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Iowa man arrested following Neb. car chase


November 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIDNEY, Neb. (AP) — An Iowa man has been arrested in the Nebraska Panhandle following a car chase that turned up nearly 60 pounds of marijuana. The Nebraska State Patrol said Thursday that 40-year-old Vorachit Luexayachack of Sergeant Bluff was recently arrested following a car chase with authorities on Interstate 80 that started near Sidney. A trooper says the car reached speeds of 110 mph before a spike strip flattened a front tire.

The marijuana was found in Luexayachack’s vehicle after it was stopped. They were in four suitcases in the car’s trunk. Luexayachack remains at the Cheyenne County Jail. He faces charges of flight to avoid arrest, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, willful reckless driving, driving under suspension and speeding. Court records do not list an attorney.

Education report shows some gains for Iowa kids


November 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A national education assessment report shows Iowa students have had some gains in math and reading since 2011, but stagnation over the long term remains a challenge. The latest results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress covers math and reading for fourth- and eighth grade students. There is a flat long-term trend in reading for both grades, but a small growth in math.

State Education Department Director Brad Buck said in a news release that there are some bright spots in the results, but they largely underscore a need to keep pushing education priorities. The NAEP, advertised as the nation’s report card, has been administered in Iowa since 1990. It is given to a sampling of students using the same sets of test booklets across the country.

Red Oak Chamber announces new Exec. Director


November 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Red Oak Chamber and Industry Association have announced the hiring of a new Executive Director. Paul Griffen from Red Oak will assume his duties on November 18th, 2013. The Chamber say Griffen is an experienced manager with a Bachelor of Science degree and over 30 years of experience in managing all aspects of varied business operations. He has a history of community work with not-for-profit entities not only in Red Oak but in multiple communities and states. In addition, he has been involved with economic development partners on both the state and local level in several locations.

Griffen has said he is looking forward to working with the Chambers’ current staff and investors.

Shelby County Fire Danger “Low”, but be aware of windy conditions

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

November 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency says they will keep the Fire Danger warning signs in the county in the “Low” category. Even though signs are in the low position, EMA Coordinator Bob Seivert says the winds will be gusty today (Thursday) and Friday, so anyone planning to conduct an open burn should consider that, and possibly consider postponing open burning until the weekend. The fire danger warning signs will be updated again on Monday.

Lawmakers reviewing EMS and call to make services essential


November 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

State lawmakers have launched a comprehensive review of emergency medical services across the state as providers call for lawmakers to require every community to have the service the same way there are now required to provide fire and police protection. Jerry Ewers, president of the Iowa Emergency Medical Services Association, told a legislative committee that in one third of the state, the services aren’t staffed during the day.

“Would you like to be the person who calls 9-1-1 when your parents are having a heart attack. And they’re like ‘sorry this is not an essential service, we don’t have anybody available’?,” Ewers asked. Emergency response times varying widely between city and rural areas, and Ewers says that’s because many of the volunteers are at their day jobs.  “They’re working their full time job during the day and sometimes it’s far ways from their community,” Ewers says. Lawmakers are looking into whether certification and training of emergency personnel are adequate, or so restrictive that it’s hard for volunteers to qualify.

Representative Todd Prichard, a Democrat from Charles City, says it’s a rural development issue. “You look at the response times that these providers are able to make and in some parts of the state it’s probably not acceptable,” Prichard says. State Senator Mike Breitbach, a Republican from Strawberry Point, worked with an ambulance service for 22 years. “And we see the same problems I think that a lot of our rural areas are seeing as far as recruitment, retention, and having enough people available to go on calls,” Breitbach says.

Providers will ask lawmakers to restore budget cuts at the state’s Emergency Services Bureau which they say have made it harder for volunteers out in the field to get the help they need. They also want a bigger income tax credit for volunteers to defray some of the cost of their training.

(Radio Iowa)

City of Atlantic balks at DNR required Nutrient Reduction Study


November 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A recent decision by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will require the City of Atlantic to conduct a Nutrient Reduction Study (NRS) as part of the DNR’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy to reduce the amount of hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico which reduces oxygen levels and creates algae. Phosphorus and Nitrogen runoff into the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are thought to be major contributors to the problem. City Administrator Doug Harris says the NRS will take about two-years, and cost the city anywhere from $15,000 to $200,000. Fox Engineering, which helped design Atlantic’s new wastewater treatment plant, said it could be done for $15,000.

The City conducted a similar study a few years ago, prior to the construction of its retention basin. Mayor Dave Jones says the DNR should look further downstream before asking Atlantic to spend its money on the study.

Harris said City’s along the river are easy targets for the DNR, when in reality most of the problem comes from farm run-off into the waterways. He says the City has do conduct the study in order to obtain the permits it needs, but it will be some time before it has to be done. He says because the wastewater treatment plant was just completed, there is a 10-year moratorium.

The City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) permit required by the Clean Water Act, was just renewed following completion of the new plant. Mayor Jones says he doesn’t want the City to act on paying for a study until the Council hears in-person from officials with DNR. He said “Have ‘em bring the ‘Big Boys’ in, lets talk to ‘em. At least we’ll get our money of it anyway.”

City of Atlantic will provide fill dirt for local golf club, but not for free


November 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, agreed to provide fill dirt to the Nishna Hills Golf Course in an attempt to help them control drainage issues, but it will not provide the dirt for free, nor will it pay for the dirt to be moved from a site near the airport, to the golf course. Mayor Dave Jones requested the City provide assistance to the golf course. City Administrator Doug Harris said Snyder Engineer’s conducted a City authorized study last summer of the detention basin located off of 14th Street on the high school property.

He says the engineers found a flow restrictor could be put in place to reduce the rate of discharge of rain water across the golf course’s property. The cost to the City would be $3,600. The City will also talk with Atlantic School District officials about cleaning out its detention basin to help control the rate of storm water runoff. While the City is willing to offer what assistance it can to help with the problem, the Council was adamant in that an additional measure planned by Nishna Hills to construct terraces or berms to control storm water runoff, should not be made at the City’s expense through the providing and delivery of fill dirt.

The Atlantic Golf and Country Club has a similar problem with a fairway on their property. Councilmen Shawn Shouse and Steve Livengood said providing fill dirt for free to the Nishna Hills Golf Club would set a precedent whereby others could come to the City requesting it transport the material to private properties to fix similar drainage or other problems.

It would cost the City about $500 to haul 30-yards of dirt to the property. The Council agreed it could sell fill dirt to the golf course for two-dollars per cubic yard, if enough is available after other City projects needing the substance are taken care of. Mayor Jones said he would present the information to the Nishna Hills Board during their next meeting.

3 fugitives arrested in Mills County, Wednesday


November 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports four people were arrested Wednesday, including three  fugitives. Officials say 31-year old Jason Richard Marasco and 19-year old Bragun Michael Michaelsen, both of Pacific Junction, along with 64-year old John Robert Schondelmeyer, of Omaha, were arrested at the Sheriff’s Office. All three men are charged with being Fugitives from Justice. They were being held in the jail without bond.

And, 40-year old Shane Lynn Davenport, of Glenwood, was arrested Wednesday night on a Domestic Abuse Assault charge. Davenport was being held without bond, in the Mills County Jail.

U.S. 34 Plattsmouth Bridge to be closed for inspection next week


November 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Atlantic Construction office reports the Plattsmouth Bridge Commission has hired a contractor to perform bridge inspection work on the U.S 34 (Plattsmouth) bridge over the Missouri River two miles west of the Pacific Junction area next week.

To conduct the inspection, the contractor will need to close the bridge to traffic in both directions from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from Monday, Nov. 11 to Friday, Nov. 15. There is no set detour for the closure.

Atlantic P-D arrest and accident report


November 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Atlantic Police Department report the arrest Wednesday of 30-year old Dial and 37-year old Mandy Bolin. The Atlantic couple were charged with Theft in the 5th degree, and booked into the Cass County Jail.

The P-D says also an accident Wednesday afternoon on the City’s southwest side caused $2,900 damage, but no one was seriously hurt. The accident happened at the intersection of Highway 6 and 15th Street, at around 12:10-p.m.  Officials say a vehicle driven by Tonya Metheny, of Atlantic, was traveling north on Highway 6 when it was hit on the driver’s side door by a vehicle being driven by Leland Baxter, of Lewis. The accident happened when Baxter pulled away from the stop sign. Metheny refused medical treatment at the scene. Officers cited Baxter for Failure to Yield upon entering a through highway.