Author: Dean Close

Saturday crash claims life of Garrison woman

Zoe Goodenbour, 24, of Garrison, was killed in a one-vehicle accident Saturday. The Iowa State Patrol says the accident happened west of 18th Avenue on 65th Street in rural Keystone shortly after midnight on Saturday, Nov. 12, when the driver lost control and her minivan rolled onto its top in the ditch. Relatives have started a Go Fund Me page to help her family with funeral expenses. Donations are also being accepted at the Cooling Dance Center, where Zoe’s daughter had recently begun taking classes. Zoe leaves behind her husband, Joe, and three children. A 2010 Vinton-Shellsburg graduate, Zoe was employed at the Cedar Valley Ranch. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 pm on Thursday November 17, 2016 at the Geilenfeld Funeral Home in Oelwein.  Interment will be held privately in Woodlawn Cemetery at Oelwein.  A memorial fund has been established. See her obituary HERE. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office, North Benton Ambulance and Garrison Fire Department/First Responders assisted at the scene....

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Veterans Day: Entire VS student body says “Thanks” to all who served

  Click the arrow on the video below, so you can listen to part of the 2016 VS student body Veterans Day tribute as you read about it. Then scroll below to read as you listen: Led by the VSHS Student Senate, the annual tribute included songs by students of all schools, a memorial slide show of veterans who have died in the past year, and introductions of local veterans, who told the students their names, and when and where they served. The special speakers were Keegan Birkicht and Randy French of Retrieving Freedom, the program that provides service...

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Volleyball rematch: Union to face Dike-New Hartford for Class 3A State Championship

The Union volleyball team is just one match away from the Class 3A State Championship — and they must face one of the teams that battled them most fiercely all season to win it. The Knights will play Dike-New Hartford at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow in the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. On Oct. 1, Union hosted the Lady Wolverines, and escaped with a 3-2 win, one of only two 5-game matches the Knights played all season. The Knights advanced to the finals with Thursday’s 4-game win over Mount Vernon, the only Class 3A team to defeat Union this season. Union lost the first game 16-25, but came back to win the next 3.  After taking Game 2, 25-20, the Knights had to play extra tie-breaking points to win the last two games, 29-27 and 32-30. Dike New Hartford won its semi-final match over Kuemper Catholic, 25-22, 25-23 and 29-27. Against the Mustangs, Maggie Driscol was successful on 18 of 20 serve attempts, while Jackie Barz was 17-for-18 in that department. Megan Hudson again led Union with 26 kills, with Peyton Parker one behind at 25. All four will be among six Knight seniors hoping to end their careers with a W. “Mount Vernon definitely showed up to play and I am super proud that we were able to match and exceed that intensity,” said Barz. “We know D-NH...

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Union choir members to sing Class 2A Football Championship

For the second time in less than a week, the Union Vocal Music Department has been asked to perform the National Anthem at a state-wide event. On Friday, November 19th , a mixed double quartet will sing for the 2A Football State Championship in the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. This comes one week after the Union Chamber Choir was chosen to sing at the State Volleyball Championships. Over the last 17 years, the Union High School Vocal Department has become a regular participant at all of the state athletic finals including State Football, State Boys Basketball, State Girls Basketball, State Dual Wrestling, State Individual Wrestling, State Volleyball and All-State Speech Festival. The ensemble will include Hallie Spore, Lizzie Klein, Carlie Hoppe, Kortlyn Ewoldt, Henry Powers, Nathan Acuff, Mason Scott and Ben Dvorak. The group is under the direction of Tim J....

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Tour de Lights returns Dec. 4

The 12th Annual Vinton-Shellsburg Tour de Lights 5K takes place Sunday, Dec. 4, beginning at the Vinton Fire Station. All runners are invited to race in this fund-raiser for the VSHS track and cross country teams. The race starts at 5 p.m. See a registration form by clicking the link below:...

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State Volleyball Union sweeps Osage in first round

“That’s Union. They killed us.” Three students from another high school were walking through the stands as Union began its Class 3A quarterfinal match against Osage on Wednesday in the U.S. Cellular Center, when one of them recalled an earlier game against the girls from the LaPorte City and Dysart areas. The Knights extended their record to 39-4 in matches and 94-14 in games, with defeating Osage 25-19, 25-20 and 25-20. Union seniors Megan Hudson (21 kills) and Peyton Parker (17 kills) led the Knights against the Green Devils. The secret to continued success, says Hudson, is “playing our...

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GOP sweep: Republicans win all county offices; State House incumbents re-elected

It was a “Red” Tuesday in Benton County, as the Republicans saw the election of four new office-holders and wins for every person with an R beside their name on the county ballots. The new Sheriff (Ron Tippett), Auditor (Hayley Rippel), and supervisors (Richard Primmer and Gary Biershenk) are all Republicans. Republican incumbents Dawn Pettengill in Iowa House District 75 and Tim Kapucian (Senate District 38) also won. Primmer defeated incumbent Supervisor Terry Hertle by a margin of 7,329 to 5,788; Bierschenk defeated Joan Flecksing, 8,338 to 4,571. Rippel defeated challenger Vicky Schwenker by a 8,725-4,244 vote. She will replace retiring Auditor Jill Marlow. Ron Tippett defeated independent candidate Vince Snyder by a 9,008 to 3,370 total. Benton County helped Pettengill defeat challenger Paula Denison by a margin of 9017 to 4195; House District 38 also includes Iowa County. Kapucian defeated Dennis Mathahs among Benton County voters by a margin of 8662 to 3837. “I am disappointed I didn’t win, but I am glad that I had an opportunity to talk about so many important issues with so many passionate Iowans through the course of this campaign,” said Mathahs. “Senator Kapucian and I waged a spirited and issues-first campaign, and I wish him all the best. The 38th district must have a strong voice at the Capitol, and I hope to help the Senator anyway I can.” Benton County...

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Annual VGH Tree Walk begins; bidding deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22

The 7th annual Virginia Gay Hospital Tree Walk is in full swing and ready for you to browse and bid on any number of wonderful Christmas trees or holiday decorations. As in year’s past, the lobby of the hospital has been transformed into a holiday extravaganza ready for you to browse and bid silent auction style on numerous holiday items that have been generously donated by local business, community individuals and several hospital departments and employees. Though the temperatures outside has been unseasonably warm this November, Virginia Gay Hospital and the Virginia Gay Hospital Healthcare Foundation are reporting that it’s very “cool” inside the hospital’s lobby but that has nothing at all to do with the temperature. “Thanks to generous community support and our local sponsor Edward Jones Investments of Vinton, we are off to a great start,” says Kim Frank, Director of Human Resources for the hospital. “This event continues to grow each year. We are very pleased to have around 50 displays already in place and want the public to know they are welcome to come in, look around, place a bid and of course stop back often to check to see that they haven’t been out bid.” Frank continues. The trees and decor will be displayed from now until Tuesday, November 22 with bidding set to end at 5 pm sharp that day. All the proceeds...

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Military marker honors Navy career of Vinton’s Don Holmes

Long before Don Holmes was a beloved teacher or well-known coach and wrestling ref, he was a sailor, a signalman who traveled to many continents during his U.S. Navy days, where he even once found himself one table away from celebrities including Clark Gable. While most Vinton residents remember Don as a teacher, coach or wrestling referee, his long-time wish was that his tombstone tell his military story. That wish came true this past weekend, as Don’s son Jeff joined members of the local Post 8884 VFW in setting his official white marble military monument at Maplewood Cemetery. “I...

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Union girls eye State Volleyball Championship

After breezing through three opponents in their Class 3A region, the Union Knights are looking forward to facing the tough competition that awaits this week at the State Volleyball Tournament in Cedar Rapids. The top-seeded Knights begin their tournament play at 10 a.m. Wednesday on Court One at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, where they will play Osage. If they win that match, they will play again on Thursday at 2 p.m. against the Mount Vernon/Sioux Center winner. Mount Vernon is the only Class 3A team to defeat Union this year; the Mustangs defeated the Knights 25-16 and 25-20 at the Waverly-Shell Rock tournament on Oct. 1. Union’s only other losses were to Class 5A teams Ankeny Centennial and Linn-Mar. The Knights hope to advance to the Class 3A Championship on Friday at 2:30 p.m. The other four teams in the Class 3A bracket are Dike-New Hartford, North Polk, Kuemper Catholic of Caroll and Davenport Assumption. Union senior Megan Hudson, a four-year varsity starter, says the Knights are confident heading into the tournament. “It’s obviously super exciting being a senior and being apart of this well-rounded team that’s making a trip back to the state tournament,” says Hudson. “We definitely know that if we play our game we can make it to the finals and get that state title. We’re definitely prepared and can’t wait to play and...

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‘Thin Blue Line:’ Law enforcement flag inspires tributes, questions among area residents

A few people have inquired about some flags being displayed outside of Vinton homes, or on vehicles. Intead of the traditional red, white and blue, these flags show black and white stripes, white stars on a field of black, and a thin line of blue in the place of one of the white stripes. This flag is known as the “Thin Blue Line” flag, and it is a tribute to police officers, and especially, to officers who have died in the line of duty. “I love the support! And I love even more that people are becoming aware,” says Becca Ingham of Vinton, whose father, Albuquerque Police Officer Daniel Scott Webster, was killed by a career criminal a year ago. “I just hate that we need to support and be aware,” says Ingham. “It’s sad.” Ingham says she became aware of the flag after her father’s death. “I’m glad I know now and I’m helping to spread awareness,” Ingham says. “I’ve had a few people ask or have even heard a few talking about it.” The flag outside her house has been flown a few times in recent days.   “We put it up from the annivesary of the day my dad was shot to the day he got his final dispatch,” Ingham explains.  “It will be up again during national police week in May.” Ingham has also noted...

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Meet the candidate: Dennis Mathahs

Editor’s Note: We continue our profiles of election candidates with Dennis Mathahs, the Democratic candidate for Iowa Senate District 38. As with all other profiles, we offer this in the candidate’s own words: Dennis Mathahs was born in Marshalltown, IA and raised by his adoptive parents, Richard and Dolores Mathahs, in Manly, IA. Richard was the Chief of Police and a Teamster, and Dolores was an entrepreneur, making wedding cakes, selling real estate, running a dress shop out of their basement. She was also a civic leader, a passion she instilled in Dennis at a young age. Dolores served on the local church council, library board, and was elected to the city council. The family also owned and operated a car wash and laundromat, where a young Dennis worked to help support the family. Dennis went to catholic school as a boy and had his first job as a paper boy for the Globe Gazette. He played football, basketball, and cross country at Newman High School in Mason City, but had to quit athletics his senior year to take a job at Perkins. He graduated a semester early and went on to North Iowa Area Community College, working his way through and graduating in just one year. He continued his higher education at the University of Iowa, but unlike at NIACC, Dennis did not graduate from UI until 1989,...

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