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Lane restrictions on westbound I-80 near Council Bluffs begin Oct. 12

News

October 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Council Bluff’s construction office reports bridge maintenance work will require restricting westbound Interstate 80 traffic to one lane between exit 1B (South 24th Street) and exit 5 (Madison Avenue) near Council Bluffs, from 7-p.m. Friday, Oct. 12th, until 6-a.m. Monday, Oct. 15th, weather permitting. Officials say westbound I-80 traffic will not be able to use exit 3 (South Expressway Street) during this project. In addition, there is a 12-foot-6-inch width lane restriction and 80,000 pound weight restriction in the open lanes.

Motorists may wish to take I-680 to southbound I-29 to avoid possible traffic congestion in the area. The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey posted speed limits and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles and wear seat belts.

CCMH officials: NO contaminated steroids are in their inventory

News

October 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials at Cass County Memorial Hospital today (Wednesday), issued a press release aiming to reassure the public, that CCMH has not received any of the contaminated steroids which have been linked to an outbreak of fungal meningitis in other parts of the country.  Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Jason Smith said “We do provide steroid injections for pain management here at CCMH.”Smith said “The steroids we use are a different type, do not come from the supplier in question, and have not been contaminated with the fungus.” Smith emphasized that CCMH has never used the specific medication that is involved in this situation for either chronic pain management or labor and delivery pain management.  “The steroids we use for epidural pain-control injections are safe, and patients can feel confident proceeding with their care as usual.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are currently coordinating a multistate investigation of fungal meningitis among patients who received an epidural steroid injection with a potentially contaminated product. Several of these patients also suffered strokes that are believed to have resulted from their infection. Updates about the investigation are available at http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis.html.

The potentially contaminated medications were from shipped to facilities in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

According to the CDC website, fungal meningitis occurs when the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord are infected with a fungus. Fungal meningitis is rare and usually caused by the spread of a fungus through blood to the spinal cord.  It is not contagious, and cannot be spread person to person.

Several Thefts in Kimballton

News

October 10th, 2012 by admin

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office is investigating several incidents of theft which occurred in Kimballton during the early morning hours of October 9th. Sheriff’s officials said Wednesday, that at least six vehicles were broken into. Items taken from those vehicles include a firearm, a Sirius satellite radio, tools, bags, and purses.

Anyone with information about the crimes should contact the Audubon County Sheriff’s Office at 712-563-2631 or Audubon County Crime stoppers at 712-563-2234.  You can remain anonymous and still be eligible for a Crime Stoppers reward.

Cass Co. Supervisors approve the certification of Enterprise zone applications

News

October 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday, passed a Resolution approving an application to the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED), requesting certification for two additional enterprise zones in Atlantic. Cass-Atlantic Development Corporation (CADCO) Executive Director Russell Joyce said the enterprise zones are being requested for the purpose of housing development. He said the two enterprise zones would allow the investors to get the 5-percent state sales tax they pay for rehabilitation of the properties reimbursed, and a 10-percent investment State Income tax credit return on their investment. The County doesn’t stand to lose anything from the arrangement, if it’s approved. In fact, according to Joyce, if the investors use local businesses in the rehabilitation process, it will see income based on locally imposed taxes.

Joyce said RD Atlantic-Harlan LLP, is looking to acquire and rehabilitate the Regency Villa Apartments (1601 Redwood Drive), and MidTown 1 and 2 Apartments (1209 E. 8th Street), both low-income, subsidized housing, in Atlantic. Regency 1 has 24, one-bedroom units in five buildings. MidTown 1 and Midtown 2 have 24 one-bedroom units in six buildings, and 36 2-bedroom units, respectively.

He said in order for the application to be submitted to the IDED, it must first be approved by the Supervisors, but that’s only the first step. The State then looks at the application, along with the local Enterprise Zone Commission, before it’s given the green light. The developers must also provide receipts for their rehabilitation efforts. Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman said the combined projects are expected to cost a little more than $2.6-million dollars.

City of Massena takes steps to secure TIF from wind turbines to pay for CIP’s

News

October 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Massena is taking steps to secure Tax Increment Financing (TIF) through the use of an Enterprise Zone that might encompass a two-mile radius of the town, with the idea the funds raised from taxes on approximately 40 wind turbines in that area, would be used for Capital Improvement Projects (CIP’s) in the City. Massena City Councilperson Linda Reineke told the Cass County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday, that they are working diligently and methodically, to come up with a proposal for the Board, which they hope to present sometime next Spring.

She said they have approved moving forward with looking into creating an Enterprise Zone or an Urban Renewal Area (URA) and using to TIF monies to invest in a CIP.  Reineke said the needs for the money derived from TIF are desperately needed, to help pay for a sewer improvement project that’s expected to cost about $700,000. She said residents in the small community cannot afford to pay for that project through taxes, on their own. She said the population in Massena has declined from 414 in 2000 to 355 in 2010. That, along with a decline the number of available decent homes has resulted in a decline in revenue for the City.

Reineke said young people, and those employed by Mid-American Energy, want to move back in to the community, but there simply isn’t enough quality housing. One of the Mid-American employees also wants to open a small shop in the community. She said a TIF presents a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for economic development in Massena and expansion.

Before any TIF can be established however, the City is creating a “laundry list” of Capital Improvement Projects, so they can better narrow down the actual amount of money they need for those projects. The City would also need to approve a TIF before the Board of Supervisors could give their blessing on any such request. Supervisor Chuck Reiken and Board Chair Duane McFadden commended the City for taking the time to plan, and coming up with the vision they can present to the Board, when they are ready to make their case for a TIF.

Cass County PPME Union requests 3-year contract, and wage increases

News

October 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A representative of the Public Professional and Maintenance Employees (PPME) Union Local 2003 presented the Cass County Board of Supervisors Wednesday, with the Union’s initial bargaining proposal for the Fiscal Year beginning July 1st, 2013 through June 30th, 2016. Craig Meyer said the Union, which represents the County’s Secondary Roads Department, said one of the proposed changes they would to see made to their contract, is in the area of insurance. The proposal requests the County provide dental insurance to all employees and their families who request the coverage.

Other changes to the language in the contract, pertained to vacation time and holiday pay. The Union proposes employees should be eligible to use their vacation as they earn it, and after one-year, earn 10-days. They also request to have July 5th as a floating holiday, beginning in 2013. And, when it comes to wages, the PPME Union requested a seven-percent rate increase for the first-year of the contract. They also called for a 4-percent increase across the board the second-year of the contract, and a 3-percent increase for the third-year, effective July, 2013.

When the Cass County Courthouse is closed due to bad weather, the Union requests Secondary Roads Department employees receive comp time equal to lost time paid to courthouse employees. The Supervisors did not present their initial proposal to the Union, because it is still being tweaked. It’s expected the proposal will be available to the Union Representative by the Board’s next meeting, on October. 17th.

Assault investigation and OWI-related arrest reported in Clarinda

News

October 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Clarinda Police Department is investigation an incident of assault. Police Chief Keith Brothers says his officers responded Monday, to a report of an assault in progress at 108 N. 9th Street. 39-year old Merlin Glenn Lininger, of Clarinda, told authorities he had been assaulted by an unknown male subject. Lininger received some minor injuries during the assault, but did not require medical attention

And, Tuesday night, Clarinda Police arrested 21-year old Jeremy Scott Dolph, of Clarinda, for operating a motor vehicle while his license was revoked, due to an OWI charge. Dolph was arrested at the intersection of 18th & Main Streets, and transported to the Page County Jail, where he was being held on $1,000 bond, pending an initial appearance before the Page County Magistrate Court.

(updated 2:43-p.m.) NO injuries following an accident NE of Lewis, late Wed. morning

News

October 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s Officials in Cass County said early Wednesday afternoon that NO injuries were reported following a two-vehicle accident northeast of Lewis, this (Wednesday) morning. The accident happened at around 10:25-a.m, at the intersection of Highway 6 and Lansing Road.  Officials say a 1996 Chevy pickup driven by17-year old Brett Keegan, of Lewis, was attempting to make a left turn onto Highway 6 from Lansing Road when the pickup hit a 2007 Chevy Equinox driven by 55-year old Myong Drake, of Lewis, as Drake was traveling northbound on Highway 6. Damage to Pace’s vehicle is estimated at $1000, while damage to Drake’s vehicle is estimated at $3000. Keegan was cited for Failure to Yield.

 

Theft and vandalism incidents under investigation in Clarinda

News

October 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Clarinda Police Department is investigation several recent incidents of theft and vandalism. Chief Keith Brothers says on Tuesday, October 9th, the Illinois-Iowa road Construction Company reported that four road constructions signs and stands had been stolen from the area of Shenck Road & the US. Highway 71/State Highway 2 bypass sometime between October 8th and 9th.

Last Friday, a Clarinda resident reported that a 1996 Dodge truck they owned was vandalized, while the vehicle was parked at their residence located in the 400 block of West Stuart Street. The vehicle had been pelted with eggs sometime that same day. No damage was estimate available.

On Thursday, October 4th, a Clarinda resident reported someone had vandalized her 2000 Chevrolet truck. The box of the truck had received multiple dents from some type of blunt object. The truck was damaged while it was parked in the Parkview apartment complex lot, located at 1001 E. Main Street. The incident is believed to have occurred sometime between October 3rd & 4th. Damage to the truck is estimated at $1,500.00.

That same day, another Clarinda resident reported vandalism to his 2005 GMC truck while it was parked in the 300 block of W. Grant Street. The incident occurred sometime between October 3rd & 4th. The vehicle had been pelted with eggs. Damage to the truck is estimated at $200.00.

Theft and other arrests reported in Cass County

News

October 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports today (Wednesday), the arrest on Columbus Day (Monday), of 44-year old David Lee Jordan, of Atlantic. Jordan was charged with OWI 2nd Offense and Driving Under Suspension. He was brought to the Cass County Jail and  released the following day on his own recognizance. On Sunday, 30-year old Jason Thomas Eilts, of Wiota, was arrested in Cass County on a Dallas County warrant. Eilts was brought to the Cass County Jail and later transferred to Dallas County.

Officials said also, 18-year old Nicholas Wayne Renner, of Atlantic, was arrested October 3rd, on a charge of Theft in the 3rd Degree. Renner was taken to the Cass County Jail and was released on his own recognizance the following day. On October 5th, 27-year old Rose Ellen Points, of Council Bluffs, was arrested in Cass County on a warrant for Probation Violation. Points was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was being held on $10,000 bond.