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Your Johnston Adviser is now Johnston Living Weekly!

    You have likely noticed some changes to your Johnston Adviser — and it starts with a new name. Your Johnston Adviser is now Johnston Living Weekly. As many of you know, we also publish the Johnston Living magazine that is mailed to all residences in the Johnston zip code. As a monthly, it can be challenging to cover some events, activities and announcements. We used the Johnston Adviser to fill in those gaps and work together with Johnston Living magazine to cover the community. With that in mind, we decided to start branding the two publications together, both in print and digital formats. You will be seeing more changes in weeks ahead, and I hope you like what we have done. As always, I appreciate your feedback.
    Have a great week, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher

Truly the BEST!

As a reader of this newsletter, you likely know that we also publish the Living magazine in your community. But what you may not know is that we publish CITYVIEW magazine and administer the Best of Des Moines readers’ poll, too. You see the BEST OF DES MOINES certificates proudly displayed in businesses across central Iowa, and rightfully so. This year, we had approximately 14,000 votes in the poll — a new record. The full results will be published in the February issue of CITYVIEW and at, but you can also check out any of the short videos that announce the winners in each of the six segments at
    • Eats segment
    • Best of the Rest segment
    • Shopping segment
    • Nightlife segment
    • Culture & Recreation segment
    • Health & Beauty segment
    Please join me in congratulating all of the people, places and events that were voted by CITYVIEW readers. And, as always, thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher

How to get the Adviser in your business

     If you are a business owner or manager and would like to have the Adviser available for your employees or customers, simply let us know and we will add you to the list. Here are 5 reasons you may want to consider this:
    1.  It’s free! We provide copies at no charge, and you simply make them available. We pick up the returns when we deliver the news ones, and we adjust the amount we give you based on how many were picked up. No work on your part.
    2.  It drives traffic to your store! Once residents know you are a distribution location, they will seek out the Adviser by returning to your store.
    3.  It supports the local business community! Local businesses are dealing with a new set of challenges now, but buying local is seemingly always the solution.
    4.  It shares positive news about the community! Those who read the Adviser tell us they feel better about themselves and this community.
    To begin delivery, contact us online at
    Thanks for reading.
Shane Goodman
President and Publisher

Virtual pancake breakfast planned

Posted 4/6/21
   The Kiwanis Club of Johnston is holding a virtual pancake breakfast April 19-26. The event can be accessed at Participants can pick up a free box of pancake mix and a bottle of syrup prior to the virtual event. Visit the Kiwanis of Johnston Facebook page for more details.
   The Club is asking for sponsorship donations of $100, which will include recognition and six free tickets to the next in-person pancake breakfast.
   The Club continues its community projects of providing scholarships to graduating Johnston High School seniors, donating a dictionary to every third grade student in the district, sponsoring the Johnston High School Key Leadership Club and supporting the Kiwanis Miracle League. The Kiwanis International project is to eliminate maternal/neonatal tetanus worldwide. For more information, visit
   Checks can be mailed to Kiwanis Club of Johnston, P.O. Box 653, Johnston, IA 50131 or by Venmo @Johnston-Kiwanis.

Parks and Rec Department now hiring

Posted 4/6/21
   The City of Johnston is hiring qualified individuals to join the Parks & Recreation Department as Seasonal Parks Maintenance team members.
   The responsibilities include diverse tasks associated with the maintenance of city parks, trails, cemeteries and city park facilities that could include landscape beds and tree care.
   To learn more about this position and apply, visit

Compost It! season begins in Johnston

Posted 4/6/21
   The Compost It! program picks up yard waste throughout the Metro. Curbside collection through the Compost It! program starts for the season on April 5-6 in Johnston. The program accepts small twigs and branches, leaves and lawn clippings, as well as any garden vegetation. Just avoid dirt, mulch, rocks and food waste.
   There are a variety of ways you can get your yard waste collected curbside:
   Tag it: Brush bundles and store-brand bags require a green Compost It! sticker for collection. Bundles can be no larger than 4 feet long by 18 inches in diameter.
   Bag it: Put loose yard waste such as lawn clippings, leaves and garden vegetation in Compost it! bags or store-brand bags with a green Compost It! sticker.
   Wheel it: Throw everything in your Compost It! cart and take it to the curb before 6 a.m. on your regular collection day. If you’re wondering what all this cart business is about, see if it would be a good fit for you!
   Retailers sell Compost It! bags and stickers throughout the Metro. For curbside collection, use Compost It! brand yard waste bags or stickers. When using store-brand bags, a green Compost It! sticker must be added for collection.
   Yard waste is also accepted year-round at Metro Park East or Metro Park West Landfills.  

Police warn residents of new imposter scam

Posted 4/6/21
   The Johnston Police Department is warning residents about a new imposter scam. The scammers are impersonating a member of the Johnston Police Department. While impersonating the officer, the scammers will attempt to solicit payment for not pressing charges or threaten violence if not paid. The scam may come in a series of calls.
   “Calls threatening you or asking for money are flat-out scams — don’t become a victim,” said Johnston Police Chief, Dennis McDaniel. “These scammers steal the names of real agency personnel solely to scare you into paying them. While the scammers may change up the phone numbers they are calling from; they are calling for one mission, to get you to share your account information, or send money.”
   The Johnston Police Department offers these tips to avoid imposter scams:
   • Don’t trust caller ID readings — scammers often spoof names and numbers to make them appear like a local caller.
   • Let numbers you do not recognize go directly to voicemail. And do not call unknown numbers back.
   • Hang up on anyone who threatens you with arrest, legal action, or seizure of your accounts.
   • Do not converse with anyone online who you do not know, and certainly do not share any personal photos of yourself.
   • Hang up if anyone directs you to pay using store gift cards, money wires or mailed cash. These are often used because they are difficult to trace.
   If you do receive a scam call, contact the Johnston Police Department at 515-278-2345.

Johnston Library Drive-In Story Time

Posted 4/6/21
   The Johnston Public Library will host a special Drive-In Story Time. The event will take place Tuesday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 10:25 a.m. in the library parking lot at 6700 Merle Hay Road. Sing, wiggle and listen to a fun story all from the inside of your car. To maintain social distancing, individuals will stay in their car then tune their FM radio to our channel to be able to hear the stories and songs. Registration will begin on April 20 at 9 a.m. and is required. Only one registration is necessary per vehicle.

Northwest Beaver Drive closed

Posted 3/29/21
    Construction season has arrived. A reminder that N.W. Beaver Drive is closed between Merle Hay Road and N.W. 70th Avenue. Local traffic access will be maintained at all times. The expected completion is May 1. For more information, visit

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

Posted 3/29/21
    Hy-Vee, Inc. announces today that it is partnering with 211 Iowa to host a free community COVID-19 vaccination clinic for 3,500 area residents. This will be Hy-Vee’s largest COVID-19 community vaccination clinic to date.
     The first dose clinic will be Saturday, April 3 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.
     Individuals who have barriers to scheduling a vaccine appointment or who do not have Internet access who are 65 and older, or 64 and younger with an underlying health condition as outlined by the CDC, can call 211 or (800) 244-7431 and a vaccine navigator can assist them with scheduling a vaccination appointment at the April 3 clinic. 211 vaccine navigators are available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by dialing 211 and selecting the vaccine prompt number 9. Translation services are available.
     Recipients of the vaccine will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine provided at this clinic requires two doses. A clinic to administer second doses for vaccine recipients will be held on April 24 at the same time as their first dose appointment and at the same location.
     Free parking is available for vaccine recipients, and the convention center is located near a DART bus stop for those with limited transportation options. There is no cost for DART transportation to/from vaccine appointments, including this event.
     It is recommended (but not required) that vaccine recipients bring the following to their appointment: insurance card (if they have insurance) and Medicare Part B red, white and blue card (if Medicare recipient); and photo ID. Masks are required. If individuals do not have insurance, they can still be vaccinated.

Easter Treasure Hunt

Posted 3/29/21
    This socially-distanced Easter Treasure Hunt on Saturday, April 3, from 9-11 a.m. at The Bridge, 10025 N.W. 62nd Ave., Johnston, can be completed at your own pace and is a station-based event geared for kids, with the Easter story, an egg hunt and more. Come and go as you please anytime, free to anyone, bring your own basket, and masks are required.


Posted 3/29/21
    On Monday, April 5, the Johnston City Council will set and approve the special election date for Tuesday, June 22 to elect a Councilmember for the City of Johnston. The election filing period will end Friday, April 30. Filing papers to run for office can be found on the Iowa Secretary of State’s office at
    Filing papers will need to be filed at the Polk County Election Office, 120 Second Ave., Suite A, Des Moines, IA 50309, no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, April 30, 2021. The office of this council seat will expire on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023.
    If more than two candidates file paperwork, a primary is required and will be held on Tuesday, May 25.
    The appointment will become effective after the Polk County Election Office has certified the election and the oath is taken by the newly elected person following the special election on June 22.

Bill Riley Talent Search

Posted 3/29/21
    For the 18th year at Johnston Green Days on June 19, Charter Bank will again sponsor the youth Bill Riley Talent Search beginning at 1 p.m.
     Vocal, instrumental and dance musical talent contestants are needed to apply as soon as possible with roster priority given to Johnston area youth through May 31. A limit of 10-15 Sprouts or Senior talent for the show will make up the talent roster on June 19.
     Sprout talent ages 2-12 will perform beginning at 1 p.m and Seniors ages 13-21 perform following the Sprout awards ceremony for winners placing 1-2-3.
     First place winners will advance to the Iowa State Fair BRTS talent show Aug. 12-22.  Registration at Green Days for all talent on the roster begins after the parade at Terra Park from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. before the show.
    For more details, contact or call her in Johnston at 515-331-BANK.


Posted 3/23/21
    The Johnston City Council unanimously approved the City’s budget for the Fiscal Year 2022 on Monday, March 15, 2021. The budget was developed to deliver quality services while being fiscally conservative. The new budget will go into effect on July 1, 2021.
    The $113 million budget, along with the Local Option Sales and Services Tax (LOSST), keeps the tax rate at $10.63 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value. The LOSST reduced the tax rate by $1.34; without this revenue, the tax rate would have been $11.97 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value.
    The community survey also revealed the City should focus on traffic flow and quality of recreation programs and facilities. The Capital Improvement Plan reflects projects relating to street and park improvements.
    For each dollar paid on property taxes, the City receives approximately $0.27. There are eight other entities collecting revenue from property taxes paid by Johnston residents, including:
    Johnston Community School District – 44 percent
    City of Johnston – 27 percent
    Polk County – 18 percent
    Other 11 percent – (Broadlawns Medical Center, DART, DMACC, Polk County Accessor, Polk County Ag Extension and the State of Iowa)
    More information about the City’s FY 2022 budget can be found on the City of Johnston’s website,

Community Education Programs

Posted 3/23/21
    Community Education is offering numerous swim programs to keep members of the family active. View the programs at, and visiting the aquatics page.

Pop-Up Kite Flying

Posted 3/23/21
    Celebrate kite flying month and prepare for Kites on the Green 2021 by participating in one of the pop-up kite flying events. The events will be held on April 10, 17 and 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will feature a few giant show kites. Come out to pick up your kite-making kit and enjoy time with your family by practice flying kites before the annual Kites on the Green event on May 1, 2021.
    April 10: NorthPoint Church, 9901 N.W. 62nd Ave.
    April 17: Terra Lake Park, 6300 Pioneer Parkway
    April 24: Johnston Public Libary, 6700 Merle Hay Road
    For information on how to build your kite from the kit, visit

Digital Dragon Program Enrollment Open

Posted 3/23/21
The Johnston Community School District is now accepting enrollments for the 21-22 Digital Dragons Learning Program for the first semester/trimester of the 2021-22 school year. Any student/family wishing to enroll in the 100 percent online Digital Dragons learning program will need to sign up. This sign up is only for the 100 percent online program, meaning students do not attend school in a physical school building. The form will need to be completed for each child in a household who wishes to enroll in the 100 percent online program.
     This sign up is only for students in the 100 percent online program, meaning they would not attend school in a physical school building. The form does not need to be completed for students attending school in an in-person learning model in the 21-22 school year.
     Enrollment in the Digital Dragons program will be accepted through April 5, 2021. To complete the Digital Dragons enrollment for a Johnston student, navigate to the Infinite Campus Parent Portal and Click on “Digital Dragons Enrollment 1st Semester/Trimester.” Complete the short form. Please note that a parent/guardian will need the student ID to complete the enrollment.
     Questions can be directed to Dr. Bruce Amendt, Associate Superintendent, at 515-278-0470.


Posted 3/16/21
    Roughly two years ago, ice jams collapsed the Trestle to Trestle Bridge that spans over Beaver Creek in Johnston. This bridge is the connector between the cities of Johnston and Des Moines and a key element of the very popular urban Trestle to Trestle Trail. Since the collapse, trail partners have been searching for funding for this $2 million dollar project. Funding has now been secured.
    Funding sources include the cities of Johnston and Des Moines, Metropolitan Planning Organization, Polk County, Polk County Conservation, FEMA, and the State of Iowa. Invitations to bid the project will be solicited in July 2021 with anticipated construction being completed in the spring or early summer of 2022. Designers incorporated the trestle design in the railing of the new bridge to tie it to the past.
    More information and photos: Questions can be directed to Polk County Conservation Deputy Director, Doug Romig, at


Posted 3/16/21
    Johnston’s first Zoning Ordinance was adopted in 1970, with an update/rewrite completed in 1982. While amendments have been made since that time, most of these have been in a piece meal fashion. Following the recommendations from the Thrive 2040 Plan, this update is intended to collectively update and modernize the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations in conformance with the guiding visions, principles and implementation strategies of the Thrive 2040 Plan. The current Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations are available at
    Firms interested in submitting an RFP response are encouraged to participate in an informational question and answer meeting, being held via Zoom on Thursday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. Full information and registration is at
    Firms may submit the RFP in person or by email. In any case, submissions must be received by the Submittal Contact by 4 p.m on Friday, April 9, 2021, to be considered.
    Questions pertaining to this RFP can be submitted to David R. Wilwerding, AICP, Community Development Director via email or 515-727-7775.

Upcoming Community Meetings and Events

Posted 3/16/21
    • Library Board Meeting: Thursday, Mar. 18, 5:30 p.m.
    • Board of Adjustment Meeting: Thursday, Mar. 18, 6:30 p.m.
    • Tree Board Meeting: Tuesday, Mar. 23, 5:30 p.m.
    • Park Board Meeting: Tuesday, Mar. 23, 6:30 p.m.
    • Planning and Zoning Meeting: Monday, Mar. 29, 7 p.m.

Property tax rate approved; Budget hearing on march 15

Posted 3/9/21
    On Thursday, March 4, the Johnston City Council approved the resolution regarding the proposed FY 2021/2022 city maximum property tax dollars.
    For the fiscal year 2021-2022, the City proposed to keep its property tax rate at $10.63 per $1,000 of valuation. This rate did not change from fiscal year 2020-2021.
    The Johnston City Council will conduct a public hearing on the budget on Monday, March 15, 2021, at 7 p.m. Due to health concerns related to COVID-19, the meeting may be conducted electronically rather than in-person.
    Visit to view the agenda in advance of the public hearing.

Fishing camp

Posted 3/9/21
    The First Catch Center is pleased to announce their first virtual fishing camp. An “Introduction to Fishing” will offer fun and interactive opportunities for youth in grades 4-6 to learn more about the sport, and get started fishing.
The virtual camp begins March 25, with a 45-minute session at 4 p.m. each Thursday through April 29. Campers who complete at least half of the virtual series will be invited to attend an in-person fishing event with an adult (age 18 or older) on Thursday, May 6 from 5-7 p.m. at Terra Lake in Johnston. Those who complete of the entire series (six sessions), will also be entered in a prize drawing for gear to be handed out at the live event on May 6.
    Thursday, March 25: Basic Fishing Equipment
    Thursday, April 1: Knots and assembly
    Thursday, April 8: Casting
    Thursday, April 15: Rules, regulations and safety
    Thursday, April 22: Fish identification
    Thursday, April 29: Fishing tactics, tips and tricks
    Thursday, May 6: In-person fishing at Terra Lake
    Registration is $10 per participant and will be limited to the first 30 people. Register by Friday, March 19. Visit for details.

Johnston Chamber Annual Dinner

Posted 3/9/21
    The Johnston Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner will be held Saturday, April 24 at 6 p.m. at Camp Dodge. Join for a fun night of Trivia and to honor our Ambassador, Business, Citizen, New Member and Member of the Year at our Annual Dinner. See details or get your tickets at

SAVE and PPEL Vote March 2

Posted 3/1/21
    On Tuesday, March 2, all residents in the Johnston Community School District will have the opportunity to vote on two ballot questions regarding the SAVE Revenue Purpose Statement and PPEL (Physical Plant & Equipment Levy).
    SAVE and PPEL are district funding measures for things like new construction, renovations and building upkeep, technology initiatives, and extracurricular facilities. Real-life examples of how these dollars have been put to use in the past 10 years include:
    • Construction of the new Johnston High School;
    • Renovations to the former high school (now Johnston Middle School), former JMS (now Wallace Elementary and Johnston Early Learning Academy) and former Wallace Elementary (now the District Office);
    • 1:1 iPad Initiative for all students grades PreK-12;
    • Computer software and programing, such as CAD and drafting programs;
    • Enhanced broadband networks and connectivity;
    • HVAC and mechanical updates to buildings;
    • Construction of the Dragon Stadium (JHS);
    • Turf replacement at the Johnston Stadium (JMS);
    • Construction of the Johnston baseball and softball complex.
    The authorization for how the district uses SAVE dollars and the PPEL levy must be approved by public vote prior to their expiration. The vote needs a simple majority (over 50 percent) approval to pass. We’ve compiled resources, listed below, to assist eligible voters in the district so they can make a decision on these ballot measures.
    See more information the Johnston Community School district’s website:


Posted 3/1/21
    The Johnston City Council will conduct a public hearing on the proposed Fiscal Year City property tax rate on Thursday, March 4 at 4 p.m. The meeting will be held electronically.
    The proposed City tax rate for FY 2022 will not increase from the current year ($10.63). Property tax revenue will increase due to the modest property valuation growth of 3.28 percent to support community priorities such as public safety (police officer, deputy fire marshal, fire department promotions), communications (communications specialist) and parks/trails (parks maintenance worker). The funds will support the rising cost of employee benefits and risk management expenses.
    At the hearing, any resident or taxpayer may present objections to or arguments in favor of the proposed tax rate. After adoption, the Council will publish notice and hold a public hearing on the proposed City budget.
    View the entire text of the notice at

Welcome packet

Posted 3/1/21
    Are you a new resident to Johnston? Community Greetings would love to welcome you to your new home. Please feel free to reach out to Missy Shepherd, Johnston’s Community Greeter. She has a welcome packet for you with information on local businesses and some fun little gifts from them. Call, text or email for a greeting today, 515-991-5014 or

Johnston Girls Basketball moves on

Posted 3/1/21
    Congratulations to the No. 2 Johnston High School girls basketball team, winning their first round game at the Girls State Tournament against No. 7 Cedar Falls, final score of 71-64.  The next game is set for noon on Thursday, March 4.

Chopped LITE

Posted 3/1/21
    Join the Johnston Partnership for a virtual event this April, with local chefs and other goodies. Here’s an opportunity to keep up to date with what’s happening with the Johnston Partnership, support our local restaurants who’ve given us great support over the years, and get some awesome recipes and cooking tips from our professional chefs.
    Join from the comfort of your home April 11-19. Your registration gets you online access to local chefs demonstrating their skills or favorite recipes, a goodie bag, as well as information on what the Johnston Partnership has been up to.
    Your goodie bag will contain a gift card to the local restaurant of your choosing, some Johnston Partnership kitchenware, information to access the online event, as well as an optional bottle of wine. Pickup for the bags will be during the week of April 5-9. There will be a limited amount of delivery spots, if you’d like to pay to have your bag delivered. For more details, visit

Annual tree sale

Posted 3/1/21
    The annual tree sale will happen on April 6, beginning at 8 a.m. The trees are at a reduced price of $30 per tree. The five trees for sale include Scarlet Oak, Ginko Autumn Gold, Serviceberry Autumn Brilliance, Magnolia Ann and Columnar Norway Spruce. This year’s sale is made possible thanks to the Johnston Lions Club. More information will be available on the City’s website.

Spring cleanup

Posted 3/1/21
    Spring cleanup is happening April 19-20 (on your collection day), and the City of Johnston has some helpful tips to ensure your spring cleaning is a successful one.
    This event residents to dispose of large household items on their regular trash collection day at no additional charge. All smaller items must be placed in bags or boxes. The average Johnston household pays around $6 per year (included in your monthly utility bill) for this Spring Cleanup Event, so take advantage of it.
    If you live in an apartment, condo or townhome with private trash collection, you may not be a part of the Spring Cleanup Event. Please contact your association or management to find out.


Posted 2/23/21
    On Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, the Johnston City Council held a Special Meeting to appoint former Councilman John Temple to fill the vacant seat after Scott Syroka resigned.
     “The Council discussed the vacancy and agreed that John has the experience and qualifications to represent the residents of Johnston once again,” said Mayor Paula Dierenfeld. “Our objective was to appoint someone who understands the importance of public service, including listening to our residents and making thoughtful and informed decisions. As a Councilmember, John’s insights on issues impacting our community have been invaluable and have resulted in decisions that are in the best interest of the residents we serve.”                        
    John Temple served on the Planning and Zoning Commission from 1998 to 2000, was first elected to City Council in 2000, serving until 2008, then returned to the Planning and Zoning Commission from 2008 to 2012. He was again elected to the Council in 2012 and left his seat in 2019. “After a year away, I am excited to be part of the Council to continue to guide future developments. Seeing the Town Center and new City Hall come together is exciting, and I look forward to being part of the decision-making process as we continue to see this area develop,” said Councilman John Temple.
     Councilman Temple will remain in this seat until the November election. However, the electors of the City have the right to file a petition requiring that a special election fill the vacancy by the filing of a petition in accordance with Iowa Code Section 372.13(2)(a)(2) within 14 days, which is Thursday, Mar. 4. If a special election is held, Johnston taxpayers’ estimated cost would be $4,000 - $7,000. 

Family Ice Fishing

Posted 2/23/21
    The City of Johnston is hosting a family ice fishing event on Sunday, Feb. 28 from 2-4 p.m. at Terra Lake Park. You must register online at First Catch Center Event Registration ( You will receive an email to confirm your spot. The First Catch Center Iowa and the City of Johnston will provide pre-augured holes and bait.
    Check out the ice fishing “how-to” information at the FirstCatchCenterIowa website ( Bring your own ice fishing pole. Dress warmly. Insulated boots and warm gloves, in addition to warm coats and hats, are a must. Bring a bucket, chair, or stool to sit on.

Kites on the Green

Posted 2/23/21
    Join for the eighth annual Kites on the Green Festival featuring giant show kite displays, free kite building, live music, 3D chalk artist, and quality outdoor time with family. The event is planned for Saturday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Johnston Commons, 6700 Merle Hay Road. Volunteer at Kites on the Green. Sign up by visiting,

Women’s Mentoring Event

Posted 2/23/21
    Looking for a mentor? You could find one or more at Mentoring For Women. Join the Grimes, Johnston and Urbandale Chambers as they come together for networking, coaching, and mentoring sessions from the region’s most influential business leaders.
    This event will be held at Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center on Thursday, March 25, at 8 a.m. Masks are required to attend in person.
    These events are designed for women to find inspiration and guidance on their careers. All events are open to anyone in the Greater Des Moines (DSM) community who would like to network and further their professional development.
    Visit the website for more information:

Johnston Farmers Market to begin in May

Posted 2/23/21
    The Johnston Farmers Market plans to open for the season on May 25. The market will be held Tuesdays through Oct. 12, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the Johnston Public Library parking lot, 6700 Merle Hay Road. Come and enjoy fresh produce, live music, baked goods, crafts, food trucks and more.

Johnston Public Library

Posted 2/23/21
     Library services are limited due to Covid-19. Call 515-278-5233  or visit to learn more or make an appointment.
    • Stemday Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Every Wednesday, stop by the library to pick up a take and make STEM Kit. Each kit includes everything you need to create a fun experiment and allows your child to explore science, math, technology, or engineering in a hands-on, fun way. For kids in kindergarten-5th grade.
    • Among Us: Teen Zoom Hang Out, Feb. 24, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Join on Zoom every Wednesday to meet up with other teens and play Among Us. Participants will need to have the game Among Us downloaded on their smartphone, tablet, or PC. Registration with a valid email is required. A reminder email will be sent to all registered participants with the Zoom meeting ID and password. For kids in 6th grade and up.
    • Register for Feb. 25 Teen Take And Make Craft: Bob Ross Edition. We’ll be offering a new Take and Make Craft Kit every week for kids in 6th grade and up. Register to reserve your kit (quantities are limited) Monday-Wednesday each week. Then, pick up your kit on Thursday between 2-6 p.m.


Posted 2/16/21
    On Thursday, Feb. 18, at 4 p.m., the Johnston City Council will hold a Special Meeting to appoint former Councilman John Temple to fill the recent vacancy resignation of Scott Syroka. The meeting will be held electronically, with participation information posted on the agenda.        
    “The Council discussed the vacancy at our last meeting and agreed that, given the short period of time between now and the next election, it makes sense to appoint someone temporarily and to avoid the cost of a special election, if a qualified person could be identified,” said Mayor Paula Dierenfeld. The Council quickly concluded that former Councilman John Temple is well-qualified and should be appointed to fill the vacant seat.
       In November, an election will be held to fill the seat for its unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2023. Once appointed, John Temple would remain until the newly elected Councilmember takes the oath of office.
    Per Iowa law, Johnston residents may petition the Council to hold a special election. If a special election is held, Johnston taxpayers’ estimated cost would be $4,000-$7,000. 

The Dragon Scholarship Fund

Posted 2/16/21
    We need your help. The Dragon Scholarship fund annually raises scholarship monies for each graduating student furthering their education. The annual phone-a-thon is their largest fundraiser of the year and typically takes place over three weeks in November. Due to the continuing challenges of COVID, we took a different approach this year and have been attempting to raise funds virtually. Unfortunately, they are woefully short of the 2021 fundraising goal. Funds raised now will be distributed to 2021 graduating seniors who continue to pursue their education beyond high school.
    In 2020, the Dragon Scholarship Fund awarded more than $108,000 in scholarship money to 255 Johnston students. In order to be able to do the same in 2021, they need your help. Consider donating at

HELP WANTED:Office Coordinator/Bookkeeper

Posted 2/16/21
    St Paul Presbyterian Church of Johnston is seeking friendly, organized and skilled applicants for the positions of Office Coordinator, Bookkeeper, or the combined position of Office Coordinator/Bookkeeper. The job description for both positions is available by visiting or at the church office, 6426 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, 515-276-2818. Office hours Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Direct all questions and resumes to Don McLaughlin, chair of the St Paul Personnel Committee,, 515-202-8416. The deadline for applying is Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.

SAVE Revenue Purpose Statement and PPEL

Posted 2/16/21
    On Tuesday, March 2, all residents in the Johnston Community School District will have the opportunity to vote on two ballot questions regarding our SAVE Revenue Purpose Statement and PPEL (Physical Plant & Equipment Levy).
SAVE and PPEL are essential district funding measures for things like new construction, renovations and building upkeep, technology initiatives, and extracurricular facilities. Real-life examples of how these dollars have been put to use in the past ten years include:
    • Construction of the new Johnston High School;
    • Renovations to the former high school (now Johnston Middle School), former JMS (now Wallace Elementary and Johnston Early Learning Academy) and former Wallace Elementary (now the District Office);
    • 1:1 iPad Initiative for all students grades PreK-12;
    • Computer software and programing, such as CAD and drafting programs;
    • Enhanced broadband networks and connectivity;
    • HVAC and mechanical updates to buildings;
    • Construction of the Dragon Stadium (JHS);
    • Turf replacement at the Johnston Stadium (JMS);
    • Construction of the Johnston baseball and softball complex
    The authorization for how the district uses SAVE dollars and the PPEL levy must be approved by public vote prior to their expiration. The vote needs a simple majority approval to pass. Neither of these funding measures will increase taxes, but they are important so the district can continue to fund new construction, renovations and building upkeep, technology initiatives, and extracurricular facilities.
    You can review more information about the ballot issue, including voting locations, at, or call 515-278-0470.

Scott Syroka Resigns from City Council

Posted 2/9/21
    On Thursday, Jan. 28, Councilman Scott Syroka tendered his resignation from the Johnston City Council effective Friday, Jan. 29, 2021.
    Councilman Syroka was elected to the Johnston City Council in 2019 and was a dedicated public servant who had the residents’ interests in mind when making decisions.
    Councilman Syroka accepted an opportunity to serve our country in the Biden-Harris Administration and will work in the Office of Personnel Management.
    During the City Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, the City Council discussed the vacancy and appointment of former Councilman John Temple to fill the seat on a temporary basis. On Friday, Feb. 12, a public notice will be issued stating the Council’s intent to appoint Temple. The Council will make the appointment at a special meeting, which will begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. In November, an election will be held to fill the seat for its unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2023. Per Iowa law, Johnston residents may petition the Council to hold a special election.

Special Election forum

Posted 2/9/21
    On Feb. 18, the Johnston Community School District will offer a virtual community forum to talk about the upcoming Special Election to renew SAVE and continue PPEL funding. It’s your opportunity to ask questions, see information, and clear up any confusion about these two essential funding resources. Zoom link:

Upcoming, Community Meetings and Events

Posted 2/9/21
    • Presidents’ Day: Monday, Feb. 15, City Offices Closed
    • City Council Work Session: Tuesday, Feb. 16, 6 p.m.
    • City Council Meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 16, 7 p.m.
    • Board of Adjustment Meeting: Thursday, Feb. 18, 6:30 p.m.
    • Library Board Meeting: Thursday, Feb. 18, 5:30 p.m.
    • Planning and Zoning Meeting: Monday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m.
    • Tree Board Meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.
    • Park Board Meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m.

Johnston Public Library

Posted 2/9/21
     Library services are limited due to Covid-19. Call 515-278-5233  or visit to learn more or make an appointment.
    • Register For Mystery Snack Taste Test Challenge, Online, Feb. 11. Explore the world through snacks. Adventurous snackers in 6th grade and up are invited to sign-up for the Mystery Snack Taste Test Challenge. Each month, participants will receive a bag with a mystery snack from around the world inside. (This month’s snacks will be from the Netherlands.) Each bag will contain a unique snack. No two mystery snack bags are alike. Once registered, they’ll email instructions on how to pick up the bag via the curb-side system, but don’t open it until the Online Snack Party on Feb. 17. You’ll meet on Zoom and open the bags together to see (and taste) our mystery snacks. Plus, we’ll have some trivia and fun facts to share and the JPL Snack Wheel of Doom will make an appearance.
    • Adult Beginner ESL Class, Online, Feb. 11, 6-8 p.m. Adult ESL is an ongoing program designed for English language learners. Lessons focus on reading to improve vocabulary, speaking to improve pronunciation, and listening to improve comprehension. Lessons have every day, functional English in mind. Lessons are led by trained volunteers and follow-up digital materials are available for interested students. Classes meet online using the Zoom app. Email for sign-in information. Classes are free and no registration is required.
    • Family Game Night To-Go, Feb. 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Spend Friday nights with family and enjoy a fun family game night in. Each kit includes all you need for a fun filled night of games that are great for all ages. Each week we will feature a new game. Registration required.
    • To-Go Adult Craft Kits: Felt Heart Garland, Feb. 13, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Grab a fresh mug of coffee or warm cider and get your craft on. Stop by to pick up a Take-Home Adult Crafting Kit featuring the materials to make a trendy felt heart garland for Valentine’s Day. Included in the kit are written instructions from super-crafter Erica Carnes, plus all supplies needed to the garland. These kits will go fast and are available on a first come, first-served basis. No appointment necessary.


Posted 2/9/21
    During garbage and recycling collection days, there are ways residents can help avoid a mess and frustration for the snowplow drivers and recycling and trash haulers. Please ensure carts are placed within your driveway, minimally two to three feet apart. Do not place them in the street, on top of snowbanks. Doing this can cause a safety hazard for haulers or cause damage to the carts if a snowplow catches it.
    Clean an area for your cart when you are clearing the snow from your driveway and sidewalks.
    If a snowstorm occurs overnight, consider waiting until the morning to place your carts at the curb.
    For questions regarding your recycling or garbage collection, please contact Metro Waste Authority at 515-244-0021.

Groundhog Day

Posted 2/2/21
    Groundhog Day is Tuesday Feb. 2, 2021. Will Phil see his shadow? If Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his burrow and sees his shadow, we’ll be in for six more weeks of winter weather, but if he doesn’t, then spring is just around the corner.

Virtual MetroNet Community Meeting

Posted 2/2/21
    All Johnston residents are invited to participate in a virtual webinar with MetroNet on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. In late winter/early spring, MetroNet crews will begin installing fiber in Johnston. This private endeavor is expected to last the duration of 2021 into the first part of 2022. The buildout will be accessible to more than 90 percent of Johnston residents and businesses. Crews will bore underground fiber lines in neighborhoods with underground electric, and hang cables on utility poles in areas with above-ground electric.
    MetroNet members will be present to answer questions for Johnston residents and provide a clear picture of what to expect when you see them working in your neighborhood.
    For more information about the project, visit,%20IA.

Valentine’s Day Kits To Go

Posted 2/2/21
    Kids of all ages can celebrate Valentine’s Day with a fun goodie bag from Johnston Public Library. Create a craft, enjoy a nummy treat, and make a Valentine’s Day card for someone special. While supplies last. Saturday, Feb. 13, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cancer care bags donations wanted

Posted 2/2/21
    The JHS Student Council is collecting new lip balm, hand sanitizer and lotion for their cancer care bags, through Feb. 17. Donations can be dropped off at JHS.

JCSD registration

Posted 2/2/21
    School registration days are coming up. Families can register online at or over the phone at (515) 278-0470. Translation services are available.
    • Feb. 3: 2- and 3-year-old preschool
    • Feb. 10: 4-year-old preschool
    • Feb. 17: Developmental Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Grades 1-12.

Snow Ordinance

Posted 1/26/21
    The City of Johnston’s Snow Ordinance will go into effect at noon on Monday, Jan. 25, and remain in effect until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan, 26.
     All vehicles must be moved off city streets during this time so snowplows can efficiently clear roads from curb to curb. For more information on the City Code (69.11), visit We also remind businesses and residents to clear their sidewalks within 48-hours after the snowfall ends. Not doing this is a violation of city code (136.03).

Johnston Rated at or Above National Average in 41 of 43 Areas Assessed

Posted 1/26/21
    The City of Johnston is pleased to announce a new scientific survey that shows our community rated at or above the national average in 41 of 43 areas assessed. This is a slight increase from the 2018 community survey.
    Throughout November and early December 2020, we asked residents to provide feedback on various areas within their local government, including police, fire, parks, library, public works, communications and community development. We also asked several COVID-19 related questions to better understand how the pandemic affected — and continues to affect — our residents. We are proud to report that our city departments consistently rank among the best in the country.
     The areas in which Johnston rated notably higher than the national average are listed below:
    • The overall quality of City services (38.2 percent above the national average)
    • Quality of customer service from City employees (35.6 percent above the national average)
    • Cleanliness of City streets (29.4 percent above the national average)
    • Efforts to proactively detect/deter crime (29.4 percent above the national average)
    • The overall feeling of safety in the City (27.9 percent above the national average)
    • Snow removal on City streets (25.8 percent above the national average)
    • The overall quality of local police protection (23.9 percent above the national average)
    • Maintenance of walking and biking trails (23.6 percent above the national average)
    • Value received from City tax dollars and fees (22.4 percent above the national average)
     Of the 408 residents surveyed, 87 percent indicated they were very satisfied with our community’s overall quality of life. Ninety-four percent indicated they were satisfied with the overall feeling of safety, which is 27 percent higher than the national average in city quality-of-life rankings.
     View the full survey results at The random sample of 408 households has a 95 percent level of confidence with a precision of at least +/- 4.8 percent.

JHS Madrigal Virtual Performance

Posted 1/26/21
    The 41st Annual JHS Madrigal Performance will be held via live stream this Thursday, Jan. 28, beginning at 6 p.m.
    Hear ye, hear ye! The King and Queen, their court and all of their royal subjects solemnly regret they cannot open their castle to the entire kingdom this fortnight for merriment and good cheer. They request unto thee, however, to seek into your kind hearts for donations to help continue the Madrigal tradition for many years to come.  The King, Queen, and all of the lords and ladies of the Royal Court extend gratitude and best wishes to you and yours.
   To make a donation to our JHS Madrigal, go to

Johnston Public Library

Posted 1/26/21
     Library services are limited due to Covid-19. Call 515-278-5233  or visit to learn more or make an appointment.
    Play areas, seating areas and study rooms are closed.
    Appointments are available to use a computer, send a fax, make copies and get documents notarized.
    Groups of four or fewer can browse in the library for 30 minutes by appointment.
    Pickup library materials curbside by appointment.
    Send documents up to 20 pages to pickup by appointment.
    They are now accepting returns at the library book drop and the Beaver Creek book drop. Items will be quarantined for 3-5 days after they’re returned; they’ll stay checked-out to you during this time. Items will be backdated upon check-in.
    Patrons can continue to use their library card to access e-books and downloadable-audiobooks, stream movies and TV, learn new skills, and more. Don’t have a library card? While services are limited, Iowans can sign up for a digital card to get access to online resources. Staff will be available via email to help you get started.

Honors lists announced

Posted 1/18/21
    Iowa Center Community College, Ft. Dodge, announced the honors list for Fall 2020. Molly Leclair, Claudine Mutoni and Summer Williams of Johnston were honored on the Dean’s List.

Family Ice Fishing

Posted 1/18/21
    If you have always wanted to try ice fishing, this is your opportunity. Email to reserve your spot. You will receive an email to confirm your spot. Registration is required.
    Session 1 is Sunday, Jan. 24 from 2-3 p.m.
    Session 2 is Sunday, Jan. 24 from 3-4 p.m.
    The First Catch Center Iowa and the City of Johnston will provide starter kits, bait, and holes drilled through the ice.
    How you can prepare: Check out the ice fishing “how-to” information at the FirstCatchCenterIowa website.
    • Bring a soda pop bottle to make your ice fishing rig.
    • Dress warmly. Insulated boots and warm gloves in addition to warm coats and hats are a must.
    • Bring a bucket, chair, or stool to sit on.

County Government Illustrated Essay Contest

Posted 1/18/21
    The Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) is looking forward to hearing from Iowa’s youth about what they think about county government in Iowa and why it is so important. ISAC is now accepting illustrated essay submissions of up to 500 words from Iowa children age 12 and younger. Illustrations should be no larger than an 8.5”x11” sheet of paper.
    Essays will be judged by an internal committee, and the three winning submissions will be included in the April issue of The Iowa County magazine. All submissions will receive a certificate of participation. ISAC will send winners a prize package and notify their local media. Winners will be chosen based on essay and illustration creativity, positivity, originality, and overall impression.
    Submit any questions, essays and illustrations to Rachel Bennett at They suggest a photo or scanned copy of handwritten essays and illustrations. Word documents of electronic essays are preferred, but PDFs will be accepted. Deadline for submissions is Friday, Feb. 12.
    Include with your submission: name, birthdate, address, county of residence, grade/school, favorite hobbies, the illustration and an essay. Optional, picture of child (know that if a picture is included, they reserve the right to publish.)
    Essay topic question ideas:
    • How do Iowa county officials make the lives of those who live and work in their communities better?
    • What services are most important that Iowa county officials provide? Why?
    • Why is county government important in Iowa?
     Educational video about why counties matter:

Johnston Area Democrats hold luminary

Posted 1/18/21
    On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the Johnston Area Democrats are holding a luminary event to remember those lost to COVID-19. They are combining a food drive to benefit the Johnston Partnership as a component of Martin Luther King Day of Service. Food items that are in need include; canned tomato paste/sauce, canned sliced peaches, pineapple, cream of chicken soup, peanut butter and jelly/jam. Join them Tuesday, Jan. 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Terra Park.

Community Ice Rinks

Posted 1/12/21
    The City of Johnston has two ice rinks that will be open during winter months when weather permits. The rinks are located at Johnston Commons, 6700 Merle Hay Road and Crosshaven Park, 7909 N.W. 95th St.
    The public ice rink at Johnston Commons measures 80x40 feet, which was donated in partnership between the Iowa Wild and Wells Fargo. The rink at Crosshaven is 30x55 feet.
    During winter months, ice is open for hockey from dawn to noon, and open skating hours are from noon to dusk. The rinks are free for public use and will be open when weather permits. A green sign will be posted at the gate to indicate that the rinks are open; a red sign will be posted when the rinks are closed. The rinks are not supervised, and all skaters are advised they are skating at their own risk. Bring your skates and take part in this new, free activity.

Mayor’s Run for Food Total

Posted 1/5/21
    Thanks to a generous Johnston community, Mayor Paula Dierenfeld will be running 1,074 miles. Since Dec. 1, 2020, community members donated non-perishable items and monetary donations to the Johnston Partnership Food Pantry after the Mayor issued a challenge that she would run one-mile for every bag of food or $10 donated.

Clearing Snow from Around Fire Hydrants

Posted 1/5/21
    When winter is at its coldest, you may want to spend most of your time inside. However, it is important to keep an eye on what is happening outdoors, too. Winter weather can create fire safety hazards, such as ice or heavy snowfall that can obstruct fire hydrants. You can help reduce the risk by keeping fire hydrants accessible and clear of ice and snow.
    • Why it matters. In the event of an emergency, crews can find and access the hydrant with the greatest possible speed. Those extra few seconds can make a major difference in an emergency.
    • Fire trucks carry limited water, so one of the first tasks upon arrival is to locate the nearest fire hydrant for water. Hydrants covered with snow can be difficult to locate, and uncovering them can waste valuable time.
    • How to keep the fire hydrant clear of slow and ice. If there is a fire hydrant near your home, please ensure you clear snow or ice at least three feet from around the hydrant.
    This is a great way to ensure it is always clear during a snow event. The Johnston-Grimes Metropolitan Fire Department also suggests shoveling a path from the sidewalk to the street or driveway so the hydrant is visible to firefighters from the road.
    • Who should clear hydrants? It is generally considered the responsibility of the residents occupying the property near the hydrant. If you do not have a hydrant in your yard and the person is not able to maintain the clearance around it, consider adopting one.

City of Johnston offices closed to the public

Posted 1/5/21
    To ensure the safety and well-being of our residents and employees, the City of Johnston offices, including Public Works, City Hall, and Crown Point Community Center will be closed to the public through Friday, Jan. 29. City leaders will reevaluate prior to opening.
    The Johnston Public Library will remain closed through Sunday, Jan. 17. Prior to this date, reopening for browsing and computer use by appointment will be reevaluated. The library continues to offer curbside holds and printing pick-up. Notary services are available by appointment.
    While some facilities are closed to walk-in traffic, city services will continue to be provided by departments with customer service needs being either handled online, via email, or by phone.
    Visit / for more information.

JCSD Returns to 5 day, In-Person Learning

Posted 12/29/2020
    Prior to their temporary shift online, students and staff were in a 5-day, in-person model. The number of positive cases and rate of community spread in Polk County, as well as the district, have slowed considerably.
    This means all in-person students, grades PreK-12, should prepare to return to school in-person starting Monday, Jan. 4. Bus routes will be running as scheduled. Double check Infinite Campus for updated pick-up and drop-off times. All safety and mitigation strategies are still in place, including mandatory masks for all staff and students.

Snow Emergency Parking Ban

Posted 12/29/2020
    The City of Johnston Snow Emergency Parking Ban will go into effect at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 29, and remain in effect until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 30. Remove all vehicles from city streets.
     If a vehicle is not removed from the street, it may be ticketed or towed. All vehicles must be moved off city streets during this time so snowplows can efficiently clear roads from curb to curb. For more information on the City Code (69.11), visit They also remind businesses and residents to clear their sidewalks within 48-hours after the snowfall ends. Not doing this is a violation of city code (136.03).
    Measurable winter snow is on its way. The Johnston-Grimes Metropolitan Fire Department wants to remind residents to clear a three-foot circle around the hydrant and make a pathway to the street. In the event of a fire, those seconds matter. Having the hydrant closest to your home could help save more of your valuables.  If you do not have one near your home, adopt one in your neighborhood and keep it clear this winter.

Fareway donates to Johnston Chamber

Posted 12/29/2020
    Scott Hammond and Paul Vogtlin of the Johnston Fareway presented $2,000 in gift cards to Heather Goodwin of the Johnston Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 22 to provide to Chamber members.

Take Part in the Broadband Visioning Meeting

Posted 12/29/2020
    All Johnston residents are encouraged to participate in a virtual Broadband Visioning Meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 6:30 p.m.
    The City of Johnston has hired HR Green to conduct a community broadband study to gather residents’ feedback about the current Internet, TV, and telephone services and identify gaps in coverage. The visioning meeting will include a brief presentation on the benefits of broadband services and seek input from Johnston residents on their experiences.
    The meeting will be held via the Zoom webinar platform. Register at

Upcoming City, Community Meetings

Posted 12/29/2020
    • City Office Buildings and Library Closed: Jan. 1
    • City Council Work Session: Monday, Jan. 4, 6 p.m.
    • City Council Meeting: Monday, Jan. 4, 7 p.m.
    • Planning & Zoning Meeting: Monday, Jan. 11, 7 p.m.
    • MLK Day: City office buildings closed, Monday, Jan. 18
    • City Council Work Session: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 6 p.m.
    • City Council Meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m.
    • Library Board Meeting: Thursday, Jan. 21, 5:30 p.m.
    • Board of Adjustment Meeting: Thursday, Jan. 21, 6:30 p.m.
    • Planning & Zoning Meeting: Monday, Jan. 25, 7 p.m.
    • Tree Board Meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 26, 5:30 p.m.
    • Park Board Meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 26, 6:30 p.m.

Johnston Police Department scam alert

Posted 12/21/2020
    The Johnston Police Department (JPD) has been alerted by Johnston residents who have received a letter referring that the JPD is soliciting donations for a fundraiser for an emergency equipment shortage. The Johnston Police Department does participate in multiple local charities in and around our community throughout the year; however, they will never ask for money for police department equipment or donations to help the department.
    If you receive a call or letter that does not specifically mention the Johnston Police Department or possess the department’s logo or insignia, know it is not affiliated with the Johnston Police Department. They encourage you to never give anyone your financial or personal information via telephone. When in doubt, do not hesitate to call the Johnston Police Department at 515-278-2345.

Johnston Rotary Club donation

Posted 12/21/2020
    The Johnston Rotary Club made a donation to the Johnston Partnership of $5,000 earlier in the year, and another $5,000 on Dec. 17.
    Andrea Cook’s thank you note to the Rotary Club says it all: “Cannot say enough about how much we appreciate the support from the Johnston Rotary! It means so much and makes our work possible.”

Winter Collection in Johnston

Posted 12/21/2020
    For two weeks only, you can have your Christmas tree picked up curbside for the small cost of a Compost It! sticker. The dates for Johnston residents are Dec. 28, 2020 through Jan. 5, 2021. Just remember, the sticker is the only decoration your tree can have. Make sure all ornaments, lights, and wires have been removed. Wreaths and garlands are not accepted.

F&G promotions

Posted 12/21/2020
    F&G, a leading provider in annuities and life insurance and growing presence in Des Moines, is proud to introduce the newest members of their executive team.
    • Mark Elming of Johnston has been promoted to SVP, Information Technology at F&G. Mark has more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry including tenures at Global Atlantic, Aviva and Nationwide. Since joining F&G earlier this year, he has implemented a new business focused IT operating model, developed a transformational data strategy/roadmap, continued the improvement in F&G’s Cyber position, and made significant improvements to key application development and IT service management processes. 
    Mark lives in Johnston with his wife, Rhona and their two daughters, Chelsea and Paige.
     • Lisa Foxworthy-Parker of Johnston has been promoted to SVP, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) at F&G. Since joining F&G in 2014, Lisa has partnered with leaders across the business to provide predictive and actionable financial analysis while leading her team’s focus on profitability drivers and value creation.   She built the company’s FP&A and investor relations functions following the company’s 2013 IPO, has had positive impact on rating agency relations resulting in F&G’s rating upgrades from all four rating agencies, and has been instrumental in leading or participating in a broad spectrum of activities related to mergers and acquisitions.
     Lisa lives in Johnston with her husband. Their two sons have recently graduated from college and live in the Des Moines area and West Lafayette, Indiana.

Blue Dragon program gives back

Posted 12/15/2020
    The Blue Dragon Program looked a little different this year due to COVID-19, but the community came through to help families and children have a happy holiday season. The families gave School Resource Officer Steck a sincere “Thank You” for coordinating this event and giving back during this difficult year. The Johnston Police Department couldn’t do this without the generous support from community members and businesses.
    This annual program allows uniformed officers to go shopping with kids for holiday gifts. Due to COVID-19, the officers could not shop with the children, but they still purchased their top wish list items. The Johnston officers presented 29 children with toys and gift cards at the police station on Friday, Dec. 12.
    The program’s goal is to build relationships and help children have a brighter holiday season. A special thank you to Grimes Walmart for their generous donation.

Beards Behind the Badge Raised Over $1,500

Posted 12/15/2020
    The Johnston Police Officers looked a little different during November, but it was all for a good cause. Officers and other city staff could donate money to grow a beard during the “No-Shave November” campaign. This year, the Johnston Police Department raised more than $1,500, which was donated to Starts Right Here.
    Starts Right Here is an organization that encourages collaboration to enable and empower young people to interact constructively in schools, with police officers and other government and civic leaders to promote positive life choices. The young people attending Starts Right Here have a roadmap to a secure future and a path to increasing their quality of life.

JCD Return-to-learn update

Posted 12/8/2020
    The Johnston Community School Board voted 6-1 to remain in the current 100 percent online learning format through winter break. They will be applying for another 14-day waiver to start on Dec. 14, 2020.  The next board meeting to discuss the return to learn plan for 2021 is Dec. 28, 2020.


Posted 12/8/2020
    The Johnston-Grimes Metropolitan Fire Department is continuing a great holiday tradition for the fifth year in a row. The public safety campaign, known as “Keep the Wreath Red,” promotes fire safety as thousands of Johnston and Grimes residents decorate for the holidays.
    “During the holiday season, it is important to remember safety with our lights and space heaters,” said Deputy Fire Marshal Joel Decker. “While those holiday lights look terrific on the trees, it is important to keep your real tree watered and space heaters away from objects. Our goal is to continue to keep the wreath red, but we need your help to practice safety.”
    Firefighters placed one wreath outside each of the three fire stations and decorated the wreath with a string of red lights. The three stations include Station 39, located at 6373 Merle Hay Rd., Station 38 10225 N.W. 62nd Ave., and Station 37 200 S. James St., in Grimes. If a fire occurs in the city attributed to holiday decorations, firefighters will replace one of the red light bulbs with a white bulb.
    The mission of our community is to Keep the Wreath Red. Since the department began the campaign, they have yet to change a bulb on the wreath, but they would like to keep it that way.


Posted 11/30/2020
    Johnston Mayor Paula Dierenfeld issued a proclamation, and the Johnston City Council approved a resolution, which supports and ratifies the mayor’s proclamation, on Monday, Nov. 23, encouraging the observance of public health practices to slow the spread of COVID-19. The proclamation will remain in effect until it is rescinded.
    The proclamation requires any persons over the age of two to wear a mask or face covering when entering a City of Johnston public building, office, or facility in Johnston.
    When indoors at a business or retail location, every Johnston citizen, employee, and visitor is strongly and urgently encouraged to wear a mask or other face-covering at all times. A mask should be worn regardless of the time spent or ability to social distance, in all indoor spaces open to the public and outdoors when physical distancing of six feet or more cannot be maintained. The mask or other face covering should cover the person’s nose and mouth, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).
    In addition to wearing a mask or face covering, frequent hand washing and social distancing are also encouraged.
    The City of Johnston encourages businesses to place a sign in the front of their entrance, so visitors know to put on a mask before entering.

Johnston girls swimming state results

Posted 11/30/2020
    • Diving: Ciara Wheeler, 484.25, 2nd place; Addi Kamienski, 447.25, 5th place; Abby Hutchins, 445.90, 7th place
    • 200 Medley Relay: Abby Rastetter, Olivia Swalley, Brooklynn Kaster, Izzy Osborne, 1:46.74 and are State Champions.
    • 200 Freestyle: Isabella Jaspering, 2:03.35, 32nd place
    • 200 IM: Olivia Swalley, 2:03.28 and is State Champion. Her finals time meets All American Consideration standards.
    • 50 Freestyle: Izzy Osborne, 25.18, 25th place; Abby Rastetter, 24.70, 12th place
    • 100 Butterfly: Brooklynn Kaster, 59.93, 20th place
    • 100 Freestyle: Gianna Stasi,  55.54, 28th place
    • 500 Freestyle: Leyla Kazazic, 5:29.03, 30th place; Brooklynn Kaster, 5:12.59, 9th place
    • 200 Freestyle Relay: Kassady Taylor, Maddie Loggins, Keira Du, Izzy Osborne, 1:42.73, 18th place
    • 100 Backstroke: Gianna Stasi, 1:01.90, 29th place; Abby Rastetter, 58.10, 7th place
    • 100 Breaststroke: Olivia Swalley,  finished with a 1:03.66 in prelims, and a 1:04.12 in finals and is State Champion. Her prelim time was a school record and meets All American Consideration standards.
    • 400 Freestyle Relay: Olivia Swalley, Brooklynn Kaster, Izzy Osborne, Abby Rastetter, 3:37.79, 7th place
    • The team finished in 5th place in overall team standings.

City Welcomes New Deputy Fire Chief

Posted 11/24/2020
    The Johnston Grimes Metropolitan Fire Department is pleased to announce Brynne Burrough was selected as Deputy Fire Chief. Before serving the City of Johnston, Burrough served as Regional Fire Chief with the Marine Corps, where he commanded the largest regional fire protection organization in the Asian Pacific Administration. He holds a master’s degree in Executive Leadership and a bachelor’s in Public Safety Administration.
    The Deputy Fire Chief will be responsible for overseeing operations, which is the daily fire and EMS response.
    Deputy Fire Chief’s first day is Monday, Nov. 30, 2020


Posted 11/16/2020
    Johnston Police Officers may look a little different during November and December as they grow beards to raise funds for a good cause. Participating officers donate money to benefit a pre-selected non-profit organization to participate in “No-Shave November.” The funds raised will be given to Starts Right Here
    Community members and businesses who would like to join in the fun and donate to “Starts Right Here” can drop off their donations Monday - Friday between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Johnston Public Safety Building, 6373 Merle Hay Road. If you wish to claim your donation as tax-deductible, make your check payable to “Starts Right Here” and reference “JPD No Shave November” in the memo line.
    On Jan. 1, the officers will go back to their regular uniform policy. Still, they hope the awareness they raise during November and December will make a lasting impact on the children who attend “Starts Right Here.”

Pink Patches Raise Money for a Good Cause

Posted 11/9/2020
    The Johnston Police Department took part in the Pink Patch Project, a collaborative public campaign for October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Through donations and patch sales, the department raised $2,767.70 for Susan G. Komen Greater Iowa.
    Breast cancer has personally touched many within the Johnston Police Department, so this project was more than just raising money. It provided an opportunity to create conversations about what many of our members have or are currently going through.

Johnston Partnership needs donations

Posted 11/3/2020
    Winter coats, boots and snow pants — did you know that the Johnston Partnership gives away almost 600 of these items each fall/winter?  Please think of them when cleaning out closets. They accept all sizes of winter gear, plus gloves, scarves and hats during operating hours:  Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 5870 Merle Hay Road, Suite C, Johnston.

Flag drop box installed

Posted 10/27/2020
    Retiring an American flag requires the proper disposal. A special thank you to Boy Scout Troop 44 for providing Johnston residents a permanent location. The community flag drop box, located behind the Public Safety building, 6373 Merle Hay Road, was part of an Eagle Scout project.
    The retirement of an American flag is a time-honored tradition and one that carries great significance. Taking your flag to this drop box will ensure the traditions and ceremony are utilized in the flag’s retirement.
    Veterans Day, Nov. 11, is upon us, which is a perfect time to dispose of worn, torn, or faded American flags. Once the flag drop becomes full, the flags will be properly disposed of by Boy Scout Troop 44.
    A special thank you to the Johnston Boy Scout Troop 44 and Pack 244 for funding the paint and signage.


Posted 10/27/2020
    The Johnston City Council has set a public hearing schedule to consider the adoption of the Thrive 2040 Plan. This plan will help guide the community’s vision for the future while ensuring we provide an economical environment for residential, commercial, industrial and public activities. These meetings are open to the public and public comments will be accepted at the meetings. If you prefer to provide feedback prior to the meetings, please call 515-727-7778 or email
    The meeting schedules are as follows:
    • Park Board, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 6:30 p.m.
    • City Council, Monday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.
    The Thrive 2040 Plan addresses land use, parks, housing, transportation, economic development, and infrastructure as a visionary policy that directs how the City will continue to grow and evolve over the next 10 to 20 years.
    This plan is a vision for City leaders to help guide the community’s future while preserving important natural resources. A summary of the input and final draft of the Thrive 2040 Plan can be found by visiting


Posted 10/20/2020
    They are looking for a few hands to help out at the pantry. Tuesdays and Saturdays have plenty of openings. Go to the website and look on the left side under Volunteer Opportunities to learn more. 

Hazardous Waste Collection

Posted 10/20/2020
    Many people don’t realize that common household cleaners, bug spray and even some paints are hazardous waste and need to be disposed of with special care. Metro Waste Authority offers residents options to safely dispose of household hazardous waste.
Free Drop-offs: Located in Bondurant or Grimes and open year-round, residents can safely dispose of hazardous waste for free.
Houseside Collection: if traveling to a drop-off location is an issue, Metro Waste Authority will come to you. The service is provided on an as-needed basis and sign-up is simple. Visit HHWHouseside or call 515-244-0021. Complete the request form for houseside hazardous waste service. For the cost of $25, two bins and a large collection bag will be delivered on the second or fourth Friday of the month. Once you’ve packed all your waste, request a pick up. 


Posted 10/20/2020
    The Johnston-Grimes Professional Firefighters Local 4835 has been designing and selling T-shirts for six years to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Through a proclamation, members of the department are approved to wear the breast cancer shirts while on duty through October. On Tuesday, Oct. 13, the money raised was given to a local resident who is battling the disease.
Local 4835 is proud to report that all proceeds raised are donated to the recipient each year. This is one of the biggest fundraisers for Local 4835. They enjoy seeing the community come together to support a resident in either Grimes or Johnston, who is battling breast cancer or is a breast cancer survivor. 

Johnston Partnership volunteers needed

Posted 10/13/2020
    They are looking for a few hands to help out at the pantry. Tuesdays and Saturdays have plenty of openings. Go to the website and look on the left side under Volunteer Opportunities to learn more.

S&P Affirms Outstanding Bond Rating

Posted 10/6/2020
    The City of Johnston is announced the Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings has assigned its AA+ long-term rating to Johnston’s Taxable General Obligation (GO) Urban Renewal Capital Loan Notes, series 2020E. Johnston has maintained the AA+ rating since 2009. This rating is the second-highest in S&P’s long-term rating and reflects Johnston’s strong economy, management and budgetary flexibility.
    Standard & Poor’s is the world’s leading index provider and the foremost source of independent credit ratings. To view the full rating report, visit

WesleyLife Growth Prompts Leadership Addition

Posted 9/29/2020
    An aggressive growth strategy resulting in expansion into new markets has prompted WesleyLife, to add an experienced regional director to its leadership roster.
Matt Garcia joins WesleyLife on Monday, Oct. 26, as Regional Director of Campus Operations. In this role, he will hold primary accountability for a segment of WesleyLife’s operations, managing the geographic health and well-being networks under his leadership to ensure a consistent focus on mission and vision, engaged person-centered environments, consistent hospitality and customer-centered experiences.
    Garcia, of Polk City, brings 25 years of healthcare and aging services expertise to the position, having served as Chief Operating Officer and Administrator of Bishop Drumm Retirement Center and Iowa Division Director for Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI). He is a PRN member of the Department of Management faculty at the University of Northern Iowa.
    Currently, he serves as Central Iowa Operations Officer and Chief People Development Officer for Western Home Services, leading eight sites throughout Iowa.
    Garcia will be based in WesleyLife’s corporate offices in Johnston.

Johnston Public Library

Posted 9/29/2020
    The library is closed to help limit the spread of Covid-19. For more information, contact the library at 515-278-5233 or visit
    •  Register For Teen Take And Make Craft, Sept. Sixth grade and up. Register to reserve your kit Monday-Wednesday each week. Pick up your kit on Thursday between 2-6 p.m. Create your craft at home and then take a pic and tag @jpl_teens on Instagram. This week’s kit... Retro Tetris Magnets.
    • Teen Book Box Registration, Oct. 1. October’s Teen Book Box theme is: Road Trip. Kids in 8th-12th grade can have the book subscription box experience for free. Register Oct. 1-6 for this month’s box which will contain a book and a bunch of surprises that you get to keep. Meet on Zoom for an Unboxing Party on Oct. 6 and then meet again online on Oct. 27 to chat about the book. By registering, you are agreeing to attend the book chat on Oct. 27 or submit a book review of this month’s selection.


Posted 9/29/2020
     The Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute is pleased to announce participants in the Youth Leadership Initiative Class of 2021. The Youth Leadership Initiative provides high school students with hands-on leadership experiences that build self-confidence and encourage engagement in all levels of community life. At the conclusion of the program, students will:
     • Value community involvement
    • Demonstrate professional skills and an understanding of career opportunities
    • Demonstrate the five practices of exemplary leadership
    • Have developed lifelong relationships with peers, mentors, and community members
     The Youth Leadership Initiative Class of 2021 includes 22 students from 16 public and private schools from across Greater Des Moines. Due to the pandemic, class size was reduced and a hybrid model of outdoor venues and virtual meetings will be leveraged to enhance the experience and safety of this year’s participants.
     Bea La Rota from Johnston High School was chosen as one of the 22 students this year.
    Participation in the Youth Leadership Initiative is tuition free. The Youth Leadership Initiative is generously sponsored by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Drake University, and Sammons Financial Group. For more information, please visit

Busted in a Good Way

Posted 9/21/2020
    The Johnston Police Department was able to brighten a kids’ day by giving him a new bicycle. Isaiah was “Busted in a Good Way” this summer while riding his bike for wearing his helmet. Every child that was busted this summer received a coupon for a free ice cream cone at Van Dee’s Ice Cream Shoppe.
    Isaiah’s name was drawn out of 139 coupons. Sergeant Grandon was present to present Isaiah was his new wheels.
    This program is in its fourth year and provides residents an opportunity to interact with Johnston officers in a good way and allows the youth to talk with our officers one-on-one.

2020 Winter Warmth Drive Kicks Off

Posted 9/21/2020
    To combat the ferocious winter temperatures this holiday season, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is partnering with Winter Warmth Drive to collect winter wear for Des Moines area children and families in need.
72,500 families in the Des Moines metro live at or below poverty level. More than 50,000 students in the metro qualify for either free or reduced lunch. Most families who are food insecure also don’t have the means to purchase appropriate winter wear attire for the freezing temperatures.
    Due to COVID-19, the drive will be a little different this year. They will still be collecting the same items as years past, they just won’t be holding the annual “Fill the Truck” event. Instead, they are taking donations at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Des Moines’ office and the Valley Community Center. They are also accepting and appreciate monetary donations at
    Drop off locations:
    • TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Des Moines, 2601 104th St., Urbandale, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Valley Community Center, 4444 Fuller Road, West Des Moines, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Items requested for donation include all sizes of new or gently used coats, hats, gloves, scarves, snow pants and boots.

JHS Students Named NMSC Semifinalists

Posted 9/15/2020
    National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Seven Johnston High School seniors have achieved the semifinalist nomination. They are Morgan Dunn, James Grimm, Karshana Kalyanaraman, Zoey Kloewer, Alexander Lehman, Abbie McLaren, and James Srail. Congratulations to these outstanding students on their accomplishments.

USDA Meal Service Extended

Posted 9/15/2020
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will extend several meal flexibilities, which will allow summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to children into the fall months through as late as Dec. 31, 2020 (or sooner if funds run out). This will help ensure children have access to nutritious food as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Johnston Community School District has been approved to participate in the (SFSP) free meals program beginning Monday, Sept. 14. Children who are enrolled at JCSD and choose to eat will receive one breakfast and/or one lunch free of charge at their building site. Hybrid or Online learners who have signed up to receive meals will not be required to pay for the meals. Meals provided will follow USDA guidelines and all extra portions or additional food items will be charged as ala carte to the student’s account if funds are available. Meals will need to be accounted for so proper reimbursement can be claimed.

Johnston Police to Participate in Pink Patch Project

Posted 9/8/2020
    The Johnston Police Department is showing support for breast cancer research and treatment by selling special pink patches to raise money for Susan G. Komen.
    Members of the community have an opportunity to purchase one of the pink patches for $10. Visit the Johnston Police Department at 6373 Merle Hay Road, between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., to purchase a patch. Cash, check or Venmo are acceptable forms of payment. Checks can be made payable to “The Johnston Police Department,” or the Venmo account is @Blue-Dragons.
    Members of the Johnston Police Department may also be wearing the vibrant pink patches on their uniforms in October as part of the Pink Patch Project. The purpose is to stimulate conversation about breast cancer and the importance of early detection and treatment.
    Help the Johnston Police Department impact the research by purchasing a pink patch to proudly display. For more information about the Pink Patch Project, visit the Pink Patch Project website.


Posted 9/8/2020
    The City of Johnston buys the water homeowners and businesses use from Des Moines Water Works. They encourage those using summer irrigation to Use Water Wisely, a recommended program aimed at smart summer irrigation. By improving the efficiency of irrigation practices, businesses and homeowners can reduce consumption, save money, and reduce the peak load on water facilities.
    Landscape irrigation makes up a large portion of water consumption, particularly during the warm months of the year. There are many sophisticated automated, in-ground lawn sprinkler systems in use today; however, these systems can require regular maintenance to operate efficiently. It is important to remember that even the most properly maintained system can be operated unwisely.
    The recommended outdoor irrigation scheduled applies to all spray irrigation systems for businesses and homes:
    • Watering is not recommended on Mondays.
    • Even-numbered addresses are encouraged to water on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, before 10 a.m., or after 5 p.m.
    • Odd-numbered addresses are encouraged to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, before 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m.
    • Watering is not recommended during the hottest part of the day, hours between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ChildServe Announces Sponsorship of the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Posted 9/8/2020
    ChildServe will offer free or reduced-price meals to CACFP eligible families served through the following programs: Childcare in Ames and Johnston; Day Health at the Woodland Center; and Day Habilitation in Johnston.
    CACFP is a federally funded program that provides meal reimbursement to child care centers, adult day care centers, emergency shelters, before and after school programs, and child development homes.
    Meals are provided without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Child care participants who are members of FIP or Food Assistance households or who are Head Start participants are automatically eligible to receive free meals. Adult care participants who are members of food assistance households or who are SSI or Medicaid participants are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits. Meals are available at no separate charge to CACFP enrolled children/adults in the following ChildServe programs: Childcare in Ames and Johnston; Day Health at the Woodland Center; and Day Habilitation in Johnston. See details about eligibility at

Little Free Pantry

Posted 8/31/2020
    The Meredith Drive Reformed Church is offering neighbors a Little Free Pantry. If you are in need, come to 5128 Meredith Drive, north parking lot and take what you need. If you have extra, you can help and donate items.

Johnston Partnership news

Posted 8/31/2020
    The Johnston Partnership is moving to a new location, next door to its current space. They are in need of volunteers to help move in late September. If you are interested, contact Andrea at 515-868-1357 or for more information. Sign up at
    They continue to welcome in-kind donations such as personal care items, nonperishable food items or fresh produce. They are also continuing to accept clothing donations. Monetary donations help purchase needed items at the Partnership and will also assist us with the cost to build out the new space.
    Thanks to all of you, they were able to supply more than 350 children in the Johnston Community School District with backpacks filled with necessary school supplies for this a typical school year.
    The Johnston Partnership will operate the food pantry with a paper order form. After placing an order, clients will be asked to wait in their vehicles or outside while it is being completed. Call/email ahead orders are also welcome, using the forms found on their website. Email orders to or call in at 515-528-2379 or 515-868-1357.
    The newly-formed Benevolence Fund will still be accessible. This is open to those who live within the Johnston School District boundaries, and it does require a short application/interview process. They are able to assist with financial needs such as rental assistance, utility assistance or other emergency financial needs.
    They are open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Stats for the month of July:
    • Families Served: 153
    • Individuals Served: 720
    • Food Pantry Items Distributed: 4,926
    • Clothing Distributed: 1,979
    • Volunteer Hours: 455

HIGH-SPEED FIBER coming to Johnston

Posted 8/31/2020
    The City of Johnston leaders approved an agreement for a cutting-edge fiber optic telecommunication company, MetroNet, to begin construction of a network for high-speed fiber optic internet, TV and phone service throughout the community. The company offers 100 percent fiber-optic connections directly to homes and businesses with speeds ranging from 100 Megabits to 1 Gigabit per second.
    The City of Johnston is also preparing to begin conducting a Broadband Community Visioning Process to determine future community broadband needs and ways in which the City can invest in or encourage investment in broadband infrastructure to serve all residents.
    When construction of the fiber optic network begins, residents and businesses will be able to visit and indicate their interest in receiving information about becoming a MetroNet customer and construction in their area. 

Free senior living seminar

Posted 8/24/2020
    Moving to an independent or assisted living community is often a desirable option for many older adults seeking a simpler or more manageable lifestyle. Sometimes a move to assisted living, long term care, or memory care may even be necessary to remain as autonomous and independent as possible despite declines in physical or cognitive health. The questions often heard are, “How much do these communities cost and can I afford to live there?”
    Join them for a discussion about costs associated with the different levels of senior living. The expert guest presenters will provide “Straight Talk” about frequently misunderstood benefits such as the Veterans Aid and Attendance, Medicare, Medicaid, and financial planning.  
    The Straight Talk Senior Living Series will be held Sept. 17, 10-11:30 a.m. at the Johnston Lions Club, 6401 Merle Hay Road, Johnston. Call 515-321-7059 or register online at to reserve your spot.
    COVID-19 precautions will be taken to sanitize tables and chairs before arrival. They ask that you bring your own water bottles and pens during this time, and that you wear a mask. Social distancing will be in place.

Johnston City Council news

Posted 8/11/2020
    At the July 20 Johnston City Council meeting, the following was reported:
    Follow-up Discussion Regarding Illegal Fireworks in Johnston. Chief of Police Dennis McDaniel introduced this item and provided background. Chief McDaniel provided statistics and noted that he challenged staff on coming up with creative solutions to work the issue. Chief McDaniel stated that it is important to come up with potential strategies for allowing for the enjoyment and celebration of July 4th, with less destructive behavior and nuisance. He discussed the alcohol consumption and mass littering in the parks and noted how the officers run from call to call no matter how many officers are assigned. Chief McDaniel stated that they came up with several ideas and will work toward more in the coming months. He noted some of the ideas including more targeted, specific social media education; more overall education efforts targeting out of town people who may see they can buy fireworks and make the  assumption that they can detonate the same; if the policymakers desire more enforcement, more officers can be staffed and more enforcement action taken; and a potential parks ranger type of position to help with all the City parks who could be trained by the police department. Chief McDaniel stated that he would like feedback from the Council and to prepare to be more proactive next year if that is the consensus. Mayor Dierenfeld and Councilmember Cope expressed disappointment in the condition of the parks and the sheer volume of fireworks exploded including commercial grade types of fireworks. Mayor Dierenfeld inquired about the steps that can be taken, and the Chief responded that they will start with a Department Head meeting and then come back with further ideas to discuss at a Council work session, along with potentially forming a committee.

WesleyLife Announces Leadership Hire

Posted 8/11/2020
    WesleyLife has announced the addition of a financial leader with a breadth of healthcare experience and a vision for the future of aging services.
    Craig Flanagan joins WesleyLife on Monday, Aug. 31, as Chief Financial Officer, a role that will help lead the organization’s growth and development strategy. Flanagan will help further position WesleyLife to help increasing numbers of individuals lead lives of enhanced purpose, meaning, health, and well-being, wherever they call home. He will be based in the organization’s corporate headquarters in Johnston.
    In Flanagan’s new role, he will be responsible for WesleyLife’s financial strategy, planning and analysis, budgeting and forecasting, financial reporting, and accounting operations as the organization focuses on new and existing development across Iowa and into western Illinois. WesleyLife is currently building its 11th community, with ground scheduled to be broken for at least two more major projects this year.

Water Trails

Posted 8/11/2020
    On Aug. 20, 2019, the City of Johnston celebrated opening the first water trails access point. The new carry-down access point on Beaver Creek, located on N.W. 70th Street, just east of N.W. 86th Street, is the first of the 86 sites of improvement throughout the metro aimed at encouraging engagement with the waterways.
    Quarry Springs Outfitters will provide kayak rental services at the N.W. 70th Avenue Beaver Creek access and Terra Park when the Beaver Creek flow is too high and unsafe, or when the creek is too low to allow for kayaking.
    • Renting at Beaver Creek: Crescent Splashback kayaks, MTI life vests, and Bending Branches paddles are provided in the $25 fee.
    • Terra Park: This lake is located at 6300 Pioneer Parkway. Life vests and paddles are included in the $15 fee for the first hour, $10 each additional hour for single kayaks, $20 for the first hour, $15 each additional hour for tandem kayaks.
    Rentals are available for ages 12+ on Beaver Creek, but families can decide what age they are comfortable with when renting at Terra Park. Shuttle service is not available for renters to get the kayaks back to the rental start location. The person renting the kayak is responsible.
    Rentals will be available in Johnston from Memorial Day through Labor day, weather permitting, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Due to the construction on the 35/80 bridge over the Des Moines River, it is suggested renters exit Beaver Creek on the east side of the Merle Hay Avenue bridge over Beaver Creek on the North bank next to the bike trail. That provides a relaxing 2-3 hour paddle.
    Quarry Springs Outfitters rental information can be found by visiting or For rental information in Johnston, call 515-306-4652

JCSD Return-To-Learn plan announced

Posted 8/4/2020
    The Johnston School Board voted Aug. 3 to approve the hybrid Return to Learn plan, which is a 50/50 mix of in-person and online learning.
    Face coverings are mandatory, and at-home health screenings will be required.
    Full online learning is available for families to enroll.
    Find full details on the website

Opportunities to guide future growth

Posted 7/27/2020
    The City of Johnston is a growing community, but community feedback is needed to help guide businesses and residents’ wants and needs. City leaders and staff have been working on a draft comprehensive plan – the Thrive 2040 Plan. This plan will help shape the future growth, investment and reinvestment within the community.
    The City offers three socially distant alternatives for residents to review, provide input, and discuss the draft.
    • Virtual Open House: The virtual open house is an opportunity to view short videos highlighting each chapter within the plan, download the draft plan and maps, and provide input by completing short survey questions. Visit   
    • Live Virtual Chat: City staff and the consultant team will be available to participate in an online interactive question and answer session on Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Drop in anytime to discuss any aspect of the draft plan. Visit for login information.
    • Open House by Appointment: In-person discussions are available Aug. 10-21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Copies of the plan, and display boards will be available to review during the discussion. To schedule an appointment, email or call 515-727-7778.

Iowa student named National Youth Ambassador by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Posted 7/27/2020
    One Iowa student has been named as a National Youth and Young Adult Ambassador by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for demonstrating leadership in fighting tobacco use in her community.
    The ambassador is Courtney Sweet, 14, of Johnston, and an incoming high school freshman. Locally, she is involved in the Iowa Students for Tobacco Prevention and Education Executive Council and has been involved in tobacco control for two years. Fueled by her experiences with seeing her peers vape while having little education about its harms, Courtney hopes to utilize her time as an Ambassador to raise awareness in her community and advocate for stronger tobacco control policies.
    The Youth and Young Adult Ambassadors were selected through a competitive application process and participated in the Digital Advocacy Symposium to become powerful advocates for change. In addition to gaining advocacy and communications skills, these young leaders learned about how tobacco use is a social justice issue because of tobacco-related health disparities due to the tobacco industry’s longtime targeting of minority populations.

Funeral notice

Posted 7/20/2020
    • Retha Elizabeth Contri Sharp, 98, of Johnston, memorial mass will be held Friday, July 24, 1 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in West Des Moines.

City Council news

Posted 7/13/2020
    At the Johnston City Council June 15 meeting, there was recognition of the Retirement of Lt. Lynn Aswegan from the Johnston Police Department. Mayor Dierenfeld read the proclamation outlining Lt. Aswegan’s considerable tenure and positions within the Department, and thanked Lt. Aswegan for his 32 years of service to the City and the department. Chief McDaniel congratulated Lt. Aswegan and thanked him for his years of professional and humble service. Chief McDaniel mentioned a work gathering to celebrate Lt. Aswegan’s retirement.
    There was also recognition of the retirement of Tim Mentele from the Public Works Department. Mayor Dierenfeld read the proclamation, which summarized Mentele’s experience and responsibilities throughout his 31-years with the City. Mayor Dierenfeld thanked Mentele for his service to the City as a 31 year public works employee and mentioned his lengthy service on the Fire Department and National Guard.

Funeral notices

Posted 7/13/2020
    • John Edward Miller, 78, of Johnston, passed away on July 4, 2020. A service of remembrance was held July 12, 2020, at Hamilton’s near Highland Memory Gardens. Burial will be held at Glendale Cemetery at a later date.In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the North High School Polar Bear Scholarship Fund, 501 Holcomb St., Des Moines, IA 50313.
    • Ernest A. Doeringsfeld, 90, of Urbandale passed away on July 9, 2020. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, a memorial service will not be held. Instead a family graveside service will be held at a future date. Online condolences can be left at Donations in Ernie’s memory may be made to Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Urbandale Lions Club, or a charity of your choice.
    • Richard Hyde, 88, of Johnston, passed away July 8, 2020. The Cremation Society of Iowa was in chare of arrangements.

Premier Foot & Ankle Surgeons news

Posted 7/6/2020
    Dr. Drew Davidson is a foot and ankle surgeon providing services in the central Iowa communities of Grimes, Johnston, Urbandale, Des Moines and surrounding areas. Dr. Davidson is passionate about providing complete foot an ankle care. Premier Foot and Ankle Surgeons are the experts in foot pain. From routine checkups to relief for foot and ankle pain to treatments for surgery, they provide complete care. At Premier Foot and Ankle Surgeons, the health and safety of patients is top priority. They have taken increased steps to protect patients by following guidelines recommended for medical personnel. They look forward to providing you with “premier” food and ankle care.


Posted 7/6/2020
    The Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Facility’s construction and facilities office has previously posted signs on water entrances to Camp Dodge via Beaver Creek. They read, “Danger!!! Firing range impact area ahead do not proceed beyond this point.”
    This is in accordance with the Iowa Department of Natural Resource’s Natural Resource Commission’s Chapter 40, “Boating Speed and Distance Zoning,” decision item change called “Beaver Creek Safety Zone.” This item will come into effect on July 22, 2020.
    The public would be prohibited from entering Camp Dodge via Beaver Creek. This restriction is necessary and is due to the danger posed to people using watercraft on Beaver Creek by military training exercises at Camp Dodge that could include live ammunition or explosives.
    Camp Dodge has worked with the City of Johnston to ensure water users’ safety on Beaver Creek. A full map of access water points to beaver creek can be found on the city’s website.

Funeral notice

Posted 7/6/2020
    • Francine Butler, 73, of Johnston, passed away on June 23, 2020. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at St. Mary’s of Nazareth (4600 Meredith Drive, Des Moines). Visitation will be one hour prior at the church.

Busted in a Good Way

Posted 6/30/2020
    This community program will continue until Sept. 1. The Johnston Police will be on the lookout for kids in the community practicing good bicycle safety habits. If the kids are seen wearing a helmet, using hand signals before crossing the street and looking both ways, they could earn a ticket. This is no ordinarily ticket — it earns the kid free ice cream from Van Dee’s Ice Cream Shoppe. More information is available at

Use Water Wisely this Summer

Posted 6/30/2020
    The City of Johnston buys the water homeowners and businesses use from Des Moines Water Works. They encourage those using summer irrigation to Use Water Wisely, a recommended program aimed at smart summer irrigation. By improving the efficiency of irrigation practices, businesses and homeowners can reduce consumption, save money and reduce the peak load on water facilities. More information is available at


Posted 6/22/2020
    The Greater Des Moines Partnership, Polk County and the City of Johnston have completed the review of applications for assistance from area businesses affected by the COVID-19 closures and restrictions. Eighteen Johnston businesses will receive financial assistance awards of up to $5,000. The total amount being granted to Johnston businesses is $85,000.
    The $2.5 million metro area grant program is funded by the City of Johnston, JEDCO, Polk County, The Greater Des Moines Partnership and many local organizations. These grants will help our local businesses and is a way to invest in the community’s recovery.
    A listing of the recipients can be found by visiting     


Posted 6/22/2020
    Ignit Sports and Fitness and the City of Johnston are working toward a Public-Private partnership for an expansive recreation project in the Johnston Gateway, just north of I-35/80 on Merle Hay Road. The proposed project includes private construction of a 189,000-square-foot privately owned recreation complex that is expected to house Iowa’s largest indoor track and soccer field in addition to indoor training facilities and a multi-purpose eight-court facility. Ignit also plans to construct outdoor volleyball courts, baseball fields and a high-end soccer field.
    Visit to view the site design concept.

Funeral notices

Posted 6/22/2020
    • Sheryl Lyn O’Malley, 78, of Johnston, passed away June 15, 2020. Per her wishes, there will be a private family service followed by cremation. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hope Ministries of Des Moines, P.O. Box 862, Des Moines, IA 50304 or Food Bank of Iowa, 2220 E. 17th St.t, Des Moines, IA 50316. Online condolences are welcome at

    • Jack F. Oline, 83, of Johnston, passed away July 16, 2020.

    • Michael Allen Lex, 55, of Johnston passed away on June 17, 2020. A visitation was held on Monday, June 22 at Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home & Crematory in Urbandale. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday, June 23 at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Urbandale. Memorial contributions may be given to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America in Mike’s name. Online condolences may be expressed at

Funeral notice

Posted 6/16/2020
    • Elizabeth (Betty) Ann Henson Emehiser, 69, of Johnston, passed away on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. A public Visitation was held on Sunday, June 14, 2020, at Caldwell Parrish McCalley Chapel in Adel. A graveside service was held on Monday, June 15, 2020. Memorial contributions may be directed to Betty’s church, St. Paul Lutheran Church of Martensdale. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
    • Ronald W. Dahleen, 75, of Johnston,  passed away on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Ron requested cremation with no formal service. Memorial contributions in his name may be sent to Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary Rescue No Kill Shelter, P.O. Box 38, Boone, Iowa 50036.

Funeral notice

Posted 6/8/2020
   Frank Alfred Comito, 80, of Johnston, passed away May 25, 2020. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Drake Legal Clinic at the Drake University Law School or St. Patrick’s Catholic School, Perry. Visitation will be 2-5 p.m., Sunday, June 14 at Dunn’s Chapel, 2121 Grand Ave., Des Moines, with a rosary beginning at 5 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, June 15, 1 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1627 Grand Ave., West Des Moines. Burial with military honors will follow at Glendale Cemetery, Des Moines.


Posted 6/1/2020
    The State Data Center at the State Library of Iowa released estimates for populations of Iowa cities in 2019 from the U.S. Census Bureau. These estimates will be the last look at Iowa’s population totals before the release of the 2020 census. Based upon the estimates of cities larger than 20,000, Johnston is the third-fastest growing city.
    The fastest-growing cities in Iowa with a population greater than 20,000 since 2010 include:
    • Waukee – 24,089 population, 74.4 percent growth.
    • Ankeny – 67,355 population, 47.7 percent growth.
    • Johnston – 22,582 population, 30.7 percent growth.
    • West Des Moines – 67,899 population, 19.7 percent growth.
    Learn more about the population highlights and the full Iowa city population data on the State Data Center’s website at

Johnston City Council meeting notes

Posted 6/1/2020
    At the May 18 Johnston City Council meeting, the resolution was approved for the contract agreement with Quarry Springs Outfitters, LLC for the rental of kayaks and concessions at the 70th Avenue canoe access.
    Economic Development Manager Adam Plagge reviewed the response to the Iowa Center for Economic Success business grant program, noting that to date there have been nine applications from Johnston businesses. Plagge stated that there were more than 200 throughout the entire metro area.

Funeral notices

Posted 6/1/2020
    • Norman L. Battles, 81, of Johnston, passed away on May 22, 2020. His family is holding a private graveside service. Memorial contributions may be given to the American Heart Association.
    • Mary Lynn Fitzpatrick, 62, of Johnston, passed away on Saturday, May 23, 2020. Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday June 6, 2020 at Beaver Catholic Cemetery Rural Granger. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Passageway, 6000 Grand Ave. Suite G, Des Moines, IA 50312 or Bishop Drumm Care Center, 5837 Winwood Drive, Johnston, IA 50131.
    • Marlene Ann (Kremer) Sieck, 78, of Johnston, passed away on May 23, 2020. Marlene’s sons, Rob and Ron Sieck and her granddaughter Shelbi Sieck request that all memorial contributions be made to the Taylor House in Marlene’s name. The staff does wonderful things at impossible times for families. Due to these unprecedented times, a private service and burial were held.

Funeral notices

Posted 5.26.2020
  • Margaret Janice Wills (Nee Bell), 88, of Johnston, passed away on May 17, 2020. A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date.
  • Arlyn August Hesse, 87, of Johnston, passed away on May 14, 2020. A private service will be held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church or Iowa PBS. Online condolences are welcome at
  • Marilyn K. Seward, of Johnston, 84, passed away May 17, 2020. Memorial gifts may be made to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
  • Judith (Judy) Eileen Gray, 70, of Johnston, passed away on May 17, 2020. The family held a private service to celebrate Judy’s life on May 23, 2020. Those who knew Judy are asked to share memories at Over the years Judy was a proud blood donor. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating blood to your local blood bank or monetarily to LifeServe Blood Center of Iowa.

Funeral notices

Posted 5.18.2020
    • Sister Marianne Nehus, CHM, 67, of Johnston, died Sunday, May 10, 2020, at Bishop Drumm Care Center in Johnston. A private Rosary and memorial service will take place at the Humility of Mary Center Magnificat Chapel, Davenport, IA, prior to burial in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. A memorial Mass will be scheduled when pandemic restrictions are lifted. Memorials may be made to the Congregation of the Humility of Mary.
    • Gloria Jean Coser (Phipps), 69, of Johnston, passed away Friday, May 15, 2020. A celebration of life will be planned for a later date.
    • Sister Maribeth Takes, CHM, 92, of Johnston, died Monday, May 11, 2020, at Bishop Drumm Care Center in Johnston. A private Rosary and memorial service will take place at the Humility of Mary Center Magnificat Chapel, Davenport, IA. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. A memorial Mass will be scheduled when pandemic restrictions are lifted. Memorials may be made to the Congregation of the Humility of Mary.

Homeowner Grant Program

Posted 5.11.2020
    The City of Johnston has established a Stormwater Homeowner Grant Program. This program allows Johnston homeowners to incorporate Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) on their property to aid in the improvement of water quality and decrease the water quantity entering streams, ponds and storm sewers.
    The City of Johnston will provide up to a 50 percent match on BMPs constructed, with a maximum reimbursement amount of $1,250. Rain barrels will be funded at a maximum of $75, limit of one per address. The funding may be utilized for multiple practices.
    Apply for the Stormwater Homeowner Grant Program at Practices must be approved prior to start of work with the exception of rain barrels, which may have reimbursement requested within 30 days of purchase provided a dated receipt is provided with the application.
    Contact Clayton Ender at or 515-727-7763 for more information.

Funeral notice

Posted 5.11.2020
    Joyce Ellen Sharp, 95, of Johnston, passed away at Bishop Drumm Retirement Center on Friday, May 1, 2020. A family graveside service will be held at Chapel Hill Gardens. A celebration of life for family and friends will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. James Lutheran Church or Bishop Drumm in Johnston, Iowa.

Johnston school board meeting update

Posted 5.4.2020
    At the April 6 Johnston School Board meeting, the following projects were approved:
    • Cross Country Course Improvements Project, estimated cost of $50,042, with the understanding this land could be redirected for a different use in the future.
    • Infrastructure upgrades to 8-9 and Summit Middle School change order, estimated cost of $4,204.
    • Infrastructure upgraes to Beaver Creek, Horizon and Larson Elemetaries change orders, estimated cost $22,400.
    • Also discussed were days missed due to COVID-19 closures that do not have to be made up, per Gov. Reynolds.

Funeral notices

Posted 5.4.2020
  • Hazel Ventling, 111, of Johnston, passed away on April 27, 2020. Memorial contributions may be directed to the family in loving memory of Hazel. Online condolences may be expressed at
  •  Retha Elizabeth Contri Sharp, 98, of Johnston, passed away on April 22, 2020. A private service and burial with immediate family will be held at Resthaven Cemetery in West Des Moines. A funeral mass will be held at a later date at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in West Des Moines.
  • Darlene Lucille & Donald Francis Kern died two hours apart at Bishop Drumm Care Center, in Johnston. They were married for 74 years. Darlene died at age 94 on April 24, 2020, with her husband at her side. Don was 99 and died on April 25. Darlene and Don will be interred at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery at a later date. Memories and condolences may be shared at In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Indianola Public Library, 207 N. B St., Indianola, IA 50125, and the Food Bank at Helping Hands of Warren County, 109 E. Clinton, Indianola, IA 50125.
  •  Reverend Mr. William (Bill) Schroeder, 84, of Johnston, passed away on Monday, April 27, 2020. Due to current coronavirus conditions, a celebration of life service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the family. Send memorials to Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home.
  • Donald Eugene Archer, Jr., 63,  of Johnston, passed away on April 30, 2020. Memorials may be directed to the family and condolences expressed at

Funeral notices

Posted 4.27.2020
    • Robert Biddle 85, of Johnston, passed away on April, 22, 2020, at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines. The family will be having a private service due to the current State of Iowa restrictions on COVID-19 for social gatherings to immediate family of 10 people or fewer. Memorials may be directed to The Food Bank of Iowa.
    • Charles Ray Burkett, 90, of Johnston, passed away April 21, 2020, at Bishop Drumm Care Center in Johnston. Cremation rites have been accorded. Due to Covid-19 restrictions a memorial graveside service will be held at a later date at Brethren Cemetery near Dallas Center. Memorial contributions may be made to Mercy Hospice or Post-Polio Health International (PHI). Online condolences will be welcomed at
    • Dr. Robert E. Ascheman, 93, of Johnston, died April 17, 2020, at Bishop Drumm, Johnston. Under the current circumstances, the family held private/online memorial services and Mass. Memorial contributions may be made to Divine Word College in Epworth, St. Pius X Catholic Church in Urbandale, or Bishop Drumm Retirement Community in Johnston.

Mayor Dierenfeld runs 790 miles

Posted 4.27.2020
    Thanks to a generous Johnston community, Mayor Paula Dierenfeld was challenged to run 790 miles, beginning New Year’s Eve Day in 2019. She began checking off the miles on December 31, 2019, and averaged about 8 miles a day until April 21, 2020, when she completed the miles.
     During the month of December, the mayor challenges community members to donate bags of food or monetary donations to the Johnston Partnership. The mayor runs 1 mile for every bag of food or $10 donated. This past year, the community donated in a big way and increased her mile challenge by about 200 miles. Her goal was to finish the miles by tax day — she came so close but needed a couple of extension days.
    Mayor Dierenfeld would like to thank everyone who contributed to the successful campaign, but the need doesn’t stop with her run for food. Now, more than ever, contributions are needed to help those in need due to the pandemic. Donations can be made by visiting

Johnston Welcomes New Administrative Assistant

Posted 4.27.2020
    On March 30 the Johnston Community Development and Building Department welcomed Administrative Assistant Kelsey Luczycki.
    Kelsey understands the importance of serving residents as she was previously employed with the City of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, as the Parks & Recreation Registration Specialist. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University.
    Once City Hall reopens, Kelsey looks forward to meeting the residents of Johnston and working with the talented employees within our community. Kelsey is working and is happy to answer any questions residents may have during this pandemic over the phone at 515-727-7778 or via email

Funeral notices

Posted 4.20.2020
  • George F. Liston, 93, of Johnston, died on April 16, 2020. A celebration of life will be held once visiting restrictions are lifted. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The Alzheimer’s Association, Catholic Charities or The Red Cross.
  • Barbara Jochims, 91, of Des Moines, died April 13, 2020.

Practice good trail etiquette

Posted 4.20.2020
    The use of trails in Johnston is an excellent way for families to get out and enjoy the outdoors. It provides good physical and mental health, which we all need during this COVID-19 pandemic. As a trail user, we want everyone to be mindful and use proper trail etiquette.
    • First and foremost, be patient with each other and slow down.
    • As always, maintain 10 people or less to a group and stay at least 6 feet apart from one another.
    • While on the trails, be aware of your surroundings. Slower bikers and walkers should be on the right and allow for passing on the left.
    • If you are passing someone, it is always good to announce “on your left” loudly, so they hear you. This will warn the individual you are passing.
    • Make sure you can hear what is going on around you. It is strongly recommended that you “unplug” from your phones (earbuds, etc.).
    • When meeting another trail user (from the opposite direction), please move to the far right to allow for separation as you pass. If you are in a group, please form a single-file line to maintain the six-foot social distancing separation.
    • Bikes need to slow down near potential blind spots or intersections.
    • If you are walking a pet, make sure you have complete control of them and please pick up after them. Doggie bags are located in convenient locations along all of the trails.
    For more information about parks and trails, visit

Funeral notices

Posted 4.13.2020
  • Lenora Durand, 84, of Johnston died April 2, 2020.
  • Allyn J. Salz, 72, of Johnston, died on April 7, 2020.

Johnston churches offering virtual/online services

Posted 4.6.2020
    • First Baptist Church: Live stream services, Sunday,  10:15 a.m.,
    • NorthPoint Church: Live stream services, Sunday, 9 a.m. and 10:35 a.m.,
    • St. Paul Presbyterian Church: Live stream on Facebook,

Funeral notice: Rovene Langwith

Posted 4.6.2020
   Rovene Langwith, 96, passed away March 29, 2020. She was born June 8, 1923, in Kewanee, Illinois, to Carl and Lottie Stovall. On May 24, 1947, she married John L. Langwith in Kewanee. In 1953 they moved to the Quad Cities where she spent most of her life. In 2002 she moved to Johnston to be near family.
    Due to current world conditions, a celebration of her life will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church or to St. Croix Hospice and condolences expressed at

Funeral notice

Posted 3.30.2020

    • Dr. Gaylord F. Tryon, 82, of Johnston, Iowa, passed away on March 25, 2020. A celebration of life will be held later this year.
    • Rick Hendryx, 75, of Johnston, Iowa, passed away at the Mercy Hospice house on March 22, 2020. A celebration of life will be held later this year.

Funeral notice

Posted 3.23.2020

Dean A. Parker, 81, of Johnston, died Thursday, March 19 at Bishop Drumm Home. Private services will be held with interment at Highland Memory Gardens.

Johnston City Council unanimously approves FY 2021 budget

Posted 3.18.2020

The Johnston City Council unanimously approved the City’s budget for the Fiscal Year 2021 on Monday, March 16, 2020. The budget adopted will facilitate growth while ensuring priorities are met. The new budget will go into effect on July 1, 2020.
The $60.5 million budget reduces the property tax rate from $11.65 to $10.63 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value. This $1.02 reduction is because of the Local Option Sales and Services tax vote that passed on August 6, 2019. The ballot stated at least 50 percent of the revenue from Local Option Sales and Services Tax would reduce the City’s portion of property taxes. The City is using 65% of the Local Option Sales Tax to lower your property taxes.
“City leaders and staff worked very hard on this year’s budget,” said City Administrator Jim Sanders. “City leaders prioritized projects based upon the needs and goals created for our community. It is important to note that we have five new tax-supported staff positions, including a police officer, firefighter, deputy fire marshal (shared with the City of Grimes), Parks Maintenance Worker and Communications Specialist. We also have two new staff positions funded through other revenue sources, including the Public Works Maintenance Worker and Water/Sewer Maintenance Worker. Each of these positions is extremely important to ensure our City keeps up with its growth, runs efficiently and residents are getting the services you are paying for.”
Highlights of the FY 2021 Capital Improvement Plan include the following projects:             

Road and Trail Projects
• Continuation of public improvements east of Merle Hay Road including completion of improvements along NW 54th Court and NW 60th Avenue east of NW 54th Court and NW 61st Avenue
• Complete design, and right-of-way acquisition for the continuation of NW Beaver Drive overlay and pedestrian trail (Merle Hay Road to NW 66th Avenue)
• Intersection improvements at Merle Hay Road and NW 62nd Avenue to prepare for the Town Center. Includes trail/sidewalk connection on the south side of NW 62nd Avenue from Lawson Elementary to Four Pines Street
• Begin reconstruction of NW 54th Avenue from NW 86th Street to NW 100th Street (joint project with City of Urbandale)
• Complete trail from Northglenn Drive to NW 62nd Avenue
• Construct recreational trail along Pioneer Parkway
• Continue planning for a recreational trail along NW 86th Street
• Continue implementation of Lew Clarkson Master Plan additions
• Begin Northglenn Trail Reconstruction between Morningside Drive and NW 66th Place
Service Enhancements
• Begin trail realignment in Beaver Creek Natural Resource Area
• Improvements to NW Beaver Drive booster station

Recreational Improvements
  • Installation of canoe/kayak access from Beaver Creek into Terra Park/Lew Clarkson Park
  • Replacement of Dewey Park restroom
  • Construction of shelter at Greenwood Hills Park
  • Construct a playground and shelter at Johnston Commons

Water Quality Improvements
• Construction of stormwater improvements in Orchard Meadows off of Ridgecrest Drive
• Construction of stormwater improvements to the Northglenn drainage way
• Construction of stormwater improvements along Crescent Chase drainage way between NW 86th Street and NW 94th Street
• Construction of improvements west of Hyperion Point Drive and north of NW Beaver Drive
For each dollar paid on property taxes, the City receives approximately $0.28. There are eight other entities collecting revenue from property taxes paid by Johnston residents, including:
• Johnston Community School District – 44%
• City of Johnston – 28%
• Polk County – 18%
• Other 10% – (Broadlawns Medical Center, DART, DMACC, Polk County Accessor, Polk County Ag Extension and the State of Iowa)

Kathy's Joke of the Week

Posted 3.16.2020
Q: What do you call a bear with no teeth?
A: A gummy bear.

Johnston Police Department promotes two members

Posted 3.17.2020

The Johnston Police Department was proud to promote two members to supervisory positions on Monday, March 16, 2020. Mayor Paula Dierenfeld swore in Lieutenant Jessica Jensen and Sergeant Anthony Yeager.
“These two promotions play a significant role within our department,” said Police Chief Dennis McDaniel. “Lt. Jensen and Sgt. Yeager have both displayed leadership at its finest, and I am proud to have them as part of the leadership team. As our community grows, it is essential for our department to have committed leaders, and these recent promotions certainly add to the experience and knowledge needed to help our organization remain focused on excellence in public service.”
Lieutenant Jessica Jensen has been with the Johnston Police Department since 2007. She has most recently been serving as a patrol sergeant. Previously she served as a patrol officer, school resource officer, and crisis hostage negotiator for the Suburban Emergency Response Team. Lt. Jensen serves in additional capacities for the department as a standardized field sobriety instructor, nationally certified drug recognition expert, peer support counselor and program leader, past board member of the Iowa Peer Support Foundation and State of Iowa Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Network, and is a member of the Red Cross’s CISM Team for First Responders. Jensen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration with a minor in Fire Science from Upper Iowa University and recently completed her Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling at Drake University.
Sergeant Anthony Yeager has been with the Johnston Police Department since 2015. He also proudly serves in the Iowa National Guard as Sergeant First Class with the 831st Engineer Company. Sergeant Yeager has served in many capacities with the Johnston Police Department, including patrol officer, field training officer, officer in charge, crime scene investigator, rifle and Glock armorer, union steward, and most recently as a general crimes and narcotics detective. Sergeant Yeager received an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Kaplan University.

Johnston Police Department welcomes lateral transfer Officer Kerr

Posted 3.17.2020
The Johnston Police Department welcomed a new member to their department on Monday, March 16, 2020, as Mayor Paula Dierenfeld officially swore in Officer Beth Kerr.

“We are pleased to welcome Officer Kerr to our department as she comes to us with seven years’ experience in law enforcement,” said Police Chief Dennis McDaniel. “Our team continues to grow, and we are certainly proud of being able to recruit top-notch talent through the lateral transfer program we have implemented. Officer Kerr is one of those lateral transfer members, so having her experience and knowledge will allow her to transition into the department seamlessly.”

Beth Kerr is our newest member of the department previously working as a patrol officer with the North Platte Nebraska Police Department, where she held additional positions including Public Information Officer, community outreach coordinator and D.A.R.E. instructor. Prior to this position, she worked with the Dawson County Nebraska Sheriff’s Office as a civilian jailer and sworn deputy. She is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving as an active duty Intelligence Specialist from 2001-2007 on the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy. Officer Kerr received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Funeral notices

Posted 3.16.2020
• Matthew Brian Frickenstein, 44, of Johnston, died Tuesday, March 10 at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. A private family service was held on Saturday, March 14. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date at the Hyperion Field Club in Johnston. Hamilton’s Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
• Mary Kahler, 90, of Johnston died Friday, March 6. A funeral Mass was held Thursday, March 12 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. Marys. Interment was in the St. Marys Cemetery.

Kruthoff named new community education director

Posted 3.9.2020
Following the retirement announcement of long-time Johnston Community Education director Nancy Buryanek, Scott Kruthoff has been selected as the new director, effective May 1.
An internal search for the director’s position was held in mid-February; following interviews, Kruthoff was selected and the announcement was made to Community Education staff on March 2.
Kruthoff was hired in 2018 as program manager for the Johnston Community Education program, where he oversees the recreation programs, including programming options, staffing, operations, and conduct.
Johnston Community Education serves as a partnership between the Johnston Community School District and City of Johnston, and aims to provide educational, enriching, and athletic opportunities for all community members Community Education offers affordable enrichment, fitness, and sport classes for youths and adults — in addition to before and after child care at the elementary (K-5) level, preschool for ages 2-3, and aquatic programs.
Prior to coming to Johnston, Kruthoff was the executive director of the Indianola YMCA. He was part of the team that opened the facility in 2013 and had a hand in all day-to-day and executive management aspects of the organization, including membership development, retention, programming, and fundraising. Kruthoff has also spent time as an executive director and position-specific director at other suburban YMCAs, adding to his overall knowledge in the area of community-wide education and programming to meet the needs of audiences.
Kruthoff holds a bachelor’s degree in leisure, youth and human services from the University of Northern Iowa, with specialized education in nonprofit administration, program service administration, and youth services. His master’s degree is in recreational administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Take advantage of smoke and carbon monoxide alarm checks

Posted 3.2.2020
The Johnston-Grimes Metropolitan Fire Department (JGMFD) is proud to serve both communities to ensure the safety of residents in their homes. With Daylight Saving Time approaching on March 8, the JGMFD reminds residents to check their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. If you need assistance with the checks, the JGMFD is here to help.       
The JGMFD received $5,000 from the “Close Before You Doze” campaign and $1,000 from Kwik Star. These grants allowed the fire department to purchase smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and batteries. The American Red Cross is also a partner and provides smoke alarms. The department’s goal is to perform checks while at a resident’s home during a medical call; however, there may be times when this is not possible due to the type of call. But the department will leave a card for the resident to call back to schedule a time for the check.          
Residents within Johnston or Grimes can take advantage of this service by contacting the fire marshal at 515-251-7692. A call to schedule a check could help save your life.  

Funeral Notices

Posted 3.9.2020

• Pamela Ohannessian, 66, of Johnston, died Friday, Feb. 28 at Taylor House in Des Moines. Memorial services are pending.
• Donald Clair Warner, 90, of Johnston, died Monday, Feb. 23. There will be a private family interment.
• Marilyn Ann Overton, 91, died Saturday, Feb. 21 at the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center. Services were held Friday, Feb. 28 at Highland Memory Gardens with burial at Avon Cemetery.
• Robert Barnard, 74, of Urbandale, died Wednesday, March 4. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 10 at St. Mary of Nazareth Church. Burial will follow at the Waukee Cemetery.
• Frances Ann Armstrong, 79, of Johnston, died Saturday, Feb. 29. Funeral Mass was held Friday, March 6 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

Fish attractors added to Terra Lake Park

Posted 3.2.2020

Anglers should see improved fishing opportunities at Terra Park after Johnston Parks staff added fish attractors to the lake. Fish attractors have been proven to be successful in lakes and ponds that do not pose enough natural structure or cover for fish to thrive. Fish attractors are important in lakes and ponds that require additional structure for freshwater fish such as bass and bluegill, which Terra Lake has.
Each habitat enhancement has its own limits and benefits that are usually focused on a specific species, season or type of fishing. Common enhancements are tree piles, rock reefs, and mounds, spawning attracting areas, stake beds, benched jetties, bank hides and others. For more information on fish habitat, visit the Iowa DNR website.