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(updated) Arguments set in Iowa ACLU’s open-records lawsuit against Atlantic School District


September 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

(updated 9:55-a.m. Sept. 20th)

A recent settlement between the Atlantic Community School District and the parents of several girls who claimed to have been strip-searched in August 2009 over the matter of missing money, has not ended the district’s legal battles. An open-records case filed over the incident at the Atlantic High School has reached the Iowa Court of Appeals, with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) saying the case will be argued in court, this Thursday.

The ACLU has been trying to find out what discipline, if any, was imposed on former Assistant High School Principle Paul Croghan, and Guidance Counselor Heather Turpin. The ACLU lost its bid in district court to uncover that information, but later appealed. In August 2009, several girls were strip-searched in a locker room at the school after a classmate reported the theft of $100 from her purse. No money was found. Atlantic School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein  says the district’s case is being handled by its attorney, Brett Nietzche.  Amstein says Nietzche will argue on behalf of the district, that information regarding disciplinary action against school personnel is confidential, and should not have to be disclosed.

The district recently settled a lawsuit filed by families of three of the girls. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Amstein – who was not with the Atlantic Community School District when the incident took place – says with that portion of the legal matter concluded, they’re looking to move on to other issues.

Corn harvest advances in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The corn harvest in Iowa is under way with farmers focusing on getting storm damaged crops out of the fields first. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey released his weekly crop report Monday, saying this week’s sunshine will help dry the corn and let the harvest move forward. He says some scattered soybean fields have been harvested but the harvest is a week away for most soybean farmers. Sixty percent of the corn crop is mature, about one week behind last year but four days ahead of normal. Fifty-five percent of the corn crop is in good or excellent condition with just 16 percent being poor or very poor. Sixty-two percent of the soybean crop is in good or excellent condition with just 12 percent being poor or very poor.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board discusses skate park options

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors Monday, continued discussion with regard to the skateboard park, and whether or not it should be moved to another, more centrally located area. Councilman Kern Miller has explored the possibility of moving the park to a lot located across the street from Iowa Western Community College, because it was thought the concrete pad for the half-pipe out at Sunnyside Park might have been originally intended for use as a Parks and Rec maintenance shed, but Mayor Dave Jones said that was never the case.  He says contrary to rumors, the pad was poured for a skateboard park, because the half-pipe is a heavy piece of equipment.

Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring said the pad would require extensive modifications in order to build a shed at that location. He added there are other options when it comes to building a new maintenance shed, including a location further off to the south of the skate park. He says the utilities are already in place to make the location useable.

Park and Rec Board members said the proposed location for a new skate park is too small, too close to a local church, and that Iowa Western Center Director Ann Pross was not willing to say either way whether they would want it located on the lot across the street.  Herring said the half-pipe, which was damaged when it was moved to it’s current location, and is currently unusable, can be repaired, resurfaced and sealed, and left where it is, for about $2,500.

He says the location that they have is adequate, if they get some pieces added to the pipe once it‘s repaired, that will make it more user friendly, including “rails.” Herring says the people who use the park are willing to step forward to get the funds necessary to make that happen. Herring says the people who use the skate park vary in age from the early teens to their mid-30’s. He says “They deserve a place to skateboard,”  other than on peoples’ driveways, and city sidewalks, and Herring credited Councilman Miller for his efforts to make sure there is a place for the skateboarders to enjoy their sport.

Schildberg Quarry Trail ribbon cutting to be held Thursday

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Parks and Recreation Director Roger Herring said Monday, a public “Open House” event will be held Thursday evening for the newly resurfaced Schildberg Quarry Recreation Area Trail, around Lake number One. Herring said the trail is done, with the exception of seeding, which has been delayed because of recent rains.  He says the Chamber will hold an Ambassador’s ribbon cutting ceremony at 10-a.m., with another ribbon cutting and public open house later that same evening, from about 5:30-until 7.

The trail he says, has seen a lot of use, but hopes are that the event planned for Thursday will make more people aware of what’s available at the Recreation Area, and the work that has been done to make it more user friendly.

The Parks & Rec Board is also looking at placing bag dispensers at the entrance to the park, so that persons who walk their dogs can dispose of their animals’ droppings. There may also be signs urging people to be considerate of others, by picking up their dogs’ droppings.

Herring said another idea is to include signs showing a map of the trails, and the distance for each trail, so people can keep track of their walking mileage.

Adair Board of Supervisors to meet this morning


September 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Board of Supervisors will meet this morning in Greenfield, instead of during their normal, Wednesday day session. During the 9-a.m. meeting at the courthouse, the Board will hold a Public Hearing on the 1st reading of a Redistricting/Reprecincting Plan ordinance, followed by consideration of the 2nd and 3rd readings, and a Resolution to approve the ordinance, signing of the ordinance, and certification of the County Reprecincting Worksheet and Precinct Population. The Adair County Supervisors will also hold a Public Hearing on the 1st reading of a Local Option Sales Tax ordinance, as well as consideration of the 2nd and 3rd readings, a resolution approving the ordinance, and signing of the same.

Other business includes discussion with regard to: the replacement of concrete; the reading of a proclamation and dedication of a1934 U-S Constitution Lithograph purchased from Gary Stephenson, of

Gary Stephenson holds a copy of the type of lithograph purchased by the Adair Co. Board of Supervisors.

Ft. Dodge and professionally framed; and, County Ordinances to Prepare for a Readopting Ordinance.


The session will conclude at Noon, with lunch, and an inspection tour of the 3 Mile Lake structures.


Atlantic Homecoming 2011 Activities

News, Sports

September 19th, 2011 by Jim Field

Atlantic High School Homecoming 2011

September 30

Atlantic Trojans vs. the Harlan Cyclones

Theme – Wild West

Dress Days

Monday:    80’s

Tuesday:    Celebrity

Wednesday:  Cowboy/Cowgirl

Thursday:  Favorite Teacher

Friday:  Black and Gold


There will be lunch games throughout the week as well as a Dodgeball Tournament for girls.

Each class will make a float and judging will be held Thursday evening.

Coronation/Pep Assembly will start at 1:19 pm on Friday, 9/30.

Parade to follow at 3:15.  Awarding of the Spirit Stick will take place at half-time of the football game.  Dance will be on Saturday, 10/1.

Queen Candidates: Taylor Barry, Amanda Delgado, Savannah Hoye, Paige Kennon, Ali Krogman, Sierra Larsen, Bre VonWeyhe, Nora Walker

King Candidates: Gunnar Blum, Austin Conrad, Christian Holzapfel, Ryan McDermott, Ian McNees, Rob Nichols, Derek Stork, Ethan Westering

Homecoming Parade Entry forms and rules are available in the high school office.  All parade entry forms are due by Wednesday, September 28.  Contact the office at 243-5358 if you have any questions.

Arrests reported in Atlantic


September 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested in Atlantic recently. According to Atlantic Police, 24-year old Randy Fredericksen, of Atlantic, was arrested Sunday on a Cass County Warrant for Failure to Appear. And today (Monday), 20-year old Samantha Wehrli, of Atlantic, was arrested on a shoplifting charge (Theft in the 4th Degree), and 1st offense OWI. Fredericksen and Wehrli were booked into the Cass County Jail.

The A-PD says also, no injuries were reported following an accident Friday afternoon, at 7th and Poplar Streets. Bethanne Desko, of Atlantic, was cited for Failure to Obey a Traffic Signal, after her car ran into a vehicle driven by Brandon Shadden, of Oakland. The crash caused $5,000 damage.


September 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Obama campaign is planning parties to celebrate the opening of offices and phone banks in Iowa. Celebrations are scheduled for Tuesday at offices in Cedar Rapids and Sioux City. Organizing for America Iowa spokesman John Kraus said Monday that celebrations are being planned for other Iowa offices this week. They are in Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City and Waterloo.

CASS Incorporated Named One of Iowa’s Top Workplaces


September 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa’s Top Workplaces program, partnering with The Des Moines Register, recognized 70 companies across the state as top places to work in Iowa.  117 companies participated in categories of large, mid sized and small sized companies, based on their number of employees. Results were printed yesterday in the Des Moines Register in a special section called Iowa’s Top Workplaces.  Placings were determined by confidential surveys completed last spring by a company’s employees across thirteen categories such as Leadership, Direction, Meaningfulness, Ethics, Opportunities, and Work/Life Flexibility.

CASS Incorporated placed 5th in the Small Size Company Employers: 50-149 employees– and they placed first over all companies and all categories in the category of Meaningfulness of employment.   Glenda Farrier, CEO, said CASS Incorporated is honored to be recognized as one of Iowa’s top workplaces, particularly in the area of meaningful work.  Our mission is to Enrich Lives, but what we’ve found is that in carrying out this mission for the people we serve, our lives as employees are enriched as well.” 

CASS Incorporated’s company profile for the Top Workplace program is available online at: http://www.topworkplaces.com/company_survey/cass-incorporated_iowa/desmoinesregister_11

Beginning of the end of flooding on Missouri River arrives with more cuts in releases


September 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Releases of water from upstream dams on the Missouri River are being dropped again, as the U-S Army Corps of Engineers enters the final stage of ending the summer-long flooding. Kim Thomas, chief of the Corps’ Readiness Branch in Omaha, says holding water releases steady the past several weeks allowed pressure on levees to stabilize, reducing underseepage and sand boils.

“At the start of the operational pause, we still had a tremendous amount of boils going on and every day that we’ve held at this pause, we’ve seen less and less of those boils,” Thomas says. “That’s another sign this pause was a good thing for the levees, to let them equalize.” Releases at Gavins Point Dam at Yankton, South Dakota, totaled 160-thousand cubic feet per second earlier this year — more than a million gallons per second. The Corps slowly dropped releases to 90-thousand C-F-S, then held at that level for three weeks. Last night (Sunday), the releases were cut back again. Jody Farhat, chief of the Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Basin Management Office, says the tactic kept releases stable for a reason.

Farhat says, “The pause was primarily to allow the water pressure in the levees and the embankment just downstream of Gavins Point Dam, that whole Lake Yankton area, to allow the water pressure in those levees to stabilize.” It was feared some levees might collapse without the force of the water against them, but she says thankfully, that didn’t happen.

“The levees have not failed us as the water pressure went off them and Lake Yankton is still there,” Farhat says, “so I think we achieved the overall objective.” The Corps plans to drop releases by five-thousand cubic feet per second every other day until they reach 40-thousand C-F-S on October 6th, about one-quarter of what it was during the worst of the flooding.

(Radio Iowa)