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Atlantic School Board discusses expansion


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board Thursday night, discussed the reasons for choosing a considerably more expensive new construction and renovation plan for the school district, prior to voting on proceeding with the process to bring a $19.8-million bond referendum to the voters. Superintendent Mike Amstein said it all boils down to current and projected increased enrollment and the need to provide a quality education.

Board Member Dennis Davis, who was the only one to vote against Concept 2, wanted to know why Amstein thought the less expensive option (Concept1). wasn’t more fitting. Amstein said it doesn’t provide any additional space for what’s going to be needed in the next two- to three-years. He said when space for Title 1 and ESL increasing enrollments are taken into consideration, Concept 1 doesn’t provide the necessary space. It does provide space for regular classrooms, but the other classes are cramped. Concept 2 he says, will provide that additional space.

Davis wanted to know how firm and accurate the projected enrollment numbers are that is prompting a proposed expansion of the district’s facilities. Amstein said “Our best guess comes from our 4-year old program and our 3-year old program. Both of those numbers still tend to run along the same lines we’ve been receiving in the past few years.” He said graduating class numbers are also expected to increase over the next couple of years.

Past that, Amstein says it’s difficult to project what the numbers will be, but the State is projecting 120-to 125 kindergarten students coming in. Amstein says they’ve already surpassed that. He said he doesn’t think the district is “overbuilding.”  Board member Phil Hascall said he “Would have voted in a heart beat for Option 1,” so the district could build faster and get rid of the mobile classrooms, but it would “short change” the kids. He said he’s glad the administration gathered the necessary input and the board made the right decision in choosing Concept 2.

Hascall said he thinks it gives the district more flexibility. Option 1 also didn’t contain a renovation for the Industrial Tech program. Board member Rod Hartwig said Concept 2 helps meet the Board’s goal of a high standard of education.

Bacterial infection worsening in northwest Iowa


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The outbreak of a contagious bacterial infection that causes diarrhea has worsened in northwest Iowa’s Woodbury County.  Siouxland District Health Department Deputy Director Tyler Brock tells the Sioux City Journal that shigellosis had sickened 225 children and adults in the region as of Wednesday. That’s up from 95 cases in late November.   Woodbury County recorded a single case of shigellosis last year.

Most people who are infected have frequent watery stools that could be bloody, as well as fever and stomach cramps, starting a day or two after exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms usually last several days.

Iowa News Headlines: Fri., Dec. 20th 2013


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted six men from China on charges of conspiracy to steal trade secrets. The indictment, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines, was unsealed yesterday. It alleges the men conspired to steal patented seed developed by DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto and ship it to China.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State officials say an emerald ash borer has been found in a residential tree in the southwestern Iowa city of Creston. The announcement yesterday marked the fifth location where the beetle has been found in Iowa. It’s the first time the insect has been spotted in western Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Polk County jury has again found an Ankeny man guilty of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his ex-wife’s lover. The Des Moines Register reports 66-year-old Vernon Huser was convicted in the death of Lance Morningstar, whose body was found in 2005. Huser was convicted of the same charge in 2010, but the Iowa Court of Appeals ordered a new trial because of hearsay evidence.

GREENFIELD, Iowa (AP) — A pregnant woman’s quick stop at a central Iowa convenience store while on the way to the hospital didn’t go as planned. Amanda Teas, who works at Casey’s General Store in Greenfield, tells KCCI Abbie Hinrichs stopped in at about 2:30 a.m. yesterday to use the restroom. Hinrichs told Teas she was in labor and was headed for the Creston hospital, but gave birth 4 minutes later.

Suspects being sought in connection with beating & attempted robbery in Council Bluffs


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Council Bluffs are investigating an incident of alleged attempted robbery and assault that occurred after the victim went to meet a person he connected with on Facebook. Officials say 30-year old Sean Moore, of Herman, NE., reported to police two men and a woman tried to rob him during the incident that happened at around 10:35-p.m. Monday near the intersection of 29th Street and West Broadway, in Council Bluffs.

According to the Police Department, a woman Moore had been to speaking to for a month on the social media website Facebook picked Moore up in Herman, NE, and the pair – along with two men the female brought along – made their way to Council Bluffs. In the 2900 block of West Broadway, the woman and two men allegedly told Moore to get out of the vehicle and, once outside, that they had a gun and were going to rob him.

When Moore asked to see the gun, the men replied by punching him. Moore was eventually able to escape and call police. He suffered non-life threatening injuries and did not go to the hospital.  Authorities say police are targeting suspects and continue to investigate the incident.

Omaha/Council Bluffs Pharmacy robberies may be connected


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are investigating a possible connection between pharmacy robberies in Council Bluffs and Omaha. Bluffs Police Sgt. Chad Meyers told the Omaha-World Herald there were similarities between the incidents at a K-Mart Pharmacy on E. Kanesville Blvd. last Saturday, and a CVS Pharmacy on Dec. 8th., as well as the recent robbery of an Omaha Walgreens Store.

Meyer told the paper a man wearing a coat entered Kmart about 11:16-a.m. Saturday and approached the half-door that leads into the pharmacy area. As the suspect approached, he put the hood over his head and motioned to one of the pharmacy techs to come over to him. The suspect indicated he had a gun and demanded all of their pain medication.

Meyer said while no gun was displayed, the clerk could see what appeared to be the butt of a weapon inside the suspect’s coat. The man left the store with an undisclosed amount of oxycodone.

2 hurt in Mills County crash Thursday evening


December 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Two people were injured during a collision Thursday evening on Highway 275, in Mills County. The Iowa State Patrol says the driver of a pickup, 57-year old Lee Allen Mosier, of Imogene, and the driver of a car, 66-year old William Porter Rickabaugh, Jr., of Malvern were hurt, when the vehicles collided on the shoulder of the road just north of the Mills/Fremont County line, near Tabor. The accident happened at around 5:40-p.m,

Officials say Mosier was traveling south in his 2001 Ford F-350 pickup, when he noticed headlights facing him off on the west shoulder. Mosier told authorities he thought the other vehicle was pulling out into his lane, so he took to the west shoulder of the road, where his vehicle collided with Rickabaugh’s 2000 Volvo S-80. The Volvo was pulled off on the west side of the road facing the wrong way, while Rickabaugh was retrieving mail from a rural mailbox.

Rickabaugh, who was not wearing a seat belt, was transported by Glenwood Rescue to Creighton Hospital in Omaha. Mosier, who was wearing a seat belt, was checked and treated at the scene.

Woman gives birth to baby at convenience store in Adair County


December 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

GREENFIELD, Iowa (AP) – A pregnant woman’s quick stop at a central Iowa convenience store while on the way to the hospital didn’t go as planned.  Amanda Teas, who works at Casey’s General Store in Greenfield, told KCCI Abbie Hinrichs stopped in at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday to use the restroom.     Hinrichs told Teas she was in labor and was headed for the Creston hospital.  Teas checked on her about four minutes later and found the baby had arrived.  She says Hinrichs “was calm as could be.”

Teas ran outside to tell Henrich’s mother, husband and son, who were in a car. Medics soon arrived, taking Henrich and the baby to the Adair County Hospital. The family says Addison Nicole Hinrichs weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces. She and her mother are doing fine.

Atlantic School Board approves $19.8-million facilities/expansion project


December 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education Thursday night approved by a vote of 4-to 1, moving ahead with plans for a $19.8-million dollar Capital Improvements project that would include new construction and additional renovations to current district facilities. Board member Dennis Davis provided the lone no vote. The action came after discussion which lasted for about 55-minutes. The matter is expected to come before the voters in the form of a bond referendum on April 1st, 2014.

Concept 2

Concept 2

The Board had two concepts to choose from before making their final decision. The first would have cost a little more than $8-million. They chose the second, more costly option, based upon a recommendation from Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein, who said the proposal was based on input from faculty, staff, the administrators, school board discussions, and input from the community. 

He proposed four new classrooms on the northeast side of the Washington Elementary School, which will provide space for the two Pre-school classes currently in place at the Old Lincoln School building, as well as space for the Special Education classroom. The second part of the concept is the addition of a new Middle School building (for grades 7 and 8) next to the High School. Amstein thinks that will provide enough instructional space for both grades, and a greater opportunity for students to take exploratory classes and achieve high school credit in the 8th grade, prior to attending high school.

The proposal also calls for the construction of eight new classrooms on the west side wings of the High School. Special Education classes would be housed in most of those classrooms, but some would serve as additional math and science space, and possibly a Career Tech Education classroom, as well as an expansion of the current art room. The concept also calls for the expansion and renovation of the Industrial Technology and Agricultural Education Lab. Plans also call for replacement of 18-year old heat pumps at the high school. Amstein says they typically have a service life of 15- to 18-years.

He says the plan would also require reconfiguration of the Schuler and Middle School buildings, but no new construction other than a possible renovation of the Level 3 Severe and Profound classroom at Schuler or the current Middle School. Amstein also recommended the Old Lincoln building house the Cass County Educational Opportunity Center (CCEOC), which was previously housed at that facility.

The earliest construction could begin if the project is approved by the voters on April 1st, is in the Summer of 2015.

Indictments allege conspiracy to steal corn seed

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted six men from China on charges of conspiracy to steal trade secrets. The indictment, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines, was unsealed on Thursday. It alleges the men conspired to steal patented seed developed by DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto and ship it to China. The indictment follows last week’s announcement by U.S. Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt that the FBI had uncovered seed thefts.

Indicted is Mo Hailong, international business director of the Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group. He is in federal custody. Also indicted is Li Shaoming, CEO of Beijing Kings Nower Seed, three of his employees, and Wang Hongwei, who is believed to live in Canada.

No attorneys had yet appeared on their behalf in court documents.

CCMH Foundation kicks off annual campaign


December 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Memorial Hospital Foundation recently kicked off its annual fundraising campaign.  Since 1968, the Cass County Memorial Hospital Foundation has supported the hospital by raising funds to provided equipment, services and education which might not be possible otherwise.  In 2013, the annual campaign raised funds to purchase equipment for the Outpatient Clinics, Rehabilitation Services, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Diabetes Center.  The 2014 campaign funded the development of the Healing Garden, located just outside the hospital cafeteria.

Dawn Marnin, CCMH Foundation Director, says “We truly appreciate the wonderful support our community has shown for our friends, family and neighbors over the years. Their support is what allows the Foundation to continue providing these important services and pieces of medical equipment, helping the hospital achieve its mission of being a center of healthcare excellence here in Southwest Iowa.

The 2014 CCMH Foundation Annual Campaign will focus on medical equipment to enhance care in the Emergency and Obstetrics Departments: 

·       A cardiac monitor for the Emergency Department that will be used to continuously monitor a patient’s cardiovascular system so that, at a moment’s notice, the medical team can respond to even the slightest change in readings.

·       Two fetal monitors for the Obstetrics Department to monitor a baby’s heartbeat during labor and delivery for early signs of distress.  This will allow staff to provide the best care possible for our newest patients.

Marnin says now is a great time to be thinking about a charitable gift to the Cass County Memorial Hospital Foundation.  A gift on or before December 31, 2013, can provide the donor with an itemized tax deduction.  There are many ways to make a year-end gift, and each gift makes a difference in the lives of friends and loved ones needing medical care.

For more information on how to make a charitable gift to the CCMH Foundation, contact Dawn at 712-243-7409.

(Press Release)