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Annual Lighted Christmas Parade in Atlantic, Saturday


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

As part of the Christmas Magic in Downtown Atlantic, the community will hold a Lighted Christmas Parade this Saturday (Dec. 6th), beginning at 6-p.m. Activities leading up to the event begin at 3-p.m., when Santa arrives to his cabin in City Park. Enjoy a warm cup of hot cocoa as you wait to see Santa. Afterward, enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride through downtown Atlantic, sponsored by First Whitney Bank and Wells Fargo.

Fireworks, sponsored by A-M Cohron and Sons, and Meyer and Gross Real Estate, begin at 6-pm over the Rock Island Depot, and the Annual Lighted Christmas Parade down Chestnut Street. Every year the parade features local businesses, organizations and families that want to be a part of this Atlantic holiday tradition. Each float entry has the chance to win AtlantiCash or the Grand Prize trophy! New this year three awards: Twinkle Twinkle, Best Holiday Spirit and Best Overall will be given before the parade to highlight the winners as they parade downtown Chestnut Street. The winners will be formally awarded the following Monday at the Atlantic Area Chamber office.

Lighted Parade entries are able to register as late as Friday, December 5. Pre-registration forms can be filled out at the Chamber office through Friday at 5-p.m. You can also find the registration form at www.atlanticiowa.com.

Red Oak case tied to court rejection of flag law


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A federal judge is striking down two Iowa laws that make it a crime to mistreat the American flag. U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt ruled Wednesday that the laws are unconstitutional because they criminalize protected free speech. One law makes it a misdemeanor to deface, mutilate, or trample on the American flag. The other says it’s illegal to show disrespect to the flag “to provoke or encourage another to commit a public offense.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa challenged the laws last year on behalf of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. The church’s members are known for protesting outside funerals, often dragging, standing and spitting on flags.

The lawsuit came after the police chief in Red Oak threatened to enforce the law against members during protests.

Stanton man arrested Thu. morning in Montgomery County


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop early this (Thursday) morning in Montgomery County resulted in the arrest of a Stanton man on a charge of Driving While Barred. Sheriff’s officials say 26-year old Richard Dean Pierce III, of Stanton, was arrested at around 1:45-a.m. at the intersection of north 1st and Corning Streets, in Red Oak. Pierce was transported to Montgomery County Corrections and held on $1,000 cash bond.

2 Council Bluffs teens linked to numerous incidents of vandalism


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two teens from Council Bluffs have been arrested in connection with at least 18 separate incidents of criminal mischief/vandalism. The incidents, which involved bricks being thrown through the windows of vehicles in Council Bluffs, occurred between Nov. 26th and 29th. Council Bluffs Police Sgt. Dave Dawson says a 17-year old and a 14-year old from Council Bluffs were arrested this week on felony Criminal Mischief in the 2nd Degree charges. The teens were later released to their parents with appearances to be scheduled in Juvenile Court.

Dawson says a tip from a citizen led to the teens’ arrests. On Nov. 29th, the citizen reported seeing a green, 1990’s model Dodge Dakota pickup occupied by two white males, driving recklessly on the east side of Council Bluffs. One day earlier, a victim of theft in the same area saw the same vehicle, and was able to provide authorities with a license plate number.

On Dec., 2nd, a uniform patrol officer found the suspect’s vehicle and identified the driver and only occupant as a suspect in the case. The 17-year old admitted during an interview with detectives, that he was involved in the vandalism spree. He also implicated the 14-year old, who was also interviewed and admitted to his role in the crimes.

Sgt. Dawson said it was important to note that the cases were solved in large part, due to observant citizens who took the time to report what they saw and provided critical leads. He said also those tips, combined with the hard work of police officers and detectives, resulted in the arrests and eventual prosecution of the individuals involved.

Tri-Center schools to hold a series of public meetings


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Tri-Center Community School District is planning a series of public forums to discuss priorities.  Superintendent Tony Weers is inviting community members and parents to discuss priorities as the district faces “some difficult financial decisions,” according to a post on the district’s website. Weers told the Daily NonPareil he wants to hear from district patrons about programming, unique financial challenges and school/community priorities.

Meetings will be held: Tonight (Thursday) at 7 p.m. at the Neola Area Community Center in Neola and Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Minden Bowl in Minden. Meetings are also planned for Jan. 5 in Beebeetown and Jan. 15 in Persia, with locations for those meetings to be announced.

And now there are 5


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Another Republican has announced intentions to run for a Dec. 30th Special Election in southwest Iowa. The Daily NonPareil reports Tracee Knapp will be the 5th Republican candidate for the Iowa Senate in District 12. Knapp and her husband own and operate a cattle operation near Redding in southern Ringgold County while working for Children and Families of Iowa.

Knapp said her involvement in small business for 16 years has given her insight into the day-to-day issues that business owners face. While working as a financial aid advisor at Graceland University in Lamoni, she counseled students on debt, budgeting and making smart decisions. Government, she said, needs to make better financial decisions as well. She currently serves as secretary of the Ringgold County GOP central committee.

Knapp described herself as a firm believer in the right to bear arms, that life begins at conception and traditional marriage. In addition to Knapp, the race includes former Montgomery County Supervisor Margaret Stoldorf of Red Oak, farmer Seth Watkins of Clarinda, Fremont County Supervisor Cara Marker-Morgan and State Rep. Mark Costello.

The Republican convention for the special election will be held in Clarinda on Dec. 11.

Iowa regents approve ‘historic’ 3rd tuition freeze


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Thousands of students at Iowa’s three public universities could graduate without seeing their tuition increase once. The Iowa Board of Regents voted Wednesday to freeze tuition for resident undergraduate students for the third straight year, provided that lawmakers approve a funding increase for the universities next spring. Governor Terry Branstad says that would be a “historic” achievement.

Regent Larry McKibben said a third straight freeze will help families who are struggling to afford higher education. If the freeze sticks, in-state students who graduate in May 2016 will have paid the same base tuition all four years: $6,678 at University of Iowa and $6,648 at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.

The board raised tuition by 1.75 percent for nonresidents and students in graduate and professional programs.

Parents of children with mental illness rally for more state support


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Parents of children suffering from mental illness rallied at the Statehouse Wednesday. Tammy Nyden,  of Iowa City, is chairperson of a statewide children’s mental health committee of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “There are so many services that do not exist in Iowa and without them, our children are not safe to themselves and sometimes to others,” Nyden said. State legislators last year approved $6 million for the Iowa Department of Human Services to help some 9,000 Iowans with mental and physical disabilities who are on waiting lists for services. Nyden said while she’s grateful for the funding, it’s made little difference.

“It was honestly too little, too late,” Nyden said. “The year before, $8.7 million was vetoed and neither of those amounts would have paid down the waiting list. The $6 million…we have found out, halfway in to this fiscal year, very little, if any of it has been applied. If it were fully applied to the waiting list, it would only be reduced some 20-percent.” A spokesperson for the DHS said the agency will be ramping up their efforts soon the speed up access to services for Iowans with mental illnesses. Nyden has a 12-year-old son who has been on a waiting list for services for two years. One problem with improving services, according to Nyden, is the general public’s lack of understanding of mental illnesses. She said many people are afraid to speak with her about the subject or blame parents for the child’s condition.

Many of these children do have mental illness from trauma, but many of them were simply born with a brain disorder, like my son,” Nyden said. “You’re born with Tourette’s syndrome, he didn’t do anything to deserve what he has to live through every day.” Around 30 people gathered for Wednesday’s rally at the Statehouse in Des Moines.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., 12/4/14


December 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Republican Party leaders are pledging to remain neutral in the 2016 presidential caucuses. Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said yesterday that all the State Central Committee members have signed a pledge not to publicly endorse a candidate. He says this sends a message to potential candidates that Iowa will be a fair playing ground.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad has scheduled a special election for the House District 4 seat left open after Saturday’s death of state Representative Dwayne Alons. Branstad said yesterday that a special election will be held on January 6th. The district includes the cities of Sioux Center, Orange City, Rock Valley, Hull, Hawarden, Alton, Maurice, Granville, Ireton and Chatsworth.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) —Governor Terry Branstad is brushing off entertainer Cher’s criticism about hog crates. Cher posted a message on Twitter Tuesday asking why Iowa farmers “torture pigs” in narrow gestation crates, and calling New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie a “bully” for his stance on the issue. Christie recently vetoed legislation outlawing gestation crates in New Jersey.

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — An 18-year-old in Muscatine has been accused of posting nude photos of minors on Twitter. Muscatine County Attorney Alan Ostergren says Briar Jared Todd was arrested yesterday. He faces five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Todd is scheduled to appear in court on December 15th.

Creston Accident


December 3rd, 2014 by admin

The Creston Police Department investigated a two vehicle non injury accident on Highway 34 Tuesday afternoon in Creston. Both Robert Spare of Afton and Zachary Steffen of  Creston were traveling east on Highway 34 with Spare in the right hand eastbound lane and Steffen was in the left eastbound lane; he failed to yield to the vehicle on the right and attempted to turn right from the left hand lane causing the accident. The vehicles made contact with the Spare vehicle sustaining functional damage and was towed from the scene. Steffen was cited for failure to yield right of way.