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Griswold School Board accepts Superintendent & H.S. Principal’s resignations


March 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Griswold School District’s Board of Education, Monday night, accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dana Kunze and High School/Middle School Principal T-J Dunphy. Both men will finish-out their positions through the end of June.

The 41-year old Dunphy, who was arrested March 13th in Creston for OWI/2nd offense and Carrying a Weapon While Intoxicated, will not be allowed to attend school functions, based on the school’s Code of Conduct policy. Dunphy will receive three month’s severance pay based on his current salary and health insurance through the remainder of the 2016 calendar year, unless he secures insurance by other employment.

Villisca enters the dark side when street lights are shot out


March 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Some streets in Villisca were dark over the weekend, but not because of a power outage. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said personnel with the Villisca Municipal Power Plant reported that, sometime over the weekend, someone had shot out 17 different street lights, with the repair cost estimated at $3,400. The damage occurred sometime between Friday and Sunday in an area primarily on the south and southeast sides of Villisca.

Anyone with information about the crime was asked to call Montgomery County Crimestoppers at 1-888-434-2712.


Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., March 22nd, 2016


March 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

NEOLA, Iowa – One male teenager died, three others were injured when a pickup rolled over Monday evening, near the Tri-Center High School, in Neola. The crash happened at around 5:40-p.m. The names of the victims have not been released. Grief counselors will be on hand at the school today to assist students and staff.

DAYTON, Iowa (AP) — A Dayton man has been charged in connection with a car crash that killed two people. Twenty-year-old Colten Bills faces two counts of vehicular homicide in the May 2015 deaths of 85-year-old Velma Castenson and her son, 56-year-old David Castenson. The crash occurred on Iowa Highway 175 in Dayton. A criminal complaint says Bills, who was driving a pickup truck, failed to stop at an intersection and struck a car carrying Velma and David Castenson. Both vehicles ended up in a ditch and the Castensons died as a result of their injuries. The complaint alleges Bills was texting before the crash.

FROSTBURG, Md. (AP) — Maryland State Police say an Iowa woman was driving drunk when she crashed into a state police cruiser parked on the shoulder of a highway with its emergency lights flashing. Thirty-five-year-old Karen Keister of Des Moines, Iowa, was charged Saturday night after the collision on U.S. 40 near state Route 36 in Frostburg.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says he won’t question Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley’s decision to not hold nomination hearings for the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy. Branstad says he supports Grassley and won’t “second guess or criticize” the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee holds confirmation hearings and votes on federal court appointments.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An off-duty Iowa State Patrol trooper tried to get out of a drunken-driving arrest by repeatedly refusing to cooperate and then berating the arresting officer. Audio and video from the arresting officer’s body camera and car show Patrick Steinbach acting belligerently during the Dec. 20 arrest, which prompted his resignation from the patrol and the removal of a booking officer who gave him special treatment at the Iowa County jail.

Tri-Center School District mourns the loss of student killed in a Monday evening crash


March 21st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A little more than six-years after a crash claimed the life of a female Tri-Center teenager and injured three others, tragedy has once again struck the school district. Crisis response and grief counselors will be available for students of the Tri-Center School District, Tuesday, as they process the death of a classmate and the injury of three others in a crash that happened Monday evening. According to KETV in Omaha, a pickup truck carrying four male high school students crashed and rolled over at around 5:45-p.m. near Neola.

Two of the teens suffered serious injuries in the crash when the truck rolled off the highway northeast of Neola, on Railroad Highway. All four were taken to hospitals in Council Bluffs, where one of the teens died from his injuries. No names have been released.

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker said the teens had just left track practice at Tri-Center High School when the single-vehicle crash happened. Additional details were not available as of 10:45-p.m. (Check back later for updates)

A message posted on the Tri-Center Trojans Facebook page late Monday evening said:

“Dear Trojan family, Tonight our family has suffered a terrible tragedy. 4 students have been involved in a tragic crash. It’s heartbreaking as one didn’t survive. These kids are great students, friends, brothers, sons of great families and we send these families our most deepest, sincere, whole-hearted condolences, sympathies, and prayers to the families involved. As well as to the students, the teachers, and the whole TC community as we mourn this awful tragedy. We pray for healing for one another during this time of hardship. God Bless these students, the families, and this great community.”

Some patrons of the district may remember a crash a few miles north of the Tri-Center/Neola High School campus on March 17th, 2010 that claimed the life of 14-year old Katie Dyer, of Honey Creek. That accident, which involved a car that rolled over numerous times, also resulted in injuries to the driver, 15-year old Samantha Reid, who was from Honey Creek, and her 16-year old passengers Cari Wilson and Chelsea Birtwell, both of whom at the time, were from Persia. In that crash, two of the girls, including Dyer, were wearing seat belts, the other two were not. All four were ejected from the vehicle. Reid was driving with a school license, which allowed students who are 14 ½ years of age or older, to drive to-and-from school.

Kiddie Korral at Sunnyside Park may be open by the end of May

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 21st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department Assistant Director Seth Stasshelm, Monday, said work is continuing on renovations for the Kiddie Korral Shelter house at Sunnyside Park. Staashelm said so far this Spring, grass seed has been placed on the ground, and brick has been ordered from Sioux City Brick for placement around the roof support columns. What’s still left to do is install the water fountain, and work on the fire pit. The Atlantic Kiwanis will come out and help clean-up the playground equipment. Some of the toys are also being replace. Until then, that area will be cordoned-off.  He says they will hopefully have it open by mid-May.

A date for the newly renovated facility has not yet been set, but it’s hoped that will be sometime in May. Reservations will not be accepted for use of the shelter until the end of May. Staashelm said also, work on the East Shelter renovation at Sunnyside Park is their next objective. The roof, he said, needs to be replaced, and the skirting is twisted, something that’s out of the scope of his and Parks Director Roger Herring’s area of expertise. To that end, they contracted with Iron Specialties for the installation of a new, red, tin roof. Their bid amounted to $7,700.

A separate local contractor will handle painting of the columns and rafters, for a total project price of just under $12,000, which is what had been budgeted for using the Local Option Sales Tax Funds. The Parks and Rec Board approved the contracts for work on the Kiddie Korral. Other activities taking place at parks in Atlantic, includes the grading of land near the Dog Park at the Schildberg Recreation Area. The land will be used for a one-way entry/exit, 20 stall parking spaces for the Dog Park. Currently, there are flags in-place, marking where the grading will take place by a tiling company.

And, the East Nishnabotna River Boat Ramp near the Wastewater Treatment Plant is almost finished. Roger Herring said they need to removal piles of rip-rap and dirt for the building of a berm. The earthen berm will be covered with grass cloth and river rock, to dress it up. A drive will pass by the Waterworks berm, and a parking area near the upper end of the boat ramp.

In other business, Herring and Staashelm are awaiting Wednesday morning’s meeting of the Cass County Board of Supervisors, to determine if their request for $40,000 in support of a Vision Iowa CAT grant application, will be approved. If it isn’t, or if the amount requested is less than received, Herring said that would have a big impact on the application. The Atlantic City Council has committed $100,000 in support of the $360,000 grant request for improvements to the Schildberg Rec Area campground site, and there is $40,000 for in-kind services that have been pledged. The grant requires a 50-percent local match (including 25% for in-kind services), or $180,000 altogether.

Iowa man resentenced to prison in 1977 shooting death


March 21st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Iowa man who was previously sentenced to life in prison for a murder committed in Nebraska when he was teenager has been resentenced. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Douglas County District Judge Mark Ashford on Monday sentenced 53-year-old Kelvin Anderson, of Waterloo, Iowa, to 82 to 100 years in prison for the 1977 killing of Robert McGinnis. Anderson will be eligible for parole in three years.

Anderson, who was 15 at the time, shot and killed McGinnis during a robbery in Omaha. The new sentence was prompted by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says judges must have the ability to sentence juveniles to something other than an automatic life term.

Bluffs woman wanted for questioning in murder investigation is questioned & released


March 21st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs said late Monday evening that a woman wanted for questioning in connection with a March 7th murder and attempted murder investigation, has been interviewed by detectives, and released. 22-year old Rachel Lewis, of Council Bluffs, turned herself into detectives at the Criminal Investigation Division on Monday, in association with a Material Witness warrant that had been issued.

Once Lewis was interviewed by detectives, she was released. Authorities say they do not expect any additional arrests in the connection with the murder of Anthony J. Walker and the shooting of another man at an apartment complex in Council Bluffs that took place just before 6:30-p.m., March 7th.

Based on the completion of their investigation, officials say they believe that they have substantial evidence that has led to the arrest of three suspects in this murder investigation. Those suspects include 30-year old Markis Moses Davis, 19-year old Ben Lein, and 22-year old Wesley W. Correa-Carmenaty, all of Council Bluffs.

Breaking News: Test Tornado Drill postponed until Thursday

News, Weather

March 21st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the National Weather Service in Des Moines have confirmed the Statewide Tornado Drill Scheduled for Wednesday, March 23rd, has been postponed until Thursday, due to the possibility of severe weather across the state, on Wednesday. The Test Tornado Watch will now be issued at 10-a.m. Thursday, with a Test Tornado Warning issued at 10:20-a.m. Thursday, and the all-clear between 10:30 and 10:30-a.m. The Test Tornado Watch will expire at 11-a.m. Thursday. Again, the Statewide Tornado Drill has been postponed until Thursday.

Red Oak woman arrested Monday for aggravated assault while displaying a weapon


March 21st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak, assisted by deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office arrested a woman today (Monday) on a charge of Aggravated Assault while displaying a weapon, following an incident at a residence in the 400 block of E. Oak Street, in Red Oak. Authorities say 19-year old Cara Belle Hale, of Red Oak, was taken into custody for without incident at around Noon, after allegedly attempting to assault a male with a knife. Hale was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $2,000 cash bond.

Red Oak Rescue assisted in handling the incident. No injuries were reported.

Sac County couple wanted for child endangerment have been located


March 21st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Sac County Sheriff’s Office said Monday (Today) an Odebolt couple wanted on child endangerment charges have been located. Jennifer Kuhl and Justin Siegner, and their small child were believed to have been in the Denison area, but the Sheriff’s Office did not say in its social media post where the couple were found. Authorities credited more than 72,400 shares on its social media page, and media coverage, with the apprehension of the suspects.