11-1 NEWS

A Winneshiek county sheriff’s deputy sustained minor injuries when he struck by a vehicle Tuesday afternoon. Authorities say an accident between a semi and a tractor occurred shortly before three p.m. on the Pole Line Road. The Winneshiek county sheriff’s department says they closed the road way to clean up the corn that was spilled during the accident. Authorities say 34 year old Adam Strand of Cresco, drove his vehicle around the closure striking a the deputy who attempted to him. Strand proceeded to the accident scene where he collided with an emergency management vehicle. The sheriff’s department says Strand was found to be intoxicated. Authorities say Strand was taken to Regional Health systems in Cresco and then transferred to Mayo in Rochester. The Strand accident remains under investigation and multiple charges are pending.

Authorities have released the name of a man killed in an accident on a farm near Dorchester Tuesday night. The Allamakee county sheriff’s department says 64 year old Gerald Myhre of Caledonia was run over when a combine backed up to unload corn into a wagon. Authorities say Myhre was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident occurred around nine-30 Tuesday night.

A Cresco man has been served with two Howard county probation violation warrants while incarcerated in the Winneshiek county jail. The Winneshiek county sheriff’s department says the warrants were served on 44 year old Troy Sobolik Tuesday afternoon.

The Decorah Education Association has voted to re certify its union. The vote passed on a 125-4 vote. Two teachers that did not vote were counted as no votes, per state code. The re-certification vote is now required after changes to Iowa’s collective bargaining laws passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor last year. D-E-A chief negotiator Steve Peterson said the vote is a strong statement that they want to keep negotiating a contract with the school board.

Sign up for health insurance on the individual market for 2019 will begin (Thursday). Brian Huinker is with Midwest Group Benefits in Decorah. He says there’s some good news.

Huinker 1

Huinker encourages persons to apply by using an insurance agent.

Huinker 2

Huinker says there’s a 45 day window to sign up.

Farmers made a lot of progress in the harvest with a rare dry week to work in. Radio Iowa’s Dar Danielson reports.

Danielson voicer

A jury says a northeast Iowa school district must pay $1.2 million in damages to the family of a motorcyclist killed in a fatal collision with a school bus. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports that the Clayton County jury on Monday found the Clayton Ridge School District at fault in the accident. Authorities say 50-year-old Ronald Kephart died after his motorcycle ran into the side of the bus as it turned left on Sept. 1, 2016, near Guttenberg. The driver was cited for failure to yield. None of the students on the bus was injured. Kephart’s wife told the newspaper the verdict disappointed her, calling it “a slap in the face.” Amy Kephart says she realizes “no amount of money is going to be able to bring him back, but he did a lot for the family emotionally, financially, everything.”

Winneshiek county sheriff Dan Marx is encouraging everyone to be safe tonight for Halloween.

Marx

Marx says sheriff’s deputies will be out in all communities in the county giving out candy. The Decorah area chamber of commerce and the Decorah police department says the suggested trick or treating hours in Decorah will be five until eight p.m. tonight.

10-31 NEWS

A Minnesota man was killed in a farm accident in northern Allamakee county Tuesday night. The Allamakee county sheriff’s department says around nine-30 p.m., a man was run over when a combine backed up to unload corn into a wagon. The accident happened on a farm northwest of Dorchester. The individual was pronounced dead at the scene. The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of family members. The incident remains under investigation.

Decorah school district residents have until (Wednesday) to give their two cents on what they would like to see in a new superintendent. A survey is available on the school district website asking residents the qualities they would like to see in their next superintendent. Mike Haluska will retire at the end of the current school year. The survey is anonymous.

Winneshiek county sheriff’s deputies will be out (Wednesday) night for Halloween.

Marx

That’s Winneshiek county sheriff Dan Marx. Marx says trick-or-treaters should travel in well-lit areas and parents should check their children’s candy. Marx also encourages motorists to be careful knowing excited children may not always look both ways before crossing the roadway.

A Waukon woman was arrested Monday on the violation of a no-contact order. The Winneshiek county sheriff’s department says 32 year old Amanda Wright alledgedly contacted a protected person via text message while incarcerated in the Winneshiek county jail.

The city of Calmar is one of 58 communities to receive a low-interest loan through the State Revolving Fund to assist in advancing water quality projects. Calmar will receive a two million-977 thousand dollar loan for sewer treatment improvements. The loan program is administered through the Iowa Finance Authority and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

At its most recent meeting, the Decorah city council passed a measure to move forward with hiring a full-time city engineer. Could the city and Winneshiek county possibly share an engineer? The question was asked of city manager Chad Bird.

Bird

Bird says under the proposed structure the new city engineer would also serve as the head of the street department.

Two West Union residents were arrested Monday after authorities executed a search warrant on Vine Street in West Union Monday. The Fayette county sheriff’s department says 25 year old Ryan James Smith and 30 year old Erika Nichole Pipkin were both charged with child endangerment due to exposure of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Authorities say the department of human services removed the child from the home and has opened their own investigation. The sheriff’s department says the investigation is on-going and more charges and arrests are possible.

The Decorah police department and the Decorah area chamber of commerce says the suggested trick-or-treating hours in the city of Decorah (Wednesday) is five until eight p.m.

10-30 NEWS

Menards will not be coming to Decorah. City officials announced Monday afternoon Menards real estate representative Tyler Edwards informed Decorah mayor Lorraine Borowski the company was moving on from the Decorah proposal. The press release stated the length of time and costs associated with the zoning review were part of the reason Edwards gave to forgo keeping the application open. Edwards told Borowski Menards is in growth mode and he and his team are turning their focus to other projects in other communities. The Decorah planning and zoning commission denied a request from Menards to rezone a property on Decorah’s east side adjacent to Wal-Mart at its August meeting. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources had approved a permit for Menards to fill in the flood plain. The army corps of engineers told city officials they had no objections to the plans and the Iowa Flood Center told city officials the proposed development would have minimal impact on a section of the Upper Iowa River approximately 2700 to five thousand feet upstream and less than three hundred feet downstream. City officials announced at the October first council meeting that Menards was considered another application that would have less of an impact on the flood plain. But city officials were notified last week Menards is no longer considering Decorah as a store location.

Two people were seriously injured in a Friday night accident in Waucoma. The Fayette county sheriff’s department says shortly before eight p.m. a vehicle driven by 49 year old Mark Kuennen of Waucoma lost control of his truck on white tail road, entered the ditch and rolled several times. Kuennen and a passenger, 40 year old Jamie Wenthe of Postville, were air-lifted from the scene. The accident remains under investigation and charges are pending.

The North Winneshiek school board will meet in a special session this afternoon. The board will discuss a school budget review committee request at four-30 in the North Winneshiek school library.

City of Decorah officials will be finalizing their application for the Iowa Great Places program this week. The city was recently re-entered into the program which recognizes communities with a strong vision for innovation, and enhancing vitality and quality of life, while staying true to what makes their community unique. The city’s application will consist of three parts. The Decorah Parks and Recreation department is proposing a variety of stone work in city parks. Winneshiek county conservation is proposing some bridge improvements on trails and the city and county are proposing some improvements to the Upper Iowa River bank near the intersection of Highway 52 and the Old Stage Road. Decorah Parks and Recreation director Andy Nimrod says one of those three projects will be funded through a matching fund grant. The application is due Thursday.

Two people were injured in a motorcycle accident near Alta Vista Sunday evening. The Iowa State Patrol says shortly after seven p.m, a motorcycle driven by 64 year old Jerry Dahly of Riceville struck a deer. Authorities say Dahly and a passenger, 63 year old Sharon Rowe of Riceville, were both thrown from the bike. Dahly was transported by helicopter. Rowe was trasnported by Chickasaw County Ambulance.

A new winter road maintenance ordinance was approved by the Winneshiek county board of supervisors at its meeting Monday morning. The main change in the ordinance was the expansion of what organizations can ask for emergency help. The new ordinance now allows Winneshiek county emergency management, in addition to area police and fire departments to ask for road maintenance. Supervisor Dean Thompson says a written protocol will be established within 30 days on how to handle those situations. The board unanimously passed the ordinance and waived the second and third readings.

A Waukon woman was taken into custody Sunday on a warrant for failure to serve jail time. The Winneshiek county sheriff’s department says 32 year old Amanda Wright was transported from the Allamakee to the Winneshiek county jail.

A Madison, Wisconsin man was arrested over the weekend. The Winneshiek county sheriff’s department says 62 year old Edward Pohlman was charged with possession of marijuana on Ridge Road in Decorah Saturday night.

A Castalia man has been arrested and charged with third offense operating while intoxicated Sunday afternoon. The Winneshiek county sheriff’s department says 44 year old Troy Storla was arrested and booked into the county jail Sunday afternoon.

Gas prices in Iowa have fallen 6.2 cents per gallon in the past week, to an average of $2.72 a gallon. According to GasBuddy, the national average has fallen 2.9 cents a gallon to an average of $2.81 a gallon. Prices Sunday were 27.8 cents a gallon higher than one year ago, and are 15.6 cents a gallon lower than one month ago.

10-29 NEWS

A proposed anti-idling ordinance in the city of Decorah is on hold……..for now. Decorah city manager Chad Bird.

Bird

The Decorah city council passed an anti-idling ordinance in Feburary of 2017 but then mayor Don Arendt veteoed the measure.

The Decorah street department will be picking up leaving curbside in ward three this week. The curbside pickup in that part of town will continue through Friday of this week. City officials say leaves can be dropped off anytime at the street department shop on Railroad Avenue. The city’s yard waste disposal site located on Trout Road Run is also open from eight a.m. until three p.m. Monday through Friday and eight a.m. until noon on Saturday.

The trial for an Alta Vista man accused for first degree murder and child endangerment in the death of his son is scheduled to begin today. Zachary Koehn (Kane) and Cheyanne Harris were charged after their four-month old son was found dead in a swing in an Alta Vista apartment in August of 2017. Koehn’s trial was moved to Henry County due to pre-trial publicity. Harris is being tried seperately.

A public hearing on winter road maintenance will be held at today’s meeting of the Winneshiek county supervisors. The board will also consider taking action on the matter. The board will also hear a presentation regarding new flood risk data from County GIS coordinator Jon Lubke and Emergency management coordinator Sean Snyder. The board will also receive program updates from Upper Explorerland Regional Planning commission and will discuss the Upper Iowa Flood Reduction Project. The meeting will begin at nine-30 at the courthouse in Decorah.

Tim Gannon, the Democratic candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, made a stop in Decorah Friday morning. Gannon says Iowa and agriculture leaders need to challenge the Trump administration’s approach to trade.

Gannon

Gannon is facing off with Republican incumbent Mike Naig. Naig was appoint state secretart of agriculture after Bill Northey stepped down to take a position with the USDA.

10-28 NEWS

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is scheduled to make a campaign stop in Decorah next week. Reynolds will be at the Family Table Restaurant in Decorah next Friday morning beginning at eight-30 a.m.

The Decorah street department will be picking up leaving curbside in ward three this week. The curbside pickup in that part of town will continue through Friday of this week. City officials say leaves can be dropped off anytime at the street department shop on Railroad Avenue. The city’s yard waste disposal site located on Trout Road Run is also open from eight a.m. until three p.m. Monday through Friday and eight a.m. until noon on Saturday.

An initial workshop for the Winneshiek Idea House will be held this week. The event will be held at Lingonberry from five until six-30 p.m. Tuesday night. The Winneshiek Idea House is a crowdfunding experiment raising money for local entrepreneurs and facilitating their connection to a supportive community. More information about the event is available by contacting Winneshiek County Development.

The Decorah area chamber of commerce, in conjunction with the Decorah Police Department, has announced the suggested trick-or-treating hours for Halloween on Wednesday night. Chamber representatives have set the hours as five until eight p.m. Police encourage trick-or-treaters to only visit homes with porch lights on.

Iowa already faces a shortage of primary care doctors and registered nurses. Now, a University of Iowa study finds there’s also a looming shortage of physician assistants, or P-As. Tom Gruca (GROO-kah), a U-I professor of marketing at the Tippie College of Business, says a recent survey found more than 870 P-As on duty in Iowa, but of those, 485 are at least 50 years old.

Gruca

There are four schools in Iowa training P-As, at: the U-I, Des Moines University, the University of Dubuque and St. Ambrose University in Davenport. The study found Iowa’s P-A population is rising three to four-percent each year, but Gruca says those numbers will start to shift downward as more P-As near retirement age.

10-27 NEWS

The trial for an Alta Vista man accused for first degree murder and child endangerment in the death of his son is scheduled to begin next week. Zachary Koehn (Kane) and Cheyanne Harris were charged after their four-month old son was found dead in a swing in an Alta Vista apartment in August of 2017. Koehn’s trial was moved to Henry County due to pre-trial publicity. Harris is being tried seperately.

The D-N-R wildlife biologist who tracks pheasant numbers says the late harvest is likely to hurt the success of some hunters as the season gets underway Saturday. Todd Bogenschutz says standing crops give the birds places to hide.

Bogenschutz

The pheasant season opens Saturday and runs through January 10th. Shooting hours are 8 a-m. to 4:30 p-m. The daily bag limit is three rooster pheasants with a possession limit of 12. Hunters must have a valid hunting license and habitat fee.

The Winneshiek county auditor’s office has discovered that a batch of return ballot envelopes were defective. County auditor Ben Stienes says the envelopes were already sealed shut when the voters received them in the mail. Stienes says if anyone needs a new envelope they should contact the auditor’s office.

(Saturday) is Don’t be the Dealer Day. Persons are invited to drop off their unused prescription drugs to keep them out of the hands of those who could potentially misuse or abuse them, especially youth. Decorah police officer Scott Jennings says there are five locations that will accept unused prescription drugs in Winneshiek county

Jennings

The event will run from ten a.m until two p.m.

The Winneshiek county auditor’s office will be open (Saturday) for those wanting to file absentee ballots for the upcoming general election. County auditor Ben Stienes (Sty-ness) says the office will be open from eight a.m. until five p.m.

The Decorah music boosters will host the organization’s craft and bake sale this week. Event organizers say over 100 vendors will be at the show at Decorah high school. The hours of the show are (Saturday) from nine a.m until four p.m. and Sunday from ten a.m until three p.m. A raffle will also be held to win a new flat screen TV.

10-26 NEWS

The Winneshiek county jail is as full as its ever been.
Marx
Winneshiek county sheriff Dan Marx says part of the reason is they’re currently housing Howard county inmates while Howard county constructs a new jail.

At the last Decorah city council meeting, the council rejected a tax abatement request from Echo Development and Randy Olson for a proposed apartment complex near the Decorah business park. Decorah city manager Chad Bird says he believes the issue has been remedied.
Bird
Bird expects the issue to be discussed again at the November fifth city council meeting

The Democratic candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture will be in Decorah (Friday) morning. Tim Gannon will be at Java John’s from eight-30 until nine-30 a.m.

A Fort Atkinson man was arrested Wednesday. The Winneshiek county sheriff’s department says 37 year old Joseph Hageman was taken into custody on a probation violation warrant.

A Decorah man has been arrested on warrant for violation probation twice. The Winneshiek county sheriff’s department says 36 year old Storm Bailey the second was taken into custody Wednesday morning.

The Northeast Iowa Future Ready Iowa Summit will be held (Friday) in Elkader. The event will be held at the Keystone Area Education Association offices from nine a.m. until three p.m. Future Ready Iowa is initiative that has the goal of 70 percent of the state’s workforce to have education or training beyond high school by 2025. Future Ready Iowa regional summits have the goal of bringing together key stakeholders in education, business, economic development and community to create local strategies that ensure all Iowans are future ready.

10-25 NEWS

The Winneshiek county auditor’s office held an absentee voting station at Luther College on Wednesday. County auditor Ben Stienes says 258 ballots were cast, with 232 coming from addresses on the Luther college campus. Absentee voting for the upcoming general election is available until November fifth. The auditor’s office will be open the next two Saturdays for absentee voting.

Iowa farmers got a lot of harvest work done last week, following three weeks of little activity due to nearly non-stop rain and muddy fields. The USDA crop report released Monday shows 29-percent of Iowa’s corn is out of the ground and 37-percent of the state’s soybeans are harvested. The corn harvest figure increased from 17-percent a week ago, while the soybean harvest jumped from 19-percent. Iowa State University Extension plant pathologist Daren Mueller (MYOO-lur) says the wet weather in September and early October has resulted in reports of poor seed quality in soybeans.

Mueller

The new USDA report rates 65-percent of Iowa’s soybeans in good-to-excellent condition and 35-percent between very poor and fair condition. Mueller says some farmers are reporting pod shatter in soybeans. Sixty-eight-percent of Iowa’s corn is rated in good-to-excellent condition. The USDA report notes the state’s corn harvest is three days ahead of last year, but four days behind the five-year average. Iowa’s soybean harvest is 12 days behind average and it’s also the smallest percentage of the crop harvested by October 21st since 1985.

The South Winneshiek school board will hold a work session this evening. The board will meet with Gary Sinclair to discuss a financial review and forecasting. The work session will begin at five-30 in the board room of the high school in Calmar.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will hold a meeting to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease tonight in Decorah. The meeting will be held from six-30 until eight p.m. in Valders Hall of Science room 206 on the Luther College campus. The public is invited to attend.

A former Cresco Subway employee is facing charges for stealing the contents of a cash register after using a key card he never returned to enter the store. Auhorities say 31 year old Jess Wirkler is facing a third-degree burglary charge in connection to the incident in late September. Wirkler is accused of stealing $350 and told authorities that it was likely his girlfriend who committed the burglary, according to court documents. Authorities say Wirkler is seen on video opening and emptying the cash register before exiting through the back door.

The Decorah Parks and Recreation board will meet tonight. The board will look to approve the final budget for the Iowa Great Places Application and will receive an update on current projects on the rock wall at Phelps Park and the walkway at Dunning’s spring. The meeting will begin at seven p.m. at city hall.

10-24 NEWS

Will the Winneshiek Medical Center board of trustees raise the property tax levy asking? That’s a possibility according to Medical Center officials. Winneshiek Medial Center chief administrative officer Lisa Radtke, Chief financial officer Lynn Luloff and director of operations Dave Rooney discussed the financial situation of the Medical Center with the Winneshiek county board of supervisors Monday. Medical Center officials reported a three million dollar loss in the last year. Luloff stated there is a variety of reasons for the loss, from technology upgrades, to decreased government reimbursements to an increase in charity care. Luloff says the current Winneshiek Medical Center levy is 44 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value. She says the medical center board of trustees will discuss the levy in their budget discussions early next year. The last time the medical center levy was increased was 1992.

The Winneshiek County supervisors have set a public hearing for a potential UTV ordinance. The board will accept public comments on the issue on November 12th. Board chair John Logsdon says the county will not be proposing an ATV ordinance. Logsdon says the reason they’re moving forward on an UTV ordinance is because UTVs are used more for agriculture. Logsdon says ATV usage is already regulated by state code.

The public safety committee of the Decorah city council will discuss a variety of issues at its meeting tonight. The committee will discuss fire department staffing and the volunteer department, deer depredation and a review of the anti-idling ordinance. The committee will also meet with the 28-E rural fire trustees to discuss matters of mutual concern. The meeting will begin at six p.m. at city hall.

Scores in Iowa are slipping on an exam used to measure the readiness of students for college. Radio Iowa’s Pat Curtis reports.
Curtis voicer

A Howard County man is facing charges for a collision that injured one person. Criminal complaints were filed on October 11 accusing Lonnie Joe Dishinger, 51 of Cresco, of serious injury by vehicle and operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock. Authorities say Dishinger was riding his motorcycle on August 12 when he crossed the line of a road colliding with vehicle and causing serious injuries to the driver of the vehicle. Law enforcement says Dishinger’s blood alcohol content was over the legal limit at the time of the collision. Court documents state Dishinger is required to have an ignition interlock on any vehicle he drives due to a past OWI conviction and there was none on the motorcycle.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will host a meeting in Decorah concerning Chronic Wasting Disease. Terry Hainfield is a wildlife bioloigst with the DNR.
Hainfield
Tonight’s meeting will be held from six-30 until eight in Valders Hall of Science room 206 on the Luther College campus.

10-23 NEWS

The Decorah city council will hear a presentation on economic development tools in a work session this evening. John Danos from the Dorsey Whitney Law Firm will attend tonight’s work session. A presentation will be held on community vision. The council will also discuss the Echo Development project. The work session will begin at five-15 at city hall.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will host a series of meetings this week in the area to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease. Terry Hainfield is a wildlife biologist with the DNR.

Hainfield

Two meetings will be held (Tuesday) in Cresco. The first will be from two p.m. until three-30 p.m. The second will be held from six-30 until eight p.m. Both meetings will be held at the Expo Center on the Howard County fairgrounds. A meeting will be held in Decorah Wednesday night from six-30 until eight at the Luther College Valders Hall of Science room 206.

19 Decorah high school students earned all-state music recognition at this weekend’s all-state auditions held at Independence High school. The students include Jackson Berlage, Ally Bouska, Finn Deen-Lester, Cameron DeLong, Issac Fish, Lillian Grouws, Christian Johnson, Leila Johnson, Nolan Jostand, Sydney Landstrom, Ruby Langholz, Annette Leschensky, Noah Lovelace, Sarah Pedlar, Emma Rooney, Lily Smith, Solomon Thompson, Peter Wilson and Sam Wilson. Those student musicians will attend the All-State music festival next month in Ames.

The Northeast Iowa Community College board of trustees will hold a special meeting via conference call (Tuesday) morning. The board will file the abstract of votes from the September 11th special election and will discuss and possibly take action on project planning. The meeting will begin at ten a.m. The meeting will be accessible through the Calmar and Peosta board rooms.

One of the biggest challenges facing area businesses right now is finding employees. The issue will be discussed in a workshop Tuesday morning. Decorah area chamber of commerce executive director Kristina Wiltgen.

Wiltgen

The free event will begin at eight a.m. at T-Bocks underground. Wiltgen says experts from IowaWORKS, Manpower, CHOICE Employment, RSVP, NICC and others.

A Postville man was arrested early Saturday morning on a Winneshiek county warrant. The Winneshiek county sheriff’s department says 34 year old Peter Torres was arrested by the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department. The original charges were no valid driver’s license and third or subsequent offense possession of methamphetamine.