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Ash Trees, Beware
County Depends on GRMC for Public Health Programs
Union County Treasurer Stops CDL Driving Tests
Living in Creston: Does Our Housing Meet Our Needs?
It's All About Service
Chamber of Commerce Names Citizen of the Year
New Agency Addresses Domestic Violence
Much of the KSIB listening area is undergoing a chance in domestic abuse service providers.
This summer, The Rural Iowa Crisis Center, which had provided domestic
violence and sexual assault victim services for the area closed its
doors. The move was the result of state directed regionalization. There
are now only six agencies serving the entire state, and services in
this area now fall under the domain of the Crisis Intervention and
Advocacy Center, based in Adel. Agency Director Johna Sullivan says as
of July 1, her agency provides services in Adair, Union, Adams,
Ringgold and Taylor counties.
Crisis Intervention and Advocacy already provides services to Dallas,
Guthrie, Madison, Clarke and Decatur counties. It is working to open
offices in throughout the new area.
In addition to the traditional services, the agency provides help for
the homeless. It does not operate a shelter, but works with people in
the community to provide emergency and transitional housing for people
on their client list.
Union County Board of Supervisors Chairman Ron Riley says he is glad to
see a new agency coming in to fill the void for much-needed services.
Sullivan is hoping she can count on the Union County Board for
financial support. Historically, the county has provided funding for
domestic violence victim’s services. The board instructed her to return
at budget time.
The Crisis Intervention and Advocacy provides a full array of services,
including a Spanish language hotline. Current clients are being
transitioned to the new agency. Those in need of emergency help can
call the 24-hour crisis line 1-800-400-4884.
CHS Hall of Fame
Creston Homecoming is Friday, and that means it is time to induct a new
class into the Creston High School Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees
are Curt Olson, Thelda Williams and Tim Kenyon.
Bender Williams was a typical high school student when she graduated
from Creston High School in 1959 – with the possible exception of
working in her parents' produce station. She never imagined she would
someday serve as council woman and mayor in the nation's fifth largest
city, Phoenix, Arizona. But she has no doubts about where and when
those seeds were planted. She says she gives Creston High School full
credit – with teachers who not only taught daily lessons, but taught
kids to take a chance. She says she learned a little about a lot of
things and that has taken her a long way.
Williams held several jobs before going to work for the Maricopa County
Sheriff's Department. There she started a drug rehabilitation program
that was known for its tough love. The program became a national model,
and Williams was entrusted with other projects – the first high school
for juveniles servicing time as adults, a pet MASH unit where prisoners
learned to care for abandoned and abused animals.
Just like much of her professional career, her entrance into politics
came from seizing an opportunity. She was working to lobby the city for
more parks and ball parks in her neighborhood when the opportunity to
run for office came up and she took it – and was elected.
That was in 1989. Since then, Williams has served on the Phoenix City
Council and was appointed Interim Mayor for a time in 1994. Along with
her array of city committees and boards, she is a frequent world
traveler as an ambassador for the city. She determined early in her
career that Phoenix needed an international airport, and has lobbied
the world over for international air service.
She says there are perks to the job. She once conducted a seminar on
democratic government in Moscow for more than 100 Russian mayors and
was given full VIP treatment, including her own performance of the
Bolshoi Ballet and a private tour of the Kremlin. Back in Phoenix, she
says it's not hard to see where to fix things if you are out in the
community. Trying to obtain the community ideal, with various factions
helping each other, is a lesson she says she learned in Creston.
Williams offers a bit of advice for current Creston High School
Students: “Learn everything you can. Continue your education throughout
your live. Have the courage to take a chance. And think big.”
In high school, Williams was a member of the original Peppers squad,
and has been married to fellow classmate Mel Williams for 54 years.
one can come to the end of life and be able to say they made a
difference, they can say they have lived a successful life. Curt Olson
was a success. Olson began his career as a teacher and a coach in 1968
and came to Creston in 1982. He died last year, just as he was about to
be inducted into the Hall of Fame, putting off the formalities of the
honor until this year. Olson’s wife Beth remembers he was surprised he
had been selected, he felt others were more deserving. She says that’s
just the kind of guy Olson was.
There are few in Creston who would argue with Beth Olson’s assessment.
Olson went to work every day determined to make a difference in kids’
lives. And make a difference he did. He worked with guidance counselors
to identify students who needed a special hand – those with drug or
emotional problems – or those who were struggling academically. Beth
says that came from battling his own health problems as a young child,
and parents who never lightened their expectations, and never failed to
Olson was a tireless coach and athletic director who saw to the
interests of his students on and off the field. He also held several
statewide Athletic Association offices and received the IHSADA Golden
Eagle Award, the NIAAA Award of Merit, and the IHSAA Administrator
award, and IHSADA State Athletic Director of the year. Olson was a big
man – in stature and in spirit. His mighty laugh was well known
throughout the community, as was his gentle heart and commitment to his
Beth says she has had several students tell her they would not have
graduated without Olson’s encouragement. Olson had started the 2012-13
school year, the same way he started every other – setting the stage
for student success. He was coaching the 8th Grade football team at the
time of his death.
For Beth, that was just life with Curt Olson: “He loved people. He
loved kids. He loves sports. He loved music. He loved the arts. And he
just thought everybody should have a chance.”
Olson was an active member of the Creston Chamber of Commerce, served
as parade master for many years, and sat on the Foster Care Review
Board. His Hall of Fame award will be accepted by his wife, Beth.
Tim Kenyon graduated from Creston High School in 1976. He has sat at
the same desk in the Union County Attorney’s office since 1983. During
that time he has amassed an impressive record, prosecuting more than
6,000 cases – more than all previous Union County Attorney’s combined.
Kenyon says that is due, in part, to the changing face of crime.
Today’s criminal activity all too often is the result of drug use,
He says his office has seen a drastic increase in juvenile cases and
makes giving kids a chance a high priority.
Working with kids is part of the reason for Kenyon’s nomination into
the Hall of Fame. In 1998 he received the Governor’s Volunteer Award
for his work with the Creston Middle School Mock trial program. He is
past president of the Creston Activities Booster Club and spent many
years involved in the Marching Band Parent’s Committee.
For Kenyon it offers a balance to the side of life he all too often
sees in his job. He enjoys the kids’ energy and positive attitude – and
says he learns a great deal from them.
His work with the band also fits with his ongoing love of music. Still
a practicing musician, he is a regular with the Waukee Big Band. He
says a highlight was playing the Surf Ballroom. Kenyon and his trumpet
are also regular guests with the Creston High School Pep Band.
He credits his success in all areas with the lessons he learned in high
school about hard work and preparation, adding “you get out of it what
you put into it.”
He says those lessons translated into what he considers the basic
elements of life – mainly keeping a positive attitude and looking for
the good in people.
He adds for most people that can be summed up by the phrase Carpe Diem – Seize the Day:
“When you get up in the morning, what are you going to do today to make
your house better, to make your family better, to make Creston better?
What are you going to do to make things better? Literally, you have to
seize the day. And sometimes it’s a little hard to get a hold of.”
Kenyon has been an adjunct professor at SWCC since 1990, teaching child
phycology and criminal justice, has served as youth group leader for
the Appalachia Service Project, and was president of the Iowa County
Attorney’s Association in 2010.
School Activities are Easy to Track
schools is using a new tool to inform parents and community members of
school activities. It’s a web-based tool called R-School, and it
provides an interactive digital calendar of events and other
Just click on “Activities” on the school’s website, crestonschools.org,
and then click on Hawkeye Ten.
From there you can navigate your way around Creston’s activity calendar
as well as many surrounding communities. Click on Creston and you’ll
get the full calendar, with daily details just another click away.
The site breaks down information by activity, by school, by date, and by conference.
If you’re a Hawkeye Ten watcher, there’s a special feature. The site
will soon have historical data and stats from throughout the conference.
Bevins says the R-school site isn’t just for sports. It covers
everything from this week’s football game to the Fifth Grade band
concert. The site even tells what time the student bus is leaving for
any given out-of-town activity.
All the information is there for people to plan ahead to support their school.
Bevin says they are no longer printing the red, full-size calendars,
but will still make the smaller tri-fold schedule available.
Stay tuned to KSIB Radio for the latest in area sports news.