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Local News 11.9.2017

Two special measures were passed by voters in New Sharon on Tuesday; Public Measure A allows the city of New Sharon to give ownership and operation of the city’s water plant and infrastructure to Mahaska Rural Water with a 25-year franchise. Public Measure B allowed a special levy of 27 cents per $1,000 valuation to support an increased operating budget of Stillwell Library.  Eighty-five percent of the 166 voters approved the movement of the water system, 142-24. The library measure was much closer with 165 votes, 92 in favor and 73 opposed for a 55-44 percent split.

Over in Newton, Mayor Mike Hansen will serve his third term after handily earning more than 70 percent of the votes Tuesday in the city election.  His opponent Ron Bookout had 426 votes to Hansen’s 1,067, according to uncertified election tallies released by the Jasper County Auditor’s Office.  Hansen has served as Newton’s mayor since 2012 when he was tapped to take over for then-mayor Chaz Allen, who stepped down to take a position at the Jasper County Economic Development Corporation. Hansen was then elected to the position in 2013 and 2015.

An organization in Ottumwa that serves people with disabilities in seven South Central Iowa counties is overjoyed after meeting an ambitious goal.  Two years ago Tenco announced a $1.2 million dollar fundraising campaign to enhance services for the people with disabilities it serves.  Last Thursday evening Kent Walker, Tenco capital campaign chair, announced the goal had been exceeded, allowing for several new investments, including a four-bay hydroponic greenhouse that provides paid vocational opportunities for people with disabilities – along with lots of fresh produce – and a new wheelchair accessible van.

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