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Numerous vehicle burglaries reported in Red Oak

News

October 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak report they received several reports of vehicle burglaries having occurred overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Several items were taken from each vehicle. Officers with the Red Oak P-D strongly encourage residents to secure their vehicles when not in use. The incidents remain under investigation.

Alcohol intoxication leads to fight and arrests

News

October 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Two Red Oak men were arrested this (Wednesday) afternoon following an alcohol-related fight. According to Red Oak Police, 54-year old Robert Anthony Marron, Jr. and 49-year old Kevin Leon Simmons, both of Red Oak, were charged with Public Intoxication.

Authorities say officers and Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported fight between the men in the 100 block of west Grimes Street, at around 1:40-p.m. Upon arrival, they determined Marron and Simmons were highly intoxicated in public. The men were brought to the Montgomery County Jail and held on $300 cash bond, each.

Clarinda man arrested on fraud charge

News

October 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Clarinda man was arrested Tuesday on a fraud-related charge. Police Chief Keith Brothers says 21-year old Dakota Dean Grimes was taken into custody on a Page County District Court warrant for Unauthorized use of a credit card.

And, early Wednesday morning, 33-year old Bryan Scott Casey, of Clarinda, was arrested for Public Intoxication. The Chief notes Casey was arrested for the same offense on two consecutive nights.

(12-p.m. News)

Salesman took $480K in bribes from Iowa farmer

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A former manager at one of the nation’s largest grain cooperatives has reached a plea agreement on charges that he accepted $480,000 in bribes from an Iowa farmer in exchange for deep discounts on crop seed. Chad Hartzler, former sales manager at West Central Co-Op in Ralston, is scheduled to appear in federal court in Sioux City for a plea hearing Thursday.

He was charged last week with wire fraud. His attorney, Chris Cooklin, said Wednesday that his client has reached a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the detail of which have been filed under seal. A charging document says Hartzler accepted $480,000 in bribes from 2005 to 2011 from Lake View farmer Bill Wollesen.

Wollesen hasn’t been charged and denies any wrongdoing, saying the payments weren’t bribes.

Cass County continues to explore 911/Public Safety Communications Outsourcing

News

October 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors and local authorities today (Wednesday) briefly discussed the possibility of outsourcing 911/Public Safety Communications to a New Jersey-based company. As we reported last week, Board Chair Mark Wedemeyer  said he had been in contact with iXP Corporation officials regarding their services.

Cass County Board of Supervisors

Cass County Board of Supervisors

Wedemeyer said he received a letter from iXP, whose officials said there are only five counties in the country and four or five-municipalities who are utilizing their services.  Wedemeyer said he chose to explore the matter because he thinks the County has “The fiduciary responsibility to look into the possibility.”

iXP’s Ben Archer-Clowes, Regional Director of New Business Development in Cranston, NJ, told Wedemeyer that the information Wedemeyer provided to the company was not enough for them to investigate the potential savings for the County, and a study would be needed. The study would cost $12,500.

The Board and other local officials, such as Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren and Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green, may hold a conference call with iXP to get some of their questions answered. Green said he wanted “ample time” to conduct more research and contact other departments to find out what their current wage and benefit scales are now, as opposed to what they were before iXP came. He said he has a hard time believing it would be cost effective unless the company comes in and lowers the wages, but Wedemeyer said the company has assured him that’s not the case.

Wedemeyer said also, iXP “Has a complete array” of options for how their service can run for the County. He says it’s possible for the company to own the equipment and a local site. They would also likely hire the current staff. Archer-Clowes said while iXP is very interested in talking with County officials more, they have never used their services for a county as small as Cass.

Wedemeyer said since the news Cass County was investigating the potential of privatizing 911/Public Safety Communications, one other, unidentified county in Iowa has called him to inquire about the same thing. Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren said he and Chief Steve Green are curious to know if the County can actually save money by moving the service to a private company, and if the quality and control would remain as it is now.

Wedemeyer said they expect to increase the quality of service, or “at least keep it as good as it is.” Green also wondered about the ability of his officers to deal with any issues that might arise between the Communications Center and law enforcement out on the street, when a private company is in control. He says right now, he has local input from the Sheriff and 9-1-1 Director when there’s a problem. Wedemeyer said the issue of local control would be included in an agreement with the company, that also stipulates that iXP would be penalized if they don’t meet the qualifications that are set out in the terms of the contract.

Among the concerns some from the community have expressed, is would 9-1-1 calls be directed to the company in New Jersey, or locally. Wedemeyer said it would be local. Another question was how much money would it save the County? Wedemeyer said they don’t know, and that’s part of the research that is underway. It might cost the County more than it currently pays in wages and benefits for 911 Operators and dispatchers.

County Recorder Joyce Jensen asked whether it was prudent to explore a company out of state to provide the service, and that someone in New Jersey might not be aware of “How things in Iowa work.” Afterward, Atlantic City Councilman Steve Livengood said he has sat on the Public Safety Commission for 8-years, and to his knowledge, the issue of privatizing emergency communications was never brought up, but Wedemeyer did bring the matter to the Commission during its meeting on September 23rd, although it was just to gauge how they would feel about him looking into the matter further.

Atlantic High School Students to volunteer throughout the community

News

October 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Students with the Atlantic High School will be scattered throughout the community today (Wednesday), volunteering their time to help spruce-up the town and at the same time, help out the Atlantic Food Pantry. AHS Principal Heather McKay says the “Service Learning Day” is held every other year, opposite of “Career Day,” but this is the first time the event has been held in the fall. She says the project started many years ago, and began with former AHS Principal Roger Herring. McKay says it’s an opportunity for the kids to give back to the community.

The event is normally held in late April, but bad weather, conflicts in scheduling and a demonstrated need by residents in the community for help with winterizing their homes in the fall, prompted the change. JoAnn Runyan, District School to Work Coordinator says the 444-high school students dressed in their gold and black Trojan gear will be divided up into 30-groups and will be doing volunteer work at various venues, with the assistance of local groups and the Parks and Rec Department.

The students will be scattered out throughout the community until noon. Runyon says in addition to the clean-up jobs they will be handling, students will be collecting non-perishable items for the Atlantic Food Pantry. She says seven groups of seminar students will be out until 11:30-a.m. to collect food for the pantry.

If you’re not going to be home to donate food, you can place your non-perishable food items on the porch or front step for the students to pick up, or bring them to the Atlantic Food Pantry.

Frederickson Fund donates to Atlantic JSA & AHS football program

News, Sports

October 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A representative of the Trevor Frederickson Memorial Fund says the organization recently donated $1,100 to the Atlantic Junior Sports Association (AJSA). Melanie Petty says the funds will help the AJSA to purchase a Football Chute, 5×10-foot Landing Mat and Chute Board Football Training Aides. photo

Petty says they are excited to learn how much the AJSA has grown in the last few years, and look forward to watching the kids continue to play in years to come. She said also, another donation of over $2,000 was given to the AHS Football Program to purchase items they needed to kick off their 2013 season.

Petty says football was always part of Trevor’s life,  so the two donations are a perfect fit for the Memorial Fund to give back to the community.

 

 

8AM Newscast 10-16-2013

News, Podcasts

October 16th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 10-16-2013

News, Podcasts

October 16th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Fight results in an arrest Wed. morning in Red Oak

News

October 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s Deputies responding to a reported fight in Red Oak early this (Wednesday) morning, ended up making an arrested based on a warrant. The Sheriff’s Department says authorities were called to a residence in the 2400 block of north 8th Street in Red Oak, just before 1-a.m.  23-year old Stewart Russell Andersen, of Red Oak was taken into custody on an Iowa State Patrol warrant for Failure to Pay/Failure to Appear, on a seat belt charge. His bond was set at $500. Andersen was being held in the Montgomery County Jail.