Author: Valerie Close

Letter to the Editor: “Stop the Violence” . . . “March for our Lives” . . . What?????

A young fellow by the name of David Hogg has grabbed center stage after the vile act of evil that left 14 students and 3 teachers dead in Florida in February of this year.  His primary target is the NRA . . . an organization who has never had an NRA member as the primary shooter in a mass shooting (other than to stop it), never had a member involved in a school shooting, whose 125,000 instructors annually train 1 MILLION Americans in the safe use of their firearms. Perhaps a few words from the “Student Warrior Unleashed”.  A word of caution, this video is NOT safe to play at work or in school, it is NOT “child safe”.  The language is profane in the extreme.  This . . . this is the spokesman for this new movement to Stop the Violence and March for our lives. David Hogg . . . voice of the movement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tum7g1LB9-E His parents must be so proud.  His school must be so proud.  Honestly, I think the young fellow has simply lost his cookies and could use some professional help.  It might be residual PTSD, or even showmanship.  Who knows.  A certain lack of education – or understanding of his education in history shows as well.  Sorry David, you do not live in a Democracy.  Perhaps a bit more time on the books...

Read More

Benton County Soil & Water Conservation District Commissioners to meet 4/18/18

The next regular meeting of the Benton Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioners will be held on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. at the District Office, 1705 West D Street in Vinton. Agenda items include: approval of minutes from previous meetings, public participation, approval of treasurer’s report and bills, approval of conservation plans, watershed reports, state cost-share programs, an update on NRCS activities, a review of the correspondence file, any other commissioner input or other business, and scheduling of the next meeting. The public is welcome to attend.  Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in this event should contact the Benton SWCD by calling 319-472-2161, extension 3 or contact the TDD# or Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.  Please make contact at least 24 hours prior to the...

Read More

VU Ambush: Group visits Sweet Cakes by Kelly

Sweet Cakes by Kelly was the second business to be “ambushed” by representatives of Vinton Unlimited on Wednesday. VU Director Melissa Schwann and other representatives of VU visited the bakery on K Avenue (Highway 218) to officially welcome her to town.  She opened the bakery in November. The group will visit a different business once each month. The Ambushes began last month with a visit to the Robert Fischer law firm....

Read More

CPU grad Tschantz earns scout team award for Central College football team

Joseph Tschantz of CPU, and was honored for his contributions to the Central College football team this fall at the squad’s recent awards banquet. In Jeff McMartin’s 14th season as head coach, the Dutch finished 7-3 overall for their 54rd winning season since 1961 and finished second in the Iowa Conference with a 6-2 league record. The team’s Heerema-Schilder MVP Award went to wide receiver Sam Markham (junior, Atlantic) for the third year in a row. Among others honored was Blaine Hawkins (freshman, Ankeny) who received the Brian O’Donnell Award for most outstanding freshman and the Lankelma-Menning Award for most outstanding underclass player. The Les Claussen Award for most improved player was awarded to Tyler Olson (senior, Mapleton, Minn./Maple River HS). The Richard J. Mentink Award for outstanding leadership and sportsmanship on the field and in the classroom was given to Kyle Gritsch (senior, Brooklyn, BGM HS). Nate Boland (Iowa City, West HS) received the Borgman Award, given to the senior with the highest grade point average. The Mel VerMeer Loyalty Award was given to Jerem Shannon (senior, Morris, Ill.) In total, McMartin awarded 64 varsity letters. The Dutch have not had a losing season since 1960 and return 33 letterwinners for the 2018 season. All of the area award winners are listed below. ATKINS— Drew Kithcart, linebacker, 5-10, 225, jr., Benton HS Awards/honors: Second varsity letter; Academic All-Iowa...

Read More

Easter Egg Hunts, Holy Week Services

Palm Sunday Blessed Hope Church Palm Sunday there will be a Community Worship and Praise Service from 6-7 p.m. Ecumenical Holy Week Services Monday, March 26 – 7 a.m. at Vinton Presbyterian Church Tuesday, March 27 – 7 a.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church Wednesday, March 28 – 7 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Thursday, March 29 – 7 a.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church Good Friday, March 30 – 12 noon at First Christian Church Maundy Thursday  Trinity Lutheran Church Maundy Thursday service at  6:30 p.m.   Wesley United Methodist Church Maundy Thursday service at  7:00 p.m.   Good Friday Services Prairie Creek Church will hold a Good Friday Service on Friday, March 30, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. On the surface, “Good Friday” appears to be a self-contradictory title for a worship service. The strength of this service comes as we reflect together on the meaning of Jesus’ death on the cross where his innocent blood cries out not for man’s condemnation but man’s acquittal. Trinity Lutheran Church will have a Good Friday service at 6:30 p.m.   Easter Egg Hunts Geocache Egg Hunt, Benton County Nature Center Friday, March 30th, 1:00 — 2:30PM, Geocache Egg Hunt Try out the modern-day treasure hunt to find your eggs this year. Find the eggs to win some small prizes. Preregistration is appreciated by calling 319-472-4942 or emailing info@bentoncountyparks.com. All programs at the...

Read More

Many gather to discuss future of Belle Plaine’s Herring Hotel

  On Tuesday, March 6th a crowd of people meet at the Belle Plaine Community Center to share in a discussion on this community’s historic hotel, The Herring Hotel. Herring Hotel Foundation (HHF) board member Allan Richards led the evening’s discussion. Richards welcomed the group and shared some insight into his organization’s efforts and current work projects. Building security and safety are two primary areas the board is currently focusing on as well as stabilizing the structure. “Cleaning out the building” is already underway allowing for the next steps to be planned. Richards also shared that the HHF board meets regularly and they are committed to moving their project forward and involving the Belle Plaine community. The HHF board then shared a short but informative PowerPoint presentation on the changes the hotel building has experienced over the years, evolving with the changing times. From the original 1900 “boarding house era” to its “apartment house days” as the Graham House, photos of these transitions were shared by HHF board member, Kristine Pope. “Change is inevitable…but Growth is Intentional” stated Pope. Today the Herring Hotel project is supported by not just one non-profit group, but by two; the Herring Hotel Building Alliance (HHBA), and the HHF. “Today, you were invited here by the HHF, the group who owns the building and who are working to restore it back to its primary...

Read More

Vinton-Shellsburg at District Bowling

By: Shelby McDonald, VS FFA Co-Reporter On January 6th, 2018 the Vinton-Shellsburg FFA chapter had 7 members take part in district bowling held at Lighting Lanes in Manchester, Iowa. We had 2 teams. V-S team 1 members were Eli Powers, Brooks Erickson, Philip Kalina, Ethan Rollinger. V-S team 2 members were Matthew Rippel, Jordan Pattee, Alyssa Hasen. V-S team 1 reserved 2nd place, and V-S team 2 reserved 3rd place, individually Brooks Erickson got 2nd with a 439, Eli Powers got 3rd with a 431, Matthew Rippel got 4th with a 421, Jordan Pattee got 7th place with a 305, and Alyssa Hasen got 258. All the members had a fun time and did really well!...

Read More

In Depth – Early Man

The dawn of time set to the tone of clay-mation. This one the kids and I have gotta see. NOW SHOWING Early Man Fri, Mar 23 – Thur, Mar 29 at 7 pm Mon, Mar 26 at 2 pm This film is rated PG and runs just 89 minutes. Now, here’s one for the family. Early Man follows the story of Dug and sidekick Hognob as they try to unite their primitive tribe to fight against a great enemy, Lord Nooth and his new Bronze Age City. And how do they battle to save their homes you may ask? A game of soccer. No CGI or classic animation for this one – it’s all clay-mation. It’s directed by Nick Park who is a writer known for the Wallace and Gromit series. He has also worked on Chicken Run (2000) and Shaun the Sheep (2015). Writing credits go to Mark Burton who was a writer on Shaun the Sheep and James Higginson who also worked on development for Shaun the Sheep. Story by Mark Burton and Nick Park. You’ll hear some familiar voices in this feature! Tom Hiddleston (Loki in Thor), Eddie Redmayne (Newt in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark in Game of Thrones) among countless others. This will be a great one to bring your kids to, especially at just under an...

Read More