Helping Superstorm Sandy victims two years later

Chelsey Morgan and Thea Hartzell, with New York City in the background.

Chelsey Morgan and Thea Hartzell, with New York City in the background.

Chelsey Morgan (and Thea Hartzell) were only allowed to use battery-operated tools on the mission trip.

Chelsey Morgan (and Thea Hartzell) were only allowed to use battery-operated tools on the mission trip.

By Marcie Klomp

“I’d like to do Peace Corps some day. So I thought I’d try this,” is what Chelsey Morgan, 16, said after the mission trip she took to New Jersey with her childhood friend, Thea Hartzell, also 16.

“I just wanted to go and volunteer. Anywhere was okay with me,” she continued. “I approached Pastor Mel (Melanie Greengo of Lime Springs United Methodist Church) about doing a mission trip for Jesus. She said, ‘Let me take a look’, and she found this. This is A Future with Hope. I asked Thea if she would like to do it as well, and she was excited!”

The girls left Minneapolis on Aug. 9 around 5 a.m. in seven 12-passenger vans, with a group of 70 people, aged 14-78. They drove 18 hours the first day, staying overnight in a sister-Methodist church. Sunday, they drove 10 hours until they reached their home-away-from-home, a Methodist church in Highlands, N.J.

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Marcie’s Meanderings

--sun(I normally do not print Meanderings online, but am doing so this week in memory of my Chelsey)

Heaven gained an angel

Look at this girl. Beautiful. Sweet. Smiley. Happy. Always willing to help a friend or relative in need. Upbeat. Giving. Caring. Quick-witted. Gone.
I am not sure how her family and friends will continue in the next few days, weeks, years. I can guarantee you that I will be missing my niece, Chelsey Morgan, for a very, very long time.

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Solar panels are nuisance charge neighbors

Solar panels from Crestwood High School. (Submitted by Andrew Larson)

Solar panels from Crestwood High School. (Submitted by Andrew Larson)








By Marcie Klomp

Attorney Todd Kowalke, representing Elsie and Joe Busta, addressed Howard-Winneshiek School Board members regarding the solar panels recently installed in the northwest corner of the athletic field are an eyesore to the Bustas.

“This summer, the school decided they wanted to install solar panels and they did . . . as close as legally possible to the Bustas. All you can see are these big panels in the backyard. I walked the area and found at least six places that they could go.”

He explained Iowa Code has a nuisance ordinance. “Anything offensive to sight, sound or vision is a nuisance. As far as we are concerned, those are a nuisance to my clients.”

He went on to say the school’s website was not very informative since he could not easily find how to get in touch with board members.

Kowalke was then told his three minutes of open forum speaking was up. Surprised, the attorney continued briefly, “I didn’t know that, about the three minutes.” He also complained about not having dates of school board meetings on the school calendar.

Although not obligated to address a speaker during open forum, Supt. John Carver explained, “The board meetings for the 2014-15 school year are established during the September meeting. They will be available at that time.”

• In other business, while going over payments, board member Doug Berg asked about the tuckpointing of the K-8 building. He asked Larry Trende, Buildings and Grounds Director, “How do you feel about the project? There is a lot of sharp edges over there. That’s my opinion.”

Trende sad he would look it over again.

Berg added, “Overall it looks awesome.”

• Two families attended the meeting to talk about the open enrollment of their children out of H-W.

Eric Kaski, of Lime Springs, said rumors about his family wanting to go to Riceville because of wrestling were ridiculous. The family is moving because their oldest child’s grades have fallen since he went to Cresco. They are hoping the smaller classes at Riceville will benefit him.

He added, “We did fill out the paperwork on time and for whatever reason, they did not send it until it was after the date. I don’t know why they weren’t sent over here on time. I just don’t know.” (Open enrollment papers are to be given to the receiving and leaving schools by March 1, to be accepted.)

Prescott Payne, of Elma, was also on hand to ask to enroll his children in Riceville. He explained he was now working in Charles City and was thinking of moving into the Riceville School District this year.

He continued, “The same thing with paperwork happened to me. My screw up. I should have taken it. She [school secretary] said she was going to do it.”

The open enrollments for those families were approved.
• Cheryl Dickman answered questions on the Wellness Policy and gave the Food Service report.

She was especially proud of H-W keeping breakfast available until 10 a.m. at the high school, allowing for the NICC students to eat. Six thousand more breakfasts were served in 2013-14 than the year before.
Dickman added the policy and suggestions for healthy food will be on the website for parents to look over.

Later in the meeting a guest commented he had never seen such a well-run food program.

• The board voted to go with IT Savvy as the wireless service since Mediacom did not follow through with their agreement. Board member Karlos McClure commented, “Faster speed, slower service.”
Trende added, “We want to video stream football games, etc. with this service.”

• The student, teacher and parent student handbooks were approved.
• Gary Sinclair, PMA Financial Network representative, gave a report on the district’s five-year financial projections. He said the numbers are important to know so the board can make knowledgeable decisions.

“Have you ever tried to drive a car by looking the rearview mirror? As a district, we need to spend more time looking ahead than behind.”
The program he works with allows districts to go online and change variables to show different outcomes for growth or decline of student populations or Allowable Growth.

• Carver joked the online registration this year was kind of like ObamaCare. When a kink appeared, it was fixed, but slowed the process. “Next year will be much nicer!”

He concluded by saying, “I’m really excited about this school year to begin.” The teachers and students will be doing great things.

• The board voted to submit its priorities to the Iowa Association of School Boards:

1) Support setting the supplemental state aid by the date specified in the Iowa Code at a rate that encourages the continuous school improvement and reflects actual cost increases experienced by school districts and AEA’s.

2) Support preserving the integrity of the statewide penny sales tax for school infrastructure, including the tax equity provisions of buying down the highest additional levy rates to the state average.

3) Support continuation of sufficient incentives and assistance to encourage sharing, reorganization or regional high schools to expand academic learning opportunities for students and to improve student achievement.

4) Support legislative action to develop and deploy in urban, suburban and rural communities affordable, robust and reliable high-speed broadband internet access.

• The next board meeting will be Monday, Sept. 8 at the high school media center.

Sign up to help with Meals from the Heartland

The Meals from the Heartland informational booth, along with Pam Carver, was at Sweet Corn Days.

The Meals from the Heartland informational booth, along with Pam Carver, was at Sweet Corn Days.

By Sara Stromseth-Troy
TPD Staff
CRESCO – A new humanitarian initiative, Meals from the Heartland, will take place during the 2014 Norman Borlaug Fest, which kicks off Friday, Sept. 19 at the Norman Borlaug Farm, located southwest of Cresco.
The event packages food for the hungry in commemoration of Dr. Borlaug’s 100 years. The vision of the initiative is to bring people of Northeast Iowa together to continue Dr. Norman Borlaug’s legacy to feed the hungry.
Norman Borlaug Harvest Fest will begin with over 250 fifth graders from area schools. The students will have the first opportunity at packaging the meals. The main packaging event will be held Sunday, Sept. 21st beginning at 8 a.m. at the Crestwood High School gymnasium. Happening at the same time and same place is the Crestwood vocal music’s annual omelet breakfast. Those interested in attending are asked to come package meals and then have breakfast.
Cresco’s Pam Carver and Vickie Grube are among those involved in Meals from the Heartland.
Carver said, “We will be partnering with Meals from the Heartland, a solid organization based in West Des Moines, Iowa that does mobile food packaging events. Meals From The Heartland is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and their mission is: Empowering people to save the starving. Meals are distributed to food banks throughout Iowa and globally.”
Grube said, “In the United States, one in five children live in a household with food insecurity, which means they do not always know where their next meal will come from. In Howard County, the overall rate is 11.4 percent and for child food insecurity is 17.4 percent, and 15.9 million children under 18 in the United States live in this condition.”
She added that these statistics were taken from Hunger in America through studies of 2012, with new statistics available this summer, and can be found at
Grube continued, “Originally, the goal was to package 50,000 meals. An idea
came to mind: ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing to package 100,000 meals in honor of Norman Borlaug’s 100th birthday?’ So, we will be packaging 100,000 meals, and 50,000 meals will be distributed to food banks locally and throughout Iowa. The remaining 50,000 meals will be distributed globally. The meals chosen are macaroni and cheese at a cost of 25 cents per meal and rice/soy at a cost of 20 cents per meal. Each package will hold the nutritional balanced ingredients for six meals.”
Carver and Grube noted that, due to the generosity of many people, funding has been secured to cover the costs. Fund raising began with a challenge to area schools. Eileen and Keith Denner, natives of Protivin and New Hampton, offered to match every dollar raised by the schools up to $5000. In addition, the Lynch Foundation pledged to match 50,000 meals if funding for 50,000 was secured. Meals from the The Lynch Foundation pledge would remain in Iowa.
Currently, many volunteers are needed to pack the meals.
Carver said, “Your families, friends, co-workers could package during this unforgettable experience as they volunteer to serve the hungry of the world. The Meals from the Heartland Food Packaging Event is a hands-on opportunity for the community to roll up their sleeves and feed the hungry.Children and adults of all ages find great meaning and also have a fun time assembling meals of rice and soy and macaroni and cheese.
Participants are deeply changed by spending just a hour or two hours to help feed the hungry and starving people.”
Working in teams of 10, one to two hour shifts, teams will package, weigh and box meals. Sign-up for team packaging is currently under way. If you would like to be on a team, send an email to Pam Carver at with contact name, phone number and email address.
Carver said, “We have received much excitement for this new and exciting event that captures the heart of Dr. Borlaug’s work and life. We believe that this event will help bring the community in Northeast Iowa together in a very special way.”

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Chelsey A. Morgan, 16

--Chelsey Morgan NewspapersChelsey Amber Morgan, 16, of Lyle, Minn., died Aug. 20, 2014, in Lyle, Minn. Funeral services were at the Lime Springs United Methodist Church in Lime Springs, Iowa on Tuesday Aug. 26, 2014 with Rev. Melanie Greengo officiating. Burial was in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Lime Springs. Lindstrom Funeral Home in Cresco, was in charge of the arrangements.

Chelsey was born Jan. 21, 1998 in Fairmont, Minn., to Dennis and Terri (Henry) Morgan. She attended elementary school in Lime Springs, Iowa. When Chelsey was in sixth grade, the family moved to Lyle, Minn.

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Neighbors being neighborly

Mike Wendel and Candy Lopez find some goodies to add to their plates of food.

Mike Wendel and Candy Lopez find some goodies to add to their plates of food.

Neighbors being neighborly
Chester’s Second Annual Neighborhood Night Out on Aug. 12 brought around 50 locals to enjoy a nice potluck in City Park. The kids played on the play equipment, while parents and grandparents enjoyed some adult conversation. There were even a couple babies who made the rounds! Cray Insurance supplied the brats and hotdogs, Parnters In Progress brought the table settings and everyone else brought a dish to pass. As always, there was plenty to go around.

Tour of LS Beef at SCD

Construction Manager Brad Lodge (right) gives a tour to, from left, Russell Fitzgerald, Gene Stevenson, Doc Lyon and others. The floor is finished, although rough, to allow animals to have good footing on their way to the kill area!

Construction Manager Brad Lodge (right) gives a tour to, from left, Russell Fitzgerald, Gene Stevenson, Doc Lyon and others. The floor is finished, although rough, to allow animals to have good footing on their way to the kill area!

By Marcie Klomp
Three tours were given at LimeSprings Beef on Sweet Corn Saturday, Aug. 9.

Construction Manager Brad Lodge gave the tour, taking the groups from the unloading area to the loading dock. Although the floor looked unfinished in the unload area, Lodge assured everyone it was done to specifications. The rough floor will give the cattle better footing as they are herded to the kill area.

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