Author: Dean Close

Flood-affected families may be eligible for up to $5,000 in assistance.

On September 23, 2016, Governor Branstad issued a proclamation of disaster emergency in response to flooding. Two of the counties served by HACAP were included in the proclamation. Those counties are Benton and Linn. The governor’s declaration provides assistance of up to $5,000 for uninsured or underinsured households with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level, 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. Potential applicants living in Benton County or Linn County have until November 7, 2016 to complete an application. Completed applications should be returned to HACAP Disaster Assistance, PO Box 490, Hiawatha, IA 52233. Applications are being made available through our website at www.hacap.org<http://www.hacap.org> under the “news” section. Online story and information can also be viewed here: http://www.hacap.org/index.php?cID=304 For more information please contact John Regan at 319-393-7811 ext. 1070 or, Greg Stroyls, at 319-393-7811 ext....

Read More

VS FFA members participate in ICG meeting, Dairy Quality event

By Kayla Schneider, C0-Reporter, VS FFA Iowa Corn Growers Meeting The Iowa Corn Growers Meeting took place August 27th, 2016 in Cedar Rapids at the Double Tree by Hilton hotel. It is an annual meeting that allows farmers the chance to talk about what laws, rules, or regulations they want their representatives to lobby for to Congress. This year Louise Fleming took two members to the meeting to help make sure the farmers were following Robert’s Rules of Order a parliamentary procedure. Parliamentary procedure is a technique to conduct a meeting following a strict set of rules to keep order and ensure business is conducted in a timely and orderly manner. The two members that went were Erin Cantrell and Ben Eden. Erin helped the Vice-President of the corn growers association, Mark Recker make sure that the farmers didn’t break any rules throughout the meeting and Ben was in charge of keeping time for their discussion. State Dairy Quality State Dairy Quality took place on August 27th at Iowa State University. Advisor Melissa Heeren took two members, Morgan Schaapveld and Brianna Lundvall down to participate. As a pair they placed 11th overall. The activities that they participated in included identifying 10 cheeses, milk defects in 10 different samples, finding defects in milking machinery, performed a mastitis test, individual general knowledge test and a group...

Read More

Flood Tour: Branstad to visit Vinton at noon

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, along with Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard Tim Orr, and Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Mark Schouten will tour flood damage in Vinton, Palo and Cedar Rapids today, beginning in Vinton at noon. The Governor will begin at City Hall and spend approximately an hour in Vinton before traveling to Palo and Cedar Rapids. See the complete press release...

Read More

Vicki M. Biram

Vicki M. Biram, 46, of Cedar Rapids died Sunday September 25, 2016 at her home. Services will take place at 1:00 PM on Friday at the Cedar Memorial Park Chapel of Memories. Burial at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery.  Friends may call at the Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home from 5 to 8 PM on Thursday. Survivors include a son Joseph of Cedar Rapids; her mother Carolynn Biram of Marion; several aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends. She was preceded in death by her father and grandparents. Vicki was born on February 19, 1970 in Vinton the daughter of Richard...

Read More

Recovery efforts begin as river recedes

Vinton residents observed the  Cedar River at about one foot lower than Monday morning’s 21.8 feet crest today. Already, discussion on clean-up and recovery are under way. The Benton County Supervisors will hold a special meeting at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 28, to discuss flood issues. The Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition has issued another plea for donations. And soon, information about clean-up and FEMA assistance applications will be available.. The Highway 150 bridge leading north out of Vinton remained closed, and many streets and roads will be under water for most of this week. Across the street from...

Read More

Take care of you: Staying healthy during times of crisis

From the office of David Condry, BCAIC Natural disasters disrupt lives in significant and unexpected ways including physical and mental health. Floods create a tremendous amount of anxiety and stress for those affected both directly and indirectly. Common reactions to floods or other natural disasters may include: • Disbelief and shock • Fear and anxiety • Feeling powerless • Sadness and depression • Irritability and anger • Headaches • Stomach pain • Increased use of alcohol and other drugs It is normal to struggle with your emotions before, during, and after a flood because there is so much we can’t control. To help cope during such a stressful time you should maintain control over what you can by: • Connecting with friends and family: Talk and support each other. Now is when talking and supporting is most important. • Taking care of yourself: Try to maintain some routine. Make sure you rest and drink plenty of water. • Doing what you enjoy: Take a walk, read a book, or do an activity that helps you feel connected to yourself. If you sense that your feelings are too strong for you to cope, you may need to speak with a medical or mental health professional. Sometimes the coping skills we’ve created are no longer effective and talking with someone can provide support and resources. As time goes on and you start...

Read More

Coalition seeking donations to help families affected by flood, tornado

The Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition is asking for the public’s help once again to help families impacted by the recent flood and continued support for the July 17th tornado. The Coalition is asking for monetary donations to help affected families in Benton County meet any unmet needs they have after other assistance is gone. Individuals and organizations can make monetary donations to the Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition by mailing donations to P.O. Box 125, Vinton, IA 52349. Questions can be directed to Teresa Floyd at 319-443-3570. All funds are used in Benton County. The Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition requested and received help from the Iowa Individual Assistance Program, which can provide up to $5000 for eligible disaster impacted families meeting specific guidelines. Assistance is primarily for food, clothing, and housing assistance. The local Disaster Recovery Coalition then supports any unmet needs families have after state assistance is gone. Applications for assistance for both the state assistance program and the Disaster Recovery Coalition can be made with Sherry Adams, 309 1st Avenue, Vinton or by calling Phone: 319-241-5121. Benton County’s Disaster Recovery Coalition is a 501c3 organization that was formed after the floods of 2008 to assist families in the county who have unmet needs after all other sources of funds have been exhausted. The Coalition is Benton County’s long term recovery committee. They work directly with...

Read More

Bike Trail Grand Opening set for Oct. 2, 1 p.m.

The Vinton Parks and Recreation Department and VORC (Vinton Off Road Cyclists) are inviting all bike-riders to a special grand opening ceremony next Sunday, Oct. 2. The event begins at 1 p.m. and will allow participants to ride the trails, as well as learn more about the project. Volunteers, crews, AmeriCorps teams and others have been creating a variety of trails of different skill and difficulty levels through the wooded area between Riverside Park and the Cedar River for several months. See the event Facebook page HERE.  ...

Read More

The flood, from above

Brendan Turner has been capturing important Vinton milestones for more than a year with his drone camera. He shared a minute-long video with Vinton Today readers, and you may have seen some of his videos on TV news reports of the flood. Turner, a 2016 VSHS graduate, is the owner of The Aerial Advantage; his photos have appeared in the VS yearbook, and he has been hired by several local entities to photograph locations and events. Click HERE to see the video. Click HERE to see Brendan’s Youtube channel page with some other local...

Read More

Final Vinton Lutheran Home Drive-Thru to raise funds for VPD K-9 unit

The popular Vinton Lutheran Home Drive-Thru will make one more appearance this year, as a fund-raiser for the Vinton Police Department’s K-9 project. The drive-thru will be open next Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Homemade burgers on a pretzel bun will be available for $6; vanilla or chocolate shakes will be $2. See photos of the drive-thru’s first day this season HERE....

Read More

Public Health Dept. offers flood safety cautions

Benton County is ready to assist residents as they prepare for possible flooding.  “While we are more prepared for the 2016 flooding, personal health and safety remains a top priority” said Melissa Smith, Benton County Public Health Director. To help prevent injuries, Benton County Public Health reminds residents to: Avoid contact with flood water as much as possible.  Do not wade or swim through flood water as it may be contaminated by bacteria, chemicals or other pollutants.  If water is above your ankles, turn around and go another way; as little as 6 inches of water can sweep you off your feet. Do not drive in flooded areas. As little as 6 inches of water will cause loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float most vehicles. If flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Flood water can make you and your family sick. Wash your hands with soap and clean water. Wash your hands often, especially before preparing food, before eating, after using the toilet, and after cleaning. Washing your hands is the best way to prevent sickness. In the event of a power outage keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A freezer...

Read More

VS schools to continue as planned, despite flooding

 From the Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District:  The excessive rain in the Cedar River basin and the associated flooding has been on many people’s minds over the last few days.  In talking to Emergency Management Director Scott Hanson, the river is not expected to be as high as originally projected, and there is optimism that neither the power plant or sewer system will be overwhelmed in Vinton. Based on what we know at this point, we will have school tomorrow with no delays.   Keith McGowan, Transportation Director, has been working with his drivers to establish routes that will avoid the Mt. Auburn and Highway 150 bridges and will use the Urbana/Shellsburg bridge.  Mr. McGowan anticipates that most rural pickup times will run as scheduled with only a few routes’ times fluctuating.   Please contact the Transportation Department at (319)472-3118.  Parents of rural high school drivers should always use the best judgment regarding their child’s driving skills and route. One of the best things we can do for the students is to keep them in the “normal” routine of school.  Thank you for your help to make this...

Read More