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(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 2/26/2018

News, Podcasts

February 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

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

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Officials: Iowa flu death toll triple what it was last year

News

February 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Public Health Department says in its latest report that 157 Iowa residents have died of flu-related illnesses since Oct. 1 — the worst flu season since the swine flu outbreak in 2009. The department says that at this point last flu season, just 50 confirmed flu deaths had been reported in Iowa. A federal report released Friday says there are signs the national outbreak could be easing, but illness rates remain higher than normal.

Public health experts say a flu shot is still worth getting. Vaccinated patients can still come down with the flu, but their symptoms are likely to be briefer and less severe.
Symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. The illness typically lasts two to seven days.

Creston man arrested Sunday on drug charges

News

February 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Creston Police Department report 37-year old Mangus Richard Welch, of Creston, was arrested at around 5:30-p.m. Sunday, on drug charges. Welch was taken into custody at 800 W Taylor St on a Union County warrant with extra charges of Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Theft 5th. He is currently being held at Union County Jail on a $3600 cash or surety bond.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, Monday, Feb. 26th, 2018

News, Podcasts

February 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

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

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Man hospitalized after fire at eastern Iowa home

News

February 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

CASCADE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a man was hospitalized after a fire at his home in eastern Iowa’s Dubuque County. Firetrucks were dispatched a little before 12:30 a.m. Saturday to the house in Cascade. The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office says 30-year-old Anthony Arensdorf was taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and minor burns.

The fire cause is being investigated. Damage to the house was estimated at $50,000.

Prepping ‘stratotankers’ in Sioux City complicated by February’s wintry weather

News

February 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Snow and ice this February in Sioux City created extra duties for members of the 185th Air National Guard Refueling Wing. Crews must prepare the “stratotankers” for flight in all weather conditions. Chief Master Sergeant Mark Wankrum is the maintenance chief for aircraft at the base. “It’s Iowa. It’s winter. You’re going to have this,” he says. “Granted, this year we’ve had a lot more snow than in the past couple years, but you know we just all come out. We get together. We do it. We come up with a game plan.” A special solution is used for the “de-icing” process. “We heat that in the truck to 185 degrees and then we spray the aircraft with that,” he says. “That’ll help melt off any more ice that’s left behind or any snow that just won’t leave. Then, once it melts it off, we can just blow the big chunks off with the hot air.”

Photo from http://www.185arw.ang.af.mil/

But if there are still spots of ice or snow on the planes, crews have to manually brush it away. Icy runway conditions make that tricky work, according to Wankum. “Of course, you’ve got to allow more time,” Wankum says. “It takes a little longer to get around…just because of the slick conditions…You’ve got to be careful so we’re not letting everybody fall all over.”

Wankum’s crews spent part of last week preparing planes for missions in warmer climates.

(Radio Iowa)

Proposal would raise room and board at three state schools

News

February 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Regents heard proposals for increases in room and board rates at the three state schools during their meeting in Ames last week. Iowa State University is proposing a two-point-four percent increase. Residence Department director Peter Englin says record enrollment increases have leveled off, and they are also seeing outside competition for students. “We have seen some leveling of enrollment, we have seen some leveling of demand,” Englin says. “Students ultimately kind of vote with their feet and we are currently in our recontracting process and we are seeing some of the impact of off-campus offerings. They are very aggressive in their marking and communications.”  He says they are working to let students know what they have to offer. “We’re spending time with our students kind of learning how can we make sure they understand that we’re the place where they can be more successful. G-P-A’s for all four cohorts for students who live on campus are higher,” Englin says.

The residence and dinning program “Apart from three residence halls, the other 17 are at least 50 and 60 years old — some as old as 100 years old,” Englin says. He says the upgrades planned include new windows, L-E-D lighting, luxury vinyl plank flooring and then major renovation around restrooms.  The cost for a double-occupancy room at I-S-U would go from eight-thousand-517 dollars to eight-thousand-720 ($8,720). The executive director of the residence department at the University of Northern Iowa, Glenn Gray, says one-third of students live in university housing on the Cedar Falls campus. “This year that includes 92 percent of our new freshman and 87 percent of all freshman. Forty-five percent of our sophomores, 23 percent of our juniors, 16 percent of our seniors and five percent of our graduate students,” Gray says.

He is proposing the smallest increase in room and board rates of the three schools. He says the rates are proposed to increase from one percent to one-point-nine percent, or 167 dollars next year depending on the plan selected. The leader of the University of Iowa’s Housing program, Von Stange, is asking for a two-point-seven (2.7) percent increase. He says a smaller incoming class has had an impact on their operation. “Now the smaller first year class size combined with the opening of Elizabeth Cattlett Residence Hall — which we opened in the fall of ’17 — put us in a situation where we have had empty beds. We opened with empty beds for the first time in two decades,” Stange says. He says have more space meant they didn’t have to put students in temporary housing and were able to make other adjustments. “We were able to de-triple nearly every room in the residence hall system, and we were able to affect room change requests earlier than we ever have before,” Stange says. “And finally, we were able to provide single rooms to nearly every student who wanted them.”

Stange says they’ve worked to cut internal costs and to seek out new sources of revenue. “We’re marketing our meal plans to off-campus students. It’s the first time we’ve been able to do that because previously our dinning operations were at or over capacity, so we couldn’t really do that,” Stange explains. “We are also engaging our current students and encouraging them to live in the residence halls for longer than the first year.”

The average cost of a double-occupancy room at the U-I will go from 10-thousand-15 dollars to 10-thousand-284 dollars. The Board of Regents won’t vote on the approval of the proposals until they approve the overall budget. Student Regent, Rachael Johnson, asked that a report on the total cost of attending the schools that includes room and board along with tuition be presented to the board as part of the budget discussions.

(Radio Iowa)

Shenandoah woman arrested for Probation Violation

News

February 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Red Oak Police report a woman was arrested Sunday night on an active Page County warrant for Violation of Probation. 19-year old Cheyenne Joyce Blank, of Shenandoah, was arrested at around 7:40-p.m., in the 600 block of east Reed Street. She was transported to the Montgomery County Jail and held on a $1,000 bond. Blank was later transported to the Page County Jail and held on bond, pending further court proceedings.

Joyce Blank

Atlantic’s Matt Alexander picked to become OA-BCIG Superintendent

News

February 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic  Assistant High School Principal and Athletic Director Matt Alexander has reportedly been selected to become Superintendent of the Odebolt-Arthur/Battle Creek-Ida Grove (or, OA-BCIG) School District. A message on the OA-BCIG District’s web page says “The OABCIG Board is excited to announce a verbal acceptance from Matt Alexander to be the next Superintendent of the district.  The Board will be approving this contract formally on Tuesday, February 27th meeting at noon.”

Photo from Atlantic School District’s website

Alexander interviewed for the position Feb. 20th. If the verbal agreement is formalized in writing, Alexander would succeed newly re-organized OA-BCIG District, Superintendent Terry Kenealy, who is retiring from education. Other candidates who were interviewed last week and considered for the position include:

  • Adam Zellmer, director of teaching and learning at Webster City Community School District in Webster City.
  • Marshall Lewis, superintendent of Kimball Community School District in Kimball, Ne.
  • John Chalstrom, project coordinator for Alan Gray Associates from Sioux City.
  • David Gute, junior/senior high school principal at Riverside Community Schools in Oakland.

A total of 18 applications were received for the superintendent position. Alexander has declined to comment on the offer until after the OA-BCIG Board meets tomorrow (Tuesday) and finalizes the matter.

Matt Alexander has lived in Atlantic for 23-years, and has served in the Atlantic School District for 16-years. He started out as a Math and Social Studies Teacher became the Schuler Elementary Principal and ACSD Curriculum Director and was hired as the High School Assistant Principal and Activities Director in 2013.

Iowa early News Headlines: Monday, Feb. 26th 2018

News

February 26th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:35 a.m. CST

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Senate Republicans used a procedural maneuver last week to fast-track votes on a sweeping tax overhaul bill that national experts say could limit transparency and public engagement at the state Capitol. The legislation would reduce taxes by more than $1 billion annually, in part by cutting corporate and individual income taxes and eliminating some tax credits.

NEVADA, Iowa (AP) — Public safety officials are concerned about up to 500,000 bales of flammable stover that are stored across central Iowa and will be left over after a cellulosic ethanol plant is sold. The Des Moines Register reports that the newly merged DowDuPont is selling its $225 million cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, leaving many residents asking what will happen to the remaining stover. The plant’s corn cobs, husks and stalks are a fire liability for the city and county.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A 61-year-old Iowa grandfather has been sentenced to five years of probation for molesting his 6-year-old granddaughter. The Des Moines Register reports Dean Hilpipre was sentenced Friday for committing lascivious acts with a child.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — County supervisors in western Iowa have renewed a ban on guns in the courthouse after a dispute over allowing weapons in parts of the building where court services aren’t held. The Sioux City Journal reports that Woodbury County Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday against permitting guns in non-court controlled spaces of the courthouse. Supervisor Jeremy Taylor says it’s “impractical” to bring guns into portions of courthouse floors, while restricting them on others above and below.