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Iowa attorney general says online schools OK


March 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says online schools are allowed under state law. Miller issued an opinion on Tuesday. It was in response to a request by a state senator after two districts, CAM and Clayton Ridge, said they plan to launch online-only programs run by for-profit companies next school year. Miller says online courses are permitted, as long as the curriculum is taught by a licensed teacher and that students enrolled in the course are supervised. Critics argue the schools are illegal under a clause in the Iowa Code that says school districts are only allowed to do what is expressly stated in law. Miller disputes that claim, but says education officials should monitor the emergence of online-only programs in Iowa.

Guthrie County Extension welcomes new Office Coordinator

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A native of Guthrie Center has returned home to become the new Office Coordinator at the Guthrie County Extension Office. Vicki Frohling (formerly Vicki Hansen) started working at the Extension office on March 5th.

Vicki Frohling

As Office Coordinator, Vicki has the responsibility of coordinating the office needs in Guthrie County, delivered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

She brings to the position a background in health care administration,  and most recently served as the Executive Director of the Russell, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce. Frohling graduated from Guthrie Center High School and attended Northwest Missouri State University. She and her husband Wyatt recently moved back to Iowa from Kansas, and live on an acreage three miles west of Guthrie Center.  The couple has two adult children who live in Kansas.

Frohling says she’s “Excited to be living back in Guthrie Center and working for the extension office,” and the she looks forward to becoming an active part of the community. ISU Extension invites you to stop by the Guthrie County Extension Office at 212 State Street in Guthrie Center and welcome Vicki back to Guthrie Center and to her new position.

CCMH Foundation offers Scholarship


March 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Memorial Hospital Foundation remind area graduates that the deadline for the Elsie and Louie Hansen Memorial Scholarship is April 2nd, 2012. To be eligible for a scholarship you must be a Cass County high school graduate who is enrolled in, or has been accepted to and will be attending, a college of nursing or medicine leading to an LPN, RN, or MD degree. The Louie and Elsie Hansen Scholarship was established through the generosity and careful planning of these two life-long Cass County residents.  The Hansen’s believed in higher education, so much so that over 70% of their estate was bequeathed for that purpose, including a gift to the CCMH Foundation. 

Under the supervision and guidance of the CCMH Foundation, scholarship opportunities are provided yearly.  Scholarship candidates must have graduated from a Cass County high school and be enrolled in an accredited nursing or medical doctor school. Applications are available on line at www.casshealth.org or may be picked up from the CCMH Foundation office.

ISAC to award scholarships to area students


March 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

More than 750 county officials will be traveling to Des Moines this week for education, skills training and networking.  The Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) will be holding its 69th Spring School of Instruction March 15-16 at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown. In addition, ISAC will award scholarships to eight outstanding high school students during ISAC’s Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony on March 15th. 

Scholarships in the amount of $3,000 will be awarded to: Amanda Kesterson, a student at the Denison High School; and Amanda Steffes, from the Audubon High School. A Runner-up scholarship in the amount of $1,500 will also be awarded to Paige Kennon, from the Atlantic High School. Ethan Westering from the Atlantic High School, will receive a $2,000 scholarship from the Iowa Counties Information Technology Organization.  And, Michaela Kennedy from Abraham Lincoln High School will receive the Past President’s Scholarship in the amount of $3,000. 

Criteria used in judging the scholarships are scholastic achievement, financial need, participation in extracurricular/community activities, and overall character.  Eligibility is limited to children of county officials or county employees. ISAC scholarships are funded through the ISAC Education Foundation.  Also during ISAC’s business meeting, county officials will review and approve the association’s budget for fiscal year 2013. 

Villisca man seriously injured during accident this morning


March 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office reports a Villisca man suffered incapacitating injuries during a single-vehicle rollover accident this (Tuesday) morning in the western part of the County. 32-year old Dean Richard Orr was traveling north on Birch Avenue from Highway 34 at around 7:20-a.m., when his 1996 Buick Park Avenue slid through the intersection at 210th Street. The vehicle continued north on Birch. As it approached the T-intersection with 205th Street, the car went off the west side of the road.

When Orr overcorrected, the car rolled six times and landed in the north ditch. Officials say Orr, who was traveling too fast for the road conditions, was ejected from the vehicle through the side door window as the car rolled. He was transported by helicopter to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. He faces charges which include Driving While Suspended, Failure to Maintain Control, Failure to have Insurance, and not wearing a seat belt. His car was a total loss.

Wiota Wind Energy to give Public Tours Monday

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with USDA Rural Development have announced Iowa’s USDA Director Bill Menner will be in Wiota Monday, March 19th, to participate in a public tour of Wiota Wind Energy’s new 1.5-megawatt hour wind turbine. The turbine, which is located at 68752 Independence Road in Wiota, will be open for public tours from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Representatives will be on hand to talk about the project and answer any questions.

Wiota Wind Energy LLC was formed in 2011 and includes several private local investors. The organization’s first commercial sized community-owned wind turbine is expected to generate as many as 5,900-Megawatt hours of energy annually, with a design life of 20 to 25 years. A power purchase agreement has been made with the local power cooperative.

USDA Rural Development participated in the project by providing a $504,733 loan guarantee through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

Cass County Supervisors to hold public hearings on budget


March 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Public hearings will be held Wednesday morning in Atlantic, with regard to an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2012 Cass County Budget, and, the proposed Fiscal Year 2013 County Budget. The hearings take place shortley after the Board of Supervisors convene their regular weekly meeting, at 9-a.m.  Following those hearings, the Board will act on adopting the amended FY 2012 budget, and amending FY 2012 County Budget appropriations.

In addition the Supervisors will act on adopting the FY 2013 County and Secondary Roads budgets, which includes receiving and acting on a County Compensation Board recommendation for elected officers’ compensation. The Board will also act to approve an agreement for the use of County Road N-28 as a detour, while Highway 148 is widened and resurfaced, from Anita south to Highway 92. The project is expected to begin in May, and end in November.

Riverside Middle School to host Health and Wellness Fair


March 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Riverside Middle School in Carson will host its Second Annual Health and Wellness Fair this Thursday, March 15th, from 8:30-a.m. to 3:15-p.m.  The event, which is open to the public,  begins with a keynote address at 8:30-a.m. by Charity Campbell, Iowa’s Teacher of the Year, who serves at the Norwalk Middle School. Campbell was named Iowa’s Teacher of the Year in September, by Governor Terry Branstad.

The Health Fair portion of the days’ activities runs from 9-am until 2-pm. Sessions will cover: Health Insurance; Shaken Baby Syndrome; Muscle fatigue, endurance and strength; fitness activities, and more. In addition display tables will be available for viewing from: the Pottawattamie County Tobacco Prevention Coalition; Council Bluffs Convention and Visitors Bureau; East Pott. 4-H and ISU Extension; Riverside Youth Sports; Pott. Co. EMA and the Carson Fire Department, to name a few.

Health and Wellness checks will be offered during the Health and Wellness Fair, and include: Dental Screening; BMI (Body Mass Index); Blood pressure; Massage Therapy and Vision screeing. The day concludes with a “Think First” Assembly from 2:15-3:15pm, which is designed to educate young people about making good decisions.

The Riverside Middle School is located at 330 Pleasant Street, in Carson.

Iowa Senate votes to license “direct care workers”


March 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Over 73-thousand employees in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities could become state-licensed “direct care workers” if a bill that’s cleared the Iowa Senate becomes law. Senator Pam Jochum, a Democrat from Dubuque, says a task force worked for the past five years on the idea. “This bill is truly a step in the right direction to ensure that those who take care of the most vulnerable of Iowans have the training and qualifications to do so,” Jochum says. 

A-A-R-P lobbied for the legislation, arguing that if barbers, plumbers and massage therapists have to be licensed, then direct care workers who provide basic care to elderly, ill and disabled Iowans should, too. The bill would create a state board that would establish how many hours of education or training would be required to earn a direct care worker license. The board would also take complaints and keep a list of direct care workers who’ve been the subject of complaints. Jochum says by making the job a profession, that may address the “radical” turn-over of direct care workers. “We have anywhere from 60 to 67 percent turn-over annually that’s costing our taxpayers and employers about $189 million a year from the turn-over itself as we have to retrain and get everybody back up to speed,” Jochum says.

Iowa would become the first state to license direct care workers if the bill becomes law. The legislation faces a deadline as it must clear a committee in the Iowa House by the end of this week to remain eligible for consideration.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

8AM Newscast 03-13-2012

News, Podcasts

March 13th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson