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First Responders in Iowa Receiving Checks From Dakota Access Pipeline

The company that built the Dakota Access oil pipeline that runs diagonally across Iowa, from the northwest to the southeast is making donations to emergency responders in every county the pipeline crosses in Iowa and three other states. 

Mike Futch, vice president of Energy Transfer Partners, explains the motive.

“In recognition of our dedication and our commitment to operate our pipelines in a very safe and regulatory-compliant and reliable manner, one of the things that’s very important to a system like that is a very close working relationship with first responders and emergency responders,” said Futch.

The pipeline crosses 18 counties in total in Iowa and also carves a path across Illinois and North and South Dakota. The news conference was held in South Dakota and Futch says they want to be good corporate partners with every county the pipeline touches.

In Iowa, the total donation is $360,000 to units in 18 counties. The total donation in the four states adds up to one-million dollars as the pipeline covers 50 counties in all.

The Dakota Access Pipeline crosses through Jasper, Mahaska, Wapello, Keokuk, Jefferson, Van Buren and Lee counties in Southeast Iowa. Each will receive a check for $20,000.

Jamey Robinson, EMA/911 Administrator in Mahaska County, said his office has identified potential areas for projects. Potential projects include active shooter equipment and simulation, rehabilitation equipment during extreme hot or cold, search and rescue equipment, and lastly, equipment to safely remove debris from infrastructure, such as saw assets.

Chuck Fry, vice president for liquid pipelines at Energy Transfer, says the pipeline passing through Iowa is now fully assembled and carrying petroleum.

“Operationally, it can run at full capacity but it’s not fully subscribed by shippers yet,” Fry says.

The company is also giving the state of North Dakota 15-million dollars for protest-related expenses.

Mahaska County YMCA Receives Higher Rating

The Mahaska County YMCA Kids Corner Child Care Center, 2303 East 8 th Avenue, University Park, IA has achieved a Level 4 Iowa Quality Rating System (QRS) rating from the Iowa Department of Human Services. This level 4 rating is based on a five level scale of quality measures. Previously the facility had garnered a level 3 rating.

Iowa’s QRS is a voluntary child care rating system for child development homes, licensed child care centers and preschools, and child care programs that are operated by school districts. Ratings reflect information provided by the program at their time of rating. In choosing a child care program, parents should discuss the current licensing status with the program and be aware that child care centers are required to prominently post licenses.

The QRS was developed:

  • To raise the quality of child care in Iowa
  • To increase the number of children in high-quality child care settings
  • To educate parents about quality in child care

There are five levels in the QRS. For a program to be rated at:

  • Level 1: all Level 1 criteria must be met – The YMCA met licensing standards.
  • Level 2: all Level 1 and Level 2 criteria must be met – The YMCA had additional training and made steps to improve quality.
  • Levels 3-5 all Level 1 and Level 2 criteria must be met, and then the program must earn a minimum of one point in each of the Level 3-5 categories. For levels 3-5, the level is determined by the total number of points earned.

Those levels include the areas of professional development, health and safety, environment, family and community partnership, and leadership and administration.

As a child care provider, the Mahaska County YMCA puts into practice what research has shown for some time. The quality of care that young children receive in out-of- home settings provides a foundation upon which their future learning is built. Children who attend higher quality child care settings display better cognitive, language and social competencies. The Y plays an invaluable role in the growth and development of each and every child in our care. Our participation in QRS demonstrates our commitment to provide ongoing quality care for children.

Kathy Chamra, Child Care Director and her staff at Kids Corner headed by Meagan McCartie, Site Supervisor should be commended for this achievement. For any questions regarding Mahaska County YMCA Child Care or Preschool, contact 641.673.8411 or www.mahaskaymca.org.

1-Year-Old Dies in Accidental Drowning

On Sunday, around 3 PM Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office and Mahaska Health Partnership were dispatched to a location just east of Pella (2292 Adams Avenue) in reference to a drowning victim of a 1 year old male.

Family members had started CPR on the victim prior to deputies arrival. Deputies and emergency responders continued the efforts while en route to MHP hospital. Upon arrival to the hospital, however, the victim was declared deceased.

The preliminary investigation into this matter indicates that this subject died from accidental drowning in a farm pond. An autopsy has been scheduled with the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny.

SIEDA Has Started Applications for Energy Assistance Program

Applications will be taken starting November 1, 2017 for the 2017-2018 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
Program. (October 2, 2017 for households with elderly/disabled member). This program is funded by the
Department of Health and Human Services through the Iowa Department of Human Rights/DCAA, and has been
established to help qualifying low-income Iowa homeowners and renters pay for a portion of their primary heating
The Mahaska County Sieda Community Action at 114 N. Market, in Oskaloosa will be taking applications from
November 1, 2017 through April 30, 2018 (October 2, 2017 for households with elderly/disabled member).
Applicants will need to furnish some form of identification, a copy of their most recent heating and electric bill,
telephone bill, and proof of all household members’ gross income for the past three months or for the past calendar
The Mahaska County Resource Center is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 – 4:30. For further information, contact the
Mahaska County Resource Center at 641-673- 8758.

The assistance is based on household income, household size, type of fuel, and other factors.
Eligibility for participation is established according to the following federal income guidelines:




Sun Interference With Satellite Signals

Twice a year, during the spring and fall, you may experience some degree of television interference due to a phenomenon known as “sun outages.” During the fall equinox, or September 27 to October 15, it is expected sun outages will occur.

Mahaska Communication Group (MCG) recently put out a press release advising customers of this possibility in our area.

A sun outage is an interruption in satellite signals caused by interference from solar radiation. The interference is caused when the sun is in direct line with a communication satellite and the sun’s radiation overwhelms the satellite signal.

Although this interference will cause an outage, the outage itself will only last up to fifteen (15) minutes at a time. During the outage, you may experience disruptions with picture quality and sound when watching television. Sun outages do not affect internet or phone service.

Construction Slated to Begin on Old Highway 102

Beginning at 7:30 AM next Monday October 2nd, Mahaska County will be doing pavement repair, widening and overlaying Old Hwy 102/G-5T.

The project will begin north of the South Skunk bridge, south of 155th street and proceed north and easterly to a point approximately 1320 east if the intersection of County Roads T-33 and Old Hwy 102 or G-5T.

The second section of the project will begin at the intersection of T-22 and G-5T and proceed north to the south City Limits of Peoria.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 30 working days which is the 13th of November weather permitting.  The project is intended to keep one lane open for traffic through the use of flaggers and pilot cars. The possibility of complete closure time will be kept to a minimum.

We ask those that commute on this road to allow for extra time to deal with the one-lane traffic or the detour route is down Hwy 63 from New Sharon to Hwy 92 in Oskaloosa then west to Hwy 163 and back to Pella.

The lane widths during this work will make it unsuitable for wide loads, so using the detour is advised. Mahaska County asks for your patience as we complete this project so as to try to get project completed earlier.

If you have any questions you can call me at my office at 641-672-2897.


Mahaska County Election Candidates Have Been Announced

* Indicates an incumbent.


Barnes City

Councilmember (elect 3) – Four Year Term ending 2021

*Gene Davis

*Jeffrey Innis



Mayor – Two Year Term Ending 2019

No Candidate

Councilmember (elect 5) – Two Year Term Ending 2019

*Ron Kauffman

*Darrell Rust

*Cecil D. Smith

*Dwight Teeter

*Richard Thomas



Councilmember (elect 3) – Four Year Term Ending 2021

*Yvonne Gabby Evans

*J.J. Howrey

Kenneth A. Long

Brenda Swearingen


Keomah Village

Mayor – Two Year Term Ending 2019

*Clark T. Johnson

Councilmember (elect 3) Four Year Term Ending 2021

*Larry Boyer

*Craig Coen 

Kay Swafford



Mayor – Two Year Term Ending 2019

*Keith Beintema

Councilmember (elect 5) – Two Year Term Ending 2019

*Charles Bogaard

*Daniel Gleason

*Steve Nieuwsma

*Kim Sytsma

*Henry Van Roekel


New Sharon

Councilmember (elect 3) – Four Year Term Ending 2021

Thomas J. German

*Keri Lamberson

Jeffrey D. Long

*Kenneth Ward



Mayor – Two Year Term Ending 2019

*David Krutzfeldt Jeff Lorentzen

1 st Ward Councilmember (elect 1) – Four Year Term Ending 2021

Diane Ottosson

3 rd Ward Councilmember (elect 1) – Four Year Term Ending 2021

*Doug Yates

Councilmember – At-Large (elect 2) – Four Year Term Ending 2021

Wyndell Campbell

Charlie Comfort

*Scottie Stamos Moore

Wyatt Russell

*Tom H. Walling


Rose Hill

Mayor – Two Year Term Ending 2019

*Kyle Morgan

Councilmember (elect 5) – Two Year Term Ending 2019

*Jake Dannels

Carli Hahn

*Terry Lowe

*Janet Martin

Channa McMillian

Aaron Molyneux


University Park

Mayor – Two Year Term Ending 2019

*George Toubekis

Councilmember (elect 3) – Four Year Term Ending 2021

David Brown

*Sarah Kargol

*Stephen Kelly

*Colleen Platt

Councilmember (elect 1) – Unexipred Term Ending 2019

*Harry David Graham


Wells Retiring from Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office

The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors met in regular session in the morning of September 18.

Mahaska County Sheriff Russ Van Renterghem approached the board to request a change of payroll for Deputy Trevor Wells, who has decided to retire and be removed from the county payroll on September 22.

Wells began his double-decade long run in law enforcement following a few years spent in the United States Marine Corps.

Wells graduated from Oskaloosa High School in 1986, he was then a part of the Persian Gulf war during Operation Desert Storm with the Marine Corps.

Once Wells returned, he worked in the Mahaska County Jail in 1991 as a jailer for four years. From Mahaska County Jail, Wells moved to the position of police officer in Albia for a year and returned back to Mahaska County to be a sheriff deputy in 1996 where he has been since.

Wells ran for Mahaska County Sheriff in 2016 where we faced three other candidates for Mahaska County Sheriff. His opponents included Russ Van Rentergherm, who won the election and took seat as Mahaska County Sheriff.

Those of us from KBOE want to thank you, Trevor Wells, for your 26 years of service and dedication to Oskaloosa and Mahaska County.

A reception in Sheriff’s Wells’ honor will be held on Friday, October 6th in the Lower Level of the Mahaska County Law Enforcement Center from 1 to 4 PM. The public is invited and welcomed to attend.


Stream All Smiles After Election Results

“My heart is beating fast. It’s been kind of tied in knots all day,” Lynette Stream expressed at the Mahaska County Courthouse Tuesday evening.

Stream, along with her husband, were awaiting the results of the election in the foyer of the courthouse. A wave of relief rushed over Stream as she was told that she had surpassed Tom Richardson, incumbent and current school board president, by just over 60 votes.

Stream, an unsettled parent and mother, received 564 votes while Richardson followed behind with 499 votes.

This is the third election in the past decade where a running school board president was surpassed by their opponent. Don Patterson, who was on the school board dating back to 2001, ran opposed in 2011 and lost the vote. In 2013, Susan Boxler also ran and lost her candidacy.

“I think, still tonight when i was at soccer field with my daughter, one of the major issues is still discipline.” Stream noted. “You know, we’ve made great strides with that.”

When NCN representative, Miranda Keeler, asked Stream about why board members — even currently on the board — speak of discipline yet only walk through the school to see physical changes. No member of the board speaks of personally witnessing the actions of students and disciplinary action students receive.

“I think that is one way I have an advantage as a stay-at-home mom,” responded Stream. “Other board members working full time may not have the time. I’m really excited to work with Rozey Warder.”

Rozanne “Rozey” Warder is the CEO of Take Action Consulting who has been working with the Oskaloosa Community School District for some time now. Take Action Consulting specifically designs plans for school districts, as well as various organizations.

Richardson made a brief appearance at the courthouse Tuesday evening following the dismissal of the regularly scheduled school board meeting, the only current standing school board member to do so. Richardson shook Stream’s hand and congratulated her on the victory before he exited. Richardson had served the board for the last 6 years.  

Shelly Herr ran unopposed for District 2 receiving 882 votes.

Carl Drost, incumbent, received 611 votes for the At-Large candidate seat. His opponent, Kym Life, only received 472 votes.

At a school board meeting in late August, Drost noted that this would be last term running for school board.

Drost took to Facebook Monday before the big election day. “The parents and concerned citizens need to send a message to the school system by electing Carl Drost and Lynette Stream to the Oskaloosa School Board tomorrow.”

Seemingly endorsing the idea that a partnership had formed between Drost and Stream throughout the school board election and forum process. Drost continued, “We need everybody to post, call and tell all their friends to get out and vote telling them how important this election is for our students and our community. (Tom and Kym sent out postcards last weekend).”

Stream shared Drost’s Facebook post and also noted to vote the duo for Oskaloosa School Board.

The number’s for this school board elections closed in on record setting for ballots casted. Almost 1,100 votes were counted, both absentee and at the polls. The highest voter turnout occurred in 2005 when the votes counted reached almost 1,400.  Just two years ago, out of the over 12,000 registered voters, only 345 ballots were casted.

The Board of Supervisors will accept and confirm the official results of the Mahaska County School Board Election later this week.

This upset win of Stream over Richardson means a new president will be elected. All candidates will take their oath at the next school board meeting on the evening of September 26th.

“Thank you so much for trusting me, listening to me. And thank you for putting the word out,” Stream spoke to those who voted for her.


Mahaska County Sheriff’s Still Looking for Wanted Suspect

Early in the morning on August 11th, the Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call near Hickory Avenue, close to the intersection of 278th Street. The call was for a single vehicle that had ended up on its roof in a drainage ditch creek.

The 2004 Dodge pickup, driven by 35-year-old Nathan Edward Burk of Bloomfield, was a complete loss.

While investigating this accident, deputies discovered in excess of one-fourth pounds of a substance that was believed to be marijuana. Burk was arrested and charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver – Class D Felony. Members of the M.I.N.E. Drug Task Force assisted in the investigated.

Burk was taken to the Mahaska County Jail and booked on the drug charge. Later in the day, Burk posted a $5,000 cash bound and was released.

Deputies also seized three-fourths pounds of methamphetamine, along with various drug paraphernalia. Upon the completion of the investigation, Burk was later charged with Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver – Class B Felony – and Failure to Affix a Drug Tax Stamp – Class D Felony.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Burk in regard to the later charges.

As of this date, Burk has not been located or arrested. He is also wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant, issued in Marion County, for Probation Violation.

Nathan Edward Burk, 35

If you have any information about Nathan Burk, call the Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office at 641-673-4322 during business hours ( 8 AM to 5 PM) or 641-673-8403 for after hours.

** Information was provided by the Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office


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