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BOS shows support for CCMH BHU


August 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors have sent a letter to the County Board of Health, in support of the Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) at the Cass County Memorial Hospital. The BHU employees 21-people.

The facility, which serves the mental health needs of patients in Cass and other counties, is in danger of closing, because, according to officials, since CCMH became a critical access care facility, in-patient behavioral services have become a financial burden. Unlike other services the hospital provides, the costs to care for mental health clients, especially those who come from outside of Cass County, are not reimbursed on a cost-basis. Last year, the unit lost $500,000 in un-reimbursed costs.

During Wednesday’s meeting in Atlantic, Cass County Supervisor Chuck Rieken read a portion of the letter that‘s been mailed to the Board of Health. Rieken said “It is the Cass County Board of Supervisors position and belief that the behavioral unit is an indispensable part of this community but by providing necessary mental health services to those residents in Cass County as well as others who reside or who are placed here in various residential care facilities.”

Rieken and the other Supervisors have said many people are very much in favor of the facility staying in Cass County. He said the current BHU is highly efficient. The average stay for a mental health client at the facility is approximately seven days, or about four-days less than at other, similar facilities.

Supervisor Mark Wedemeyer, said he’s been asked why the BHU should be kept in Cass County. He says because in the long-run, it will save the County money. If it were to close, the county would have to send it’s clients to one of a handful of other such facilities in the State.

The Board of Health is scheduled to make a decision on the matter at a future meeting.

7AM Newscast 08-18-2011

News, Podcasts

August 18th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson


Atlantic Mayor warns about hazards on 22nd Street


August 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones is warning motorists not to try and travel on 22nd Street, due to the dangers resulting from construction currently taking place in the area. Jones issued his warning and plea during Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He says 22nd Street is closed to thru traffic, and is unsafe due to a sharp drop-off.

Jones, who is also an insurance agent, says your insurance may not cover any accidents you get into, when traveling on a closed street.

Atlantic City Council News


August 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday evening, tabled action on one of the matters placed before them, and agreed to place another item on the agenda for a future meeting. The Council tabled a Resolution granting a sewer line easement to Andrew J. Knuth. Knuth had offered to pay the City $50 for a ten-foot sewer easement on the north side of the City lot which abuts his law office at 3rd and Walnut Streets to install a PVC pipe, but some members of the Council thought that was not enough money, would create problems for future, possible owners of the four vacant adjacent lots, and would it benefit Knuth more than the City. 

Councilpersons Shaun Shouse, Steve Livengood and Kathy Somers expressed concerns about the placement of the sewer line under a potential building. City Attorney Dave Weidersteen said the terms of the easement state the sewer line must be placed so that a building cannot be placed on top of it, but if a change is needed in later years, that can be accommodated. Knuth said the line would be placed as close to his building as possible. The City paid $200,000 to have an old hotel on the lot torn down, in hopes of selling the property to future businesses. Councilman Shouse raised the issue of compensation for the easement, and how an easement would affect the value of the property.

Councilperson Somers asked if Knuth would be interested in buying an adjacent lot. He said he would, but it would only be to install private parking for his business. That would also serve to increase the amount of street parking spaces available for restaurants in the area, especially during the lunch hour, and provide the City with some much needed property tax income. Attorney Dave Weidersteen will draw-up an agreement with Knuth for a fair price on the lot, which will be presented to the Council for its approval during their meeting on September 7th

The Council also voted to place on their next agenda, a request to accept $1,000 compensation from Atlantic resident Ed Leistad, who said he purchased a lot at 706 Walnut Street, under the assumption it was 100-feet, when it was actually only 50-feet. Liestad said he can’t do anything with a 50-foot lot, and offered the money to terminate the purchase agreement. He had originally paid the City $5,000 for the property. After much discussion, the Council agreed it would be in the best interest of everyone involved to accept the proposal, and will include it in a Resolution at their next meeting.

But Councilman Shaun Shouse warned in the future, persons bidding on City property should do their research beforehand, so mistakes aren’t made that would cost the City lost revenue.

Massena City Council calls special session


August 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Massena City Council is set to meet this evening during a special session. During the meeting, which begins at 6-p.m., the Council will discuss, and possibly act on, making a payment to the local Red Sox baseball team, to assist with field repairs on the City Ball Field.

The Council will also discuss nuisance properties and receive Mayor Mike Cormack’s report, before they adjourn for the evening.

Grant man arrested Wed. night


August 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Montgomery County say a man from Grant was arrested Wednesday night on a district court warrant. 48-year old Scott Timothy Brown was taken into custody at around 8:30-p.m., on a warrant for Failure to Appear or pay child support.

Brown was being held in the Montgomery County jail on $1,000 cash bond.

Southwest IA schools see some students enroll across border in Nebraska


August 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Wednesday was the first day of school for many students in western Iowa, while today marks the start of classes in AHST, Riverside and Shenandoah. Some districts in the southwest corner of the state are adjusting to changes in enrollment after local families were forced to relocate because of flooding. Jay Lutt is superintendent for the Farragut and Hamburg school districts. He says some parents who lived in Hamburg, but worked across the river in Nebraska City have relocated their families in Nebraska, at least temporarily.

“I know there’s some people that are trying to move back in,” he says. “The mandatory evacuation has been lifted and so we have families that are moving back (to southwest Iowa) and some that it’s still going to take a month or so to get moved back or into housing, so it is very fluctuating.”

Officials are still gathering data, but the superintendent estimates about 15 students have been lost to flood-related moves. Mike Eldridge is the junior-senior high school principal for the Sidney Community Schools. Several families in the town of Percival, which is in the district, were forced to relocate. Eldridge says some moved to another town within the district, but others have gone across the river to Nebraska. Eldridge estimates five or 10 students have left, but he says those numbers aren’t having major impact for now.

“We’ve had a lot of new students move into the district, not necessarily because of the flooding,” Eldridge says. “But we look like we may kind of stay level in regards to enrollment where we’re not going to show a huge decrease and we’re not going to show a big increase.”

School also started Wednesday in Council Bluffs. A spokeswoman for the district says she wasn’t not aware of any families leaving the district because of the floods, but at least 35 students have reported a different home address because of flood-related moves. The district is helping to transport 13 of those students to school in Council Bluffs from their temporary housing locations.

(Radio Iowa)

Mills County lifts part of evacuation order


August 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Some residents of Mills County who were evacuated because of flooding on the Missouri River are being told it’s OK to return, but just be careful. The county’s emergency management agency on Tuesday reopened some areas that had been under a mandatory evacuation order. About 50 residents and businesses are affected. County spokeswoman Sheri Bowen says there’s still a risk because the flooding isn’t over.

All residents in the re-entry areas need to contact building and zoning and public health offices to determine if a free property inspection and damage assessment is needed. Bowen says residents need to make sure their homes and businesses are safe. She says the inspection is required prior to electricity being restored to the property.

Audubon woman arrested for Driving Under Suspension


August 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police report the arrest Tuesday, of an Audubon County woman for illegal driving. Officials say 23-year old Cara Larson, of Audubon, was taken into custody for Driving Under Suspension. Larson was brought to the Cass County Jail and held, pending a court appearance.

Cass County BOS approves 1934 lithograph


August 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Stephenson shows a laminated copy of the 1934 US Constitution lithograph

Gary Stephenson shows the Cass Co. Supervisors matted & framed lithograph

The Cass County Board of Supervisors have approved a request from Gary Stephenson, of Ft. Dodge, to display a 1934 lithograph of the U-S Constitution inside the courthouse. Stephenson is traveling through each of Iowa’s 99 Counties in hopes of local officials express an interest in having the lithographs displayed in the various 100 county courthouses in the state. Stephenson says the rare lithographs will be framed and matted. He says the father of a man in Chicago worked for a lithographer who created the original product with gold inlay. Currently only three machines in the country, one of which is owned by the U-S Government, is capable of producing the images.

With the Supervisor’s approval, Stephenson will seek out 10 sponsors for the prints, such as local veteran’s organizations, to pay $70 each to cover the costs. Stephenson says he’ll make the same presentation next week, in Corning. The Adair County Board of Supervisors have already purchased their copy of the lithograph, which is set to be unveiled next week.

In Union County, most of the sponsors for the lithograph are already lined-up, while other counties in the area are in-line to receive Stephenson’s presentation and decide on whether or not there is interest in displaying the print.