37 percent likely voter lead in an October 29 Quinnipiac University poll.

Men, women, Republicans and independent voters all back the long-time governor, while Democrats back Hatch 82 – 12 percent. Hatch leads 52 – 37 percent among those who already have voted.
Only 5 percent of voters who name a candidate say they might change their mind by tomorrow, while 95 percent say their mind is made up, Branstad gets a 57 – 35 percent favorability rating, compared to Hatch’s 36 – 27 percent score, with 34 percent who still don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.

From October 28 – November 2, Quinnipiac University surveyed 778 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

Mills County arrest report


November 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested recently on separate charges, in Mills County. The Sheriff’s Dept. says 31-year old Jason Michael Eppenbaugh, of Red Oak, was arrested Friday on a Warrant for OWI/1st offense. His bond was set at $1,000. Eppenbaugh was taken into custody at around 8:15-p.m. near the intersection of Highways 34 and 59.

And at around 2-p.m. Sunday, 30-year old Robyn Leigh Salmons, of Independence, Mo., was arrested at the Mills County Sheriff’s Office on a charge of  Burglary in the 3rd degree.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 11/3/2014

News, Podcasts

November 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.


1 arrest; Guns and stolen bow in Creston


November 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston report the arrest on Sunday of 23-year old Joshua Lee Jones, of Creston. Jones was arrested at the Union County Law Enforcement Center on two warrants for Probation Violation and Failure to Appear. Jones was being held in the jail without bond, while awaiting an appearance before the magistrate.

And on Oct. 29th, the Creston P-D took a report about a theft. Jason Keller said someone entered his vehicle as it was parked in the 800 block of west Mills Street, and took a .357 Ruger, a ,380 gun, and a Bow Tech Destroyer bow. The theft occurred sometime between 3:25-p.m. Oct. 27th, and 3:30-p.m. Oct. 29th.

The loss was estimated at $1,100.