5-1 NEWS

WINNESHIEK COUNTY AUDITOR BEN STIENES IS REMINDING CITY OF DECORAH RESIDENTS TO BRING A FORM OF I-D TO THE POLLS (TUESDAY) WHEN THEY CAST THEIR BALLOTS IN THE MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITY REFERENDUM. STIENES SAYS IF YOU DO FORGET……

STIENES

THE POLLS WILL BE OPEN FROM SEVEN A.M. UNTIL EIGHT P.M. TUESDAY.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LA CROSSE HAS ISSUED A NO BURN ALERT FOR WINNESHIEK COUNTY. SEAN SNYDER IS THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR FOR WINNESHIEK COUNTY.

SNYDER

SNYDER SAYS A NO BURN ALERT IS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE. HE SAYS THAT IS DIFFERENT THAN A BURNING BAN, WHICH IS ISSUED BY THE FIRE CHIEFS OF THE COUNTY.

THIS IN FROM THE CITY OF DECORAH’S WATER DEPARTMENT. WATER DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS ARE ASKING CITY RESIDENTS TO NOT DISPOSE OF BABY WIPES IN THE TOILET. WATER AND SEWER SUPERINTENDENT TODD IHDE SAYS THE BABY WIPES HAVE CAUSED NUMEROUS SEWER BACKUPS AND CAUSING SEWER BACKUPS INTO HOMES AND BUISNESSES.

April has been distracted driving awareness month and a state trooper says it continues to be a problem across the country and in Iowa. Sergeant Nathan Ludwig with the Iowa State Patrol says they see motorists texting driving every day on Iowa’s roadways despite a change in law that makes it illegal. But he says says texting while driving can be a tough law to enforce.

Ludwig

Ludwig says the Patrol’s biggest advice to people is to get stuff done ahead of time and then get in your car and just drive. A common misconception is that it’s legal to text when stopped at a stop sign or stoplight. Ludwig says you can only legally text while behind the wheel when your car is off the traveled portion of the roadway and at a complete stop.

THE DECORAH CITY COUNCIL WILL HOLD A WORK SESSION THIS EVENING. ITEMS OF DISCUSSION WILL INCLUDE THE SCHOOL SITE PROPOSAL AND TASK FORCE, FUTURE CAPITAL PLANNING AND CURRENT PROJECTS AND FUTURE MEETING PLANNING. THE SESSION BEGINS AT FIVE-30 AT CITY HALL.

4-30 NEWS

LUTHER COLLEGE HAS BEEN LISTED AS THE SIXTH BEST VALUE OF ANY COLLEGE IN IOWA ACCORDING TO A RECENT SURVEY. THE SURVEY CONDUCTED BY SMART ASSET MEASURES METRICS INCLUDING TUITION, LIVING COSTS, SCHOLARSHIP AND GRANT OFFERINGS, RETENTION RATE AND STARTING SALARY. THE TOP FIVE VALUES IN THE STATE ACCORDING TO THE SURVEY ARE IOWA STATE, IOWA, GRINNELL, NORTHERN IOWA AND DRAKE.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SUPERVISORS WILL MEET WITH COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR SEAN SNYDER AT ITS MEETING TODAY. SNYDER WITH DISCUSS E-M-A UPDATES WITH THE BOARD. A PUBLIC HEARING WILL BE HELD REGARDING THE POTENTIAL VACATION OF A PORTION OF 237TH AVENUE AND THE BOARD WILL ALSO HOLD A PROCLAMATION FOR PIONEER CEMETERY MONTH, THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT NINE-30 AT THE COURTHOUSE ANNEX BUILDING IN DECORAH.

THE DECORAH CITY COUNCIL WILL DISCUSS A VARIETY OF ISSUES IN A WORK SESSION TONIGHT. TOPICS OF DISCUSSION WILL INCLUDE INFORMATION ON A BUDGET AMENDMENT THAT WILL GO BEFORE THE COUNCIL NEXT WEEK, CITY CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS AND FUTURE MEETING PLANNING. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT FIVE-30 AT CITY HALL.

A report finds deadly hit-and-run crashes are on the rise across the country and in Iowa. Rose White, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says their research finds there’s another hit-and-run crash every minute nationwide.

White

The Triple-A study finds nearly 65-percent of people killed in hit-and-run crashes are pedestrians or bicyclists. For those on foot or on bikes, White urges them to avoid distractions and stay alert.

CITY OF DECORAH RESIDENTS WILL GO TO THE POLLS TUESDAY TO DECIDE IF THEY WANT TO AUTHORIZE THE CITY COUNCIL TO EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITY OF A MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITY. DECORAH CITY MANAGER CHAD BIRD EXPLAINS WHAT A YES VOTE MEANS.

BIRD 1

BIRD SAYS IF CONSTIUENTS SAY NO TO THE MEASURE

BIRD 2

POLLS WILL BE OPEN FROM SEVEN A.M. UNTIL EIGHT P.M. TUESDAY. WARD ONE RESIDENTS WILL VOTE AT CITY HALL, WARD TWO RESIDENTS AT THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY COURTHOUSE, WARD THREE RESIDENTS AT FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH AND WARD FOUR AND FIVE RESIDENTS WILL CAST THEIR BALLOTS AT THE GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH.

SUNDAY 4-29

IOWA SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY WILL HOST A TOWN HALL MEETING IN NEW HAMPTON THIS WEEK. GRASSLEY WILL BE AT THE CHICKASAW WELLNESS COMPLEX FRIDAY MORNING FROM EIGHT A.M. UNTIL NINE A.M.

THE WINNESHIEK FARMERS MARKET WILL OPEN FOR THE SEASON THIS WEEK. THE MARKET WILL FEATURE LOCAL PRODUCE, MEAT, BAKED GOODS, SEAFOODS, WINE, HONEY AND MAPLE SYRUP AND CRAFTS. THE MARKET WILL BE OPEN FROM THREE UNTIL SIX P.M. WEDNESDAYS AND EIGHT A.M. UNTIL ELEVEN A.M. IN THE PARKING LOT BEHIND THE ONEOTA CO-OP AND ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE DECORAH POST OFFICE.

PLANS ARE IN PLACE FOR EVENT IN POSTVILLE ON MAY 11TH TO MARK THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RAID AT AGRI-PROCESSORS. 389 PERSONS WERE ARRESTED ON A MAY 12TH OF 2008 AS FEDERAL IMMIGRATION AGENTS RAIDED THE POSTVILLE FACILITY. AT TEN A.M. THAT MORNING, AN INTERFAITH CHURCH SERVICE WILL BE HELD AT THE SAINT BRIDGET’S CATHOLIC CHURCH. FOLLOWING THE SERVICE, A RALLY WILL BE HELD AT ELEVEN-30 AT MEYER PARK WITH SPEAKERS FROM THE IMMIGRANT, LEGAL AND FAITH COMMUNITIES.

LONG-TIME STATE LEGISLATOR AND CURRENT DNR DIRECTOR CHUCK GIPP HAS ANNOUNCED HIS RETIREMENT EFFECTIVE MAY 1ST. GIPP, FROM DECORAH, SAYS THE D.N.R. AND OTHER AGENCIES HAVE FACED ISSUES WITH THE BUDGET IN RECENT YEARS. HE SAYS HE UNDERSTANDS WHAT LEGISLATORS ARE DEALING WITH: (AUDIO: GIPP 3)
THE DNR HAS LOOKED AT CUTTING BACK HOURS AT STATE PARKS, AND GIPP RECENTLY TALKED ABOUT DYNAMIC PRICING THAT WOULD CHARGE MORE AT SOME OF THE MORE POPULAR PARKS.

THE PARADEMIC PROGRAM AT NORTHEAST IOWA COMMUNITY COLLEGE EARNS CONTINUED ACCREDITATION. COLLEGE OFFICIALS SAY THE COMMISSION ON ACCREDITATION OF ALLIED HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAMS HAS AWARDED THE ACCREDITATION AFTER A SITE VISIT. THE SITE VISIT INCLUDES A COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION OF THE PROGRAM.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WILL HAVE A ROUTINE AGENDA FOR ITS MEETING TOMORROW. THE BOARD WILL DEAL WITH A PROCLAMATION FOR PIONEER CEMETERY MONTH AND WILL DISCUSS LEGAL AND ROAD MATTERS. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT NINE-30 AT THE COURTHOUSE ANNEX BUILDING IN DECORAH.

SATURDAY 4-28-18

CITY OF DECORAH RESIDENTS WILL HEAD TO THE POLLS TUESDAY. CITY RESIDENTS WILL BE ASKED WHETHER OR NOT THEY SUPPORT AUTHORIZING THE CITY COUNCIL TO APPLY TO FORM A MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITY. A YES VOTE ALLOWS THE COUNCIL TO STUDY THE ISSUE FURTHER. IF RESIDENTS VOTE NO THE ISSUE CANNOT MOVE FORWARD. WARD ONE RESIDENTS WILL VOTE AT DECORAH CITY HALL. WARD TWO RESIDENTS WILL VOTE AT THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY COURTHOUSE. WARD THREE RESIDENTS WILL VOTE AT FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH AND WARD FOUR AND FIVE CONSITUENTS WILL CAST THEIR BALLOTS AT THE GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH. THE POLLS WILL BE OPEN FROM SEVEN A.M. UNTIL EIGHT P.M.

THE DECORAH MAN WHO HAS LED THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES SINCE 2011 IS RETIRING NEXT WEEK. CHUCK GIPP SAYS AFTER 27 YEARS OF COMMUTING TO DES MOINES AS A LEGISLATOR AND THEN A STATE AGENCY EMPLOYEE, HE IS READY TO SPEND MORE TIME IN HIS HOMETOWN. WE ASKED GIPP WHAT PART OF HIS SERVICE HE IS MOST PROUD OF: (AUDIO-GIPP 2)
GIPP WAS FIRST ELECTED TO THE IOWA HOUSE IN 1990 AND ROSE THROUGH THE G.O.P. RANKS TO BECOME HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER.

THE LONG-TIME ANCHOR OF ABC NEWS’ NIGHTLINE WILL PRESENT THE 2018 ROSLIEN DISTINGUISHED LECTURE ON THE LUTHER COLLEGE CAMPUS TUESDAY. TED KOPPEL WILL PRESENT “SCIENCE AND POLICY: COMMUNICATION IN THE TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY WORLD OF FAKE NEWS” AT THE CENTER FOR FAITH AND LIFE MAIN HALL AT SEVEN P.M. THE LECTURE IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC WITH NO CHARGE FOR ADMISSION. A QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION WILL FOLLOW THE LECTURE.

(SATURDAY) IS THE NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION TAKE BACK DAY. THE EVENT AIMS TO PROVIDE A SAFE, CONVENIENT AND RESPONSIBLE MEANS OF DISPOSING OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, WHILE ALSO EDUCATING THE GENERAL PUBLIC ABOUT THE POTENTIAL FOR ABUSE OF MEDICATIONS. THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS THERE WILL BE THREE DROP-OFF LOCATIONS IN THE COUNTY, INLCUDING WAL-MART AND THRIFTY WHITE PHARMACY IN DECORAH AND THE CALMAR POLICE DEPARTMENT IN CALMAR. PERSONS CAN DROP OFF THEIR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS FROM TEN A.M. AND TWO P.M. AT ALL THREE LOCATIONS.

NORTHEAST IOWA TROUT UNLIMITED WILL HAVE ITS ANNUAL CONSERVATION BANQUET (SATURDAY) NIGHT. DENNIS OSMUNDSON IS WITH TROUT UNLIMITED.

(AUDIO: OSMUNDSON)

PROCEEDS FROM THE EVENT WILL SUPPORT AND PROTECT THE COLD WATER TROUT STREAMS OF NORTHEAST IOWA.

CITYWIDE GARAGE SALES WILL BE HELD IN OSSIAN THIS WEEKEND. THE EVENT IS SPONSORED BY THE OSSIAN CROWN CLUB. MAPS OF GARAGE SALE LOCATIONS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE CASEY’S GENERAL STORE IN OSSIAN.

4-27 NEWS

STATE DNR DIRECTOR CHUCK GIPP OF DECORAH HAS ANNOUNCED HE’LL RETIRE MAY 1ST. GIPP HAS SERVED THE DNR SINCE BECOMING DEPUTY DIRECTOR IN AUGUST 2011. HE BECAME DIRECTOR SHORTLY AFTER. GIPP WAS ELECTED TO THE IOWA HOUSE IN 1990 AND SERVED 9 CONSECUTIVE TERMS, BECOMING HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER. WE ASKED CHUCK WHAT HE’LL DO NOW:
GIPP AUDIO
AFTER LEAVING THE LEGISLATURE, GIPP WAS HIRED BY AG SECRETARY BILL NORTHEY AS DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF SOIL CONSERVATION. DEPUTY DNR DIRECTOR BRUCE TRAUTMAN WILL NOW SERVE AS ACTING DIRECTOR.

ALL MEMBERS OF THE DECORAH CITY COUNCIL HAVE INVITED TO TONIGHT’S MEETING OF THE HOTEL/MOTEL MARKETING COMMITTEE. SOME MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL HAVE RAISED CONCERNS OVER THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU BEING THE FISCAL AGENT FOR THE HOTEL/MOTEL TAX DOLLARS. CITY OFFICIALS SAY THEY EXPECT A QUOROM OF COUNCIL MEMBERS TO ATTEND THE MEETING, BUT NO FORMAL ACTION WILL BE TAKEN. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT FIVE P.M. AT THE DECORAH AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEETING ROOM.

DECORAH RESIDENTS WILL GO TO THE POLLS NEXT TUESDAY TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT THE COMMUNITY WANTS TO EXPLORE THE POSSIBILTY OF A MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITY IN THE COMMUNITY. WINNESHIEK COUNTY AUDITOR BEN STIENES REMINDS RESIDENTS OF THE NEW VOTING LAWS THAT ARE IN PLACE.

STIENES

STIENES SAYS 2018 IS WHAT THEY CALL A “SOFT IMPLEMENTATION” YEAR. STIENES SAYS IF VOTERS FORGET THEIR I.D. THEY CAN FILL OUT A FORM TO VERIFY THEIR IDENTITY. HE SAYS I.D. WILL FULLY BE REQUIRED NEXT YEAR WHEN VOTING.

A GOOD NUMBER OF ABSENTEE BALLOTS HAVE BEEN CAST ALREADY FOR NEXT TUESDAY’S MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITY VOTE IN DECORAH. WINNESHIEK COUNTY AUDITOR BEN STIENES SAYS AS OF THURSDAY MORNING, 718 BALLOTS HAVE BEEN CAST FOR THE REFERENDUM.

AT ITS LAST MEETING, THE DECORAH CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THE FIRST READING OF AN ORDINANCE TO INCREASE WATER RATES 20 PERCENT. CITY OFFICIALS SAY ONE OF THE REASONS FOR THE INCREASE IS THE CITY IS PUMPING LESS WATER. CITY MANAGER CHAD BIRD WAS ASKED IF THE CITY IS PUMPING LESS WATER, WHY HASN’T THE EXPENSES OF THE WATER DEPARTMENT DECREASED?

BIRD

THE COUNCIL ALSO APPROVED THE FIRST READING OF A SEPARATE ORDINANCE TO INCREASE SEWER RATES 12 PERCENT. IF THE INCREASES ARE APPROVED, IT WOULD MARK THE SEVENTH STRAIGHT YEAR BOTH WATER AND SEWER RATES HAVE INCREASED.

4-26 NEWS

THE IOWA LEGISLATURE IS IN ITS SECOND WEEK OF OVERTIME. REPUBLICAN STATE SENATOR MIKE BREITBACH OF STRAWBERRY POINT SAYS THE FOCUS NEEDS TO BE ON FINISHING THE SESSION CORRECTLY INSTEAD OF QUICKLY

BREITBACH

DISCUSSION IS CONTINUING REGARDING TAX REFORM AND BUDGET MATTERS.

According to Gas Buddy, an app tracking prices at gas stations across the nation, the average price is $2.75 a gallon. Iowa is sitting at $2.67, Minnesota is at $2.55, and compared to last year gas is up 33 cents. Experts at Gas Buddy are blaming it on supply and demand of crude oil. This is the highest in average price they’ve seen since 2015 and what’s scary is that we haven’t even hit summer driving season. Those with Gas Buddy don’t believe we’ll see prices going over three bucks.

THERE HAS BEEN A LOT DISCUSSIONS ABOUT MASS SHOOTINGS AND HOW POTENTIALLY PRECENT THEM. WINNESHIEK COUNTY SHERIFF DAN MARX SAYS WHILE PREVENTING A MASS CASAULITY EVENT IS A PRORITY, IT’S EASIER SAID THAN DONE.

MARX 2

MARX SAYS WHILE MANY MASS SHOOTERS SHOW SOME SIGNS OF IRRATIONAL BEHAVIOR, IT’S NOT EASY TO STOP SOMEONE WITH WHAT HE CALLS PURE EVIL INTENTIONS.

MARX 1

MARX SAYS HIS DEPARTMENT IS CONSTANTLY WORKING WITH SCHOOLS AND OTHER PUBLIC ENTITIES TO DEVELOP PLANS ON HANDLING THESE SITUATIONS.

Iowa State University is launching a study of physical activity of rural youth as part of a joint project with the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Dr. David Dzewaltowski (JEV-yule-TAU-skee), the principal investigator at U-N-M-C’s College of Public Health, says he’d like rural communities in both states to help promote physical activity.

Dzewaltowski

Dzewaltowski says since the 1970s, he says the obesity rate has quadrupled among youth and our social systems have to change to allow for more activity.

4-25 NEWS

AN IOWA SENATE COMMITTEE PASSED A MEDICAL MARIJUANA BILL MONDAY NIGHT. THE BILL WOULD ELIMINATE THE CAP OF T-H-C, MAKE IT EXEMPT FROM SALES TAX AND EXPAND THE LIST OF MEDICAL CONDITIONS THAT WOULD ALLOW MEDICAL MARIJUANA TREATMENT. REPUBLICAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE MIKE BERGAN OF DORCHESTER SAYS HE HAS CONCERNS WITH THE BILL

BERGAN

THERE IS NO INDICATION FROM HOUSE LEADERSHIP THEIR CHAMBER WILL TAKE UP THE BILL.

A third defendant is pleading not guilty in a Howard County drug bust. Cresco police say an investigation led them to search 411 North Elm Street, Apartment 1 on December 8, 2017. Officers say they found methamphetamine, marijuana, and a prescription drug. Charges of gathering where drugs are used, maintaining premises for drug use, possession of meth, possession of marijuana, and unlawful possession of prescription drugs were filed against the three people who lived at the apartment: Lisa Rae Ragon, Steven Lane Geerts, and Peggy Sue Schneider. Ragon and Geerts previously pleaded not guilty and Schneider joined them on Monday. Geerts and Schneider are due to stand trial on July 18 while Ragon’s trial is scheduled for August 8.

The latest crop report shows there was very little activity down on the farm last week. Radio Iowa’s Dar Danielson reports.

Danielson voicer

THE CITY OF DECORAH’S PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE DID NOT MEET TUESDAY NIGHT. CITY OF DECORAH OFFICIALS NOTIFIED THE PUBLIC SHORTLY BEFORE TWO P.M. THAT THE MEETING SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY NIGHT HAD BEEN CANCELLED. THE NEXT JOINT MEETING BETWEEN THE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE AND THE 28-E RURAL FIRE TRUSTEES IS SCHEDULED FOR JULY 24TH.

4-24 NEWS

DECORAH TOPPED THE 60-DEGREE MARK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2018 ON SUNDAY. THE DECORAH WATER DEPARTMENT, THE CITY’S OFFICIAL WEATHER REPORTING STATION, RECORDED A HIGH OF 64 DEGREES. DECORAH WEATHER STATISTICIAN RICHARD BERNATZ SAYS THE LATEST DATE DECORAH HAS REACHED 60 DEGREES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A CALENDAR YEAR WAS APRIL 26TH OF 1951.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS THEY ARRESTED A DECORAH MAN FRIDAY ON DRUG RELATED CHARGES. AUTHORITIES SAY 28 YEAR OLD JACOB ABRAMS WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA.

ABSENTEE BALLOTING HAS BEEN HIGH PRIOR TO NEXT WEEK’S MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITY VOTE IN DECORAH. WINNESHIEK COUNTY AUDITOR BEN STIENES SAYS 450 BALLOTS HAVE BEEN RETURNED AS OF MONDAY MORNING. DECORAH RESIDENTS WILL GO TO THE POLLS MAY FIRST TO BE ASKED IF THE CITY WANTS TO CONSIDER THE FORMATION OF A MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITY.

THE CITY OF DECORAH WILL HOST ANOTHER PUBLIC FORUM REGARDING THE MAY FIRST MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITY VOTE (TUESDAY) NIGHT. WARD FIVE COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE JOHANNA BERGAN WILL HOST THE FORUM WHICH BEGINS AT FIVE P.M. AT THE GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH. THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO ATTEND TO ASK QUESTIONS.

A WEST UNION WOMAN WAS ARRESTED AFTER AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATED AN INCIDENT SATURDAY AFTERNOON IN ELDORADO. THE FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 44 YEAR OLD KATARINA VANSICKLE WAS CHARGED WITH ASSAULT AND TRESPASSING.

TWO ELGIN WOMEN WERE ARRESTED AFTER A FIGHT AT AN APARTMENT COMPLEX IN ELGIN SATURDAY NIGHT. THE FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SAYS 58 YEAR OLD MARTHA ESTRADA AND 50 YEAR OLD PENNY HANSON WERE BOTH CHARGED WITH ASSAULT. AUTHORITIES SAY ESTRADA WAS ALSO CHARGED WITH FIRST OFFENSE PUBLIC INTOXICATION. ALSO CONNECTED TO THE INVESTIGATION, THE FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT ARRESTED 48 YEAR OLD RICHARD HANSON WAS CHARGED WITH FIRST OFFENSE PUBLIC INTOXICATION.

4-23 NEWS

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY SUPERVISORS WILL DISCUSS A CHANGE ORDER FOR THE COURTHOUSE ROOF PROJECT AT ITS MEETING TODAY. THE BOARD WILL ALSO DISCUSS RIVER ACCESS ON 345TH STREET, ROAD AND LEGAL MATTERS. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT NINE-30 AT THE COURTHOUSE IN DECORAH.

As Republicans in control of the Iowa Legislature are focused on a state budget and tax cuts plans, other legislation is possible. A ban on most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected may still receive a key vote. Last year, lawmakers outlawed most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The opioid epidemic may prompt a package of pharmacy reforms, including mandating a statewide prescription monitoring program. Private insurance companies managing Iowa’s privatized Medicaid system could be required to make timely payments of claims and provide reasons for denying them under another bill under consideration. Annual “backfill” payments totaling $152 million to local governments also could be reduced or eliminated, although cuts appear unlikely for the budget year beginning in July.

The famous Decorah Eagles may have lost the father bird. The father Decorah eagle has been missing since Wednesday of last week. He was last at the nest April 18, after the snow storm, bringing a fish to feed the babies, and then give the mother eagle a break from the nest. The Raptor Resource Project says they have searched the area for the father Eagle, in case he is injured, but have had no success. The search area will be expanded. Usually an experienced male Eagle parent stays very near the nest.

South Carolina’s governor is asking his counterpart in Iowa if a flag that Citadel cadets flew before the Civil War can stay at the South Carolina military college. Iowa has allowed The Citadel to keep the red flag with the white palmetto tree and crescent emblem since 2010 when a museum realized its significance. The flag flew over a South Carolina island a few months before the start of the Civil War when Citadel cadets stopped a Union resupply mission. An Iowa Civil War soldier took the flag home at the end of the war. The Post and Courier of Charleston reports South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is asking Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to make the loan to The Citadel permanent. The deal is set to expire in 2021.

4-22 NEWS

MI-ENERGY COOPERATIVE’S OPERATION ROUND UP TRUST BOARD HAS AWARDED GRANTS TO THREE AREA ORGANIZATIONS. WINNESHIEK COUNTY CONSERVATION HAS RECEIVED FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS THROUGH THE PROGRAM TO HELP BUILD A SHELTER AT LAKE MEYER PARK. THE LIME SPRINGS FIRE DEPARTMENT RECEIVED A FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR TO HELP PURCHASE AN INVERTER GENERATOR. THE CRESCO-AREA CLAY CRUSHERS TRAP TEAM ALSO RECEIVED ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS TO HELP SUPPORT STARTUP EXPENSES FOR A COMMUNITY YOUTH TEAM.

THE NORTHERN LIGHTS WOMEN’S CHORUS WILL PRESENT ITS SPRING CONCERT THIS AFTERNOON. NORTHERN LIGHTS DIRECTOR JANE KOLERICH (KO-LUR-RICH) SAYS THE PRODUCTION, AS ALWAYS, WILL INCLUDE SOME SPECIAL GUESTS.

KOLERICH

THE CONCERT WILL BEGIN AT THREE P.M. AT THE DECORAH LUTHERAN CHURCH. A FREE WILL OFFERING WILL BE ACCEPTED. PROCEEDS FROM THE EVENT WILL GO TOWARDS THE KIDS LUNCH CLUB AND THE MENTORING PROGRAM AT HELPING SERVICES FOR YOUTH AND FAMILY.

A monthly survey of bankers shows that concerns over a trade war have hurt confidence in the economy in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says weak farm income continues to weigh on the rural economy, but that the survey in recent months shows the economy is trending upward. The overall Rural Mainstreet index slipped slightly to 53.5 in April from 54.7 in March. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy in the months ahead, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

THE WINNESHIEK COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WILL CONSIDER A CHANGE ORDER FOR THE COURTHOUSE ROOF PROJECT AT ITS MEETING TOMORROW. THE BOARD WILL ALSO DISCUSS ROAD AND LEGAL MATTERS AND THE BOARD WILL ALSO DISCUSS RIVER ACCESS ON 345TH STREET. THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT NINE-30 IN THE COURTHOUSE ANNEX BUILDING IN DECORAH.

Iowa received nearly $51 million Thursday from tobacco companies – the state’s annual share of a 1998 landmark legal settlement in which tobacco companies pay states for smoking-related health care costs.
The Iowa Attorney General’s Office says that in the last 20 years, Iowa has received more than $1.2 billion in payments under the settlement. The latest payment included a regular annual sum of $39.7 million as part of a master agreement and an additional payment of $11.2 million to the state. The state will continue to receive annual master agreement payments in perpetuity, based on the number of cigarettes sold in the U.S. The tobacco settlement is the largest in U.S. history.