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HCSD Senior wants to help kids in Afghanistan

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Harlan Community High School Senior is attempting to receive his Eagle Scout badge by sending supplies to kids in Afghanistan. Dallon Bendorf is collecting the donations of clothes, shoes, coats, blankets, toys and school supplies to send to needy children in Afghanistan. Bendorf’s aunt and uncle are currently deployed to Camp Phoenix in Kabul. Dallon  says the original idea was to send the troops care packages.

“I was thinking for my Eagle project I was going to send stuff over to my aunt and uncle. But I was talking to my aunt about what to send over and she said we get plenty of packages and almost too much. So I got to thinking what could I do to benefit someone that really needs it? I thought I could do some good by collecting these items and send over so that’s what I decided to do.”

Donation boxes have been established at the Harlan Hy-Vee store in the entryway along with a donation box at the Harlan Community High School and Primary School building. Bendorf’s Eagle project is for one week and the final shipment of supplies will be sent on March 31st.

Bendorf has partnered with Operation Outreach Afghanistan which is a group of individuals and service members who volunteer their time and resources to help the children in the country. You can find more information about the organization online at www.opoutreach.org or on Facebook searching “Operation Outreach Afghanistan.”

If you have questions on the Eagle Project or what to donate, contact the Bendorf family at 712-579-6586.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Harlan School Board approves FY 2015 budget

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Community District’s Board of Education has approved their Fiscal Year 2015 budget. In a meeting held Monday, Director of Finances Brian Gubbels gave the presentation during the public hearing. Superintendent Justin Wagner pointed out several positive takeaways from the projected budget. “The levy is going to drop from $11.74 to projected 11.59. The unspent authority is at $8.2 million which is the highest in the Hawkeye 10 and one of the highest in the state will drop. This budget is built to where it will tick down at a slow controlled rate. The allowable growth percent is set for next year at 4 percent which is good news. And then what we call miscellaneous things always go into the budget. We have eight early retirements. Sometimes we can hire folks for less money and sometimes we can’t. If there are cost savings, we have operational sharing dollars that are committed to us. That’s kind of the last take away from the miscellaneous moving targets.”

The district’s general fund levy rate will see a decrease in taxable valuation from $9.84 per $1,000 to $9.62 for Fiscal Year 2015. The Management Fund levy will increase 7 cents to $0.97 per $1,000 and the PPEL fund levy stays the same at $1.00 per $1,000. Gubbels told the board the district is not levying a cash reserve levy for Fiscal Year 2015, however at some point in the future, the district will have to levy cash reserves. In other business, the school board approved a tentative agreement with the Harlan Education Association or HEA for a total package increase of 4.26 percent.

This is a base salary increase of $1,150. The district will also pick up the health insurance increase of a little over 4 percent this year.” Wagner said getting the agreement done early shows the district takes care of their staff. “The real benefit to approving this is settling early which means we appreciate staff and settling slightly higher than the state average. It will be high 3’s or low 4’s. This will be a tick higher and shows we really appreciate people.”

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

8AM Newscast 03-25-2014

News, Podcasts

March 25th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 03-25-2014

News, Podcasts

March 25th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Charges filed in western IA double fatal crash

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Sheriff’s Office reports charges have been filed in connection with a double fatal accident that occurred on Highway 44 four-miles east of Kimballton on Sept. 27th, 2013. 42-year old James David Gibson, of Panora, faces charges that include Driving Left of Center (with enhanced penalty), and Speeding 10 miles per hour or less over the limit (with enhanced penalty). Killed in the crash, was 79-year old Doris Akers and 82-year old Harold Akers, both of Exira.

An investigation by the Iowa State Patrol concluded Gibson was traveling west in a 2012 Ford F-150 pickup when the vehicle’s tires made contact with the south fog line and rumble strips in the eastbound lane, before Gibson attempted to return to the westbound lane. The Akers van was traveling east on Highway 44 when the vehicles collided. The Exira couple died at the scene.

Gibson suffered minor injuries during the crash. Officials say neither alcohol, drugs, weather or seat belt use were factors in the crash.

Study: Higher smoking rates in rural Iowa counties

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A new study shows higher rates of smoking in rural Iowa counties.  The Des Moines Register reports that the study says some Iowa counties have double the smoking rates of others.  The national report from the University of Washington says Iowa’s Dallas County had the seventh-fastest decline in smoking from 1996 through 2012, when it went from 19.4 percent to 10.9 percent.

The report also shows that all Iowa counties have had declines in smoking. The researchers used data from phone surveys taken for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Car vs. semi in Villisca – no injuries

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following a car-versus-semi accident Monday afternoon, in Villisca. According to a report from the Iowa Dept. of Motor Vehicle Enforcement, a 1987 Pontiac Bonneville driven by 42-year old William Barr, of Villisca, was turning north from High Street onto Highway 71 at around 12:25-p.m., when he failed to see an approaching, southbound 2008 Peterbilt semi, driven by 35-year old John Goos, of Omaha. The semi with grain trailer was registered to Cyclone Carriers in Henderson.

Barr’s car crossed the centerline of the road as he looked east. Goos saw the vehicle in his lane and attempted to take to the shoulder to avoid a collision, but was unable to do so. The car’s left front end hit the side of the semi tractor in the center area, causing a total of $7,500 damage.

Barr was cited for failure to yield half of the roadway.

Single vehicle accident near Shelby

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

One person is believed to have been injured during a single-vehicle accident early this (Tuesday) morning on Interstate 80 near the Shelby exit. According to scanner traffic, a man was unconscious in a vehicle that had entered the ditch off of I-80 eastbound. The accident was reported at around 2:15-a.m.

No other details are currently available.

Atlantic School Board approves personnel recommendations

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board Monday night approved several recommendations with regard to changes in school personnel. Superintendent Mike Amstein reported Central Office Secretary to the Superintendent, Melinda McDermott, is retiring effective April 11th. Amstein says after posting the position and looking at the transfers he recommended, and the Board approved, Olivia Newberg, who works as a SAM at the Washington Elementary School, as her successor.

The Board also approved recommendations by Atlantic Activities Director Matt Alexander, which included: Mike McDermott as Head Girls and Boys Tennis Coach; James Northwick was named as a volunteer assistant Tennis Coach; Oran Perkins as assistant Soccer Coach; Shawn Williams as a volunteer assistant boys Soccer Coach.

Amstein reported also near the end of the meeting, that Casey Pelzer has resigned as Atlantic Head Girls Basketball Coach , and High School English Teacher Elizabeth Huggins has resigned. Both are effective at end of the current school year.

Atlantic School Board approves proposed budget

News

March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education Monday night, approved the proposed 2014-2015 Certified Budget, which increases the amount of money the district receives from property taxes by 54-cents per thousand dollars assessed valuation over the published $14.47 per thousand. The levy is now $14.91 per thousand.

Prior to a vote on approving the budget, Atlantic Middle School Student Advocate Pam Russell asked the Board not to cut the student advocate position, because “There would be services that would not be met in a timely manner or on a consistent basis.”  She said the service impacts the students’ present and future, especially with regard to dropout prevention. Russell even offered to have her pay cut in order to save the position, in order to benefit  the students. She said she already knows of a case where a high school-aged student has dropped-out of school thinking they would get their GED instead.

During action on the budget, Superintendent Mike Amstein reiterated the fact that there are only three places in the budget the board really has an “wiggle room” with, as far as adjustments are concerned. One is the SBRC Cash Reserve, another is the Cash Reserve Levy, and the last is the Management Fund. Amstein said they’ve proposed $964,771 for the SBRC Cash Reserve Levy, $600,000 for the Cash Reserve levy dedicated to the General Fund and a $350,000 levy for the Management Fund, for a total levy of $14.91 per thousand dollars assessed property valuation.