The meeting was held at the Rose Creek Fire Hall at 7:00 p.m. Chairman, Becky Hartwig, presided at the meeting.
The minutes of June 24th meeting were approved, with corrections noted. The treasurer’s report was given and approved.
Discussion with Curt Sheeley of Farmers State Insurance regarding the liability coverage needed for Prairie Visions, Friends of Shooting Star Trail, and Southern Minnesota Bike Club. The cost for Prairie Visions will be $1086.00 for coming year.
Sharon Jacobson reported a joint meeting of the bike clubs. It was reported that the Southern Minnesota Bike Club agreed to be a joint committee with Friends of Shooting Star Trail. Attorney will draw up the proper agreement.
Discussion was held with the committee working on land acquisition with landowners for the trail to be built from Rose Creek to Austin. Several landowners along the path are agreeable to use their land. The committee sounded very positive about land for trail.
The annual Shooting Star Bike Ride was set for June 28, 2014. This makes it possible to have it posted on the internet early for people to plan for.
It was determined that our January meeting will be held in Austin jointly with SMBC.
The Environmental Days for Fifth Graders will be held in September.
The annual Pat On The Back dinner will be held in LeRoy on November 26.
Suggestions were made for posting trail maps and trail rules along the trail route.
The trail benches are in process by the Boy Scouts.
The next meeting will be on Sept. 23rd at the Adams Fire Hall.
An American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held at the Adams American Legion on Monday, September 16 from 1:00-7:00 p.m. This annual blood drive is sponsored by the Adams Legion Auxiliary.
The stability of our nation’s blood supply is in the hands of healthy, volunteer blood donors who give generously for others in need.
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 16 years of age, who weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.
Farmers State Bank of Elkton marks its 100th anniversary in October. A handful of people opened the bank with $3,500 in 1913, and now its assets are about $50 million. The bank was honored recently with a U.S. Flag and display case from the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota (ICBM), an association of independently owned banks. From left are bankers Tim Schneider, loan officer, and Michael Schneider, Bank President/CEO, and Doug Krukowski, ICBM COO. In addition to its Elkton, MN location, the bank also has a branch in Dexter, Minn.
By Ginger Holm
Be a bucket filler, not a dipper is this year's anti-bullying message at Southland Elementary School in Rose Creek.
The concept of “bucket filling and dipping” is based on the book “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” by Carol McCloud. It's part of the Positive Behaviors and Interventions Supports (PBIS) initiative program started last year to help students understand the impact their words and behaviors can have others.
We incorporated the PBIS last year," said fifth grade teacher Sherry Klein. "With this PBIS you start small and then keep working and adding to it.
PBIS is implemented gradually, over three years.
"What you'll see around the building are matrixes, and everybody is supposed to be behaving in certain areas we call hot spots," Klein explained. "We started last year with the bathroom and the hallway. Those are hot spots where kids can get into trouble. The program consists of three behavioral expectations: be respectful, be responsible and be safe."
The matrix is a list of ways to accomplish those rules. For example, to be safe in the hallway, students should walk, not run.
"This year we are adding to what we implemented last year," Klein continued. "This year we will be introducing the playground and the classroom and the teachers are all putting their own [matrixes] together for their classrooms."
Klein said students and teachers are excited about the project.
"In our last meeting the teachers had some really great ideas about how to [implement PBIS] in their classrooms," she said. "Paula Schmitz who teaches first grade is going to do an auditory one on her smart board with one sound for filling and another sound for dipping. So, as she sees good and poor behaviors, she will make a sound to remind students and help them become more aware of how they treat other students."
Other teachers will be putting buckets in their classrooms and using specific objects to fill the bucket. Some will give each student a bucket and others will use one bucket for the entire class. "When the teacher sees a positive behavior, that is filling and she will drop one item, a pompom or cotton ball, in the bucket. When she sees a negative behavior, she will take one out. The goal is to get their buckets full and then they will get some type of reward for being fillers."
A bulletin board in the main hallway lists three rules to help children learn good behaviors: be a filler, not a dipper and keep your lid on, "meaning don't let the little things bother you."
Teachers and administrators hope the lessons students learn in the PBIS program will extend beyond the school and be carried out into the everyday lives of these students.
"We will be stressing to the kids, you can have a pretty long dipper," said Klein. "When I am face to face with you, I can give you a look that might hurt your feelings or make you feel bad, but the long dipper is where we get with the cell phones and Internet."
The program isn't just for kids. Teachers are participating, too. According to Klein, just calling a child by name and asking what they did over the weekend can make a difference in how that child's day starts off.
"What's tough for me as a teacher is finding a new way to approach [negative issues] like when a child doesn't get their homework done," Klein said.
The idea is to address the issue without sounding like a criticism of the child. There is a consequence for not having the homework finished, but the student is still cared about and a valued member of the class.
"Bullying is an issue in every school," said Klein. "I would be lying if I said we didn't have any issues with bullying, but I believe it has been better since we started this program. We talk with the kids about bullying and tell them being a bystander, witnessing bullying and then doing nothing to help, makes them just as [guilty] as the person doing the bullying."
"It is a really easy program for the kids to latch on to and there are a lot of visuals for young kids that reinforcement the lessons learned," added Joann Klingerman, kindergarten teacher at Southland.
"We are really excited about this program," Klein concluded.
By Marcie Klomp
Such a small thing, really. Putting a shovel to the ground, pushing it in and pulling up some black Iowa dirt.
Such a small thing, and yet, such a big thing!
It signifies the start of a new building project and that digging of dirt is exactly what happened at the groundbreaking ceremony held for LimeSprings Beef on Aug. 27. 2013.
Despite hot temperatures, over 150 dignitaries and friends from the local community, the county, the region and the state were on hand to watch that first shovel of dirt turned over. Gov. Branstad and LimeSprings Beef President and visionary Jesse Stevens put the spade to the ground at the property on Highway 63 to a round of applause.
Stevens said his story is “about an Iowa farm boy who after a long and rewarding business career was given the opportunity to return home and be part of a project that will turn the plight of a region and possibly the plight of the beef industry.”
Howard County Economic Development Director Jason Passmore has been instrumental in helping Stevens navigate some of the legal and grant-writing avenues involved with a $7 million project that is expected to bring 50 new and quality jobs to the area.
He and Stevens recognized many of the individuals and groups who helped get the project from vision to groundbreaking. They included:
• The LimeSprings Beef Board of directors
• The FFA and other investors
• The Eastman family
• Mayor Git-R-Done Robinson and the Lime Springs City Council
• C US Bank, who led the charge
• Hawkeye REC and USDA Rural Development with loan funds
• NICC was also there at day one and will have a big role in the next chapter
• Upper Explorerland for help with the CDBG grant
• The State of Iowa from the top down
Stevens continued, “Governor Branstad’s entire administration’s support and cooperation was key. They were truly an example of how state governments should work. My primary contact with the administration was through IEDA and Director Durham. Director Debi Durham is truly a ‘Make the Visions Reality’ leader.”
Durham recalled her first experience with LimeSprings Beef. She told the crowd how she was in a meeting when Rep. Josh Byrnes texted ‘We need to talk, NOW!’” They went into the hall and conversed with Stevens. “This path has been one of persistence and faith,” she added. Her hope was for the entire state of Iowa to have an economic buzz from border to border.
In his speech, Branstad acknowledged, “As big a deal as Facebook and Google are in other parts of the state, LimeSprings Beef is a big deal in this area.”
He was pleased to hear how many entities of the state, including DNR and DOT, worked together to get the business to the point of groundbreaking. “We’re all in it together,” he claimed.
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds also spoke about how everyone works together and that LimeSprings Beef is a great business for Iowa, and northeast Iowa in particular.
Before and after the speeches, water bottles donning the LimeSprings Beef logo were given to those attending. Also, local musician James Lieder performed before the ceremony.
Folks could meander into the former Wild Bill Gunshop building that is now the home office to look at building plans for the plant.
During his speech, Passmore summed up his feelings for Stevens, “He is what economic developers hope walk in their door. Thank you, Jesse, for walking through ours!” The people of Lime Springs, Howard County and Northeast Iowa agree!
Life is good for the majority of us living in LeRoy, however, Cody Leff is fighting for his life.
Leff, an active and strong 13-year-old, loves to play fast-pitch softball and had become very good at it. The athlete played for the LeRoy community and Chester teams since the age of five. He was always someone who was there to do his “very best” and to cheer on his teammates.
Now Leff, the son of Cris & Angela, is in need of support from everyone in our area after becoming ill this past summer and remaining hospitalizes at St. Mary’s in Rochester since the middle of July. The little guy is fighting for his life and truly needs the prayers and financial support of families, individuals and businesses.
Once again, a young child in LeRoy is struggling with his health and many thoughts and prayers are going out to Cody and the Leff family.
To help, a special fund-drive will be held at the LeRoy Community Center from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13.
Miracles do happen, so everyone is asked to please put Cody on their prayer lists and to pull together and become one of “Cody’s Warriors.” Watching your child struggle for their life is emotionally draining and exhausting––so many thoughts go through your mind. Then comes the financial strain on the family, making things even more difficult.
So please donate to “Cody’s Warriors” drive-by (also taking place from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Community Center) and be generous. It’s important to please give and support this LeRoy family in need . . . it’s very much appreciated!
Only one balloon returned with a response during the annual Bethany Bible balloon launch held during their Summer Vacation Bible Camp this past month.
With dozens of balloons launched during the final day of the camp, the only balloon to return was by Nadiya Evans (age 10), the daughter of Dan and Joyce Evans of LeRoy. Her special balloon was found 142 miles southeast in Dubuque, Iowa.
Ironically, the balloon, which had two special bible verses and a message to please respond if you find the object, was found by the Trappistine Nuns and Sister Rebecca at the Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey.
The returned letter was as follows:
“The balloon has landed!” We found your note and “popped balloon” by one of our fence posts in our pasture land and was thrilled to find it!
What an amazing connection to receive your beautiful scripture quotes from your Bible Church and God had it land all the way in Iowa on our monastery grounds! We pray scripture seven days a week in our Abbey and how fitting to have scripture fall down from the skies into our hands!
Many blessings to you,
P.S. I’ve enclosed a little booklet of our Monastery so you can see where the balloon and scriptures landed!
The booklet shows Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey showing many photos and includes a picture of the nuns (approximately 22 in all) who are attending. The book starts off with “O Holy Night” and continues . . . “For everything there is a season . . . By the labor of their hands they shall live. The fruites of our labor to your door!”
On their website it explains that the Abbey is a monastery of Cistercian (Trappist) nuns. The nuns try to follow Jesus Christ through a life of prayer, silence, simplicity and ordinary work.
Their rule of life, after the Gospel, is the Rule of St. Benedict with their group wholly ordered to contemplation.
The monastery is situated on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River south of Dubuque, Iowa. They earn their living through the Trappistine Creamy Caramels produced in a workshop on their property and sold by mail. The 630 acres of land God has committed to their stewardship includes over 350 acres of managed woodlands and a 200-acre organic farm.
Seven times a day the nuns gather in the abbey church to sing God's praise. Their liturgies are open to the public. Four small guest houses are available for individuals or very small groups of any religious tradition wishing to make a private retreat in their beautiful, peaceful setting.
By L-O FFA Staff
Labor Day weekend was a busy time for some members of the LeRoy-Ostrander FFA. The final weekend of the Great Minnesota Get-Together is also the MN FFA State Fair Livestock Shows. FFA members from around the state can participate in these contests and shows. Various shows included during the FFA Weekend are Dairy, Beef, Sheep, Goat and Swine.
This year L-O FFA had two members competing in the FFA Beef Show. Members were brothers Lucas and Collin Grass. The boys were up with their family at the fair for the open class beef show on Saturday, so it was only fitting that they all compete on Sunday in the FFA show since their cattle were already there.
L-O FFA had a good showing in the Simmental breed portion of the beef show. Lucas was 2nd and Collin was 3rd out of 8 entries in the Junior Heifer Calf Class. Lucas then earned Reserve Champion Simmental Calf honors in the calf division.
It was then on to the yearling heifer portion of the show. Lucas’s April Spring Yearling Heifer won her class. Collin then showed his Jr. Yearling Heifer (born in either January or February of 2012) and placed 2nd out of 7 in his class.
Lucas’s was then back in for the Junior Division Champion drive and his April Jr. Yearling heifer as then named Junior Division Champion Heifer!!
When it came to the overall selection of the Grand Champion Simmental Female Lucas earned Reserve Champion honors with his Junior Yearling – nice work!
Both Lucas and Collin then showed in the Any Other Registered Composite Breeds Show = Foundation Simmentals. In the Junior Heifer Calf class Collin placed 4th out of a big class of 12 entries. Lucas then showed his Sr. Yearling Foundation Simmental and was 2nd in class. That heifer then earned Reserve Sr. Heifer Division honors as well. It was a very nice showing by the Grass Brothers representing the L-O FFA in the Simmental and Composite Breeds Show of the FFA Show.
Overall the L-O FFA members represented our community very well and they look to recruit more members to exhibit livestock animals and take projects to the fair and partake in this great event in the years to come.
Nothing gets a person going in the morning like a hearty breakfast. So start your day off right on Sunday, Sept. 8 by enjoying All-U-Can eat pancakes at Chester Community Center from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The annual breakfast is to benefit the Chester Fire Department. This year, cost for the meal is a free-will donation.
Money will be used for firefighter trainings and to update equipment. So eat some pancakes and help purchase equipment.
Chester firefighters are working hard to learn how to be better firefighters. You can help them out by giving a cash donation during the pancake breakfast on Sunday.