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MONDAY, OCT. 23, 2017 • WHERE TO GO WHEN YOU NEED TO KNOW

County shields mold tests from employees, public

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Inaugural YCMA Fall Fest an overwhelming success By Jamee A. Pierson Newton Daily News

David Dolmage/Daily News An April study of the Jasper County Annex building found confirmation of black mold spores in the basement of the 88-year-old building which houses four county department offices. The findings and recommendation of professional mold remediation were never disclosed to the public health board employees working in the area or publicly discussed by the Jasper County Board of Supervisors, who commissioned the report.

Health risk ‘unlikely’ as decisions loom on water-damaged annex building foundation By Abigail Pelzer and Mike Mendenhall Newton Daily News The Jasper County Board of Supervisors failed to act or publicly disclose a recommendation for professional mold remediation issued in April after an air quality company found confirmation of black mold spores in the basement of the county annex building. The lab analysis studied areas throughout the 88-year-old building but only found elevated levels of mold spores in the basement of the annex, which houses four county department office spaces. Professional mold remediation is recommended for an area in the northeast side of the building which serves as the Jasper County Health Department’s home health

care aide’s office. However, the findings and recommendations were never disclosed to the health board or employees working in the area, according to the Jasper County Public Health Board Chairwoman Margot Voshell. Tanner Francisco, a biologist and environmental hygienist with Midwest Indoor Air Quality who conducted the testing and sampling, said a six-page summary of its testing and recommendations provides an accurate breakdown of the findings. “Due to the air being elevated for Stachybotrys mold spores and the surface sample and carpet sample confirmation of Stachybotrys and Chaeltomium mold spores, we recommend professional mold remediation for the Home Care Aide’s Office,” the

Picture perfect weather and eager trick-ortreaters made for a successful evening at the inaugural Newton YMCA Family Fall Festival on Friday. More than 700 people enjoyed gathering goodies at the trunk-or-treat, playing in the bounce house, daring to enter the mystery room and a few even jumped in the pool to bring home their own pumpkin. “We are having a really great turn out,” YMCA associate executive director Rhonda Robson said during the event “It is a beautiful night, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.” The line wrapped around the building at the start of the evening and didn’t let up for more than a hour as princesses, ghouls, firemen and many more costumed kids filled their buckets with treats from area businesses and community members who signed up to decorate their trunks in fun themes. Kids also had the opportunity to ride the “train” and get a hot dog, apples and apple cider provided by the YMCA. “We went through 350 hot dogs with a line of about 350 yet to come,” YMCA board member Doug Smith said. “We were hoping to get 200 people, if we got 200 people it would be a success so this is fantastic.” FESTIVAL | 3A

BUILDING DILEMMA

One in a series of articles exploring the Jasper County Annex Building report states. Some species of Stachybotrys and Chaeltomium, commonly referred to as black mold, are known to produce toxins which can be detrimental to human health, Fransico said. Although both types of mold have more hazardous potential, he said it’s unlikely the current low amount of spores in the air would result in any symptoms from employees — unless they are unusually sensitive or directly disturb the visible mold growth.

Voshell has spent the past eight months advocating for the public health department, having addressed the board of supervisors about concerns with the annex building’s basement and the reduced capability of its operations there. The supervisors notified Voshell about conducting a mold study, and she was told the results would be shared with the public health department once they came in, she said. ANNEX | 10A

Jamee A. Pierson/Daily News Wonder Woman and the Hulk hand out candy and treats during the inaugural YMCA Fall Fest on Friday. More than 700 people played games, visited the floating pumpkin patch and took part in the trunk-or-treat during the event. See more photos at newtondailynews.com.

Candidate Q&A: Bookout for Newton mayor This is one of nine candidate profiles to be featured before the upcoming Nov. 7 city election in Newton. Ron Bookout is challenging mayoral incumbent Mike Hansen. Name: Ron Bookout Employment: Self-employed. I also volunteer as a Child Advocate for the State of Iowa and advocate for the homeless in the City of Newton. Hometown: Newton Years of Newton residen-

cy: Born and raised. I relocated in 1990 for active military duty. I returned as a resident in 2009. Running For: Mayor, Bookout City of Newton What do you feel is the most important issue Newton will be facing during

your term on the as mayor? I believe that waste, fraud and abuse runs rampant within the city. It will definitely be a challenge to rein in since it is ignored or accepted. What do you think has been the biggest achievement for the City of Newton in the last four years and what do you think has been the greatest struggle? I believe an achievement for Newton has been bringing jobs and businesses but the

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efforts continuing and what ideas do you have for future growth? The Dangerous and Dilapidated program has been a major focus of the city, unfortunately it is costing the taxpayer excessive amounts of money. This program needs to be discontinued or revised to where it is beneficial to all residents and not just outside developers. BOOKOUT | 3A

FEATURE

WHERE IT’S AT Astrograph......................5B Calendar..........................5A Classifieds......................4B

struggle is retaining them. What role do you think the city can and should play in economic development? What more/less should the city be doing for economic development? The city should not cater to big business but to smaller businesses as well. It is difficult for businesses to keep their doors open with high taxes. Housing has been a major focus for the city in recent years. How do you see the

Comics & Puzzles...........6A Dear Abby........................6A Local Sports......................1B

Obituaries.......................5A Opinion............................4A State News......................7A

Trail of Terror returns

Spooky Baxter event opens /9A

Volume No. 116 No. 110 2 sections 18 pages

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