Author: Valerie Close

Urbana Student, Hearn makes Dean’s List

The following students received academic honors from Milwaukee School of Engineering for the 2016 Fall Quarter: Elizabeth Hearn, Dean’s List, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate students who have earned at least 30 credits and have a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or higher (out of 4.0) are on the Dean’s List. Students who have maintained a 3.70 or higher receive “high honors.” Undergraduate students on the Honors List have earned a GPA of at least 3.20 (out of 4.0) for this quarter and are not on the Dean’s List. Milwaukee School of Engineering is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,900 students that was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, business and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 97% placement rate; and the highest ROI and average starting salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and...

Read More

Vinton Presbyterian Church to offer Free Christmas dinner

It has become a labor of love. Started as a “what if” question three years ago, the Presbyterian Church of Vinton began serving dinner on Christmas Day as a way to serve others in their community. “We asked ourselves the question: what if we could help people on Christmas day by giving them some place to go?” said Rev. Jessica Crane Munoz, pastor at the Presbyterian Church of Vinton. “We knew that there were a lot of people in our church, and in the community, that were spending Christmas day alone.” The dinner has quickly turned into a tradition. Now, members and families build it in to their plans for the holidays. Volunteers are returning to help for a second, and third, year. And the numbers of those being reached is growing. The first year the dinner served approximately 120 people, including shut-is and volunteers. Last year the dinner served around 200, and this year there is an expectation of even more growth. “We have two target groups,” said Crane Munoz. “Those who are alone, and those who don’t have the means to provide a nice Christmas dinner for themselves and their families.” Dinner volunteers make efforts to ensure that the dinner feels like a nice Christmas meal. The tables are decorated with colorful napkins, Christmas candy, and ribbons. There are greeters at the doors. And just like at...

Read More

Are you looking for a coach?

As 2016 comes to a close there is much to reflect on. With those reflections come goals and visions for 2017. Sometimes we are looking for guidance in what direction to move forward. Life coaches are becoming a popular profession and in reality, aren’t we all looking for a coach? When we step into a store, we look for a “coach” to guide us on the best product that will last the longest, the outfit that looks the best on us, or the “coach” who comes to take our order when we say,“ What’s good tonight?” Regardless of what we do every day in our life, we are impacting the decisions people make. I would love the opportunity to help you review the decisions you have made on protecting your family. As any good coach will tell you, we want to give you the skills and tools to make the best decision with the most success. My hope is that you are protected if you become sick, that you have the proper coverages on your home if there is a fire and that your family is protected if something were to happen to you. The one guarantee we do have in this world is that no one lives forever. Life insurance is the one insurance we know we are going to need and yet most people do not have....

Read More

Nikki Lown of Belle Plaine graduates from Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University is pleased to announce Nikki Lown of Belle Plaine, IA, graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in August. About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to about 5,800 students-nationally and internationally-at its Fayette campus, 25 U.S. education centers, as well as centers in Malaysia and Hong Kong. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree programs. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit...

Read More

Atkins students participate in Concordia concerts

Christmas spirit fills the air during Christmas at Concordia weekend Four Christmas at Concordia concerts brought more than 3,000 Concordia students, faculty and staff, alumni and community members to St. John Lutheran Church near campus. The concerts featured the Women’s Chorale, Male Chorus, Concordia Handbell Choir, University Brass Ensemble, University A Cappella Choir and University Symphonic Band. Morgan Eggert of Atkins, Iowa participated in four Christmas at Concordia concerts Matthew Gerhold of Atkins, Iowa participated in four Christmas at Concordia...

Read More

Vinton Garden Club News

The Vinton Garden club, a member of National Garden clubs, Inc. District II and Central Region met on November 30, 2016 in the office at the Benton County Fairgrounds. President Fran Stueck called the meeting to order at 1:30PM. Prior to the start of the meeting, the members completed the construction of bee houses that had been precut and nailed together by club members Ted and Fran Stueck. It was a great project. It is hoped the bee houses will help provide protection to our bees that help pollinate our plants and fruit trees. Information on the bee houses, bees’ lives was given by Fran. Members recited the Pledge of Allegiance and the Conservation Pledge. Seven members answered roll call to “do you plant flowers for bees”. Rosie Boisen read the minutes of our October meeting were read. Approved as read. Sharen Stueck presented the treasurer’s report. No new bills were presented. Approved report will be filed for audit. Club members noted no new correspondence. COMMITTEE REPORTS: Garden Therapy-Michelle Gibson – reminded club of Therapy at the Lutheran Home on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, at 2:30. Bring greenery and clippers. UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Programs for 2017 were discussed. Rosie Boisen made a motion to not have a meeting in January. A few members will be on winter vacation. 2nd by Anne Dake. Motion carried. Fran informed the members that Mollie...

Read More

Benton County Board of Supervisor Agenda 12/13/16

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING December 13, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. Benton County Board of Supervisors Room 1. 9:00 A.M. Call to Order 2. Rescind action accepting resignation of Kathy Janss from Health Board 3. 9:05 a.m. Marc Greenlee Re: Approve farm exemption application for Paul Kennedy part of NE ¼ of Sec 11-T83N-R9W 4. Approve minutes 5. Approve claims 6. 9:10 a.m. Discuss/Approve Funds from Historical Preservation Commission to Sheriff Fry Committee 7. 9:15 a.m. Benton Development Group – annual update and FY18 budget request 8. 9:45 a.m. Tracey Achenbach re: East Central Iowa Housing Trust Fund & FY18 budget request 9. 10:00 a.m. Accept bids and Public Hearing to dispose of parcel #240-07700. 10. 10:15 a.m. Dog Pound discussion 11. Adopt (and repeal current) Resolutions: Code of Conduct, Procurement, Affirmative Fair Housing, Equal Employment, RARA, Excessive Force; Conflict of Interest 12. 11:00 a.m. Enter into Administrative Agreement with ECICOG re: Resiliency Watershed Grant (CDBG 13-NDRI-002) and approve alternative authorized signatures 13. 11:15 a.m. Engineer Re: Approve Utility Permit for Alliant Energy in Jackson Twp • Sign Final IDOT Contract Construction Progress Voucher with Peterson Contractors Inc. for Project BRS-C006(92)–5F-06 14. Reports – committee meetings, liaison, Etc. 15. New Business/Public Interest Comments 16....

Read More

It was a wonderful life

Today I had just commented to Dean that I hated getting old, but that it sure beats the alternative. Today was also the same day as our church Christmas program…Like it was 3 years ago. It was the same day I waited in the hall, crying and waiting for Frank, our funeral home guy, to come and pick up my dad for the last trip down Hwy. 150, a road that held so many memories for our family. For some reason knowing that Frank was there to take him “home” gave me a little comfort. Yeah, I know a 50 year old woman should say, “Dad” or “Father”, but I had always called my dad “Daddy” and it never crossed my mind to change. It seems like we had said goodbye to him so many years earlier. Our 3rd child was just 2 when we had the first of many trips to the hospital with my dad, and it was the beginning of so many unanswered questions. Now knowing our family health history I suspect I have a better idea of what was happening, but since he was the oldest, and hated to go to a doctor to start with, there weren’t any leads to figure out what was wrong and how to make him better. That was a small part of his life though, compared to all of...

Read More

Community Foundation awards scholarship to local students

A Benton County student pursuing higher education opportunities has received additional financial assistance this fall thanks to a scholarship from the Benton County Community Foundation and its host foundation, the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. The $1,000 scholarship is part of CFNEIA’s largest total scholarship award amount in its 60-year history. In 2016, CFNEIA awarded 273 scholarships totaling $446,000 to students across Iowa.  Syndey Walker, a graduate from Vinton-Shellsburg High School, was awarded the Marlyn and Ann Jorgensen Family Scholarship. Walker is attending Iowa State University, majoring in agriculture communications and international agriculture. “We want to congratulate these students on their accomplishments and hope they find success as they follow their dreams,” said Kaye Englin, CFNEIA President and CEO. “We are excited to continue to increase support for deserving students through scholarships, and we are honored to carry out the wishes of our fundholders with a passion for the education of tomorrow’s leaders. Scholarships are increasingly important for students seeking higher education. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, 66 percent of all 2015 graduates of Iowa colleges and universities had student loan debt averaging $29,547. Student debt in the U.S. is currently over $1 trillion, second only to mortgage debt. “The ever-growing cost of higher education continues to be a barrier for youth, making scholarships more important than ever,” said Englin. “These scholarships established by generous...

Read More

Dr. Strange is coming to the Palace

Doctor Strange is the newest Marvel superhero movie to come to the Palace! Starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Tilda Swinton, and Rachel McAdams, Doctor Strange is a visual treat for the whole family. Playing Friday, December 9 through Thursday, December 15 at 7 pm, and Monday, December 12 at 2 pm, Dr. Strange runs 120 minutes. Set in modern day New York, Doctor Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) is an egotistical neurosurgeon. After a car accident leaves him without the use of his hands, Doctor Strange seeks out the latest treatments in the medical world to regain their use. When this doesn’t work, Doctor Strange turns to Jonathon Pangborn, a paraplegic who mysteriously regains the use of his legs. Pangborn directs Strange to the secret compound of Kamar-Taj in Nepal, a place where sorcerers live and are all taught by the Ancient One (Swinton). Strange meets her and begs her to teach her what she knows. She agrees hesitantly, as Strange’s cockiness reminds her of a former student that turned against her and stole some of the sacred texts, Kaecilius. Strange excels quickly and soon learns many ways of the mystical arts. Meanwhile, Kaecilius is working to interrupt the world order in an aim to erase death. Although it could be seen as a noble goal, Kaecilius must disrupt the balance of mystical powers that protect the Earth and its function in order...

Read More