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Cass County Public Safety Commission to discuss funding option

News

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

There will be a special meeting of the Cass County Public Safety Commission, this Thursday, January 22nd 2015 at 6:30-pm, in the basement meeting room of the Cass County Courthouse. Cass County 911 Services Director Rob Koppert says the purpose of the meeting is to discuss and possibly act upon a funding option for the Cass County Public Safety Commission.

All city mayors of Cass County have been invited to attend as well as representatives from the State of Iowa, Shelby County Emergency Management, the Cass County Assessor’s Office and the Cass County Auditor’s Office.

The regular meeting for the Cass County Public Safety Commission will be Monday, January 26, 2015 at 5:00pm in the basement meeting room of the Cass County Courthouse.

Agriculture profits rejuvenate Iowa, Nebraska farms

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Agriculture officials say an increase in corn and soybean profit is bringing young Iowans and Nebraskans back to the farm. Charles Wiiest, market president of the Nebraska-based Arbor Bank, says young people are now more likely to start their own farm or join their family’s farming business. Wiiest credits this influx to improved profitability in the agriculture industry in recent years.

The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports corn currently can bring in up to $4 per bushel and soybeans $10 per bushel. Wiiest says these numbers show significant profit growth from when he graduated college in the late 1990s. Wiiest says expanding career opportunities in the agriculture industry has also attracted the younger generation. He says chemists and veterinarians are among new careers in high demand.

Key legislator hopes to remove state from school start date decisions

News

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A bill has been introduced in the Iowa House that ultimately would allow Iowa schools to start earlier in August, something Governor Terry Branstad is trying to stop. Branstad favors tying the school start date to the week in which September 1st falls, but Representative Ron Jorgensen, of Sioux City, says that’s a decision for local school officials, not the state to make.  “I’ve just been in support of local conrol and if the focus is just totally on education, I think that’s the way we should look at it.”

Branstad argues Iowa’s tourist attractions like the State Fair lose visitors, and teenage employees, when schools start classes in early August. Jorgensen is the lead sponsor of a bill that would give school officials unlimited local authority to set the first day of the school year.  “This would eliminate the waiver requirement for school districts and allow the school districts to set their own start date,” Jorgensen says.

Under current law, Iowa schools are supposed to start during the week in which September 1st falls, but school districts can apply for a waiver from the later start date. The Iowa Department of Education has automatically granted those waivers, but in mid-December the agency’s director announced schools would have to “adequately demonstrate” starting school at the end of August would have a “negative educational impact” on students.

Advocates of starting earlier in August say it allows students to take end-of-semester tests before the New Years break. Jorgensen says there’s also a need to coordinate the schedule with Iowa colleges, because many high schoolers are already taking college courses. “And most of those colleges will start the second or third week of August also,” Jorgensen says.

Jorgensen, a former school board member, is a Republican and he was the main sponsor of Branstad’s education reform plan that cleared the legislature last year. Jorgensen is also chairman of the House Education Committee and he plans to bring his bill up for debate “as soon as possible.” There are already a dozen co-sponsors of Jorgensen’s bill to essentially eliminate any state limit on when schools can start.

(Radio Iowa)

Glenwood P-D reports 3 arrests

News

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Three people were arrested recently, in Glenwood. Authorities say 21-year old Nicholas Stewart, of Pacific Junction was arrested Saturday, for OWI 1st offense. His bond set at $1000. That same day, 20-year old Jeffrey Reeve, of Glenwood was arrested for Violation of a No Contact order. His bond was set at $300.

And today (Monday), 41-year old Travis Batten, of Glenwood was arrested for Disorderly Conduct. His bond was set at $300.

Sioux City teenager wants to follow in King’s footsteps

News

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Seventeen-year-old Xavier Scarlett says he notices eyes following him whenever he enters a store or whenever he’s on the streets at night. He’s president of his Iowa high school’s National Honor Society and captain of the basketball team, but Scarlett told the Sioux City Journal that he’s still thought of as a black, male teen who must be watched carefully.

He says he wants to follow in the footsteps of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  Scarlett was scheduled to be one of the featured speakers at Monday evening’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day ceremony at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

Scartlett says civil rights “isn’t a black issue. It’s a human issue.”

OWI arrest and an accident in Atlantic

News

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department report one arrest and an accident occurred last Friday.  19-year old Amanda Cooper, of Atlantic, was arrested on a Cass County warrant for OWI 1st Offense. Cooper was booked into the Cass County Jail.

And, an accident Friday afternoon at 8th and Mulberry Streets resulted in one-person being sent to the hospital, and about $3,500 damage. Officials say vehicles driven by Emily Claussen, of Anita and Nicole Martin, of Atlantic, collided at around 3:45-p.m.  The accident happened when Claussen — who was traveling east on 8th Street -failed to stop at the stop sign and hit Martin’s vehicle, which was traveling south on Mulberry. A passenger in Martin’s vehicle suffered minor injuries and was transported to CCMH by private vehicle. Claussen was cited for Failure to Obey a Stop Sign.

Shenandoah man arrested on explosives & drug charges

News

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office reports a Shenandoah man was arrested last week on an explosives and drug charges. 42-year old Craig Edward Wallace was arrested Jan. 12th for: Possession of an Explosive Device with Intent; Possession of a Controlled Substance/Precursor; Unauthorized Possession of an Offensive Weapon, and Unlawful Possession of Prescription Drugs.

Also arrested on Jan. 12th, was 28-year old Katherine Elizabeth Lynn, of Shenandoah. She faces charges that include Possession of a Controlled Substance, Unauthorized Possession of an Offensive Weapon, and Unlawful Possession of a Prescription Drug.

(Podcast) 8-a.m. News, 1/19/2015

News, Podcasts

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

With Ric Hanson.

Play

Dozens of events scheduled in Iowa to celebrate School Choice Week

News

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More than 80 rallies and other events are planned in Iowa as part of National School Choice Week, which starts next Sunday. Andrew Campanella is president of the countrywide effort, which focuses on giving parents the ability to make important educational decisions for their children.  “School choice is simply the process of empowering parents to choose the best schools for their kids,” Campanella says. “Parents should be able to choose from traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, online academies, private schools, and have the freedom to home-school their kids.”

He applauds Iowa as a “national leader” in providing options to parents. “The state has open enrollment in traditional public schools and that allows parents to choose schools that may be in different school districts,” Campanella says. “There is a private school choice program allowing parents to receive tuition assistance if they cannot afford a private school for their child. There is a statewide online academy, there are magnet schools and there are charter schools.”

Home-schooling is yet another option in Iowa. Campanella says he’s very impressed by the state’s efforts. “I look at Iowa as a great example of what a rural state should be doing in terms of providing parents with a good number of educational options for their kids.” At least 87 events are planned across Iowa during the last week of this month as part of School Choice Week, including a rally in Des Moines that Governor Branstad is scheduled to attend.

Campanella says, “Other events will include rallies at schools, open houses so parents can learn more about their education options for next school year, round table discussions, movie screenings, so many different types of events.” More than 10,000 events are planned nationwide during the week, January 25-31. Learn more at the website: www.schoolchoiceweek.com.

(Radio Iowa)

Creston man arrested on drug charge Mon. morning

News

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A man from Union County was arrested this (Monday) morning in Red Oak, on a drug charge. Police say 38-year old Jeremy Gordon King, of Creston, was arrested for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 cash bond.