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(Podcast) 8-a.m. News/funeral report

News, Podcasts

June 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

Atlantic School Board approves increases for District Supervisors but stalls on Administrators

News

June 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Board of Education had no problem approving the 2014-2015 District Supervisors’ contracts during their meeting Monday night, but they were less than enthusiastic about approving Administrator contracts, and opted to continue discussions on that topic instead of approving the increase. Superintendent Dr. Mike Amstein recommended the Board approve a four-percent increase in compensation for district administrators, at a cost to the district of $21,980, and a 3.8-percent increase for the District Supervisors, which amounts to $14,182.

When it came time for discussion on those recommendations, School Board Member Dennis Davis asked Amstein if all the goals set for the 2013-2014 school year were accomplished. “No, we didn’t meet all of our goals 100-percent, but our district certainly made progress in regards to student achievement on those goals,” noted Amstein. “For instance in reading, math and science, our district showed an increase in proficiency in every one of those areas.”

Board Member Rod Hartwig said he thought “Our principals…deserve the four-percent [raise]…I am not sure everyone else on the list does.” Amstein said the increases fall in-line with what other administrators and supervisors in Hawkeye 10 Conference schools are making. Amstein said “Basically the goals that the building administrators took at look at this year was 85-percent of their students would be proficient in reading, science and math.” He says they made good progress. The other was to reduce the special education deficit by 10-percent. Amstein says the majority of the school district did just that.

Amstein said “Based on that information, I believe our principals were deserving of that raise along with our Supervisors.” After the Board approved the Supervisors’ increase as a separate motion, they discussed at length, but did not act on approving an increase for the Administrators because they want to see more progress in the attaining Board established goals for those administrators.

(Podcast) 7-a.m. News/Funeral report, 6/10/14

News, Podcasts

June 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.

Manpower survey: nearly 1/4 of Iowa companies plan to add workers in coming months

News

June 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Another survey released today (Tuesday) is showing a lot of companies in the state have plans to add employees. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey shows 22-percent of the companies surveyed expect to increase staff levels over the third quarter of the year. Another 72-percent plan to maintain staffing levels, while four-percent anticipate layoffs. That’s good for a Net Employment Outlook of 18-percent. Manpower spokesperson Karen Miller says the results, while positive, show weaker optimism about hiring expectations compared to recent surveys.

“The Net Employment Outlook is 18-percent, as compared to last quarter when it was 21-percent and last year at this time when it was also 21-percent,” Miller said. The Des Moines metro area remains one of the top performing markets in the country, according to the Manpower survey. For the third quarter, Des Moines posted a Net Employment Outlook of 24-percent. “Iowa, in general, has always performed very strongly, but Des Moines has been a very strong pocket for the state,” Miller said.

Nationally, the Net Employment Outlook for the third quarter is 14-percent. That’s up from 13-percent three months ago. More than 18,000 employers across the U.S. take part in the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic School Board approves new hires

News

June 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education, Monday night, approved the hiring of some new teachers. Superintendent Mike Amstein read from a list of recommendations submitted by the district school administrators. Among the new hires is Eric Waldstein (Wald-stine), as Physical Education & Social Studies teacher. Waldstine will also serve as Head Coach of the Trojan Football Team.  His wife Hillary Waldstine will serve as the Level 2/3 Special Ed teacher.

Ashley Hack was recommended as a temporary Level 1 Special Ed Instructor at Schuler Elementary. Kelly Juhl was hired as the High School Business Teacher for the upcoming school year. Juhl comes to Atlantic from the Exira/EHK School District.

Also coming to Atlantic from the Exira/EHK District is Stephanie Graham, who will serve as High School English Teacher. And Alisha Lindquist, who previously worked in the CAM School District, was hired as K-1 Multi-Age position.

Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., 6/10/2014

News

June 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a person who was found in the Little Sioux River in northwest Iowa. Investigators say a local resident discovered the body in the river near Wescott Park on Monday afternoon. Sioux City television station KTIV says authorities have confirmed the body is that of a local resident, but a name wasn’t released. Investigators say they aren’t ruling out foul play.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Senate Government Oversight Committee continues its investigation into executive branch practices with a hearing focused on construction projects at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown. The committee placed seven witnesses under oath to discern whether state bidding practices were followed and money was appropriately spent on construction projects designed to update and expand the housing facilities at the home. About $100 million in projects were authorized by the Legislature and were eligible for federal grants that pay 65 percent of the costs. The first project began in 2008.

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — Prosecutors say a 14-year-old girl charged with attempted murder and other crimes should be tried as a youthful offender, a hybrid alternative to Iowa’s juvenile and adult court systems. The Buchanan County Attorney’s office has filed a motion to move the case out of the juvenile court system. The girl is accused of using a cord to choke a staff member at Four Oaks, a facility on the state’s Mental Health Institute campus in Independence.

LAKE DELHI, Iowa (AP) — Delaware County supervisors have delayed bids for a planned bridge replacement because of concern the project timing might interfere with grant funding from the state. The Delaware Board of Supervisors rejected the lone bid of $426,673 to replace the Turtle Creek Bridge. The bridge is intended as part of an effort to improve public access to Lake Delhi, which was drained in 2010 when a dam collapsed.

ZWINGLE, Iowa (AP) — A fire that destroyed an eastern Iowa barn was apparently caused by twin 5-year-olds who were curious about fire. Tthe Friday afternoon fire near Zwingle destroyed an old barn and damaged another nearby barn as well as other out buildings.. Two 5-year-old children apparently started the fire by using a cigarette lighter to burn twine in the barn. Authorities say the children had received fire prevention training in school and were apparently curious. The children escaped unharmed.

Most crops have emerged, some farmers have to replant

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The lastest U-S-D-A crop report out Monday shows a majority of the corn and soybean crops have emerged, but some farmers are heading back to the fields. Corn and soybean growers in six-county area of southwest Iowa have to replant thousands of acres of crops destroyed by last week’s wind and hail storms. Iowa State University’s Southwest Iowa Extension Agronomist, Aaron Saegling rates the damage that stretches from Oakland to Council Bluffs as- among the worst he’s seen during his 25-year career.

“Those plants are gone. They’re not laying down in the field. They’re gone. They’re just not even in the field,” Saegling says, “And so that tells me there is probably as much wind as hail. We have some fields that are pretty bare.” Saegling says farmers can try to get a crop out of some of the fields.  “There will be a lot of soybean replanting. A lot of the corn I don’t believe will make it. …so a lot of those acres will probably not be replanted because it’s pretty late in the year.”

Saegling says many barren fields will be getting erosion-preventing cover crops. The report says 98-percent of the corn crop has emerged, which is 18-percent ahead of last year and four percent ahead of the five-year average. The U-S-D-A report says soybean planting is nearly complete and 87-percent of the crop has emerged. That’s three weeks ahead of last year and about one week ahead of normal.

(Radio Iowa)

Pott. County officials estimate storm damage at $4.2-million

News, Weather

June 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials in Pottawattamie County have invited state officials to help determine whether last week’s storm caused sufficient damage to receive a presidential disaster declaration for federal assistance.The Council Bluffs Daily NonPareil reports the cost of the June 3rd storm – which included a tornado that struck three miles of farmland outside Oakland – was estimated at $4.2 million as of Monday. That estimate was reached by the cities of Oakland and Council Bluffs along with the county’s estimate for damage to county highways.

Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Director Doug Reed said the county is on the “bubble” to qualify for federal aid. Govermor Terry Branstad and the county have already issued emergency declarations in the wake of the storm, which saw straight-line winds in excess of 90 mph and the brief touchdown of an EF-2 tornado west of Oakland. Reed said the cost estimate might increase by a few hundred thousand dollars as further inspections take place by disaster assessors, insurance adjustors and those determining the scope of recovery projects.

Teams from Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Recovery Division will join the Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Agency and local officials, beginning today, to validate the storm damage estimates. If the county qualifies and receives a presidential declaration, triggering the FEMA Public Assistance Program, local governments and state agencies would be able to recover some of the costs for protective measures, debris removal and public property and infrastructure repair.

The county is unlikely to meet the requirements for FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program, which would provide direct support to residents whose property was damaged or destroyed in the storm. However, the Iowa Individual Assistance Program – available to residents of Pottawattamie, Cass, Harrison, Montgomery and Ringgold counties – is offering grants of up to $5,000 to families who earn incomes at or below twice the federal poverty index, which is $39,580 for a family of three.

To determine eligibility or to apply for the program, residents of those counties should call the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services at (866) 434-4692 or click the “Disaster Assistance” link at www.dhs.iowa.gov.

Anyone who needs assistance with storm recovery also is encouraged to call the American Red Cross 2014 Storm Information Hotline at (712) 322-4017 ext. 4804 to speak with a disaster caseworker, who can identify resources and organizations able to provide assistance based on individual needs. The Red Cross hotline is available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Those seeking reimbursement through the state should keep original receipts for expenses related to storm recovery.

2 western Iowa men charged with flagpole thefts

News

June 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CARROLL, Iowa (AP) — Two western Iowa men are accused of stealing more than 500 flagpoles from the Carroll American Legion over Memorial Day weekend. The Carroll Daily Times Herald reports that 37-year-old Christopher Lee Gay and 20-year-old Chance Abel Kinney, both of Lake City, were arrested on Sunday. The men were charged with first- and second-degree theft and were released from jail on a promise to appear in court.

Police Chief Jeff Cayler says investigators are seeking a third suspect, whom he declined to identify. The suspects allegedly stole two trailers with an estimated 550 metal flagpoles and tried to sell them at two salvage yards. Salvage yard workers declined to buy the poles, and were able to identify at least one of the suspects.

The poles are worth an estimated $16,500.

Carroll library watching patron numbers

News

June 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CARROLL, Iowa (AP) — Officials in Carroll are more closely enforcing maximum occupancy limits in the city’s public library after a former City Council member threatened to report overcrowding to the state fire marshal. The Carroll Daily Times Herald reported Monday that former council member R.W. Collison sent the letter last week to Fire Chief Greg Schreck.

Collison noted that hundreds of children attend summer reading programs at the library and would be in danger if the building had to be vacated quickly because of a fire or other emergency. Officials were measuring the building and planned to post maximum occupancy signs of about 100 people. Some library programs may need to be moved to other sites.

Collison has supported redevelopment of the library. He’s opposed proposals to build a new library.