Sunday, November 29, 2020

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Posted November 04, 2020in Your Neighbors

2 poems by 2 local poets win 2 awards

Shelly Reed Thieman penned her first poetry verses for a fifth-grade Haiku contest. She won. The self-described “young and snappy grandmother of three girls” recently won another poetry competition. This time the recognition came for her words in the “Anniversary” category, celebrating The Iowa Poetry Association’s 75 years of publishing

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Posted August 05, 2020in Your Neighbors

SCAD sisters

As she pulled and pushed and worked the lawnmower through the rougher-than-usual grass, Johanna Hayes felt her chest tighten and her heart race. She should have been hot, but instead she felt a cold sweat. “I must be really out of shape,” she scolded herself as she stopped to rest.

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Posted February 05, 2020in Your Neighbors

37 mismatched napkin rings

And other Terrace Hill treasures “I taught for 45 years,” says Patrick Phillips-Schrock. As his official retirement date zoomed ever closer, he remembers wondering what was next. “This was my last year, and I thought, ‘Oh, what am I going to do now?’ ” Des Moines’ first millionaire is thought

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Posted January 01, 2020in Your Neighbors

Killing orcs while complaining about your boss and warping around the galaxy

Local Dungeon Master Paul Privitera works to build the popularity of polyhedral dice in central Iowa. Maybe you pretend that Earth’s oceans have flooded, the ice caps have melted, the skies have emptied and dry land no longer exists…. Or that WWIII brought about nuclear Armageddon, and you’ve tunneled underground

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Posted November 06, 2019in Your Neighbors


Local pro wrestling referee offers insight from inside the ring. “What’s it like being a referee in a sport with absolutely no rules?” Comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s question seems like a fair one. Before most pro wrestling matches, the participants gather beforehand to pre-determine who will win, with which finishing move

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Posted September 04, 2019in Your Neighbors

Painting a picture with yarn

Joyce O’Brien’s fiber art has been displayed in the offices of Gov. Terry Branstad, U.S. Congressman David Young and State Senator Jack Whitver. “I made it up,” says Joyce O’Brien. The 95-year-old is referring to her unique brand of “paintings” that don’t require paint. “I call this fiber art. It

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Posted June 05, 2019in Your Neighbors

148 medals and counting

When Frank Perez hears footsteps, the 76-year-old can still shift into another gear. Thump, thump, thump. “I heard these footsteps,” says 76-year old Frank Perez, as he remembers his best competitive moment at the Iowa Senior Games. Perez led after making the turn in the 200-meter dash. But behind him…

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Posted May 01, 2019in Your Neighbors

Not exactly a quick project

Dave Baker is working on the first of five photography books highlighting Iowa. There is nothing to do in Iowa. You have likely heard it before. But Dave Baker wouldn’t accept it. “In 2009, I was having a discussion with a college friend who was complaining that there was nothing

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Posted April 03, 2019in Your Neighbors

Twice retired

U.S. Army Reserves welcomes new ambassador. Dale Andres retired in 1995 after spending nearly a quarter of a century serving in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve where he attained the rank of brigadier general. During his first retirement, Andres took a position as chief pathologist and chief medical officer

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Posted March 06, 2019in Your Neighbors

Dream student

How did opera singing happen to a girl who grew up in Waukee? Opera is a bit of an unknown in the Hawkeye state, but for people who appreciate classic plot lines containing eternal human relevance performed by arguably the world’s strongest vocalists and elite level orchestras, it might be

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