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Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Top Stories
LAST SIGNS OF THE FLU?
Most people seem to agree that, yes, this has been a rough year for “the flu”. Health care professionals say the flu season is coming to an end, but remind folks that there are still pockets of the stuff out there.

But what is the flu? If you’ve had it, you know what is has been like. If you haven’t, count your blessings.

Using the term “flu” has become quite common for complaints that are not necessarily flu-related. It seems to be more of a catch phrase these days.For example, some consider a bout of the flu a stomach upset or gastroenteritis, a simple cold and cough or even headaches.
WINTERSET LOSES ONE OF ITS OLDEST RESIDENTS
Longtime Winterset jeweler Gene Trask died last week.

He turned 100 last September. He was born Sept. 21, 1914, in Laredo, Mo, and moved with his family to Washington, Iowa, in the 1920s when his father was transferred there in his job with the Milwaukee Railroad. He graduated from Washington High School in 1933.

After graduation, he found work as a lifeguard at the YMCA – a job that he held for the next four years at a salary of $6 a week. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Trask went ashore near Normandy in France just one month after D-Day serving as a rifle platoon officer in the 35th Infantry Division. On July 15, 1944, he was seriously injured when hit by a German mortar shell, for which he was later awarded the Purple Heart.
BUDGET SEASON APPROACHES
With a March 15 date looming for cities and counties to certify their budgets with the state for the next budget year, most governmental agencies will be conducting public hearings on their plans this week and next.

School district have extra time to certify their budgets. However, the Winterset School District is preparing to roll back its tax rate. The school budget may be found in this week’s edition of the Madisonian (page 7B). The school levy is proposed to be reduced 50 cents per $1,000 taxable valuation.

Madison County is proposing to increase its overall tax levy. So is the city of Truro.
COUNTY ATTORNEY UNVEILS NEW WEB SITE
Madison County Attorney Matt Schultz has announced that his office launched a new web site this week to help county residents to obtain information in Madison County.

Schultz says the purpose of the beefed up web site as “connecting victims with resources they need.”
The county attorney’s former web site was part of the overall county web site, and was reached by connecting to the county web site first, and then choosing the county attorney’s office.
ASSESSOR’S BUDGET HEARING IS THURS.
A 6 p.m. Feb. 26 budget hearing is planned on the Madison County assessor’s proposed budget of nearly $250,716 for next year.

The budget is slightly less than the current year’s budget of $254,896.

The county assessor’s group is comprised of the three county supervisors, representatives of area school districts and mayors from nine area communities, including Bevington and West Des Moines.
QUICK FACTS
County Township Rankings
Total ag acres: 1. Webster 21,960 acres; 2. Monroe 21,892; 3. Jackson 21,854;4. Penn 21,667; 5. Scott 21,008; 6. Grand River 20,989; 7. Lincoln 20,983; 8. Jefferson 20,891; 9. Walnut 20,794; 10. Madison 20,607; 11. Ohio 20,445; 12. Crawford 20,324; 13. Douglas 20,151; 14. South 19,442; 15. Union 19,298; 16. Lee 18,735.

By population (dwellings per twp): 1. Lee [206]; 2. Union [136]; 3. South [134]; 4. Scott [130]; 5. Douglas [114]; 6. Jefferson [95]; 7. Lincoln [88]; 8. Ohio [76]; 9. Crawford [69]; 10. Madison [57]; 11. Penn [49]; 12. Monroe [37]; 13. Jackson [36]; 14, tie: Walnut [33]; Webster [33]; 16. Grand River [17].
STUDY: IOWA’S ROADS FALL SHORT OF MAKING THE GRADE
Not exactly the grade experts and lawmakers had hoped for, and perhaps better grades than some members of the public might give.

Iowa’s infrastructure of roads, bridges and waterways Tuesday got an overall rating of C-. Bridges got an even lower grade, a D+. Road themselves got a C- grade.
COUNTY RESTORES WEIGHT LIMITS ON TWO BRIDGES
County supervisors Tuesday voted to restore weight limits on two bridges in Webster Township after county officials repaired the rural bridges.

Officials voted to continue a three-ton weight limit on a bridge on Elderberry Avenue in section 14 of Webster Twp. that was fixed. The 70-foot span had been closed to traffic.
CITY AGREES TO REDO OF WEST SIDE OF JOHN WAYNE DRIVE
With a prospective client looking to purchase the old Kum & Go property on John Wayne Drive south of the Winterset downtown area, city council members agreed last week to install several access drives off of John Wayne onto the property.

That could mean the loss of several parking spaces on the west side of the street, similar to what is planned on the east side of the street.

Council members already have decided to spend upwards of $10,000 to have sidewalk removed and access drives installed at the former American State Bank building on the east side of John Wayne drive.
COUNTY PORK PRODUCERS BANQUET IS MARCH 2
The annual Madison County Pork Producers banquet is scheduled for Monday at the Jackson Building on the Madison County Fairgrounds.

A 6:30 dinner is scheduled, to be followed by a program and the annual pie auction. Fans of the pie auction will have to go above and beyond to keep pace with the annual cattlemen’s banquet, which raised over $32,000 in January.
WES PRINCIPAL TO RETIRE AFTER 20 YEARS OF SERVICE
“Go to the principal’s office.” Does that bring butterflies to your stomach?

This was the question asked of several elementary school students on Monday afternoon. Depending on the age group, some wondered why butterflies would be in anyone’s stomach in the first place, while others of the older set knew all about those pesky moths. But not one responded with a look of fear and trembling or a “yes” to the question.

That says a lot for the Winterset Elementary School Principal Gary Anker. As a matter fact, in the middle of this interview, three little first- and second-grade girls came smiling into his office bearing rainbow birthday cupcakes. There was not a sign of fear in any of their eyes.
BUSINESS BYTES
“Once a baker, always a baker.”

Those were the words of Marcia Sparks, owner of The Bakery Unlimited, when asked if she’ll ever retire. Maybe that was her gentle way of avoiding even considering such a thing. This is one woman who loves her job!

After graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in food nutritional research, Sparks began working in the meat industry at Harker’s Distribution, Inc. in LeMars, Iowa. This was where she, working as head of quality control, met Jim; they soon married. Jim’s next job, in the insurance industry, took them to Des Moines.
ALABASTER MINISTRIES TO HOST CAKE & COFFEE ON MARCH 6
Alabaster Ministries began in 2008, and is still going strong. Their various community outreach projects include a free Christmas store, as well as Cake & Coffee events scheduled throughout the year, which are organized by members of different area churches and feature guest speakers sharing their personal testimonies.

Rachael Terhaar, current chairperson of Alabaster Ministries, elaborated on their history.
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A rare treat for area bird enthusiasts, as another bald eagle’s nest has turned up in Madison County. This one is located southwest of Winterset. The last time bald eagle’s built an easily-visible nest was several years ago, in extreme northeast Madison County just west of the Cumming Road. The remnants of that nest are still visible. This pair of eagles, however, appear to have built a second nest, not far away, but it appears they may have abandoned the nest because it may not have been stable. Bald eagle nests are among the largest nests of all birds. The typical size is 5-6 feet in diameter by about three feet tall. Birds mate for life and tend to have young after reaching about five years of age. Females lay 1-3 eggs, with a two-egg clutch most common. The incubation period is 35 days. County conservation officials say they suspect there may be eggs in the nest.