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Atlantic man sentenced to 12.5 years on meth charge


May 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Steven Jon Erlacher

The U-S Attorney’s office for the southern district of Iowa reports an Atlantic man was sentenced Thursday to more than 12 and one-half years in prison for conspiracy to distribute Methamphetamine. In addition to the 151 month jail sentence, U-S District Court Judge John A. Jarvey also ordered 57-year old Steven Jon Erlacher, of Atlantic, to serve a four year term of supervised release following his incarceration.

On February 3rd, 2011, Erhlacher entered a guilty plea in federal court in Council Bluffs, Iowa, for violating Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, by conspiring to deliver 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine, between May of 2010 to July 6, 2010.

On July 6th, 2010, a residence in Atlantic was searched by a probation officer with the State of Iowa Fourth Judicial District Probation and Parole, with assistance from local law enforcement. During the search, Erhlacher was found to have a container with thirty small baggies containing methamphetamine and a large amount of United States currency.

An investigation by local law enforcement determined that Erhalcher had been delivering personal use amounts of methamphetamine to various places in and around Atlantic.

The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa. The investigation was conducted by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, Atlantic Police Department, Department of Corrections-Probation and Parole, the Cass County Attorney’s Office and Iowa Division of Narcotic Enforcement.

PA man arrested on drug charge following I-80 traffic stop


May 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says one person was taken into custody on drug and other charges following a traffic stop on Interstate 80 Thursday afternoon, about half-way between Underwood and Council Bluffs Danker says Deputy Brian Miller stopped 32-year old Joshua Cohen, of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania for Failure to Display license or registration tag.

When Miller approached Cohen’s Nissan Versa at around 1-p.m., he noticed a marijuana bud in plain sight. The deputy’s K-9 partner Francisco did a perimeter search of the vehicle and alerted to the presence of narcotics.

When the vehicle was searched, Deputy Miller located drug paraphernalia, about 5-pounds of marijuana, 137-grams of Hashish, a Glock handgun and .308-caliber rifle, and a small amount of cash.

Cohen was taken into custody and transported to the Pottawattamie County Jail, where he was charged with Possession of a Controlled substance with the Intent to Deliver. He has since posted bond, and was released from custody.

Bluffs woman injured in Thursday night rollover


May 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says one-person suffered minor injuries after being involved in a rollover accident Thursday night on the Old Lincoln Highway, near Crescent. Danker says 25-year old Amanda Jones, of Council Bluffs was trapped in her 2006 Toyota Camry, after the vehicle went out of control and rolled onto its side in a ditch, near the intersection with Sharon Drive. The accident happened at around 10-p.m.

The Sheriff says when a deputy arrived on the scene about 15-minutes after the call was received, Crescent Rescue was working to extricate the woman through the rear window of the car. He says an investigation determined the vehicle was traveling northbound on Old Lincoln Highway, when it ran off the road to the right and hit a mailbox.

The car continued on the east shoulder of the road and across Sharon Drive. Jones tried to regain control of the vehicle, which then crossed onto the left shoulder of the road and hit an embankment before coming to rest on the driver’s side just north of Sharon Drive.

Jones was treated for her injuries and cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

Denison man arrested for ID theft


May 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A Denison man arrested earlier this month on a Felony Identity Theft charge remains in jail on $5,000 bond. According to on-line court documents, 31-year old Guillermo used the name “Sergio Jesus Zaragoza” while attempting to gain employment at the Shelby County Cookers plant.

The offense involving the Minnesota victims’ ID card and Social Security number is alleged to have occurred on January 1st. Galindo allegedly used the same ID in northwest Iowa’s Buena Vista County, and in Arkansas.

A formal complaint was filed on May 6th, the same day Talamantes-Galindo was arrested. Court records show he is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge May 31st in Shelby County District Court, with a Pre-Trial Hearing set for June 20th, and trial slated for July 12th.

“Smokey Bear” Program in Cass County


May 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Conservation Board is holding a “Smokey Bear” Campground Program! The public program will be held at the Campground Shelter at Cold Springs State Park in Lewis, IA on May 27th 2011 at 7:00 pm AND at Cocklin Fish Farm in Griswold, IA on May 28th 2011 at 7:00 pm at the Campground Shelter! FREE!

Harlan men arrested on drug charges this week


May 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Harlan report two Harlan men were arrested Wednesday (May 18th), on drug charges. Officials say 25-year old Shane Hill and 18-year old Adam Scheffler were taken into custody following a traffic stop.

Scheffler was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Hill was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and cited for improper tail lamps on his vehicle. Both men were brought to the Shelby County Jail.

Authorities in Harlan report also, 35-year old Shane Gordon Lester, of Council Bluffs, was arrested last Sunday (May 15th), at Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan, after police were called to the facility’s emergency room, where a female was being treated for a broken arm, allegedly caused by Lester, who officials say is the woman’s boyfriend. Shane Lester was charged with Felony Domestic Abuse Assault Causing Bodily Injury, 3rd or subsequent offense. He was taken to the Shelby County Jail, posted a $2,000 bond on Monday, and was scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on June 2nd. He was also ordered not to have contact with the alleged victim.

And, on May 5th, Harlan Police cited 18-year old Dustin Muell, of Panama, for providing tobacco to a person under the age of 18. Muell was cited for the offense, and released.

Drug arrest reported in Atlantic


May 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic report the arrest today (Thursday), of 20-year old Krystina Hughes, of Atlantic, on a drug charge. Officials say Hughes was taken into custody for Possession of a Controlled substance and Driving While Suspended.

And, 21-year old Jeremy Michael Petersen, of Atlantic, was arrested on a valid Pottawattamie County warrant for Failure to Comply.

Both individuals were brought to the Cass County Jail and held pending a court appearance.

Menard’s, Plumrose USA & Tyson tax incentives from IEDB for western IA projects


May 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Three western Iowa companies were awarded financial incentives packages today (Thursday), from the Iowa Economic Development Board. In all, the IEDB approved awards for projects that officials say will create up to 447 jobs across the state.

The board approved Enterprise Zone tax incentives to Menard’s Incorporated, to expand a warehouse at its distribution center in Shelby County, which will allow for a further expansion of its product lines. The Iowa Department of Economic Development says the company was considering out-of-state locations for the expansion project, which represents an estimated $10.9-million capital investment and is expected to create 28-new jobs. The center opened in 2007.

The IEDB also approved $520,000 in direct financial assistance from the Grow Iowa Values Financial Assistance Program (GIVFAP) and tax incentives, to meat processor Plumrose USA, to build a proposed manufacturing facility in Council Bluffs. If the project becomes a reality, it would represent a $57.8-million capital investment and create 65 new jobs supported by state incentives.

The company, which produced premium bacons, packaged deli meats, deli-counter hams and cooked ribs. They already have a production facility in Council Bluffs. The proposal calls for a 100,000-square foot LEED-certified facility that would house new slicing and packaging operations. The tax incentives approved for the project are though the High Quality Jobs Program.

And, the board today (Thurssday) awarded $800,000 in direct financial assistance from GIVFAP and Enterprise Zone tax incentives to Tyson Prepared Foods, Inc., for a proposed renovation of its Council Bluffs facility. The project involves 53 jobs, and includes an addition of roughly 60,000-square feet, and renovating the cooked meats facility, for a total investment of $48-million. The company employs 9,400 people in Iowa.

ACSD BOE acts on Certified staff contract


May 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education has approved Contracts and/or Letters of Assignment, along with the 2011-2012 Master Contract with the certified bargaining unit. The action came during a special session held at Noon today (Thursday), in the Middle School Board Room.

Superintendent Mike Amstein (am’stine) said by their calculations, the settlement amounts to a 3.29-percent package increase for the certified staff, although the bargaining unit sees it as a 3.5-percentage increase. In any event, while there are still some parts of the language of the contract which still need to be “tweaked,“ according to Amstein, both sides agreed to the negotiated settlement, and he recommended approval.

The basic settlement, he says, calls for a $400 increase on the base salary, which would establish the base at $27,300. That amount will also be used to generate the Teacher Salary Supplement — or, T-S-S – monies. 95-percent of the T.S.S. money will be distributed throughout the 2011-2012 school year, with 5% set aside to address any changes, with the remainder to be paid out in last check of the contract year.”

The agreement also means a change in the amount the district and certified staff will pay out toward insurance and Tax Sheltered Annuities (TSA’s).The district will increase raise the amount paid to those included in the family plan from 50-to $100 per month, and those with a TSA from 50-to $100 per month, as well.

The package amounts to a $500 increase in cost to the district, per certified employee. He says regardless of what the package percentage amounts to, the numbers involved speak for themselves.

The board established the issuance date for the contracts as May 24th, and the return date as June 14th. Last week, the Atlantic Board of Education approved the 2011-2012 Master Contract with the non-certified staff’s bargaining unit. Superintendent Mike Amstein said the package included a 39-cent per hour raise.

Last week, the Atlantic Board of Education approved the 2011-2012 Master Contract with the non-certified staff’s bargaining unit. Superintendent Mike Amstein said the package includes a 39-cent per hour raise.

Adair County BOS sets date for LOST ordinance vote


May 19th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday, set June 8th as the date for a public hearing on an ordinance pertaining to the voter approved renewal of the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST). Adair County Auditor Mindy Schaefer says the ordinance has to be approved in order for the tax to go into effect in 2012.

Schaefer says they’ll hold the 1st reading of the Ordinance on June 8th, and if no one objects, the 2nd and 3rd readings are likely to be waived, and the Ordinance adopted. It will then become effective on July 1st, 2012.

The vote to renew the penny sales tax was approved by the voters during a special election held May 3rd. Only the communities of Casey and Stuart failed to approve the Tax, but a requested re-vote will be held in those communities on August 2nd. By failing to renew the local option tax earlier this month, the City of Casey stands to lose about $650 in annual revenue for street repairs and improvements, while Stuart would be out about $42,000. The money would have gone toward the City’s General Fund.

Each City in the County designates what the money from the penny tax will be used for. Most of the cities will used the monies for capital improvements, such as street and other infrastructure repairs.

Schaefer says the Adair County Supervisor’s Wednesday, also approved a contract for Child Support Recovery. She says there are seven or eight counties included in the agreement, which needed to be updated. Cass County is the control county for the agreement.