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3 OWI arrests in Cass County


February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(12-p.m. News)

Sheriff’s officials in Cass County report three OWI-related arrests over the past few days. On Monday, 30-year old Trent Matthew Suhr, of Walnut, was arrested on charges of OWI 4th Offense, Driving While Barred, two counts of Driving While Revoked, and one count of Driving Under Suspension. Suhr was taken to the Cass County Jail where he is being held on $5000 bond.

Last Saturday,31-year old Jonathan David Hart, of Atlantic, was arrested on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Hart was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on his own recognizance.

And on Friday, 39-year old  Kerri Kay Towne, of Atlantic, was arrested on a charge of OWI 2nd Offense. Towne was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was released the following day on her own recognizance.

3 from Kansas arrested in connection with Dec. burglary in Stanton


February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports an investigation into a burglary at Viking View Oil in Stanton late last year has resulted in the arrest of three persons from Kansas. 24-year-old Nicholas Hall, 20-year-old Caleb Koerner, and 29-year-old April Dingler, all of Kansas were taken into custody with the assistance of investigators with the Emporia, KS Police Dept., and the Sedgwick County, KS, Sheriff’s Office Warrant Task Force. 

Hall and Koerner were being held on $20,000 cash bond in connection with the burglary charges. Dingler was being held on $5,000 cash bond for lottery fraud. 16-year-old Torri Bittner, of Milo, is awaiting Juvenile Court for Accessory After the Fact. The trio are accused of breaking into Viking View Oil and stealing cash, surveillance equipment, and numerous lottery tickets, during a December burglary, during which the building was damaged.

Memorial Day Weekend Campsites Going Quickly

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Even though another polar vortex has the Midwest in its crosshairs, Iowans’ attention is focused squarely on spring and going camping. The reservation window for the Memorial Day Weekend campsites for a Friday arrival opened on Sunday.camp Officials with the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources say that 9-a.m. today (Tuesday), six state parks had filled all reservable campsites for Memorial Day Weekend that offer electricity or full hook ups. Camping options for the big holiday weekend in a state park are quickly shrinking.

Campers wanting to spend the holiday weekend at Elinor Bedell, Lake of Three Fires, Lewis and Clark, Pleasant Creek, Viking Lake, and Waubonsie should plan to arrive a few days early for one of the walk up sites with electricity – all the reservation sites have been taken. Other parks are close to hanging up the no reservations sign.

Ledges, Green Valley, Prairie Rose, Lake Anita and Rock Creek state parks only have the handicap accessible site available. Brushy Creek had one equestrian site; Backbone, McIntosh Woods and Walnut Woods have three; Fairport, Maquoketa Caves and Union Grove have four; Dolliver, George Wyth and Wapsipinicon have six and most include a handicap accessible site.

Lake Geode is not taking reservations until construction on the wastewater system is complete. The park is open and accepting campers while the work is underway. Most parks will have nonelectric sites available for the Memorial Day Weekend.Campers can make reservations for a site three months ahead of their first night stay.

Not every campsite is available on the reservation system. Parks maintain between 25 and 50 percent of the electric and non electric sites as non-reservation sites, available for walk up camping. Information on Iowa’s state parks is available online at www.iowadnr.gov including links to the reservations page.

Harlan School Board offers Counter-proposal to Ed. Association


February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Community School District’s Board of Educations offered a counter proposal for salary and benefits to representatives with the Harlan Education Association during their meeting, Monday. The board offered a base increase of $350 and a total package including wages, supplemental pay, and insurance and applicable payroll taxes of 2.11- percent. Two weeks ago, the HEA proposed a 6.92-percent increase for the staff at the Harlan Community School District. The negotiations will continue.

In other business, the board of educators held a public hearing with regard to the 2014-2015 school calendar. No comments were made from the public and the hearing was closed. During the regular meeting, Superintendent Justin Wagner told the board that with the proposed calendar changing from 180 days to 1,080 hours, the school will have more flexibility. Wagner also mentioned that due to the master contract with the staff, the calendar will look the same because the staff didn’t want to lose any compensation. The first semester on the new hour’s calendar will still finish before the student’s Christmas break. The calendar was approved.

The Harlan School Board also accepted the low bid for the Merrill Field Project. Wagner said There were three official bidders from Matt Basye. From his perspective, that was great participation. You have Duininck, Nemaha and Leinen Construction. As you see the base bid line, the low bid was Nemaha Construction out of Lincoln Nebraska at $1,641,900.”

Wagner said the Harlan Education Foundation has raised $1.645 million for the project to date. The bidding showed a few alternatives including the open-stand bleachers as opposed to the stack bleachers that are in the base bid, installing a sidewalk around the outside of the track to the visitors side of Merrill Field and adding a safety lane and fencing around the track. Wagner said the alternatives would take the project above what money has been raised. The Iowa Code will not allow the school district to approve any work done on the Merrill Field project unless the money is raised beforehand. The architect Matt Basye recommended to the school board to take care of the alternatives during the initial project instead of later when the project is complete, because of the value saved to the district.

Wagner then read the recommendation from the Education Foundation. He said “They recommend that we don’t spend money we don’t have but they also think the alternatives are worth getting. So how this would need to be worded this recommendation if the board chose is to take the base bid from Nemaha Construction at $1,641,900 and advocate the responsibility of structuring and scheduling the alternates to the superintendent as funds become available. If we get a donor tomorrow and say that’s great and here is the money, then we don’t have to get back together and make another motion. I as the Superintendent can say yep we have the money and we will move forward.”

Having received the Board’s approval, the next step is for a pre-construction meeting, scheduled for March 7th. The project is expected to be completed by August 22nd.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Branstad files petition signatures for campaign


February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad has submitted the nomination petition signatures he needs to put his name on the ballot for re-election this year. The Republican governor on Tuesday turned in over 10,700 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office. The number exceeds the roughly 3,600 he needed to collect by March 14th.

Branstad says his signatures came from all of the state’s 99 counties – not just the ten counties required to be on the ballot. He says the signatures are evidence of his strong support across the state. Branstad is expected to face off with Democrat Jack Hatch, a state senator from Des Moines, in the general election. Hatch says he has gathered the necessary signatures and will submit them before the deadline.

Northern Iowa students honor boy with service day


February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

EAGLE GROVE, Iowa (AP) – Middle school students in the northern Iowa city of Eagle Grove spent a day doing service projects to honor a caring student who was killed in 2008 when a tornado swept over a Boy Scout camp in western Iowa’s Harrison County.  The Fort Dodge Messenger reports students at Robert Blue Middle School joined for the projects during the annual Aaron Eilerts Day of Service. The day marks the life of a scout from Eagle Grove who had just finished his eighth grade when he was killed by a tornado that hit the Little Sioux Boy Scout Camp.

Middle school Principal Scott Jeske recalls Aaron was always looking to help people. Some students made pillowcases, which Aaron would do for gifts.  Others activities included painting murals and collecting food for pantries.

2 accidents in Atlantic, minor injuries reported


February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officers with the Atlantic Police Department investigated two separate accidents, one of which resulted in minor injuries. An accident this (Tuesday) morning at 7th and Olive Streets resulted in a citation, but no one was hurt. Officials say a 1999 Jeep Cherokee driven by Cain Stuart, of Atlantic, was traveling south in an alley in the 600 block west of Olive Street at around 7:45-a.m., and entered 7th Street in an attempt to cross the road. Cain stopped in the turn lane but could not continue due to eastbound traffic. A 2013 Chevy Cruz driven by Matthew Stahn, of West Des Moines, was traveling west on 7th Street passing the intersection of 7th and Olive and approaching the alley intersection, when Stuart backed across 7th Street in front of Stahn’s vehicle. Stahn’s Chevy hit Cain’s Jeep, causing it to slide across 7th Street. Stahn’s vehicle slide up over the curb and hit a Turn Lane sign. Stuart was cited for Failure to Yield upon entering a highway. Damage from the crash amounted to $3,700.

The second accident happened at around 3:25-p.m., Monday, at the intersection of 7th and Linn Streets. Officials say a 2009 Chevy Silverado pickup driven by James Berry, of Atlantic, was traveling west on 7th and slowing or stopping for a Red Crosswalk light between Maple and Linn Streets, when his vehicle was hit from behind, by a 1993 Chrysler Imperial driven by Helen Johnson, of Lewis. A passenger in Berry’s pickup suffered minor injuries and was transported by private vehicle to the Cass County Memorial Hospital. Officials say Johnson was cited for Failure to Maintain Control & reduce speed.

2 Shelby County residents arrested in connection with hardware store theft


February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports two people were arrested last week following an investigation into a shoplifting incident. On Feb. 19th, officers were called to Do It Best Hardware store for a reported shoplifting incident. Upon officers’ arrival, the suspects were gone. Police reviewed surveillance video and got a description of the suspects and their clothing.

As officers were getting ready to leave the store, the officers received another call reporting a possible domestic situation in the Fareway parking lot. Upon arrival at Fareway, the officers learned that the male subject involved in the alleged domestic situation matched the description of the male subject involved in the Do It Best shoplifting.

Upon further investigation, and with the assistance of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, officers located 29-year old Christopher Terwilleger, Manilla, who was arrested on a Shelby County warrant, a Crawford County warrant, and for Theft in the 5th Degree. Also arrested was 28-year old Tiffanie Newcomb, of Kirkman. Newcomb was arrested on a Shelby County warrant for Theft.

Shelby County narcotics investigation results in an arrest


February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An investigation into the delivery of methamphetamine in the Shelby County area has resulted in an arrest. Sheriff’s officials report 29-year old Christopher Terwilleger, of Manilla, faces a felony charge of Delivery of a Controlled Substance/Methamphetamine-related. Authorities say on Feb. 17th, a warrant for Terwilleger was applied for and received, after the man allegedly delivered a quantity of meth to an undercover agent associated with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Terwilleger was brought to the Shelby County Jail and held on $50,000 bond.

Atlantic School Board hears from District Accountant & discuss 1-to-1 Initiative


February 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education gathered in the High School Media Center for a work session on the budget Monday night. Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein said they heard from Mary Babinet, with the accounting firm of Nolte, Cornman & Johnson, with regard to the District’s account balances, and how they are forwarded. Typically he says, they can be designated as “Restricted” or “Unrestricted” accounts.

Amstein says they learned several accounts set up years ago had not been designated for Restricted accounts and instead went into the General Fund. Amstein says “It caused an issues with our books.” The auditors he says, helped the district get those issues taken care of. 1-1

The Board also heard from District Technology Director Roger Warne, with regard to prices he’s researched for the proposed 1-to-1 Initiative, which many districts already incorporate into their educational programs. Warne, he says took a look at prices for the MacBook Air, which would be used in the High School, and Google Chrome Books for the Middle School Students.

Amstein says the Board will examine what’s been spent for technology over the past few years and see if it would be possible to pay for the 1-to-1 initiative at the High School, and/or Middle School, through as part Capital Improvement Project fund. In other business, the District’s Building Leadership Team (BLT) discussed the school calendar with the Board, and the rational for the proposal they will present to the Board at its meeting on March 10th.