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Red Oak Middle School damage worse than expected


September 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An electrical inspector with the State of Iowa has determined the Red Oak Middle School is unsafe to occupy, following a water leak over the Labor Day weekend that left as much as two-inches of water on the second floor of the more than 100-year old structure. As a result of the inspection, the school will remain closed indefinitely, or until electrical repairs are completed. The Daily NonPareil said water leaked into electrical conduits, creating a safety hazard. Insurance is expected to pay for the repairs. The leak, which was detected after an alarm was triggered, was accidental, according to Superintendent Terry Schmidt.

Schmidt said he expects work will take at least 10 to 14 days but repairs have to bring the building up to code, which creates significant variables depending on how much damage is found. Middle school students were given Tuesday and Wednesday off class as the district strived to reopen the building. Restoration was nearly finished on Tuesday afternoon when work was called off after the electrical concerns were uncovered. The bulk of the damage was to the building’s drywall.

Red Oak Middle School students will return to class Monday for an orientation at Red Oak Community High School, while high-schoolers will have the day off and high school staff will have an in-service day. The middle-schoolers will then hold classes at the adjacent Red Oak Technology Center, with a few shared classrooms in the high school building.

Schmidt said classes will be squeezed into spaces that weren’t being used all day. The Technology Center used to have higher occupancy, leaving leftover space that is available immediately. Being able to make everything work – even if it’s not ideal, he said – was one positive outcome from the experience. At this point, it’s unknown whether the middle school students will need to make up any days at the end of the year. Red Oak took advantage of a change in state law last year to adopt an hours-based calendar, instead of a traditional days-based calendar, which Schmidt said offers some flexibility.

Students who attend Red Oak Middle School should report to the high school auditorium at 8:08 a.m. Monday. All students will be in class the following Tuesday. Practices for volleyball and football, meanwhile, will resume this Thursday at regular locations beginning at 3:45 p.m.

An announcement about supplies, computers and other equipment needs will be made today (Thursday). All middle school staff will report today for directions and assignments, including their duties for Friday.


Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Sept. 4th 2014


September 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CLARION, Iowa (AP) — Jurors in the first degree murder trial of a man charged with killing a Rockwell City police officer heard a taped interview in which he expressed no regret about shooting the officer. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports that during the first day of testimony Wednesday, jurors heard a two-hour taped interview of 33-year-old Corey Trott. He’s charged with the September 2013 death of 37-year-old Jamie Buenting during a standoff at Trott’s house. He has pleaded not guilty.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The Scott County attorney says two Davenport police officers were justified in using deadly force against a man armed with a knife. The Quad-City Times reports county attorney Mike Walton announced Wednesday that Officers Epigmenio Canas and Shawn Sullivan were justified when they fired seven shots at 61-year-old Alvin Jennings on August 13th.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — A northern Iowa man has died of injuries he received after falling off a roof. The Globe Gazette reports 48-year-old Kalin Kuhlers died Tuesday at a Mason City hospital, where he was taken after being injured Monday.

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) — The maker of Blue Bunny ice cream says it will close a plant in Utah and shift production to northwest Iowa. Le Mars, Iowa-based Wells Enterprises, Inc., announced Tuesday it would close its ice cream plant in St. George, Utah, and move production to its Le Mars facility. Company spokeswoman Liz Croston says production and storage will move to Le Mars over several months, with the Utah plant closing by the end of 2014. The Le Mars Daily Sentinel reports the St. George plant employed about 90 people. The plant was built in 2003.

Villisca woman faces Assault charge stemming from Aug. incident


September 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Deputies with the Page County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday (today), transported 35-year old Ruby Jean Brownlee, of rural Villisca,  to the Page County Jail from Council Bluffs. Brownlee faces a felony “Assault on Persons engaged in Certain Occupations,” charge. a Class “D” Felony.

The charge is the result of an incident on August 25th, 2014, that started around noon and occurred in the northern part of Page County near the 1100 block of Quince Avenue. Bond on the charge was set at $5000 cash only, by a Page County Magistrate.

Brownlee is currently being held in the Page County Jail.

Authorities talk suicidal subject off Missouri River bridge


September 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Crisis negotiators averted a potentially fatal situation Wednesday morning when a man threatened to commit suicide by jumping off the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge over the Missouri River, linking Omaha and Council Bluffs. Authorities were notified at around 10:24-a.m. by the 27-year old Council Bluffs man’s father, that the man intended to jump off the bridge.

Omaha Police observed the unidentified man on the outside of the walkway on the Iowa side of the river. Council Bluffs Police Crisis Negotiators were called the scene. Also on hand were officials with the Omaha Police Dept., Omaha/Council Bluffs Fire and Rescue, and Omaha/Council Bluffs water rescue teams.

Authorities spoke with the man for about two-hours before he came back over the railing. He was transported to a Council Bluffs hospital for a psychological evaluation and treatment of minor injuries. No charges are pending against the individual.

Are you missing a rifle?


September 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer wants to know if you are missing a rifle. Palmer says just after 7-a.m. Wednesday (today), his office was notified about a gun lying on the south side of the should off Highway 2, between Juniper and K Avenue. Deputies located the weapon and checked to make sure the Ruger 10-22 rifle wasn’t stolen. The check turned up negative.

The Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the incident. Palmer says anyone who is missing the weapon mentioned, should call the Page County Sheriff’s Office at 712-542-5193.  You will need to provide the serial number of your rifle to confirm the weapon is yours. The serial number can be obtained from the Federal Firearms licensed dealer YOU purchased it from.

Griswold man arrested on assault/weapon charge


September 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office report a Griswold man was arrested last week for Assault while Displaying a Weapon. 35-year old Roger William Peckenpaugh III was taken into custody Aug. 25th and released the next day, on bond. On August 26th, a Bridgewater woman was arrested on a charge of Burglary in the 3rd degree. 50-year old Toni Lynn Reese, was released from custody the following day, on her own recognizance.

On August 27th, deputies in Cass County Sheriff’s Office arrested 25-year old Andrew Nielsen, of Harlan. Nielsen was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He released from custody the following day on $300 bond. Last Friday, 48-year old Rodney Ray Suhr, of Dunlap, was arrested in Cass County on a charge of Failure to Appear for Child Support Hearing. Suhr was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on $2000 bond.

And on Sunday, 23-year old Tisha Lynn Kruse, of Marne, was arrested in Cass County on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Kruse was taken to the Cass County Jail where she was released later that day on her own recognizance.

Harlan Police report, 9/3/14


September 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department Wednesday (Today), issued a report on recent arrests and incidents. Officials say on Monday, 37-year old Joey Ranney, Jr.,was charged with Driving Under Suspension, following a traffic stop. Ranney was also cited for having dark windows on his vehicle.

Last Friday, Harlan Police arrested 22-year old Kati Jones, Harlan, after officers were called to a domestic disturbance in the 700 block of Baldwin Street. Jones was taken to the Shelby County Jail where she was charged with domestic abuse assault for allegedly striking Rodney Koehrsen, of Council Bluffs.

And on August 25th, 16-year old Brody Larson, of Avoca, was arrested when the manager at Casey’s General Store reported a subject trying to use a fraudulent identification to purchase tobacco. Larson was charged with unlawful use of identification.

On August 22nd, 28-year old Kenny Smith, of Harlan, was taken into custody when officers were called to a disturbance at Westridge Acres mobile home park. Smith was transported to the Shelby County Jail where he was charged with disorderly conduct.

Harlan Police report also, Quentin Jacobsen, of Harlan, reported on August 21st, that someone had broken into his apartment. An X-Box, controllers, and several games were reported missing, and there was damage to a flat screen television. The case remains under investigation.

3 arrested on drug charges in Harlan after alleged break-in attempt


September 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Three people were arrested Monday on drug and other charges in Harlan, following an investigation into the alleged attempted break-in of a laundry room at the Lincoln Pines Apartments. According to the Harlan Police Department, 19-year old Haley Patten, of Harlan, was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of prescription drugs, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), and aiding and abetting. 36-year old Jeffery McCoy, Council Bluffs, was charged with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia, prohibited acts penalties, and aiding and abetting. And, 35-year old Terry Hannan was charged with attempted burglary, possession of burglary tools, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), and possession of drug paraphernalia. All three suspects were taken to the Shelby County Jail.

IDPH Reports First Case of Chikungunya


September 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today (Wednesday) announced the first confirmed case of Chikungunya (pronounced chik-en-gun-ye) virus in Iowa. A Central Iowa adult (18 to 40 years of age) male who recently returned from a trip to the Caribbean became ill with the mosquito-borne virus; he was not hospitalized and is recovering.

Imported cases of Chikungunya are extremely common in the U.S. and until now, Iowa was one of only six states that had not reported such a case. An ‘imported case’ means an individual was bitten by an infected mosquito while traveling outside the state. As of last week, nearly 700 cases of Chikungunya have been reported across the country and almost all have occurred in people returning from areas of the Caribbean or South America where infected mosquitoes are common. Only six locally transmitted cases (all in Florida) have been reported.

It’s important to remember to protect yourself against mosquito bites whether you are on a vacation far away or in your own backyard. In Iowa, September and October are the months when mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus are the most active. So far this year, seven cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Iowa and surveillance shows mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus are active in nearly all parts of the state. Remember to wear insect repellent when outdoors and remove mosquito breeding areas by emptying outdoor containers that collect water – like bird baths or kiddie pools. For more information on West Nile virus, visit http://bit.ly/Ux5ZgW.

Most people become ill with Chikungunya within a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Common symptoms are fever and joint pain and other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash. Most people feel better within a week, but for some, the joint pain may last for months.

“Managing Menopause” event to be held in Atlantic Sept. 10th


September 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Health System is sponsoring a Women’s Health event, “Managing Menopause,” on Wednesday, September 10th. The event will be held in Conference Room 2 at Cass County Memorial Hospital, beginning at 6:00 pm. A group of CCHS medical providers will present a brief program followed by a question and answer session. Logo

The medical panel will include:  James Brown, MD, obstetrics and gynecology; Tressa Wilcox, MD, family medicine; Angela Weppler, MD, family medicine;  Stacey Bean, PA-C, family medicine.

Kim Kopp, RN, Women’s Health Coordinator, says “Menopause is one of those topics that people don’t always talk about, even though it is a major life event experienced by every woman at some point.” She says the event “Will give women the opportunity to learn the facts, pick up some tips to make this transition easier, ask their questions and learn how to effectively manage menopause in their own life.”

There is no charge for the program, and no reservations are necessary.