The Daily Nonpareil
Sunday, May 25, 2014 1F
Staff photo/Joe Shearer
Tank the Turtle navigates his way through owner Steve Gilfillan’s home on May 15.
Tank an ambassador for snapping turtles Scott Stewart
Tank wakes up the same way every day. His dad gets down on the floor, pulls off his blanket and looks him in the eyes. “You’re a silly boy, aren’tcha?” Steve Gilfillan asks. Tank looks at his dad – well, that’s how Gilfillan identifies himself – and pauses. He retreats back into his blankets, like a child balking at the prospect of going to school. Gilfillan rouses him again, and finally Tank relents. He begins wandering around, then he climbs up on his dad. He hoists his 31 pounds onto his shoulder before returning to the floor to make his way toward the bathroom. “He still likes to be held like he was just a little baby,” Gilfillan That’s right, Tank, the 6-year-old snapping turtle, still likes to be held, though as he continues to grow almost twice as heavy, the time will come where Gilfillan might not be able to lift him so easily. However, it’s remarkable Tank likes to be held at all. Gilfillan’s pet is rare among snapping turtles for being social, particularly for getting along so well with people. Male snapping turtles are territorial, living solitary lives except for when they are mating, often taking over a pond and driving away rival turtles. Tank isn’t immune: he’s gone after Gilfillan’s laptop before when he’s seen his own photo as a background image. But he has only accidentally bit his owner once, TANK/See Page 16F
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Faces of Neighbors
2F Sunday, May 25, 2014
The Daily Nonpareil
‘I can’t tell you how good it feels and in five or six years they will be so gorgeous. People will enjoy this for the next 100 years. That’s how society grows and we would encourage people to get ahold of a cemetery (for tree planting). It’s a neat thing, a neat way to contribute to our community.’ – Ron Payne, Mason, Cobia Lodge, No. 631
Staff photos/Joe Shearer
Above, the Cobia Masons Lodge 631’s Ron Payne, left, and Chuck Rodrigues stand near the Acacia Memorial at Cedar Lawn Cemetery on May 17. Below, Payne inspects the health of a blue spruce tree at the cemetery.
PAYNE-STAKING WORK Mason dedicated to restoring area in cemetery TIM ROHWER
Awhile back, a local member of the Masons visited the Cedar Lawn Cemetery and saw a disturbing scene. “What’s happening to all the trees, I asked,” said Ron Payne. “I noticed the trees were dying.” Payne was referring to lovely pine trees around the cemetery’s Acacia Memorial, dedicated in honor of past members of the Masonic lodges. Apparently, the trees were dying from an infestation of pine beetles. “I live near here and I go through there a lot,” Payne said. “The trees were pretty well gone. I looked around the gravestones and there was nothing at all.” He and other Masons decided to do something about it. Fortunately, one of the fellow Masons, Charles Rodrigues, is an expert in forestry and suggested blue spruce trees because they’re more resistant to disease. Money was raised to purchase trees that were grown in Oregon. “The best,” he said, adding that each cost $200. In late April, a tree-planting ceremony was held around that
memorial. “We got 22 trees into the ground. It was a moving service.” And, Payne checks up on them every day, he said. “I can’t tell you how good it feels and in five or six years they will be so gorgeous. People will enjoy this for the next 100 years. That’s how society grows and we would encourage people to get ahold of a cemetery (for tree planting). It’s a neat thing, a neat way to contribute to our community.” What’s more, a plaque recognizing donors for this project is to be placed in the Council Bluffs Masonic Temple, 130 S. Sixth St. The success of this project is not surprising. “This is a big volunteer group here,” Payne said. “There is always something going on.” Payne is a member of the Cobia Lodge, No. 631, one of three lodges based at the temple. More than 400 total Masons there participate in volunteer activities to help their fellow residents. “Just in Cobia, we have about 130,” Payne said. Every third Sunday, his lodge serves a biscuit and gravy
breakfast for the public. But, before those meals are prepared, the members prepare and serve 85 meals to residents at the MICAH House. “They are so happy,” Payne said of the residents. To promote the Masons and what this organization stands for, the Cobia Lodge this year hosted a Friendship Dinner to interested individuals. Cobia and the other two lodges, Bluffs City and Excelsior, participated in a pancake feed with the Police Department in mid-April to raise funds for needy families at Christmas time. Last year, this effort helped more than 40 families. “We’re seeing an uptick in membership,” said Payne, a member for 10 years. “The only requirement to join is a belief in God.” The Masons don’t forget their fellow members once they pass on, as is shown impressively by the Acacia Memorial in Cedar Lawn. It’s a large marble, three-column memorial with a broken column in the center. It sits in an area with approaches from the south, west and north – the symbolic eastern end of the Masonic journey. Symbols of
the Masonic order adorn the edges of the supported dome. The origin goes back to the stone masons of Europe centuries ago. Among his other duties, Payne helps put together a quarterly newsletter keeping members informed of upcoming events and listing new members. Payne quickly pointed out, however, he is just one of the many volunteers who make projects successful like the new trees in the cemetery. “I’m part of a committee, it was not just me. I didn’t invent the idea. It all came together. It grew into a wonderful movement.”
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Faces of Neighbors
The Daily Nonpareil
Sunday, May 25, 2014 3F
FAMILY, FUN & ICE CREAM Father-daughter team run Tastee Treet Mike Brownlee
Larry McKern was on his way home from work one day in 1986 when he saw that Tastee Treet on Wabash Avenue was for sale. More than a quarter of a century later the family business is still thriving. “The customers, getting to meet them and take care of them,” McKern said. “That’s why I like the work, that’s
about 15,000 people, including many staying near the shop, Larry McKern got out of his dairy gig just in time to help take on the full force of the bicycle ride. “I had to come help for that or we would’ve ended in divorce,” Larry McKern said with a chuckle. From the time he took over until 1997 Tastee Treet featured a walk-up style building. That year McKern got word
‘Having my own shop instead of someone bossing me around (besides my wife) is what keeps me here. Upkeep, sure it’s a chore, but it’d be a chore working anywhere else.’ – Larry McKern, Co-owner, Tastee Treet what I enjoy about this.” Originally built in 1955, today Tastee Treet offers a variety of dinner and dessert menu items. Meat is brought in fresh from Fareway and pattied every day – “never frozen,” said McKern’s daughter, Megan Hastie – while pizza burgers, tenderloins, wraps and barbecue round out the lineup. Barbecue items include pulled pork and pulled chicken, ribs and beef brisket, along with “a lot of sides.” “Our cheese balls are our biggest thing. You’d be surprised how many of those we sell in a week,” Hastie said, noting that the restaurant goes through about 3-4 cases – each with roughly 16 pounds of cheese balls – per week. On the sweet side, Tastee Treat is a good spot for cones, malts, shakes, sundaes and candy malts. Hastie runs the business with her dad, taking on the role of partner about six years ago. The 2003 Lewis Central High School graduate attended Iowa Western Community College for business and afterward was debating what to do. Hastie had worked at the shop from a young age, “but I never knew if I’d do it full time.” “But I decided I can’t see anyone else running this for him, or him selling it,” she said. “I’ve always been close with my dad, love the family atmosphere here.” That atmosphere includes her older brother, Eric, who works when available, though his time’s been cut since getting a full-time job. Eric’s son Mason and Hastie’s children – Ryleigh, 8, and Lyla, 1 – are also fixtures at the restaurant, with Ryleigh now learning to make change for customers and also occasionally making a malt. A photo of the third generation adorns the wall under the “Employee of the Month” sign, with a new photo swapped in often to the delight of customers “It’s great to have everyone here running around,” Larry McKern said. The family matriarch, Mary McKern, is a nurse at Jennie Edmundson Hospital, so her Tastee Treet hours are limited. But without her, the family might not have the ice cream parlor. Larry McKern explained that in 1986 he was working for Meadow Gold Dairy, delivering items to area restaurants and the like, when business was starting to slow. He passed Tastee Treet on the way home every day and saw the “for sale” sign and thought he’d take a chance. The family purchased the location (which was already spelled Tastee Treet, so the McKerns just rolled with it), but Larry stayed on with Meadow Gold a little longer to get to a 10-year pension. So Mary, who’d just graduated from nursing school, was left in charge as the full-timer the first four months. With RAGBRAI bringing
The family keeps the business open from February through November, taking a few months off in winter when business is slow and a vacation is much-needed. Summer hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon until 9 p.m. on Sunday. “When we added barbecue (2006) we tried staying open all year. If it’s cold and snowy and people still think of you as an ice cream store that’s tough; we were way too slow,” Larry McKern said. As the 29th season of McKern family control continues, the father-daughter duo running Tastee Treet said they still love it. “I like seeing the customers, we have a lot of regulars,” Hastie said. “It gives you a sense of pride and ownership
Staff photo/Joe Shearer
Larry, left, and Megan Hastie toast with malts at Tastee Treet on May 8. when you’re here.” Added her dad: “Having my own shop instead of someone bossing me around (besides my wife) is what keeps me here. Upkeep, sure it’s a chore, but it’d be a chore working anywhere else.”
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Faces of Neighbors
4F Sunday, May 25, 2014
The Daily Nonpareil
THE GOOD LAND Hansen proud of homes, community at Bluffs Acres
One could call it a community within a community. It’s Bluffs Acres, one of the metro area’s newest planned manufactured housing community, located just south of Interstate 29/80 and behind the new JC Penney store on South 24th Street. “We have a good location,” said co-owner Don Hansen. “It’s a good place to live.” What used to solely be a trailer park is being transformed into an area of manufactured homes with all the social contacts a community provides. There’s a new clubhouse where residents can enjoy daily coffee, a tutoring room for the children, along with various after school functions. It also has a “big room,” Hansen said. “We have movie nights, pot luck dinners, a Bible school. We have a barbeque in the back. There is also a walking course around the grounds, and a basketball court. Our whole intent is to make people comfortable. We want to foster community.” The entire development got started back in the mid-1970s when Hansen’s father, Fred Hansen, and a partner, Bob Siegrist purchased what was 100 acres of farmland to create a trailer park. Hansen’s sons three decades later purchased additional acres, particularly to the north and east. “The first thing we built when we took over in 2008 was to build a storm shelter that holds most anybody who wants to go in. It’s designed to be quite secure.” All residents have a key for the shelter allowing them access anything, especially if they feel more comfortable being there even before official notification of approaching danger, Hansen said. The original clubhouse was torn down to make way for the modern structure, he added. The heart of this community, of course, is the attractive homes that have nearly all the amenities of a more traditional single-family homes. Best of all, they are inexpensive, Hansen said. “It’s designed for people who want to own a home, not the home own them.” Altogether, there 523 lots on the grounds. Of the 430 residential families, most live in manufactured homes, but those still living in trailer homes are allowed to stay there as long as they want, Hansen said. “We’re redeveloping the area one by one.” Depending on the style and whether they’re new or pre-owned, manufactured homes can cost as low as $40,000 or less. Yet, they provide adequate space with carpeted living rooms with open kitchen access, three bedrooms and two baths. Today’s homes have thicker walls for better insulation and sound absorption. The exteriors feature more dependable vinyl siding and shingle roofs. Residents care for their lawns that offer plenty of space, but they’re not huge, either. All residents pay a monthly fee to lease their lots. Many of the residents are retired. “Manufactured housing will be the solution for a comfortable retirement,” Hansen said, adding that he began his love for the housing industry as a young boy who helped his father clean and vacuum the original homes. Other benefits for living there, Hansen said, is the five-minute commute to downtown Omaha, along with quick access to the interstate in traveling anywhere. The streets are wide and well lit, and there’s a Neighborhood Watch program for added security. Areas for golfing, dining and shopping are nearby. There’s also a new 24-hour, on-site outdoor storage area. “It’s good for people on fixed incomes,” Hansen said.
‘We have movie nights, pot luck dinners, a Bible school. We have a barbeque in the back. There is also a walking course around the grounds, and a basketball court. Our whole intent is to make people comfortable. We want to foster community.’ – Don Hansen, Co-Owner, Bluffs Acres
Staff photos/Joe Shearer
Top, Don Hansen stands inside a new structured home that is for sale at Bluffs Acres. Above, Hansen, who co-owns Bluffs Acres, explains the difference between structured homes versus trailers or modular homes while on a tour of the community on May 15.
Faces of Neighbors
The Daily Nonpareil
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Staff photo/Joe Shearer
Members of the Council Bluffs Fraternity of Eagles No. 104 poses for a portrait on May 9 with a board showing where the group’s 2013-14 donations went.
Fun, fundraising for the Fraternal Order of Eagles Mike Brownlee
Luaus, classic car shows, remote-controlled car races, theme dinners and more. That’s how the Council Bluffs Fraternal Order of Eagles raises money for charity while also having a great time. “We just try to come up with a different theme, something unusual, and have fun,” said Kathy Woods, a member of the women’s auxiliary for 11 years. “We always try to do something different, something fun.” Founded 113 years ago in 1901, the Council Bluffs club was the 104th created in the country. Today the organization boasts about 400 male members and 150 female members. The club donated more than $40,000 during the 2013-2014 season – which runs from May through June, when new officers are elected – which surpasses the 2012-2013 total of almost $37,000. The group hosts about 15 to 20 fundraisers throughout the year. Beneficiaries of the work include the Council Bluffs School System, Council Bluffs Fire and Police departments, the American Cancer Society, the National Lung Foundation and impoverished families during Christmas time. The women’s auxiliary also puts on a number of events for children, including during the Halloween, Christmas and Easter holiday seasons. Woods said the group also raises funds for the Fraternal Organization of Eagles Diabe-
tes Research Center, housed at the University of Iowa. Nationally, Eagles groups have donated more than $25 million to the center. “Many of our charities are research-based. We give out a lot of grants to hospitals and the like,” Woods said. According to the organization’s website, the Eagles Club
was founded in 1898 by six theater owners that gathered in a Seattle shipyard to discuss a musician’s strike. “After addressing the matter, they agreed to ‘bury the hatchet’ and form ‘The Order of Good Things,’” the website states. “As numbers grew, members selected the Bald Eagle as the official emblem
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and changed the name to ‘The Fraternal Order of Eagles.’ The women’s auxiliary traces its roots to 1927.” Today membership in the order exceeds 800,000, with more than 1,500 local Aeries in the U.S. and Canada. Women’s auxiliaries total more than 1,300. Members are recruited by other members and must
be sponsored by two members before the membership process begins, the website said. “I like volunteering; and this club, we volunteer for everything,” member Chris Doyle said of why he joined about nine years ago. Woods said she joined because her friends were members. And her husband, Randy,
has been a member almost 35 years. He’ll be designated the Iowa Eagles Club president next month. “I’ve met a lot of people across the United States. It’s a wonderful organization,” Kathy Woods said. “We have fun raising money and give it away. We give it all away and start over again.”
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Faces of Neighbors
6F Sunday, May 25, 2014
The Daily Nonpareil
Adair’s fertile imagination responds to contest Tim Johnson
“I’ve sewed since I was like 10 years old.” Martha Adair of Underwood recently put those skills to work making a potato pillow for a display at Fareway Stores, 310 McKenzie Ave. The grocery chain had a contest to see which store could come up with the best potato display, Adair said. She works in the produce department at the Council Bluffs store. “It was a big promotion for Idaho potatoes,” she said. “I thought, why not go back to the old Mr. Potato Head?” Adair sewed a pillow that looked like Mr. Potato Head to go with the Idaho potatoes and Oscar Mayer bacon bits the store wanted to draw attention to, she said. “He was holding an iPhone and ... he’s got a shopping basket.” Adair also made boy and girl stuffed potatoes. “I just made them with burlap bags and then painted faces on them,” she said. While she didn’t officially win the contest, Adair’s display was a hit with local shoppers and staff. A photo was published in The Daily Nonpareil during the promotion, which has since ended. Incidentally, Adair doesn’t often make pillows, she said. “The only reason I did it was because of the contest,” she said. Adair generally spends more of her time quilting than sewing, she said. She used to display her wares at craft shows. “I quilt and I do other crafts, and then I also take a decorative painting class,” she said. “Usually, I send five or six things each year to the State Fair of my paintings.” Often, she enters pictures she has painted for class, she said. Subjects may include birds, other animals, landscapes and others. Adair has been competing in the State Fair for about 10 years, she said. She is also a member of the Omaha Guild of Decorative Painters. “I just make them basically for myself,” she said. “My kids have each gotten at least one.” She has also donated some to fundraisers and given some to her grandchildren. “I’ve given some blankets for some service organizations,” she said. Besides taking years of painting classes, Adair took classes at the former Kanes-
PA N T
wa Youth n Io S r e
ville Quilting, she said. “The more you learn, the better off you are,” she said, verbalizing the philosophy of an avowed lifelong learner. Adair grew up on a farm near Norwich and graduated from Shenandoah High School, she said. “I came from a sewing family,” she said. “My mother was a longtime quilter – very into quilting. I’ve sewed since I was like 10 years old.” As a child, she participated in 4-H and entered projects in county fairs. Adair and her husband, Keith, have been married for 50 years and have lived in Underwood for 35. They have five children, 12 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and three stepgrandchildren. They have daughters in Underwood and Omaha and sons in Logan, Kansas City and Norwich, Conn. The couple operated a locker, K&M Market, in Clarinda for about four years, Adair said. She was an operator for Northwestern Bell for 19 years, then worked on an assembly line and warehouse for Western Electric. “I drove a fork truck,” she said, adding that she never hit anything. She retired from Connectivity Solutions in 2006 after 29 years with the series of companies, then started at Fareway a year later. “I started out in the meat department and decided I needed a change of pace,” she said. Now, she chops fruits and vegetables in the produce department, makes up trays and packages – and helps with special projects. Adair works about two days a week at the store. “A couple days a week is good,” she said.
Staff photos/Joe Shearer
Top and above right, Underwood resident Martha Adair works in the produce department at Fareway Stores in Council Bluffs. Staff photo/Cindy Bunten
Above, Fareway employees Martha Adair, left, of Underwood and produce manager Will Forbes, right, of Underwood, show off Adair’s “Mr. Potato Head” pillows as part of Fareway’s potato display. Adair is active in the arts having entered paintings into the Iowa State Fair she crafts quilts, paints and obviously makes pillows. She has worked at Fareway since it opened.
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Faces of Neighbors
The Daily Nonpareil
Sunday, May 25, 2014 7F
Staff photos/Joe Shearer
Clockwise from top, Charlotte Aten inside her home on May 6. A collection of Aten’s quilts lay in her sewing room. Aten looks through a quilt journal inside her home. A pin cushion rests on a quilt Aten is currently working on.
AN AMERICAN QUILTER Aten makes quilts for family, charity
Charlotte Aten started quilting when she wanted to make something to give her first great-granddaughter. Kloee may have been the first of her relatives to receive a quilt, but she was far from the last. Aten has given quilts to all of her family members, along with quilted toys for the children in her life. She has four
she began to connect with her family, Aten’s heart is also comforted knowing that many of her quilts end up supporting charity, comforting children who are going through hard situations. After exhausting gifts for her family, she needed a destination for the quilts she continued to make. Her quilting supply shop of choice, Cut Up & Quilt at 303 McKenzie Ave., is the drop-off point for Quilts from the Bluffs quilt ministry
or three quilts in progress at a time, usually in different stages of completion. She said handwork can be done at night in front of the television, while other parts of the process require access to her sewing room. Like many quilters, she said she has UFOs – unfinished objects – she may someday return to, the result of becoming distracted or busy during the creative process. She said she usually sees a
of her church who lack experience during monthly quilting meetings at her church, Our Savior’s Lutheran. “They’re kind of getting into it,” she said. For the church group, she makes prayer quilts, which have tassels that can be tied together to represent a prayer. People can then make ties on the quilt just like they might light a candle before saying a prayer. Quilting helps keep the
‘Now I’m called Doctor Grandma. That makes my heart feel good, knowing they’re enjoying what I gave them.’
in quilting themselves, she offered words of caution. “Be careful because it is addictive,” she said. Like anything else in life, she said quilting is something to do because you enjoy it. For some people, it is a hobby that can be turned into a small
business. But Aten said she quilts because she wants to and it’s something meaningful she can do for her family and to help others. “It’s like a job,” she said. “If you can work at something you enjoy, you can sit and enjoy it.”
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– Charlotte Aten, Quilter children, 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, including two that were just born in March, she said. She joked that she sluffed off for a while before making her own children quilts, focusing on her great-grandchildren first. She also made her greatgrandchildren quilted elephants, an animal that can be found in decorations throughout her Council Bluffs home. For Kloee’s sister, Aten said she made a red elephant – a photo of which she still has in one of her three quilt journals – that was loved so much it started to fall apart. The tail came off first, followed by the elephant’s trunk. Fortunately, Aten was able to make repairs and eventually craft a replacement to her great-granddaughter’s delight. “Now I’m called Doctor Grandma,” she said. “That makes my heart feel good, knowing they’re enjoying what I gave them.” While quilting was a hobby
at First Christian Church. Donated blankets go to Project Linus, which distributes them to children in hospitals, shelters and other places where children could benefit from a security blanket. Cut Up & Quilt offers an easy way for her to donate, she said. She doesn’t have to worry where her work goes because she knows it’s for a good cause. She already traveled regularly to Cut Up & Quilt, too, because she said she prefers to give her business to local merchants. She said she prefers the way it feels walking into a small, independent shop to gather fabric and supplies – which she needs often enough. “I do spend an awful lot of time quilting,” she said. Her favorite part of quilting is the creativity of envisioning the pattern, as well as the reward of seeing the finished product compared with the original concept, a feeling familiar to artisans and artists of many stripes. Sometimes Aten has two
picture of the quilt in her head, and sometimes she rejects using a pattern for her work. “I like to try to create my own,” she said. “It guess it’s a challenge.” Aten was inspired to try quilting because of her mother and stepdaughter, who both quilted. “I tried other crafts, but this one grabbed me,” she said. “It’s kind of addicting.” She’s since inspired one of her granddaughters to try quilting, although she didn’t have as much time for it as a young mother. She had also shared quilting with her sister, doing some shared projects, until she “up and died,” as she put it. “I ended up having to finish her quilts,” she said. Aten also helps members
75-year-old busy, and she acknowledged the craft is one of those things you either love or hate. To those interested
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Faces of Neighbors
8F Sunday, May 25, 2014
The Daily Nonpareil
Working on the radio and with non-profits, Davis proudly touts his Bluffs connection
The name Crash Davis probably rings a bell to most everyone in Council Bluffs and the surrounding areas. Even if people don’t recognize his face, they recognize his voice, thanks to his many years as a local radio personality. “(Radio is) literally all I ever wanted to do from the time I was 6 years old,” he said. “My parents moved, my dad built a new house on a farm, put a new stereo in and gave me his old stereo. I plugged it in and there was a Top 40 radio DJ on there, and I was fascinated with it.” Radio is virtually the only thing Davis has done as an adult – and he’s done almost all aspects of it. “I started on air on June 30, 1987. I did over nights at a country station and worked my way to assistant program director, music director and promotions director. I’ve worked mornings, mid-day and afternoon; I did sales for a long period of time; I ran a creative services department; and I’ve done music radio and talk radio. I even started my own outdoor show – the Ultimate Outdoor Show, which I own,” he said. “That has branched off into commercial work, marketing for companies, and I also do writing for online articles, which have been published in national magazines.” Currently, Davis is the director of marketing for NRG Media Omaha, and is also the brand manager/program director for 101-9 The Big O. He’s on the air weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. “It keeps me busy,” he said. Davis, whose real name is Todd McCarty, said the name “Crash Davis” came from one of his first bosses. “I was working in Carroll doing morning radio and was using my real name. Then I started working in Des Moines and said, ‘Look, I can’t use the same name...’ and one of my bosses said, ‘Well, we’ll just call you Crash Davis,’” he said. “It just sort of stuck. Thankfully, I was able to build a brand around that and people remembered it. It kind of gave me a nice separation and anonymity, I guess. It just worked out.” When he’s not working, Davis can probably be found spending time with his family, which includes his wife, Jamie, and their three children – a 26-year-old Navy veteran and two elementary-aged girls. He also enjoys giving back to the community through his charity work. “One of the things I’m most proud of what I do is the charity work that I’ve asked to be associated with,” he said. “When I was very young, my dad told me to never be afraid to use your abilities to help others do good.” Davis has been volunteering his time to Make-A-Wish Iowa for the past six years. He helps the families, as well as emcees their banquet events. “It’s extremely satisfying work. You get to know the families, you get to know what the impact has been. It’s just overwhelming,” he said. Davis is also an avid biker, and has been riding motorcycles for “as long as I’ve been able to hold up two wheels,” he said. As a biker, Davis and some of his friends started a riding group called “The 2nd Amenders” in May of 2011. It’s a riding group that supports motorcycle safety and awareness, as well as second ammendment rights. “But we also support organizations like Make-A-Wish. We help with whatever, whether it’s donations or fundraising. Whatever we can do, we do,” he said. The group has also helped with the Jeff Ahl Memorial Ride. Ahl was killed May 23, 2012 when a vehicle clipped his motorcycle at an Omaha intersection. They also make donations toward the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association. The motorcycle awareness aspect of the group is because Davis was involved in a very horrific motorcycle accident in July of 2010. “I was hit by a drunk driver going to work at 5:30 a.m. He had bounced off another vehicle already before he hit me. He was probably going 55 mph
Staff photos/Joe Shearer
Above and at left, radio personality Crash Davis works the airwaves inside the NRG Media studios in Omaha on May 15.
when he hit me at a stop sign at 30th and Burke (in Omaha),” he said. “I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks. I had to rebuild an elbow, I broke my tailbone in three places, tore ligaments in my feet, and suffered puncture wounds and bruises. A year later, I’m at an event at the Anchor Inn in Omaha, and the rescue squad that picked me up off the street
somehow, I became the go-toguy for some of the media people for the face for motorcycle accidents and drunk drivers. I thought, why not use that? Why not use who I am as an intention to let people know motorcycles are there? They’re around us.” He’s also on the board of directors for Friends of Lake Manawa, a group of local
with so many organizations because of how blessed he has been throughout his life. “I’ve been able to achieve a lot of the things I’ve wanted to do. It feels like the right thing to do,” he said. “To me, it feels normal. I watched my grandparents do it and I’ve watched my parents do it. My dad donated time and energy to a lot of causes he cared about.
around the midwest doing various radio gigs. “I take my pride in this city pretty strong. I love the things the city has been doing, and I like the direction it’s going. I take it personally when I see cheap shots taken at this city. I really do like this town a lot and when people take cheap shots because of its past – you know, what it was 30 years ago – it makes me mad,” he said. “They don’t know what it’s like now. They’ve never experienced what Lake Manawa is like, or the fact that we have one of the biggest Google infrastructures around getting built, or the 100 Block. Look around. It’s not strip bars and adult entertainment anymore. Those are gone – they’ve torn them all down. It’s a vibrant, young community. And it’s a great place to raise a family.” Somehow, despite how busy he is, Davis manages to find enough time to do everything –
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When I was very young, my dad told me to never be afraid to use your abilities to help others do good.’ – Crash Davis, Radio personality that day told me they thought it was a recovery, not a rescue. They thought I was dead. It was pretty horrific. So I take a lot of that motorcycle awareness stuff personally.” Davis said he used the inspiration of that accident to get back on a motorcycle becuase the accident “wasn’t my fault.” “I had a doctor tell me I couldn’t get back on a motorcycle because it almost killed me – and I said no, a Jeep almost killed me. Sadly, while I was in the hospital, the four guys coming home from Sturgis got killed by a kid north of Missouri Valley,” he said. “So
residents that work with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “We’re trying to move the campground to the north part of the lake; and work with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to get a drudge project done, which is going forward now,” he said. “I really care about that lake. It’s the centerpiece of the city. It’s the busiest state park in the state of Iowa, which people don’t realize. About 1.5 million day users a year go through that place because it is a metropolitan park.” Davis said he volunteers
spend time with family, work, volunteer, and be outdoors, riding his motorcycle – a Honda Gold Wing. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. “I don’t sit around because I want to be involved. I can’t stand watching life go by. I have to be a part of it,” he said. “People should really get involved and do stuff, rather than say ‘Someday I’m going to do that.’ I was almost killed, so I don’t (say) that anymore. It was just an average morning going to work, but man, it was almost over. That changed everything in my life. Life is way too short.” For those interested in giving their time by volunteering, Davis suggests “finding what you care about.” “Find what you love and you’ll find an organization that can use your help,” he said. “Then it’s not a challenge – it’s fun. It’s something you can look forward to.”
It was just how I was brought up.” And, even though he’s not technically from here, the entirety of Council Bluffs means a lot to him. “There’s no question, this is my adopted hometown,” Davis said. Originally from Lester, which is in northwest Iowa, he moved to Council Bluffs in 1992, after having moved
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Faces of Neighbors
The Daily Nonpareil
Sunday, May 25, 2014 9F
‘There is a long tradition of landscape photographers using their art to encourage preservation’ – Buck Christensen Photographer
Staff photo/Joe Shearer
Buck Christensen sits in his home last month. Christensen is a local photographer who specializes in landscape photography.
LIVING THROUGH THE LENS
Christensen to show floral photos at Lauritzen Gardens
Photo by Buck Christensen
‘wabash barn at dusk’ is part of Buck Christensen’s series of local barn photographs.
Buck Christensen has always enjoyed photography. “I’ve always liked the art of it,” he said. But the local photographer behind many beautiful views of the Loess Hills and its flowers didn’t get serious about his art until 2010 after a trip to South Padre Island opened his eyes to the fact he didn’t know how to consistently make a good photo. He honed his skills, learning how to control how what he sees through his viewfinder gets translated by the lens and camera to form an image. He now operates a blog, www.buckstopphoto.com, and shows his work around the Council Bluffs area. “I’m not doing too bad,” he said. “I’ve been a part of the photography community for a long time.” His focus is on flower and landscape photography, more along the fine arts end of the spectrum, he said. He will have a collection titled “A Theft in the Garden” showing minimalist floral portraits at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha from June 21 through Aug. 5. “Buck Christensen can spend hours with a single flower, exploring the way its expression changes with every new pose, every slight adjustment in perspective,” according to the Lauritzen Gardens’ website. “The slow and deliberate process in the changing light, with shifting shadows, is fascinating to him. As evidenced by the minimalist compositions in this collection, Christensen is rarely satisfied with anything more than a single flower against the sterility of a white background – an uncluttered stage.” Christensen, however, offered a more humble summary of the collection: “That’s all flower stuff.” Working primarily out of a corner of his dining room, what passes for a studio is largely made up of white boards and good light from a window, as well as space for flowers and photo prints. Photography remains a secondary pursuit for Christensen. He said camera manufacturers Nikon or Canon would probably classify him as an enthusiast – even if his work is displayed in prominent galleries and he sells prints of his photos online. “I don’t know if I’d ever consider myself to be a professional,” he said. “I don’t know at what point you become a professional.” Initially, most of Christensen’s photography was of the exotic, travel photography like his shots of pelicans on South Padre Island. But with the birth of his daughter in 2011, the traveling has given way to more local subjects for landscape and floral photography. “I started going out around here, paying attention to local preserves,” he said.
One of his favorite sites is Vincent Bluff, a state preserve located on the north side of Interstate 80 along Harry Langdon Boulevard. The area doesn’t draw much of a crowd, unless you count ticks, but it gives an opportunity to see nature not far from Christensen’s back door. “I spend a lot of time there,” he said. He also enjoys Folsom Point toward Glenwood, another Loess Hills preserve with rugged terrain. “Nobody’s ever there,” he said. Christensen said he hopes his photos help show the value of keeping natural spaces undeveloped, especially near urban centers. Without nearby national parks, the importance of keeping the preserved unmolested is all the higher. “There is a long tradition of landscape photographers using their art to encourage preservation,” he said. Outside the preserves, even in his own back yard, Christensen is on the lookout for wild flowers or other subjects for photos. He finds flowers at local farmers markets, as well as his mother-in-law’s flower garden. He has also teamed up with Loess Hills Floral Studio to find new flowers. He avoids portraits for the most part, his tendency toward perfectionism preferring to work with subjects that don’t move around or who aren’t invested in the photo. He also likes to use slow exposures with a low sensitivity to light. “I much prefer the more controlled studio environment,” he said. “I like to be the only one who cares.” A lot of variables go into getting the perfect photo, including whether a car is traveling up the hill outside his house. One photo might take a half hour to get a sharp shot, he said. Fortunately, Christensen has time to focus on his art because he works from home, allowing the occasional break while he works full-time as an editor for Web M.D. “In the afternoons, I just wanted to take some flower photos to pass the time,” he said. “Now I have time to do a lot more stuff, and I tend to fill that with photography.” Becoming a father did turn his life “completely upside down,” he said, but it also forced him to revaluate the way he works as a photographer, especially when it comes to landcapes. “It kind of forced me to redefine where I thought were good landscapes,” he said. “There are a lot of great natural places around here that are not urbanized.”
Photo by Buck Christensen
‘dancing on glass’ is part of Buck Christensen’s series of photographs of Lake Manawa’s Boy Scout Island.
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Faces of Neighbors
10F Sunday, May 25, 2014
The Daily Nonpareil
FACES OF HISTORY: J. CHRIS JENSEN Architect designed many of C.B.’s historic buildings John Schreier
In an interview with The Nonpareil late in his life, noted Council Bluffs architect J. Chris Jensen was pleased when he looked back at his life. “I’ve lived a long time, and I’ve done everything I want to do.” Safe to say, he’d probably be pleased to see how much of his work lives on decades later. In his lifetime, Jensen had a hand in constructing 773 buildings, many of which still stand and serve prominent roles in Council Bluffs today. However, his service to the city wasn’t just limited to his architecture. Born in Denmark in 1873, Jensen and his family came to the U.S. in his youth, settling in Council Bluffs when he was 8. When he turned 13, he began an apprenticeship at a mill. After saving up a few hundred dollars from his work, a teenaged Jensen set out exploring a possible future career in lumber mills before returning to Council Bluffs. There, he overheard a conversation at the train station about the lucrative nature of landing a contract. Sure enough, at the age of 18, Jensen changed his career path to become a contractor – and landed the very contract that inspired his vocation. Jensen was 20 when he launched his own architecture firm – which ultimately outlived him, surviving “droughts, depressions and wars,” The Nonpareil later wrote – that created many of the city’s landmark buildings.
Nonpareil file photo and staff photos by Kirby Kaufman
Two of architect J. Chris Jensen’s (top), other Council Bluffs projects are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The former YMCA building, 628 First Ave. (center), and the Chevra B’nai Yisroel Synagogue, 618 Mynster St. (right), are protected properties.
FACES OF THE FUTURE Alizia Frieze
Alizia Frieze is always looking to strive for greatness. The 9-year-old Bloomer Elementary School fourth-grader recently saw her fifth-grade peers complete their schooling and move up to middle school. Frieze said she can’t wait to be in that position next year. “[School] gets harder everytime you move up,” she said. “I like to push myself to do better work.” Frieze enjoys studying mathematics the most in school, and said that the element of problem solving can apply to more than just classroom-based issues. “You have to use math in everyday life,” she said. Looking toward the future, Frieze said that she would like to pursue a career in law enforcement. As an early student of karate, she thinks that, and her knack for problem solving and self-betterment, would be a good fit for the job. “I’ve been working on karate for a while now,” she said. “And I think that if I stick with it I can push myself to make it as a police officer.” Academics and future career aside, Frieze is excited to finish school for the summer and just enjoy the rest, relaxation and loads of play time that go along with the break. She plans on getting in a lot of trampoline time in her backyard; and maybe - hopefully - get in a trip to Worlds of Fun or Six Flags amusement park. But at the end of the day, Frieze is always thinking ahead to a brighter future for herself and others. “Always push yourself,” she said. “And never give up.”
His first major project was the Woodward candy factory, which hired the famous “little couple” of Jean and Inez Bregant as spokespeople. Though it took many years to build, it was later demolished after the owner’s death and sale of the company. Many of his other landmarks – Jennie Edmundson Hospital, Thomas Jefferson High School and Bloomer and Longfellow elementary schools – remain in use today, more or less with their original exteriors intact. Two of his other Council Bluffs projects are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The former YMCA building, 628 First Ave., and the Chevra B’nai Yisroel Synagogue, 618 Mynster St., are protected properties. Many of Jensen’s houses are still in existence several decades after they were first built. His family – including his nine children – long lived at 520 Oakland Ave. Another of his claims to fame was building an estimated 300 Safeway grocery stores in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. However, The Nonpareil wrote in 1944, his “last great triumph” was Council Bluffs City Hall. The Art Deco building at 209 Pearl St. started as a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression. Without a doubt, the former City Hall, located on the site of the current Omni Centre, was not well loved by Council Bluffs citizens. A 1930s Nonpareil article covered how some people attempted to prevent the fire department from battling a blaze in the building. “No luck! Bluffs City Hall doesn’t burn,” the headline read. In contrast, the city celebrated the 75th anniversary of its current City Hall last December. Despite his architectural plaudits, Jensen served the city in many public capacities as well. He was a city council member for several years, but his largest contribution to the city was 21 years on the Water Works board. The Nonpareil said when Jensen began working on the board, the water quality and pressure were poor across town – particularly for firefighters. Yet when his time on the board ended, many residents who had never previously had more than pumps or wells had access to city water. The plant alone was valued at $2 million, a sizable sum in the 1930s and 1940s, and had earned the state board of health’s seal of approval. In addition to public service, Jensen was active in a number of service and church groups. Less than two years after telling the newspaper he’d done everything he wanted to do with his life, Jensen died suddenly at the age of 72 on Aug. 18, 1946. After his death, though, his legacy would still live on in his work. As The Nonpareil wrote, days after Jensen’s death, on Aug. 24, 1946: “In both lines of endeavor, he had attained national stature and was known from coast to coast. “This city is certain to miss him in years to come.”
John Scott, LUTCF 600 East Pierce St. Council Bluffs, IA
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Situated on a bluff overlooking the Missouri and Boyer River basins, Missouri Valley is a gateway to the scenic Loess Hills and the entire state of Iowa. A midsized city home to 2,992 people, it is a communinity which prides itself in its strong schools, rich heritage and safe neighborhoods. Missouri Valley is served by many national transportation routes, including Interstate 29, Interstate 680, and U.S. Highway 30. Union Pacific Railroads service the area with numerous single and double tracks along their major lines and provide easy access to national trade centers. ANTIQUES • ANTIQUES • ANTIQUES • ANTIQUES
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2455 Hwy. 30 For information call (712) 642-2124 any type of party – graduation, wedding, anniversary, birthday, or for a fundraiser, customer appreciation or corporate event. The club has a full tournament schedule throughout the summer consisting of 4-person best balls, 3-person best balls, 2-person Ryder Cup and three couples tournaments with a variety of formats. For more information, please give us a call at 712-642-2124. Getting people to believe in flowers again is Mary Jo’s business, and she loves every minute of it. Mary Jo Buckley opened M.J.’s Flowers and Balloons in 1996 as a full service florist. With her passion for weddings and every day flowers, she has enjoyed making families happy with the flowers chosen for their loved ones. “It’s the nicest feeling,” says Mary Jo. With funeral work being the majority of her business, M.J.’s Flowers and Balloons has established the capability of shipping flowers around the corner, or across the world. “Memorial items are also big in my shop; from angels to garden items for a lasting memorial,” added Mary Jo. In 2011, M.J.’s moved to a bigger and better shop in Missouri Valley, Iowa. Yet, this wasn’t before they decided to add rental tuxedos for proms and weddings to help clients save a few trips to the “big city”.
In the summer of 1987, Bruce and Janice Allen opened the Missouri Valley Antique Mall with their business partner, Larry Stevens. After a 9 year steady increase of business, they built a second building and opened a Gift and Craft Center. During 2011, the Missouri River flood forced the business owners to evacuate their stores. “We were lucky and didn’t have any damage, but we lost 6 months of business,” mentioned Bruce Allen in reference to the devastating flood. They
elected to not reopen the Gift Center. Instead, they opened the building as a Classic Car Store, which currently has 14 cars for sale. “We have enjoyed many years of successful business, met many wonderful people, had many great dealers in our mall, and we’ve had customers from nearly every state and many foreign countries,” said Bruce Allen. “I would like to invite everyone to come see us and check out our great stores. We are just ½ mile west of I-29 on Highway 30.”
Missouri Valley Insurance Agency, located at 407 E Erie Street has been at it’s current location since the mid 1960’s with various names and owners. In 1997, the current owners, Jay H. Smith and Dennis L. Smith assumed ownership. The Agency sells and services all types of Property and Casualty products for the local homeowners, farming families, businessmen and women along with MPCI and Hail products for the local farmers. It is an independent insurance agency affiliated with the Big “I” and represents many competi-
tive Companies and Mutuals. The Agency staffs 5 full time employees representing over 50 years of accumulative experience. They encourage everyone to shop local for their insurance needs. A friendly face when needed could very well turn an unfavorable event into one that is somewhat manageable. Friendly service is their priority in this age of the world wide web. And the agency truly believes that a familiar face and friendly service may very well out score the 1-800 numbers and internet companies.
kayak or canoe with local outfitters who capitalize on the scenic beauty of the Nishnabotna River that flows through the lush green countryside of Western Iowa. In addition to the river tours that originate in Avoca, the city government has also been proactive in developing an array of recreational services such as a municipal golf course and a large aquatic center. The Aquatic center opened June 1, 2011 and a newly designed clubhouse for the
The Hair Factory Haircare | Tanning Salon OPEN Mon-Thurs: 10 am - 8 pm Friday: 9 am - 5 pm Saturday: 9 am - 1 pm 228 W. Lyon Street, Avoca, Iowa
The Hair Factory opened its doors in April of 1990. One of the original owners, Lorie mentions “When we started here in Avoca 24 years ago, we were one of several beauty salons in town. Now there are only two left.” Lorie and current coowner Sarah attribute this to staying as “trendy” as possible. “We add new products and services as they come out,” adds Lorie. In June, The Hair Factory will be adding a new stylist who happens to be the daughter of one of the original
The city of Avoca was established over 143 years ago when the Rock Island Railroad ran from Des Moines to Council Bluffs and has enjoyed a long history as a retail center for rural Pottawattamie County. The name Avoca was taken from a poem by Thomas Moore called “The Meeting of The Waters”, derived from an old Irish tale, “Vale of Avoca” which means where the bright waters meet. Today water enthusiasts can tube,
1/2 mile West of I-29 on Hwy. 30 • Mo Valley 25 miles north of Council Bluffs & Omaha
Daily Green Fees Available
Logan Missouri Valley Country Club is located at 2455 Hwy. 30 in Logan, Iowa. The club was established in 1946. The land was originally graded by the USDA. It was started as a full service membersonly course with a full restaurant, lounge and clubhouse. Since it is member-owned and a non-profit organization, all profit (if any) comes back into the course buildings and grounds. The club can be rented for
Athough later than normal watch for our
MoValley Classic Cars!
golf course opened in the fall of 2011. The picturesque downtown has been recently renovated and the city has been successful in rescuing many older structures returning them to the ambiance of Avoca’s early years when the Rock Island Railroad carried passengers between Des Moines and Council Bluffs. The city of Avoca is also focusing on affordable housing programs designed to attract
Hoffmann Ins. L.C. 152 S. Elm St. Avoca, IA 51521
owners. Along with their Hair Care services, The Hair Factory also offer tanning. While understanding the key to tanning moderation, Lorie explains, “With the skin cancer scare we face now, we try to keep our customers as educated on the risks out there.” This full service hair care salon has stood the test of time, and they plan to continue providing Southwest Iowa with their skilled services. Call for an appointment today!
Office:712.343.6707 Home: 712.343-6684 Fax: 712.307-6710 E-Mail: email@example.com Hoffmann Ins. LC was started on February 1, 1992 by McCauley-Schuler Ins. Agency in Atlantic, IA and Harold and Bonnie Hoffmann. Darlene Eggerss was hired to manage the business at that time. In 2002 she purchased the half that was McCauleySchuler, which was later purchased by Brocker, Karns & Karns Inc. Darlene is still managing the business today. Nancy Collins is also an agent in the office, and she is selling Long Term Care, Aflac, and life insurance. There have been many changes in the insurance business over the
After visiting the lavender fields of Sequim, WA in 2005 during the Sequim Lavender Festival, it was love at first sight for Mary and Tim Hamer. Cutting bundles of fresh lavender and inhaling the aroma, they knew they had to do this in Iowa. At that time they did not have the farm, and it was 4 years of research and planning before they bought their little acreage in the Loess Hills not far from where they both grew up. In 2009 they broke ground with 1200 Lavender plants. Since then they have continued to add more plants through their 4 years of operation. They now have over 2000 plants boasting 10 different varietals. Mary and Tim strive to make the grounds a place of natural beauty integrating native grasses and flowers to enhance the property spring, summer, or fall. During their years of operation they have maintained an organic process of growing lavender and will continue to do so. Each year they have seen more honeybees and butterflies return to the area and that just adds to the wonder and excitement of the time spent in the field. Plan a group visit for a presentation on the Amazing Herb
Lavender, savor lavender cookies and lavender lemonade, shop in our gift shop where you find Mary’s hand made products from the farm; lavender lotion, balms, spritz, soaps, etc as well as 36 other artisans that sell their hand made or repurposed items in the shop. Walk through the field and cut your own bouquet of lavender or just enjoy the butterflies and the beauty and peace of the country setting in the Loess Hills. Loess Hills Lavender Farm has recently teamed up with 9 other entities in the Loess Hills to make; Living Loess – Connect with the Hills, a self guided car tour of 20 Miles of Treasures in the hills. On the third Sat of each month from May through October you can visit each of them. Have your passport signed and have the chance to win a gift worth over $1000. Check us out at www.livingloess.com or call Mary for more information at 712642-9016. Due to the harsh winter, our field is greening later than usual. Feel free to call to see where we are or follow our Big Bloom alert on our web page at www.loesshillslavender.com or Facebook or just give me a call.
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young people and retirees to the area and is actively involved in working with local businesses to maintain a welcoming atmosphere for new residents or tourists who simply want to spend a relaxing weekend savoring the lush beauty of Western Iowa. For more information please call 712-343-5454 or visit our website at www.cityofavoca.com
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puter generated applications and raters. There have been years where the market was soft and then changed to a hard market. This made some risks harder to place. The government got more involved with crop insurance, health insurance and other lines over the years. This has forced agents to take a lot of classes to get all their needed continuing education credits for them to be able to continue to sell and service these products. One of the biggest changes I have seen is in the homeowner market due to all the weather related losses across the nation. The rates went up and several companies have changed their coverage on roof replacement and higher deductibles. What challenges await us? We witness, daily, the struggles of our customers trying to protect their assets when they have a loved one admitted to a long term care facility, a loss of life, a property or crop loss, or an auto accident. We are trying to show them the ways to protect their resources when one of these events suddenly happens. There are several ways to insure these events and still keep all of your assets. We are here to help you make those decisions.
535 W. Broadway • Suite 300 • Council Bluffs, IA 51503
535 W. Broadway • Suite 300 • Council Bluffs, IA 51503
535 W. Broadway • Suite 300 • Council Bluffs, IA 51503
Underwood is located approximately 10 miles northeast of the Council Bluffs, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska metropolitan area and is accessible from Interstate 80 at exit 17. Distance to Eppley Airfield, Omaha Nebraska, is 24 miles. Contributing to a positive quality of life within the City of Underwood is an excellent
educational system, community hall with tennis courts, baseball and softball complexes, soccer fields, the newly developed Trailhead Park with picnic pavilion, churches, Optimist Club, and a state of the art volunteer fire and rescue department. A large number of local facilities within 30 minutes
Underwood Optimist Club “Bringing Out the Best in Kids!” It’s our motto, it’s who we are and what we do. We are people who care about our communities and make a difference. We conduct positive service programs for our youth and our community. The Underwood Optimist Club is currently comprised of 55 members and sponsors two Optimist Youth Clubs (High School and Middle School). Be our guest at a Club meeting and check us out. You’ll be glad you did!
Underwood Optimists Celebrating 28 31 years serving our youth and community. Meetings every Saturday 7:30 AM • U.M.B.A. Hall
“Make a Difference!” Info Call 712-566-2820
of Underwood include golf courses, swimming pools, fitness centers, public library, theatres, opera, historical sites and museums, many fine restaurants and popular attractions such as the Old Market, Bluffs Run-Ameristar-Harrahs Casinos, Henry Doorly Zoo and Joslyn Art Museum.
Serving the communities of
• Underwood • Bentley
• McClelland • Weston
Underwood Community School District www.underwoodeagles.org
MeMorial Day Music Festival toDay, sunDay May 25 unDerwooD, iowa Ten MinuTes easT of oMaha outdoor pavilion In January 2014, Duane Rowe purchased Friends Restaurant and Lounge in Underwood, IA. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and is famous for their delicious broasted chicken. Their hours of operation are Tuesday – Friday from 11 am-2 pm for lunch and 5 pm-9 pm for dinner, Saturdays opening at 2 pm with live entertainment at night. Sundays, 11 am – 4 pm and they are closed on Mondays.
Today, Sunday, May 25th there will be a Memorial Day Music Festival at Friends Restaurant and Lounge in an outdoor pavilion. The live entertainment lineup will be The Hector Anchondo Band at 2 pm, SwampBoy at 5 pm at all the way from Chicago Rockin” Johnny with The Honeyboy Turner Band at 8 pm. Stop by and enjoy the show! Check our Facebook page for events and specials.
Elementary, Middle School & District Office: 601 Third Street, Underwood High School: 629 North Street, Underwood
The Underwood Community School district is located approximately 12 miles northeast of Council Bluffs. Interstate 80 is located almost in the middle of the district making Council Bluffs, Omaha and Des Moines readily accessible. The District operates in three attendance centers. All centers are located in Underwood, although the district also includes the towns of Bentley, McClelland and Weston. Our elementary center houses PK-5 students, middle school houses 6-8 students and the high school facility houses 9-12 students. The district has 800 students and offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities. Most of the students take part in activities of their interest The district offers a Latch-Key program for school age children. This service provides before and after school day-care and is operated in the elementary center. Also, extended day care is offered for preschool students. Within the city of Underwood and assisting to create a positive quality of life are the following: an excellent educational system, tennis courts, baseball and softball fields, soccer fields, city activity centre, churches, volunteer fire department, rescue squad and Optimist club.
Logan was founded in 1867 and is located approximately 31 miles northeast of Council Bluffs. Henry Reel founded Logan in 1867, naming it in honor of General John A. Logan, a favorite army officer. The first place of business in Logan was that of a drug store operated by George Waterman. This was located on the south side of the park.
Carson is located only 30 minutes east of Council Bluffs on Highway 92. The community’s population has grown to 812 in 2010. The Carson Community Club was established in 1954 to promote local businesses and to promote Carson Community Spirit. Club membership is open to anyone who is interested in having fun volunteering while making Carson a better community! The Dreamland Theater located at 107 Broadway is one of the oldest, longest operating theatre in the State of Iowa. The theatre provides current movies at a very reasonable admission rate of $4 per adult and $3 per youth. The theatre is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening at 7pm. Show starts at 7:30pm. The City of Carson has a full calendar of annual events available for the public to enjoy. They include: Easter Egg Hunt, High School Rodeo, Carson Jubilee , PRCA Pro Rodeo, Rodeo Parade with
Oakland is approximately 45 minutes from the Omaha metro area. The city is located along Highway 59 and near the junction of Highway 6. The community of Oakland, including its quaint main street, possesses a number of business opportunities and opportunities for growth in the community. There are several key locations for housing expansion and development, and the city is postured for service and change in the areas of growth and economic development. Oakland has three parks in their city and a golf course and country club. There is also a bowling alley, and river canoeing is available. The Oakland swimming pool renovations were completed May 2010 and the pool is now open. Oakland is also home to the Nishna Heritage Museum and has an annual Fourth of July celebration. Oakland is also near Big Grove Country Inn and the Six Feathers Hunting Preserve.
HILDEBRAND Feed & Seed
• Hubbard Livestock Feed • Lawn & Garden Seed • Muck Boots • Double H Boots • Diamond Brand Pet Food 125 Harrison St Oakland, IA 51560
Daily Green Fees Available Memberships starting
2455 Hwy. 30 For information call (712) 642-2124 Logan Missouri Valley Country Club is located at 2455 Hwy. 30 in Logan, Iowa. The club was established in 1946. The land was originally graded by the USDA. It was started as a full service members-only course with a full restaurant, lounge and clubhouse. Since it is member-owned and a non-profit organization, all profit (if any) comes back into the course buildings and grounds. The club can be rented for any type of party
– graduation, wedding, anniversary, birthday, or for a fundraiser, customer appreciation or corporate event. The club has a full tournament schedule throughout the summer consisting of 4-person best balls, 3-person best balls, 2-person Ryder Cup and three couples tournaments with a variety of formats. For more information, please give us a call at 712-642-2124.
Gregg and Lori Nisley purchased Hildebrand Feed and Seed located at 125 Harrison in Oakland from Reanne Hildebrand in September of 2004. The business offers a complete line of Hubbard feed for cattle, hogs, sheep and poultry. They are the Garst seed dealer and also carry lawn and garden seeds and supplies. They carry Diamond brand pet food for dogs and cats and bird feed as well. Other items offered are Double H Boots, Muck Boots, gloves, rat and mouse bait, fly sprays and miscellaneous supplies. Living in a small community limits the number of customers, so they feel that customer service is very important. Stop in and say “Hi” and see what we have to offer. Compare our prices! With gasoline prices so high, can you afford to drive to the city to save a few cents? We can be reached at 712-482-3171.
the “ Shriners”, Business Trick or Treat Night, Christmas in Carson Night/Craft Show and many comical and highly entertaining “Wilma Laughlin” Dinner Theatre productions. The Community has several park systems: The Mill Stone park has two park shelters with picnic tables, playground area, softball/baseball field, soccer field, basketball court, Rodeo Arena, and 20 RV Camper electric hookups long the Nishna Botna River. A new canoe/boat ramp has been constructed along the river to allow visitors easy access to the riverfront. Currently the City and Park Board are working on installing a new asphalt pedestrian trail system and roadside heritage park & rest area for the park system. The Community Center houses City Hall, a fitness center (memberships available starting at $15 per month, per person), Banquet Hall/Kitchen, Voting Precinct, and several smaller meeting rooms available to serve your rental needs.
Call 712-484-3636 or visit www.carsonia.com for more information and photos on Carson City and the Carson Community Center.
Mertes Welding & Repair
712-484-3821 Mertes Welding and Repair is located at 119 S. Commercial St. A family owned business since 1952. Mark and Amy Mertes took over this custom steel fabrication and machine work operation in 1991. They build many special projects that are unique, one-of-a-kind and cannot be purchased ready-made. Although a large portion of their business is dependent on agribusiness, they find themselves doing more residential and commercial metal working projects. They can be reached at 484-3821.
Whether you’re visiting for a weekend get-away, a leisurely day of shopping, a fun filled event, biking on the Wabash Trace, or you live here on a daily basis, Malvern Iowa has so much to offer. Visit our website at www.malverniowa.com and see what you have been missing.
C & M’s CAFE
306 Main Street Malvern, Iowa 712-624-8798 We’re on the Wabash Trace in Malvern
LOTS OF ICE CREAM SPECIALITIES!! Every Saturday is Cheeseburger Saturday! Cheeseburger & French Fries for $2.99
DAILY NOON SPECIALS! The C&M Place in Malvern Iowa is a great little restaurant. Known for it’s cheese philly as well as the seasoned curly cue fries. If you have room, the sundaes looked awesome. They have a very friendly staff and are very accommodating. Come check us out!
Macedonia is a historical town with the Mormon Trail winding through the city and nearby countryside. The city has a covered stadium that is one of two remaining in Iowa, a beautifully shaded park with playground equipment and a walking trail. A half mile from town is the descent to the river at Olde Town Park where Mormons crossed the river on the limestone rock ledge.
Stempel Bird Museum
Pioneer Trail Museum 712-486-2568
316 Main St. • Macedonia Macedonia Historical Preservation Society (MHPS) has restored a Macedonia Main Street Building that is now used for the Pioneer Trail Museum. MHPS received an Iowa West Foundation matching grant to help restore the wood floor and the windowed façade. Old flooring from a one-room school house has been used to replace the damaged pieces. Volunteers have raised money through events, donations and memorials. The Nishna Botna River Rubber Ducky Race will be the next event on June 8th at 1 p.m. at Olde Town Park West of Macedonia. The historical society is also responsible for the Stempel Bird Collection!
Glenwood is located south of the nation’s crossroads; 4 miles from the junction of I-29 & I-80 in Mills County in southwest Iowa. Glenwood is 14 miles from Council Bluffs, IA and 22 miles from Omaha, NE. Glenwood has the best of both worlds; a friendly small town close to a major metro. Glenwood offers midwest living at it’s very best. The business district of Glenwood serves a central role. The downtown center remains
the focus of civic and commercial life in the community. Long standing businesses mix with new enterprises, centered around a historic courthouse square. Glenwood is a service and human service community. Glenwood prides itself in it’s occupancy on the town square. The business community also extends to Locust St., Glenwood Plaza and other locations throughout the community.
Glenwood Fresh, high quality food and a great atmosphere! 104 S. Walnut St. Glenwood
712-527-1911 www.doodlesgrill.com Located in the old Oasis building just off the square, Doodles Grill has been serving the residents of Glenwood, Iowa since July 8, 2013. The restaurant is the dream child of Wendy and Joe Kuhnert, who met over a heated exchange between a cook and a waitress at a TGI Fridays 25 years ago. A family run business, they pride themselves on offering a menu where almost everything is
of Doodle Strings with a $10 purchase
made from scratch. Their delicious menu items include traditional comfort foods and fun foods you’ll remember from childhood. Doodles Grill is located on 104 S. Walnut St, Glenwood IA and can be reached at 712-527-1911 or online at www.doodlesgrill.com. Party rooms and offsite catering are also available.
We understand, we care and we can help.
they symbolize and exemplify the virtue of living in the moment and living life to the fullest. The dragonfly that graces their logo is in memory of Chrystal and all types of special needs children. While mainly focused on child services, the organization is starting to branch out into adult and elderly services as well. Julie, along with one of her program managers, has also recently become certified in Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Adult and Mental Health First Aid classes are also available and elderly companionship care will be available soon. Even though Embrace Iowa Inc. is mostly Medicaid funded, it is important to know that they do have private pay options and have recently been approved by some insurance companies. Embrace Iowa Inc. is located a 504 Sharp St., Glenwood IA and can be reached at 712-527-2747 or online at www.embraceiowainc. com.
• Divorce • Personal Injury • Probate • Criminal Law • Real Estate • Guardianships/ Conservatorships
WWW.SELLLAW.COM Sell Law, PLC is a Glenwood, Iowa based law firm focused on representing plaintiffs in complex cases such as, but not limited to: Business Litigation, Property Rights Litigation, Family Law and Criminal Law. At the helm is DeShawne Bird-Sell, who is a principal at Sell Law, PLC and an active trial lawyer at the Iowa based litigation firm. Her practice focuses on plaintiffs’ litigation including matters involving business disputes, property rights, probate and family
law. She has tried many jury cases to verdict as lead counsel in state court and has also argued numerous appellate cases in the Iowa Court of Appeals and the Iowa Supreme Court. Since 2003, DeShawne has been a regular speaker to the Southwest Iowa Lawyers League on recent developments in Iowa law. Sell Law, PLC is located at 417 Sharp St., Glenwood IA and can be reached at 712-527-4026 or online at www.selllaw.com.
GREAT FOOD 12 BEERS ON TAP FUN FOR THE FAMILY
• HCBS Waiver Services • Mental Health First Aid Certiﬁcation • Parenting Education • Private Care
Formerly known as Embrace LLC, Embrace Iowa Inc. has been serving families of Southwest Iowa since 2008 (the organization went through a restructure and name change in 2012). Founder, Julie Kalambokidis, saw a need when she and her husband adopted three special needs children from foster care. The services the children needed were not available where they lived and the nearest providers were in Council Bluffs. Working for Pottawattamie County Community Services for almost 12 years, Julie knew this was a widespread problem for rural areas and now, with her kids in need, she decided to start her own company to help meet the needs of children like them. In honor of Julie’s cousin, Chrystal McMartin (who passed away from complications of her cystic fibrosis), Embrace Iowa Inc. uses a dragonfly as their symbolic mascot. Not only are dragonflies beautiful, but because of their short life span,
417 Sharp St. | Glenwood, IA
Glenwood’s newest & only Sports Bar & Grill
Embracing challenges and serving families of Southwest Iowa.
504 W. Sharp St. • Glenwood, IA • 712-527-2747 www.embraceiowainc.com
419 Sharp St. • Glenwood, IA HOURS: Mon-Tues: 11am-12am Wed-Sat: 11am-2am Sun: 11am-11pm
The Gridiron Garage opened its doors on June 30th of last year. “We were tired of having to go to Council Bluffs or Omaha to take our kids for supper if we wanted to watch a sporting event or enjoy a beer during a football game,” says owner DeShawne Bird-Sell. With the help of her husband and four children they designed and constructed the restaurant. “We spent six solid months, day and night, working to finish in time for summer. Our daughter came home from the University of Iowa to assist in the menu design, food choices and other facets prior to opening.” Together they brought the old building back to its original state with its high ceilings and exposed brick. Other features include a stone
1/2 PRICE APPETIZERS Sunday - Thursday!
entry to the quarter-sawn oak panels and handmade booths. The elaborate bar was designed and built to include lighted panels and underlighting with displays for the vast array of liquors available. The solid oak twisted columns added a unique “twist” to the bar. The menu boasts a wide variety of options, with the majority of the items made from scratch, including Grandma T’s Ham Balls. “This recipe is my husband’s grandmother’s that has been used in Glenwood for years as a fundraiser at local churches. We serve two ginormous ham balls with real mashed potatoes, green beans, a salad and a dinner roll.” An extensive selection of drinks is also available. “I am quite sure we have the biggest selection of drinks in all of Southwest
Iowa,” says Bird-Sell. A Sunday Brunch has also been added to the menu which includes: eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, roast beef, chicken fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, rolls, homemade strawberry shortcake, green bean casserole, breakfast potatoes, fresh fruit and much more. The Gridiron Garage plans to roll out a new menu on their first anniversary. With the exceptional leadership of General Manager, Kelsy Young, Bird-Sell aims to keep providing excellent food and service to their patrons. They are located at 419 Sharp St., Glenwood IA and can be reached at 712-800-1122 or online at www.gridirongarage.com.
Stop pounding the pavement in search of a new job and start checking the classified job listings. You’ll zero in on the right opportunities in no time.
535 W. Broadway, Ste. 300 NonpareilOnline.com • 328-1811
neola Neola was first settled by the Pottawattamie Indians around 1839. The word “Neola,” accordingly to Iowa history means “lookout.” Neola borders Mosquito creek and rises up on hills from which one can see a distance of five miles. In 1869 The Chicago Rock Island and Pacific Railroad was built and the town grew. The railroad brought many people into the area to build businesses, schools, churches and farmsteads. Neola was incorporated in 1882. The city of Neola observed its 125th anniversary at the annual Hoo Doo Days celebration in September 2007. Like other small towns, Neola strives to keep its existing businesses and to create opportunities for new businesses. Neola citizens work hard to keep their community safe and beautiful.
Home of the “Swamp Donkey”
Iowa’s Talents being appreciated by Iowa people and beyond its borders. This is Neola’s artists, Russ and Penny Christiansen. After 32 years in business at the same location in Neola, Iowa, the vision of their business ethics have remained the same. Their motto is “When you want quality, a smiling face… and someone who cares, Come See Us… We Live In Iowa!” The couple have restored ancient paintings, created bronze monuments, taught hundreds of students the wonder of art, been in numerous museums, traveled the United States selling their art work, and they encourage everyone to come to the best state ever. Iowa: The land of opportunity and appreciation.
Russ recently completed 2 bronze eagles to be installed in front of the courthouse in Newton, Iowa. Russ adds, “My greatest achievement was the gift of being able to do the Eagles of Honor Project to honor our Veterans.” Penny added, “Besides helping Russ with the Veterans project, her alone achievement is when two of her paintings won at the Joslyn Art Museum’s biennial. Then I was offered a one woman show.” Penny is currently working on a large mural of our Iowa farmland at Heartland Coop. Russ and Penny will both be teachers at their annual children’s Art and Nature Camp. The camp will be held at Arrowhead Park the first week in June. The classes are for ages 5 and up.
Join us every Wednesday for “Show & Shine” @5:30pm with Food Specials & 93¢ Beers
CHARITY SAND VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENTS ALL SUMMER Find out more at: bucksnortneola.com 113 4th St. • Neola, IA • 712.485.9090 Hungry? Come on in and enjoy the food at The Buck Snort in Neola, Iowa. We have a wide variety of food: pulled pork sandwiches, hamburgers, pizza, wraps, appetizers, BBQ sandwiches, and salads. This rustic, hometown restaurant nestled in the hills of Southwest Iowa is located 21 miles east of Council Bluffs. The Buck Snort offers fun and excitement for all ages. “Pizza Night” happens every Tuesday night
with $12.99 any size any topping pizzas. The Buck Snort is open Sunday through Thursday from 10:30am to 8:00pm and 10:30am to 9:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Also, The Buck Snort now offers delivery to Minden, Neola, and Underwood. Stop by and enjoy the excellent atmosphere, delicious aromas brought about by outstanding foods, and follow your meal with an ice cold beer at The Buck Snort.
Zimmerman Sales and Service (Formerly Zimmerman Farm Supply of Minden) was started as a farm supply, livestock feed store, and farm construction company in 1963 by Kevin Zimmerman’s father, Jerry Zimmerman. The family grew up helping in all aspects of the business. After graduation at Tri Center High School, Kevin attended Iowa Western Community College graduating with an associates degree in Applied Science in Electronics. In 1989 Jerry and Kevin formed a partnership in Zimmerman Sales and Service, Inc. and based the business in Neola, Iowa giving them a larger location to run their operation. Although through the years they have phased out the livestock feed and their grind and mix operation, they still specialize and offer full ser-
vice and sales in grain bins, buildings, electrical and concrete work from remodels to new construction. With their long time motto, “ We Service What We Sell”, Kevin and Paulette have since bought the business and manage all aspects of the business for all your grain bin, building and electrical needs. We also handle Pet food, seed, bolts, nuts, screws, gloves, roller chain, misc farm supplies, Crystalyx Cattle Lick tubs, Gallagher Fencing Parts, Sprayer Parts, welding, New Baldor and Leeson Electric Motors and electric motor repair. Stop by Zimmerman Sales and Service for all your farming needs. Business hours are 8a.m. to 5p.m. Monday through Friday and 8a.m. to Noon on Saturdays.
The Celebrate CB Board would like to thank the following sponsors, individuals and organizations for their enormous help in making the 2014 Celebrate CB Week a huge success.
Thank You to our Sponsors!
Leach Campers; US Foods; Smokey Bears BBQ; Turf Cars; Marriott Springhill Suites; CB Convention and Visitors Bureau; Road Brew Coffee; Hy-Vee; Woodcrafters/Anderson Windows, Tish’s Restaurant Presenting Sponsor of Celebrate CB Week 2014: CenturyLink BBQ in the Bluffs: BBQ Coordinator: Rick Guill Presenting Sponsor: Harrah’s/Horseshoe Casinos Sponsors: Doll Distributing In-Kind Sponsors: US Foods, Smokey Bears BBQ-Corey Rush, Marriott Springhill Suites, CB Convention & Visitors Bureau, Turf Cars, Leach Campers, Tish’s Restaurant Volunteers: Karen Cedeno-Perdue, Cindy Schmader, Terry Oldenburg, Haley Mace, Jason Ferris, Jenny Guill, Bill Wege, Wendy Schultz, Sharon White, Bill White, Lynne Branigan, Tom Howard Logistics: Logistics Coordinator: Karen Cedeno-Perdue Volunteers: Carol Horner, Charlie McConkey, Eric Carlson, Rose Cedeno-Perdue In-Kind Support: CB Parks & Rec, CB Public Works Public Relations: PR Coordinator: Sue Pitts Volunteers: Chris Ruhaak, Lori Shields, Bruce Anderson, Rose Cedeno-Perdue Entertainment: Entertainment Coordinator: Jason Ferris Celebrate@The River Presenting Sponsor: USBank Sponsors: Silverstone, Council Bluffs Savings Bank Black Hills Energy, Midstates Bank, Celebrate CB Board Children’s Activities Coordinator: Marlys Lien Children’s Activities Presenting Sponsor: First National Bank Sponsors: Kids & Co.: Greg Smith, Becky Thompson Council Bluffs Public Library: Megan Healy, Peyton Schettler SAC Federal Credit Union: Michele Eby, Chris Davis EQ School of Design: Julie Mead, Kara Higgins, Yahira Lopez, Mackenzie Pike, Brandi Craft, Michelle Vorthman, Flor Valdez Home Depot: Namee Delacruz, Bobbie Nielsen, Jessica Joyce, Brandon Dorsy, Tom Gargano Interstate Improvement Program, HDR Engineering: Wendy Thompson, Will Sharp, Theresa McClure, Melissa Rider Text and Drive: Smith Davies Insurance Co staff - Pam Kreitzinger Family Inc.: Sarena Dacus First National Bank: Jesse Ramirez, Tiffany Oliver, Delilah Oliver to assist the LaRue’s Little Horse Ranch pony rides CB Fire Dept: for providing the House Fire Simulator Century Link: Photo Op. Volunteers: Haley Mace, Becky Gue, Tom Miller, Luke Mace, Zach Schaben, Molly Mundt, Katie Moore Food Vendors: Vendor Coordinator: Rick Guill Safety: Safety Coordinator: Jason Bailey Parade: Parade Coordinator: Wendy Schultz, Carol Horner Presenting Sponsor: Ameristar Casino, Sponsors: American National Bank, Mid-American Energy, Bluffs Downtown In-Kind Sponsors: CB Channel 17, Heartland Properties, Road Brew Coffee, Hy-Vee, Woodcrafters/Anderson Windows Parade Grand Marshal: Council Bluffs Neighborhood Associations Judging Coordinator: Bill Wege Judges: Jamie Cozad, Terry Coleman, Mark Burkey, Joshua Barbee, Martin Brooks, Bill Wege Announcers: Lynne Branigan, J.J. Davis, Sue Pitts Volunteers: Bill Wege, Stacy Shockey, Tom Howard, Jason Ferris, Sue Pitts, Kandi Snipes, Cristyn Humbert, Todd Humbert, Hannah Humbert, Blake Mace, Don Gross, Jessica Higgins, Tracy Hernandez, Cindy Schmader, Frank Schmader, Shane Pitts Amateur Radio/CERT: Terry Lindsley, Steve Yeoman, Andrea Yeoman, Jack O’Connor, Heather Gouker, Mike Donovan, Bob Sieck, Tim Witthauer, Theresa Jacoby Optimists: Gilbert Thomas, Scott Belt, Bernie Rosenberg, Ken Maschmeier, Len Wright, Stan Dirks, Patrick Henry, Mike Massman, Vern Van Riper, Lloyd Burke Parade Cleanup: Boy Scouts Ancillary Events: Clean Sweep: Live Well Council Bluffs Cookout: CB Chamber Ag Committee Celebrate CB Board Officers: President: Karen Cedeno-Perdue Chair: Carol Horner Vice President: Wendy Schultz Treasurer: Haley Mace Secretary: Marlys Lien Special Thanks to: Mayor Matt Walsh CB City Council CB City Clerk’s Office CB Police Department CB Parks and Rec Department CB Dept of Public Health CB Water Works CB Fire Department Broadway Methodist Church Kansas City Barbeque Society Amateur Radio Emergency Service Community Emergency Response Team Optimists Club The Daily Nonpareil If you would like to volunteer with us next year please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
JUST IN TIME FOR FATHER’S DAY!
-SON GOLF SPECIAL FATHER(OR FATHER-DAUGHTER) Buy one $99 golf card, get a second card at half price!
2 cards for $148.50 If you’ve already purchased a card at full price, stop by the offices of The Daily Nonpareil, show us your card, and pick up a second card for only $49.50!*
Atlantic Golf & Country Club
LoganMissouri Valley Country Club
• Card is for golf only and does not cover cart rental. • Tee times required at all locations. • Must mention Southwest Iowa Golf Card when scheduling tee times. • Card good Monday-Thursday anytime and on weekends after 2:00pm based on tee time availablility. • Card expires October 31, 2014.
One Southwest Iowa Golf Card entitles you to one 18-hole round of golf at 11 different golf courses!
Some restrictions apply:
A $279 value for only
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Two easy ways to purchase:
1. Go online to www.nonpareilonline.com/golfcard, make your purchase and your cards will be mailed directly to you. *Sorry, 1/2 price cards not available online. 2. Stop by the offices of The Daily Nonpareil at 535 W. Broadway, Suite 300 in downtown Council Bluffs, make your purchase and we’ll hand you your cards in person.
2/13/2014 4:10:25 PM
Some restrictions apply:
• Card is for golf only and does not cover cart rental. • Tee times required at all locations. • Must mention Southwest Iowa Golf Card when scheduling tee times. • Card good Monday-Thursday anytime and on weekends after 2:00pm based on tee time availablility. • Both cards expire October 31, 2014.
Faces of Neighbors
16F Sunday, May 25, 2014
The Daily Nonpareil
TANK THE TURTLE TEACHES TOTS TANK/From Page 1F
briefly mistaking his pinky finger for a steamed shrimp. He’s never gone after the family dog, Skipper, and he makes regular visits to meet with school groups. Those trips are the reason Gilfillan is allowed to keep what Council Bluffs officials would otherwise classify as a dangerous animal, although Tank’s personal and species name both misrepresent his soft side. Gilfillan spent 24 years as a Pottawattamie County sheriff’s deputy, and he taught Drug Abuse Resistance Education until about four years ago when he retired. With his background in law enforcement, Gilfillan was used to reading ordinances. In the fall of 2012, he said he realized snapping turtles were among animals banned by the city. “I actually don’t want to be in violation of the code,” he said. But the code allowed for an exception for animals used for educational purposes, and Tank already regularly met with schoolchildren. So Gilfillan approached the authorities, requesting a waiver. He credits being proactive about making Tank a lawful resident of Council Bluffs as part of the reason he received the variance, along with his law enforcement background. He keeps a laminated copy of the letter certifying Tank’s status as a legal turtle, in case anyone ever reports his pet. To continue to keep Tank lawful, he has to hold a valid fishing licence. Snapping turtles are considered game animals in Iowa, and the state allows license-holders to have up to 150 pounds of live turtle, Gilfillan said. He also has to carry insurance, which he already was, and he has to make sure children don’t get too close to Tank’s head and its sharp
‘It just seems where ever he goes, people fall in love with him.’ – Steve Gilfillan about Tank, his pet Snapping Turtle
Staff photo/Joe Shearer
Steve Gilfillan spends some quality time with his snapping turtle, Tank, in his home on May 15. snout. “I think that would go for a dog, too,” he said. In fact, Tank’s life isn’t that different from Skipper. He wanders around the house, especially after having a brand-new tank installed in the living room after he outgrew the bathtub. “He’ll climb up on the couch,” Gilfillan said. “It really
is like having a shelled dog,” He said one of his daughters once took a blanket, which once belonged to the late family dog Alex, that Tank uses when she laid down on the couch. Tank climbed up on the couch and gave her a look like a child whose possession had been taken away by a sibling. “He is very intelligent,” Gilfillan said.
But he is concerned what would happen if Tank got loose. The turtle couldn’t go back to living in the wild because he’s too comfortable with people. Fortunately, Tank only roams about 20 feet when he does take trips into the backyard. “He’s spoiled rotten,” he admitted. “There’s no doubt.” Tank recently visited science classes at Heartland
Tank will be at the Council Bluffs Public Library on July 28 for a free event to meet with the public. That event is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. “I’m hoping to get more and more people to learn these snapping turtles aren’t these menacing creatures,” he said. “He’s probably one of the most awesome animals I’ve ever had.”
Christian School. As a former DARE teacher, Gilfillan enjoys being back in the classroom. Beyond visiting with local children, Tank has recently taken trips to the University of Nebraska at Omaha and met with the Nebraska and Iowa herpetological societies. “It just seems where ever he goes, people fall in love with him,” he said.
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Published on May 23, 2014