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Gateway Inc. co-founder Mike Hammond dies at age 53

News

November 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Mike Hammond, who co-founded computer maker Gateway Inc. in a northwest Iowa farmhouse in 1985, has died at age 53. Korey Robinson, of the Meyer Brothers Funeral Home in Sioux City, Iowa, said Hammond died on Thursday.

Hammond started Gateway with brothers Ted and Norm Waitt, selling what became among most popular computers on the market. The firm grew quickly while shipping computers directly to consumers in boxes decorated with cow spots. Hammond helped manage the company’s operations in Iowa and South Dakota. After retiring from Gateway, he started Dakota Muscle to restore and repair classic cars.

Former Sioux City Mayor Jim Wharton worked with Hammond. Wharton told the Sioux City Journal that he thinks Hammond’s contributions were under appreciated at the company.

Warmer weather should depart on Winter Weather Awareness Day

News, Weather

November 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Forecasters say Iowa will have warmer-than-normal high temperatures for the next several days, but a cool front should arrive on Thursday, which coincides with Winter Weather Awareness Day. Meteorologist Rod Donavon, at the National Weather Service, says the goal of the annual event is to help Iowans prepare for the season ahead. “We’ll be discussing the hazards of winter weather as well as safety precautions and what to expect this winter season,” Donavon says. “In addition, we’ll be having a question and answer period on Thursday evening, so if folks are around, certainly tune in to that.”

Iowans can participate by visiting the Des Moines National Weather Service Facebook or Twitter pages between 6 and 7 P-M. Donavon says several sources are predicting Iowa could see a warmer-than-normal winter ahead, though he admits, it’s very difficult to predict the precipitation for the season. “If you just look strictly at El Nino, certainly, the chances are greater than normal for us to have at least a warmer-than-normal winter,” he says. “Precipitation and snow chances are much more tricky and we have what are called equal chances for average precipitation.”

Learn more about Winter Weather Awareness Day at www.weather.gov/dmx.

(Radio Iowa)

Recent college grads: Student loan payments coming due

News

November 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

After walking across the stage in May, college graduates of the Class of 2015 have conquered many firsts – securing a college degree, landing a first job and finding affordable housing to name a few. Making their first student loan payments will soon be a new first for May grads to add to that list. November marks the end of student loan grace periods for borrowers who graduated this past spring and their Federal Direct Student Loans will soon enter repayment. The Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid) offers the following advice to help borrowers manage their student loan payments and avoid default.

1. Know what you owe, and contact your servicers. One mistake graduates make is not staying in contact with their loan servicers and providing current contact information. Borrowers should contact their loan servicers prior to repayment so they know what to expect.

2. Choose a repayment plan that fits your budget. Programs such as “Pay As You Earn” and other income-driven repayment plans base monthly payments on a borrower’s income. But borrowers need to discuss options with their loan servicers. They won’t automatically be set up on an income-driven plan.

3. Look into forgiveness options. Debt can also be eliminated through federal and state student loan forgiveness programs for those working in fields such as nursing, public service, teaching and other high-need career fields.

4. Be strategic when paying off loans. There is no penalty to paying off student loans early. Even a few extra dollars per month can save borrowers a significant amount of money over the life of the loan.

One thing borrowers should not do is ignore their loans. Karen Misjak, Iowa College Aid Executive Director, says “Defaulting on student loans hurts borrowers in the short- and long-term. Default immediately impacts credit history, but can also increase the amount due on the original loan because of late fees, additional interest, court costs, collection fees and other costs associated with the collection process.”

Recent numbers from the U.S. Department of Education showed that, nationally, student loan default rates (meaning that a loan payment has not been made for 270 days) dropped to 11.8 percent from 13.7 percent in the most recent year’s numbers, equating to some 600,000 borrowers defaulting on their student loans within the first three years of graduation. Iowa has seen an even greater decline in default rates, dropping to 13.1 percent from 17.3 percent in the same time period.

For information about types of student loans, repayment plans and tips on managing debt, visit www.IowaCollegeAid.gov or contact Iowa College Aid at 877-272-4456.

Vehicle hits calf in Union County

News

November 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An Afton man was injured Sunday evening when the vehicle he was driving struck a calf on the road. The Union County Sheriff’s Office says 44-year old Michael Anthony Hudson was traveling south on Quail Avenue at around 4:10-p.m., when a calf owned by Justin Staver, of Afton, came out of the west ditch. Hudson was unable to avoid the collision. He was transported to the Greater Regional Medical Center in Creston, for treatment of undisclosed injuries.

Hudson’s vehicles was totaled in the collision.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 11/2/2015

News, Podcasts

November 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Guthrie Co. Sheriff’s Office warns about IRS phone scam

News

November 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Guthrie Co Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be aware of scam phone calls. The calls are from people impersonating the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and juvenile court services and wanting money and personal information. The Sheriff’s office reminds residents to never give out personal information over the phone to somebody you don’t know.

Judge upholds conviction of Sac County mother who killed neighbor

News

November 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

EARLY, Iowa (AP) – A judge has upheld the murder conviction of an Iowa mother who shot and killed her 20-year-old neighbor in 2001. Judge Michael Moon rejected an application for post-conviction relief filed by Tracey Richter, who’s serving life in prison in the slaying of 20-year-old Dustin Wehde.

Prosecutors contend Richter lured Wehde into her home in the tiny northwest Iowa town of Early, and shot him several times in her bedroom. They say she killed Wehde as part of a plot to frame her ex-husband during a custody battle.

Richter contends she acted in self-defense during a home invasion. She argued her 2011 conviction was tainted by errors at the trial by her defense lawyer, the prosecutor and the judge. Moon rejected all of those arguments in a 30-page ruling last month.

Weekend Pottawattamie County motorcycle accidents

News

November 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Pottawattamie County report four people were hurt in separate motorcycle accidents, Sunday. The Omaha World-Herald says the crashes occurred near Walnut, Underwood and Crescent. None involved another vehicle. Sunday afternoon near Walnut, the male driver of a motorcycle took an S-curve too fast near 510th Street and Sumac. The cycle rolled into a ditch. The driver and his passenger, who were not wearing helmets, suffered head injuries and were transported by ambulance to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic, before being flown by helicopter to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening at the time of the accident.

Another motorcycle crash occurred between Council Bluffs and Underwood when a driver lost control of his motorcycle for an unknown reason. The man landed in a marshy ditch near the intersection of Railroad Highway and L34. He was conscious and alert when LifeNet flew him to an Omaha hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. The man was wearing a helmet.

The third crash happened near 205th Street and Badger Avenue, outside of Crescent. Authorities were unsure whether the driver was taken to the hospital but said he had injuries not considered life-threatening at the time of the accident.

Creston Police Report, 11/2/15

News

November 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston report two OWI related arrests. 30-year old Samantha Whitfield, of Creston, was arrested Friday for OWI/1st offense. And, 21-year old Zachary Koch, of Creston, was arrested Sunday, also for OWI/1st offense. Both were later released from the Union County Jail on $1,000 bond, each.

And, Creston Specialty Care reported to police Friday morning, that a client had her wallet taken from her room. The family was advised to cancel any credit cards. The loss was estimated at $50.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 11/02/2015

News, Podcasts

November 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

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

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