Author: Valerie Close

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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Union trails by a TD before defeating Beckman, 42-7

By Joe Hadachek Union traveled to Dyersville-Beckman for a 2A D4 match up on Friday night. DB scored first on a pass play to Mack Brown from Joel Vaske to go up 7-0.   It was the third play of the game and it would be the last points scored by the home team.   From that point onward Union dominated the game with a stingy defense, great special teams play, and an offense featuring the talents of running back Isaiah Vaughan.    Vaughan scored FIVE touchdowns in the first half helping the Knights command a 42-7 lead. With the “Mercy Rule” keeping the clock running in the second half, neither team scored. The Union offense was clicking behind the arm of junior QB Troy Hanus (Hahn-us) as he was 9 of 13 for 121 yards and added a TD of his own in the first half by running the ball.  Hanus had 5 rushes for 27 yards.   His favorite target of the night was John Boisen who had three catches, while Dylan Stech and Koby Alpers each had two.  Ryan Miller and Vaughan each had one. In the run game department it was all Vaughan.   After being  out two weeks he picked up where he left off and ran for 275 yards and five touchdowns in 29 carries.    Sophomore Brit Rolison had six carries for 22 yards and Bryce Parker...

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BENTON COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ROADS IN BENTON COUNTY SEPTEMBER 26

THE URBANA/SHELLSBURG BRIDGE ON 32ND AVE SOUTH OF URBANA IS OPEN ROAD CLOSURES Iowa Highway 150 at the Cedar River Bridge in Vinton. Benton County roads: 22nd Ave at the Mt. Auburn/Brandon Bridge is closed. Benton/Buchanan Road near the Mt. Auburn/BRANDON Bridge is closed 22nd Ave north of 22nd Ave Trail (Coots Sandpit) is closed 22nd Ave Trail (Mt Auburn Blacktop) north of Vinton is closed. 22nd Ave Road north of Vinton is closed. 24th Ave. Drive north of Iowa Highway 150 is closed 59th St Drive (Stoney Arch road) east of Vinton is closed 29th Avenue Drive (Benton City Park Road) is closed There may by other roads closed or soon to close as the Cedar River continues to rise. Do not drive through any roads covered by water, turn around and use an alternate...

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If life hands you a flood, you go fishing…

In the flurry of activity, and with the sandbagging done, there’s nothing left to do, but just sit and wait. And as you would expect from Kip Schoettmer, owner of John’s Tire, he did just that…comically of course. What else can you do? Photo courtesy of Tami Stark    ...

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How much better prepared is Vinton for the Flood of 2016 than it was in 2008?

“This time we don’t have people walking around in water, trying to sand bag,” says Benton County EMA Director Scott Hansen. With a slightly lower flood crest of 22.5 predicted for Sunday evening, Vinton residents are clearly ahead of the flood preparations eight years ago, when the 24.7 feet crest of the Cedar River destroyed dozens of homes, the Benton County Jail and caused severe damage to the electrical utility and many other buildings. There are many reasons we are more ready this year: Experience. The flood of 2008 taught us to pay attention sooner, and act faster to protect what we can. Also, we know how far a “24.7” flood goes – something we could only guess at in 2008. This knowledge helps the community focus its efforts on the areas most likely to get the most water. Technology. While hundreds of volunteers tried valiantly to save the fire station, jail and VMEU buildings, a wall of sand bags turned out to be no match for the fast-rising, high-pressure flood waters. The Hesco barriers take less time and manpower to set up and offer a much more promising level of protection from that kind of raging river. Practice. In June of 2013, a flood forecast of 20.5 feet spurred the community to flood-fighting mode. We learned how those Hesco barriers work and also put in practice some new...

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UPDATE ON FORECAST CREST IN VINTON 3:00 p.m.

  SEPTEMBER 24, 2016, 3:00 PM The Cedar River flood stage at Vinton is 15 feet. The 2008 Flood reached a level of 24.7 feet. The updated river forecast from the National Weather Service at 10:07 a. m. on Saturday, September 24, 2016 indicates a new anticipated river level of 22.5 feet. The Cedar River is now expected to crest at Vinton approximately between 1:00 am and 11 am on Monday, September 26, 2016, with a gradual decrease to below 17 feet at approximately 10:00 a.m. Thursday, September 29, 2016. Residents are encouraged to monitor the forecasts all weekend as these predictions may change depending on additional...

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Flood update Saturday, 9:00 a.m.

    The City of Vinton and Benton County are working closely together to prepare for the impending flood water.  Volunteers are being utilized to assist in preparations and other resources are being deployed or placed on standby in the event they are needed.   The Cedar River flood stage at Vinton is 15 feet.  The 2008 Flood reached a level of 24.7 feet.  The updated river forecast from the National Weather Service at 5:11 a. m. on Saturday, September 24, 2016 still indicates an anticipated river level of 23.1 feet.  The Cedar River is expected to crest at Vinton approximately between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 25, 2016, with a gradual decrease to below 17 feet at approximately 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 28, 2016.  Residents are encouraged to monitor the forecasts all weekend as these predictions may change depending on additional rainfall.   In Vinton, affected areas may include but may not be limited to the following: Areas along or immediately north of E. 2nd Street between 2nd Avenue and 7th Ave, Area around the intersection of E. 3rd Street and 3rd Ave, Area north of W. 3rd St between G Ave and 1st Ave, Areas along W. 5th Street between H Ave and J Ave and H Ave between W. 4th St and W. 5th St.   Volunteers are urgently needed to help sandbag. All volunteers are...

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Kirchner Graduates from Clarke University

The following area students graduated from Clarke University in August 2016. From Garrison, Kami Pauline Kirchner, BA in Secondary Education and History For more information, contact the Clarke University Marketing and Communication Office at (563)588-6318. Clarke University is a Catholic, liberal arts and sciences university dedicated to preparing students who positively impact their workplace, family and community. Academic offerings include more than 40 undergraduate liberal arts and pre-professional programs, a robust adult degree program and six graduate degree programs. Founded in 1843 by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Clarke is located near the Mississippi River in the thriving city of Dubuque, Iowa. It is the only BVM University in the...

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What to know about this weekend’s floods

From the Benton County Emergency Management Office   The City of Vinton and Benton County are working closely together to prepare for the impending flood water. Volunteers are being utilized to assist in preparations and other resources are being deployed or placed on standby in the event they are needed. The Cedar River flood stage at Vinton is 15 feet. The 2008 Flood reached a level of 24.7 feet. The current river forecast from the National Weather Service at 9:03 a.m. on Friday, September 23, 2016 indicates an anticipated river level of 22.1 feet. The Cedar River is expected to crest at Vinton approximately between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 25, 2016/ with a gradual decrease to below 17 feet at approximately 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 28, 2016. Residents are encouraged to monitor the forecasts all weekend as these predictions may change depending on additional rainfall. (Editor’s note: Click and bookmark this link to keep an eye on the water level!) In Vinton, affected areas may include but may not be limited to the following: Areas along or immediately north of E. 2nd Street between 2nd Avenue and 7th Ave, e Area around the intersection of E. 3 rd Street and 3 rc Ave, o Area north of W. 3rd St between G Ave and 1st Ave, Areas along W. 5th Street between H Ave and J Ave and...

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In Depth: Ben Hur

This week please welcome our new In Depth writer, Rose Trafford. Ben–Hur, an epic remake of the 1959 Academy Award winning film, is back with a fresh take for a new generation of viewers.  Ben-Hur in 2D will play at 7pm nightly from Friday, September 23rd to Thursday, September 29th.  You can also catch the matinee at 2pm on Monday. Ben-Hur is a tale of two brothers and betrayal. One is a Jew, one is a Roman. One becomes a slave, the other becomes a decorated officer. While both brothers are fiercely loyal to their political and religious interests, they grow away from one another.  In the Biblical times of Ancient Rome, the characters of Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) and his brother Messala (Toby Kebell) are also joined on screen by Jesus (Rodrigo Santoro) and a slave who rescues Ben-Hur, played by none other than Morgan Freeman. If you are familiar with the story, you know that the chariot race scene is the most intense, edge-of-your-seat moment of the film! This new version does not disappoint, starting off the movie with a preview of the chariot race before flashing back to fill in the story. The main characters trained for over three months to do this epic scene, which took 45 days to shoot and used 90 horses. Possibly the most impressive part of this scene is the absence of...

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