Carol Casey, 89, Fillmore County

Carol Casey died suddenly at home on Saturday, March 27, 2010. She was 89 years of age.
Carol A. (Gager) Casey was born in Cresco, Iowa on November 9, 1920, the daughter of H. Leslie and Margaret (Kaufman) Gager. She graduated from Cresco High School.
On November 1, 1939, Carol was united in marriage to Ronald M. Casey in Cresco. They made their home in Southern Minnesota for most of their life, while Ron worked for various farmers. Carol was a stay-at-home mom who raised her eight children. She enjoyed making quilts for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She also enjoyed reading and listening to music.

Ervin Walter, 97, Cresco

Ervin Walter, 97, of Cresco, Iowa passed away at Regional Health Services of Howard County in Cresco on Saturday, March 27, 2010, after a brief illness.
Ervin Leonard Walter was born on January 5, 1913, at his parents’ farm home in Albion Township. He was the son of Louis and Mathilda (Kratz) Walter. He attended Lincoln School in Albion Township and Cresco High School, where he was a wrestler and played the saxophone in the band.
He was united in marriage to Ada S. Knutson Reinhart on March 28, 1935. They became the proud parents of Sharon Lee, Sandra, Ernie, Larry, Peggy and Lee.

Ridgeway School Closing

Last week’s Lime Springs Herald reported the Howard-Winneshiek School Board voted to keep all three outlying centers open. After the meeting, it was discovered the savings listed in the proposal were still not enough, so the Board had to re-think its decision.

Looking toward SCD

Spiff Slifka talks to the Community Club as Marian Peter looks on.

Lots of things in Lime Springs and Howard County are changing—new mayor, more active council, schools closing. One thing that isn’t changing is Sweet Corn Days.

The Community Club met on March 15 and started making plans for the annual celebration to be held August 13-15 in 2010. The list of committee chairs from 2009 was looked over and many of the chairmen will again be in charge of events and booths. Not many concerns were raised, but it is still early in the year. The Club just wanted to get a head start on the festival which brings over 5,000 to town.
• In other business, Marcie Klomp spoke about the Junior Club and their plans for the flag project. “Letters are being sent out with the water bills this month asking people to pay for the flags, which will be set out on Memorial Day, Flag Day, 4th of July, Sweet Corn Sunday and Labor Day. Businesses will pay $5.00 more to have flags set out on Veterans Day.”

Fire Board discusses grants

Members of the Fire Board—Corey Gates, Dean Bolton and Ron Deike. Missing—Gary Klomp.

Members of the Fire Board met on March 16 for their regular meeting. Also present were several fire fighters.

Fire Chief Tony Roberts told the group Lime Springs Fire and Rescue was called to a fire at the Rick Hovey residence, north of town on March 10. “He had a chimney fire and had it out before we got there, but we were called out anyway.”

Angela Fortney, 81, Chester

Angela Eleanor Riha Fortney, 81, of Chester, passed away Tuesday, March 16, 2010, at Austin Medical Center, Austin, Minn., after a lengthy illness.

Bernice “Bea” Johnson, 86, LS

Bernice I. “Bea” Johnson, age 86, of Lime Springs, Iowa died Monday, March 22, 2010, at the Manly Nursing Home in Manly, Iowa after a long, unforgiving battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Stay of execution —for Elementary schools

Shown with School Board members Marilyn Reis and Karlos McClure is the cost savings of Scenario 3.

It came as a shock to some school board members and most of the 130 or so teachers, parents and community members attending Monday night’s (March 15) Howard-Winneshiek School Board meeting. Most of those present were expecting to hear at least one school and half to a whole other school would be closing. So it stunned the group when school board member Duane Bodermann made a motion, seconded by Jeff Murphy to choose scenario three, which has Cresco elementary staying a traditional school and Elma, Ridgeway and Lime Springs-Chester preschool-fifth grades multi-age teaching.

Bodermann has been a proponent of multi-age teaching since discussions arose. His children have gone to the Elma Charter School which has been multi-age teaching for several years. Monday night he reiterated his daughters were taught in a multi-age classroom and are doing well in school, at least one is near the top of her class.
He also asked if the school district closes a building and loses 30 students, “What does that save us? I’d like to try to find a way to run those centers more efficiently.”
Murphy added, “Closing a building is permanent. Then if you find a savings somewhere, it’s too late.”
Karlos McClure surprised himself by saying, “I didn’t come here with this scenario in my mind. We do need a better vision.” He ended up voting for keeping all the schools open, adding to the audience, “But, don’t forget if we don’t cut at least $1 million from the budget, we’ll be here next year.” In the end all board members went with the motion.
[Scenario three will cut just over $1 million in the budget, which is workable. Originally, the board was looking to cut $1.5 million to be on the safe side.]
Some of those arguments were brought up by audience members during the first hour of the meeting as they passionately spoke about their schools and what they mean to their towns. Some commenters spoke with broken voices and shaking hands as they pled their causes. Kelly Bueller of Ridgeway asked the board to consider a five-year plan before making a decision. “The missing link here is vision. How will you arrive at a permanent decision without a vision.”
Bethany Shroyer of Lime Springs stuck up for multi-age teaching saying her kids go to Elma and it works for them. “The traditional school at Lime Springs wasn’t successful, but the charter school at Elma works. My son is excelling. He loves school.”
Erin Ludwig of Elma implored the board to keep the schools open. “Do you know the outlying centers are feeders for the junior high and high school.” She said the community of Elma wants to keep its elementary and reminded them, “We do have options [of open enrolling to other districts].”
“It should be about the kids,” implored Bob Martinek of Ridgeway.
Casey Rausch of Cresco Elementary assured those parents of outlying center students, “Cresco will embrace your kids with open arms. We’re all in this together,” adding she didn’t want to be at this same spot next year and yet . . . that is probably what will happen with the decision made by the board to keep all centers open.
In another vote, the board had a close vote for 1. making parents pay for textbooks at NICC rather than the school district paying for them, 2. dropping the activity bus after fall sports and 3. discontinuing the shuttle to Ridgeway. Voting for the proposal were Marilyn Reis, Jan Carman and McClure. Voting nay were Bodermann and Murphy.
After the vote, Ridgeway Principal Jerry Brown asked the board, “You do know cutting the shuttle is one-third of our enrollment?”
Superintendent Brian Ney explained, “This year 48 students rode the shuttle from Cresco to Ridgeway, next year would be a projected 31 students.”
Although there were some relieved parents in the audience, McClure made sure to let them know, “We didn’t make cuts deep enough.”
The issue of closing one or multiple centers is not going away. Since a decision was not made on closures this year, it will definitely be addressed next year.
Murphy said, “In my opinion, we’re just trying to get by. We’re going to have our work cut out for us.”

Twins face daily hardships

The Englehart family: Nicci with Isabel and Frank with Allie and Kaylee

Every parent dreads when their child is sick. But for Nicci Engelhart and husband Frank it is a daily occurrence—times two. Twin daughters Allie and Kaylee Johnson have faced potentially deadly situations every day of their nearly three-and-a-half years of life.

Even while in the womb, the girls weren’t given much chance of making it. At eight weeks, Nicci lost a third baby and was told the remaining two had only a 25 percent chance of survival. She was determined to have her babies and hunkered down. For the remainder of her pregnancy, she was on bed rest.

Legislators answer tough questions

Sen. Mary Jo Wilhelm talks with Walter McIntosh and Donna Landswerk.

State Sen. Mary Jo Wilhelm opened the Listening Post on March 6 at the Lime Springs Library by explaining what the State of Iowa was doing to help keep expenses down.

“Last year, the legislature was in session for 100 days. This year, we are down to 80.” That is making it harder to get some bills through the House and Senate. It was mentioned some bills might take four years to go through the process because of changes being made by both sides.
To help save money, a committee had been set up last summer/fall to look at how to streamline the state finances. One suggestion was bulk purchases, spending less and giving an early retirement plan.