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Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Top Stories
BREAKING NEWS
Madison County authorities were alerted to a bank alarm at the Farmers & Merchants State Bank branch in St. Charles Wednesday, March 25, shortly after 3 p.m.

The suspect, a white male approximately 5'7" to 5'9" tall and weighing 350-400 pounds, with black curly hair and a beard, allegedly was armed with a weapon hidden in a bag.

The suspect fled the scene in an unknown direction in a white 2003 Monte Carlo out of Des Moines. A BOLO was issued to area authorities.
MAY 5 REFERENDUM TO DECIDE FUTURE OF ST. CHARLES LIBRARY
Most residents of the St. Charles community discovered it after the fact; no one attended a public hearing on the city budget this year.

The city council had not budgeted to continue funding for the public library for the town of 650 after June 30, beyond a minimal amount, based on taxable valuations, it was required to.

Other than 6.75 cents per $1,000 taxable valuation – or just over $1,100 – nothing extra was set aside to run the library. Traditionally, the St. Charles City Council sets aside a few extra thousand dollars for the library. The city library money is pooled with money from the county to cover library expenses.
COUNTY COURTED TO JOIN ‘NEW IMPROVED’ CIETC
The notion of anything remotely linked to the organization formerly known as CIETC appears to be making Madison County Supervisors a little leery.

The former Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium was rocked by a scandal; the agency is now known as the Iowa Workforce Investment Board under a re-branding effort.

Tuesday, officials with the board approached county supervisors, asking the county to join a mutual agreement that would have Madison County have a representative on the board.
COUNTY OFFICIALS MULL 5-YEAR ROADS PLAN
County supervisors Tuesday got a preliminary look at the first draft of the county roads spending plan for the next five years.

Officials say the county has been given permission to start “borrowing ahead” on its Farm-to-Market monies, but county officials say the county is already ahead on spending, so the amount of new money available won’t quite cover any projects.

One of the larger projects on the docket includes the southern half of the Cumming Road, also known as county road G4R, from U.S Highway 169 to just west the Fletcher Bottoms in Jefferson Twp. The project was started several years ago, and was scheduled to be completed in 2017.
CITY UTILITIES SUGGESTS MOVE FROM CITY HALL
Saying it is “getting crowded” in Winterset City Hall, coupled with the growth of the local community, at least one City Hall official says it might be time to think about moving the utilities into a separate facility.

“The utilities should start planing on moving to its own building and having its own staff,” city utilities general manager Steve Wesselmann said Monday.

Several issues at the root of the proposal.

One issue is staffing and accuracy; another issue is storage of supplies.
FRIDAY IS FOUNDATION GRANT DEADLINE
There’s slightly less money available for grant giving this year, but there still will be over $80,000 available to help fund projects around the county this year, officials with the Greater Madison County Community Foundation (GMCCF) say.

The foundation is responsible for distributing the county’s share of gambling-related monies coming from nearly two dozen counties.

Madison County will have nearly $83,000 to distribute this year.
OFFICIALS APPROVE FIRST READING OF ATV-UTV ORDINANCE
Madison County Supervisors Tuesday have completed the first of three planned votes creating a new county ordinance governing ATV and UTVs.

Both ATVs and UTVs would come under new regulations, including where they can and cannot be operated. The measure also affects who can drive them, the number of passengers they can carry, and requires an annual $17.50 vehicle registration fee.
UTILITY BOARD APPROVES PAYMENT FOR CEDAR LAKE SPILLWAY REPAIRS
The Winterset Utility Board of Trustees approved the eighth payment for Cedar Lake spillway repairs Monday, voting to allow a payment of nearly $260,681 to the Grimes-based Cramer & Associates Inc.

The latest payment brings to about 78 percent the amount of money spent on the nearly $3.885 million project. The project included tearing out the old spillway and replacing it with a new spillway. It also includes re-enforcing the 1939 earthen dam which holds back the waters of Cedar Creek.
AVIAN FLU CONCERN AT ROSE ACRE FARMS
Concern over the avian flu has prompted some new measures at the Winterset Rose Acre Farms plant.

All vehicles entering the egg farm must stop at the gate while the tires of the vehicle are disinfected. Officials say reports of avian flu in adjacent states have prompted the measure.

The new measures started last week. Visitors also are being asked to call ahead.
HOSPITAL 2015 ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY RELEASED
The Madison County Health Care System generates 188 jobs that add over $9.3 million to the Madison County area economy, according to the latest study by the Iowa Hospital Association.

In addition, MCHCS employees by themselves spend over $1.5 million on retail sales and contribute almost $82,000 in state sales tax revenue.
SPRING HAS ARRIVED AT HEIRLOOM FARM
Matthew and Lori Wiese are overflowing with spring fever.

“Our garlic, rhubarb and chives have come up already, so the plants know it is spring.”

The onions, leeks, broccoli, kale and cauliflower that were started indoors last month will be planted outdoors in early to mid-April, along with spinach and lettuce seeds.

This energetic young couple met and married in 1996 while attending the University of Northern Iowa.

“Matthew’s degree is in geographic information systems, and he spent 16 years working in the IT field,” Lori says.
COUNTY AGREES TO SPONSOR HOME BASE IOWA PROGRAM
Madison County Supervisors have agreed to sign the county up with the Home Base Iowa, the program designed to recruit military men and women to return to the state once they have mustered out.

A number of Iowa counties have joined the effort which experts say should make Iowa a destination for former military officials, even if they are not native Iowans.

The program was key in Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s legislative priorities last year.
LOCAL PHYSICIAN NAMED ACOFP PRESIDENT
When asked, Madison County residents agree that it’s been a tough year for flu and virus strains of all different types. The clinics, hospitals and pharmacies have been kept hopping.

When it comes to the question of availability of healthcare in a community this size the consensus is that “we are quite fortunate indeed,” says area newcomer Brandi Powell.

One notable physician is Dr. Kevin V. de Regnier, DO.

He has been practicing for almost 30 years at Madison County Medical Associates, PC, located at 60 E. Court Ave. in Winterset.
AN ABUNDANCE OF HELP AVAILABLE FOR AREA VETERANS
Pick up one of the attractive brochures from the local Veteran’s Affairs office, look inside the cover and you will read, “We are veterans serving veterans, because no one should go it alone.”

According to Thaddeus Smith, Assistant Executive Director of Madison County Veteran Affairs, “This is our motto and we hold true to it.”

Both Smith and his boss, Executive Director Robert Good, are known as caring and dedicated veterans, helping veterans in any way they can, often going the extra mile.
MADISON COUNTY TRAIL-PLANNING MEETINGS SCHEDULED: WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE A TRAIL?
Do you enjoy hiking trails and biking trails?

Do you know “the perfect spot” for a bike trail, or a hiking trail, or both?

If so, meetings planned for both Earlham and Winterset later this week might be just what you are looking for.

Organizers are seeking public input on where trails in Madison County might be located. Perhaps the trails would connect to trails in adjacent counties.
FIRST CUSTOMER HAS REASON TO SMILE
Larkin Boatwright had promised her three-year-old son, Liam, pancakes for breakfast when the new Winterset Hy-Vee store opened. They were first in the door Tuesday when the store opened at 6 a.m. Store operations manager Chris Knoll, left, and store director Marcie McCauslin, right, presented the Boatwrights with a certificate and a basket of goodies for being first in line.
WINTERSET WELCOMES HY-VEE
Chamber of Commerce ambassadors participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony just hours after the new Winterset Hy-Vee store opened Tuesday. Hy-Vee officials say more than 230 employees have been hired to staff the store, full and part time. The store will be open daily 5 a.m. to midnight.
FIXED AND NEARLY READY TO GO
A shiny new stand pipe has been installed on the 100,0000-gallon water tower adjacent to the Winterset Public Library. An 8-inch stand pipe was located inside an external three-foot vertical pipe which went from ground to tower. The stand pipe is used to pump water into the water tower. A leak was discovered in November, and the water tower drained for repairs, which were completed recently. Officials say it cost about $55,000 to fix. Officials have started refilling the tower, and say the tower should be filled over the next several days. It is one of three city water towers, and the smallest of the three.
IN THE FIRST WAVE
Some showed up a half hour early, others trickled in just before the store opened for the first time. All were awaiting the 6 a.m. opening of the long-awaited Winterset Hy-Vee store Tuesday. The new store features a Market Grille restaurant with seating for 80 inside and 32 outside in a patio area. At least a half-dozen people sat down for their first breakfast at the store, while others wandered to familiarize themselves with the 35,000-square-foot facility, which includes a seafood section, bakery and pharmacy.