10-1 NEWS

The Decorah and North Winneshiek joint school board will meet for the second time in five days tonight. The board is expected to hire a search firm to assist the district in the search for a new superintendent. The board interviewed three search firms last Wednesday evening. Decorah schools superintendent Mike Haluska announced in retirement, effective at the end of the current school year, in August. The meeting will begin at five-45 at city hall.

The Menards issue will be discussed again at tonight’s Decorah city council meeting. Another public hearing will be held regarding the request from Menards to rezone a piece of property on Decorah’s east side from F-1 flood plain to C-4 commercial. Decorah city manager Chad Bird says the city is taking their time with this issue since there are so many layers to it.

Bird

It is not known whether the city will call for a vote on the issue. The meeting will begin at five-45 tonight at city hall.

The reorganization of development and tourism efforts in Winneshiek county becomes official todaay. Winneshiek county development’s purchase of the Winneshiek county convention and visitors bureau was recently approved by both boards. W-C-D-I director Stephanie Fromm says there is still some work to do.

Fromm

Under the new agreement, the Decorah area chamber of commerce will provide office support for county tourism efforts.

The Decorah street department will begin picking up leaves curbside this week. City officials say leaves will be picked up in wards one and two this week. Leaves can also be dropped off anytime at the street department shop on Railroad Avenue. The city’s yard waste disposal site, located on Trout Run Road, is now open from eight a.m. until three p.m. each weekday and from eight a.m. until noon on Saturday.

The Street committee of the Decorah city council will meet tonight. The committee will discuss the Locust Road improvement project and the Oneota Drive Bridge Replacement project following tonight’s regular meeting.

A public hearing on the jail rennovation project will be held at today’s meeting of the Winneshiek county board of supervisors. The board will also open bids for the courthouse latern window project. Other items on the agenda will include emergency management, conservation and the Festina wastewater project. The meeting will begin at nine-30 at the courthouse in Decorah.

9-30 NEWS

President Donald Trump will visit Rochester, Minnesota Thursday, Oct. 4, according to the Minnesota Republican Party. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mayo Civic Center Arena. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and the rally will commence at 6:30 p.m.

A candidates forum will be held on the Luther College campus this week. Candidates for state and counties offices have been invited to the forum which will be held Thursday night from six-30 until eight-30 in Valders Hall room 206. The forum is sponsored by the American Association of University Women, Luther College Social Work Program, Luther College Political Science Department and the Luther College Center for Ethics and Public Engagement.

A forum discussing immigration issues will be held on the Luther College campus this week. Luther associate professor of political science Carly Hayden Foster and Luther students Madeline Lomprey and Elena Pinnow will explore multiple perspectives on immigration law in “Dreaming with Our Eyes Open: Staying Informed about DACA,” at 7 p.m., Oct. 2, in the Recital Hall of the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther campus. The forum is free and open to the public.

A new report concludes a majority of newly-registered voters in Iowa are under the age of 30 — and the percentage is increasing. According to NextGen Rising — a group created and financed by a California billionaire, nearly 57 percent of Iowans who’ve registered to vote in the past nine months are either Millennials or part of Generation Z. Ben Wessel (WEHS-ull, rhymes with “vessel”) is the director of NextGen Rising. He says the mass shooting at Florida’s Parkland High School on Valentine’s Day seems to have been a factor in boosting voter registration among young Americans.

Wessel

According to NextGen, its paid staff in Iowa have helped more than 11,500 young Iowans register to vote this year.

A celebration of Lake Meyer’s 50th birthday will be held this afternoon. Winneshiek county conservation says the event will be held from two until four p.m. to celebrate the park and campground’s birthday and to celebrate the grand opening for the Lake Meyer Educational Shelter. Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the new shelter, enjoy birthday cake and treats and take part in a wide variety of activities. Lake Meyer is located off highway 24 between Calmar and Fort Atkinson.

Farmers can take a few strategic steps to speed up enrollment in the M-F-P, or Market Facilitation Program. It’s billed as being for farmers who were “directly impacted by unjustified foreign retaliatory tariffs…which brought the loss of traditional export markets.” Iowa State University Extension farm management specialist Steve Johnson says farmers will need to provide one number for each crop.

Johnson

Johnson says it’s important to expedite the applications for soybeans because that first payment could be $40 to $50 per acre. The M-F-P – administered by the U-S-D-A Farm Service Agency – will provide direct payments to eligible producers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, hogs, shelled almonds, and fresh sweet cherries

9-29 NEWS

The Decorah city council will again discuss the Menards issue at its meeting Monday night. Decorah city manager Chad Bird.

Bird

The public hearing will be on Menard’s request to rezone the property on Decorah’s East side from F-1 flood plain to C-4 commercial. Since the planning and zoning commission recommended against rezoning the property, it would need six council members to approve the rezoning for it to move forward. The meeting will begin at five-45 Monday night at city hall.

The joint Decorah-North Winneshiek school board will meet again Monday night. The board is expected to hire a search firm to assist the district in its search for a new superintendent. Superintendent Mike Haluska announced his retirement, effective the end of the current school year, last month. The meeting will begin at six p.m. at the central administration office.

Winneshiek county public health has scheduled a public flu shot clinic next week. The clinic will be held Thursday from eleven a.m. until four-30 p.m. at the Danan Lansing Building on the Winneshiek county fairgrounds. The cost for the shot is 30 dollars. Medicare and other commercial insurances are accepted.

This week, the U.S. imposed 10-percent tariffs on another two-hundred billion dollars ($200 billion) worth of Chinese goods, which was met with retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of American goods. Kirk Leeds, president and CEO of the Iowa Soybean Association, says hopes for a short-term resolution to the trade war with China are fading.

Leeds

USDA Trade Undersecretary Ted McKinney told reporters this week that the dispute between the U.S. and China could go on for months. A study released Tuesday by Iowa State University estimates, because of new tariffs, Iowa’s soybean industry faces loses between $159 million and $891 million. Leeds says it’s possible the situation will get worse before it gets better.

Fort Atkinson Rendevous Days will be held this weekend. Jay Schwamman is with the Rendevous Days committee.

Schwamman

More information is available at fortatkinsoniowa.com

Live on Water Street will be held (Saturday) afternoon in Decorah. The event will be held in the 300 block of West Water Street from noon until four p.m. Live on Water Street will feature local and regional bands, kids activities, food from the Oneota Community Co-op and beer from Pulpit Rock and Toppling Goliath.

A Hawkeye man was arrested this week. The Fayette county sheriff’s department says 58 year old Gary Eugene Thomas was charged with failure to comply with the sex offender registry.

9-28 NEWS

A Wednesday traffic stop near Fort Atkinson lead to the arrest of a Calmar man. The Winneshiek county sheriff’s department says 20 year old William Campbell was charged with driving while revoked and possession of marijuana.

Demand for liquid propane worldwide is at an all-time high. That’s important for Iowans who use it to either heat their homes or dry their crops for storage. The director of sales for the Minnesota-based C-H-S Propane, Dennis St. Aubin (awe-bun) says the recent rounds of tariffs have created some new overseas partners for the product.

St.Aubin

St Aubin says many distributors increased their storage capacity in an effort to offset demand for domestic customers — and he says many farmers also now have on-site propane tanks. It’s estimated 67 percent of Iowans use natural gas to heat their homes, 15 percent use electricity and 14 percent use liquid propane.

Winneshiek county and city of Decorah officials are beginning discussions on the future of Ice Cave Road. The road was closed a year ago after it was discovered the base of the road was moving. Decorah city manager Chad Bird says there’s a lot that needs to happen to re-open the road to traffic.

Bird

Bird says the council has discussed potentially closing the road permananetly or not allowing truck traffic on the roadway but they are nowhere close to coming to a solution on the issue.

A group presented a proposed ATV/UTV ordinance to the Winneshiek county board of supervisors in July. Supervisors chair John Logsdon says the board is making progress on the issue.

Logsdon

Logsdon emphasizes there will not be a first reading of the ordinance Monday, just an opportunity for the supervisors to review and discuss potential changes.

The personnel committee of the Decorah city council will meet (Friday) morning. They will discuss the city engineer’s position and code enforcement. The meeting will begin at seven a.m. in the city clerk’s conference room.

9-27 NEWS

A Rochester man has entered a not guilty plea after an incident in Calmar earlier this month. 19 year old Fahad Abukar is charged with OWI-1st offense, 2nd degree burglary, reckless use of a firearm, and carrying weapons after an incident on September sixth. No trial date is set for Abukar. The 17-year-old from Rochester is being prosecuted as a juvenile offender.

Iowa budget officials say the state budget will end its fiscal year for 2018 with a general fund surplus of about $127 million. That’s nearly $96 million more than state officials had estimated in March. The state’s 2018 budget year ended June 30. Iowa Department of Management Director Dave Roederer says Tuesday the boost came primarily from higher corporate income tax receipts, which he says was likely due to federal tax reform that created more business activity than the revenue estimators anticipated in March. Personal income tax and sales tax receipts also were slightly higher than earlier anticipated. The three-member Revenue Estimating Conference board met in March and estimated an ending balance of about $31 million.

The city of Decorah’s yard waste disposal site is now open six days a week. City officials say the site located on Trout Run Road will be open weekdays from eight a.m. until three p.m. and Saturdays from eight a.m. until noon. City officials say leaves can be dropped off anytime at the street department shop on Railroad Avenue. The street department will also be picking up leaves on curbsides by wards beginning October first.

Winneshiek Medical Center is now offering the flu vaccine. Medical Center officals regular and high-dose vaccines are available appointment or walking in at the Decorah, Ossian or Mabel Clinics. The cost of the shot is 27 dollars. Persons can have their insurance billed or use Medicare Advantage plans.

The joint Decorah-North Winneshiek school board will interview three search firms at a meeting tonight. The board is expected to choose one of the three firms to assist the district in the search for a new superintendent. Superintendent Mike Haluska announced his retirement, effective at the end of year, last month. Tonight’s meeting will begin at six p.m. at the central administration office. The board has scheduled another meeting for next Monday night to select a firm.

9-26 NEWS

The Allamakee school board will hold a work session (Wednesday) morning. The board will meet with Travis Squires of Piper Jaffray to discuss funding options for various capitol improvement projects needed throughout the district. The work session will begin at seven a.m. in the middle school board room.

The search for a new superintendent in the Decorah school district will be the subject of a meeting of the Decorah-North Winneshiek joint school board (Wednesday) night. The board will hear presentations from three search firms beginning at six p.m. at the Central Administration Office. Superintendent Mike Haluska announced last month he will retire at the end of the current school year. Another a meeting has been scheduled for next Monday night to decide on hiring a firm.

The Libertarian candidate for Iowa secretary of Agriculture made a stop in Decorah Tuesday morning. Postville native Rick Stewart says there are three challenges for Iowa farmers, beginning with farm subsidies.

Stewart

Stewart also wants to end the renewable fuel standard and tariffs, perfering market solutions. Republican Mike Naig, the incumbent, and Democrat Tim Gannon are also seeking the secretary of agriculture position this fall.

The ping-pong nature of the weather so far this year could impact the type of quality of the fall leaf colors. Iowa D-N-R state forester Jeff Goerndt (Gore-nt) says things were trending toward an early pop of color.

Goerndt

But Goerndt admits there’s no easy way to tell exactly when the leaves will change.

New studies find farming remains one of the world’s most dangerous professions. Iowa State University Extension agricultural engineer,Chuck Schwab, is reminding Iowans in the industry to slow down and take breaks.

Schwab

Schwab says that surpasses mining, construction, manufacturing and transportation. He says one reason for agriculture being so high with injuries and deaths is because it involves so many people from a wide age demographic.

9-25 NEWS

The Decorah city council will hold a work session tonight. The expected topics of discussion include a city employee succession plan and housing. The work session begins at five-45 at city hall.

Tourism and Development efforts in Winneshiek county will be under one umbrella officially as of next week. Winneshiek county development director Stephanie Fromm.

Fromm

Fromm gave the news to the Winneshiek county board of supervisors Monday morning. Fromm says the new organization will likely pursue an administrative support agreement with the Decorah area chamber of commerce to assist with tourism related to duties.

What to do about Ice Cave Road was discussed Monday morning by the Winneshiek county supervisors with three city of Decorah representatives. The road, which is partially in the city and partially in the county, has been closed for over a year. Decorah Mayor Lorraine Borowski says the county report told city officials a lot about the current condition of the road.

Borowski

Borowski says they’re nowhere near any final decisions on how to proceed

Borowski 2

Borowski says she was encouraged by the willingness of both the city and county to pursue a joint solution to Ice Cave Road.

A Waterloo man was injured in a Saturday afternoon motorcycle vs SUV accident Saturday afternoon. The Winneshiek county sheriff’s department says shortly before one p.m, a motorcycle driven by 67 year old Daniel Redding was unable to avoid a vehcile driven by 70 year old Dennis Osmundson of Calmar, who was waiting to make a left turn from highway 52. Redding’s motorcycle ended up in the ditch. Redding was transported by helicopter and his passenger was taken to Winneshiek Medical Center by ambulance. No citations were issued.

Two people were arrested for the violation of a no-contact order Friday night. The Winneshiek county sheriff’s department says 63 year old Steven Schultz of Castalia and 43 year old Teresa Forbes of Postville were both booked into the county jail on the same charge.

9-24 NEWS

Ice Cave Road will be a topic of discussion at today’s meeting of the Winneshiek county board of supervisors. The road which is partially in the county and partially in the Decorah city limits has been closed for over a year after officials determined the roadbed was moving. Decorah mayor Lorraine Borowski, Decorah city manager Chad Bird and Decorah city council streets committee chair Ross Hadley will discuss the issue with the supervisors. The board will also receive an update from Winneshiek county development regarding the potential acquisition of the Winneshiek county convention and visitors bureau. The meeting will begin at nine-30 at the courthouse annex building in Decorah.

The Decorah city council will meet in a work session this evening. The topics of discussion include police chief sucession planning and housing. The work session begins at five-45 at city hall.

Iowa’s unemployment rate continued trending down into historic lows in August. Iowa Workforce Development spokesman Cory Kelly says the rate dropped from two-point-six percent in July to two-point-five percent in August.

Kelly

Kelly says it has been nearly two decades since the unemployment rate was this low.

An Elma man has been sentenced to ten months in prison for defrauding the USDA. The associated press reports 36 year old David Pitz was charged with using more than 117-thousand dollars in farm profits for personal expenses instead of paying off his U.S. Department of Agriculture-backed loan. Pitz pleaded guilty in April to one count of conversion of property pleaded to a farm credit agency.

Two Calmar women have been arrested after two seperate investigations in Fayette county last week. The Fayette county sheriff’s department says they investigated a report into a 77 year old man and five dogs at a residence in Waucoma without heat, electricity or running water. Authorities say they arrested 40 year old Tammy Kay Mincks and charged her with dependent adult abuse. Also connected to the investigation, the Fayette county sheriff’s department arrested 67 year old Rosetta Guess and charged her with animal neglect and abandonment of cats or dogs. A seperate investigation into a report of multiple dogs in a residence in St. Lucas on Thursday led to Mincks also being charged with animal neglect and abandonment of dogs or cats. Authorities say the case remains under investigation and further charges are pending.

9-23 NEWS

The Upstart Crow Threatreworks will present a Cemetery Walk today. The event will be held in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah. Tours will leave every 15 minutes beginning at two p.m. The cost is ten dollars per adult and five dollars per student. The tour last approximately 50 minutes and audience members will encounter a wide variety of characters from Decorah’s past in a series of seven scenes portrayed by actors from the Decorah community.

A candidates forum featuring Iowa House, Winneshiek county supervisors and county recorder has been scheduled. The forum will be held October fourth from six-30 until eight-30 at the Valders Hall Room 206 on the Luther College campus. The forum is sponsored the American Association of University Women, Luther College Social Work program, Luther College political science department and the college’s center for ethics and public engagement.

The Decorah Rotary Club’s Loop-De-Loop Event will be held next Saturday. Carson Egeland (egg-land) is with the Decorah Rotary Club.

Egeland

The race begins at Decorah city hall.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says negotiations on the next Farm Bill have “taken a turn” in the wrong direction. Ernst is the only Iowan on the committee of House and Senate members assigned to come up with a new five-year Farm Bill by the end of the month.

Ernst

The main sticking point is whether to enforce new work requirements for Americans who receive government nutrition assistance — commonly referred to as “food stamps.” The proposal was included in the version of the Farm Bill that cleared the U.S. House, but not the one that passed the Senate. Ernst says conference committee members have worked through other points of friction. If the debate over work requirements for nutrition assistance continues into 2019, it could occur in a reorganized committee with new members and, perhaps, under Democratic rather than Republican control.

A Luther college junior has been recognized by Interfaith Youth Core. Ashalul Aden was named as a 2018 Rising Star for her work as an interfaith leader for the Luther Community. The award comes with a cash prize and recognition at the Interfaith Leadership Institute. Aden is a junior from Rochester, Minnesota. She is a political science and religion major.

A Decorah Middle School teacher has been selected as one of 114 teachers selected for a National History Day program titled the Legacies of World War one. Through the program, Knaack will participate in webinars and discussions while learning about World War one with teachers from around the world. Knaack will receive free tuition, graduate credits and materials for the online program.

9-22 NEWS

The Decorah-North Winneshiek interim school board will meet next week to discuss hiring a search firm to assist the district in hiring a new superintendent. Decorah schools superintendent Mike Haluska announced his retirement last month effective at the end of the school year. Haluska was asked why a search firm is necessary in the process.

Haluska

The meeting will be held next Wednesday night at six at the central administration office.

The Winneshiek county recorder’s office will hold its annual passport day (Saturday). County recorder Thresea Bockman says the day is held for people who want to purchase passport that cannot get to the recorders office during the week. The office, located within the Winneshiek county courthouse, will be open from nine-30 until twelve-30. Bockman says persons need to bring their certified birth certificate or expired passport, two separate checks and their driver’s license.

The Turkey River Music Festival will be held this weekend. Eight musical acts will perform at Riverside Park and the Inwood Ballroom in Spillville on Saturday. The event will also include a beer and drink tent, food truck on site and a co-ed kickball tournament. All proceeds will be donated to the Riverside Park, the Inwood and keeping the Music Fest.

Local singers will gather (Saturday) afternoon at the Good Shephard Lutheran Church for the Concert across America to end gun violence. The local event will begin at three p.m. Organizers says artists and activists will mobilize with music to tell our elected officials that gun violence will not be solved with more guns. A free-will offering will be split between Iowans for Gun Safety and the Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Center.

The city of Decorah will be offering free compost and wood chips today. The giveaway will be held at the city’s yard waste disposal site on Trout Run Road. City crews will assist residents with loading compost and wood from eight a.m. until noon.

The City of Ossian and the Ossian Crown Club’s Annual Fall Garage Sales will be held this weekend. Maps of the garage sale locations are available at Casey’s General Store in Ossian.

The future of sports betting in the state could look a lot like what’s been put in place in Delaware. The Iowa Lottery has been following the issue at the request of state lawmakers after a U-S Supreme Court ruling in May made sports betting legal across the county. Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer says Delaware approved sports betting shortly after the court ruling.

Neubauer

Neubauer updated the Iowa Lottery Board at their meeting Thursday. She says they will continue reviewing the sports gambling landscape and keep lawmakers updated, so they have the latest information if they decide to move ahead with the issue.