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Cass Supervisors may pass resolution to prevent bird flu emergency


May 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

On May 1st, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad declared a state of emergency, due to a rapidly expanding avian flu outbreak, saying the entire state was at risk from the spread of the disease. The announcement mean authorities have the power to enforce preventative measures against the spread of the outbreak, at least through the end of May. On Wednesday, the Cass County Board of Supervisors will discuss the declaration, and possibly act on passing a resolution, as a proactive/preventive approach to the potential civil emergency in Cass County.

In other business, the Board is expected to act on: Approving a Veterans Affairs Commissioner appointment for a three-year term, running from July 1st, 2015 through June 30th, 2018; and, on a Cass Township Trustee appointment to fill a vacancy term through 2016. They’ll also act on approving the contract and bond with A.M. Cohron for a bridge replacement project over Baughman Creek, northeast of Griswold.

During last week’s meeting, Amy Hook, co-owner of the Griswold Golf and Country Club, requested the start of the project be delayed until September, so as to not affect their business during the busiest part of the golf season. The Board discussed with Engineer Charles Marker the feasibility of delaying the bridge replacement project until September, but Marker said was too early to say if that is an option, because of the process it takes to get the contract signed. Amending the contract to provide for a later start date, would make the process more involved, he said, and require additional discussion with the contractor, not to mention the possible, additional cost to the County.

The Cass County Board of Supervisor’s meeting begins at 8:30-a.m. Wednesday in the Board Room at the courthouse, in Atlantic.


Crawford County Jail inmate charged murder now faces assault & attempt to flee


May 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office said late Monday evening, an inmate being held on murder charges at the Crawford County Jail has now been charged with felony Assault on a Jailer with the Intent to Commit a Serious Injury. Sheriff’ James Steinkuehler says 20-year old Jayden Ray Chapman, of Denison, also faces a felony charge of Escape or Attempt to Escape a Detention Facility in connection with an incident that occurred Monday, at the Crawford County Jail. Chapman is being held in the facility without bond.

On May 4th, a jury convicted Chapman on two counts of first-degree murder and reckless use of fire in connection with the March 2014 double homicide of 80-year old Marvin Huelsing, of Maple River, and 81-year old Alice Huisenga, of Arcadia. 26-year old Michael David Schenk, also of Denison, was sentenced in March to two life terms in prison for the crime, which happened on a farm located southeast of Deloit.

Panora man & estranged wife get lengthy prison terms for child porn


May 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man and his estranged wife have been handed lengthy federal prison terms on charges that they produced child pornography involving babies and young children. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa says 42-year-old Bradley Shane Jensen and 37-year-old Jennifer Marie Jensen, both Panora residents, were sentenced Friday to 32½ years and 20 years in federal prison, respectively. Bradley Jensen was convicted sexual exploitation of a child and production of child pornography. Jennifer Jensen was found guilty of receipt of child pornography.

Investigation unveiled that the couple produced images of Bradley Jensen sexually abusing a 3-month-old. It also revealed Bradley Jensen made child pornography with a 6-year-old girl, whom they are both accused of sexually abusing.

Budget negotiations continue in Iowa Legislature


May 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Budget haggling continues in the Iowa Legislature, as lawmakers seek a compromise financial deal for the next fiscal year.

Leaders in the Republican-led House and Democratic-majority Senate were working to resolve their differences Monday. The two sides must agree on an overall spending level and how much new money to provide for K-12 education. A compromise could include an increase in basic aid for K-12 schools, plus a one-time payment.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Council Bluffs Democrat, says he would “love to get done” with the budget this week, which would mean they could adjourn. But he cautioned that might not be possible.

Rep. Chuck Soderberg, a Le Mars Republican who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, says there are limited new dollars available, making for tight budgets.

Official says DHS still placing mental health patients


May 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The head of the Iowa agency overseeing the proposed closings of two state mental health facilities says officials are still finding placements for some long-term patients. Charles Palmer, director of the Iowa Department of Human Services, says up to six patients in a specialized unit for the elderly at the facility in Clarinda may not have placements by June.

Gov. Terry Branstad removed funding in his budget for facilities in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. He supports a proposal by some Republican lawmakers to keep them open through December, but it’s unclear what support the measure will get from others. Janice Scalise told lawmakers Monday her 63-year-old sister at Clarinda has yet to be placed and DHS officials have been unclear about the process. DHS officials say they’re working hard.

Atlantic Police report 3 arrests


May 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Three people were arrested recently in Atlantic, on various charges. The Police Dept. reports 26-year-old Damion Selder, of Atlantic, was arrested Thursday on two counts of Burglary 3rd, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Criminal Mischief 5th Degree. Selder was also arrested on May 5th for Theft 3rd Degree.

19-year-old Tyler Osborn, of Walnut, was also arrested Thursday, He was taken into custody on an Audubon County warrant for Failure to Serve Jail Time and a second warrant from Pottawattamie County for Failure to Appear.

On Sunday, 23-year old Ashley Rollins, of Atlantic, was arrested by Atlantic Police on a warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance. That same day, 52-year-old Larry Will, of Atlantic, was arrested for Criminal Mischief in the 5th degree.

Griswold woman arrested for assault on a peace officer


May 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports a Griswold woman was arrested early this (Monday) morning on several charges, including Assault on a Peace Officer. Deputies also arrested 24-year old Morgan Kay Leeder on charges of OWI 1st Offense, and Interference with Official Acts (Simple). Leeder was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was later released on $1,000 bond.

On Sunday, Cass County Deputies arrested Russell Shearer on a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear and an additional charge of Driving While Revoked. Shearer was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on $2,000 bond.

This past Saturday, 36-year old Heather Marie Christensen, of Atlantic, turned herself in at the Cass County Jail on a charge from the Sheriff’s Office from earlier in the week of Driving While Revoked (Serious). At the time Christensen turned herself in, she was charged with Public Intoxication. Christensen was released on her own recognizance later that day.

And on May 7th, deputies in Cass County arrested 51-year old Richard Lee Clausen, of Adair, on a charge of Theft 3rd Degree (Aggravated). Clausen was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on his own recognizance.

Cleanup underway in Lake City


May 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

LAKE CITY, Iowa (AP) – People are cleaning up damage after what’s believed to have been a tornado hit Lake City on Sunday. The storm tore the roof from a high school as about 150 students, family and faculty attended an awards ceremony inside. People scrambled into the basement and a locker room just minutes before the storm hit.

Dave Birks, the girls’ basketball coach at South Central Calhoun High School, says the lights went out and everyone’s ears popped.  Birks says school windows were blown out, the high jump pit from the school’s outdoor athletic complex is missing, and hurdles were scattered everywhere.

Cass County Families Invited to “Celebrate STEM” Event May 14th


May 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Extension and the Southwest Iowa STEM Hub are bringing science, technology, engineering and math fun to Cass County. The “Celebrate STEM” Festival is set for May 14th, from 5:00-7:00 pm, at the Cass County Community Center. Youth and families of all ages are invited to come explore STEM through hands-on learning and investigation.ISU Extension

Cass County Extension and the Southwest Iowa Regional STEM Hub are partnering with local community organizations and educators and host the “Celebrate STEM” Festival. Attendees will receive a “passport” at the front door to help them explore the many exhibits from throughout Cass County and southwest Iowa.

There will be opportunities to learn more about STEM programs happening for local youth, sign up for upcoming summer events in the county, and also learn about STEM in local businesses and careers. A variety of activities will also be available to spark student and parent interest with hands-on learning ranging from testing chemical reactions to learning about the science of animals.

The event is open to the public and there is no charge to attend. Anyone interested in learning more about opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math in Cass County is encouraged to attend. No pre-registration is required, and attendees are invited to stop in and stay for as long as they can. Any local business or organization that would like to participate is encouraged to call the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132 for more information on this event.

Union County accidents


May 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Union County report two accidents occurred early Saturday morning. At around 5:30-a.m., a vehicle driven by 39-year old Jason Woods, of Lenox, left the road and rolled over in a ditch before coming to rest on its wheels. Woods was traveling on Highway 34 near the 79 mile marker, when he swerved to miss a deer. His 2001 Pontiac Bonneville was totaled in the crash, but Woods wasn’t injured.

The second accident happened at around 5:40-a.m., also on Highway 34, at about the same location. Officials say 43-year old Jason Miller, of Creston, was westbound when he lost control of his motorcycle on a curve. The 1995 Suzuki cycle went down on its side, sustaining $1,000 damage. Miller suffered minor, non-incapacitating injuries, and was transported by ambulance to the hospital in Creston for treatment.