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Atlantic School Board accepts bid for Cass, Inc. Bldg. renovations


June 6th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board, minus Board President Ali Bruckner, voted Tuesday to approve a much higher than expected bid for the renovation of the Cass, Incorporate Building the District purchased for $925,000 in March. Board President Ali Bruckner was unable to attend the meeting, while Board member Josh McLaren appeared via conference call.

A bid of $621,000 plus alternate options costing $74,900, was accepted from Ball Team General Contractors, of Urbandale. Board Member Kristy Pellett read the motion reached after 45-minutes of discussion.

The Alternate Options included an Administrative entry at the north door of the building, and restrooms at the Multi-purpose room. The contractor will also work with the District and the Design Alliance Architect firm to “Value-engineer” the costs lower, where possible.

The other, base bids received from General Contractors in Red Oak and Indianola, came in much higher, at $694,000 and $706,000. Design Alliance’ Jerry Purdy said the reason costs are so much higher than what he warned would be likely, just last month, is because of  increased costs for steel, drywall, and other facets of the construction industry, such as changes in the State Building Code. He said that’s where “Value Engineering” comes in. He says that incorporates revisiting details and options in the plans, in order to be more cost effective.

Early estimates are that $18,000 could be saved by going through that process. The Atlantic School Board will likely look at paying for the extra expense through the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) funds.

At the request of Superintendent Steve Barber, Purdy and the General Contractor have agreed to hold a pre-construction meeting this Thursday. Purdy said construction is likely to be completed by August 21st, or just a couple of days before the 2017-18 School Year begins. It will initially house the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), and the Link Center. Future flexibility may incorporate a building trades program and/or auto shop.

Denison man injured in northern IA construction zone crash


June 6th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A road construction worker from Crawford County was injured Tuesday afternoon, when the vehicle he was on was struck by a van in northern Iowa’s Worth County. The Iowa State Patrol says 27-year old Isaak Delgadillo Cervantes, of Denison, was transported by Lake Mills Ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Mason City following the crash, that happened at around 12:53-p.m., Tuesday.

Authorities say a 2015 Ford Transit van driven by 60-year old Dean Ward McFadden, of Shakopee, MN, was northbound on Interstate 35 in a road construction zone. The left lane of the road was closed, with workers present. McFadden apparently suffered from a medical condition that caused him to lose control of the van.

When his vehicle struck a 2004 Sterling road construction vehicle, Cervantes was thrown from the construction equipment and suffered minor injuries.

Harlan P-D report (6/6/17)


June 6th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department is reporting two arrests. Last Friday, 23-year old Shelby Kate Evans, of Persia, was arrested on an active warrant out of Adams County following a traffic stop in the 1500 block of Chatburn Avenue.  She was transported to the Shelby County Jail.  Evans was also cited with excessive speed.

And, as we reported earlier, on Saturday, 29-year old Theodore James Behrens, of Harlan, was arrested after a call of possible domestic abuse.  He was transported to the Shelby County Jail and charged with Domestic Abuse Assault, Violation of a No Contact Order, Sexual Abuse 3rd Degree, and Kidnapping 1st Degree.

Mills County Sheriff’s report (6/6/17)


June 6th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Mills County say a man from Henderson was arrested today (Tuesday), on a warrant for Failure to Appear (FTA) in Court. 32-year old Nicholas John Horgdal was taken into custody at around 8:30-a.m. at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and held on $5,000 bond.

Two people were arrested Monday at the Mills County Sheriff’s Office, for FTA. 31-year old Kim Michael Britt, Jr., of Glenwood, was arrested on a warrant out of Pottawattamie County. His bond was set at $10,000. 21-year old Kayla Shae Richardson, of Glenwood, was arrested on a warrant for FTA as well. Her bond was set at $2,000.

ISU Solar Car Begins Statewide Tour; Local Stop on June 10 at YMCA in Atlantic


June 6th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A solar car created by 120 ISU students will be making a stop in Atlantic this Saturday. Students from Iowa State University have been working hard, putting the finishing touches on the world’s first Solar Utility Vehicle. Named “Penumbra,” this solar-assisted electric vehicle has been made to change the paradigm of transportation.

During the month of June, members from PrISUm (the ISU student organization that manufactured the car) are traveling to all 99 counties in the state of Iowa to showcase the vehicle. The trip is called #SunRun99, and the car will be making a local stop in Cass County on Saturday afternoon at the Nishna Valley YMCA, in Atlantic.

Smeet Mistry, Team PrISUm’s tour contact, says “During this time, everyone is welcome to check out this vehicle and even go for a quick spin!” Mistry said also, that “Like most vehicles found in dealerships across the state, Penumbra contains four seats and features Bluetooth audio and wireless charging for cell phones.”

P14 PrISUM Solar car

Where the differences begin is how Penumbra is powered. Instead of having a gas or diesel tank, Penumbra receives its energy from the sun. As the vehicle drives across the state, the sun recharges the onboard batteries. Fully charged, Penumbra has a “best in class” 200-mile range. On a sunny day, a constant speed of 40 mph can be achieved without any energy from the batteries. Once Penumbra completes the #SunRun99 tour around Iowa, the vehicle will be flown to Australia to compete in the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

Local residents are encouraged to come out and learn more about the vehicle, team, and renewable energy as the car makes a local stop at the Nishna Valley Family YMCA in Atlantic on Saturday afternoon, June 10, from 4-6 PM. In addition to the solar car, local event hosts Cass County ISU Extension will be on hand with snacks and hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities for participants to enjoy. A few opportunities will also be available for attendees to “hitch a ride” and go for a short spin in the car- for a $50 donation per person. All proceeds will help offset transport costs to get the car to the competition in Australia.

Kate Olson, Cass County Extension Program Coordinator, said “Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is excited to partner with the #SunRun99 tour across Iowa. We hope to have a great turnout for this unique open house, and hope many local families will take advantage of this chance to see the PrISUm solar car before it heads to competition!”

For more information: https://www.prisum.org/

2 western IA men charged w/the felony theft of trees


June 6th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Two western Iowa men were charged late last month with felony 2nd Degree Theft associated with the cutting down and selling of Walnut trees from a state-owned park. Officials with the Iowa DNR said Tuesday (today), that 38-year old Bradley Lynn Hagerman, of Pisgah, and 30-year old Eric Robert Freihage, of Council Bluffs, each face one count of 2nd Degree Theft, a Class-D felony, and Timber Buyer – Bond or Accounting Violation, a serious misdemeanor.

Hagerman and Freihage admitted to a DNR Conservation Officer they transported and sold nine Walnut trees between January 24, 2017 and January 30, 2017.  The live trees were cut down by Freihage and Hagerman at Loess Hills State Forest, a state owned and DNR managed park. The pair were officially charged May 25th.

Hagerman and Freihage sold the Walnut trees to Midwest Walnut in Council Bluffs and received compensation of $4,713. The nine Walnut trees have an appraised value of over $7500. Both Hagerman and Freihage turned themselves into authorities after the arrest warrants were issued and have since bonded out.

Mo. man arrested in Fremont County on eastern IA warrant


June 6th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A man from Missouri who was wanted on a warrant out of eastern Iowa for Probation Violation, was taken into custody in Fremont County at around 6:40-a.m. today (Tuesday).  The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office says 45-year old Donald Scott Baker, of Osceola, MO., was arrested after authorities received a call about a man talking to himself and waving his arms.

Deputies found Baker parked on private property located off of Waubonsie Avenue in Bartlett, and after checking his record, took him into custody on the Tama County warrant. The Iowa State Patrol assisted at the scene.

Baker was being held on a $5,000 bond in the Fremont County Jail pending transport back to Tama County.

Donald Scott Baker

Grassley says VA lied about Iowa wait times


June 6th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley is accusing the Department of Veterans Affairs of lying about the length of time veterans wait for medical appointments at Iowa’s VA hospitals.

The Iowa Republican says detailed data provided by a whistleblower shows the VA wasn’t truthful in February when it told the committee he chairs that no patients waited longer than 90 days at Iowa City and Des Moines hospitals during January and February. He says in reality thousands of veterans at the hospitals wait longer than 90 days.

In a letter to VA Secretary David Shulkin Grassley said he was extremely disturbed by the misinformation. Shulkin responded in a letter May 26 that it was a misunderstanding and not a deliberate attempt to mislead.

Cass County Sheriff’s report (6/6/17) – 3 arrests


June 6th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports three recent arrests. On Monday, 25-year old Chanel Quintana, of Northlake, IL, was arrested on a  felony charge of Forgery, and an aggravated misdemeanor charge of Unauthorized Use of Credit Card. Quintana was taken to the Cass County Jail where she remains held on $7,000 bond.

Sunday, Cass County Deputies arrested 58-year old Terry Lee Ranney, of Massena, on a charge of Violating a No Contact Order. Ranney was taken to the Cass County Jail and released Monday on $300 bond.

And, on Saturday, 25-year old Alex Christopher Hansen, of Lewis, was arrested for OWI/1st Offense. Hansen was taken to the Cass County Jail and released on his own recognizance, Sunday.

No injuries reported from ammonia leak at Iowa pork plant


June 6th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say around 230 workers were evacuated because of an ammonia leak at a Tyson pork plant in Storm Lake. Firefighters and police were dispatched around 3:10 a.m. Tuesday to the plant, which had already been emptied. Tyson staffers told firefighters the ammonia flow had been shut off but plenty of gas vapor remained in the plant. The plant air eventually cleared up.

No injuries have been reported. Storm Lake authorities say a fan on a refrigeration unit had broken. It struck a condenser coil in the refrigeration unit, causing the ammonia leak.