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Thunder Nites seeking approval to use square

Pending approval from the Jasper County Board of Supervisors, Thunder Nites in Newton is looking to continue rolling into the new year.

On Tuesday, Thunder Nites  President Bob O’Brien will formally seek the board’s permission to continue using the courthouse square for its Friday night bike rallies, which are held once a month from May through September.

If approved, 2014 would be the third year for the Thunder Nites series. Thunder Nites is a nonprofit group, and this year would also be the first in its new partnership agreement with Newton American Legion Post 111.

Sheriff John Halferty also will seek the board’s approval for two matters. The first is for the appointment of a new deputy, Jason Cunningham, for the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.  Cunningham’s hire was previously approved by the board on Dec. 3.

Halferty also will seek the resolution on a matter he had asked the board to table several months back with regard to placing a communications system at the Jasper County Annex/Armory.

During the Oct. 15 meeting, Halferty explained the purpose the new communications would serve at the facility.

“What we are trying to do there with the new armory, as our emergency operations center/emergency management site, it’s critical that we get some ability out of that building to communicate and have communications, including a backup dispatch,” Halferty said.

“If, for some reason, we went down at the Sheriff’s Office or there is a major event such as a flood — such as the flood we had in Colfax and Reasnor areas or major disaster — the emergency operation center would be open, and it would be critical to have some form of communication coming out of there. So we can be consistent and efficient in handling whatever that disaster is,” he continued.

The agenda didn’t provide a list of bids for the project, but previously Perry-based Spring Valley Wireless had submitted a quote of $16,595, before Halferty and the board decided to seek other bids for the project.

In other business:

• Jasper Count Human Resources Director Dennis Simon will ask the board to approve the mileage rate for county employees for 2014. Simon is seeking a rate of 56 cents per mile.

• County Engineer Russ Stutt is asking the board to approve two separate measures on projects his department is currently undertaking.  The agenda doesn’t provide specific details on the projects at hand.

• The Izaak Walton League is seeking the board’s approval for a liquor license for its facility in rural Newton.

Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at

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