Author: Dean Close

Fire Prevention Week: 2nd graders learn about trucks, hoses and rising smoke at fire station

  Fire Prevention Week sessions focus on pre-school, Kindergarten, and 1st and 2nd grade students. For the second-graders participating in the sessions for the final time, Fire Prevention Week means a tour of the Vinton Fire Station. Those tours took place on Wednesday, when children and their teachers saw how smoke rises to the top of the room (and then crawled away, as they should if the ever need to flee a burning building). They also had a first-hand look at the vehicles in the VFD fleet, and a chance to ask questions about those trucks. A more recent...

Read More

Candidate forum: Mayoral, council candidates to share views Oct. 24

Vinton Today is working with Vinton Unlimited and the Just Us group to host a candidate forum on Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Tilford Auditorium. The forum will allow an hour for questions prepared by the organizers, followed by questions from the public. Everyone is invited to attend. Candidates invited to speak include the following: Mayor: Rich Hainstock, Bud Maynard and Dean Haack City Council: First Ward incumbent Ron Hessenius and challenger Dixie Meyer. At-large incumbent Brian Parr and challenger Gary Garwood. The city election is Tuesday, Nov....

Read More

VSU swimmers sweep Williamsburg meet, winning all events in 5-team contest

By Ashley Hesson, VSU swim coach Last night was a great night for VSU swimming!!! 1st out of 5 teams at the Williamsburg Invite… –won every event –also took second in 2 events –5 different girls took home individual 1st place finishes, all 8 girls contributed to winning their relay events –every VSU swimmer score points in every event they swam –won the team totals by 50 points Senior swimmer Kaitlyn Goodell had great night: dropped 5 seconds off her personal best to win the 200 Freestyle, and cut over a second off her personal best in the 500 Freestyle to bring home the points for 4th place. Her relay contributions were also some of her best times of the year! Kaitlyn has worked hard through some pretty severe shoulder issues, she’s a great leader on this team – it’s great to see her have such a fantastic night in the pool. Arabella Shepard continues to improve her mark on the VSU record books – improving on her own records in the 100 Breaststroke (to a 1:10.60) and the 500 Freestyle (to a 5:36.28). Senior Lizzie Moore won all of her events, dropping time in her 100 Freestyle. Freshmen Geordyn Webster & Clarissa Carolan each took home wins. Sophomore Natalie Tecklenburg had strong times to contribute 2nd place points in both her individual events. Again, most of the girls swam...

Read More

‘Opportunity of a lifetime:’ Vinton native Kelsey Kremer’s photojournalism journey leads to China

Kelsey Kremer stayed up late one night several months ago, writing her paper, going over it at a cousin’s house, making sure it was just right, the day before it was due. But unlike the papers she wrote in college, or Eric Upmeyer’s classes at Vinton-Shellsburg High School, where she graduated in 2009, this project had a purpose that Kelsey could clearly see when she received the assignment: A chance to work for a couple of weeks in China, telling the stories of the people she would meet on the other side of the globe. Kelsey, a photojournalist and social media reporter for the Des Moines Register, recently returned from that trip to China. She shared some memories about the trip, and what it took to get there, with Vinton Today. “I actually kind of had to apply for the China trip,” Kelsey recalls. “Our editor sent an email to the photo staff announcing the trip and told us that if we were interested in going we needed to answer a handful of questions.” Those questions included past international reporting experience, why she wanted to go on the trip and what kind of stories or multimedia would she want to produce while there. “I took it seriously because this was an opportunity of a lifetime,” Kelsey says. “I did some research and was over at my cousin’s house having...

Read More

Fire Prevention Week: Tuesday’s lessons cover 9-1-1, meeting places and more

The youngest Tilford elementary students are currently participating in one of their favorite weeks of school, and one that teaches them lessons that could one day safe a life: Fire Prevention Week. For more years than anyone at the school or Vinton Fire Department can remember, the VFD has been partnering with VS schools to bring Kindergarten, first and second grade students a variety of lesssons about fire safety. Chances are, you as an adult reading this still remember those lessons. Make sure your smoke detectors are working, and check the batteries. “Stop, drop, and roll.” Call 9-1-1. Don’t...

Read More

VS FFA officers learn teamwork at summer retreat

By: Shelby McDonald, Co-Reporter On July 17th – 19th, the Vinton-Shellsburg Officer team made a trip to Clear Lake for officer retreat. Getting up there later Monday evening so they could help set up camp, eat, and still get come time in for are first lesson. Having team time helps a lot so officers can plan for the year and set goals for themselves, the team, and the chapter while still getting in time for fun and helping build a bond between the officer team. While at retreat officer’s created this year’s theme: Our Passion is to Unite our Purpose, for the 2017-2018 year. They reviewed and made changes to the Program of Activities, and completed team building activities, craft projects, and fit in some time for swimming and tubing as well. It was a great couple of days to be together as a team!...

Read More

Fire Prevention Week: Children to receive lessons, visits and ride local trucks

Fire Prevention Week activities are under way at local schools. The first visit took place Tuesday morning, when a few Vinton firefighters visited Mrs. Lutz’s preschool classroom at Tilford. The students learned about calling 911, how smoke and heat rises, so they should stay low as they escape, and having a family meeting place. Firefighters planned visits to Kindergarten and 1st grade classes on Wednesday in Vinton. Second grade classes will visit the fire station on Tuesday. There they will see the variety of vehicles the VFD uses, as well as have an opportunity to take a turn operating...

Read More

FFA members continue sharing animals at Garrison Fun Day

By: Franki Evans, Co-Reporter, VS FFA Garrison Fun Day took place July 8th, 2017 and our chapter took multiple animals and a handful of FFA members helped. The members who participated were Jordan Pattee, Jordan Cantrell, Eric Henkle, Wes Haefner, Tia Burke, Morgan White, Grant Ries, Weston Bierschenk, and Brianna Lundvall. The animals at the petting zoo include 2 mini donkeys, llama, 2 goats, 2 sheep, and bunnies. It was a really good turn out and our FFA members had a great time making new memories. We always enjoy helping the community and having fun while doing...

Read More

4-County Healthcare Forum set for Oct. 19, in Belle Plaine

On Thursday, October 19, 6:30 pm at the Belle Plaine Historical Museum Auditorium, 901-12th St, Belle Plaine, healthcare professionals and hospital administrators will discuss healthcare issues unique to rural Iowa at the 4-County Healthcare Forum. State Senator Liz Mathis, Cedar Rapids will be the Moderator Panelists include: · Laura Ferguson, MD, Physician, Family Medicine in Grinnell · Elizabeth Momany, Director of Amana Family Practice & Tiffin Family Care · Keith Mueller-Interim Dean of the College of Public Health & Gerhard Hartman Professor in Health Management and Policy, University of Iowa · Michael Riege, Administrator, Virginia Gay Hospital, Vinton How federal policy intersects rural healthcare will be addressed by the 1st District Congressional Candidates. Representative Rod Blum was invited but has chosen not to participate. Candidates include: · Abby Finkenauer (invited) · Thomas Heckroth (confirmed) · George Ramsey (confirmed) · Courtney Rowe (confirmed) The 4-County Healthcare Forum is a joint effort with Benton, Iowa, Poweshiek, Tama Democratic Central Committees who joined forces to help provide accurate information about how the uncertainty of healthcare policy is effecting rural Iowans. For more information please contact, 319-504-9376 or...

Read More

VSU swimmers win some events vs. larger schools at C.R. Washington

The VSU swimmers performed well once again, despite being way outnumbered, says coach Ashley Hesson of her team’s performance at the Cedar Rapids Washington invitational. “Our already small team was even smaller due to illness and a band competition happening simultaneously,” Hesson says. “We still managed to nab some wins and post some strong times. The girls are cutting time or are right on top of their personal bests – I think we’re poised to do very well with the end of our season. We’re back in action Monday (tonight) in Williamsburg for another invitational.” See complete results here: jv invite 2017...

Read More

VPRD announces plans for new splash pad & more with ‘Play Vinton Project’

By Brad Barker, Vinton Parks and Recreation Department We are excited to announce some plans for improvements in our area parks, as well as fund-raising efforts to help cover the costs, along with a new website: www.playvinton.com, which includes complete information about the project, pictures and the opportunity to contribute on-line. Farewell Riverside Castle, Hello Play Vinton! In April 1993, a number of enthusiastic volunteers and park staff came together over the course of three days at Vinton’s Riverside Park to construct what would become the much beloved River Castle playground structure. This classic wood playground quickly became a town favorite...

Read More