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Snow, wind may impact Iowans’ holiday travels

News, Weather

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Many Iowans may need to schedule their Thanksgiving holiday travel plans around those of Mother Nature. National Weather Service Meteorologist Kurt Kotenberg says one to four inches of snow is expected across the state tonight (Tue) into tomorrow (Wed) morning. “Most of the snow is going to be in northern and north-central Iowa,” Kotenberg said. “So, we’re looking at maybe three to four inches of snow from around the Estherville area, along Interstate 35, north of Ames.” Much of central Iowa, south of Ames, can expect two to three inches of snow. Western and eastern Iowa are forecast to receive around an inch of snow. The snow may present some challenges for motorists.

“I think by 7 a.m., a good part of central Iowa will probably have around one to two inches of snow already fallen,” Kotenberg said. “That means by the time a lot of us head out Wednesday morning, those roadways might already be snow covered and a little bit slippery.” The snow will be followed by a big blast of cold air. “Wind speeds will pick up behind this. We’ll probably see winds of around 15 to 20 miles an hour Wednesday night into Thursday morning,” Kotenberg said.

Some blowing snow is possible on Wednesday. High temperatures on Wednesday will range from the upper 20s to mid 30s, with overnight lows dipping into the single digits.. Highs on Thursday are expected in the teens and 20s.

(Radio Iowa)

Adair-Casey School District continues to look toward the future

News

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Declining enrollment and other factors affecting the budget forced administrators with the Adair-Casey to figure out a better way to serve their students while at the same time remaining financially viable. Steve Smith, Superintendent for the Adair-Casey School District, says what’s really best for students, is having opportunities in the classroom, as well as extra-curricular activities.Adair-Casey logo

Last week, the Adair-Casey Board held meetings with Iowa Association of School Boards Director of Financial Services, Gary Sinclair. As part of continued discussions intended for the public, they’ve also met with patrons of the district and others, to discuss the district’s current financial and operational positions. Smith says they’ve tried to communicate as much and often as possible with the public, through local newspapers, their webpage, and the position of Board Agenda minutes, to attain reaction from the public.

A community meeting was held one-year ago. The most recent meeting came last Wednesday, during a regularly scheduled School Board session. Smith said the bottom line, is that a continued decline in enrollment will make it difficult for the District to provide the types of things needed for their students. He says the question patrons have, is what kind of an education can they provide if they don’t do something now to prepare for a decline in income from decreased enrollment?

Smith said Adair-Casey School Board President Megan Kading and the rest of the Board have been working to come up with solutions. He says there was a motion that passed last week which stated the district will operate in the same capacity while they explore Whole Grade Sharing opportunities with previously districts, to determine a mutually beneficial partner.

He says they will continue to be looking at aligning themselves with a partner district, but that doesn’t mean it will happen within three-to-five years. The decision last Wednesday, he says, allows them time to plan, without letting time get away from them and being forced to make a rash decision.

Geographically, there are only so many options as far as school districts they can consider as far as Whole Grade Sharing is concerned. The Board met separately, over the summer, with members of the CAM, West Central Valley, Nodaway Valley and Guthrie Center. He says “We walked away from there feeling like three of those four, we would like to dig deeper and find out more information about those districts.” The next step he says, is to look at who might be the most “suitable partner” for the district.

That would enable the district to determine what academic and extra-curricular activities they can offer to students and allow those students to be successful once they graduate.

Cass and Adair County Board of Supervisors to meet Wed.

News

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Board of Supervisors in Cass and Adair Counties will hold separate meetings Wednesday morning in Atlantic and Greenfield, respectively. In Atlantic, the Cass County Supervisors are expected to act on approving a Livestock Facility Construction Evaluation Resolution. Their meeting begins at 8:30-a.m.

In Greenfield, the Adair County Supervisors will hear from County Attorney-Elect Clint Hight, with regard to his office staff, health insurance, and other office discussion. They also hear from Sheriff Jeff Vandewater, with regard to the resignation of his Chief Deputy, a new hire, and hold discussion with regard to replacing the Chief Deputy.

The Adair County Board will also hold a joint meeting with the County Conservation Board in the Courtroom, followed by a closed session, and action of a Fiscal Year 2015 Conservation Budget Amendment request and Conservation Appropriations request.

Their meeting begins at 9-a.m., Wednesday.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. KJAN Local/State News, 11/25/14

News, Podcasts

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.

Play

2 state pursuit results in an arrest in s.w. Iowa

News

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A pursuit early this (Tuesday) morning in Fremont County resulted in an arrest. Sheriff’s officials say deputies in Fremont County were called to assist an Atchinson County, MO., Deputy in pursuit of a vehicle traveling north on Interstate 29.  Upon entering Fremont County, deputies were able to box the suspect vehicle-in at the 11-mile marker of I-29 northbound. Taken into custody was 18-year old Jesse Calvin Rondell.

Rondell was charged with assault on a Peace Officer, Felony Eluding, OWI, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $7, 300 cash bond.

Warne updates Atlantic School Board on Tech matters

News

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic School District Technology Coordinator Roger Warne, Monday, updated the School Board on technology-related matters. Warne said his department has been very busy, with maintenance and looking ahead to future equipment upgrades. One of the things on his wish-list for the next budgeting session is some additional surveillance cameras. Last year, 25 cameras were added to the high school and middle school, in Atlantic. He says in 2015-16 they need to plan for more cameras to “keep ahead of the game.”

Atlantic School District Technology Coordinator Roger Warne talks to the School Board. (11/24) Ric Hanson, photo.

Atlantic School District Technology Coordinator Roger Warne talks to the School Board. (11/24) Ric Hanson, photo.

Warne deferred to the school principals as to whether or not replacement or additional cameras will be needed in their respective buildings. Middle School Principal Josh Rasmussen said the cameras installed helped him “tremendously this year.”  Washington Elementary Principal Stacey Hornung and Schuler Principal James Northwick said their schools have the old, analog cameras, instead of the clearer, digital versions. Warne acknowledged they do have their drawbacks.

He said it wouldn’t be difficult at all to add more digital cameras to the system the district already has in-place. Warne said also, they updated the slide-card access controls to each of the district’s buildings, and as an added security measure, over the Thanksgiving break, the locks will be changed so there is one lock and one-key used to get into the buildings. A limited number of people will have access to those keys.

He also spoke about the 1-to-1 laptop computer initiative which began in August, with 465 of the devices being used throughout the district. He says a cart they bought last year that was meant as a “contingency.” It had 475 computers, which means he has more than enough computers now, to rollover into the Freshman classes during the coming years.

Warne says there were some accidents including liquids spilled on three of the machines and two broken screens caused by earbuds that were left on the keyboard when the lids were slammed shut. Those computers had to be sent in for repairs. The warranty service covered those repairs, but Warne said the kids are learning that the devices are expensive, and they need to take better care of them, or else their teachers can take the machines away.

(Podcast) 7:07-a.m. KJAN News & funeral report, 11/25/14

News, Podcasts

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

Play

Junker approved as Boys Varsity High School Swim Coach in Atlantic

News, Sports

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Atlantic School District’s Board of Education Monday night, approved the hiring of Head Girls Swimming Team Coach Dean Junker, as the head Boys Varsity High School Swimming Coach for the current, Winter season, which started Monday. The recommendation came from High School Activities Director/Assistant Principal Matt Alexander, and was forwarded to the Board by Superintendent Mike Amstein. The Board however, had many questions about the program, before approving the hiring of Junker.

They asked f the number of students participating in the program could be sustained throughout the season. Alexander said they are “locked-in” to the current season, so regardless of whether they lose a couple of members along the way, they will still be able to participate in district events.  Board member Phil Hascall said told Alexander he has trouble approving programs and positions more than three months after the school year began, given the fact they are looking at ways to cut the budget.

Hascall told Alexander “You come to us after the season started, with no discussion about any of this.” Alexander said the Swim Team was approved by the Board last year, but acknowledged they probably really wanted to see what the number of participants were before the agreed in total to having the program. He said there originally more than a dozen students interested in the team, but later found it a struggle to sign-up more than eight.

Alexander said there are currently 10 students participating in the program. Board member Rod Hartwig said they agreed to the program if a minimum of 10 Atlantic students were involved. He asked, since it was difficult to sign-up kids this first year, if it wouldn’t be better to look to surrounding districts for participants.  Alexander said Junker has looked to the areas to our north and east – Exira and Audubon, for instance – that are farther away from Lewis Central. They might look at approaching Red Oak, Griswold and CAM, at prior to next year’s season.

He says he’s already had initial talks with some of the district officials.

Heroes from Iowa & Nebraska are named to be recognized at Friday’s football game in Iowa City

News, Sports

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

During Friday’s Iowa-Nebraska football game, the American Red Cross will honor two men, one from each state, who went above and beyond in the face of crisis. Red Cross spokeswoman Kara Kelly says the Iowan who’s being singled out for recognition as a “citizen hero” is 18-year-old Austin Benson of Winterset, a senior at Winterset High School. “Austin acted with great bravery when his friend was thrown from her horse,” Kelly says. “The horse rolled on top of her and the saddlehorn punctured her leg. It ended up being very critical injuries. Austin applied pressure to the wound and kept her awake while waiting for the ambulance. According the medical professionals, he reallys saved her life.”

The honoree from Nebraska is Gene Willers, the president of the Midwest Bank Branch in Pilger, a town that was forever changed on June 16th. “You may remember, there was a very large tornado that went through that town this summer,” Kelly says. “Gene put eight people in the bank safe. It only locks from the outside so he locked them inside and then went into the basement. The bank was in fact destroyed but luckily, everybody survived.”

Benson and Willers will be honored during the Hawkeye-Cornhusker game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. “We have a great presentation that will happen during halftime at Friday’s game,” Kelly says. “We have two videos that will show their stories. They’ll also have their names engraved on the Hy-Vee Heroes game trophy and then they’ll receive honorary plates from both athletic directors. It’s really a wonderful tribute to these two men.”

Benson, Willers and members of their families will be guests of the Hawkeyes and the Huskers at the game and will participate in a variety of special pregame activities. Fans of both schools were invited to nominate residents of Iowa and Nebraska who have performed extraordinary acts of heroism and service in their communities. Staff and volunteers from the Red Cross selected the winners.

(Radio Iowa)

Vehicle stolen from Montgomery County recovered in NE

News

November 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An SUV reported stolen late Monday afternoon in Montgomery County was recovered about 3-hours later, in Nebraska. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was notified at around 7:33-p.m. by officials with the Nebraska State Patrol, that authorities in Nebraska has located a 2003 Ford Escape that had been reported stolen in Iowa at around 4:30-p.m., Monday.

The SUV was found on Highway 75 in Douglas County, NE., and the owner (Richard McAlpin), was informed of its locating. An investigation into the incident was on-going.