Author: Dean Close

Letter to the Editor: “Change Lanes to Pass” for Safety on Iowa Roads

Dear Editor,   I am aghast at how many people – both cyclists and non-cyclists – believe that requiring cyclists to operate with bicycle lights will solve the growing number of fatalities on Iowa roadways.   Iowa Code requires a cyclist operating on a highway at night to be visible from 300’, whether by lights or reflectors.  Even when traveling at 55 mph, drivers have plenty of time to slow down or move over when cyclists are plainly evident from that distance.   In 2016, eleven cyclists were killed in Iowa.  Only one of these crashes happened at night.  In 2015, five cyclists were killed in Iowa.  Only one of these crashes happened at night.  In both cases, the cyclists killed at night were not in compliance with Iowa law.   I was at the scene of one of the 2015 fatality crashes.  My boyfriend, Wade Franck, was killed on a bright, sunny Sunday morning.  When he was killed, we were riding in a large group and there was one complete lane of traffic open for other roadway users.  Wade could have had his bicycle lit up like a Christmas tree and it’s not likely the outcome would have been different because his killer was far too drunk to drive.   Why bloat the Iowa Code with unnecessary new regulations, rather than enforcing already codified regulations?  If the Iowa...

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Yessak signs with Wartburg for track, cross country

Vinton native Jordan Yessak has signed with Wartburg College, where he will be a distance runner for the Knight cross country and indoor and outdoor track teams starting in the fall. He will major in sports management. Jordan, the son of Jason and Anita Yessak, open-enrolled to Dunkerton, where Jason was a teacher and coach and activities coordinator before recently becoming the Activities Director at Keokuk. Joining Jordan for his signing were Dunkerton cross country coach Jeff Thompson and track coach Jon Steffen. At Dunkerton, Jordan was a four-year letter winner in cross country, and qualified for the state meet three years. He was All-State and finished 8th at State his junior year. He also broke the school record that season. In track, he finished sixth in the mile run, was a two-time State qualifier in the two-mile event and once in the 4 x 800 relay. He won several conference championships, and set new records for one- and two-mile runs for Dunkerton HS. Jordan had received offers to run at Southwest Minnesota State, a D2 college in southern Minnesota, and a couple of NAIA colleges before deciding to attend...

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Officially a Wildcat: Viking senior Wiley signs with K-State

Drew Wiley made official on Wednesday morning, the first day of February, the commitment he had announced before the start of his senior football season: He will accept a scholarship at Kansas State, where he will study Agriculture Science and play defensive tackle for Bill Snyder’s team. It is the first time in decades that a local athlete has received a Division 1 scholarship. Wiley announced in August that he would accept the KSU offer from Snyder, but NCAA rules do not allow official signing until Feb. 1, which is called “Signing Day” among those involved in athletics. Wiley,...

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Fall 2016 Iowa State University College of Human Science’s Dean’s List

The Iowa State University College of Human Science’s Dean’s List honors students who have earned a grade point average of 3.5 or higher during the fall semester of 2016. Max Griffith of Vinton, IA (52349) Kristin Jensen of Norway, IA (52318) Lindsay Kelty of Vinton, IA (52349) About Iowa State At Iowa State University, students don’t get just an average college experience. They get an adventure. After all, we offer students a challenging career-oriented academic setting paired with a welcoming campus environment. And above all else, we encourage our students to achieve – and we provide the support they need to do just...

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Benton County Republicans to meet Feb. 14th

After a nice hiatus from political meetings, it’s time to get back into the swing of things with our monthly Central Committee meetings. February’s meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 14th, at 7 p.m.  We will meet at the Van Horne Community Center. February’s meeting is an important one as we will be holding our elections for Chair, Co-Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary.  Candidates are needed!  If you are curious about what a specific position entails, please let us know and we will be happy to let you know what you’re looking at for time and responsibilities.  If you’ve never been an officer before, now is a great time to jump in as this is a non-general election year and the best time to learn the ropes. We want to let everyone know that as new leaders are elected in our county, your current officers will be more than happy to show you the ropes and set you up with the information and training you need to be able to lead the county party so that you’re not left trying to figure it out on your own.  We would love to see new faces and leaders in the county so please consider what role you might play in helping our Benton County Republicans to continue strong.  We’re coming off of a big win last year with Benton County voting...

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Benton County Board of Supervisors Minutes January 25, 2017

January 25, 2017 The Benton County Board of Supervisors met in regular adjourned session with Supervisors Primmer and Bierschenk present. Wiley was absent. The meeting was called to order at 12:30 p.m. Unless otherwise noted, all actions were approved unanimously. The Board participated in a conference call with the Regional Governing Board for the Mental Health/Disability Services of the East Central Region. Discussed proposals for member county funding to the MHDS-ECR for fiscal year 2018. Discuss county MHDS fund balances and the county MHDS tax levies. No action Bierschenk moved/Primmer seconded: To adjourn at 1:20 p.m. Motion carried. _______________________________ Rick Primmer, Vice-Chair ATTEST: _________________________________ Hayley Rippel, Benton County...

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Benton County Board of Supervisors Minutes January 24, 2017

January 24, 2017 The Benton County Board of Supervisors met in regular adjourned session with Supervisors Wiley, Primmer, and Bierschenk present. The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. Unless otherwise noted, all actions were approved unanimously. Bierschenk moved/ Primmer seconded: To appoint Melissa Macku to the Benton County Health Board. Motion carried. Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To approve the minutes of January 17, 2017. Motion carried. Jerry Petermeier, Cedar Valley Ranch Board member, came to discuss roof costs. He presented an estimate from DC Taylor for $300,000 for roughly 20,000 square foot concrete roof replacement. The board would like to look over the lease agreement and possibly get an RFP to take out bids. Petermeier will research more and report back. The last time the roof was done was in 1995, for $85,000. Bierschenk moved/Primmer seconded: To approve Resolution#17-8. All membersvoting aye thereon. Motion carried. R E S O L U T I O N #17-8 WHEREAS: The Benton County Secondary Road Department has an employee that has been employed for a year, and WHEREAS: This employee as part of the original hire is entitled to a wage increase THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Benton County Board of Supervisors that the Labor Grade classification of Jeffrey Geiger will be IVD (maintainer operator). IVD base wage for Jeffrey Geiger will be $20.41 per hour. Jeffrey Geiger rate change...

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Next up at Farmers Mercantile: Matchsellers bluegrass concert, Feb. 12

By Nick Fisher Join us for a Sunday afternoon of down-home bluegrass music featuring The Matchsellers. Indiana native Andrew Morris and Julie Bates of Kansas City, Missouri are The Matchsellers. Their exciting, gritty, and often hilarious stage show has been developed over three years of relentless touring across the US and Europe. The duo features excellent musicianship, tight vocal harmonies, and a wacky world view. https://thematchsellers.com/ Details: Sunday, February 12th, 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm Admission $7 Farmers Mercantile Hall 100 West Main St Garrison IA Refreshments by Garrison Library Hope to see you...

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Trophy Tour: Area residents continue Cubs World Series celebration

Celebrating their favorite team’s first World Series win since 1908, Chicago Cubs fans have been driving for miles and waiting in line for hours to get a glimpse (and a photo or two) of the 2016 World Series Trophy. The trophy, encased in heavy glass, has been making its way through Iowa this week. Cub fans gathered early this morning at the Ice Arena in Cedar Rapids. Waterloo and Mason City stops are also included in today’s itinerary. “There are a lot of people here,” says Vinton resident Connie Barnes, who said she was guest No. 302. At each site,...

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Vinton man discovers 130-year-old piece of advertising history

As Rick Lazenby remodeled his Vinton home, which was originally built in 1880, he discovered within the walls, a unique piece of advertising and American history: A palm-sized rectangular printing block used for making a newspaper advertisement. “The side of the block says ‘1887’, and my house was first built in 1880,” says Rick. Readers of the ad would see the following message: “Button’s Raven Gloss Shoe Dressing… Makes Shoes look new. Softens Leather. We recommend it.” Because it is a printing block, the images were reversed, which resulted in a correct orientation when the ink was applied to the paper. We checked into the history of Button’s, and discovered that the printer’s block was part of a massive advertising campaign for the Button & Ottley Manufacturers company, which was located at 56 Warren Street, and later at 71 Barclay Street, both of which are in what is now called the TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal) neighborhood in New York City. In the shadow of some of NYC’s most famous landmarks, including the World Trade Center, the two buildings are now mostly used ground-floor retail stores and the upper levels, for Big Apple living space. A 1,500-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath apartment at 56 Warren Street recently sold for more than $1.2 million. The company was in business from around 1880 to approximately 1910. The Button & Ottley company advertised through a...

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