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Woodbury County funding ruled conflict of interest

News

October 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Woodbury County’s attorney says it’s a conflict of interest for the county to give public money to an agency headed by the county board chairman. In a legal opinion released on Tuesday, county attorney P.J. Jennings said no more payments should be made to the Sanford Community Center. However, county finance director Dennis Butler says money paid over previous years need not be paid back to the county.

Sanford operates after-school and summer programs for at-risk youth and coordinates numerous outreach efforts. It is headed by Woodbury County Board Chairman George Boykin. Boykin says he will seek regulatory changes so the center can still receive money for its gang prevention program. He says that without the county’s funding, he’ll have to cut as many as five positions.

New bridge opens this afternoon joining Iowa & Nebraska

News

October 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A new bridge is opening today (Wednesday) connecting southwest Iowa and southeast Nebraska. Officials say completion of the project not only eases travel for motorists but will encourage economic development between the states for years to come. Scott Nixon, a construction engineer with the Iowa Department of Transportation, says it’s been a lengthy, expensive venture.

“The total project with Nebraska costs and Iowa costs combined is about $115-million,” Nixon says. “The bridge itself was 61-million.” Construction began in January of 2012 so it’s been just two months shy of three years to complete. The new route includes about seven miles of newly-constructed four-lane divided highway extending west of the U-S Highway 34 interchange with Interstate 29 near Glenwood, Iowa, to U-S Highway 75 between Plattsmouth and Bellevue, Nebraska. The Nebraska Department of Roads completed the work on its side last year. The new bridge over the Missouri River includes a 500-foot steel section that spans the waterway.

“Nebraska is paying for a portion of the bridge and Iowa is paying for a portion,” Nixon says. “It’s not a 50-50 split because there’s more bridge on the Iowa side than the Nebraska side.” The bridge sits on 17 concrete and steel piers. “It was a challenge working in the river,” Nixon says. “The contractor started working on the river in early ’12 and they were still working in late 2013. It was over a year to get the river piers up.” Estimates show the bridge will initially carry two-thousand vehicles a day, ramping up to 11-thousand vehicles a day in the years to come.

The bridge is expected to open around 3 P-M.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa ranks #2 behind Hawaii on list of best places to retire. No, really.

News

October 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Wanna-be retirees may dream of swaying palm trees and gentle ocean breezes but it turns out, they should be thinking about Iowa instead.

Hawaii ranks as the number-one destination for retirees, according to a study being released by Money-Rates-dot-com, but Iowa is second on the list. The investment website rates the states based on several criteria like crime rates, economy, weather and senior population growth. Iowa did well in all categories, especially the low crime rate.

Perceived retirement meccas like Florida and Arizona ranked fourth and sixth respectively behind Idaho at number-three and Vermont at fifth.

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) 8-a.m. News, Wed. 10/22/14

News, Podcasts

October 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Harlan man to receive award for discovering & preserving pioneer cemeteries

News

October 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The State Association for the Preservation of Iowa Cemeteries (SAPIC) will present a Harlan man with the annual Robert & Phyllis Carter Award this weekend. Ron Chamberlain will be honored for his leadership, continuous efforts, and historical discoveries in a group effort to restore pioneer cemeteries in western Iowa. The event takes place Sunday afternoon (Oct. 26) at the Shelby County Historical Society, beginning at 1:30pm.

Chamberlain says it’s nice to be recognized for his efforts, especially since the past 17 awards have gone to persons in eastern Iowa. He started WIPCA – the Western Iowa Pioneer Cemetery Association – back in 2010. Chamberlain says since then, they’ve found three graves in Shelby County alone, for veterans of the War of 1812 in old pioneer cemeteries.

The non-tax supported organization he founded is dedicated to locating and restoring early historical cemeteries and burial plots in Shelby, and adjoining counties. Chamberlain says they’d like to expand their work into Fremont, Mills and Page counties, as well, as interest in the organization continues to grow. He says they currently have 120 members. Chamberlain says wherever they work, locals come out and tell stories about old cemeteries they may have seen or heard about.

The group uses ground-penetrating radar to locate graves, which are sometimes unmarked in the ancient, long-forgotten cemeteries. One of their sites they will investigate next Spring is about two-miles east of Portsmouth. It’s called “Cologne Settlement” – named after Cologne, Germany. The site once held a church in the 1880’s, and likely a pioneer cemetery.

Chamberlain says they hope to spread interest in Iowa history to area schools. He says next Spring they want to travel to Harlan, Atlantic and elsewhere to teach the State’s history to 5th and 6th graders. Chamberlain used to teach history in the 1970’s, when Iowa was a mandatory part of the curriculum. He says its “Not right,” that it’s not part of the current curriculum.

As a winner of the Carter award, Chamberlain will receive $200 to help his group identify pioneer cemeteries The Carter Award is presented to an individual or group that has established outstanding achievements in the restoration, preservation and maintenance of pioneer cemeteries in the state of Iowa. Pioneer cemeteries, by Iowa law, are those cemeteries that have twelve or fewer burials within the past fifty years.

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. Area News & funeral report, 10/22/14

News, Podcasts

October 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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Creston man arrested on drug charges

News

October 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Creston man was arrested Tuesday evening on drug charges. Creston Police say 39-year old Jeremy Hiatt was arrested at McKinley Park on a Union County warrant for a Controlled Substance Violation, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Marijuana, charges. Hiatt was being held in the Union County Jail on $51,000 bond.

Fight in Red Oak results in 2 arrests

News

October 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A fight Tuesday afternoon in Red Oak resulted in the arrest of two men. Red Oak Police say 29-year-old Randon Daniel Phelps and 56-year-old Charles James Netherton, both of Red Oak, were cited for Breach of Peace and then released

The pair was taken into custody after Red Oak Police were called to the 100 block of E. Grimes Street following a reported fight in progress. By the time officers arrived on scene, the fight had broken up.

1 killed another injured in car-vs-semi accident near Grand Junction

News

October 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An accident late Tuesday morning in Central Iowa claimed the life of a woman and resulted in injuries to a man. The Iowa State Patrol reports 26-year old Shannon Poole, of Boone died when the 1984 Buick Delta 88 she was driving crashed into a 2014 Kenworth semi on U.S. Highway 30 east of Grand Junction, shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The Patrol says their preliminary investigation indicates the westbound car crossed the center line and hit the semi-truck in the eastbound lane. Officials are still determining why the car drifted across the center line.

Poole died in the crash, and a passenger in one of the vehicles, 23-year old Shane Swett, was taken to the Greene County Medical Center. Both were wearing their seat belts. The driver of the semi, 55-year old Kenneth Ricke, of Arcadia, was not injured.

The crash remained under investigation.

One week from Halloween, paranormal group meets in Omaha/Council Bluffs

News

October 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

They don’t like the term “ghostbusters,” but groups from Iowa and Nebraska who try to track down evidence of spirits floating among us will be taking part in an event in Omaha/Council Bluffs later this week. The gathering is the 4th Annual Paranormal Summit and it’s scheduled for Friday, one week before Halloween. Sara Gray, a member of the Omaha Paranormal Society, is organizing the event. “We are going to have several presentations by local paranormal investigation teams,” Gray says. “After that, we have a psychic medium who’s going to be speaking and we’re going to go around campus and do an investigation.”

The summit will be held on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, which some believe is a hotbed for ghostly appearances. “All of campus is said to be haunted but the one that’s really been focused on in the past few years has been the Arts and Science Building,” Gray says. “Directly outside of the building about 50 years ago, a girl was shot and killed and the murder is still unresolved. Her ghost is said to still haunt the Arts and Science Building so that’s the focused area.”

Several teams are operating in Iowa and Nebraska which use a host of modern technology to try and find the answers to age-old questions about the existence of ethereal beings. “They’re going to present their most astounding evidence that they have gotten in the past few years,” Gray says. “It should be really interesting. Some of them are using new equipment so they might show off a little bit of that.”

The summit is open to anyone and begins at 6 P-M Friday at the Milo Bail Student Center on the U-N-O campus. There is an admission charge.

(Radio Iowa)