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Young Bible Camp Attendee dies at Lake Manawa

News

June 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs said Wednesday evening that an 11-year old boy drowned in about 4-feet of water at Lake Manawa State Park Wednesday afternoon. Isaiah Griffin, of Omaha, had been attending an Open Door Mission-Lydia Bible Camp and was playing football in a designated swimming area at the lake, when he disappeared. Officials said a lifeguard was on-duty when the incident occurred at around 2:30-p.m..

Witnesses told authorities a camp counselor found Griffin in shallow water. The boy was pulled from the lake and efforts to revive him through CPR were begun immediately. Griffin was pronounced dead at a local hospital. An autopsy was planned for Friday.

Isaiah Griffin was a fifth grade student at Liberty Elementary School in Omaha, who lived at the Open Door Mission-Lydia House with his mother. Officials say she didn’t attend the shelter-sponsored field trip to the lake. The Council Bluffs Police Department is investigating the incident, but they say it appears to be an accident. Late Wednesday evening Open Door Mission President Candace Gregory released a statement saying, “The Open Door Mission is saddened by the tragic event today of the loss of Isaiah Griffin. There are grief counselors and pastoral staff on Campus ministering to those that are hurting. Please keep the Open Door Mission and the Griffin family in your prayers.”

In a separate incident in northwestern Iowa, a 6-year-old boy was critically injured in an apparent accident Wednesday afternoon at the Spencer Family Aquatic Center. The Spencer Daily Reporter said on its website the boy was flown to a South Dakota hospital, but a report on his condition was not available.

Atlantic City Council member warns against illegal dumping of building debris

News

June 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic City Councilperson Kathy Somers issued a warning to residents of the City who are or will be, demolishing buildings. Somers said during a meeting of the Atlantic City Council, that such debris must be taken to the Cass County Landfill. According to Somers, the debris “Cannot go to some ‘secret place’ somewhere outside of the City. She said also, if the DNR ever finds a dumping ground for building materials, either on the surface or buried, the person responsible will be forced to remove that material – buried or not – and haul it to the Landfill.

Somers said the City should remind residents that it’s in their “best interests to follow the law.” She says those persons who don’t follow the law, will “Probably regret it,” because of the hefty fines which can result from such acts. Councilman Shaun Shouse said that also applies to farmers who offer to take debris from residents in the City and dispose of it on their land. Shouse says the farm rules allow only structures demolished on a farmers property to be demolished or buried on those farms, not structures from other locations.

On a related note, as we mentioned last week, the Cass County Board of Supervisors, have set June 13th and 20th as the dates for public hearings, on the 1st and 2nd readings of a proposed Illegal Dumping Ordinance for the unincorporated areas of the County. The ordinance, if adopted after the second reading, calls for a $100 fine on the 1st offense if the items illegally dumped weighed less than 10-pounds, or up to 15-cubic feet in volume, and up to $250 for the second and subsequent offenses. The fines increase from $250 to $500 respectively, for trash that exceeds 10-pounds, or 15-cubic feet in volume.

Reward being offered for arrest & conviction of graffiti vandals in Atlantic

News

June 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of “graffiti vandals” in Atlantic has increased to $1,000. At Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones had announced a $500 reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the “graffiti vandals,” who have spray painted numerous buildings in the downtown area. This (Thursday) morning, Melanie Petty, with the Trevor Frederickson Memorial Fund, announced the Foundation will donate an additional $250 to the reward fund. And, Mayor Dave Jones said an anonymous donor has contributed an additional $250, bringing the total reward to $1,000.

On the wall of a building across from City Hall

The original source of funds for the reward was put forth by Jones, along with Councilpersons Halder and Livengood, because they want the crime spree brought to an end. The scribbling spray paint sometimes spells out the word “Hobo,“ which Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green said may or may not be a gang-related slang term.He said regardless, the cost to clean-up the damage is mounting as the acts continue. Green said citizens are frustrated, and some members of the Council is frustrated enough to put forth the reward money to try and curtail the incidents of vandalism.

Green said the lettering or symbols do not appear to have a nationally known gang affiliation, and he doesn’t want to speculate on whether teenagers or adults are committing the crime.

high up on a wall east of Poplar, between 4th and 5th Streets

high up on a wall east of Poplar, between 4th and 5th Streets

He says he won’t speculate because it could very well be a “disgruntled adult,” or “A 10-year old kid who has a little too much freedom.” The culprits have been brazen in where they put down their mark. In some cases, it’s been near the tops of buildings, which means they likely used a fire escape to reach their target.

He says his officers have been “on the heels” of the criminals a number of times, often times finding the graffiti “while the paint is still running,” so they are literally seconds away from being caught, but they just managed to beat the clock and evade capture. Chief Green says some of the acts take place at night, but they’re not sure if that’s the only time the incidents occur.

Behind 2 fenced in air conditioning units in an alley between 4th & 5th Streets

He says if you notice anything suspicious, such as a person hanging around by a building and looking over their shoulder, call the police department or the Comm. Center, because “It can take that person less than 10-seconds to commit the crime, and that’s what makes it so difficult to catch.”

The Danish Immigrant Museum Receives Gift to Endow Curator Position

News

June 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn have announced a gift and pledge of $750,000 from the Albert Victor Ravenholt Fund of Seattle, Washington, to endow the position of curator of exhibitions currently held by Tova Brandt.  Museum officials say over time, they hope the endowment will grow to exceed $1 million.

Tova Brandt

The endowment of the position – named the Albert Ravenholt Curator of Danish American Culture – ensures that there will be a permanent, professional staff person with the knowledge and training to study and interpret through exhibits and programming the unfolding story of Danish-Americans.  Creating such an endowed position reflects The Danish Immigrant Museum’s commitment to conserving and interpreting this story for future generations.

Albert Ravenholt’s story is a fascinating one.  Born in rural Luck, Wisconsin, he, his parents and eight siblings experienced the depths of the Great Depression.  Despite loss of the family farm, he and his brother and sisters all went on to have interesting careers. Albert became a noted journalist and expert on Asian affairs, serving as correspondent and Asian bureau chief for United Press International and ultimately a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs at Harvard University. While a student at Grand View College, he wrote letters in Danish home to family in Luck that revealed his appreciation for his Danish heritage.  This feeling continued throughout his life and is evident among family members today.

Current Curator of Collections, Tova Brandt, will now assume the title Albert Ravenholt Curator of Danish American Culture.  Prior to joining The Danish Immigrant Museum staff in 2009, Brandt served as curator of non-textile artifacts at Vesterheim, The Norwegian American Museum in Decorah, Iowa.  For more information about the museum, log on to www.danishmuseum.org.

 

Competitive races expected in Iowa’s new districts

News

June 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s nonpartisan redistricting process has laid the groundwork for competitive races in all four congressional districts, where no candidate is a shoo-in. After a low-turnout primary, attention shifted Tuesday to congressional races expected to cost millions of dollars and legislative contests that could shift the balance of power in the Iowa Senate. Republicans say they have a realistic chance to knock off one or more incumbent Democratic congressmen. If they win two state Senate seats, the GOP will claim a majority needed to approve new restrictions on abortion, reduce property taxes and place a constitutional gay marriage ban on the ballot. Democrats, meanwhile, are taking aim at Republican U.S. Reps. Tom Latham and Steven King. Their races are expected to be the most hotly contested in Iowa.

Braddyville man arrested on Shelby County warrant

News

June 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office reports a Braddyville man was arrested Tuesday, on a warrant out of Shelby County for revocation of his probation, on 2010 drug-related charges. 44-year old Roger Dale Schaben was taken into custody at around 7-p..m Tuesday, and brought to the Page County Jail, before he was extradicted to Shelby County by their deputies. His bond was set at $25,000.

Iowa regents: End tuition-funded aid in 5 years

News

June 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Board of Regents says it wants to eliminate the practice of using tuition dollars to give scholarships to low-income students within five years.  The regents voted Wednesday during a meeting in Iowa City to create a 12-member committee tasked with developing a long-term plan to end the practice, in which about 20 percent of tuition revenue is used for financial aid.
 
The practice dates to the 1980s. Last year, more than $144 million went to nearly 26,000 students as need-based and merit-based scholarships. Some parents and Republican lawmakers have been critical of the practice, which they say hurts middle-class families by raising their costs to subsidize other students. Regents say the committee will develop a plan for a state-wide scholarship program and private fundraising to replace the aid.

Cass Supervisors offer motion of intent on 28-E MH Svcs.

News

June 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday) were prepared to authorize Board Chair Duane McFadden to sign a letter of intent to join with other counties in an agreement for delivery of Mental Health services. Instead, they approved a motion signifying they intend to do so, after Mental Health Administrative Assistant Deb Schuler, who spoke for Mental Health Coordinator Teresa Kanning, informed the Board an ISAC (Iowa State Association of Counties) official suggested the motion to Regionalize those services be made, because the process to regionalize is still in the very early stages. Governor Terry Branstad signed legislation late last month that reform’s the state’s mental health system. It shakes up the current county-based format, in favor of one based on “regions.”

Dry weather persists, Corps of Eng progresses on levee repairs

News

June 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Parts of Iowa that are desperate for rain may not get it anytime soon. The National Weather Service is predicting a warmer-than-average weather pattern in the lower Missouri River basin, which includes Iowa, through June. South Dakota State climatologist Dennis Todey says he doesn’t expect rainfall to be excessive.”From Montana to North Dakota and northern South Dakota, a decent chance for above-average precipitation chances,” Todey says. “As we look in the southern part of the basin, the near-normal precipitation is expected.” Todey’s comments came during a U-S Army Corps of Engineers conference call. Warm, dry weather has allowed the Corps to inspect Missouri River dams following last year’s flood.

Officials with the U-S Army Corps of Engineers hope to have all Missouri River levee repair projects complete by the end of this year. Last summer’s Missouri River flooding caused significant damage in western Iowa. The Corps’ Omaha District has 11 projects underway, with 99-million dollars in repairs complete. Brett Budd, chief of the Omaha District’s System Restoration Team, says some already-repaired areas need additional reinforcement.

Budd says, “We anticipate phase two contracts will be awarded in the coming weeks for the Omaha Flood Protection project, levee L-624/627 at Council Bluffs, Iowa, levee L-611/614 south of Council Bluffs, Iowa, L-575 near Percival and Hamburg, Iowa, L-550 near Rock Port, Missouri, and L-536 south of Rock Port, Missouri.” Releases from Gavins Point Dam in Yankton, South Dakota, are at 31-thousand cubic feet per second. Last year at this time, releases from there were at 110-thousand C-F-S, and the Missouri River was more than five feet above flood stage.

(Radio Iowa)

Two arrests in Atlantic, Tuesday

News

June 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department today (Wednesday) reports two Cass County men were arrested, Tuesday. 23-year old Joshua Dyer, of Atlantic, was arrested on a Sarpy County, NE. warrant for Criminal Mischief. Dyer was being held in the Cass County Jail. And, 21-year old Shane Suhr, of Anita, turned himself-in to authorities. Suhr was wanted on three Cass County warrants for Public Intoxication, Disorderly Conduct, and Assault with Injury. He was later released from custody, on bond.