Thursday, April 17, 2014

Courier News

Courtesy of the 4-16-14 edition of the Ida County Courier -

Easter Egg Hunt

Odebolt The O-A Richland Robins 4-H Club will host the Odebolt Easter egg hunt on Saturday, 10 a. m., at the Odebolt Nursing and Rehab Center (ONRC). Age groups will be zero-to three-year-olds, four-to six-year-olds, and seven-to nine-year-olds.

ONRC is also sponsoring a coloring contest. Pages can be picked up at the nursing home, Odebolt businesses and churches.

Area churches observe Holy Week, Easter

Area churches have scheduled a variety of services in observance of Holy Week and Easter.

Ecumenical services: The Odebolt-Arthur-Kiron Ministerial Association is sponsoring an ecumenical Tenebrae service on Good Friday at 7 p. m. at the United Methodist Church in Odebolt.

Evangelical Free Church in Arthur will host a joint Good Friday service with CrossRidge Evangelical Free Church at 7 p. m. Easter breakfast will be served at 9 a. m., followed by a 10 a. m. Easter Sunday worship service.

Arthur United Methodist Church will observe Easter with a 9 a. m. service on Easter Sunday.

Faith Lutheran Church will observe Holy Week with the following services: 2:30 p. m. Maundy Thursday service at ONRC and a 7 p. m. joint (with Bethel) Maundy Thursday service at Faith, a 10:30 a. m. Good Friday service at ONRC and a 7 p. m. community Good Friday service at the United Methodist Church, a 9:30 a. m. Easter Celebration service and a 2:30 p. m. Easter Celebration at ONRC.

First Presbyterian Church will observe Maundy Thursday with a 7 p. m. communion service and a 7 p. m. ecumenical Good Friday service at the United Methodist Church. Easter activities include breakfast served from 8:30 to 9:30 a. m. and Easter Worship at 10 a. m. with the Sunday school kids singing. There are no Sunday school classes Easter morning.

St. Martin Catholic Church will observe the holiday with a 5:30 p. m. Holy Thursday Mass, a noon Mass on Good Friday, an 8:30 p. m. Easter Vigil on Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ida Grove and a 9 a. m. Mass on Easter Sunday.

Trinity Lutheran Church will hold five services beginning with a 7 p. m. Maundy Thursday service, Good Friday—a 1 p. m. Tre Ore service and a 7 p. m. Tenebrae candlelight service, an 8:30 p. m. Easter Vigil candlelight service on Saturday and a 7 a. m. Easter Sunrise service followed by a breakfast.

United Methodist Church in Odebolt has scheduled the following services: 7 p. m. Maundy Thursday service, 7 p. m. community Good Friday service, 7:30 a. m. Easter Sunday sunrise service, an 8:30 a. m. breakfast fellowship and 10:15 a. m. Easter Sunday service.

Bethel Lutheran in Kiron services include a 7 p. m. joint Maundy Thursday service at Faith, a 7 p. m. community Good Friday service at the United Methodist Church, a 7 a. m. Easter sunrise service, followed by breakfast at 8 a. m.

Kiron Baptist Church will observe Holy Week with a 7:30 p. m. Maundy Thursday service, a 9 a. m. continental breakfast on Easter and a 10:30 a. m. Easter worship service.

Odebolt clean-up day is April 24

Odebolt’s annual residential clean-up day is Thursday, April 24. All items must be on the curb by 8 a. m.

Items not allowed include toxic materials, recyclables, leaves, branches, etc., carpets or building materials.

The following items require a fee and must be taken by the owner to the Odebolt maintenance building site at 401 W. Market St. (Hwy 175 West): appliances, $15; TVs, $20; computer monitors, $10; and tires, $5 to $15.

An attendant will be on hand to receive the items on Friday, April 25, from 8 a. m. to 4 p. m., and Saturday, April 26, from 8 a. m. to noon.

Senior citizens may call city hall to request the help of O-A Ag students to carry items to the maintenance building. Call 668-2231 by noon on Monday, April 21.

BC-IG, O-A boards plan on mediator, facility drawings.

The Battle Creek-Ida Grove and Odebolt-Arthur School Boards met in a regular joint session Monday at Odebolt. A highlight of the meeting was continued discussion of BC-IG’s proposed facility improvements and desire to bring the middle school back to Ida Grove. About 40 O-A patrons made up the audience.

The BC-IG board is considering a large bond issue that, if passed, would build a new auditorium, classrooms and improvements at the high school and a new elementary gym and classrooms. If that is accomplished, the board is interested in moving middle school students (grades six through eight) back to Ida Grove and sending fourth and fifth and alternate high school to the Odebolt building. The O-A board wants to keep the present arrangement as is.

In opening facility discussions, Superintendent Nick Ouellette noted in the board agenda that both boards and communities would be best served by bringing in a representative from the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) to mediate a work session for the future of the two districts. The districts currently whole-grade share and are not of icially reorganized. Following is a prepared statement Ouellette read before the group:

“Through conversations with members of both boards I got the overwhelming feeling that we should wait on putting out a community survey. From here, this is where I would like to see things go,” he said.

“I serve at the request of both boards. I feel it is my job to represent the kids in our districts and what is in their best interests. I feel I owe it to the boards, the districts, the community and most importantly, the kids to respectfully recommend both boards take a vote on record to allow me to contact IASB and have them send representatives to work with the boards about the current situation and come up with a solution.

“I feel that no matter my recommendation, either board or community would believe that I am playing sides. As I have stated previously in meetings and to each board member individually, I believe both districts are best served by continuing to share under the current configuration. I also believe that following a work session or series of work sessions, both boards will need to publicly state how they would like me to act on their behalf.

“I welcome any questions or would like to see a motion directing me to contact IASB. If you believe working with IASB is not a good option, please make a motion directing me on how you would like to proceed,” he concluded.

O-A board member Naomi Lozier said she was “highly in favor” of having IASB come in and meet with the boards. She noted that representative would be impartial and not “emotional” about proposals. O-A board member Paul Neumann said he agreed. Lozier, Neumann and Tracy Bengford approved a motion to meet with IASB, while Pat Hoefling and Joey Hoefling voted nay.

BC-IG board member Jeff Rasmussen said he was not in favor of meeting with an IASB representative because they would not know the “dynamics” of the districts. He made a motion to hire an architect to complete conceptual drawings for a six-12 junior-senior high school in Ida Grove.

BC-IG board member Stephanie Konradi seconded it, stating the board has to give its patrons an idea of what it is thinking. After further discussion, the motion was passed, with Tony Bennett casting the only nay vote.

Ouellette said he could probably get a mediation meeting set up within two weeks. He said both boards “need to get on the same page.” He added that the BC-IG board could still move ahead getting drawings while meeting with the IASB representative.

Rasmussen said he did not have a problem with doing both the drawings and meeting IASB at the same time.

BC-IG board president Brian Riessen said he agreed that an outsider would not know the dynamics of the two districts.

The BC-IG board also passed a vote to meet with the IASB representative and the O-A board to discuss the future of the districts. Konradi cast the only nay vote.

Ouellette said, “I want to make sure both districts have talked about everything. I’m trying to be as objective as possible.”

Prior to the meeting, the boards allowed comments from the public. Beth Wulf of Odebolt addressed the boards, stating she was concerned with the prospect of losing the middle school. She said the boards “can’t seem to get along” and need to “get rid of the instability.”

“I think our priorities are out of whack and it has nothing to do with buildings,” she commented. She said she thought morale was low among the teachers and the districts need at least three years of stability before moving forward. She called BC-IG’s proposal a “bullying tactic.”

Wulf also said she did not favor mixing middle school kids with high schoolers. She said Odebolt businesses are “already suffering” and taking away activities from the building wouldn’t help. “Show us this is the best thing for our students,” she commented.

Brad Lundell commended Ouellette for getting both districts in good financial condition and questioned if BC-IG could do the improvements without O-A’s partnership.

In other business

The O-A board approved the resignation of Sonya Schiphoff, K-8 vocal music teacher. Her resignation letter states she has accepted a similar position at Underwood.

The BC-IG board accepted the resignation of Steve Brown as assistant high school girls’ basketball coach. He has coached for 37 years.

The following out-of-state/ overnight trips were approved for the BC-IG fourth grade to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha on May 20; for six high school students to attend a job shadow with Alicia Nelson in Omaha on April 30; and for middle school TAG students to attend a ield trip to the Strategic Air and Space Museum in Omaha on April 23.

The boards heard a curriculum presentation on technology/business ed from Heidi Beck and Alicia Nelson and received a written report from Kurt Brown. A new, more user-friendly, school website is expected to be up the end of May or first of June.

During his report, Ouellette talked about preschool and the immediate need for more classrooms at the BCIG Elementary. He noted he would present information at the next meeting for either buying or leasing a 24x62 mobile classroom unit to be placed in the parking lot near the elementary kitchen.

He also discussed new whole-grade sharing language and incentives, which are similar to the current ones; the early literacy grant received and the website where all school openings must be posted.

The boards waived a first reading and approved the multicultural gender fair education board policy.

Both boards approved a new grading scale effective this fall. It is as follows: 100-93–A; 92-90–A-; 89-86–B+; 85-83–B; 82-80–B-; 79-76–C+; 75-73–C; 72-70–C-; 69-66–D+; 65-63–D; and 62-60–D-. Pat Hoe ling cast the only nay vote.

The O-A board approved the 2012-13 audit.

Both boards approved the 2014-15 school calendar. School will begin Aug. 20 with no school Nov. 26-28 for Thanksgiving and winter break from Dec. 24 through Jan. 4. Spring break was scheduled for March 16-20; however, both boards agreed to shorten it and move graduation and the last day of school a week earlier. Comments for and against the recent week long break were aired. Thirty out of the 36 Wednesdays will have 2 p. m. early outs for professional development. The final calendar will be presented at the next meeting.

The O-A board approved the cooperative agreement for student teaching with the University of Northern Iowa for 2014-15. The annual contract allows UNI to place student teachers at the school at no cost to the district.

The O-A and BC-IG boards approved a contract with Western Iowa Tech for concurrent enrollment courses for the 2014-15 boards. This is an annual contract with WIT for classes the districts provide and teach in the district and students receive college credit.

The O-A and BC-IG boards approved a contract with WIT for Great Start concurrent enrollment courses for the 2014-15 school year. It is an annual contract for college credit online classes or classes taught at WIT.

Both boards approved a contract with Iowa Association of Educational Purchasing for 2014-15. The contract is for participating in a cooperative purchasing program for school food services where the IAEP ensures required bids for food, small wares and ware wash are compliant with the Bureau of Nutrition and USDA and also ensures that schools receive the best possible prices for the same listed items in the food service program.

The boards approved board policy changes for 803.13, 803.13R and 401.10. When the boards approved the 400 and 800 series of policies earlier, there was a duplicate board policy regarding district credit cards. The wording is similar in both series. Administration is recommending keeping board policy 401.10 and deleting 803.13 and 803.13 R.

The boards approved policy changes for 414.10 covering classified employees, vacations, holidays, personal leave. The policy did not reflect the differences in the days between the two districts.

The boards approved lengthy lists of summer PPEL/capital projects. The projects are identified by the building principals and maintenance departments for each building. BC-IG’s immediate project will be seeking bids to resurface the high school track. O-A’s biggest projects include completing geothermal installation and work on the roof over the music/shop area.

Prior to the joint meeting, the O-A board toured its building, held a public hearing on the early start calendar waiver request for 2014-15 and approved it, and held a public hearing on the district budget for the 2014-15 year and also approved it.

The O-A board met in a negotiations strategy session following the joint meeting. The next joint meeting is scheduled for May 12, 6:30 p. m., in Ida Grove.

Hike-Bike celebrates 20th anniversary

The Whitey Thompson Hike-Bike-A-Thon is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The event is set for Wednesday, May 7, starting at 1:45 p. m., at Skate Palace in Ida Grove. The annual event is sponsored by United Bank of Iowa and O-A/ BC-IG Dollars for Scholars.

Hike-Bike gives preschool through high school students an opportunity to contribute to earn a scholarship at their senior awards night. Hike-Bike starts at Skate Palace, with participants walking, biking or rollerblading around Pleasant Valley Trail, with activities, rest stops and water provided along the way. Friends and relatives sponsor the students, and all proceeds go toward the local scholarships.

O-A/BC-IG Dollars for Scholars was established in 1994 as the BC-IG Citizens’ Scholarship Foundation. The Foundation’s name was changed in 2010 to reflect the whole-grade sharing agreement between the Odebolt-Arthur and Battle Creek-Ida Grove School Districts. The scholarship foundation has awarded $2,145,973 in scholarships to 796 BC-IG and 261 O-A/BC-IG graduates. Over the past 19 years, hike-bike has donated $595,172 toward scholarships.

The event has grown quickly over the years. In 1995, 60 participants netted $3,703; in 2005, 429 participants netted $31,748. Last year, the 644 participants of the hike-bike-athon raised more than $57,504 in net proceeds from sponsors.

The late Whitey Thompson of Ida Grove played a big role in the organization and success of the scholarship foundation by starting the event in 1995. His wife, Elaine, served on the board and helped with the event until her death in 2003.

Students earn points toward their scholarship for involvement in O-A/BC-IG Dollars for Scholars activities. Students can earn points by participating and sending out scholar letters to raise donations or by volunteering with the event. Students who send sponsor letters to raise donations are awarded more points than those who just volunteer.

Students have received 15 sponsor letters and are required to return at least some of them to participate. If all 15 are returned, the student receive a free t-shirt and becomes eligible for prizes. Prizes include bikes, Nike shoes, Chamber bucks, water bottles for all participants, coupons for a free hamburger from Ida Bowl, courtesy of Ida Bowl and Ida Grove Kiwanis, for kids who conquer the high school hill, pizza party for elementary classes with at least 50 percent participation and middle school participants, as well as recognition for the most donations and donation from the furthest distance.

“It is fairly unique to have a fund-raiser with that longevity and the generous amount that is raised and continues to be successful,” said Marcia Cates of UBI. “It is one of the main reasons Dollars for Scholars is able to keep giving scholarships to students from both O-A and BC-IG without lowering the amount of the individual scholarships. The continued support from our students and communities is vital and very much appreciated.”

O-A/BC-IG play

Odebolt-Arthur/Battle Creek-Ida Grove High School presented its spring play “Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” Saturday in the Bart Ogden Gymnasium in Odebolt. The play combined all 209 Brothers Grimm stories in one production. Cast members were, front—Olivia Freese (front). Row one—Elyssa Freese, Kaylea Killian, Lydia Gustafson, Grace Lozier and Lydia Schubert. Row two—Thomas Mace, Darian Ernst, Stephen Stangl, Anne Hao, Jacob Olson, Mally Sangpanjun, Paige Whitney and Beth Stangl. Row three—Seth Wheeler, Marzia Shivers, Blake Netherton, Jacob Matthies, Connor Musel, Dalton Clausen, Gable Sohm, Davi Sangpanjun, Garrett Rohlk, Joey Elley and Nick Endrulat. Lauren Ketelsen and Elliott Bengford also performed in the play. (Courier photo by Deb Loger)

Prairie Pedlar featured in garden magazine

The premier issue of Country Style Gardening magazine features a 10-page pictorial and story of the Prairie Pedlar garden, north of Odebolt.

The new magazine is on newsstands until the end of May and serves as an inspiration for gardeners across the country.

Published by Harris Publications, Inc. of New York, N. Y., Editor Debra Wittrup and Writer Deb Willey captured the rural charm of the Prairie Pedlar through photography and a story of their 29-year gardening adventure.

The Prairie Pedlar is open daily, from April 1 through October. Hours are 11 a. m.-4 p. m. on Monday –Saturday and from 1-4 p. m. on Sunday. Extended hours during the spring greenhouse season stretch are 9 a. m.-5 p. m. A calendar of events and schedule of activities is available on the website:

The annual lunch-and-learn workshop is set for Saturday, April 26, and the spring open house is May 3-4. Another annual event, the Moonlight Garden Party, will be Sunday, June 22.

The gardens are located six miles north of Odebolt on M-43, and three-quarter mile west on 270th Street.

April 26—OA/BC-IG prom features Caribbean theme

The Odebolt-Arthur/Battle Creek-Ida Grove “Cancun, Cabo and the Caribbean” junior-senior prom is Saturday, April 26, at Skate Palace in Ida Grove.

Décor features a beach theme under the stars, to include palm trees, beta fish in vases on each table, fish netting and surf and seashells, using turquoise and shades of blue, along with floor-length black linens and chair covers.

Open house to view the prom décor at Skate Palace is from 3 to 5 p. m.

The grand march is from 5 to 6:15 p. m. at the Ida Grove Community Hall. Juniors, seniors and their dates are encouraged to visit the local nursing homes prior to arriving at their pre-assigned times. The public is invited to view the grand march in the community building, entering the hall from the east doors in the alley.

The reception at the Skate Palace is from 6 to 7 p. m. and features appetizers and tropical punch. Prom servers are Brianna Anderson, Ryan Childers, Olivia Devitt, Erin Fineran, Cody Fredericks, Nathan Masters, Jordan Matthies, Connor Musel, Benton Phillips, Trey Riessen, Bailey Ross, Gable Sohm, Jaden Uhl and Colton Ransom.

Class pictures are at 7 p. m.

The prom dinner, prepared by parents and Aunt B’s in Arthur, begins at 7:15 p. m. The menu includes Jamaican pork loin, paradise potatoes, Cabo corn, tropical fruit salad and Caribbean cream puffs with chocolate drizzle.

Juniors Stephanie Maass and Alex Dewey will give the welcome, followed by the senior response from Cassidy Bottjen and Chris Freese. The program will include Junior Déjà vu and a senior video tribute. The dance begins at 9 p. m. and ends at midnight.

Kathleen Gunderson and Jean Snyder are the prom sponsors.

After-prom begins at the O-A/BC-IG High School following the dance.  After-prom activities will be held at the high school from 12:30 to 5 a. m.  Activities in the gym from 12:30 to 3:30 a. m. include carnival-style games, a photo booth, cash cube and laser tag.

From 3:30 to 4:45 a. m., the Dueling Pianos will perform, and from 4:45 to 5 a. m., gifts will be handed out.

Nachos, pizza, subs, cookies, ice cream, candy bars and beverages will be served.

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