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Atlantic woman arrested for distributing cannabis oil & child endangerment

News

August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An inquiry by officials with the Atlantic Community School District into how to best provide for a child with special needs resulted in an investigation that resulted in the arrest of the child’s mother. Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner revealed that information during a 20-minute press conference Friday afternoon, in Atlantic.

Leatha Kaye Slauson (Cass Co. Sheriff's Office photo)

Leatha Kaye Slauson (Cass Co. Sheriff’s Office photo)

According to Feistner, the woman was arrested on two felony charges. 30-year old Leatha Kaye Slauson, of Atlantic was originally arrested Thursday on a single Class-D felony charge of Child Endangerment causing bodily injury. Feistner said since then, an additional charge of Distribution of drugs to a child under the age of 18, which is a Class B felony in the state of Iowa. Her preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 2nd at 2-p.m.  Leatha Slauson was being held without bond in the Cass County Jail. If convicted on the charges, she faces up to 30-years in prison and fines amounting to $7,500.

Cass Co. Atty. Dan Feistner (Left) & Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green.

Cass Co. Atty. Dan Feistner (Left) & Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green.

Feistner said Slauson is accused of distributing Cannabis Oil to her 4-year old daughter Riley. Leatha Slauson told the community of Atlantic her daughter was diagnosed last fall with terminal, metastatic colorectal cancer. The medical condition, as it turns out, was a hoax. That was determined through numerous sources and interviews with the child’s mother.

Numerous fundraising efforts were initiated to help the family with their medical and travel costs, and to help Riley attain her dream of visiting Disney World. Feistner said thousands of dollars have been raised for the family, but an exact amount was not known. Two websites established for the girl, however, have totaled over $7,600 in donations. Feistner said an investigation into the matter continues. The child’s father has not been charged and has cooperated with authorities. The Iowa Department of Human Services has been notified and the father currently has custody of Riley and her four other siblings.

Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green suggested citizens no longer donate to the Super Riley Fund established for the little girl, but that they should not stop contributing to other, legitimate causes.
Green, whose wife had cancer last year, contributed to Riley’s cause. Regardless of how hurt the community may be, he says he’s proud of Atlantic, and that “everybody’s gonna heal.”

A Facebook page dedicated to “Super Riley” in support of her alleged illness, was removed late Friday afternoon.

Warren Opera House Honored

News

August 22nd, 2014 by admin

The State Historical Society of Iowa has announced its Preservation Projects of Merit Awards. The E-E Warren Opera House/Warren Cultural Center in Greenfield was awarded based on its outstanding preservation of a large historic preservation project using State Historic Preservation and Cultural and Entertainment District Tax Credit Program incentives. A group of dedicated residents worked together to not only raise the funds for the rehabilitation but also developed a sustainable business model other small towns may replicate. The project accomplished the rehabilitation of three buildings into a complex known as the Warren Cultural Center with a rear addition was constructed to provide for code compliant access egress and modern amenities. For the purposes of the award, large projects are defined as those project having total qualified costs of more than a half million dollars.

(Update) 4 transported to the hospital following crash near Griswold

News

August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Four people were transported to hospitals in Atlantic and Omaha after an SUV and a pickup collided Friday morning, west of Griswold. In an update to our earlier story, KETV in Omaha reports two of the victims were taken by medical helicopter to an Omaha hospital. The other two were taken by ambulance to an Atlantic hospital. No names had been released as of early Friday afternoon.

Authorities said a Cadillac Escalade and a Chevy S-10 collided, with both vehicles ending up in a nearby ditch. Emergency crews from Griswold and Carson responded to the call, along with Medivac Ambulance, from Atlantic. The accident happened along Highway 92 at around 10:25-a.m, near the intersection with 500th Street. The roadway in the area was closed to traffic for about an hour following the crash. Two of the victims were trapped in one of the vehicles and had to be extricated by mechanical means.

The accident remains under investigation.

Investigation into child endangement and possible fraud in Atlantic

News

August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the Press Release from the Atlantic Police Department issued today (Friday, Aug. 22nd), with regard to an ongoing investigation into a local woman and case of Child Endangerment and possible fraud.

“At approximately 3PM on August 21st authorities received information of a possible case of child abuse. An investigation was initiated by the Atlantic Police Department, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Department of Human Services. All three departments participated in the investigation and were later joined by the Cass County Attorney as the case began to unfold.

The preliminary investigation centered around Leatha Kaye Slauson, age 30, of Atlantic, Iowa who has for some time claimed that her five-year-old daughter is suffering from cancer, and who in recent months has alleged that the child is terminal. The preliminary results of the investigation indicate that the child does not suffer from any life threatening illness. At this point the investigation has resulted in Mrs. Slauson being charged with one count of felony child endangerment. Mrs. Slauson is currently being held in the Cass County jail on the above charge as the investigation continues. Early stages of the investigation indicate that Mrs. Slauson is the only person involved in this matter.

During the past year the local community, as well as others around Cass County and beyond, have rallied together to help the family financially, and to make what was believed to be the child’s remaining time as enjoyable as possible. Individuals and organizations within the community have organized fundraisers and a trip to Disney World in order to assist the family through what was believed to be a difficult time.

As of this time investigators would discourage citizens from making further contributions to the Super Riley Fund. While those of us involved in the investigation know that this turn of events will greatly impact people within our area and beyond, we are proud that it is typical for our residents to rally to the aid of those among us who face devastating illness or circumstances. As this investigation unfolds it is our hope that the soft hearts of our residents can heal and once again be eager to give of their time, finances and prayers for those in need.

It is important to remember that any person charged is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Respectfully,
Chief Stephen Green, Atlantic Police Department
Sheriff Darby McClaren, Cass County Sheriff’s Office
Daniel Feistner, Cass County Attorney”

Alleged Child Abuse

News

August 22nd, 2014 by admin

Atlantic Police have an afternoon news conference scheduled for today to discuss information regarding a possible child abuse case. The Atlantic Police Department received the information Wednesday afternoon and launched an investigation in conjunction with Cass County Sheriffs Department and D-H-S officials. The investigation is centering around 30 year old Leatha Kaye Slausen of Atlantic who has claimed her five year old daughter is suffering from terminal cancer. The preliminary investigation shows the child does not suffer any life threatening illness. At this point in the investigation Mrs Slausen is being charged with one count of felony child endangerment. Slausen is currently being held in the Cass County Jail on that charge. Investigators are discouraging residents from making further donations to the Super Riley Fund which has been organized to help the family financially. The Atlantic Police Department, Cass County Sheriffs Department and the Cass County Attorneys office reminds the public all persons are innocent until proven guilty.

2 vehicle injury accident reported west of Griswold

News

August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Four people have reportedly been injured during a two vehicle collision on Highway 92, in Pottawattamie County. Griswold Fire and Rescue, Atlantic Medivac and Carson Rescue was responding to the scene at the intersection of Highway 92 and 500th Street, where four people were said to be trapped in a vehicle that rolled over following the collision and was on its side. Two of the people were able to get out, two others remained trapped as of 10:40-a.m. Both vehicles ended-up in the ditch southwest of the intersection.

At least one person was seriously injured and unresponsive. LifeNet helicopter was asked to launch.

The accident was reported at around 10:25-a.m. Additional information is currently unavailable.

Mills County theft arrests

News

August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested this week in Mills County on Theft charges. The Sheriff’s Office says 42-year old Jeffrey Dennis Anderson, of Pacific Junction, was arrested Thursday afternoon on a warrant for Theft in the 2nd degree. His bond was set at $5,000.

And, late Wednesday night, 37-year old Christopher Ray Ball, of Glenwood, was arrested for Theft in the 5th degree. Bond was set at $100.

Fire damages Iowa town’s community center before state audit

News

August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CASEY, Iowa (AP) — An early morning fire destroyed the community center in a west-central Iowa town just hours before state auditors were to arrive. Des Moines television station KCCI says the Casey Community Center burned early Wednesday. No injuries have been reported.

The station says state auditors who’d been called in to help audit the town’s finances were scheduled to arrive later in the day. The building housed the town clerk’s office, where financial records were kept. A state auditor, Warren Jenkins, says a CPA firm’s workers found items that led them to call for state assistance.

Casey Mayor Forrest Schnobrich says the fire chief thinks the blaze started in the clerk’s office, but it’s not considered suspicious.

Deere to lay off about 460 in Waterloo

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Deere & Co. has announced hundreds of layoffs at its tractor factory in Waterloo. The Illinois-based agricultural equipment maker says about 460 workers will be laid off effective October 20. Deere said last week that it would lay off more than 600 employees at four Midwest factories that make harvesting and other agricultural equipment due to slumping demand. That layoff includes another Iowa plant, in Ankeny.

The company said earlier this month that it planned to reduce agricultural equipment production for the remainder of the year. Company shares are down 63 cents to $85.58 in early trading.

Evansdale police launch website for slain cousins

News

August 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) — Evansdale police have launched a new website to provide a clearinghouse of information about the unsolved abduction and killing of two young cousins in 2012. Ten-year-old Lyric Cook and her 8-year-old cousin Elizabeth Collins disappeared in Evansdale after they left for a bike ride in July 2012. Their bodies were found in December 2012 in a rural wildlife refuge in Bremer County.

No arrests have been made in their deaths. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the website was launched Thursday. It displays information about likely characteristics of the cousins’ kidnapper. Investigators believe the abductor is from the area and chose the wildlife refuge because it was secluded.

A $150,000 reward has been set for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.