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New report says Iowa pension fund in good shape

News

December 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A new report says Iowa’s public pension system remains in strong fiscal health. The analysis from the Iowa Policy Project was released Thursday. The report says the funds serving over 340,000 current, former and retired public sector workers in Iowa are in good financial shape. Plan participants include state and local government workers.

According to the liberal think tank’s report, the system took a financial hit over the past decade due to stock market losses. But the state has made some benefit rule changes in recent years, including giving the pension system more power to adjust contribution rates.

The latest actuarial review of the pension system shows that the state has 81 percent of the assets needed to pay projected benefits. That means they are currently short about $5.8 billion.

USDA Designates 44 Counties in Iowa as Primary Natural Disaster Areas with Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers in Adjacent States

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Department of Agriculture has designated 44 counties in Iowa as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought. Among the counties included in the designation in the KJAN listening area is: Adair, Audubon, Crawford, Guthrie, Madison, Shelby, Sac, Carroll, Union and Dallas.  Farmers in contiguous counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance, including those in Adams, Cass, Harrison, Pottawattamie, Monona, Ringgold, and Taylor Counties.

Qualified farmers and ranchers in all counties designated as natural disaster areas are eligible for low interest Emergency Loans from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met. Those individuals have eight-months from Dec. 11th, 2013 to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.

Additional information is available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov., or at your local USDA Service Center.

Injury accident east of Adair Thursday morning

News

December 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol reports two people suffered minor injuries during a collision this (Thursday) morning, about two-miles east of Adair. Officials say an unidentified male minor was driving a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am eastbound on Whitepole Road and attempting to turn north onto Indigo Avenue. A westbound 2001 GMC SUV driven by 28-year old Kelli Sue Prescott, of Yale, was traveling west on White Pole Road when the car turned in front of the SUV.

The driver of the Grand Am was not wearing his seat belt. Officials say the boy and Prescott, who was wearing her seat belt, were transported by Stuart and Adair Rescue to the Guthrie County Hospital following the crash, which occurred at around 8:40-a.m.

The driver of the Pontiac was cited for Failure to Yield upon making a left turn.

(Update) eastern IA man escapes injury during Thu. morning crash on I-80 in Cass Co.

News

December 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

In an update to our story this (Thursday) morning, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office says a north east Iowa man escaped injury after he crashed the semi he was driving on Interstate 80 near the Marne interchange. Officials say Cass County deputies responded to a report of a single-vehicle accident on I-80, just after 4-a.m.

The 2007 semi driven by 48-year old Robert Alan Patterson, of Aplington, was eastbound on I-80 when Patterson fell asleep at the wheel. The semi drifted to the right and struck a guardrail and passing beneath the overpass.

Damage to the vehicle is estimated at $7,500. Damage to the guardrail is estimated at $1000. Patterson was cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

 

 

(Update) Bluffs man dies in crash on I-29

News

December 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs have released the identity of a man who died following a rollover accident Wednesday evening on Interstate 29. Officials say 41-year old Michael Bachmann,  of Council Bluffs, died at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, following the crash on I-29 at around 4:45-p.m., Wednesday. Bachmann was partially ejected from the vehicle as it rolled.

The crash happened at about the 55-mile marker, located between the North 35th and North 25th Street exits. Authorities suspect speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Northbound traffic on I-29 was blocked at North 35th Street. All lanes were open again by 7:20 p.m.

8AM Newscast 12-12-2013

News, Podcasts

December 12th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Mega Millions climbs to its 2nd highest jackpot for Friday drawing

News

December 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Friday night’s drawing for the Mega Millions lottery game will be for an estimated $400 million. Mary Neubauer, spokesperson for the Iowa Lottery, says “It’s the second largest jackpot in the history of the Mega Millions game and it’s number five on the list of the world’s largest jackpots.” There was no jackpot winner in Tuesday’s drawing, meaning a winner tomorrow (Friday) could choose a $400 million annuity or a cash option of just over $216 million. A Mega Millions jackpot hasn’t been won since October 1st.

The game is offered in 43 states. A lot of Iowans will be buying tickets for the drawing, which falls on a Friday the 13th, which some might associate with bad luck. “We’re choosing to think of this Friday as ‘lucky Friday the 13th,'” Neubauer says. She also notes that big lottery jackpots have become somewhat of a tradition around the holidays.  “This is the fourth year in row where there has been a big jackpot at holiday time. Obviously, we’re not planning that out, that’s just how it’s happened,” Neubauer says. “It’s just interesting that on top of the holiday rush, we’re adding the jackpot mania in there too.”

Although there wasn’t a single ticket matching all five numbers in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing, more than 37-thousand (37,000) tickets purchase in Iowa won prizes. “Those ranged from just $1 for matching the Mega Ball by itself — up to $5,000 with those folks matched four of the first five numbers,” Neubauer said.

Ticket sales for Friday’s drawing end at 8:59 p.m. that day.

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. Area News/Funeral Announcements, 12/12/13

News, Podcasts

December 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

ISU survey shows 5.1 pct hike in farmland values

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The 2013 Iowa Land Value Survey says farmland values rose 5.1 percent from last year, setting another record.  The Des Moines Register says the new survey shows farmland values rose to more than $8.700 an acre. It was the fourth year in a row that farmland values rose in the Iowa State University survey of nearly 500 real estate experts. Last year’s figure was nearly $8,300 an acre.

Despite the new high, some of the experts say values may be eroding. Land demand could slow because Iowa farmers are concerned about lower commodity prices and a proposed rollback in the mandate for corn-based ethanol. There’s also uncertainty over interest rates and over the prospects for a new farm bill.

Governor fills post in Iowa’s 5th Judicial District

News

December 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The governor has filled a judgeship opening in Iowa’s 5th Judicial District. The office of Gov. Terry Branstad said Wednesday that he selected Jeffrey Farrell to become a district court judge. Counties in the 5th District are Adair, Adams, Clarke, Dallas, Decatur, Guthrie, Jasper, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Polk, Ringgold, Taylor, Union, Warren and Wayne.

Farrell is chief administrative law judge at the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. He received his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law. Farrell fills the vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Christopher McDonald to the Iowa Court of Appeals.