Author: Valerie Close

Statehouse News 3/3/17

By State Representative, Dawn Pettengill Dear Friends and Neighbors, Hope all of you at home are doing great!  What a funnel week here in Des Moines.  Because my arms weren’t long enough to get around them all, poor Phil had to carry my 6” thick folders from meeting room to meeting room.  He has been so great to work with.  He’s even in the ‘circle of trust’ to get in my purse for my debit card and get money.  Don’t worry, he won’t get too far away with that card. Funnel week reminds me of the fair.  All the hopeful contestants go in with the animals and projects they’ve worked on all year and as each fair day goes by, you have less in the running until you only have placeholders left.  That’s the way it is here.  People put in bills or are assigned bills and are working them and working them.  As the week goes on, opportunity either knocks or slips away.  13 of the 18 bills I was assigned are still live rounds, with three of those are over to the Senate already.  All in all, lots of work done in a couple months. Here are some big ones that are left: HSB135 – Water Quality  – Provides for financing for  water quality, waste water, and water supply infrastructure. HSB156 – Mental Health Bed Tracking System...

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American Legion Fish Fry, Friday March 10 4-7 p.m.

As a fund raiser, the Vinton American Legion, 105 North R Ave, will be having a fish fry, Friday March 10 from 4 to 7 PM. We will be serving Fish Fillet, Baked Potato, Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Baked Beans and Cake Adults: $8.00 Children 5 to 12: $4.00 Children under 5: Free All you can eat while supplies last. The Bar will be open. We appreciate all the support the community provides...

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Coots Material Company recognized for safety

By Jan Hall Coots Material Company, Vinton, employees were recognized at the Iowa Limestone Producers Association’s 72nd Annual Convention recently which was held in Iowa City. Coots Material employees operating in Plant #1 and #2 were honored for working the entire 2016 year without a single lost time accident. The Iowa Limestone Producers Association sponsors a safety contest each year to give recognition to those member companies and employees who strive as part of their every day activities, to work safely. This increased emphasis on safety has been a major factor in changing quarry work from a dangerous occupation, to where it is one of the safest places to be employed in Iowa....

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Support Group Meeting for Those Impacted by Heroin and Opioid Addiction to be Held on March 1

          The Eastern Iowa Heroin Initiative and CRUSH of Iowa (Community Resources United to Stop Heroin) will host a support group meeting for anyone who is currently recovering from opioid addiction and family members who have lost loved ones to opioid or heroin addiction and overdose. The meeting will be held at the Mission of Hope, 1700 B Avenue NE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, March 1, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.  This meeting is also open to the public and anyone interested in learning more about the current heroin epidemic in Iowa is welcome to attend.           To learn more about the Eastern Iowa Heroin Initiative, visit: www.facebook.com/EasternIowaHeroinInitiative   Event Details   When: Wednesday, March 1, 2017   Where: Mission of Hope, 1700 B Avenue NE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa   Time: Begins at 6:00 p.m., and ends at 7:30...

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Benton Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioners to meet Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at 9:00 a.m.

The next regular meeting of the Benton Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioners will be held on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. at the District Office, located at 1705 West D Street in Vinton. Agenda items include: approval of minutes from previous meetings, public participation, approval of treasurer’s report and bills, approval of conservation plans, watershed reports, state cost-share programs, an update on NRCS activities, a review of the correspondence file, any other commissioner input or other business, and scheduling of the next meeting. The public is welcome to attend.  Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in this event should contact the Benton SWCD by calling 319-472-2161, extension 3 or contact the TDD# or Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.  Please make contact at least 24 hours prior to the event.  This notice is provided in compliance with the Iowa Open Meetings...

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Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa (and Illinois) awarded nearly $89,000 from area McDonald’s Restaurants

By Kelly Stapella Eastern Iowa and Quad City McDonald’s Owner/Operator Cooperatives. This was the first installment of a $160,000 funding commitment from the owner/operators to be used for updates to the Ronald McDonald House in Iowa City. “We are so appreciative of the generosity of our Eastern Iowa and Quad Cities area owner/operators,” said Barbara Werning, Executive Director RMHC-EIWI. “Our area is fortunate to have McDonald’s partners that are committed to maintaining top-notch services and facilities for the families we serve.” Updates to the House include remodeling 14 of the 31 family guest rooms and bathrooms to make them more workable for guests of the House. Built in 1985, the house serves more than 1,000 families each year and has served families from all 99 Iowa counties, all 50 states and more than 60 countries, free of charge. This donation was funded through sales during the recent McRib promotion. The second installment will be funded through sales of the ongoing Shamrock promotion. McDonald’s Owner/Operator Kevin O’Brien said “Our communities are responsible for this large donation. The support from our loyal McDonald’s customers allows us to continue funding the changing needs of RMHC-EIWI families. We appreciate our customers and encourage them to return for the popular Shamrock offerings, which will fund the next part of this...

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Statehouse News

By State Representative, Dawn Pettengill Large Majority of Iowan’s Support Election Integrity Law On Sunday, the Des Moines Register reported that “a majority of Iowan’s say they think voters should have to present a government-issued identification card before casting a ballot.” This poll, distributed by the Des Moines Register and Mediacom, is timely as House Study Bill 93, which addresses this very issue, was assigned to the House State Government Committee this week. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate first released his proposal for a voter integrity bill at the beginning of the legislative session. Secretary Pate’s proposal was turned into HSB 93, and will be considered by the State Government Committees in both the House and the Senate before the end of next week. This proposed bill strengthens the integrity of Iowa’s election system, encourages the use of new voting technology, provides a system of checks and balances to ensure voter identity fraud is not occurring, and aligns some of Iowa’s voting regulations with many of our Midwestern neighbors; all without suppressing or infringing voter rights. House Study Bill 93 Proposed Changes: Voter Verification: Ensures that registered voters are who they say they are when they vote and that they vote only once. This applies to currently registered voters as well as absentee ballots. Require ID of all voters at polling site: use existing Iowa Driver’s License/passports/military or...

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BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING February 28, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.

By Gina Edler, Benton County Deputy Auditor BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING February 28, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. Benton County Board of Supervisors Room 1. 9:00 A.M. Call to Order 2. Approve minutes 3. Approve/sign conveyance of Property to William and Lori Ballard 4. 9:15 A.M. Ben Turnis Re: discuss printer contracts 5. Approve Class C Liquor License for Tara Hills Country Club 6. 9:30 A.M. Decision/action about consultant agreement for Cedar Valley Ranch Roof 7. 10:00 A.M. Lacy Litton Re: ISAC Wellmark Renewal 8. 10:45 am Lexa Speidel Re: Approve hire of part time passport clerk 9. 10:50 a.m. Discuss office space at Old School Produce 10. 11:00 A.M. Conservation Budget 11. Approve Historical Preservation Annual Report 12. FY18 Budget 13. Reports – committee meetings, liaison, Etc. 14. New Business/Public Interest Comments 15....

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GIVE BLOOD – GIVE LIFE

Every pint of blood donated through LifeServe Blood Center has the power to give more time, more smiles and more special days to local hospital patients. Premature babies, mothers after delivery, cancer patients, trauma victims and those receiving organ transplants can use blood in their journey toward wellness. Since blood cannot be artificially made, these hospital patients are counting on you to provide that lifesaving link. Schedule an appointment at an upcoming blood drive in your community today! Virginia Gay Hospital and Vinton Community Blood Drive, Tuesday, March 21, 2017 from 1:00 PM – 5:30 PM at Virginia Gay Hospital, 502 N 9th Ave. Schedule a blood donation appointment online at lifeservebloodcenter.org or call 800.287.4903. LifeServe Blood Center was established in April, 2010 when The Blood Center of Iowa joined operations with Siouxland Community Blood Bank.  As one of the 15 largest blood centers in the country, LifeServe Blood Center provides blood and blood products to more than 100 hospitals located across Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.  LifeServe is committed to saving lives by providing premier service to volunteer blood donors and access to a safe, quality blood supply for hospitals and patients.  For more information about blood donation or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 800.287.4903 or visit...

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Marc & Brandi Janssen Return to Farmers Mercantile Hall!

By Nick Fisher Marc & Brandi Janssen play traditional American music inspired by the first generation of rural recording and radio artists. Moving seamlessly between old-time, bluegrass, and country music, the Janssens feature rare old fiddle tunes, driving banjo numbers, early bluegrass songs, and country duets. They are particularly fond of old country and bluegrass duets, through which they have established a powerful vocal harmony that has delighted audiences across the Midwest. Find them at https://theprairiefiddle.com/media/ Please join us Saturday, March 11th for an evening of musical entertainment with Marc & Brandi Janssen at the Farmers Mercantile Hall in Garrison IA. They provided a very enjoyable and entertaining show the last time they performed in Garrison and we are looking forward to their return! Music will be from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm. Admisson $7. Farmers Mercantile Hall is located at 100 West Main St Garrison IA. Refreshments will be provided by the Garrison Library. Hope to see you...

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