Saturday, December 26, 2015

Courier News

Courtesy of the 12/16/15 edition of Ida County Courier (  The Ida County Courier is available at Cubby's in Odebolt, and Sparky's in Arthur.

Odebolt council looking for pledges for pharmacy

An informational meeting about Telepharm was held at the Odebolt Community Building Dec 15. Telepharm is committed to delivering pharmacy services where they either don’t exist or are at risk of closing, due to high costs associated with it. It is a unique technology that enables them to put pharmacies in communities, which couldn’t previously support one.

Telepharm reduces costs of operation for having a pharmacist available in an electronic form similar to Skype. There would be a certiied pharmacy tech available. Telepharm tries to hire local irst.

Then, they widen their area further out until they ind the right person. The pharmacy tech follows the same process as a normal pharmacy except, when it comes to the pharmacist’s approval, it is all done via computer and scanning.

The pharmacist that is off site will be approving the medications in the same process as usual; they are just not physically there. Prescriptions are illed in the same manner as before; you go to your doctor and your doctor either writes a prescription, faxes, phones it in, or via computer orders to the pharmacy. It takes no longer than a usual pharmacy.

Some questions asked and answered were: Will they work with different insurance groups? They have been able to work with all insurance companies except for the insurance companies that restrict you to mail-in only.

Would someone be able to get specialty medications, such as cancer medications? Yes. What is the cost difference in medications from my usual pharmacy to Telepharm? Insurance companies set the rates of medications, and they are comparable to CVS, Walgreens and Walmart.

Will over-the-counter medications be available for purchase? Yes, but the cost of those will not be as competitive. Can there be cards or other things sold in the store? They would consider, this as long as it would not compete with any other local business in town.

What would the hours be? This hasn’t been set yet, but usual pharmacy hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-6:30 or 7 p.m., with Saturday open until noon or 1 p.m.

The cost of starting a pharmacy is around $150,000 to $200,000. Telepharm is asking that the community be supportive in the amount of $50,000. This can be in the form of providing a building and a portion of that being so many months or years rent free or monetary donations.

The City of Odebolt has deposited $10,000 towards the pharmacy. The city hopes that at least half of the remaining balance can be raised by the community. If you have other ideas of how to make this work, please let the city know.

If enough funds are not raised or pledges received in the due diligence period, the City of Odebolt will not be able to proceed with the addition of a pharmacy to Odebolt.

If 50-100 people pledged $10-20 per month over a couple years, this could be a possibility. Consider either pledging or doing a one-time donation. Receipts can be given for tax deduction. Pledge forms are available at Odebolt City Hall, by email ( requesting one, via fax or from our web page at

Fill out your pledge form soon, so that the city council can determine if they should proceed or not.
(Pledge Form located at

If or when the pharmacy is in place and making a proit, 20 percent of that proit will go back into the community in an endowment, which can be used for things like pool repairs, streets, major/minor ball programs or matching funds towards grants for anything community related.

Friends of Education award to Logers

Read the story at

Greenhouse, Spanish trip get nod from BC-IG, O-A school boards
The BC-IG and O-A school boards heard plans Dec. 14 for a greenhouse at the high school and a request for Spanish and art students to travel to Costa Rica.

Vocational agricultural instructor and FFA advisor Taylor Clark and high school vocational agriculture student Rhett Ketelsen approached the board about the construction of a greenhouse on the high school grounds, possibly in the area behind the high school baseball field centerfield wall. Clark noted the estimated cost of the greenhouse is $38,000. She noted she has approached several local businesses about providing funding for the project, and they have been receptive to the idea. Taylor also said she is in the process of applying for several grants. Ketelsen explained the greenhouse would be an extension of the school’s horticulture program and would be run as a business. “There is an educational benfeit for students and, hopefully, we make a profit.” The BC-IG board approved the project and will provide some future funding to be determined for construction.

Spanish instructor Erik Eisele and art instructor Kate Beyke talked with the board about a proposed 10-day student trip to Costa Rica in June 2017. Eisele explained the trip, which would be open to students who have taken at least two years of Spanish, would be an educational and cultural experience, through which students would earn college credit. Eisele said the cost of the trip, which is organized through Education First Educational Tours, is $2,495 per student. A minimum of 12 students would need to sign up before the trip is scheduled. The cost for adult chaperons is $2,890 per person. Eisele and Beyke were slated to meet with interested students and parents Dec. 21 to lay out a more detailed explanation of the trip. They noted 80 letters were sent to prospective Spanish students. Board members expressed concerns about the safety of students and costs of the trip and how it would be paid for. Eisele noted some fundraising may be conducted to help offset the cost of the trip,

The only liability the school would incur would be in getting students to and from the airport. A liability insurance plan to cover students and group leaders is available through the travel company. After discussing the issue, the boards gave their approval to the trip.

Superintendent Terry Kenealy provided information on the BCIG Elementary building construction effort. He noted the monthly progress meeting was held Dec. 9. Some of the items reviewed from the meeting were: The precast walls have been constructed and were tentatively scheduled for delivery Dec. 21, with the walls being finished by Jan. 15. The roofing work, the decking etc., are scheduled to begin around Jan. 11, with an anticipated completion date of Feb. 19.

The plumbers are working to complete the rough in work, and they are putting up piping in the tunnels. The electricians are roughing in all electrical lines, and they are working to get everything ready for the installation of the new transformer. MidAmerican Energy is scheduled to bring in the new transformer and set it in place this week, now that the pad for the transformer has been poured. At this time, the project appears to be moving along on schedule, with no major issues to be concerned about.

On a related item, the BC-IG board approved two change orders for the elementary project. The first was for $5,183 to make a shower and toilet in one locker room handicap accessible, and the second was for $1,578 to change a sewer line to a four-inch line.

In other business
• The BC-IG board approved a contract with Naomi Lozier as a substitute bus driver.
• The BC-IG board and O-A board approved contracts for the following teacher leaders as part of the Teacher Leadership and Compensation Grant Program that will be implemented beginning with the 2016-2017 school year: O-A Elementary/Middle School model teacher leaders Brett Benson, Dee Boger and Kara Schroeder (one position yet to ill); instructional strategist Julie Brown and O-A/ BC-IG High School model teacher leaders Susie Maass, Carol Sadler and Heather Spetman (one position yet to ill). Also, BC-IG Elementary model teacher leaders Leah Harriman, Shelly Spotts, Renae Remer and Linda Warnke; mentor teacher leaders Timi Wunschel and Rita Freese and instructional strategist Darla Ludvigson.
• Krystal Weber, middle school sixth and seventh grade science and STEM instructor, provided the board with a curriculum update. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) gives students an understanding of how those academic disciplines prepare them for the workforce of tomorrow.
• In his report, Kenealy noted the first-ever Iowa School Report Card from the Iowa Department of Education would be available for review on the department’s website Dec. 16. The report card gives school district patrons an idea of how their school grades in the areas of academic proficiency rates, closing achievement gaps, college and career readiness, annual expected growth, attendance and staff retention.
• Kenealy updated the board on the Every Student Succeeds Act, which made improvements to the No Child Left Behind Act.
• Kenealy also reported on leaks at the Odebolt-Arthur building following heavy rains last week.
• Both boards approved the purchase of new risers for the vocal music departments. Two replacement risers will be ordered for the current high school risers at a cost of $1,290. Six sets of four-step risers and shell will be added at the middle school at a cost of $22,044. The funds for the risers will come from the PPEL fund.
• The O-A board approved new ceiling tile and lights for the O-A art room ($4,390 for tile and $2,600 for lights) and new lights ($6,960) for the O-A band room.
• The O-A board also approved the purchase of a convection oven and a gas range for the O-A kitchen at a cost of $9,476.
• Both boards approved revised board policies relating to board of directors’ conflict of interest; wellness; nutrition education and promotion; physical activity and school-based activities that promote student wellness; nutrition guidelines for all foods available in campus and plan for measuring implementation. Also, code of professional conduct and ethics regulation; licensed employee qualifications, recruitment, selection; purchasing/bidding; care, maintenance and disposal of school district records and transporting students in private vehicles.
• The next joint meeting of the boards will be Jan. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in Odebolt.

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