A Polk County Judge heard arguments today (Thursday) on the still contested Iowa House race in Winneshiek County. Democrat Kayla Koether (KAY-ter) of Decorah trails the Republican incumbent by 9 votes. Her attorney Shayla McCormally, is asking the judge to force a count of 29 ballots that the U-S Postal Service determined were mailed on time based on the bar codes on their envelopes.
But Assistant Iowa Attorney General Steve Gannon has asked the judge to dismiss the case. He the district court doesn’t have jurisdiction to decide the issue now that the results have been certified.
Judge Scott Beattie (Bee-tee) says he hopes to issue a ruling shortly. Koether was in the courtroom and talked with reporters following the hour-long court proceedings.
She says this could be a bigger issue down the road.
Koether wouldn’t say if she would proceed with a challenge in the Iowa House if the judge rules against them.
Koether ran against Republican Representative Michael Bergen of Dorchester and he will take his seat in the legislature if there is no challenge. Koether has 20 days before the opening of the 2019 Iowa Legislature to request the recount of the votes by the Iowa House. That means she would have to file by Christmas Day.
Decorah has received a 155-thousand dollar grant from the Iowa Great Places program. The project will be earmarked towards upgrading stone structures in Decorah parks. Parks and Recreation Director Andy Nimrod says the list of includes the rehabilitation of steps, pillars, and landings at Ice Cave State Preserve; the creation of new wayfinding and place-defining stone elements at Dunning’s Spring; the rehabilitation of walls, overlooks, pillars, steps, landings and a fountain at Phelps Park; and the rehabilitation of steps, walls, pillars and enhanced wayfinding elements at Pulpit Rock.The Iowa Great Places program recognizes and partners with Iowans who cultivate the unique and authentic qualities of their local places, such as neighborhoods, districts or regions, to make them great places to live and work.
Decorah Police chief Bill Nixon will retire next year. Decorah city manager Chad Bird said on Thursday morning’s Our Town Program on AM 1240-KDEC that Nixon has formally sent a letter to mayor Lorraine Borowski saying he intends to retire next year. Nixon has been Decorah’s police chief since 2010, when he took over for Tom Courtney.
The Decorah school board says they’re considering a location in the Decorah business park for a new bus garage. The Decorah-North Winneshiek school board revealed the location at its meeting Wednesday night. The board is seeking feedback from the public on the location. The district currently leases a property owned by Bruening Rock Products for its bus garage at a cost of four thousand dollars per month.
The Northeast Iowa Community College board of trustees has hired an architectural firm to assist the college with planned improvements. College officials say Straka Johnson Architects of Dubuque was hired by the board at its meeting this week. The firm will lead the design, construction and renovations for projects funded by the passage of a 39 million bond levy in September. NICC associate vice president of operations Rhonda Siebert says the main project ear-marked for renovation on the Calmar campus is the Max Clark Hall building.
The Holidays can be a stressful time. Brittany McIntyre from Helping Services for Youth and Family says its important to take some time to look out for number one this time of year.
McIntyre says its nearly impossible to avoid stress during the holidays, so its best to find ways to manage it.