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Atlantic School District needs to reign-in spending & increase cash flow

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District needs to do a better job of reigning-in spending and taking in cash. That’s the word from Gary Sinclair, with PMA Financial Network, who handed out a half-inch thick booklet to the school board and discussed for more than 40-minutes, ways to continue to improve upon financial planning. The information he presented during Monday night’s board meeting, was compiled through the use of IASB (Iowa Association of School Board) reports.

Areas of concern included the district’s Unspent Balance, its Cash Position, Spending Authority, and Solvency ratio. He said the district has been “trending down,” and at the end of FY 2014 was -3.6, which means if all the bills had been paid, the district would not have had enough money. The district’s Unspent Balance has also been trending down.  He says eventually, unless that’s turned around, it will continue to accelerate.

Sinclair also pointed out the district has fewer students per full-time employee teachers, than four other, comparable districts, which results in higher salaries and benefits in the General Fund, and which “Has contributed to the financial challenges” the district is experiencing.

The district has been working with the Financial Planning Program (FPP) to better track and control its spending. The program is based on past spending, future spending, projected enrollment, income, and numerous other factors. The data show over the next two years, the district has to have a net reduction in salaries and one a one-year net reduction in benefits, to turn the budget around. If not, the district will show a negative balance in two-years.

Sinclair said there’s not much the district can do on the revenue side of the equation. PMA projects a reduction of eight teaching positions next year, but also adds fractional teacher hiring positions based on enrollment increases. Atlantic will start the TLC (Teacher Leadership and Compensation) system next year, which will bring in needed revenue, but part of activities the district is currently doing, will qualify for TLC spending, which will supplant the General Fund. Attrition of staff, by retirement, or by transfers to other districts, are also factored in to the financial picture.

He says the bottom line is the district needs to take in more cash next year in order to bring the solvency ratio back into a positive range.

Atlantic man arrested Monday

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic man was arrested Monday, for Violation of a No Contact Order. The A-PD says 44-year old Carl Kemp was taken into custody and booked into the Cass County Jail.

Bluffs Police investigate Tue. morning shooting

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Police in Council Bluffs are investigating a shooting that took place early this (Tuesday) morning. Authorities say 31-year old Aaron Caddell, of Council Bluffs, walked into the Emergency Room at Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital at around 2:40-a.m., suffering from a gunshot wound to his right ankle. He was treated at the hospital, and released.Bluffs Badge

Caddell told police he had been walking east on Kanesville Boulevard near the intersection with Main Street, when he heard a “pop,” and was shot. The bullet came allegedly from someone in a red car that was also traveling east on Kanesville Blvd.

Caddell was unable to provide any information on the occupants of the vehicle, or a better description of the vehicle itself. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Council Bluffs Police Department at 712-328-STOP. You can remain anonymous, and are eligible for a cash reward if the information leads to an arrest and conviction.

(Podcast) KJAN 8-a.m. News, 4/28/2015

News, Podcasts

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More area, and state news, from Ric Hanson.

Play

E-Cigarette Use Among Young People Tops Regular Cigarettes

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – Use of e-cigarettes among young people in Iowa and across the United States is topping regular cigarettes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that, for the first time in the history of its National Youth Tobacco Survey, e-cigarette use is higher than all other forms of tobacco use, including cigarettes.

CDC director Tom Frieden said the increased popularity of the product is working against other progress made in the fight against cigarette smoking. “Big picture here is, we’re seeing a striking increase,” he said. “It’s very concerning. It more than counterbalances the decrease in cigarette smoking, which we’ve seen occurring over the last few years.”

Brian King, deputy director for research translation in the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said the many flavors offered with e-cigarettes and hookah tobacco make them interesting options to young people. “Hookah, like e-cigarettes, are not regulated, although they have proposed to be regulated,” he said, “and they’re still available in flavors, and particularly kid-friendly flavors that can increase appeal and access.”

Last year, the CDC estimated, 2.4 million youths were users of e-cigarettes, and an estimated 1.6 million young people who used hookahs, the large pipes used to smoke flavored tobacco. The agency said those numbers have tripled since 2011. The report is online at cdc.gov.

(Iowa News Service)

Union County woman arrested on drug warrant

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Creston Police Department reports a woman from Cromwell, in Union County, was arrested Monday night. 36-year old Carrie Nawacy Parcher was taken into custody on a Union County warrant for a Controlled Substance Violation. Her bond was set at $10,000.

(Podcast) KJAN News & funeral report, 4/28/2015

News, Podcasts

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 7:07-a.m. report w/KJAN News Director Ric Hanson

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New All-purpose app for Adair-Guthrie Co. residents

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Residents in Adair and Guthrie County can access a new application for their cell phones, tablets and other electronic devices. Bob Kempf, Emergency Management Coordinator for Adair and Guthrie Counties, says the new app available through the Google Play Store, allows residents “one-stop location” for all sorts of important information. He says it’s an all-in-one mobile app with information on what to do and expect before, during and after an emergency.Adair-Guthrie App

Kempf acknowledges there are other sources from which persons can glean emergency and weather information, including the NOAA weather radio and the Code Red system for emergency notifications via text and land-lines that covers Adair and Guthrie County, the Adair-Guthrie County Emergency Management Commission wanted a more concise way to reach the mobile user.

The two counties will be the first in the State to offer an app that offers weather, weather alerts, radar, a way to push out emergency notifications such as Boil Orders or evacuations, as well as links to the EMA’s Facebook and Twitter sites, contact information, and how to send a damage report to the Adair-Guthrie EMA if your property is hit by a storm or other disaster.

The system is not affiliated with the “Alert Iowa” program, which is a statewide mass notification and emergency messaging system. Kempf says because the two counties still have a year remaining on their Code Red contract, they won’t be switching over to Alert Iowa until the contract expires. He says if you come home or get in your vehicle and catch the tail end of a weather alert broadcast from your weather radio or local radio station, you can go to the new app on your cell phone and read exactly what the message from the National Weather Service was. You simply open up the app and access the type of information you want.

That includes preparedness information for example on what to do after a power outage. Kempf says the app has been under development since last fall. He says you can find and download it from the Google Play Store by searching for Adair (space) Guthrie (space) EMA, or at the iTunes app store under the iPhone section, not the iPad.

ISU student found dead in dorm room

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The body of an Iowa State University student was discovered Monday afternoon.  A resident of Friley Hall on the Ames campus found her female roommate inside their room. Iowa State University Police and emergency medical personnel responded to the scene. The female was pronounced dead by authorities.

No foul play is suspected in the case. The name of the individual has not been released pending notification of family members.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic School Board sets 2015-16 School calendar/testing dates

News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education, Monday night, approved the district’s 2015-16 school calendars. The move followed a public hearing during which no comments were received from the public for or against the proposal. Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein recommended the school day and testing calendar be approved, with classes beginning August 24th, in Atlantic.

New teachers will report on August 17th. All teachers and staff will report for duty on August 20th. The last day of school in 2016 will come on May 24th.  Amstein says the first semester will end before Christmas, with the second semester ending before Memorial Day. Spring Break for Atlantic students is being moved one-week later on the new calendar. Curriculum Director and Schuler Principal James Northwick says the break covers the Easter break, which also helps classes get out earlier.

And, the testing calendar which normally shows dates occurring during the winter norm for Iowa Assessments, indicates those tests will be given in late April 2016, because all school districts in Iowa starting next year, will be required to test in the spring to standardize the testing time frame.

Northwick pointed out also, that some changes had been made to teacher Professional Development days. School Board President Kristy Pellett asked Northwick to explain why the district started with “early outs” (early dismissal) the first three days of the year last fall. He said it allows the younger students more time to adjust to the routine by going half-days at the start, and it allows staff to get in more professional development time during the afternoons.

Amstein said in previous calendars, the staff has as much as five days prior to students’ arrival to prepare and receive professional development, but that’s been reduced over the years as much as possible to get students going, while at the same time still allowing for professional development.