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Atlantic School Board approves personnel recommendations


March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board Monday night approved several recommendations with regard to changes in school personnel. Superintendent Mike Amstein reported Central Office Secretary to the Superintendent, Melinda McDermott, is retiring effective April 11th. Amstein says after posting the position and looking at the transfers he recommended, and the Board approved, Olivia Newberg, who works as a SAM at the Washington Elementary School, as her successor.

The Board also approved recommendations by Atlantic Activities Director Matt Alexander, which included: Mike McDermott as Head Girls and Boys Tennis Coach; James Northwick was named as a volunteer assistant Tennis Coach; Oran Perkins as assistant Soccer Coach; Shawn Williams as a volunteer assistant boys Soccer Coach.

Amstein reported also near the end of the meeting, that Casey Pelzer has resigned as Atlantic Head Girls Basketball Coach , and High School English Teacher Elizabeth Huggins has resigned. Both are effective at end of the current school year.

Atlantic School Board approves proposed budget


March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education Monday night, approved the proposed 2014-2015 Certified Budget, which increases the amount of money the district receives from property taxes by 54-cents per thousand dollars assessed valuation over the published $14.47 per thousand. The levy is now $14.91 per thousand.

Prior to a vote on approving the budget, Atlantic Middle School Student Advocate Pam Russell asked the Board not to cut the student advocate position, because “There would be services that would not be met in a timely manner or on a consistent basis.”  She said the service impacts the students’ present and future, especially with regard to dropout prevention. Russell even offered to have her pay cut in order to save the position, in order to benefit  the students. She said she already knows of a case where a high school-aged student has dropped-out of school thinking they would get their GED instead.

During action on the budget, Superintendent Mike Amstein reiterated the fact that there are only three places in the budget the board really has an “wiggle room” with, as far as adjustments are concerned. One is the SBRC Cash Reserve, another is the Cash Reserve Levy, and the last is the Management Fund. Amstein said they’ve proposed $964,771 for the SBRC Cash Reserve Levy, $600,000 for the Cash Reserve levy dedicated to the General Fund and a $350,000 levy for the Management Fund, for a total levy of $14.91 per thousand dollars assessed property valuation.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., March 25th 2014


March 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Officials say a Burlington man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself in the foot while hunting. The state Department of Natural Resources says 31-year-old Dustin Guernsey was injured Saturday morning in Lee County. He was hunting for snow geese at the time. Officials say Guernsey was carrying equipment and his shotgun as he walked across a field. He stumbled and the weapon discharged into his left foot.

ELK HORN, Iowa (AP) — A Danish museum in western Iowa says a $50,000 grant will help pay for a specialized green roof. The Curatorial Center at the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn will be an 8,000-foot addition built into the hillside. It will connect to the museum’s lower level. The Curatorial Center will house traveling exhibits and large artifacts. It’s expected to open this summer.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say there are no signs of foul play in connection to the death of a woman found behind a Waterloo business. Waterloo police say an autopsy was performed Monday on 53-year-old Sharon Creighton. Authorities say the preliminary investigation and autopsy results indicate no signs of foul play.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A small airport in eastern Iowa is increasing its parking rates to help pay for a $10.7 million improvement project. The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids will increase parking rates from $5 to $6 a day for long-term parking. It will jump from $7 to $9 a day for short-term parking. The change is expected to raise an additional $815,000 per year. It’s the airport’s first increase in parking rates since 2001.

Reminder to rural property owners, re: Address Markers

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says as spring cleaning time nears, and you go about cleaning up the yard and sprucing up your buildings, pay close attention to your address marker. It should be bright and clearly visible from the road. Emergency Responders, especially at night, depend on highly visible house numbers, street signs and rural address markers to properly locate you. 911 dispatchers will confirm your location based on your address and map location.

If you question where your house number should be posted, please check with local city authorities. For rural residents, the marker belongs alongside your lane in the fence row. If the fence line is far from the main road, place the marker out of the right of way close enough so that emergency responders can see it.

If your Shelby County rural 911 address marker has been damaged, lost or otherwise is not readable, please call the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency at 712-755-2124. There is no cost for replacement address markers.

Audubon City Council meeting update – No Action on Clerk Termination


March 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Interim Audubon City Attorney Dave Wiederstein says the Audubon City Council will not take action at the Council meeting tonight (Monday) on agenda items 10 and 11 pertaining to the Order terminating Lora Hansen’s employment with the City of Audubon and appointing Jan Roberts as the interim City Clerk. Wiederstein said in Press Release that attempts will be made prior to the April 14 Council meeting to reach an agreement that avoids the forced termination of Lora’s employment.

Southwest Airlines OKs Omaha to Los Angeles route


March 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Southwest Airlines will soon start daily, non-stop service from Omaha to Los Angeles. The airline made the announcement Monday. The service begins on June 9. The Boeing 737 aircraft will depart from Eppley Airfield at 2:50 p.m. daily and land in Los Angeles at 4:10 p.m. local time. There will be a different schedule on Saturdays. The plane can seat more than 140 passengers.

The airline originally announced plans for Saturday-only flights from Omaha to Los Angeles. They changed plans due to strong demand.

Farmers REC receives HMGP funding


March 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials in Iowa report the Farmer’s Electric Cooperative based in Greenfield, and serving parts of six southwest Iowa counties (Adair, Audubon, Cass, Guthrie, Madison and Union), has received funding for the retrofitting of 123.4-miles of overhead electrical lines. The project is valued at more than $3-million. 75-percent of the eligible costs is paid for by FEMA (The Federal Emergency Management Agency), 10-percent is paid by the State, and the remaining 15-percent is paid through the sub-applicant (local governments, communities, tribal governments and certain eligible non-profits).

The Hazard Mitigation Projects (HMP) are funded to reduce or prevent damage from future disasters. Federal funding is made available after each Presidential Disaster Declaration, through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Managements serves as the coordination point between the entities applying for assistance and FEMA. IHSEM staff are involved from the beginning to end, from guiding applicants through the application process to completing the final paperwork.

Public hearing in Greenfield, Tue. on Mental Health Mgmt. Plan


March 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A public hearing will take place Tuesday morning in Greenfield, with regard to the Southern Hills Mental Health Management Plan. The hearing kicks-off a regularly scheduled meeting of the Adair County Board of Supervisors.

The meeting will also feature discussion with regard to a watershed projects, from Alan Lange and Nancy Antisdel, and County Engineer Nick Kauffman will present documents for the Board to sign with regard to the DOT FY-2015 Budget Program, Right of Way contracts and, his normal report on Secondary Roads Department Maintenance and Activities.

The meeting begins at 9-a.m. in the Adair County Supervisor’s Board Room at the court house.

3 way race for Cass County Recorder


March 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

There will be a three-way race for the position of Cass County Recorder leading up to the June 3rd Primary. Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman, Monday, released the latest list of candidates who’ve filed nomination papers for election. The information shows three Republican women, all of whom are from Atlantic, are vying for the Recorder’s job being left open by the retirement of Joyce Jensen. As previously announced, Mary Ward and Jess Ehrman have filed papers to run. The latest candidate is Shelly Glynn, who filed her papers on Monday (3/24).

Also, as previously mentioned, Attorney Dave Wiederstein and incumbent Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner, both Republicans, will be featured in the June Primary, with Wiederstein looking to unseat Feistner from his job.

There are no challengers for the Cass County Treasurer, and Board of Supervisors seats in Districts 2 and 3. Those seats are held by incumbent Republicans Tracey J. Marshall, Gaylor Schelling and Mark Wedemeyer, respectively.

Railroad starts major infrastructure overhaul in Council Bluffs area


March 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With the arrival of spring, hundreds of road construction projects are getting underway across Iowa, while another form of transportation is also gearing up for some major work. Mark Davis, spokesman for Union Pacific Railroad, says a big infrastructure project is about to launch. “We have started work on our track between downtown Omaha and on the line that goes through Council Bluffs and follows the highway up to Missouri Valley,” Davis says. “We’re starting to work on that. It’s a$4.5-million project.”

Davis says at least 29 road crossings will be resurfaced as part of the project so there -will- be an impact on motorists as the project progresses. “We’ll be replacing some ties along that line, around 32,000 concrete ties along with 16,600 tons of rock,” he says. The goals of the project include: improving train operating efficiency, reducing motorist wait time at crossings and enhancing safety. It should be complete by May.

He says it’s among some 15-hundred projects the Omaha-based railroad will undertake this year across its 30-thousand mile network. Between 2007 and 2013, Davis says the U-P has invested more than 21-billion dollars in its infrastructure.

(Radio Iowa)