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(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m News, 2/25/16

News, Podcasts

February 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

More area and State news from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

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AHS Silver Cord Program seeks participants

News

February 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Students at the Atlantic Senior High School have a chance to participate in a graduation incentive program to promote volunteerism in the Atlantic Area. Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ouida Hargens and Programs Director Cate Christensen spoke about the Silver Cord Program during a meeting Wednesday night, of the Atlantic School Board.

Hargens said Atlantic High School Seniors who volunteer a minimum of 200 hours throughout their high school career, will graduate with a Silver Cord, and be eligible for a $500 scholarship provided by the Chamber. Christensen said they’re excited to bring the Silver Cord Program to Atlantic because it’s important to students, the college they choose to attend, and their future as adults.Silver Cord Stacked Logo

She said colleges are looking at the program as well, and, if kids are involved in volunteerism now and learn how it can build a community and grow the population, when they finish college they will want to grow their roots here and expand, making the community bigger and better. Christensen said students are eligible to earn volunteer hours during the summer of their freshman year. Students must have a total of 200 hours of volunteering by May 1st of their senior year, in order to qualify (a minimum of 50-hours per year).

The hours will be pro-rated for this, the first year of the program, and for new students. Students can sign-up for the program by picking up a packet – which includes a parent consent form – at the Chamber office, the High School Guidance Counselor’s office, or on-line.  The student will then receive a Silver Cord badge, and be able to volunteer with any local organization listed at www.AtlanticIowa.com, and/or www.volunteerspot.com.

Volunteerspot.com is being used as part of the SilverCord program to provide a list of current and past organizations seeking volunteer help. Members of the community can also go to www.volunteerspot.com., to learn where they can lend a hand. Christensen says students earn credits every time they volunteer, because the organization they are helping must fill out a verification form.

Students can also volunteer for individuals needing help, such as an elderly person needing someone to clean-up their yard, but the project needs to be pre-approved. Ouida Hargens said students and teachers were presented with the program last fall, and their focus now is to remind students about it, and recruit them as volunteers.

Boys Club of Sioux City to accept girls this summer

News

February 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Boys Club of Sioux City will begin accepting girls as members after nearly 50 years of having after-school programs and other activities for boys. Sioux City Journal reports that the local chapter’s board of directors approved the change earlier this month. Girls will be able to join with the start of the summer program June 6.

The local agency will be called the Boys and Girls Clubs of Siouxland to reflect its expanded mission. Local officials say the change more closely aligns the agency with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, its national organization. Staff member Eldon Benson says that out of the more than 4,000 Boys and Girls Clubs across the nation, the Sioux City chapter was one of four that only accepted boys.

(Podcast) KJAN News & funeral report, 2/25/2016

News, Podcasts

February 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Some of the area’s top news, and our funeral report, with KJAN News Director, Ric Hanson.

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Bluffs man sentences to max. of 10-years in prison for selling Bath Salts

News

February 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs man was sentenced Wednesday to as much as 10-years in prison under a plea bargain, for selling bath salts, a felony offense. According to the Daily NonPareil, as part of the agreement, 47-year old Mark Fredrickson will be charged with possession of less than five grams of a controlled substance, MDPV bath salts, as lesser felony offense. Frederickson must serve a minimum of three years on the sentence, which will begin at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville.

He waived his right to a jury trial and had requested a bench trial. Fredericksen accepted the plea deal from Assistant Pottawattamie County Attorney Shelly Sudmann, before he appeared in front of the judge to receive his sentence. He was originally charged with possession of more than five grams of a controlled substance, MDPV bath salts, a Class B felony as well as carrying weapons, an aggravated misdemeanor. If Fredrickson had been found guilty at trial, he could have been sentenced to up to 25 years in prison. Also, as part of the plea deal, the carrying weapons charge was dropped.

The charges stemmed from an arrest on Nov. 25th, 2015 on the 3500 block of West Broadway. According to court documents, Council Bluffs police officers found Fredrickson sleeping in his Mazda pick-up. After waking up Fredrickson, police found a homemade bong and a baton Taser. He was arrested on charges of possession of weapons and drug paraphernalia. As officers continued to search the truck, court documents indicated, they found a pellet gun, and 17.8 grams of MDPV bath salts.

S.W. IA woman gets 10-years in prison for selling meth

News

February 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A woman from Shenandoah woman has been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for selling meth. The Daily NonPareil reports 29-year old Katherine Elizabeth Lynn was sentenced earlier this week in Fremont County District Court, for the distribution of methamphetamine. Lynn pleaded guilty to a Fremont County felony charge and a Page County felony charge, both involving the distribution of methamphetamine in Shenandoah. She will not be eligible for parole until she has served at least one-third of her sentence under Iowa’s mandatory minimum sentencing law.

According to court records, on Aug. 18th, 2015, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, with the assistance of the Shenandoah Police Department, conducted a narcotics investigation where Lynn exchanged methamphetamine for prescription drugs in Shenandoah. Lynn was subsequently arrested in Page County in connection with the investigation and found to be in possession of methamphetamine.

On Nov. 26th, 2015, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit conducted another narcotics investigation where Lynn conspired to exchange methamphetamine for cash. Lynn was arrested in early January 2016 on a Fremont County arrest warrant and has remained in custody at the Fremont County Law Enforcement Center. Lynn will begin her sentence at the Iowa Correctional Facility for Women in Mitchellville.

Iowa early News Headlines: Thu., Feb. 25th 2016

News

February 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Senator Charles Grassley is defending his party’s refusal to consider a U.S. Supreme Court nominee. Grassley was defensive when peppered on a conference call with reporters Wednesday with questions about plans to block President Barack Obama’s nominee. Grassley says he and fellow Republicans believe voters deciding on a president this November should get a say in who replaces Justice Antonin Scalia who died unexpectedly on February 13th in Texas.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A legislative committee has launched an investigation into child abuse allegations at a former Iowa boarding school that had no state oversight. The House Government Oversight Committee says it will ask officials with the now-closed Midwest Academy in Keokuk to speak to lawmakers in the future. Representative Bobby Kaufmann, a Wilton Republican and committee chairman, said at a meeting Wednesday he intends to investigate how the school was able to operate without any state oversight.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Northern Iowa has hired David Harris as its new athletic director. Harris, who is currently a senior associate athletic director at Iowa State, will take over at the end of March.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Polk County jury awarded three women $422,784 after a Des Moines police officer drove his squad car through an intersection and struck their car. The Register reports the lawsuit, filed on behalf of Kaileigh Joiner, E’Shayla Kelson and Marshee Jones, went to trial February 15th, nearly three years after the April 2013 crash.

2 men arrested on drug & other charges in Fremont County

News

February 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office says two men were arrested on drug and other charges Wednesday, following a narcotics investigation near the area of Waubonsie Ave and 200th Avenue, in Bartlett. The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit conducted the investigation, during which 20-year old Jacob Thorne, of Sidney, Iowa and 35-year old Lionel Cawthon, of Omaha, Nebraska were arrested. Both face felony charges of Using a Minor in a Drug Trade, Delivery of Marijuana (17 pounds) and Failure to Affix a Drug Tax Stamp. A juvenile, 17-year old Jamie Garst, of Rock Port, Missouri was released to her parents with pending charges.

During the investigation deputies seized approximately 17 pounds of processed marijuana with a street value of $20,000. Thorne and Cawthon are being held at the Fremont County Law Enforcement Center on $20,000 bond.

Fremont County Deputies were assisted by deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Cass County, Iowa Sheriff’s Office, and Officers with the Tabor Police Department.

Jacob Thorne

Jacob Thorne

drugs

Lionel Cawthon

Lionel Cawthon

Atlantic School Board discusses Communications issues/concerns

News

February 24th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board held a work session Wednesday evening, during which a large number of people showed up to hear primarily, about how the District intends to address issues in communication, in light of an article in the Atlantic News Telegraph by Board Member, Dr. Keith Swanson, with regard to several issues he thought the school district had not adequately addressed. That letter was followed-up by a response from Atlantic School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein, who characterized Dr. Swanson’s assertions in the article, as “inaccurate.” Amstein also said Swanson’s concerns should have been addressed in an open board meeting.

(at left) Atlantic School Board President Josh McLaren; Superintendent Dr. Mike Amstein (Center), and Board member Dr. Keith Swanson (right). - Ric Hanson/photo

(at left) Atlantic School Board President Josh McLaren; Superintendent Dr. Mike Amstein (Center), and Board member Dr. Keith Swanson (right). – Ric Hanson/photo

At Wednesday night’s meeting, School Board President Josh McLaren said they would not talk about the specifics of the article. Instead, he said they should “Get back to the nuts and bolts of trying to build a team here.” As for how information is conveyed between Board members to clear-up any issues or confusion, School District Attorney Brett Nitzschke provided the Board with legal guidelines, and pointed out their own 200 Series Policies have the structure in-place for proper communications.

McLaren pointed out the Board had approved the 200 Series Policies in December, and they are available on-line on the District’s website for all to see. Dr. Swanson then spoke with regard to his article in the paper. Swanson said he wrote his letter to the paper, “Out of frustration.” He said also, “I do not feel that I have been accepted on this Board. We have had essentially no time to discuss anything. They have been filled with…fluff, things that meant essentially nothing, and spent our time without being productive.” He also said his questions with regard to some aspects of school finances weren’t answered to his satisfaction by Business Manager Mary Beth Fast.

The rest of the Communications portion of the meeting, was spent trying to hash out how items of concern by individual Board members – such as Dr. Swanson – can be addressed, and the answer was by placing them on the agenda, with the Board President having the final say over which items should be on any particular agenda. Brett Nitzschke said any communications outside a regular board session, such as e-mails with agenda matters, should be very “transparent,” to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

Board Member Kristy Pellett said she was disappointed in Dr. Swanson’s article in the paper, because it did not represent her viewpoint, and should not be taken as though his opinion was also the consensus of the Board. Board member Ali Bruckner said a lot of the issues Dr. Swanson brought up should be addressed at a future, open meeting, and there hasn’t been closure on some of his concerns. Pellet said past discussions on some issues haven’t met with her satisfaction, and that needs to be changed, as well.

But with regard to Dr. Swanson’s concerns over transportation issues, she said there had been a “rich discussion” over that, at a recent Board meeting. Board member Ali Bruckner summed up what she would like to have happen at future board meetings. She said it’s important all board members have the same, accurate information when a question is asked and the answer provided, especially when the Board member relays information to the public.

The Board will continue to work on its communications issues and team building, with help as necessary, from the IASB (Iowa Association of School Boards).

Property damage accident in Villisca Wed. morning

News

February 24th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says the teenage driver of a 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix was cited today (Wednesday) following a property damage accident that took place at around 7:35-a.m. The car, driven by 17-year old Austin Pellegrini, of Villisca, was traveling north on 5th Avenue in Villisca, when the teen failed to stop at the intersection with 4th Street. The vehicle was struck in the passenger side by a 2011 Chevy Malibu, driven by 70-year old Deloris Williams, of Villisca, who was traveling west on 4th Street.

Damage from the collision amounted to $6,500. No injuries were reported. Pellegrini was cited for Failing to Obey a Stop Sign.