Category: News

May is School Board Recognition Month

The Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) invites communities to celebrate and thank their local school board members during School Board Recognition Month, May 1-31, 2017.
This commemorative month recognizes the impact school boards have on public education and the work they do on behalf of Iowa’s students. More than 2,000 K-12 public school, area education agency and community college board members volunteer their time to ensure all students have access to a strong and meaningful education. These locally elected citizens oversee billions in educational expenditures, develop policies and make critical decisions that impact their entire community.
As the 2016-17 school year comes to a close, IASB thanks school board members for their hard work and dedication governing Iowa’s public education system.

Northey: Cost Share Dollars Still Available for Water Quality Practices

Cost share assistance available for cover crops, no-till/strip till or nitrification inhibitor
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced the 2017 sign-up period is open for statewide cost share funds to help farmers install nutrient reduction practices. This program has been popular with farmers interested in adding additional practices to their operation. Practices eligible for this funding are cover crops, no-till or strip till, or using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fertilizer.
“Iowa farmers are continuing to take on the challenge of improving water quality and this program has played an important role in helping farmers get started with a new practice on their farm focused on protecting water quality. We have seen thousands of farmers try cover crops on hundreds of thousands of acres through this program,” Northey said. “We were excited to have funds available again this year and encourage farmers to contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District to learn more and potentially sign up to participate.”
The cost share rate for farmers planting cover crops is $25 per acre ($15 per acre for past cover crop users) and for farmers trying no-till or strip till is $10 per acre. Farmers using a nitrapyrin nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer can receive $3 per acre.
Any farmer not already utilizing these practices will receive priority consideration for this assistance. Farmers interested in cover crops, but have already used this practice on their farm are also eligible for this funding, but at a reduced rate of $15 per acre. Farmers are only eligible for cost share on up to 160 acres. The funds will be made available in July, but farmers can immediately start submitting applications through their local Soil and Water Conservation District office.
Farmers are still encouraged to visit their local Soil and Water Conservation District office to inquire about additional opportunities for cost share funding through other programs offered at their local SWCDs.
“As farmers are busy planting, we wanted to get the announcement out as soon as possible so our staff and partners can prepare to sign-up interested farmers if there are rain delay or as field work is wrapped up,” Northey said.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship received $9.6 million for the Iowa Water Quality Initiative in fiscal 2017.
In the last four years this program has been available, over 3,750 farmers put in new nutrient reduction practices on over 480,000 acres. The state provided about $9.4 million in cost share funding to help farmers try a water quality practice for the first time and Iowa farmers provided more than $9.6 million of their own resources to support these water quality practices.

Area Memorial Day Services

May 29 at 8:30 AM – St. Mary of Mt. Carmel
Members of American Legion U.S.S. San Diego Post #207 will honor fallen veterans by conducting a memorial service at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Church in Eagle Center.
May 29 at 9:30 AM – La Porte City
Members of the American Legion U.S.S. San Diego Post #207 will conduct a brief Memorial Day service at the Veterans Memorial Tribute, located at the corner of Chestnut and Main Street in La Porte City. At approximately 9:45 the service will reconvene and conclude at West View Cemetery in La Porte City.
May 29 at 10:30 AM – Mount Auburn
Following Memorial Day service at the Mount Auburn Cemetery, followed by a service at Mount Auburn Methodist Church, a meal will be served at the church. A free-will offering will be accepted.

Spring Musical Wins Seven Statewide Awards for “Anything Goes”

By Tim J. Mitchell
Union High School has received a school record high of seven Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards for its spring musical production of “Anything Goes.”
The Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards, presented by Des Moines Performing Arts, celebrates the extraordinary achievements of young musical theater artists. The program aims to create visibility and support for high school musical theater programs and to highlight the importance of arts education.
Panels of community adjudicators, comprised of performing arts educators and professionals, attend and review each participating school’s production. From those reviews, students and directors receive valuable constructive feedback that can be used to grow and strengthen their future work. The reviews and scores are also used to determine the awards presented to schools in a variety of categories, ranging from choreography, design, supporting performer, lead performer, and overall musical production.
The Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards is designed to be celebratory rather than competitive in nature. Any student or school at an outstanding level is recognized for their achievement. Multiple honorees may be named in each category as merited by the performances given.
Among the awards presented to Union High School’s “Anything Goes” production:
Special Recognition for Performance in a Principal Role: Anna Garwood as Reno Sweeney, Kassidy Downs as Erma, Wesley Hanson as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh and Jordan Schmitz as Elisha Whitney.
Special Recognition for Performance in a Small Ensemble: Presented to the sailor sextet consisting of Clay Thiele, Tate Hookham, Ben Rempe, Mason Scott, Levi Gray, and Carter Spore.
Outstanding Ensemble: The entire ensemble was recognized for their consistent quality work.
Outstanding Overall Performance: One of the top prizes that can be awarded was presented to Union’s production of “Anything Goes.”
On June 5th, an Awards Showcase event featuring some of the outstanding student performances from schools throughout the state will be held on the Des Moines Civic Center stage and is open to the public. Union High School will be represented at the Awards Showcase, as the cast of Anything Goes will perform the production’s title song and dance. Union students Madi Winter, Brady Rempe, Kortlyn Ewoldt and Hunter Fleshner have also been selected to perform in the Awards Showcase’s opening number.
“We have always been proud of the quality work our students produce in the fine arts at Union. Our philosophy at Union is always to strive to improve in each arts medium in which we participate. When we learned of this program, which includes theatre professionals attending our performance and giving constructive feedback, we jumped at the chance to help take our performance to the next level. This [has been] a great experience for all of our students involved in the production,” said Tim J. Mitchell.
Union High school has a long and decorated history for excellence in the Musical Theatre arts. Of the school’s 34 Musical Theatre entries, 28 have been named All-State by the Iowa High School Speech Association, receiving the Critics Choice Award three times. This is the third consecutive year a Union High School musical production has been recognized by the Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards. In 2016, Union’s production of “State Fair” earned five awards. In 2015, “Catch Me If You Can” garnered three awards. Union’s musical productions are directed jointly by Tim J. Mitchell and Korina Carlson.
Tickets for the Awards Showcase at the Des Moines Civic Center are $15 each and can be purchased online at

Cedar Valley Honor Flight – May 9, 2017

Click on a photo below to view a May 9, 2017 Cedar Valley Honor Flight photo gallery:

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