7-1 NEWS

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS HAVE DIRECTED COUNTY ENGINEER LEE BJERKE TO COME WITH REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS FOR A SPEED STUDY IN THE AREA OF THE WILTGEN QUARRY. LAST WEEK, THE BOARD APPROVED AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR THE QUARRY ALLOWING THE OPERATOR, WILTGEN CONSTRUCTION, TO CRUSH ROCK 15 DAYS PER YEAR AT THAT LOCATION. CONCERNS FROM THE PUBLIC WERE EXPRESSED ABOUT THE DUST IN THE CANOE VALLEY AND MIDDLE HESPER ROAD AREAS. THE BOARD DISCUSSING THE SPEED STUDY IS IN RESPONSE TO THOSE CONCERNS. BJERKE SAYS BY STATE CODE, THE SPEED LIMIT ON GRAVEL ROADS CANNOT BE HIGHER THAN 55 MILES PER HOUR DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS AND 50 MILES PER HOUR AT NIGHT. BJERKE SAYS IF THE BOARD WANTS TO LOWER THE SPEED LIMIT IN THAT AREA IT’S BEST TO HAVE SOME DATA TO JUSTIFY THEIR ACTION. BJERKE ESTIMATES THE STUDY WILL COST EIGHT TO TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.

FLOODING ON THE YELLOW RIVER IN WINNESHIEK COUNTY CAUSED OVER TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. COUNTY ENGINEER LEE BJERKE TOLD THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MONDAY MORNING THE COUNTY LOST THREE BOX CULVERTS, ONE PIPE AND TWO SMALL BRIDGES. BJERKE SAYS 177TH, 185TH AND 128TH AVENUES REMAIN CLOSED. BJERKE SAYS COUNTY OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN DISCUSSING THE DAMAGE TOTAL WITH THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. BJERKE SAYS THE COUNTY IS ON FEMA’S RADAR SCREEN FOR POSSIBLE ASSISTANCE, THE ORGANIZATION JUST NEEDS TO KNOW MORE INFORMATION.

THE CRESCO FIRE DEPARTMENT AND THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT ARE INVESTIGATING A SUSPICIOUS FIRE REPORTED TO AUTHORITIES SATURDAY MORNING. AUTHORITIES SAY AN ABANDONED HOUSE ON THE PROPERTY OF 3105 318TH AVENUE IN ORLEANS TOWNSHIP, THE OLD BROWN ZOO, HAD BURNED TO THE GROUND IN THE OVERNIGHT HOURS. THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE IS UNKNOWN.

WHEN COMPARED TO THE REST OF THE NATION, IOWA IS ONE OF THE SAFEST PLACES TO CALL HOME. JOHN MICHAELSON REPORTS

THE LAWS PASSED BY THE IOWA LEGISLATURE THIS PAST SESSION GO INTO EFFECT (TUESDAY.) DEMOCRATIC STATE SENATOR MARY JO WILHELM OF CRESCO SAYS ASSISTING IOWA’S VETERANS WAS THE TOP ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE SESSION. WILHELM SAYS HER HOME COUNTY IS A GOOD EXAMPLE.

WILHELM

SOME OF THE LAWS THAT BECOME OFFICIAL (TUESDAY) INCLUDE THE OUTLAWING OF SALES OF E-CIGARETTES TO THOSE UNDER 18, LAW ENFORCEMENT NO LONGER BEING ABLE TO USE DRONES FOR ENFORCING TRAFFIC LAWS AND TEACHERS WHO ENGAGE IN RELATIONSJIPS WITH FORMER STUDENTS POTENTIALLY HAVING THEIR LICENSE REVOKED.

A WEST UNION MAN WAS ARRESTED SATURDAY AFTER A REPORT OF AN ASSAULT. THE FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 29 YEAR OLD THOMAS CANNON WAS CHARGED WITH ASSAULT CAUSING INJURY AND INTERFERENCE WITH OFFICIAL ACTS. HE IS BEING HELD IN THE FAYETTE COUNTY JAIL ON 50-THOUSAND DOLLARS BOND. THE VICTIM WAS TRANSPORTED TO PALMER HOSPTIAL FOR HIS INJURIES.

6-30 NEWS

MATTERS RELATED TO THE QUANDAHL QUARRY ON CANOE VALLEY ROAD WILL GO BEFORE THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SUPERVISORS TODAY. LAST WEEK, THE SUPERVISORS APPROVED AN AMENDMENT TO A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR THE QUARRY WHICH ALLOWS THE OPERATORS, WILTGEN CONSTRUCTION, TO CRUSH ROCK 15 DAYS AT THE QUARRY. THE BOARD DISCUSSED THE ISSUE OF DUST AND SPEED ON CANOE VALLEY AND MIDDLE HESPER ROAD. THE BOARD WILL DISCUSS A SPEED STUDY NEAR THE WILTGEN QUARRY WITH COUNTY ENGINEER LEE BJERKE AND FUGITIVE DUST ISSUES. A PUBLIC HEARING WILL ALSO BE HELD ON THE PRAIRIE HEIGHTS RE-ZONING. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT NINE-30 AT THE COURTHOUSE IN DECORAH.

CITY OF DECORAH RESIDENTS HAVE UNTIL MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO TAKE THE CITY OF DECORAH SURVEY. CITY MANAGER CHAD BIRD SAYS THIS IS THE FIRST TIME CITY OF DECORAH OFFICIALS HAVE ASKED FOR THE PUBLIC’S TWO CENTS TO THIS EXTENT.

BIRD

BIRD SAYS AS OF LAST WEEK THERE WERE OVER 500 PEOPLE THAT HAVE RESPONDED TO THE SURVEY, WHICH IS 6 TO SEVEN PERCENT OF THE COMMUNITY.

The loud cry for voter ID and voter fraud investigations is fading to a whimper as Iowa’s top election official prepares to leave and those seeking to replace him downplay the politically charged issues.
Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz leaves in January after pursuing high profile voter fraud investigations costing $250,000, proposing a voter purge rule for those lacking citizenship proof, and lobbying for voter ID.
Brad Anderson, the Democrat seeking the office opposes voter ID and says he would immediately end criminal fraud investigations. He says Iowa’s 99 should use the same computerized poll book program.
Republican former Secretary of State Paul Pate also supports statewide electronic poll books, which he says if designed right can accomplish the same ends as voter ID without alienating or disenfranchising people.

WIND AND HAIL DAMAGE WAS REPORTED FROM A ROUND OF SEVERE WEATHER WHICH CAME THROUGH THE AREA LAST NIGHT. IN THE EIGHT O’CLOCK HOUR, ONE INCH DIAMETER HAIL WAS REPORTED NEAR CALMAR AND ONE AND THREE-QUARTERS INCH DIAMETER WAS REPORTED NEAR FORT ATKINSON BY THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT. THREE-QUARTER INCH DIAMETER HAIL WAS REPORTED NEAR WAUCOMA, HAIL OF NEARLY AN INCH IN DIAMETER WAS REPORTED NEAR LUDLOW IN ALLAMAKEE COUNTY AND CHICKASAW COUNTY REPORTED SIGNIFICANT WIND DAMAGE. WIND DAMAGE WAS ALSO REPORTED IN WINNESHIEK AND ALLAMAKEE COUNTIES. GRANT COUNT, WISCONSIN ALSO DEALT WITH FLASH FLOODING OVERNIGHT.

6-29 NEWS

THE ANNUAL INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION IN SPILLVILLE WILL BE HELD NEXT SATURDAY. THE GATES WILL OPEN AT RIVERSIDE PARK AT ELEVEN A.M. THE DAY WILL INCLUDE LITTLE LEAGUE GAMES, KIDS GAMES, A COMMUNITY BAND, FREE WATERMELON AT THREE P.M. AND FREE ROOT BEER AT FOUR P.M. LIVE MUSIC FROM THE BAR FLYZ ON THE BALL DIAMOND AT SEVEN-30. ONE OF THE AREA’S LARGEST FIREWORKS DISPLAYS WILL BE SHOT OFF AT NINE-30. AFTER THE FIREWORKS DJ BLACKOUT WILL BE INSIDE THE INWOOD BALLROOM.

THE DECORAH ROTARY CLUB WILL HOST ITS ANNUAL FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION FRIDAY NIGHT. THE BREAD AND BUTTER BAND WILL PERFORM AT SIX-30. A PRESENTATION WILL BEGIN AT SEVEN FEATURING THE DECORAH AND SAINT BENEDICT’S SCHOOLS TUDENTS THAT WILL BE PARTICIPATING IN THE NATIONAL HISTORY DAY CONTEST. ICE CREAM AND LEMONADE WILL BE FOR SALE AND THE DECORAH LIONS CLUB WILL BE SELLING POPCORN.

A FUNDRAISER FOR THE DECORAH SENIOR NORDIC DANCERS WILL BE HELD AT CULVERS THIS WEEK. DUANE LUNDTVEDT IS ONE OF THE GROUP’S DIRECTORS.

LUNDTVEDT

LUNDTVEDT SAYS THE GROUP IS HOPING TO TRAVEL TO NORWAY IN 2016.

NORTHEAST IOWA R-C AND D ANNOUNCED THEY ARE LAUNCHING IOWA’S FIRST CROWD FUNDING WEBSITE FOR THE ARTS. THE WEBSITE, IOWA-ART-DOT-ORG, WILL BEGIN ACCEPTING DONATIONS FOR THREE PROJECTS BEGINNING NEXT WEEK. THE PROJECTS INCLUDE THE PUPPET PROJECT, NISSE ON THE PROJECT AND THE CREATIVITY CENTER.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) says motorists in the state bought more than 2.7 million gallons of E-85 in the first quarter of this year. IRFA executive director Monte Shaw says that breaks the record sales mark set in the first quarter of 2013. “We’re up actually almost 50-percent from the previous first quarter,” Shaw says. The E-85 fuel contains from 70 to 85 percent ethanol mixed with gasoline. Shaw says several factors have led to better E-85 prices. “

6-28 NEWS

 

THIS PAST MONDAY, THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SUPERVISORS APPROVED A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT AMENDMENT FOR THE QUANDAHL QUARRY ON CANOE VALLEY ROAD, OPERATED BY WILTGEN CONSTRUCTION. THE AMENDMENT ALLOWS FOR 15 DAYS OF ROCK CRUSHING AT THE QUARRY. THE SUPERVISORS DISCUSSED THE ISSUE OF DUST IN THAT AREA AS PART OF THE CONVERSATION. MONDAY THE BOARD WILL DISCUSS A POTENTIAL SPEED STUDY IN THE AREA OF THE QUARRY WITH COUNTY ENGINEER LEE BJERKE (BEER-KEY). THE BOARD WILL ALSO DISCUSS FUGITIVE DUST ISSUES. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT NINE-30 AT THE COURTHOUSE IN DECORAH.

WORD THAT THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE OFFICIAL IN THE MIDDLE OF ALLEGATIONS THAT THE AGENCY TARGETED CONSERVATIVE GROUPS CONSIDERED AN AUDIT OF IOWA SENATOR CHARLES GRASSLEY IS “TROUBLING” TO THE OTHER U-S SENATOR FROM IOWA, TOM HARKIN. HARKIN SAYS HE DOESN’T HAVE ALL THE FACTS, BUT HE SAYS THE INVESTIGATION OF THE I-R-S NEEDS TO CONTINUE.

HARKIN

AFTER LERNER RECEIVED AN EMAIL INTENDED FOR GRASSLEY ABOUT AN EVENT WHERE THE SPONSOR OFFERED TO PAY GRASSLEY’S WIFE TO ATTEND, LERNER ASKED HER ASSOCIATES IF AN AUDIT WAS APPROPRIATE. EMAILS THAT WERE RECEIVED IN THE CASE NEVER INDICATED ANY ACTION WAS TAKEN.

THE ANNUAL LAURA DAYS CELEBRATION WILL BE HELD IN BURR OAK THIS WEEKEND.
FRIDAY ONLY
THE WILDER 5-K RUN WILL BE HELD TONIGHT AT SIX-30, FOLLOWED BY D-J DEWEY PROVIDING ENTERTAINMENT AT BARNEY’S BAR AND GRILL
SATURDAY MORNING
THE GIFT SHOP, VISITORS CENTER AND TOURS OF THE MASTERS HOTEL WILL OPEN AT NINE A.M. FOOD STANDS AND CHILDREN’S GAMES WILL BEGIN AT TEN A.M,. AND THE PARADE WILL BEGIN AT NOON.
SATURDAY AT NOON
THE PARADE IS BEGINNING AT THIS HOUR. THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF LITTLE MISS LAURA AND YOUNG ALMANZO WILL TAKE PLACE AT ONE P.M. A BEAN BAG TOURNAMENT AND GREASED PIG CONTEST IS ALSO ON THE DOCKET FOR THIS AFTERNOON. THIS EVENING THE COUNTRY COUSINS WILL PERFORM FROM EIGHT UNTIL MIDNIGHT.

A DECORAH CHURCH WILL CELEBRATE 160 YEARS OF MINISTRY THIS WEEKEND. THE CONGREATIONAL UNITED CHRIST OF CHURCH WILL WORSHIP AT TEN-30 A.M. SUNDAY MORNING. THE CELEBRATION WILL CONTINUE WITH A LUNCH AFTERWARD.

Officials are warning people visiting some of Iowa’s natural lakes about a condition called swimmer’s itch.
The state Department of Natural Resources says reports of swimmer’s itch have come in from Crystal Lake and Black Hawk Lake. The condition is caused by a parasite that can burrow into human skin before dying.
The DNR says the condition can create welts and itching and last for several days.
People visiting beaches and natural lakes should avoid swimming in areas with aquatic plants. Swimmers should also reduce their amount of time in the water, and dry off quickly after getting out of the water.

6-27 NEWS

THE CENSUS BUREAU TODAY SAYS IOWA’S POPULATION IS ON THE RISE FOR THE FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW SINCE THE LAST CENSUS. GARY BARRETT REPORTS.

DECORAH RESIDENTS HAVE UNTIL NEXT MONDAY NIGHT TO FILL OUT A COMMUNITY SURVEY. THE SURVEY IS AVAILABLE AT THE CITY OF DECORAH WEBSITE. CITY MANAGER CHAD BIRD SAYS HE’S PLEASED WITH THE RESPONSE.

BIRD

BIRD SAYS THE SURVEY WILL PROVIDE VALUABLE INFORMATION FOR THE COUNCIL. HE SAYS HE BELIEVES THIS IS THE FIRST TIME SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAS BEEN DONE IN THE CITY.

A HOUSTON COUNTY JUDGE HAS DISMISSED A PETITION OF SEVEN HOUSTON COUNTY LANDOWNERS HOPING TO BLOCK THE APPROVAL OF A FRAC SAND MIND. ACCORDING TO THE LA CROSSE TRIBUNE, THE GROUP WAS HOPING TO FORCE HOUSTON COUNTY TO DENY A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT RENEWAL FOR THE ERICKSON QUARRY. THE GROUP’S ATTORNEY ARGUED THAT BECAUSE THERE HAS BEEN CHANGES SINCE THE 1992 PERMIT WAS GRANTED, THUS THE OWNERS WHERE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A NEW PERMIT APPLICATION. THE COUNTY ARGUED THEY HAD A DUTY TO PROMTLY ACT ON REQUESTS FROM CITIZENS. JUDGE ROBERT BIRNBAUM SAID THE LANDOWNERS FAILED TO PROVE THE MINE WOULD CAUSE THEM HARM.

Iowa school boards now have the ability to offer early retirement incentives to a few more school employees.
Under previous law, early retirement packages could only be offered to school district employees who were between the ages of 55 and 65. A new law that took effect in April lets school boards offer early retirement incentives to any employee who is 55 or older. Representative Curt Hanson, a Democrat from Fairfield who is a retired driver’s ed teacher, said this new law will help financially-squeezed schools with employees who’ve gone beyond the age of 65.

6-26 NEWS

IOWA GOVERNOR TERRY BRANSTAD AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR KIM REYNOLDS WILL SPEND (THURSDAY) IN NORTHEAST IOWA. THEY WILL START THEIR DAY AT THE ATEK INDUSTRY PLANT IN NEW HAMPTON AT NINE-45. AT ELEVEN-30, BRANSTAD AND REYNOLDS WILL VISIT COUNTY VIEW DAIRY IN HAWKEYE. THEIR NEXT STOP WILL BE MOBILE TRACK SOLUTIONS IN ELKADER AT ONE-15. BRANSTAD AND REYNOLDS WILL THEN TRAVEL AT W-W HOMESTEAD DAIRY IN WAUKON BEGINNING AT THREE P.M. IOWA’S TOP TWO EXECUTIVES WILL END THEIR PUBLIC SPOTS IN CRESCO THURSDAY BY VISITING THE HOWARD COUNTY FAIR BEGINNING AT FIVE P.M.

IOWA SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE BILL NORTHEY WILL BE IN DECORAH (THURSDAY) AFTERNOON. NORTHEY WILL BE AT THE LYNCH FAMILY FOUNDATION BANQUET AT THE HOTEL WINNESHIEK IN DECORAH BEGINNING AT FIVE-30.

A FORMER WESTERN IOWA SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR WILL BE THE NEW PRINCIPAL AT ST. BENEDICT’S SCHOOL IN DECORAH. STEVE HALUSKA, THE BROTHER OF DECORAH SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT MIKE HALUSKA, WILL REPLACE DANA HOLKESVIK WHO HAS TAKEN A JOB IN THE DECORAH SCHOOLS SYSTEM. HALUSKA WAS IN THE CARROLL SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR 19 YEAR AND SERVED AS HIGHSCHOOL PRINCIPAL FROM 1998-2013.

WAUKON FIREFIGHTERS WERE CALLED EARLY THIS MORNING TO A FIRE ON WEST MAIN STREET. SOURCES SAY THE FIRE WAS IN THE UPPER LEVEL OF THE HOWARD’S HOME FURNISHING STORE. THE AMERICAN RED CROSS IS ASSISTING THOSE DISPLACED BY THE FIRE WITH CLOTHING, FOOD AND SHELTER.

The Iowa Senate Government Oversight Committee intends to question under oath a number of current and former top state government administrators about confidential settlement agreements.
Committee chairwoman Janet Petersen, a Des Moines Democrat, says she’s determined to find out who authorized payments for secrecy to former state workers. More than 320 state workers have entered settlement agreements since Gov. Terry Branstad returned as governor in 2011. Some were asked to sign confidentiality agreements and were paid to keep quiet. No one has ever taken responsibility for authorizing the agreements. Subpoenaed to testify Wednesday are former Iowa Department of Administrative Services attorney Ryan Lamb and the agency’s fired director, Mike Carroll.

6-25 SPORTS

WE’VE HAD SOME DRY SUMMERS IN RECENT YEARS, WHICH HAS MEANT FEWER MOSQUITOS. I-S-U EXTENSION ENTOMOLOGIST DONALD LEWIS SUSPECTS THIS SUMMER MIGHT BE MORE CLOSER TO “NORMAL.”

LEWIS

HE SAYS MOSQUITOS NEED STANDING WATER, AND A WEEK TO 10-DAYS TO GROW POPULATION.

ESPITE THE RAINY CONDITIONS, MOST OF IOWA’S CROPS ARE RATED GOOD TO EXCELLENT. SUE DANIELSON REPORTS…

WINNESHIEK COUNTY WILL BE TAKING OVER THE MAINTENANCE SUPERVISION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES BUILDING ON HIGHWAY 52 SOUTH OF DECORAH. THE ISSUE WAS DISCUSSED AT THIS WEEK’S SUPERVISORS MEETING. COUNTY MAINTENANCE SUPERVISOR JOHN HALVERSON SAID THE BUILDING WAS BEHIND ON BOILER INSPECTION AND HE AND AN ASSITANT ARE BOTH CERTIFIED TO COMPLETE THAT TASK. THE D-H-S HIRES THEIR OWN CLEANING AND CUSTODIAL CREW FOR THE BUILDING.

STARTING THURSDAY, TEACHERS FROM IOWA AND THE ENTIRE U-S WILL CONVERGE ON DENVER TO TALK ABOUT EDUCATION AT THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION’S ANNUAL MEETING. AND IOWA STATE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT TAMMY WAWRO SAYS THE CURRENT CONTROVERSY OVER COMMON CORE STANDARDS WILL BE FRONT AND CENTER IN THEIR DISCUSSIONS. SHE SAYS IOWA TEACHERS AREN’T FEELING THE SAME PRESSURE OVER THE STANDARDS AS OTHER STATES

WAWRO

WAWRO SAYS CRITICISM OF THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS HAS BEEN LARGELY MISPLACED…SINCE MOST OF THE PROBLEMS CITED BY SO-CALLED “COMMON CORE OPPONENTS” AREN’T CAUSED BY THE STANDARDS, BUT BY THE WAY LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND TEACHERS IMPLEMENT THEM.

6-24 NEWS

A NEW POLL FINDS A FORMER FIRST LADY STILL TOPS ALL POTENTIAL REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT IN IOWA. JIM BOYD REPORTS.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS HAS APPROVED AN AMENDMENT TO A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR A QUARRY IN NORTHERN WINNESHIEK COUNTY. THE BOARD TOOK THE ACTION AT ITS MEETING MONDAY MORNING. WILTGEN CONSTRUCTION HAD ASKED THE COUNTY FOR PERMISSION TO CRUSH ROCK ON SITE AT THE QUANDAHL QUARRY ON CANOE VALLEY ROAD 15 DAYS PER YEAR. THE AMENDMENT PASSED THE COUNTY PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION EARLIER THIS MONTH BY A 7-1 VOTE. THE MEASURE PASSED THE BOARD UNANIMOUSLY. SUPERVISOR DEAN THOMPSON STATED THE ISSUE OF DUST ON CANOE VALLEY AND MIDDLE HESPER ROADS NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT. THOMPSON SUGGESTED A SPEED STUDY BE ON THAT ROAD AND A D-N-R REPRESENTATIVE SHOULD BE INVITED TO A SUPERVISORS MEETING TO DISCUSS WHAT THE COUNTY CAN DO RELATED TO FUGITIVE DUST, AND WHAT RELATED TO THE ISSUE IS UNDER THE D-N-R’S JURISDICTION.

Iowa’s top emergency management official says up to 150 homes in Iowa have major flood damage and his department continues to monitor river levels as Iowa’s ground is water saturated and more rain could cause additional problems. Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Mark Schouten says early estimates indicate damage to roads, bridges and public buildings from recent flooding comes to about $11 million. Storms on June 3 caused an additional $4.5 million damage to public facilities.
Those estimates don’t include homes or crop damage, which Gov. Terry Branstad says will be significant in some areas of western Iowa. Branstad and Schouten discussed Iowa flooding Monday at the governor’s weekly news conference. Flooding is expected this week in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids as the Cedar River rises.

The state Workforce Development agency says Iowa’s unemployment rate increased slightly in May to 4.4 percent. The rate released Friday was up from the April unemployment rate of 4.3 percent.
The number of unemployed Iowa residents rose to 74,100 in May, compared to 73,500 in April. The number of Iowa residents with jobs also increased, to 1,624,300. Iowa rate is down from 4.8 percent in May 2013. The national unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in May.

6-23 NEWS

AFTER TABLING THE ISSUE LAST WEEK, THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SUPERVISORS ARE EXPECTED TO DECIDE ON AN AMENDMENT TO A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR A QUARRY ON CANOE VALLEY ROAD AT ITS MEETING THIS MORNING. WILTGEN CONSTRUCTION IS ASKING FOR THE LIMITED ABILITY TO CRUSH ROCK ON SITE AT THE QUANDAHL QUARRY. THE COUNTY PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION APPROVED THE AMENDMENT TO THE CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT AT ITS MEETING EARLIER THIS MORNING. THE ISSUE WILL BE DISCUSSED AT TEN-30 A.M. THE SUPERVISORS MEETING ITSELF WILL BEGIN AT NINE-30 AT THE COURTHOUSE IN DECORAH.

SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE PEOPLE THAT SIGNED UP FOR DENTAL INSURANCE AS PART OF THE HEALTH EXCHANGE. BRIAN HUINKER IS WITH MIDWEST GROUP BENEFITS IN DECORAH.

HUINKER

HUINKER SAYS IT’S LIKELY VERY FEW PEOPLE SIGNED UP FOR DENTAL ON THE EXCHANGE. HE SAYS IT’S ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW INSURANCE AGENTS CAN ASSIST PEOPLE WITH THE PROCESS.

JUNE IS DAIRY MONTH. MEGAN KREGEL WITH THE IOWA DAIRY CENTER IN CALMAR SAYS THE INDUSTRY IS STILL LARGELY OPERATED BY INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS.

KREGEL

KREGEL SAYS IOWA IS 12TH IN THE NATION WHEN IT COMES TO DAIRY PRODUCTION AMONG THE 50 STATES.

AUTHORITIES SAY DURING THE PAST 30 DAYS, 12 PERSONS HAVE BEEN ARRESTED, CITED OR REFFERED TO THE IOWA COURT SYSTEM FOR SHOPLIFTING AT WAL-MART. THE DECORAH POLICE DEPARTMENT SAYS THEY WORK CLOSELY WITH WAL-MART LOSS PREVENTION TO ENSURE THAT ANYONE APPREHENDED FOR SHOPLIFTING IS HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS UNDER THE IOWA CRIMINAL CODE.

6-22 NEWS

AN AMENDMENT TO A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR A QUARRY IN NORTHERN WINNESHIEK COUNTY WILL GO BEFORE THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SUPERVISORS TOMORROW. WILTGEN CONSTRUCTION OPERATES THE QUANDAHL QUARRY ON CANOE VALLEY ROAD. THE PARTIES ARE REQUESTING AN AMENDMENT WHICH WOULD ALLOW 15 DAYS OF ROCK CRUSHING PER YEAR AT THE QUARRY. THE SUPERVISORS TABLED ACTION ON THE MATTER LAST WEEK. THE WEEK PRIOR, THE COUNTY PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION APPROVED THE AMENDMENT ON A 7-1 VOTE. THE SUPERVISORS MEETING BEGINS AT NINE-30 AT THE COURTHOUSE IN DECORAH.

A judge has sentenced a Charles City man to life in prison after concluding the man killed a retired grocery store owner during a burglary. Federal prosecutors say Randy Patrie was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Cedar Rapids. Prosecutors say evidence presented at a sentencing hearing in February showed that Patrie shot and killed Ken Gallmeyer while burglarizing his home outside Nashua.

High water levels in Iowa’s rivers are affecting boating and other recreational activities. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says rowers, canoeists and other boaters need to be cautious and look at stream levels before heading out. Safety measures to keep in mind include avoiding rising rivers, wearing life jackets and developing skills to avoid hazards.

The state’s largest provider of health insurance wants to raise premium rates for about 250,000 policyholders in Iowa and South Dakota.
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield told the Register today that it is seeking to raise rates next year by less than 5.9 percent for a vast majority of its individual and small business insurance policies.
Of the 253,000 people affected, 92 percent would see a rate increase of less than 5.9 percent, according to numbers provided by Wellmark.
The proposed rate increases are subject to approval by the Iowa Insurance Division.
For the remaining 7.5 percent – those who have post-Affordable Care Act plans for individuals under 65 – Wellmark is asking for a rate increase between 11 percent and 14.5 percent.
Per Iowa law, that rate increase would be subject to a public hearing set by Iowa’s insurance commissioner. A third-party would then review the increase and determine whether it is necessary

 

THE DECORAH LOW AND MODERATE INCOME HOUSING COMMISSION WILL MEET THIS WEEK. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION COULD BE TAKEN ON A FUNDING REQUEST FROM THE LOW RENT HOUSING AGENCY. THE MEETING WILL BE HELD WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT FIVE-30 AT THE CITY CLERK’S CONFERENCE ROOM AT CITY HALL.