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Atlantic School Board to act on maternity leave & resignations


May 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education will meet Monday evening in the Media Center, at the High School. During the 7:30-p.m. session, the Board will act on approving: Open enrollment requests; General Ed and Special Ed contracts, Amended Contracts and Letters of Assignment, as well as Volunteer Coaching positions.

Resignations pending approval by the Board include: Jennifer Thurston, High School Guidance Counselor; Bonnie Church, Varsity Volleyball Coach; and Allison Berryhill, AHS Fuel Adviser.

The Board will also act on the second reading of a Maternity Leave Policy.

Griswold School Board to meet Monday evening, May 18th


May 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

(Corrects date of meeting to May 18th – not May 11th!)

Members of the Griswold School District’s Board of Education will meet Monday evening, May 18th, in the Central Office at the Middle School/High School Building. The session begins at 5:45-p.m.

During the meeting, the Board will act on: Certified Staff Negotiations approval; Nutrition prices; approving bids for a van purchase; approving – Fuel Bid specifications, Technology Support Specs., Registration Fees and various Board Policies.

Severe weather still possible across Iowa, eastern Nebraska Sunday

News, Weather

May 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Severe storms may continue to develop in Iowa or eastern Nebraska on Sunday, but Omaha is no longer covered by a tornado watch. The National Weather Service’s tornado watch covers eastern Nebraska and much of western and central Iowa until 9 p.m. Central. But Omaha was removed from the tornado watch Sunday afternoon.

The Weather Service says the greatest tornado threat Sunday is in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. Large hail, high winds and a few tornadoes are possible Sunday afternoon and evening.

On the other end of Nebraska, more than a foot of snow fell in the northwest corner of the state. Near Chadron, more than 18 inches of snow was reported Sunday.

Red Oak woman arrested Sunday morning on an alcohol-related charge


May 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Deputies in Montgomery County arrested a woman Sunday morning who refused to leave a residence. The Sheriff’s Department says Shelby J. Olivarez, of Red Oak, was arrested at around 8:36-a.m. for Public Intoxication.

Officials say the woman was taken into custody after they received a report she would not leave a residence on East Grimes Street. When authorities arrived, they found Olivarez on the sidewalk in front of the residence and the property owner was in the yard. The owner said he advised Olivarez to leave, but she refused to do so.

The woman was allegedly impaired, with slurred speech and stumbling and swaying. She was offered a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT), but refused and was taken into custody without further incident. She was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $300 bond.

Iowa officials try to improve air quality inside jail


May 10th, 2015 by Chris Parks

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — New concerns are being raised about the air quality inside a northwest Iowa jail that was built on the site of a former gas station. The Sioux City Journal reports officials are looking at ways to address the concerns at the Woodbury County Law Enforcement Center. Health officials have been monitoring conditions for years with regular tests, but a test performed in the building last fall showed elevated levels of benzene.

Officials thought the problems were solved in 2003 when an air filtration system was added, but the recent tests suggests more steps might be needed. Matthew Graesch with the state Department of Natural Resources says officials are looking for a better long-term solution to make sure petroleum vapors won’t cause problems.


Click it or ticket May 18-31


May 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Law enforcement agencies will be heavily patrolling the roads May 18th through the 31st (the days leading up to, and after, the Memorial Day weekend). During their patrols, officers will be looking to enforce the seat belt law, in hopes of reducing the number of crash fatalities. STEP

Crash data shows that passenger vehicle occupants are buckling up more during the day than at nighttime. The two-week long law enforcement mobilization across Iowa and the rest of the nation, is created to heighten seat belt enforcement 24/7, and will focus enforcement efforts, especially between the nighttime hours of 6-p.m. and 6-a.m., due to the significant number of violators and fatal crashes during this time.

Over the last ten years, Iowa has averaged 5.3 traffic fatalities during the three-day Memorial Day weekend. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nearly half of the 21,132 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed on our nation’s roadways in 2013 were not wearing seat belts. That number jumped to 67 percent for males aged 13 – 15.

Buckling up in the back seat is just as important. Half of all front-seat occupants killed in crashes in 2012 were unrestrained but 61 percent of those killed in back seats were unrestrained. Keep in mind that those fatalities aren’t just statistics; they are someone’s family member or friend.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau want you to remember that the single most effective way to reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes is to wear a seat belt every day, every trip.

OWI arrest Sunday morning in Red Oak


May 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A traffic stop in Red Oak early this (Sunday) morning, resulted in an arrest. Red Oak Police report 43-year old Karen Patrice Rebitzke, from Oklahoma, was arrested in the 600 block of east Reed Street at around 2:35-a.m.  The woman was charged with OWI/1st offense and booked into the Montgomery County Jail, where her bond was set at $1,000.

Top priorities remain for Branstad as Legislature winds down


May 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two of Gov. Terry Branstad’s key priorities remain unresolved as the Iowa Legislature winds down this session. Branstad announced in January that he wanted lawmakers to update Iowa’s anti-bullying law and pass legislation to expand high-speed Internet.

The Senate approved an anti-bullying bill but it remains in limbo in the House. A broadband bill passed in the House but it’s still making its way through the Senate. Time is running out to advance the bills. While lawmakers are at odds over the budget for the next fiscal year, party leaders are expected to reach compromise soon, which could quickly lead to adjournment.

Branstad prioritized both issues last year, but they failed to garner enough support. He told reporters Thursday he’s still hopeful this year’s bills will reach his desk.


Riverside’s secondary school: Over budget & behind schedule


May 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Construction of the Riverside Community School District’s new secondary building is behind schedule and over its initial budget. The Daily NonPareil reports the $25 million building is expected to be finished March 6th, with plans for the district’s seventh through 12th grades to move into the building prior to the end of the 2015-16 school year.

Superintendent Jim Sutton said a wet summer last year put the project behind. It was supposed to open its doors this December, and Lueder Construction Co. has been told finishing work is urgent. Initially, the building was reported to be $22 million, and Sutton said the district expected closer to $23.5 million. The soil had to be improved for the foundation, and the cost of some work was misjudged by the project’s architects.

Sutton said current work is focused on masonry, and that’s not getting done as fast as hoped. Once the building is enclosed, though, weather will be less of a factor and there’s a chance for an earlier finish. The new building, located at the intersection of Highways 59 and 6 just outside Oakland, will have three levels. The bottom will house gyms and locker rooms, and the middle level will have a commons area, auditorium, office, music room, art room and kitchen.

Classrooms, grouped into middle-school and high-school areas, as well as a media center are planned for the third floor. Sutton said the commons area will be the last space to finish before the shell of the building is complete to accommodate larger equipment working on the project.

The bottom line, Sutton said, is the project will be finished and will not require any additional tax burden because of higher costs. Voters approved a $15.1 million bond issue for the building in June 2013. Once the new building opens, the junior high and high school currently located in Oakland will close. The district will still operate an elementary school in Oakland and an intermediate school in Carson.

Iowa early News Headlines: Sun., May 10th 2015


May 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) —Strong thunderstorms are possible early this morning and continuing on into this Mother’s Day afternoon, with areas of concern along the Iowa/Minnesota state line and in western Iowa. The main threat appears to be heavy rain across western Iowa, but there is the possibility of isolated tornadoes from extreme eastern Nebraska into southwest Iowa this afternoon.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say it’s surprising no one was killed in a  chain-reaction accident on Interstate 80 in eastern Iowa that sent 32 people to  hospitals, Friday. The Iowa State Patrol says an earlier accident halted traffic on the interstate near Williamsburg. At about 3 p.m., a semi driven by a Portland, Oregon man who didn’t see that traffic had stopped crashed into the line of cars. It caused chain reaction involving four other vehicles, including a tour bus carrying 26 employees from a Cedar Rapids commercial real estate company. The semi burst into flames upon impact and spread diesel fuel across the interstate, catching other vehicles on fire. University Hospitals in Iowa City say 12 people were treated. Others were taken to hospitals in Iowa City and Marengo.

FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) — The oldest building in Winnebago County has new owners, a historical society dedicated to preserving it and making it available for special events. The Winnebago County Historical Society now owns the 140-year-old Trinity Lutheran Church in Forest City. Local historians say it’s the oldest building in the county. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports church members have dwindled in numbers and the few remaining decided to put it in the hands of the historical society. The group says the building is in good structural shape and changed little since it was built. The society has agreed to preserve the church’s features although some renovation is planned. They’ll make the church available for weddings, funerals and special events.