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• National Poetry Month

The April designation was established in 1996 and has since become the largest literary celebration in the world.

Central Decatur’s Peyton Pedersen was part of SWCC’s national championship men’s basketball team


• Clarke PTCO Carnival

Festivities run 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 31, in the Clarke Elementary Gym.

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158 YEARS • NO. 1




Homes by Brill comes to Osceola Award-winning builder is maximizing the free land incentive stand what a golden opportunity they have here,” said Brill. “I’ve never seen it represented like this in 38 years. You can get free land and no down payment to buy a brand new custom-built home. It doesn’t exist anywhere in the world.” The key was pairing up with long-term financing partner Heath Pomeroy of Tradition Mortgage in Urbandale. By leveraging the free lots Osceola is giving away, Brill is able to get non-traditional buyers into homes in record time. “The finance people are using that free land you’re getting as a down payment,” said Key. Buyers will start out with nearly $20,000 in equity in their homes before their first loan payments. Further, Brill is covering the closing costs himself. The only money buyers will need to come


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Don Brill has been building homes in Des Moines for nearly 38 years, and now he’s bringing his experience to Osceola to the make the most of new incentives. By combining his existing contacts with the free land deal, Brill is making it possible for people to build new homes for as little as $700 down. Fighting misconceptions “I think, to some extent, because of so many years of trying to do different programs, people are getting them confused,” said Brill. During a stop at The Iron Horse Neighborhood Grill, Brill and his assistant, Mary Joe Key, overheard people discussing the program. The conversations there and online were filled with misinformation.

“This is not just for new home buyers. This is also for people in existing homes that want to upgrade. You do not have to live in this house for 10 years. There’s no stipulations,” said Key. Development is not restricted to any one area either. Any lot for sale in Osceola city limits is eligible, with the exception of lots at Arbor Valley Lake. While originally the development was included, it already had

its own incentive program in place, and is no longer an option. Unfortunately, conflicting information has made the public cautious. “We made a presentation at the hospital two times, two shifts,” said Brill. “Zero showed up.” For the builder, it’s a tragedy. A world of possibilities “I just wish I could get the people of Osceola to under-

up with before signing is to pay for a year’s worth of insurance – right around $700. “I’ve got about three to five years left to build,” said Brill. “What I would like to do here at the end of my career is help people.” His plans include those with less-than-stellar credit. To take advantage of the program, buyers need a credit score of 640 or higher. However, Tradition Mortgage can help those with scores as low as 570 qualify in just a few months. “My lender has a program that he can help people in about a 60 day period to get your credit scores up,” said Brill. Another concern in the community is the cost of the homes he plans on building. In October, Brill completed his 500th house in Des Moines. Potential buyers who look at those units will

April 7 and 8 in the Clarke Auditorium adults and $2 for students. When starlet Norma Temple returns to the theatre that made her career, she takes audiences on a journey through her successes on stage — and her failures behind the scenes. The cast includes Gabe Crawford, as Tom, Brittany

Beckett, as Norma Temple, Maddy Mickle, as Marie Downs, Emily Barajas, as Sue Haller, Zach Smith, as Herb McIntire, John Echeveste, as Lanny Scott, Shailee Patel, as Beverly Rodgers, Samuel Reynoldson, as Conrad Marlowe, Samantha Belden, as Esther Pearson,

Riley Elben, as Jack Winston, Hope Lowry, as Flo Fletcher, Kenna DeVore, as Judith Blaine, and Nathan Porter, as Armando De Cortez. Anna Sereg and Victoria Swartz are the assistant directors under the guidance of Director Don May.

Clarke Community School teachers traveling to China Eight teachers from the Clarke Community School District will travel to China this summer to collaborate with host teachers and exchange ideas in education. Shijiazhuang Foreign Education Group, a private school of about 12,000 students ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade, will welcome the teachers for two weeks in July 2017. The Clarke educators will spend their mornings co-teaching in Shijiazhuang’s classrooms and then collaborating with their peers on lesson plans in the afternoons. Both schools are looking forward to learning additional strategies and techniques to help students excel. The Clarke teachers are excited to have the opportunity to experience the educational system in China and to see firsthand how children are educated in another country. Through this partnership with Shijiazhuang Foreign Education Group, the eight teachers hope to blend the more SINGLE SINGLECOPY COPYPRICE: PRICE:$1.00 75¢

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textbook-concentrated approach in China with the hands-on approach of Clarke Community schools. Collaborating on lesson plans and teaching techniques will afford a new, more effective approach to teaching for both schools as well as a more global understanding of the challenges faced in school districts around the world. “This is an amazing opportunity for our teachers to gain experience outside of Osceola and to see how children are educated in another country,” said Steve Seid, Clarke Community Schools’ Superintendent. “Participating in the different culture in and out of the school setting can only help Clarke’s educators establish more effective ways to ready our students for the world outside of Osceola.” The eight teachers traveling to China this summer are: Molly Jackson - 7th Language Arts/8th Technology, Jeff Ehrhardt - 7th Math/7th P.E, Lori Ehrhardt - 7th Science/7th Technology,

Contributed photo

Pictured are front row, from left, Cindy Norman, Paula Reece, Lori Ehrhardt and Fallon Reicks. In back row, from left, are Molly Jackson, Jeff Ehrhardt, Jennifer Scott, Kayleen McCann,

Kayleen McCann - Physical Education, Cindy Norman - 2nd Grade, Fallon Reicks – ELL, Jennifer Scott - High School Counselor, Paula Reece - High School T.A.G. Clarke Community Schools has been given many fortunate opportunities through their new relationship with Shijiazhuang Foreign Education Group. Superintendent Steve Seid was invited in October 2016 to present at a global conference on literacy, at which 500 educators from 3/27/2017



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Decatur County Hospital recently received notification that its Sleep Lab has been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). ACHC is a notfor-profit organization that has stood as a symbol of quality and excellence since 1986. ACHC is ISO 9001:2008 certified and has CMS Deeming Authority for Home Health, Hospice and DMEPOS. Due to new regulations for Medicare and Medicaid recipients, all facilities performing sleep studies must be accredited. Therefore, if you are a Medicare or Medicaid patient, your sleep study will only be covered if completed in a hospital that has an accredited sleep lab, such as Decatur County Hospital. An onsite inspection took place on February 10, and showed that DCH complies with all ACHC standards. Due to the positive results, accreditation was granted for three years. “With a sleep study, we can diagnose sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, insomnia, sleepwalking and other severe medical conditions,” said Andi Masters, RN, BSN, DCH’s Chief of Outpatient Services. A sleep study is conducted by attaching monitors to a patient while they sleep. These monitors take a re-

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cord of vital signs and movements made during the patient’s overnight stay in the hospital. Once the sleep study is complete, the data is analyzed, present conditions are diagnosed, and a treatment plan is created. “If you suffer from headaches in the morning, snoring, frequent drowsiness or insomnia, you should talk to your doctor about the possible need for a sleep study. Your physician will be able to refer you to Decatur County Hospital so your study can be done locally,” said Masters. To receive ACHC accreditation, DCH staff worked with the accreditation team to tour the sleep lab, interview staff and patients, review policies and procedures, and evaluate future performance improvement activities. They also observed a sleep study procedure in real time. “This accreditation shows our patients and community members that DCH has a continued commitment to provide the most high-quality and specialized services close to home,” said Michael Johnston, DCH Chief Operating Officer. For more information about DCH’s Sleep Lab, call 641-446-2323.

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be met with jaw-dropping prices topping $360,000. However, the homes slated for Osceola’s development will be roughly half of that, and with programs aimed at low-income buyers, payments could be well within the reach of many families. “I’ve got four models that I’ve priced. They’re going to be about $175,000 – 185,000,” said Brill, noting that buyers with income low enough to qualify for USDA pricing can tap into interest as low as 1 percent. “Those people can get their house payments cut in half.” BRILL | 6

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15 countries shared ideas on strengthening global literacy. This year, Clarke Middle School Principal Jeff Sogard will also travel to Shijiazhuang for the October 2017 conference and will make a presentation on the arts in education. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the Shijiazhuang exchange program, please contact Superintendent Steve Seid via email or call the district office at (641) 342-4969.


Hubbell Living Home Show

DCH receives prestigious ACHC accreditation

Spring Play ‘Leading Lady’

Clarke students will present “Leading Lady,” written by prolific playwright James Reach, 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, in the Clarke Auditorium. Tickets for reserved seating in the front half of the theater are available for $6. General Admission is $4 for

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Don’t Forget Bluegrass Music Jam

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