03-01 NEWS

A MULTI-JURISDICTIONAL INVESTIGATION HAS LED TO CHARGES FILED AGAINST THREE AREA RESIDENTS. AUTHORITIES SAY 24 YEAR OLD ISSAC ELIAS NIETO OF WAUCOMA AND 27 YEAR OLD JESSE ALBERTO REYES OF HAWKEYE WERE ARRESTED OUTSIDE OF HAWKEYE FRIDAY. BOTH MEN WERE CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF COCAINE WITH INTENT TO DELIVER, A CLASS C FELONY, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A PRESCRIPTION DRUG, A SERIOUS MISDEMEANOR, POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA, FAILURE TO HAVE A DRUG TAX STAMP, A CLASS D FELONY AND OPEN CONTAINERS OF ALCOHOL. IN CONNECTION TO THE INVESTIGATION, THE FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT ARRESTED 31 YEAR OLD ASHLEY ROCHFORD OF HAWKEYE ON CHARGES OF SECOND OFFENSE POSSESSION OF COCAINE AND METHAMPHETAMINE, AN AGGRAVATED MISDEMEANOR AND POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT CONDUCTED A SEARCH OF NIETO’S RESIDENCE NEAR JACKSON JUNCTION AND FURTHER CHARGES ARE EXPECTED. AUTHORITIES ADD REYES IS WANTED IN GEORGIA ON THREE OFFENSE AND GEORGIA OFFICIALS ARE PLANNING TO EXTRADITE HIM.

THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SAYS THE 10-CENT PER GALLON PRICE INCREASE ON GAS HAS GENERATED $150 MILLION IN ADDED REVENUE IN 10 MONTHS. THEY EXPECT IT TO AMOUNT TO $213 MILLION IN THE FIRST FISCAL YEAR. WINNESHIEK COUNTY ENGINEER LEE BJERKE ECHOES THE SENTIMENTS OF MANY:

(AUDIO-BJERKE)

OF THE $213 MILLION, $70 MILLION GOES TO COUNTY PROJECTS, $101 MILLION TO STATE PROJECTS AND $42 MILLION TO IOWA CITIES.

THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SAYS IT WILL GRANT AN EXTENSION TO CERTAIN TAXPAYERS TO FILE AND PAY 2015 INDIVIDUAL TAX RETURNS WITHOUT UNDERPAYMENT OF ESTIMATED TAX PENALTY. TAXPAYERS WHO EARN AT LEAST 2/3 OF THEIR INCOME FROM FARMING OR COMMERCIAL FISHING WILL HAVE UNTIL APRIL 30TH TO FILE AND PAY 2015 TAXES.

A DUBUQUE MAN HAS BEEN ARRESTED IN FAYETTE COUNTY FOR OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE WHILE DRUGGED, AND THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE IS ALSO INVESTIGATING SEVERAL FIREARMS FOUND IN HIS VEHICLE.  33-YEAR OLD JOSHUA MILDER (MILLdur) WAS STOPPED WHILE DRIVING ERRATICALLY ON HIGHWAY 150 NEAR FAYETTE AND TAKEN TO JAIL. MORE CHARGES ARE ANTICIPATED.

THE PROPOSED MERGER OF DUPONT AND DOW CHEMICAL HAS RAISED ANTI-TRUST CONCERNS. IOWA SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH KDEC NEWS , SAYS HE IS WATCHING THE SITUATION CLOSELY:

(AUDIO..GRASSLEY)

GRASSLEY SAYS IT’S IMPORTANT THAT PIONEER SEEDS, A DUPONT SUBSIDIARY, MAINTAIN ITS PRESENCE IN THE STATE. PIONEER HAS BEEN IN IOWA FOR 90 YEARS.

YOU’VE PROBABLY NOTICED GAS PRICES MOVING UP. IOWA DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE FUEL ANALYST HAROLD HOMMES SAYS IT’S ALL BECAUSE OF A PRICE HIKE AT REFINERIES. HE SAYS “:CONVENTIONAL BLEND STOCK” PRICES INCREASED ABOUT TWO WEEKS AGO.

(AUDIO:  HOMMES)

HOMMES SAYS THE CHANGE HAS BUMPED UP THE PRICE AT THE PUMP, AND EXPECTS A SLOW UPWARD TREND TOWARD THE SUMMER DRIVING SEASON, BUT SAYS THERE’S NOTHING ON THE HORIZON TO INDICATE PRICES WILL SPIKE TOO HIGH. HE SAYS THEY’LL REMAIN FAVORABLE COMPARED TO THE LAST TEN YEARS.

 

THE DECORAH EDUCATION ASSOCIATION PRESENTED ITS INITIAL OFFER TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR A MASTER CONTRACT FOR NEXT SCHOOL YEAR MONDAY AFTERNOON. THE D-E-A IS ASKING FOR A 4.28 TOTAL PACKAGE INCREASE AND SAYS THEY WOULD LIKE TO ADD ADOPTION LEAVE TO THE CONTRACT. THE DISTRICT WILL PRESENT ITS INITIAL OFFER NEXT TUESDAY, MARCH 8TH.

 

2-29 NEWS

NORTHEAST IOWA COMMUNITY COLLEGE IS PLANNING TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE JOHN DEERE AG TECH BUILDING ON THE CALMAR CAMPUS. THE COLLEGE’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES WILL HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PLANS, SPECS, FORM OF CONTRACT AND COST ESTIMATES FOR THE RENOVATION PROJECT. COLLEGE OFFICIALS SAY THE PROPOSED ONE-POINT-TWO MILLION DOLLAR UPGRADE WILL BE THE FIRST MAJOR RENOVATION TO THE BUILDING WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY BUILT IN 1981. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT EIGHT THIS MORNING IN THE CALMAR CAMPUS BOARDROOM.

THE DECORAH SCHOOL DISTRICT WILL BEGIN THE NEGOTIATION PROCESS FOR A MASTER CONTRACT FOR NEXT SCHOOL YEAR THIS AFTERNOON. THE DECORAH EDUCATION ASSOCIATION WILL PRESENT ITS INITIAL OFFER TO THE DISTRICT THIS AFTERNOON AT FOUR P.M. AT THE CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION OFFICE.

PARENTS WANTING TO OPEN ENROLL THEIR STUDENT TO ANOTHER DISTRICT HAVE UNTIL TOMORROW TO DO SO. DECORAH SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICIALS SAY TUESDAY IS THE DEADLINE FOR FIRST THROUGH TWELFTH GRADE STUDENTS FOR NEXT SCHOOL YEAR. PARENTS OF KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS HAVE UNTIL SEPTEMBER FIRST TO APPLY FOR OPEN ENROLLMENT. APPLICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION OFFICE IN DECORAH.

A BILL PASSED THE SENATE LAST WEEK WHICH WOULD REQUIRE MOTORISTS TO MOVE TO THE OPPOSITE LANE WHEN PASSING A BICYLIST ON A ROADWAY. REPUBLICAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE JOSH BYRNES (BURNS) OF OSAGE SAYS WHILE HE UNDERSTANDS THE INTENT OF THE BILL, HE WONDERS IF IT’S SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE ON THE BOOKS.

BYRNES

BYRNES SAYS HE’S ASSIGNED THE BILL TO A SUBCOMMITTEE IN HIS HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE AND THE ISSUE WILL BE DISCUSSED THIS WEEK.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SUPERVISORS WILL DISCUSS MAINTENANCE AT THE SMITH BUILDING AT ITS MEETING TODAY. THE BOARD WILL ALSO DISCUSS A REAL ESTATE CONTRACT FOR THE BURR OAK SEWER COMMISSION WITH COUNTY ATTORNEY ANDY VAN DER MAATEN. THE SUPERVISORS WILL ALSO DISCUSS ROAD MATTERS WITH COUNTY ENGINEER LEE BJERKE. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT NINE-30 AT THE COURTHOUSE IN DECORAH.
IOWA SENATOR CHARLES GRASSLEY, CHAIR OF THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, WILL BE A PART OF A MEETING AT THE WHITE HOUSE TOMORROW TO DISCUSS THE SUPREME COURT VACANCY. GRASSLEY SAID ORIGINALLY IT WAS ONLY GOING TO BE HIM AND SENATOR PAT LEAHY, THE RANKING DEMOCRAT ON THE COMMITTEE. BUT GRASSLEY SAID THE WHITE HOUSE HAD A CHANGE OF HEART LAST WEEK AND INVITED SENATE LEADERSHIP AS WELL.

GRASSLEY

GRASSLEY SAID SENATE LEADERSHIP WAS INVOLVED IN DISCUSSION WITH THE TWO PREVIOUS NOMINATIONS PRESIDENT OBAMA MADE TO THE COURT AND HE SAID THIS OPENING SHOULD BE NO DIFFERENT.

2-28 NEWS

SUNDAY 2-28

THE DECORAH HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION WILL MEET TUESDAY NIGHT. THE COMMISSION WILL ELECT OFFICERS AND SCHEDULE MEETINGS FOR THE YEAR. OTHER ITEMS ON THE AGENDA INCLUDE AN INVITATION FOR COMMISSION MEMBERS TO JOIN THE GUN SENSE GROUP, EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES, RECOMMENDATION REGARDING ANTI-BIAS TRAINING AND UPDATES TO THE CURRENT CITY CODE. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT FIVE-30 TUESDAY NIGHT AT CITY HALL.

AN ACCLAIMED LAWYER, AUTHOR AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST WILL PRESENT THE FARWELL DISTINGUISHED LECTURE ON THE LUTHER COLLEGE CAMPUS THIS WEEK. BRYAN STEVENSON WILL PRESENT AMERICAN INJUSTICE:MERCY, HUMANITY AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE, TUESDAY NIGHT AT SEVEN AT THE COLLEGE’S CENTER FOR FAITH AND LIFE. STEVENSON’S DISCUSSION WILL FOCUS ON THE AMERICAN PRISON AND JUSTICE SYSTEM. STEVENSON ARGUES IT’S A BROKEN SYSTEM RIDDLED WITH HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AND EXCESSIVE PUNISHMENTS.

THE DECORAH SCHOOL DISTRICT VOCAL MUSIC DEPARTMENT WILL HOST A CONCERT THIS WEEK. THE SONGS OF AMERICA CONCERT WILL BE HELD TUESDAY NIGHT AT SEVEN-30 AT DECORAH HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM. THE CONCERT WILL FEATURE NEARLY THREE HUNDRED STUDENTS IN GRADES SEVEN THROUGH TWELVE.

A GROUP OF STUDENTS FROM THE NORTHEAST IOWA COMMUNITY COLLEGE CALMAR CAMPUS WILL BE TRAVELING TO HOUSTON, TEXAS FOR THEIR SPRING BREAK. A FUNDRAISER FOR THE TRIP WILL BE HELD WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT PIZZA RANCH IN DECORAH. COLLEGE OFFICIALS SAY STUDENT VOLUNTEERS WILL BE HELPING MAKE PIZZAS, TAKE ORDERS AND CLEAN TABLES FROM FIVE UNTIL EIGHT P.M. PIZZA RANCH WILL DONATE TEN PERCENT OF THE PROCEEDS EARNED THROUGHOUT THE DAY TO THE TRIP. N-I-C-C REPRESENTATIVES SAY STUDENTS WILL TRAVEL TO HOUSTON FROM MARCH SEVENTH THROUGH THE ELEVENTH MAKING MEALS FOR CHILDREN, PASSING OUT CLOTHING AND HYGIENE ITEMS TO HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS, HELPING WITH AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES AND VARIOUS OTHER SERVICE EVENTS.

A FUNDRAISER WILL BE HELD FOR THE MENTORING PROGRAM AT HELPING SERVICES FOR NORTHEAST IOWA NEXT SATURDAY. KATHY SCHWARTZHOFF WITH HELPING SERVICES SAYS THE ANNUAL BOWL-A-THON WILL BE HELD AT ONEOTA LANES IN DECORAH.

SCHWARTZHOFF

PERSONS CAN SIGN UP FOR THE EVENT AT HELPING-SERVICES-DOT-ORG.

LUTHER COLLEGE WILL HOST THE 68TH ANNUAL DORIAN BAND FESTIVAL TODAY AND TOMORROW. COLLEGE OFFICIALS SAY HIGH SCHOOL BAND STUDENTS FROM APPROXIMATELY ONE HUNDRED SCHOOLS ATTEND THE FESTIVAL. THE FIRST FESTIVAL CONCERT WILL BE HELD TONIGHT AT SEVEN P.M. FEATURING LUTHER COLLEGE’S BAND, FACULTY BRASS ENSEMBLE AND JAZZ ORCHESTRA. THE DORIAN BAND FESTIVAL GRAND CONCERT WILL BEGIN AT SIX-30 MONDAY NIGHT. BOTH CONCERTS WILL BE HELD IN THE MAIN HALL OF THE CENTER FOR FAITH AND LIFE AND ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

2-27 NEWS

2-27 NEWS

REPUBLICAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE JOSH BYRNES (BURNS) OF OSAGE SAYS HE’S SEEING PROGRESS ON KEY ISSUES AT THE STATEHOUSE.

BYRNES

BYRNES SAYS HE EXPECTS A DEAL REGARDING TAX COUPLING AND STATE SUPPLEMENTAL AID FOR K-12 EDUCATION POSSIBLY AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK.

THE NORTHEAST IOWA COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES WILL MEET IN A SPECIAL SESSION MONDAY MORNING. THE BOARD WILL REVIEW THE PLANS, SPECS, FORM OF CONTRACT AND ESTIMATE OF COST FOR THE JOHN DEERE AG TECHNOLOGY BUILDING RENOVATION PROJECT. COLLEGE OFFICIALS SAY THE PROPOSED ONE-POINT-TWO MILLION DOLLAR PROPOSED RENOVATION PROJECT IS THE FIRST UPGRADE TO THE FACILITY SINCE IT WAS BUILT IN 1981. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT EIGHT A.M. AT THE CALMAR CAMPUS BOARDROOM.

THE DECORAH EDUCATION ASSOCIATION WILL PRESENT ITS INITIAL OFFER FOR A MASTER CONTRACT FOR NEXT SCHOOL YEAR MONDAY AFTERNOON. THE PROPOSAL WILL BE PRESENTED MONDAY AFTERNOON AT FOUR P.M. AT THE CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION OFFICE.

The Iowa House has unanimously passed a resolution that seeks to amend the state’s constitution to add rules for how authorities can search and seize electronic communications and data.
The chamber voted 96-0 Thursday for the resolution, which heads to the Senate. The Legislature would need to approve the proposal next year, and it then would go before voters in 2018.
The resolution would specify that a person’s electronic communications and data are only subject to search and seizure by state authorities with a warrant. The state constitution currently specifies that protection for a person, as well as his or her home, papers and other physical items.
Rep. Ken Rizer, a Cedar Rapids Republican who supports the resolution, says it will add protections above the current system under federal law.
THE DECORAH AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNUAL GALA WILL BE HELD (SATURDAY) NIGHT. THE ANNUAL FUNDRAISING EVENT WILL BE HELD AT THE HOTEL WINNESHIEK BEGINNING AT SIX P.M. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE EVENT IS AVAILABLE AT DECORAH-AREA-CHAMBER-DOT-COM.

A FLY FISHING WORKSHOP WILL BE HELD AT DECCORAH HIGH SCHOOL (SATURDAY) MORNING. THE EVENT IS BEING SPONSORED BY THE IOWA DRIFTLESS CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED, DECORAH PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT AND WINNESHIEK COUNTY CONSERVATION. IT WILL BE HELD FROM TEN A.M. UNTIL NOON. NO REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED, PERSONS CAN JUST SHOW UP.

2-26 NEWS

THE MANAGED CARE BY PRIVATE COMPANIES OF THE STATE’S MEDICAID WILL BEGIN APRIL FIRST. REPUBLICAN STATE SENATOR MIKE BREITBACH OF STRAWBERRY POINT WAS ASKED IF THE PROCESS IS MOVING TOO FAST.

BREITBACH

THE FEDS GAVE APPROVAL TO BEGIN THE PRIVATIZED CARE EARLIER THIS WEEK. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS TO APPROVE THE CHANGE SINCE 55 CENTS OF EVERY DOLLAR SPENT ON MEDICAID COMES FROM FEDERAL FUNDING.

Research by Purdue University found Iowa led the nation for grain bin entrapments in 2015, though overall totals declined from the previous year. Professor Bill Field said Iowa saw seven such incidents last year, a little less than one-third of the 24 grain bin entrapments reported across the country. Neighboring Nebraska was second on the list with four, while North Carolina and Ohio were the only others with more than a single incident, at two apiece. Of the two dozen entrapments, 14 were fatal, according to a release about Field’s findings by the university. In 2014, there were 38 entrapments and 17 fatalities, though Field said a reluctance by employers and employees to report nonfatal incidents likely means his numbers are lower than the true number of incidents. Field cited pressures to avoid work delays or increase insurance costs as reasons those involved might avoid reporting a nonfatal entrapment.
Senate lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would require drivers to change lanes when passing a bicycle. The law would mean drivers must wait behind a bike on a two lane road or move into the left lane on a four-lane road. Senate File 2224 passed by 38-12. It’s now being sent to the House. The bill considers bike lanes and paved shoulders as travel lanes if they are being used by a bicyclist meaning drivers would not need to change lanes under those circumstances. The bill’s authors said they hope the change would reduce the number of fatal car vs. bicycle crashes.

IOWA SENATOR CHARLES GRASSLEY SAYS HE’S STANDING BY HIS POSITION TO NOT HOLD A SENATE JUDICARY COMMITTEE FOR A POTENTIAL NOMINEE FOR THE SUPREME COURT. GRASSLEY SAYS HIS STANCE WILL ALLOW AN IMPORTANT ISSUE TO BE A PART OF THIS YEAR’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION,

GRASSLEY 1

GRASSLEY SAYS THE FUTURE OF THE COURT IS AT STAKE.

GRASSLEY 2

KDEC NEWS HOSTED THE SENATOR’S CAPITOL HILL REPORT THIS WEEK.

2-25 NEWS

THE FEDS HAVE GIVEN THE OKAY FOR IOWA TO BEGIN PRIVATIZED MANAGED CARE OF MEDICAID SERVICES BEGINNING APRIL FIRST. DEMOCRATIC STATE SENATOR MARY JO WILHELM OF CRESCO STILL BELIEVES THE CHANGE PROCESS IS MOVING TOO FAST.

WILHELM

WILHELM SAYS MINNESOTA’S CHANGE TO PRIVATIZED CARE TOOK OVER A DECADE.

A woman who had traveled to Central America is Iowa’s first confirmed victim of Zika virus, one of 82 reported nationwide. The disease, which is transmitted through contact with mosquitoes, has no known treatment. LifeServe Blood Center is now prohibiting donors from giving blood for 28 days after returning from travel to Zika-affected areas. Nicole Hanger of LifeServe says the action is to protect the Midwest’s blood supply.

Hanger

LifeServe Blood Center is one of the 15 largest blood centers in the country, and provides blood to more than 100 hospitals in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.

RESIDENTS HAVE A FEW DAYS LEFT TO VOTE FOR DECORAH AS THE GREATEST MIDWEST TOWN. DECORAH IS COMPETING WITH 12 OTHER COMMUNITIES FOR THE TITLE IN THE CONTEST SPONSORED BY MIDWEST LIVING MAGAZINE. PERSONS CAN VOTE ONCE PER DAY BY LOGGING ONTO MIDWEST-LIVING-DOT-COM. THE CONTEST RUNS THROUGH NEXT MONDAY.

The Republican-majority House has passed several bills that would expand gun rights in Iowa, including legislation that would allow children under 14 to use handguns with parental supervision. The House voted Tuesday in support of five gun bills that now head to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it’s unclear if they will get enough support to advance. The legislation includes a measure that would restrict public access to information about gun owners and another bill that would allow people to use their guns in a state of emergency. Another bill would legalize the use of suppressors. Rep. Matt Windschitl, a Republican from Missouri Valley, says the bills protect Second Amendment rights. Rev. Cheryl Thomas, with Iowans for Gun Safety, says some of the legislation is designed to weaken Iowa’s gun laws.

2-24 NEWS

A MONDAY AFTERNOON TRAFFIC STOP ON BLUEGRASS DRIVE IN DECORAH HAS LED TO THE ARREST OF A FORT ATKINSON WOMAN. DECORAH POLICE SAY 35 YEAR OLD LISA SCHROEDER WAS ARRESTED AAND CHARGED WITH DRIVING WHILE BARRED AND POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA.

A FORT ATKINSON MAN WAS ARRESTED ON THREE WARRANTS MONDAY NIGHT. THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 40 YEAR OLD NATHAN HAGEMAN WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY WITH THE ORIGINAL CHARGES OF THIRD OFFENSE OPERATING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE, DRIVING WITH AN EXPIRED LICENSE AND OPEN CONTAINER.

A HAWKEYE MAN WAS ARRESTED ON A WARRANT MONDAY. THE FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 44 YEAR OLD CHRISTOPHER JAMES GRUVER WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY WITH THE ORIGINAL CHARGE OF A PRE-TRIAL RELEASE VIOLATION.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SUPERVISORS HAVE SET A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE FISCAL YEAR 2017 BUDGET. THE BOARD WILL ACCEPT PUBLIC COMMENTS ON THE BUDGET ON MARCH 14TH BEGINNING AT NOON. COUNTY AUDITOR BEN STIENES AY THE RURAL PROPERTY TAX LEVY ASKING WILL REDUCE FROM EIGHT DOLLARS-50 CENTS TO EIGHT DOLLARS-34 CENTS PER THOUSAND DOLLARS OF ASSESSED VALUE. THE GENERAL FUND PROPERTY TAX LEVY ASKING WILL REDUCE TWO CENTS PER THOUSAND DOLLARS OF ASSESSED VALUE TO SIX DOLLARS-39 CENTS.

SHOULD MEDICAL CANIBUS BE EXPANDED IN THE STATE? REPUBLICAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL BRANHAGEN OF DECORAH SAYS HE SUPPORTS THE IDEA WITH AN ASTERIK.

BRANHAGEN

A HOUSE COMMITTEE PASSED A MEASURE TO LEGALIZE THE USE OF MEDICAL CANIBUS TO TREAT EPILEPSY, MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AND END-STAGE CANCER. THE COMMITTEE APPROVAL KEPT THE MEASURE ALIVE FOR THE SESSION PRIOR TO LAST FRIDAY’S FUNNEL DEADLINE.

A POSTVILLE WOMAN WAS ARRESTED AFTER AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATED A HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT ON EAST WATER STREET LAST NIGHT. DECORAH POLICE SAY 22 YEAR OLD ALEXANDRIA ROSE DETERS WAS FOUND IN THE HAYMARKET PARKING LOT WHERE HER VEHICLE HIT THE HAYMARKET WALL. DETERS WAS CHARGED WITH OPERATING WHILE INTOXICATED AND CITED FOR STRIKING AN UNATTENDED VEHICLE.

2-23 news

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS HAS APPROVED A CONTRACT FOR A NEW ROOF ON THE COUNTY JAIL. THE BOARD UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED SPENDING UP TO ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS TO REPLACE THE ROOF AND AWARDED THE CONTRACT TO ALLEN ROOFING OF MONONA AT ITS MEETING MONDAY MORNING. COUNTY OFFICIALS SAY THE CONTRACT IS FOR 76-THOUSAND 350 DOLLARS BUT THAT DID NOT INCLUDE CRAIN SERVICES OR OTHER CONTINGENCIES. AN ALLEN REPRESENTATIVE TOLD THE BOARD THE PROJECT WOULD LIKELY START IN MAY AND TAKE SEVEN TO TEN WORKING DAYS TO COMPLETE.

THE FISCAL YEAR 2017 CITY OF DECORAH BUDGET WILL GO BEFORE A PUBLIC HEARING AT THE NEXT DECORAH CITY COUNCIL MEETING. DECORAH CITY MANAGER CHAD BIRD SAYS FUNDING IS INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET TO ADD A POLICE OFFICER.

BIRD

BIRD SAYS THE PROPERTY TAX LEVY ASKING WILL INCREASE SLIGHTLY IN THE BUDGET DUE TO SOME DEBT BEING TRANSFERRED FROM TIF TO THE GENERAL FUND.

THE DECORAH SCHOOL BOARD WILL BEGIN NEGOTIATIONS NEXT WEEK WITH THE DECORAH EDUCATION ASSOCIATION ON A MASTER CONTRACT FOR NEXT SCHOOL YEAR. THE D-E-A WILL PRESENT ITS INITIAL PROPOSAL NEXT MONDAY, FEBRUARY 29TH, AT FOUR P.M. AT THE CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION OFFICE.

Jury selection for a murder trial which will be held in Decorah (begins today/began yesterday). Alexander Fazzino is charged with the 2012 first degree murder of his wife Emily Beckwith Fazzino. She was the daughter of Chairman of the Board for Fareway Stores Richard Beckwith. The trial was moved from Boone to Decorah. The trial has also been delayed several times. Fazzino’s defense team said they need more time to prepare after new evidence was introduced. Defense attorney Bill Kutmus said he needed time to review around 40 videos and photographs of bathtub scenarios the prosecution just introduced from what they describe as an “aquatic death expert.” The trial was also delayed after the couple’s daughter had to undergo a bone marrow transplant.

Gas prices in Iowa increased 8.4 cents per gallon in the past week to an average of $1.74 a gallon Sunday, according to GasBuddy. The national average increased 1.9 cents per gallon to $1.71 a gallon. Prices Sunday were 47.7 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago, and 11.7 cents per gallon lower than one month ago.

A second egg has been laid at the Decorah Eagles nest. According to the Raptor Resource Project Facebook page, a second egg was laid Sunday night at 7:46 p.m. Witnesses say they saw contractions and heard the mother eagle chirping as the egg moved down her oviduct. According to project organizers, people from around the world watched via Livestream.

AN INCIDENT IN WACOUMA MONDAY MORNING LED TO THE ARREST OF A WAUCOMA MAN. THE FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 46 YEAR OLD TRAVIS ALLEN FARMER WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AFTER ALLEDGEDLY ASSAULTING A FEMALE IN THE RESIDENCE. HE WAS CHARGED WITH DOMESTIC ABUSE SERIOUS ASSAULT.

02-22 NEWS

DECORAH PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD MEMBERS ARE PROGRESSING TOWARD DEVELOPMENT OF A DOG PARK IN THE CITY. PARKS AND REC DIRECTOR ANDY NIMROD SAYS SOME BOARD MEMBERS AND SEVERAL REQUESTS FROM THE PUBLIC INDICATES SUPPORT FOR THE PARK. NIMROD SAYS A PARK WOULD LIKELY BE ABOUT ONE ACRE IN SIZE, WITH GRASS, WATER AND BE ENCLOSED. NO TIMETABLE HAS BEEN GIVEN.

WITH WATER QUALITY NOW A NATIONAL ISSUE, IOWANS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE STATE’S NEED TO ADDRESS CURRENT AND FUTURE DEFICIENCIES. REPUBLICAN STATE SENATOR MIKE BREITBACH OF STRAWBERRY POINT SAYS THE SENATE IS HOPING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH A BILL COMING OUT OF COMMITTEE:         (AUDIO..BREITBACH WATER)         BREITBACH MADE THE COMMENTS ON KDEC’S “FROM THE CAPITAL” PROGRAM.

ONE OF THE LAST CASES REVIEWED BY THE SUPREME COURT BEFORE JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA’S DEATH HAD TO DO WITH PROPOSED E-P-A REGULATIONS REGARDING ENERGY. THE COURT AGREED THE RULES SHOULD BE STOPPED UNTIL MORE LITIGATION IS RESOLVED AT THE DISTRICT COURT LEVEL.  IT’S AN ISSUE BEING CLOSELY WATCHED BY THE IOWA ASSOCIATION OF RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES, ACCORDING TO EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT CHUCK SODERBERG:        (AUDIO-RECS EPA 1-1)                THE NEXT STEP IS A HEARING IN DISTRICT COURT THIS SPRING. THE OUTCOME OF THAT COULD DETERMINE WHEN IT WILL BOUNCE BACK TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SUPERVISORS WILL DISCUSS THE JAIL ROOF AT ITS MEETING TODAY. THE BOARD REVIEWED BIDS FROM THREE CONTRACTORS AT LAST WEEK’S MEETING. COUNTY SHERIFF DAN MARX WILL DISCUSS THE ISSUE WITH THE BOARD. THE BOARD WILL ALSO RECEIVE UPDATES ON HEALTH INSURANCE, MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AND WILL SET A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE FISCAL YEAR 2017 BUDGET. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT NINE-30 AT THE COURTHOUSE IN DECORAH.

Iowa lost 500 farms last year, continuing a trend seen in recent years in which there are fewer farms operating and those that remain are becoming larger. The number of farms in Iowa has fallen about 1.6 percent in the last five years while the average farm size has increased 1.5 percent. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says most of the loss was smaller farms with sales of less than $10,000. Iowa posted a total of 87,500 farms in 2015. Total land in farms was 30.5 million acres. That’s about the same as the year before. The average farm size rose slightly to 349 acres. Nationally, the number of farms fell by 18,000 last year to 2.07 million.

A DECORAH MAN WAS ARRESTED AFTER AUTHORITIES CONDUCTED AN INVESTIGATION EARLY SATURDAY MORNING. DECORAH POLICE SAY 40 YEAR OLD HAROLD JACOBSON JUNIOR WAS CHARGED WITH SECOND OFFENSE OPERATING WHILE INTOXICATED OR IMPAIRED, DRIVING WHILE REVOKED, POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA, POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE AND POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA.

 

02-19 NEWS

ICY ROADS TO THE WEST AND NORTH OF DECORAH YESTERDAY ARE BEING BLAMED FOR SEVERAL INJURY ACCIDENTS AND ONE FATALITY.  A PRESTON MAN, 24-YEAR OLD BRADY GARTNER, WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED ON HIGHWAY 52 AT INTERSTATE 90 NEAR STEWARTVILLE, MN. GARTNER’S CAR COLLIDED WITH A GARBAGE TRUCK SHORTLY AFTER 10 A.M.  AN INJURY WAS REPORTED WHEN 28-YEAR OLD CHRISTOPHER STEINKE OF WINONA AND 51-YEAR OLD VINCENTE NUNEZ OF PERRY COLLIDED ON HIGHWAY 63 IN CHICKASAW COUNTY SHORTLY AFTER NOON. ANOTHER CHICKASAW COUNTY ACCIDENT OCCURED SHORTLY BEFORE NOON WHEN 53-YEAR OLD LADONNE STOUGH OF NASHUA HIT ICE AND ROLLED. LADONNE AND A PASSENGER, 35-YEAR OLD NATHAN STOUGH OF NEW HAMPTON, WERE TAKEN TO SUMNER HOSPITAL. THAT ACCIDENT HAPPENED ON V56 IN CHICKASAW COUNTY.   AND ABOUT NOON, A SEMI AND PICKUP COLLIDED ON HIGHWAY 63 ABOUT 3 MILES SOUTH OF STEWARTVILLE, KILLING ONE. THE MINNESOTA STATE PATROL IS EXPECTED TO RELEASE DETAILS LATER TODAY.

LAWMAKERS WERE TAKING TESTIMONY WEDNESDAY ON A BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW MEDICAL CANNABIS OIL TO BE PRODUCED AND DISPENSED IN IOWA. MOST OF THE SPEAKERS BEFORE A SUBCOMMITTEE WERE URGING PASSAGE OF THE BILL:       (AUDIO..medical cannibas)                 BUT A FEW SPEAKERS WARNED ABOUT THE WRONG MESSAGE THE BILL MIGHT SEND TO IMPRESSIONABLE YOUTH AND THE POSSIBLE EFFECTS ON GROWING BRAINS AND ANYONE WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS. STATE SENATOR MIKE BREITBACH OF STRAWBERRY POINT SAYS HE’S CONCERNED ABOUT WHO WILL DECIDE HOW MUCH CANNIBAS OIL A PERSON WILL RECEIVE AND AT WHAT STRENGTH. HE SAYS MANY SUGGEST A PHARMACIST MAKE THE DECISION:   (AUDIO..BREITBACH)              THE HOUSE BILL NOW GOES TO THE FULL COMMERCE COMMITTEE FOR CONSIDERATION, WITH RESTRICTIONS.

THE DECORAH SCHOOL BOARD MET AGAIN WEDNESDAY NIGHT TO EVALUATE THE OPTIONS RELATING TO THE JOHN CLINE AND WESTSIDE SCHOOL FACILITIES. SUPERINTENDENT MIKE HALUSKA RE-STATED THE FOUR OPTIONS:  DO NOTHING, UPGRADE JOHN CLINE FOR $750,000, SEND STUDENTS TO NORTH WINNESHIEK OR BEGIN PLANNING FOR A NEW FACILITY. THE CONSENSUS OF MOST OF THE BOARD IS TO PLAN FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION.  BOARD MEMBER BRIAN PETERSBURG SAYS THE DECISION SHOULD BE ONE THAT PROVIDES FOR THE DISTRICT’S NEEDS FOR THE NEXT 50 YEARS. THE DECISION IS EXPECTED TO TAKE A LONG TIME TO REACH. THE DECORAH SHAREHOLDERS WILL FOCUS ON THE TOPIC AT THEIR MEETING MONDAY NIGHT, AND A SURVEY OF CURRENT STAFF AT JOHN CLINE IS PLANNED FOR NEXT MONTH.

DECORAH POLICE HAVE CHARGED A SPRING GROVE WOMAN WITH SHOPLIFTING AT THE DECORAH WALMART. STORE SECURITY APPREHENDED 29 YEAR-OLD ASHLEY RYANT WEDNESDAY AROUND 2 P.M.  RYANT WAS CITED AND RELEASED.

A WEST UNION MAN WANTED ON A WARRANT HAS TURNED HIMSELF IN TO THE FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE. 35-YEAR OLD JOSHUA SCHROEDER WAS WANTED ON A FAYETTE COUNTY WARRANT FOR LEAVING THE SCENE OF A PERSONAL INJURY ACCIDENT. SCHROEDER WAS RELEASED AFTER POSTING A 25-HUNDRED DOLLAR BOND.

THE MONTHLY MEETING OF THE DECORAH PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD WILL BE HELD TONIGHT. THEY’LL DISCUSS THE DEVELOPMENT OF A DOG PARK IN THE CITY, AND ALLOWING PRIVATE VENDORS ON PARK PROPERTY. THE BOARD WILL ALSO REVIEW THE FIRST YEAR PROCEEDS FROM THE ENDOWMENT FUND. THE MEETING BEGINS AT 7 AT CITY HALL.

AN EVALUATION OF DECORAH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT MIKE HALUSKA IS SCHEDULED FOR TONIGHT. THE BOARD WILL MEET IN SPECIAL CLOSED SESSION TO CONDUCT THE EVALUATION BEGINNING AT 5:15.