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Red Oak motorcyclist arrested on drug & alcohol charges


May 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop in Red Oak early this (Thursday) morning, resulted in the operator of a motorcycle being arrested on alcohol and drug charges. According to Red Oak Police, a Suzuki motorcycle driven by 31-year old Marcus John Josephson, of Red Oak, was pulled over near the intersection of East Washington and North 2nd Streets, at around 1:50-a.m.

Josephson was arrested  on charges that include felony OWI/3rd offense, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana, and Driving While Revoked. He was brought to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $5,000 bond.

South Sioux City man found guilty in Iowa of selling meth


May 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A South Sioux City man has been found guilty of selling methamphetamine by a federal jury. The Sioux City Journal reports 42-year-old Jose Orellana was found guilty Friday on one count of conspiracy to distribute 5 grams or more but less than 50 grams of methamphetamine.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sioux City, Iowa, said Orellana was involved in a conspiracy to sell the drug in Sioux City and South Sioux City, Nebraska, from September 2013 through May 13, 2014. Orellana faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been scheduled yet.

Atlantic School Board approved 2014-15 budget amendment & staff reductions


May 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A public hearing was held Wednesday evening at the High School in Atlantic, with regard to amendments to the 2014-2015 District Budget. No one was present to voice any comments for or against the matter during the Atlantic School Board’s meeting. Business Manager/Board Secretary Mary Beth Fast said the amendment must be filed before May 31st, to allow time for anyone who wishes, to protest a decision to approve the amendments.

Fast explained to the Board there are some categories of the budget cannot be exceeded. The Instruction category is one of them. Fast reminded the Board the Certified Budget in April amounted to 10.45-million dollars. She asked for a budget increase of 2.25-million [$12.7-million total], which she said would allow for instruction across all funds, not just the General Fund, but the Management Fund [which includes Early Retirement], and Activity Fund. Salaries, Open Enrollment and Special Education tuition is also included.

The Board, without further discussion, approved the Budget Amendment as proposed. The Board also approved a Reduction in Force (RIF) list for Non-Certified staff. Superintendent Mike Amstein explained that in the budget reductions, the District eliminated a number of Para-educator positions, which means they are not able to offer those individuals employment for the 2015-16 School year.

Amstein says however, based on the 2014-15 Non-Certified Master Contract, the Board is required to approve the RIF list. Individuals on the list include: Tish Mendenhall [Transportation Bus Monitor], Jordan Vetter, Michelle Turner, and Alexis Lopez (Middle School Para’s], Oran Perkins, Dawn Walton and Julie Phippen (Elementary/Link Center Para’s) and Loretta Barringer [Transportation Bus Driver].

The reductions amount to about a dozen so far this year. One of those reductions came about when a pre-school bus route was eliminated, which impacted a Bus Monitor position. Based on current vacancies, Amstein said they were able to move some people into existing positions that weren’t impacted by the reductions.

The Board also approved the resignation of Middle School teacher Jeff Niederhoff, who taught Technology and 21st Century Skills. Amstein said that may open up the opportunity to hire a full-time Science teacher at the Middle School. The Board also approved the resignation of Schuler Elementary 5th Grade teacher Jill Miller, who has accepted a position with the CAM School District. They also approved the hiring of Emma Walker as a High School English teacher and head Volleyball Coach. Walker comes to Atlantic from the AHST School District. And the hiring of Faith McCunn as a 5th Grade teacher at Schuler Elementary, was approved by the Board during their meeting, Wednesday evening.

New Superintendent hired for Red Oak Schools


May 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Red Oak School District’s Board of Education, Wednesday night, approved the hiring of Tom Messigner as their new Superintendent. The vote to hire Messinger took place during a Special Meeting.

Messinger currently serves as the High School Principal in Burlington, a position he’s held for 11 years. He has also worked for the Eddyville-Blakesburg Community School District as High School Principal, Activities Director/Assistant High School Principal, and High School math teacher.

Tom Messinger received his Specialist and Master of Science Degrees from Drake University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Iowa. School Officials say Messinger was selected from a very competitive field of applicants. Final interviews were conducted by four focus groups (administrators, support staff, classroom teachers, and parent/community members) and the Board of Education.

In a statement, Red Oak School Board President Lee Fellers said “The Board was very pleased with the selection process, the quality of applicants and from input received from our four focus groups. We are looking forward to welcoming Tom to the Red Oak Community and helping him with the transition in his new role as Superintendent.”

Bluffs man critically injured in motorcycle crash


May 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Witnesses say a motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed before leaving the road and crashing Wednesday evening, in Council Bluffs. According to Bluffs Police, 53-year old Daniel G. Sample, of Council Bluffs, was operating a motorcycle that went out of control at around 6:30-p.m., in the area of Interstate 80 eastbound, just west of the Exit 4 Interstate 29 south/I-80, split.

The cycle flipped over and landed on Sample, who was transported by Council Bluffs Fire and Rescue personnel to the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Sample was last reported to be in critical, but stable condition, and in a coma.

The accident remains under investigation.

Bluffs man faces more than 10-years for Domestic abuse & kidnapping


May 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man could spend more than a decade behind bars on kidnapping charges. According to the Daily NonPareil, 28-year old Joshua R. Jackson was sentenced to 15 years on charges of domestic strangulation and two counts of willful cause of bodily injury as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. Jon Jacobmeier, chief deputy Pottawattamie County Attorney, says each charge carries a five-year sentence, and the agreement called for the terms to be served consecutively. There is no mandatory minimum amount of time Jackson must serve, according to Jacobmeier.

Jackson was accused of holding his 20-year-old girlfriend hostage from Dec. 17-19, beating her with his fists and feet, pulling her hair out in clumps, biting her multiple times, whipping her with an electrical cord and more, according to police. The woman eventually broke free, but not before suffering a broken nose, broken eye socket, perforated eardrum, retinal detachment, concussion, pancreatic contusion and burn marks.

Jackson had originally been charged with first-degree kidnapping, which carries a sentence of life in prison without parole.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., May 28th 2015


May 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials say there’s another probable case of bird flu in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said yesterday it’s responding to a probable case of bird flu at a commercial laying operation in Wright County in northern Iowa. More than 26 million birds have been affected by bird flu in the state.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s unemployment rate has dropped from 4 percent in March to 3.8 percent in April. Iowa Workforce Development announced the rate yesterday, noting that despite a decrease of 1,700 nonfarm jobs in sectors like manufacturing, government and trade and transportation, 23,700 more people are working in the state than a year ago. There are currently about 1.6 million people employed in Iowa.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) — A 19-year-old convicted of shooting to death a man in Marshalltown has been given 50 years in prison. The Marshalltown Times-Republican reports that Jose Enrique Morales of Marshalltown was sentenced Tuesday in Marshall County District Court. He’d been convicted last month of second-degree murder for killing 20-year-old Dedrikk Fisher, also of Marshalltown.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Twelve Waterloo schools are using art to help promote peace following a recent rash of shootings and stabbings. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the idea behind the Stop the Violence project began with art teacher Will Overstreet, who wanted to do something after learning of three gunfire incidents in a 24-hour period last month.

Exira man arrested on drug charges; Harlan woman arrested for harassment


May 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Harlan say a man from Audubon County was arrested today (Wednesday), on drug and other charges. 21-year old William Dunlap Jr., of Exira, was taken into custody following a traffic stop. Dunlap was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with driving while revoked, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, prohibited acts penalties, speeding and failure to prove security against liability.

A Harlan woman was arrested Tuesday on a 3rd Degree Harassment charge. Authorities say 53-year old Dovie Slechta was taken into custody after officers were notified that Slechta continued to phone and text Jennifer Birch, of Harlan, after having received a certified letter from Birch that she was to have no contact with her.

On Monday, 44-year old Ishmael Evans, of Denison, was arrested following a traffic stop in Harlan. Evans was cited for driving while suspended, given a court date and released.

And on May 21st, 33-year old Tacy Bruck,of Panama, was arrested following a traffic stop in Harlan. Officials say Bruck was transported to the Shelby County Jail where she was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and speed.

Exira Man Charged with Domestic Abuse


May 27th, 2015 by admin

In a follow-up to our earlier report, the Audubon County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday 29-year old Daniel Raymond Jensen, of Exira, was arrested Wednesday morning by Cass County Deputies in Atlantic, on Audubon County warrants charging him with Domestic Abuse Assault with intent to inflict harm, threats of using incendiary device and 3 counts of child endangerment. The charges stem from an incident at an Exira residence on May 19th. Jensen is currently being held in the Audubon County jail on $10,000 bond. The incident remains under investigation.

Iowa’s unemployment rate drops to 3.8 percent in April


May 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s unemployment rate has dropped from 4 percent in March to 3.8 percent in April. Iowa Workforce Development announced the rate Wednesday, noting that despite a decrease of 1,700 nonfarm jobs in sectors like manufacturing, government and trade and transportation, 23,700 more people are working in the state than a year ago. There are currently about 1.6 million people employed in Iowa.

The department says the drop in nonfarm jobs since March is linked to seasonal and education-related work. Construction work increased by 2,400 jobs. Iowa’s unemployment rate was 4.4 percent one year ago. Nationally, the unemployment rate for April was 5.4 percent.