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New scoreboard ready for power at Sunnyside, Vision IA grant efforts dead for now

News

July 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A new scoreboard at Sunnyside Park should be ready to go in-time for Tuesday night’s baseball game at Trevor Frederickson Memorial Field. Atlantic Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring said Brown Electric is slated to hook up the power Tuesday, and then it’s just a matter of programming the scoreboard in preparation for use.

3 Atlantic Park and Rec employees finishing the scoreboard installation. Thanks to Bill Welter, CEO of Concept Builders, for donating his time and machinery to install the scoreboard and to the Cass County Community Foundation for their grant to purchase the scoreboard. (Roger Herring photo)

3 Atlantic Park and Rec employees finishing the scoreboard installation. Thanks to Bill Welter, CEO of Concept Builders, for donating his time and
machinery to install the scoreboard and to the Cass County Community Foundation for
their grant to purchase the scoreboard. (Roger Herring photo)

Herring said the new board is wireless, which means the umpires can keep track of the score, pitch count and other facets of a ball game with a hand-held device. Before, the process was cumbersome and sometimes not very accurate. Herring said the old scoreboard was removed and the new one installed Monday.

He said the new score board made possible through a $6,000 grant from the Cass County Community Foundation. The Frederickson Foundation also contributed a tremendous amount of volunteer labor for work on the bleachers, landscaping and fencing, to make the field attractive and functional. The scoreboard will feature the name “Trevor Frederickson Memorial Field, ” and “Sunnyside Park,” since the park is City property.

In other business, Herring said there won’t be a Vision Iowa Grant this year to help with improvements at the Schildberg Recreation Area. That’s because Herring and SWIPCO’s Courtney Harter couldn’t get the application submitted by the July 15th deadline, due to some missing information. That includes a monetary commitment made by the Cass County Board of Supervisors when the area was created years ago, and a Resolution from the City, as to what it’s commitment would be.

In fact, the Cass County Board of Supervisors contributed $20,000 toward the project, because part of the Schildberg land is county property. Herring said the thoroughness of the information they needed to submit was no where near what was submitted when the City first applied for a $100,000 Vision Iowa grant in about 2004. The City received the funds, but was forced to repay the entire amount in 2009, when it failed to meet the requirement of the grant and a fifth request for an extension to complete the project, was denied. Herring said that probably left a bitter taste with the Vision Iowa Board, and was one of the other reasons they decided not to try for a grant this year.

He said all is not lost, however. There are other sources for funds that can be applied for until a more thorough application can be submitted by June of 2015. That includes a REAP grant (Resource Enhancement and Protection) from the DNR, Funds from the IA DOT and by requesting more funds from the Schildberg Foundation.

Local and State officials agree Bowfishing is allowed at Schildberg Quarry Rec Area

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors Monday evening received an update from Park and Rec Director Roger Herring on several matters, one of which was the legality of Bow fishing at the Schildberg Quarry Rec Area. Herring said the question came about after a couple of the Park Board’s members who were planting flowers at Schildberg and pulling weeds, saw a few people bow fishing off of the south bank. He said the question was raised, “Is that legal?”bow fishing

Herring says he spoke with law enforcement and Brian Hayes, Fisheries Biologist at Cold Springs State Park. The answer is the that bow fishing is no different than rod and reel fishing. To be legal, you must still have an adult fishing license. Herring said there are limitations on the types of fish that can be obtained by bow fishing, however. The fish must be of the “rough” variety, such as carp, river fish, and gar. Game fishing is not allowed through bowfishing. That means you cannot catch bass, perch, bluegill, crappie and catfish.

Board member Charlene Beane said she spoke with the local bow fisherman. She said they spent at least 20-minutes explaining the sport to her.  She said “It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my life. I was so impressed with these young men and what they know and what they do. I came away absolutely enthralled and excited about it.”

Board member Erin McFadden said the bow fishing devices themselves are not dangerous, and not armed until they are cocked by having the string drawn back. Herring stressed again, that bow fishing is allowed by City Ordinance within the City limits because it’s on public water. State regulations also allow bow fishing in public waters.

Clarinda man faces numerous charges after pursuit

News

July 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer reports a Clarinda man faces numerous charges following a chase last Friday afternoon. 41-year old Merlin Glenn Lininger was apprehended at a residence in Villisca, after leading authorities on a chase that began with a traffic stop in Clarinda at around 3:25-p.m., Friday. Palmer says when a deputy tried to stop the Mazda Lininger was driving, the car sped off with two occupants inside.

The vehicle went on paved and gravel roads at a high rate of speed. Authorities eventually called-off the pursuit for a variety of reasons. After Lininger was located and taken into custody, he was brought to the Page County Jail and charged with Driving While Barred, along with numerous other traffic offenses. His bond was set at $2,000. The identity of the other individual in the vehicle was not released, as the investigation remains on-going. That person was however found, near where they exited the car.

Iowa Court of Appeals upholds McDermott sentencing

News

July 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner reports the Iowa Court of Appeals last week affirmed Cass County District Court Judge Jeffrey L. Larson’s sentencing last November of Rex Dean McDermott to 5-years in prison on one count of Domestic Abuse Assault by Strangulation.

McDermott pleaded guilty to the charge on September 2nd, 2013. During his sentencing hearing, the District Court Judge Jeffrey Larson declined to suspend the sentence, which McDermott appealed, arguing the court did not properly consider factors such as McDermott’s lack of criminal history, the maximum opportunity for rehabilitation, or considerations relating to the protection of the community, given McDemott’s mental health issues and availability of treatment.

The Appeals Court, said “An abuse of discretion is only found when the court exercises its discretion on grounds clearly untenable or to an extent clearly unreasonable.” In affirming the judge’s decision, the Appeals Court said they found no abuse of discretion in the decision made by Judge Larson. The court also rejected McDermott’s request that any ineffective-assistance of-counsel claims be preserved for future post conviction relief proceedings.

Feistner said McDermott can make an Application for further Review to the Iowa Supreme Court before twenty days expires from the Iowa Court of Appeals’ decision on July 16th, 2014 and Procedendo issues. However, once Procedendo issues, the appeal process terminates and jurisdiction reverts back to the District Court order which was for prison and then Mittimus for that sentence issues immediately. Until that time, McDermott would remain out of custody on appeal bond and would not be subject to the District Court’s sentencing order for the jurisdictional reasons as stated herein.

**************************************

The complete transcript of the decision follows: STATE OF IOWA,
Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.
REX DEAN MCDERMOTT,
Defendant-Appellant.
________________________________________________________________
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cass County, Jeffrey L. Larson, Judge.
Rex McDermott appeals his sentence to one count of domestic abuse assault by strangulation causing bodily injury. AFFIRMED.
Sean P. Spellman of Spellman Law, P.C., West Des Moines, for appellant.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Sheryl A. Soich, Assistant Attorney General, and Daniel Feistner, County Attorney, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.

VOGEL, P.J.
Rex McDermott appeals his sentence to one count of domestic abuse assault by strangulation causing bodily injury, asserting the district court abused its discretion in sentencing him to a period of incarceration not to exceed five years. Because we conclude the district court properly considered the appropriate factors when sentencing McDermott, we affirm.
This case arises from an incident on October 13, 2012, in which McDermott strangled his wife, Beth McDermott, and shoved her head in a bucket containing diesel fuel. The State filed a trial information, and later an amended trial information, charging McDermott with willful injury, in violation of Iowa Code section 708.4(2) (2011); domestic abuse assault, in violation of Iowa Code sections 236.2, 708.1(1), and 708.2A(2)(b); and domestic abuse assault by strangulation causing bodily injury, in violation of Iowa Code section 708.2A(5). McDermott pleaded guilty to the domestic-abuse-assault-by-strangulation charge on September 23, 2013.
A sentencing hearing was held on November 12, 2013, at which Chase Roller, who prepared the presentence investigation report, and Beth testified. It was established McDermott suffered from bipolar disorder and alcohol dependence. Beth’s letter described how McDermott planned ahead to harm her and how she questioned whether he would attack again. Several letters were also submitted to the court on behalf of McDermott, describing his good character, service to the community, devotion to his family, and how this act was completely “out of character.” After hearing the testimony, McDermott’s statements, and the arguments of the parties, the district court sentenced

McDermott to a period of incarceration not to exceed five years, declining to suspend the sentence. McDermott appeals, claiming the court did not properly consider factors such as McDermott’s lack of criminal history, the maximum opportunity for rehabilitation, or considerations relating to the protection of the community, given McDermott’s mental health issues and the availability of treatment.
We review sentencing decisions for an abuse of discretion. State v. Evans, 672 N.W.2d 328, 331 (Iowa 2003). An abuse of discretion is only found when the court exercises its discretion on grounds clearly untenable or to an extent clearly unreasonable. Id. “Sentencing decisions are cloaked with a strong presumption in their favor. A sentence will not be upset on appellate review unless the defendant demonstrates an abuse of trial court discretion or a defect in the sentencing procedure, such as trial court consideration of impermissible factors.” State v. Grandberry, 619 N.W.2d 399, 401 (Iowa 2000).
The district court set forth the following reasons for imposing the five-year sentence:
Mr. McDermott, I’ve read and considered all the letters that have been submitted in your support as well as what you’ve told me. I understand that you have a substance abuse and a mental health issue that you’ve been battling with. I note that’s been an ongoing issue for several years. I also considered the fact that you’ve been in and out of several treatment programs, normally walking out of them on your own.
I would like to think that this horrific incident that was very violent would be a wake-up call for you and motivate you to stay with your treatment programs that you’re currently taking part in, but I have no way of guaranteeing to your wife or to the community that that’s going to happen. That’s a risk that I’m not willing to take. For that reason, I’m not going to suspend the sentence.

This was a terribly violent offense that caused injury to your wife, one that you have talked about and threatened to commit and that you did, and you knew it was wrong at the time.
Like I said, I think—I would like to think that this is enough of a wake-up call to prevent this from happening again and to prevent you from walking away and stopping your voluntary treatment programs, but I can’t make that guarantee to the community or to your wife; and for that reason, I think a five-year imprisonment is an appropriate one under the circumstances, and a suspended sentence is not appropriate.
I understand your—the argument that your counsel and experts provided concerning the treatment that will be available to you through the Department of Corrections and that it is undisputed that that’s not the best treatment that you’re going to get; you’ll get better treatment where you’re at or through some private resource. But that’s not the only reason for my sentence, and it’s not just to get you the treatment you needed. It’s also to protect the community, and you’re also being punished for what you did.
We find no abuse of discretion in this decision. The court acknowledged McDermott’s many letters of support and considered the appropriate factors, including the nature of the crime, the potential for rehabilitation, as well as McDermott’s mental health and substance abuse issues. See State v. August, 589 N.W.2d 740, 744 (Iowa 1999) (noting that the nature of the offense, the attendant circumstances, and the defendant’s age, character, propensities, and chances for reform are the “minimal essential factors” to be considered by the sentencing judge). Consequently, we affirm the sentence pursuant to Iowa Rule of Court 21.26(1)(a), (d), and (e).
McDermott also requests that any ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims be preserved for potential future postconviction relief proceedings. However, no specific preservation of claims is necessary, given any potential claims are deemed preserved under Iowa Code section 814.7(1) (2013).
AFFIRMED.

3 arrests in Atlantic

News

July 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports three recent arrests. On Sunday, 22-yearold Thea Sherman, of Atlantic, was arrested for Public Intoxication. Sherman was booked into the Cass County Jail. And, 17-yearold Nicholas Frederick, of Corning, was arrested in Atlantic for Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was cited and then released to a relative.

On Friday, officers with the A-PD arrested 49-year old Eric Asay, of Atlantic, for 2nd offense Public Intoxication. He was booked into the Cass County Jail.

(12:40-p.m. News)

Computer repair phone scam Alert

News

July 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office wants the public to be aware of a scam that is circulating wherein someone calls the victim, claiming to be from a computer place, tells you there is something wrong with your computer, and asks you to log them on to fix it.PhoneScam1 Once you do that, the caller locks your computer and says you need to make a payment to them to unlock your computer. This is a scam! Do not allow individuals to log onto your computer unless you have sought them out for computer help yourself. If you receive a call like this, hang up.

High Temperatures Prompt IDPH to Urge Caution Outdoors

News, Weather

July 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The first extreme heat wave of the summer is forecast for Iowa this week, with highs in the 90s and the heat indexes in the 100s. With events like RAGBRAI and the State Softball Tournament occurring this week, The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reminds Iowans even young and healthy individuals can have a heat-related illness if they are active during hot weather.

“After a week of mild temperatures and relatively low humidity, this wave of heat will be a big adjustment for many. People suffer heat-related illness when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough,” said IPDH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly. Especially when the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly.”

Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, the people are at greatest risk include:

People age 65 or older
Infants and young children
Overweight individuals
People who are performing manual labor or exercising outdoors
People who have a chronic illness, especially those with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as those for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation.

To protect your health when temperatures and humidity are high, remember to keep cool and use common sense. The following tips are important:

Increase fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. The best way to tell you are well-hydrated is if your urine is light yellow. If it gets dark, stop and rehydrate by drinking water immediately.
If experiencing a lot of sweating, replace salt and minerals by eating foods like bananas and salty crackers, or drink rehydrating beverages that contain salts such as sports drinks, and special rehydration fluids.
Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and wear sunscreen.
Wear hats that shade your face such as sun hats, visors, etc.
Keep in the shade or air conditioned areas as much as possible.
Work slowly if you are not used to working or exercising in heat and humidity. Stop immediately if you get dizzy, nauseated, or feel weak. Go into an air conditioned space and drink cool liquids.
Use a buddy system. Watch others for heat-induced illness, since some people may not realize that they are suffering heat-related illnesses and can become confused or lose consciousness.
For more information about preventing heat-related illness, visit http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp.

 

Heat Advisory extended for western/sw Iowa

News, Weather

July 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

MONONA-HARRISON-SHELBY-POTTAWATTAMIE-MILLS-MONTGOMERY-FREMONT-
PAGE COUNTIES; 1055 AM CDT MON JUL 21 2014

…HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM CDT TUESDAY…

A HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7-P.M. TUESDAY FOR THE REST OF WESTERN IOWA.

* TEMPERATURE…HIGHS THIS AFTERNOON WILL BE IN THE 90S TO AROUND 100 DEGREES.

* TIMING…HEAT INDEX VALUES WILL PEAK BETWEEN ABOUT 103 AND 110 DEGREES AT MOST LOCATIONS BETWEEN 4 PM AND 6 PM…THEN SLOWLY DECREASE OVERNIGHT. HEAT INDEX VALUES WILL AGAIN TOP OUT FROM 105 TO 110 DEGREES TUESDAY.

* IMPACTS…THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE. THE YOUNG AND ELDERLY ARE ESPECIALLY AT RISK TO THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY…CHECK UP ON RELATIVES AND
NEIGHBORS IF THEY DO NOT HAVE AIR-CONDITIONING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HOT TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS…STAY IN AN AIR-CONDITIONED ROOM AND STAY OUT OF THE SUN. CHILDREN AND PETS SHOULD NEVER BE LEFT UNATTENDED IN VEHICLES UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE DURING WARM OR HOT WEATHER WHEN CAR INTERIORS CAN REACH LETHAL TEMPERATURES IN A MATTER OF MINUTES.

Sioux City wraps up 232 remembrance

News

July 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sioux City wrapped up its commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the crash of United Airlines Flight 232 Sunday. A gathering at the Mid American Museum of Aviation and Transportation honored the 112 people who lost their lives in the 1989 crash, and a garden of reflection was dedicated in their honor. Captain Al Haynes, the pilot who guided in the stricken D-C-10 airliner and helped 184 people survive, was greeted with a standing ovation by a crowd of several hundred.

United Flight 232 with visible tail damage. Photo taken just before the plane landed, cartwheeled and exploded in Sioux City, in 1989.

United Flight 232 with visible tail damage. Photo taken just before the plane landed, cartwheeled and exploded in Sioux City, in 1989.

“We are very grateful and very appreciative of everything that took place in Sioux City,” Haynes says. “And I don’t know how we can possibly explain to you — everybody’s tried — how much has come out of Sioux City. The way pilots are trained, the way flight attendants are trained, the way fire departments are trained, the communications services…that all came out of 232 and what all of you did.”

Jerry Schemmel survived the crash and went on to have a successful sportscasting career with Denver sports teams. Schemmel noted that everyone has a different way of coping, and while many moved forward, others were not able to. “But the world needs to know that out of this terrible tragedy there has also come great triumph for many of us,” Schemmel says. “There are endless stories of survivors and family members of those who have died who have picked up the pieces, who have dusted themselves off, who have moved on and refused to allow the crash of flight 232 and its aftermath to dictate their lives and take away their dreams. Fortunately, there are many more of those stories than the others.”

Schemmel says he will never forget those who died in the crash and says he keeps a list of their names with him in his daytimer. The names of the 112 people who died in the crash were read at the ceremony by the presidents of Briar Cliff University and Morningside College.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic Ambassadors Visit Tropical Sno

News

July 21st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Ambassadors visited Tropical Sno recently, a shaved ice shack that serves flavored sno cones. Matt Mullenix and his family own Tropical Sno and explained to Ambassadors how the product is made. Tropical Sno is different from other sno cone businesses because the ice is shaved by a blade rather than crushed, allowing the ice to absorb all of the flavoring. Tropical Sno is open week nights from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Mullenix Family Pictured: Collin, Matt, Michelle, Chloe, and Chase Mullenix Ambassadors Pictured:  Pat McCurdy, Ali Krogman, Rich Perry, Nedra Perry, Debbie Leistad, Sue Muri, Dolly Bergmann, Bill Saluk, JoAnn Runyan, Kathie Hockenberry, Tammy Waters, Carol Sedden, Tara Jennerjohn, Karry Jepsen, Karl Aldag, Lucas Mosier, Donnie Drennan, Doug Harris, Keith Leonard, Steve Anderson, Gerhard Marburg, Doreen Ellsbury, Tyler Mosier, Jim Kickland, Dr. Mitch Peerbolt & David Schwab.  (Chamber photo)

Mullenix Family Pictured: Collin, Matt, Michelle, Chloe, and Chase Mullenix
Ambassadors Pictured: Pat McCurdy, Ali Krogman, Rich Perry, Nedra Perry, Debbie Leistad, Sue Muri, Dolly Bergmann, Bill Saluk, JoAnn Runyan, Kathie Hockenberry, Tammy Waters, Carol Sedden, Tara Jennerjohn, Karry Jepsen, Karl Aldag, Lucas Mosier, Donnie Drennan, Doug Harris, Keith Leonard, Steve Anderson, Gerhard Marburg, Doreen Ellsbury, Tyler Mosier, Jim Kickland, Dr. Mitch Peerbolt & David Schwab.
(Chamber photo)