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Atlantic School District Revenues up

News

December 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School Board discussed the district’s 2014-2015 Budget Monday night. During their session, the Board heard from Business Manager/Board Secretary Mary Beth Fast, who said last year’s revenue received-in was greater than was budgeted for in the current budget year. She said General Fund saw an increase of about $680,000. The increases were due in-part to: Special Education tuition-in enrollment increases; A one-time two-percent funding increase for all districts, which amounted to $170,000;Property taxes due to the cash reserve – Instructional Support was up $300,000; and State Aid due to last year’s enrollment was $125,000.

The district’s management fund increased due to a levy was up $300,000. Savings on Early retirement and property casualty premiums, along with other factors contributed to the increased revenue projections.

Superintendent Mike Amstein says for the upcoming school year, the legislature granted a four-percent allowable growth, but that may drop to two-percent for the 2015-2016 school year, although that is merely speculation. Amstein said issues affecting the budget for the upcoming year include a Special Education deficit and finding ways to save money. Amstein says it’s too early to begin work on the budget in earnest, but he wanted to plant some seeds into the minds of the Board as to their thoughts on the direction the district should take on spending and saving before they get down to the nitty gritty and start dealing with firm numbers .

That will start to happen after December 31st, when they Board looks at property valuations, tax information and other pertinent data.

Gates at Sunnyside Park to close today

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department Director Roger Herring reports the gates to Sunnyside Park will be closed to through traffic for the Winter season today (Tuesday), beginning at 4-p.m. Herring thanks everyone for using Sunnyside Park and the rest of the parks in the City of Atlantic, this past year.

Proposed Jefferson casino details to be released

News

December 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Supporters of a proposed Jefferson casino say they’re announcing further details of plans including information about how much money they’d give to charities in Greene County and neighboring counties. A news conference is set for noon Tuesday for the Grow Greene County Gaming Corp. and Wild Rose Entertainment to discuss their operating agreement and community investment plans. Grow Greene County Gaming is a nonprofit organization set up to apply for a gambling license from state regulators. Their application is due Jan. 6.

Wild Rose, a West Des Moines gambling company operates casinos in Emmetsburg and Clinton. It is proposing a casino, convention center, restaurant and hotel complex for Jefferson. Voters overwhelmingly approved a casino project in August. Gambling regulators haven’t decided whether they’ll approve a license for the project.

Arson incident being investigated in Red Oak

News

December 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Red Oak law are looking for suspects involved with an alleged arson that occurred Sunday near 108 West Walnut St. Authorities say Red Oak Police and Fire as well as deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, responded to a garage fire about 6:37 p.m., Sunday.

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze on the east side of the garage, but there was some damage to an interior wall. The damage was estimated at about $500. The garage is located next to the alley behind the residence, and is east of Broadway Street.

Officials are asking for anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area from 6- to 6:30-p.m. Sunday, to call the Red Oak Police Department at (712) 623-6500 or Montgomery County Crimestoppers at 1-800-432-1001.

Iowa News Headlines: Tue., Dec. 10th, 2013

News

December 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A former federal prosecutor who alleges she was discriminated against because of her mental and physical condition acknowledged leaving work early, even when specifically told to stay until 5 p.m. The Sioux City Journal reports Martha Fagg was asked Monday about leaving a half hour early on the first two days after being reassigned from Sioux City to Cedar Rapids due to disciplinary action. Fagg responded, “I had to take care of my dogs.”

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City woman received a mandatory 25-year prison sentence after being convicted of vehicular homicide while drunk. Miranda Lalla spoke briefly before the sentence and apologized. Prosecutors say the 52-year-old Lalla ran over and killed 44-year-old Pamela Gross with a pickup truck in June 2012. Lalla says she had a few beers the night she and Gross got into a physical fight at a parking lot. She pleaded guilty to the vehicular homicide charge in October as part of a deal.

ORANGE CITY, Iowa (AP) — A book about the history in Orange City is set to be released in April. It’s the product of a collaboration among a Northwestern College professor, a student and library staffers. History professor Doug Anderson says he decided to create the book after noticing a history book about another city. The 128-page paperback includes details about Orange City’s founding in 1869, its growth and the creation of Northwestern College.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The annual bacon festival will host its first bacon-themed wedding in February. The Iowa Bacon Board says Watson and Tricia Snider, of Altoona, reached out to organizers after a request for couples to wed at the seventh annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival. There are three more wedding packages available. The “Viva Las Bacon” weddings will take place hourly in the Chapel OHHHH Bacon. One wedding will be free in exchange for the ceremony taking place publicly on a stage.

2 non-injury accidents in Atlantic last Friday

News

December 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department says no injuries were reported following two separate accidents last Friday. The first occurred at around 2-p.m. Officials say vehicles driven by John Harris and Jordan Foster, both of Atlantic, were traveling northbound in the 1500 block of Chestnut Street. Harris was following the Foster vehicle, when Foster signaled to turn right to head eastbound, and turned left instead. The move caused Harris’ vehicle to run into the side of Foster’s car. The total amount of damage was estimated at $3,000.

The second accident happened at around 3:30-p.m., Friday, when vehicles driven by Kirk Knudsen and Mark McNees collided, as McNees was southbound on Plum Street, and Knudsen was backing out of a private drive in the 1200 block of Plum Street.  Both men are from Atlantic. Knudsen’s vehicle collided with McNees’ causing $2,300 damage altogether.

3 arrests in Atlantic over the weekend

News

December 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Police in Atlantic report the arrest on Sunday of 53-year old Timothy Parker. Parker, who’s from Atlantic, was arrested for Theft in the 4th degree, and Burglary of a Motor Vehicle. He was transported to Cass County Jail and booked in.

Two people were arrested in Atlantic last Friday, including: 50-year old Dick Cook, of Atlantic, who was charged with  Theft in the 2nd degree, and 34-year old Kevin Jensen, of Atlantic, who was wanted on a Pottawattamie County Warrant for Forgery. He was transported to Cass County Jail and booked in. Cook was also brought to the Cass County Jail, and later posted bond.

Grant Reminder for Audubon County Nonprofit Organizations: $109,000 Available!

News

December 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Brett Irlmeier of Audubon, Chair of the Audubon County Community Foundation, reminds Audubon County nonprofit organizations that $109,000 in grant funds are available and that applications are due no later than February 1, 2014. Detailed application procedures, fact sheets, and a link to the application form can be obtained online at http://omahafoundation.org/swiowa. Applications will only be accepted through the online system. Please contact Dennis Nissen at 800-794-3458 or dennis@omahafoundation.org or Denise Cardos at denise@omahafoundation.org with grant application-specific questions. All completed applications will be considered at the March board meeting with notification of results in early April.

Only organizations providing charitable services in Audubon County are eligible. They must be able to demonstrate broad community/county support and supply a copy of their 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter. Requests for general operational funds will not be considered.

Grant Reminder for Cass County Nonprofit Organizations $109,000 Available!

News

December 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Nicholas Hunt of rural Atlantic, Chair of the Cass County Community Foundation, reminds Cass County nonprofit organizations that $109,000 in grant funds are available and that applications are due no later than February 1, 2014. Detailed application procedures, fact sheets, and a link to the application form can be obtained online at http://omahafoundation.org/swiowa. Applications will only be accepted through the online system. Contact any board member for additional information. Please contact Dennis Nissen at 800-794-3458 or dennis@omahafoundation.org or Denise Cardos at denise@omahafoundation.org with grant application-specific questions. All completed applications will be considered at the March board meeting with notification of results in early April.

Only organizations providing charitable services in Cass County are eligible. They must be able to demonstrate broad community/county support and supply a copy of their 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter. Requests for general operational funds will not be considered.

Board members of the Cass County Community Foundation are Chair, Nicholas Hunt of rural Atlantic, 243-5485; Vice Chair, Gary Maas of Anita, 762-3434; Secretary/Treasurer, Roland K. Landsness, Esq. of Atlantic, 243-4154; Royal Bierbaum of Griswold, 778-2586; Beulah Follman of Massena, 779-3457; and Mark D. Kyhnn, CPA of Atlantic, 243-1800.

Senator says premiums delaying health expansion

News

December 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa senator says federal approval for an expansion of low income health care has been held up due to debate over premiums in the plan. Des Moines Democrat Jack Hatch says Monday that he has spoken with federal officials about Iowa’s application. Iowa needs a waiver enabling the state to receive more federal Medicaid money for the proposed Iowa Health and Wellness Plan, a new health insurance program which would cover up to 150,000 residents.

Hatch says federal authorities are concerned about the use of premiums. Under the plan, the state would start charging some people small monthly premiums in 2015, though they would be waived if they complete certain health goals. Republican Gov. Terry Branstad says the Legislature approved the plan and that it will improve health outcomes.