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Treynor 5th grade teacher/coach placed on paid leave pending an investigation

News

May 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A fifth-grade teacher at the Treynor Community School District has been placed on paid administrative leave. The Daily Non Pareil reports Mike Travis, who also is an assistant softball coach, is under investigation by the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Jeff Danker said Travis had been placed on leave following allegations of misconduct with at least one student.

Treynor School District Attorney Joseph Thornton told the Omaha World-Herald the issues with Travis do not involve any current students. He said it was basically a “personnel matter,” but declined to comment further.

Danker said an investigation is underway he hoped it will be wrapped-up next week. No charges have been filed.

Young Professionals receive recognition & awards in Atlantic

News

April 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Nearly a dozen young professionals in Atlantic were recognized Wednesday for their achievements and commitment to excellence in their profession and/or community. The 11 individuals received their awards during the Inaugural Young Professionals of Atlantic (YPA) Dessert and Luncheon held at the Atlantic Golf and Country Club.

YPA logo

YPA logo

The YPA is comprised of a group of persons ages 21-to-40, whose mission is to “Connect, engage, and attract young leaders into the Atlantic Community while promoting Atlantic and the surrounding area.” The organization has been established in Atlantic for several years.

YPA Vice-President Lucas Mosier said the young professionals who received awards Wednesday had been nominated in 11 different categories including: education, food/drink/hospitality, health, non-profit/government, professional services, retail/sales, technology, skilled labor/trade, Agriculture, and start-up entrepreneurs.

YPA Award Winners

YPA Award Winners

The winners in their respective categories include: Media-Bennett Blake-Meredith Communications; Education: Nick Ross, Teacher and Coach at Atlantic High School; Food/Drink/and Hospitality-Jacob Weitzel-Owner of Weitzel’s Restaurant; Health-Brad Peerbolte-Peerbolte Chiropractic; Government-John Lund-Assistant to the Atlantic City Administrator; Professional Services-Tom Welchans-Certified CPA, with Gronewald-Bell-Kyhnn & Company; Retail-Hans Krengel, Howards Clothing; Technology-Matthew Klein, Communications Systems and IT Coordinator for AMU; Skilled Labor-Andy Elings, Camblin Mechanical; Agriculture-Ryan Houser, Lindeman Tractor; and Entrepreneur-Brandi Eckels-Owner of, Lou Lou’s Boutique.
And the Young Professional Choice Workplace Award was presented to the Cambridge Law Firm. The award recognizes a company  that effectively attracts, retains and develops young professionals.

Iowa House elects Matt Windschitl speaker pro tem

News

April 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican Rep. Matt Windschitl has been elected speaker pro tem, a top leadership position in the Iowa House. The 30-year-old Windschitl, of Missouri Valley, replaces retiring Rep. Steve Olson, of DeWitt, who resigned the post Wednesday.

Windschitl was first elected to the House in 2006 and has served as an assistant majority leader for the past five years. The speaker pro tem is part of the leadership team and presides over the chamber when the house speaker is absent.

Reps. Jarad Klein, a Keota farmer, and Lee Hein, a Montezuma farmer, were elected assistant majority leaders.

Harkin aide to visit Shelby County, Thursday

News

April 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An aide to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin will be in Shelby County, Thursday, to kick-off a summer tour highlighting Harkin’s partnership with Iowa Communities throughout the years. Harkin’s office says the “In the Footsteps of History” tour will include all 99 Iowa counties and feature local projects aimed at keeping communities healthy and safe, keeping them thriving through targeted education, research, and economic development projects, along with promoting local agriculture and conservation, while at the same time mitigating disasters.

Harkin’s State Director Rob Barren will tour the Danish Windmill from 1-until 2-pm Thursday, 38-years to the day that the Iowa Senator helped in the reconstruction of the windmill.

Harkin working to reconstruct the Danish Windmill in the 1970's.

Harkin working to reconstruct the Danish Windmill in the 1970’s.

He’d been invited to help with the project after Harkin successfully got the windmill released from New York, where it was being held due to import levies. Harkin also worked to ensure Elk Horn received a refund for the levy.

The windmill was bought by Elk Horn officials in 1976, after the large structure graced the Danish landscape for 127 years.

Harlan Police investigate thefts

News

April 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Police in Harlan are investigating two recent thefts. Officials say on April 26th, a set of golf clubs valued at $3,000 was reported stolen from the cart shed at the Harlan County Club. And, on April 19th, someone broke into the coin operated laundry machines and took coin boxes, from the laundry room at the Hillcrest Apartments in Harlan.

The Harlan P-D reports also, the arrest on a domestic abuse assault charge, of 41-year old Monica Gonzales, of Harlan. The woman was taken into custody for allegedly striking her sister, on April 26th.

Anita man arrested on drug charges, Monday

News

April 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Anita man was arrested earlier this week on drug charges. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports 33-year old Terry Lee Chaney, of Anita, was arrested Monday on charges of Driving While Barred, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Chaney was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released the following day on his own recognizance.

The Sheriff’s Office reports also:

  • 33-year old Travis Austin Moon, of Wiota, was arrested Friday on a District Court warrant for Failure to Appear (Child Support). Moon was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on $2,000 bond.
  • 36-year old Frederick Louis Anthony, Jr., of Cainsville, MO, was arrested last Thursday, on a charge of OWI 1st Offense. Anthony was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was later released on $1,600 bond.
  • And, 49-year old Douglas Allen Bissell, of Anita, was arrested last Thursday in Cass County, on a charge of Driving Under Suspension. Bissell was taken to the Cass County Jail where he was released later that day on $300 bond.

Glenwood Death Investigation

News

April 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in western Iowa are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man in Glenwood. Officers from the Glenwood Police Department responded today (Wednesday) to 302 N. Walnut, following a report of an intoxicated and suicidal subject. That subject was later identified as 36-year old Joshua Sandlin.

Sandlin was transported by Glenwood Rescue to Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, where he was pronounced dead. His death remains under investigation by the Glenwood Police Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

An autopsy is pending at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny.

Former Shelby County medical practitioner charged in sex abuse case

News

April 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An investigation into an alleged incident of sexual abuse in Shelby County has resulted in the arrest of a former area physician. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says 81 year old Wing Tai Fung, of Scarborough, Canada, who was wanted on a warrant issued on Nov. 5th, 2013, was arrested Monday, April 28th, at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Fund is charged with Felony Sexual Abuse in the 2nd degree in connection with a sex act that allegedly involved a child under the age of 12. The incident is alleged to have occurred when Fung was a medical practitioner in Shelby County. 

Officials say with assistance from the U.S. Customs Service Enforcement and the Chicago Police Department, Fung was arrested when he flew from Canada to Chicago. He appeared in court in Chicago on Tuesday and waived extradition to Iowa. Fung was subsequently transported to  Shelby County and booked into the jail. He was later released on $100,000 bond. Fung is scheduled to appear in Shelby County District Court on May 15th.

If convicted on the Class B Sexual Abuse charge, Fung faces a mandatory minimum of 17.5-years in prison, and a maximum prison term of 25 years. In either case, the term cannot be suspended.

Cass County Supervisors appoint full-time Mental Health Director

News

April 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday, appointed Deb Schuler as Director of Mental Health and General Assistance. Schuler had been serving as the interim director following the Board’s sudden termination in February of former Director Teresa Kanning. Schuler’s appointment will mean an increase in pay to the Director’s rate previously paid.

In her monthly report to the Board, Schuler said her office made 32 contacts with individuals last month, and handled 123 phone calls for General Assistance. There were also 81 calls made with regard to Mental Health care and numerous meetings attended. In other business, the Supervisors authorized Chair Frank Waters to sign a Planning Grant Agreement with the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, with regard to the renewal of the Hazard Mitigation Plan. The purpose of the program is to reduce loss of life and property resulting from natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the recovery from a disaster.

Cass County’s current plan continues through mid-2015. The Board working with SWIPCO, wanted to make sure there wouldn’t be a gap in coverage for the next five-years, taking into account the time it takes to write the grant application and file other necessary documents. The news application covers 2015 through 2020. The grant request is was for $53,000. The County’s share of the funds, in the form of an in-kind match, amounts to $7,950.

The Board also received a quarterly report from Conservation Director Micah Lee, and they approved a concrete box culvert project bid from Gus Construction of Adair, amounting to just under $259,516. Gus’ bid was the only one Engineer Charles Marker was able to obtain, and comparable to the cost of other such projects in nearby counties. The Board also approved an amended appropriation to the Medical Examiner’s Department, to cover the cost of a higher than expected number of autopsies that were requested.

IA DPS warns of storm damage repair scams

News, Weather

April 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

As spring is upon us, the warmer weather and damage from severe storms draw scam artists to our state posing as local contractors willing to do home repair work, but Iowans need to beware. The Iowa Department of Public Safety says home repair scams are one of the most common scams targeting the elderly and other vulnerable victims. Scammers frequently offer services like blacktop or asphalt paving, tree trimming, brick glazing, lawn fertilizing and gutter and roof repairs, often following severe weather damage and other natural disasters.

Scam artists are more likely to use in-person, door-to-door solicitations, offering low prices and quick work, within an hour or two. Some scam artists provide “work and run” scams, where they perform low-quality work or partial work and then disappear. Others collect all money up front and never provide any work promised. Some scam artists are known to commit identity theft by requesting or looking at personal and financial documents while completing home repairs and then sell or use that information to defraud homeowners.

Homeowners also need to know what services are free. Some scammers request payment for free services like offering to disconnect and reconnect utilities, which is done for free by utility companies. Others offer, for a fee, to speed up the process for obtaining a building permit or obtaining insurance. Speeding up those processes is not possible, especially by a third party.

DPS offers some tips to protect you from scammers:

Avoid on-the-spot contracts and read through all contracts before signing. Do not let the contractor rush you into signing by saying that other consumers will take your place if you wait.
Before you enter into a contract, check with the Better Business Bureau, the Iowa Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, and several references.
Avoid out-of-area business. Check the contractor’s registration with the Iowa Division of Labor and proof of liability insurance.
Get all prices in writing. Don’t pay a large amount in advance. Pay materials suppliers directly, when possible.
Negotiate any insurance repairs and payments directly with your insurance company, and don’t let the contractor negotiate the agreement for you.
Spell out, in writing, the scope of the work to be done and the quality (or brand) of materials to be used. Do not sign a contract that lets the contractor decide the scope and materials with your insurance company, or you may be forced to pay liquidated damages to cancel the contract if you don’t like their decisions.
Write down license plate numbers of salespeople, contractors and workers.
You have the right to cancel within THREE business days, and the right to a full refund within ten business days, of most door-to-door sales, or sales made at a place other than the seller’s normal place of business.
Shred all documents that contain any personal or financial information or Personal Identification Numbers (PINs).
If you believe you are a victim of a scam, call your local law enforcement. Contact the Iowa Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, online or by calling (515) 281-5926.