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Atlantic Parks and Rec Board green lights Senior Activities Area

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Senior Citizens in Atlantic and the surrounding area will have a place to partake in outdoor activities designed specifically for them, possibly as soon as this Summer, following action taken by the City’s Parks and Recreation Board, Monday evening. The Board approved the final site plan for the activities area, which will be located south of the new Parks Maintenance Building at Sunnyside Park.

Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring said there will be all sorts of activities geared toward Seniors and others, including an area specifically designed for horseshoe games. There will be four, regulation-size horseshoe pits. Work on the pits should be completed by July, according to Herring. Another, 70-by 120-foot flat, grassy area, can be used for other activities. Such as Badminten, Croquet, Bocce Ball and other family-type activities.

The area would be easy to get to via an existing access road, and would feature a parking lot made up of gravel asphalt millings. A gradual grade will make the play area handicapped accessible for wheelchairs, persons with walkers, etc. There will also be two picnic tables and a grill in the area, as well.

In other Parks and Rec Board business, the Board instructed Herring to move forward with a revised agreement between the City and YMCA, for the oversight of certain recreational programs they have managed in the past, including tennis, softball and the swim team, pending approval by YMCA Director Dan Haines. The City however plans on hiring its own manager for the swimming pool instead of going through the YMCA, which means the agreement currently in-place with the Y would be reduced nearly $5,000 from the current $10,130 year agreement.

The pool manager would work 36 hours per week and be paid $9.50 per hour, with the potential to earn $4,800 over the summer for 12 weeks, from May 21st through August 17th. The person selected would have to meet certain criteria, and understand that they would be responsible for many aspects of the municipal pool operations. He says one of their primary duties will be finding ways to increase attendance at the pool, through the use of theme days and making the pool a more fun place to be.

Herring said he already has several qualified candidates in mind for the position.

NE man arrested in Montgomery County


March 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County say a Nebraska man was arrested Monday afternoon on a Montgomery County warrant. Deputies in Page County arrested 21-year old Lars Alexander Barcel, of Columbus, NE, on a warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance. Barcel was turned over to authorities in Montgomery County, where he was being held on $1,000 bond.

12-year old with an air rifle causes brief lockdown at a Council Bluffs schools


March 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs say no criminal charges have been filed after an unidentified 12-year-old boy with an AirSoft rifle caused a brief lockdown Monday afternoon at the Titan Hill Intermediate School in Council Bluffs. Superintendent Mark Schweer told the Daily NonPareil at around 1-p.m., a school employee reported seeing a juvenile, who was off the school district property, with what appeared to be a weapon.

Lt. Dan Flores with the Council Bluffs Police Department said the boy, carrying an AirSoft gun shaped like a rifle, turned and ran back into the woods on the northeast side of the school. Initial law enforcement dispatch reports indicated Council Bluffs officers, Iowa State Patrol troopers and Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s deputies were searching for a white male wearing all black and carrying a rifle near Titan Hill.

Police say the juvenile then took off running near Deer Run Trail, causing Titan Hill to go into lockdown. Nearby Lewis Central high and middle schools were also locked down for precautionary reasons. The Lewis Central lockdown was canceled around 1:25 p.m. when law enforcement found the juvenile in the woods near the school. Titan Hill parents received an automatic voicemail notification and email detailing the situation, ending with an all-clear at around 2 p.m.

Lt.Flores said the three departments were preparing to set up a perimeter when the boy was found. He mentioned also, that the juvenile attended a different Council Bluffs school, lived in the area and was “messing around in the woods.”

Arrest made at speech competition in Glenwood


March 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Glenwood arrested a Shenandoah High School student Saturday, for allegedly selling drugs during the state speech competition at Glenwood High School. The Daily NonPareil reports 18-year old Matthew Taylor Gray, of Shenandoah, was taken into custody just before 4-p.m.

Sgt. Pat Martin told the paper school officials had reported to police that Gray was attempting to sell prescription drugs. Gray was charged with three counts of unlawful possession of prescription drugs – all serious misdemeanors – and one count of prohibited acts, an aggravated misdemeanor. If convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum five years in prison, but Mills County Attorney Eric Hansen said since the incident occurred on school grounds, a conviction would add 100 hours of community service.

Gray has since posted bond. A court date is pending. Anyone with additional information about the incident is asked to call the Glenwood Police Department at (712) 527-9920.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., March 18th 2014


March 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

TIPTON, Iowa (AP) — State and local officials continue to investigate the death of a teenager in the eastern Iowa community of Tipton. Authorities were asked to check on the welfare of 15-year-old Keifla Thomas Robinson on Sunday morning when they discovered his body inside a home. An autopsy revealed no trauma to the body.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate has postponed a vote on legislation that would help schools across the state better respond to cases of bullying. The bill as written would broaden the definition of bullying, require parental notification, grant school officials the authority to respond to bullying off-campus and require that school officials receive training. Cracking down on bullying in Iowa schools has been a priority of Gov. Terry Branstad this session.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A western Cedar Rapids road has been reopened as the city monitors flooding from the Cedar River. Ellis Road NW is open west of Edgewood road. No ice was on the road and there are no reports of initial damage. Otis Road SE, which has a foot of water on it, remained closed Monday night.

LECLAIRE, Iowa (AP) — An Illinois man has been accused of assaulting a woman who tried to him help in eastern Iowa. A woman at the scene of a vehicle crash in a cornfield off Interstate 80 told authorities she got out of her vehicle to offer the man aid before emergency personnel arrived. The woman, a registered nurse, says the man assaulted her. Forty-year-old Jeremy A. Stone, of Chicago, is charged with operating while intoxicated, failure to maintain control and no insurance. He is also charged with assault on a health care provider.

Iowa Senate delays vote on anti-bullying bill


March 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate has postponed a vote on legislation that would help schools across the state better respond to cases of bullying. Republican Sen. Mark Chelgren, of Ottumwa, requested Monday that the Senate delay a final vote on the bill while he drafts an amendment. Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal says the Senate could resume debate on the bill as early as Tuesday.

The bill as written would broaden the definition of bullying, require parental notification, grant school officials the authority to respond to bullying off-campus and require that school officials receive training. Cracking down on bullying in Iowa schools has been a priority of Gov. Terry Branstad this session. Both the House and Senate have drafted proposals to address the issue.

2 people arrested on drug charges in Cass County


March 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Deputies in Cass County arrested two people on drug and other charges, Saturday. According to the Sheriff’s Office. 27-year old Christopher Charles Hargens, of Shelby, faces charges that include Possession with Intent to Deliver, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Prohibited Acts, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and OWI 1st Offense. And, 30-year old Brenda Nichole Leah Redler, of Griswold, was arrested for Possession with Intent to Deliver, Possession of Contraband in a Jail Facility, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Prohibited Acts, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Both subjects were taken to the Cass County Jail where Redler is being held on $17,300 bond and Hargens is being held on $14,000 bond as well as a hold for Shelby County.

Also on Saturday, deputies in Cass County arrested 29-year old Ehren Michael Mardesen, of Anita, on a charge of Violating a No Contact Order. Mardesen was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on his own recognizance.


On March 15, 2014, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office arrested Christopher Charles Hargens, 27, on charges of ; and Brenda Nichole Leah Redler, 30, of Griswold, IA, on charges of


Iowa lawmakers consider bill to legalize fireworks


March 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers are considering legislation that would legalize consumer sale and use of fireworks in the state. Rep. Matt Windschitl, a Republican from Missouri Valley, says the measure will receive necessary approval Monday from a House Ways and Means subcommittee. It will then go to the full committee for a vote.

The bill would allow anyone over 18 to purchase and use novelty and consumer fireworks within the state. Current law prohibits it, with violations carrying a simple misdemeanor charge.

Opponents say the bill opens up the state to an increased risk of injuries and structural damage. But Windschitl says he believes Iowans are responsible enough to appropriately handle fireworks.


Similar legislation has been approved in a Senate committee and is eligible for floor debate.

Drug & alcohol arrests in Mills County


March 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports two arrests over the weekend. 29-year old James Joseph Gade, of Omaha, was arrested late Friday night for Possession of a Controlled Substance. Gade was held in the Mills County Jail on $1,000 bond. And, Saturday night, 51-year old John Casey Davis, whose address was not given, was arrested on an OWI/1st offense charge. Davis was booked into the Mills County Jail and held on $1,000 bond.

Review of secret settlements ordered by governor


March 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad is ordering a comprehensive review of his administration’s policies to pay settlements to former workers who agree to sign confidentiality agreements.  Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds says she and Branstad did not know about agreements with six former employees who were secretly paid a total of more than $280,000 if they agreed to keep quiet.

Reynolds says she and Branstad learned of the payments and confidentiality agreements Sunday when The Des Moines Sunday Register published a story. She says the administration appoints competent agency directors and doesn’t micromanage them.

Many of the workers say they were asked to leave their jobs by Republican Branstad’s administration because they have Democratic ties. Branstad is on vacation in Arizona and was not at the administration’s weekly news conference.