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Cass Supervisors approve Cumberland Library funding request


May 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday), approved a $10,000 funding request from  representatives of the Cumberland Public Library, to help with a renovation project. Library Board President Vicky Anstey appeared before the board to ask for the funds which she says will address some safety issues in the front part of the building. She said there concerns over lightening and sagging shelves. The money would be used to replace paneling and move some of the shelving to another room.

Anstey said the board has been working for a few years to expand the library, because of their increasing patron base. The City of Cumberland, she says has cooperated with that goal, by contributing space previously used as a city garage, and funds for the project.

She says the children’s and open meeting areas are being moved to a back section of the library, and they’ve had a good working relationship with other entities to make the project successful.

She says the $10,000 will help finish the project, which is expected to cost $50- to 55-thousand dollars altogether. The Library has already received a $35,000 grant, a $10,000 private gift, and in-kind services for the project. Board Member Carolyn Hartmann said the City of Cumberland also set aside some funds from a recent event. She says the money came from the City’s 125th Anniversary Celebration.

The nearly complete renovation includes the only handicapped-accessible public restroom in the City.

In other business, the Board of Supervisors approved the funding of sidewalk repair on the county’s portion of the Atlantic City Park. Engineer Ken Coffman told the board their share of the work and engineering costs amounts a little more than $5,495. The City of Atlantic will pick up the remaining cost of the $27,000 project.

Coffman said work on the sidewalk project won’t likely begin until AFTER the AtlanticFest Celebration and Ragbrai event. It was hoped it would be finished before those events took place, but the contractor, Betts and Beer Construction, is busy working on the Iowa Western Community College renovation project, and won’t likely be completed in-time for the City Park project.

Cohrs and Rutledge arrest – more details released


May 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Alex Rutledge

Tia Cohrs

Atlantic Police today (Wednesday) released more information about the arrest Sunday of an Atlantic couple on drug and other charges. Police Chief Steve Green said warrants for 18-year old Alex John Rutledge and 19-year old Tia Cohrs were issued following an investigation into a report an 11-year old boy was being treated at the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic, for an overdose or adverse reaction to the use of an illegal narcotic. 

Green says after a search warrant was executed, it was determined Rutledge and Cohrs allegedly distributed the illegal narcotics to the child inside the Cohrs residence.

The pair face numerous charges, including Possession of a Controlled Substance, Felony Distribution of an illegal substance to a person under the age of 18, and Gathering where Controlled Substances (marijuana) are unlawfully used.

Rutledge and Cohrs were brought to the Cass County Jail, they were being held on $30,500 bond. Both are scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on June 2nd.

Iowa DOT is seeking information about motor vehicle enforcement case


May 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – May 25, 2011 – The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is seeking information from anyone who may have conducted business with the following individual or businesses and has similar complaints to those investigated by the department. 
James (Jim) F. Austin, 66, of Greene, Iowa, was arrested Friday, May 13, 2011, by officers with the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Office Motor Vehicle Enforcement and Butler County Sheriff’s Office. 
Austin, a former licensed Iowa automobile dealer, once operated the used car dealerships known as Austin Auto Center at 702 N. First St. in Greene and The ClassicConnection at the same address, and now operates JSA Classics in Greene.
This arrest stemmed from complaints received by the Iowa DOT’s Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement regarding business practices and motor vehicle transactions conducted by JSA Classics.
Austin was charged with one count of Class D felony theft by deception, two counts of aggravated misdemeanor fraudulent practice, and one serious misdemeanor for false application for a motor vehicle title.
Members from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa State Patrol’s Vehicle Theft Unit assisted in the Iowa DOT’s investigation leading up to the arrest. Austin was taken to the Butler County Jail and later released.  
Anyone with information concerning the business practices of any of these dealerships is encouraged to contact the Iowa DOT’s Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement at 866-906-4636 or via e-mail at

Iowa Storms

News, Weather

May 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Strong thunderstorms rolled across Iowa, Tuesday, bringing strong winds, hail and heavy rain.

The National Weather Service says wind gusts of 60 mph were reported Tuesday afternoon near Jamaica in Guthrie County, where a grain bin and a shed were damaged. In central Iowa, power lines are down in Woodward. In Grimes, trees were snapped and a front porch was damaged.

Earlier Tuesday, storms dumped heavy rain in eastern Nebraska. In Omaha, up to a 1/2 inch fell around noon. In Atlantic, we received one-quarter of an inch of rain Tuesday, from about 1:30 to 2:15-p.m. The rain came down in sheets and was accompanied by brief, gusty winds. Overnight, through 5-a.m., we picked up an additional .97”, for a total of 1.22.”

Forecasters say a strong and slow-moving system is affecting the Midwest, and will continue to do so until tonight (Wednesday). A Wind Advisory will be in effect from 4-p.m. today through 4-a.m. Thursday, for Cass, Adair, Adams, Guthrie, Dallas, Madison, Taylor, Ringgold & Union Counties. Winds of 15-to 30 miles per hour, with gusts up to 45 can be expected in the Advisory area.

In addition, a Flood Advisory is in effect for the Missouri River affecting Douglas and Sarpy Counties in Nebraska, and Pottawattamie County, in Iowa until Monday morning….and, a Flood Warning is in effect for the Missouri River in Mills and Fremont Counties through at least Saturday morning.

New top executive chosen to lead Boy Scout council


May 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The Boy Scout council that serves eastern Nebraska, western Iowa and the corner of South Dakota has chosen a new top executive. The Mid-America Council says Eric Magendantz will become the council’s top professional on July 1. He will replace Lloyd Roitstein who is retiring after 40 years with the council.

Magendantz has led the Chester County Council in West Chester, Penn., since 2007. He has been with the Boy Scouts of America since 1993 and has also held jobs in Florida, Maine, Connecticut and Delaware.

The Mid-America Council serves 31,000 youth in 58 counties in the three states, and it is supported by nearly 8,000 volunteers.

Elk Horn, IA residents arrested after drug bust


May 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says two Elk Horn residents were arrested on drug charges Monday afternoon, following the execution of a search warrant at 2107 Washington Street, in Elk Horn.

22-year old’s Gregory Frazer and Lucas Spangler face aggravated or serious misdemeanor charges of Prohibited Acts, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and a felony charge of Manufacturing a Controlled Substance.

During a search of the men’s residence, authorities took into evidence material used to manufacture a controlled substance. Frazer and Spangler were brought to the Shelby County Jail and later released after posting $5,000 bond, each.

New Parks & Rec Director Announcement expected


May 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Board will hold a special meeting today at Noon to announce the hiring of a new Parks & Rec Director. The person named will succeed Travis Garrett, who announced in March his resignation, effective June 23rd.

Today’s meeting takes place at the City Hall in Atlantic.

Western IA banker sentenced to 18 months


May 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A former Woodbine banker has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to making a false statement to influence the action of a bank’s loan committee. The U.S. Department of Justice says 59-year-old Kenneth Waite was sentenced May 20 in U.S. District Court in Council Bluffs. Waite was indicted on 50 financial counts in August 2010. He pleaded guilty to one of the charges in January.
He was accused of making a false loan application to his former employer, Commercial Federal Bank, to obtain a $2.3 million line of credit for a financially distressed customer. He funneled funds into the customer’s account by altering bank records to increase funds available to other customers and transferring funds from those loans into the customer’s account.

Measles Reported in Central Iowa


May 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Public Health has confirmed a case of the measles in a central Iowa resident who flew from Chicago to Des Moines earlier this month, and officials are looking for people who may have been exposed, the department said Tuesday.

The discovery is being treated as a public health emergency because measles spreads easily and can cause serious illness or even death. Symptoms of the measles include a cough, runny nose, pink eye and fever, and a rash can often develop a day or two later, said Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the department’s medical director.

Local and state health officials are trying to determine who the unidentified Dallas County resident may have exposed to the illness so they can be checked and treated if needed. They’re looking for anyone who took a late-morning flight on May 11 from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and visited the main terminal and baggage area in Des Moines.

Officials also are seeking those who visited the Mercy Central Pediatric Clinic and the Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines on May 14. “You can walk into a room where somebody with the measles left two hours before that, and you’re still exposed,” Quinlisk said. “You can imagine what could happen at a hospital, a mall, an airport.

The Center for Disease Control is working with officials in Chicago to track down anyone who may have been exposed there, department spokeswoman Polly Carver-Kimm said. Officials want to ensure that anyone who visited those areas have received measles and mumps vaccines. Health officials said anyone who has not had measles before or has not adequately responded to two doses of vaccines – which amounts to less than 1 percent of the population – can catch the illness if exposed.

Two to three people out of 1,000 who get measles die from the disease, which is easily spread through the air. Prevention is critical because there is no treatment for the illness, authorities said.

Adair County Board of Supervisors to hold public hearing


May 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Board of Supervisors will hold their regular weekly meeting Wednesday morning, in Greenfield. Among the items on their agenda is a public hearing on a Fiscal Year 2011 budget amendment. The 9:30-a.m. hearing will be followed by action on a FY 2011 Budget Amendment Resolution, and Amended Appropriations Resolution. The meeting begins at 9-a.m.