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Branstad to welcome over 1000 to bullying prevention summit


November 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad says today’s (Tuesday’s) “bullying prevention summit” may yield ideas for new policies at the state level. “You know, a survey of students shows that about 50 percent of the students have been bullied in the past year,” Branstad says. “So this is a significant problem and it’s a serious effort to address it.” But Branstad cautions it’s going to take more than policy pronouncements from officials.

“We know that it’s going to take the involvement of school leaders and parents and communities,” Branstad says. “We are all in this together and we all have to work together and I’m hopeful that we can come up with some good strategies that will work for parents, that will work for school districts, that will work for communities.”

A child bullied on a Sioux City school bus was featured in a national documentary called “Bully” that called attention to the prevalence of bullying and the superintendent of Sioux City schools will speak at today’s conference. This past April, a northwest Iowa teenager who openly admitted to being gay killed himself. His family says he was being bullied on-line and at school with gay slurs. In August, Governor Branstad announced a statewide bullying prevention summit would be held because in his words “it is time to do more to stand up to bullying.” Registration is closed for the summit. Over a thousand people signed up to attend.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic Chamber seeks ATHENA Award nominees


November 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce says nominations for the annual ATHENA Award are currently being accepted through December 5th by the Chamber, and Deter Motor Company.

Athena Award

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Megan Roberts said “The ATHENA award is one of the most prestigious awards given at the Chamber Annual Dinner. The strongest of our female business leaders are recognized” at the event.

Atlantic is the only community in Iowa that sponsors the award thanks to more than 10 years of partnership with Deter Motor Co. of Atlantic. Past recipients include LaVon Eblen, Judy Marnin, Leanne Pellett, Denise O’Brien, Margaret Slepsky, Glenda Farrier, Carole Schuler, Jan Kinnison, Janell Hansen, Ann Pross and Wendy Richter.

Roberts says “The sculpture given to the recipient is a custom design, unique to all other Chamber awards, and the application process requires a thorough history of the nominee’s leadership in business.” Nominations can be submitted by contacting the Atlantic Area Chamber for the nomination form by phone 712.243.3017 or email at chamber@atlanticiowa.com.

Atlantic Chamber businesses give holiday AtlantiCash


November 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Local Chamber members in Atlantic are teaming up to offer 24 chances to win $100 extra spending money for Christmas in Atlantic this year. Chamber Special Promotions and Events Chairman Dr. Keith Leonard said the Chamber has hosted the 12 Days of Christmas contest for three years. Leonard said extra holiday spending cash is always helpful and by giving away AtlantiCash, the Chamber knows the dollars will be spent at some of their 230 members’ businesses.

More than 57 merchants have registration boxes on their store counters and 18 businesses sponsored the AtlantiCash giveaways. Chamber officials said winners will be notified by phone as well as announced weekdays on the local radio stations and listed in the local paper. No purchase is necessary and only one winner per household for the duration of the contest.

For a list of sponsoring merchants and other holiday happenings visit ChristmasInAtlantic.com, call the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce at 712.243.3017 or email chamber@atlanticiowa.com.

Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study open house public hearings announced


November 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration and Illinois Department of Transportation, has announced the scheduling of in-person public hearings and online, self-directed meetings for the Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study.Public input will be sought on the Draft Tier 1 Service Level Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), including the project’s purpose and need, all reasonable alternatives, the affected environment, and the potential environmental impacts of the alternatives considered. The basis for recommendation of the preferred route alternative will be presented.

Earlier this month, Atlantic’s City Administrator Doug Harris, told the City Council the community is still in the running as one of the towns the passenger train might pass through on its way to Omaha from Chicago. Preliminary reports, including environmental documents with exhibits and maps, will be available for review. Each public hearing and online meeting will contain the same presented information, so individuals can attend in-person at the public hearing, or view and comment at the online meeting. Officials are encouraging all those interested to participate. The public hearings will be conducted the week of Dec. 11, 2012, using a combined informal open forum and formal format. Iowa DOT staff will be available to discuss the project informally between 4- and 5:30-p.m. A formal presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session concluding at 7-p.m.

The public is invited to attend the open house public hearing to be held in Des Moines, on Wednesday, Dec. 12th, at the Des Moines Botanical Center, and in Council Bluffs, on Thursday, Dec. 13th, at the Council Bluffs Public Library (400 Willow Ave.), Conference Room A/B.  An online, self-directed open house public hearing will be available through Dec. 26, 2012, on the study’s website at www.iowadot.gov/chicagotoomaha. Information included on this website will be identical to the presentation made at the in-person meetings.

Comments on the Draft Tier 1 EIS can be provided in multiple ways through Dec. 26th, 2012, to be considered part of the official public comment record: Leave a comment on the study website. Submit a comment at any of the in-person open house public hearings. You can also E-mail a comment to email@chicagotoomaha.com.  Call the study’s toll-free information line at 800-488-7119 to obtain printed hearing materials.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Nov. 27th 2012


November 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Federal education officials say Iowa had the nation’s top graduation rate in the 2010 school year. The U.S. Department of Education says about 88 percent of students graduated that year. The figure narrowly beat Wisconsin’s 87 percent rate.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Salvation Army says it will begin unscheduled checks of busy kettle locations in the Des Moines area after the theft of two kettles. One kettle was stolen from a Des Moines Hy-Vee store and the other was taken from a West Des Moines Wal-Mart. The Salvation Army in Des Moines relies on kettle donations for about 40 percent of its holiday revenue.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds plans to lead a trade mission to Vietnam and the Philippines in February. The trade mission is intended to expand exports of Iowa pork and create new opportunities for the state’s manufacturers.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The maker of a popular brand of food for observant Muslims says it is facing a potentially crippling investigation into whether it falsely labeled meat products. Midamar says in court filings that it’s been told the grounds for recent records seizures relate to allegations that it improperly branded and sold meat products as meeting Muslim dietary requirements called halal when they did not.

Harlan Arrest & Theft Report 11-26-12


November 26th, 2012 by Chris Parks

Police in Harlan reported Monday, the arrest of three persons last week. Officials says 24-year old John Anderson,  of Persia, was arrested Nov. 17th, following a traffic stop. Andersen was cited for driving under suspension and released. That same day, 37-year old John Thometz, of Harlan was arrested on an OWI charge. And, on Nov. 21st, Harlan Police officers took 30-year old Steven Procko, of Harlan into custody on an active Shelby County warrant. Procko was transported to the Shelby County Jail without incident.

The H-PD says also, that officers were called to the residence of Joanna Houston in Harlan on Nov., 25th, where she reported that several items were missing. There are no suspects at this time and the case remains under investigation.


Another Iowa soldier killed in Afghanistan


November 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Department of Defense today (Monday) announced the death of Algona, Iowa native Sgt. Joseph A. Richardson.

Sgt. Joseph Richardson

The 23-year old was serving on active duty in the U.S. Army. Richardson died Nov. 16th during a patrol in Paktika province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an Improvised Explosive Device and small arms fire. Also killed in the attack was 24-year old Sgt. Channing B. Hicks, of Greer, S.C.

Both Soldiers were assigned as infantrymen to the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan. Richardson was assigned to the 1st ID in October 2008 and had previously served in Iraq with this unit. This was his first deployment to Afghanistan.

The family of Sgt. Joseph Richardson issued a statement, which read in-part:
“He was eager to come into this world and lived his life full of energy and with passion for everything he did. He loved his family and friends. Joe was always on the move and liked by everyone. There wasn’t a time that you spent with Joe that he wasn’t laughing or joking around. Everywhere you would go you would find someone that knew him or just loved how full of life he was.”

More info. about weekend crash on I-80 in Cass County


November 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

In a follow-up to our report over the weekend about an accident on Interstate 80 early Saturday morning, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office Monday, said48-year old Dale Elmer Laparr, of Kingman, AZ, was traveling east on I-80 at around 1:25-a.m., when he fell asleep at the wheel of the 2010 Dodge Caliber he was driving. The car drifted off into the breakdown lane, and struck a legally parked 2000 Lincoln LS. The unoccupied, broken down car was registered to Zan Loroa of Sioux Falls, SD.

No injuries were reported. Damage from the crash amounted to an estimated $18,000. Authorities cited Laparr for Failure to Maintain Control.

Massena pair arrested on Domestic Abuse charges


November 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Two people from Massena were arrested Thanksgiving Day on assault charges. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says deputies responded to a report of a domestic disturbance in Massena. As a result of the call, they arrested 54-year old Timothy Dayle Meyer, of Massena, on a charge of Domestic Abuse Assault 3rd Offense,  and 46-year old Katherine Jane Gipple, also of Massena, on a charge of Domestic Abuse Assault/Simple Assault. Both of the individuals were taken to the Cass County Jail and released on their own recognizance the following day.

Malvern man arrested on harassment charge


November 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest Thanksgiving Day, of Warren Sayers. The 57-year old from Malvern was arrested in Malvern at around 9-p.m., on a charge of Harassment. His bond was set at $300.

Authorities said also, no injuries were reported following three separate accidents during the holiday weekend. Early Thursday morning, a 1986 Mazda driven by 20-year old Sean Miller, of Pacific Junction, was traveling south on 195th Street, just south of Highway 34, when his vehicle entered the east ditch and rolled over. The accident happened about one-half mile north of Pacific Junction, at around 2:50-a.m.

The second accident happened Sunday afternoon, when a 2004 Dodge, driven by 18-year old Lucas Ring, of Glenwood, was backing out of a driveway about 5-miles north of Glenwood. Officials say the vehicle struck an illegally parked vehicle that had been left unattended on the east side of 230th Street, which is a gravel road. The second vehicle, a 2004 Pontiac,  was registered to Arthur Alexander.

That same day, a 1998 Jeep driven by 16-year old Sydney Johnson, of Glenwood, swerved to miss a deer, and rolled. The teen was not injured during the accident, that happened on Barrus Road at around 9:45-p.m., northwest of Silver City.