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Cass County Supervisors approved Water Rescue/Recovery EMSR 28-E agreement


February 20th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Atlantic, Iowa) – The Cass County Board of Supervisors, today (Tuesday), approved a 28-E agreement for Mutual Aid Fire, Water Rescue/recovery and Emergency Services Response. Kenny Hamman explained the agreement is with regard to the Midwest Regional Dive Team.

He said with the exception of the three (Aformentioned) new entities, the agreement is basically the same as they’ve had before.

Cass County BOS mtg. 2-20-24

The Board received a Zoom presentation from Ryan Berven, with regard to FY 2025 County Employee Benefits. No action was taken after the board received updated information. Berven said he would like to know the Board’s decision by no later than March 1st.

The Supervisors received a monthly report from Cass/Guthrie County Environment Health Executive Director Jotham Arber.

Montgomery County Supervisors approve final plans for H34 overlay project & other items


February 20th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Red Oak, Iowa) – The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, today (Tuesday), approved the final plans and funding agreement for the H-34 overlay project, just east of the Red Oak City Limits. They also approved the widening and overlay portion of the H-34 project. The projects are set to go out for letting, in June. Montgomery County Engineer Karen Albert provided the Board with an update on the 250th Street Bridge construction project. 12 beams are being put in-place. The process is currently underway to lay those beams.

Montgomery County BOS mtg. 2-20-24

In other business, the Montgomery County Supervisors approved a Proclamation  with regard to March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month. The request to do so came from Zion Integrated Health Services Addiction Counselor Amanda McCall, who said a majority of the problem gambling addictions she says, is with regard to cell phone apps.

Supervisor Mark Peterson read the proclamation as presented.

The Board opened sealed bids for a DOT project, and heard from Northwest Township resident Jan Norris, with regard to carbon capture pipeline developments. The Montgomery County Supervisor’s next meeting is 8:30-a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 27th.

Mills County Sheriff’s report, 2-20-24: 10 arrests between Feb. 7th & 17th


February 20th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Glenwood, Iowa) – The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports 10 arrests were conducted between Feb. 7th and 17th. Two people were arrested on drug charges: On Feb. 11th,  43-year-old Kenneth Wayne Jenkins, of Malvern, was arrested for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia ($300 bond). And, on the 14th, 39-year-old Lucas Paul Jay, of Glenwood, was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance (Bond $1,000).

Three people were arrested on warrants for Violation of Probation: 29-year-old Arrington Leondo Blackwell, of Papillion, NE; 19-year-old Logan Patric Hastings, of Red Oak, and 32-year-old Cody Robert Cunningham, of Bellevue, NE. Bond for Blackwell and Hasting was set at $5,000. Cunningham’s bond was set at $10,000.

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office says 20-year-old Gavin Cyrus Susano, of Emerson, was arrested on an Out-of-state warrant. 39-year-old Bree Anne Crotty, of Omaha, was arrested on a Mills County warrant for Failure To Appear, with bond set at $50,000.

Other arrests include: 30-year-old Jamie Allen Hoschar, of Omaha, for OWI/1st offense ($1,000 bond); 28-year-old Robert Mitchell Farley, of Glenwood, for OWI/1st Offense & Interference with Official Acts ($1,300 bond); and 62-year-old Karen Marie Nelson, of Glenwood, for Domestic Abuse Assault. She was being held without bond in the Mills County Jail.

Older teens could briefly be in charge of infants, toddlers in Iowa child care centers


February 20th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The Iowa House has approved a bill that would let 16 and 17 year olds temporarily be in charge of children under the age of five in child care centers. The original bill would have allowed older teens to manage infants and toddler rooms on their own if there were adults elsewhere in the building. Representative Devon Wood, a Republican from New Market, says the bill now says 16 and 17 year could just briefly be in charge, for five minutes or less, during nap times or other breaks.

“Having been brought this piece of legislation by child care providers in our state and knowing that we have young people in our state that have a passion for learning more about early childhood development and education, I am happy to move this bill forward,” Wood said. A 2022 Iowa law lets 16 and 17 year olds be in charge of care for school aged children in child care centers. Representative Austin Baeth, a Democrat from Des Moines, says he’s heard from child care center operators who don’t want those older teens to be charge of care for younger kids, even for short intervals.

“They have concerns which may leave open a window of opportunity in which those periods of time based on the letter of this bill and what’s construed as brief may lead to situations where you have children watching children,” Baeth said. The bill passed the House on a 55 to 36 vote, but has to win approval in the Senate before it would go to the governor.

Webster City dog owner charged with neglect after 9 animals are seized


February 20th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Authorities say animal neglect charges are now filed against 63-year-old Dennis Goodrich of Webster City. Police and the Animal Rescue League of Iowa recovered nine dogs from Goodrich’s home last week. Robyn Dobernecker is the animal welfare intervention coordinator for the A-R-L and helped with the rescue. “The conditions were deplorable and so we did remove all nine dogs,” Dobernecker says, “and then Webster City did a great job, of course, in investigating and then charging the owner.” She says there were four adult dogs and five puppies living in a filthy, cramped wire kennel.

(Animal Rescue League of Iowa photo.)

“It certainly was not good for them, obviously,” Dobernecker says. “On top of just the start of it wasn’t a clean environment for them at all. The space that they were kept in was also very small for this number of dogs and the size of the dogs that he had.”

The dogs are being treated at a vet clinic. Goodrich is scheduled for a pretrial conference on the charges next week.

Griswold Schools react to a social media “Threat event” Monday


February 20th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Griswold, Iowa) – Griswold School Superintendent Dave Henrichs reports the District reacted to a social media “Threat event,” Monday.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

On the topic of school security, Dave Henrichs says the Griswold School Board, during their regular meeting Monday evening, discussed the January facilities walk-through, and identified issues that are “quick-fixes,” and those that are bigger, more long-term issues. That resulted in a prioritization of the 12 most pressing issues.

Funding for the measures will come from the District’s SAVE/PPEL fund.

In other business, the Griswold School Board, Monday evening, approved resignations and new hire contracts.

The Board rejected the chemical bids and tabled action on those and mowing bids, so they those items may be combined and acted on during their next meeting. They also tabled approval of the Board’s 2023-24 Goals Action Plan, because after further discussion about the District’s Open Enrollment situation, outside resources are needed to help conduct strategic planning.
Superintendent Henrichs will obtain the necessary information and incorporate it into a presentation during their meeting in March.

Creston man arrested for Criminal Mischief; Creston woman arrested on a drug charge


February 20th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Creston, Iowa) – Police in Creston are reporting two recent arrests. Monday night (8:44-p.m.), 24-year-old Jeffrey Allen Arnold, of Creston, was arrested at his residence on a charge of Criminal Mischief in the 2nd Degree (Damage $1,500-$10,000). Arnold was transported to the Union County Jail and later released on a $5,000 cash or surety bond.

Early today (Tuesday, 12:05-a.m.), 27-year-old Heather Marie Madison, of Creston, was arrested at the intersection of Adams and Division Streets. She  was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance 1st Offense. Heather Madison later released from the Union County Jail on a $1,000 cash or surety bond.

Iowa DCI is investigating Page County Jail inmate death


February 20th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Clarinda, Iowa) –  The Page County Sheriff’s Office reports the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating the death of a Page County Jail inmate. Authorities say an adult male inmate was found unresponsive in his jail cell, Monday afternoon. Jail staff performed life-saving measures, and the Clarinda Ambulance Service transported him to the Clarinda Regional Health Center, where the inmate was pronounced dead.

Policy requires the DCI to investigate the death. The name of the deceased inmate was being withheld pending the notification of family, and the completion of the investigation.

NW Iowa woman sues school district over sexual abuse case


February 20th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

Sac City, Iowa  [KCCI]— An Iowa mother is suing the East Sac County School District school officials for allegedly failing to protect her son from a teacher’s sexual abuse. Former East Sac County Schools special education instructor Stefanie Kelsey was arrested in 2022 and accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student. Kelsey was employed by the district at the time of the arrest.

In February 2023, Kelsey pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse and sexual exploitation by a teacher and was later sentenced to 10- and five-year sentences in prison to run concurrently. The student’s mother, identified as “Jane Roe” in court documents, alleges that in early 2022, then-East Sac High School Principal Kevin Litterer and then-superintendent Jeffrey Kruse asked Kelsey about rumors involving the teacher and underage student. The lawsuit says that when Kelsey denied those rumors Litterer and Kruse failed to follow up with her son.

The boy admitted to police that he had sexual contact with the teacher after nude photos of Kelsey were found on his phone. Litterer and Kruse are no longer with the East Sac County district. Both are also named in the lawsuit.

Bill lets state agencies hire private CPAs for audits


February 20th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The Iowa Senate has approved a bill that would let the governor and the state executive council bypass the State Auditor’s Office and hire private C-P-As to audit all state agencies. Senator Mike Bousselot, a Republican from Ankeny, is the bill’s sponsor.

“The bottom line is that Iowans deserve better,” Bousselot said. “…Efficiency can occur by leveraging national firms, CPA firms that have extended expertise (and)…independent, non-partisan certified public accountants.” All 31 Republicans present voted for the proposal — the first bill to pass the Senate this year. All 16 Democrats in the Senate voted against it. Senator Tony Bisignano of Des Moines says the bill means State Auditor Rob Sand, the only Democrat serving in statewide office, would not be able to investigate state agency spending.

“He was elected by the people of Iowa, just like your governor,” Bisignano said, “and then you have the audacity to…try to neuter the auditor so the people Iowa cannot see the daylight on the budgets and the expenses that’s happening in this state.”

The bill now goes to the Iowa House for consideration.