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Survey: Kids in Iowa are happier, safer than peers


August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A new study finds that Iowa children feel healthier, happier and safer than children do nationally. The Iowa Child and Family Household Health Survey was released Tuesday by the University of Iowa’s Public Policy Center, which conducts the study every five years. The survey found 97 percent of children in Iowa have health insurance, compared to 91 percent nationally. Nine in 10 Iowa kids rate themselves in good or excellent health, and few have problems getting care when they need it. The vast majority of children reported feeling safe in communities and schools. Researcher Peter Damiano says in a statement that Iowa’s children “are generally quite healthy and safe” and Iowans should be proud of parents, schools and communities. But he says low-income children face disparities that could be addressed.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Aug. 15th 2012


August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal told a few dozen supporters in Cedar Falls that President Barack Obama is to blame for the nation’s persistently high levels of unemployment. The Republican governor held campaign events yesterday in support of likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney in Cedar Falls and Marshalltown. Obama also spoke to crowds in nearby Waterloo and in Marshalltown during his three-day bus tour across Iowa.

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say three bicyclists are recovering after being injured in a collision with a motorcycle near Rock Rapids on northwest Iowa. The accident happened Monday night when five teenage girls were riding bicycles on a Lyon County road. A motorcyclist traveling in the same direction came upon the girls, but couldn’t stop in time. The girls, all from Rock Rapids, were taken to a local hospital.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Complications from various ailments have been blamed for the death of a 46-year-old Iowa prison inmate. The Iowa Department of Corrections says Jeffrey Williamsen died Friday at an Iowa City hospital.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Paul Rhoads and Iowa State are thrilled to have each other. The Cyclones have blossomed in his three seasons as coach and he got a 10-year, $20 million contract in the offseason. The Cyclones enter the 2012 season optimistic that they’re poised to take another step forward in their seemingly never-ending quest to become a serious threat in the Big 12.

Atlantic Superintendent and Teachers are excited about the new school year


August 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic School District Superintendent Mike Amstein said Tuesday night, that he’s excited about the school year starting Wednesday morning, and so are the teachers.

Atlantic Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein & Transportation Director Dave Eckles look over the new propane powered bus delivered Tuesday.

There’s even two new school buses to help transport students to and from school and to special or athletic events. Amstein says “There’s an excitement in the air.” The two new school buses he says will give the district a number of years of service. He’s especially interested in seeing how the new propane powered bus performs. Amstein says they’re “Going to run it like a dog this year, and if it stands up,” he’ll probably come back to the school board at the end of the year and ask them to invest in another one.

The school board agreed back in March to purchase both a new propane and a diesel powered bus, because an 84 passenger bus in the fleet was “On it’s last legs,” and a 64-passenger bus was “nickel and diming” the district to death. The new 84-passenger diesel bus has a larger under carriage carrying capacity, while the smaller, propane powered bus is expected to save the district money, in the long run. Both buses arrived Tuesday.

The brand new 84-passenger diesel powered bus, with the propane powered bus parked behind it.

In other business, Superintendent Mike Amstein told the board he had good news and bad news, as far the District meeting requirements of the Iowa Department of Education (DOE). He said based on a letter he recently received from the DOE, Atlantic meets all the requirements for the 2012-2013 school year. He says that makes a “Good statement, that (the) teachers and administrators are on top of (the situation), and that (the district) is doing everything possible,” to align itself with DOE. Amstein says however there are some areas where the district still needs to work on, with regard to Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) report. He says the district is currently off any State list for the 2012-2013 school year.

He says the Atlantic High School has been removed from the “Watch list,” in reading and in Math, Delay 1 for the 2012-2013 school year. He says with continued work at the high school, by next year at this time, they should be in Delay 2 for mathematics and be removed from the watch list in reading. The Middle School is listed as SINA 3 (School in Need of Assistance), which means some work needs to be done to improve student test scores. Amstein says Principal Cam Smith has plans in place to address the needs of his students and “point the Middles School in the right direction.” Amstein says Schuler Elementary is on the Watch list for Reading, and in Mathematics is a  SINA 1 school.

Amstein says Principal Matt Alexander is working on correcting issues there as well. Washington Elementary is on the Watch list for Reading, but they have been removed from the Watch list for Mathematics. Amstein says there are some things within those status reports to celebrate, but there are also some things to address.

1st day of School for Atlantic Wednesday – except for 20 students


August 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Classes begin Wednesday for students in the Atlantic Community School District, but for the 20 students who are enrolled through the Hospital Therapeutic School, classes won’t begin until Thursday. Atlantic Superintendent Dr. Mike Amstein said during Tuesday night’s meeting of the Board of Education, the delay is related to a recent Fire Marshal’s inspection and the filing of necessary paperwork to clear the way for the building to be occupied. The snafu also affects the EOC (Educational Opportunity Center), but not the students who attend it, because a contingency plan is in place.

Amstein says the multi-purpose room in the High School will be used as the EOC, but because of the specialization of the Hospital School, there is no space available. A room at the old Lincoln School, but Amstein says “It is not going to be appropriate for the needs of those kids.” Amstein says he plans to work closely with Design Alliance architect representative Jerry Purdy Wednesday morning, to see what needs to be done to get the situation resolved for the Hospital School.

Purdy says all the issues the Fire Marshal has concerns over, have been addressed, but the permit for occupancy still had not come through as of Tuesday evening. The District Fire Inspector will be on hand Thursday morning to make a final run through of the facility. Purdy says it’s not a matter of safety right now, just getting the paperwork cleared, which is probably the most frustrating aspect of the process.

Atlantic City Council to hold readings on dumping, private well & No parking ordinances


August 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will take action on a trio of ordinances during their meeting Wednesday evening, at City Hall. The Council will hold the second reading of Ordinance #940, which serves to amend the ordinance, by adding a new chapter pertaining to “Illegal Dumping.” The first reading was held August 1st. The Director of the Cass County Landfill has asked County and City officials to adopt the ordinance, so that there may be consistent rules and enforcement, throughout the County. The Ordinance would make it illegal to “dump garbage, litter, refuse, rubbish, rubble, solid waste or waste building materials in or on any private or public place within the City of Atlantic, except in authorized receptacles, or in a state licensed sanitary disposal facility.

The second ordinance (#941), amends the City’s Code of Ordinances, by adopting a section entitled “Private Wells.” It comes as a result of the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources modifying their rules, and pertains to the reclassification of the old street garage site and two other sites, from “Low” to “High” risks for contamination. The ordinance would prohibit water wells (except closed-loop systems), from within 1,000-feet of the sites at 1408 East 7th Street, 100 west 2nd Street, and 211 Commerce Street.

And, the Council will act on passing all three readings of an ordinance pertaining to No Parking zones on the east side of Linn Street, from 7th-to 8th Streets. It prohibits parking on the street from 7:45-a.m. to 3:15-p.m., while the school bus is loading and unloading preschool students. In a related matter, the Atlantic City Council will act on approving a request from Atlantic School District Transportation Director Dave Eckles, and Police Chief Steve Green, calling for the creation of a “School Bus Loading Zone,” on the east side of the old Lincoln School, as that building is being used for preschoolers who would normally attend the Washington School.

The Council is also scheduled to hear a report from Chief Green during their meeting, which begins at 5:30-p.m., Wednesday.

Branstad/Reynolds to hold Education Town Hall meeting in C. Bluffs


August 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds say they will be holding 14 Education Town Hall meetings in the next few weeks. The meetings are a continuation of discussion on education reform polices and designed to obtain feedback from the public, in preparation for the 2013 legislative session.

In western Iowa, a Pottawattamie County Education Reform Town Hall meeting will take place 4-p.m. Sept. 13th, in the auditorium at the Abraham Lincoln High School (1205 Bonham Ave.).

Finalists announced for Shelby County Business Competition


August 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Shelby County DevelopSource have announced three finalists for the 2012 Shelby County Business Plan Competition. The competition began in May and applicants had until July 20th to submit an application. This was the 2nd year the DevelopSource offered the business plan competition. Bob Broomfield, co-director of Shelby County DevelopSource says the businesses will compete on Thursday.  According to Broomfield “This Thursday at noon at the Therkildsen Center will be the 2nd business plan competition. The presentations start at 1 o’clock.”

A panel of 4 judges will be on hand to judge the 3 business plans. The winning business will receive $30,000. Broomfield says “I See Products from Shelby will present and that’s a new manufacturing devices to assist ice cream shops. At 1:30pm Leah Marie Photography down on the square, a new business starting up will be presenting. And then at 2 o’clock Panama Diesel will present their plan to expand their retail parts operation.”

The winner will be announced after the judges deliberate. Shelby County DevelopSource is also looking to fill their position as director. Bob and M.J. Broomfield are stepping down as co-directors at the end of October. Broomfield says there has been interest in the job already.  Broomfield says “We are getting a few applicants already. It’s online and so forth. We are hoping to get somebody that is eager to take on the task.”

You can find more information online at www.developsource.com or contact the Shelby County DevelopSource at 712-755-3569.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Western Iowa food products company files for bankruptcy

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A company in western Iowa that makes corn-based products for cooking has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, citing high grain prices and transportation cost. Dave Hoffman of the Plymouth Oil Company says the board felt this was the best move to pay off their debts. He says they have put together a plan to make the company profitable and have changed the management. Hoffman says the problems are due in part to high grain prices, but more so due to the high cost of transportation. Hoffman says Plymouth Oil had hoped to obtain corn germ from their neighbors next door, Plymouth Energy, but those plans fell through. The company had to truck in the corn germ from Jefferson, Wisconsin to its plant near Merrill, which ended up being more expensive.

Hoffman says it is 380 miles or about 42-dollars a ton to truck in the material they need. “We makes it very tough for us to succeed,” Hoffman says. He says they are trying to get some new quotes from suppliers to cut the costs. Hoffman says the plan is to keep operating, and to keep paying bills. The plant started operations in February of 2010. It specializes in producing food grade products from corn, such as corn oil for cooking purposes. The plant employes 25 to 30 people.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Supervisors to act on township matters, Wednesday


August 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors have a light agenda for their meeting Wednesday morning, in Atlantic. The only action item on the agenda is establishing an hourly rate of pay and/or daily rate, for those township trustees who are engaged in official township business. That includes the rate of pay for when the trustees act as fence viewers. The Board of Supervisors meeting begins at 9-a.m.

Glenwood man arrested on theft charge


August 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports a Glenwood man was arrested this (Tuesday) morning, on a theft charge. 25-year old Miles Ryan Pein was taken into custody at around 8:20-a.m., for Theft in the 2nd degree. Pein was being held in the Mills County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Authorities also reported 38-year old Jason Gerriets, of Glenwood, was injured during a motorcycle accident Friday morning. Gerriets was traveling north on 221st Street at around 7-a.m., Friday, when he drove off the edge of the road as he was approaching a curve. His 2009 Kawasaki ended up in a ditch on its side. Gerriets was transported by Glenwood Rescue to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, for treatment of his injuries.