Author: Dean Close

Slush doesn’t stop Tour de Lites runners

Despite several inches of slushy snow that fell overnight, the Vinton fire station was full of runners for the annual Tour De Lites. The fund-raiser for the VS track and cross country teams attracts runners from all over eastern Iowa. Participants from as far away as Lawler, Marshalltown and Ackley were among the medalists. VS coaches helped sign in the runners for the 12th annual event. Students from the Vinton Popcorn Company (whose advisor is track coach Aric Chvala) offered free caramel corn made at the school. Former cross country runner Ben Olson and other members of Benton County Cattlemen’s...

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VS bowlers defeat Independence in first meet of season

The Vinton-Shellsburg bowling team began its season with a win at Independence on Friday. Taylor Berry’s 375 led the all bowlers; Josh Staab led the Vikings with a 370. It was the first time in school history that a female had a higher total score than any of the boys, says coach Amber Pattee. The JV has a home meet on Tuesday, and both varsity and JV will compete against   at Berry’s Lanes on Friday. Meets begin at 4 p.m. Full results: Connie Upmeyer 115 159    274 Jillian White    124 144    268 Erin Wood         169 140    309 Brianna Lundvall 148 161    309 Korey Murdock 145 149    294 Taylor Berry         171 204    375 Totals    VS                        2205                Independence    2010 Cole Tharp            149 160 309 Josh Staab            182 188 370 Jordan Schoettmer166 195 361 Cyrus Elwick            176 148 324 Ethan Dedrick    150 169 319 Ryan Schoettmer    152 141 293 Totals    VS                        2572                Independence    2281 Charley Cooling    129 151 280...

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Advice for handling holiday stress

The upcoming season is notorious for being the most wonderful time of the year. However, remember that this is not true for all of us, as stress can take away the joy of the season. There are many events surrounding the holiday that can bring about many emotions and demands that come from family, friends, or even society in general. Here are few suggestions to help ease the stress this holiday season. Sit down to make a bucket list of things you want to do and list the things you would like to do the most. If the financial demands of the holiday season seems overwhelming, turn to free community events that can help check off the bucket list without breaking the bank. If you are in a time crunch and are stressed by others’ demands, remember it is okay to say no. If you feel lonely or depressed, try volunteering. Sign up to help serve free meals at homeless shelters or simply do random acts of kindness to help brighten up your spirit. With stress, it can be tempting to turn to alcohol to help ease those feelings. Try some of the tips above to prevent yourself from getting to this point. If those don’t work, remember that over consumption of alcohol can add to your holiday stress by potentially leading to more family disagreements, driving impaired, and...

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The 1,000-roll Challenge: Monkeytown pledges to match donations to Food Pantry

Did you know that among the most needed items for food banks are personal care items like toilet paper, bar soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes?  Monkeytown has issued a “1,000 ROLL CHALLENGE” to the Vinton community as part of their Care Now community betterment initiative: “Bring us rolls of bath tissue, and we’ll match your donation, roll for roll up to 500 rolls and donate them to the Benton County Food Pantry! That’s 1,000 ROLLS of bath tissue going to our own area food bank by the end of December.” They’ve issued the same challenge to the business customers they...

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Annual VSMS Pearl Harbor ceremony to include story of Iowa chaplain who died so others could live

The annual Pearl Harbor Day Memorial ceremony at the Vinton-Shellsburg Middle School LMC will happen from 12:00-1pm on Wednesday, 7 December 2016.  8th grade students will perform the National Anthem, Taps, and read from the after-action reports of Army and Navy commanders.  This year’s emphasis will be on the story of Father Aloysius Schmitt, the chaplain of the USS Oklahoma, whose actions that day saved several shipmates at the cost of his life.  Father Schmitt’s remains were recently identified and he was reburied in the chapel of Loras College in Dubuque. He was the first chaplain to die during WWII. 8th grade teacher Alex Vasquez, the grandson of a World War II sailor, has led the ceremony each of the past several years. This year is the 75th anniversary of the attack that forced the U.S. into World War...

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Vinton Unlimited announces first winner of Holiday Lights punch card

By Melissa Schwan Vinton Unlimited is happy to announce that Amanda Erickson of Garrison is the first winner in the ‘Holiday Lights’ punch card drawing! Amanda has won $25 Vinton Value Dollars. Each week we will continue to draw a winner from the full cards we have collected. All of the full cards will be entered into the grand prize drawing valued over $875 to be held at the completion of the promotion. As a reminder, the promotion runs through December 24th so there is plenty of time to fill up a card or two! Participating businesses include Arnold Motor Supply, Birker’s Bows & Iowa Crafters, Cameron Clothing, Clingman Pharmacy, Henkle Creek Mercantile, Jessy’s Gem Gallery, Kromminga Motors, La Reyna, LaGrange Pharmacy, McDowell’s, Michael & Dowd, Nature’s Corner, Nicks TV & Appliance, Shopko, The Mall @ RJ Enders, Three D Kitchens, Tootsies Ice & More, and Viking Sewing. Don’t forget to follow Vinton Unlimited on Facebook for notices and announcements about other holiday...

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Benton County Republicans to meet

By Benton County Republican Central Committee What an election, congratulations to all of our Benton County  Republican candidates who won handily election night.  Every Republican candidate on the ballot in Benton County won Benton County on November 8th.  Amazing!  Thank you to all of you for your hard work!  We are excited to re-elect Senator Kapucian and Representative Pettengill as well as to elect our new Republican Supervisors, Rick Primmer and Gary Bierschenk, new County Sheriff Ron Tippett, and new Benton County Auditor, Hayley Rippel.  Federal election news was just as exciting as we re-elected Senator Grassley and Congressman Blum and sent Republican Donald Trump to the White House! In lieu of our regular meeting, the central committee thought it would be great to get together for dinner and fellowship as we bring in the Christmas season and celebrate a big November win. We will meet at the Pizza Ranch in Vinton at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13th, for a Dutch treat meal.  We will be in one of the back rooms. While this is not an official meeting, we will talk about a few upcoming things including our officer elections, which will take place early next year.  Please be thinking about your role in the Benton County Republicans and consider if a leadership role is something you would be willing and able to take on. We hope...

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Wrestling season under way: VS competes at Decorah

The Vinton-Shellsburg wrestlers went to Decorah to take on the other Vikings. The home team won, 58-14 Varsity match winners for VS included Carter Weeks (113) and Scott Betterton (145), In the only JV match, Vinton-Shellsburg’s Christian Lovell (138) won by pinning his opponent. See complete results HERE....

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VSMS announces 1st Trimester Honor Roll

The Vinton-Shellsurg Middle School Honor Roll has been announced . Click below to see the list of honorees in each grade level Sixth Grade: 1st-trimester-6th-16-17 Seventh Grade 1st-trimester-7th-16-17 Eighth...

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To the Editor: Thoughts on Trump, Sessions and the GOP control of government

By Rosemary Schwartz UPDATE: Popular vote totals, Nov. 29, Clinton 64,869,961 or 48% of the vote, Trump 62,536,045 or 46.27%. Clinton’s margin has increased to 2,333,916. Even with the recounts currently proceeding, those numbers may change a little but probably not enough to make any real difference. Trump with his insecure ego cannot accept the fact that the majority of voters did not vote for him and continues to insist without any proof, that he is actually the popular vote winner because millions of illegal votes were cast for Clinton. What doesn’t he get? He won the electoral college and that is what counts. His ego is so fragile he is trying to delegitimize his own win!! John Stiegelmeyer must also have a thin-skin and a fragile ego because he complained that he is fed up with being painted as “racist, homophobic, intolerant, narrow-minded deplorable” because he supported Trump. John fails to understand that if you support a candidate like Trump who says these things, by association you either agree with what Trump says or don’t care what he says. Which is worse? John came to Sen. Sessions defense after Trump’s offered Sessions the position of Attorney General and stated “Senator Sessions has a long record of public service with no racist criticism until now.” Oh really? then what was the reason in 1986 when President Reagan tried to...

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