Author: Valerie Close

Vinton Community Foundation Accepting Grant Applications

One hundred percent of your tax deductible contribution is used for the betterment of the Vinton community. The Vinton Community Foundation board members are pleased to announce they are now accepting grant applications from non-profit Vinton area groups, for the 2017-grant program. The following grant applications may be applied for: the Vinton Community Foundation, the L.J. Kirkland Trust, and the City of Vinton Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) Fund. Board members include David Neas, representing the Vinton Area Ministerial Association; Dottie Anderson, representing Farmers Savings Bank & Trust; Shelly Petersen, representing the Vinton-Shellsburg Community School; Jon Clingman, representing Vinton Unlimited; and Nathan Hesson, representing the Vinton City Council. Application forms may be picked up at the Farmers Savings Bank & Trust. Recipients of last year’s grants from the Foundation are reminded that before any further grant applications will be considered, documentation must be provided to the Foundation Board, on how past grants were used. Grant applications must be turned in at the Farmers Savings Bank & Trust by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 27, 2018. Applicants must provide eight copies of the application. The Vinton Community Foundation has been actively contributing to the Vinton community since 1997. Since that time, the Foundation has provided more than $425,000.00 to non-profit organizations, community projects and scholarships. One hundred percent of your tax-deductible contributions are used for the betterment of the Vinton...

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Benton County Board of Supervisor Minutes 4/10/18

April 10, 2018 The Benton County Board of Supervisors met in regular adjourned session with Supervisors Primmer, Wiley and Bierschenk were present. The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. Unless otherwise noted, all actions were approved unanimously. Bob Fischer came to the meeting to ask about the lease agreement, what the status was. Supervisor’s advised Fischer to follow up with the County Attorney, he will be the one drawing up the legal document. Wiley moved/Bierschenk seconded: To approve Resolution #18-20, Variance to the Sub-Division Ordinance. Motion carried. RESOLUTION #18-20 Variance to the Benton County Subdivision Ordinance WHEREAS, Benton County adopted the Benton County Subdivision Ordinance #72; and WHEREAS, said ordinance prohibits the creation of multiple splits within a 40-acre aliquot part; and WHEREAS, said ordinance sets forth the minimum requirements and improvements for subdivisions created in the unincorporated area of Benton County; and WHEREAS, a request has been presented to the Board of Supervisors by W. Lee Raub, Ricky L. Raub and Joanne Louise Witter to vary the requirements of the ordinance to allow for two non-buildable tracts of land by plat of survey on a parcel located within the SW ¼ SW ¼ of 29-85-12. NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Benton County Board of Supervisors that the requirements of Ordinance #72 are hereby varied in its entirety for two additional divisions of real property...

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An Alliant Energy and Trees Forever grant funds new trees in Blairstown

Volunteers and community leaders in Blairstown are planting trees in the park and along streets in residential areas to save energy, improve air quality and reduce stormwater runoff. The local effort is a partnership through Alliant Energy and Trees Forever’s Branching Out program. “Thanks to Branching Out, we are literally planting a better environment while making Blairstown healthier, more vibrant and more energy efficient,” said local project volunteer Mindy Fisher. President of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility Doug Kopp says, “We’re proud that over the last 30 years this program has planted more than a million trees and reduced more than 59 million tons of carbon dioxide. The whole community benefits from these plantings!” While trees clean the air, they also provide many energy efficiency benefits. Trees shade surfaces such as homes, businesses, streets, sidewalks and parking lots—reducing the heat those surfaces absorb.  Trees also cool the surrounding air.  Both of these things keep communities cooler in the summer and reduce cooling energy and peak electric demand. Trees also help break up cold winter winds and reduce heating energy in the winter months. “Tree plantings are great opportunities to teach the community and the next generation about the environment,” said Trees Forever Founding President and CEO Shannon Ramsay. “Branching Out plantings are also hands-on lessons where volunteers learn about how trees provide us with so many benefits—from cleaning our air,...

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Earth Day celebrated at Benton County Nature Center

Saturday, April 21st, 12:00 — 3:00PM, Eco-Extravaganza!!! Celebrate Earth Day one day early at our second Eco-Extravaganza! Join us for bird banding, crafts, outdoor activities, and fun for all ages! Bring the family out for an afternoon of Earth Day excitement. Keep posted on our Facebook page at “Benton County Conservation” for more details. All programs meet at the Benton County Nature Center unless otherwise noted. Programs are all FREE of charge unless a price is...

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Yileks Participate in Spring Break Service Trip

More than 25 Buena Vista University (BVU) students, faculty and staff participated in three AWOL (Alternative Week of Off-site Learning) trips during spring break, enabling them to volunteer their time and service with a variety of people and programs. This year marked BVU’s 20th AWOL experience, which has led to more than 760 volunteers worldwide and an estimated 36,060 hours of service – furthering its mission to immerse students in different cultures, heighten social awareness, and advocate life-long social action through service on a local, regional, and international level. “AWOL provides students with a glimpse of the world that many people do not get to see,” said Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson, assistant dean for student life and director of civic engagement. “They see people at their most vulnerable stages in life and work alongside of them. These individuals let us in to their world to learn more about their community, social justice issues, and to provide us with a new outlook on life.” To ensure the AWOL program’s long-term impact on the student and the Storm Lake community, students research their service areas, identify a local need, serve to understand it better, and address it using new skills learned on their AWOL trips and by engaging in local service projects. “Students’ lives are transformed and their outlook on how they project their future careers and their role in society changes,”...

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Benton County Democrats to meet April 17

The regular meeting of the Benton County Democrats will be held on April 17th at the LaReyna Resturant in Vinton on 4th St. at 7:00PM. Come early to enjoy the great Mexican food.  Anyone interested in the Democrat party and wanting to help elect Democrats this fall is invited to...

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Board of Supervisor Agenda 04/17/18

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING April 17, 2018 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. Approve minutes 3. 9:05 A.M. Dana Burmeister: Approve part-time driver for Transportation 4. 9:30 A.M. Gary Hughes, ECICOG Re: WMA Authorization to request proposals for archaeological services associated with the county’s wetland project 5. 9:15 a.m. Approve tax suspension on parcel #240-02660 per Iowa Code 427.9 6. Approve and sign mail services agreement for Treasurer’s Tax Statements 7. 9:50 a.m. Grand Jury 8. Approve Quarterly General Assistance Report 9. Approve application for use of courthouse lawn for Vinton Car Cruise 10. Approve Recorder’s Quarterly Report 11. 10:15 a.m. Engineer: Hire Seasonal/Part Time Truck Drivers for Sec Rds (Roadside Noxious Weed Spraying) -Sign Title Plan Sheet for HMA Resurfacing on D65: Mt Auburn east and north to Buchanan Co Line (Project No. FM-CO06(113)–55-06) -Sign Purchase Agreement for permanent & temporary easement for bridge project 12. DHS Lease 13. 10:45 a.m. Discuss/take action on Resolution for the Purchase and Exchange of Real Estate. 14. Closed session per Iowa Code 21.5(1)c 15. Reports – committee meetings, liaison, Etc. 16. New Business/Public Interest Comments 17....

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Candy, and lunch, available daily at Divine Decadents in Shellsburg

While in Shellsburg for a long appointment at Wells Fargo’s only Benton County bank office, we stepped across the street to the only cafe still open there. We’d known about Divine Decadents and Ed and Judy Schaeffer’s small cafe for years, but were pleasantly surprised to find out that they have added more menu items and hours since the closing of Coop’s Roadhouse a few months ago left Shellsburg without any other cafe or restaurant. A few months ago, Ed and Judy Schaeffer added burgers and air-fried French fries to their daily menu. The couple work together all day making and delivering a variety of candy items, while also manning the kitchen and waiting tables for their cafe customers. While we waited for our burgers and fries, we talked to Ed and Judy about their businesses and the recent changes. Judy still has a special lunch menu for Thursdays, along with the regular menu. And don’t plan on lunch without leaving with, or at least looking at, some of their creative candy items.  From chocolate mice to BATs to holiday-themed creations, there is always something new to see, and try. Ed and Judy Schaeffer have been in the candy business for a long time. Famous for their homemade treats, including their palm sized B.A.T.s (Big A– Turtles) and many other flavors of homemade candies, they are sure to delight...

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Wilma Fay Wilson

Wilma Fay Wilson, 95, of Belle Plaine, passed away Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at Unity Point-St. Luke’s Hospital. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, April 16, 2018, at Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo, with the Rev. Diane Vorhies officiating. Burial will be in Marengo Cemetery. Visitation will be noon to 2 p.m. Monday, April 16, 2018, at Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo. A memorial fund has been established. Wilma is survived by a son, Tom (Diane) Wilson of Marengo; a brother, Jack (Betty) Vinall of Savannah, Ga.; three grandchildren, Alison Foughty (Scott) of Polk City, Johnette Hayes of Belle Plaine and Ashley Meek (Jordan) of Williamsburg; and seven great-grandchildren, Madison, Payton, Spencer, Davis, Erika, Avery and Jacob. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest, in December 1987; her parents; a daughter, Florence Hayes, in 2013; and a son-in-law, John Hayes, in 2010. Wilma Vinall was born Nov. 29, 1922, in rural Kellogg, the daughter of Thomas Henry and Bernice Cooper Vinall. She graduated from Searsboro High School and received her nursing degree from Marshalltown Community College. She was united in marriage to Ernest Wilson in Missouri in 1945. Wilma was one of the first employees when the Marengo Hospital opened its doors. She proudly held her nursing license for 50 years. Following her retirement from the hospital, Wilma worked as an in-home care nurse. Besides her...

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