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Atlantic Parks & Rec Director urges vigilance in vandalism reports

News

August 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A recent incident of vandalism at a park in Atlantic has the City’s Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring, asking for the public to be vigilant in reporting any suspicious activity. Herring said there was graffitti on the nearly year-old playground equipment at the Pellett Park. The incident was observed by a kindergartener who didn’t realized what she was seeing. He said the girl spoke with a friendly man in his early 20’s who was doing the damage.

The girl told her mom about a man “drawing pictures” on the playground equipment, but no other description was available.” The family who reported the incident the next day, was visiting the area and were not from Atlantic. Herring said the spray painting was not the typical, vulgar work of vandalism you might expect to see.

He says “It’s not just junk…it’s not profanity…” He said “It’s art work that has some significance” to the person who did it. The same image was placed on a lot of pieces of equipment on the playground. The man indicated to the girl he learned how to “tag” — as graffiti is called – in jail.

Parks and Rec staff will try and remove the images. In the mean time, he asked the public to report any incidents of vandalism to the Police Department.

Documents: Iowa mom used feeding tube on girl

News

August 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ATLANTIC, Iowa (AP) — Court documents say a western Iowa woman accused of lying about her daughter’s cancer diagnosis inserted a feeding tube into the girl’s nose and stomach. The Daily Nonpareil reports 30-year-old Leatha Slauson, of Atlantic, did not have medical training to properly insert the medical equipment. Police later confiscated it.

Police say Slauson told her community that her 5-year-old daughter was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year. An investigation found the child is not suffering from any disease. Slauson is accused of soliciting donations for her daughter. She is also accused of giving the girl cannabis oil.

Slauson was arrested Thursday on charges of child endangerment and drug distribution. She is scheduled to be in court on Sept. 2.

Omaha Contractor and Companies Plead Guilty to Fraud Scheme

News

August 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa reports Omaha, Nebraska contractor Ram Hingorani pled guilty last Friday to Major Program Fraud. In addition, one of Hingorani’s companies, Midwest Paving, Inc. (MPI), pled guilty to Money Laundering in furtherance of the scheme. MPI is a U.S. General Services Administration, Department of Defense, and Department of Veteran Affairs contractor. The admissions of guilt by Hingorani follow guilty pleas entered by Midwest Contracting, Inc. (MCI), on August 15, 2014, to Major Program Fraud and Wire Fraud.

On May 22, 2013, a Federal grand jury in the Southern District of Iowa issued a 32-count Indictment charging Hingorani, business partner Ronald Waugh, MCI and MPI, in connection with an approximate $23.5 million Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) fraud scheme. The charges included multiple counts of major fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. Additionally, agents seized approximately $3.9 million from 14 separate financial accounts.

Beginning in May of 2007 and continuing through August of 2010, MCI unlawfully received 45 set-aside and/or sole-source SDVOSB contracts from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), to include contracts involving American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. The investigation revealed MCI was a pass-through and/or front company for Hingorani’s other businesses and that Waugh was simply a figurehead or “rent-a-vet,” who was being used for his SDV status. Evidence demonstrated that the non-veteran Hingorani controlled MCI and certified MCI’s SDVOSB status through the General Service Administration’s Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) databases.

As a result of falsely certifying MCI’s status as a SDVOSB, MCI received 45 federal contracts that would have otherwise been awarded to legitimate Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Concerns.
The United States has agreed to dismiss all charges against Ronald Waugh, the service disabled veteran utilized by Hingorani to perpetrate the fraud scheme.

As a result of his plea agreement, Hingorani faces a prison term of up to 24 months and forfeiture of the profits obtained as a result of the fraud scheme. The amount of forfeiture will be determined by the District Court following a sentencing hearing which will be scheduled at a later date. In addition, Hingorani, MCI and MPI are currently suspended and face administrative debarment from obtaining future government contracts.

Farm trade groups form water quality alliance

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Three Iowa farm trade groups have formed an organization called the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance to push farmers harder on the implementation of farm practices designed to clean Iowa’s water. The group’s goal is to get more farmers to participate in the state’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy, a voluntary program initiated Gov. Terry Branstad’s administration.

Environmental groups including Iowa Citizens for Community improvement want measurable and enforceable standards. They say the new alliance will do little to improve Iowa water. Iowa CCI says it’s a corporate public relations campaign that won’t change a thing.

Branstad announced the creation of the alliance Monday with officials from Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

The soybean group’s CEO Kirk Leeds is board chairman of the nonprofit alliance.

Officials say nearly $1M carp barrier working

News

August 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

MILFORD, Iowa (AP) — Officials say they think a nearly $1-million electronic fish barrier has succeeded in stopping invasive Asian carp from the Iowa Great Lakes. The Sioux City Journal reports the fish first swam into the lakes during flooding in 2011. They had previously been kept out by dams on the Little Sioux River in Harrison County and near Linn Grove.

The Asian carp species are thought to be a major threat to native aquatic species throughout the Midwest. One species, the silver carp, poses a safety hazard because they leap from the water when startled.

The 21-foot-long fish barrier was built in 2012, and officials believe it’s working. There have been few reports of Asian carp being netted or sighted

Cass County Sheriff’s report: 8/25/14

News

August 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports four recent arrests. On Friday, 34-year old Leo Alan Edwards, of Pacific Junction, was arrested on a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear. Edwards was taken to the Cass County Jail where he is being held on $5000 bond.

Last Thursday, 57-year old Terry Dean Calhoun, of Atlantic, was arrested on charges of Domestic Abuse and Interference with Official Acts. Calhoun was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on his own recognizance. That same day, 26-year old Michael Scott Miller, of Avoca, was arrested on a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear (Child Support). Miller was taken to the Cass County Jail where he is being held on $2,000 bond.

And on Wednesday, August 20th, 36-year old Joseph Allen Hoegh, of Harlan, turned himself in at the Cass County Jail on a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear (Child Support). Hoegh was booked and released on $1000 bond.

Atlantic woman arrested for harassment

News

August 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic report the arrest on Saturday of 20-year old Jessica Mack. The Atlantic woman was arrested on a charge of Harassment in the 3rd degree, and brought to the Cass County Jail.

On Sunday, officers with the A-PD arrested 20-year old Jesse Boken, of Atlantic, for Public Intoxication, and 36-year old Damyn Stacy, of Villisca, for Driving While Suspended. Both were booked into the Cass County Jail.

Officials: Iowa inmate left work release facility

News

August 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – An inmate has escaped from a work release facility in Sioux City. The state Department of Corrections says 22-year-old Melvin William Spencer III was placed on escape status Sunday after he failed to return from a furlough. Additional information about the furlough was not released.

Spencer was serving a seven-year sentence for convictions of intimidation with a dangerous weapon and carrying weapons. He began his sentence in 2012 and was transferred to work release in June.

Guthrie County Fair Royalty is crowned

News

August 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Guthrie County Fair is ready to get underway in Guthrie Center. The event, which runs from Thursday, Aug. 28th through Monday, Sept. 1st, officially has it’s royalty. Fair organizers say the 4-H Queen is Danielle Schwartz, daughter of Don and Carolyn Schwartz from Bayard. Danielle is entering her senior year at Coon Rapids-Bayard and is part of the Highland Hustlers 4-H Club.2014 4-H King and Queen

The 4-H King is Clayton Wilkerson, son of Chad and Amy Wilkerson of Panora. Clayton started his senior year at Guthrie Center High School and is active in the Dodge Dodgers club. Free admittance to the Guthrie County Fair begins on Thursday.

For more information on the daily events and other pre-fair activities, go to http://www.guthriecountyfair.com/

Additional info. released on Friday’s Pott. County crash

News

August 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office today (Monday) released more information about a 2-vehicle crash that happened Friday morning, west of Griswold. Officials say at approximately 10:27-a.m., the deputies were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident with injuries at Highway 92 and County Road M-47.

An investigation revealed 68-year old Lela Lank was westbound on Highway 92 in a 2011 Cadillac Escalade, while 81-year old Richard McCauley, of Atlantic, was southbound on County Road M47 in a 2004 Chevrolet S-10. Officialssay at the intersection of Highway 92 and County Road M47, McCauley failed to stop at the stop sign and struck Lank’s SUV in the passenger side. The impact caused Lank’s vehicle to travel into the south ditch, where it rolled over. McCauley’s pickup spun around and came to rest in the ditch.

Lank was transported to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital and later airlifted to Creighton Medical Center. A passenger in her SUV, 75-year old Cecil Boos, was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital and later airlifted to Creighton Medical Center.

McCauley was transported to Creighton Medical Center by medical helicopter. A passenger in his pickup, 80-year old Patricia McCauley, of Atlantic, was transported Creighton Medical Center by medical helicopter.

No information is available on injuries. The cause of the accident is still being investigated.