Zero visibility, blowing snow —Factors in 100-car line-up south of LS

Blizzard conditions in northeast Iowa on Jan. 26.

Blizzard conditions in northeast Iowa on Jan. 26.

By Marcie Klomp

Around 8:30 Monday morning, Jan. 27, Terry Larson drove Kyle Johnson’s tractor to town and helped unclog a 100-car line-up at the Mark Loewen home (formerly Kalvelage/Fausnaugh home), three miles south of Lime Springs.

“There was a drift about seven-ft. high and maybe 100 ft. long, and there had to be 100 cars waiting to get through,” Larson said.

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Growing Howard County

Ridgeway Mayor Paul Stevens and Jesse Stevens and Brad Reed of LimeSprings Beef talk before the task force meeting.

Ridgeway Mayor Paul Stevens and Jesse Stevens and Brad Reed of LimeSprings Beef talk before the task force meeting.

By Marcie Klomp

You’ve heard the old adage, “The early bird gets the worm?” Well leaders in Howard County want to be the bird. They don’t want the worm, though, they want broadband Internet and workers!

A task force meeting was held on Jan. 18, and despite cold weather and blowing snow, about 40 city and county leaders of business, industry, education and politics came together. The next meeting will be Feb. 1 at 9 a.m. at NICC-Cresco Campus. All interested persons are invited.

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LimeSprings Beef making visual progress

A close-up of the freezer area/kill floor. [Photo submitted]

A close-up of the freezer area/kill floor. [Photo submitted]

By Marcie Klomp

Progress on LimeSprings Beef has continued this winter, but it was Jan. 15 when visual strides were taken.

A huge crane was brought in to set the concrete walls for the freezer units and kill floor. President of the board Jess Stevens explained, “That area is the tallest part of the building.”

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LSCTT taking auditions

Lime Springs Childrens Theatre Troupe is taking auditions for the spring play “Holka Polka,” which are being held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Family Fun & Fitness. Janet DeVries and Rita Roberts are co-directors.

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Jean Guy, 56, formerly of Chester

--obit-guyJean Guy died Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 at home. She was born Jean Ann LaRose, daughter of Joseph and Betty (Maurer) LaRose in Minneapolis, Minn. on June 22, 1957.

On Nov. 26, 1981, Jean married Gary Guy. She enjoyed playing Bingo, trying her luck at the casino, watching Dancing with the Stars, word search puzzles and reading. She had been employed at the Alco store in Spring Valley, Minn. for 17 years.

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What will LS campus look like in 2014-15?

Concerned Elma citizens Tom Platte, Bruce Weigel and Erin Ludwig talk to board members Duane Bodermann and James Kitchen after the meeting on Jan. 13.

Concerned Elma citizens Tom Platte, Bruce Weigel and Erin Ludwig talk to board members Duane Bodermann and James Kitchen after the meeting on Jan. 13.

By Marcie Klomp

At the December Howard-Winneshiek School Board meeting, members voted to close the Elma campus. At the Jan. 13 meeting, which was held in Lime Springs, Supt. John Carver reminded those present, “A teacher group is helping to explore which grade levels will be at which campus.”

The team had been to Lime Springs-Chester Elementary a week prior to walk through the campus. He is encouraging the group to look at having two grade levels in Lime Springs, rather than one. “We will have a decision before the board for next month. The reason we are doing this is for the collaboration. Instruction was not the same at each location.”

He added the problem was not the teachers. “The teachers are excellent.” The problem lies with the outlying centers where teachers are on their own and can’t mingle with teachers of their own grade easily.

He pointed out, “As far as Howard-Winn. goes, we will provide our kids with the best educational experience on the planet.” The current sixth grade class will graduate in 2020. That is the class that is holding to high standards. “Those graduates will be the best prepared kids on the planet [when they walk across the stage],” Carver contended.

He reiterated how important collaboration is when teaching students.

Six teachers verified reasons behind collaboration.

Three teachers from Crestwood kindergarten (Clarissa Einck, Julie Franzen, Michelle Timp) and three from fifth grade (Becky Halverson, Kelly Sorenson, Julie Wilson) spoke about how working together is great for teachers and students alike.

By having more than one teacher per grade, classes in Cresco can easily have individualized groups, based on the students’ needs. At the outlying centers, groups can only be divided between one teacher, who may also be teaching another grade level. Franzen noted there are large and small groups, the small groups being four to six students. “Learning for them is fun when they move from class to class.”

Wilson said, “We pretested the kids to see what skills they had. The students changed groups for units.” Fifth grade started working together in literacy and found it worked so well, they started doing it with math.

Working together with coworkers is exciting for the teachers. Sorenson said, Common time is wonderful. We can collaborate with the other teachers. We do it during lunch and recess as well.”

Principal Greg Adams added, “Other staff members get involved, and all of a sudden you start working in smaller groups. The other neat part is one teacher is not always known as the teacher for struggling students or excelling students.”

Board member Scott fortune observed, “The interaction between the kids is great. It may even help the bullying issue in the future.” (Bullying was another issue discussed at the school board meeting.)

Wilson thanked the school board for the use of technology for the students. “We have kindergartners who don’t want to go out for recess. They want to work on their iPad!”

Solar power at stadium to be installed this spring

The solar panels are tentatively set to be set in the northwest corner of the practice field, near the marquee sign.

The solar panels are tentatively set to be set in the northwest corner of the practice field, near the marquee sign.

By Marcie Klomp

Facilities Director Larry Trende presented three bids to Howard-Winneshiek School Board members for a solar power system at the football stadium.

Contractors bidding on the project are Kitchen Construction (Owner of company is board member James Kitchen.), Decorah Electric Inc. and Blake Electric. Trende told board members, “Kitchen Construction came in five percent cheaper than anyone else.” That bid is for $92,907, or $3.10 per kilowatt. The others were $3.30 and $3.50 per kilowatt. Rebates are also available.

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