Since his start in radio news, Trent has won awards from the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, the Nebraska Associated Press, and the Iowa Broadcast News Association.
Rice also serves as the 2009-2010 President of the Iowa Broadcast News Association.
Rice is a native of Plattsmouth, Nebraska. He and his wife Solveig have been married since 2000. They live in Ames where he enjoys golf, reading, movies, music college football, and the heartbreak that comes from being a Minnesota Vikings fan. Trent and Solveig have twin daughters Annika and Kaija and a son, Erik, who shares the same birthday as his sisters, just five years later.
Good evening, and welcome to the April 10th edition of the Ames City Council meeting. Trent Rice with you again this evening. One major agenda item, and it's a holdover from last month. The council will consider establishing a tax abatement corridor on SE 16th St. from Duff Ave. to Dayton Ave. Deery Bros., an eastern Iowa car dealer, want to build a new dealership at SE 16th and Dayton, which is the floodway fringe. The company wanrts the three-year abatement to offset the cost of bringing in dirt to raise the building above the flood level. Those who back the initiative say it continues a development effort that began with the spending of $4 million to widen and pave SE 16th in hopes of development. They say the propensity for flooding has made businesses wary of developing in the area. Opponents say the abatement puts the city in the position of incentivizing retail businesses who will directly compete with existing businesses that were established without city help.
7:49PM: The council is hearing city staff on proposed zoning restrictions on payday lending institutions. At-Large council members Matthew Goodman is strongly opposed to the buildings, and want the council to do everything it can to get rid of them. At-Large council member Peter Orazem is taking a more cautious approach, which puts him at odds with Goodman. I mention this only by way of saying it sets up for a fair bit of conflict when the council gets to the tax abatement issue.
8:10PM: Council takes a break, gets ready for the tax abatement debate. Settle in.
8:50PM: City staff reminds the council that the request tonight is just for action on the establishment of criteria for abatement, not on the abatement itself.
9:00PM: Just two people from the public speaking in opposition to the entire abatement proposal. Kind of surprised there aren't more.
9:05PM: On a question from the public, Brad Deery of Deery Bros. says the development WILL NOT happen in Ames without the abatement.
9:15PM: This is a 5-1 vote right now, with Goodman standing alone. Again. Outside shot at 4-2 with Szopinski saying no.
9:25PM: Victoria Szopinski hangs Ames with a "crony capitalism" tag, but indicates she'll vote "yes" on the plan.
9:30PM: Wow...I did not see that coming. 1st ward council member Tom Wacha says he's a "no" on abatements. Says he can support Deery's move to Ames, but can't put taxpayer on the hook for it.
9:35PM: Again, with the wow. Council votes 3-3 on the establishment of criteria for tax abatements. Under Roberts Rules, the motion fails. Szopinksi, in what I can only describe as a grudge vote, crosses herself up and votes "no." Grudge vote? After speaking passionately, but unsurprisingly against the abatement, Matthew Goodman gets slapped down by Jami Larson with a "I hope the next time you want something for Campustown you'll remember how you preached at us." As Goodman attempted to respond, Larson came again with the "I don't need to be preached too." Wow. Just. Wow.