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Iowa Senate committee OKs bills on minimum wage, wage theft

News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Senate committee has approved bills that would increase Iowa’s minimum wage and create a more detailed system for preventing wage theft. The committee on labor and business relations voted Wednesday to advance both bills. The full Democratic-controlled Senate can now debate them.

The minimum wage bill would increase the state’s $7.25 minimum wage to $8.75 by 2016. Democrats previously pushed to raise Iowa’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, but they now say this new bill could have more bipartisan support. Leaders in the Republican-majority House say they want to focus on skilled job training instead of the minimum wage.

The committee Wednesday voted largely on party lines. The wage theft bill would require businesses to be more direct with workers about employment terms. Similar legislation failed last session.

State releases vaccination rates for public schools in Iowa

News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa Department of Public Health report shows more than 90 percent of students have been vaccinated at the majority of public schools across the state. The immunization audit report for the 2013-2014 academic year depicts the percentage of kindergarten through 12th-grade students who have received the vaccines required by Iowa law. Schools with enrollment of less than 100 students were not included in the report.

According to the report, 37 schools in Iowa reported 100 percent compliance with Iowa immunization requirements. The Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, located in Fairfield, ranked the lowest in the state, with just more than 47 percent of its students vaccinated.

The percentages included in the report were calculated by dividing the number of students with valid immunization certification by total enrollment.

More than 45,000 in Iowa sign up for coverage on exchange

News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Federal officials say that over 45,000 people in Iowa have signed up for health care coverage on the federal exchange. The second open enrollment period under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul — known as the Affordable Care Act — ended Sunday. In a Wednesday news release, federal officials say over 45,000 people in Iowa signed up or were automatically re-enrolled in a plan.

That’s more than the roughly 29,000 who signed up during the first enrollment. Over 2,000 people who shopped on the exchange are still enrolled in plans with an insurance cooperative that the state plans to liquidate. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart is urging them to seek new coverage before the end of the month so they can maintain federal tax credits to help pay premiums.

Frederickson Mem. Scholarship funds available

News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A spokesperson for the Trevor Frederickson Memorial Foundation says applications are now being accepted for the 6th Annual Trevor Frederickson Memorial Scholarship. Melanie Petty, Trevor’s mother,  says applications may be obtained from the Atlantic High School guidance office at 1201 E. 14th Street or the Atlantic High School website: www.atlanticiaschools.org.

Two $750 scholarships are available to those graduating from Atlantic High School in the spring of 2015. Applicants must plan to attend a college or vocational school, show involvement in school and/or community activities, supply a copy of their college acceptance letter, provide two letters of reference along with their 7 semester transcripts, and maintain academic achievement of 2.5 or better. The scholarships will be awarded at the Atlantic High School Class Night held in May.

Trevor Frederickson (Photo provided by Melanie Petty)

Trevor Frederickson (Photo provided by Melanie Petty)

Trevor Frederickson graduated from Atlantic High School in 2006. He went on to further his education at Southwestern Community College in Creston where he studied automotive mechanics and played baseball for the Southwestern Spartans. Two additional $750 scholarships will be available for Southwestern Community College students this fall.

Trevor, who passed away in 2009, had plans of pursuing a career in law enforcement and returning to his hometown of Atlantic. Melanie Petty says “Anyone who knew Trevor, knew he valued family, life and community. Someone once told me that Trevor is not really gone because he continues to live on in our hearts and minds. To this day, Trevor is still giving back to the community he loved to be a part of.”

Funds for the scholarships are raised at an annual golf tournament. Plans are already in the works for the 7th Annual T-Fred Memorial Golf Tournament to be held on Saturday, August 8th, 2015. Organizers look forward to another successful tournament so they can continue to grant scholarships for many years to come.

6 recent arrests in Cass County

News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Six people were arrested on separate charges over the past week in Cass County. The Sheriff’s Department reports 43-year old Daniel Dale Laws, of Atlantic, was arrested Feb. 7th on a charge of Driving Under Suspension. Laws pled not guilty and was released later that day. That same day, 36-year old Isaac George VanSickle, of Atlantic, was arrested on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. VanSickle was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance.

On February 8th, Cass County deputies arrested 47-year old John Martin Chamberlin, Jr, of Atlantic,  on two District Court warrants for Failure to Appear. Chamberlin was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on his own recognizance.

Two people were arrested in Cass County on February 10th. 39-year old Danny Allen Elrod, of Council Bluffs, was arrested on two district court warrants for Failure to Appear. Elrod was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance. And, 37-year old Eric Jason Ostrander, of Council Bluffs, was arrested on a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. Ostrander was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains held without bond.

On February 12th, 35-year old Joshua James Mullen, of Atlantic, was arrested by Cass County deputies on a District Court warrant for Probation Violation. After arrest, Mullen was also charged with Assault Causing Injury upon a fellow inmate. Mullen remains held at the Cass County Jail on $20,000 cash bond.

3 Atlantic women arrested on drug charges

News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Three Atlantic women have been arrested on drug-related charges. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports 35-year old Heather Marie Christensen,  of Atlantic, was arrested Feb. 4th,  on charges that include Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine, Sponsoring a Gathering, Drug Tax Stamp Violation, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Christensen was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was released the following day on her own recognizance. Christensen was arrested last Sunday (Feb. 15th), for OWI 2nd Offense, two counts of Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine, Ongoing Criminal Conduct, and Driving Under Suspension. She was taken to the Cass County Jail where she later posted $25,000 bond and was released.

Cass County deputies arrested 22-year old Ashley Hope Cohrs,  of Atlantic, on Feb. 4th. Cohrs was charged with Sponsoring a Gathering, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. She was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was released the following day on her own recognizance.

And on February 9th, Cass County deputies arrested 53-year old Sharadee Ann Witt,  of Atlantic,  on two charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd or Subsequent and one charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Witt was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was released the following day on $5000 bond.

 

14 people arrested in undercover prostitution sting Tuesday

News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An undercover operation to nab prostitutes and “johns” in western Iowa has resulted in the arrest of 14 people. The suspects were from Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. Sgt. Chad Christensen with the Council Bluffs Police Dept. reports members of the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force conducted the sting Tuesday at an undisclosed location. During the operation, investigators arrested six men and eight women, all of whom were charged with Prostitution.

Two of those who were arrested – Charlicia Lacole Hicks, and Aaron K. Fellows, both of Omaha, had outstanding warrants for Possession of Meth and OWI. Also arrested during the investigation was: Rusty A. Davis, of Marble Hills, Mo; Christopher Graham, Kristina Adele Rolden, Ronald R. Travis, Courtney J. Flower, Charlene Michell, Sophia Tajouri Radia, Jessica S. Walker, and Ta Tiana RoLynne Davis, all of Omaha; Gary Lynn Curtis, of Hastings, IA; and Whitney Jones, of Minden, NE.

Officials say this is an on-going operation, and further checks will be conducted in the future.

Elderly Creston man involved in two hit-and run accidents

News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Creston say a local man was involved in two, separate hit-and-run accidents this week. Late Monday night, a legally parked vehicle registered to Derek Kohl, of Creston, was hit by on Sycamore Street by a northbound vehicle, which then left the scene. The 1996 Dodge Avenger sustained $1,100 damage.  Police officers followed tire tracks to the home of 80-year old Dean Paxson, of Creston, where they found a 1996 Chevy S-10 pickup that had sustained $1,200 damage. Officers spoke with Paxson, who said he had no idea what happened.

At around 12:15-p.m. Tuesday, Police in Creston received a report that the rear of a 1990 Chevy Caprice parked off the road in a yard at 403 West Monroe Street, had been hit by a vehicle traveling westbound on Monroe Street. The car, registered to Timothy Norton, sustained $500 damage.

The vehicle responsible left the scene, but parts of it were left behind. An investigation matched the piece to Paxson’s pickup. The police report indicated no citations were issued.

Ignoring Parking Tickets in Clarinda will land you in jail!

News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers is warning the public that not paying parking tickets in Clarinda may land you in jail. Brothers said as an example, 21-year old James Alan Kinghorn, of Shenandoah, was arrested Tuesday evening on a warrant for failure to pay parking tickets issued to Kinghorn over the last couple of months. As a result Kinghorn ended up spending a night in the Page County Jail.

The Chief Brothers says the City of Clarinda goes out of its way to give individuals an opportunity to get their parking tickets paid. If a parking ticket is issued, the violator has thirty days to pay the $15.00 fine for a simple parking violation to city hall. If the parking ticket is not paid within the allotted thirty days, the police department sends a letter in the mail to the registered owner of the vehicle ticketed informing the person they have 14 days to pay the parking violation from the date of the letter and that the parking violation is now $20.

If not paid, a complaint will be filed with the court and a warrant may be issued for the person’s arrest. Brothers said that if the parking ticket ends up in the courts, the costs of the initial parking ticket ends up being about $100. He added, that it’s not his desire to utilize his department’s resources in arresting people for unpaid parking tickets, but he makes it clear that if you are issued a parking ticket, you shouldn’t throw it away, because that approach may just land you in jail.

Glenwood man arrested on Mills Co. warrants

News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Glenwood Police Department reports a Glenwood man, 38-year old Billy Hunter, was arrested Tuesday, on two Mills County warrants. One was for Probation Violation, while the other was for Theft in the 4th degree. Hunter’s bond was set at $6000.