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Atlantic Board of Ed tables Security camera matter

News

October 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board, Monday, tabled a last minute addition to their agenda, with regard to the purchase of security cameras for the Middle School. Middle School Principal Josh Rasmussen said recent incidents where he spent a good deal of time investigating what occurred, could have been more easily resolved with the addition of three security cameras.

The Board received two bids for security cameras and related equipment, but the question of how to pay for them dogged the school board. Business Manager Mary Beth Fast said they could add them to the physical plant and equipment levy project list (PPEL), because it’s a safety issue, but that might mean shifting other projects out.

Board President Kristy Pellett said the cameras would be more equipment that would eventually need to be replaced, and something they need to plan for. Board member Phil Hascall agreed. He said he understands it’s a matter of safety, but there needs to be better planning, additional discussion, and how other PPEL projects might be affected. Pellett said there’s already a lot of projects on the list they’ve been putting off, that are equally important.

Pellett said keeping up with technology is important, but she said “Somewhere, we’ve got to set some priorities.” Superintendent Mike Amstein said the matter would be placed before the Board during their meeting next month, once more information has been gathered. 

Teen accused of killing an Atlantic boy stays in Jail

News

October 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A teenager accused of killing his 5-year old foster brother in rural Harrison County as the two played near a ravine last August, will remain in jail, and not be transferred to a juvenile detention center in Council Bluffs. The Omaha World-Herald reports  the ruling was issued by a judge Monday, at the Harrison County Courthouse.

17-year old Cody Metzker-Madsen is in solitary confinement at the jail, because minors are separated from other inmates. Another motion to determine whether Metzker-Madsen’s first-degree murder charge would be moved to juvenile court, will be decided on Dec. 6th.

Metzker-Madsen is accused in the death of an Atlantic boy, 5-year old Dominic Elkins, who, according to court documents, had multiple injuries to his head and torso. Metzker-Madsen is being held in the Harrison County Jail on $500,000 bail.

Both were foster children in the care of Don and Julie Coolman, who reside near Logan. Metzker-Madsen had lived in the Coolman home for about three years, while Dominic had been there a few weeks.

 

AHS to host fall play Oct. 31-Nov.2

News

October 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic High School Forensics Department announced Monday (Oct. 15th), the dates for the fall play. “Nevermind How It Happened, How Did It End?” will be performed at the Atlantic High School Auditorium on October 31, November 1st and 2nd, at 7:30 p.m.

Director, Matthew Smith says he is very excited about this year’s theatrical offering, stating, “We have some very committed actors in this production–and that will be evident in their acting! I have been surprised at our younger cast members, as well. We have a lot of talent coming up.”

The play is a generational romantic comedy written by David Rogers. The story revolves around mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters and how each generation’s choices echo from the past. The plot  illuminate’s the family’s love stories, their struggles with teenagers and parents, their conflicts between choosing careers and raising children to make choices that are founded in their parents’ wisdom. There are many flashback scenes that weave in and out of the present.

“This is a true ensemble production with nearly 40 cast members,” said Smith. “There are two or three people playing the same character but at different stages in life. The audience will be quite familiar with the many of the locations as the play is set is small-town Iowa.”

With Atlantic’s city-wide trick-or-treating ending at 7:00 p.m.on October 31, the public will have plenty of time to make the 7:30 curtain time. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for all productions and admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students. Activity passes will be honored at the door.

(Press Release)

Truancy down in Atlantic school system, but cyber complaints rise

News

October 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Deputy Corey Larsen had some good news during Monday night’s meeting of the Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education. Larsen, who serves as  School Resource Officer (or, SRO) for the Atlantic,CAM and Griswold School Districts, says there haven’t been a lot of issues.

Cass Co. Deputy Corey Larsen

Cass Co. Deputy Corey Larsen

Larsen says the number of truancy cases has dropped this year over last, in-part because it’s been demonstrated that officials, including himself, are cracking down on the problem and making sure kids get to school on time. Larsen said he spoke with Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner about spreading the word, that once mediation is held with parents of kids who’ve missed 10 days or more without a valid reason, an arrest warrant can be issued. 

Larsen said most of his time has been dealing with electronic issues involving students, such as those related to harassment or bullying through social media. He says squabbles form between students on sites like Facebook, along with harassment. The issues in the virtual world tend to be brought into the real world at school, and that’s something Larsen says they’re trying to quash.

He says the prevalence of smart phones and kids’ access to social media sites has exacerbated problems of harassment. Larsen said also, he’s taught some law enforcement-related classes and how to deal with electronic forms of harassment. He says the freshman class receives a course on the Criminal Justice system and cyber bullying. Larsen says he’d like to increase the number of sweeps through the buildings by the Cass County Sheriff’s Department K9 teams, including his k9 partner, Mufasa.

The deputy says he’d like to make at least two sweeps per year to show the students and the public the effort is being made to keep the district’s facilities safe and drug free.

Villisca man arrested for allegedly assaulting a teen

News

October 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County say a Villisca man turned himself in to authorities at around 11:20-p.m. Monday, after he allegedly assaulted a 14-year old male earlier that evening. 30-year old David Michael Wright, of Villisca, was booked into jail and then released on $300 bond.

And, Police in Red Oak report the arrest Monday evening, of 20-year old Dallas Eugene Davis. Davis, who’s from Red Oak, was taken into custody at around 7:35-p.m. near north 5th and Maple Streets, on a charge of Public Intoxication. He was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond.

Iowa News Headlines: Tue., Oct. 15th 2013

News

October 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court will hear cases in a Burlington school auditorium on Nov. 5. In one case a blind student is appealing a lower court decision that said sight is a requirement for studying to become a chiropractor at Palmer College of Chiropractic and having a sighted assistant was not an adequate solution. A second case involves a hunter who is challenging a state law that limits landowner hunting licenses only to Iowa residents.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition says 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will speak at its annual banquet in November. Palin served as governor of Alaska from 2006 through 2009. Since leaving office, she has been a best-selling author, public speaker and Fox News contributor. Utah Sen. Mike Lee is headlining the November program that’s being held in Des Moines on Nov. 9.

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) — Arrest warrants have been issued for an Iowa attorney once contracted by the State Public Defenders Office. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says the warrants for 60-year-old Ney McDaniel, of Spencer, are in connection to a July audit that questioned his billing practices. The audit identified more than $177,000 of improper disbursement to McDaniel. In one case, he claimed to have worked 24 hours or more in a single day during 80 days.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) — A dozen organizations have received $100,000 each from the estate of a Marshalltown couple. The Marshalltown Times-Republican reports that recipients of funds from the estate of Verle and Ellen Hunt include the Animal Rescue League, First United Methodist Church, Iowa 4-H Foundation, Mid-Iowa Council of Boy Scouts of America and the Iowa State University Foundation.

Flu Immunization clinics available in Cass County

News

October 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Cass County Public Health have announced the availability of seasonal influenza vaccinations and upcoming community clinics. In the County, the clinics will be held:

Tuesday, October 15th from 3 to 5:30 pm at Rex Pharmacy in Atlantic.

Thursday, October 17th, from 4 to 6 pm in the lobby at UnityPoint at Home (formerly Cass County Home Care).

Friday, October 18th, from 8 to 11 am at the Griswold Medical Center. And, 1 to 4 pm at the Massena Medical Center.

Friday, October 25th, from 9 am to 12 pm at the Anita Health and Wellness Center.

Tuesday, November 5th, from 4:45 to 6:45 pm at the CCMH cafeteria.

Charges for flu vaccinations at the community events, for individuals choosing to pay privately, will be: $30 for seasonal vaccine; $35 for Flu-mist (those 2yrs-49yrs); and $45 for the high-dose vaccine (those 65 and older). Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Humana, and hawk-i can be billed. To allow Cass County Public Health to bill these insurances, please have your card available.

Cass County Public Health will be giving flu vaccinations for students during school time at all Cass County schools in the next couple weeks. Schools distributed consent forms electronically by email, which were due back to the school by October 14. If you didn’t get a consent form contact the school.

Council Bluffs settles wrongful conviction lawsuit

News

October 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The city of Council Bluffs has settled a lawsuit with two Omaha, Neb., men who sought millions of dollars after the courts concluded they were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for 25 years. The lawsuit filed by Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee was scheduled for retrial Tuesday before a federal jury in Des Moines. The first trial ended in mistrial last year after jurors disagreed on the verdict.

The two men seek compensation from the city and two former police detectives for years in prison after their conviction for the 1977 shooting death of a retired police captain. Harrington and McGhee were released in 2003 after the Iowa Supreme Court found prosecutors committed misconduct by hiding evidence.

Federal court documents show a judge has ordered details of the city settlement sealed.

Red Oak woman arrested on theft charge Monday

News

October 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A woman from Montgomery County was arrested Monday afternoon on theft charges. According to Red Oak Police, 37-year old Rachel Charise Kathleen Hadden, of Red Oak, was taken into custody on a Red Oak Police warrant, and two Montgomery County warrants, for Theft in the 5th Degree. Hadden was being held in the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Center on $2,300 cash bond.

Shelby County Fire Danger remains “Moderate”

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency has updated the fire danger warning signs in the county. Emergency Coordinator Bob Seivert says the signs will stay in the moderate category to start the week. He says showers forecasted this morning did not materialize and the winds are once again strong out of the southeast.

The winds will elevate the danger of a wild fire spreading quickly while also gaining fuel by creating drying conditions. The Shelby County EMA will update the situation again on Thursday.