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Harlan man arrested on burglary and other charges


September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Harlan report the arrest on Sunday of a local resident on burglary and other charges. 23-year old Jeremy Bias, of Harlan, was caught thanks to tips from citizens, after he allegedly tried to break into a car. Bias was charged with four counts of Burglary in the 4th degree, Criminal Mischief, Public Intoxication, ongoing criminal conduct and possession of stolen property. A search of his residence resulted in the recovery of numerous items reported stolen over the past two weeks. Those items were seized and held as evidence in the case against him.

On Saturday, officer with the Harlan P-D arrested 31-year old Justin Henriksen, of Harlan, on charges of OWI/2nd offense, eluding, and careless driving. Henriksen was taken into custody after a brief pursuit, which ended near 8th and Farnam Streets. That same day, a Harlan resident reported to police the theft of his 1999 Chevy Blazer. The vehicle was stolen from a residence in the 1200 block of College Boulevard. The incident remains under investigation.

Officials report also, 32-year old Kevin Bruck, of Harlan, was arrested Sept. 3rd on an active Shelby County warrant for Theft in the 5th degree. Meyers was booked into the Shelby County Jail. Authorities meanwhile continue to investigate the theft of several high end golf clubs belonging to several individuals. The clubs were stolen from the Harlan Golf and Country Club. The incident was reported on August 28th. Officials say there are no suspects at this time.

Also under investigation, is an incident involving damage to a light pole at the Westridge Acres trailer court. The pole was found Saturday, laying across the road, with the light still lit. Crews with HMU disconnected power from the pole, so it could be removed.

Atlantic man arrested for Criminal mischief


September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports the arrest on Monday of 20-year old Bradley Herring, of Atlantic. Herring was taken into custody on a charge of Criminal Mischief in the 4th degree. He was booked into the Cass County Jail pending an appearance before the magistrate.

Bird causes 1,180 customers to lose power


September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A bird flying into an electrical  substation in Griswold Tuesday morningcaused 1,180 customers of Mid-American Energy to lose power. Tina Potthoff, Media Relations Manager for the utility company, told KJAN News the outage affecting parts of three counties began at 8:07-a.m.  By 10:20-a.m., 1,100 people were still without power.

She said crews “Are working to restore electricity as safely and efficiently as possible.”  Potthoff said they were working to get those still without power switched to a different circuit. She said the substation itself has to be repaired before it can come back online. And, while unable to provide a specific timeline for when all customers might have power returned, Potthoff said they are hoping to do so early this afternoon.

At it’s peak, 1,180 customers were left without power. That included 564 in Griswold, 226 in Lewis, 201 in Elliott, and a dozen or so customers in Pottawattamie and Montgomery Counties. Power was restored to all customers by no later than 2:15-p.m.


Harlan School District approves sharing agreements


September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Community School District approved three sharing agreements with three separate school districts. In a meeting Monday, the Harlan Community School Board approved the sharing agreements of a college English teacher with AHST, Librarian with the Exira-EHK district and an ESL/Curriculum Director with the Atlantic School District.

The college English teacher agreement is not something new as the Harlan Community and A-H-S-T districts have shared for 4 years. The district saves more than $9,600 in costs by sharing the position. The teacher/librarian position is a unique one for both districts. Harlan Community held a staff member last year for the position however Mrs. Evans-Winfield retired. Superintendent Justin Wagner said after posting for the job, the district didn’t have much interest so they asked Evans-Winfield back to share between the Harlan Community and Exira-EHK District. Wagner says it is a big benefit to both schools as EHK meets a certification and the Harlan Community School district saves about $35,000.

The final agreement approved was with the Atlantic School District for an ESL/Curriculum Director. The Harlan Community School District held a full time position last year for the ESL but this year the Primary-Elementary Principal Scott Frolich is stepping in for that role with the help from the Atlantic School District. Wagner said this is yet another cost savings as the Curriculum Director from Atlantic will cost a a little more than $11,870, which saves the district more than $15,890 altogether, over the last year.

With the agreements with the districts, the Harlan Community School District met state incentives from the state for additional money from the Operational Sharing Dollars. Wagner said that is an additional $240,000 because the district met the criteria in both scenarios.

The district will receive their operational sharing dollars at the beginning of next year. In other business, the Harlan Community Board hired Kent Klinkefus for head softball coach, Megan Tasler for assistant middle school cross country coach and Sam Brummer for head boy’s track coach. All three will start their position during their respective sport’s season.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Griswold Schools Without Power, Dismiss Early


September 10th, 2013 by Jim Field

A power outage has caused the Griswold schools to be dismissed today.  Students and teachers were greeted with the power troubles this morning.  Superintendent Dana Kunze says they don’t have the ability to cook meals and several interior rooms don’t have windows so they are sending students home.  Buses will run from the elementary school at 11:00 am and from the high school at 11:25 am.  Students who have the ability to get home from the middle school and high school have already been dismissed.  Kunze says they are contacting elementary student parents to make arrangements for those students to be dismissed.

Cass Supervisors to act on grant subcontract


September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors are set to meet Wednesday morning, in Atlantic. The main action item on their agenda is approval of a subcontract between the Cass County Board of Health and Nishna Valley YMCA, to facilitate the provision of a Community Transformation Grant for the period covering Oct. 1st, 2013 through Sept. 30th, 2014.

The meeting begins at 9-a.m. in the Supervisor’s Board Room, at the Cass County Courthouse.

Power outage grips much of Cass and other counties


September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A power outage that began at around 8-a.m. has hit parts of Cass, Montgomery and Pottawattamie Counties. According to information provided by the Mid-American Energy website, as of 9:40-a.m. more than 957 customers of Mid-American were affected by the outage in Cass County, including 201 in Elliott, 564 in Griswold, and 226 in Lewis.

In addition, the outage affects 12 customers in Montgomery County, and 10 in Pottawattamie County. 1,181 customers are affected in the Council Bluffs metro service area. Officials with Mid-American had not returned a call by KJAN New seeking an explanation for the outage, as of 9:55-a.m.

The outage has forced the Griswold Community Schools to dismiss classes at the Elementary School, beginning at 11-a.m., and at the High School, at 11:25. The Griswold Library is also closed until at least 1:30-p.m.

Sunnyside Tennis Courts in Atlantic open today (9/10/13)

News, Sports

September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department Director Roger Herring reports the Sunnyside Tennis Court reconstruction project is near completion, and the tennis courts will be open to public play (with some restrictions in place until signage is established), beginning today (Tues., Sept. 10th). Herring says until all the rules can be posted, there will be only one gate available for entrance to the courts. The southeast corner gate by the restrooms will be available to enter, which will still provide access to all courts.

Herring asks persons wanting to play at the facility to use common sense, as the courts have a special surface and is to be used for tennis only. Some of the rules include: The use of tennis shoes only; A one-hour time limit for singles play, 1.5-hours for doubles; The gates must be kept closed at all times; No bicycles, skates, skateboard, in-line skates, hockey, ultimate frisbie or other activities will be permitted.

In addition, no pets are allowed on the courts, sitting…pushing or pulling on the tennis nets, screens or gates is prohibited, as well as climbing on, hitting, or kicking balls, or running into the fences. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Roger Herring at 712-254-0637. And, if you observe any individuals misusing or abusing the facility, contact Herring with a description of those persons, their vehicles.

Herring adds that the restrooms at the Sunnyside Tennis Courts are open for public use.

Monday evening accident in Clarinda


September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers says no injuries were reported following an accident Monday evening at the intersection of West Clark and South 18th Streets. The accident happened at around 5:05-p.m., when vehicles driven by 84-year old Lloyd Cavner and 18-year old Caleb Ennen, both of Clarinda, collided after Ennen failed to stop at a stop sign. The 2005 Kia Sedona he was driving hit Cavner’s 2010 Dodge van on the left rear side, causing $13,000 damage altogether. Ennen was cited for Failure to obey a stop sign, Failure to provide proof of insurance and driving while suspended.

Discussions continue on Atlantic School District Capital Improvement Projects


September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Discussions about potential Capital Improvement Projects designed in-part to help deal with increased enrollment in the Atlantic Community School District, will continue over the next few months before a final plan is presented to the community and a vote on an $11-million bond issue is put before patrons of the District sometime early next year.

During Monday evening’s meeting of the Atlantic School Board, Design Alliance Architect Jerry Purdy reported input from parents, teachers and others during the recent open house at the Middle School, and during other discussions, revealed some surprising ideas about how the District should deal with increased enrollment, in terms of its facilities.

He says some people questioned why and expansion of the high school was needed. He says there are parts of AHS that can handle an increase of up to 100 students, but the fact remains there are some teachers still sharing classrooms. That’s especially true, he says, with regard to the art and industrial arts programs. He said also he spoke with some teachers about ideas on how to deal with classroom size as the number of students increase throughout the grades. During some workshop discussions, there were suggestions by teachers on how to deal with increased classroom size.

He says they suggested “Pulling the 9th grade out of the High School and building a seventh, eighth and ninth grade building [at the high school},” then shifting the Schuler Elementary students to the middle school, and take a couple of grade levels out of Washington and move them to Schuler and move pre-school to Washington. Purdy says State of Iowa guidelines says Elementary classrooms must meet a certain size requirement. If those classes are moved to the old high school or the Middle School, the classrooms are not big enough to meet the minimum guidelines. He says if the district wants to reduce classroom size from the current 23-25 students down to 15 per classroom, that presents a “different scenario.”

Original plans for the Capital Improvement Projects included an expansion of instructional space at each of the district’s facilities. Included in the discussion, was the possibility of: Adding a new cafeteria and additional classrooms at the Washington School; a new cafeteria and commons area in the Middle School in an area between the gym and auditorium; seven new classrooms at the high school; and 11 more classrooms at Schuler Elementary.

Other meetings designed to gather input on the Capital Improvement Projects will take place this week and next week, with the Atlantic Booster Club and Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Once all the suggestions are extrapolated into a summary form, that information will be presented to the School Board, sometime within the next couple of months.