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Special prosecutors appointed in Pottawattamie County case

News

June 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Mills and Harrison County Attorney’s Offices will be called upon to handle cases against a Crescent man who allegedly threatened the Assistant Pottawattamie County Attorney. The Daily NonPareil reports the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Thursday to approve the appointment of special prosecutors to handle cases against 56-year old Paul  Grindstaff, who’s accused of threatening an assistant county attorney.

Assistant county attorney Maggie Reyes asked the board Thursday to allow the Mills County Attorney’s Office to prosecute Grindstaff, who is charged with first-degree harassment and terroristic threats after allegedly sending threatening emails to the Pottawattamie County Attorney’s Office. The paper says a second case involving a theft by Grindstaff will be handled by the Harrison County Attorney’s Office.

Grindstaff was arrested in Omaha in May. According to court documents, a grandchild was removed from his care in Douglas County (Neb.) in February. In April, his guardianship was dissolved. The affidavit in support of Grindstaff’s arrest alleges after the guardianship was dissolved, he continually emailed assistant county attorney Dawn Landon, who was involved in the case because the office represents the Department of Human Services by Iowa Code.

The state alleges the communications threatened bodily harm and intended to intimidate, annoy or alarm the recipient. Grindstaff was released on a $50,000 bond. A preliminary hearing in the case is set for July 10th.Reyes said there is an unwritten agreement between county attorney offices to cover each other in the event of a conflict of interest. She said Pottawattamie County would pay for any costs associated with prosecuting the cases, but they will not pay the other county attorney offices for their work.

Minor injuries reported following accident in Council Bluffs

News

June 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Nebraska woman suffered minor, possible injuries during an accident Wednesday night  near the Ameristar Casino, in Council Bluffs. The Iowa State Patrol reports 46-year old Sandra Rodriguez-Pena, of Bellevue, NE, who was wearing her seat belt, was transported by Council Bluffs Fire and Rescue to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs. Officials say her 2002 Chevy Cavalier was traveling west on Nebraska Avenue a a little after 10-p.m. Wednesday, and heading into the Ameristar parking lot, at the same time a 2010 Chrysler Sebring driven by 18-year old Kaitlin Jens, of Glenwood, was traveling east on Nebrska Avenue and coming out of the Ameristar lot turning left onto the ramp to get to Interstate 29 southbound. The vehicles collided in the middle of the intersection.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., June 14th 2013

News

June 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad has issued a disaster emergency proclamation for Des Moines County. The proclamation announced yesterday follows similar action for other counties due to spring storm and flooding damage. Branstad also activated an individual assistance program that provides grants of up to $5,000 for home or car repairs, clothing or food replacements and temporary housing expenses.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Senator Tom Harkin and three other Senators are asking Nickelodeon to ban ads targeted at children that promote and sell junk food and sugar. Nickelodeon says in a statement it is committed to fighting childhood obesity but will “leave the science of nutrition to the experts.” Last June, the Walt Disney Company banned junk food ads on its television channels, radio stations and websites.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A 27-year-old Bettendorf woman has been accused of leaving her infant in her car while working out at a Davenport fitness center. The Quad-City Times says Amanda Broihier faces a misdemeanor count of child endangerment.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Government data shows Iowa’s Hispanic population continues to increase at a much higher rate than the state’s overall population. U.S. Census Bureau data released yesterday shows more than 162,800 Latinos lived in the state in July 2012. That’s a 3.2 percent increase from the year before, and 10 times the estimated increase for the state’s overall population for the year.

Nominations being taken for Sept.10, 2013 School Board elections in Cass County

News

June 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman reports nomination papers may be circulated now for the September 10th, 2013 school board elections in Cass County.  Nomination papers for offices to be filled in 2013 can be filed (with the school board secretary) July 8, 2013 through August 1, 2013.  All offices are four year terms.

In Cass County, Iowa the following offices will appear on the ballots for the respective school districts on September 10, 2013:
Atlantic Community School District

Two At Large local directors, who are nominated and elected at large (Minimum of 50 signatures are needed for nomination) Incumbents: Kristy Pellett & Josh McLaren, both from Atlantic.

CAM Community School District

One North District, one South District local director and one At Large local Director: The nominees must live in the respective districts. They are nominated and elected at large (Minimum of 23 signatures for nomination).

North District Incumbent: Chuck Kinzie, of Anita. South District Incumbent: Gary Dinkla, of Massena. At Large local director Incumbent: Nick Kauffman, of Adair.

Griswold Community School District

One District 3 and one District 4 local director: Nominees must live in their respective districts. They will be nominated and elected by district (Minimum of 10 signatures for nomination, each.)
And, two At Large local directors, who will be nominated and elected at large (Minimum of 25 signatures for nomination).

Because the Griswold School Director District Plan has changed from seven local director districts to four local director districts and three directors elected at large, the incumbents of the new districts are not known.  The following four current directors’ terms will expire in 2013: Robert Peterson, of Elliott; Scott Peterson, Elliott; Steve Baier, of Griswold; Tom Moore, of Griswold.

Election information, including candidate nomination forms, is available online at the Iowa Secretary of State’s website, from the local school board secretary’s offices and from the county auditor’s offices. Check with your local school board secretary for local school board director district boundaries.

Red Oak man arrested on sex abuse charge

News

June 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest late this (Thursday) morning of a Red Oak man on a sex abuse charge. 24-year old Shaun Jensen faces a felony charge of 2nd degree sexual abuse, following an investigation. Additional details about the alleged incident which led to his arrest was not provided. Jensen was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $25,000 bond.

Trucks collide in Montgomery County, minor injuries reported

News

June 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

One person suffered minor injuries during a collision this (Thursday) morning between a straight truck and a flatbed truck/trailer, about four-miles west of Grant, in Montgomery County. Sheriff’s officials say at a 1975 GMC straight truck driven by 69-year old Merlin Rasmussen, of Red Oak, was traveling north on Q Avenue at around 8:40-a.m., when he failed to stop at the stop sign at 110th Street. A 1998 International flatbed truck pulling a 2010 Titan flatbed trailer, and driven by 21-year old James Swanson, of Marne, was unable to stop in-time, and struck the GMC on the right front side.

Accident scene. Photo courtesy Brian Hamman, Montgomery Co. EMA

Accident scene. Photo courtesy Brian Hamman, Montgomery Co. EMA

Following the collision, the straight truck came to rest in the northwest ditch, while the flatbed continued down the north shoulder. The gooseneck of the trailer it was pulling became detached, and wound up in the north ditch. The flatbed truck then came to rest in the eastbound lane of traffic, facing southwest.

The straight truck, registered to Ronald Adams, of Elliott, was totalled. The loss was estimated at $2,500. The flatbed truck, regiestered to Wright Trucking, L-C, in Atlantic, was also totalled, with the loss  estimated at $10,000. The trailer it was pulling sustained $1,200 damage. Swanson suffered a bump on the head, but did not seek medical treatment.

Officials say Rasmussen was cited for Failure to Stop at a stop sign.

Drug & alcohol arrest in Atlantic

News

June 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports a man from Pottawattamie County was arrested today (Thursday), on alcohol and drug charges. 27-year old Benjamin Grulke, of Council Bluffs, was arrested on a warrant for Possession of Controlled Substances, and for Public Intoxication. Grulke was booked into the Cass County Jail.

Additonal details released on Cass County crash

News

June 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol has released the name of a woman who was injured during a single vehicle crash early this (Thursday) morning, on Interstate 80 in Cass County. 19-year old Rachael Annette Johnson, of Omaha, NE, was transported by LifeNet helicopter to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, after she was extricated from her 1997 Chrysler LHS.

The accident happened at around 4-a.m. on I-80 eastbound, just east of the Anita exit. The Patrol says Johnson fell asleep at the wheel, causing the vehicle to leave the road to the left and enter the median. The car then crashed through tension cables rolled into the south ditch before coming to rest on its wheels facing northbound in the ditch. The accident wasn’t discovered until about 6:35-a.m.

Anita Fire and Rescue worked to extricate the woman from her car. Medivac Ambulance assisted Anita Fire at the scene.

Atlantic merchant to donate sales toward tornado relief

News

June 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic business says it will donate 100-percent of the proceeds from the sale of watch batteries toward Oklahoma tornado relief efforts. Rich and Nedra Perry, owners of Geis-Perry Jewelry, say proceeds from the sales of watch batteries that take place between now and July 4th, will be made available to the United Church of Christ in Atlantic, and are destined for relief efforts underway following the May 20th tornado that hit Moore, OK.

Church member April Thielen is in Oklahoma helping with disaster relief, along with most of her family. She is coordinating the donations and distributing them to persons in need. April’s husband Nathan took a second shipment of relief supplies to the area last Sunday, in his semi. Sales of the watch batteries and related relief efforts began May 20th.

Proposed Woodbine Wellness Center moves forward

News

June 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Citizens of Woodbine, in Harrison County, came out in full force Wednesday evening, to learn more about a proposed Wellness Center. About 75 residents attending the meeting held in the Woodbine High School gymnasium, heard from JEO Engineering, with regard to determining the next steps needed for the proposed $8.2 million project. 

Plans for the Woodbine Wellness Center began two years ago with listening sessions from volunteers and supporters followed by a feasibility study, site tours and gathering data. Deb Sprecker, program director for Woodbine Main Street, said the next steps for the project involve gaining community awareness, along with applying for grants, and fundraising. JEO Engineering consultant Lucas Billesbach said the firm took a look at several wellness centers in the area, including Red Oak and Ida Grove, to get an idea of what the community the size of Woodbine would need. He estimated the square footage needed for the center would be 40,000. 

The feasibility study estimated the Woodbine Wellness Center could grab members from the city of Woodbine and within a seven-mile radius of the city limits. The conceptual design shown at the meeting Wednesday night included a gymnasium, community center, lockers, and indoor pool, along with a workout center on the 2nd floor. Billesbach said in the first year the wellness center would see close to 330 members. He said the expected revenue from yearly memberships would be approximately $210,000. Other revenue streams would bring in another $155,000, with a total expected revenue of approximately $364,000. 

Along with the fundraising of $8.4 million for the actual building, Billesbach said the community would need another $4 million for the endowment fund. He said the fund “Is not a game changer, but it is a critical avenue,” that would allow for the maintenance of the building so taxpayers don’t have that added burden. The Woodbine Wellness Center Community has already had $1.2 million donated for the project, along with the land for the facility, from a private donor.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)