Burlington, IA – The Burlington School District has a new superintendent. The school board voted 6-1 to hire Dr. Leland Morrison. Morrison is currently superintendent of the Hampton-Dumont School District in North Central Iowa. Prior to that, he served as the Central Lee School District's superintendent. Morrison will replace Mike Book, who will retire this summer. Morrison and the Burlington School District have agreed to a 2-year contract. He will earn $150,000 plus benefits in year 1.
Keokuk, IA – The railroad bridge that stretches from Keokuk to Hamiton will be out of commission for up to 3 months. Keokuk mayor Dave Gudgel says a pair of rail cars, traveling from Iowa to Illinois, slipped off the tracks and destroyed roughly 2,000 feet of railroad ties. He says an investigation into the cause of the derailment is underway. When the bridge is repaired, Gudgel says the city must take into account the growing use of heavier rail cars. Gudgel says rail traffic is currently being re-routed.
Hamilton, IL – The Hamilton School District hopes to reach a decision on the future of its athletic programs by the end of the month. Board member Joni Morris says the panel should vote, during its next meeting, on a proposal to co-op with Warsaw and Nauvoo-Colusa in all high school and middle school sports. Board President Rusty Dowdell feels Hamilton should first submit a counter proposal to the other districts so a renegotiated deal can be voted on. The school board discussed athletic co-ops and school consolidation for several hours during a recent meeting.
Fort Madison, IA – Reorganizing Holy Trinity Catholic Schools could improve the system both educationally and financially. Holy Trinity will close its elementary school in Fort Madison at the end of the school year. Chief Administrative Officer, Doris Turner, says all 1st through 6th graders will attend class in West Point next year. She says junion high and high school students will be housed in Fort Madison. Turner says having just 1 elementary school will improve the available educational opportunities.
Colchesterl, IL – The West Prairie school district will shop around for a new natural gas supplier for its elementary and middle schools. Superintendent Jonathan Heeboth says a number of school boards have formed a consortium to contrct for a large quantity of the heating fuel. Heerboth says if the consortium can get natural gas at a lower cost, it will still have to pay Ameren for delivering the fuel throuth its pipeline. The district cannot shop around for a new supplier for the high school yet because it's locked into a contract through 2008.
Carthage, IL – A plausible purchaser might be looking into the Robert Morris College campus in Carthage. Mayor James Nightingale says the person negotiating with the real estate agent might be the "most promising" buyer to consider the buildings over the past few years. All negotiations are taking place with the Chicago area realtor, but Nightingale says city staffers will do all they can to help move negotiations forward.
Keokuk, IA – It could soon cost a little more for a plot at Keokuk's Oakland Cemetery. The current cost of a plot is $200. Alderman Bill Olmsted says that money goes into a special perpetual care fund. The city can only use the interest generated from that account, which Olmsted says does not pay for cemetery maintenence. That's why Olmsted is recommending the creation of a cemeter maintenence fund. To accomplish this, he says the plot fee should be hiked to $300.
Colchester, IL – The West Prairie High School Board okayed a $50 fee for students taking drivers education courses. Superintendent Jonathan Heerboth says the charge will help cover overetime for the teachers. He says they are already teaching full loads, and the after-school time at six hours per student is extra duty. Heerboth says the fee will not cover all of the extra cost, but it will help.