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2 arrests in Red Oak overnight

News

April 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Red Oak Police Department reports two people were arrested overnight. At around 3:45-a.m. today (Wednesday), 38-year old Tanya Michelle Danick, of Red Oak, was arrested on a charge of OWI/1st Offense. She also received a warning for faailure to display her vehicle’s registration tag. Danick was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond.

And, just before 11-p.m. Tuesday, Red Oak Police arrested 31-year old Joshua Edward Mastin, of Stanton, on a charge of Driving while Suspended. Mastin was subsequently released on a citation.

Atlantic School Board approves Substitute teacher/support staff rate

News

April 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board Tuesday night approved the proposed pay rates for substitute teachers and substitute support staff, such as para-educators, for 2012-2013.  Superintendent Mike Amstein recommended no changes in the rate for 2012-2013, but said he will likely seek an increase for 2013-2014. He said substitute teachers and para-educators are hard to find, and the district should stay within reach of what other districts are doing, in order to draw those persons to the Atlantic School District.

Amstein says the district needs to stay competitive with other districts, which is why he recommended the increase in the 2013-2014 year. In other business, the Atlantic School Board Tuesday, voted to leave the Driver’s Education fees unchanged from last year, at $350.

The board also approved a cost sharing agreement with the City of Atlantic, to split the costs of resurfacing the tennis courts at Sunnyside Park, and Washington Elementary School. The courts at Sunnyside are priority, and will likely be taken care of this fall. The courts at Washington are still in good shape, according to school officials, and will not need to be resurfaced for at least a couple of years. The district’s portion of the costs (about $90,000) will come out of the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (“PPELl”), or Capital Projects Fund. The costs to the district will be spread out over two-years.

Atlantic School Board approves 4.5% package for certified staff

News

April 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education Tuesday evening approved a proposed two-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the district’s certified staff. Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein said total package increase was 4.5-percent, for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years.  The package also addresses an issue he says several board members have expressed concern over: that being the need to do something for the teachers who handle extra-curricular activities, such as coaching. The proposal negotiated with the Atlantic Education Association basically bumps the pay scale from a BA+3 to BA+4 for 2012-2013, and BA+6 for 2013-2014.  Amstein said that puts the district in a better position to attract and retain teachers to coach for the district and handle similar, extra-curricular activities.

Josh Rasmussen, High School Assistant Principal and Activities Director, told the Board the two-year contract and bump in pay scale means at least two teachers who had been “on-the-fence” as far as willingness to stay with the district and coach, will likely stay on, and not look for work elsewhere. Amstein said he knows from experience how difficult it is for teachers to want to be involved with all the extra activities their job requires of them, when the rate of pay is not a motivating factor. He says he believes the contract approved Tuesday night is fair,  “One the district will be able to afford,” and is a “Good, two-year contract.”

JoAnne Sandage, representing the Education Association said they were also pleased with the two-year contract, which is something the district has offered to the support staff, but never the certified staff, prior to the new agreement.

Omaha woman injured in Harrison County crash

News

April 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol Tuesday, released information about an accident in Harrison County which sent one person to the hospital, Sunday morning. Authorities say 55-year old Deborah Young, of Omaha, was injured when the 2008 Honda CR-V she was driving left southbound Interstate 29 near Missouri Valley at around 10:20-a.m., entered a ditch and hit a tree, before spinning around and coming to rest against a grove of trees.  Young was trapped in her vehicle and had to be extricated by Missouri Valley Rescue. The woman was transported by LifeNet helicopter to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

She later told authorities she had become lost and tired, possibly due to a change in her medications. Young was cited for Failure to Maintain Control. Officials say the small SUV had $9,000 damage, and was considered a total loss.

Iowa News Headlines: Wed., April 11 2012

News

April 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The end of this year’s legislative session may be delayed by a late debate on abortion. Social conservatives in the House plan to push ahead with a proposal to end all public funding of abortions as part of a measure that would pay for human services programs. Public funding of abortions now is allowed only in rare instances. And even if the House passes it, it’s unlikely the Senate will follow suit.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Supporters of a measure that would prohibit local school districts from starting classes before the fourth Monday in August say it’s good for Iowa’s farm-based economy. The bill passed in the Iowa House yesterday. Opponents, however, think the state should leave school decisions to local school officials. The Senate will now take up the measure.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The trial of a Burlington car salesman who is charged with murdering a pregnant prostitute in 2007 is expected to last a week. During yesterday’s opening statements, a prosecutor said 34-year-old Chad Welsh choked 41-year-old Angela Hennes to death, then burned her body and dumped it in a rural field. Welsh’s defense argued that her death was accidental, the result of a consensual sexual encounter that went bad.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A woman accused of texting while driving in an accident that injured a motorcyclist has pleaded guilty to charges of serious injury by vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident. Holland resident Jennifer Moeller will be sentenced at a later date.

Iowa lawmaker seeks punitive damages, too

News

April 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Both sides say they intend to appeal a jury’s decision that a television campaign ad by Democrats libeled and slandered Sioux City Republican Sen. Rick Bertrand during the 2010 campaign. A Woodbury County jury last week awarded Bertrand $231,000 in damages in his lawsuit against his Democratic opponent, Rick Mullin, and the Iowa Democratic Party. Bertrand claimed he was defamed by an ad that said he “put profits ahead of children’s health” when he was a sales agent for a drug company. The party paid for the ad, which was approved by Mullin. Both sides plan to appeal — Bertrand because he disagrees with the judge’s decision that he can’t pursue punitive damages and Democrats because they disagree with the verdict.

House OKs bill prohibiting early school start date

News

April 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa House has approved a measure that would prohibit local schools from beginning classes before the fourth Monday in August. Backers say the measure approved Tuesday takes into account Iowa’s farm-based economy by keeping summer open for activities like the state fair and farming. Opponents say the state shouldn’t meddle in matters best left to local school officials. Current law says local schools can’t begin the academic year until after Sept. 1, but they are allowed to seek waivers from that requirement.  Many school districts seek the waiver and area allowed to begin earlier.  The measure cleared the House by a 54 to 44 vote and now goes to the Senate.

Feds confirm Neb. nuke plant fire was major threat

News

April 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Federal regulators have confirmed their preliminary finding that a fire last June at an idled Nebraska nuclear plant presented a serious safety threat. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission released its final determination on Tuesday, saying the small fire at the Fort Calhoun plant 19 miles north of Omaha merited the NRC’s most serious “high safety significance.” The finding mirrored the commission’s preliminary conclusion announced on March 12.  The fire briefly knocked out the cooling system for used fuel. The NRC says the plant was shut down at the time and that temperatures never exceeded safe levels.  But it also says the fire was a major concern because it could have happened when the plant was operational and that workers didn’t fully investigate an unusual smell in the area three days earlier.

Mills County fatal accident reported

News

April 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s Officials in Mills County say an accident Monday evening south of Malvern has claimed the life of an Arkansas man. 32-year old Cade Kling, of England, AR., was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which took place just before 6-p.m., on southbound on 310th Street.

The Sheriff’s Department says Kling was driving a 1997 GMC Sonoma pickup truck, when the right front wheel left the road. Kling overcorrected, sending the pickup into a skid. The truck rolled over and came to a rest on its top. Kling, who was wearing his seat belt, was trapped inside the vehicle.

It’s not clear if alcohol was a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation. The Mills County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by Malvern Fire and Rescue and Glenwood Rescue.

Even colder temps on the way Wednesday morning

News, Weather

April 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

It’s not unusual for temperatures in Iowa to dip below freezing in April, but various crops in the state were damaged in this morning’s cold snap because they blossomed roughly a month earlier than usual this year. National Weather Service meteorologist Aubry Wilkins says the coldest spots in the state at 5 a.m. were in western and northwest Iowa. “Audubon and Carroll bottomed out near 21 degrees and Estherville dropped to 20 or 19 degrees,” Wilkins says. 

In Atlantic, the thermometer bottomed-out at 26-degrees early this morning. Temperatures below 25-degrees can kill fruit and other sensitive crops or vegetation. Another freeze warning is posted for Iowa early Wednesday. Wilkins says Wednesday morning’s temperatures could be even colder than they were this morning. Warmer weather is in the forecast by Thursday. “We will see a bit of a warming trend into the weekend,” Wilkins says. “And then this weekend, we do have the potential for severe storms. It looks like Saturday is the best potential for that.” 

This recent cold snap follows a month in which nine Midwestern states, including Iowa, recorded their warmest March on record.

(Radio Iowa/KJAN)