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The Salem R-80 Board of Education held their regular meeting at the district administrative offices Thursday evening. Superintendent Steve Bryant indicated that the assessed valuation of Dent County increased about 3.8 million dollars that will provide about $125,000 more to the district. Bryant announced that the lower elementary and upper elementary open house will be August 13th
from 6:00 to 7:30, and the junior high and senior high open house will be held August 14th
from 6:30 to 8:00. Director of Transportation Jim McDaniels reported that the Salem school bus fleet received the 100% Passing Award for all the busses for the fourth time in the last five years, and they also received the Fleet Excellence Award for the fifth straight year. McDaniels credits much of the success to head mechanic Charlie Robnett and his work on the fleet for over 20 years. Bryant reported that work on the upper elementary school is about 92% complete with the library needing most of the remaining work to be done. He said the roofing project is going on now at junior high. Bryant reported that the school has received five bids from drug testing companies and they may actually do weekly tests of four or five students instead of 25 students once a month. No decision on a company has yet been made. The board awarded the bread bid to Interstate, the milk bid to Hiland Dairy, the diesel fuel bids to MFA Oil, the propane bid to Ferrelgas, and the pest control bid to Presto X. The board approved increasing the base salary of certified staff $1,200 to $29,200 which is about a 3.5% increase. All non-certified staff and administrators will also receive a 3.5% pay increase for the year. The cost of the pay increase to the district will come to close to $244,000. The board also approved changing the Masters Step program to go to Step 25 as an incentive for teachers to stay on in the district. The board approved allowing Superintendent Bryant to bill the rural schools once a final tuition rate is determined which should be very close to last year’s rate of $5,648 per student in grades 9-12. Food Service Supervisor Karen Bundy reported that this year the two food distributors she would use will be Droeges and US Food. She also said that foodservice would be part of the SIS computer system this year and that increases in price will be made up from the ala carte items. Bryant reported that DNR approved a 4.15% loan to the school for a lighting upgrade for as much as $115,000, HVAC work at the high school for as much as $53,000, and two-thirds the cost of the window replacement. The board approved starting the lighting upgrade which would be done during the evening hours. The board discussed toughing up the athletic policy that now matches the drug policy, but decided to leave harsher penalties for violators to the coaches. The board approved holding the tax rate hearing, budget hearing and regular meeting on August 16th
starting at 6:00. Bryant then explained to the board that the property line on the south side of the William Lynch playground and the Library property is not correct and is off about five feet. He said that he wanted it as part of the minutes that when the library is ready to expand and use the property, the school and library will split the cost of replacing the fence on the proper boundary line. The board then went into closed session.
The 2nd Annual Rick Inman Memorial Gaited Horse Show will be Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at the Salem Saddle Club. Admission is $2.00 for adults, and children under 12 are free. There will be an intermission show featuring the “Rawhide and Dusty Show” with Mark Lahmann, a bull whip artist, and his trick quarter horse Dusty. For more information, call 729-6012.
The Dent County Sheriff’s Department released their reports involving a burglary, a stolen handgun and a wanted person. The Dent County Sheriff’s Department received a report on July 12th at 5:33 AM from the New Harmony Church that entry had been made to the building. Reported stolen were a CGM monitor wedge speaker and an Emerson DVD/CD player. There were no signs of forced entry and the investigation continues. On July 15th at 8:15 PM the Department received a report from a resident off of K Highway regarding a stolen handgun. The handgun was described as a Brass Interarms 38-calibur stainless revolver. The report is under investigation. On July 16th at 3:30 in the afternoon, Deputies went to a residence on Dent County Road 411 to serve a felony warrant on Macka W. Camden. Camden fled from the rear of the residence as deputies exited their vehicle. Other deputies arrived and were assisted by the Salem K-9 Unit. Macka was not located. Another 51-year old male was taken into custody and charged with hindering prosecution. Bond was set at $5,000. Macka W. Camden is a 51-year old white male, 5’ 11” tall, brown eyes, brown hair and may or may not have facial hair, and is wanted by the Dent County Sheriff’s Department. Anyone with any information regarding the burglary, stolen handgun or the whereabouts of Macka W. Camden, is asked to contact the Dent County Sheriff’s Department by calling 729-3241.