Author: Dean Close

VS FFA member Wes Haefner presents at World Food Prize forum

Last Monday, the sixth annual World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute brought together 299 students from 131 high schools, including Vinton-Shellsburg, at Iowa State University to explore critical issues related to global food security and discover academic and career paths in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The Iowa Youth Institute has now reached over 64 percent of all Iowa high schools since its inauguration in 2011, and has been referred to as the most unique and innovative event to inspire Iowa high school students to focus on global issues and opportunities in STEM. Mentored by Melissa Heeren one student from Vinton-Shellsburg High School FFA participated this year. Wes Haefner researched education in Madagascar. Wes shared his paper during round tables with other students and experts, then went on to a session on ISU campus about Iowa agriculture and was able to create a type of biodiesel in a Gatorade bottle. About the event Governor Terry Branstad, as the luncheon speaker, spoke to the students about the importance of feeding the growing population. “I truly believe that there just may be one of you here today who will be able to follow in Norman Borlaug’s footsteps, who will make a similar breakthrough achievement, one that will help us meet the challenge of feeding the 9 billion people who will soon be on our planet. For you students,...

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IBSSS Visioning Committee to review citizens’ suggestions tonight

Since we last wrote about the Iowa Braille School, and the discussion among Vinton residents concerning if, how and when the city should assume ownership of the campus, a lot has happened behind the scenes in Cedar Falls, and Des Moines. At the UNI campus in Cedar Falls, Director Drew Conrad and his staff and students in the Institute for Decision Making have been compiling the hundreds of suggestions received during the Expo early in April. At that event, residents stopped by several displays in the VSHS gym to offer suggestions about possible uses for the facility for business, education, tourism, and other possible uses. Tonight, Conrad and his people will present their findings to the local committee. No action will be taken; the meeting is designed to compile all of the ideas and to begin determining what area residents believe is the best course of action.  The community is still in the very early stages of this process, with no decisions or even recommendations expected for several weeks or months. Visioning committee member Ann Jorgensen said that the Regents funded the UNI Institute study because the Regents are committed to making this transition work for Vinton, should the city decide to accept the offer to assume ownership of the property. In Des Moines, the IBSSS campus issue was on the minds of legislators, including those who represent the...

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VS student Kenna Kurth among KCRG May Student of the Month nominees

Three months ago, Vinton-Shellsburg student Kenna Kurth received recognition for her “crazy sportsmanship.” Now, the daughter of Tim and Shawna Kurth has received another honor. She is one of the three KCRG-TV nominees for Student of the Month for May. The station will be receiving votes this week. The winner will be announced May 9 and featured in a newscast May 30. In addition to her achievements in the classroom and in sports, Kenna has also been involved in Sole Sisters, the group of 5th grade students that meets to discuss emotional wellness while also running together. That group often...

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Honor Flight: Vietnam Veteran John Whitson thanks all who made D.C. trip possible

Nearly 50 years after John Whitson earned the Bronze Star while trekking across the jungles of Vietnam with the 101st Airborne, took another journey in a different uniform, as a gift of thanks from people who appreciate his service to our country. Whitson was among nearly 100 area veterans, including some Benton County residents, who wore matching red shirts and white caps as they participated in last week’s Honor Flight. The honorees in this day-long journey  to Washington, D.C., sponsored by Eastern Iowa Honor Flights, included many Vietnam veterans, as well as a 97-year-old woman who had served as...

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Benton County Supervisors meeting agenda, May 2

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. Approve use of courthouse grounds for Vinton Cruise on July 22, 2017 4. 9:10 a.m. Sheriff Re: Approve handwritten check for Investigation Equipment 5. Approve Resolutions for the WMA lead counties in HUD-NDRC 6. Discuss ag equipment bypass around North bridge of Highway 150 7. 10:00 A.M. County Attorney Regarding pending litigation and payment of State Auditor’s bill (maybe a closed session) 8. 10:45 a.m. Discuss/Approve 2017 Noxious Weed Notice 9. 10:50 a.m. Visit/tour Secondary Rds 10. Reports – committee meetings, liaison, Etc 11. New Business/Public Interest Comments 12....

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Prom: VS students chose Wiley, Kenney as King & Queen

Vinton-Shellsburg seniors and juniors named Cassie Kenney Queen and Drew Wiley King of their Prom on Saturday. With the theme, “The Great Gatsby,” the students took turns standing before their friends and family during the annual Grand March before proceeding to the Skate Center for Prom and then to the VSHS gym for the Post-Prom events. Prom-goers watched as Drew and Cassie danced after being named royalty. See more photos of the Grand March from Jeff Holmes HERE or Jan Andreesen HERE. See the VSHS video of the Grand March...

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‘Annie’ auditions: ACT 1 seeks actors, singers for musical

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!  ACT1 of Benton County will hold auditions for the musical “Annie” on Saturday May 6 and 13 and Sunday May 21.  Auditions will be at the old West School from 2-4pm.  Enter on the west side of the school. Auditions will happen as the children and adults arrive in small groups and will last approximately 15 minutes.  Depending on the number of people auditioning it may be necessary to wait for a short time. Children will sing the song “Tomorrow” and will learn and perform a brief dance routine.  Adults will read scenes with the children and may sing a selection from the show.  Cast members from the 2003 production are encouraged to audition, but we will also need fresh faces on stage! If you have any questions email the ACT 1 directors at...

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Vikings 3rd at home meet

Even with several of their leading runners and throwers in Des Moines for the Drake Relays, the Vinton-Shellsburg Viking track team finished third at its annual home meet, the Viking Relays, on Thursday evening. Varsity winners for VS included: Wes Edwards, 110 hurdles, 17.24 4 x 200 (Seth Lazenby, Josh Witham, Keegan Thompson, Will Dudley) 1:35.00 1600M distance medley (Seth Lazenby, Jose Wilson, Justin Bartz, Cole Tharp): 3:50.97 See results...

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Gerber, Lamont lead Vikettes to duo victory on chilly CPU course

Freshman Vikette golfer Lillie Lamont tied teammate Brandi Gerber at 47 to lead VS to a win at CPU, in cold, windy conditions. Gerber was named the top medalist on the card-back; Lamont received the Silver Medal. Coach’s summary from Janet Woodhouse: April 27, 2017 V-S Girls Golf Dual with Center Point-Urbana Rolling Hills Golf Course, par 35 Weather conditions: Very cold and blustery, low40s Team Scores: Vinton-Shellsburg 191 Center Point-Urbana 206 Medalist: Brandi Gerber, V-S 47 Runner up: Lillie Lamont, V-S 47 (determined by card back hole) V-S Individuals: Brandi Gerber 47 Lillie Lamont 47 Rachel Tandy 48...

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