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Iowa gets grant for science learning project

News

May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa has received a $1.2 million federal grant for a project related to science, technology, engineering and math education.  Gov. Terry Branstad announced the funding from the National Science Foundation Tuesday in a press release. The study of these four subjects collectively is known as STEM.

The money will be provided over three years and will help develop a statewide system for evaluating STEM education in Iowa. The funding goes to an advisory council that works on advancing STEM education. Branstad established the council in 2011.

In the release, Branstad calls Iowa a “pioneering state in advancing these important life and career skills.”

Audubon City Hall receives defibrillator thanks to a grant

News

May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A grant received through the efforts of Audubon firefighters’ wives has resulted in the Audubon City Hall receiving a defibrillator. City Clerk Lora Hansen told KJAN News the City Council in Audubon was informed about the grant during their meeting, Monday night. The “Firehouse Flames” group is responsible for obtaining the grant, which will also provide for the training of City personnel and those who serve congregate meals, in the use of the life-saving device.

In other business, the Audubon City Council approved a resolution setting May 28th at 7-p.m., as the date and time for a Public Hearing to consider the sale of three lots in block 13 of the City of Audubon. The City took possession of the dilapidated and/or abandoned homes, which were then demolished. Hansen says the City hopes to eventually sell the lots and see new homes built on the land.The Council also passed a resolution setting the date for a Public Hearing on the Budget Amendment for the same meeting on May 28th.

Hansen says also, the City of Audubon will be sending out reminder notices to residents about the need to separate recyclable trash from regular trash. A copy of the rules regarding recycling will be included in the notice.

Extreme Fire Danger in Shelby County

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency says NO OPENING BURNING is allowed in the County today (Tuesday, May 14th), due to the extremely dry and forecast windy conditions. Officials have bumped the grassland and field fire danger index into the “EXTREME” category for today. The fire danger rating was listed Monday, as “High.”

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the listening area though late this evening. Officials say Red Flag Warnings are not common in the Midwest, therefore when one is received, the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency will put the Fire Danger index into the Extreme category, and no open burning is permitted. 

If you see smoke please report it immediately so fire suppression can take place while the fire is small.  For those that find themselves near a fire, explosive fire growth is expected – make sure you are in a safe location and report fires immediately.

Harlan man arrested last week after a brief pursuit

News

May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Harlan man was taken into custody last week on a warrant out of Cass County for felony forgery, after he allegedly lead police in Harlan on a brief foot pursuit. 29-year old Gabriel Brown was arrested May 9th and transported to the Cass County Jail by deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. Brown was being held in the Cass County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Police in Harlan report also, the arrest on Saturday, of 21-year old Alisha Buttry, of Macedonia. Buttry was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Authorities in Harlan are also investigating an incident of vandalism. Officials say a Harlan resident reported on May 6th, someone broke the window out of his 2002 Ford Taurus. The incident remains under investigation. No arrests have been made.

Assault arrests in Harlan

News

May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Police Department reports two people were arrested on Domestic Abuse Assault charges, Sunday. 24-year old Kane Griffith, of Walnut, was arrested after officers were called to the 1400 block of 8th Street in Harlan, for a domestic disturbance. An investigation determined Griffith allegedly assaulted a Harlan woman. In addition to the assault charge, Griffith faces charges of Obstruction of Emergency Communications, and Public Intoxication.

And, 21-year old Aric Davis, of Harlan, was arrested Sunday, after a woman came to the police department to request an officer assist her in retrieving her belongings from the residence she shared with Davis. Officials say the woman had several visible injuries. Following an investigation, Davis was arrested and brought to the Shelby County Jail, where was charged with assault and Possession of a Controlled Substance, as well as Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

8AM Newscast 05-14-2013

News, Podcasts

May 14th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

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(Podcast) Local News: 7am Tue., May 14th 2013

News, Podcasts

May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

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Another mobile classroom likely to be installed for an Atlantic School

News

May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board is expected to approve at a later meeting, the addition of another mobile classroom for the Washington Elementary School, to handle the district’s expanding enrollment. Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein told the School Board Monday night that he is looking into placing Special Education and other classes not requiring water and sewer hookups” into the temporary structure as a way of dealing with the space needs for those classes that typically run less than 30-minutes.

Amstein said the question boils down to where the double-wide mobile classroom should be placed. The only logical site he says, is in front of the building, near where the other mobile classroom is located, because they don’t want to impede on playground space. The set up cost is around $20,000 and a $10,000 lease per year.

Amstein said there may be a need for additional mobile classrooms in the future for another of the district’s schools. He said they might be looking at one “down the road for Schuler, also.” That prompted Board member Phil Hascall to quip tongue-in-cheek, “I can hardly wait.”

Hascall joked earlier that they could “Start a trailer park out there. Tie it down, so it doesn’t blow away.” Principal Stacey Hornung said there haven’t been too many issues with the current mobile classroom, other than it was installed later than expected, and it’s “Pretty ugly,” but it “Serves its purpose,” and will serve well for another year.

Allowable growth factors into Atlantic School Board decisions on several matters

News

May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A decision regarding allowable growth funding for school districts in the Iowa legislature that was expected in March, is still being discussed, and that lengthy delay has forced many school districts, including Atlantic, to hold off on making decisions on spending for things other than those that directly related to students’ academic growth. The Board Monday night discussed the possibility of hiring a School Resource Officer versus a Dean of Students, the addition of a teacher and two para-educators, along with the need for extra-curricular activities.

Atlantic Superintendent Dr. Mike Amstein was not willing to step out on a limb and fully recommend to the Board the hiring of a Sheriff’s Department employee as a School Resource Officer, simply because the district doesn’t know what the Allowable Growth rate will be. He says the district hopes for four-percent, but they have budgeted for zero-percent. The difference in how much the school gets would range from $85,625 at zero-percent, to as much as $300,000 at four-percent.

The Iowa Legislature has been setting the statewide allowable growth rate since 1993. Before that the rate was automatically determined by a formula which examined enrollment figures, state revenue growth, inflation and economic indicators. The monies received typically are used to fund teacher salaries and benefits.  Even if the money was available now, Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren said it would take “Months” to hire someone, train them if necessary at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, and have them ready to serve the district. Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy Corey Larsen currently serves as the SRO on a part-time basis. A full-time SRO would cost the district $78,000 per year for salary and benefits. The County would provide the officers’ car, uniform and equipment. Sheriff McLaren said an SRO’s contract would have to be for a “Multi-year deal,” and not one-year at a time.

In other business, the Atlantic School Board will act during its next regular meeting, on recommendations from Activities Director Josh Rasmussen, for the addition of Dance, Archery, Bowling and Swimming to the district’s extra-curricular activities in the coming years, but approval seems unlikely, given the Board’s desire to focus on spending for programs essential to student academic achievement, and the fact there is no system in-place to evaluate current, much less future student involvement.

Board member Phil Hascall said he thinks Atlantic has “enough activities,” and the board should throw its support behind proven methods of teaching, such as a those exhibited in a report Monday evening about the Lindamood-Bell teaching program which emphasizes spelling, comprehension, critical thinking, and express language.

(Update) RED FLAG WARNING ISSUED FOR WEST CENTRAL IA TUESDAY

News, Weather

May 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SAC-CRAWFORD-CARROLL-GREENE-BOONE-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR-ADAMS-

421 AM CDT TUE MAY 14 2013

…RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM CDT THIS EVENING…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG WARNING FOR EXTREME FIRE CONDITIONS…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM CDT THIS EVENING. THE FIRE WEATHER WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.  A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW…OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS…LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AND WARM TEMPERATURES CAN CONTRIBUTE TO EXTREME FIRE BEHAVIOR.

* TIMING…THE RELATIVE HUMIDITY WILL DIP BELOW 25 PERCENT BY NOON AND CONTINUE TO DECREASE DURING THE AFTERNOON. THE LOWEST RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND THE STRONGEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED BETWEEN  1 PM AND 5 PM TODAY. * AFFECTED AREA…WEST CENTRAL TO NORTH CENTRAL IOWA.

* WIND…SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS AS HIGH AS 40 MPH ARE POSSIBLE BY THIS AFTERNOON.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AS LOW AS 17 PERCENT.

* FUEL…MANY WILD GRASSES ARE NOT FULLY GREEN AS A RESULT OF THE LATE SPRING AND COULD POTENTIALLY BURN MORE EASILY THAN IS TYPICAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

* IMPACTS…FIRES WILL SPREAD QUICKLY IN THESE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS AND BURNING IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED.