Author: Valerie Close

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

Benton County Board of Supervisor Minutes 2/9/17

February 9, 2017 The Benton County Board of Supervisors met in special session at 6:00 p.m. at the Farm Bureau Office Building in Vinton. Supervisor Wiley called the meeting to order with Supervisor’s Primmer and Bierschenk also present. Discussion was held on the FY17 county budget, roads, watershed management, landfill, mental health region and other issues. Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To adjourn at 7:25 p.m. Motion carried. _______________________________ Todd A. Wiley, Chairman ATTEST: _________________________________ Hayley Rippel, Benton County...

Read More

Benton County Board of Supervisor Minutes 2/7/17

February 7, 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. Bierschenk moved/ Primmer seconded: Approve minutes of January 30, 2017, January 31, 2017 and February 3, 2017. Motion carried. Primmer moved/ Bierschenk seconded: Approve payment of checks numbered 222243 through 222395, payroll checks numbered 139316 through 222401, and ACH deposits numbered 29983 through 30109, vendor checks numbered 222396 through 222401. 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. There was a question on the amount, so need further investigation. So a motion to table the action by Primmer was had, seconded by Bierschenk. Motion tabled. Deputy Sheriff, John Lindaman discussed tobacco compliance checks. This is a 28E agreement between Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division and the Benton County Sheriff. This is not budgeted money therefore Lindaman needs guidance by the board for authority to spend the money made off the yearly compliance checks. Pursuant to the agreement, the department may use this money paid for reasonable department expenditures. Lindaman advised they want to purchase new equipment for making children’s ID’s. Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To agree to the funding generated from tobacco compliance checks to be...

Read More

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Announces Dean’s List

Rachel Gordon of Shellsburg has been named to the Deans’ List at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the fall semester of the 2016-17 academic year. Gordon, a sophomore English major, was named to the Dean’s List for the College of Arts and Sciences. More than 4,500 students at Nebraska have been named to the Deans’ List for the fall semester of the 2016-17 academic year. Qualification for the Deans’ List varies among the eight undergraduate colleges. Listed below are the minimum requirements for each entity and the name of its respective dean or director. All qualifying grade-point averages are based on a four-point scale and a minimum of 12 or more graded semester hours. Students can be on the Deans’ List for more than one college. * College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, 3.75; Dean Steven F. Waller. * College of Architecture, top 10 percent of the students in the college; Dean Katherine S. Ankerson. * College of Arts and Sciences, 3.7; Dean Joseph Francisco. * College of Business Administration, 3.6; Interim Dean Kathy Farrell. * College of Education and Human Sciences, 3.75; Dean Marjorie Kostelnik. * College of Engineering, 3.5; Interim Dean Lance C. Perez. * College of Journalism and Mass Communications, 3.7; Dean Maria Marron. * Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, 3.7; Dean Charles...

Read More

Benton County Republicans Monthly Meeting and officer elections Feb. 14. 7:00 p.m.

The monthly meeting AND officer elections of the Benton County Republicans will be taking place tomorrow, Tuesday evening, February 14,  at the Van Horne Community Center.  We begin at 7 p.m.  at the community center is located at 500 1st Ave, Van Horne. Please see below for information on the officer positions. We will be holding our elections for Chair, Co-Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary.   If you are curious about what a specific position entails, please let us know and we will be happy to let you know what you’re looking at for time and responsibilities.  If you’ve never been an officer before, now is a great time to jump in as this is a non-general election year and the best time to learn the ropes. Thank you for all of your support and participation! Benton County Republican Central...

Read More