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Creston man arrested on a warrant, Monday


January 19th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston, Monday, arrested a man wanted on a Union County warrant for Failure to serve his sentence on an original – Possession of Marijuana/1st offense – charge. 40-year old Justin Robertson, of Creston, was taken into custody at his residence and was being held in the Union County Jail until the remainder of his court-ordered time is served.

Griswold School Board votes to require (most) remote learners to return to school


January 19th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

The Griswold School Board, Monday night, voted to require Remote Learners to return to on-site (in-person) learning on or before Feb. 15th, with some exceptions. Superintendent Dave Henrichs tells KJAN News….

Dave Henrichs said the district has been fortunate to have had little impact from COVID-19. To-date, he said, there have been four elementary students, 11 middle school/high school students, and 11 staff, who have tested positive for COVID-19. ALL have recovered. In other business, the Board, following a public hearing (during which there were no comments), approved the 2021-22 School Calendar. Henrichs said it essentially mirrors the current calendar, with some exceptions.

The Griswold School Board also voted 7-0 NOT to terminate the contract of an employee, following a closed session.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 1/19/21

News, Podcasts

January 19th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

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


Bill Gates now biggest farmland owner in US

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 19th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The world’s third-richest man is now reportedly the biggest farmland owner in America and he’s also among the largest in Iowa. Billionaire Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, now holds claim on some 269-thousand acres of land across the country, including 242-thousand acres of farmland in 19 states. A story in The Land Report magazine says Gates owns more than 500 acres of farmland in Iowa, though most of his tracts are in Arkansas and Louisiana.

The most expensive purchase was reportedly of 14-thousand-500 acres in Washington state for almost 171-million dollars. Not a biggie for Gates though, as his net worth is pegged at 132-billion.

Fatal hit & run in Davenport


January 19th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – A deadly hit and run is under investigation in eastern Iowa. Davenport police say a pedestrian was hit by a vehicle shortly after 7 on Monday night. It appears the unidentified man was dragged for more than a half mile. His body was found by a passerby in the street and the vehicle was long gone.

It happened in the city’s Five Points area and based on the information from police, the vehicle would’ve passed Genesis Medical Center — where the man was later pronounced dead. Police are asking for witnesses to come forward.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning News & Funeral report, 1/19/21

News, Podcasts

January 19th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

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


Iowa COVID-19 update for 1/19/21: eight more deaths; 954 new cases


January 19th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s Coronavirus dashboard today (Tuesday, 10-a.m.), shows there are 954 new cases of COVID-19, for a total to-date of 306,233, and eight additional deaths, for a total of 4,332. The 14-day positivity rate is down from 12.9% Monday to 12% today. Hospitalizations are up from 483 yesterday to 490 today. There are 85 COVID patients in an ICU, 56 were admitted since 10-a.m. Monday, and 36 are on ventilators. In RMCC Region 4 (western/southwest Iowa hospitals), 37 are hospitalized with COVID symptoms, 12 are in an ICU, two people were admitted, and six are on a ventilator.

The IDPH says 1.426-million Iowans have been tested for the virus, and 268,882 have recovered. Officials say underlying causes account for 3,959 deaths, while COVID was a contributing factor in 373 deaths. Lont-Term Care (LTC) facility deaths amount of 1,777. Long-Term Care facility data show outbreaks are down from 76 Monday to 72, today. The number of patients and staff who have tested positive is down from 1,938 Monday to 1,825 today.

In the KJAN listening area, here are the current number positive cases by County; The # of new cases since yesterday {+} – if any; and the total number of deaths in each county to date:

  • Cass, 1,128 cases; {+2}; 41 deaths
  • Adair, 688; {+2}; 20
  • Adams, 295; {+0}; 3
  • Audubon, 416; {+4}; 8
  • Guthrie, 1,030 {+3}; 24
  • Harrison County, 1,548; {+1}; 62
  • Madison County, 1,199; {+11}; 9
  • Mills County, 1,362; {+2}; 16
  • Montgomery, 848; {+8}; 22
  • Pottawattamie County, 8,959; {+17}; 112
  • Shelby County, 1020; {+7}; 26
  • Union County,  1,082; {+1}; 22

ISU researcher creates model to track COVID-19’s spread more realistically


January 19th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – An Iowa State University mathematician is developing a way to track the spread of COVID-19 that factors in people’s social interactions more realistically. I-S-U researcher Claus Kadelka says he noticed early in the pandemic that many models assume people engage in random social interactions. Kadelka says most people practice homophily, or the tendency to associate with people who share the same opinions or beliefs. Kadleka says, “You and I, we have our friends, we have our family, we have our co-workers that we’re much more likely to interact with than a random stranger in our community.”

Based on his model, he says it may make sense to vaccinate younger, lower-risk people first, because they have substantially more social contacts and tend to spread the virus far more than older high-risk people. According to his model, Kadelka says there will likely be clusters of people who won’t want to get the vaccine, meaning, government officials may need to aim to vaccinate more than 60- to 70-percent of the population. “It shows you that these numbers that are being floated around by a lot of researchers, essentially that just, base things on simple models, they’re probably an underestimate,” he says.

He says policymakers should focus on getting more data on people’s social interactions during the pandemic before making key decisions.

(By Natalie Krebs, Iowa Public Radio)

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Jan. 19 2021


January 19th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

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

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus in Iowa rose over a 24-hour period this weekend, but remained below the threshold of 500 that plagued the state since October. The Iowa Department of Public Health said 484 people were being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals on Sunday, up 10 from Saturday but down from 505 on Friday. Saturday’s number of 474 was the first time since Oct. 18 that the number of people hospitalized was below 500. The state reported 730 new cases and two deaths Sunday to give Iowa a total of 304,852 cases and 4,323 deaths since the pandemic began.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Cedar Rapids man has been arrested by federal agents on suspicion of being among those who stormed the U.S. Capitol during a deadly pro-Trump insurrection on Jan. 6. The FBI in Omaha, Nebraska, said in a news release that Leo Christopher Kelly was arrested Monday on a federal warrant charging him with three counts: knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority, violent entry with the intent to disrupt the orderly conduct of official business and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Kelly is the second Iowa man to be arrested in connection with the Washington, D.C., riot. Douglas Jensen surrendered to police in his hometown of Des Moines on Jan. 8.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A new trial likely won’t be held until late this year for a man whose murder conviction in the gruesome 2017 stabbing of his ex-girlfriend was overturned. The Gazette reports that attorneys for 30-year-old Gregory Davis and prosecutors agreed last week that a new trial won’t be possible until October or November. Davis’ new trial had been set to begin Feb. 1 after the Iowa Supreme Court tossed out his original murder conviction last November, ruling that he didn’t get a fair trial. Davis was convicted in 2018 of first-degree murder and other counts in the death of 29-year-old Carrie Davis, whose body was found rolled in a blanket inside a trailer in Marion.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Powerball jackpot will grow to an estimated $730 million after there were no winners Saturday for the lottery’s top prize. The results come as there was also no winner of the Mega Millions jackpot on Friday. That top prize is now estimated at $850 million. It’s been nearly two years since a lottery jackpot has grown so large. The Powerball’s $730 million top prize would be the fifth-largest ever if a lottery player strikes big in Wednesday’s drawing. The Mega Millions’ $850 million jackpot would be the third-largest ever for the drawing on Tuesday.

Atlantic Parks Dept. update on dog park, campgrounds, shelters & more


January 18th, 2021 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department Director Bryant Rasmussen, Monday, told the Parks and Rec Board during their regular monthly meeting, that the wells field trails and trails near the KJAN studios are currently closed as the drifts are still too much for their equipment. He explained some drifts are between four-and five-feet tall, and densely packed. They’ve been trying to plow through them, but the equipment has gotten stuck multiple times. Rasmussen said they’re hoping the sun and warmth of the next few days will speed-up the process.

He mentioned also, the Donation Pay Post at the Schildberg Rec Area Dog Park, has garnered over $450 in donations. The generous donations, will be put back into dog park attractions and maintenance. Some of the new attractions they’re hoping to get installed later this Spring, include agility steps and tire obstacles for dogs to climb through or get on top of. Firestone in Atlantic has graciously donated six tire for the department to use. Parks staff will paint the tires and sink them into the ground so they are secured in-place. (See the example below)

Examples of dog future dog park additions

Bryant said also, his dad Brad put together a goal to raise at least $500 to purchase native plants for additional urban conservation tactics and implements throughout the parks system. With donations from many people, including Bryant’s grandparents, $1,100 has been raised to purchase the necessary pollinator plants and create a berm at Sunnyside Park. Bull Creek is another area destined for colorful native plants.

Signs to be used as mile-markers at the Schildberg Rec Area have been mocked-up for installation later this Spring. The Parks and Rec Board was receptive to one design in particular: a post with the top cut-off at an angle. A metal plate with the mile-marker and other information would be mounted to the post. Single-posts would make it easier for the mowers to get around, too.  In other business, Bryant Rasmussen said they are looking to update the Campground Reservation via online registration and payment. A Pay post will also remain in place.

The same process is being implemented for Park Shelter Reservations. QR Codes will be used to make it easy for those who have reserved a shelter, or who want to reserve a shelter, to see which ones are available through an online calendar. And, Rasmussen said Joe Sonntag has created nesting boxes for birds as part of an Eagle Scout Project.

Joe Sonntag with his completed Eagle Scout bird house project.

There are now four owl nesting boxes, 10 bluebird houses and four bat houses. Some of the bat houses will be place around Sunnyside Park, one will be at the Schildberg Rec Area, and at least one along Bull Creek.

The Bluebird houses will be spread out among different locations, including Sunnyside Park. The project serves as the final requirement in order for Atlantic to be considered a “Bird Friendly” community in Iowa. Once the houses are placed, the City can apply for certification.