Author: Dean Close

Court rules in favor of Benton County in lawsuit regarding Red Shed Auto; declares that Zahradnik lacked legal standing

From the Office of Benton County Attorney Dave Thompson On July 23, 2017 the Honorable Judge Sean McPartland issued a Ruling on the Benton County Board of Adjustment’s Motion for Summary Judgment in the case resulting from a decision issued by the Benton County Board of Supervisors in November of 2015 denying Dean Brown’s request for a land use decision to operate a small auto repair business from his residence. This matter was commonly referred to as the “Red Shed Auto” case and pitted Mr. Brown’s request against the opposition of his neighbors, former Benton County Auditor Jill Marlow and her husband, Gary Marlow. Judge McParland’s ruling is attached. Benton County is pleased with this well –reasoned opinion in which the Court found, as a matter of law, that Ms. Zahradnik lacked the standing to bring this lawsuit because she had neither a “personal injury or stake” in the Brown matter. This case represents nearly two year’ s worth of work by various Benton County offices. Benton County also wishes to thank all the members of the Benton County Board of Adjustment for their many hours of public service work given to Benton County in this matter. As a general rule, it is not fun to be sued, but the Board of Adjustment went to work and did their job on behalf of their County. The Benton County Board...

Read More

Remembering Glen Dale Geiger: Cruise honors long-time participant, months after his death

The shirts that promote the 2017 Vinton Cruise were also a memorial to someone who had attended each event for its first 32 years, and had often entered vehicles for car lovers to see. Glen Dale Geiger of rural Vinton died in March of 2017. Cruise organizers say he was involved in the event from the beginning more than 30 years ago, and continued to participate for many years. The two 1960s classics on this year’s version of the Vinton Cruise t-shirts represent two of Glen’s cars, a 1960 Pontiac Bonneville convertible and a 1969 Pontiac SJ 455 Grand Prix. “We are grateful to the Vinton Cruise Committee for honoring Glen,” says his sister, Bunny Fritch. “I’m sure he was there in spirit.” Those cars depicted on the shirts were in storage in a shed at Geiger’s property when a controlled burn by the Iowa DNR burned out of control, destroying Glen’s sheds and those vehicles in 2014....

Read More

Several Vikings named to IHSBCA All-District baseball team

After finishing the regular season ranked third in Class 3A, the Vinton-Shellsburg Viking baseball team has seen many of its players earning post-season honors. The Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association has named its All-District teams. Vikings recognized in the Northeast District include First Team honorees Nate Struve (pitcher), Will Edwards (catcher) and Tanner Davis (infield). Second team honorees for VS include Jared Thompson (infield), Scott Wirth (pitcher) and Wes Edwards (outfield)....

Read More

Lutheran Home August Ice Cream: Annual Social on Aug. 6; drive-thru every Wednesday

Two favorites involving ice cream will return to the Vinton Lutheran Home in August. On Sunday, Aug. 6, the annual Ice Cream Social will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. There will e homemade pie, ice cream, music and activities, along with a bake sale, grab bags and more. Entertainment will indluce performances by Harold Gray from at 2 p.m. and Barb Riggle and Larry Roster at 3 p.m. Proceeds will go toward a new electric keyboard for the chapel. Drive-Thru Then from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Wednesday in August, the Lutheran Home kitchen will offer a drive-thru, with pretzel burger lunches and chocolate and vanilla shakes....

Read More

Benton County Supervisors Agenda, July 25

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING July 25, 2017 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. 9:05 a.m. Barb Greenlee Re: Set land use hearing date for John and Ronda Welper part of SE ¼ SW ¼ Sec 32-86-10 3. 9:10 a.m. Marc Greenlee Re: Approve farm exemption application for Joshua Hennings in SW ¼ 10-83-12 4. Approve minutes 5. Approve claims 6. 9:15 a.m. Approve use of lawn for Vinton Unlimited 7. Acknowledge resignation of Alberta Reifenstahl to the Benton Co. Historical Preservations Commission 8. 9:30 a.m. Discuss Early Retirement Resolution 9. Authorize Chair to sign Quit claim Deed(s) 10. 10:00 a.m. Dana Burmeister employee evaluation 11. 10:45 a.m. Engineer Re: Accept bids for HMA resurfacing project FM-C006(111)–55-06 (65th Street/Homer Center) 12. Approve Law enforcement contracts 13. Discuss/Approve annexation in Blairstown 14. Approve Homestead/Military and Disabled Veterans Homestead Credits for 2017 Assessment Year 15. 11:00 a.m. Engineer: Myron Parizek employee evaluation 16. Reports – committee meetings, liaison, Etc. 17. New Business/Public Interest Comments 18....

Read More

Online shopping: Local store offers variety of clothing, other items

For many years, customers have been able to see what items are available at Cameron’s Clothing and Henkle Creek Mercantile via photos that Karilea Ries and her staff post on Facebook, and then contacting the store by phone or social media. But now, customers can actually order items they want via a new online service. “We have been selling on Facebook for quite sometime now by just posting pictures,” says Ries. “Customers would shop just from our posts and we have shipped all over the United States.  Now we are offering an actual online store that you can shop at through Facebook.  We are just getting started and will continue to add merchandise.  It is just a taste of what we have to offer in-store. To see the online shopping site, click HERE. Then look for the “Shop Now” button. “As a small business we are trying to showcase our stores to the customer,” hoping the ones who are close enough will stop in at the store to shop and see just how cool we really are.  Not only do we offer unique merchandise, but we are proud of the service that we can offer the customer, too,” says...

Read More

Waterball brings old firefighter favorite to Vinton

With the State Champions (then known as the Best Squirts) from the 1970s watching from lawn chairs, the firefighters of today took turns testing their skills in the old favorite contest of waterball.   Several departments sent men’s and women’s teams to Vinton for Friday’s event, organized by Vinton firefighter Dennis Bramow. In waterball, two four-person teams compete to see which one can use the force of the water to push a barrel along a cable behind the other team.   Bramow’s team, Vinton 1, earned the first place trophy. His title match is depicted in the video above....

Read More

AmphiCar: Vinton residents brings unique amphibious vehicle to Cruise

At every annual Vinton Cruise, vehicle admirers are sure to see something that they have not seen before. This year, at least one of those unique vehicles belongs to a Benton County Supervisor. A red and white AmphiCar made passers-by stop and look twice, first at the white life-saving ring attached to the trunk, and then at the dual propellors between the back tires. “Yes, it’s a car and a boat!” Rick wrote on the small sheet of paper identifying cruise entries and their owners, of his 1967 AmphiCar. “I was pretty fortunate to find this car,” says Rick...

Read More

Kameron Strong: Racing, wrestling communities rally around boy facing cancer

A Vinton area boy facing cancer and his family are feeling the love and support of the participants and fans of his two favorite sports: Wrestling and racing. Kameronstrong is a new local effort to help Kameron Roberts, the son of Tyler and Tara Roberts and Kara Toms. Kameron, age 7, was recently diagnosed with cancer. “Kameron had a lump about 7 months ago in his neck and they thought he was just fighting an infection,” says Tara. “He is a wrestler and after he did a wrestling tournament in Indiana in June it got even bigger so I...

Read More

Waterball, cruise to take place downtown this weekend

Two unique events are coming to Vinton this weekend. On Friday, the Vinton Fire Department is hosting a waterball tournament for other departments throughout the area. Fireman Dennis Bramow, who competes at several events each year, is organizing the event, which begins on 4th Street at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening. Then on Saturday, the 33d Annual Vinton Cruise will begin at 7 p.m., also on 4th Street in front of the courthouse. Drivers will begin lining up around 3 p.m. and will start winding way through Vinton at...

Read More

Becker pleads guilty to BDG theft; Bonlander case involving North Benton Ambulance Service continued

Former Benton Development Group Director Ranae Becker pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $50,000 from the organization. In a hearing on July 13, Becker appeared in Benton County District Court, where she withdrew her plea of not guilty, and admitted to spending organization funds for a variety of personal expenses. Sentencing will include ordering Becker to pay 49,63.36 in restitution to BDG along with the 11,276.49  cost Benton County incurred for the State of Iowa Auditor’s investigation. Sentencing has been set for Aug. 31. Benton County Attorney Dave Thompson did not comment on his recommended sentence for Becker, but said that in similar cases of first-time offenders committing non-violent crimes, the courts have historically relied on probation instead of jail time so the defendants can have the opportunity to work and repay their debt to society. The arrest of Becker on March 29 followed an audit made by the Iowa Auditor of State’s Office, and signed by State Auditor Mary Mosiman. According to that audit, which can be seen in its entirety HERE, improper disbursements identified include $17,435.51 of improper purchases with BDG’s credit card and $12,825.01 of improper payroll disbursements to Ms. Becker, the former Executive Director, and related payroll costs. The improper purchases made with BDG’s credit card include payments to wireless phone providers, Alliant Energy, retail vendors, and purchases made while on vacations in Virginia. The improper purchases with...

Read More

Concertina concert: Milwaukee musician brings Polish polka tradition to Garrison

The woman who introduced the concertina to Garrison’s Farmer’s Mercantile Hall on Sunday says she can’t wait to bring the unique instrument she learned to play as a child to Vinton’s Art in the Park Festival in September. Jan Leman played her concertina during the Great Plains Desperados concert. Later, she discussed with Vinton Today how and when she learned to play the unique instrument. It was her Polish parents’ wish that Jan join their family Polish music tradition at a young age. “I am pure Polish and my parents were first generation Americans,” Jan recalls. “I was a Mazur Polish Dancer for many years. My parents wanted to keep their Polish heritage alive. My dad and brothers played the accordion. My mother chose the concertina for me because she loved the sound of it.  I did start  out on a ‘student’ concertina. It had the same amount of buttons but was smaller in size.  Still, at age seven, that thing was HUGE on my lap. But I learned anyway. I obviously was stronger than I looked.” Similar to an accordion, but without the piano-style keys, a concertina makes different sounds when the player pushes the bellows closer together than when expanding them. At first, Jan was not very much interested in the concertina, she says. But she didn’t have a choice. “I grew up in a very old-fashioned household, where children...

Read More