Author: Dean Close

Angel Tree: Cards available at local banks

The annual Angel Tree program is under way, and cards with information for a specific child were placed on trees at Farmers and US Banks in Vinton, for area residents to take so they can shop for that child. For more information, call LaNette Parker,...

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Christmas giving opportunity: Koop’s Auto

Jeremy Koopman and his staff have set up the Christmas tree and are now collecting gifts to present to the families served by Horizons. Now located at the corner of 8th St. and K Ave. (Highway 218), Koop’s will collect toys through Dec. 18. This has been an annual tradition for the business for many...

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Breakfast with Santa: VPRD event set for Saturday

From the Vinton Parks and Rec Dept. Our favorite jolly guy in the red suit will be joining us at our Breakfast with Santa event Saturday, December 9 at 9 AM. The cost per person is $5 if you register by this Thursday and the event will take place at the Vinton Skate & Activity Center. Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, biscuits & gravy and your choice of beverage. Kids will also go home with a coloring book and a treat bag from Santa! If interested, register your family...

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Blue Ribbon Nominee: Iowa Education Department honors Tilford

Tilford Elementary Principal Jim Murray announced the exciting news to his staff on Wednesday that the Iowa Department of Education has nominated Tilford Elementary for consideration for the national Blue Ribbon School Distinction. In a letter to Supt. Mary Jo Hainstock, Iowa Dept. of Education Director Ryan Wise indicated that Tilford is being honored for exemplary high performance and/or achievement gap closing, as indicated by the students’ collective success in math and reading assessments. The U.S. Education Department says that National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models for other schools throughout the nation, and school personnel are often sought out as mentors. Their applications are posted on the U.S. Department of Education’s website, and media eagerly profile recognized schools, helping the school, its district, and community gain additional exposure. Representatives from schools are honored at an annual awards ceremony held in Washington, DC. Each school receives an engraved plaque and program flag with the official seal, which signifies its status and the year of its award. For more information about the Blue Ribbon School distinction HERE. See the letter from Wise here...

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Author Boddicker to speak at Vinton library, Dec. 12

Author Major Boddicker will be speaking and visiting with friends and family at the Vinton Public Library on Tuesday, December 12th from 1 until 3. He is bringing some of his older books to sell and will be debuting his newest one. This will be an excellent chance to get the skinny from Major while munching on cookies. Everyone is...

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VS Voyagers earn 3 Top 5 awards at State

 The Vinton-Shellsburg Voyagers Dance Team had quite the showing at state this year by placing top 5 in all three categories. The voyagers competed on Thursday, November 30 and Friday, December 1, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. They competed in hip hop, contemporary and Pom. “Our classes were adjusted quite a bit this year due to large changes in enrollment across the state of Iowa, putting us into much more challenging classes. The girls did a wonderful job and really made a name for themselves at state this year,” says coach Michelle Wedemeyer. The Voyagers placed 3rd In hip hop, 4th in Pom and 4th in contemporary. The dancers have performed at recent home basketball games and are planning their spring show. Bruce receives one of seven scholarships Congratulations Baylee Bruce for receiving 1 of the 7 senior scholarships awarded at the ISDTA State Competition this year! Baylee was 1 of 17 finalists eligible for the award after sending in a portfolio highlighting her achievements and future goals and then going through an interview...

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Union football: Knights honor leaders, present many awards at recognition ceremony

Union’s football team gathered for one final time in 2017 to celebrate the successes of the season, award players for a variety of achievements, and to thank the many people who helped as Union returned to the UNI-Dome as one of the four final teams in Class 2A. Honorees included: MVP: Koby Alpers Offensive Player of the Year: Troy Hanus, Carter Brehm Defensive Player of the Year: Jace Glenn Special Teams: Hunter Fleshner Garrett Gingrich Leadership Award: Jace Glenn Unsung Hero: John Adelmund Most Improved: Ben Rempe, Hunter Fleshner Team Me: Carter Brehm, Ryan Sedgwick Defensive Scout: Jacob Wyant, Kyle Gross Offensive Scout: Carter Spore, Dylan Felderman Newcomer: Dallas Blackburn, Jacob Carey Tony DeSousa Award: Kraig DeVries, Taylor  Vaske, Mike Schmidt, Lynne Ternus, Andrea Behrens, Stacy Fleshner, Dean Close. See more photos from Union mom Krystal Schmitz HERE. See the Union Knights Facebook page HERE and their web site...

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Finals Week Stress and Drug Abuse: Abuse of Stimulant Drugs Remains a Troubling Trend

By Jeffrey Meyers, CPC, ASAC Across the country, millions of college students are about to enter the final days of their fall term. With it comes the excitement of a much-needed break, but not before the dreaded finals week. Finals represent a time of unique stress, in which everything that was learned will be tested, and deadlines must be met. For some students, this pressure has unfortunately led to the abuse of prescription stimulants, medications commonly prescribed for disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The abuse of these medications poses both short term and long term risk, often unbeknownst to the user. These prescription stimulants include drugs such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and Vyvanse and can offer real benefit if used medically, under the supervision of a doctor. Using these drugs non-medically, without a diagnosis or prescription, constitutes abuse. Students that abuse these drugs do so in the hopes they will get an energy boost, while at the same time increasing their overall alertness and ability to focus. According to a Johns Hopkins 2016 report, this practice is on the rise, and most commonly seen among 18 to 25 year olds. Studies put the estimated percentage of all college students that abuse at close to 1 in 5, a staggering number. While the students abusing these medications may experience some added energy and even focus, the risks...

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Vinton Police Report: Nov. 27-Dec. 2

Vinton Police Department Log for Week of November 27 – December 3, 2017 All Charges are subject to review by The Benton County Attorney’s Office. An arrest or criminal charge is merely an accusation and the Defendant is presumed innocent, unless proven guilty. Intrastate Warrants are issued by Law Enforcement Agencies for crimes happening in their jurisdictions. Adult Arrests December 1 Bob Edward Phillips 51 Vinton, IA Arrested on an Intrastate Warrant for Driving While Revoked and Failure to File SR22. Juvenile Referrals None Two Citations were issued for the Week of November 27 – December 3, 2017 for Failure to Obey Stop Sign and Yield Right of Way and Failure to Obey Flashing Red Signal. Seven written warnings for offenses were issued the Week of November 27 – December 3, 2017 and they were for Failure to Provide Proof of Financial Liability, Operating a Non-Registered Vehicle, Equipment Repair and Speed. Two reported Motor Vehicle Accidents for the Week of November 27 – December 3, 2017. For the Week of November 27 – December 3, 2017 – 69 complaints/calls for service were handled by the Vinton Police...

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Rural Brandon man charged with theft in rent fraud case

By Jerry Michael, Urbana Chief of Police Gregory Todd Selken, 43, of rural Brandon was arrested Saturday December 2, 2017 by the Urbana Police Department. Selken was charged following an investigation by the Urbana Police Department that revealed Selken used a fictitious name to rent an apartment that he stated he owned in Belle Plaine to a Cedar Rapids woman. Selken had posed the apartment for rent on Craigslist. Selken agreed to meet the woman at Casey’s in Urbana where the woman paid Selken $ 800 for deposit and rent. Selken in turn gave the woman a key that he stated went to the apartment. When the woman went to the apartment in Belle Plaine she learned the key did not work and that Selken did not own the building. The woman then contacted Urbana Police and Selken was subsequently identified as the person the woman met at Casey’s. Selken was charged with theft in the third degree, aggravated misdemeanor. Selken was released following an initial appearance in Magistrate Court. According to the Iowa Courts web site, the Urbana Police Dept. first issued a warrant in the case in September. The case no. is AGCR013652. See the web site...

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