3-1 NEWS

REPUBLICAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE MIKE BERGAN OF DECORAH SAYS HE KNEW THE 11 MILLION DOLLARS IN SPENDING CUTS FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR ANNOUNCED FRIDAY BY GOVERNOR BRANSTAD WERE COMING. BERGAN SAYS HE DIDN’T LIKE WHAT WAS CUT.

BERGAN 1

BERGAN SAYS MANY LAWMAKERS FELT THERE WAS A BETTER WAY

BERGAN 2

BERGAN SAYS HE HAS PARTICULAR CONCERNS WITH CUTS TO COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND EARLY CHILDHOOD IOWA. OTHER ASPECTS OF STATE GOVERNMENT WHICH WILL BE AFFECTED BY FRIDAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT INCLUDE THE REGENTS INSITUTIONS, THE CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT AND THE STATE PATROL.
THE LEVY RATES IN THE PROPOSED BUDGET IN WINNESHIEK COUNTY WILL REMAIN THE SAME BUT MOST PROPERTY OWNERS WILL PAY MORE IN PROPERTY TAXES DUE TO INCREASED VALUATION. COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS CHAIR JOHN LOGSDON SAYS THE STATE REQUIRES COUNTIES TO DO SO.

LOGSDON

LOGSDON SAYS COUNTIES ARE ALLOWED TO ASSESS BETWEEN 95 AND 105 PERCENT OF MARKET VALUE.
A NATIONAL ORGANIZATION HAS RECOGNIZED THE PRACTICAL NURSING PROGRAM AT NORTHEAST IOWA COMMUNITY COLLEGE AS THE TOP IN THE STATE. PRACTICAL-NURSING-DOT-ORG GAVE N-I-C-C’S PROGRAM THE HONOR AFTER COMPLETING A FIVE-YEAR ANALYSIS OF NURSING BOARD EXAMINATION PASSING RATES STATEWIDE. ALL OF THE STATE’S COMMUNITY COLLEGE L-P-N PROGRAMS WERE ASSESSED ON SEVERAL FACTORS WHICH REPRESENT HOW WELL A PROGRAM SUPPORTS STUDENTS TOWARDS LICENSURE AND BEYOND.
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY HAS NAMED WAUKON THE FIFTH SAFEST CITY IN IOWA. THE CITIES WERE RANKED ON THE MOST RECENT F-B-I UNIFORM CRIME REPORT WHICH INCLUDED VIOLET AND PROPERTY CRIMES. CRESCO WAS NAMED THE 21ST SAFEST CITY IN THE STATE. DECORAH WAS RANKED 37TH IN THE STATE.

2-28 NEWS

NORTHEAST IOWA COMMUNITY COLLEGE OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED THE SUSPENSION OF AN ACADEMIC PROGRAM AT THE END OF THE CURRENT ACADEMIC YEAR AT ITS MEETING LAST WEEK. N-I-C-C VICE PRESIDENT FOR LEARNING AND STUDENT SUCCESS KATHLEEN NACOS-BURDS SAYS THE COLLEGE WILL NO LONGER OFFER A ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM. NACOS-BURDS CITED CONSISTENTLY LOWER ENROLLMENT AND A CHANGING JOB MARKET THAT REQUIRES FEWER TECHNICIANS TO PEFORM ELECTRONICS REPAIR WORK AS THE REASON FOR THE SUSPENSION OF THE PROGRAM.

The governor’s office late Friday afternoon revealed details about MORE cuts in the present year’s state budget. Radio Iowa’s Pat Curtis reports.

CURTIS VOICER

Bills in the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature this session purport to enforce federal immigration laws, but academics say some proposals are redundant and could face legal challenges. The proposed bills include a so-called sanctuary cities ban that would require state, local and college officials to follow laws related to immigration. Another proposal would ensure employers don’t knowingly hire people who aren’t in the country legally. A third measure would prohibit Iowa courts from applying foreign law to state cases, which some critics say is anti-Islam. Legal experts and academics argue that existing federal laws already cover these topics, and adding new legislation could open the state up to lawsuits. Republicans dispute any argument that Iowa isn’t welcoming to immigrants, and they emphasize that the measures ensure rules are followed.

DECORAH HIGH SCHOOL SPEECH STUDENTS EXCELLED AT SATURDAY’S DISTRICT INDIVIDUAL SPEECH CONTEST HELD AT M-F-L-MAR-MAC HIGH SCHOOL IN MONONA. 32 INDIVIDUALS RECEIVED DIVISION ONE RATINGS. THOSE RECEIVING DIVISION ONE RATINGS WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE NORTHEAST DISTRICT INDIVIDUAL SPEECH CONTEST IN FOREST CITY ON MARCH 11TH.

THERE WILL BE NO CLASSES IN THE HOWARD-WINNESHIEK SCHOOL DISTRICT TUESDAY. THE CRESTWOOD HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM HAS QUALIFIED FOR THE CLASS 3-A GIRLS STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT. CRESTWOOD WILL TAKE ON CHEROKEE AT 1:30 TUESDAY AFTERNOON AT WELLS FARGO ARENA IN DES MOINES.

THE DECORAH HIGH SCHOOL VOCAL MUSIC DEPARTMENT WILL PRESENT A CONCERT (TUESDAY) NIGHT. AT SEVEN-30, STUDENTS WILL PRESENTS CANONS AND COMPOSITIONS THEY’VE BEEN WORKING ON FOR THE LAST TWO MONTHS AT SEVEN-30 IN THE BAND, CHOIR AND ORCHESTRA ROOMS. AT EIGHT P.M. THE VOCALISTS WILL PRESENT FULL CHOIR PERFORMANCES INCORPORATING IMPROVISATION SECTIONS AND MUSIC COMPOSED BY THE STUDENTS IN THE HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM.

2-27 NEWS

Iowa’s Attorney General announced seven lawsuits this week against contractors who hit underground gas pipelines. State law requires contractors to phone Iowa One Call 48 hours before digging to have the lines marked. Iowa One Call communications manager, Ben Booth, says there’s no excuse for contractors who fail to make the call.
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Booth :16 :not to know”
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Booth says the law covers anyone in Iowa, and Booth says they try to keep everyone informed.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WILL HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE VACATION OF A PORTION OF DRY CREEK ROAD AT ITS MEETING TODAY. THE BOARDD WILL ALSO DISCUSS AN EASEMENT WITH SEED SAVERS FOR WETLAND MITIGATION, THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY FOOD PANTRY AND WILL ATTEND A LUNCHEON WITH THE FARM BUREAU TO DISCUSS THE FISCAL YEAR 2018 BUDGET. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT NINE-30 AT THE COURTHOUSE IN DECORAH.

THE CURRENT ONE CENT SALES TAX WHICH IS EAR-MARKED FOR SCHOOL INFRASTURCTURE IMPROVEMENTS IS SET TO EXPIRE IN 2029. THERE’S MOMENTUM AT THE STATEHOUSE TO EXTEND THAT TAX ACCORDING TO REPUBLICAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE JANE BLOOMINGDALE OF NORTHWOOD.

BLOOMINGDALE

BLOOMINGDALE SAYS SHE EXPECTS A BILL TO EXTEND THE TAX TO 2050 TO BE FILED THIS WEEK.

A FORMER DECORAH MAN WAS SENTENCED TO PROBATION LAST WEEK 34 YEAR OLD TREVOR SATROM WAAS FOUND WITH BOMB MAKING MATERIALS AT HIS HOME IN ORAN LAST WEEK. JUDGE LEONARD STRAND CITED SATROM’S TIME IN THE NAVY, WHICH INCLUDED DEPLOYMENT TO AFGHANISTAN IN GRANTING LENIENCY ON A CHARGE THAT CARRIES A MAXIMUM OF TEN YEARS IN PRISON. JUDGE STRAND ALSO CITED A 100 PERCENT DISABILITY FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS RELATED TO MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE. UNDER THE ARRANGEMENT, SATROM WILL LIVE WITH HIS PARENTS IN DECORAH, WILL BE SUBJECT TO G-P-S MONITORING, WILL BE ALLOWED TO GO OUTSIDE TWO HOURS A DAY AND WILL HAVE TO SURRENDER HIS PASSPORT.

THERE WILL BE NO SCHOOL IN THE TURKEY VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT TODAY. THE TURKEY VALLEY GIRLS BASKETBALL WILL PLAY IN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE GIRLS STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT AGAINST JANESVILLE AT ONE-30 P.M. YOU CAN HEAR THE GAME ON FM 100.5 AND AT KDEC-RADIO-DOT-COM.

2-26 NEWS

TWO AREA SCHOOLS DISTRICTS WILL HAVE DAYS OFF THIS WEEK. NOT BECAUSE OF WEATHER BUT BECAUSE OF THE STATE GIRLS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT. BOTH THE TURKEY VALLEY AND CRESTWOOD GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAMS HAVE QUALIFIED FOR THE STATE TOURNAMENT. TURKEY VALLEY WILL NOT HAVE CLASSES ON MONDAY AND CRESTWOOD WILL NOT HAVE CLASS ON TUESDAY. TURKEY VALLEY WILL PLAY JANESVILLE AT ONE-30 P.M. MONDAY IN DES MOINES. CRESTWOOD WILL PLAY CHEROKEE AT ONE-30 P.M. TUESDAY.

THE PULPIT ROCK CAMPGROUND HAS A NEW DIRECTOR. SCOTT VAN DE KROL HAS TAKEN OVER THE POSITION. VAN DE KROL WILL TAKE OVER FOR DOUG SCHROEDER, WHO RECENTLY STEPPED DOWN FROM THE POSITION. THE PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT WILL ADVERTISE SOON FOR A PARK ASSISTANT’S POSITION.

NORTHEAST IOWA COMMUNITY COLLEGE’S NURSING PROGRAM HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED. AT LAST WEEK’S COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING, COLLEGE PRESIDENT LIANG CHEE WEE REPORTED PRACTICAL NURSING-DOT-ORG NAMED THE N-I-C-C NURSING PROGRAM THE BEST IN THE STATE AFTER AN ANALYSIS OF ALL PRACTICAL NURSING PROGRAMS. PRACTICAL NURSING DOT ORG CREDITED THE PROGRAM’S RETENTION, GRADUATION AND NURSING BOARD PASS RATES.

HOME SALES WERE DOWN ACROSS THE STATE LAST MONTH. RADIO IOWA’S PAT CURTIS REPORTS.

CURTIS

The leader of the Iowa State Patrol is retiring after a 32-year career with the force. The service retirement of Col. Michael Van Berkum was approved Monday and will be effective March 3. He had been the patrol’s chief since 2015. In a statement to The Associated Press, Department of Public Safety Commissioner Roxann Ryan says Iowans should thank Van Berkum for his decades of service. She says he embodies the best of the patrol – “leadership, integrity and dedicated service for the public good.” Ryan has not named a replacement for Van Berkum, but the department says more information will be released when he retires next week. Three of Van Berkum’s classmates from the department’s 1985 academy class will also retire the same day. A Rock Valley native, Van Berkum served the patrol in a number of roles as an officer and supervisor.

2-25 NEWS

THE MINORITY LEADER IN THE IOWA HOUSE WILL BE IN DECORAH (SATURDAY). MARK SMITH OF MARSHALLTOWN WILL HOST A LEGISLATIVE LISTENING POST AT THE DECORAH PUBLIC LIBRARY AT TWO P.M. REPRESENTATIVE ABBY FINKENAUER OF DUBUQUE WILL ALSO ATTEND THE LISTENING POST.

REPUBLICAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE JANE BLOOMINGDALE OF NORTHWOOD SAYS SHE SUPPORTED THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING BILL AFTER CHANGES WERE MADE FROM THE ORIGINAL PIECE OF LEGISLATION.

BLOOMINGDALE

BLOOMINGDALE SAYS SHE DISAPPOINTED THE MESSAGE OF ALLOWING LOCAL GOVERNMENT MORE CONTROL OVER EMPLOYEE NEGOTATING DIDN’T GET OUT BETTER.

THE PUBLIC WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO SEE THE AWARD WINNING SPEECH PERFORMANCES BY DECORAH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS NEXT WEEK. DECORAH’S SHORT FILM AND T-V NEWS PERFORMANCES WILL BE PRESENTED NEXT THURSDAY AT SIX P.M. AT THE DECORAH HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM. A BRIEF RECEPTION WILL FOLLOW THE PRESENTATION.

A PUBLIC HEARING HAS BEEN SET BY THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY BOARD TO GATHER INPUT ABOUT A PORTION OF DRY CREEK ROAD IN NORTHWESTERN WINNESHIEK COUNTY. ENGINEER LEE BJERKE SAYS A SINK HOLE OPENED UP IN THE ROADWAY LAST YEAR. ALTHOUGH REPAIRS WERE MADE, THEY DIDN’T LAST LONG. AFTER AN UNDERGROUND SCAN WAS DONE, A CAVE SYSTEM WAS FOUND UNDER THE ROAD, LEADING TO THE COUNTY CONSIDERING VACATING THE ROADWAY AND GIVING THE RIGHT-OF-WAY BACK TO THE PROPERTY OWNER. THE PUBLIC HEARING IS SET FOR FEBRUARY 27TH AT 9:45 A.M. IN THE SUPERVISORS ROOM IN THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY COURTHOUSE.

THE DECORAH CITY COUNCIL APPROVED A TWO-THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED DOLLAR CONTRIBUTION TO THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF NORTHEAST IOWA AT ITS MEETING THIS WEEK. THE MONEY EQUALS WHAT THE CITY GAVE TO THE ORGANIZATION A YEAR AGO. THE FUNDING GOES TO HELP COVER THE COSTS TO HOUSE AND TREAT OVER TWO HUNDRED ANIMALS IN THE SHELTER OVER THE LAST YEAR, INCLUDING FOOD AND VACCINATIONS.

2-24 NEWS

FAYETTE COUNTY AUTHORITIES HAVE RELEASED THE NAME OF A MAN FOUND DEAD HIS RURAL SUMNER HOME WEDNESDAY MORNING. THE FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 39 YEAR OLD JOSH BRAYTON WAS FOUND DEAD AT THE END OF HIS DRIVEWAY. AUTHORITIES SAY AN AUTOPSY DETERMINED BRAYTON DIED OF A GUN SHOT WOUND. THE IOWA D-C-I AND FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAY THE INVESTIGATION IS ON-GOING.

THE NORTHEAST IOWA COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVED THE COLLEGE’S FISCAL YEAR 2018 BUDGET AT ITS MEETING THIS WEEK. COLLEGE OFFICIALS SAY BEGINNING WITH THE FALL SEMESTER, IN-STATE TUITION WILL INCREASE THREE DOLLARS PER CREDIT HOUR TO 163 DOLLARS. THE COLLEGE’S OUT OF STATE TUITION WILL INCREASE TO 173 DOLLARS PER CREDIT HOUR. STUDENT FEES WILL ALSO INCREASE BY THREE DOLLARS PER CREDIT HOUR TO 22 DOLLARS.

THE DECORAH EAGLES NORTH NEST HAS TWO EGGS NOW. THE FIRST EGG WAS LAID SUNDAY NIGHT. THE SECOND WAS LAID TUESDAY AFTERNOON. JOHN HOWE IS THE DIRECTOR OF THE RAPTOR RESOURCE PROJECT. HE WAS ASKED IF THE RECENT WARM WEATHER WOULD HAVE ANY EFFECT ON THE EAGLES.

HOWE

HOWE SAYS WITH WINTER-TYPE WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS, EAGLE CAM VIEWERS CAN POSSIBLY EXPECT TO SEE THE MOTHER PROTECTING THEIR EGGS MORE.

MEMBERS OF THE DECORAH AIRPORT COMMISSION CAN NOW RESIDE OUTSIDE OF THE DECORAH CITY LIMITS. THE DECORAH CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THE THIRD READING OF AN ORDINANCE TO ALLOW AIRPORT COMMISSION MEMBERSHIP FROM OUTSIDE OF THE CITY LIMITS. CITY MANAGER CHAD BIRD SAYS STATE CODE ALLOWS CITIES TO DO SO .

Iowans who have a child, born between 1993 and 2009, are being encouraged to replace their wallet-sized birth certificate issued to newborns in the state during that time period. Melissa Bird, with the Iowa Department of Public Health, says the smaller cards are missing vital information that make them useless for various identification purposes.
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Bird :16 information
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Bird says parents of many children have already exchanged the wallet-sized certificates, but the Iowa Department of Public Health is now offering the exchange at no charge.

A DECORAH MAN WAS ARRESTED WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 25 YEAR OLD JOSEPH FRANCISCO WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY ON A WARRANT FOR POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

2-23 NEWS

THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION IS ON THE SCENE OF A DEATH WHICH OCCURRED NEAR HAWKEYE YESTERDAY. THE FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS THEY RECEIVED A 9-1-1 CALL AFTER A 39-YEAR OLD MAN WAS FOUND BLEEDING FROM HIS CHEST AT THE END OF HIS DRIVEWAY. FEW DETAILS HAVE BEEN RELEASED AND THE VICTIM HAS NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED. FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF MARTY FISHER SAYS THEY BELIEVE THIS IS AN ISOLATED INCIDENT AND DOES NOT BELIEVE THERE’S ANY THREAT TO THE PUBLIC.

THE CITY OF DECORAH WILL CONSIDER DEVELOPING A POLICY REGARDING VENDORS AT THE PULPIT ROCK CAMPGROUND. THE ISSUE WAS DISCUSSED AT THE COUNCIL MEETING THIS WEEK. LOCAL GARDENER STEFFEN MIRSKY ASKED THE COUNCIL IF HE COULD SELL HIS HOME-GROWN PRODUCE AT THE CAMPGROUND. CITY MANAGER CHAD BIRD SAID IT COULD OPEN UP A “PANDORA’S BOX” AND THERE COULD BE DOZENS OF OTHER VENDORS ASKING FOR THE SAME OPPORTUNITY. THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNITY BETTERMENT COMMITTEE OF THE COUNCIL FOR FURTHER STUDY.

THE DECORAH CITY COUNCIL GAVE APPROVAL TO A SITE PLAN FOR A NEW CASEY’S GENERAL STORE AT ITS MEETING THIS WEEK. CITY OFFICIALS SAY THE COMPANY IS PLANNING ON TEARING DOWN ITS FACILITY ON COLLEGE DRIVE AND BUILDING A NEW LARGER STORE AT THAT SITE. CASEY’S RECEIVED THE REQUIRED APPROVAL FROM THE PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION AND THE BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT LAST WEEK.

THE SAVE-OR SECURE AN ADVANCED VISION FOR EDUCATION DOLLARS IN THE STATE IS SET TO EXPIRE IN 2029. THE MONEY COMES FROM ONE-CENT SALES TAX DOLLARS GENERATED FOR SCHOOLS TO USE ON INFRASTRUCTURE RELATED NEEDS. REPUBLICAN STATE SENATOR MIKE BREITBACH OF STRAWBERRY POINT SAYS THERE IS MOMENTUM AT THE STATEHOUSE TO EXTEND THE CURRENT TAX.

BREITBACH

LAST YEAR, GOVERNOR BRANSTAD SUGGESTED PUTTING SOME OF THE SAVE DOLLARS TOWARDS WATER QUALITY INITATIVES BUT THE IDEA WAS GREETED WITH LUKEWARM AT BEST SUPPORT FROM LAWMAKERS.

 

2-22 NEWS

TWO DEMOCRATIC MEMBERS OF THE IOWA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WILL HOLD A LISTENING POST IN DECORAH THIS WEEKEND. IOWA HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADER MARK SMITH OF MARSHALLTOWN AND STATE REPRESENTATIVE ABBY FINKENAUER OF DUBUQUE WILL BE AT THE DECORAH PUBLIC LIBRARY AT TWO P.M. SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS HAVE SET A DATE FOR A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE FISCAL YEAR 2018 BUDGET. THE BOARD WILL ACCEPT COMMENTS ON THE BUDGET ON MARCH 13TH AT NOON. COUNTY AUDITOR BEN STIENES SAYS THE LEVY RATES WILL REMAIN UNCHANGED IN THE PROPOSED BUDGET. THE RATES FOR PROPERTY OWNERS IN THE INCORPORATED AREA WILL BE SIX DOLLARS-39 CENTS PER THOUSAND DOLLARS OF ASSESSED VALUE. THE RURAL PROPERTY TAX LEVY RATE IS EIGHT DOLLARS-34 CENTS PER THOUSAND.

THE STATE’S LARGEST PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNION HAS FILED A LEGAL CHALLENGE TO CHANGES IN CHAPTER 20 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING LAWS PASSED BY THE LEGISLATURE AND SIGNED BY GOVERNOR BRANSTAD LAST WEEK. REPUBLICAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE MIKE BERGAN OF DECORAH SAYS HE HAS NO PROBLEM WITH THE LEGAL CHALLENGE TO THE LEGISLATION.

BERGAN

AFSCME’S LAWSUIT CHALLENGES THE STATE EXCLUDING PUBLIC SAFETY WORKERS FROM THE CHANGES THAT WERE PASSED LAST WEEK.

Iowa motorists will likely have to pay considerably more to fill their gas tanks soon, according to a forecast from Triple-A. The motor club’s Iowa spokeswoman Rose White predicts the price of gasoline will rise at least 50-cents a gallon between now and Memorial Day, perhaps much higher.
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White :12 “travel season”
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On the plus side, White says there are no fuel shortages to worry about and crude oil inventories are up eight-percent from a year ago.

THE DECORAH CITY COUNCIL APPROVED AN APPROVED THAT COULD PROVIDE THE CITY UP TO ONE MILLION DOLLARS TO REPAIR A BRIDGE OVER THE CUT NEAR THE PULPIT ROCK CAMPGROUND. THE COUNCIL TOOK THE ACTION AT ITS MEETING MONDAY NIGHT. LAST YEAR, STATE INSPECTORS GAVE THE BRIDGE A DEFICIENCY RATING, BUT TEMPORARY FICES WERE MADE AND THE BRIDGE WAS ALLOWED TO REMAIN OPEN. CITY OFFICIALS WILL STUDY OPTIONS FOR THE CURRENT YEAR WITH NEW CONSTRUCTION PLANNED FOR 2018.

2-21 NEWS

SUNDAY WAS THE WARMEST FEBRUARY 19TH IN DECORAH RECORDED WEATHER HISTORY. THE DECORAH WATER DEPARTMENT, THE OFFICIAL WEATHER RECORDING STATION FOR CITY, RECORDED A HIGH OF 61 (SUNDAY). THAT BROKE THE PREVIOUS RECORD HIGH OF 56 SET BACK IN 1981. THE WATER DEPARTMENT RECORDED HIGHS OF 60 ON BOTH FRIDAY AND SATURDAY. BOTH OF THOSE DAYS WERE TWO DEGREES OFF OF RECORD HIGHS.

DECORAH MAYOR DON ARENDT HAS VETOED AN ORDINANCE WHICH WOULD LIMIT IDLING WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS. ARENDT TOOK THE ACTION AFTER THE THIRD READING OF THE ORDINANCE WAS PASSED ON A 4-2 VOTE BY THE COUNCIL AT ITS MEETING LAST NIGHT. IN A FORMAL LETTER, ARENDT CALLED THE ORDINANCE FRIVOLOUS, FEEL GOOD LEGISLATION THAT CONTRIVES A LAW THAT IS DIFFICULT TO ENFORCE. ARENDT ALSO SAID THE ORDINANCE IS DUPLICATION SAYING THERE IS ALREADY A STATE LAW ON THE BOOKS TO LIMIT IDLING. ARENDT WENT ON TO SAY THE ORDINANCE ASSUMES THE CITIZENS OF DECORAH DO NOT HAVE COMMON SENSE. ARENDT’S LETTER SAID HE TRUSTS PEOPLE CAN MAKE LOGICAL DECISIONS AND CALLED THE ORDINANCE ANTI-BUSINESS. ARENDT’S LETTER CONCLUDED BY SAYING THE POLICE HAVE MORE IMPORTANT LAWS TO ENFORCE THAN WATCHING FOR IDLING VEHICLES.

THE DECORAH SCHOOL DISTRICT IS HOPING TO LEARN MORE REGARDING THE POTENTIAL OF LOCATING A NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BUILDING AT THE INTERSECTION OF COLLEGE DRIVE AND LOCUST ROAD IN ANOTHER MONTH,,

HALUSKA

SUPERINTENDENT MIKE HALUSKA SAYS THE DISTRICT HAS BEEN IN DISCUSSIONS WITH LUTHER COLLEGE REGARDING THE PROPERTY. HALUSKA SAYS HE HOPES TO CONTINUE DISCUSSIONS WITH THE CITY OF DECORAH ABOUT POTENTIAL LOCATIONS FOR A NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

THE FIRST EGG OF THE SEASON HAS BEEN LAID IN THE DECORAH EAGLES NET. RAPTOR RESOURCE PROJECT OFFICIALS SAY THE FIRST EGG OF THE SEASON WAS LAID IN THE NORTH NEST AT FIVE-53 SUNDAY EVENING.

THE DECORAH CITY COUNCIL’S UTILTY COMMITTEE WILL MEET (TUESDAY) NIGHT. THE COMMITTEE WILL MEET WITH D-N-R REPRESENTATIVES REGARDING A WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT HEADWORKS STUDY AT FIVE P.M. AT CITY HALL.

SOME WINNESHIEK COUNTY ROADS WILL HAVE A WEIGHT EMBARGO BEGINNING TODAY. COUNTY ENGINEER LEE BJERKE SAYS THE EMBARGOS WILL BE POSTED ON VARIOUS COUNTY PAVED ROADS RESTRICTING THOSE ROADS TO SEVEN TONS PER AXLE. BJERKE SAYS DUE TO THE EXCEPTIONALLY WARM WEATHER AND DURATION OF IT, THE PAVED SYSTEM IS SHOWING SIGNS OF DISTRESS. HE SAYS POSTINGS WILL REMAIN AS DICTATED BY ROAD CONDITIONS.

2-20 NEWS

IT WAS LITERALLY A BANNER DAY SATURDAY FOR SOME DECORAH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS. TWO DECORAH EVENTS RECEIVED THE CRITIC’S CHOICE AS SATURDAY’S LARGE GROUP ALL-STATE SPEECH FESTIVAL IN AMES. THE EVENTS WERE T-V NEWSCASTING AND SHORT FILM. THE CRITIC’S CHOICE IS SELECTED BY A PROFESSION IN THE SPECIFIC FIELD AS THE TOP PERFORMER IN THE STATE IN THAT AREA. WINNERS RECEIVE A BANNER FROM THE IOWA HIGH SCHOOL SPEECH ASSOCIATION. ONLY 12 TOTAL PERFORMANCES IN THE STATE FROM ALL SCHOOLS RECEIVED THE CRITIC’S CHOICE RECOGNITION.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SUPERVISORS WILL HEAR MORE ABOUT A POTENTIAL BUY-OUT OF COUNTY HOMES DAMAGED BY LAST AUGUST’S FLOODING AT ITS MEETING THIS MORNING. COUNTY EMERGENCY COORDINATOR SEAN SNYDER AND UPPER EXPLORERLAND DIRECTOR RACHELLE HOWE WILL MEET WITH THE BOARD AT 10 A.M. SNYDER SAYS THE UNDER THE FEMA BUY-OUT PROGRAM, THE COUNTY WOULD HAVE TO PAY THE COSTS UP-FRONT AND WOULD BE REIMBURSED AT A LATER TIME.

SNYDER

SNYDER SAYS A TOTAL OF 11 HOMES WERE DESTROYED, 4 OF THEM IN SPILLVILLE AND 7 IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS. HE SAYS THE 15 PERCENT OF THE FUNDING WOULD HAVE TO COME FROM LOCAL SOURCES. SNYDER EMPHASIZES THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THEIR APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED, BUT THE EFFORT IS WORTH THE TIME.

16 ITEMS WILL GO BEFORE THE DECORAH CITY COUNCIL FOR ITS MEETING TONIGHT.
THE COUNCIL WILL HOLD THE THIRD READING AND GIVE FINAL CONSIDERATION TO AN ORDINANCE TO LIMIT THE IDLING ITEM OF VEHICLES IN THE CITY LIMITS. THE COUNCIL WILL ALSO DISCUSS A FUNDING REQUEST FROM HUMANE SOCIETY , A SITE PLAN FROM CASEY’S GENERAL STORE AND WILL HEAR THE ANNUAL REPORT FROM THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT FIVE-45 AT CITY HALL.

THE COUNCIL’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNITY BETTERMENT COMMITTEE WILL MEET FOLLOWING TONIGHT’S REGULAR MEETING. THE TOPIC OF DISCUSSION WILL BE A 28-E AGREEMENT REGARDING DISBURSEMENT OF HOTEL/MOTEL TAX REVENUES.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says there were 500 fewer farms in Iowa last year and the average farm size rose slightly but the amount of total land in farms remained at 30.5 million acres. The annual report on farms released Friday says Iowa has 87,000 farms. The average farm size rose slightly to 351 acres from 349 in 2015. Nationally the number of farms fell by 8,000 to 2.06 million.

TWO PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF FAKE I-D’S AND PUBLIC INTOXICATION. DECORAH POLICE SAY 19 YEAR OLD PAIGE TIMMERMAN OF CEDAR RAPIDS AND 18 YEAR OLD AUBREY HIGHUM OF WATERVILLE, MINNESOTA WERE TAKEN INTO CUSTODY EARLY SUNDAY MORNING.