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Clinton shadow in Iowa no threat to some Democrats


August 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) — Democrats with presidential dreams are coming to Iowa with little fanfare, entourage or recognition. They’re undeterred by talk of a Hillary Rodham Clinton candidacy in 2016 or her plans to visit the leadoff caucus state next month to honor retiring Sen. Tom Harkin.

But former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and a few others have nothing to lose if Clinton runs, and lots to gain if she doesn’t. Other Democrats who have visited Iowa include Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

An independent who is supported largely by Democrats, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, will be in Iowa when Clinton attends Harkin’s fundraiser. On the GOP side, some potential candidates are further along in Iowa, with paid staff on the ground.

Board accepts complaint filed against Red Oak CSD


August 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A report in the Omaha World-Herald says the Iowa Public Information Board, Thursday, accepted a third complaint against the Red Oak Community School District. Margaret Stoldorf filed a complaint July 8th saying the agenda for a June 30 school board meeting was too vague and a “typical citizen” would not have understood the personnel action before the board.

In response, the district cited interviews given to the Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs and KMA radio, based in Shenandoah, to make the public aware of the topic of the board meeting. But Public Information Board Executive Director Keith Luchtel wrote in a letter that notifying media outlets did not waive requirements for agendas.

The state agency has two other pending complaints against the Red Oak district, from former Principal Jedd Sherman and district resident Don Rogerson. Stoldorf’s concerns will be brought forward to seek an informal resolution with the school district.

The other two complaints are being reviewed by agency staff, which will present a formal report to the board later. The board will then decide whether it finds probable cause that violations of the state’s open meetings law occurred. If the board finds probable cause, it could choose to file charges, which could lead to fines of $1,500 for each school board member for each violation.

In all three cases, the Red Oak district has said that it met its obligations under Iowa law.

Chiefs OT Stephenson suspended for PEDs violation


August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Chiefs offensive tackle Donald Stephenson has been suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Stephenson was a fill-in starter last season but was expected to anchor the right side of the line this year. He remains eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games, including Saturday night’s game against Minnesota.

Stephenson will miss games against Tennessee, Denver, Miami and New England, and be eligible to return to the active roster Sept. 30. The Chiefs play San Francisco the following Sunday. The Chiefs were already without wide receiver Dwayne Bowe for the season opener after he was suspended by the league for an incident involving marijuana last November.

Atlantic Fire Chief’s response to “Super Riley” developments


August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees issued a statement Friday afternoon, with regard to developments in the case of a young girl allegedly being treated for cancer, and the arrest of her mother for making the whole thing up. On the AFD’s Facebook Page, McNees said… “The Atlantic Fire Department is saddened to hear of the events surrounding the family of Super Riley. This is now a family and legal matter. Riley was made an honorary member of our department because of her desire to become a firefighter someday, and our desire to make her dream come true.

Under the current circumstances she needs our support more than ever and will remain an honorary member and we wish her nothing but the best in her future.”

Red Oak man arrested after disturbance at a hospital


August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak arrested a local man Friday afternoon, following a disturbance at the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital. Authorities say 24-year old Eric Alan Vannausdle, of Red Oak, was taken into custody just before 1-p.m., on a charge of Disorderly Conduct. Bond was set at $300.

Officials say the man allegedly made a loud and raucous noise in the hospital, causing unreasonable distress for the patients and staff. The E-R also reported Vannausdle was acting in a “very aggressive” and “Violent manner.”

The Red Oak P-D was assisted at the scene by deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Economic Development Board Approves Awards to Support the Creation of Nearly 200 Jobs


August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board, Friday, awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to six companies for job creation and expansion projects. The awards will assist in the creation of 184 jobs and will result in $30 million in new capital investment for the state. Additionally, one project was approved for start-up funding. The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Burlington, Carter Lake, Davenport, Iowa Falls, Marion, Oelwein and Waukee.

In Carter Lake, Lone Mountain Truck Leasing provides financing and maintenance services to owner-operators pursuing ownership of a semi-truck to operate their business. The proposed project would relocate the corporate office from Nebraska to Carter Lake to a new office campus that would consolidate truck maintenance operations and corporate offices where truck/tractor sales and leasing activities are conducted. The project would have a capital investment of $1.3 million. The IEDA board awarded the company tax benefits through the HQJP program to create 39 jobs, 19 of which are incented at a qualifying wage of $20.95 per hour.

Atlantic woman arrested for distributing cannabis oil & child endangerment


August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An inquiry by officials with the Atlantic Community School District into how to best provide for a child with special needs resulted in an investigation that resulted in the arrest of the child’s mother. Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner revealed that information during a 20-minute press conference Friday afternoon, in Atlantic.

Leatha Kaye Slauson (Cass Co. Sheriff's Office photo)

Leatha Kaye Slauson (Cass Co. Sheriff’s Office photo)

According to Feistner, the woman was arrested on two felony charges. 30-year old Leatha Kaye Slauson, of Atlantic was originally arrested Thursday on a single Class-D felony charge of Child Endangerment causing bodily injury. Feistner said since then, an additional charge of Distribution of drugs to a child under the age of 18, which is a Class B felony in the state of Iowa. Her preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 2nd at 2-p.m.  Leatha Slauson was being held without bond in the Cass County Jail. If convicted on the charges, she faces up to 30-years in prison and fines amounting to $7,500.

Cass Co. Atty. Dan Feistner (Left) & Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green.

Cass Co. Atty. Dan Feistner (Left) & Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green.

Feistner said Slauson is accused of distributing Cannabis Oil to her 4-year old daughter Riley. Leatha Slauson told the community of Atlantic her daughter was diagnosed last fall with terminal, metastatic colorectal cancer. The medical condition, as it turns out, was a hoax. That was determined through numerous sources and interviews with the child’s mother.

Numerous fundraising efforts were initiated to help the family with their medical and travel costs, and to help Riley attain her dream of visiting Disney World. Feistner said thousands of dollars have been raised for the family, but an exact amount was not known. Two websites established for the girl, however, have totaled over $7,600 in donations. Feistner said an investigation into the matter continues. The child’s father has not been charged and has cooperated with authorities. The Iowa Department of Human Services has been notified and the father currently has custody of Riley and her four other siblings.

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green suggested citizens no longer donate to the Super Riley Fund established for the little girl, but that they should not stop contributing to other, legitimate causes.
Green, whose wife had cancer last year, contributed to Riley’s cause. Regardless of how hurt the community may be, he says he’s proud of Atlantic, and that “everybody’s gonna heal.”

A Facebook page dedicated to “Super Riley” in support of her alleged illness, was removed late Friday afternoon.

Warren Opera House Honored


August 22nd, 2014 by admin

The State Historical Society of Iowa has announced its Preservation Projects of Merit Awards. The E-E Warren Opera House/Warren Cultural Center in Greenfield was awarded based on its outstanding preservation of a large historic preservation project using State Historic Preservation and Cultural and Entertainment District Tax Credit Program incentives. A group of dedicated residents worked together to not only raise the funds for the rehabilitation but also developed a sustainable business model other small towns may replicate. The project accomplished the rehabilitation of three buildings into a complex known as the Warren Cultural Center with a rear addition was constructed to provide for code compliant access egress and modern amenities. For the purposes of the award, large projects are defined as those project having total qualified costs of more than a half million dollars.

(Update) 4 transported to the hospital following crash near Griswold


August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Four people were transported to hospitals in Atlantic and Omaha after an SUV and a pickup collided Friday morning, west of Griswold. In an update to our earlier story, KETV in Omaha reports two of the victims were taken by medical helicopter to an Omaha hospital. The other two were taken by ambulance to an Atlantic hospital. No names had been released as of early Friday afternoon.

Authorities said a Cadillac Escalade and a Chevy S-10 collided, with both vehicles ending up in a nearby ditch. Emergency crews from Griswold and Carson responded to the call, along with Medivac Ambulance, from Atlantic. The accident happened along Highway 92 at around 10:25-a.m, near the intersection with 500th Street. The roadway in the area was closed to traffic for about an hour following the crash. Two of the victims were trapped in one of the vehicles and had to be extricated by mechanical means.

The accident remains under investigation.

Investigation into child endangement and possible fraud in Atlantic


August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the Press Release from the Atlantic Police Department issued today (Friday, Aug. 22nd), with regard to an ongoing investigation into a local woman and case of Child Endangerment and possible fraud.

“At approximately 3PM on August 21st authorities received information of a possible case of child abuse. An investigation was initiated by the Atlantic Police Department, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Department of Human Services. All three departments participated in the investigation and were later joined by the Cass County Attorney as the case began to unfold.

The preliminary investigation centered around Leatha Kaye Slauson, age 30, of Atlantic, Iowa who has for some time claimed that her five-year-old daughter is suffering from cancer, and who in recent months has alleged that the child is terminal. The preliminary results of the investigation indicate that the child does not suffer from any life threatening illness. At this point the investigation has resulted in Mrs. Slauson being charged with one count of felony child endangerment. Mrs. Slauson is currently being held in the Cass County jail on the above charge as the investigation continues. Early stages of the investigation indicate that Mrs. Slauson is the only person involved in this matter.

During the past year the local community, as well as others around Cass County and beyond, have rallied together to help the family financially, and to make what was believed to be the child’s remaining time as enjoyable as possible. Individuals and organizations within the community have organized fundraisers and a trip to Disney World in order to assist the family through what was believed to be a difficult time.

As of this time investigators would discourage citizens from making further contributions to the Super Riley Fund. While those of us involved in the investigation know that this turn of events will greatly impact people within our area and beyond, we are proud that it is typical for our residents to rally to the aid of those among us who face devastating illness or circumstances. As this investigation unfolds it is our hope that the soft hearts of our residents can heal and once again be eager to give of their time, finances and prayers for those in need.

It is important to remember that any person charged is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Chief Stephen Green, Atlantic Police Department
Sheriff Darby McClaren, Cass County Sheriff’s Office
Daniel Feistner, Cass County Attorney”