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Atlantic Chamber Alert!: Lost checks

News

December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce are advising businesses in the area not to take any checks from Alan or Lori Johnson. Their checkbook has been misplaced and they have closed the account.

If you have any questions, please contact the Chamber.

Atlantic City Council receives recommendation for City Attorney’s position

News

December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(Correction on the amount County Attorney is paid 12/5/14)

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, reviewed applications submitted for the position of City Attorney. Current City Attorney Dave Wiederstein was elected Cass County Attorney in November, and will be stepping down from his position with the City, in January. Interim City Administrator John Lund said Wednesday, notices were sent to all local Attorney’s and law firms, with four applications having been returned to his office. On Monday, the City’s Personnel and Finance Committee reviewed those applications.

Applicants for the one-year, renewable contract included: Attorney J-C Van Ginkel; Andrew Knuth; Justin Hockenberry with the Cambridge Law Firm, and the Law Firm of Otto, Lorence and Wiederstein. The person hired would be on a general retainer, with anything outside of normal business falling under “Billable hours.” A clause for Criminal Prosecutions will be decided on at the time the new Attorney is hired.

Wiederstein said if the General/Civil and Criminal retainers are included together in the contract, he would recommend continuing the $15,000 annual salary he is currently paid, for Criminal Prosecutions, above and beyond what is proposed in the General Retainer. Currently, the Cass County Attorney handles Criminal Prosecution cases for the City, while serving as a paid, Assistant City Attorney. At least one of the firms that had expressed interest in the City Attorney position, later indicated they would not have applied if Criminal Law work was included in the job description, while the others indicated they would be agreeable to it.

John Lund said the Personnel and Finance Committee recommended the Council accept the application from the law firm Otto, Lorence and Wiederstein. The firm has hired North Carolina Attorney Jamie Arnold, who, if hired, would handle the duties of City Attorney. The Council Wednesday discussed, but did not take action on a decision in the matter, until they can meet Arnold. That meeting is expected to take place sometime later this month, with a decision on who will be hired to take place in January.

In other business, the Atlantic City Council approved a Resolution for the Calendar Year 2015 Atlantic Municipal Utilities’ budget, which was approved earlier by the AMU Board. AMU General Manager Steve Tjepkes had some good news for their customers. He said there are no new water or electric rate increases in the budget this year.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 12/4/2014

News, Podcasts

December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.

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(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. KJAN News & funeral report, 12/4/2014

News, Podcasts

December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With News Director Ric Hanson.

Play

Atlantic receives big boost in revenue due to underestimation

News

December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday received word it would be getting a big boost to its budget thanks to an error by the Iowa Department of Revenue, with regard to the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST). Interim City Administrator John Lund said the City “Has received the largest LOST reconciliation check in our history, and this year’s revenue will be the largest we’ve ever had.” Lund said it’s because the Iowa Dept. of Revenue underestimated how much tax revenue the City would be receiving by local businesses. Lund said “I hope this is an indication that our local businesses are having a really excellent year.”

Lund said also a $1.4-million bond is being prepared for the Council’s approval, with regard to the finishing of street repairs in the Capital Improvement Plan. The interest rate for the bonds will be two-percent.

In other business, Iowa Department of Transportation officials said Tuesday that Highway 6 from Olive to just east of Burger King will be closed to through traffic this summer while the road is being rebuilt. Mayor Dave Jones said bid-letting for the two-month project would begin in March, 2015, with work beginning in June. Lund said anyone wanting to see what the project will encompass can stop by City Hall and check with him.

Officials said that while construction was underway, through traffic would be blocked, but access would be available to businesses via side streets and short temporary access points.

Annual Lighted Christmas Parade in Atlantic, Saturday

News

December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

As part of the Christmas Magic in Downtown Atlantic, the community will hold a Lighted Christmas Parade this Saturday (Dec. 6th), beginning at 6-p.m. Activities leading up to the event begin at 3-p.m., when Santa arrives to his cabin in City Park. Enjoy a warm cup of hot cocoa as you wait to see Santa. Afterward, enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride through downtown Atlantic, sponsored by First Whitney Bank and Wells Fargo.

Fireworks, sponsored by A-M Cohron and Sons, and Meyer and Gross Real Estate, begin at 6-pm over the Rock Island Depot, and the Annual Lighted Christmas Parade down Chestnut Street. Every year the parade features local businesses, organizations and families that want to be a part of this Atlantic holiday tradition. Each float entry has the chance to win AtlantiCash or the Grand Prize trophy! New this year three awards: Twinkle Twinkle, Best Holiday Spirit and Best Overall will be given before the parade to highlight the winners as they parade downtown Chestnut Street. The winners will be formally awarded the following Monday at the Atlantic Area Chamber office.

Lighted Parade entries are able to register as late as Friday, December 5. Pre-registration forms can be filled out at the Chamber office through Friday at 5-p.m. You can also find the registration form at www.atlanticiowa.com.

Red Oak case tied to court rejection of flag law

News

December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A federal judge is striking down two Iowa laws that make it a crime to mistreat the American flag. U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt ruled Wednesday that the laws are unconstitutional because they criminalize protected free speech. One law makes it a misdemeanor to deface, mutilate, or trample on the American flag. The other says it’s illegal to show disrespect to the flag “to provoke or encourage another to commit a public offense.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa challenged the laws last year on behalf of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. The church’s members are known for protesting outside funerals, often dragging, standing and spitting on flags.

The lawsuit came after the police chief in Red Oak threatened to enforce the law against members during protests.

Stanton man arrested Thu. morning in Montgomery County

News

December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop early this (Thursday) morning in Montgomery County resulted in the arrest of a Stanton man on a charge of Driving While Barred. Sheriff’s officials say 26-year old Richard Dean Pierce III, of Stanton, was arrested at around 1:45-a.m. at the intersection of north 1st and Corning Streets, in Red Oak. Pierce was transported to Montgomery County Corrections and held on $1,000 cash bond.

2 Council Bluffs teens linked to numerous incidents of vandalism

News

December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two teens from Council Bluffs have been arrested in connection with at least 18 separate incidents of criminal mischief/vandalism. The incidents, which involved bricks being thrown through the windows of vehicles in Council Bluffs, occurred between Nov. 26th and 29th. Council Bluffs Police Sgt. Dave Dawson says a 17-year old and a 14-year old from Council Bluffs were arrested this week on felony Criminal Mischief in the 2nd Degree charges. The teens were later released to their parents with appearances to be scheduled in Juvenile Court.

Dawson says a tip from a citizen led to the teens’ arrests. On Nov. 29th, the citizen reported seeing a green, 1990’s model Dodge Dakota pickup occupied by two white males, driving recklessly on the east side of Council Bluffs. One day earlier, a victim of theft in the same area saw the same vehicle, and was able to provide authorities with a license plate number.

On Dec., 2nd, a uniform patrol officer found the suspect’s vehicle and identified the driver and only occupant as a suspect in the case. The 17-year old admitted during an interview with detectives, that he was involved in the vandalism spree. He also implicated the 14-year old, who was also interviewed and admitted to his role in the crimes.

Sgt. Dawson said it was important to note that the cases were solved in large part, due to observant citizens who took the time to report what they saw and provided critical leads. He said also those tips, combined with the hard work of police officers and detectives, resulted in the arrests and eventual prosecution of the individuals involved.

Tri-Center schools to hold a series of public meetings

News

December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Tri-Center Community School District is planning a series of public forums to discuss priorities.  Superintendent Tony Weers is inviting community members and parents to discuss priorities as the district faces “some difficult financial decisions,” according to a post on the district’s website. Weers told the Daily NonPareil he wants to hear from district patrons about programming, unique financial challenges and school/community priorities.

Meetings will be held: Tonight (Thursday) at 7 p.m. at the Neola Area Community Center in Neola and Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Minden Bowl in Minden. Meetings are also planned for Jan. 5 in Beebeetown and Jan. 15 in Persia, with locations for those meetings to be announced.