Author: Valerie Close

Letter to the Editor – Candidates Should Care About Smaller Towns Too

Dear Editor, All of us here in Vinton know we are not the biggest town with the most people. Because of that, it’s not acceptable to be forgotten about by political candidates seeking our votes. Our Congressman, Rep. Rod Blum, has challenged his opponent Monica Vernon to 10 debates throughout the district so as large a number of Iowans as possible—even those in the smaller counties—could judge for ourselves who was the better person to represent us. To this point Mrs. Vernon has only agreed to do two debates—and do you think either of these are in the smaller counties? Of course they aren’t. She has refused to debate outside of Cedar Rapids and Dubuque. I think it speaks volumes that Rod Blum, who has already won in the District and who currently represents us, is willing to come to counties like ours to debate the issues facing this country. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, it should concern all of us that Monica Vernon wants our vote, but is not willing to come earn it. Rod has proven that he cares about the District and can hold his own in Washington DC. Until Mrs. Vernon is willing to come and prove to me she can hold her own and is up to the job—I’ll be voting for Rod Blum in November.  Patty...

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Benton County Board of Supervisors minutes 9/20/16

September 20, 2016 The Benton County Board of Supervisors met in regular session with Supervisors Frese, Hertle and Wiley present. The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. Unless otherwise noted, all actions were approved unanimously. Wiley moved/ Hertle seconded: To approve the minutes of Tuesday, September13, 2016. Motion carried. Continued discussion on the handbook. Wiley had emailed Jon Swanson and is waiting to hear back from him on some of the changes made. Renee Scheuerlein,Account Executive with Colonial Life presented what they have to offer employees for supplemental benefits. They have group and individual discounts. Scheuerlein is hoping to come back next year and present at the county’s all employee yearly meeting. No action was taken. Hertle moved/ Wiley seconded: To adjourn. Motion carried. ____________________________________ Donald H. Frese, Chairman ATTEST: _____________________________________ Hayley Rippel, Deputy Benton County...

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NCCC Team Maple 2 attacks invasive plants on Ordway Prairie

By: Colin O’Brien  On September 15, AmeriCorps NCCC team Maple 2 loaded up in two vehicles and began their trek to Leola, South Dakota, located near the north central edge of the state, where they started the first leg of their journey working with The Nature Conservancy on the Ordway Prairie. Although it was their fourth and final project, the team had serve in South Dakota previously during their second assignment on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Kristen collects seeds from a native plant, Little Blue Stem.  “The prairie is enormous and the work is physically demanding, but I am enjoying the challenge. I’ll be in good shape after this project,” said team leader Kristen Lamie of Boston, Massachusetts. The team spent lots of time together exploring Aberdeen, playing board games together, and watched family movies. More importantly, they experienced life on the prairie while learning about how invasive plants species affect the native habitat. The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Maple 2 has been assigned to control and prevent the spread of invasive species in priority conservation areas. So far, the team has learned to identify various plant species, sprayed target plants with herbicide, and collected seeds of native plants for dispersal on the prairie. Colin practices using an herbicide sprayer.  The team spent a day...

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Nothing Finer: 4th Street Diner Food Drive set for Oct. 15

Here is an interesting event for you, your organization or business to consider participating in to help our local 4th Street Diner senior meal center. Details below: What:  Nothing Finer than the 4th Street Diner Food Drive When:  October 15, 10:00 a.m. Where:  Fareway What:  A supermarket sweep type fundraiser with sponsors of carts. Goal is $5,000 Why:  They need help with providing meals. How:  2 person – 4 minute grocery collecting run through Fareway.  The winner will be the cart closest to $150.00 before taxes.  They will win a trophy and a $25 Fareway gift card.  There will also be a $25 Fareway gift card awarded to the shopping cart with the largest amount of groceries. Jim Estes of Vinton won $25 naming the fundraiser; logo development donated by Jim Mayhew of jmayhew Design. Cart Sponsors so far are East Central Iowa REC and Virginia Gay Hospital.  If individuals or businesses want to sponsor a cart, contact Dawn Pettengill at 319-610-3412.  If unable to sponsor a cart and would like to send a cash donation, please send to 4th Street Diner, Attn: Linda Lough, 202 East 4th Street, Vinton 52349. All donations are tax deductible and a thank you receipt will be sent from 4th Street Diner after the event. This is a way to bring everyone together for a good cause, feed the seniors in Vinton and have fun doing it! ...

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Gov. Branstad signs formal disaster proclamation for 13 counties affected by flooding in Iowa

Gov. Terry E. Branstad today formally issued a proclamation of disaster emergency for 13 counties in response to recent flooding.  The counties included in this proclamation include:  Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cedar, Chickasaw, Delaware, Floyd, Franklin, Linn and Wright. The governor’s proclamation allows State resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of this severe flooding.  The proclamation also activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Program for residents of those 13 counties.  Gov. Branstad’s proclamation also activates the Iowa National Guard to assist in the response to, the mitigation of, and the recovery from the effects of the disaster as needed. The Iowa Individual Assistance Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the current federal poverty level<https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines>, or a maximum annual income of $40,320, for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and for the expense of temporary housing. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. The grant application and instructions are available on the Iowa Department of Human Services website<http://dhs.iowa.gov/disaster-assistance-programs>. Potential applicants have 45 days from the date of the proclamation to submit a claim. The State of Iowa has been assisting the impacted communities in their response to the flooding and to help prepare...

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Remembering forgotten IBSSS students; Ingalls Society plans memorial dedication at Evergreen Cemetery

The Mary Ingalls Society cordially invites you to a memorial dedication of 11 former students of The Iowa College for the Blind who died during their time at what we now call the Iowa Braille and Sight-Saving School, and are buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Vinton. A short committal service will take place on Sunday, October 16, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. at Evergreen Cemetery, 1002 E 10th Street, Lot 31, Vinton. These graves had remained unmarked until recent research led to the identity of the students buried there.  Thanks to the generosity of many donors, a granite monument and...

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Monte Stiles to share the importance of community efforts in Substance Abuse Prevention, Oct. 5

On October 5th from 2-4pm the Above the Influence Coalition is hold an important presentation with Monte Stiles at the Vinton Pizza Ranch.  Monte has served as a state and federal prosecutor and held the position as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho.  He also supervised the Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force.  For the past 5 years, Monte has been a national speaker committed to community coalition development and substance abuse prevention. We would like to invite you to this presentation so that you can benefit from discovering the importance of community coalitions and effective prevention efforts toward substance abuse and use.  Together we want to ensure that Benton County is safe and healthy.  This is an important opportunity to discover how we can do that together on many levels of involvement.  You are being invited because you have been identified as a valuable member of our community that will strengthen the work that we want to do throughout all of our...

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All Day Alzheimer Awareness Event Sept. 30

The Vinton Lutheran Home, Windsor Manor, and Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab have come together to support a cause near and dear to all of our hearts. “In honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness month we want to put on a fundraising event for our local community,” stated Sarah Smith of the Vinton Lutheran Home. “We have 3 long term care communities in Vinton alone that house residents with some form of dementia. We want to honor those residents and their families while keeping all the funding local.” The All Day Alzheimer Awareness Event will take place at the Benton County Fairgrounds on Friday, September 30th from 6:00am-6:00pm. Participants are invited to make a free will donation to walk the fairground track. “Anyone can walk, at any time during the day, for as long as they’d like,” stated Lori Smith- Activity Director of Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab. “We will also be having a Memory Lantern Lift Off” stated Lana Elwick of the Vinton Lutheran Home. “Participants are invited to purchase a purple lantern in honor of someone suffering from dementia. Because Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, the community of Vinton will be able to see purple lanterns filling the skies all day long.” “Alzheimer Awareness t-shirts will be available for purchase as well,” Lisa Staab of Windsor Manor added. “We are hoping for a large crowd! Our goal is to...

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Bridge opening updates

THE URBANA/SHELLSBURG BRIDGE ON 32ND AVE SOUTH OF URBANA IS OPEN   22ND AVE AND THE MT. AUBURN/BRANDON BRIDGE IS OPEN.   BENTON/BUCHANAN ROAD AND THE MT. AUBURN/BRANDON BRIDGE IS OPEN.   Do not drive through any roads covered by water, turn around and use an alternate...

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Adios Sam, and waiting for another phone call

If you have ever watched the show Dharma and Greg, do it. That wasn’t the point I wanted to make, but still, do it. In the show, Dharma had a dog named Stinky. Stinky then had his own dog named Nunzio. We had that going on at our house for a while. It started a couple years ago when Dean’s brother said, “We have a dog but we need to get rid of her.” We didn’t have a dog at the time, so after some begging from our youngest, we brought home our Mindy. A few years later the phone rings again. It’s Dean’s brother, again. He says, again, “We have a dog, but we need to get rid of her.” We had a dog at the time, so after some begging from our second youngest, they brought home our Patrice/Sam. (Patrice is what the girls named her, but Sam is what Dean called her) A few weeks ago the phone rang, right after our oldest had left our house, with her hubby and baby in the car, and in the middle of a heavy rain storm. My heart stopped, thinking that they had gone into a ditch. Our oldest says hysterically. “I think we just ran over your dog…” With relief, I told her to go on home, we’d take care of her, and it’s only a dog....

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BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING September 27, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. Courthouse Basement Conference Room

  PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF LOCATION 1. 9:00 A.M. Call to Order 1. 9:05 a.m. Greg Cromer Re: Discuss Aerial photo of Vinton 2. Approve minutes 3. Approve claims 4. 9:15 a.m. Marc Greenlee Re: Land use hearing for Steve Schutterle part of NW ¼ NW ¼ Sec 26-85-11 5. 9:30 a.m. Kyle Helland Re: Variance to sub division for Dusty and Stacy McShane in part of the SE NW 3-85-9 6. 9:45 a.m. Discussion/action on Benton County Employee Handbook 7. 10:15 a.m. Engineer: Approve Utility Permit for Century Link in Jackson Township; Approve vacation carryover for Douglas Kearns 8. 10:30 a.m. Discussion/action on flood recovery/clean-up/follow-up 9. Approval of moving Payton Bartling from part time to full time Correctional Officer 10. Approval of moving current part time employee Michelle Thoma to part time office secretary position 11. Select art display for 1st floor (Elaine Conrad) 12. Discuss ICIT Recommendations for IT/GIS position 13. Discussion/action on Pictometry aerial flight of flooded area 14. Reports – committee meetings, liaison, Etc. 15. New Business/Public Interest Comments 16....

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