Thursday, December 13, 2012

YLC Members Help Decorate the Community for the Holidays

It is an annual tradition that the Youth Leadership Council Members assist with decorating the community for Christmas. The YLC members feel this is an important activity that they enjoy being a part of each year. They are able to complete the decorating in a couple of different ways.

One way they help decorate the community is by lighting the tree in the Keosauqua City Park. For the last 3 years middle school YLC members volunteer their time to help the Keosauqua Light and Power put the lights on the tree in the park. This can be challenging sometimes as the tree is rather large and there are a lot of lights that need to be detangled and put on the tree. This year the following 8th grade YLC members helped with this project: Conner Fuller, Thayne Runyon, Myla Zimmer, MeKenzie Rodibaugh, Lauren Cochenour, Brooke Dunkin and Daisy Cole.

YLC members are also involved in decorating a tree for the Festival of Trees each year. This is an exciting project because the members know that the proceeds from their tree go toward a local charity to help those in need in our community. The students collect decorations throughout the year to complete the look of their tree. This year they had a gold and red theme that adorned their tree, they hope that their tree will bring quite a bit of money to help out the Christmas for Kids Project.  The YLC members who assisted with the festival of trees project this year were: Cheyenne Schmitter, Morgan Schmitter, Brooke Metcalf, Hannah Sprouse, Grace Thomas and Aimee Simons.   

For more information on YLC activities you may contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or  You can also find information on their website:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division Town Hall Meeting

On Wednesday, November 28th, Karen Freund a representative from the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division held a town hall meeting for all business and local authorities in Van Buren County who sell alcohol. This meeting was intended to cover the licensing guidelines in Iowa Code Section 123 that businesses are required to follow in order to maintain their alcohol license. Some of the main license regulations that were discussed were outdoor service area, temporary license transfer vs. a five day special event license, catering privilege,  bringing alcohol onto a licensed premise, selling on credit, purchasing alcohol for resale, after hour sales, refilling bottles, and advertising on the outside of the premise.

These meetings are being held across the state of Iowa to make sure retailers are aware of the regulations and understand them, sometimes Iowa code can be confusing and they want to ensure that all licensees have the right information. Karen allowed the attendees at the meeting to ask questions and have discussions about the laws and regulations. This allowed for an open dialogue of discussion about specific situations that they have encountered.

ABD has hired two new compliance officers who will begin doing spot checks across the state to ensure licensees are in compliance with the laws. These checks are not intended to “catch” someone doing something wrong, but rather to make sure they are doing everything right and if not to educate them on what they should be doing.  All businesses will get education the first time and if they do not make changes before a return visit will then be cited with administrative sanctions, which could put their license in jeopardy.

A new ABD Publication titled “Iowa’s Alcoholic Beverages Laws and You” was provided to all merchants in attendance. This publication spells out the Iowa Code in a way that is easier to understand than the legal jargon in the laws. The publication provides the licensee with a quick, go-to guide if they have any questions about regulations or licensing. The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition has copies of the publication for businesses for free if they were unable to attend the event. You can obtain copies by calling 319-293-6412 or email at

It is important that licensees and local authorities are aware of the regulations in Iowa Code section 123 and this meeting was able to do just that. For anyone who was unable to attend but would like the information there will be other meetings held across the state over the course of the next year. Licensees and local authorities can contact Karen Freund at ABD to get additional information on dates and to register: For information on how the SAFE Coalition can assist your businesses you may contact the coalition at 319-293-6412 or via email at