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Area School Board meeting agenda’s for Monday, 2/15/16


February 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Several area school district Boards of Education are holding their regular monthly meetings, Monday evening. When the CAM School District Board gathers for their meeting at 6:30-p.m. in the Anita High School Media Center, they’ll discuss and/or take action on: Open enrollment applications; Resignations/early retirements; Contracts; Bids for a Chevy Suburban; Driver Education contract/fees; the CAM Education Association (CAMEA) initiation of bargaining toward the 2016-17 Master Contract, and they’ll review the abstract votes from the PPEL election as well as discuss the Capital Projects plan.

The Audubon School Board meeting will be held in the High School Board Room beginning at 7-p.m., Monday. On their agenda is: Approval of the Auditor’s Report; The initial proposal from the Audubon Education Assoc.; The final reading of Board Polices pertaining to Board Conflicts of Interest, Transporting students in private vehicles, employee qualification and recruitment selection, purchasing/bidding, and the care, maintenance and disposal of school district records.

Other Action items include the acceptance of a quote for the softball field light project, and approval of the FY 2017 School Calendar, along with a decision on school Make-up days. Prior to adjournment, the Audubon School Board will hold an Exempt Session for strategy negotiations with a collective bargaining unit.

And, in Elk Horn, the Exira-EHK School Board meeting begins 7-p.m. Monday in the High School Conference Room. On the agenda is Driver’s Ed teacher contracts, the future of Early Retirements, and approval of a Superintendent contract for 2016-17.

Griswold School Board meeting set for Feb. 15th


February 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Griswold School District’s Board of Education will meet Monday evening (Feb. 15th), during a regularly scheduled session in the Central Office Board Room. During their 5:30-p.m. session, the Board will receive follow-up information on the Security project, as well as discuss and act on the second reading of various Board Policies.

New business for the Griswold School Board includes: Setting the specifications for Mowing and Liability Insurance; Approval of Early Retirement applications; Reviewing bids for lawn chemical application; Board Self-Assessment, and Discussion on Sharing with other districts. They’ll also hold the first-reading of numerous Board Policies.

Gov. Branstad orders flags at half-staff to honor Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia


February 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered all flags in Iowa be flown at half-staff from sunrise Monday, Feb. 15, 2016 until sunset, on the day of internment, to honor former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Justice Scalia passed away on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016.

The governor’s directive applies to all U.S. and state flags under the control of the state. Flags will be at half-staff on the state Capitol building and on flag displays in the Capitol complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state.

Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.

Some Iowa teacher misconduct not reported to national group


February 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — At least 103 cases of teacher misconduct in Iowa were omitted from a national database since 1990. The Des Moines Register’s investigation  revealed errors in Iowa’s information, so state officials have ordered a full audit of the system.

Duane Magee leads the Iowa agency that licenses teachers. He says the state wants to make sure that all of the teachers sanctioned in the state are reported to the national database. State law also limits the amount of information the state Board of Educational Examiners can share about teachers, which could make it hard for school districts to ensure they’re not hiring someone with a criminal record.

2 arrested on felony charges Saturday evening in Adams County


February 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson


Sydney Dimmler


Gregory Welcher

Sheriff’s Deputies in Adams County arrested two people Saturday evening on felony charges. 19-year old Gregory Welcher, of Thayer, and 18-year old Sydney Dimmler, of Corning, were arrested at around 6:25-p.m.

Welcher faces a Class-B felony charge of Distribution to a Person Under 18 on Certain Real Property. His bond was set at $25,000. Dimmler faces a Class-D felony charge of Conspiracy to Distribute to a Minor. Dimmler posted a $5,000 bond and was released from custody.

The case remains under investigation.

IL man arrested on drug charges Sun. morning in Montgomery Co.


February 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop early this (Sunday) morning in Montgomery County, resulted in the arrest of one person on drug charges. Deputies stopped 37-year old Mark Anthony Stowe, of Atkinson, IL., at around 3:05-a.m. at the intersection of Highway 34 and M Avenue.

Stowe was subsequently charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1,000 bond.

Dubious distinction: Page County #1 in IA teen pregnancies


February 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Page County has a top ranking in Iowa it isn’t proud of: teen pregnancies. On top of that, the southwest Iowa county is in the top 15 in the state for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) among those under age 21. The Daily NonPareil reports, as a result of those dire statistics, a teen pregnancy prevention initiative has been started in conjunction with Mills County, which is in the top five for teen pregnancies and also highly ranked for STIs.

Shanae Adams, a teen pregnancy prevention educator with Planned Parenthood, says a federally funded grant worth $5 million over the next five years will allow education and advocacy to be brought to the two counties. Adams says while the rate for teen pregnancy in Page County is lower than the national average, it is high in relation to the number of teens in the county, and the state-wide average.

After five years, Adams said the hope is for the program to remain sustainable so it can continue. The first two years will be spent organizing community and youth advisory boards to help get the initiative’s curriculum into Page and Mills county classrooms. Adams said she will ask the school boards for Page and Mills county schools to bring the curriculum into those schools.

Planned Parenthood is hoping to launch a pilot program at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year for its new sex education curriculum for Page and Mills County schools. Adams is also trained to present on topics such as bullying, online safety and confidence, providing other options for schools as they look to supplement their existing educational programs.

As the teen pregnancy prevention initiative continues to get underway in Page County, volunteers are needed to serve and provide input into the planning process. A community advisory board meets 7 to 8 p.m. the last Thursday of each month in the meeting room of the Shenandoah Public Library, 201 S. Elm St. The meetings are open to anyone in the community.

In the hour before the community group, a youth advisory board will meet from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Shenandoah Public Library. The meetings are open to any teenager in Page County.

Branstad highlights cheaper prison calls that were required


February 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Prison inmates in Iowa are paying cheaper telephone rates to talk to their families under a rule change that Gov. Terry Branstad has highlighted as part of his criminal justice reform efforts, but the change was also federally mandated.

The Federal Communications Commission adopted changes last year, including a rule that prisons can charge inmates a maximum of 11 cents per minute for telephone calls within the United States. The Iowa Department of Corrections removed a more expensive flat rate in January.

Branstad highlighted the change in his Condition of the State address when he specified his criminal justice reform efforts in Iowa. Branstad’s spokesman says the timing of the federal requirement is coincidental, though a corrections spokesman says the change was greatly influenced by the FCC.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sunday, Feb. 14th 2016


February 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Former students say they were routinely kept in small concrete “isolation boxes” for days or even weeks as punishment at a private boarding school for troubled teenagers in Iowa that is now under investigation by the FBI. Six former students at Midwest Academy in Keokuk tell The Associated Press they dreaded the cell-like rooms where they had to sit on the floor for 24 hours or more and listen to classmates screaming or piped-in motivational recordings.

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) — Police in a Des Moines suburb say a city officer has shot and killed a man suspected of first firing a gun at officers. The Register reports that the shooting happened in an Urbandale hotel lobby around 4 a.m. Saturday. Police Sergeant Gary Lang says officers responded to a Holiday Inn after receiving a call about drugs there. Authorities have not released the names of the man shot or officers involved.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — An 18-year-old man suspected of shooting a Sioux City police officer has had his bond set at $300,000. The Sioux City Journal reports that Isaiah Mothershed’s bond was set Thursday. Mothershed’s preliminary hearing has been set for February 19th in Woodbury County District Court.

CLIVE, Iowa (AP) — Fourth-graders at Clive Learning Academy are getting a new addition, and this one has four legs. Des Moines television station KCCI reports that a goldendoodle named Bogey is the school district’s first therapy dog.

5.1 and 3.9 magnitude earthquakes recorded in Oklahoma: felt in Iowa


February 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

FAIRVIEW, Okla. (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 5.1 magnitude earthquake in northwest Oklahoma that was reportedly felt across Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Nebraska, Texas, Arkansas and Iowa.

Fairview police and the Major County Sheriff’s Office say there are no reports of injury or damage as a result of the quake that struck Saturday at 11:07 a.m. about 17 miles north of Fairview. A second earthquake measured at magnitude 3.9 struck in the same area at 11:17 a.m. The area is about 100 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.

The strongest earthquake on record in Oklahoma is a magnitude 5.6 centered in Prague in November 2011 that damaged 200 buildings. The temblors are the latest in a series of earthquakes linked to the injection of wastewater underground from oil and gas production.