Guthrie County Supervisors discuss budget amendments

By Rich Wicks | Times Vedette

During the regular meeting of the Guthrie County Board of Supervisors on April 30, the supervisors considered fiscal year 2023-2024 budget amendments for the Sheriff’s department and for the supervisors’ department.

Sheriff Marty Arganbright summarized the budgetary items that are in need of amendment and the reasons. Supervisor Maggie Armstrong suggested a method of keeping a closer eye on departmental budgets.

“I think the other thing we can do is…do some quarterly check-ins on budget… I think having some of those check-ins quarterly will be beneficial when we get to this process this time next year,” Armstrong said.

Supervisors and Sheriff Marty Arganbright discussed the status of the out-of-county inmates being housed at Guthrie County’s jail and how this impacts the budget. Supervisor Mike Dickson questioned whether or not the practice is benefitting the county.

“We need to sit down and figure this all out, because when I start looking at these numbers, I don’t necessarily see that we’re making a whole lot of money housing out-of-county inmates,” Dickson said. “I mean, we’ve had to add jailers because of that.”

“You would have to come over and see how it all works,” Arganbright said. “If an inmate is being brought in to be booked in, the jailer does all that, but the arresting officer helps.”

“I think that it’s not necessarily the board’s job to determine how the structure of the Sheriff’s department runs,” Armstrong said. “So, if we feel that expenses are too high, then we can ask for more money.”

Arganbright and the supervisors discussed the possibility of raising the rate charged for out-of-county inmates. The rate is currently $60 per day.

“I don’t have a problem with raising it,” Arganbright said.

The consensus was to work on clearly defining revenues and expenses related to housing out-of-county inmates so the Sheriff’s department can make data-driven decisions on whether or not to increase the rate.

The supervisors and County Auditor Dani Fink reviewed the budget for the supervisors’ department and the reasons for some overages in expenses. The supervisors set a budget amendment public hearing for May 21 at 9:30 a.m.

Jeremy Cooper was approved as the representative to the E911 board.

The next regular meeting of the supervisors will be Tuesday, May 7. The public is welcome. Attendees may participate in person or by calling 323-792-6123 and inputting conference ID 547029216#.

Melvin Dean Turk


Melvin Dean Turk, 89, son of Arthur and Agnes Turk, was born June 8, 1934, in Shelby. He passed away Thursday, April 25, 2024, at the Community Care Center, Stuart.

Mel graduated from Oakland High School and then enlisted into the United States Army.  After he was honorably discharged, he enrolled at Iowa State University in Ames where he met and married Evelyn Andersen. One year later, they became the parents of twin boys, Mitchell Dean and Michael David. After completing his education, he taught school for two years, and then he began his career in the pharmaceutical field, working for several companies in sales and management. While living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, their third son, Matthew Darin, was born in 1967. They then moved back to the Des Moines area where the three boys graduated from Ankeny High School. Following living in Ankeny, they bought an old house near Saylorville Lake and spent about five years remodeling it inside and out. His next adventure was moving down to the lake home near Branson, Missouri, enjoying that life for several years until the boys convinced him he should move back up here near family in his old age.

Mel was preceded in death by his parents, his two beloved twin sons, Mitchell on Nov. 17, 2018, and Michael on March 2, 2023, and two older sisters, Audrey Zimmerman and Lavonne Rafuse.

He is survived by his son, Matthew (Pam) Turk of Hillsboro, Oregon; mother of his children, Evelyn Turk of Waukee; daughters-in-law, Deb Turk and Mari Turk; six grandchildren, Michelle (Mike) Porter, Adam (Michelle) Turk, Danny Turk, Sam (Bre) Turk, Jonathan (Sara) Turk and Zachary Turk; nine great-grandchildren; and sister, Mary Ann Graybill.

Graveside services will be 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery, near Van Meter. Following the services, everyone is invited to Evy’s home in Waukee for fellowship.

Twigg Funeral Home, Panora, is entrusted with his services.

Buried cars and beer signs

James Standiford relaxes at Lakeside Village in Panora


James Standiford has a lifetime of hobbies and memories from  his collections.

By Rich Wicks | Panora Times

James Standiford of Panora has lived at Lakeside Village for the past five years. He recently shared memories of the hobbies he and his late wife enjoyed over their years. 

As a teen and young man, Standiford’s main hobby dealt with cars. He recalled several stories from those days, including the unusual story of how he had two cars at the age of 14.

“I actually dug a grave for a guy,” Standiford said. “He said he would give me $60 for digging the grave. So, I dug it the way he wanted, and then he offered me the $60 or a car. Well, I was 14, so I took the car. It was a 1951 Studebaker, and it ran and everything. I took it home and worked on it.”

But, as Standiford soon discovered, he wasn’t finished digging up great deals on cars.

“A couple weeks later, he asked me to dig another grave for $60. So, I dug that one, and he had another car for me,” Standiford said. “Well, I was too young to drive, so my dad told me to never take those cars out of the yard. I sold the first one for $150 and the second one for $120 and a stereo system.” 

From then on, Standiford was hooked on the hobby of buying cheap cars and fixing them up. Another interesting car story came about literally by accident.

“Back in 1965, I had this 1956 Ford that I had bought from a guy. I was driving it in Des Moines, and a rock fell off a truck. It bounced up and smashed my windshield,” Standiford said. “I drove over to a friend of mine, and he was talking about going to stock car races that night. I said, ‘You know what, why don’t we just make this into a stock car?’ We busted all the windows out, and we drove it to Newton the following week. They laughed me off the track.”

Standiford explained that he was informed he couldn’t race the car because it didn’t have the required safety features such as a seat belt and fire extinguisher.

“The following week, I had gotten everything they said I needed, and I raced. I almost took the judge’s stand out, because I wasn’t used to driving on dirt tracks,” Standiford said. “But after a week or two, I got up to fourth place. I had put a good engine in it, and that thing was fast. Then I got drafted, so that was all I had for stock car racing.”

Over the years, Standiford developed another hobby.

“I started going to flea markets and things like that, and I got interested in beer lights. I started collecting them,” Standiford said. “I got up to about 600 of them. I had two storage sheds full. My wife helped me collect them, and she collected Precious Moments.”

For many years, the Standifords enjoyed attending flea markets, antique shows and similar events where they each could browse for items. Eventually, each had amassed large collections.

“Years later, before moving to Missouri, we decided we needed to get rid of them,” Standiford said. “It was just too much, so we started doing flea markets and antique shows to sell our things. I had 18 tables of them. I had all kinds of neons and some motion ones.”

Standiford recalled a few of his favorite beer signs from those days.

“Budweiser had one with Clydesdales that went around in a circle. The horses were pulling a wagon,” Standiford said. “Some of them were really expensive. Hamm’s was probably the most expensive. It had a waterfall with a teepee on a little island. It’s very hard to come by. That’s the most collectible one. Back in the 1960s, a lot of the bars had those.”

Standiford says he enjoys the memories of his years as a collector.

“I should have kept at least one of them,” he said. “It was fun.”