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IA Connections Academy begins classes Thursday


August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Students enrolled in the first-ever Iowa Legislature approved pilot online learning academy for K-through 12th grades, will begin classes Thursday, just as their counterparts head-off to the classroom learning environment in a traditional brick-and-mortar type building. The CAM School Board in January approved the entering into of an agreement with Iowa Connections Academy, for the 2012-2013 school year. IACA Principal James Brauer said the response they’ve received since enrollments started to be accepted after the open enrollment deadline of March 1st, has been phenomenal. Brauer said as of this (Wedneday) morning, 217 students had enrolled full-time in the online program, and it is possible they could have 225 students by the time the “virtual bell” rings Thursday morning.   Students enrolled in the online academy – which will have a building located in Anita – receive their education from fully-licensed, totally-endorsed teachers in their respective contact areas, on a daily basis.

Brauer says students will communicate with their instructors through a variety of electronic media. In addition, different field trips and club activities will be planned throughout the year, where students can get together with others, in order so they may socialize. And, while some people may be skeptical of students “sloughing-off” by not attending an actual classroom setting, Brauer says the power of being able to guide your own learning and have it facilitated by a teacher, provides students with a sense of “autonomy.” He says adults in the family will have to provide proof the student has spent a certain number of hours each day in the online classroom, just as traditional schools have to certify attendance figures.

But there is no online tracking of the students per se. Brauer says however, that some of the high school courses are set up so that students will be required to attend a webinar-type setting, and interact with other students as well as the teacher. He says one of the reasons online courses are becoming more and more popular, is the issue of bullying in the traditional school setting. He says while he has no hard numbers, the parents he’s heard from cited that problem as one reason for keeping their students home. Brauer says in the more than 125 phones calls he’s made to families enrolled in the Connections Academy, more than three-quarters of them indicated some form of bullying or harassment lead to their decision to enroll their child in the online program.

Brauer says as a virtual public school they still have to the various accreditation guidelines and all the State laws and regulations. Since they work with the CAM District, the requirements are tied to what the CAM School Board has approved, and the graduates receive their diploma from CAM. Connections will coordinate and host the graduation ceremonies. Currently around a half-dozen students will graduate next Spring from the Academy, if they successfully complete the program.

Mills County accidents and arrests


August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Mills County say no injuries were reported following two separate accidents Tuesday. An accident that took place at around 10:40-a.m., occurred when 18-year old Phillip Reinsch, of Glenwood, was driving a 1990 BMW north on Levi Road, about three-miles southeast of Glenwood. Sheriff’s officials say Reinsch was attempting to light a cigarette, when the vehicle left the road to the right and passed through a barbed wire fence before coming to rest in a pasture.

The second accident happened when a 2012 Subaru driven by 55-year old Deborah Howard, of Sacremento, CA, rear-ended a 2008 Hyundai, driven by 57-year old Kathy Anderson, of Glenwood. The mishap occurred on the Highway 34 southbound exit ramp to Interstate 29. Only minor damage was reported to Anderson’s car.

The Sheriff’s Department reports also, 27-year old Brandon Matthew Swanson, of Glenwood, was arrested Tuesday for violating a No Contact Order. His bond was set at $300. And, 42-year old Lori Sue Tompkins, of Moss Point, MS, was arrested Tuesday night on a charge of OWI 1st offense. Her bond was set at $1,000.

Cass Supervisors approve hourly rate for Trustee fence viewers


August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday), approved a $10 hourly rate of pay for township trustees serving in an official capacity as “Fence Viewers.” Victoria Township officials had asked the Board to consider establishing a fee for the service, which covers those rare occasions when fence maintenance and/or construction issues are in question. Prior to their decision, the hourly rate for “fence viewing” was $7.50, and attendance for scheduled meeting of trustees was at flat rate of $35.

Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman said ISU staff Attorney Erin Herbold noted with regard to written fence agreements, for an agreement that details the allocation of fence maintenance and/or construction, two options exist. One is  for adjacent owners to enter into a written agreement, or Two, those same owners can request an order from the fence viewers (township trustees), allocating responsibility between the parties.

Iowa Code, according to Sunderman, says the County shall pay except when the trustee is acting as a fence viewer in a case where a provision is made for payment from a source other than the General Fund of the County. The Code does not address the issue of fees, except to say township trustees while engaged in official business shall be compensated at an hourly rate by the Board of Supervisors. The Board may elect also to establish a minimum daily pay rate for time spent by a trustee attending a scheduled meeting of the township.

In other business, County Engineer Charles Marker updated the Board on current road maintenance activities. Marker said two bids were received Tuesday for maintenance projects. One is the German Lutheran Church road, which will be ground up, compacted and reshaped. There were two bids. One from Sta-bilt Construction in Harlan, which bid $29,140. The other was from Blacktop Service Company, out of Corning, which bid $98, 425. Marker says they will accept the bid from Sta-bilt.

The other maintenance project is for a seal coat on 745th Street, which goes north out of Anita two-miles, then east to Highway 48. The project was bid on square yardage. Sta-bilt bid $1.88 per square yard for the work, which covers 30,333 square yards, or about $57,026. Blacktop Service bid $1.95 per square yard, of about $59,149. Marker says once again they chose Stabilt to handle work on the project. The project has a completion date of October 1st. Marker said also, work is underway on bridge #166 two-miles east of Cumberland.

No injuries reported following Tuesday rollover accident in Cass County


August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported following a rollover accident Tuesday afternoon in Cass County. The Sheriff’s Office reports a 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup owned and driven by 21-year old Tyler Allan Twaddle, of Cumberland, was southbound on Hwy 148 when Twaddle lost control on the rock shoulder, over-corrected. The pickup slid into west ditch before rolling onto its side. The accident caused a small fire, which was quickly extinguished. Damage to the vehicle is estimated at $3,500.

USDA Announces 11 IA Counties as part of Secretarial Natural Disaster Designation

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa State Executive Director for USDA Farm Service Agency, John R Whitaker today (Wednesday), announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated eleven Iowa counties as part of a Secretarial Natural Disaster Designation.  Farm operators who have suffered major production and/or physical losses caused by drought beginning July 31, 2012 and continuing may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans.

A Secretarial Natural Disaster Designation has been issued for four Iowa counties as the primary disaster area.  These primary counties are:  Lyon, Plymouth, Sioux, and Woodbury.   Seven Iowa counties are contiguous to this designated disaster area, making these producers also potentially eligible for program based on this designation.  The contiguous counties are:  Cherokee, Crawford, Ida, Monona, O’Brien, and Osceola.  Harrison County is contiguous to a primary county in Nebraska.

The Farm Service Agency may make Emergency Loans to eligible family farmers which will enable them to return to their normal operations if they sustained qualifying losses resulting from natural disaster.  Physical loss loans may be made to eligible farmers to enable them to repair or replace damaged or destroyed physical property, including livestock losses, essential to the success of the farming operation.  Examples of property commonly affected include; essential farm buildings, fixtures to real estate, equipment, livestock, perennial crops, fruit and nut bearing trees, and harvested or stored crops.  For production loss loans, the disaster yield must be at least 30 percent below the normal production yield of the crop, on a crop or crops that make up a basic part of the total farming operation.

Applicant must be unable to obtain credit from other usual sources to qualify for the Farm Service Agency Farm Loan Program assistance.  The interest rate for emergency loans is 2.25%.  Each applicant applying for credit will be given equal consideration without regard to race, creed, color, marital status, or national origin.

8AM Newscast 8-15-12

News, Podcasts

August 15th, 2012 by admin

w/ Ric Hanson

Adair company to receive guaranteed loan for wind turbine


August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Tuesday, announced that 106 projects in 29 states, Guam and Puerto Rico have been selected for funding to produce renewable energy and make energy efficiency improvements. Among them, in Adair, Meadow Ridge Wind Energy, LLC is receiving a guaranteed loan of $582,000, that will be used to purchase and install a 1.5 million kW wind turbine. The turbine is expected to generate 5.77 million kWh of electricity annually, enough to meet the annual electricity requirements of more than 500 homes. And, Cumberland Rose Wind Energy, LLC will receive a $582,000 loan for a similar project. The projects are located in the Greenfield and Atlantic areas.

Funding is made available through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.

REAP provides grants and loan guarantees for agricultural producers and rural small businesses to reduce energy consumption and costs, use renewable energy technologies in their operations and conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects. For a complete listing of recipients today, click here: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/rdREAPRecipientsAugust2012.pdf.

Woman arrested on drug charges in Red Oak


August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Red Oak Police Department report one person was arrested early this (Wednesday) morning, on drug charges. 50-year-old Kelly Jo Cave, of Red Oak, was taken into custody for allegedly being in  possession of methamphetamine and marijuana. Cave was taken into custody in the 100 block of East Hammond Street in Red Oak at around 12:45 a.m.  She was being held in the Montgomery County jail on $2,000 bond.

Atlantic Trojan Head Logo to be Painted on Water Tower

News, Sports

August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board Tuesday, gave its blessing for Atlantic Municipal Utilities to paint the school’s logo on a water tower located off of Bryn Mawr Drive. A local, private group of individuals is raising money for the effort.

Atlantic Community School District logo

Before AMU can arrange to have the Trojan head logo painted on the tower, they wanted to have the district’s blessing. Assistant High School Principal/Activities Director Josh Rasmussen said the group leading the effort to have the logo painted on the tower, has raised about two-thirds of the funds necessary to cover the cost. Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein said he was somewhat surprised when he first came to town to see the logo wasn’t on a water tower, as many communities he’s been to have taken the step to show pride in their local teams. He said he knows Atlantic is firmly behind the school, and is pleased the group of private citizens have stepped forward to show support for Trojan/Trojann sports.

Arkansas man admits selling crack in NW Iowa


August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A 33-year-old Arkansas man has admitted distributing crack cocaine in northwest Iowa. Federal prosecutors say Jamaron Bingham, of Osceola, Ark., was convicted Monday in federal court in Sioux City. He admitted conspiring to sell crack cocaine in the Sioux City area from November 2010 through August 2011.  Bingham told investigators that he usually drove to Arkansas every two weeks to pick up 2 to 4 ounces of crack and return to distribute it for sale. His sentencing date has not been set. Bingham faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. He has a previous conviction for selling cocaine.