Thursday, May 08, 2014

Courier News 5-7-14

Courtesy of the Ida County Courier -

Victorian High Tea set in Odebolt

The Rural Legacy Project Steering Committee, assisted by the Odebolt Questers, are hosting a Victorian High Tea this Saturday, May 10, at 2 p. m. at First Presbyterian Church in Odebolt for area grandmothers, mothers and daughters of all ages.

For a free-will donation, participants can enjoy the high tea featuring fancy sandwiches, teacakes and sweets and some special activities for the daughters.

Those who attend are encouraged to wear period clothing to make the experience more complete. Younger ladies are asked to bring along their special dolls. An explanation of Victorian in luences in dress, dolls and building styles, as well as in the styles of writing and social interactions of the period, will be offered.

Funds collected will go toward the continued development of the Heritage Square of Odebolt on Second Street.

The Peterson Pioneer Home and the Iowa Rural Schools Museum will be open for tours until 4 p. m.

O-A all-school reunion is June 20

The Odebolt and Odebolt-Arthur “All School Reunion” will be Friday, June 20, at the Odebolt Community Center, preceding Odebolt’s Annual Creek Days’ celebration.

This year’s reunion will commence on Friday afternoon, with guided tours of the O-A/ BC-IG School in Odebolt, Lundell Plastics Corporation, and local agriculture operations. Buses will be available for the tours. The tours will take the place of a formal program during the banquet.

A social hour is planned from 5 to 6 p. m., followed by a catered dinner by Aunt B’s of Arthur, served from 6 to 8 p. m. Formal invitations are not being sent out. Check the following websites for more information:

All School Reunion      Creek Days info     Odebolt on Facebook 

Click the above reservation form, print and return the form with your payment to Kevin and Terri Carstensen, 1751 300th St., Odebolt, IA. If you have questions, call Terri Carstensen (668-4842), Renee Bengford (668-4561), or Carol Auen (668-4860).

BC-IG, O-A boards work with mediator

The BC-IG and O-A School Boards met in a work session May 1 in Ida Grove with Harry Heiligenthal, director of leadership development for the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB).

At the last meeting, Superintendent Nick Ouellette noted the boards and the communities would best be served by bringing in a representative from the IASB to mediate a work session to discuss future sharing and class configurations.

The boards met for more than two hours as a whole and in various small groups to discuss future sharing issues, roadblocks and ways to work around them.

Members received a handout and were asked to start by writing answers to three questions.

1) What are two things you really want for all of your students four years from now?
2) What kind of board team(s) do you need to be like in order to provide what you said you want for students four years from now?
3) What are your best hopes for the result of to-night’s session?

Members were also asked to name two or three ways the partnership and sharing in recent years has helped both districts provide for excellence in student learning. What have been the biggest benefits? How do we know?

Other questions included what have been the key roadblocks in maximizing the benefits of the partnership for students, families and the communities? What are the initial ideas for ways to work around the roadblocks?

Some of the answers provided for what board members want for students four years from now included the following: career ready, stability, reorganized, upgraded facilities, fine arts center, state-of-the-art facilities, grow opportunities, kids eager to achieve, parents with a united front to the community, need to keep moving forward, if you aren’t growing you are done, understanding and supportive and open minded.

Benefits of the partnership listed by board members included: finances of both districts under control, sharing administrators and staff, increasing level of efficiency, more opportunities for students, more course offerings, students have more exposure to teachers and other kids, facilities are improving with the use of saved resources, advancement in technology, more levels of competition, solid 2A district where many kids can play.

“You are smart people,” Heiligenthal said. “Work around ways to get through your roadblocks.”

Ways to improve the partnership included having the bands perform in parades in Battle Creek, Ida Grove and Odebolt and nursing homes in all the communities. Brian Riessen noted that Willow Dale and the Battle Creek Fire Department miss the school kids in Battle Creek for activities they used to have. The boards noted that the homecoming parade could be rotated to the different towns.

No action was taken, and another meeting with the IASB facilitator was not set.

Ida Grove awarded $500,000 grant for downtown facades

The City of Ida Grove is about to undertake a renewal with the award of a Downtown Revitalization grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). Awards totaling $23.8 million were announced April 29 for 70 communities across the state, including Ida Grove.

IEDA awarded the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to support 72 community investment projects. The federally funded grants were awarded for community facilities, infrastructure improvements, downtown revitalization and single-family, owner-occupied housing rehabilitation.

Ida Grove was awarded $500,000 to rehabilitate the facades of 19 downtown buildings through the Downtown Revitalization Program.

Other communities receiving $500,000 downtown rehabilitation grants for facade rehabilitations were Fair ield, Garner, Grinnell and Marion. Other CDBG grants were awarded for water/sewer projects, housing sustainability and community facilities across the state.

Mayor Morris Hurd said, “On behalf of the City, we want to thank all the citizens and downtown business owners who gave their support and encouragement for the city to apply for the Downtown Revitalization Grant. Ida Grove is a wonderful community, and we all will benefit tremendously from this grant.”

Loess Hills Prairie Seminar set

The public is invited to attend any sessions or programs at the 38th annual Loess Hills Prairie Seminar, “These Special Loess Hills.”

The free weekend event begins in Onawa at West Monona High School on May 30 at 6 p. m. and ends at noon on Sunday, June 1. It is sponsored by Northwest Area Education Agency.

Field sessions start at the Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area northeast of Onawa and begin at 8:15 a. m., 10:15 a. m. and 1:15 p. m. on Saturday, May 31, and at 8:15 a. m. on Sunday morning, June 1. More than 40 sessions are offered.

The complete list of supporters, the detailed program and more information can be found on the Northwest AEA website at

For more information, contact Gloria Kistner at Northwest AEA at 712/222-6080, 800/352-9040, extension 6080, or

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