Author: Valerie Close

North Eden Willing Workers 4-H Club Keeping the Fair Clean

By Tressa Walton For the past several years the North Eden Willing Workers 4-H Club has taken care of the garbage at the Benton County Fair.  After the first year, several of the members noticed how many water bottles were being thrown away.  They decided they wanted to do something different for the next year. They were able to order five recycling containers with the help of a grant.  It was at the time they went to set them up that they discovered the fair was switching from beer cups to cans. So the first year most of the recycling was used for the cans around the beer tent and grandstand.  This year, however, the 4-Her’s added five more recycling containers to their fleet and were able to collect about 10 big garbage bags full of water bottles, Gatorade bottles and the plastic milk bottles.  They are hoping to add more for next year as they take the Benton County Fair to a more environment friendly level. Pictured are several members with a few of the new containers who helped pick up garbage and help with the recycling. The North Eden Willing Workers would like to thank everyone who placed their cans and bottles in the designated containers throughout the fair and their help to make the world and our community a better place to...

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Letter to the Editor: Thank you to area Businesses

I would like to thank all of the businesses who participated in the Rabbit Auction at the Benton County Fair!  THANK YOU for supporting 4-H!   As a parent, leader, and former 4-Her, I know how much work these kids pour into their projects, both in the static and the livestock projects.  The responsibilities learned through caring for livestock and the written and verbal communication required for the write-ups and record books are so valuable.  This amazing program teaches kids life skills that will help make them valuable employees in the future, perhaps for your business! Kids in 4-H complete yearly presentations and/or working exhibits, and also perform community service projects.  In the world today, so much verbal communication is lost. One of the best things we can do for our youth is to support these precious skills.  These 4-Her’s are our future! They are entrepreneurs and employees.  The article in last week’s Vinton Today about Tess Lillibridge and the value she saw in her red angus cows and the path 4-H set her on is just one example of what is possible with 4-H!  I encourage you to read the article if you haven’t yet.  She is going to be a valuable employee someday! Having been an actively involved 4-Her for over eight years, I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to have had speaking, socializing, communication and task...

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NEWW Lends their hands at House of Hope Mission

Submitted by Samantha Walton, reporter The North Eden Willing Workers 4-H Club recently served lunch at the House of Hope Mission in Cedar Rapids.  This year the club decided to recycle plastic bags by crocheting mats that the homeless can use to sleep on.  The mats work very well because they are light weight and water proof.  The club collected and cut many bags while about 4-5 members crocheted bags.  Caroline Lang took it one step further and applied for a grant that allowed the club to create over 20 bags with items such as shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, razors, sunscreen, band aids, and several packages of feminine supplies and diapers, etc that were given to the shelter on June 22 when several members of the club brought the mats and bags to the shelter as well as served lunch for approximately 140 people at the shelter. Many members commented on what a great experience the trip was and seeing the shelter for the first time.  Many members talked to several of the men, women and children there for lunch that day. The North Eden Willing Workers turned this into a project for the fair and it has been selected to go to the State Fair in August. The members of North Eden Willing Workers with the mats and bags that they donated to the Shelter.   Standing back...

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Vinton Lions inducted officers and  new members for the 2017-18 club year at their July 12 meeting at Pizza Ranch

With 46,000 clubs and 1.4 million members, Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service organization. Their mission is to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs and encourage peace and promote international understanding, with a special emphasis on preventing blindness and supporting programs for the visually impaired. The local club was established in 1921. Last year Vinton LIons offered vision screening for every child entering kindergarten in the Vinton-Shellsburg school district in cooperation with the University of Iowa Ophthalmology Department and the Lions Kidsight program.  Other projects ranged from supporting the Eastern Iowa Honor flight and providing disaster relief  to local tornado victims to sponsoring a local Boy Scout troop and promoting literacy in kindergarten classrooms. Vinton Lions meet at noon on Wednesdays at Pizza Ranch or La Reyna and welcome new members interested in volunteering in our community and beyond. New Officers, from Left to Right: Lynn Montgomery, Treasurer;  Sara Stuefen, 2017-18 club President; Alan Woodhouse, Treasurer 2nd Row:  Sherry Peterson, Director; Matt Johnson, 1st VP ; Gail Wood, 3rd VP; Nate Edwards, 4th VP Back Row: Steve Skram, Director; Jerry Blank, Director; Don Eells, Membership Chair; Phil Borleske Tail Twister;  Rob Levis, Past President. New members inducted into Vinton Lions include Barry Dietsch, Sue Thomas and Sherry Peterson; not pictured are Robin Martin, James Mayhew, Karilea Ries, Joan Noeller and Micheal Weaver. Outgoing Lions Club President Rob...

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V-S School Board Minutes 7/13/17

The Vinton-Shellsburg school board met on Thursday, July 13th at 5:15 in regular session. All board members were present with the exception of Director Timmermans. There were no visitors or public comments. Matt Kingsbury and Tony Islas provided an overview of the high school students’ achievement for 2016-17 and work on the building’s improvement goals. Under the Superintendent Report, Hainstock shared open enrollments for Ashton Nielsen (K) to attend V-S this year; Sinnette Berry to attend CPU after a move; Braeden and Magdelana Enose to continue attending V-S after a move into the Union district; and Michael Thompson to continue in Cedar Rapids after a move into the district. The board was updated on staffing (mostly need associates to support special education students’ needs) and summer work (working on parking lot at Tilford; HVAC project at Tilford going well; updating restroom at Shellsburg; working on new finishes for the gym floors; etc.). We praised Jim Struve for his recent 600th win and the success of this year’s team. Hainstock shared notes from a recent AASA meeting in Washington DC where she had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Iowa’s Congressional delegation and/or their education advisors. Under Board Reports/Requests, Kathy Van Steenhuyse asked that Brandon Farmer look into replacing some of the board members’ technology as some are having problems accessing our board meeting materials. Jason Hicok reported that he and Farmer...

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Color-A-Thon: Event to raise money for VSHS trip to D.C./NYC

The Vinton-Shellsburg High School students who are planning their trip to Washington, D.C., and New York City in April have been conducting a variety of fund-raisers, and are now planning a uniquely colorful one. Called a Color-A-Thon, the event will combine running, walking and lots of color. During this event, which happens July 29, runners will begin with white shirts that collect color from others as the runners/walkers complete the route. The event will take place at VSHS, at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 29. Registration begins at 5 p.m., but to be guaranteed a t-shirt and color pack, participants must register by July 20. Register online HERE, or email Krystal Anderson at kandk224@gmail.com for a printable form. There will not be any timing provided for runners; Lazer Productions will provide music. Parking will be in the back of the high school near the Ag building. Birkers Bows has headbands available for purchase that are white and have Color This 2k17, they are $5 and part of the proceeds will go towards the...

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Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is looking  for qualified applicants for a Secretary

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is looking  for qualified applicants for a Secretary 2 based out of the USDA Service Center located at 1705 West D Street, Vinton, Iowa.  This position will be a key member of the Benton County Conservation Team, providing administrative support to customers and office staff.   The ability to operate office technology, and maintain and reconcile financial records along with excellent customer service skills is essential.  The successful applicant will be self-motivated, professional, and proactive.  A typing test will be required at the time of interview. Please apply online at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/iowa using job number 17-00463.  The job will be open ending...

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MentalHealthU (MHU) Mobile App Lists Community Resources in the East Central Region

By Carol Zander Mental Health/Disability Services of the East Central Region (ECR) wants to help residents in the nine-county region locate services available to them for mental health, substance abuse, housing, transportation, and other community support services. MentalHealthU (MHU) is a free smartphone app available on Google Play, the Apple Store, and at http://mhuapp.org/ “How can we help the entire regional population know what services exist, especially crisis services? It is not enough that the services are available if people who need them don’t know they exist” declared Mechelle Dhondt, CEO of the East Central Region. How often could a tragedy or arrest involving a person experiencing a mental illness have been prevented if the people involved, family, or friends knew who to call for intervention and services? Take crisis services for example. Until 2014 after mental health regionalization, only the urban counties had mobile crisis outreach services. Now the nine-county East Central Region funds the Iowa Helpline, a toll-free number and website to reach trained mental health counselors for talk, text, or chat. The counselors can provide referral and support, or dispatch the Mobile Crisis Outreach Team to anywhere in Benton, Bremer, Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, and Linn Counties. The region funds crisis stabilization beds, a lower level of care than inpatient psychiatric beds, freeing up those hospital beds for people who need them. MentalHealthU (MHU)...

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RATS to Take to the River on Aug. 5th

By Tami Stark On Saturday, August 5th, the Cedar River RATS will be holding their “almost annual” river clean up! This event is more fun than it is work, and good time is always had when performing this good deed! Mark your calendars and please plan to join us at the Mt. Auburn boat ramp for a brief sign in at 8:45 and then hitting the water at 9:00. We will be cleaning the banks and sandbars between the Mt. Auburn Bridge and the Vinton bridge, with lunch in between at Patten’s campgrounds. Our ‘runners’ will be traveling from boats to kayaks to offload the treasures and the trash that has been collected, keeping everyone from becoming too full prior to our stopping points. Our ‘Landsharks’ will meet us at our stopping points and sort the trash/treasures into what can be scrapped and recycled, and what can go to the landfill. At the ½ way point, we’ll offload what we have collected and reload on supplies. The ‘Landsharks’ will also provide everyone with a lunch of grilled hot dogs and treats of all kinds. The Cedar River R.A.T.S. are made up 100% of volunteers and we would love to count you as one of us. We make every effort to recycle everything we can and salvage what we can from what we find….and we find a LOT. Your help...

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Riggle to Volunteer in Washington, D.C. at American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation, Premier Patriotism and Government Leadership Conference

Wendy Riggle is among 30 American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) volunteers who has the honor of joining 100 high school rising seniors at the 71st American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation July 22-29 in Washington, D.C. Two outstanding citizens, known as “senators,” are selected at 50 ALA Girls State sessions held across the country to represent their respective states at ALA Girls Nation. The premier leadership conference provides aspiring young women leaders with practical insight into the workings of government, instills a sense of pride in our country, promotes youth civic engagement, and creates friendships and memories that last a lifetime. Riggle was chosen to be a part of this year’s ALA Girls Nation staff because of her exemplary service to her community and the American Legion Auxiliary. “I am honored and excited to be a part of the 71st ALA Girls Nation,” said Riggle. “To watch these bright, young women actively learn and immerse themselves in our political process makes me proud to be an ALA member and gives me great hope for the future of our country.” A key component of the ALA Girls Nation program involves the mock senate sessions in which the senators write, caucus, and debate bills. Campaigns are held to elect party officials and an ALA Girls Nation president and vice president. In addition to their legislative forums, the senators visit Arlington National Cemetery where...

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UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA  Dean’s List Spring 2017 

UNI names area students to Spring 2017 semester Dean’s List The following students from Benton County are among the students named to the Spring 2017 semester Dean’s List at the University of Northern Iowa. To be included on the list, a student must have earned a grade point of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale, while taking at least 12 hours of graded work during the semester. On the 4.0 system, an A is worth four points; a B, three points; a C, two points, and a D, one point. Atkins, IA Jessica Beatty Atkins, IA Marissa Benischek Atkins, IA Micayla Dawson Atkins, IA Kelsey Ettleman Atkins, IA Alyssa Hoeppner Atkins, IA Megan McGovern Atkins, IA Kayla Minkel Atkins, IA Katelyn Mishmash Atkins, IA Timothy Morris Atkins, IA Jacob Reid Atkins, IA Morgan Renfer Atkins, IA Bryce Volk Atkins, IA Madison Weekly Belle Plaine, IA Matthew Mengler Dysart, IA Abigail Ollendieck Garrison, IA Abigail Scheel La Porte City, IA Emily Johanningmeier Newhall, IA Joshua McKinney Newhall, IA Jacob Thomas Norway, IA Cormick Michael Van Horne, IA Lauren Hass Van Horne, IA Kaelyn Knaack Van Horne, IA Madison Knaack Van Horne, IA Carisa Meyer Van Horne, IA Macy Miner Van Horne, IA Michael Zittergruen Vinton, IA Stephanie Berry Vinton, IA Amanda Dedrick Vinton, IA Michaela Frank Vinton, IA Bristian Gerber Vinton, IA Grant Golden Vinton, IA Hannah Hoepner Vinton,...

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