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Officials: New Iowa facility will house men, women

News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) – Officials in western Iowa say a new law enforcement center will house both men and women. Mills County Sheriff Eugene Goos says the facility has the capacity to separate the inmates. It can house up to 45 inmates.

The Daily Nonpareil reports the new facility in Glenwood will mean less female inmates at the Adams County jail in Corning, where they’re often held after a transfer. County officials say that will result in savings of between $2,000 and $6,000 each month.

Federal prison inmates can be held at the law enforcement center. It will also house the Mills County Sheriff’s Office.

Lund praises Harris and vows to honor “his legacy”

News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Following the approval by the Atlantic City Council Wednesday, of City Administrator Doug Harris’ resignation and severance package, and the subsequent voted to appoint John Lund as Interim City Administrator, Lund spoke about the man who hired him a little more than three-years ago, and the suggestion by Mayor Dave Jones that he be “trained” for the position. Lund said with regard to taking over Harris’ job, “I don’t think I’m entitled to anything.”

He “With all due respect to the Mayor, I don’t believe I need any training. I’ve been in training for three and a half years under a man sitting right across from me.” He said he intends to honor Harris’ legacy, and is inspired by his “Class and integrity.” Lund said hopes moving forward, that he has “An opportunity to prove I’m worthy of serving this community, and that the City deserves “Nothing less than absolute transparency.”

In his final report to the Council, Doug Harris reported a development company out of Cedar Rapids that is interested in investing in Atlantic’s downtown area, such as the old Whitney Hotel.  Harris said the company plans to bring in their architects to look at a potentially $7-million dollar project to renovate the upper floor of the building into apartments, with a restaurant and sports bar on the first floor. Additional details are being kept “under wraps” for now.

Harris said “There is a real potential to see real revitalization in investments in our downtown,” but he said potential investors have concerns over the owners of other buildings not improving the façade of those structures. He said that’s where the City’s Minimum Maintenance Code and Tax Abatements come into play, by providing business owners the incentives and a chance to improve the look of their buildings and/or turning the second floors into apartments.

He said he recommends the Council focus on the opportunities to preserve and revitalize the downtown area, as opposed to “Incentivizing businesses to build-up on the outskirts.” Harris said Atlantic is a great community, and that he and his wife plan on sticking around.

Atlantic City Council approves Severance Agreement w/Harris

News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A large crowd turned-out for Wednesday evening’s meeting of the Atlantic City Council. Most of the more than two-dozen people were there to show their support for City Administrator Doug Harris, who was asked to resign nearly two weeks ago. Harris, who has served the City since 2010, reached a severance agreement with the City that was approved by the Personnel and Finance Committee during their meeting on Sept. 23rd. Following a lengthy closed session to discuss the matter, the Council voted four-to three to approve Harris’ resignation and the severance package. Councilpersons Jimerson, Stuart and Cord voted against the matter, while Councilpersons Somers, Halder, Hayes and Hartkopf voted in favor.

The Council also voted to appoint Harris’ assistant, John Lund, as Interim City Administrator. Mayor Jones suggested Lund hold the position for at least six months, but in the end, his length of service in the position and salary will be determined by the City’s Personnel and Finance Committee.

Among those who spoke in support of Harris prior to the Council’s vote to accept his resignation, was Atlantic resident Doug Dimig, who said “The City of Atlantic owes Doug Harris a deep debt of gratitude.” Dimig said Harris worked hard to restore the City’s infrastructure in a fiscally responsible manner. Former Councilpersons Kern Miller, Dave Wheatley and Pat Simmons were in the audience, as well. Miller, who was on the Council when Harris was hired, said Harris was “The most informed gentleman to handle the type of situations we have in this community.” He was referring to the recently approved Tax Abatements and Tax Increment Financing matters.

Mayor Dave Jones has repeated said Harris was asked to resign because he and the City “We’re going in different directions.” When asked by Cass County Supervisor Mark Wedemeyer is Harris could choose to stay, Harris was diplomatic in his answer. He said “The Administrator serves at pleasure of the Council. There has to be that working relationship and trust. And sometimes, there are different viewpoints, and that’s fine.” He went on to say he’s enjoyed working with the council and for the community and that “We’ve accomplished a lot, but…they made it clear they did not agree…I respect that.” Harris acknowledged he was asked to resign.

He said his employment agreement stipulated the Council could terminate his services without cause, as a means of best protecting the community’s interests.

Charges DROPPED against teen accused in western IA death

News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Pottawattamie County Matt Wilber said Wednesday (Today) charges will be dropped against the student charged with felony assault for his role in a fight that led to a fellow student’s death at Abraham Lincoln High School last Thursday. The Daily NonPareil reports during a press conference, Wilber said Gregary Teer was justified in fighting back and using the force he did against Dakota Escritt, who was shown initiating the incident on a surveillance video released at the conference.

Escritt, who fell and hit his head after the altercation, died at an Omaha hospital Saturday night. No charges will be pursued against Teer, and the original felony assault charge will be dropped.

Grand Opening Celebration Planned for Museum’s Curatorial Center

News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ELK HORN, IOWA — A grand opening celebration for the Museum of Danish America’s Curatorial Center will be held on Saturday, October 18, 2014 from 2-4 p.m., and the public is invited to attend. The recently completed 8,000-square-foot curatorial addition now houses many of the museum’s
largest and most fragile artifacts. The Curatorial Center also features workspace for staff, interns, and volunteers.

The Museum of Danish America is currently in the process of re-landscaping its front entry in order to integrate a pathway to the green roof that sits atop the new Curatorial Center which will celebrate its Grand Opening on October 18. Outdoor informational signage will also be put into place throughout the Jens Jensen Prairie Landscape Park by the time of the Grand Opening.

The Museum of Danish America is currently in the process of re-landscaping its front entry in order to integrate a pathway to the green roof that sits atop the new Curatorial Center which will celebrate its Grand Opening on October 18. Outdoor informational signage will also be put into place throughout the Jens Jensen Prairie Landscape Park by the time of the Grand Opening.

Visitors to the museum will also notice new interpretive signage around the 30-acre site. The durable outdoor signs provide context and explanation for the many features of the park including the council rings, rose meadow, outdoor fitness equipment, and native plants. Community members and tourists are encouraged to use this privately-owned park responsibly at their leisure.

A program will be held from 2-2:30 p.m, followed by appetizers and libations. Admission to the museum will be waived for everyone that day in honor of the opening. Museum guests will be free to explore the exhibits Danish Children Growing Up American, Nude Vases, Cubist Faces: Modernism at Rookwood Pottery, Exploring Danish Happiness, and Across Oceans, Across Time.

The grand opening coincides with the museum’s 31st Annual Meeting and 98th Regular Board Meeting in Elk Horn. The 25-member board includes regional representation from throughout the United States.  More information about the Museum of Danish America can be found at
danishmuseum.org or by calling 712.764.7001.

Understanding Your Lab Results – What do all those numbers mean?

News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Health System will be hosting a community event, Understanding Your Lab Results – What Do All Those Numbers Mean?, to assist area residents in interpreting results from blood analysis testing. Sara Nelson, CCHS Public Relations Director, says “We have recently completed community blood draws so we know all of those people have just received their results. This program will help them to better understand what those results mean for them and their health.”

The program will be offered twice: Tuesday, October 14th at 7:00 am and Thursday, October 16th at 5:30 pm. Each session will last about one hour and will be held in the Cass County Memorial Hospital Conference Room 2. There is no charge and no preregistration is necessary.

The sessions will be presented by CCMH staff from the Cardiac Rehab, Diabetes Center and Clinical Nutrition Departments:
· Peggy Perkins, RN,
· Barbara Petersen, RN, CDE,
· Emily Krengel, and
· Aubrey Molgaard, RN, CDE.

Nelson pointed out the information will be valuable to people who did not participate in the blood draws, too. “At some point, everyone has blood tests done and this will prepare them to understand those results and discuss their health with their personal medical provider.” For more information or questions about this event, call the CCHS Public Relations Department at 712-243-7408.

 

ISU student found dead in apartment on campus

News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa State University student has been found dead in her apartment on campus, but authorities say no foul play is suspected. University police say the woman was found unresponsive Tuesday night in a University Village apartment on the Ames campus. Authorities and medical personnel responded to the scene but the woman was pronounced dead.

Police say a resident reported finding the woman inside the locked apartment. No foul play is suspected, but additional information is not available. The student’s name has not been released pending family notification.

Slater woman injured in Pott. County accident Wednesday

News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A woman from Slater was injured during an accident this (Wednesday) morning, in Pottawattamie County. The Iowa State Patrol reports 70-year old Mary Crawford suffered minor injuries but did not require transported to the hospital. The accident happened on Interstate 680 at around 10:46-a.m.

Officials say Crawford was traveling eastbound in a 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue, when she swerved to avoid a semi tire rim on the road. Her vehicle hit the rim and was disabled before coming to rest on the right shoulder of the interstate.

DEA Sponsored Prescription Drug Take Back Semi-Annual Events

News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Over the past 4 years the Council Bluffs Police Department has participated with the Drug Enforcement Agencies semi-annual (fall & spring) sponsored prescription drug take back program. This year’s fall event on Saturday, September 27th, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Walgreens at 535 E. Broadway. Saturday’s event produced 355 pounds of prescription drugs and over the counter medications dropped off by 157 from vehicles or by people.

The Council Bluffs Police Department says they deeply appreciate everyone who took the time to drop off items during the event. In each case it prevents the accidental or intentional use of these medications for non-intended uses.

Since 2010, while participating in a total of 10 events, the Council Bluffs Police Department has collected over 3,000 pounds of prescription drugs and over the counter medications with over 1,750 vehicles driving through the collection sites to surrender these unwanted drugs. Authorities say those results were only possible with the collaboration of several community organizations and volunteers within the community who have assisted in this endeavor.

Beginning October 9, 2014, the DEA will authorize various pharmacies and hospitals that are registered with them to collect unwanted medications/prescriptions from the public. That change should make it easier for citizens to drop off medications and prescription drugs like these at their convenience, instead of on specific dates and locations. As of this date the DEA is still working to identify those pharmacies in Council Bluffs that will collect the unwanted drugs.

Officials encourage the public to go to the DEA website at www.dea.gov to find a location close to them.

Villisca woman arrested on drug charges

News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop in Montgomery County at around 9:30-a.m. Wednesday (today), resulted in a woman being arrested on drug charges. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says a Ford Explorer running without license plates was pulled over on Highway 71, just outside of Villisca.

Upon further investigation, the driver and registered owner, 38-year old Misty Herring, of Villisca, was found to allegedly be in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. She was booked into  the Montgomery County Jail on the possession charges. Bond was set at $1,000.