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Enrollment in the Atlantic School District Continues to Increase, Classroom Space a Concern

News

September 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

While other school districts have seen a decline in student enrollment over the years, the classes continue to grow in the Atlantic Community School District. Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein to the Board of Education during their meeting Tuesday night at the High School, that as of Tuesday, the District has 1, 484 students, which is an increase of 59 students from what was certified last year at this same time. Amstein said if those numbers continue to hold, it wouldn’t surprise him if they have somewhere between 60 and 70 new students by the time the District actually certifies its numbers to the State at the beginning of next month. Amstein says for rural southwest Iowa, those types of numbers “Are basically unheard of,” and he’s “very pleased,” but he acknowledged it does “create problems,” as far as classroom space is concerned.

The subject of classroom space came up during discussion about the District’s Capital Needs 5-year Plan, at the end of the night’s meeting. Amstein said his priorities in their five-year plan include additional classroom space , and an overhaul of the Heating, Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC) system at the high school, which are nearly the end of their expected life span. The plan tentatively includes additional classroom space at the high school for the 2014-2015 school year, which is expected to cost around $1-million. Matt Alexander, Schuler Principal and Curriculum Director, said if the enrollment numbers Principal Stacey Hornung is seeing in the Washington Elementary school continues to grow, he’ll need an additional six-to nine-classrooms in his facility by 2015. That means the district could be expanding its use of “Mobile classrooms,” but leads to the question of where those classrooms would be located. One factor that will help the District with its funding for those projects, is an expected increase in the School Infrastructure Local Option (SILO) tax funds, which Amstein said will likely grow based on projections, and generate an additional $50- to $60,000 in revenue.

Kristy Pellett (left) is sworn-in as Atlantic Board of Ed. President for 2012-2013, by Board Secretary Mary Beth Fast, Tuesday night. (Ric Hanson photo)

In other business, the Atlantic School Board Tuesday, re-elected Kristy Pellett as Board President, and Dennis Davis as Vice-President, for the 2012-2013 school year. They also voted to approve Mary Beth Fast as Board Secretary, and Melinda McDermott as Treasurer. And, the Board opted to return to their Monday night at 7:30 twice monthly meetings, effective in October, instead of holding those meetings on Tuesday’s, at 7:30-p.m.

Iowa early News headlines: Wed., Sept. 12th 2012

News

September 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The board of an Iowa ape sanctuary has placed its director on administrative leave. The board of the Bonobo Hope Sanctuary near Des Moines placed Sue Savage-Rumbaugh on leave yesterday. They say they’re investigating allegations by a dozen ex-workers who say she is mentally unfit and is endangering the apes.

CHICAGO (AP) — Two people in Iowa and one in Ohio have been arrested for allegedly transporting three underage girls to Chicago for prostitution. Authorities said in a statement yesterday that each suspect faces one count of conspiracy to transport minors across state lines to engage in prostitution. Two of the alleged victims are 16 years old and one is 14 years old.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Joe Biden is headed back to the battleground state of Iowa. The vice president will be in the state next week for two days. The events on September 17th and 18th will come 10 days after he last visited Iowa.

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) —Police are looking for a man in his 60s who tried to make contact with students at a playground in Spencer. Authorities say the driver of a white van motioned yesterday for the elementary school students to come over. He left when some teacher aides came outside. Police say they’re not sure if the incident is linked to similar cases in Lyon and Dickinson counties.

Mills/Pott. County Rail Port Study receives $78k grant from IA DOT Commission

News

September 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Transportation Commission Tuesday, meeting in Ames, approved nearly 500-thousand dollars in grants for railroad planning studies, including $78,400 for the Mills County-Pottawattamie County Rail Port Study. D-O-T spokesperson, Rose Wazny, says the grants will go to six city or county studies. “The planning study grants are a pilot project that was initiated by the legislature in 2001 and we are no implementing that idea that areas as they have rail development and rail needs, that there needs to be some thought as to how that development will happen in a much broader picture,” according the Wazny. A study that includes Pottawatamie and Mills County is the largest project in terms of the area it covers.

Wazny says, “That’s the largest one and they are looking at potential areas that might be suited to a railport. And it’s a large area, so they are going to look at both man-made and natural constraints that could impact how rail is developed in the future.” The Central Iowa Planning Group won a 100-thousand dollar grant to look at what’s called a “transloading” facility, which most often is a combination of trucking and railroad transportation. “A couple of years ago the Central Iowa Planning Group did a study on the idea of an intermodel facility, which is kind of a very, very large capital intensive type of transloading facility. And now they are going to look at maybe different shapes to see how transloading might be applicable in the central Iowa area,” Wazny explains.

Sioux City won a 100-thousand dollar grant for a second phase of their study.Phase one laid a basis for some freight activities that might occur in the future. And phase two is going to look at a very broad picture of rail and road-freight transportation and those needs through the city and surrounding areas, and how those future investments will best serve the movement of freight and people through the Sioux City area,” Wazny says.

Iowa Falls won the third 100-thousand dollar grant. “They are in the process of developing a new rail industrial park…and they are looking at very specific things about how it will be structured and how it too will play off existing structure in that area,” Wazny says. Waszny says the idea with all the planning grants is to be ready to meet the transportation needs across the state. She says rail transportation is becoming more and more of an option for Iowa shippers, as many of the things produced here are very heavy and are sent long distances.

(Radio Iowa)

Red Oak women injured during rollover accident Monday evening

News

September 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office says two women from Red Oak were injured during a rollover crash Monday evening, near Shenandoah. Sheriff Lyle Palmer reports 45-year old Katrina Flick, a passenger in a 1996 Ford Explorer driven by 19-year old Jennifer Mulligan, suffered incapacitating injuries, and was transported by Life Net helicopter to an Omaha trauma center after being extricated from the vehicle by mechanical means.  The crash happened at around 5:20-p.m., Monday.

Palmer says Mulligan and Flick were traveling south on U-S Highway 59, when the SUV went off onto the shoulder of the road. Mulligan over-corrected, causing the to cross the highway and roll over, coming to rest on its wheels. Mulligan suffered non-incapacitating injuries, and was transported by ambulance to the Shenandoah Hospital. Both women were wearing their seat belts.

The crash totaled the Explorer. The Sheriff’s report did not indicate if any citations were issued.

Cass and Adair Supervisors’ meeting preview

News

September 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will meet Wednesday morning, in Atlantic. On their agenda, is a Secondary Roads update, along with approval of the plans for a bridge replacement project on Lansing Road, over the East Nishnabotna River. The meeting begins at 9-a.m.

And, the Adair County Board of Supervisors will meet in Greenfield, also at 9-a.m. On their agenda is a phone update from John Hansen, with Midwest Construction Consultants, with regard to the Public Safety Center Project and related budget discussion. The Board will also hear from County Attorney Mike Maynes and County Engineer Nick Kauffman, with regard to South Townline Road, and a new TIF area/Project.

 

Malvern man arrested on felony warrants in Mills County

News

September 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office says four people were arrested this past weekend. 43-year old Jeffrey Bruce Carrigan, of Malvern, was arrested Friday afternoon, on warrants for Failure to Appear and Dominion/Control of Firearm or Offensive Weapon by a Felon, and, on a Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charge. His bond was set at $30,300 altogether.

Also arrested Friday in Mills County, was 33-year old James Leonard Burson, of Council Bluffs. Burson was arrested in Cass County, NE. He was being held in the Mills County Jail on $10,000 bond. A preliminary hearing in his case was set for September 17th.

On Saturday, 27-year old Brett Allen Coyle, of Council Bluffs, was arrested in  Glenwood, on a charge of Public Intoxication/2nd offense. Coyle was being held in the Mills County Jail on $1,000 bond. His preliminary hearing was set for September 18th. That same day, 31-year old Toby Lynn Merritt, of Glenwood, was arrested for Violating a Protective Order. He was being held without bond in the Mills County Jail. His trial was set for September 25th.

8AM Newscast 09-11-2012

News, Podcasts

September 11th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Atlantic School Board to vote on top posts tonight

News

September 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education will vote tonight on the Board President and Vice President positions for the 2012-2013 school year. The current Board President is Kristy Pellett, while the Vice President is Dennis Davis. In other administrative matters during their Annual Meeting, the Board will appoint a Board Secretary, Treasurer and Legal Counsel for 2012-2013, set the date, time and place for future regular board meetings, and approve Depository limits for Fiscal Year 2013.

During their regular session to follow, the Atlantic School Board will receive a progress report on construction at the Middle School, and overview of Lindamood-Bell teachers. Lindamood-Bell is a research-validated instructional programs that teach children and adults to read, spell, comprehend, think critically, and express language.

Action items on the Board’s agenda include approval of: An Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) agreement with area schools for 2012-13; and the 1st readings of various Board Policies. Prior to adjournment, the Board will discuss Capital Project Needs. Their meeting begins at 7:30-p.m. in the Atlantic High School Media Center.

 

7AM Newscast 09-11-2012

News, Podcasts

September 11th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Atlantic Planning & Zoning Commission to meet this evening

News

September 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Members of the City of Atlantic’s Planning and Zoning Commission are slated to meet this (Tuesday) evening, at City Hall. During their session, which begins at 5:30-p.m, the Commission will review: The subdivision sketch plan for the Atlantic West Development Park II, Lot 1; and, the site plans for the Green Acres Lawn and Landscape Building.

In old business, the Commission will review and discuss the first drafts of the Zoning Ordinance update, including: R-2, Low Density Single Family District; R-3 High Density Single Family District; and, Site Plan Requirements.