Author: Valerie Close

Benton County Board of Supervisor Minutes 2/14/17

February 14, 2017 The Benton County Board of Supervisors met in regular adjourned session with Supervisors Wiley, Primmer, and Bierschenk present. The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. Unless otherwise noted, all actions were approved unanimously. Primmer moved/ Bierschenk seconded: Approve minutes of February 7, 2017 and February 9, 2017. Motion carried. Bierschenk moved/Primmer seconded: To approve Class B Liquor license for Kimm’s Sinclair. Motion carried. Primmer moved/Bierschenk moved: To take from the table the motion made last week for the agreement between Benton County and the Iowa Flood Center. Motion carried. Primmer moved/ Bierschenk seconded: To authorize chair to sign sub-recipient agreement with the Iowa Flood Center and Benton County for the resiliency grant. Motion carried. Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To approve Resolution # 17-13, hiring of project coordinator for WMA. Motion carried. RESOLUTION #17-13 APPROVE HIRE OF PROJECT COORDINATOR WHEREAS, the Middle Cedar Watershed Management Authority Committee requested and was granted approval to hire a project coordinator to oversee development and execute implementation of the Middle Cedar watershed management plan; and WHEREAS, the position was advertised and interviews for said position were conducted; and WHEREAS, after careful consideration, the committee has narrowed those applicants to one, WHEREAS, said hire will be housed at the Cedar Rapids, East Central Iowa Council of Government (ECICOG) office. NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Benton County Board of Supervisors...

Read More

180 Volunteers from Area Churches Prepare and Package over 30,000 meals

By Allyson Brawner On Saturday February 11th, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Walker hosted a meal packaging event. Over 30,000 meals were packaged over three hours by approximately 180 volunteers. Several area churches partnered with Sacred Heart to make this event possible. The volunteers present represented ten different churches, and several churches and individuals contributed financially to make the event possible. Last year, parishes in the Archdiocese of Dubuque were challenged by Archbishop Michael Jackels to work on a project that would make God’s mercy shown to the local community. Sacred Heart, part of the Heart of Mary Cluster of parishes, decided to host the meal packaging event through Meals from the Heartland, an Iowa based nonprofit that makes it possible for organizations to package meals for local and global distribution. Sacred Heart would like to thank the following churches for volunteering and/or contributing financially: Alice United Methodist, Center Point United Methodist, Coggon United Parish, Rowley United Methodist, Silver Creek United Methodist, St. Mary in Urbana, St. Mary in Vinton, Troy Mills Christian, Urbana United Methodist, and Walker United Methodist.   Mitchell Rawson, a parishioner from Sacred Heart in Walker, getting boxes full of packaged meals ready to ship.               Youth from the Rowley United Methodist Youth Group fill meal bags with rice, soy, dried vegetables, and vitamins.          ...

Read More

Cover Crops, Palmer Amaranth, and Markets Featured at Research Farm Annual Meeting

“What Cover Crops can do for Your Soil” by Tom Kaspar, USDA-ARS Scientist, is one of the presentations featured at the March 2 annual meeting of the Southeast Iowa Agricultural Research Association, owners of the Iowa State University Southeast Research Farm near Crawfordsville. Other topics include “Management of Palmer Amaranth” by Meaghan Anderson, ISU Extension Field Agronomist, and “Crop Market Outlook – Strategies and Tools” by Ray Jenkins, Retired Cargill Grain Merchandiser. The annual meeting will be at the Johnson County Extension office in Iowa City, beginning at 10:00 a.m. There is no cost to attend and the annual meeting is open to the public. Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will also be available, again at no charge. Contact your local Iowa State University County Extension office for more...

Read More

Southeast Iowa Agricultural Research Association annual meeting

Click to view flyer Annual meeting Farmers and agriculture suppliers will want to attend the Southeast Iowa Agricultural Research Association annual meeting at the Johnson County Extension office in Iowa City on Thursday, March 2, 2017 beginning at 10:00 a.m., according to association president Ken Wuthrich. Following a brief business meeting, the day will feature an update on activities at the Iowa State University (ISU) Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm by President Wuthrich and Superintendent Myron Rees and presentations on “What Cover Crops can do for Your Soil” by Tom Kaspar, USDA-ARS Scientist, “Management of Palmer Amaranth” by Meaghan Anderson, ISU Extension Field Agronomist, and “Crop Market Outlook – Strategies and Tools” by Ray Jenkins, Retired Cargill Grain Merchandiser. The meeting, including lunch, will be provided at no charge and will conclude at 2:30 pm. Certified Crop Advisor Continuing Education Units will be available. For more information, contact Meaghan Anderson (mjanders@iastate.edu), Greg Brenneman (gregb@iastate.edu) or Ryan Drollette (drollett@iastate.edu) at (319) 337-2145, Rebecca Vittetoe (rka8@iastate,edu) at (319) 653-4811, or Virgil Schmitt (vschmitt@iastate.edu) at (563)...

Read More

Benton County Republicans to Meet

The Benton County Republicans will be having a special meeting Tuesday, February 28th, at 7 p.m. at the Vinton Pizza Ranch, located at 219 W. 4th street in Vinton.  The meeting will be held in one of the back meeting rooms and will begin at 7 p.m.  Feel free to come at 6:30 for a dutch treat buffet meal and fellowship. The purpose of this meeting is to hold our officer elections and elect a Chair, Co-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.  To meet our bylaw guidelines, we need to hold these elections by March 1st and we need a good turnout to be able to nominate and elect these folks. We encourage as many of our central committee members as possible to attend so we can make sure to elect our county leadership.  If you or someone you know is interested in running for a leadership position, please let us know and we would be more than happy to answer any questions about time commitment and responsibilities. Thank you for your continued support of the Benton County Republicans and we hope to see you on the...

Read More

In the Statehouse February 16, 2017

By State Representative Dawn Pettengill Thank you for all the letters, calls and emails sending your opinions on both sides of the collective bargaining changes we’ve been working through at the Capitol. It is very much appreciated when it comes to my decision making time to have as much input as possible. I especially appreciate the opinions that counter what I’m thinking and need those for balance. Due to the volume coming in, I was not able to get back to everyone, but I did read your messages and listen to the calls. Again, thank you. How did this important bill come about? Right after the election and committee chairs were selected, all committees were charged with looking critically at our operations, best practices in other states, what was working or not and how to improve government’s delivery of services to our citizens. The Senate and House Labor Chairs and the Governor went through that process and started developing a bill to update an over 40 year old law on public unions. After they worked the tweaks out, they thought anyway, the original bill was released into committee. And like all bills, was assigned to a subcommittee to be worked where we solicit and expect feedback and changes. It passed through subcommittee, committee, a public hearing was held and then came to the House and Senate floors this week....

Read More

University of Dubuque Announces December 2016 Graduates

The University of Dubuque held a December Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 15, in Heritage Center’s John and Alice Butler Hall on campus. Degrees were conferred upon 127 undergraduate and 48 graduate students. Graduates include from Atkins: Kara Krueger, Master of Business Administration Justin Lorenzen, Bachelor of Business Administration, Cum Laude Henry Grubb, PhD, professor of psychology and assistant to the vice president for academic affairs on diversity at UD, delivered the Commencement address titled “Prepared for the Successful and Rewarding Life.” About University of Dubuque The University of Dubuque is a private university affiliated with Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) offering undergraduate programs in 31 areas of study; graduate programs in communication, business administration, and physician assistant studies; and theological studies. Founded in 1852, UD is home to over 2,300 students from 43 states and 22 countries. UD is committed to excellence in academic inquiry and professional preparation; relationships that encourage intellectual, spiritual, and moral development; community where diversity is appreciated and Christian love is practiced; zeal for lifelong learning and service; and more. Visit...

Read More

Pettengill Welcomes East-Central Iowa REC Members

This week Rep. Dawn Pettengill (R-Mount Auburn) met with members of East-Central Iowa REC. The group was visiting the Capitol to talk with legislators about energy legislation. Pictured here are Burt Byers (Amana), Jim Barz (La Porte City), Rep. Dawn Pettengill (Mount Auburn), Jeff Elliot (La Porte City), Jim Alberts (Fairbank), Chris Sackett (Urbana), Gary McKenna (Vinton), and Steve Marlow...

Read More

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING AGENDA February 21, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING February 21, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. Benton County Board of Supervisors Room 1. 9:00 A.M. Call to Order 2. 9:05 a.m. Barb Greenlee Re: Set land use hearing date for Brandon and Jennica Jordan part of NW ¼ NE ¼ Sec 27-85-9 3. 9:06 a.m. Barb Greenlee Re: Set land use hearing date of Ross Hanson part of SE ¼ NE ¼ Sec 35-85-10 4. 9:10 A.M. Sheriff Tippett Re: Approve hiring of a full time jailer, and discuss vehicle bids 5. Approve minutes 6. Approve Claims 7. 9:1 5 A. M. Gary McKenna, Vinton Fire Chief Requesting LOSST Funds for Fire Equipment 8. 9:30 A.M. Public Hearing for transferring unknown Parcels in portion of the NW¼ NW¼ of 26-82-10. 9. 10:00 A.M. Jerry Petermeier Re: Shive-Hattery, Inc. and Benchmark will be presenting their roof reports on the Cedar Valley Ranch 10. 11:00 A.M Jennifer Fencl (ECICOG) Re: Approve MOU between ECICOG and Benton County 11. 11:15 A.M. – Real Estate Discussion –possible closed session pursuant to Iowa Code 21.5 (1j) 12. FY18 Budget 13. Reports – committee meetings, liaison, Etc. 14. New Business/Public Interest Comments 15. Adjourn Posted on February 17,...

Read More

Mount Mercy University congratulates February 2017 grads

The student listed below graduated from Mount Mercy University in February 2017. A commencement ceremony will be held Sunday, May 21, 2017, at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. From Urbana,  Morgan Sickles, Bachelor of Arts Founded in 1928, Mount Mercy University offers students a personal, practical and faith-inspired education that distinctly blends professional career preparation and liberal arts with a strong curriculum grounded in leadership and service. A continuously updated undergraduate curriculum, in-demand graduate programs, flexible online courses and the region’s most successful accelerated program have resulted in Mount Mercy being recognized as a distinguished institution and national leader within the Conference for Mercy Higher Education. For almost 90 years, Mount Mercy has grown in size and reputation, adapting to meet the changing educational needs of the Cedar Rapids community. Its 1,900 students come from around the globe, creating a vibrant, diverse and open-minded campus community. Popular undergraduate majors include business, nursing, criminal justice, education and social work. Graduate programs are offered in criminal justice, strategic leadership, business administration, education, nursing, and marriage and family therapy. For more information on Mount Mercy, visit mtmercy.edu. Located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mount Mercy University is the regional Catholic, Mercy University that promises students of diverse backgrounds, ages and faiths a challenging, practical education that inspires them to discover knowledge, build community and lead courageous lives. Mount Mercy offers baccalaureate...

Read More

Minutes Board of Directors VSCSD February 13, 2017 & Summary of Bills

Minutes of the Regular Meeting Board of Directors Vinton-Shellsburg Community Schools February 13, 2017 Call to Order President Sue Gates called the regular meeting to order at 5:15 p.m. at the High School Media Center. Roll Call / Pledge of Allegiance Sue Gates, Brenda Bartz, Rob Levis (in at 7:01), Kyle Schminke, Kathy Van Steenhuyse, Jason Hicok (by phone at 6:45 p.m.), Mary Jo Hainstock, Superintendent, and Brenda Barkdoll, Business Manager/Board Secretary/Treasurer were present with the exception of Mike Timmermans. Audience Comments Michele Lash provided an overview of a trip to Spain that is not school sponsored but will include Vinton-Shellsburg School Spanish students. Lucas Garwood provided information on his house for sale. He is offering it to the school before he puts it on the open market. Administrator Reports Jim Murray with several teachers provided an overview of the Title I program. Tony Islas shared several students will graduate early from the alternative high school. The At-Risk application was approved by the state. Eighth grade orientation was a huge success and scheduling will wrap up next week. Superintendent Report Superintendent Hainstock reported on Director Wise visit, two wrestlers made it to state, thanked the high school for hosting, VORC (Vinton off Road Cyclist) interest in partnering, open enrollment requests, and some calendar items. Board Reports/Requests Director Van Steenhuyse visited Shellsburg and was impressed with what they do for...

Read More