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Atlantic Middle School Student Council wins State award

News

November 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Middle School’s Student Council has the honor of being one of the top student council’s in the State of Iowa. Student Council Advisor Ginger Bechtold told the School Board the good news during their meeting Monday night.

Members of the Atlantic Middle School Student Council explain to the School Board how they won their Award of Honor, and show-off their prize-winning plaque.

Bechtold said last summer the AMS Student Council submitted a scrap book to the State for approval. The Atlantic Middle School placed second, but was the only Middle School in the State to win the Award of Honor.

Bechtold said there were several criteria that had to be matched in order to achieve the award.The only criteria she says they couldn’t meet or match, was sending kids to a leadership camp, which is only available to high school students. Among the activities the students participated in fill their scrapbook before submitting to the State, was collecting pop can tabs for the Iowa Firefighters Association, for donation to the Shriners Children’s program. The AMS Council worked to gather more than 15-pounds of tabs, for a total of  58,880 pull tabs last year. They also did “Penny Wars” in the home room classes from March 5th to March 9th, in order to raise a little more than $2,000 for the Relay for Life. The winning team played dodgeball with the teacher.

This year, the Student Council is working on establishing a Constitution for their State Project, along with a project to raise funds to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s. In order to do that, they plan on holding a dodgeball tournament.

Teen injured in Adams County crash

News

November 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A teenaged girl was hurt during a single vehicle accident Friday afternoon in Adams County. The Sheriff’s Department said Monday, 17-year old Amanda Simmons, who was one of two passengers in the vehicle, was flown by helicopter to an area hospital following the crash that took place just before 4-p.m. Friday, on Kentucky Avenue in Adams County.

Officials say a 2005 Saturn Vue driven by 19-year old Kaitlyn DeYoung, of Corning, was traveling over a hill north of Corning, when the vehicle went out of control and entered a ditch before hitting some trees. The accident remains under investigation.

Atlantic School Board discusses renovation projects

News

November 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School District’s Board of Education met well past 10-p.m. Monday, discussing the options for Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) the district will need to undertake in the near future to meet current and expected growth in enrollment. Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein said before any decision is made on renovations to current facilities or the addition of classroom space, the Board, with input from the School Improvement Advisory Committee, or SIAC, will have to prioritize its needs before it meets with the committee.

Board member Dennis Davis said it is important not to use a “shotgun”-style approach to the district’s needs when approaching SIAC, the governing body which will also determine how the district will pay for any renovations. Design Alliance Architectural firm representative Jerry Purdy presented the Board with numerous facility options for dealing with growth in the district’s population, in terms of making additions to some schools and/or juggling around classroom space each year. Amstein said the simple fact of the matter is, the district has very little room left with which to place the students as they make their ways through the lower grades.

Amstein said there’s a mobile classroom in front of the Washington Elementary School this year, and regardless of the action the board takes in the next few months, the reality is, there will likely have to be two more mobile classrooms in front of the school next year. Amstein says the district is “Running out of space.” And, he says after talking with Washington Elementary School Principal Stacey Hornung, he’s learned it’s not just the classroom space that will be needed. Hornung, he says, will need another 1st and 3rd grade teacher next year. That means two more classrooms will have to utilize mobile classroom facilities.

When it comes time to pay for whatever renovations or improvements are made, Travis Squires, with bonding agent Piper-Jaffrey, says the District has three options: Sales Tax Revenue Bonds, which are secured by revenue pledge and does not require a public vote, once a Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS) is in-place; General Obligation PPEL (Physical Plant & Equipment Levy) Capital Loan Notes, or through the issuance of General Obligation School Bonds. If the District elects to pursue a bond referendum, it will need to finalize a bond amount based on project fund needs. A petition calling for an election will need to be filed by mid-December, with public forums held prior to a vote on February 5th, 2013.

IASB opens annual convention today

News

November 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Over 12-hundred Iowa school board members and superintendents will be in Des Moines on Tuesday and Wednesday for the annual meeting of the Iowa Association of School Boards. Convention coordinator, Lou Ann Gvist, says there will be numerous workshops for the school board members and superintendents to attend. She says they have a range of topics pertaining to the issues board’s face. Those include superintendent/board relations, policy, collective bargaining and school finance. Gvist said the convention will feature several speakers….

“We are really excited about our keynote speakers on Thursday…the day will be focused on developing a culture of innovation,” Gvist explains. “Dr. Tony Wagner from Harvard is kicking off our opening general session with an exciting keynote. And then following lunch, Dr. David Warlick is also going to talk about innovation.” Marti Kline is another I-A-S-B. convention organizer says Iowa native Ben Milne who create the money exchange company Dwolla will talk about his struggles in school at Cedar Falls and in college, and how we went on to overcome them and be successful.

“He’s created many jobs, he’s run more than one company and has been an employer of many people. And he’s going to talk to the group about how they can make sure that all different kinds of students are included. And all different types of students with learning needs, that their needs are met in the classroom and they can go on to be successful students and successful business people,” Kline says. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will speak to the delegates on Thursday afternoon about the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) initiative. You can find out more on the convention at www.ia-sb.org .

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., Nov. 13 2012

News

November 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — University of Northern Iowa professors are asking the Iowa Board of Regents for salary increases in each of the next two years. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that the United Faculty bargaining team is seeking a 2.25 percent in increase in base salary and an additional 2.25 percent increase based on the average of all professors’ salaries. The increase would begin in July 2013 and again in 2014.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The mother of one of the missing Iowa cousins has been ordered to appear in federal court to face a complaint alleging she violated the terms of her supervised release in a decade-old methamphetamine case. U.S. District Judge Linda Reade has ordered Misty Morrissey to appear in her courtroom in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, a day after family members will gather to mark the four-month anniversary of the disappearance of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Jurors will be chosen later today in the first-degree murder trial of a Cedar Rapids man accused of strangling a 68-year-old woman. On trial is 50-year-old Jerome Power, who is charged with killing Doris Bevins in her Cedar Rapids home. KCRG-TV reports the trial is expected to continue into next week but be completed before Thanksgiving.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa has closed a rock-climbing wall at its wellness center after a student fell about 30 feet and injured his spine. The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports that 21-year-old Spencer E. Bean was climbing the wall just before 10 p.m. Thursday when he fell. Bean landed on his feet, and was rushed to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Semi rear-end’s pickup, 1 injured

News

November 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The driver of a pickup truck was flown to a hospital in Omaha Monday afternoon, after his vehicle was rear-ended by a semi, west of Red Oak. The Iowa State Patrol says 48-year old Danny Jennings, of Red Oak, was flown by LifeNet to Creighton Hospital following the crash on Highway 34, in Montgomery County. Officials say Jennings was traveling east in the slow lane, preparing to turn right onto Avenue A, when his 1998 Chevy pickup was hit from behind by a 2013 Volvo semi, driven by 31-year old Tracey Campbell, of Russell, IA. The accident happened when Campbell became distracted, and didn’t see Jennings slowing for the turn. Following the crash, the pickup spun clockwise into the southeast ditch, while the semi remained under control and stopped on the shoulder of the highway. The accident, which occurred at around 2:30-p.m., Monday, remains under investigation by the State Patrol.

Danish Villages receive part of $1.2-million from IA DCA

News

November 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs today announced it has awarded more than $1.2 million in Iowa Great Places funding for 10 projects in seven Iowa communities, including the Danish Villages of Elk Horn and Kimballton. The DCA awarded funding to: The Danish Villages; Iowa City/Coralville/North Liberty; Hamilton/Webster counties; Marion; Tama County; Turkey River; and the Villages of Van Buren County. The seven communities requested a total of more than $1.5-million for 14 different projects. The awards announced today (Monday) come from the Iowa Great Places program to support vertical infrastructure projects.

Locally, the Jens Jensen Prairie Landscape Park Project received $90,000, and, the Little Mermaid Trail and Park Improvements Project received $111,410.  The total award for both projects amounts to more than $201,000. The Danish Immigrant Museum had sought Great Places support for Phase II of the installation of the Jens Jensen Prairie Landscape Park. Danish Villages has completed installation of the Jens Jensen Heritage Brick Plaza and planting of 20 acres of the park. The park is a tribute to Jensen, who was one of America’s greatest landscape designers and conservationists of the early 20th century. The park is planted with his philosophies in mind, enhancing the visitor’s overall museum experience. Completion of the park will increase opportunities to attract new audiences to the museum and the Danish Villages.

The Little Mermaid Trail will connect the Danish Villages of Elk Horn and Kimballton with a recreational trail beginning at the sculpture of the Little Mermaid in Kimballton and ending at the State of Iowa Welcome Center on the Danish Windmill grounds in Elk Horn. This project is Phase II of the Little Mermaid Park Improvements and Hans Christian Andersen Sculpture Garden. Requested funds will be used to offset the costs of new and safer playground equipment, a sculpture garden and walkway, and ADA compliant restroom facilities.

Janell Hansen, General Manager of the Marne & Elk Horn Telephone Company said she was “Proud of all the volunteers who have come together to dream about and plan for the future of The Danish Villages. They are all motivated to make improvements that bring people together and make this a better community.” She added, the projects focus on enhancing the quality of life outdoors and encouraging people to get out and enjoy the parks and trails. The grants from Iowa Great Places have leveraged other local dollars and infused over $650,000 into the communities over 2 years.

This year’s grants will leverage local funding in public-private partnerships for projects that are represented by everything from public art to adaptive re-use of a historic property. Once completed, the projects will offer residents and visitors exciting and unique quality of life experiences. In turn, those experiential attractions are expected to draw tourists, and attract businesses and prospective employees while boosting the local economy.

8AM Newscast 11-12-2012

News, Podcasts

November 12th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

7AM Newscast 11-12-2012

News, Podcasts

November 12th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Funeral services set for Shenandoah soldier

News

November 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Services have been scheduled for a western Iowa soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.  The Pentagon says 19-year-old Pfc. Brandon Buttry, of Shenandoah, died Nov. 5 while serving in Kandahar Province.  The Hackett-Livingston Funeral Home says a visitation is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. Wednesday at First Baptist Church in Shenandoah. The funeral is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Thursday at the church.

Buttry was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south-southwest of Tacoma, Wash. He was deployed to Afghanistan in August.