• Sign ordinance change gets early approval by 4-1 vote

    RED OAK — A split Red Oak City Council gave initial approval to sweeping changes to the City’s sign ordinance at its March 7 meeting.

    Changes to the ordinance, which was first approved in October 2009, were passed by a 4-1 vote. Under the changes, numerous signs violating the current ordinance would be grandfathered. However, any signs taller than eight feet, regardless of how they are mounted, would be banned.

  • Good news: Unemployment drops in Montgomery Co.

    RED OAK — For the first time in too long of at time, Montgomery County has some good news regarding unemployment.

    In a month where unemployment rates jumped throughout Iowa, Montgomery County stood out as one of only two with a lower rate, dropping nearly a full percentage point.

    After ranking third in Iowa in December with an 8.7 percent unemployment rate, Montgomery County dropped to 7.9 percent in January, as 50 fewer people received jobless benefits.

    The 7.9 percent rate was the 33rd highest in the state.

  • Standing-room only crowd supports YMCA donation

    RED OAK — Following comments from 19 local residents, Red Oak’s City Council unanimously approved at last week’s meeting an unbalanced budget that includes a controversial $56,000 donation to the YMCA.

    Three weeks after the Council approved increasing a line item donation to the Y by $50,000, while declining funding requests from the police and library departments, residents packed the fire station to offer their opinions.

  • Council meeting still taking place in City Hall, Monday evening

    RED OAK  — Next week’s Red Oak City Council meeting is still scheduled to take place at City Hall, for now.

    City Administrator Brad Wright said as of press time today the meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7, in the City Council Chambers. However, he added the meeting could still be relocated to the fire station.

    The City Council has previously relocated meetings to accommodate larger groups of citizens interested in participating or watching the meeting.

  • DeMarce passes 20-year mark as local Daffodil Day chair

    RED OAK — When people talk about Daffodil Days, they will most likely associate that fundraising effort with Sara DeMarce. She has been chairing that effort for American Cancer Society (ACS) for over 20 years.
    Sara said she began her work with ACS primarily because of cancer’s threat to her own family’s circle.
    “I became active with the American Cancer Society in 1989 when a neighbor and friend asked if I would consider serving on the Montgomery County Board (to fight cancer),” DeMarce said.

  • Grassley, King, won’t let shooting affect accessibility; discuss health care

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the wake of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, two federal lawmakers from Iowa are vowing to remain open and accessible to the public.

    In separate interviews with the Red Oak Express, both Sen. Charles Grassley and Congressman Steve King said they don’t plan on curtailing public appearances after the shooting in Tucson, Ariz.

    “I need to be around Iowa, talking to Iowans, listening to their questions and … responding to their concerns,” Grassley (R-Iowa) said.

  • Council funds Y; rejects police, library

    RED OAK — Montgomery County’s YMCA will receive $56,000 after Red Oak’s City Council amended its proposed 2011 budget Monday night.

    While increasing the city’s donation to the YMCA by $50,000, the Council denied requests from Police Chief Drue Powers to reinstate a previously eliminated position, and to increase wages at the library.

  • Absentee voting to take place at Red Oak fire station Sunday

    RED OAK — Montgomery County residents who can’t vote in the November election will have an opportunity to cast their ballot early this week.

    According to Montgomery County auditor Joni Ernst, a satellite voting station for the general election will be available Sunday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Red Oak Fire Station Community Room.

    The absentee voting opportunity is taking place in conjunction with the annual Red Oak Fire Department open house.

  • Red Oak Council voting Sept. 20 on trash

    RED OAK — The Red Oak City Council will vote at its Sept. 20 meeting whether they want to further pursue an ordinance requiring residential trash pickup.

    After a 90-minute study session Monday night, the Council agreed to place the controversial issue on next week’s agenda, which could lead to formal discussions with local trash haulers.

    Several local residents attended the meeting, and were given the opportunity to address the Council.

  • Democratic rally to feature Harkin Thurs.

    RED OAK — State and national Democratic leaders are coming to Montgomery County this week, with a rally scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday.
    Sen. Tom Harkin is the scheduled keynote speaker for the event, which will take place in the Montgomery County Gold Fair building at 1809 N. 4th Street in Red Oak.
    After serving five terms in Congress, Harkin was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984, and was re-elected in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008, making him the longest serving Democrat in Iowa’s history.