Author: Dean Close

Vikings 3rd at Early Bird track meet

The Vinton-Shellsburg boys track team finished third in the Viking Early Bird Track meet on Friday afternoon at the Karr Athletic Complex. Led by Cole Overton (2nd place shot put; 3rd place, discus) and  Connor Miracle (2nd place, 200M and 3rd place, 100M) the Vikings scored 109 team points, behind Dubuque Wahlert (164) and Denver (119). The only first-place finisher for the Vikes was in the JV meet, where Jose Wilson won the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 4 inches. See complete results HERE. See more photos...

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Benton County Board of Supervisors agenda, April 4

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING April 4, 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. 9:05 a.m. Marc Greenlee Re: Approve farm exemption application for Larry Cherveny part of the NE¼ 25-84-11 3. 9:15 a.m. Marc Greenlee Re: Land use hearing for Hidden Meadow Farm LLC part of S 20 acres of SE ¼ NE ¼ Sec 34-85-9 4. 9:30 a.m. Marc Greenlee Re: Approve variance to sub-division ordinance for Hidden Meadow Farms LLC 5. Approve minutes 6. 9:45 a.m. Dave Thompson Re: Approve hire of Kelly Smith as Assistant County Attorney 7. 10:00 a.m. Engineer Re: Resolution: Temporary Road Closure for Bridge Construction • Resolution: Bridge Embargo for Bridge in Union Twp • Resolution: Bridge Closure in Homer Twp 8. Approve Group Renewal with Employee Benefit Systems 9. Approve/Deny Family Farm applications 10. Certify Suspended Tax List to DHS 11. Approve Auditor’s Quarterly Reports 12. Appoint member to the magistrate commission 13. Approve and sign contract with Cost Advisory Services, Inc. 14. Reports – committee meetings, liaison, Etc. 15. New Business/Public Interest Comments 16....

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VFW Essay Contest: Shellsburg student Makaya Gardemann earns 5th at State

The VFW Auxiliary 8884 of Vinton honored Tilford and Shellsburg Elementary 3rd, 4th and 5th graders for their work in the annual essay contest. The top winner among VS students was Makaya Gardemann, who won 1st Place in both the local and District competition, and finished 5th among all of the entries that advanced to the VFW State contest. Fourth-grader Addy Chvala and 5th grader Brittany Steinberg each finished first locally and 2nd in the District judging. Third graders wrote on the topic: “I love America Because…” Fourth graders  wrote on the theme: What the U.S. Flag means to me.” Fifth grade essays covered the topic: “What a veteran means to me.” A total of 99 third grade students, 93 fourth graders and 57 fifth grade students wrote essays for the VS contest. Local individuals and businesses made donations to cover the cost of the medals and awards. Top 9 place winners in each grade: Third grade: Makaya Gardemann Trey Dooley Zach Dickinson Addy Ingham Cole Rilling Kylee Higdon Haley Crane Zoey Bresson Melinda Williams Fourth Grade: Addy Chvala Daijah Hughes Malia Stout Joliemae Watson Aaron Stadelmann Jordis Lowe Ryan Shipley Spencer Williams Austin Noe Fifth Grade: Brittany Steinberg Wyatt Janssen Julia Johnson Jesse Ahrenstein Grayce McClintock Athena McCauslin Tiasia Moore Brant Dickinson Carmen Henkle The VFW Auxiliary thanked the VS schools, all the teachers and students who participated,...

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Iowa’s Miss Congeniality: VSHS Homecoming Queen Hannah Haisman earns two honors

Hannah Haisman, the reigning Vinton-Shellsburg Homecoming Queen, earned two more honors at the Iowa Homecoming Queen Pageant on Sunday, where the other candidates elected her as Miss Congeniality and the judges named her the 2nd Runner-up. The Iowa event is part of the America’s Homecoming Queen Pageant, a nation-wide event exclusively for high school Homecoming Queens. “It was an honor to represent my school,” says Hannah. “It was a great experience.” In addition to being reigning Homecoming Queen, contestants had to apply and write an essay. “They sent me 48 questions that could possibly come up in my interview,” Hannah says. “I prepared a lot for this. When you get to the hotel, you register and fill out some information about yourself, and then go straight into the interviews. They ask you a set of questions; the whole thing lasts about 10 minutes.” The next lesson: Learning how to walk gracefully on the runway in an evening gown. “After that, I had to write an essay on what freedom and the American spirit means to me,” Hannah explains. After that, she and the other contestants got ready for the evening gown portion of the competition. Hannah, the daughter of Rich and Shelley Haisman, describes that portion of the evening: “You walk across the stage, and then they ask you what you think the most pressing issue teens face and...

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Frostbuster rescheduled for Sunday, April 9

By Bill Martin, IMCA New dates have been announced for two IMCA Frostbuster spe­cials. Lee County Speedway at Donnellson now hosts the Thursday, April 6 event. Hot laps are at 7 p.m. with racing to follow. Benton County Speedway at Vinton becomes site of the Sunday, April 9 finale, with racing following 4:45 p.m. hot laps. IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks and Karl Chevrolet North­ern SportMods also run at Frostbusters Friday, April 7 at Marshalltown Speedway and Satur­day, April 8 at Boone Speedway. All four Modified features pay $1,000 to win and are qualifying events for the 2017 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot. Stock Cars run for $500 to win, Northern SportMods for $400 to win and Hobby Stocks for $250 to win at each Frostbuster. IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing Na­tional, re­gional and Allstar Performance State points will be given at all four shows and a $1,000 point fund will be paid in each division if all four events are held. The Donnellson Frostbuster had originally been scheduled for Wednesday, April 5, the Vinton Frostbuster for Thursday. Both reschedulings are due to inclement weather. Marshalltown opens the gates at 4 p.m. and the grand­stand at 5 p.m. Hot laps are at 7 p.m. with racing to follow. Boone opens the pits at 2 p.m. and the grand­stand at 3 p.m. Hot laps are...

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Next on Palace screen: ‘Kong: Skull Island’

By Rose Trafford, Vinton Palace Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, and John C. Reilly battle Kong in 3D on the Palace big screen in Kong: Skull Island, playing Friday, March 31 through Thursday, April 6 at 7 pm, and Monday, April 3 at 2 pm. The year is 1944. World War II is still raging, and two enemy fighter pilots, American Hank Marlow and Japanese Gunpei Ikari, end up parachuting onto an island in the South Pacific. Hand to hand combat ensues until someone stronger than both of them appears- a gargantuan ape we all know as King Kong. Fast forward to 1973. With the Vietnam War still going on, the US military hires British Captain James Conrad (Hiddleston) to map out the uncharted Skull Island in the Pacific. He’s escorted by a Vietnam War helicopter squadron, led by Lt. Col. Preston Packard (Jackson). The group is also joined by Mason Weaver (Larson) a pacifist who believes the entire trip is a coverup for a military operation. The group drops explosives developed by a seismologist to cart the terrain of the island, but their plan is soon disrupted by none other than Kong, who begins swiping helicopters out of the air with his bare fists. The survivors are scattered across the island. The group of survivors makes a plan to explore the island, look for supplies, and...

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Ed Thomas Leadership Academy speakers inspire VSHS students

Kamryn Lillie now has her dreams and goals written in a notebook, where she can look at it every day as a reminder of who and what she hopes to become. Justin Coots has a new perspective on perseverance. Taylor Berry was inspired to believe in her power to overcome obstacles by the story of a tiny player who worked his way to a football scholarship at Ole Miss. The three are among several Vinton-Shellsburg High School students who spent Tuesday in Des Moines, listening to the speakers at the annual Ed Thomas Leadership Academy. VSHS administrators chose several students to be among the 450 people who heard “I was very proud and happy that I was picked to go. I believe that more kids should be given the chance to go to the Ed Thomas Leadership Academy. My favorite speaker was the last guy, whose name is Richie Contartesi. He had a very motivational story and he made me think about life differently. Because of him, I wrote down my dream/goal and look at it every day.” Contartesi, despite being just 5 feet, seven inches tall and weighing 155 pounds, caught some passes for the Rebels during his senior year, and was the guy who held the ball for the kicker during extra point and field goal attempts. His speech focused on encouraging the listeners to overcome what...

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Lawrence ‘Larry’ Jensen

Lawrence “Larry” Kenneth Jensen, beloved husband, father, brother, and friend left this world for his next journey on March 27, 2017. Larry was born in Waterloo, IA, on October 9th, 1948, to Gloria Mae (Thompson) Jensen and Warren “Donnie” Jensen. He graduated from Waterloo West High School (1966) where he wrestled and ran track. He married Susan Marie Klingaman in the spring of 1968 at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Waterloo. In 1968, Larry was drafted into the Vietnam War. He served as a sergeant in the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment (1/12 Red Warriors), 4th Infantry Division, Alpha Company of the United States Army until 1970. Larry was a cement mason and also love woodworking. He was an avid golfer and camper, and music was also a huge part of his life. Larry was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife and three daughters Kristen (David) Redlinger of Vinton, IA, Allison Jensen of Kansas City, MO, and Libby (John) Jensen Mirande of Portland, OR. Larry is also survived by four grandchildren — Makenzie, Makayla, Madison, and Maren — and five brothers — Terry (Kathy) Jensen, William Jensen, Charlie (Christi) Jensen, Mark Jensen, and Michael Jensen. On Friday, March 31st, at the Dysart Cemetery, military rites will be conducted by the Dysart American Legion in a graveside service at 1:00 PM.  A Celebration of...

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Include disposal of old prescription drugs in spring cleaning

By: Kelly Schmidt, Certified Prevention Specialist, ASAC It’s Spring Cleaning time! Time to get rid of those expired and/or unused medications. Ever wonder what to do with them? The annual National Drug Take Back Initiative is coming up Saturday, April 29, 2017. Want to see if there’s a local drop location near you? Check out https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html. Or you can always drop the medications off at any of the drug drop boxes listed below at any time of the year, day or night. This is a great time to clean out that cabinet. Getting rid of those medications will help keep others from getting ahold of them and taking it themselves. One of the places people get prescription medications that don’t belong to them is from someone else’s medicine cabinet. Many people keep their medications in the bathroom, the most private room in the house. Also, in the past, it was common to flush medications down the toilet but we know now this can cause damage to our water supply. Please consider doing a little spring cleaning of your medicine cabinet and PROPERLY get rid of those medications you no longer need. Drop off sites for Benton County; anytime day or night: Benton County Sheriff Department in Vinton – 113 E 3rd St. Belle Plaine Police Department – 1207 8th Ave....

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Former Benton Development Group director Becker charged with theft of nearly $50K from group

The Vinton Police Department has filed first degree theft charges filed against former Benton Development Group Director Ranae Becker. According to the VPD, In February 2014, the Board of Directors of the Benton Development Group identified possible discrepancies in their organization’s financial records and reported their concerns to the Benton County Attorney’s Office. The case was referred to the Vinton Police Department for further investigation. The Vinton Police Department contacted the State of Iowa Auditor’s Office to examine the Benton Development Group’s financial records. The Auditor’s Office investigation focused on the period of January 1, 2009 through August 31, 2014. During that time, Ranae Leanne Becker, age 46, of Vinton, was serving as the Executive Director of the Benton Development Group and was responsible for the organization’s daily operations and finances. The report identified $49,634.32 of improper and unsupported disbursements by Becker. A criminal complaint was filed on March 29 against Becker for Theft 1st Degree; a Class C Felony, section 714.1 (1)/714.2(1). Becker was booked into the Benton County Jail on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. She appeared before a Benton County Magistrate later the same day and was released from custody after posting bond. The Vinton Police Department was assisted during this investigation by the Benton County Attorney’s Office, and the State Auditor of Iowa. The arrest of Becker followed an audit made by the Iowa Auditor of State’s...

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The pelicans, briefly

A pod of pelicans stopped briefly at a pond in Iowa’s scenic Baja Brandon area Wednesday morning. A few geese also sharing the pond began honking warnings, and the pelicans flew away while the photographer was behind a row of trees, and disappeared, heading to waters up north. The pelicans did not comment on whether it was the sight of the cameraman or the annoying sounds of the geese that inspired them to flee. Click HERE for an interesting story on the Iowa DNR web site about pelicans in Iowa — and about the naughty purpose of the bump on top of their beaks....

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Spring concert season begins at Tilford

The Tilford Elementary spring concerts have begun. The second graders performed on Tuesday night in the school auditorium, using a variety of instruments — even a horn from an antique automobile that Mr. Gib Ziemer’s uncle passed on to him. See more concert photos HERE. See videos of a few of the songs HERE, HERE, and HERE. The third grade concert takes place Thursday; the rest next month. Students and their families also enjoyed ice cream and cookies and saw this year’s art...

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