Author: Valerie Close

Statehouse News 03/25/17

Click to view: Newsletter March16.2017                          Newsletter March23.2017 Dear Friends and Neighbors, Even if it was a quick trip, it was so nice to get home for a bit this weekend.  So beautiful all the birds were singing away there in paradise! The legislative session is rushing along, with only 24 days left we had better get on to the budgets.  The last time I wrote, we were waiting on the Revenue Estimating Conference to tell us what we could expect for taxes coming in to budget from for the year that ends June 30, 2017 and June 30, 2018.  You’ve probably heard it was not good news for either year. First, we are short another $131 million dollars for the budget ending June 30 of this year.  In early February we had to cut $118 million and even though we kept the cuts from K-12 education and Human Services, that was painful enough.  Because of the timing and the inability to de-appropriate that much in the last 3 months of the year, we’re having to borrow money from our cash reserves to make it up for this year and then pay it back in the 2018 and 2019 budgets. Secondly, the estimate for 2018 only has $6.1 million dollars of new money and besides the other built ins,...

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2017 MONEY SMART WEEK POSTER CONTEST ASKS ELEMENTARY STUDENTS WHAT THEY KNOW ABOUT MONEY

Click to view 2017 Poster Farmers Savings Bank & Trust], in conjunction with Community Bankers of Iowa (CBI) is once again sponsoring the Money Smart Week Poster Contest to motivate elementary school students to learn about money. For showing Iowa bankers what they know about money, students in 2nd through 6th grades have the chance to win either a $600 Certificate of Deposit (1st Prize), or a $300 Certificate of Deposit (2nd & 3rd Prizes). As part of Money Smart Week 2017, elementary students can submit poster designs to participating community banks across Iowa. Posters should answer the question: “Why is it important to know about money?” Participating elementary students should submit their poster designs to Farmers Savings Bank & Trust – Vinton by April 17, 2017. Posters will be displayed in the bank throughout Money Smart Week. Winners will be chosen by May 15, 2017. Complete rules & submission guidelines are available at www.cbiaonline.org. Throughout Money Smart Week (April 22-29, 2017), participating community groups, financial institutions, government agencies, educational organizations, and financial experts will host free educational events to help Iowans of all ages learn to better manage their personal finances. More information about Money Smart Week – including a full calendar of events – is available at www.moneysmartweek.org. Farmers Savings Bank & Trust was organized and chartered by the State of Iowa in June 1915. The bank is...

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Vinton’s Community Idea and Input Expo for IBSSS Space

By Melissa Schwan, Vinton Unlimited The public is encouraged to attend the Community Idea & Input Expo for Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School facilities and property on April 5, 2017- 6 to 9pm at the Vinton Shellsburg High School Gym. The Community Idea & Input Expo is an opportunity for all area residents to consider national examples of adaptive reuse of similar properties, provide feedback and share their own ideas on how the IBSSS could be repurposed for the benefit of Vinton. The expo will be an open house style event throughout the evening so residents may drop-in as they are available. The Expo will be hosted by Vinton’s IBSSS Visioning Committee and facilitated by the University of Northern Iowa’s Institute for Decision Making (IDM). Drew Conrad, IDM Director, is quick to point out the Community Idea and Input Expo is about considering possibilities and options for what the IBSSS could become for Vinton. “Vinton is processing all of their options related to the property to explore paths the community could consider. At this point, community ownership still has yet to be determined and, to be clear, the Expo is not about coming to a final decision. It is about the public considering what other communities have done in similar circumstances, getting everyone’s good ideas, leaving no stone unturned and equipping the Visioning Committee to undertake their work...

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“The Whos Down in Center Point-ville Liked Book Sales a Lot”

Don’t be a Grinch—mark your calendars for the Center Point Friends of the Library annual used book sale, May 12 and 13. The Book Sale will be at the Andersen Community Room at the Library from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 to 3 on Saturday. On Saturday from 2 to 3 you may buy all the books you want for $5 and Who wouldn’t like that? At its March meeting Friends decided to have a bake sale on Saturday morning. There will also be a silent auction Saturday of donated items, including a crazy quilt donated and finished by Friends members. To provide Max-imum access to quality used books, Friends also has a permanent used book sale going in the old video vault of the Library. The shelves are filled with donated and withdrawn Library books and magazines: 50 cents for hard cover, 25 for paperbacks. There are also puzzles, cake pans, book bags, t shirts, etc. available. Friends meets the first Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Library. New Friends are always...

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BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING Agenda – March 28, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING March 28, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. Benton County Board of Supervisors Room ** Agenda is not printed in any particular order, only time specific items will be addressed at certain times 1. 9:00 A.M. Call to Order 2. 9:15 A.M. Robert Dahl & Tom Engledow RE: discuss petition to black top 22nd Ave 3. Discuss Old DHS Building 4. 10:00 am Kelly Geater Re: Discussion/Action on Wellness incentive for FY 18/19 • Suspension of taxes per Iowa code 427.9 on parcel 330-06050 • Renew contract with Mail Services for tax statement processing 5. Grand jury 6. Appoint Union Township Trustee 7. 10:15 a.m. Engineer Re: Accept service truck bids • Accept service body bids • Hire two (2) seasonal spray truck drivers • Hire IRVM Roadside Tech intern • 2017 Dust Control Program –set price and deadline for sign-up 8. Approve minutes 9. Reports – committee meetings, liaison, Etc. 10. New Business/Public Interest Comments 11....

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See FOTSI at the 3rd Annual Health and Wellness Fair hosted by Virginia Gay Hospital!

By Peyton Frank Owing a pet doesn’t just mean extra chores and nighttime snuggles; they can help improve our health. What are the benefits? Find out those, and more, at Friends of the Shelter’s booth! On Saturday, April 1, FOTSI will be participating in the 3rd Annual Health and Wellness Fair hosted by Virginia Gay Hospital and we couldn’t be more excited! Not only will we have information on benefits to our health from pet ownership, but you can learn about healthy pet diets and lifestyles. Have you ever wondered what the controversy is against declawing?! Now’s your chance to find out. Whether you want facts, real life implications, a nail trimming demonstration, or methods of redirecting inappropriate scratching, we’re ready to answer all your questions! What about spay and neuter?! You know you should do it, but is it too expensive? BIG NEWS! FOTSI has recently partnered with Iowa Humane Alliance and Animal Resource Foundation to offer financial assistance for those who qualify. For any Benton County resident that is approved through ARF, FOTSI is offering an additional $5.00 off! Pick up an application at our booth! If you’re looking for a way to support FOTSI during this event, you’ll want to take a look at our merchandise. From gently used to brand new collars, harnesses, and toys – we have everything you need to keep your pet safe,...

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JUST US, to meet March 31st 5:30

JUST US, is a group created as a resource for women of Benton County that are looking for tools to help with networking or advice.  They are hosting their first public event Friday, March 31 at 5:30 at the Revolution Center (formerly Café DeKlos). This is a free event for all women. There will be three very inspiring women sharing some tips and experiences with these ladies on Friday night. The first is Nikki Hynek, the creator and founder of the brand Dollup Beauty.  After a 10 year career as a freelance makeup artist, Nikki invented a makeup case that started her on an exciting journey of launching a full cosmetic brand.  The next speaker is our local Julie Lessig from Total Balance and she’ll give us all some inspiration and tips on feeling better after a long day behind the desk.  Anyone who has ever talked to Julie or knows her dedication to self fitness knows she is an inspiration. The final speaker is Bethany Clemenson who is a business executive and certified life coach who is so passionate about being a catalyst for change.  She speaks to groups and organizations about getting free of the “stuff” that stops them from being their best.  Bethany is an optimist and #hopedealer who encourages everyone to live their life, not exist in it. “Our group is so excited about this...

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La Porte City PD assist in arrest and conviction of man found Guilty of Methamphetamine and Money Laundering Conspiracies

A man responsible for distributing pounds of ice methamphetamine and sending the proceeds back to Mexico was convicted by a jury on March 23, 2017, after a two-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.           Aldo Omar Lopez Martinez, 22, from Marshalltown, Iowa, was convicted of conspiring to distribute at least 500 grams of methamphetamine and conspiring to commit money laundering.  The verdict was returned yesterday afternoon following about two hours of jury deliberations.           The evidence at trial showed that Lopez Martinez arrived in Marshalltown from Mexico in 2015, and began distributing ice methamphetamine to a network of individuals in Marshalltown, Des Moines, and Waterloo, Iowa.  Lopez Martinez received multiple pound quantities of ice methamphetamine from a source of supply in Mexico, remanufactured the ice methamphetamine in Marshalltown, and then distributed the drugs throughout Iowa.  Lopez Martinez typically distributed ice methamphetamine in ½ pound to multiple pound quantities.  His customers paid him in cash, which he then wired back to Mexico in order to obtain more drugs.  On May 5, 2016, police searched Lopez Martinez’s residence and seized approximately $93,000 and over three pounds of 98% pure methamphetamine.  Based on the amount of money and its packaging, investigators testified that members of the conspiracy intended to transport the money out of state by hiding it in a car, also known as bulk cash smuggling.  In connection with...

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2017 Iowa Elementary Principal of the Year: Jim Murray

Vinton-Shellsburg administrators have announced that  Tilford elementary principal Jim Murray has been named the 2017 Iowa Elementary Principal of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa. There are about 650 elementary principals in Iowa. While this award is given by SAI, Mr. Murray was nominated by staff and parents from his building last spring. Some of the quotes from the nominations included: “Mr. Murray leads by example and is continually seeking effective, engaging professional development for all staff. He attends our professional development as a learner and reinforces his learning to us by leading by example.” “..he has always held his employees to a very high standard of professionalism here at Tilford. How we dress, how we work with students and parents, the examples we set in our daily tasks have always been held to a very high standard.” “…He takes the time for kids whether they are in trouble or earn reward time with him. If they are in trouble, he helps them work through whatever problem they are facing. He doesn’t accusem but helps them to tell him the trouble about what happened and how to make good decisions the next time a situation may occur.” “I can sum up Mr. Murray’s leadership style in a simple sentence – He does what is best for kids.” “Vinton-Shellsburg is fortunate to have Mr. Murray as a part...

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FFA Leadership CDE Sub-Districts

By: Brittany Hansen, V-S FFA Co-Reporter On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, our chapter took 15 FFA members and 1 advisor to Sub-District Leadership Career Development Events in Waterloo  at Hawkeye Community College. The contests that took place were program of activities, job interview, Ag sales, Ag broadcasting, public speaking, extemporaneous speaking, creed speaking, conduct of meetings, parliamentary procedure, chapter quiz, and greenhand quiz. Program of activities is an event that is designed to emphasize group activities and accomplishments and to recognize teamwork opportunities and leadership, branching from an organized school program. It is based upon the chapter program of activities and achievements of the previous year. Grant Ries, Kenyatta Yarbrough, and Madison Novotny all received a gold and advanced to districts. The job interview is an event which prepares members for their future. Members complete a job application on site and produce a resume and letter of application in advance, and these documents are submitted and the student conducts an interview. Ben Eden competed in this event, and received a gold alternate to districts. Ag sales gives a member the opportunity to demonstrate their professional sales process. The member present project summary, and make a sales presentation on an agricultural product. Jordan Pattee competed in this event and received a bronze. Members competing in public speaking deliver a six to eight minute speech on a current agricultural subject. Participants...

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VS FFA and Benton Community FFA chapters holding fundraiser @ Pizza Ranch Monday, March 27

The Vinton-Shellsburg FFA and Benton Community FFA chapters are partnering together to hold a fundraiser at Pizza Ranch in Vinton on Monday, March 27th from 5-7:30. Tips and a percentage of the proceeds and will go towards the Members Helping Neighbors campaign to raise money for the hardworking men and women to our south to rebuild their fence lines that were destroyed in the devastating wildfires. We are still looking for physical donations of fencing supplies, hay, and cornstalk bales. For more information, please visit http://bentonffa.weebly.com/members-helping-neighbors.html Also, the Animal Learn Lab behind VSHS will be a drop off site for those who would like to donate supplies to help farmers/ranches in need. Feel free to message us here, or email Mrs. Heeren: melissa.heeren@vscsd.org with any questions you may...

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