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Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Top Stories
BALLOT FEATURES HANDFUL OF NON-PARTISAN ELECTIONS FOR VOTERS TO MULL OVER; ALSO SEVERAL JUDGES
The Nov. 4 mid-term election are finally upon us.
In Iowa, several federal races have been consuming the radio and television airwaves, causing some folk to mute their TV when the ads – now mostly attack ads, and negative ads – interrupt the regularly scheduled programming.
Back-to-back-to-back-toback ads have not been uncommon. Note all the ads placed by U.S. House and Senate Democrats and Republicans.
But the Third District race – between former State Senator Staci Appel and former Charles Grassley staffer David Young – is not the only high profile race here in southwest Iowa. So is the U.S. Senate race to fill the seat being vacated by the retiring Tom Harkin.
There, State Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican, and Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat, are going at it. Next Tuesday night should be interesting.
ROOF NEARLY COMPLETE; PREPARATIONS BEGIN FOR NEXT BIG CH PROJECT
And here we thought the courthouse roof would be done before Highway 169.
It does seem like it is all taking awhile.
County supervisors were told Tuesday that the courthouse roof should be done around Nov. 7. That is about a week later than the estimate of a couple of weeks ago, but everything is falling into place, and workers now know everything they will have to deal with. All the soft spots have been identified, OPN architect Rick Seely reported.
“I think everything has been uncovered. We’ve seen everything we’re going to see,” Seely said of the bad spots.
CANDIDATES CRISS-CROSS COUNTY: NARCISSE, GREGG AND STEWART VISIT WINTERSET
Aside from the high profile Iowa U.S. Senate and Iowa Congressional candidates, a few of the lesser-known candidates have made their way to Winterset in recent weeks.
The Madisonian had a chance to sit down with Jonathan Narcisse, the Iowa Party candidate for Governor; Iowa GOP Attorney General hopeful Adam Gregg and Independent U.S. Senate candidate Rick Stewart, who is attempting to assert his presence into the battle between Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley.
Narcisse is running for Governor on the Iowa Party ticket, and is trying to draw enough interest in the Iowa Party to have it become an official party. The concept is basically Iowa solutions for Iowa problems.
COSTUMES AT THE READY?
Creepies, crawlies and ghouls reign this week, and anyone who wants to catch a peek at one has only to step out of the house and join in on one of the many events happening this week. The weather is forecast to be a “balmy for October” with partly sunny skies and a high of 61 for Thursday Halloween events happening around town. So there is no excuse for not getting kids out to participate in one, or even several of the many events going on this week.

Thursday events
Happy Hollow Halloween House (HHHH), sponsored by the Winterset Art Center started on Monday and continues every afternoon through Friday. Kids from toddler age through sixth grade are all welcome to visit the art center each afternoon from 3:30-5:30 for a “mildly spooky art adventure”, in the words of WAC board chair Maggie Ripperger. Each activities involves candy and a lot of non-scary fun. Admission for children in costume is $3 and $5 for children not in costume. Parents are free with paid a child.
A NEW KIND OF COACH IN WCSD
With close to 60 percent of all property taxes collected in Winterset, we should all be pretty concerned about the quality of education Winterset students are receiving.
In cash, that’s $7.5 million, more than 25 percent of the district’s total budget that comes directly out of property owners’ pockets and goes directly to our public schools. You better bet we want the money to be spent wisely in the short run, by improving student test scores in all subjects but also in the long run when it comes time for high school seniors to apply for college scholarships.
If schools expect each family to fork out several thousands of dollars of hard-earned cash each year to pay teacher salaries, then we hope that the return on that investment will come to fruition when it comes time to pay that first “U-Bill” in college.
BUSINESS BYTES
Now that the entrance to the Health Trust Physicians Clinic is separate from the main entrance to the hospital, the little gift shop just to the left of the main reception desk doesn’t see as much traffic as it did before.
Called The Gift Box, it’s definitely worth a stop in. When looking for a special gift for someone, this little gift shop fills its space with things you won’t find anywhere else in town. Surprisingly, most of the goods for sale are not what you would think of buying at a hospital gift shop, but more like than higher-end stores located around the Winterset square.
END TO DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ALLOWS FOR ... EXTRA HOUR OF SLEEP, AND EXTRA POLITICKING
It’s the weekend we’ve been looking forward to.
Or is it?
An end to Daylight Saving Time this coming Saturday night Sunday morning means an extra hour of sleep, as we all “fall back” an hour.
But it also means an extra hour of politicking – you know, those phone calls, polls and such as the mid-term elections close quickly upon us.
Just don’t answer the phone on Sunday.
Do, however, do a few things around the house.
Change the batteries in the smoke detector. Run a five-gallon bucket of water through your sump pump to make sure it’s okay heading into winter, and hunker down for a while.
Thank you, Mr. Benjamin Franklin.
CEDAR LAKE DREDGING PROJECT IN FINAL STAGES
Crews have returned to the west side of Cedar Lake to wrap up the year-long dredging project.
Where water was once well under one foot deep on the west end has been dredged to a depth of more than 10 feet.
The lake is now about 30 feet deep on the east end.
Experts estimate the water depth is back to about where it was when it was built in 1939, if not a smidge deeper.
MID-TERM LOCAL EARLY VOTE REQUESTS NOW A RECORD
With just under one week to go before the mid-term elections, Madison County absentee ballot requests hit an all-time record Tuesday.
The previous record for off-year election absentee ballot requests in Madison County was in the 2010 mid-term election. That year, 2,442 voters asked to cast early ballots.
‘WHERE MADISON COUNTY CREATES’
Madison County is certainly a creative place. Depending on your definition, Winterset is home to a number of artists, artisans and crafters – many of whom sell their products for at least a part-time income.
This past weekend the Madison County Chamber of Commerce sponsored a new event, “Where Madison County Creates.” For its first year, participants were pleased with the turn out, saying that business was heavier than usual for a Saturday.
While some commented that they were unsure of the level of advertisement, area art studios felt it had been worth the effort to increase traffic into their store.
COUNTY DEMOCRATS PLAN FINAL DOOR-KNOCKING PUSH
Madison County Democrats are planning what they call an “around-the-clock sprint” heading into next week’s election with a door-knocking push.
Several attended an Indianola Staci Appel event last weekend, while others saw U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley in Des Moines. Democrats say the events energized them, and are making a final push to get voters to the polls.
IT’S OPEN!
Winterset area residents were treated to a pleasant surprise Thursday afternoon, when U.S. Highway 169 two miles north of Winterset was re-opened to local traffic after several weeks of detours. The roadway was sliding off its base, and the foundation had to be re-worked. Crews fixed one of three rock slides under the road. Two other slide areas, further up the hill south of North River, have yet to be addressed. State officials plan to return next May to address those issues.
VIEW FROM ON HIGH
Crews work on the northwest corner of the county courthouse, laying new plastic shingles on the new roof.
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Woof. Bow wow. Yip, yip. Arrrrrrrr. How does your dog bark? More than 30 different barks, big and small (along with their more than 50 owners) attended Boomer’s Birthday Bash this past Saturday. A gorgeous warm day greeted the party, raising over $700 that will go toward fencing a field near the Winterset Municipal Airport so that dogs can run free. Boomer, the guest of honor, is the dog of Corey and Valerie Utsler, and is training to perform therapy work in the Winterset Area. Guests were greeted with free food for both them and their pet. The dogs took part in a number of fun games, like the peanut butter lick off. Above, winners were (from left) Selah Reels and Stella, and Mitzi Berkland and Karen Berkland with their dogs Sophie and Karma. Dogs were kept on-leash, but everyone had fun!