KJAN News

KJAN News can be heard:
Monday – Saturday at 6:30 am, 7:05 pm, 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 12:20 pm, 12:40 pm, 3:05 pm & 5:05 pm

Keep up-to-date with Fox News Radio, Radio Iowa,  Brownfield & the Iowa Agribusiness Networks!
Check our Program Schedule Page for times!

Gas prices in Iowa rose during July, now August is a toss-up

News

August 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Gasoline prices in Iowa rose an average of 15-cents a gallon during July and one industry analyst says it’s a toss-up for what may happen to pump prices in August. Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says an increase in demand usually means a spike in prices and August is a busy month for travel.  “There are a lot of people doing their last-minute summer vacations, packing up the kids and the dogs and heading out to national parks,” Weinholzer says. “Demand is usually quite high in August which doesn’t cause us any problems, so long as there are no refinery issues or hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico that cause any disruption.”

Weinholzer says the weather in the Southern U-S can be a big factor in gas price fluctuations in the Midwest and nationwide. “We’ve seen how destructive hurricanes can be in the Gulf of Mexico, affecting oil rigs and refineries,” Weinholzer says. “We want to keep one eye on the Gulf as we travel this last part of the summer in August to make sure there aren’t any constricted supplies due to any late-summer hurricanes.”

Last summer, gasoline prices in Iowa were about 12-cents a gallon cheaper than now. As to where the prices will go in the month ahead, Weinholzer says it’s hard to predict. “It is very difficult because it’s so much determined by the weather,” Weinholzer says. “We saw with Hurricane Katrina and the devastation it had eight years ago so it’s very important the oil refineries, rigs and platforms in the Gulf not be disrupted during this heavy demand season.”

The  current average for a gallon of unleaded gas in Iowa is three-59. That’s four cents below the national average.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Aug. 2nd 2013

News

August 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (AP) — Police say a 29-year-old man has died after falling from a water tower in Mount Vernon. Police say Winfred Davis of Clinton died when he fell just before 2 p.m. yesterday. He was working on the eastern Iowa town’s water tower on First Street. Davis was employed by Arndt Enterprises Incorporated of DeWitte. The company handles industrial coatings of water towers.

BLAKESBURG, Iowa (AP) — Police say three teenagers have been charged with placing explosives in the Blakesburg Public Library’s book drop. The Ottumwa Courier reports police charged one 17-year-old and two 16-year-olds with reckless use of fire or explosives. The charge is a serious misdemeanor. Chief Deputy Don Phillips says police filed the charges after getting a citizen tip about the explosion, which was reported on July 24th.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa tax preparer has been sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to filing a fraudulent tax return earlier this year. The U.S. attorney’s office says U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade yesterday sentenced 52-year-old Keith Rath of Shellsburg to 21 months in prison.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Agriculture says the emerald ash borer has been found in a tree in the southeast Iowa city of Fairfield, making it the third spot where the destructive beetle has been found in the state. The Agriculture Department announced yesterday the bug was found in a residential tree in the Jefferson County city.

Historic Hotel Pattee in Perry abruptly closes

News

August 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

PERRY, Iowa (AP) — The historic Hotel Pattee in Perry has abruptly closed, but city officials hope it will reopen soon. Perry City Administrator Butch Niebuhr told The Des Moines Register the plush 40-room boutique hotel closed after Raccoon Valley Bank took possession. The bank held the loan on the property. Niebuhr says an interim hotel management company will likely operate the 100-year-old hotel until a buyer is found.

Howard and Roberta Ahmanson gave the hotel a $10 million restoration before reopening it in 1997, but it lost money and closed in 2006. Hotel Pattee LLC bought the hotel in 2008 for $1.5 million. The city and Perry Economic Development Group also agreed to pay the company $150,000 annually for five years. Niebuhr says the subsidy ended June 30.

I-80 Challenge concludes across the nation: 0 fatalities in IA

News

August 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Dept. of Public Safety said Thursday, that 11 State Police/Highway Patrol Agencies concluded the eight day effort to eliminate fatalities across the nation along the 2900 miles of Interstate 80 at midnight on July 31st.I-80Challenge_LogoSmall  The Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau has received information indicating two fatalities occurred during the eight day enforcement and education program.  These fatalities occurred in Nebraska and Ohio.  Officials say fortunately, Iowa did not experience a fatal collision during the I-80 Challenge.

Motorists surveyed in Iowa reported a noticeable increase in the law enforcement presence along I-80 and complimented the use of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s dynamic messages boards to stress safety.
Over the next several days, the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau will receive data from each of the participating agencies, covering more than a dozen categories.  Once the data is collected, a comprehensive report will be released, both to the public and to the state/federal partner agencies.

The report will include detailed information concerning the number/type of collisions, enforcement outcomes, criminal activity, and commercial vehicle involvement.

SWIMHC to expand school-based mental health services

News

August 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Southwest Iowa Mental Health Center (SWIMHC) in Atlantic announced today (Thursday), Lila Stephens a provisionally Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), has been hired to provide services. Karen Gard, LMHC, will continue to provide services to the CAM school district. Other therapists/counselors will be utilized depending on the demand for services. SWIMHC has been providing school-based mental health services for a number of years to the CAM and Atlantic school districts. This past spring an opportunity to expand services to other area school districts was identified. Superintendents of Griswold, Audubon and Exira/EHK school districts were contacted ad agreed to participate.

School-based mental health services are very similar to the outpatient mental health services provided at SWIMHC’s main office. A therapist or counselor is assigned to the school district and will spend time on campus providing therapeutic services to children. Officials say a significant benefit, is that children who would typically miss more than an hour of the school day to attend a session at the main office will now miss less than an hour but receive the same service. Additionally, parents will not have to miss work to retrieve their child from school and take them to the main office. For parents of children in school districts outside of Atlantic, this could mean not missing two to three hours of work as well as saving in transportation costs.

Parents are interested in having their child participate are encouraged to contact SWIMHC at 712-243-2606 or 800-458-4403 to begin the enrollment process.

Update: I-80/Adair County drug bust: 3 Maryland Men Charged

News

August 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said Thursday (Today), three men from Maryland have been charged in connection with the discovery Wednesday afternoon, of marijuana in a vehicle, following a traffic stop on Interstate 80 in Adair County. Officials say a State Trooper discovered more than 50 pounds of marijuana after he pulled over a vehicle for a traffic violation,  just after 12-p.m., Wednesday.

After approaching the vehicle to address the traffic violation, the State Trooper smelled the odor of marijuana and asked the driver if he had marijuana in the vehicle.  The driver, 22-year old John Fell, from Quincy, MD, admitted to possessing marijuana. The Trooper discovered more than 50 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle.  The subsequent investigation resulted in the arrest of Fell on charges that include Possession of Marijuana with intent to Deliver, Failure to affix Drug Tax Stamp and Prohibited Acts.  His passengers, 22-year old Kevin Ciardi, and 23-year old Adam Salhaney, both of Weymouth, MD, were charged with Conspiracy to commit a felony by delivering more than 50 pounds of marijuana.

State Troopers continue to participate in the investigation with the assistance of the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.

IA Board of education votes against changes on school start date

News

August 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The State Board of Education voted 5-2 today (Thursday) against moving forward with a change in rules that would have made it tougher for schools to get a state waiver to start school in August. The vote was preceded by comments from representatives of the tourism industry who favor the change, and educators, who have been against it. Daniel Smith, director of the School Adminstrators of Iowa, said the state should keep the current approach as it is a matter of local control over the issue.

“It also appears that the proposed rule change does not take into consideration the negative or potential negative impact on the coordination of calendars between school districts, community colleges, universities and the many student activities that routinely begin in early August,” Smith said. “At a time when there is a renewed commitment to excellence in Iowa schools, it is important that local schools have the flexibility in their calendars to promote student achievement.” David Cunningham of Norwalk spoke to the board as a parent, and agreed individual districts should make the decision.

“The educational excellence of our schools should be left up to those who we as communities hire and entrust with the purpose of educating our children. Not with the tourism business and the tourism lobbyists of the state of Iowa, Cunningham said. Iowa State Fair lobbyist, Brian Johnson sat down with a law book and made his argument. “We wouldn’t be here if it hurt education, and I would be happy to sit down at anybody, anytime, anywhere and talk about studies — hard facts that show that. We just heard that this ought to be left up to local representatives and those that are elected. It is, it is in 270-point-10 of this code book. And it’s existing law,” Johnson said.

The new rules would’ve required schools to show why they needed to start early. Johnson said that’s the problem with what’s happening now, waivers are granted by the Department of Education director without an explanation from school districts. “There is no process now. We talk about the processes working, there’s never been a process. We don’t know who, why. what, where, why, the decision was made not to follow state law,” Johnson said. “We respectfully ask you to follow the state law and the rules that exists in the state of Iowa.” Board of Education member, Charles Edwards, said he was upset the board had been placed in a position to choose tourism over education. He said he believed education should take priority.

“As much as I respect those folks who have spoken on tourism and the impact of tourism in Iowa –and certainly understand and respect what they are saying — and don’t want that to be an outcome of this. But I think we have to look at what’s in the best interest of Iowa students,” Edwards said. Board member Mike May is a retired teacher who now runs a resort. He defended the tourism industry.

“Tourism people are good people, they don’t want to ruin education, they don’t want to hurt kids as is being suggested. They don’t put money before kids, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact the truth is, I think the better part of their education in many cases is achieved through that summer job that they have,” May said. He said he knows from personal experience as he hires 25 kids to work for him every summer. May also said he sees the impact on his resort as the bookings drop off in mid-August now that many school districts are starting school earlier. May and LaMetta Wynn were the only two board members to vote to move forward in the rule process.

Mike Cormack with the Iowa Department of Education said the rule came after much discussion and he thought it presented a fair compromise for both sides. He said after the vote he was disappointed that it will not move forward. “There’s legitimate arguments for both sides of this. We believed that for all of Iowa it would have been a benefit to go forward with these and we would have heard more in the public hearing process. But, that’s the way it is, sometimes you win in this process and sometimes you don’t,” Cormack said. He says today’s vote doesn’t put the issue to rest. “The one thing that I can assure you, is this issue is not going away,” Cormack said. “This issue is going to come back again and again until it is ultimately decided by the legislature or ultimately decided by the courts.”

If the rule had been approved today, it would have moved forward to a public hearing on September 10th. The new rule would have required schools to demonstrate an academic need or hardship before they could get a waiver to start school earlier.

(Radio Iowa)

OH man injured during cycle crash in Adair County, Thursday

News

August 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An accident involving a motorcycle and a semi on Interstate 80 in Adair County, resulted in an Ohio man being sent to the hospital late this (Thursday) morning. The Iowa State Patrol says 60-year old John L. Harris, of Springfield, OH, was riding his 2012 motorcycle east on I-80 about a mile west of the Casey exit at around 11:10-a.m.

As he was in  the left lane passing a non-contact orange-colored semi, the semi moved into the side of the cycle. When he attempted to avoid a collision, the cycle entered the median and went out of control and came to rest on its side in the median. Harris was transported to the Guthrie County Hospital by Adair Rescue.

The patrol says the semi failed to stop and continued eastbound on I-80.

Atlantic Chamber welcomes new business

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors welcome new business Renew Ag Supply to 811 Sunnyside Lane in Atlantic. Owner and manager Peggy Beschorner hosted the group and shared her story of 30 plus years in the ag supply industry serving the Atlantic Area.

Pictured are: Lana Westphalen, Carole Schuler, Jolene Roecker, Nedra Perry, Deb Leistad, Sue Muri, Peggy Beschorner, Arlene Drennan, Bil Saluk, Dolly Bergmann & Tessa, Pat McCurdy, Connie Wailes, Donnie Drennan, Gerald Brink, Russell Joyce, Jim Kickland, Chip Hansen, Kathie Hockenberry, Rich Perry, Karl Aldag, JoAnn Runyan, Tammy Waters, Melanie Petty, Diane Harris, Lucas Mosier, Keith Leonard, Josh Dvorak, and Sara Nelson.

Pictured are: Lana Westphalen, Carole Schuler, Jolene Roecker, Nedra Perry, Deb Leistad, Sue Muri, Peggy Beschorner, Arlene Drennan, Bil Saluk, Dolly Bergmann & Tessa, Pat McCurdy, Connie Wailes, Donnie Drennan, Gerald Brink, Russell Joyce, Jim Kickland, Chip Hansen, Kathie Hockenberry, Rich Perry, Karl Aldag, JoAnn Runyan, Tammy Waters, Melanie Petty, Diane Harris, Lucas Mosier, Keith Leonard, Josh Dvorak, and Sara Nelson.

Renew Ag Supply offers products for large animals including antibiotics, vaccinations and many other products necessary for farming operations. Beschorner said they hope to expand and fill their new space as the business grows.

Page Co. man arrested on assault charge

News

August 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest this (Thursday) morning, of a Page County man on a warrant for Simple Assault. 34-year old Jeremiah Joseph Hicks, of College Springs, was taken into custody at around 9:45-a.m. on the warrant issued out of Union County. Hicks was being held for Union County authorities, on $300 bond.