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Senate education measure follows Branstad’s plan

News

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Not long after Republicans in the state House scaled back Gov. Terry Branstad’s education plan, Democrats in the Senate have beefed it up again.  The Senate education legislation was introduced Monday. It boosts minimum teacher pay back to the $35,000 proposed by Branstad and mandates participation in a leadership program that would provide additional compensation to teachers who take on more responsibilities.  Sponsor Sen. Herman Quirmbach says there will be several options for how districts set up those programs.

Last month, the House approved an education plan that set minimum salaries at $32,000 and gave districts the ability to opt-out of providing salary increases or setting up the teacher leadership program.   A spokesman for Branstad says Tuesday the governor would review the Senate plan.

Harlan School Board approves Budget Guarantee

News

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Community School Board of Directors approved their budget guarantee for the next school year. In a regular meeting Monday evening, Superintendent Justin Wagner said the budget guarantees is for districts that have declining enrollments, however the Harlan district did not have declining enrollment in the past school year. Regardless, Wagner said the district was advised by state officials to approve the budget guarantee.

Wagner said “There is some nuances in the law that would allow the district some budget guarantee if the allowable growth is high enough. If the allowable growth is high enough, there is an outside chance that we could get some funding even though we didn’t have declining enrollment. That’s why we are asking the board to pass this resolution.”

In other business, the district approved renewing a swimming agreement with Lewis Central. This will be the 2nd year the district has had the agreement. Two students from the districts are currently enrolled in the program. During the district’s administrator reports, Intermediate Principal Bill Mueller said the Harlan Community 4th grade class went to Sioux City recently and placed 4th at the First Tech Challenge. The middle school class was up against 21 other teams which were all high school classes.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Mills County arrest report

News

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Department, today (Tuesday), issued a report on recent arrests. On Sunday, deputies took into custody 26-year old Beau Jordan Vanregenmorter, of Omaha, on a charge of Public Intoxication, and 48-year old Brian Keith Konfrst, of Glenwood, for OWI/1st offense and Eluding. Vanregenmorter was held on a $300 bond until appearance before a magistrate, while Konfrst was held on a $2,000 bond.

And, on Friday, March 1st, 31-year old Josie Lee Janssen, of Council Bluffs, was arrested in Mills County for Driving While Revoked. Janssen’s bond was set at $1,000. That same day, 27-year old Brett Allen Coyle, of Glenwood, was arrested for violating a No Contact order. His bond was set at $300.

Mills County authorities also continue to investigate incidents of theft and burglary which were reported on March 1st and 3rd. The incidents happened at locations on Hilman Road and 320th Street. No other details were provided.

(12:40-p.m. News)

Iowa lawmakers move ahead with anti-bullying bill

News

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Lawmakers in the state House are moving forward with anti-bullying legislation backed by Gov. Terry Branstad.  A House education subcommittee approved the bill Tuesday. The legislation would strive to deal with so-called cyber-bullying by updating state guidelines for school districts to include bullying that occurs outside school on social media sites such as Facebook.  The legislation is expected to get a committee hearing later this week.

Branstad convened a bullying prevention summit in Des Moines in November.  Last April, a 14-year-old boy from Primghar committed suicide following bullying at school and online after he told people he was gay. In June, a Mason City girl and her mother sued the Mason City school district, saying it did nothing to protect the teen from bullying.

Clarinda man arrested for ID Theft & parole violation

News

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers reports a two-month long investigation by the Clarinda Police Department into identity theft & the fraudulent use of a credit/debit card at several businesses in Clarinda & Shenandoah, has resulted in an arrest.  Late Monday afternoon, officers arrested 45-year old Rodney Earl Richardson, Jr., of Clarinda, on several aggravated misdemeanor counts of fraudulent use of a credit/debit card and an aggravated misdemeanor charge of theft. Richardson Jr. was arrested at a Clarinda apartment complex.

In addition to the fraud and theft charges, Rodney Richardson Jr. was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant issued out of Douglas County, Nebraska, for probation and parole violations.  He was booked into the Page County Jail and held without bond, pending an initial appearance before a Page County Magistrate. The Page County Attorney’s Office will review the matter for the filing of formal charges.

8AM Newscast 3-5-2013

News, Podcasts

March 5th, 2013 by admin

w/Ric Hanson

7:06-a.m. SW Iowa News (Podcast) – 3/5/13

News, Podcasts

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The latest (podcast) news from the KJAN listening area, from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson…

New snowfall helps, but drought deficit still looms

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

More snow has fallen on Iowa in the region’s third large winter storm in three weeks, prompting farmers and others to wonder what impact the snowpack will have on the long-running drought. Climatologist Al Dutcher says there are signs the weather pattern is starting to return to normal, but he says just getting average snowfall or rainfall won’t put a dent in the drought deficits. “To double that precipitation is only going to knock off four or five inches of these accumulated deficits,” Dutcher says. “The hydrological drought is here for a while. It would take an average of at least an inch of moisture every single week through this entire growing season for us to substantially impact the drought.”

He says more of these late winter snowstorms could help the region regain some of its lost moisture. Dutcher, a climatologist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says the region needs more precipitation or spring planting will be a trial and the growing season ahead could be a disaster. “If the moisture doesn’t materialize these next two months, then it’s going to be exceptionally difficult if not virtually impossible for us to hold off the drought from getting much more intense as we get through this season compared to last season,” Dutcher says. “We won’t have any significant moisture in the profile. Most of it will to be right at the surface and it will not carry the crop.”

Ideally, he says the region needs to see a return to a normal rain pattern with temperatures low enough to keep vegetation from robbing a needed build-up of subsoil moisture. Parts of northeast Iowa are expecting up to ten inches of snow in this latest winter blast, another big help in overcoming the drought that began last year, the worst in more than a half century.

(Radio Iowa)

Forristall declines to hold a vote so Iowa House panel drops illegal immigrant bill

News

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A bill designed to deter businesses from hiring illegal immigrants appears dead after a House panel opted not to vote on the proposal.  Members of a House labor subcommittee decided to take no action Monday on the bill, which established punishments for businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. The measure had been sponsored by 27 Republican lawmakers.

Under the proposal, an employer in violation could have lost its business license and been forced to fire all illegal immigrant workers. Iowa contractors and businesses would have joined 27 other states that run employee documents through a federal electronic verification system. Subcommittee chairman Rep. Greg Forristall, of Macedonia, declined to hold a vote on the measure, saying he feared it would be costly for state and local governments to enforce.

Montgomery County arrests

News

March 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reports three recent arrests. Early this (Tuesday) morning, 39-year old James Donald Uhlmann, Jr., of Red Oak, was arrested for Possession of Marijuana. Ulhmann, Jr. was taken into custody at around 12:30-a.m. A few minutes later, 26-year old Jennifer Rose Nelson, of Red Oak, was arrested for Gathering where controlled substances are used. Both suspects were transported to the Montgomery County Corrections facility, where they were being held on $1,000 bond each. Officers with the Red Oak Police Department assisted in conducting the arrests.

And, Monday afternoon, 30-year old George Allen Alfred Wesbrook the 3rd, of Red Oak, was arrested in the east 100 block of Coolbaugh Street in Red Oak. Wesbrook was charged with being in violation of a No Contact Order. Wesbrook was arrested again later that same evening by Red Oak Police, for Driving While Suspended in the vicinity of North 7th and east Reed Streets, in Red Oak. He was subsequently released on a citation bond amounting to $566.