Love at first glance

Posted February 14, 2019 at 6:00 am

By Julie Ann Madden

“Wither I goest, I will go; and

“Where thou lodgest, I will lodge.”

That’s the sign hanging amongst their family photos in their dining room in the farm house they’ve shared for most of their married life.

Phyllis Rollins, of Merrill, was attending the wedding dance of Robert and Bonnie (Tooker) DeRocher above the drug store in Merrill the Summer of 1951 when she caught the eye of a young Ireton farmer named Colin Coll-mann.

“I saw her dance by with somebody. I thought she’s kind of cute — I’ll see if she’ll dance with me,” the 20-year-old Le Mars Community High School Class of

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    Does Westfield have any zoning laws, documents?

    By Julie Ann Madden

    Does Westfield have a Planning & Zoning Commission? Does it have a zoning ordinance? A zoning map?

    Those were just one set of questions Westfield councilors tried to answer at their Jan. 21 meeting.

    As part of the Westfield Comprehensive Plan revision, Nicole Peterson of Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO) told the council they needed to appoint a Planning & Zoning Commission.

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    Youth gather for weekly evening of faith, fun

    By Julie Ann Madden

    On Jan. 16, more than 80 high school youth attended the first event planned by Akron-Westfield students who have come together to form “Jesus Alive in Me,” also known as JAM.

    JAM is weekly gatherings filled with faith and fun. The Wednesday night events include hanging out with other high school youth, playing games, eating supper together and participating in an activity.

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    AMA requests A-W enforce activity policy

    By Julie Ann Madden

    At their Jan. 14 meeting, Akron-Westfield School Board members were asked to stop student activities from infringing on Sunday and Wednesday “Church Night” times.

    Akron Ministerial Association member Pastor Steve Jewett told the board that since mid-December, pastors have been voicing concerns about school activities interfering with religious programs on Wednesday nights, which is Akron-Westfield’s “Church Night.”

    Akron-Westfield’s policy states “In keeping with good community relations, students’ school activities

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    Six off to State Large Group Speech!

    At the Large Group Speech District Contest Saturday in Sheldon, six of Akron-Westfield’s seven groups advanced to the State Contest, which will be held Feb. 2 in Spencer.

    They are:

    Choral Reading: “Dating Dilemmas,” with Autumn Bundy, Dakota Heeren, Kayla Johnson, Emma Martinac, Madelynn Munsen, Tori Nemesio, Jennifer Ritz, Sarah Ritz, Cameron Schroeder, Hannah Schwartz, Sean Steffens, Autumn Stowe, Megan Swancutt, Kailee Tucker, and Kyle Welch.

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    More than 100 years of faith, family and farming

    By Julie Ann Madden

    Documenting the heritage of their farm has been a labor of love to pass on to their children — who are the seventh generation to live on this piece of Iowa farm land.

    “It’s still a grain farm — corn and beans — the same as it’s always been the past 128 years,” said Amanda Breitbarth whose husband, Chase, is the sixth generation to farm this quarter-section

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    A-W ag educator is state award finalist

    By Julie Ann Madden

    “Have a passion in what you do in life. Don’t settle for any old job. Go into a job that you enjoy doing and make it your life. Don’t make it your job. Make it your life.”

    That’s just one of the gifts A-W Ag Educator Randy Kroksh is passing on to his 72 students as he teaches Animal Science, Plant & Soil

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    Todd Colt named District Athletic Director of the Year

    Akron-Westfield Athletic Director Todd Colt was named 2019 Northwest District High School Athletic Director of the Year by The Iowa Athletic Directors Association (IHSADA). He will be recognized at the annual IHSADA State Covention March 24 at the Coralville Marriott Convention Center.

    Other High School Athletic Directors named:

    • Steve Watson, Dallas Center – Grimes Central District and also named High School Iowa Athletic Director of the Year.

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    Making A-W history: Graduating college before high school

    By Julie Ann Madden

    Making Akron-Westfield history wasn’t in her mind when senior Autumn Stowe set a goal of getting a collegiate degree along with graduating from high school four years ago.

    But that is just what she has done. On Dec. 20, 2018, Autumn graduated from Western Iowa Tech Community College with an Associate of Arts degree in Arts & Science with honors — five months before she’ll graduate from high school.

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    Celebrating ‘first’ Christmases

    By Julie Ann Madden

    Several businesses are marking their first Christmas in Akron:

    • Akron Golf Course has a new manager, Gustavo Moraza, formerly of Des Moines.

    • Akron Lumber Company, new owners Joe and Leah Van Walbeek of Orange City.

    • Akron Pizza Ranch, owners Curt Von Hagel and Dillon Arends, of Sioux City, with General

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