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(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 12/27/2014

News, Podcasts

December 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.

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(Podcast) 7-a.m. KJAN News, 12/27/14

News, Podcasts

December 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

Play

Assault arrest in Red Oak

News

December 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested a man Friday evening on an assault charge. Officials say 45-year old Lynn Kenneth Houtchens, of Red Oak, was taken into custody at around 5:20-p.m. at a location on Market Street, and charged with Domestic Assault. Houtchens was being held in the Montgomery County Jail without bond while awaiting his trial.

More info. released on C.Bluffs officers-involved shooting

News

December 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Council Bluffs Police Department has released the names of the Council Bluffs police officers involved in a Tuesday shooting. Sgt. Chad Meyers says Officers Jarrod Poore, a 13 -year veteran on the force, and Corey Woodward, who has been with the department for 14-years,were on the scene in the 100 block of Park Avenue when 33-year-old Jesse Wilkinson allegedly accelerated a stolen vehicle toward the pair, prompting the shooting.

Meyers says that at around 12:40 p.m., Tuesday, the uniformed officers – in an unmarked vehicle – saw Wilkinson as he pulled a blue 2012 Chevrolet Corvette that has been reported as stolen into the driveway of an apartment complex at 127 Park Avenue. Poore and Woodward approached on foot from behind. As they neared, Wilkinson allegedly accelerated the vehicle in reverse toward police, striking and damaging their parked vehicle. Poore fired two shots at the Corvette as it backed up. One shot hit Wilkinson in the right thigh and the other in the left calf. The department cited policy in noting both are currently on administrative leave.

Wilkinson was able to flee the scene after being shot and eluded authorities after a brief high-speed chase. Around 1:15 p.m. law enforcement in Omaha found the Corvette in the 5900 block of North 35th Street, while the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force found Wilkinson nearby – at 5702 N. 35th St. – around 4 p.m. later in the day. Omaha Fire and Rescue personnel transported Wilkinson to the Nebraska Medical Center for treatment.

He was released on Thursday and is now in the custody of Douglas County (Neb.) Corrections, held on an unrelated federal warrant for being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to Douglas County officials and the Council Bluffs Police Department. Bluffs Police Sgt. Dave Dawson said charges related to the Tuesday incident are pending.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation continues to investigate the officer-involved shooting, while the police department investigates Wilkinson’s alleged crimes. The Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office is scheduled to make a decision on charges after the completion of the investigations.

ISU professor’s interrogation techniques being tested by military

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December 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The U.S. military is testing an Iowa State University psychology professor’s theories about which tactics work best when questioning terrorism suspects.  “We’re now in our fifth year and we’re actually doing a field validation study with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in which we’re actually training more than 100 of their investigators with the new science-based methods.” That’s Christian Meissner, an Iowa State University professor who’s been leading an international team of researchers on this topic. He says they’ve discovered the “scientific approach” yields better results.

“To understanding what factors might be important in eliciting cooperation and eliciting information from individuals who would be reticent to provide it,” Meissner says. “With my colleagues here in the US and the UK and Europe and Southeast Aside and even the Middle East, we’ve conducted studies to understand the psychological and contextual factors that will determine whether people will provide information.” According to Meissner, the tactics that work best in these kind of interrogations are nothing like you see on T-V and the movies.

“Shows like Jack Bauer (in “24”) and movies like “Zero Dark 30″ — I think this do a disservice to the discourse around this topic,” Meissner says. Meissner’s research shows the locked, windowless room is the least effective setting for getting a terrorism suspect to reveal his or her secrets. Hostile or aggressive questioning isn’t effective either. “Who would you tell your deepest, darkest secret to?” Meissner asks.

“Somebody who came in the room, who you didn’t know, who demanded that you be truthful with them and told you the most embarrassing moments of your life or somebody who you got to know over time, developed a relationship with, had trust in and began to be willing to disclose that information?” Fruitful interrogations would “be very boring to watch,” according to Meissner.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Sat., Dec. 27th 2014

News

December 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Five people were treated and released from a Waterloo hospital after being stabbed in a fight early Friday. KWWL reports that police say a fight broke out outside of a convenience store. Police say the five who were stabbed took themselves to Allen Hospital and were let go later Friday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines plans to cut four jobs and adjust certain fees in an effort to erase a $405,000 projected deficit in the next fiscal year. The city will eliminate three vacant jobs and cut a fourth post according to a 2015 to 2016 budget plan presented at a town hall meeting last week. Dan Ritter, the city’s interim finance director, says the job cuts will save Des Moines just over $200,000. The Register reports the rest of the deficit will be shaved through increased fees for certain building permits and inspections and adjusted ambulance fees.

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) — The police chief in the northern Iowa town of Clear Lake has died from cancer. KIMT in Mason City reports that chief Rex McChesney died Friday morning, according to city administrator Scott Flory. McChesney was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer shortly after being appointed interim police chief in March. McChesney graduated from Clear Lake High in 1981.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad is scheduled to undergo outpatient treatment for a minor leg issue on Monday. Branstad will return to his regular schedule on January 6th.

Tips for lessening holiday stress

News

December 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Many Iowans may find the holidays to be the most stressful — rather than the most wonderful — time of the year. Des Moines psychologist Paul Ascheman says packed schedules can be both mentally and emotionally taxing. He recommends focusing on aspects of the holidays that are important to you.  “And it’s also OK to say ‘no’ to things. If you don’t want to go to an event, it is alright to decline an invitation or to say, ‘I have too many commitments,'” Ascheman say. “And if you show up to an event, and you find that it’s dysfunctional or you’re not being respected, then I think it’s OK to leave.” Holiday parties that include a lot of alcohol can also present a challenge for someone in recovery.

Ascheman says it might be helpful for a recovering alcoholic to alert the host prior to the party.  “Talking with the host may be a way to potentially change the event. Sometimes people will choose not to have alcohol at an event. Other times, people in recovery may feel OK with it being present, as long as they’re not being pushed to drink,” Ascheman says. Holiday gatherings are not a good time to stage an intervention or confront someone with drug or alcohol issues, according to Ascheman.

He recommends family members approach the person in a private setting when they are sober.

(Radio Iowa)

Time running out to make charitable contributions for 2014 tax year

News

December 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Time is running out to make charitable contributions that can be claimed on your 2014 tax returns. I-R-S spokesman, Bill Brunson, says you have to do so by midnight on December 31st. “And these can be either in cash or non-cash contributions to a qualified charity that the I-R-S recognizes,” Brunson says. “And to find out if that charity that you are going to gift to is recognized as an exempt organization by the I-R-S, folks can go to www.irs.gov, and use the select-check tool, by keying in the name of the organization, and the I-R-S will then tell you if it is currently recognized as an exempt organization or not.” Brunson says you have to have paperwork proving your donation.

“If you gift cash, you need to get a record for any amount. If you gift non-cash items, if the value of those items is in excess of 250 dollars, then you should get a written receipt also,” Brunson says. He says there are cases where you can keep track of non-cash items and still claim them. Brunson says if you were to drop off items at a charity after they have closed, you need to write down the items and that record will be acceptable to the I-R-S is it includes, the date, time and the items you are giving. Non-cash items such as clothing and household items must be in good used condition or better to be deductible. Brunson says donations paid by credit card or check can be deducted on your 2014 taxes even if the organization does not process them until 2015.

“You are able to claim it on your 2014 return, but once again, you have to take that action before midnight December 31st,” according to Brunson. There are also ways to put off paying taxes until a later date. “People have the ability to defer tax on monies that they earn by putting them in a qualified pension fund or an individual retirement arrangement,”Brunson says. “You must make your contributions to your qualified pension fund for it to be reflected on your 2014 statement.” The one important things to remember is you need proof of what you have done to go along with your return.

“Record keeping doesn’t cost the taxpayer anything, and it will save them money when it becomes tax time. Good records will make sure that you pay only the correct amount of tax, no more, no less. So, save your receipts, save your documents,” Brunson says. He says you can find answers or help with tax questions on the I-R-S website.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowan starts organ donor group

News

December 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A brush with death inspired an Iowa man to start a group dedicated to organ donor awareness and assistance. Doug Lehman was given less than two weeks to live back in 2012 because of kidney failure. But he received a kidney transplant at the University of Nebraska Medical Center after being on the waiting list for three and a half months.

Lehman says that while he in the hospital, he said he had a vision to help people. Lehman soon founded the non-profit, Sioux City-based Doug’s Donors. It gives support to patients who need a transplant, helps them get on transplant lists, transports them to medical appointments in Sioux Falls and Omaha and provides information to those interested in becoming a living donor.

State had over $26 BILLION “in custody” on June 30

News

December 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The state treasurer’s office handled more than 21-and-a-half BILLION dollars in receipts in the last state fiscal year. That 21-and-a-half BILLION dollars is a combination of taxes paid to the state, along with payments to Iowa from the federal government, to run programs like Medicaid. The state treasurer paid out 20-and-a-half BILLION of that to cover state government operations, including construction of new state buildings, plus new roads and bridges. State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says the state made six-and-a-half million electronic payments last year. That includes paychecks to state employees as well as payments for goods and services.

“We had, as of June 30, had $26 billion under custody which is of course IPERS and all the state funds and such,” Fitzgerald says. “And if you asked about that today, it’s up probably $3 billion or $4 billion from that, because IPERS has done so well.” IPERS is the acronym for the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System. Fitzgerald also manages the College Savings Iowa program, which has over four-point-two billion ($4.2 billion) in assets.

As for the other side of the ledger, the state has nine-hundred-20 million ($920 million) in outstanding debts. Those debts are in the form of bonds that are being off in yearly increments. Iowa is one of only nine states with the top “Triple A” bond rating from all three rating agencies. “We’re a very low debt state. Our pension funds aren’t perfect, but they’re solid,” Fitzgerald says. “We have a surplus. Reserve funds are full, so we’re in solid shape — if the farm economy will hold up.” Fitzgerald says dropping corn prices cause concern that farm income will drop significantly in the coming year and depress state tax collections.

(Radio Iowa)