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Service truck theft reported in Adair County

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Sheriff’s Office reports a service truck belonging to Agriland  F-S in Canby was stolen over the weekend. The vehicle, a white 2012 Ford F-350 with license plate 661 SEM, was stolen from the company’s shop. It was equipped with a flatbed box and had several pieces of equipment mounted on the back.

The doors were adorned with Agriland F-S  decals and unit number 629 was displayed on both front fenders. The pickup was stolen sometime between 10:30-a.m. Sunday and 7-a.m. Monday. Anyone with information about the theft or the location of the truck should call the Adair County Sheriff’s Office at 641-743-2148.

Anita woman arrested on theft charge


January 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports an Anita woman was arrested Monday on a shoplifting-related charge. 65-year old Linda Barber was taken into custody on a charge of 5th degree theft. She was later released with orders to appear in court at a later date.

No injuries during accident in Atlantic, Monday


January 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following a two-vehicle accident Monday afternoon at 13th and Plum Streets, in Atlantic. According to Atlantic Police, vehicles driven by Seth Nelson and Emily Hemphill, both of Atlantic, collided at around 3:35-p.m., when Hemphill’s vehicle began to slow, and was hit from behind by the Nelson vehicle. Nelson was cited for Failure to Maintain Control/reduce speed. Damage from the mishap amounted to $3,300.

Cass Supervisors to act on farm credits and zoning ordinance


January 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors will act on three separate matters during their meeting Wednesday morning, in Atlantic. In addition to their regular business, the Board will act on approving the hiring of a full-time legal administrative assistant, and vote to allow or disallow family farm and agricultural land credits, in accordance with the Iowa Code.

And, the Board will hold the second of two public hearings on an amended zoning ordinance, which would change the County Zoning District permitted principal uses. Last week, the board discussed the addition of a single word in one line of a section of the amendment, as proposed, with regard to areas zoned for Light Industry. They instructed Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner to review the ordinance and see if the wording was necessary, redundant, and/or would put the County at-risk for seeing Heavy Industry slip into a Light Industrial Zone.

The final vote may impact an agreement the County has with Ron Fagen, who has purchased the former Amaizing Energy site just northwest of Atlantic, and has plans to bring in a renewable energy production facility of some sort. Originally, he had proposed building a next generation cellulosic ethanol plant to the area, but those plans appear to have changed, and it is not clear what will end-up at the site.

Prior to adjournment, the Cass County Supervisors will review and discuss proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budgets. Their meeting begins at 9-a.m. in the Cass County Courthouse.

Adair County Supervisors to hear additional budget requests


January 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Board of Supervisors will field more requests for funding when they meet Wednesday morning, in Greenfield. The Board, like those in counties around the State, is gathering information on the needs of various county departments, as they prepare to discuss and finalize their Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

During their session Wednesday, the Supervisors in Adair County will hear budget requests from: Auditor Mindy Schaefer, with regard to the Clerk of Court and Social Services’ budgets: County Conservation Director Kevin Blazek, and Sheriff Brad Newton.

In addition, County Assistant Engineer Tom McGovern will present to the Board, a resolution for a 2013 Right of Way Purchase, 2013 Compensation for Fence, and Plans for a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Project, for the resurfacing of County Road G-30/White Pole Road.

Atlantic to look into additional athletic opportunities

News, Sports

January 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic High School Assistant Principal and Activities Director Josh Rasmussen, Monday, reported on a survey of the district’s 7th through 11th grade students, with regard to the possible addition of sports programs, such as bowling, swimming, archery and dance. Rasmussen was responsible for conducting the survey. He says 343 students participated in, and returned the survey. Seventh graders led all students, with 99 completing and returning the survey.

Rasmussen said the survey asked students if they would participate in one of the four mentioned activities if they were offered, and whether or not those same students would drop another activity, such as volleyball or soccer, to participate in one of the other, proposed activities.

He said 59-percent of the students said they would drop their current activity in favor of swimming (which is for the girls, is typically held in Fall, and boys in the Winter), 45-percent of them said bowling (Which is a Winter sport) would be a preferable substitute to their current sport. Archery, according to Rasmussen, would be more of a club-type gathering, because unlike bowling and swimming, it’s not a sanctioned sport by the State of Iowa. However, there are free competitions such as the Iowa Deer Classic in Des Moines where awards are handed-out to qualifiers.

As for Dance, Rasmussen says 60-percent of the survey respondents said if offered, that would take the place of their current activity. He said many girls who are currently involved in basketball or cheerleading, would likely become involved in the sport, which would be offered in the Fall.

Rasmussen says participating in sports teaches discipline, time management skills, and how to function in a team environment. Superintendent Mike Amstein instructed Rasmussen to try and come up with a cost analysis for each sport, by contacting other schools which offer those particular activities, and report back to the board at a future meeting, for them to consider the options.

Glenwood residents arrested on warrants


January 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reports two Glenwood residents were arrested Monday night on warrants for Failure to Appear on a charge of OWI/1st offense. Taken into custody, was 49-year old Brenda Lee Russell, and 24-year old Seth Ryan Peters. Both were being held in the Mills County Jail on $2,500 bond, each.

Atlantic School District administrators await funding info. for budget setting


January 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Atlantic School  Board held a discussion Monday night on the district’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget. Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein said there is still a lot of uncertainty as to how much the district will receive in allowable growth, which is one of the factors they use to prepare the budget. Amstein said the scenarios include legislators passing a zero-percent allowable growth, to as much as six-percent, which is a pie in the sky, best case situation. In reality, he’s hoping for three-percent allowable growth. The weighted Certified Enrollment for the past year was 1,429. Amstein says with zero-percent allowable growth, the budget guarantee means the district would still get 85,625 new dollars for the upcoming year.

If the legislature were to pass allowable growth of three-percent, Amstein says the district would realize 275,000 new dollars. He says that would be helpful to the district in providing services and instruction to students. The per student funding would increase from the current $6,065 to $6,185, at three-percent. He says there’s been some talk about eliminating allowable growth altogether, but it’s too early to know if that will come to fruition and another formula will replace it to repurpose those funds.

Amstein said also, he expects Taxable Valuation to remain the same at two-percent. Other areas the district is waiting for more information on, include: what will become of the Management Levy, for which there is one-year left to pay for the early retirement incentive. He says that levy needs to be maintained at the current level. Other unknown factors include property and casualty insurance premiums, and, how to pay for a full-time School Resource Officer. He says there are no funds, other than those from the General Fund, to pay or share the costs for, an SRO. One option would be to increase the Cash Reserve Levy.

And, there’s the matter of Debt Service, which impacts Capital Improvement Projects, as well expenses for the Hospital School.

(9-a.m. News)

8AM Newscast 01-15-2013

News, Podcasts

January 15th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Atlantic to host Exira/EHK consolidation meeting


January 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic High School will host a public meeting in March, pertaining to consolidation of the Exira-Elk Horn Kimballton School Districts. That was the word Monday night from Atlantic School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein, during a regular meeting of Atlantic’s Board of Education. Amstein says Exira-EHK officials requested an “impartial setting” for the meeting, which takes place March 13th in the Atlantic High School Auditorium, and is open to the public. Also in attendance, will be representatives with the Green Hills and the Heartland Area Education Agencies.

In other business, Amstein said also the district will have to make up two days of school missed on December 20th and 21st, due to a snow storm. Amstein said he will wait until sometime next month before he makes a recommendation to the Board about when those dates should be made up, knowing that there could be additional snow days between now and then.

But Amstein says he’s optimistic the next few months will be sunny and warmer than normal, and rain instead of snow. Right now though, he’s taking a “wait and see” attitude.  And Amstein reported to the Board Monday, that two officers with the Atlantic Police Department, Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren, and County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon, came to speak to a meeting of the district Principals, with regard to the A.L.I.C.E program schools use to deal with lock-down situations, such as the mass shooting in Newtown, CT and similar incidents, elsewhere.

Amstein says he will meet with district administrators Friday afternoon about the plan. He says another school district in Iowa has already begun to implement the program, which Atlantic may also use, to “Save as many lives as possible,” according to Amstein, should the district be faced with the potentially tragic situation.

ALICE stands for Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Escape. It teaches educators and students how to barricade doors, and if necessary, throw objects and attack an armed gunman. The program has not been endorsed by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) , which has more than 3,000 members nationwide. The program was created by a former SWAT officer and his wife, in response to the 1999 school shooting in Columbine, CO.  More than 300 schools are using the plan across the country.

(For more info. about the ALICE Program, surf to: http://www.responseoptions.com/