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3 people arrested in Denison following burglary investigation

News

February 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office says three people were arrested Wednesday, following an investigation into a rural Crawford County residential burglary. The victim said two shotguns and several power tools were taken from their residence.  The incident was investigated and information was obtained that resulted in the execution of a search warrant being executed at 201 Chamberlin Drive, Lot 11, in Denison.

Sheriff’s Deputies, assisted by Denison Police, recovered both shotguns and the power tools. Taken into custody as a result of the search warrant, was 22-year old Jose Rafael Rivera-Zarazoga, and 21-year old Moises Alexander Carrera, both of Denison. Rivera-Zarazoga was faces felony charges of Burglary in the 3rd Degree and Theft in the 2nd Degree. Carerra faces felony charges Burglary in the 3rd Degree and Theft in the 2nd Degree.

Also arrested was Karen Yamilet Melara, who happened to be at the residence when the search warrant was executed. Melara was wanted on a Crawford County Warrant, and was allegedly found to be in possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Home invasion reported in Council Bluffs Friday morning

News

February 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officers with the Council Bluffs Police Department responded this (Friday) morning to a reported home invasion. Authorities say Officers were called at around 7:15-a.m. to 1727 Avenue F, with regard to a home invasion robbery involving armed subjects that were still in the residence. Upon their arrival, it was determined that all of the occupants of the residence were outside and uninjured. Bluffs Badge

Roosevelt Elementary School was contacted and advised of the situation as a precautionary measure for any students arriving early for class. After establishing a perimeter it was determined that there was no forced entry to the residence as reported by the victims. Officers then made entry and cleared the house. No one was located inside the residence and it was determined that nothing from the residence was stolen or damaged.

The residence was turned back over to the homeowners and the school and the neighborhood returned to normal activities.

Blast of cold air and snow in weekend forecast

News, Weather

February 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A blast of Arctic air and additional chances for snow are in Iowa’s weekend weather forecast. National Weather Service meteorologist Rod Donovan says a cold front is descending on the state today. “That will lead to a very cold night. Right now, we’re expecting temperatures of 10-to-15 below zero across much of northern Iowa overnight tonight,” Donovan said.

A wind chill advisory is posted for much of Iowa’s northern half tonight into tomorrow (Saturday), covering the cities of Storm Lake, Fort Dodge, Mason City, Ames, Marshalltown, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, and Dubuque. “The coldest wind chill readings for the overnight will be 30-below zero across northern Iowa,” Donovan said.

The southern half of Iowa can expect actual temperatures overnight in the single digits below zero, with wind chill readings of 10-to-20 below. Another system will bring chances for snow late Saturday night and into the day on Sunday. “Right now, the heaviest snowfall amounts look to be over the northeast half of the state with snowfall amounts in the 3 to 6 inch range,” Donovan said.

Lighter accumulations of around an inch or two are expected across the southwest half of Iowa. A warming trend is in store for the state by Monday and Tuesday. “We’ll have highs in the 30s and 40s,” Donovan said. “There will be a brief cool down on Wednesday and then it’ll be much warmer toward the end of next week…with highs maybe reaching the 50s by Friday.”

(Radio Iowa)

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 2/12/2016

News, Podcasts

February 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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

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(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & funeral report, 2/12/2016

News, Podcasts

February 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

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

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Potholes doing damage to vehicles across Iowa

News

February 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Our cars are taking a beating as this winter’s freeze-thaw cycle is leading to deep potholes on virtually all of Iowa’s roads. A spokeswoman for the state’s largest auto insurer says smacking a pothole just right may do a lot more than rattle your teeth, as it can translate to an expensive repair bill. Ann Avery, at State Farm, offers a few tips for avoiding the bumps in the road.

“Try to take roads you know well because your familiarity may help you avoid the potholes and see them coming,” Avery says. “When driving at night, travel on well-lit roads, if you have the option, as it helps you see the surface so you’ll be able to see the pothole before you get to it.” It’s also an advantage to slow down and give yourself a chance to spot the pothole and avoid it before you’re in it.

“If you’re approaching a pothole and you can’t avoid it safely, do your braking before impact. There’s likely to be less damage when the tire is rolling rather than skidding over the hole,” Avery says. “If you do hit a pothole, take a good look at your tires and your wheels. If they have any damage, if the car is handling differently, if it’s ‘pulling’ one way or another, it might be time to get your car checked by a professional.” A close encounter with a road crater can lead to wrecked tires, dented wheels and suspension trouble.

“If you do have damage from a pothole, that can cost anywhere from $300 to 700 on average,” she says. Potholes can be a bigger hazard for motorcyclists. She recommends riders try to go around the chuckholes and to do so safely, you must be able to spot them from a distance. Slow down before reaching the obstacle and make sure you have enough room before changing direction.

(Radio Iowa)

Woman pleads not guilty in Council Bluffs store theft scheme

News

February 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – An April trial has been scheduled for a Council Bluffs woman accused of conspiring to steal from a Wal-Mart store. Jeri Atilano pleaded not guilty Tuesday to theft, conspiracy and ongoing criminal conduct. Her trial is set to begin April 5th. Prosecutors say Atilano worked with a Wal-Mart cashier, Keisha Kephart, in buying items that Kephart would mark down for Atilano. Kephart also would take coupons that were for other items. The bogus transactions cost Wal-Mart more than $4,000.

The Daily Nonpareil reports that Kephart pleaded guilty Monday after making a deal with prosecutors that includes her agreement to testify against Atilano. Kephart was sentenced to two years of probation.

Felony arrest warrant issued for Eswin Mejia

News

February 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA – A felony arrest warrant has been issued for a 19-year-old Omaha man accused in a motor vehicle homicide after he failed to show up for his twice-daily Breathalyzer tests. The Daily NonPareil reports the tests were part of the terms of Eswin Mejia’s release from custody. Mejia was charged Feb. 3rd with motor vehicle homicide and drunken driving in connection with the death of 21-year-old Sarah Root, of Council Bluffs.

Eswin Mejia

Eswin Mejia

Mejia was freed Friday after paying 10 percent of the $50,000 bond. The judge set bail on the condition that Mejia participate in a 24/7 sobriety program that requires him to appear twice a day for Breathalyzer testing. Mejia’s attorney said at a hearing that his client had lived in Omaha about three years and had many relatives in the area. The warrant was issued for Mejia on Tuesday.

Root, an Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln High School graduate, was driving a 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada east on L Street about 2:15 a.m. Jan. 31 when her vehicle was rear-ended by a pickup truck driven by Mejia. Root’s sport utility vehicle was stopped or slowing when it was rear-ended near 33rd and L Streets. Root died at the Nebraska Medical Center. Mejia, who doesn’t have a valid driver’s license, was treated at the medical center for a leg injury before he was booked into the Douglas County Jail.

Following a blood draw at the hospital, police said Mejia had a blood alcohol content of .241 percent, which is more than three times the legal driving limit. If convicted of felony motor vehicle homicide, Mejia faces up to 20 years in prison. Police said Thursday, the Metro Fugitive Task Force has been attempting to locate Mejia without success. Anyone who knows where he is should contact Omaha Crime Stoppers at (402) 444-STOP or at omahacrimestoppers.org.

An arrest warrant also was issued for Mejia in May 2015 for failure to appear for several traffic infractions, according to Douglas County Court records. He appeared in court a day after his arrest and pleaded guilty to driving while his license was suspended and failure to secure a child’s safety seat.

Iowa man gets 7 years in prison for impersonating officer

News

February 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City man accused of impersonating a police officer and enticing young girls and inappropriately touching them has been sentenced to seven years in prison. The Sioux City Journal reports that 31-year-old Joey Alberts pleaded guilty Wednesday to enticing away a minor, indecent contact with a child and three counts of impersonating a public official.

According to court documents, Alberts was arrested in March 2014 after authorities say he approached girls in 2012 and 2013, telling them he was a police officer. Alberts was accused of inappropriately touching two 13-year-old girls on separate occasions, and trying to lure a 12-year-old and 13-year-old girl into his car in separate incidents.

Alberts must register as a sex offender upon release from prison.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Feb. 12th 2016

News

February 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A U.S. magistrate from Sioux City has been approved to serve as a judge on one of Iowa’s federal courts. Senator Chuck Grassley announced Thursday that the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the nomination of Leonard Strand to serve as a U.S. district judge for the Northern District of Iowa.

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) — A southeast Iowa jury has awarded seven former nursing students of Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant $75,000 each after the nursing program lost national accreditation just prior to their graduation in the spring of 2013. The students filed a lawsuit with several allegations including breach of contract and negligence. A Henry County jury returned the verdict on Wednesday.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The owners of a private northeast Iowa zoo must remove their tigers and lemurs after a federal judge ruled that they failed to provide appropriate living conditions for the endangered animals. In a ruling issued Thursday, Chief Magistrate Judge Jon Stuart ordered the owners of the roadside Cricket Hollow Zoo, near Manchester, to transfer the tigers and lemurs to U.S. Department of Agriculture-licensed facility within 90 days.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell scored 14 points and Troy Williams added 13 and Indiana rallied to upset Number 4 Iowa 85-78 on Thursday night after blowing a big lead. Jarrod Uthoff led the Hawkeyes with 24 points, and Mike Gesell had 17. Iowa lost for the first time in four games.