3-1 NEWS

THE FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES CLASS AT DECORAH HIGH SCHOOL WILL OPEN THE VIKING CAFÉ FOR THE SEASON (THURSDAY). MADDI TURNER IS A STUDENT IN THE CLASS. TURNER SAYS THE PUBLIC IS INVITED FOR A HOME COOKED MEAL.

TURNER

TURNER SAYS THE VIKING CAFÉ IS OPEN FROM NOON UNTIL ONE P.M. EVERY THURSDAY FROM NOW UNTIL MAY SECOND. SHE SAYS THE MEAL IS LIMITED TO 24 CUSTOMERS PER DAY.

THE NON-PARTISAN LEGISLATIVE SERVICES AGENCY SAYS A TAX PLAN BEING PUT FORTH BY IOWA SENATE REPUBLICANS COULD COST THE STATE UP TO A BILLION DOLLARS IN REVENUE. REPUBLICAN STATE SENATOR MIKE BREITBACH OF STRAWBERRY POINT SAYS THE INFORMATION WILL PROVIDE LAWMAKERS WITH A BASELINE OF HOW TO MAKE THEIR PLAN WORK.

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BREITBACH SAYS THE SENATE REPUBLICANS PLAN WILL HELP BRING MORE CERTAINTY TO THE STATE’S REVENUE PICTURE.

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GOVERNOR REYNOLDS RELEASED A PLAN OF HER OWN LAST WEEK. BREITBACH SAYS HER PLAN KEEPS MANY OF THE COMPLICATED STATE TAX CODES IN PLACE WHILE THE SENATE PLAN SIMPLIES THE TAX PROCESS.

A COMMUNITY JOB FAIR WILL BE HELD (THURSDAY) AFTERNOON ON THE LUTHER COLLEGE CAMPUS. VETERANS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND AND INTERACT WITH AREA BUSINESSES AND VETERANS RESOURCES FROM THREE-30 UNTIL FOUR-30 WITH THE FAIR ITSELF TAKING PLACE FROM FOUR-30 UNTIL SIX-30 AT THE DAHL CENTENNIAL UNION. THE EVENT WILL FOLLOW THE SPRING CAREER FAIR FOR LUTHER COLLEGE STUDENTS FROM TEN A.M. UNTIL THREE P.M.

DECORAH VOTERS WILL GO TO THE POLLS TO SEE IF CITY RESIDENTS SUPPORT PURSUING A MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITY. DECORAH MAYOR LORRAINE BOROWSKI SAYS THAT’S THE QUESTIONS CITY OFFICIALS NEED ANSWERED RIGHT NOW.

BOROWSKI

BOROWSKI SAYS IF LOCAL RESIDENTS SUPPORT THE PURSUIT, THEN THE DECISION ON HOW TO MOVE FORWARD WILL LIE WITH THE DECORAH CITY COUNCIL.

2-28 NEWS

IOWA GOVERNOR KIM REYNOLDS ANNOUNCED A ONE-POINT-SEVEN BILLION DOLLAR TAX CUT PLAN LAST WEEK. STATE REPRESENTATIVE MIKE BERGAN OF DECORAH SAYS LAWMAKERS SHOULD PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

BERGAN

BERGAN SAYS THE HOUSE IS USING THE GOVERNOR’S PROPOSAL AS IT BASELINE TO BEGIN NEGOTIATIONS WHILE THE SENATE IS PROPOSING ITS OWN LEGISLATION.

A U.S. News & World Report ranking of states puts Iowa at the very top of the list. The raking is comprised of dozens of metrics, including health care, education, infrastructure, crime and more. Iowa ranked number one in infrastructure, number three in health care, number five in education and number four in opportunity.
Our neighbor to the north, Minnesota, came in second. Nebraska was ranked number seven, Wisconsin took 11, and neighboring Illinois came in at 35. Mississippi and Louisiana came in at 49 and 50.

Bill Northey has been confirmed into his new role with the USDA after a months long hold out on his confirmation. Iowa’s agriculture secretary was confirmed as of USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation after being nominated for the roll in September. Sen. Ted Cruz had been holding up Northey’s appointment due to his concern with the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The Iowa Business Council raises concerns about the preparedness of Iowa’s workforce in its annual Competitive Dashboard, which compares the states for their economic development. The council is calling the need for a trained workforce a major concern and challenge for Iowa employers. Executive director Georgia Van Gundy says Iowa is rightfully praised for its high school graduation rate.
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To remedy the situation, Van Gundy says the Iowa Business Council is pledging to hire 30,000 interns and apprentices by 2025. She says the makeup of the state’s population is also a problem.

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By month’s end, Van Gundy says the council will introduce a Business Education Alliance made up of business leaders, higher education officials and K-12 representatives to map out strategies for current and future workforce needs.

2-27 NEWS

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AWARDED A BID TO BRENTON BUILDINGS OF MONONA TO REPAIR THE COURTHOUSE ROOF. THE BOARD TOOK THE ACTION AT ITS MEETING MONDAY MORNING. SUPERVISOR DEAN THOMPSON SAYS BRENTON’S LOW BID OF 207-THOUSAND DOLLARS COVERS ROOF REPAIRS, NEW INSULATION IN THE ATTIC, NEW EXTERIOR LIGHTING AND NEW LIGHTNING PROTECTION. THE ARCHITECT’S ESTIMATE FOR THE PROJECT WAS 250-THOUSAND DOLLARS. THOMPSON SAYS THE PROJECT IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN IN MID-TO-LATE APRIL WITH BRENTON PROVIDING A SUBSTANIAL COMPLETION DATE OF JULY 15TH IN THEIR BID.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SUPERVISORS REJECTED A REQUEST FROM THE COUNTY ROAD WORKERS UNION AT ITS MEETING MONDAY MORNING. THE UNION REQUESTED WORKERS MOVE TO FOUR TEN HOUR DAYS. SUPERVISOR JOHN BEARD SAID THE WORK IS GETTING DONE WELL UNDER THE CURRENT FIVE DAY WORK SCHEDULE AND HE SAW NO REASON TO CHANGE. THE BOARD REJECTED THE REQUEST ON A 4-1 VOTE. BOARD MEMBER MARK KUHN SUPPORTED THE FOUR DAY WORK WEEK.

IOWA IS EXPERINCING ITS WORST FLU SEASON IN MORE THAN A DECADE. RADIO IOWA’S MATT KELLY REPORTS.

KELLY

The U.S. National Agriculture Statistics Service released the 2017 yields for Iowa in corn and beans and Iowa had the second biggest crop it’s ever had. Statewide, the corn yield average was 202 bushels an acre. For beans, the state yield average was 56.5 bushels an acre. The USDA is already thinking about the estimated planting in 2018. During the Agricultural Outlook Forum in Virginia, acreage estimates were released. The USDA says corn and soybean acres will be split this year, about 90 million going to each. Although, some analysts think the recent soybean rally could convince farmers to plant even more soybean acres.

A CLERMONT MAN WAS ARRESTED EARLY MONDAY MORNING AFTER A TRAFFIC STOP. THE FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 51 YEAR OLD DANNY JAMES HUFFMAN WAS CHARGED WITH DRIVING WHILE BARRED AND FAILURE TO HAVE S-R-22 INSURANCE

A D-N-R URBAN FORESTRY COORDINATOR WILL BE IN DECORAH TONIGHT. EMMA HANNIGAN WILL HOST A PRESENTATION ON ASH TREES AND THE EMERALD ASH BORER AT SIX P.M. AT DECORAH CITY HALL. THE PRESENTATION IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

2-26 NEWS

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WILL LOOK TO APPROVE A BID FOR THE COURTHOUSE ROOF REPLACEMENT AT ITS MEETING TODAY. THE BOARD OPENED THE BIDS LAST WEEK BUT TOOK NO ACTION DUE TO MISSING INFORMATION FROM ONE OF THE BIDDING COMPANIES. THE BOARD WILL DISCUSS ROAD AND CONSERVATION MATTERS AND WILL ATTEND THE FARM BUREAU LUNCHEON. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT NINE-30 AT THE COURTHOUSE IN DECORAH.

40 DECORAH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS RECEIVED DIVISION ONE RATINGS AT THE DISTRICT INDIVIDUAL SPEECH CONTEST HELD IN RICEVILLE ON SATURDAY. SIX STUDENTS FROM SOUTH WINNESHIEK ALSO RECEIVED DIVISION ONE RATINGS. THOSE WHO RECEIVED DIVISION ONE RATINGS WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE NORTHEAST DISTRICT INDIVIDUAL STATE SPEECH CONTEST WHICH WILL BE HELD MARCH 10TH AT STARMONT HIGH SCHOOL.

The Howard County Sheriff’s Office says a former student asked an unknown individual to shoot up Riceville School. Riceville Principal Cory Schumann told the Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday that current students had witnessed a former female student chatting online and requesting the unknown person shoot up the school on Thursday. An investigation was begun and a number of current students were interviewed, then the former student who now lives in Rochester, MN was questioned. The Sheriff’s Office says the former student admitted to making the request but says she also sent the unknown person an acronym message that meant “just kidding.” Classes were cancelled in Riceville on Thursday but the school reopened on Friday. Howard County Sheriff Mike Miner says they no longer believe there is any threat to the school or the Riceville community. He says the FBI is now investigating this matter. Anyone with information on this incident should contact the Howard County Sheriff’s Office at 563-547-3535.

The Decorah Eagles have laid their second egg of 2018. According to a Facebook Post by the Raptor Resource Project, the mother eagle laid her egg at 5:48 p.m. Saturday. The eagle laid her first egg on February 21. The eggs of eagles usually hatch in late March and early April.

2-25 NEWS

IOWA WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT WILL BE HOSTING A COMMUNITY JOB FAIR THIS WEEK. THE EVENT WILL BE HELD THURSDAY FROM FOUR-30 UNTIL SIX-30 AT THE LUTHER COLLEGE DAHL CENTENNIAL UNION. VETERANS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND AND INTERACT WITH AREA BUSINESSES AND VETERAN RESOURCES FROM THREE-30 UNTIL FOUR-30 THAT AFTERNOON.

THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES WILL HOST A PUBLIC MEETING ON A FOREST STEWARDSHIP PLAN FOR THE VOLGA STATE RECREATION AREA THIS WEEK. THE MEETING WILL HELD TUESDAY NIGHT AT SIX P.M. AT UPPER IOWA UNIVERSITY’S BAKER HEBRON BUILDING IN FAYETTE. D-N-R OFFICIALS SAY INFORMATION ON THE MANAGEMENT OF WOODLANDS AND THE ASSOCIATED IMPACTS ON THE VOLGA STATE REC AREA WILL BE PRESENTED. INTERESTED PERSONS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FOREST RESOURCE, FORESTRY TECHNIQUES AND WILDLIFE HABITAT AND RECREATIONAL IMPACTS.

Many Iowa drivers can’t drive 55. Or 60 or even 70, apparently. A new survey conducted by insurance comparison shopping website Insurify shows 23.2 percent of Iowa drivers report having had a speeding violation in the past seven years. “Despite the fact that it has the lowest per-capita number of police officers on the list, Iowa ranked first in speeding tickets,” according to the Insurify report released on February 15.
Insurify notes that speeding in Iowa can be especially expensive as the state adds a 35 percent surcharge “to nearly all enforcement-related fines, including speeding violations. Throw in court costs as well, and your $40 fine for doing 10 MPH over the limit will turn into a $114 charge.”

Iowa lawmakers have faced pressure to improve the state’s privatized Medicaid program amid reports of problems, but that hasn’t translated into a lot of related legislation so far this session. Just a handful of bills that would make selective changes to the health care program for the poor and disabled advanced beyond a legislative deadline last week. The proposals don’t address key issues surrounding reports of reduced services and delayed reimbursements to health care providers. It’s also unclear if the bills have enough support in the GOP-controlled Legislature. Separately, a state agency that oversees the private insurance companies that run Medicaid has offered few details about how it’s addressing problems. The agency has highlighted upcoming private meetings that will include health care providers and the insurance companies.

THE DECORAH HIGH SCHOOL CHOIRS AND CHAMBER ORCHESTRA WILL BE PRESENTING A MASTERWORSKS CONCERT CELEBRATING WOLFGANG MOZART THIS WEEK. THE CONCERT WILL BE HELD TUESDAY NIGHT AT SEVEN-30 AT THE DECORAH HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM.

2-24 NEWS

THE DECORAH PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT WILL HOST A BRAND NEW EVENT (SATURDAY). ERIKA RANDALL IS WITH THE DECORAH PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT.

RANDALL

THE EVENT WILL ALSO INCLUDE A PANCAKE BREAKFAST, WITH THE PROCEEDS FROM THE BREAKFAST TO BE PUT TOWARDS THE TREE BANK TO REFOREST DECORAH’S PARK. THE EVENT WILL BE HELD FROM TEN A.M. UNTIL TWO P.M.
SCRIPT AT NOON-THE EVENT WILL CONTINUE THIS AFTERNOON UNTIL TWO P.M.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WILL CONSIDERATION AWARDING A BID FOR THE COURTHOUSE ROOF REPLACEMENT AT ITS MEETING MONDAY. THE SUPERVISORS OPENED THE BIDS LAST MONDAY BUT DID NOT HAVE COMPLETE INFORMATION FROM ONE OF THE CONTRACTORS. THE BOARD WILL ALSO MEET WITH COUNTY ENGINEER LEE BJERKE (BEER-KEY) AND COUNTY CONSERVATION DIRECTOR BARB SCHROEDER. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT NINE-30 AT THE COURTHOUSE IN DECORAH.

DECORAH POWER WILL BE HOSTING A FUND-RAISING AUCTION (SATURDAY) NIGHT. THE EVENT WILL BE HELD FROM SIX UNTIL EIGHT-30 AT THE ELKS LODGE IN DECORAH. THE EVENT WILL INCLUDE GOURMET APPETIZERS, LIVE MUSIC AND LIVE AND SILENT AUCTIONS. ADVANCE TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE ONEOTA FOOD CO-OP IN DECORAH.

State Fire Marshal Dan Wood says the final rules have been drawn up as the state prepares to require carbon monoxide alarms be installed in apartment buildings and some homes. Wood says the legislature passed the requirement.

Wood 1

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and the detectors let you know if the gas has built up before you become sick from it. He says they will be required in newly built homes, and buildings that have that have a fuel-fired heater or appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage.

Wood 2

Wood says the change requiring the carbon monoxide detectors begins July 1st.

Many Iowa drivers can’t drive 55. Or 60 or even 70, apparently. A new survey conducted by insurance comparison shopping website Insurify shows 23.2 percent of Iowa drivers report having had a speeding violation in the past seven years. “Despite the fact that it has the lowest per-capita number of police officers on the list, Iowa ranked first in speeding tickets,” according to the Insurify report released on February 15. Insurify notes that speeding in Iowa can be especially expensive as the state adds a 35 percent surcharge “to nearly all enforcement-related fines, including speeding violations. Throw in court costs as well, and your $40 fine for doing 10 MPH over the limit will turn into a $114 charge.”

2-23 NEWS

DECORAH POLICE ARE NOTIFYING THE PUBLIC OF ANOTHER SCAM. POLICE SAY SEVERAL BUSINESSES HAVE RECEIVED CALLS STATING THE CALLER IS FROM ALLIANT ENERGY. THE CALLER SAYS ALLIANT REPRESENTATIVES SAY THE BUSINESS’S ACCOUNT IS PAST DUE AND THEY NEED TO PAY THE AMOUNT IMMEDIATELY. POLICE REMIND RESIDENTS TO NOT GIVE OUT ANY PERSONAL OR BUSINESS INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE. ALLIANT SPOKESPERSON MIKE WAGNER SAYS THE COMPANY HAS RECEIVED SIMILAR REPORTS FROM THROUGHOUT THE MIDWEST. WAGNER SAYS ANYONE NEEDING TO CHECK THE STATUS OF THEIR ACCOUNT CAN CALL 1-800-ALLIANT OR LOG ONTO ALLIANT-ENERGY-DOT-COM-SLASH-MY-ACCOUNT

FOUR AREA BUSINESSES HAVE RECEIVED GRANTS FROM WINNESHIEK COUNTY DEVELOPMENT AS PART OF ITS BIZ BOOSTER CHALLENGE. W-C-D-I EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR STEPHANIE FROMM SAYS THE SUNFLOWER CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER, CARDBOARD ROBOT, SEED SAVERS EXCHANGE AND OFF THE DRIFTLESS WELLNESS AND ADVENTURE WILL SHARE IN APPROXIMATELY 17-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN GRANT FUNDING. FROMM SAYS THE FOUR BUSINESSES WERE JUDGED BY A PANEL WHICH CONSIDERED QUESTIONS INCLUDING THE BUSINESS FEASIBILITY, RISKS AND HOW THE BUSINESS WILL BRING ADDITIONAL DOLLARS INTO THE COUNTY.

THE DECORAH PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT’S SPRING BROCHURE IS NOW AVAILABLE. PARKS AND RECREATION REPRESENTATIVES SAYS THE BROCHURE IS AVAILABLE AT THE PARKS AND RECREATION OFFICE, LOCAL BANKS AND THE DECORAH PUBLIC LIBRARY. THE BROCHURE IS ALSO AVAILABLE AT PARKS-DOT-DECORAH-I-A-DOT-ORG AND PERSONS CAN REGISTER FOR ACTIVITIES ON-LINE.

AUTHORITIES RESPONDED TO A FIRE JUST NORTH OF THE STATE LINE IN FILLMORE COUNTY LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THE FILLMORE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS THEY WERE NOTIFIED OF THE FIRE AT THE PROSPER APARTMENTS, AS ALSO KNOWN AS THE OLD STATE LINE MOTEL, SHORTLY AFTER ELEVEN P.M. THE MABEL AND CANTON FIRE DEPARTMENTS CONTAINED THE BLAZE TO ONE APARTMENT AND NO ONE WAS INJURED. THE MINNESOTA STATE FIRE MARSHALL’S OFFICE HAS BEEN CONTACTED AND WILL BE CONDUCTING AN INVESTIGATION.

CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED AGAINST TWO WINNESHIEK COUNTY JAIL INMATES AFTER THEY ENGAGED IN A PHYSICAL ALTERCATION WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE JAIL. THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 23 YEAR OLD RONALD HARRISON OF DUBUQUE AND 36 YEAR OLD THOMAS MONSON OF SPRING GROVE WERE BOTH CHARGED WITH ASSAULT CAUSING BODILY INJURY.

A DECORAH MAN WAS ARRESTED ON A WARRANT FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR. THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 45 YEAR OLD DAVID COULTER WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

THE DECORAH EAGLES ARE BACK. THE RAPTOR RESOURCE PROJECT SAYS THE MOM LAID HER FIRST EGG WEDNESDAY NIGHT AROUND SEVEN-30. THE EAGLE CAM IS UP AT THE RAPTOR RESOURCE PROJECT’S WEBSITE.

2-22 NEWS

NORTH WINNESHIEK SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER BEN LANGE HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO A JOINT DECORAH-NORTH WINNESHIEK SCHOOL BOARD. THE NORTH WINNESHIEK BOARD MADE THE APPOINTMENT AT ITS MEETING TUESDAY AFTERNOON. LANGE WILL JOIN DECORAH BOARD MEMBERS RON FADNESS, BRIAN PETERSBURG, JOHN HJELLE AND KRISTA VANDENBRINK ON A BOARD THAT WILL PREPARE BOTH DISTRICTS FOR THE MERGER. THAT BOARD WILL HOLD ITS ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING ON MARCH 12TH. VOTERS IN BOTH DISTRICTS APPROVED THE MERGER EARLIER THIS MONTH.

THE IOWA HOUSE APPROVED AN 11-MILLION DOLLAR PACKAGE TO EQUALIZE TRANSPORTATION DOLLARS AMONG SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THE STATE. BUT THE FUNDING IS JUST FOR ONE YEAR. REPUBLICAN STATE SENATOR MIKE BREITBACH OF STRAWBERRY POINT WAS ASKED IF DISTRICTS SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT THAT.

BREITBACH

THE SENATE ALSO PASSED A MEASURE ELIMINATING A CAP ON THE AMOUNT OF TIME A STUDENT CAN BE ON A BUS.

A CALMAR MAN WAS ARRESTED ON A FAILURE TO APPEAR WARRANT LATE TUESDAY NIGHT. THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 21 YEAR OLD CODY JOHNSON IS IN CUSTODY AT THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY JAIL.

The director of the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, Dan Neenan, is asking Iowa farmers to reconsider entering grain bins.
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Neenan says if a farmer decides to enter a bin, there are some essential safety steps to follow.

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He also recommends being at least 18 years old before entering a grain bin, ensuring good air quality inside the confined space, wearing a body harness, and following the rule Neenan says is broken most often on the farm

2-21 NEWS

DECORAH POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING A CASE OF A STOLEN GAY PRIDE FLAG FROM A RESIDENCE AT 308 SOUTH MILL STREET. POLICE SAY THEY WERE NOTIFIED OF THE INCIDENT AROUND TEN-30 TUESDAY NIGHT. OFFICERS SAY WHEN THEY ARRIVED ON THE SCENE THEY DISCOVERED THE FLAG WAS STOLEN AND THE FLAG POLE WAS DAMAGED. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION IS ASKED TO CONTACT DECORAH POLICE.

TWO PEOPLE WERE INJURED IN A TUESDAY MORNING ACCIDENT NEAR HAWKEYE, THE FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 23 YEAR OLD TANNER GROVER OF INDEPENDENCE LOST CONTROL OF HIS VEHICLE ON A COUNTY ROAD JUST SOUTH OF HAWKEYE AND THE VEHICLE APPEARED TO ROLL A COUPLE OF TIMES SHORTLY BEFORE EIGHT A.M. AUTHORITIES SAY GROVER AND A 17 YEAR OLD PASSENGER WERE TAKEN BY AMBULANCE TO PALMER LUTHERAN HOSPITAL IN WEST UNION. THE ACCIDENT IS UNDER INVESTIGATION AND CHARGES ARE PENDING.

DECORAH POLICE AND THE DECORAH SCHOOL DISTRICT ARE NOTIFYING THE PUBLIC ABOUT A SCAM GOING AROUND THE COMMUNITY. SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICIALS SAY THEY DO NOT SUPPORT, ENDORSE OR HAVE ANY AFFILIATION WITH GROUP RAISE. AUTHORITIES SAY GROUP RAISE HAS BEEN NOTIFYING THE PUBLIC ASKING FOR MONEY FOR THE DECORAH P-T-A. DISTRICT OFFICIALS SAY THE DECORAH DISTRICT HAS A P-T-O INSTEAD OF A P-T-A. ANYONE WITH QUESTIONS CAN CONTACT THE DECORAH POLICE DEPARTMENT.

THE DECORAH CITY COUNCIL APPROVED SETTING A REFERENDUM DATE TO SEE WHETHER OR NOT CITY RESIDENTS WOULD SUPPORT A MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITY AT ITS MEETING MONDAY NIGHT. WHO PAYS FOR THE REFERENDUM? DECORAH CITY MANAGER CHAD BIRD

BIRD

VOTERS WILL GO TO THE POLLS ON MAY FIRST TO DECIDE ON THE ISSUE.

THE IOWA HOUSE APPROVED A MEASURE A TRANSPORTATION EQUITY BILL FOR K-12 EDUCATION MONDAY. STATE REPRESENTATIVE MIKE BERGAN OF DECORAH SAYS IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR RURAL SCHOOLS.

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BERGAN WAS ASKED HOW THE STATE WILL PAY FOR THE MEASURE

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BERGAN SAYS THE SIX SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN HIS LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT WILL RECEIVE A TOTAL OF 750-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

AN EARLY TUESDAY MORNING TRAFFIC STOP ON THE OLD STAGE ROAD IN DECORAH LEAD TO THE ARREST OF AN OSSIAN WOMAN. THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 18 YEAR OLD ANGELIA HAKIM WAS CHARGED WITH OPERATING WHILE IMPAIRED, POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA AND POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA.

THE DECORAH CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THE 2018 FARMER’S MARKET AGREEMENT AT ITS MEETING MONDAY NIGHT. CITY OFFICIALS SAY THERE WERE NO CHANGES IN THE AGREEMENT. FARMERS MARKET REPRESENTATIVES SAY THE EVENT WILL BE HELD IN THE PARKING LOT BEHIND THE ONEOTA CO-OP WEDNESDAY AFTERNOONS AND SATURDAY MORNINGS. THE OPENING DAY FOR THIS YEAR’S MARKET IS SCHEDULED FOR MAY SECOND.

2-20 NEWS

DECORAH RESIDENTS WILL BE GETTING THE CHANCE TO VOTE ON THE ISSUE OF A MUNICIPALLY-OWNED UTILITY. THE CITY COUNCIL MONDAY NIGHT APPROVED A SPECIAL ELECTION ON TUESDAY, MAY 1ST. MAYOR LORRAINE BOROWSKI TOLD THE CROWD OF NEARLY 100 IN ATTENDANCE THAT THE OUTCOME COULD HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT ON THE CITY, AND ADVISED RESIDENTS TO LEARN AS MUCH AS THEY CAN BEFORE VOTING. THE COUNCIL ALSO VOTED TO RECALL THE APPOINTMENT OF COUNCIL MEMBER STEVE LUSE AS LIAISON TO DECORAH POWER, THE GROUP ADVOCATING A CITY-OWNED UTILITY. ATTORNEY JOHN ANDERSON RECOMMENDED THE MOVE TO SEPARATE THE COUNCIL FROM CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES. ALLIANT ENERGY NORTH REGION OPERATIONS DIRECTOR MATT COLE SAID THEY RESPECT THE COUNCIL’S DECISION, AND THEY PLAN TO ENGAGE THEIR DECORAH CUSTOMERS TO DISCUSS WHAT THEY CALL THE SIGNIFICANT RISKS AND COSTS INVOLVED IN CREATING A MUNICIPAL UTILITY. COLE SAID VOTING AGAINST A MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITY WILL KEEP ALLIANT WORKING FOR DECORAH AND WILL ALLOW THE COMPANY TO PROVIDE THE SAFE AND RELIABLE SERVICE THEIR CUSTOMERS HAVE COME TO EXPECT.

FOLLOWING LAST NIGHT’S REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING, DECORAH COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES OFFERED REASONS A NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SHOULD BE PLACED ON CITY-OWNED PROPERTY ON CLAIBORNE DRIVE WEST OF THE CURRENT JOHN CLINE ELEMENTARY. RESIDENTS MARK LOVELACE, BEN GRIMSTAD, SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER BRIAN PETERSBURG AND ARCHITECT NICK HILDEBRANT SPOKE OF THE BENEFITS AND LOGIC OF THE CITY PROPERTY WHILE SHOWING VIDEO OF THE PROPOSED NEW SCHOOL AND SURROUNDING AREAS THAT WOULD PROVIDE FOR COMMUNITY USE, INCLUDING A PARK AREA. THE CITY HAS BEEN OFFERED $700,000 PLUS DISTRICT-OWNED ACREAGE NEAR THE DIKE. THE PLACEMENT OF THE PRESENT TENNIS COURTS AND SOFTBALL FIELD REMAINS ONE ISSUE.

WINNESHIEK COUNTY RECORDER TERESA BOCKMAN HAS ANNOUNCED HER RETIREMENT. BOCKMAN WILL COMPLETE HER SECOND TERM AS COUNTY RECORDER AT THE END OF THE YEAR. MONDAY, CONNIE KUENNEN ANNOUNCED SHE WOULD BE RUNNING FOR THE POSITION.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SUPERVISORS HAVE VOTED TO CONSIDER OFFERING A CONTRACT TO MATT CONSTRUCTION TO REPAIR THE COURTHOUSE ROOF. THE BOARD TOOK THE ACTION AT THEIR MEETING THIS MORNING. THE REASON THE BOARD DID NOT COMPLETED AWARD THE BID IS BECAUSE MATT CONSTRUCTION DID NOT PROVIDE A BID COMPLETION DATE AS REQUESTED. MATT’S BASE BID FOR THE PROJECT WAS 145-THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS. ALTERNATE BIDS WERE PROVIDED FOR ATTIC INSULATION, NEW LIGHTING AND LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEM. THE SUPERVISORS HOPE TO FINALIZE ACTION ON THE BID NEXT WEEK.

LAST WEEK, THE DECORAH SCHOOL BOARD APPOINTED FOUR OF ITS MEMBERS TO SERVE ON A JOINT DECORAH-NORTH WINNESHIEK SCHOOL BOARD. THE NORTH WINNESHIEK SCHOOL BOARD WILL APPOINT ONE OF ITS MEMBERS TO THE JOINT BOARD AT ITS MEETING TUESDAY AFTERNOON. THE JOINT BOARD WILL PREPARE BOTH DISTRICTS FOR THE MERGER OF BOTH DISTRICTS. THE DECORAH AND NORTH WINNESHIEK SCHOOL BOARDS WILL ALSO OPERATE SEPERATELY UNTIL JUNE 30TH OF 2019. THE NORTH WINNESHIEK MEETING WILL BEGIN AT FOUR-30 AT THE SCHOOL LIBRARY.