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Wiota restaurant fire


October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Firefighters from Anita and Wiota were called to the scene of a reported fire in Wiota Tuesday night. The Cass County Communications Center said a large fire was reported on the back side of the Wiota Steakhouse at 302 Center Street, at around 11:20-p.m.  A grass unit from the Cumberland Fire Department was also called to assist at the scene.

Additional details are currently not available.

Neb. authorities try to ID body found along river


October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

PERU, Neb. (AP) — Authorities in southeast Nebraska are trying to identify the body of a man found on the bank of the Missouri River. The Nemaha County Sheriff’s Office says people fishing by the river north of Peru found the body Sunday. It’s unclear how long the body was in the water.

Sheriff Brent Lottman says deputies have contacted authorities in surrounding communities along Nebraska and Iowa to help identify the man. He declined to release additional information. The Lincoln Journal Star reports an autopsy has been ordered on the body, which was found two miles north of the Peru boat dock.

HCHS/JH students perform for Veterans in Omaha


October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Harlan Community High School and Junior High Bands will be performing this (Tuesday) evening, for Veterans in Omaha. The Veterans with an organization called Heartland Honor Flights will be taking a trip to Washington D.C. Wednesday and this evening the band will play as part of the pre-flight dinner for the Veterans. Harlan Community Band Instructor Chaz Neuvirth says the kids are very excited to perform.

“It’s going to be about 300 Veterans at the Ramada Inn Convention Center in Omaha. They have a lot of festivities going on with dinner and entertainment. They called us because we have a good number of local Veterans going to be there and they recommended the Harlan Cyclone band to perform.”

The band is coming off state and all-state contest so they have only been able to practice three times prior to the event this evening. He says the reason the junior high band members were invited was because of a choir concert tonight in Harlan. “So I didn’t want to take any students away from the choir concert so I invited the junior high band as well. We have about 70 kids going tonight between high school and junior high.”

The performance tonight in Omaha comes on the heels of a successful state concert where the band received a 1 rating and all-state contest. “Choir had twelve students try out and had seven make it. They have been working since the summer on the tunes they need to do and working hard each morning. We had five students try out in band and Jacob Lemons made it on the sax. He has been working on that for a few years and he did a great job this past weekend. He will experience the All-State festival which is November 21st through the 23rd.”

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Drought still impacting Missouri River management

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The Army Corps of Engineers says it expects higher-than-usual runoff in the Missouri River basin next year, but the system of dams along the river will still have minimum flows to recover from drought last year.

The Capital Journal reports that the corps says wet soil conditions from abnormally high precipitation in the upper basin this fall are expected to cause monthly runoff records for the Oahe  and Fort Randall areas this October. Total runoff for this year above Sioux City, Iowa, is expected to rank among the top five wettest years.

But despite the wet conditions, reservoirs still are below desired levels due to the 2012 drought, and the system is still expected to support less than full-service navigation downstream next year.

Loretta Lynn being treated for exhaustion; reschedules IA performances


October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Country music legend Loretta Lynn is postponing two shows in Iowa due to exhaustion.  A statement from Lynn’s representative on the singer’s website says Lynn “started feeling poorly midway through her three week tour” and is taking some time off to be treated for exhaustion. She said Lynn, who just finished a Canadian tour, is rescheduling both Iowa shows.

Last year, the singer postponed two shows to undergo more physical therapy following total knee replacement surgery. Lynn was born in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky and chronicled her life in an autobiography and song, both titled “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

Essex area man injured during weekend rollover accident


October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office reports a rural Essex man was injured during a rollover accident Sunday. 66-year old Clifford Wayne Baker was transported to the Shenandoah Medical Center by ambulance, after the SUV he was driving went out of control on eastbound 170th Street, near J Avenue.

Sheriff Lyle Palmer says the SUV rolled onto its top, trapping Baker inside his 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee. He was extricated from the vehicle by Essex and Clarinda Fire and Rescue personnel.

The accident, which happened at around 7:30-p.m., remains under investigation, and charges are pending.


Atlantic Chamber seeks “Angels of Christmas” nominations


October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce reports it is now accepting nominations for the “Angels of Christmas” award, sponsored by Stifel Nicolaus. Nominations should detail the individual or couples’ contributions and qualities and be received at the Chamber by Nov. 8th. The mailing address is 102 Chestnut Street, Atlantic, IA 50022 or chamber@atlanticiowa.com.

A surprise honor bestowed upon two community members who symbolize the true meaning of the holidays, the “angels” are nominated via written letters of recommendation to the Chamber. The presentation of the awards will be on Dec. 14th, at the end of the annual free holiday concert at the First United Methodist Church.

The free Holiday Concert, sponsored by Aunt B’s, Bonnesen’s, J&R Tax Service, and Unique Salon & Spa and coordinated by Guy Somers, is scheduled for December 14th, at 7 p.m.

Guthrie County Extension looking for food pantry donations


October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The holidays are just around the corner and the Guthrie County Extension & Outreach Office is accepting donations of non-perishable goods for the local food pantry. A box has been set up in the Extension office for those, which will be taken throughout both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Once the box is full, Extension staff will deliver it to the food pantry, and begin filling additional boxes.

Harlan teen arrested on drug charges


October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports a local teen was arrested last week on drug charges. 16-year old Dustin Dirks,of Harlan, was arrested Oct. 22nd following an investigation.  Officials say after a search warrant was executed at his home in the 800 block of 12th St,  Dirks was taken into custody and transported to the Shelby County jail where he was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and prohibited acts penalties.

The following day (Oct. 23rd) 32-year old Juan Romero, of Harlan, was taken into custody following a traffic stop.  Romero was taken to the Shelby County jail where he was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, speed and failure to have a valid driver’s license.  A hold was placed on Romero by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

And, on Friday (Oct. 25th), two persons were arrested when officers with the Harlan Police Department were called to investigate a suspicious male outside a residence in the 300 block of Court Street.  Taken into custody was 19-Lacey Jae Bird, and 24-year old Kyle Tearney, both of Harlan.  Both subjects were transported to the Shelby County Jail where they were  each charged with violation of a no contact order.

Atlantic School Board receives Capital Projects report


October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education held a work session Monday evening at the High School, during which there was discussion on a couple of matters, but no action was taken. Atlantic Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein said Design Alliance Architect’s Jerry Purdy presented the Board with five different concepts for the remodeling and/or expansion of the district’s facilities, based on input from teachers, staff and the public.

Amstein said Dena Goplerud also spoke to the about what she could do as far as providing facilitator services to district for further meetings with the public and others with regard to the expansion and/or remodeling options.

The Board tabled a Technology Update from District Technology Coordinator Roger Warne until their next meeting in November, due to Warne having a family emergency. They did however, hear a presentation from the Model Employment Team (MET) who reported on a grant the district received from the State of Iowa. He says Atlantic was one of just four such districts in the State to receive the grant. The grant focuses on employment skills for Special Needs students within the community. The presenters spoke about the possibility of expanding the program this year into the following school year.

And, Dr. Amstein said their certified enrollment this year shows 1,431 students, which he says doesn’t reflect students who are open-enrolled or home schooled. That number is what they are required to provide to the State as far as resident students are concerned. Amstein said when you look at actual enrollment numbers, including those that are “tuitioned-in,” the count shows about 1,643 students, which includes preschoolers. That includes about 140 kindergarteners. He said they are down a little bit in the 4-year old preschool program, and 6 or 7 students in the Special Education preschool program. Amstein says those numbers typically go up before the Spring count.

In the Fall of 2012, there were 1,611 students.