Senior speakers tout accomplishments of class of 2016

Blais Richards let his hair down to fit under his mortarboard Sunday, as he and about 120 Maquoketa Community School District seniors received their diplomas. Repositioning his tassel is Superintendent Chris Hoover.
Blais Richards let his hair down to fit under his mortarboard Sunday, as he and about 120 Maquoketa Community School District seniors received their diplomas. Repositioning his tassel is Superintendent Chris Hoover.

By KELLY GERLACH

News Editor

kgerlach@mspress.net

Passionate.

Record-breaking.

Those two words encapsulated the 120 young adults wearing red gowns and mortarboards, awaiting their diplomas and official entry into the world of adulthood.

Those two words came up repeatedly in the last week as Maquoketa Community High School’s class of 2016 prepared to graduate. The students’ passion made them excel in academics, athletics, community service and fine arts. They earned the most number of college degrees while still in high school as well as the most scholarships.

Passionate.

Record-breaking.

 

Those were the challenges issued by seniors Brooke Lapke and Sarah Tabor to their classmates before setting off on their next adventures after high school.

 

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Spring field day showcases old-fashioned planting methods

Lucas Gruhn holds the reigns as his grandpa, Gene Gruhn, discusses his history with horses. The two, along with horses Katie and Kelly, harrowed the ground during a corn-planting demonstration to show how the work was done in the “good ol’ days.”
Lucas Gruhn holds the reigns as his grandpa, Gene Gruhn, discusses his history with horses. The two, along with horses Katie and Kelly, harrowed the ground during a corn-planting demonstration to show how the work was done in the “good ol’ days.”

By KELLY GERLACH

News Editor

kgerlach@mspress.net

Gene Gruhn held the world by the reigns last Saturday. 

With grandson Lucas by his side, Gruhn loosely grasped the reigns to his half-quarter horses, half-Haflingers Katie and Kelly. Perched atop a cherry-red wood four-cart, the Gruhns and horses circled the field, a harrow in tow, stirring up the dirt.

“They’re probably thinking this is hell right now,” Gene said, chuckling as he tried reading his horses’ minds. Katie and Kelly had plowed a small plot of field on Gene’s farm between Miles and Sabula, but the duo wasn’t meant to pull equipment, they were meant for hobby and recreation.

 

Their harrow duties preceded corn planting on the four-acre field east of the Clinton Engines Museum in Maquoketa. The Jackson County Horse and Harness Association hosted a spring plow demonstration day on the plot.

 

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Easton Valley hires new superintendent

Chris Fee
Chris Fee

By KELLY GERLACH

News Editor

kgerlach@mspress.net

Andrew and Easton Valley school districts hired a new superintendent last week.

Chris Fee, principal at Oak Park Elementary School in the Des Moines Public Schools system, accepted the shared superintendent position.

“I was seeking a new opportunity to make the most positive impact on the most number of people possible,” said Fee, 35. “That’s what brought me to teaching and what brought me to being a principal.”

 

The Easton Valley and Andrew boards selected Fee from a pool of 33 candidates from 10 states. The boards interviewed six semifinalists May 2, narrowing the field to two.

 

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Canton School to get facelift thanks to bequest

The outer shell of Canton School is holding up well after 139 years – it’s the roof and inner floor that need the most work. Three local groups met to discuss making needed repairs to the one-room schoolhouse.
The outer shell of Canton School is holding up well after 139 years – it’s the roof and inner floor that need the most work. Three local groups met to discuss making needed repairs to the one-room schoolhouse.

By KELLY GERLACH

News Editor

kgerlach@mspress.net

Logan Marr crouched on the warped, wood-plank floor inside Canton School, discussing flooring options with Larry McDevitt, county supervisor and conservation board member.

The men, both well-versed in carpentry, eyed the floor, hoping to preserve it despite the fact that it had been gnawed by rodents, weakened and deformed after the massive Lake Delhi Dam breach and flood of 2010.

 

But the floor was only one of the structure’s problems, which can now be addressed thanks to a bequest from a 

 

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County to install cameras

Steve Schroeder
Steve Schroeder

By DOUGLAS MELVOLD

Staff Writer

dmelvold@mspress.net

Jackson County residents and visitors to the courthouse soon will be on camera—a security camera system, that is.

The county Board of Supervisors last week approved the purchase of a $51,000 surveillance system that will be installed in public areas of the courthouse, the sheriff’s office, including the detention center, and the Penrose Annex.

The system will maintain a two-week visual record of the cameras’ recordings.

 

The supervisors on April 26 unanimously approved a recommendation from three members of the county security advisory committee to purchase the system from Avigilon Corp. of Vancouver, British Columbia, for $50,838.

 

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Maquoketa's Abe Kinrade juggles farm life and basketball

By NICK JOOS

Sports Editor

mspsports@mspress.net

Abe Kinrade bends over and puts down the basketball — a rarity. 

He turns and enters a barn stall and picks up a day-old calf nestled in the straw. 

She’s all black except a small white spot on her left rear hip. She’s sharing the stall with her mother, a cow Kinrade helped raise. The mother’s name is Ellie and the little one’s called Junior. 

The calf’s legs dangle as Kinrade carries the young bovine to a bathroom scale waiting on the concrete next to the basketball.

 

The 6-foot-7 junior from Maquoketa steps up and weighs the calf, all while wearing rubber boots and a Maquoketa basketball practice jersey, two items 

 

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