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Assessment testing begins Monday in Atlantic School District

News

October 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Schuler Elementary School Principal and Atlantic School District Curriculum Director Matt Alexander says students in Atlantic Community School District are preparing to take the annual Iowa Assessment tests. Speaking Friday morning on KJAN’s “Heartbeat Today” program, Alexander said the tests, which take place over the next three-weeks, beginning this Monday, are designed to see what students know, and so the district can tailor its curriculum to meet their needs. Alexander says the testing is an on-going process that takes place each year of a students’ education. Atlantic School District Superintendent, Dr. Mike Amstein says the district is required to show its students are making progress, and, while there is always room for improvement, a recent award the district received proves that progress is being made.

He says with the ever-increasing achievement benchmarks for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), students are being asked annually to raise their performance levels in reading and math. The district recently received a “Breaking Barriers” award for the progress made in the low socio-economic subgroup of students in the 3rd and 6th grades. Amstein says that demonstrates the district doesn’t really have a problem with student achievement. 

Based on the benchmark trajectory, all students will be expected to be proficient in reading and math by 2014. Test results for the 2009-10 school year reveal that Atlantic Community Schools have been identified as a district in need of improvement (DINA) in reading by the Iowa Department of Education. The designation was made because the district did not make adequate yearly progress (AYP) in the area of reading for 2 consecutive years as determined by NCLB. 

In addition, the Atlantic Middle School has been identified as a school in need of improvement (SINA) in the both reading and math based on the 2009-10 student test data. Both the Atlantic High School (math) and Washington Elementary (reading) classes are on a watch list as determined by NCLB, as both schools did not make AYP based on 2009-10 test data.    Matt Alexander says the district targets its improvement efforts based on the results of recent test scores. He says the upcoming tests start Monday at the high school. The following two weeks, they’ll be given to students in grades K-through 8. The results of those tests should be available  just before the Winter break.

8AM Newscast 10-28-2011

News, Podcasts

October 28th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 10-28-2011

News, Podcasts

October 28th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

18 sick, neglected horses rescued in Guthrie County

News

October 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Eighteen sick and neglected horses have been rescued from an 8-acre property in Guthrie County. The Animal Rescue League of Iowa says it helped county officials remove the animals on Thursday. The horses were taken to two of the league’s rehabilitation facilities for veterinary care, food and shelter. League Executive Director Tom Colvin said in a news release that the horses had been living without food, shelter and veterinary care for an undetermined amount of time. Colvin says the animals face a long road to recovery. Once healthy, the horses will be available for adoption through the league’s Barn Buddy adoption program.

Pella Corp offering incentives for employee retirement & voluntary leave at 4 IA facilities

News

October 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A door and window maker is blaming the continued recession in the housing market for an offer to employees at four operations in Iowa. Pella Corporation spokesperson Kathy Krafka Harkema says the move is designed to trim the company’s bottom line. Pella is offering offering incentives for employees to retire or voluntarily leave the workforce. The offer involves Pella Corporation facilities in Carroll, Shenandoah, Sioux Center and Pella. It’s also being offered at Pella manufacturing sites in Macomb, Illinois and Portland, Oregon. The incentives were announced Thursday along with the closing of a plant in South Carolina.

“Unfortunately, we must close our manufacturing facility in Columbia, South Carolina that employs 147 people,” Harkema said. That plant will close by the end of December. Harkema says new home construction has dropped 70-percent since 2006 and the recession in the U.S. housing economy is projected to continue. “If people aren’t building new homes, they’re not needing as many new windows and doors. That’s what led us to take these actions,” Harkema said. “We’re sorry to have to take these actions, but we’re doing all we can to partner with area officials to try and help people find new careers.”

Pella Corporation is a privately-held company headquartered in Pella, Iowa with 8,000 employees around the country.

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)

Construction worker ejected from dump truck during rollover near Neola

News

October 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

One person was seriously injured when a dump truck overturned this (Thursday) morning, northeast of Neola. According to scanner traffic, the accident happened at around 9:40-a.m, on the Old Railroad Highway off-ramp to Interstate 680 eastbound. The unidentified 39-year old driver of the truck was ejected from the vehicle and suffered a serious head injury.  He was flown by helicopter from the scene to Creighton University Hospital’s Trauma Center. His injuries, while serious, were not believed to be life-threatening.
The dump truck he was driving was hauling broken asphalt and concrete from the I-680 re-construction project. The vehicle  rolled down the embankment south of the 680 ramp. The driver reportedly told authorities the truck’s brakes had failed, causing him to lose control of the vehicle.

Elk Horn, IA. business to prep & ship Care/gift packages to troops overseas

News

October 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

An Elk Horn business is preparing to gather items for use in Care packages which will be shipped to our troops serving overseas. The AmericInn’s efforts come in advance of the November 11th Veteran’s Day national holiday. The gift packages are part of a special initiative to support the troops deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and at other military bases overseas.

AmericInn General Manager Jackie Wright says they’ll be organizing donations, merchandise contributions and volunteers to prepare the Care packages, which will contain gift items that are not readily accessible during overseas military deployment. That includes personal care merchandise, clothing, food treats, magazines, games and stationary items.

AmericInn in Elk Horn will host the event in the hotel’s Meeting Room, beginning at 4:30-p.m Friday, November 11th.   Blue Star Mothers, hotel staff, friends, family, and local businesses will be participating in the event, but the public is weclome to come and make a donation or help prepare the gift packages.

AmericInn has sponsored several previous initiatives to support members of the military as part of an overall “AmericInn Cares” commitment to caring, involvement and patriotism. At the company’s 2011 Annual Convention earlier this year, AmericInn partnered with the national Blue Star Mothers organization to donate over 300 Personal Care Packages that were prepared and shipped overseas to active duty troops.

The company also offers a national discount to active duty and retired members of the military and their dependents. They can receive this discount by requesting the AmericInn Military Rate (rate code: MIL) when they make their reservation at a hotel, AmericInn.com or by calling company’s toll free telephone number.  A military I.D. is also required at check-in.

For more information about the local Care package initiative, call 712-764-4000.

HMA Street project work in Atlantic delayed until Monday

News

October 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Residents of Atlantic now have until Monday, October 31st, before they need to adjust their parking habits for a couple of days. Dave Sturm, with Snyder and Associates Engineers in Atlantic, says the milling and paving crew which had been scheduled to begin a Hot Melt Asphalt Paving and Storm Sewer Project on Friday, is unable to start the project until Monday. The work had been scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday, and would have required residents to remove their vehicles from certain streets so the paving equipment may operate uninterrupted.

Because of the unexpected delay, construction begin Monday, on the following streets…

1. 13th Street between Chestnut Street and Elm Street.
2. Poplar Street between 8th Street and 10th Street.
3. Walnut Street between 8th Street and 10th Street.
4. Redwood Drive between 14th Street and 17th Street.

Vehicles will have to be off of those streets Monday and Tuesday of next week. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dave Sturm at 243-6505.

8AM Newscast 10-27-2011

News, Podcasts

October 27th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Residents in 5 W. IA Counties are Eligible to Apply for Disaster Unemployment Insurance Benefits

News

October 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

An official with Iowa Workforce Development says Iowans living or working in Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona and Pottawattamie counties, which were recently declared disaster areas, may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits under the federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program. The federal government declared the five counties as a weather-related disaster area eligible for individual assistance, in October for flooding.

Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development, says residents who live or work in the five counties and have lost their job due to the summer flooding, should apply for the federal benefits. She says claims need to be filed no later November 28th.

The benefits cover self-employed workers not usually entitled to unemployment insurance, including Iowa farmers. People applying for DUA need to provide proof of past earnings, such as business records or bank statements and their most recent income tax form, at the time they file their claim. Any IowaWORKS Center can accept DUA claims, including the office in Council Bluffs, located at 300 West Broadway Street, Suite 13. Hours of operation are from 8-a.m. to 4:30-p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 9-a.m. to 4:30-p.m. on Friday. The number to call is 712-242-2100.

In addition, individuals can file a regular unemployment claim online at www.iowaworkforce.org and include “DUA Claim” in the notes section. Wahlert says IowaWORKS Centers also offer reemployment services, including testing, counseling and placement. Job search and career information also is available through Iowa Workforce Development’s Web site at www.iowaworkforce.org.