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News, Podcasts

March 24th, 2012 by admin

w/ Brett Johnson

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Occupy Protestors rally against online schools

News

March 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

“Occupy Des Moines” protestors gathered in front of the State Capital in Des Moines Friday night, to voice their concerns over numerous education-related issues being debated in state, including state funding for online education provided by private companies. The Des Moines Register reports in its Saturday edition, that the biggest concern raised by speakers and the audience was the funneling of state money toward online academies rather than public schools. A provision in the education reform bill allows up to 900 Iowa students to be enrolled in for-profit online academies administered by local districts. The bill also addresses teacher preparation and teacher and student evaluation.

Last week, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said online schools are allowed under state law. Miller’s opinion 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 have argued 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. Those in attendance at Friday night’s event at the State Capital also addressed concerns over reductions in state funding for public universities and UNI program cuts.

Western Iowa Railroad Museum

News

March 24th, 2012 by admin

The Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs is putting a vintage baggage car on the rails again to use as a traveling exhibit as the railroad celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.
 
The baggage car, dubbed the Promontory, was built in 1962 as a postal storage car. Union Pacific has turned it into a traveling museum highlighting its history since 1862. It includes 13 large graphics, an interactive touch screen and artifacts from the railroad’s museum.
 
The baggage car is named for Promontory Summit in Utah, the site selected for the joining of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads in 1869.
 
The traveling exhibit, which will visit 27 communities, is a smaller version of the “Building America” exhibit that will open at the museum in May.

Atlantic School Board to act on employee termination, Tuesday

News

March 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education will hold two sessions Tuesday, March 27th, in the High School Media Center. The first session begins at 6:45-p.m. Following the standard roll call procedure and approval of the agenda, the Board will move into a closed session. When they return to an open session, the board will act on approving a recommendation for termination of employment. No other details are available with regard to the affected employee.

At 7:30-p.m., the Board will hold a work session, during which they will discuss the Atlantic Middle School Building Leadership Team (BLT), and matters pertaining to the Super Board meeting scheduled to take place March 29th.

Home and Garden Show this weekend in Harlan

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Vendors from all around the area will be in Harlan this weekend, for the 26th annual “Home, Garden and Living Show.” In fact, over 40 vendors are expected to bring their wares for your garden, home, and lifestyle. The theme for this year’s event, is “Red, White and Blue.” The show at the Veteran’s Auditorium in Harlan is sponsored by The Harlan Newspapers. The papers’ Al Hazelton says one thing that’s changed over the years is how much technology is coming to the show.

 He says there’ll be communications and energy saving exhibits, computers and related peripherals, and more. Other vendors will have appliances, health, beauty and landscaping products on display. Anyone attending the event will register for great prizes including a TV, outdoor grill and a giant tool cabinet. Hazelton says if you are thinking the Home, Garden and Living show is for adults only, think again. He says the show appeals to all ages. The newspaper is giving away prizes for kids, and most of the exhibitors have drawings for their own giveaways. 

The Home, Garden and Living show begins Saturday evening. Hazelton says admission to the show is free. The hours are from 5-to 8:30-p.m. Saturday, and from Noon- to 4-pm Sunday.

(Joel McCall/KNOD – Harlan)

Neb. police ID Iowan suspected in stabbing

News

March 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

LA VISTA, Neb. (AP) — Authorities have released the name of an Iowa man suspected of stabbing his former girlfriend and her stepmother in the Omaha suburb of La Vista. La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten identified the man as 24-year-old Brandon Hendon, of Essex, Iowa. Hendon faces two counts of attempted murder, burglary and weapons charges. Hendon is accused of stabbing 18-year-old Jaimee Kirsch and 31-year-old Jessica Walker a little after 3:30 a.m. Friday. Lausten says they have been reported in stable condition at Creighton University Medical Center and are expected to survive their wounds.

Earlier Friday, La Vista Police Capt. Kevin Pokorny said family members had talked to officers on Thursday evening, sharing concerns about the younger woman’s ex-boyfriend. Hendon was arrested in Plattsmouth, which is 13 miles south-southeast of La Vista.

Cities mull options if traffic cameras are banned

News

March 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa cities that take in millions of dollars a year from automated traffic enforcement cameras are mulling over their options if lawmakers force them to shut off the devices. Legislation that would require the cameras to be removed has passed out of the House Appropriations Committee, moving it to the list of measures that can be called up for full House debate this year.
 
The cameras are used in seven cities, including Council Bluffs and Sioux City. Iowa City’s council voted in February to begin using the cameras. Iowa isn’t the only state interested in such a ban. Nine states have passed laws that ban the use of automated traffic cameras. Last year, legislation was introduced but did not pass in Arizona, Florida, Missouri and South Dakota.

Harlan man arrested for supplying alcohol to a minor

News

March 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports 42-year old James Boell, of Harlan, was arrested Wednesday on alcohol-related charges, including supplying alcohol to a minor. Boell and 19-year old Daniel Netawaka, of Kansas, were charged following a traffic stop. Officials say Boell was also arrested for OWI/2nd offense. Netawaka was cited for Possession of alcohol by a person under legal age.

Harlan Police report also, 27-year old Kevin Smith, of Harlan, was charged with Theft in the 5th degree , following an investigation into a complaint filed by Harlan Municipal Utilities that Smith was using unauthorized utilities, in the form of cable television. The offense allegedly occurred on or about March 5th. Smith was issued a citation to appear in court.

Last Sunday, 23-year old Tyler Alex Powers, of Harlan, was arrested on an assault charge, after officers were called to a residence in the 200-block of 20th Street. He posted a $300 bond Tuesday, and is scheduled to appear in court April 20th. On Thursday, Powers was arrested again, on a warrant for Violation of his Parole.

And, the Harlan Police Deparment reports several individuals were arrested March 17th, after officers investigated a noise complaint in the 600 block of Broadway. Persons who face charges of Possession of Alcohol under the age, include: 18-year old’s Cain Pfeifer, Tannis Belisle, and Kaitlyn Stessman; and, 19-year old’s Malerie Scheffler, Chantel Scheffler, and Adam Scheffler, all of Harlan. In addition, 24-year old Jackie Thielen, of Harlan, was cited for supplying alcohol to persons under legal age.

Iowa audit cites improper disbursements in Dexter

News

March 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DEXTER, Iowa (AP) – State authorities say an audit has uncovered that more than $131,000 was improperly disbursed by the city clerk in Dexter before her death in 2010.  A news release from the office of State Auditor David Vaudt says nearly $71,000 in checks was improperly issued to Denise Miller. She was city clerk from Jan. 1, 2000, until she died on July 15, 2010. 
 
The audit also says the total included more than $45,000 that was improperly disbursed for penalties and interest related to payroll taxes and nearly $7,000 in interest for an unauthorized loan Miller took out in the city’s name.
 
Vaudt’s office says inadequate records kept auditors from determining whether more money was improperly paid out or not properly deposited.     The auditors recommended that the city bolster its financial controls.

Cass Supervisors accept V-A Affairs Commissioner’s resignation

News

March 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Wednesday, accepted a letter of resignation from Jerry Putnam, a member of the Cass County Veterans Affairs Commission for the past 12-years. The resignation is effective immediately. Putnam’s replacement is expected to be appointed during the Board’s next meeting, on March 30th.

The Supervisor’s Wednesday, also discussed a revision to the County’s cellular phone policy. The matter was taken under advisement until their next meeting. In other business, the Board next Friday, will review appointments to the Local Emergency Planning Council (LEPC).