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(Podcast) KJAN News & funeral report, 4/23/2015

News, Podcasts

April 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:07-a.m. report w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson


MHI employees dispute “antiquated” charge


April 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Four employees at the state-run Mental Health Institutes in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant testified before the Iowa Senate Oversight Committee Wednesday, disputing the governor’s assertion that their facilities are antiquated. Sue Rehwaldt-Hays is an occupational therapist who has worked at the Clarinda M-H-I since 1984. She says, just like the Iowa statehouse, the facility in Clarinda has been updated with recent renovations like new windows, new furniture and a fire alarm system that’s still being installed.

“You can do a lot of treatment and you can care for a lot of people in an old building and you can make a lot of decisions in an old building,” Rehwaldt-Hays said. Anna Short worked as a drug abuse counselor at the Mount Pleasant M-H-I until last week. Many of her former patients who’ve made a success of their lives after treatment there called after learning the place was closing.

“None of those success stories when they all called to tell me how well they were doing mentioned anything about an old building that they had to reside in during their stay,” Short said. “They seemed to be more concerned about the care that they received while they were there.” Short says the facility was actually built in the 1960s and, in the past year, it got brand new, specially-made furniture that was bolted to the floor in the psych ward; a new, million dollar elevator and a new security system.

“If I didn’t know better, you’d think it was prepping for the new owner,” Short quipped. Cindy Fedler, a nurse clinician, worked her last day at Mount Pleasant on April 6th. Fedler and the others argued the services of the mental health institutes are a crucial last resort for patients suffering from an acute mental illness who have failed in other settings. “I think we’re all very well aware that…really, we have a mental health crisis in Iowa right now,” Fedler said.

A woman from Shenandoah who gave her name as Christina spoke briefly as well, telling legislators her outpatient treatment elsewhere hadn’t worked and it was “vital” to be admitted for a month at Clarinda. “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for that place,” she said. “…My illness was that bad that I needed that long stay.” She is now working full-time.

The Branstad Administration’s plan is to close the two mental health institutes in southern Iowa, but keep the M-H-I’s in Cherokee and Independence open. A spokesman for the agency in charge says there will be 30 MORE beds available after July 1st for in-patient treatment of acutely mentally ill patients in the two facilities than had been available when all four Mental Health Institutes were operating at full capacity.

(Radio Iowa)

Grieving family buys officer’s police dog from department


April 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The grieving family of an officer has bought his police dog from the Sioux City Police Department. The Sioux City Journal reports that Sgt. Jay Fleckenstein died Friday of natural causes at his home. He was 39.

The department bought the dog, a Belgian Malinois named “Eik,” from Fleckenstein in 2009. The officer had raised and trained Eik since he was a puppy. A police news release says the purchase agreement included an option that Fleckenstein’s family would be able to buy back Eik if Fleckenstein were to leave the department for any reason.

Eik had nearly six years on duty with Fleckenstein. The dog would have been required to be recertified before returning to service with another officer.

Transient arrested after car is stolen in C. Bluffs


April 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A man police identified as a transient was arrested early this (Thursday) morning, in Council Bluffs, during an investigation into the theft of a vehicle. Bluffs Police spokesman Benjamin Roth says at around 2-a.m., officers were dispatched to the Bucky’s store at 2713 South 24th Street, in reference to a stolen vehicle that had just occurred. The vehicle had been left running while its occupants entered the business.

While in the store, someone entered the vehicle and stole it from the parking lot. Within minutes of the initial dispatched call, a deputy for the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department located the vehicle belonging to 26-year old Leslie Ventura, of Sioux Falls, SD. Police stopped the car in the 3500 block of 4th Avenue.

The driver, identified as 33-year old Ryan Scott Beers, was taken into custody without incident, and charged with theft 2nd. The Council Bluffs Police Department reminds you not to leave their vehicles running while entering businesses, as it makes an easy target for thefts such as this one.

Treynor teens seriously injured during accident on the South Expressway in Council Bluffs


April 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs reported late Wednesday night that two people were seriously injured during a crash earlier that evening on the South Expressway. Bluffs Police Sgt. Darren Budd says just before 7-p.m., a 1998 Ford Mustang driven by MacKenzie Jones, of Council Bluffs, was traveling southbound and was preparing to turn left onto 35th Avenue. A 2007 Chevy Tahoe driven by 33-year old Lynsi Perkins, of Council Bluffs, was traveling northbound on the South Expressway.

Several witnesses and Perkins said both drivers had a green light. There is a protected left turn arrow for southbound traffic, but the arrow was not active according to witnesses. The SUV hit the passenger side of the Mustang with such force, that two passengers in the vehicle, 16-year old Ellen Campbell and 13-year old Jane Campbell, both of Treynor, suffered serious injuries, with Ellen Campbell’s injuries deemed to be critical.

Both teens required extrication by the Council Bluffs Fire Department. They were transported to the UNMC for treatment. Mackenzie Jones was uninjured. Lynsi Perkins suffered minor injuries during the crash, and her minor passengers were not believed to be injured.

Officials say there appears to have been NO indications speed or impairment contributed to the crash. Jones, however, was cited for Improper Turning Movements. The Council Bluffs Police Traffic Unit will be conducting a follow up investigation into the crash.

(Updated 4/23) – Injury accident on Hwy 92


April 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

(Updated at 6:22-a.m. to clarify 4 injuries as earlier reported)

The Iowa State Patrol early this (Thursday) morning, updated information concerning a crash Wednesday evening on Highway 92 in Adair County, that injured four people.  Officials say several eastbound vehicles in a line of traffic were stopped in a construction zone at around 6-p.m., waiting for the Pilot car to return, when a 2004 Buick Park Avenue driven by 34-year old Brian Jorge Ford, of Creston, rear-ended a 2013 Ford F-150 pickup, driven by 43-year old Todd Nothwehr, of Clarinda. His wife, 42-year old Lara Nothwehr, was a passenger in the vehicle.

Photos submitted to KJAN. Click on photo to enlarge

Photos submitted to KJAN. Click on photo to enlarge

The force of the impact caused the pickup to rear-end a 2012 Ford F-150, driven by 31-year old Danielle Buresh, of Bridgewater, which rear-ended another vehicle.  All four vehicles came to rest on the road, blocking traffic in both directions for several hours.

Lara and Todd Nothwehr were treated at the Cass County Memorial hospital and have since been released. There was no word on the conditions of the other two victims, but authorities had said late Wednesday evening, that the injuries did not appear to be life threatening, and that all occupants had been wearing their seat belts. Airbags also deployed in the vehicles, limiting the extent of injuries.

Assisting at the scene were deputies with the Cass and Adair County Sheriff’s Offices.

(Update) 4 injured in Hwy 92 crash


April 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Four people were injured in a crash on Highway 92 Wednesday evening, just across the Cass-Adair County line, in Adair County. Emergency crews were dispatched to the scene at around 6:18-p.m.

Photos submitted to KJAN. Click on photo to enlarge

Photos submitted to KJAN. (Click on photos to enlarge)

One person was reportedly trapped in a vehicle. Three people were transported by two separate ambulances, to the Cass County Memorial Hospital. One other person was flown by LifeNet helicopter in Clarinda to the hospital. According to authorities, the injuries did not appear to have been life threatening. The victims wore their seat belts, and airbags deployed in the vehicles.
The road was completely blocked while crews removed the injured and the wreckage. Additional details are currently unavailable.

Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling signs Letter of Intent to expand its territory


April 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company today (Wednesday), announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with The Coca-Cola Company for expanded territory rights. The bottler will assume territories in Iowa and southern Minnesota.  Expected transition dates are subject to the parties reaching Definitive Agreements. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Kirk Tyler, President, Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, said in a press release “We look forward to completing the transition work with The Coca-Cola Company.  Leveraging the new operating model will enable us to continue serving the needs of our consumers and customers effectively.”

Sandy Douglas, President Coca-Cola North America at the Coca Cola Company, says “We have made significant progress toward the implementation of our 21st Century Beverage Partnership Model in the U.S., which continues to strengthen our franchise system. As we continue to evolve our partnership model for growth Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company brings deep local knowledge and has demonstrated both outstanding commercial capabilities and consistent, sustainable success within their communities. Together we continue to transform our U.S. business and move closer to achieving our 2020 Vision.”

Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company and The Coca-Cola Company will work collaboratively to implement key elements of the 21st Century Beverage Partnership Model including:

  • More rational and contiguous operating territories
  • A grant of exclusive territory rights and the sale by Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR) of distribution assets and cold drink equipment
  • An improved, more integrated information technology platform
  • A new beverage agreement that supports the evolving operating model.

Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company has been in business for over 100 years, producing and delivering Coca-Cola brands to Central and Southwest Iowa.  Owned and operated by the Tyler family, and headquartered in Atlantic, the company has a distribution center in Waukee.  Together, the two facilities employ over 180 individuals

Atlantic employee receives award for many years of service


April 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A woman who has been an employee of the City of Atlantic for slightly more than  25-years, was recognized for her service during a Special City Council meeting, Wednesday evening. Chris Dvorak was presented with an award for her service by Mayor Dave Jones. In acknowledging her work in the Police Department as an Administrative Assistant/dispatcher, Jones said Dvorak was always a professional in “Coordinating with law enforcement to keep the people of Atlantic and our  officers safe from harm.”

Chris Dvorak receives a 25-year service award from Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones.

Chris Dvorak receives a 25-year service award from Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones.

Jones said what she does, essentially keeps the City from being sued, by making sure when officers write a ticket or make an arrest, the paperwork is filled-out and turned in correctly.

According to the Atlantic Police Department’s website, Dvorak began working for the department in 1990. Prior to working for the City, she was a sale clerk and stay at home mom. She and her husband, John, have two children that are grown and have left the area.

Citizens of Atlantic neighborhood voice concerns over storm water runoff


April 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

About 20 residents living in the vicinity of the Heritage House in Atlantic, voiced their concerns during a special City Council meeting Wednesday evening, over how a 6,800-square foot addition for a Commons Area at the retirement home, will affect storm water runoff. The residents affected by the runoff live primarily in an area north and west of the Heritage House, along or near Roosevelt Drive.

Dave Sturm with Snyder and Associates Engineers in Atlantic, spent the past week evaluating the drainage areas on the site, as well as existing building and drainage conditions. Ryan Hardisty, project engineer with Civil Design Advantage in Grimes said he agrees with Sturm that enlarging the existing detention basin located south of the existing building, and constructing a new, smaller basin, to the north, to catch any additional runoff from the proposed addition, will serve to alleviate many of the residents’ concerns about more water flowing into their basements during heavy rainfall.

Dr. Keith Leonard explained the residents of Roosevelt Drive showed up in force at the meeting, because they “Already have plenty of water, a lot more water than we want.” He said at least four houses from 14th Street north on the east side of Roosevelt, all have sump pumps that are constantly running. Leonard said “Whatever retention pond is there, is not doing anything or is filled-up…and is totally unusable.”

Atlantic businessman Rich Perry also lives in the area. He said no one is against Heritage House expanding, “Because they are a real asset to our community.” He said they wanted the Council to know there is a problem though, with storm water runoff, and that the addition might worsen the situation. Mayor Dave Jones said the City had been trying to deal with the Bull Creek issue over the years by installing detention basins and slowing down erosion.

Sturm said the storm water runoff is caught by a swale and directs it to 13th and 11th Streets, and Brookridge Circle, all of which are dead ends, down Roosevelt and into Bull Creek. Hardisty said they’ve analyzed the 11th Street drainage basin, and there are 24 acres that contribute water flow, not just the 13 acres occupied by the Heritage House. Single-family housing upstream he said, also contributes to runoff in the area.

After hearing from residents in the area, the Atlantic City Council approved the Heritage House addition site plans with the contingencies that the existing drainage basin be enlarged and a second basin created.