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Atlantic Parks & Rec Board – meeting summary (6/18/18)


June 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Department Board met Monday evening during a regular session, with Parks and Rec Director Seth Staashelm updating the members on various ongoing projects and Summer programs. Stasshelm said a search for someone to fill the part-time position of Park Foreman has ended, and the quality of the responses was less than he expected.

He said he had “Some poor applications. People weren’t following instructions,” especially with regard to providing a resume’ and cover letter. “Some didn’t have a cover letter. Some had a cover letter addressed to a different employer. Moms applying for their kids.” He said fortunately, long-time City employee, Ron Flory, who has worked as an operator at the Wastewater Treatment Plant for over 35-years, expressed interest in the position.

Stasshelm said with the poor quality of resumes for the position and with Flory willing to step away from his wastewater treatment plant duties, he closed the position to any further applicants and talked with the City Attorney Mark Bosworth, City Administrator John Lund and City Clerk Barb Barrick, all of whom agreed he would be a perfect fit for the job. He said Flory would be taking a big cut in pay to $15 an hour part-time, but he’s okay with that. He said also, that while Flory is “Overqualified” for the position, he’s going to be a fantastic addition to the Department. Staashelm said Flory is highly organized and safety conscious. He’ll start on July 1st and average out to 1500 hours per year.

In other business, Staashelm said work continues on the Schildberg Recreation Area Shelters. One is up, but does not have a roof yet, thanks to the stifling heat and humidity. They hope to install that soon. The other (west) shelter is being constructed, with the concrete pads having been poured, including an ADA accessible pathway. The columns are in-place and within a couple of weeks the roof will be installed and electrical hook-ups ready by no later than July 13th, weather permitting.

Also, work on the east side playground will continue, as weather allows. And, there’s been more participation in Summer children’s programs this year, including tennis and the swim team. There are six softball teams, and the pickle-ball courts at Sunnyside are very active on the weekends, according to Staashelm.

He said also, attendance is up at the Sunnyside Pool, the number of passes sold are up (measured in family and single units), and concessions are up. Revenue since the pool opened are at $15,000, which is remarkable, according to Staashelm, considering the short amount of time it’s been available for use since the season opened a few short weeks ago.

Cass County Primary recount results to be canvassed 6/20/18


June 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

A committee of three individuals conducted a recount Monday afternoon of the ballots in Wards 4 and 5 and the Absentee votes, at the request of District 3 Supervisor candidate Dana Halder. Auditor Dale Sunderman reports the results changed very little, with Halder gaining one vote and Hartkopf losing one.

Hartkopf was the unofficial winner pending a canvass of the recount results by the Cass County Board of Supervisors on June 20th. (Only Republican candidates ran during the Primary.)

The recount results from Monday, June 18th are as follows:

Dana Duane Halder – 158 votes          following the June 12 canvass:       157

John Hartkopf       – 160 votes                                                                 161

Linda Templeman   – 103 votes                                                                   103

Shelby County Sheriff’s report (6/18)


June 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office say, as the result of a traffic stop at around 12:30-a.m. Friday, 26-year-old Crystal Jean Oliver, of Harlan, was arrested on multiple charges. They include Operating While Intoxicated, Prohibited Acts, 3 Counts of Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and open container. Oliver was transferred to the Shelby County Jail and later released on $1,000 bond.

Friday afternoon, 67-year-old Terry Lynn Cox turned himself into the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Cox had a warrant as a result of an ongoing investigation by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation being charged with Theft 1st (a Class C Felony) Felonious misconduct while in office (a Class D Felony) and Tampering with records. Cox was booked into the Shelby County Jail without incident, and after processing posted the $5,000 cash bond and then released from custody with a future court appearance required.

On June 14th, 21-year-old Brandon William Henderson, of Audubon, was arrested by Shelby County Deputies on an outstanding warrant for Violation of Probation charge in the District Court of Shelby County. Hendersen was transported to the Shelby County Jail without incident where he remains under a $5,000 cash/surety bond.

Saturday night, 27-year-old Brandon George Meier, of Harlan, was arrested as a result of a traffic accident. Meier was charged with Operation while Intoxicated, Reckless Driving and Failure to maintain control. Meier was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was held under a $1300-dollar cash/surety bond. The following morning, Meier was released on his own recognizance with a future court appearance date in Shelby County.

Sunday morning, Shelby County Deputies arrested 31-year-old Justin Michael Levell, of Irwin. Levell wascharged with Domestic Abuse Assault Causing Injury, Trespass,  Criminal Mischief in the 5th Degree, and Obstruction of Emergency Communications. Levell was transported to the Shelby County Jail and later released on a $2,000 cash or surety bond.

DNR issues warning about state park beaches following weekend incidents


June 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Two children were flown to Des Moines hospitals in separate near-drowning incidents over the weekend at state park beaches. Alex Murphy, spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, is reminding parents to keep a close eye on their kids’ whereabouts and have them wear life jackets – even though they’re not required for swimming at a state park beach.

“There are no laws that say kids or anyone has to wear a life jacket when they’re in those swimming areas,” Murphy says. “But, I always tell people it’s the best idea to wear a life jacket. That could literally save a life.” A two-year-old girl disappeared while swimming at Big Creek State Park near Des Moines on Saturday night — and was found underwater.

CPR was performed, the child was revived and last reported in critical condition. A similar situation happened Sunday at Rock Creek State Park in Jasper County where a nine-year-old was rescued. Murphy says swimming at a state park beach can be dangerous, as the floor of the lake can drop off suddenly.  “When you’re visiting the lakes and beach areas, you’re going in at your own risk. This isn’t a controlled swimming pool, like a city swimming pool where there are lifeguards on duty. There are no lifeguards on duty (at state park beaches),” Murphy says.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re an avid swimmer or not, nobody knows exactly what those conditions are like under there. Everybody needs to take extreme caution when you’re out there at the beach.” Two other incidents on Iowa waterways claimed lives over the weekend. On Friday, a Minnesota man drowned in the Des Moines River while trying to save his 7-year-old niece.

It happened below Red Rock Dam in Marion County. The girl was rescued by a boater and transported to a hospital. In Wapello County, a fisherman disappeared Saturday morning on the Des Moines River in Ottumwa. His boat was found, unoccupied, later in the day. The body of 79-year-old Richard Mart, of Ottumwa, was recovered from the river this (Monday) morning.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa’s third congressional district rated as ‘leans Republican’ in 2018


June 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Republican Congressman David Young says America is “leading the way” again, internationally, now that President Trump is in office. “Getting out of the Iran agreement, sitting down at the table with the leader of North Korea, moving our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in Israel — some incredible things are happening right now,” Young says. “We need to keep the momentum going. The last eight years, it takes a while to dig out of that. That status quo was not working.”

Young made his comments Saturday to delegates at the Iowa G-O-P’s state convention. Cindy Axne, Young’s Democratic challenger in the third congressional district, addressed delegates at her party’s state convention on Saturday as well.  “When I’m out talking with people across this district, Iowans are working incredibly hard and they’re playing by the rules, but one thing is for sure: Washington doesn’t have our back and we deserve better,” Axne said.

The Cook Political Report — an agency that analyzes federal political candidates and races — classifies Iowa’s third congressional district as “leaning Republican” heading into November. The district covers 16 southwest Iowa counties and includes the cities of Des Moines and Council Bluffs.

(Radio Iowa)

NE man arrested after incident in C. Bluffs Monday morning


June 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs say a Nebraska man was arrested early this (Monday) morning on six-counts of Kidnapping, Going Armed with Intent, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, three-counts of Domestic Abuse, and Possession of a Controlled Substance/Methamphetamine. 36-year old Derrick Jones, of Omaha, was arrested after authorities received word at around 3:30-a.m., that he was holding people against their will in an apartment building in the 800 block of 2nd Avenue.

Derrick Jones

The report also said Jones was armed. Responding officers and detectives were able to establish that Derrick Jones had earlier been inside an apartment, which was occupied by several tenants of the building, when a disturbance started. It is alleged that Jones, while armed with a handgun, refused to allow anyone to leave the apartment over a period of about two hours.

During these two hours, it was reported that Jones assaulted multiple people by striking them at different times with the handgun and also with a metal wrench. Two people were treated and released at a Council Bluffs hospital for injuries they received during the incident, all others either refused or did not need medical attention.

Jones was placed under arrest and was booked into the Pottawattamie County Jail on the charges mentioned.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 10-p.m. for Cass & area Counties (6/18)

News, Weather

June 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson


A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH means conditions are or will be favorable for the development of severe storms that are capable of producing dangerous hail and high winds.

Prepare to seek shelter in the interior room of a building if a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued.

5 arrests in Adair County


June 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Sheriff’s Office reports five people were arrested over the past week. 18-year old Drew Darin Steckelberg, of Adair, was arrested June 12th for Domestic Abuse Assault/1st offense. Authorities say Steckelberg allegedly punched his father in the back during a verbal argument, and after his father asked him to leave. He was released from the Adair County Jail the following day on a $300 cash or surety bond. At around 1-p.m. June 12th, 26-year old Haley Nicole Hamler, of Knoxville, was arrested at the Marion County Jail, on an Adair County felony warrant for Violation of Probation. Hamler was released June 15th on a $2,000 cash bond.

On June 13th at around 1:15-a.m., 36-year old Andrea Lea Kimble, of West Des Moines, was arrested on I-80 in Adair County, for OWI/2nd offense. The woman was taken into custody after she displayed signs of intoxication to a deputy, who had stopped to help her when her vehicle ran out of gas.  Kimble was released from custody later that same day, on a $200 cash bond.

Just before midnight June 14th, 33-year old Derik Wayne Bud Pickrell, of Fontanelle, was arrested on Adair County warrants for Failure to Appear on original charges of Driving While Barred, Violation of Probation, and Driving While Barred.  His cash bond was set at $6,000. And, 28-year old Matthew David Alluisi, of Orient, was arrested June 15th for Public Intoxication, after he was found laying on the floor of the Old Hotel lobby in Greenfield at around 11:35-p.m. After Greenfield Police woke the man up, they detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from him. Alluisi was released from custody the following afternoon on an $800 cash or surety bond.

Officials recover missing Iowa fisherman’s body in river


June 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — Officials have recovered the body of a fisherman who went missing in southeast Iowa. A local boater found the body of 79-year-old Richard Lewis Mart, of Ottumwa, in the Des Moines River around 8:30 a.m. Monday. His body was found just north of the Blackhawk Road Access, northwest of Omaha. Authorities had been searching for Mart since his boat was discovered wedged a riverbank on Saturday morning on what is known as Turkey Island.

4 arrests in Cass County


June 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports four recent arrests. Last Friday, 24-year old Alex Lee Pleis, of Audubon, was arrested on a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. Pleis was taken to the Cass County Jail and released later that day on $5,000 bond. Also arrested Friday, was 49-year old Robin Renee Vinzant, of Atlantic, on a Polk County warrant. Vinzant was taken to the Cass County Jail and released the following day to Polk County authorities.

On June 13th, 27-year old Michelle Lee Dougherty, of Atlantic, was arrested in Cass County on charges of Possession of Meth 1st Offense, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Dougherty was taken to the Cass County Jail and released later that day on her own recognizance. And, on June 12th, 45-year old William Michael Cook,  of Stockton, AL, was arrested on a charge of OWI 1st Offense.. Cook was also arrested at the same time by the Atlantic Police Department on a charge of Assault with Bodily Injury. He was taken to the Cass County Jail and released the following day on $2,000 bond.