Author: Dean Close

Thirty four high school students from across Iowa traveled to Washington, D.C.

Thirty four high school students from across Iowa traveled to Washington, D.C. on June 10-16 to join more than 1,600 other students from around the nation for the 2016 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has been giving high school students the opportunity to tour Washington, D.C. for over 50 years. “The Youth Tour is the highlight of the summer for many students from Iowa, and we’re proud to send 34 of our best and brightest to Washington, D.C. this year to participate,” said Shelly York, Iowa Youth Tour Director. “These students gained a first-hand understanding of the legislative process and made connections with others from across the country that will last a lifetime.” Jamie Thompson and Kirstie Martin, represented and were sponsored by East-Central Iowa REC for the 2016 Youth Tour trip to D.C.Jamie attends Vinton-Shellsburg High School and is the daughter of Julie Barnes of Palo and Kirstie is an Independence High School junior and the daughter of Curt and Deb Martin of Independence. Students on the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour participated in leadership training, engaged in one-on-one conversations with elected officials, jumpstarted their national peer network, learned about electric cooperatives and toured Washington, D.C. The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has brought high school students to Washington, D.C. for the past 50 years. Students apply and are selected for this program by their local...

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Vinton Parks & Recreation Department Announces Nature Trail Project

Summer weather is here and that means that people of all ages are itching to get outside! On a quest to deliver fresh outdoor recreational opportunities to the community, the Vinton Parks & Recreation Department is in the process of developing a multi-use nature trail system that will utilize approximately fifty acres of timbered city property just north of the sledding hill at Riverside Park. This network of trails will permit residents to experience the outdoors, connect with nature and maintain an active lifestyle right here within city limits. The final project will eventually be six to eight miles of looped trails ideal for walking, running, mountain biking, hiking and cross country skiing. The trail system will also provide access to beach areas along our stretch of the Cedar River as well as a public hike-in camping area. A wider, relatively flat 2.7 mile green loop ideal for walking, trail running or biking is expected to be fully complete and ready for use by late July. In an effort to assure that sustainable, professional-grade soft trails are developed, the Vinton Parks & Recreation Department has partnered with the Linn Area Mountain Biking Association (LAMBA) to learn from their trail building expertise. LAMBA is the backbone behind many successful and highly utilized trail projects in the Cedar Rapids/North Liberty area including Beverly Park, Sac & Fox Trail, Squaw Creek and...

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4th Street Diner News

4th Street Diner HACAP North Benton Center 202 East Fourth St Vinton, IA 52349 319-472-4761 Serving Buffet from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Sunday thru Friday. Everyone is WELCOME! Suggested contribution for individuals 60 years old or older, and their accompanying spouse (regardless of age) is $3.25 for the meal. Individuals who are not yet 60 are WELCOME but need to pay $4.25 directly to the site manager for their meal. If you are just coming for the activity, the suggested contribution is $1.00. Carryout meals are available. Hot Home Delivered Meals are available Sunday thru Friday in Vinton. The suggested contribution is $3.75/meal if you are 60 or older. For those under age 60, the required contribution is $4.50/meal. Please call by 10:00 AM daily to cancel or add a Home Delivered Meal. FREE SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM AVAILABLE DAILY FOR EVERYONE WHO EATS A MEAL AT THE SITE DURING MEAL SERVICE TIMES. For more information about services, please call 319-472-4761, or to reserve a table for groups of three or more. We also have nutritious frozen meals and liquid supplements; delivery is available throughout Benton County. All contributions are used toward the continued operations of the meal site. Each month the 4th St Diner has a birthday celebration on the second Tuesday. Anyone having a birthday for that particular month is encouraged to make a reservation for...

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Little Vikes Drama Company to present ‘Over the Moon’ next weekend

Little Vikes Drama Company is gearing up for final rehearsals next week of their production,Over the Moon. Thirty-seven campers, age 5 – 12 are totally jazzed to share their interpretation of this fairytale musical written by best-selling author Jodi Picoult. This show presents a twist on such famous classics as Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, and Shrek. Luna, the Moon (Julia Johnson), comes down to earth to help humans find love. Along the way she meets the Hairy Godmother (Levi Lutz), Prince Jack (Destin Solberg), Felicity (Molly Haisman), Hugo the Giant (Tucker Mensen), the Three Bears (Levi Mensen, Annabelle Newton, Olivia McDaniel), and the evil Queen Ferocia (Maya Lapan-Islas) and her equally nasty daughters Gertrude (Addy Chvala and Sadie Burke). Other characters include Newsgirls (Olivia Primrose, Patience Kies), Johnny Nova (Alex Funk), Jean-Claude (Jacoby Johnson), Pinocchio (Brady Whelan), Humpty Dumpty (Ali Lutz), the Talking Trees (Kalie Burke, Brylee Bruce, Zena Aragon, Rebekah Lindauer), Cinderella (Aspen Ahrenholz), Snow White (Sophia Vasquez), Grumpy (Will McKenna), Sneezy (Alliana Banks), Sleeping Beauty (McKenna Kingsbury), Goldilocks (Mieke Ternus), Rapunzel (Athena Aragon), Old Woman in the Shoe (Gracie Whelan), Lil Red in the Hood (Amaia Sloop), the Three Blind Mice (Gracyn Kingsbury, Wren Ahrenholz, Brynn Wilden), the Three Pigs (Luke Wilden, Aiden Andersen, Will Primrose) and Blitzer the Big Bad Wolf (Jackson McLaughlin). Over the Moon is directed by Marcy Horst, with music direction...

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VSHS to change 1:1 computer roll-out for 2016-17 school year

The Vinton-Shellsburg High School roll-out of computers will be different this year. All registered students entering grades 9-12 at VSHS will continue to get a computer for the 2016-17 school year. Based on feedback from the past three years we have changed HOW they will be getting them. Please see the schedule below and contact Kim Meyer with additional questions. 9th Grade Students & Students New to District On Thursday, August 18, at 1:00pm OR 5:30pm parents and students will be asked to attend a presentation (about 30 min) in the VSHS Auditorium where both parents and students will learn about the 1:1 Initiative (proper care, policies, and procedures) and sign all necessary paperwork before receiving their computer, bag, and accessories. Students will receive their computers at this time and will set up their machines before the first day of school. Returning Students Grades 10-12 Due to parental and community feedback, we adjusted when and how returning students will receive their computers. We feel it is necessary to review information with both students and families just like we review other agreements/information on an annual basis. We will try a “video approach” this year where I will send out the informational video in early August. Parents will sign a waiver when they come with their student(s) to check out their laptops stating they watched and agree to the information in...

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The new famous photo that never was; but soon may be

  I have bad news for my fellow space-exploration lovers: That beautiful photo you saw this week of the Juno space probe approaching Jupiter is fake. Really. No, I am not one of those who believe that the moon landing was fake in 1969. I am sure that Juno — complete with its lego figurines of Jupiter, Juno and Galileo — is indeed circling the biggest planet in our solar system. But the photo of Juno with Jupiter is fake. Actually, it’s not a photo; it’s an image of the planet and probe painted by an artist for the purpose of publicizing the arrival for NASA. Juno does have a camera, but its images are not like those iconic ones we saw of other planets (especially Neptune) taken by Voyager 2 a generation ago. The real photos taken with the Juno camera show Jupiter in the distance, with its four moons circling the planet. The video that NASA released is actually a composite of countless still photos of the planet and its moons. But you wouldn’t know that by reading news reports. Every major news source I have read, along with the science sites that focus on such stories, are posting artist depictions of Juno and Jupiter and saying “This is Juno approaching Jupiter.” But, it’s not. NASA says the probe will soon start sending up-close photos of the...

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Gustin Wins Hogan Memorial Modifieds feature

Richie Gustin didn’t recall a lot of drama while en route to winning the Hogan Memorial in 2012. The 2016 version of the Benton County Speedway special for Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modifieds had plenty of that, though, as Gustin outran Todd Shute and the 21st starting Hunter Marriott for the Sunday night victory at Vinton. “It turned into a heck of a race,” said Gustin, $3,100 richer after regaining the lead with 10 circuits left in the 50-lapper, which came to a green, white, checkered conclusion after a late caution. “I ran the top, middle, bottom … this was as much fun as I’ve had in a race this year for sure.” The 22nd annual event played out before a very full grandstand with a total car count of more than 130, including 47 Modifieds. Total purse for the holiday weekend event was more than $30,000. Other winners during the Hogan were Damon Murty and Ben Chapman, who pocketed $1,000 for IMCA Sunoco Stock Car and Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod wins, respectively, and Benji Irvine, who earned $750 for his IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock win. Gustin drew the pole for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifier and led the first 11 laps before Shute slipped past on the lower line. The front pair got into lapped traffic just before Mike Jergens slowed in the first set of...

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From ‘ick’ to making business history: Iowa Cricket Farmer

The cricket industry in Benton County has never been better – and soon insects grown in Keystone may find their way to eating establishments in Iowa and beyond. In the past few weeks, TV stations have featured the local insects and the trio who raises them; Governor Terry Branstad heard about the business during his Benton County breakfast meeting last week; representatives from the Iowa State Extension office visited the cricket farm on Tuesday, and asked many questions. And the business has received recognition – and funding – from an Iowa organization that encourages women in business. For now, though, the thousands of banded crickets growing in bins at Iowa Cricket Farmer LLC in downtown Keystone end up in flour made by a Utah company. Becky and Jason Herman, along with Jared Van Hamme, are the owners of the company which is located in what used to be a restaurant building. It began in a classroom in Marion, where Becky is a high school social studies teacher. “Every day, we watch a 10-minute current events segment, and one day they had an interview with a cricket farmer.” Becky said her first response – like that of many of her students – was “ick.” But after watching the segment with her students two or three times, Becky became curious. Soon she and her husband were researching how, and where, to...

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Evergreen Flea Market under way

The aisles of the 4th Annual Evergreen Cemetery Flea Market, as well as neighboring streets, are full today for the first day of the two-day event. Sales began at 8 a.m. and will continue until 5 p.m. today, with the same hours tomorrow. Among the booths are one for the Sheriff Fry Memorial and the AMVETS, which are offering food and drink items for a free-will...

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Lightning most likely started fire that destroyed house, says Chief

Jerry and Julia Meadows of Vinton were in Maryland following the funeral of Jerry’s brother, when their home was mostly destroyed by a fire overnight on East 13th Street in Vinton. Fire Chief Gary McKenna said the cause is most likely lightning, although investigators will sort through the damaged home looking for more clues. McKenna said the house has heavy fire and water damage and is most likely a total loss, along with most of the contents. The fire department received the call at 2:20...

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Week’s Top Teacher: Area radio station honors Tilford’s Hyland

Laurie Hyland, a 3rd-grade teacher at Tilford Elementary in Vinton, has been named the KDAT Top Teacher of the Week. “As a volunteer in Laurie’s 3rd grade classroom and having a grandson in her class, I have seen her in action first hand,” wrote Sharon Koster, who nominated Mrs. Hyland. “As a former teacher, I appreciate how Laurie manages her classroom. She motivates each child to do his/her best and to meet their personal goals. Laurie is truly an exceptional teacher!” The station is rewarding Mrs. Hyland with a KDAT gift pack including a $25 gift card to Half Price...

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