Author: Dean Close

Viking senior Drew Wiley earns two unique football honors

During Friday’s basketball game, a Vinton-Shellsburg athlete received two honors for his efforts on and off the field as a football player. Viking Senior Drew Wiley received the Burlsworth Character and Sportsmanship Award for outstanding leadership on and off the football field. The award is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, who walked on at the University of Arkansas and was drafted by the Baltimore Colts, but died in an automobile accident shortly after being drafted. The movie “Greater,” which appeared at the Vinton Palace recently, is the life story of Bullsworth. Viking Head Football Coach Jim Womochil presented...

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Telecom study to begin soon; city, VMEU to share cost

Over the next year, fiber optic experts from Farr Technologies will be leading a local feasibility study, determining how much it would cost to build fiber optic lines for the purpose of providing telephone, high-speed internet and cable TV options to each Vinton resident. In Novemer of 2015, Vinton voters approved establishing a Telecom Utility, by a margin of 793 to 104. Since then, members of iVinton and others have been studying the issue, visiting communities where fiber optic systems are in place and searching for a company to lead the feasibility study. Farr Technologies of Sioux Falls, S.D., has worked with many of the Iowa communities that recently installed fiber optic service, says Kurt Karr, one of the iVinton members who has been working on the telecom issue. “They have a lot of experience in working with small towns near us,” says Karr. He and other iVinton members have been meeting with leaders from many other communities, including area towns and those that have used such technology the longest. Spencer, Harlan and Cedar Falls are among Iowa communities that first installed fiber optic telecom utilities. The Vinton City Council approved paying up to $30,000 for Farr Technologies to conduct the study, which will cost up to $60,000. The Vinton Municipal Electrical Utility (VMEU) will cover the other half. While there may be a time when residents are asked...

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‘Two Lost Souls:’ Best friends share music, story in Broadway songs

Vinton native Erin Horst told the story of how she met her best friend and singing partner Adam Yankowy during the “Two Lost Souls” Broadway Cabaret concert at the Vinton Palace on Sunday. Horst, the daughter of Gerald and Marcy Horst, told the audience she was returning to the Palace stage for the first time in 12 years. She performed in ACT 1 and Vinton-Shellsburg High School plays and musicals. Accompanying the duet on the piano was Erin’s younger sister, Claire . Erin told the audience that while she sings “Right Hand Man” to Adam on the stage, she actually dedicates that song to Claire.   Scores of Vinton residents and Horst family members attended the concert Sunday afternoon. The duet also performed this past weekend in Des Moines. See and earlier story about Horst and Yankowy...

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Benton County Board of Supervisors Agenda, Jan. 17

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING January 17, 2017 at 8:20 a.m. Benton County Board of Supervisors Room 1. 8:20 A.M. Call to Order 2. 8:20 a.m. Visit the Cedar Valley Ranch- discuss operations at the care facility 3. Approve Treasurer’s Semi Annual and Quarterly Investment Report 4. 9:05 a.m. Laurie Worden Re: Discuss Kirkwood Workplace 5. 9:15 a.m. Sub Division Variance for Larry Thompson 7849 16th Ave Trl Luzurne, Section 30-82-11/ Dan Kaestner IA Realty 6. Benton Co Library Association / Discuss Budget and introduce self to new supervisors 7. Appoint Homer township trustee 8. Appoint Fremont township trustee 9. Appoint member to DECAT Board 10. Appoint member to the Visioning Task Force 11. Approve minutes 12. Approve claims 13. FY18 budget work Treasurer 11:00-DHS Sanitarian 1:00 –MH Conference call General budget work will be conducted throughout the afternoon. 14. Reports – committee meetings, liaison, Etc. 15. New Business/Public Interest Comments 16....

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Vikings compete at Solon’s Hadenfeldt tournament

The Vinton-Shellsburg wrestlers competed in the Ed Hadenfeldt Varsity Wrestling Invitational recently, and several Vikings placed. The tournament, held at Solon High Schoool, is named in honor of Hadenfeldt, a long-time teacher and wrestling coach. While no Vikings won titles, Luke and Brock Radeke and Kort Johnson all finished in 2nd in their brackets.   Ed Hadenfeldt Wrestling Invitational Results for Vinton-Shellsburg 106 – Kody Vogt (0-8) placed 8th and scored 1.00 team points. Champ. Round 1 – Kody Vogt (Vinton-Shellsburg) 0-8 received a bye () (Bye) Quarterfinal – Keegan Scheeler (Center Point-Urbana) 23-4 won by fall over Kody Vogt (Vinton-Shellsburg) 0-8 (Fall 1:51) Cons. Round 2 – Samual Stevens (Clear Creek-Amana) 22-11 won by fall over Kody Vogt (Vinton-Shellsburg) 0-8 (Fall 0:43) Cons. Round 3 – Kody Vogt (Vinton-Shellsburg) 0-8 received a bye () (Bye) 7th Place Match – Jacob Rausch (Prairie, Cedar Rapids) 6-7 won by medical forfeit over Kody Vogt (Vinton-Shellsburg) 0-8 (M. For.) 113 – Carter Weeks (21-4) placed 4th and scored 14.00 team points. Champ. Round 1 – Carter Weeks (Vinton-Shellsburg) 21-4 received a bye () (Bye) Quarterfinal – Carter Weeks (Vinton-Shellsburg) 21-4 won by fall over Aidan Dall (Solon) 17-10 (Fall 1:12) Semifinal – Cael Happel (Lisbon) 35-3 won by tech fall over Carter Weeks (Vinton-Shellsburg) 21-4 (TF-1.5 4:37 (24-8)) Cons. Round 3 – Carter Weeks (Vinton-Shellsburg) 21-4 won by decision over Devon Meeker...

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Council heeds advice of former water superintendent; will review water tower maintenance records

The Vinton City Council was in the middle of hearing about how to pay for a proposed $450,000 paint and repair project for the water tower on the city’s west side, near Kiwanis Park, when the city’s former water superintendent interrupted them with the news that the need for the project may have been overestimated. At the last council meeting, the city leaders reviewed a report from a consultant that declared that paint chips from the tower tested positive for lead. Sand-blasting and repainting the tower will cost an estimated $450,000. City Manager Chris Ward had begun listing some possible loan options to pay for the project when Gary Garwood spoke up from the back of the room. Garwood recited the history of repair and painting projects on that tower since the 1980s. He told them the entire tower was painted with a Tnemec paint in 1991, and recited several other times city workers repaired, sandblasted and/or painted the tank in the past 35 years. Lead paint has been prohibited since 1978; Garwood told the council he would be very surprised if a contractor had tried sneaking in lead paint in 1991. Garwood said there may be some areas inside the “dry part” of the interior tank that have not been touched since 1968. He urged the city council to review records, which he said were in a room...

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Viking wrestlers host Marion, Central DeWitt, and Anamosa

The VS wrestling team hosted a four-way meet on Thursday, competing against Marion and DeWitt Central. Anamosa also competed in the meet. Those winning twice for the Vikings include Carter Weeks (113), Luke Radeke (120), Brock Radeke (132) and Kort Johnson (170). Dual Results: Marion (MARI) 54.00 Vinton-Shellsburg (VISH) 18.00 106: Niyo Gady (MARI) over Kody Vogt (VISH) (Fall 2:48) 113: Carter Weeks (VISH) over Gavin  Hiler (MARI) (Dec 6-0) 120: Luke Radeke (VISH) over Jack Eichhorn (MARI) (Fall 5:12) 126: Braden Garringer (MARI) over Payton Haefner (VISH) (Dec 6-0) 132: Brock Radeke (VISH) over Zach Cochran (MARI) (Dec...

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‘Sing’ up next at Palace; brings animated 3D tale of singers and their stories

By Rose Trafford, Vinton Palace From the studio that brought us Despicable Me, Minions, and The Secret Life of Pets, comes a new animated feature full of talking animals and their songs… Sing! Playing Friday, January 13 through Thursday, January 19 at 7 pm, with matinees on Saturday (3 pm) and Monday (2 pm), Sing is a 3D animated film featuring the voice talents of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, and John C. Reilly. When the koala Buster Moon (McConaughey) falls into financial troubles, he decides to host a singing competition at his theater with a cash prize of $1,000. Buster orders some fliers promoting his competition, but his assistant accidentally prints them with a couple of extra zeros, offering a $100,000 cash prize. Already strapped for cash, Buster cannot afford this. To his dismay, the pile of incorrect fliers is blown out of an office window and out into the city streets. All around the city, different animals find the fliers and start preparing for the competition. Our characters include a busy pig mom juggling the responsibilities of life (Witherspoon), a porcupine that just left her cheating boyfriend (Johannson), a gorilla son of a gang-member father (Taron Egerton), a mouse that plays music on the street (MacFarlane), and an elephant that is so shy she doesn’t know how she’ll ever get the nerve to sing...

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Red, White and Blue Crew: Union students will travel to D.C. to see Inauguration and more

When Donald J. Trump becomes America’s 45th President, a group of Union High School students will be among 6,000 teenagers in the crowd, as part of the Wold Strides Inauguration program. Led by history and economics teacher Dean Bostian, the students will leave Jan. 19, and return Jan. 23. In addition to attending the Inauguration and watching the Inaugural Parade, the students will spend three more days in Washington, D.C., touring many of the most famous landmarks. The students have been raising funds, participant in concession stand sales and other activities, for the past year. They made their plans to go before the election.   “It’s an honor to be able to go on this trip,” says Sophie Hayungs. “Not only do I get to see President-Elect Trump get sworn into office, I get to go around D.C. and see all of the historical landmarks. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, a great way to end my senior year.” Megan Hudson, another senior says: “I’m just really looking forward to seeing everything and being able to experience something that I will never get to again.” While the students had a variety of opinions before the election, the trip will focus on the historical nature of the Inauguration, rather than who the new President is. “There hasn’t been much talk about Trump vs. Hillary,” says Hayungs. The Union students...

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January is great time to start planning windbreaks

From the Vinton USDA Center It’s January, and blustery winds blowing. Some days it’s difficult to imagine that spring’s not far away. No, it’s not too early to begin planning a new windbreak or an addition to an existing one. In fact, time is running out to apply for cost-share. Windbreaks are a great way to conserve energy! According to Iowa State University, a windbreak that is well designed and located can reduce a home’s energy costs by up to 20-40%. Livestock protected by a windbreak are more able to gain weight, as less feed is needed to maintain their body heat. Feedlots, pastures calving areas and confinement buildings all benefit from windbreaks. Snow control is another great windbreak benefit by keeping snow away from critical areas in a farmstead. This is especially critical when livestock or stored grain need to be moved during winter months. Windbreaks become even more efficient at stopping and storing snow with the addition of more tree and shrub rows. Windbreaks provide benefits to wildlife as well. They supply habitat for feeding, shelter, nesting and breeding. Larger windbreaks and varying species selection are especially beneficial, and certain plant species are more favorable to wildlife than others. Lastly, windbreaks improve the aesthetics of a property and can increase the value of a farmstead. In the case of livestock, they can also aid in odor control...

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