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Government Agencies Provide Resources to Iowans on Bullying / Cyber-Bullying

News

May 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Bullying has been recognized as a widespread problem and the recent instances of bullying highlighted in the media bring this topic to the forefront for Iowans.  In response, the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Department of Public Safety, Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Office of The Attorney General Tom Miller, and Office of The Governor Terry Branstad are working in partnership to provide information and resources to Iowans on the topic of bullying and cyber-bullying.

A 2011 study by the Pew Research Center on Teens and Social Media found that 88% of social media-using teens have witnessed other people being mean or cruel on social networking sites and 15% of social media-using teens say they have been the victim of online meanness.  Another study in 2009 sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics who conducted the National Crime Victimization Survey / School Crime Supplement found that 28% of 12-18 year old students stated they had been bullied at school during the school year and 6% stated they had been victims of cyber-bullying.

In light of the alarming statistics these agencies have formed a partnership to continue to educate Iowans and to provide necessary resources to address bullying and cyber-bullying.  Resources have been provided to every school district in the State of Iowa, including links to websites containing teaching materials, presentations, safety education kits, and other information for school use in educating Iowa students.  In addition, the Iowa Internet Crimes against Children Task Force and Iowa State Patrol Safety Education Officers (SEO’s) are available to provide presentations at Iowa schools on the topics of bullying, cyber-bullying, internet safety, and others.  Contact information for the SEO’s was provided to all Iowa school districts so they may arrange for these presentations when it fits with their curriculum. These agencies continue to communicate with each other as instances of bullying and cyber-bullying are discovered.  It is vital that state government assist local school districts with appropriate resources to address instances of bullying at the onset, and in-turn prevent the often tragic outcome of negative peer influences.

Online resources for parents are available at www.netsmartz.org, the Iowa Internet Crimes against Children website at www.iaicac.org, the National Crime Prevention Council website at www.ncpc.org, and www.cybersmart.org. These resources represent an important component of an overall school-wide bullying prevention effort.  Additional resources can be found on the Department of Education website at http://educateiowa.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1030&Itemid=2911 .

Officials say by striving to reach every Iowa student through our schools we can make a difference and put a stop to bullying in our state.

Pott County Sheriff warns of new scam

News

May 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker is warning the public about a new sweepstakes mailing scam that purports to be the result of your shopping trip to a large chain store. The Sheriff says his office has received multiple complaints from citizens saying they were notified by mail, that they have won a sweepstakes by being randomly selected as a consumer that has shopped at a large, well-known chain store.

The notification includes a check, which the recipient is instructed to deposit, before remitting a “non-resident” tax to an address included in the letter. The mailing says the recipient would then be entitled to receive the remaining prize funds.

Danker says any person who receives any check, money order or negotiable instrument from an UNSOLICITED source, should be suspicious of the financial documents’ validity. He urges you to report ANY suspected fraudulent activity to your local law enforcement agency, prior to taking any other action.

Motorcycle pursuit ends in crash, chase, struggle and arrest

News

May 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Deputy and the suspect he was chasing suffered minor injuries following a high speed chase and foot pursuit in Council Bluffs Wednesday morning. Sheriff Jeff Danker says Deputy Mark Freeman engaged in the pursuit of a motorcycle driven by 44-year old Dean Putnam, of Council Bluffs westbound on 17th Street.

The chase wound its way through several City streets at speeds approaching 70-miles per hour before Putnam lost control and laid the bike down on its left side before it skidded to a stop. Danker says the man took off on foot from the scene with the deputy close behind.

Freeman caught up to Putnam and tackled him to the ground, where the two struggled. Danker says Putnam resisted arrest and was combative. The deputy called for assistance, which came in the form of officers with the Council Bluffs Police Department. Despite their efforts, Putnam continued to struggle with the officers, one of whom deployed a Taser.

While still resisting arrest, Danker says the officers were finally able to get handcuffs placed on Putnam, but his fight wasn’t over. The man allegedly struck Deputy Freeman several times in the right knee and right hand. Both men were transported to the hospital for treatment and evaluation.

Putnam was charged with Driving While Barred, Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer, Felony Eluding, and Reckless Driving. He also had a warrant for his arrest issued out of Dubuque. Putnam was being held in the Pott. County Jail on $15,000 bond.

Bluffs woman injured during Wed. accident

News

May 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs woman was injured during a single-vehicle accident late Wednesday morning. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says 18-year old Rikki Aherns, from rural Council Bluffs, told deputies when her purse fell off the passenger seat of her Suzuki SUV, she reached over to grab it and lost control of the vehicle as it was traveling on Pioneer Trail just east of 220th Street, at around 11:45-a.m., Wednesday.

The SUV left the road and hit a power pole. Aherns was transported from the scene by LifeNet helicopter to a local hospital, but her injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

Pott. Co. Sheriff Responds to “Baseless Criminal Accusations”

News

May 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(updated 10:45-a.m.)

Jeff Danker, Sheriff/Pottawattamie Co., IA

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker this (Thursday) morning, issued a press release in response to what he calls “Baseless allegations” brought against him and his former Chief Deputy, by his opponent, Republican John Hitchcock, in the upcoming election. Danker says over the past year, Hitchcock made more than 24 Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request from the Sheriff’s Office. Danker says they provided him with various pieces of information, including cell phone bills…clothing allowances…the purchase of vehicles…Information Technology policy, other polices and procedures. The Sheriff told KJAN News Hitchcock put together a group of about 11 items for review by County Attorney Matt Wilber. To make sure there was no conflict of interest or impropriety,  Wilber sent the information to Dallas County Attorney Wayne M. Reisetter.

Danker says he wasn’t even aware the private investigation was underway until the information Hitchcock requested came back from Dallas County. Reisetter indicated there was no need for criminal charges, and he was pointed in his response for having gone through the process to begin with. Danker says after review of the “Baseless criminal allegations,” Reisetter concluded ”The vast majority of the material does not appear to be remotely related to a cause for criminal investigation, raising a serious question as to whether the person (Hitchcock) making the allegations, has the remotest idea as to the function and scope of a criminal investigation, or of the limits of government intrusion by investigation.”

Danker says it’s disappointing to him that Hitchcock did whatever he could to come up with something to try and destroy his reputation so he would have a better shot at winning the election for Sheriff.” This election marks the first time Danker, who’s served the residents of Pottawattamie County as Sheriff for the past 20-years, and has been with the department for a total of 35-years, is facing an opponent. He says it appears Hitchcock is disparaging him in an attempt to win the election, because “He (Hitchcock) has no experience in administration or supervising law enforcement.”

Omaha man reaches plea deal in staged Onawa shooting

News

May 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Omaha World-Herald reports an Omaha man whom authorities say played a role in a staged shooting in Onawa on March 8th, has plead guilty to some of the charges originally filed against him. 19-year old Joseph A. Roberts agreed to plead guilty to extortion and reckless use of a firearm, in exchange for two other charges being dropped. The deal involves Roberts receiving a suspended 5-year sentence and 5-years of probation, to be served concurrently. The arrangement has yet to be approved by a judge.

As we previously reported, 32-year old Darren Hieber and 24-year old Brady Chapman were arrested in connection with a February 5th shooting at Hieber’s trucking business. Hieber told police he was shot in the leg while interrupting a burglary. Police say Hieber devised a scheme to have Chapman, his employee, shoot him with a .22-caliber rifle, to distract him from his personal problems. The Omaha World-Herald reported Hieber missed his estranged wife, and hatched the plan to try and get her back.

Authorities say Hieber was shot again on March 8th, after conspiring with Roberts and another Omaha man, 19-year old Timothy Culley, to have that event staged in-part, so the trio could allegedly extort money from Hieber’s family. Heiber and Culley have both entered pleas of not guilty in connection with the incident.

8AM Newscast 05-03-2012

News, Podcasts

May 3rd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Atlantic receives another “Tree City USA” award

News

May 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Local “Trees Forever” President Dolly Bergman presented City of Atlantic Officials with materials related to the recent awarding to the City of a “Tree City USA” award. It’s the 17th year Atlantic has been honored with the award. The local “Trees Forever” organization has been in existence for 20-years. Bergman said receiving the award is something the City tries to do each year. She said they local group was presented with its award on April 17th, in Des Moines. 

In order to receive the award, there are four requirements which must be met. There needs to be a Tree Board or Department within a city, a city must have a “Tree Care Ordinance,” the Community Forestry Program must have an annual budget of at least $2 per capita. Bergman says for 2011, Atlantic exceeded that by spending $19, 162. The expenditures went for tree plantings, community forestry (that includes pruning and/or tree removals), and all of the volunteer time, which was calculated at $16 per hour for every active volunteer. The only other requirement is for the City to have an Arbor Day observance and proclamation, which Atlantic approved for both last year and the current year. 

Bergman said in addition to the Tree City USA award, the City may be eligible to apply for a “Growth Award,” partly due to the tree trimming efforts that have been made downtown, the number of trees planted at the Schildberg Quarry Recreation Area, and the everyday maintenance being undertaken to keep the community green and beautiful.

7AM Newscast 05-03-2012

News, Podcasts

May 3rd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Atlantic City Council approves 1st readings of two ordinances

News

May 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday approved the first of three readings of ordinances pertaining to Urban Deer Control and the reducing of the speed limit on a section of 22nd Street.

City Councilman Steve Livengood, the City’s liaison to the Community Protection Committee, said the ordinance, which was tabled during last month’s Council meeting, was reviewed by the committee after the first draft was created, and revised after consulting with the City Attorney and Police Chief. One of the concerns they addressed was the removal of administrative procedures from the first draft, but after City Attorney Dave Weidersteen said the ordinance would be administered by the Police Department, the committee agreed that was acceptable.

Chief Steve Green has indicated he would like the ordinance passed no later than July 1st. The ordinance permits bow hunting of anterless deer within the Atlantic City limits, with the Police Department determining what areas the hunt will be allowed in, after receiving authorization from a land owner. Permits will be issued for the hunt under the sole discretion of the Police Chief.

The Council also approved the first reading of an ordinance reducing the speed limit on East 22nd Street from Olive to Highway 71, from 45- to 35-miles per hour. The Community Protection Committee recommended the move after consulting with the Police Chief, who said some residents who live along that stretch of road expressed their concerns about pulling out of their driveways given the current speed, pedestrian traffic along the road, and the potential for future residential development in the area.