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Glenwood Social Studies teacher resigns amid an investigation

News

May 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Superintendent of the Glenwood Community School District says a Glenwood High School teacher resigned last week after being the subject of an internal investigation. Superintendent Devin Embray told the Daily NonPareil Russell Crouch, a social studies teacher, was placed on paid administrative leave on May 19th

Embray would not say what caused the investigation but that the “situation” was brought to the district’s attention on May 16th. Crouch resigned on May 21st. He had been a teacher in the district since 2006. Embray said the Glenwood Community School District suspended its investigation and turned it over to the Glenwood Police Department.

Police Chief Eric Johansen said Thursday he could not comment on the ongoing investigation.

FSC seeks Zoning Board/Supervisors approval for expansion

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Zoning Administrator Rich Hansen reported to the Board of Supervisors, Thursday, a business north of Atlantic is requesting a change of zoning for their property on North Olive Street, to keep up with growing business demands.

Hansen says the request from the Farm Service Cooperative (FSC), who wants to expand their operations 4.6-acres to the north. The move will help the company grow its agronomy and chemical sales on the site. Plans call for a scale, office and agronomy buildings.

Hansen says the Zoning Board is expected to hear their proposal on June 12th. The Zoning Board’s recommendation stemming from that meeting on the proposed rezoning request, will be sent to the Supervisors for final action.

2 accidents in Atlantic, Wednesday

News

May 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic say there were no injuries reported following two separate accidents here, Wednesday. Officials say the first accident happened at around 8:25-a.m. near 4th and Birch Streets, when a vehicle driven by Bryce Baker, of Atlantic, went out of control as it was headed north on Birch Street. The car went up and over a curb and hit a parked boat and trailer owned by Michelle Turner, of Atlantic. The impact caused the boat & trailer to hit a parked car registered to Andrew Minister, of Ralston, NE. Damage from the incident amounted to $3,400. Baker was cited for having No Proof of Insurance, no Driver’s License, and Reckless Driving.

The second accident happened just before 11-a.m. Wednesday, in the Hy-Vee Parking Lot. Officials say  a vehicle driven by Marjorie Pelzer, of Cumberland, was traveling south in the parking lot, when a westbound vehicle driven by Gay Bannister, of Atlantic, made a left hand turn at an uncontrolled intersection and hit Pelzer’s vehicle on the left side. The total damage was estimated at $2,500.

Stand-off and arrest in Council Bluffs, Thursday

News

May 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Residents of a neighborhood in Council Bluffs were told to leave late this (Thursday) morning as personnel with several law enforcement agencies converged on a home and were involved in a brief stand-off. Omaha television station KETV reports residents in the vicinity of 21st Street and 6th Avenue in Council Bluffs, were asked to leave their homes at around 11:30-a.m.

Council Bluffs police, Pottawattamie County sheriff’s deputies and Iowa State Patrol troopers were all at the scene with their guns drawn at around 12:15-p.m. One male subject was taken into custody moments later.

Additional details are currently not available.

Cass County Health System 2014 Health Careers Scholarship awarded

News

May 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Health System (CCHS) report nurse Heather Foresman, was the recipient of the Cass County Health System 2014 Health Careers Scholarship. Todd Hudspeth, CEO, presented the award to Heather, an RN who currently works at Cass County Memorial Hospital.

Todd Hudspeth, CEO, presented the award to Heather Foresman.

Todd Hudspeth, CEO, presented the award to Heather Foresman.

Heather is pursuing her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Frontier University in Kentucky. Through a combined educational program she will also become licensed as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Nurse Midwife. Heather received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Iowa in 2011. Prior to that, she earned her RN and LPN certifications from Iowa Western Community College.

Cass County Supervisors hear from Atlantic officials re: Animal Shelter

News

May 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors heard from two officials from the City of Atlantic during their meeting Thursday, with regard to the need for the County’s participation in funding an Animal Shelter. Mayor Dave Jones and City Administrator Doug Harris spoke before the Board.

Atlantic City Administrator Doug Harris (Left) & Mayor Dave Jones.

Atlantic City Administrator Doug Harris (Left) & Mayor Dave Jones.

Jones said there have been committees established over the past 8-to 10-years, tasked with trying to find a way to control the amount of abandoned and stray animals, but nothing was ever accomplished. The need is greater now, he says, in light of the death of a Marne resident whose dogs were left to fend for themselves, and other recent incidents of animals being dropped-off in town and with requests from other cities in the county for help with their animal control problems.

Doug Harris says most of the calls the Atlantic Shelter gets are from people outside of Atlantic looking to find a place for dogs and cats, but mostly dogs. He said the City wants to explore with the County what the need is, what the level of service should be and what a fair pricing system is. Harris said the City is feeling the pressure of an expanded need for an animal shelter. He says it costs about $40,000 per year to run the shelter now. He said if the shelter and its costs were shared county-wide, that would be about 5-cents on the tax rate. He said Atlantic is “Ham strung” budget-wise, on how much more it can do alone.

The Supervisors suggested Harris and Jones call a meeting of the Mayors in the County, so they can sit down and discuss how bad the animal control problems are in other communities, and gauge the level of interest they might have in contributing to the costs of running a County-wide shelter.

Cass County Supervisors table action on bid recommendation

News

May 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Thursday) received bids for the reconstruction of the lower floor of a building at 707 Poplar Street, but did not approve the recommended bid. The Board instead took the matter under advisement, while the Omaha architectural firm of Carlson, West and Povandra, gathers specific information on a line-item of the costs the low bidder submitted.

Architect Matt Krause

Architect Matt Krause

CWP Architect Matt Krause told the Supervisors there were five bids submitted and reviewed last Thursday (May 22nd), for the renovation of the Cambridge Building destined for use as a new, Cass County Communications Center. Krause said the recommended a bid by TBB&M, LLC, out of Greenfield, with their lump sum bid of $356,000. He said the bids came in higher than the engineer’s estimate due to the later addition of a fully redundant HVAC system, generator and a gaseous fire suppression system.

The bids ranged from $356,000 to as much as $422,000, but were tightly grouped together for the most part, and generally under $400-thousand. TBB&M’s low bid was still about $100,000 more than the engineer’s estimate, but again Krause said that was because of the late additions to the bid spec sheet. The same company handled renovation of the Atlantic City Hall. The estimated completion date for the project is no later than December 15th. The bulk of the time delay is with regard to the ordering and installation of a 125-watt backup power generator, which is 75-watts less then the generator that backs-up the courthouse.

Cass County 9-1-1 Director Rob Koppert said he has no problem with TBB&M’s maximum completion date for the project, but it’s important that it not be any later, due to the requirements of a grant. He said it has to be operational by June 30th, 2015, because the County is applying for and in competition with, other counties, for a 100-thousand dollar grant to help pay for the Next Generation 9-1-1 system and servers. Other factors that figure into the deadline he says, are out of his control, such as change orders for the phone system, etc.

The Cass County 9-1-1 Advisory Council will be submitting its grant application by the end of June, with the hope the equipment can be ordered by July 1st. Ideally, Koppert says he’d like for the new Comm Center to be operational by end of November, 2015, but the Federal mandate is Dec., 2015. Koppert pointed out that the nearly $45,000 cost of the redundant air conditioning/HVAC system and generator will be paid for out of the County’s 9-1-1 Surcharge dollars, not from property tax dollars. He said they would have to amend the 9-1-1 Service Board’s budget, because they don’t have the money right now, but would be able to take a slightly bigger loan out they can be easily paid-off with fees received from the Wireless Surcharge.

(Updated 1:37-p.m. w/comments from Koppert)

Iowa firefighter at house fire overcome by heat

News

May 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City firefighter is recovering after being overcome by heat and dehydration while fighting a house fire. The Sioux City Journal reports that the firefighter was sent to Mercy Medical Center on Wednesday night. He and other firefighters were battling a house fire in a single-story home reported around 8:30 p.m. The fire was extinguished with half-an-hour.

Assistant Fire Chief Robert Wilson says he is unsure how many people were inside the house when the fire broke out, but said no other injuries were reported. Wilson says the house was heavily damaged by fire and smoke. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

New Sioux City casino set to open Aug. 1

News

May 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Officials with the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino being built in downtown Sioux City say the casino will open for business this summer. The Sioux City Journal reports casino general manager Todd Moyer said on Wednesday that the casino will welcome its first guests on Aug. 1st. Moyer estimates that work on the $128.5 million downtown project, which began eight months ago, is about 80 percent finished.

The casino and hotel will employ about 500 people. With fewer than three dozen positions filled so far, the majority of hiring will occur over the next two months. About 130 candidates for table game jobs are being trained at a Hard Rock-sponsored dealer school that began Tuesday.

A job fair for the casino is scheduled June 4th and 5th.

Iowans May Fish Free June 6-8: More info. released

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa residents may fish without a license on June 6, 7 and 8 as part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources free fishing weekend. Free fishing weekend allows Iowans an opportunity to try fishing without purchasing a license. All other regulations remain in place.

“We are experiencing some excellent fishing across the state right now at Green Valley Lake, Little River Lake, Hawthorne Lake and our trout streams and our fisheries at Rice Lake, Silver Lake and Lake Miami are being improved to provide better fishing in the future,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa DNR’s Fisheries Bureau. We hope that someone who gives fishing a try during free fishing weekend will enjoy the experience and want to go fishing more often and become a license holder,” Larscheid said.

Free fishing weekend is scheduled during what is traditionally the time when bluegills are close to shore and aggressive. “This is a great time to take kids fishing because the chance for success is pretty good,” he said. The best way to catch bluegills, according to Larscheid, is to use small tackle – little hooks, a bobber no larger than a quarter, 4-pound test line and small bait.

Anyone catching their first fish is encouraged to take a photo of it and send it in to receive the DNR’s first fish award. The DNR will commemorate the event with a certificate suitable for framing and the submitted photo.

Information on the first fish program is available in the Iowa Fishing Regulations and online at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/MasterAnglerFirstFish.aspx

Qualifying fish caught during free fishing weekend are also eligible for master angler recognition. For bluegills, the minimum length for master angler award is 10 inches.