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Toddler drowns in swimming pool at his Carroll home


July 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A toddler drowned last (Tuesday) night in Carroll. Carroll Police Captain Mark Heino  says it happened at the boy’s home.”The actual details surrounding the incident, that part of the investigation is still underway,” Heino says. “The child’s name is Eli Rowedder and he lived at that residence.” It was about a quarter ’til nine last (Tuesday) night when police in Carroll got the 9-1-1 call saying a child had been found unresponsive in a swimming pool.

“Our local paramedics and police department were dispatched,” Heino says. “…CPR was in progress. The child was transported to our local hospital and later pronounced dead.” The boy’s father, Craig Rowedder, is a coach and technology director at Carroll High School. Kara Rowedder, the toddler’s mother, is an elementary school teacher in Carroll.

(Radio Iowa)

General Election nomination papers may be filed beginning Aug. 1st


July 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(Correction from Dale Sunderman: August 8th is the 1st day to file nomination petitions, NOT August 1st)

Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman reports Monday, August , 2016 is the first day for non-party organizations and candidates nominated by petition to file nomination papers for county or township offices with the County Auditor’s office. The last day to file is Wednesday, August 31st, 2016. Nomination papers may be circulated now. Nomination petitions and other election forms are available at the office of the County Auditor and also from the Iowa Secretary of State (sos.iowa.gov) via the internet.

The number of signatures needed is shown below:

District 1 Supervisor: 19

District 4 Supervisor: 20

District 5 Supervisor: 21

Auditor: 99

Sheriff: 99

Non-Partisan positions to appear on the Nov. 8th, 2016 GENERAL ELECTION include:

Cass County Soil & Water Conservation District: 3 positions. (25 signatures required)

Cass County Agricultural Extension Council: 4 positions. (25 signatures required)

Township Clerk & Trustees: 1 full-term Trustee in each of the townships of Edna and Union; 1 vacancy term Trustee in the Edna Township. (No nomination papers needed, only an Affidavit)

Cass County Hospital Trustee (50 signatures required): 2 full-term positions – 1 for the Northwest District and 1 for the Southeast District. To be eligible for the Nortwest District, a person must reside in the township of Brighton, Pymosa, Washington or Grove (including the Cities of Marne and Atlantic). To be eligible for the position in the Southeast District, a person must reside in the townships of Edna, Massena, Union or Victoria (including the cities of Cumberland and Massena).

The incumbents are:

Cass County Hospital Trustee -NW District: John Molgaard; SE District: Phyllis Stakey;

Soil & Water Conservation District Commissioner: Curt Behrends; Chase Wheatley & Norbert Ray Wilson.

County Ag. Extension Council: Julie Aupperle; Darrin Petty; Marcy Jo Dorsey; Malena Sothman.

Incumbent Township Officers:

Edna Township Trustee – Keith Nelson; Trustee (vacancy term) – Kevin Stender.

Union Township Trustee – Delmar South.

Dale Sunderman, Cass Co. Auditor, Courthouse 5 W 7th St, Atlantic, IA 50022.
Phone: 712-243-4570 and Fax: 712-243-4572. Email: auditor@casscoia.us

Do What You Can, With What You Have, Where You Are – Atlantic FFA Washington DC Trip

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 13th, 2016 by Jim Field

Alexis Boes & Emily Sauegling

Alexis Boes & Emily Sauegling

Alexis & Emily

Alexis & Emily

Alexis Boes and Emily Saeugling had the most amazing opportunity attending Washington Leadership Conference June 20th-26th, made possible by many generous donations from our community. Their experience in Washington D.C. was filled with memories that will last a lifetime and knowledge that will aide them in and out of the FFA organization. Alexis and Emily were able to meet new people and explore new places while gaining new information and leadership skills from the WLC facilitators and sessions at the conference. Washington Leadership Conference is a one of kind opportunity and while they can give you a glimpse into the week they had in Washington D.C., to get the full story, one must experience it for themselves.

At the beginning of their week, Alexis and Emily each loaded onto one of the two buses filled with other Iowa FFA members who would also be attending the conference. Roughly 24 hours later they stepped off into Washington D.C. with a huge group of new friends and an appreciation for real beds, clean clothes, and a shower. Their first evening in DC would be spent waiting for hotel rooms, meeting their roommates, experiencing their first meal with complete strangers from around the country, and finally a quick introduction session. They were then split into community groups. Alexis ended up in the “Patriots” with facilitator, Sarah Rutledge, while Emily was a part of the “Campaigners” with facilitator Jake White. After that it was finally lights out.

Each day the members were presented with a theme: Tuesday was Citizenship, Wednesday was Purpose, Thursday was Diversity, Friday was Advocacy, and Saturday was Live A Legacy. These themes were presented in their large group sessions and were more deeply discussed in community groups. Alexis said, “I could see these themes as we traveled throughout D.C. on tours. I loved that they could incorporate our theme into our entire day.”  This allowed both Emily and Alexis to actually put the material covered in the sessions to work in a more real circumstance. On the first day each attendee was given a book that they would use throughout the week in order to learn and figure out what each theme meant to them. Alexis and Emily still have their books and use it to remind themselves of the people they want to be and the impact they want to make.

Alexis & Emily with Congressman David Young

Alexis & Emily with Congressman David Young

Although both girls were at the exact same conference, Alexis and Emily both had entirely different perspectives on each session, tour, and moment at WLC. One of Emily’s favorite places they visited in DC was the Newseum. She loved looking at the headlines that she’d learned about in history class and seeing how those historical events and the way they were presented to the public could impact our nation. Emily stated, “Every place you visit in DC seems to have historical significance whether it be standing where MLK gave his “I Have a Dream” speech or walking around the capitol where so many impactful decisions are made every single day.”  Alexis said, “We traveled by Metro to Arlington National Cemetery. There we were given the opportunity to see the changing of guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Wednesday night we took charter buses around DC to monuments.  My favorite monument was our last stop, the Marine Corps War Memorial, where we held reflections for Wednesday. It was quiet and dark but the light underneath the memorial was on and it showed those six men propping up the American Flag. It’s a feeling I can’t describe, but one I will never forget.”

On Thursday they traveled to the Capitol building where they took a group photo with everyone from Iowa. They also had the opportunity to meet Representative David Young and Senator Joni Ernst from Iowa. They spent two hours touring buildings near the Capitol, and learning about our nation’s government. That afternoon was spent in sessions talking about how diversity affects us every day and how we can relate to each other even if everyone is different.

Friday afternoon they spent planning and perfecting what is called a Living to Serve Plan. Each conference attendee created one and each “LTS plan” was different. Alexis said “I am still developing mine but I have seen members of my community group fulfill theirs and it is awesome to see the impact they made.”  Friday night they experienced what is called a poverty dinner, and both encourage all who haven’t experienced this to try one sometime.

Alexis & Emily with Senator Joni Ernst.

Alexis & Emily with Senator Joni Ernst.

Each session was designed to challenge FFA members into thinking about the future impact they can have in their home and how that impact could change someone else’s life.  The session that especially impacted Emily involved facilitators throwing tubs of bouncy balls on the floor. Each bouncy ball had a different significance such as a teenager dropping out of high school, a child who can’t read, or someone who doesn’t have enough food to eat. The group was told that each person could pick up only one bouncy ball at a time to “fix” these issues. Together they began to pick up all of the balls. Sometimes the group would fill a container up only to have it poured out again and other times specific people would be given permission to pick up handfuls at a time. This was a great opportunity to see the importance of teamwork and how using one’s strengths for issues they are passionate about can impact the world around us.

The last day, Saturday, all of the participants of WLC worked together on a service project to pack more than 61,000 meals for those in need. After lunch they traveled into the city for some free time before their time at WLC ended. Alexis, along with a group of Iowa participants spent the afternoon at The White House and the Museum of Natural History. Alexis said, “These places were breathtaking. I have been to DC before and experienced seeing the White House before, but this time was different because I was older and I was more aware of what was going on. Even though it was my second time it was so much fun! I can’t wait to travel back to Washington D.C. and see everything when I have more time and see how things will change.”

“Nothing can compare to meeting 390 individuals who were very different from myself, but also shared the same passion for the FFA organization that I have,” said Emily Saeugling. They met so many amazing individuals, many of whom they still talk to on a regular basis. Alexis and Emily are so grateful that they had this opportunity – the people they met, the skills and knowledge they gained, and the memories they made will last a lifetime.

Iowa DOT driver’s license stations in Carroll and Spencer closed July 19


July 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – July 13, 2016 – Iowa Department of Transportation driver’s license stations in Carroll and Spencer will be closed Tuesday, July 19, for a staff in-service session.

Customers can access services at any Iowa driver’s license issuance location or at one of the Iowa DOT’s self-service kiosks. To view a list of locations, visit: www.iowadot.gov/mvd/ods/dlsites.htm. Online services are also available for eligible customers 24/7 at www.iowadot.gov.

Normal business hours will resume for both locations on Wednesday, July 20.

IFBF Young Farmer Advisory Committee welcomes new officers & members

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) Young Farmer Advisory Committee elected new officers, and welcomed three new district representatives to their committee at their summer meeting last weekend. Among the new Advisory Committee officers is Leanne Kading, of Adair County, who serves as Vice-Chair.

Leanne lives on a farm between Adair and Casey in Adair County with her husband Phillip and their three children. Formerly involved in the hotel industry, she is now active in the day-to-day challenges of raising young children and contributing to their family’s corn, soybeans, oats and hay farm.

The IFBF Young Farmer Program, available for Farm Bureau members ages 18-35, provides leadership and participation opportunities to nurture the prosperity of young farmers and their families. The program advisory committee plans various events around the state each year, including an annual statewide conference each January that has doubled in attendance over the past four years.

University of Iowa to lay off ex-athletic official who sued

News, Sports

July 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa plans to lay off a former top athletic department administrator who is suing the school after her earlier reassignment to a job unrelated to sports. Court documents filed Wednesday show the university has informed Jane Meyer that her job as a project manager will be eliminated effective Sept. 9.

Meyer’s attorney, Jill Zwagerman, is seeking to block the termination from taking effect and says the move is further retaliation for Meyer’s complaints about wage discrimination and gender bias in the department.

Athletic director Gary Barta reassigned Meyer in December 2014. He said the move was necessary because Meyer’s partner, former women’s field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum, was planning to sue over her own firing. Meyer alleges she was paid far less than her male replacement.

Three Child Drowning Deaths Prompt Reminder Parents and caregivers urged to be vigilant in supervision


July 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner (IOSME) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today issued a reminder for parents and caregivers to keep a close eye on children playing in or around water. According to IOSME, three children have died from drowning in the last week.

“Since July 5, we’ve had two 2-year-olds and one 6-year-old die from drowning,” said acting State Medical Examiner Dennis Klein. “Adults losing track of the children for several minutes appears to be a major factor in these drownings.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the leading cause of death by unintentional injury in children between the ages of 1 and 5.

Iowans should remember water safety year-round in pools, spas, indoor water parks and aquatic facilities. During the summer, equal attention needs to be paid when visiting beaches and lakes. “Parents and caregivers must provide direct supervision to all young children and non-swimmers, even when lifeguards are provided,” said Debbi Cooper, IDPH Environmental Health Specialist. Other safety tips to remember when near or in water:

  • Use lifejackets for non-swimmers to bridge momentary lapses in supervision.
  • All Iowans, children and adults alike, should use lifejackets on recreational waters.
  • Learn to swim and teach your children as well. Formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning, particularly among young children.
  • Provide fences with self-closing, self-latching closures around swimming pools and spas.
  • Avoid alcohol use while swimming or supervising children.

For more information on water safety, visit www.idph.iowa.gov/swimmingpoolsandspas/prevention or www.cdc.gov/SafeChild/Drowning/index.html.

New, LAUNCH program for kids in and around Audubon County, is taking off


July 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

More than two dozen students from around Audubon and surrounding area have spent the past week in a new, federal and state grant-funded program designed to teach kids persistence, hard work and give them experiences with what’s going on around the County and State. Jason Walter, Special Education/Dropout Prevention teacher at the Audubon High School, told KJAN News he’s grateful for the outpouring of support the “LAUNCH” program has received.

LaunchAnd, while you might think “LAUNCH” is an acronym for the program, Walter says that’s not the case. He says it’s a neutral name for a program that is available to students in Audubon and area Counties that is intended to “start our kids out right …launch them into their future…get them experiences in life.”

The program will be available during the school year, from 3:15-to 6:30-p.m. Walter says while the school year is underway, the program focus will shift slightly, to include help with their homework and more academic activities. He says School District Superintendent Brett Gibbs made it clear that he wanted both the summer and school year program to teach kids without them realizing that they are actually learning something.

He agreed with the idea that it’s kind of like getting kids to eat their vegetables without knowing they’re being served healthy foods. Walter said they are still taking any student who wants to participate in the summer program. Simply stop by the south side of the Audubon Elementary School gym, or search for Launch Kids Club on Facebook. You can also call Jason at 641-203-3035. He says they basically just need a calendar on what days you plan on having your child attend, and emergency contact information.

The cost of the program is $50 per week for students who are NOT participating in the Free and Reduced Lunch program, and you can choose the number of days or weeks you want to send your child. Free and Reduced Lunch participants have the program available to them at no charge. The summer LAUNCH program ends August 19th, but the regular program with a more academic focus will resume at the end of the first school day on August 23rd, beginning at 3:15-p.m.  Jason says he’s been blessed with three associate staff members and two lead staffers, who are making the program a great success.

2 Washington State residents arrested Tue. in Mills County


July 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Two Washington State residents were arrested early Tuesday morning, in Mills County. The Sheriff’s Office says 18-year old Alexis Rashelle Todd, of Vancouver, WA.,  was arrested following a traffic stop on Interstate 29. Todd was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $300. 19-year old Ryan Eric Webb, also of Vancouver, was arrested for being a Fugitive from Justice, and for Providing False Identification. Webb was being held without bond, in the Mills County Jail.

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office said also: 28-year old James Thomas Hume, of Sidney, was arrested early Saturday morning, for Disorderly Conduct. His bond was set at $300; 36-year old Douglas Dwayne Mortensen, of Omaha, was arrested Saturday as well, for Interference with official acts and Public Intoxication. His bond was set at $600.

On Sunday, Mills County Deputies arrested 28-year old Benjamin Wade Edmund Starkel, of Omaha, for Public Intoxication. His bond was set at $300.

Cass County Supervisor’s news


July 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors met this (Wednesday) morning at the courthouse in Atlantic. The Board tabled action on a Resolution approving Audubon County’s plan of reimbursement to Cass County for Administrative Assistant services rendered to the Audubon County Attorney’s Office.

The Board passed a Resolution authorizing County Engineer Charles Bechtold to execute the Certification of Completion of work and final acceptance, in accordance with the plans and specifications associated with all Farm to Market construction projects. Auditor/Board Secretary Dale Sunderman said the move is essentially a formality that’s done whenever a new County Engineer comes on-board, as is the case with the retirement last month of former Engineer Charles Marker.

Cass County Engineer Charles Bechtold

Cass County Engineer Charles Bechtold

Bechtold agreed. He said some counties, however, will approve the resolution on an annual basis. The Board also approved an ordinance establishing a policy for the construction and reconstruction of roadways and bridges in the County. Bechtold said the policy stems from FEMA, and is designed to cover disasters affecting the County.

He said for instance, if a bridge goes out due to a flood or other disaster, the County is allowed to put the same type of structure back in. The new bridge would be brought up to current standards, though. The same stipulations apply to roads damaged or destroyed in a disaster. And, in his regular report to the Board, Bechtold said a “fracture critical” bridge in the Washington Township is scheduled to be inspected, Thursday. The bridge is located southwest of Atlantic, on Jasper Road. He also discussed an ISU study being conducted on a test plot in Pottawattamie County, that deals with gravel road degradation.

The results of the study, which just recently began, may affect how counties repair their gravel roads, which are costly to maintain in-part because of the dwindling supply of aggregate and crushed rock.