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Omaha nonprofit gets more than $1.4M to help area’s homeless


May 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha nonprofit has been awarded more than $1.4 million by the federal government to provide housing for the homeless in one Iowa and two  Nebraska counties. The Omaha World-Herald reported Wednesday that the Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless received the grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide supportive housing for the homeless in Pottawattamie County (in Iowa), Douglas and Sarpy Counties, in Nebraska.

Funding will go toward rental assistance, as well as the local homeless management information system. The organization’s assistant director, Lisa Vukov, says that mental health and substance abuse treatment and other support services will also receive aid.


Iowa man gets 15 years in prison for using counterfeit bills


May 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City man accused of using counterfeit money at several local businesses has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. The Sioux City Journal reports 38-year-old Fernando Morales pleaded guilty Monday to one count of forgery with a habitual offender enhancement. Six counts of forgery and one count of fourth-degree theft and one count of commission of a specified unlawful activity were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Court documents say Morales passed counterfeit bills at six businesses from Aug. 26 to Sept. 27.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., May 19th 2016


May 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. CDT

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — The University of Northern Iowa president is leaving Iowa to accept a position at an Ohio college. University officials announced Wednesday that President Bill Ruud is leaving UNI after three years and will become the president of the Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio on July 3. An interim president will be named at the Iowa Board of Regents meeting in June.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have arrested two people and are looking for a third suspect in connection to a fatal shooting at a mobile home park in the community of Key West south of Dubuque. Dubuque County Sheriff’s officials says 18-year-old Imere Hall and 21-year-old Taylor Shaw both face first-degree murder and robbery charges in the death of Collin Brown. A warrant has been issued for 19-year-old Tacari Minifee for the same charges.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa politicians say the latest federal proposal to increase future levels of renewable fuels blended into the U.S. gasoline supply must be increased or it will stifle economic growth. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad says the levels announced Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency for the Renewable Fuel Standard program “falls far short.” The EPA says the proposed increases would boost production and provide for “ambitious yet achievable growth.”

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A judge has delayed the third trial of an Illinois man charged with the 1990 killing of a 9-year-old girl in eastern Iowa. The trial of 54-year-old Stanley Liggins was set to begin July 5, but the defense requested more time earlier this month due to an attorney’s illness. A new trial date has not been set.


Atlantic Mayor presents “Key to the City” to Roger Herring


May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday evening, heard a presentation from Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring. The nearly 20-minute video program covered his last five-years of service to the City, including all the changes that have been made to the Parks and other positive impacts. Herring referred to it as “A trip down memory lane.”

June 30th marks Herrring’s retirement from the Director’s seat after his five-year stint. He choked-up a bit toward the end after he thanked everyone who he’s worked with over the years, including the various City Departments, the Parks and Rec Department Board, and City Council. He said he especially is proud of all that’s been done at the Schildberg Recreation area, and that he loves the beauty of the area, and the Trumpeter swans.

Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones congratulates Roger Herring for his years of service.

Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones congratulates Roger Herring for his years of service.

Herring said being asked to speak at the Atlantic High School commencement ceremony was a “real compliment” to his experience. Prior to working for the City, he served for many years as AHS Principal. He offered the seniors some advice. He said “Go out in your community and do something [make a difference.]”

Afterward, Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones presented Herring with a “Key to the City,” mounted on a plaque, and City Administrator John Lund brought out a specially created cake. The plaque “With great thanks, the citizens of Atlantic for his dedication in transforming our parks and recreation system.” It’s the first time since February 1992 the Key has been awarded to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the community.004

Teen arrested for theft in Corning


May 18th, 2016 by Chris Parks

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Villisca teen for theft on Wednesday at the Corning Dollar General Store.  At 12:07pm dispatch received a call stating that a young girl had taken a tube of eyeliner from the Corning Dollar General Store and walked out and threw the wrapper on the sidewalk.  Deputies reviewed video of the incident and found 18-year-old Faith Elaine Ferguson of Villisca with the stolen eyeliner.  The packaging numbers were matched from the box and eye liner.  Ferguson was arrested, charged with Theft and held on $300 bond.

IA DOT begins traffic information collection in s.w. Iowa


May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation says it’s working across the state this spring and summer to determine how many cars, trucks, and other vehicles are using the state, county, and city roadways. This year’s efforts are concentrated in southwest Iowa, but occasionally crews will work elsewhere in the state. Citizens in the area can expect to see Iowa DOT employees and vehicles in their communities all hours of the day.

Many employees will spend peak hours between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. at one location counting the morning, noon, and evening traffic. They count and classify vehicles, record vehicle turning movements, and gather other data necessary to plan the future of Iowa’s roadway system.

Other employees will be placing and checking portable traffic recorders in the same general areas. When the recorders are set, they usually record data for one or two days and are checked periodically. Employees responsible for the recorders work various shifts, including hours outside of a traditional business day.

Another data collection method involves verifying or collecting railroad crossing information.  Rail crossing characteristics such as the number of tracks, the types of warning devices including signs, lights, horns, and control gates present are entered into a hand-held field computer.  This information is then used in rail crossing planning, engineering, and safety purposes.

Other statewide work scheduled for this summer includes the installation, upgrading, and maintenance of permanent, automatic traffic recorders and weigh-in-motion equipment. Officials say the work is critical to the future of the state’s transportation system. The information gathered allows transportation officials to better predict traffic trends, thus allowing them to plan improvements that will give Iowans the most benefit for each dollar spent.

(Update) Missing s.w. IA teens found safe


May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Aistrope said early Wednesday afternoon, that two teens who ran away from a hospital Tuesday night, have been located. 16-year old’s Jacob Sederburg-Apperson and Hannah Apperson, were found in Page County and were brought to the Fremont County Sheriffs Office where paperwork was to be filed resulting in the teens being placed into a different family’s custody, that the children agree to.

Jacob & Hannah Sederburg-Apperson

Jacob & Hannah Sederburg-Apperson

The siblings left Grape Community Hospital at approximately 11:30-pm Tuesday. The pair had previously been reported as runaways. Authorities were able to make contact with a person who had been thought to harboring the children and keeping them from the guardians. Following an investigation, 46-year old Michelle Beard, and 17-year old Matthew Beard, were both arrested for harboring runaway children and interference with official acts.

The pair was able to hide the children and pass them off to other people involved before deputies were able to locate the children. The Beard’s were transported to the Fremont County Jail, where Michelle was being held on $8,300 cash bond. Matthew Beard was transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Council Bluffs.

Atlantic School District honors retirees & Teacher of the Year


May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School District today (Wednesday), paid tribute to 12 retiring teachers and staff, and presented the 3rd annual Rotary Teacher of the Year Award, to an outstanding educator who exemplifies the Rotary’s motto of “Service above self,” through their continuous dedication to students, parents, peers and the entire community.” The theme of the award this year is “Be a gift to the world.”

Current Rotary President Ted Robinson presented the award to Jodie Hogue, kindergarten-1st grade multiage class teacher. The Rotary’s Jennifer Plum read from some of the submissions nominating Hogue for the award. One of them, from another teacher and parent, said Hogue was the true meaning of an “Exemplary Teacher.” Another spoke of her involvement using technology for the classroom and being a parental ally with integrity.

As the “Teacher of the Year” award winner, Jodie receives a $3,000 cash prize, to further enhance her educational resources, further her education or any other purpose she deems appropriate.

Jodie Hogue receives her "Teacher of the Year" Award from Atlantic Rotary President Ted Robinson

Jodie Hogue receives her “Teacher of the Year” Award from Atlantic Rotary President Ted Robinson

Before the awards were presented to the retirees, Atlantic Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein, spoke with regard to the number of students the teachers have impacted throughout their careers. He said there were thousands of students. Amstein said replacing that knowledge and experience will be something they’ll have to “dig deep,” to accomplish.”

Those retiring after the 2015-16 School Year, include:

  • Steve Baier, High School – Math/Science
  • Kathi Hansen, Schuler – 5th
  • Paulette Hansen, Schuler – 4th
  • Cathy Larsen, Middle School – 6th grade Social Studies
  • Margo Magill, Washington – JK
  • Rita McLaren, Washington – 1st
  • Kathy Meyer, Food Service – High School
  • Becky Osborne, Washington – ECSE Teacher
  • Elaine Phillips, Schuler – Bldg. Secretary
  • Nancy Rasmussen-Jenkins, High School – Science
  • Joanne Sandage, Middle School – K-12 TAG Coordinator
  • Pam Tibken, Washington – LmB Literacy

The ceremony took place in the Atlantic High School Commons.


Ag/Outdoor, News

May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged Iowa students who are in kindergarten through 8th grade to take part in the “Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt” again this year.  Students can take part at any of the 35 participating farmers markets across the state.

To participate in the scavenger hunt students should look for the bright blue “Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt” banner at a participating market.  As part of the hunt students will be asked to look for 37 fruits and vegetables and identify which ones are available at the market.

Students completing the scavenger hunt form will receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable from the market and be in a drawing for books, cookbooks or cooking supplies.

Among the farmers markets participating in the program are those in: Atlantic, Highway 34 (rural Glenwood), Madison County (Winterset), Main Street (Council Bluffs), and the Welcome Center (Missouri Valley).

In the fall, classroom teachers will be given the opportunity to participate in another great initiative called “Farm to School…to Market” where they will have the opportunity to receive funds to buy produce from the local farmers market and incorporate it into classroom lessons.  Teachers will also receive classroom supplies (books or bulletin board tools).

The initiative will be open to all teachers and market sign up is not required.  More information about the Iowa Farm to School program and other upcoming events can be found at: http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/AgDiversification/farmToSchoolProgram.asp.

CCHS partners with Atlantic Chamber as Community Investor Member


May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce has announced Cass County Health System as the newest Community Investor Member. The new partnership with Cass County Health System gives the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce more financial support, allowing the organization to continue to improve existing programs and activities and develop new programs for the entire membership.

Officials say the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce continues to work towards goals within their strategic plan to maintain their mission statement: Business based and community minded through partnership, outreach and promotions.

For more information on the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce’s membership opportunities, strategic plan, programs, events and Board of Directors visit www.atlanticiowa.com. You can learn more about Cass County Health System at www.casshealth.org.

(Press Release)