Author: Dean Close

VS Fall Blowout set for Thursday, Aug. 17

The 2017 Fall Sports Blowout will be held on Thursday, August 17, at the High School Gym and the Karr Athletic Complex. Note the change to Thursday, instead of Friday. The schedule of events is as follows: HIGH SCHOOL GYM: 3:30 –  F/S Volleyball Scrimmage 4:00 –  Varsity Volleyball Scrimmage KARR ATHLETIC COMPLEX: 5:00 –  F/S Football Scrimmage 5:15 – ALL Fall athletes (MS & HS) should report to the north end of the track 5:30 –  Introduction of  Fall Athletes 6:15 –  Varsity Football Scrimmage Admission for non-athletes is one bottle of a sport drink (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) Also, on Friday, August 18, the F/S and Varsity Football teams will be traveling to Marion for a pre-season scrimmage.  The F/S team will scrimmage at 5:00 p.m., followed by the introduction of Marion’s fall athletes.  The varsity team will scrimmage at 6:35 p.m.  Marion is also requesting a sport drink (preferably in powder form) as admission, but no one will be turned away. GO VIKE &...

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Kaestner Seeds team wins VPRD softball tourney

The 2017 Vinton Parks and Recreation slow-pitch softball league has come and gone. There were a total of eight teams from Vinton and surrounding communities this year. The league was a fun and competitive environment for all who participated with Clickstop winning the regular season at a record of 14 wins and no losses. However, it was Kaestner Seeds that came away with the end of season tournament championship on August 5th in a 9-4 victory over Edward’s Plumbing and...

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JAKES Day: Children learn basics from experienced outdoorsmen

Many area children learned about how to call a duck and other birds, had a close-up look at the pelts of many kinds of animals native to the Cedar River area, and received training in the basics of rifle and shotgun safety and archery during JAKES Day event on Saturday. The Blue Creek Springtime Monarchs club sponsored the event, which is affiliated with the National Wild Turkey Foundation. Adult instructors included: Animal Calls – Keith Schmitz; Rifle Range/.22’s – David Bulman, Mike Hagen; Archery – Darren Hagen, Mikie Tharp, Eric Travagiakis; Trap Shooting – Mike Zeiser, Weston Smith, Nick Wells,...

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Kindness Rocks in Garrison: Teens prepare inspirational messages for every family in one Benton County town

“Make today so awesome that yesterday gets jealous.” “Be brave.” “Light will always pierce the darkness.” “Be the rainbow in someone’s cloud.” “Oh my darling, it’s true: Beautiful things have dents and scratches, too.” “You are stronger than you think.” Thanks to a group of teenagers involved in a summer project at the Garrison Public Library, every household in that small town will soon receive a hand-painted stone with an inspirational message. “Kindness Rocks” was the idea of Library Director Angela Dague, and the teens responded enthusiastically to the suggestion. On Tuesday, Caroline Erickson and Renee Gram spent a few hours painting some of the rocks. Using a several different colors of paints and markers, the girls chose stones from the rock garden outside the library. They found rocks shaped like a foot, a cookie and even a slice of pizza, and picked a message fitting for that shape. Soon the teens will deliver a rock to each of Garrison’s homes, a number that Caroline estimates at around 150....

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VS graduate Martin starts college as an official U of I student blogger

The University of Iowa Admissions Office chooses a handful of students each year to represent the college and its students through a student blog program. Among the bloggers this year is UI freshman Caitlyn Martin, a 2017 Vinton-Shellsburg graduate. Martin, the daughter of Dave and Cindy Martin of Vinton, wrote her first post this week, introducing herself, telling her audience she is looking forward to discovering her identity in the “social petri-dish that is Iowa,” and also mentioning her anticipation of the Hawkeye football season. “It doesn’t pay, but there are little incentives across the semester that mostly include gift cards to local places,” says Martin, of the writing gig. The student bloggers work closely with the admissions office and have a workspace available in Calvin Hall if they choose to use it. “Each month there will be a list of topics to consider, but we are allowed to write about anything and post as often as we like,” says Martin. “Posts are screened for grammatical errors or content that goes against school policy before being officially published.” The student bloggers each received a “swag bag” with things like attachable camera lenses for smartphones, a powerbank, a heavy duty portable speaker, Hawkeye apparel and other items to help the writers describe their personal U of I journeys. “Most student bloggers use this opportunity to make connections on campus, bolster their...

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Freedom Rock dedication set for Sept. 9

The American Legion Riders of Shellsburg Chapter #166, are inviting the public to the Dedication Ceremony for The Benton County Freedom Rock on Saturday, Sept. 9. The Freedom Rock, part of the state-wide Freedom Rock project, moved to Shellsburg in the spring of 2015, and was painted last year. The event will take place at 4 p.m. at the Freedom Rock site, next to the Raymond & Virginia Boyer American Legion Post, at  114 Main St, Shellsburg. The Freedom Riders were among the leaders in organizing, contributing to and raising funds for the projec.t See an earlier story about...

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Shellsburg celebrates with parade, other events

The Shellsburg Lions began a new tradition a year ago, with their first annual Golf Cart Gala. The event continued this year, with the more common name of “Parade.” A variety of vehicles, including many golf carts, and even a miniature tractor, wound through the city for the annual parade. The day also included a water ball contest featuring firefighters (and their wives) from many departments in Iowa, live music downtown and a variety of food. Tracey Spurgeon had the honor of being the Grand Marshal of the parade. The Lions began the event last year, as a replacement...

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Two sets of Benton County twins place at State Fair contest

Since they were just five months old, Jenna and Nora Grovert have been turning heads and winning State Fair contests as identical twins. The daughters of Paul and Janet Grovert of Shellsburg made their first appearance in the Twins, Triplets and More Contest at the Iowa State Fair in 2010. They have returned each year since for judging in the “Most Alike” contest. The girls had placed in the top 4 each of the first seven years they participated; four of those being First Place wins. This week, on the first day of the 2017 Iowa State Fair, they...

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Committee recommends “full ownership” of IBSSS campus, with many stipulations

The Vinton City Council has received the official Iowa Braille School Task Force recommendation for the future of the campus. Nearly a year after the city received the startling offer from the Iowa Board of Regents to assume the entire campus for $1, Vinton Unlimited Director Melissa Schwan visited Thursday’s council meeting to present and discuss the recommendation the committee has been working on for several months. The recommendation, said Schwan, is that “Vinton should work toward full ownership” but with the following stipulations: A small committee will be formed to help city officials plan the future of the site; A feasibility study, funded by the state, to review the potential opportunities and costs of the campus under city ownership; A request that the Board of Regents maintain the buildings and grounds until the transfer is made official; A full inspection of the campus and its buildings, also funded by the state; Site visits with other entities that may consider the IBSSS campus as a future home’ Including a representative from the City of Vinton in any future negotiations with the federal government involving AmeriCorps NCCC negotiations; Funding from the Board of Regents; An “escape clause” should city officials determine that local ownership is not a viable option; A work session involving the Vinton City Council and the Iowa Board of Regents to officially express these points. The council also...

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Pick a plate: Iowans asked to pick favorite of three new license plate designs

People who attend the Iowa State Fair, as well as anyone interested enough to vote on-line, can vote on one of three options for the next license plate for Iowa. One design is based on the Iowa flag, with the same colors, an outline of the eagle in the state banner, and the date of Iowa’s admission to the Union (1846). Another design is similar to the current one, with different colors, and silhouettes of city and rural scenes. The third is called “The Great Wide Open,” and has a lower silhouette of a pasture scene. The three designs...

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