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Atlantic Chamber Ambassadors’ News

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors headed to the country to visit Zellmer Farms and A-Z Feeders on Highland Road.

Pictured are: Gerry Ludington, Kathie Hockenberry, Janet Cappel, Sharon Ludington, Nancy Zellmer, Jolene Roecker, Joanne Mueller, Sue Muri, Pat McCurdy, Jane Kay, Tara Jennerjohn, Jim Skartvedt, Gerald Brink, Doug Harris, Josh Dvorak, Sara Nelson, Darlene Ellsbury ,Rita Willmott, Kerry Jepsen, Carole Schuler, Tammy Waters, Russ Joyce, Chrystal Christensen, Chip Hansen, Carol Seddon, JoAnn Runyan, Lucas Mosier, Rich Perry, Lana Westphalan,  and Dolly Bergmann

Pictured are: Gerry Ludington, Kathie Hockenberry, Janet Cappel, Sharon Ludington,
Nancy Zellmer, Jolene Roecker, Joanne Mueller, Sue Muri, Pat McCurdy, Jane Kay, Tara
Jennerjohn, Jim Skartvedt, Gerald Brink, Doug Harris, Josh Dvorak, Sara Nelson,
Darlene Ellsbury ,Rita Willmott, Kerry Jepsen, Carole Schuler, Tammy Waters, Russ
Joyce, Chrystal Christensen, Chip Hansen, Carol Seddon, JoAnn Runyan, Lucas Mosier,
Rich Perry, Lana Westphalan, and Dolly Bergmann

Alan and Brenda Zellmer began their farming career in the mid 1970’s. Alan and his two sons, are the 5th and 6th generation of Zellmer farmers. Zellmer Farms focuses on crop farming and Wagyu and Angus cattle production. The business is family owned and operated. Jim Skartvedt (son-in-law) explained the difference between Wagyu and Angus cattle.

Iowa early News headlines: Wed., Sept. 17th 2014

News

September 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -€” The Iowa Supreme Court has halted a ban on the use of a video-conferencing system that allows doctors to distribute abortion-inducing pills to women in rural areas of the state. The stay means Planned Parenthood of the Heartland can continue using the system until the high court makes a final ruling on whether the Iowa Board of Medicine had the authority to adopt the ban last year.

ELDON, Iowa (AP)€” – The rural Iowa house that helped inspire the famous “American Gothic” painting is empty and could be up for rent. The home in the southeast Iowa town of Eldon has had the same tenant for the past four years. But Monday marked Beth Howard’s last day in the house. The 700-square-foot home was made famous by Grant Wood, a native Iowa artist who spotted the house while traveling through the area. He used it as the backdrop to his 1930 painting of a farmer holding a pitchfork next to his daughter.

NEW YORK (AP) – Health officials say Iowa is among 12 states that now have respiratory illnesses caused by an uncommon virus -€” enterovirus 68. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say all are children. The virus can cause mild to severe illness, with the worst cases needing life support for breathing difficulties. Kids with asthma have been especially vulnerable. No deaths have been reported.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -€” Gov. Terry Branstad wants the state to partner with private industry to establish better professional training and job placement programs in Iowa. A plan released by his campaign says Branstad -€” a Republican who is running for a sixth term -€” wants to set up a partnership that he would call the Center for Human Capital Enrichment. The program would seek input from businesses about how to best set up training programs and would try to establish a better job placement system.

Severe respiratory illness confirmed in 12 states

News

September 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials say 12 states now have respiratory illnesses caused by an uncommon virus — enterovirus 68. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania together have 130 lab-confirmed cases. All are children.

The virus can cause mild to severe illness, with the worst cases needing life support for breathing difficulties. Kids with asthma have been especially vulnerable. No deaths have been reported.

The strain is not new but only a small number of labs can test for it. Since mid-August, there’s been an unusual spike in identified cases. The CDC has tested more than 200 specimens from more than 30 states. Investigators say it’s not yet clear what triggered the outbreak or whether it’s worsening.

Atlantic City Council meeting preview (for 9/17/14)

News

September 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council will meet in a regular session Wednesday evening in the Council’s Chambers, at City Hall. During the session, which begins at 5:30, the Council is expected to act on setting Oct. 1st as the date of a Public Hearing on the proposed disposal of city-owned property at 1200 Birch and 1106 Poplar Streets.

They’re also expected to act on an order denying a request to vacate Lot A of the Southern Heights Subdivision 2nd addition. It appears the City does not want to vacate the street right-of-way lot until the Council can review options for future residential development.

And, Mayor Dave Jones is expected to ask the Council to set the hours for Halloween trick-or-treating as from 5-to 7-pm Oct. 31st, in Atlantic.

Study: Nearly 1.8 million Iowans gambled last year

News

September 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Nearly 1.8 million Iowa adults gambled last year, according to a study released Tuesday by state health officials. The data means the percentage of adults who gamble is up nine percent since 2011, according to the state Department Public Health.

The study, prepared by the University of Northern Iowa Center for Social and Behavioral Research, also estimates about 8,000 adults in the latest figure could be “problem” gamblers. Symptoms include the need to gamble with larger amounts of money.

The report concludes 77.8 percent of Iowans gambled during the past 12 months. That’s a jump from 68.9 percent in 2011. The most common forms of gambling were lottery tickets, raffle tickets, scratch and pull-tabs, slot machines and card games played outside a casino.

Young Professionals “Paint the Town”

News

September 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Young Professionals of Atlantic (YPA) recently partnered with Cass/Atlantic Development Corporation (CADCO) to paint an Atlantic resident’s home. Every year CADCO helps a local resident whose home needs exterior paint in order to maintain the attractiveness of Atlantic and surrounding towns. Atlantic Chamber Director, Ouida Wymer said “We really appreciate all the volunteers that came to help with the project. Mike Redler with Redler Excavation, surprised us all with an air compressor, that really helped with the process.”

Before painting

Before painting

The YPA’S painted the house on Spruce Street over a period of two days. The project took several hours to complete but greatly improved the appearance of the home. YPA President, Kevin Wieser said “I was really impressed how well the YP came together to support this project. It’s great to see so many YP’s take an active part in helping preserve the beauty of Atlantic. It was a great project to be a part of and it was a total team effort to see it through to completion.”

The Young Professionals of Atlantic is a social group with no membership dues or required meetings. Their mission is to connect, engage and attract young leaders into the community while promoting the greater Atlantic area. Members are young professionals between the ages of 21-40. Any interested individuals can contact chamber@atlanticiowa.com or 712-243-3017 for information.

After painting

After painting

Report: Many Iowa schools not meeting standards

News

September 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – About two-thirds of Iowa’s public schools did not meet educational targets set by the No Child Left Behind Law during the latest academic year, according to a report released Tuesday. The annual report from the Iowa Department of Education said 66 percent of 1,288 public schools missed targets for test participation and proficiency in reading and mathematics during the 2013-2014 school year. About 5 percent of Iowa schools are not included in this result because they were given a waiver to try a different type of assessment.

During the previous school year, 64 percent of 1,361 schools did not meet the standards set by the law. But Department of Education Director Brad Buck said the accountability standards set by the federal law are not working well in Iowa, arguing they don’t properly reflect progress made in schools.

“While I believe in accountability, No Child Left Behind has outlived its usefulness. This is a flawed law,” Buck said. “We must have a rigorous accountability system that acknowledges the strides schools are making.”

The federal law requires annual testing to show proficiency in reading and mathematics. Some states have received waivers granting permission to ignore parts of the law. Iowa has applied, but has not been granted any exemption. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has called for a replacement to No Child Left Behind. He has said the existing law does not allow school leaders to use common sense to determine which schools are failing and which are statistical anomalies.

Old Exira Elementary School site purchased

News

September 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The site of the old Exira Elementary School will be put to good use following a decision Monday evening by the Exira-EHK School Board to sell the land for development. Superintendent Dean Schnoes told KJAN News the Board agreed to sell the property for $5,000.  The land was purchased by area resident Marvin Jorgenson. Along with the purchase price, Jorgenson agree to set aside an endowment, but the exact amount is not known at this point.

On June 1st, a controlled burn used as a training exercise for area firefighters brought the nearly century-old building down. And while many people were sad to see the structure go, Schnoes said the land will spring to life with many more opportunities for the community. He said plans call for the land to be used for a retirement home/assisted living facility, and/or a medical facility.

Schnoes said “I think it’s a win-win for everybody.” In other business, the Board voted to retain Kevin Petersen as President and Terri Harris as Vice-President. Schnoes said also an on-going problem with a leak in one of the district’s buildings that has never been resolved has forced the matter to be taken to the district’s attorney.

A leak on the roof at the Exira Middle School has been a thorn in the district’s side for about the past three years, ever since there was remodeling and construction. Schnoes said it’s gotten to the point where everybody involved has said “It’s not their issue anymore.”

Schnoes said also, they’re working on getting final bids for the new baseball field scoreboard, new lights and infield sod. They might even remodel or construct a new concessions stand, restrooms and stands.

DInkla and Kinze continue to serve as CAM School Board President and V-P

News

September 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Members of the CAM School District’s Board of Education met Monday night at the High School, in Anita. During their meeting, they re-elected both Gary Dinkla as President and Chuck Kinze as Vice-President. The board also opted to continue meeting on the third Monday of each month, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The CAM School Board also renewed its agreement with the Cass County Sheriffs’ Office for a School Resource Officer, at a cost of $3,000. In other business, they approved the Middle School “Man and Environment” camping and Field Trip, and agreed to allow the Middle School Students to join the High School Shooting Team.

And, Mary Schoning was offered a contract to coach Junior High School Volleyball at CAM.

Griswold School Board elects officers & discusses safety issues

News

September 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Griswold School Board held its annual organizational meeting Monday evening. Superintendent Dana Kunze told KJAN News the Board elected to continue with Doug Lembke as President for the 2014-2015 School Year, and the elected Tom Moore as Vice President, to succeed Scott Peterson. Moore also served as Vice President of the Board a few years ago.

Kunze said things have begun to “Simmer down,” with regard to their construction projects, most of which were wrapped-up over the summer. He said projects for next summer will focus on safety issues and concerns. Kunze said “safety” covers a variety of categories the board will look at and prioritizing the list of projects. That might include controlled access entries, video cameras, and even new lights at a sports facility.

Safety was one of the topics included in the “Board Learning Opportunities” portion of their agenda, Monday evening. Kunze said it’s one of the goals the Board has set for itself this year. Last month they indicated Student Academics was one of their goals. This month it’s safety. Another goal for the Board is financial. They set a target for the Central Office to try and maintain a Solvency Ration of 20-percent. Kunze said the district has been above that rate for the past few years, so the Board wants to see it pulled back.

Kunze said he’s glad he and the Board could come to an agreement on a target rate, so everyone is working “Off the same page.”