Author: Dean Close

Prep Football: Regular season ends; Union has chance at 10th straight playoff appearance

The 2017 high school football team will end for most schools tonight. Vinton-Shellsburg  (1-7) ends its season at Benton Community (5-3) with its last Class 3A District 3 matchup. Schools will receive new district assignments for the next two seasons. Center Point-Urbana (4-4) ends it season at Dubuque Wahlert. Union and Belle Plaine are the only area teams with playoff hopes at this time. It’s been a strange season for the Knights, who spent much of the year in the Top 10 in both the Des Moines Register and Cedar Rapdids Gazette/KGYM Radio polls. The Knights, however, are in Class 2A, District, which also includes unbeaten Cascade and Waukon, which defeated Union 50-35 on Oct. 6. Cascade is ranked 3rd in the Gazette poll, and Waukon 5th. Union fell out of the DMR poll but is ranked 7th in the Gazette poll. Union plays at Cascade tonight, with a playoff berth on the line. However, Knights Coach Joe Hadachek says the tie-breaking system which the Iowa High School Athletic Union uses to determine district winner and at-large playoff entries is too complicated for his team to know their exact playoff chances. Hadachek says the number-crunching his staff did indicates that in order to earn an automatic playoff berth as one of the top two teams in its district, Union would have to win by nine over unbeaten Cascade. A...

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Halloween: Trick or Treat hours, downtown parade and more scheduled

The Vinton Halloween schedule will follow its typical routine, with trick-or-treating hours, the downtown parade, skate center events and more. Vinton has set official “Trick or Treat” hours for 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, October 31st. MOPS/Moms Next will kick things off at 4:30 p.m. with a Trunk or Treat in the Blessed Hope Church parking lot. Parents, don’t forget to stop in at VGH Nursing & Rehab, Vinton Lutheran Home and Windsor Manor, the residents always enjoy seeing the children in costume! The Vinton Parks and Recreation Department’s annual events will take over several days leading up to Halloween. Director Brad Barker listed the events: – On Wednesday, October 25th, VPRD will be hosting its annual Special Populations Halloween Bash at the Vinton Skate & Activity Center. Attendees are invited to dress up in their most creative costumes and join us for dancing, music and fun from 1 – 3 PM. There will be lunch specials served from Noon to 1 PM. Prizes will be awarded to costume winners in a variety of categories. Cost of admission for the dance is $2. – The Kid’s Downtown Spooktacular Day on Saturday, October 28th will have your costumed children participating in a number of Halloween-themed games and pumpkin decorating before they head out on a costume trick-or-treating parade through Vinton’s downtown businesses. There will even be refreshments too! The games and pumpkin decorating starts at 10...

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Pink Heals: Fire truck to honor all disease survivors with Saturday stop in Vinton

The Vinton Fire Department, working with Pink Heals, has arranged for the famous pink fire truck that carries the signatures of countless people who have survived a variety of illnesses, to bring that truck to Vinton tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 21). The truck will be in Vinton from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Although the vehicles in the Pink Heals fleet are bubble-gum pink in color, the organization says their work is about helping everyone, not only cancer survivors. “This is about all illnesses that people endure, and the people a community can support,” say the organizers. The Pink...

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‘Flatliners:’ Remake of 1990 film explores effects of stopped heart on those still living

By Rose Trafford, Vinton Palace There are some things that just make life better- love, laughter, relationships, and… death? In this week’s film Flatliners, a group of college students experiment with the effects of a stopped heart on those that are still living. NOW SHOWING Fri, Oct 20 – Thur, Oct 26 at 7 pm Mon, Oct 30 at 2 pm Flatliners is a remake of the original movie which debuted in 1990. None of the original characters except Kiefer Sutherland make an appearance in this year’s film. Courtney (Ellen Page) is a med student who is obsessed with the idea of death and the afterlife. When she finally convinces a reluctant colleague Jaime (James Norton), to use a defibrillator to stop her heart for sixty seconds while recording her brain activity, they go to work. After a few unsuccessful attempts to revive Courtney, she finally “comes back.” But she’s different. She can play the piano and is more productive in class, which captures the jealous eyes of other students who want to experience the same thing. Trying to best each other by increasing the time each one is flatlined, the team experiences hallucinations of people in their past that died either directly or indirectly by their hands, and are now haunting them. Hauntings that have some very real effects in the land of the living, which ultimately culminates...

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Write in campaign: Rundlett seeks Vinton 3rd Ward Council seat

Although his name is not on the ballot, Dakota Rundlett is hoping residents of Vinton will write in his name for the Third Ward City Council seat. Rundlett, a 2016 graduate of the Reisch World Wide College of Auctioneering, runs his own auction business and is a correctional officer at the Benton County Jail. After reading newspaper and Vinton Today stories about the city council election and realizing that no candidates had entered the race, Rundlett decided to begin a write-in campaign. He ordered campaign signs, and has begun distributing them to friends, relatives and colleagues. He says he...

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911 Texting: Benton County among Iowa areas testing new program

Benton County is among the majority of Iowa counties involved in a program to implement and test the capabilities of contacting emergency dispatchers via text as well as phone calls. “911 texting is being tested,” says Sheriff Ron Tippett. “It will offer a silent way to contact Law Enforcement, when a phone call being overheard could cause issues for the reporting party.” Along with dialing 9-1-1, as every child learns in school during Fire Prevention Week, residents now can send a text message to the Benton County 911 center by simply entering “911” in the “TO” line of a...

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Casey’s to acquire Vinton Fast Stop convenience store

The Casey’s General Stores company  has purchased the Fast Stop in Vinton, west of its current location. The Fast Stop at the corner of 4th street and Highway 218 will close at the end of October, although its electronic pumps will be in operation through Nov. 15. A sign on the door indicates that most items are on sale for a 40 percent discount from regular price; another sign lists the hours of business throughout October. Some FS employees say they have been asked to remain with the business once it reopens as Casey’s. New Century Farm Service is the owner of the convenience store, which it has operated since 1994. While FS has several Fast Stop fueling stations throughout Iowa (including Garrison, Van Horne and Blairstown), the Vinton business was its only convenience store, offering groceries, a few auto maintenance items such as oil, snacks, and hot breakfast and sandwich shop. “The Vinton site is the only convenience store we own,” says FS General Manager Jake Jabobs, “This is not our area of expertise. Casey’s will be a good business to replace us and provide the same quality of products and service that Fast Stop has provided the past 24 years.” Jacobs says the company thanks all of the local customers who have utilized and patronized the business. “We will keep pumps open until Nov. 15. Customers can use their...

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Lee the Horselogger rides to Vinton

Several people reported seeing a unique sight on Highway 150 north of Vinton today: Horses pulling a small wagon, with a large American flag on the side, an extra horse walking beside the wagon, and a solitary man inside. Meet Lee the HorseLogger. Lee, who prefers that people call him Lee Horselogger, is making his second trek through Iowa in two years. He was heading to Vinton, hoping to get permission to camp with his horses at the Benton County Fairgrounds. His last trek through eastern Iowa took him to Highway 20 and 63 last year, when he was...

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Concert season: VSMS band, choir members to perform Oct. 23

The Vinton-Shellsburg choir season began last night, with the VSHS Fall Choral Preview. The music continues next week, when the VS Middle School band and choir students will perform. The Middle School event will include 6th grade bands as well as 7th and 8th grade choirs. It takes place at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct 23, in the VS High School auditorium. Admission is free. See a video of the VSHS Choral Preview...

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Singer Moen returns for Vinton visit between West Coast, European tours

Elizabeth Moen is still making records. In an era of iPods and podcasts, compact discs and downloads, YouTube and Vimeo, vinyl is making a comeback, says Elizabeth. On the table at Cameron’s Clothing Co., along with CDs and information about her Facebook page and the Liz Moen web site, was a vinyl copy of “That’s All I wanted,” her latest album. The singer-songwriter who grew up in Vinton was a special guest at Saturday’s “Taste of Vinton.” The daughter of Sam and Jenny Moen of Vinton, Elizabeth had returned to Vinton and the Midwest in between tours. She recently...

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Memories and friendships for a lifetime: Viking band seniors reflect on successful season

They were in first grade when the streak started, and 8th graders when Mr. Waymire arrived at VSHS. Now, the seniors of the Vinton-Shellsburg Marching Band Regiment have led the band to its 12th straight Division 1 rating and its best finish ever at the Waukee Band Invitational. The band season officially ended last Saturday in Waukee, where the Regiment overcame the rain to earn a score of 65.3 and a third place finish. “What a great way for the seniors to end their marching band career,” wrote Waymire on the VS Band Facebook page. “While the marching band...

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