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Teen Arrested After Fire Incident at Abraham Lincoln High School


November 19th, 2014 by Jim Field

Authorities in Council Bluffs said Wednesday a 14-year-old boy was charged with first-degree arson in connection with a fire that occurred Tuesday, at the Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln High School. The unidentified teen was transported to the Southwest Iowa Juvenile Detention Center. A 15-year old boy also interviewed in connection with the incident, will not face charges.

Firefighters responded to the school Tuesday after a tackling dummy was set ablaze on the mezzanine level of the gymnasium, at around 12:15-p.m. The school’s sprinkler system extinguished the fire by the time fire crews arrived. The gym sustained water, smoke and fire damage as a result of the fire and firefighting efforts.

All students were evacuated for about 10 minutes Tuesday afternoon until the fire department confirmed it was safe for them to re-enter the school.

Atlantic man arrested Wednesday


November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was arrested this (Wednesday) morning. Officials with the Atlantic Police Department said 21-year old Jacob Sweeney, of Atlantic, was taken into custody on a charge of Operating a motor vehicle While License is barred. Sweeney was booked into the Cass County Jail.

3 accidents in Atlantic last Saturday


November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department today (Wednesday), released details about three separate accidents that took place during last Saturday’s snow event. Officials say at around 8:50-a.m., vehicles driven by Erica Bengel and Allan Coffin, both of Atlantic, collided at 7th and Maple Streets. Bengel stopped at the intersection as she was heading north on Maple, but then proceeded into the intersection, where her car was struck by Coffin’s vehicle as it was traveling westbound on 7th Street. Bengel was cited for Failure to Yield. The accident caused $7,300 damage.

The second accident happened at around 11:40-a.m., Saturday, at 10th and Spruce Streets. The A-PD says Trina Rose, of Atlantic, was traveling east on east 10th, when a vehicle driven by Dennis Kneedler, of Des Moines, began to back into a residential driveway from a parking space in the 700 block of east 10th. Kneedler didn’t see the Rose vehicle and backed into it, causing a total of $9,500 damage. No citations were issued, and no injuries were reported.

And at around 3:35-p.m. Saturday, vehicles driven by Beth Tarr, of Atlantic, and John Loeffler, of Anita, collided at the intersection of 7th and Hazel Streets, when Loeffler stopped for a vehicle in front of him that was stopped at 7th and Olive Streets. Tarr’s vehicle struck Loeffler’s in the rear, causing $10,500 damage. Both drivers complained about possible injuries, but refused transport to the hospital. Tarr was cited for Failure to stop in an assured clear distance.

Alert Newton man leads authorities to scam artist wanted in five states


November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An alleged scam artist wanted in several states was arrested after an alert Newton man tipped off authorities. A 54-year-old man wanted on warrants for running construction scams in five states was arrested in Newton yesterday (Tuesday) after the Jasper County Sheriff’s office received a call from a local resident. The resident had responded to an ad in the local newspaper, contacting Ed Cross with Cross Construction about building a pole-type building on his property. The resident became suspicious when Cross submitted a very low bid and requested a seven-thousand dollar deposit the same day.

The home owner then discovered Cross was renting equipment from a local business under the name of Ed Armstrong. The home owner did an internet search, discovered that Armstrong had a nationwide warrant for his arrest and then the home owner called the local sheriff’s department. Seventeen outstanding warrants have been issued for Armstrong by authorities in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma and Ohio.

The Jasper County Sheriff’s Department found Armstrong, driving around in Newton, and arrested him. He’s in the Jasper County Jail, awaiting extradition.

(Radio Iowa)

Minor injuries after car hits a child in Council Bluffs


November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A 9-year old Council Bluffs boy suffered only minor injuries after he was hit by a car this (Wednesday) morning. Bluffs Police Sgt. Jason Bailey says an investigation revealed Joshua McNutt entered the intersection of 6th and Willow Streets at around 8-a.m., and was crossing the street against the walk signal, when he was hit by a car driven by Kayla Knudtson, of Omaha.

Bailey says because the car was traveling at a slow rate of speed at the time, the child suffered minor injuries to his knees as the result of falling to the ground. The boy was transported to Mercy Hospital’s E-R for an evaluation, as a precaution.

No charges will be filed in connection with the accident.

Cass County Supervisors approve deputy recorder appointment


November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday, approved the appointment of a Deputy County Recorder. Mary Ward officially became the Cass County Recorder on Nov. 14th, following the November 4th General Election. Ward replaced Joyce Jensen, who has retired. Auditor Dale Sunderman says since Ward was Jensen’s Deputy, Mary needed to request a person to fill her former position. The Board approved the appointment of Marci Wallingford as Deputy County Recorder, with no change in her current rate of pay until July 1st, 2015.

In other business, the Board voted to approve a list of Military and Homestead Tax Credit applications for Fiscal Year 2015-2016. Auditor Dale Sunderman said 2014-2015 was the first year for the Disabled Veterans Homestead Tax Credit, during which there was one applicant. Sunderman said there are six names on the current list for credits on taxes collectible in 2015-16.

The Board also set Dec. 10th as the date for a public hearing on an amendment of the FY 2015 County Budget, which Sunderman said is NOT due to a shortage of funds. He said the “Jumpstart Program” was allowed to continue, which means the flow-through funds may be four-million dollars more than what was expected. The amendment allows the funds to be spent. The funds are administered through SWIPCO (The Southwest Iowa Planning Council), are paid to contractors for work on disaster recovery and housing assistance. The funds can also be used to assist local governments in the areas of Public Safety and Communications.

And, Cass County Engineer Charles Marker updated the Supervisors on on-going bridge projects, some of which are being delayed due to the recent cold and wet weather. Work on pouring the concrete approaches to the bridge over Interstate 80 north of Marne is being slowed due to the cold temperatures. Constant temperatures at or above 40-degrees are required for the concrete to set, according to Marker. Also, because a contract for work on the Cass County Landfill Bridge was not yet been returned by the company recently hired for the job, no action has been taken on the project just yet.

Preparation work for two other bridge projects planned for next year in Victoria Township on Yankton Road, and one just south of Massena at the T-intersection, will begin next week.

Courthouse security discussed in Cass County


November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Visitors to the Cass County Courthouse in Atlantic will be limited to one point of entry in the near future. Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren asked the Board of Supervisors about courthouse security during their meeting this (Wednesday) morning. Supervisor Gaylord Schelling said the same matter came up during a recent meeting of the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC). Schelling said at the ISAC meeting, it was suggested courthouses be limited to one access point for the public, so the areas where a potential active shooter can enter is limited and easily observable.

The Board, Sheriff, and Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon agreed the best plan is to make the rear double-doors to the courthouse as the only access point. All other doors will be locked, and signs will be posted on those no-access doors to alert the public. The two, south entrance doors are visible from a security camera that’s monitored in the Communications Center.

As part of an “Active Shooter” scenario designed to alert courthouse staff to the sound of gunshots on each level of the building, Supervisor Gaylord Schelling went to each floor and fired a “Starter’s Pistol,” that replicated that type of situation. He fired one shot on each floor Wednesday morning, beginning with the third floor.
Shot1 :03

The sound was clearly audible on the second floor. Another shot was fired on the second floor, where the courtroom and other legal offices are located. The third shot was fired on the Main floor, where the Auditor, Treasurer, Recorder and Clerk of Courts offices are found. Regardless of where the shot rang out, it clearly echoed throughout the building. Other measures will be taken to ensure the safety of courthouse personnel, such as reinforcing some offices and the use of “Safe Rooms,” some of which are already available.

Iowa school district apologizes to students


November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

GREENFIELD, Iowa (AP) – School officials have issued an apology to victims of a 2011 hazing incident at a Greenfield high school. The apology came as part of a settlement Tuesday from the incident in the high school’s wrestling room.

Two students were originally charged with second-degree sexual abuse, but the charges were reduced to first-degree harassment. According to online court documents, the students pleaded guilty to the harassment charges.

KCCI-TV reports the apology by Nodaway Valley Community School District was issued by superintendent Casey Berlau. He said in the statement that the district wants to apologize to the victims and their families for the assault that occurred while they were in the wrestling program.

Berlau said the district is making efforts to ensure another incident will not occur.

Package Theft in Creston


November 19th, 2014 by Chris Parks

A Creston Woman reported the theft of a FedEx package from her home at 601 E. Page Street on November 13th sometime between 11:55am and 5:32pm that day. The package contained an Ipod Nano and the loss was estimated at $140. The Creston Police Department took the report at 5:20pm Tuesday, November 18th.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN News, 11/19/2014

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November 19th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

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