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Staff Assault: Iowa State Penitentiary


May 29th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Fort Madison – The Iowa Department of Corrections reports two correctional officers were assaulted Friday morning by two inmates, at the Iowa State Penitentiary.  The two correctional officers were escorting an inmate back to his cell when at around 8-am.,  the inmate began to assault the staff members with closed-fist strikes. As the two officers were attempting to defend themselves, another inmate that was in the area joined in the assault using closed-fist strikes and kicks towards the officers that were attempting to subdue the original aggressive inmate.

A correctional counselor that was in the area attempted to help restrain one of the inmates, and responding officers soon arrived to take further control of the situation. While it was not used in the assault, a sharpened object was recovered from one of the inmates after the incident.

All staff and inmates that were involved in the assault were assessed by prison medical staff, and no major injuries were reported. The two correctional officers were taken by department vehicle to local medical providers to have their injures assessed, and have since been released to recover with no major injuries.

The incident remains under investigation.

CCHS answers COVID-19 Testing: Frequently Asked Questions


May 29th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic, IA —COVID-19 testing continues across the state of Iowa at healthcare facilities, Test Iowa, and some other locations. As testing becomes more widely available, there are some common questions and answers that officials at Cass County Health System (CCHS) would like to address for our community.

I don’t have any symptoms, but I want to be tested. What are my options?

Individuals who have no symptoms, but would like to be tested should take the online assessment for Test Iowa at Individuals with symptoms should call their healthcare provider’s office before going to any healthcare facility.

Is CCHS testing people for COVID-19? Can I get tested at CCHS?

CCHS continues to test patients for COVID-19. As of May 29, we have tested more than 380 individuals. At CCHS, we will continue to test people while also monitoring our supplies, such as swabs, test kits, and PPE. Some of our tests are sent to the state hygienic lab, some are sent to Mayo Clinic, and a limited number are done on site for specific patients.

Can I have all of my employees tested for COVID-19 at CCHS?

At this time, CCHS does not have the capacity to test large groups of asymptomatic people. Additionally, mass testing of asymptomatic people would have to be done frequently to be effective. Because of national PPE shortages and difficulties securing the necessary supplies for testing, CCHS has to be judicious in our use of tests to ensure that we have what we need for the most critically ill patients or in case of any local outbreaks. As testing supplies become more readily available, we may revisit our testing criteria.

If I get a negative test result, then that means I am in the clear, right?

Not necessarily. Tests are a snapshot in time. You could be exposed to COVID-19 in the morning, tested in the afternoon, get a negative result, and then develop symptoms several days later at which point you would test positively.

Why are the test numbers from CCHS different than what is reported on

CCHS testing numbers can be different from what is reported on for several reasons. For example, someone who lives in Elk Horn might be tested at CCHS. If they have a positive result, then their positive result would show on the state map for Shelby County, not Cass, and it would also show as a positive number on CCHS results. Additionally, as public testing increases through private businesses or Test Iowa sites, Cass County residents may be tested out of the county. Those tests would not be included on CCHS testing results, but would be compiled into the results for Cass County.

What about blood tests? Will an antibody test show whether or not I have already had COVID-19?

There are numerous limitations of these tests, and there are many concerns about their accuracy. There may be a very limited number of situations where serology (antibody) testing may be recommended. We encourage you to speak with your primary care provider about whether or not this testing is appropriate.

Red Oak hardware store fire reported


May 29th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Brian Hamman reports the Red Oak Fire Department was called to Ace Hardware in Red Oak at 1:34-p.m., Friday, for an air conditioning unit possibly on fire on the roof.

Photos courtesy Brian Hamman, Montgomery County EMA

Upon arrival, no fire was present however light smoke was visible in the interior of the structure coming out of the duct work.  Crews immediately began investigating the source of smoke both inside the structure and on the roof to ensure no fire was present and to limit any potential fire spread.  Jones Mechanical was requested to the scene and determined that an air conditioning unit had failed and was the source of the smoke.

As a precaution, Ace Hardware and the Family Dollar Store were evacuated for a short time while crews could work and determine that no hazards were present.  There was no fire damage to the facility and smoke damage is very limited.  Crews were on scene for roughly 45 minutes. Red Oak Fire Department was assisted on scene by the Red Oak Police Department and Montgomery County Emergency Management.

Panel says virus reduced $360M from next year’s state budget


May 29th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State budget experts say Gov. Kim Reynolds and the legislature will have about $360 million less to use for next year’s budget than earlier expected. The Iowa Revenue Estimating Conference, a group of three people responsible for estimating state revenue, set lower expectations for this year and next after debating the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The group lowered the state revenue estimate for the current year, which ends June 30, by $150 million from a March estimate. For next year, officials will have about $7.88 billion to work with. That’s about $360 million less than had been estimated in March.

National Guard soldiers set to leave for overseas assignment


May 29th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Hundreds of Iowa National Guard soldiers are leaving for training and then deployments overseas in the next few days. Guard spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Wunn, says it’s important to have send-off ceremonies for these soldiers, even in the midst of a pandemic.

The public will not be allowed to attend, but ceremonies will be live-streamed on Facebook and, in some instances, broadcast by local media. In addition, there will be parade routes through communities as the soldiers depart.

Wunn says around 500 soldiers based at an eastern Iowa unit are deploying. About 350 other soldiers from the 113th Cavalry, based in Le Mars and Johnston, will also be leaving for tours of duty that will last about 12 months.

Slaughterhouses reopen but farmers still euthanizing pigs

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 29th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Meatpacking plants that had to briefly close due to coronavirus outbreaks have been back up and running for weeks, but production backlogs are forcing farmers to euthanize thousands of hogs that can’t be processed, drawing complaints from animal welfare advocates. The preferred methods of euthanizing hogs include gunshots or electrocution, but when thousands must be destroyed en masse, producers shut off the ventilation, causing heat to build up in barns and kill them.

Animal welfare groups say that is inhumane and should be stopped. An estimated 2.5 million hogs are backed up on farms nationwide.

3rd defendant sentenced in Burlington beating death


May 29th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

BURLINGTON, Iowa (The Hawk Eye) — A third defendant has been sentenced to prison in the kidnapping and beating death of a man at a Burlington apartment complex. The Hawk Eye reports that 50-year-old Stanley Baldwin was sentenced this week in a written order to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty earlier this year to willful injury.

Prosecutors say Baldwin broke Edward Breuer’s hand less than an hour before his death on March 17, 2019. Two other defendants _ Majestic Malone and Markell Price _ were convicted in August of second-degree murder and kidnapping and each sentenced to 60 years in prison. Police say the attackers accused Breuer of breaking into an acquaintance’s apartment.

2 arrested on I-29 in Mills County Friday morning


May 29th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Two people were arrested at around 1:20-a.m. Friday (today), following a traffic stop on I-29 in Mills County. The Sheriff’s Office reports 33-year old Dalerie Faye Parde, of Beatrice, NE., was arrested for Possession of Prescription Drugs, Possessing Contraband and Possess of Drug Paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $6,000. And, 25-year old Tiannie Dawn Alexander, a homeless woman, was arrested for being a Fugitive from Justice. Her bond was set at $5,000.

Atlantic man arrested Thursday on warrant


May 29th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s deputies in Cass County, Thursday, arrested an Atlantic man on a District Court warrant. 30-year old Tyler Lee Mills, was arrested on the warrant for Probation Violation. Mills was taken to the Cass County Jail where he remains held on $7,000 bond.

Atlantic Elks award 2 scholarships


May 29th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Elks Lodge #445, on Class Night May 21st, awarded two scholarships to Atlantic High School Seniors. Scholarship Chair Mark McNees says the recipients were Tayler Burg, daughter of Mitch and Megan, and Grace Clay, the daughter of Chris and Crystal Schroder and Darren Clay all of Atlantic. Burg plans to attend Iowa State in the fall, and Clay will be attending the University of Iowa.

Photo from L to R.  Exalted Ruler Alan Kramer, Grace Clay, Tayler Burg, and Scholarship Chair Mark McNees.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks awards more scholarships each year to students than any other organization in the country,  except  the US Government. The Atlantic Lodge #445 is pleased to be able to continue their yearly scholarship to deserving seniors.