Author: Dean Close

VSHS Marching Band continues Division 1 success at State Festival

The Vinton-Shellsburg Marching Band Regiment continued its string of Division 1 ratings on Saturday, when the band was among those receiving the top rating possible at the Iowa High School Music Association Marching Band Festival. The Festival takes place at several sites across Iowa; VSHS performs each year at Kingston Stadium in Cedar Rapids. Band Director Nick Waymire said the band’s performance on Saturday was not its best of the season, starting with some struggles to keep in rhythm in the first movement. But the musicians and marchers finished strong, and the Flag Corps team (which came within one point of the top-scoring flag corps a week earlier at the 5 Seasons Festival, also held at Kingston Stadium) performed very well completing its routine which included a flag toss, which the girls completed despite a strong wind. Waymire credits new flag corps coach Danni Manning with her work with the squad. The flag corps routine includes a variety of flags as well as a short dance number. “They have worked very hard this year, and it definitely shows,” adds Manning, a former flag corps member for the highly-honored Independence marching band. “The Division 1 rating is a result of the work that the students have put in since the first day of band camp. The students have been focused in with daily, weekly, and season-long goals that have allowed rehearsals to be...

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Union High School presents first vocal concert of 2016-’17

On Tuesday, Oct. 18th at 7:30pm the Union High School Vocal Department will present their Fall Vocal Concert as the first public event of the 2016-2017 Concert Season. Mr. Mitchell, vocal director at UHS stated, “This will be a great way for the public to experience the great things to come from the Music Department this year at UHS. We have a great mix of experience and new talent that are working towards a fine cohesive vocal sound for the department. ” The Fall Vocal concert will feature the 17 students auditioning for the Iowa All-State chorus along with the UHS Concert Choir. The UHS Concert choir will be performing a wide variety of pieces from American Folk songs, to Patriotic favorites, to African American Spritituals, to modern pop. The concert will start at 7:30pm in UHS’s Matt Auditorium with admission of...

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VS seeks judges for upcoming speech contest

If you’ve ever wanted to become an IHSSA judge, here is your chance. VSHS will be hosting a judge certification clinic in two weeks, on Oct. 19, at 7:00 PM in the high school LMC. It only takes an hour and a half and $5. This is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for! Plus VSHS will be hiring about 70 judges this March to judge the State Individual Speech Contest, so you could put your skills to work! Thank you for considering to be a part of the IHSSA experience! Please share this with any former speech participants and anyone you may know who may want to be involved. Any questions, just let me...

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Haisman named Homecoming Queen; Steele is King

Vinton-Shellsburg High School students chose David Steele as their 2016 Homecoming King and Hannah Haisman as Queen. 2015 King and Queen Kyle Jorgensen and Daisy Johnson crowned the new royalty during a pep rally after the parade. Lightning shortened the rally and caused the cancellation of the Powder Puff football game between senior and junior girls. Friday’s events will include the football games and induction of the new Viking-Vikette Hall of Fame members. There will also be pep rallies for the elementary schools, and the cross country team will run the game ball from Independence to Vinton to present it...

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AmeriCorps NCCC’s Oak 5 Serves as Camp Counselors for Sherman Lake YMCA

By Erin Manion, Oak 5 Oak 5 has been working hard to make sure that campers who come to Sherman Lakehave a wonderful experience. The team has been serving as camp counselors in Augusta, Michigan with Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor      Center (SLYMCA). The team has participated in several trainings, motivated and encouraged campers to be HCRR,  performed a song during a day group for elementary students, and acted as belayers during activities for    campers. The responsibility of the work taken on by Oak 5 has  made other areas of work easier for the staff at Sherman Lake. Sherman Lake implements serving learning opportunities during activities, trainings, and or professional development. The staff at SLYMCA provides beneficial information to members of Oak 5 that is useful for camp and   “Life After AmeriCorps.” “It is a new experience. It has been challenging. However, I am excited to be a positive role model for the campers at Sherman Lake.” says AmeriCorps NCCC member Alexandra Woods. The Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center strengthens the spirit, mind, and body while instilling an appreciation of the natural environment. The mission was adopted in 1994 when the center began its first camping program and has remained central to the vision of all its program. The shortened version of Sherman Lake Outdoor Center is:  SUCCESS FOR EVERY...

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Vinton Lions helped many local families after tornado

The Vinton Lions Club has finalized reporting on support provided to Vinton families after the July 18th tornado destroyed buildings and left many families without food and shelter. In all, 35 families received $125 gift cards redeemable at the Vinton Fareway store for the purchase of food. The cards were made available through a disaster grant from the Lions Club International Foundation. Displaced families were located with the assistance of Scott Hansen and the Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition. The gift cards were distributed to all the displaced families who wanted them. The tornado is the second time Vinton has received a grant from the Lions Club International foundation. In 2008, Iowa communities received $160,000 and Vinton residents affected by the flood received $2,000 in support. Since the Lions Club International Foundation was created in 1968, the foundation has awarded over 13,000 grants worldwide, totaling nearly $1 Billion dollars. The four key areas supported by the Foundation include sight, youth, disaster relief and other humanitarian efforts. The Lions Club International Foundation’s transparency and effectiveness has earned it designation as the #1 philanthropy worldwide by The Financial Times. All Foundation administrative costs are paid from interest earned on investments. The Vinton Club contributes annually to the International Foundation and Lions throughout the world are celebrating 100 years since Melvin Jones founded the organization in...

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Sandbag removal day canceled, thanks to many volunteers

Recovery efforts continue for flood impacted homes and businesses. With great help from a generous group of volunteers all the sandbags have been removed from homes and businesses in Vinton. Therefore, the Saturday, October 8th sandbag removal day has been cancelled. The Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition is working with various organizations to respond to the disaster, including assisting families that have been impacted and coordinating with agencies on cleanup and recovery efforts. Locally, the Salvation Army and Red Cross have been providing clean up kits and information for the flood. A canopy has been set up in the Vinton Municipal Parking Lot located at 3rd Ave and East 4th Street in Vinton. Families who need help with cleanup are asked to check in there. Any new updates or reminders for Saturday’s cleanup will be placed on the Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition’s Facebook page and local news media. In addition, November 7th is the deadline for families impacted by the flood to apply to the Iowa Individual Assistance Program, by contacting Phone: 319-739-1521 or www.hacap.org. Families who meet income guidelines may be eligible for assistance. Families are asked to also apply with the Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition by contacting Sherry Adam, Case Manager for Coalition at phone: 319-241-5121. The Coalition continues to assist families impacted by the summer tornado and is now also assisting families impacted by...

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FFA members help with annual Farm Safety Day

By VS FFA Co-Reporter Kayla Schneider Farm safety day took place on Saturday morning August 17th from 8:30 to 12:30 at the Benton County Fairgrounds. The event was open to students 3rd through 6th grade with a turn out of around 50 children. The Vinton-Shellsburg, Benton Community, and Belle Plaine FFA chapters helped to teach one of the classes and lead groups of the children to their different sessions when it came time to switch. There were also a lot of other volunteers to help with teaching sessions and food set up. The day was organized into ten 15-minute sessions that included semi safety, skid loader safety, first aid, 911 calls, water safety, ATV safety, grain bin safety, animal safety, fire safety, and electric safety. A midday snack of a granola bar and milk was provided for the children. Lunch was also provided by Benton County Dairy and Beef Producers, which consisted of a hamburger, carrots, chips, and milk. When the morning came winding to an end the children had to fill out a five question survey about their favorite part and a little bit of what they learned. Each child were given a farm safety day t-shirt and goodie bag. The volunteers that taught a class also had to fill out a survey about how effective they thought the day was and if anything should be improved upon for next...

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VS FFA members help at Benton Co. Fair barn

By Jakob Long – Co-Reporter , VS FFA The Benton County Fair was held on July 22th-26. Four local FFA chapters: Vinton-Shellsburg, LaPorte-Dysart, Benton Community, and Belle Plaine joined forces to create and manage the FFA Fair Barn for the general public to learn and enjoy all aspects of agriculture during the duration of fair. This year there were all types of animals in the FFA barn to learn about. They included alpacas, sheep, horses, pigs, cattle, goats, chickens, ducks, turkeys, guineas, peacocks, geese. This year we farrowed a sow and showed the public the birthing of a pig. Along with having animals in the FFA barn, there are different classes taught in the fair barn which consist of tie dying shirts, how to make butter, sock Chia pet, and how to pig ear notch newborn pigs. Other FFA activities that happened in the FFA barn were grain bin pull where it simulates how hard it is to pull someone out of a grain bin, movie nights which showcased Spirit and Over The Hedge for children and adults to watch, an ethanol display over how it is made and the different products that come from corn, and a station to vote for your favorite dairy products hosted by the Benton County Dairy Producers. Members helped young children and even adults learn about agriculture from all the animals in the barn...

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VS FFA Members Exhibit at 2016 Iowa State Fair

By Jakob Long, VS FFA Co-Reporter On August 11-21 the annual Iowa State Fair was held in Des Moines, IA. This year 5 Vinton-Shellsburg FFA chapter members exhibited in photography and breeding beef cattle. Our photography exhibitors were Shelby McDonald receiving 2 white and 2 red ribbons and Nikki Venneman receiving 1 red ribbon and 3 whites ribbons. Our breeding beef cattle exhibitors were Jakob Long, Brock Ortner, and Riley Schneider. Jakob received 2 purple ribbons for his Shorthorn purebred and Shorthorn Plus bulls, 1 blue ribbon for his Shorthorn breeding heifer, and 1 yellow ribbon for showmanship. Brock received 1 blue ribbon for his Angus heifer. Riley received 1 red ribbon for his Shorthorn purebred heifer. The Chapter received a red herding award. Overall, all 3 beef exhibitors together helped the chapter receive a red banner for herding which consist of cleaning tack area, aisles between animals, and making sure cattle and the pens are...

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A word of thanks to a very generous anonymous donor

Dear Conservation Anonymous Donor: On behalf of the Benton County Conservation Foundation, I would like to personally thank you for your generosity. Your thoughtfulness, not only this year, but in years past, continues to exemplify your dedication to conservation and all things wild. Your donation, valued at over $120,000, will continue to grow over the years, as you intended. It is our pleasure and mission to use funding from your donation as you requested for habitat improvement. As a dedicated outdoor enthusiast, you have grown passionate about our natural world and see the need to preserve it for our future generations. The joy of hunting, fishing, birding, recreating in the outdoors – all our part of our natural heritage – a heritage that must be preserved for our children. Your anonymous legacy will carry on in the hearts of all those who find inspiration in wild places. Our sincerest thanks to you, Karen M. Phelps Executive Director, Benton County...

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Viking/Vikette Hall of Fame to add four more names

From the Vinton-Shellsburg School Athletic Department Please join us on Friday, October 7, for the 2016 Viking/Vikette Athletic Hall of Fame Induction. The FR/SO & Varsity football teams will host Independence, starting at 5:00 p.m. The induction ceremony will be held during halftime of the varsity game, approximately 8:30 p.m. This year’s inductees are as follows: Jan McLeod: Jan was V-S Teacher  for 32 years and coached Girls’ Recreation Association teams. She was also a Cheerleading advisor, and coached Basketball, Track & Softball. She is a long-time supporter of girls’ athletics. Jake Fish:  From the Class of 2000 Jake is a 7-time letter winner in Basketball, Track & Baseball. He earned All-conference, All-district & All-State recognition in Basketball, was a State Qualifier in Track and a 5th Place Medalist at State Track & Field Meet (4x200M). He was also a member of 1998 Class 3A State Championship Baseball team. Justin Pladsen:  From the Class of 2000, Justin was a 10-time letter winner in Football, Track & Baseball, earned  All-district recognition in Football and was a 3-time Drake Relays & State Track Qualifier and a 5th Place Medalist at State Track & Field Meet (4x200M). He also earned All-conference, All-district & All-State recognition in Baseball and is the holder of 4 school records in Baseball. He is a member of the 1998 Class 3A State Championship Baseball team and a member of the...

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