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(Update) Missing s.w. IA teens found safe

News

May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Aistrope said early Wednesday afternoon, that two teens who ran away from a hospital Tuesday night, have been located. 16-year old’s Jacob Sederburg-Apperson and Hannah Apperson, were found in Page County and were brought to the Fremont County Sheriffs Office where paperwork was to be filed resulting in the teens being placed into a different family’s custody, that the children agree to.

Jacob & Hannah Sederburg-Apperson

Jacob & Hannah Sederburg-Apperson

The siblings left Grape Community Hospital at approximately 11:30-pm Tuesday. The pair had previously been reported as runaways. Authorities were able to make contact with a person who had been thought to harboring the children and keeping them from the guardians. Following an investigation, 46-year old Michelle Beard, and 17-year old Matthew Beard, were both arrested for harboring runaway children and interference with official acts.

The pair was able to hide the children and pass them off to other people involved before deputies were able to locate the children. The Beard’s were transported to the Fremont County Jail, where Michelle was being held on $8,300 cash bond. Matthew Beard was transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Council Bluffs.

Atlantic School District honors retirees & Teacher of the Year

News

May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School District today (Wednesday), paid tribute to 12 retiring teachers and staff, and presented the 3rd annual Rotary Teacher of the Year Award, to an outstanding educator who exemplifies the Rotary’s motto of “Service above self,” through their continuous dedication to students, parents, peers and the entire community.” The theme of the award this year is “Be a gift to the world.”

Current Rotary President Ted Robinson presented the award to Jodie Hogue, kindergarten-1st grade multiage class teacher. The Rotary’s Jennifer Plum read from some of the submissions nominating Hogue for the award. One of them, from another teacher and parent, said Hogue was the true meaning of an “Exemplary Teacher.” Another spoke of her involvement using technology for the classroom and being a parental ally with integrity.

As the “Teacher of the Year” award winner, Jodie receives a $3,000 cash prize, to further enhance her educational resources, further her education or any other purpose she deems appropriate.

Jodie Hogue receives her "Teacher of the Year" Award from Atlantic Rotary President Ted Robinson

Jodie Hogue receives her “Teacher of the Year” Award from Atlantic Rotary President Ted Robinson

Before the awards were presented to the retirees, Atlantic Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein, spoke with regard to the number of students the teachers have impacted throughout their careers. He said there were thousands of students. Amstein said replacing that knowledge and experience will be something they’ll have to “dig deep,” to accomplish.”

Those retiring after the 2015-16 School Year, include:

  • Steve Baier, High School – Math/Science
  • Kathi Hansen, Schuler – 5th
  • Paulette Hansen, Schuler – 4th
  • Cathy Larsen, Middle School – 6th grade Social Studies
  • Margo Magill, Washington – JK
  • Rita McLaren, Washington – 1st
  • Kathy Meyer, Food Service – High School
  • Becky Osborne, Washington – ECSE Teacher
  • Elaine Phillips, Schuler – Bldg. Secretary
  • Nancy Rasmussen-Jenkins, High School – Science
  • Joanne Sandage, Middle School – K-12 TAG Coordinator
  • Pam Tibken, Washington – LmB Literacy

The ceremony took place in the Atlantic High School Commons.

IOWA FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM PARTNERING WITH FARMERS MARKETS ACROSS THE STATE

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged Iowa students who are in kindergarten through 8th grade to take part in the “Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt” again this year.  Students can take part at any of the 35 participating farmers markets across the state.

To participate in the scavenger hunt students should look for the bright blue “Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt” banner at a participating market.  As part of the hunt students will be asked to look for 37 fruits and vegetables and identify which ones are available at the market.

Students completing the scavenger hunt form will receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable from the market and be in a drawing for books, cookbooks or cooking supplies.

Among the farmers markets participating in the program are those in: Atlantic, Highway 34 (rural Glenwood), Madison County (Winterset), Main Street (Council Bluffs), and the Welcome Center (Missouri Valley).

In the fall, classroom teachers will be given the opportunity to participate in another great initiative called “Farm to School…to Market” where they will have the opportunity to receive funds to buy produce from the local farmers market and incorporate it into classroom lessons.  Teachers will also receive classroom supplies (books or bulletin board tools).

The initiative will be open to all teachers and market sign up is not required.  More information about the Iowa Farm to School program and other upcoming events can be found at: http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/AgDiversification/farmToSchoolProgram.asp.

CCHS partners with Atlantic Chamber as Community Investor Member

News

May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce has announced Cass County Health System as the newest Community Investor Member. The new partnership with Cass County Health System gives the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce more financial support, allowing the organization to continue to improve existing programs and activities and develop new programs for the entire membership.

Officials say the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce continues to work towards goals within their strategic plan to maintain their mission statement: Business based and community minded through partnership, outreach and promotions.

For more information on the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce’s membership opportunities, strategic plan, programs, events and Board of Directors visit www.atlanticiowa.com. You can learn more about Cass County Health System at www.casshealth.org.

(Press Release)

Iowa cyclists remember their fallen tonight in Ride of Silence

News

May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

At least six Iowa cities are hosting special bicycle rides this (Wednesday) evening to remember cyclists who’ve been hurt or killed in crashes. It’s called the Ride of Silence and cyclists by the hundreds will gather in some communities for a slow-speed, silent parade for miles through their downtowns and outlying areas. Police cars with lights flashing and no sirens often lead and trail the rides.

Beforehand, it’s tradition to read off the names of those cyclists who’ve been lost. This year, the list will include Joleen Stork of Glidden, a 60-year-old who was killed in Carroll County last month when she was hit from behind by a pickup. Rides are being held in Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids and Marion, Des Moines, Mason City, Sioux City and Sergeant Bluff.

(Radio Iowa)

W IA mayor says former city clerk admits she did a ‘terrible thing’ with city money

News

May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A special investigation by the state auditor’s office concludes the former city clerk in a small northwest Iowa town made more than 36-thousand dollars worth of “improper and unsupported” transactions with city money. The City of Boyden has about 700 residents. The auditor’s review concludes former City Clerk Beth Sipma paid herself nearly 31-thousand dollars MORE than she should have during the 22 months she had the job.

Sipma also made more than three-thousand dollars worth of personal purchases with the city’s money. Auditors discovered she used the city’s credit card to buy United Airlines tickets to Scotland. Toward the end of her tenure, Sipma used a personal check to pay the monthly bill on the city’s credit card for those tickets. But she also appears to have gone on an overnight shopping trip to Minnesota at city expense — staying in a hotel, eating at a restaurant and buying items like a dresser, sheets and curtains at IKEA, all charged on the city’s credit card.

It was a banker who first noticed the unusual spending on Boyden’s city accounts and called the mayor. Sipma resigned shortly after city officials confronted her and the mayor says Sipma admitted she had done a “terrible thing.” The state auditor has forwarded the report on Sipma to state and county law enforcement.

(Radio Iowa)

Special Traffic Enforcement Program May 23rd-June 5th

News

May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Beginning Monday, May 23, 2016, and ending Sunday, June 5, 2016, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, Atlantic Police Department and law enforcement agencies throughout Iowa, will be participating in a “Click it or Ticket” Special Traffic Enforcement Program, or, STEP. During the program, you’ll see an elevated presence of law enforcement officers on the road.

Click it or ticketNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that passenger vehicle occupants are buckling up more during the day but not enough at night.  The May 23 – June 6, 2016 Click It or Ticket mobilization focuses on seat belt violators 24/7, but a strong enforcement effort will be made between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., due to the significant number of violators and fatal crashes during that time.

Iowa’s seat belt compliance rate is at 93 percent, one of the best in the nation but, still, too many of the state’s traffic fatalities are unbelted. In 2014, nearly 9, 400 people nationwide lost their lives as a result of not buckling their seat belt. That same year in Iowa, 118 of the 322 crash fatalities were not buckled up.

As you travel near or far this Memorial Day, remember to buckle up in the back seat as well as in the front.  Rear seat passengers are three times more likely to die in a crash if they are unbuckled.

(Update) Cleanup underway on Taylor County manure spill

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa DNR said today (Wednesday), cleanup was underway at a Taylor County farm following reports of an overflowing manure pit Tuesday afternoon. Barrans Farms, owned by Steve Kerns, will work with a contractor to empty the manure basin and clean up spilled manure on the site. The farm is a small hog finishing farm about three miles southwest of Lenox.

While investigating Tuesday, DNR field staff saw a path where manure flowed into an unnamed tributary of the East Fork of the One Hundred and Two River. However, DNR staff have not observed any dead fish.

The DNR will be on site today (Wednesday) as it continues to investigate the incident.

Board declines to act quickly on pipeline construction

News

May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa utilities regulators have declined to act quickly on a request to allow a Texas company to begin construction on an oil pipeline across Iowa.
Dakota Access had asked the Iowa Utilities Board to start Tuesday on the 1,150-mile pipeline that will carry a half-million barrels of oil a day from northwest North Dakota across South Dakota, Iowa and into south-central Illinois.

Construction begins this week in the other states and the Dallas-based company says it must start in Iowa now or risk running into winter and another farm planting season. The board decided Tuesday to take time to consider comments from opponents, which indicate they want no construction in Iowa until all required federal permits are approved. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hasn’t issued permits for river crossings.

IA Dept. of Veterans Affairs announces increased Honor Guard reimbursement

News

May 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs Executive Director Colonel Robert King (Ret.) has announced that in a recently adopted administrative rules amendment, the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund Honor Guard Reimbursement is increased from $500 in a twelve month period to $1,000. The change became effective May 18th, 2016. The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs manages The Iowa Veterans Trust Fund.

IA Dept of Veterans AffairsThe Honor Guard Reimbursement was established to reimburse various veterans service organizations who provide military honors at funeral services for our states veterans when a military honor guard is unavailable.

Colonel King said “Several honor guards around the state are providing many more services than the $500.00 reimburses them for their support of our veterans and families. We want to insure that we are reimbursing these honor guards for their expenses in regards to the services they are providing.”

All other details of the administrative rules 14.4(11), ARC2491C remain the same. Only the dollar amount changes.