Author: Dean Close

How NPR gave us fake news about access to news about fake news

By Dean Close, Vinton Today Editor First of all, where I am coming from: I am not, and never have been a fan, follower or defender of Fox News.  So, please to not interpret the following paragraphs to be any kind of defense of Fox. However: I am also a journalist who gets offended when people in media — especially national networks — get things wrong that are so basic they should have learned them in high school journalism class. Today’s example comes from NPR, specifically from NPR writer David Folkenflik. On his Twitter account, he announced on Wednesday morning that he is preparing to discuss “Fox News, fake news and the White House.” On Tuesday, Folkenflik wrote one of the first stories about the lawsuit filed on behalf of Fox contributor Rod Wheeler. (See that story HERE). My problem with the story is that in the second paragraph of a very long report, Mr. Fokenflik makes a claim that he knows — or should know — to be entirely false: “The suit was obtained exclusively by NPR.” We need to stop right there. Court filings of any kind become public record, after they are filed; see an explanation of this basic journalism fact on the Duke University web site HERE. Court filings, including the lawsuit against Fox, are not “exclusively obtained” by anyone. Any media organization, or citizen,...

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Beats, Burgers, Brats and Brews: Event to raise funds for Old Creamery Nature Trail head in Dysart

The 4th annual “Beats, Burgers, Brats, Brews & Bicycles” fundraising event for improvements to the Old Creamery Nature Trailhead in Dysart will be held Saturday, August 19, 2017, 12 til 4. “A Poker Run Bicycle Ride” will start at the Vinton Trailhead at 11 a.m., continue on the 14 mile newly resurfaced Old Creamery Nature Trail through Garrison to Dysart. A children’s non-competitive educational bike rodeo for ages 4-11 starts at 1 p.m. at Dysart City Hall “Chalk the Walk” contest for best chalk design, along with food, a bake sale and music by the Buck Hollow Band, and other fun and games for all ages. For more information, contact Ruth Schafbuch, committee member,...

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Reach Out and Read: Refit group donates $511 to VGH clinic book program

For the past couple of years, every child who visited the Virginia Gay Hospital Clinic has left with a book, courtesy of the Reach Out and Read Program, and the donors who make it possible. The latest organization to donate to the cause was the Refit fitness group led by Teresa Erger. “Between all four of our clinics, we give out approximately 900 books per year,” says Melissa Macku of VGH. “These are given out during well child visits starting at 2 months of age and ending with their 5-year checkup. See a story about the VGH program HERE,...

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AmeriCorps NCCC Team Supports People Served at Black Hills Works

By Sarah Caldwell, Oak 2 Oak 2 is serving in Rapid City, South Dakota with Black Hills Works. The team is supporting people served by coordinating activities at the Learning Center of Black Hills Works as well as accompanying people served during their Out & About program, which consists of various events and activities as well as service work for local nonprofits in the community. One Out & About activity that stood out to the team was attending a concert with people served at Main Street Square downtown, a popular venue in the heart of the city. “We had so much fun that night, and I know everyone I spoke to really enjoyed the music and lively atmosphere that a night out downtown provides. Many of the people served wouldn’t be able to attend these events if extra support isn’t given, so I’m glad our team is here to help. Everyone deserves the ability to be involved in their community.” says Oak 2 member Sarah Spangler. Other Out & About activities have included local baseball games, hikes in the Black Hills, classical concerts, a visit to Mount Rushmore, attending Central States Fair, and packing boxes of food to be distributed via a local food shelter. Established in 1958, Black Hills Works provides services and support to over 600 people who are 16 years and older with learning and developmental...

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Deadline nears for Iowa Beef Center Short Course

If you’ve been thinking about registering for Iowa Beef Center’s Beef Feedlot Short Course, it’s time to act. More than two-thirds of the 30 available spots are filled, leaving just 10 openings for the Aug. 8-10 event. IBC program specialist Erika Lundy said the educational event will provide classroom and hands-on instruction in a variety of areas, along with sessions at the Iowa State Beef Nutrition Farm and Couser Cattle Company in Nevada. “Experts from three universities will provide in-depth information on feed, data management, bunk management and health issues,” Lundy said. “Participants also will become Beef Quality Assurance certified during this short course.” The program will be held at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center in Ames, and runs from 1 p.m. on Aug. 8 through noon on Aug. 10. The $500 per person registration fee is all-inclusive, covering lodging, transportation to and from classroom facilities and local feedlots, and meals. The registration deadline is Aug. 1 or when the limit of 30 is reached, and the organizers expect the registrations to reach capacity before that date. See the short course website for registration information and links. Any cancellation requesting a refund must also be received by midnight Aug.1. The event flyer has program details, registration form, links to the event website and short course location map. For questions on the short course content or lodging contact Lundy at ellundy@iastate.edu. For assistance with...

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Depot fund-raiser: BCHS seeks $25,000 for roof repair before winter

Visitors to the Benton County Historical Society’s booth at the Benton County Fair were among the first to learn about the fund-raising project for the roof of the historic Depot. A few years ago, part of the roof was replaced, with the help of grants, donations and AmeriCorps volunteers. Now, the BCHS is hoping to raise $25,000 to replace the north part of the roof, something members say the building needs urgently, now. BCHS member Phil Borlesky is one of the depot’s most involved activists. A railroad enthusiasts, he participates in many events and educational presentations about the history of the railroad. Borlesky recently wrote a letter to area residents and businesses, seeking donations. Part of that letter appears below: Our Vinton railroad depot is a true treasure!  We want to keep it that way! The brick-and-stone depot was well-built in 1900.  Rock Island Railroad, when it vacated the building in the mid-1970s, didn’t leave it in shambles.  Nor did the flower shop temporarily housed in the depot after its own downtown place burned in 1974.  Keith Elwick’s Hawk-Bilt, local farm implement manufacturing firm, gave the former railroad station plenty of TLC while owning and using the building until selling it to the Benton County Historical Society in 1981. Today, hundreds visit and enjoy the depot each year–during summer Thursday Farmers’ Markets, as part of bus or educational tours,...

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Extension plans conference for manure management issues, Aug. 25

Profitability in cattle feeding depends on more than just cattle prices and performance. More than ever, manure value, market flexibility and management impact net returns to the operation. Beef producers may see manure as a double-edged sword. While cattle manure provides nutrients needed to produce feed for the cattle, it also has several challenges that need to be managed. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Denise Schwab is coordinating a late summer conference that will address a variety of topics related to cattle manure. The conference will be held on Friday, Aug. 25, at Buzzy’s in Welton, from 9:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. “The initial focus of this conference will be safety related to manure management and distribution,” Schwab said. “Numerous deaths have been attributed to hydrogen sulfide asphyxiation during manure agitation and pumping, and last October several incidents of cattle losses triggered additional concerns but fortunately no human deaths.” While manure produces four main gases, hydrogen sulfide is considered the most dangerous because it is highly toxic and is released quickly during agitation and pumping. It can increase from 5 parts per million (ppm) to 500 ppm in a matter of seconds after agitation, she said. “Levels in the 500-600 ppm range can be lethal in as little as one or two breaths. While hydrogen sulfide is a major concern with liquid manure, dry manure has...

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Ally Bierschenk among candidates for Iowa Dairy Princess

Thirteen young women involved with the Iowa dairy community will compete to win the title of 64th Iowa State Dairy Princess Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 8 p.m. at the Multi-Media Center of the Cattle Barn at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines. The princess and her alternate are charged with helping consumers learn more about dairy products and the farm families who tend the farms and cows that provide them. Benton County resident Ally Bierschenk, who was chosen as Miss Congeniality in last year’s Dairy Princess contest, is among the contestants again this year. The contestants are: Ally Bierschenk, 17, daughter of Cary and Jennifer Bierschenk of Van Horne, representing Benton County; Josie Buddenburg, 18, daughter of Bruce and Julie Buddenberg of Decorah, representing Winneshiek County; Jenna Chapman, 19, daughter of Dave and Lisa Chapman of Ruthven, representing the Iowa Holstein Association; Grace Gadient, 18, daughter of Bill and Melissa Gadient of Anamosa, representing Jones County; Reba Gaul, 19, daughter of Dale and Dee Gaul of Peosta, representing Dubuque County; Rachel Grober, 17, daughter of Todd and Sherry Grober of Ionia, representing Iowa Guernsey Breeders Association; Cynthia Hamlett, 18, daughter of Mark and Jennifer Hamlett of Aurora, representing Fayette County; Jordan Kalenske, 18, daughter of Tommy and Tracy Kalenske of Fairbank, representing Iowa Brown Swiss Association; Lakaya Lyon, 18, daughter of Kathy Lyon and the late Greg Lyon of Clarence,...

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Color-A-Thon raises funds for VSHS NYC/DC trip

The VSHS students who plan to visit New York City and Washington, D.C. next spring raised around $1,000 toward that trip with a uniquely colorful 5K walk/run on Saturday. The Color-A-Thon took place at the high school, where runners and spectators added powdered color to their shirts (and faces!) during the event. Organizer Krystal Anderson thanked all of the sponsors and participants, and said she enjoys all the photos being shared on social media.   The Top 10 finishers were: 1) Elly Gloede 2) Taylor Spies 3) Amelia Birker 4) Lydia Radeke 5) Emily Trinkle 6) Dean Zarmbinski 7)...

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Cars 3: A powerful reminder that your legacy will include more than your successes

The older you are, the more you will probably appreciate “Cars 3.” As a dad and grandpa, I was excited when I first saw that Disney/Pixar planned to release its third in the “Cars” series. I looked forward to seeing it with the youngsters. But on Sunday evening, the Adorables with whom I had seen the despicables last week were busy, so I went alone to the Palace. There, I discovered that the movie seemed to be directed more toward people my age (I am as old as the Super Bowl and the Ford Mustang). And it does a...

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Boredom on four wheels

“We are boring,” she says. By “We” she means: Me. And she’s right. I am generally historically boring, but I took it to a whole new level again this week. It was time for a new (which for us, means “quite used” because we are too fond of not having car payments so we look for things we can pay cash for after receiving our income tax refund) vehicle. Why we received that refund in July is another story about technology, but that will wait for another day. After looking at a variety of vehicles, including a Mustang (too small), and several stylish sedans, I approached Mrs. C. the other day with the dreadful news: I found a vehicle. A minivan. Yup. Even with only one teenager in the house, we bought the same kind of vehicle we had chosen on multiple occasions when we needed all the seats. Boring. And it gets worse. We bought a Kia Sedona, made by the same fine Korean company that makes Hyundai. Like every other person who ever bought a car with a strange name, I wondered: What is a Sedona? Answer: Nobody knows, not even the people at Kia. My minivan is named after a town in Arizona. Why the Korean executives in charge of American marketing chose that name, nobody has ever said. Even the Kia salespeople don’t know “This...

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Benton County Supervisors Meeting Agenda, Aug. 1

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING August 1, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. Benton County Board of Supervisors Room ** Agenda is not printed in any particular order, only time specific items will be addressed at certain times 1. 9:00 A.M. Call to Order 2. Approve minutes 3. Authorize Chair to sign janitorial contract for the DHS office 4. Approve Auditor’s Quarterly Report 5. 9:15 a.m. Discuss/Action for river rock removal from Cedar Valley Ranch Facility 6. 9:30 Carol Zander employee Evaluation 7. 10:00 a.m. Barb Greenlee Re: Set land use hearing date for Elwick Bros LLC part of SW ¼ SW ¼ & SE ¼ SW ¼ Sec 22-85-10 8. 10:15 a.m. Dana Burmeister Re: Approve hire of two part time employees 9. 10:30 a.m. Ben Bonar Re: Discussion on Right of Way Vegetation Policy 10. 11:00 a.m. ENGINEER Re: Resolution: Bridge Embargo removal on new bridge on 70th St (E44), Kane Twp 11. Reports – committee meetings, liaison, Etc. 12. New Business/Public Interest...

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