Archive for  October 13th 2018

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DES MOINES, Iowa–  Dozens gathered at Cindy Axne’s campaign headquarters in Des Moines for former HUD Secretary Julian Castro’s first stop in Iowa as he barnstorms for Iowa Democrats.

Castro is here to support Cindy Axne and five other Democratic candidates vying to represent their communities on a state level.

Castro says supporting those Democrats is more important now, than ever.  “In order to take back the house the democrats need some of these seats in Iowa,” Julian Castro said.

Later this evening Castro campaigned with J.D. Scholten, a Democrat running for congress in District Four against Republican Steve King.

On Thursday, King took to Twitter to jab at Castro and his brother saying, “The two took ‘Spanish lessons to qualify as retroactive Hispanics.”

“Steve King has just sat by as this economy has hurt Iowa farmers with a needless and senseless trade war,” Castro said.

Castro is talking about the growing U.S. and China trade war, which some Iowa farmers say is to blame for increasing levies on agriculture products.

Some wonder if Castro will run in 2020 against President Trump.

“Helping candidates who are on the 2018 ballot, so I am not going to make a decision about the future until after this election because all of our attention needs to be focused on 2018,” Castro said.

WINTERSET, Iowa — The Madison County Chamber of Commerce knew that the cost to replace the Cedar Bridge would be costly.

“When we first had estimates of what it was going to cost to rebuild cedar bridge in the manner that we want with the steel it was just under $600,000” said Chamber Executive Director Heather Riley.

The target of a 2017 arson, steel would make the bridge more fireproof, and it was less expensive than going all wood.  However, the Trump Administration’s tariffs on foreign steel is raising the price.

“Now we’ve committed to a $720,000 project because that’s the price” said Riley.

The tariffs have put them $190,000 short of their goal. The chamber hopes the weekend’s covered bridge festival helps bring them closer to reaching it.

“People who come here love Madison County, love the community, love our covered bridges, so we think they’ll want to help us out” said Riley.

Those people include Ken Marek, a photographer from Omaha who didn’t realize the bridge had burned down. He had planned to take pictures on Friday.

“Oh, I thought, ‘what a drag’. Why would somebody do something like that?” said Marek.

He says photographers all over the area cherish the Bridges of Madison County.

Not only unique, but the historical factor of them. They used these bridges years and years ago to get from point A to point B, it’s really special” he said.

Despite the increased cost, Riley says the hope is to have the replaced bridge in place next October; the 50th anniversary of the covered bridge festival.

“That’ll be a fantastic year anyway, a lot to celebrate, but to have Cedar Bridge on top of all that will really put us over the top” she said.

The covered bridge festival kicks off Saturday morning at 9 a.m. The three teens convicted of the Cedar Bridge arson were each sentenced to probation this year.