Author: Dean Close

Vikings advance in District hoops; face unbeaten West Delaware Thursday

Four years ago, when the unbeaten Vinton-Shellsburg basketball team headed into the District Final, they face a Union team with much fewer wins. “It was our toughest game until that point,” recalls Viking Coach Joe Johnson. On that night in 2013, the Vikings led Union by just three points at half-time. V-S went on to win and to advance to State. Now, VS. with 12 wins and 10 losses this season, finds itself on the opposite end of such a contest. On Thursday, they travel to top-ranked, unbeaten West Delaware for the Class 3A District 9 championship, and a...

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Breast Cancer Survivors to meet March 13

Breast Cancer Survivors   We will meet Monday,March 13 at 5:30 p.m. for dinner and conversation at Windsor Manor in the dining room.  Meal cost is $7. After the meal, Molly Gardemann from VGH Therapy Dept.  will speak to us on Lymphedema.   Reservations not required.  Please call Angie Tharp 472-2994, Lisa Staab 472-5255 Lu Karr 319-560-9408 or Janet Woodhouse 472-4862 if you have...

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Wood earns ninth place individual medal; Vikette bowlers 6th at State

By Tom Lundvall The Vinton-Shellsburg Vikettes bowling team competed at the 2017 Iowa High School state bowling tournament for the first time on Monday. Erin Wood grabbed the Vikettes first strike, in the first game, with Taylor Berry following with a spare. Brianna Lundvall picked up back to back strikes in the 6th and 7th frames, with Korey Murdock following her with a strike in the 7th.   Game 1 ended with the following scores; Jillian White 89, Brianna Lundvall 158, Korey Murdock 154, Connie Upmeyer 161, Erin Wood, 170, Taylor Berry 161. Jillian White started the Vikettes out with a spare in the opening frame of game 2. Connie Upmeyer grabbed two strikes in her first 2 frames. Erin Wood grabbed a turkey in frames 3, 4 and 5. They finished game 2; Jillian White 129, Brianna Lundvall 129, Korey Murdock 179, Connie Upmeyer 145, Erin Wood 214, and Taylor Berry 178. Erin Wood’s score of 384 tied her for 9th overall for individuals. Heading into the baker games, the Vikettes had a team score of 1649. Their score for the 5 baker games, was 869, giving them a total of 2518; they finished in 6th...

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Tragedy and triumph: Two reminders of the challenges facing firefighters

Two different fires, with totally different outcomes, that occurred just one week ago, should serve as a reminder to us all of how much effort it takes to keep us, and our property (and pets) safe. On Friday, students in Sara Patterson’s 4th grade class gathered around Vinton’s latest four-legged celebrity, and heard the story of how she barely escaped from a fire last week. The Tilford students had heard about Cookie, Jade Pohlmann’s spotted Dachshund, who was nearly overcome by smoke during a fire last Monday, Feb. 13, and was revived by firemen using an oxygen mask and...

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McKenna receives Kisher Scholarship from ISU

Ashley McKenna, a junior in materials engineering from Vinton, recently received the $5,000 MTI Bert Kisher Memorial Scholarship to assist in her undergraduate educational experience at Iowa State University. She was one of two recipients among applicants from North America, Europe, and Asia. McKenna has been an active student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and throughout Iowa State University. She has been involved in the Iowa State Honors Program, Women in Science and Engineering, Materials Advantage, being a teaching assistant, Freshman Leaders in Engineering, Habitat for Humanity and Iowa State Crew Club. She is a Tau Beta Pi Scholar, National Merit Commended Scholar, and Boeing Scholar. McKenna has gained experience in the materials science and engineering industry by completing the Thermal Papers Research and Development Cooperative with Appvion, Inc. in Appleton, Wisconsin during the fall 2015 semester. During the summer of 2016, she was a process engineering intern at Alcoa Howmet Power and Propulsion Research Center in Whitehall, Michigan. She is also a student researcher at the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation at Iowa State. Another highlight of her student career has been studying abroad at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland during the spring 2017 semester. McKenna’s post-graduation plan is still undecided, but she knows that she would like to work in the field of material design, specifically with metal alloys. Her goal is to...

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‘Anything goes:’ Union High Vocal Music Department building an ocean liner

Union High School is the site of an ocean liner under construction, says musical co-director Tim J. Mitchell. That’s right, UHS vocal music is building a 2-story ocean liner…..not one that will float, mind you, but you will get the idea.  This elaborate build is for their Spring Musical “Anything Goes” on March 17 & 18. “This is by far the most elaborate construction we have done for a musical in the 17 years I have been at Union,” stated Mitchell.  “This classic American musical deserves as much detail work as possible and so we decided to go all in this year.” The deck of the ocean liner will have two complete stories, five working doors, two sets of curved stairs, as well as walls that completely open up to transform the set to a whole new locations. Most of the construction is being done by the directors and cast with some special design and build help from Scott Garwood and Travis Fleshner.  The set will also feature some amazing curved pipe work done by Corey Neuendorf and the crew at Motorhead Mayhem in La Porte City.  The overall effect will help transport the audience to the glory days of ocean travel following the great depression. Ticket information will be released...

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‘Crazy’ sportsmanship: Vinton 10-year-old earns unique regional AYSO award

The Vinton fifth-grade soccer player honored for outstanding sportsmanship among players in a nine-state region responded to the news of her honor by telling her parents, “Why me? I don’t do anything special when I play. This is just who I am.” Kenna Kurth, the daughter of Tim and Shawna Kurth, went to Chicago with her family this past weekend to receive the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) Section 6 Good Sportsmanship Award. Section 6 includes Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, North & South Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska. Kenna is a member of the Vinton U12 AYSO team. Referees...

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VSHS sports update: Weeks 5th at State wrestling; girls in DM for State Bowling tourney

The Vinton-Shellsburg High School athletes have had a busy weekend. Viking wrestler Carter Weeks earned the Fifth Place medal at 106 pounds in Class 2A at the State Wrestling Meet on Saturday. Weeks, a junior, won his final match, 5-0 over Brock Beck of Grinnell, to earn 5th. See a summary of Weeks’ season HERE. See an interview with Carter after his early win over the 3rd-ranked wrestler below. Today, the VSHS girls bowling team left from Berry’s Lanes for Des Moines, where they will compete in the State Bowling Tournament tomorrow morning. Boys Basketball Post-Season The VS Vikings...

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Former North Benton Ambulance office manager Bonlander charged with first degree theft

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has charged a former North Benton Ambulance Service office manager for stealing from the Vinton-based ambulance service. At around midnight on February 15, 2017, Amber Bonlander was arrested on the Iowa warrant in Knox County, Illinois, by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. She is charged in Iowa with Theft in the First Degree. An investigation began in December 2014 related to several suspicious financial transactions made by Bonlander during the course of her tenure as the Office Manager for the North Benton Ambulance Service, resulting in the misappropriation of thousands of dollars, according to an Iowa DPS news release. Bonlander was taken in custody and is awaiting extradition to Benton County.  This case is being investigated by the Benton County Attorney’s Office and the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). See the complete charge...

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VS alum Andreesen hoping to end ISU band career at NCAA tourney

Among those cheering most loudly for an Iowa State Cyclones men’s basketball victory each game is an alto sax player, a college senior from Vinton who hopes to end her band career at the NCAA tournament. Claire Andreesen, the daughter of Larry and Jan Andreesen of Vinton, has played in both the ISU Marching band (officially known as the Iowa State University Cyclone Football Varsity Marching Band, or ISUCF’V’MB) and the men’s basketball pep band throughout her college years. But while the pep band numbers around 60, only about 30 are allowed to travel with the Cyclones to post-season...

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VS educators Islas, Duffy to join Marine recruits for final week of Boot Camp

When the current class of recruits finishes its grueling final week of training on the course called “The Crucible” and celebrates the day its members can first call themselves “Marines,” two Vinton-Shellsburg teachers will be there. Associate Principal Tony Islas and Family Consumer Science teacher Annalise Duffy will spend next week at Camp Pendleton, near San Diego. They will be among approximately 80 educators from several states who will spend a few days getting an idea of the challenges and triumphs facing those in Basic Training. “Educators are greeted at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego by our illustrious Drill Instructors and made to stand on the same historical yellow footprints every Marine has stood upon before entry into recruit training. Visitors will receive a welcome brief from the Commanding General of the Depot, eat with recruits in training, receive Marine Corps Martial Arts training and run our rugged bayonet assault course,” says the Marine Corps web site. Both Duffy and Islas says they are very much looking forward to the event and are planning to document their visit with journals, photos and/or videos. Six years ago, VSHS teachers Heather Kalous and Kelly Steffen participated in the program. “They have us on the field where the recruits were in formation getting ready to receive their Anchor/Globe/Eagle medallion after surviving the crucible. That is when the become known as “Marines....

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Vikings Weeks, Betterton advance at State Wrestling Meet

By Jeff Holmes Four of the five area wrestlers remain alive after the first night of action at the State wrestling tournament in Des Moines. Both Vinton-Shellsburg entries – 106-pounder Carter Weeks and 145 Scott Betterton — are still on the hunt for Saturday night’s podium, along with Union 106-pounder Jack Thomsen and Center Point-Urbana 113-pounder Caleb Fuessley. Union 285-pounder Michael Ahrendsen was eliminated. Weeks (36-7) won in dramatic fashion in the first round, using a takedown in overtime to edge Will Esmoil of West Liberty 4-2 to advance to Friday afternoon’s quarterfinals against Brady Beck (42-6) of Grinnell....

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