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Posted 01/10/2024
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Aloe
Age: 2-3 years old
Breed: Tortoiseshell
Available at: Panora Pets

Aloe adapted to the shelter rather quickly but has been waiting for her furever home for more than a year now. She is curious, playful and energetic but not so much a fan of other kitties. Aloe loves human attention and interaction. She has a beautiful tortoiseshell coat and stunning eyes. Aloe has been vaccinated, altered and microchipped.


Male blue jay
Posted 01/10/2024
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

This month’s nature photos shared by Trish Hart are for those who mourned the lack of a white Christmas this year. Colors are tough to find outdoors during Iowa winters, and that’s made worse by a snowless landscape. To help us remember how snow makes a difference, Trish gathered a few photos she took last winter that feature colorful birds against a snowy background. Hart offers custom prints of her photos on canvas, paper, metal and glass. Learn more by visiting Nature’s Canvas Photography on Facebook.


Jolene  family july 2023 43
Posted 12/13/2023

I like going to movie theaters. Comfortable seats. Big screens. And plenty of popcorn and candy. If you are looking for nearby theaters to visit during these cold winter months, you can find them in Stuart, Perry and Jefferson with many more in Des Moines and the suburbs. But, unfortunately, that list is dwindling.
Like many of you, Jolene and I used to go to a movie most every weekend during our dating years. That changed. Once married and with kids, when the discussion of new movies came up with others, I would sarcastically ask, “Did Disney make it?” At that stage in our lives, if Disney didn’t make it, we likely didn’t see it.
We all enjoyed those family movie outings, but as the kids grew older, they didn’t think it was cool to go to movies with Mom or Dad anymore. Jolene and I understood (kind of) and eventually started venturing out for movie date nights again, just not nearly as often as we used to. Blame it on streaming. Blame it on high costs. Blame it on a bad selection of movies. You can point the finger of blame in a variety of places, but as the old saying goes, when you point one finger, three more are pointing back at you.
When we lived in the small town of Nebraska City, Nebraska, a few decades ago, we had a wonderful movie house in town called the Pioneer Theater. It didn’t have reclining seats, craft beer or pepperoni pizza back then, but it did have charm, and we were fortunate to have it. My friend Scott O’Neil is a dentist in town and a regular at the theater. He told me years ago that he tries to go to a movie every week — whether it is a show he wants to see or not — to support the theater and help to ensure it will be there for years to come. When I last looked, it’s still there, which is better than can be said in Johnston, or in Urbandale, or at Southridge Mall in Des Moines where theaters have closed.
Truth be told, we haven’t supported our local theaters like my friend Scott does. And the recent closures are not-so-subtle reminders that we need to support all our local businesses or they simply won’t be here — and not just movie theaters. We have a number of wonderful businesses in the area, many of which advertise their goods and services in the pages of this publication. Amazon and other online shopping sites will be just fine without your purchases. For that matter, so will Netflix and Hulu and Disney Plus. But the local merchants rely on all of us to at least consider their offerings, especially this holiday season. I am going to make an even more concentrated effort to support them this season, and I hope you will, too.
Merry Christmas to you all, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Lake Panorama Times
515-953-4822, ext. 305

MJ Brown estimates she has more than 300 versions of jolly old St. Nicholas.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The Santa collection that fills a Lake Panorama home each Christmas season began with just one. MJ Brown says that first Santa belonged to her grandmother, who loved Christmas as much as she does.
“It was special to me from the time I was a little girl,” she says. “I remember looking lovingly at it then, even though it sat on a shelf out of my reach. I began adding Santas when my children were small, and decorating for Christmas took on a whole new meaning. Each year, more somehow appeared.”
Brown isn’t sure how many Santas now live in the home she shares with her husband, Dave.
“I suppose if you counted all the Santa ornaments on our three Christmas trees, the number would probably be over 300,” she says.
It was the late 1980s when the Browns purchased two lots on Briar Cliff Court on the east side of Lake Panorama. They began building their home in 1994 and moved in spring of 1995.
“He wanted the water, and I wanted the woods, so we both had our wishes granted,” she says. “We were able to buy the adjoining third lot a year later from our good friends and next-door neighbors Dave and Mary Ann Ostrem, who, along with a group of other friends, finally persuaded us to leave West Des Moines and enjoy lake life.”
At the time, the Browns were putting in long hours in Des Moines each day at their family business, Critchett Piano and Organ Co. Bert Critchett, who founded the company in 1922, was Dave’s grandfather.
“The move to Lake Panorama meant an additional two hours commuting, but the inconvenience was well worth it,” MJ says. “Panora is about the size of the town I grew up in, which was Central City in eastern Iowa. When we moved here, I felt as though I was coming home and found it easy to settle into the community.”
Brown usually starts decorating for Christmas on Thanksgiving weekend.
“I have been fortunate the past few years to have friends willing to spend a day or two helping me unbox my Santas,” she says. “Before that, it would take me at least two weeks to get things in order by myself.”
Brown has a wide array of Santas.
“My collection consists of smaller collections grouped together in their own displays, primarily Fitz and Floyd, Pipka, Lenox and Lladro,” she says. “The living room tree features many Radko ornaments, and the tree in our bedroom is decorated in Wedgewood ornaments.
“Some of my other favorites are two intricately hand-painted Russian Santas we purchased while on a trip to St. Petersburg and others from Rothenberg and Cologne, Germany,” Brown says. “Several House of Hatton Santas are from the former House of B store in Panora.”
Brown says a whimsical Sticks Millennium Santa welcomes guests as they enter the house.
“Speaking of whimsical, I have a 4-foot-tall Santa frog purchased in Leavenworth, Washington,” she says. “He has a big round belly, red and white striped pants and is trimmed in white faux fur. No matter where the Santas came from, Victorian to whimsey, I love them all.”
Since it takes so long to get her Santa collection in place each year, Brown says she likes to keep everything in place “well into January. Last year, our daughter’s family from Seattle wasn’t able to get here as planned due to the blizzards the entire country experienced over the holidays. I left one tree standing, and we celebrated Christmas on Mother’s Day weekend when they could fly back.”
Finding a place to store the Santas when they aren’t on display is an issue.
“All of my special pieces are in their original boxes, which is why it takes so much room to store them,” Brown says. “When we did an addition onto our current home on the golf course, we added two large built-in cabinets in the garage that we thought would be sufficient. It still wasn’t enough room, so we’re using additional garage space in a large storage closet.”
Brown says for the past few years, Dave has threatened to rent space on Panora’s Main Street to set up a retail Christmas store, since he believes they have enough inventory to open a business.
“That’s not going to happen,” MJ says.
The Browns have six grandchildren. Four are adults now. Two 14-year-old twin granddaughters are in West Des Moines.
“My grandchildren grew up with the collection and ask about the history behind their favorites,” Brown says. “Within my Fitz and Floyd collection are five large, beautifully detailed Santa cookie jars, of which three of my granddaughters have already laid claim to. However, I can’t part with them just yet.”
To share her Santa collection with others, the Browns have opened their home twice for the annual Women for Panora’s Future holiday home tour. Once was at the home they built on Briar Cliff Court and then again in the home they moved to on the fifth hole of the LPN golf course in fall of 2019. When Brown is asked to make a presentation to area groups about her collection, she takes about 20 Santas along.
The Browns plan to host the Panora Methodist Church chime and vocal choirs for what MJ says will be an “after-Christmas Christmas party” in early January. “I have been the choir director for 20 years and wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their diligent work,” she says. “Plus, it gives me an excuse to leave the decorations up a little longer.”

Estimated cost to develop this new recreational area is $35,000.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Both the disc golf course and the trail system on Lake Panorama’s south shore now are ready for visitors. The plan for these low-impact recreational amenities was developed by Friends of Lake Panorama and approved by the LPA board.
A fenced driveway begins at 5501 Chimra Road and leads to a parking lot that allows walk-through access to the recreation area. A small shelter near the parking lot is in place; a picnic table will be added in the spring. Beyond the shelter are two markers. One points right to the first hole of the golf course, and the other points left to the trail system.
The disc golf course features nine concrete tee pads with nine metal basket targets. Tee box signs showing hole distance and layout, plus hole sponsors, will be in place next spring.
The Lake Panorama disc golf course now is listed on UDisc, which is an app that lists more than 14,000 courses worldwide. Disc golfers use the UDisc app on their smart phones to keep score and navigate interactive course maps.
The Lake Panorama trail system has brown fiberglass trail markers located at trail system junctions marked on both sides with colored arrows. There are five trail options, each designated with a different color. Those who start at the trailhead and do the full loop to the shoreline and back up through the meadow area to return to the parking lot will walk two miles. Other trail options offer shorter distances.
The recreation area is open during daylight hours. Wheeled vehicles are prohibited. There are no trash receptacles, restrooms or running water; visitors should plan accordingly. Members and their guests who have registered with the LPA can hunt deer on the south shore from Nov. 1 through Jan. 10. The area is restricted to bow hunting.
Next spring, 18 bluebird houses will be installed along the trails. If funds allow, four backless benches also will be installed along the trail, with two near the shoreline and two in the meadow area.
The estimated cost to develop this new recreational area is $35,000. Over the past two years, Friends of Lake Panorama has received $11,000 in private donations for projects on the south shore. Another $4,000 has been donated this fall. Some funds are available from the 2023 Beach Ball and disc golf course tee box sponsors.
Additional donations are being sought. A welcome sign near the shelter will be added in the spring. It will include a Lake Panorama map, general information about the south shore recreation area, and a list of donors who have given $500 or more to this project by Dec. 31, 2023.
Tax-deductible donations can be made by check payable to Friends of Lake Panorama, and mailed to Friends, P.O. Box 488, Panora, Iowa, 50216. Donations also can be made through Venmo @Panorama-Friends, or by credit card at
Rutledge (cropped)

Total of 1,050 walleye, 1,400 smallmouth bass, 1,500 largemouth bass and 2,500 perch released.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

About $18,000 worth of fish were added to Lake Panorama Nov. 2, funded by Fin and Feather. Fish stocking for 2023 included a total of 1,050 walleye with 300 of those 12 inches or more and 750 in the 6- to 9-inch range. There also were 1,400 smallmouth bass, 1,500 largemouth bass and 2,500 perch released this year.
The long-time supplier for the fish-stocking program is North Star Fish Hatchery, a third-generation, family-owned business in Montour, Iowa. North Star brought the fish to Lake Panorama, where the fish were introduced into the lake at Boulder Beach.
Fin and Feather stocks fish that range from 3 inches to 15 inches in length, depending on the species, to promote high survival rates. Fingerlings and fry are less expensive but have much lower survival rates. Stocking larger fish is a good investment, as more quality fish have been caught in Lake Panorama in recent years. This year, both species of bass were above the 3-inch mark and the perch and walleye were larger than usual.
Volunteers in the non-profit Fin and Feather group have been stocking fish and working to improve fishing conditions in Lake Panorama since 1984. When the dam was closed in 1970, the only thing natural to the lake were crappie, largemouth bass, carp and catfish.
Besides stocking fish, the group helps improve fish habitat and sponsors an annual fishing derby for children during Panorama Days. Fin and Feather raises its money through annual memberships and a fundraising banquet each spring.
The 2024 banquet is scheduled for Saturday, May 11, the same date as the LPA annual meeting. The event will be held at the Lake Panorama National conference center, with social hour at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m.

Anna Miller, owner of Mitzie Rue’s Canine Corral, named the business after her first dog.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Mitzie Rue’s Canine Corral, LLC opened in July 2019. Offering overnight boarding and day care for dogs, the facility is located on Highway 44 between Panora and Guthrie Center. Owner Anna Miller says she is a dog lover living her dream job.
“Dogs are my passion and my calling,” Miller says. “I’ve had dogs my whole life. After college when I was having to pay for and board my own dogs when I couldn’t take them with me, I began to plan my dream job. I wanted a fun and affordable place where everyone would want to board their dogs, feel comfortable leaving them in good hands, and where the dogs would enjoy being while their owners are away.”
Miller grew up in Denison and graduated from high school there before attending DMACC in Ankeny to study commercial art. She met her future husband, Ian, in 2008 at an auto auction where she was working. He grew up in Adel and went to WYOTECH in Wyoming. He has worked as a mechanic for almost 20 years and now manages a shop in Grimes. The couple married in 2012 and have two children, Alice, who is 7, and Victor, who is 4.
The Millers lived in Earlham their first four years of marriage.
“I always loved driving through Guthrie County from Earlham to visit my parents in Denison,” Miller says. “The countryside is beautiful. During one trip, I told my husband I wanted to move to Guthrie County. He said it was too far of a commute to where we were currently working, which it was.”
Yet, once the couple got serious about opening a dog boarding facility, and it was time to start looking for an acreage, Guthrie County reentered the picture. They found a nearly 8-acre property with a house for their future family and a shed that could be turned into a dog kennel.
“We knew this acreage was the perfect spot for what I had in mind,” she says.
The Millers purchased the acreage in 2016. There were lots of legal steps that required working within county, state and federal regulations to become a licensed facility. Ian Miller started work on the kennel building in spring 2017, and the facility opened in July 2019.
Anna Miller grew up with Brittany spaniels, but the first dog she owned was three-quarters wolf and one-quarter husky. Its name became Mitzie Rue.
“I got her my sophomore year in college. She was one-and-a-half years old and rotten, but she quickly became a devoted, well-behaved companion. She was so loyal,” Miller says. “I dreamt of a day when she could be beside me, working my dream job.”
A year after adopting Mitzie, Miller added a bird-dog mix named India, and the two dogs became pals.
“Both were able to move here with us and enjoy some life on the farm,” she says.
Mitzie Rue is the face of the business.
“All my signs and logos are ones I designed of her,” Miller says. “She passed away at 14 years old in 2017. My father passed away a month before her, to the date. After losing two of my best friends, I realized there isn’t always tomorrow, and it was time to start building this dream. The day we buried Mitzie was the day we started drawing plans and making phone calls.”
Mitzie Rue’s has 14 kennels but is licensed to hold more if there are multiple dogs from the same household sharing a kennel. Miller says, when boarded, dogs are rotated out to the play yard and run area.
“There is no limit on how many potty breaks they get; it’s just a constant rotation,” she says. “Potty breaks can range from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the number of dogs we have and if they are in a kennel with access to the indoors.”
Doggie day care is available Monday through Friday, by appointment, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
“Day care gives your dog the opportunity to socialize with other compatible dogs and enjoy play time,” Miller says. “I have a few that come every Tuesday and Thursday. I am very flexible with the duration and times, and I charge accordingly. As long as we have a kennel open, we can fill that spot with a day care dog.”
If more than six months old, Iowa law requires day care dogs be spayed or neutered. The dog also needs to pass a temperament test before being placed with other dogs.
Miller says most dogs that come for boarding are from Lake Panorama, Panora and other Guthrie County locations.
“We get some from out-of-state who come here to visit family. We have customers from Carroll County, Denison and several small towns ranging from 30 to 50 minutes away,” she says. “We also get a lot of customers from the Des Moines area who travel here, looking for a small-town environment.”
Weekends, holidays, summer months and spring break for area schools are Mitzie Rue’s busiest time.
“We usually book up for Thanksgiving and Christmas a month in advance, but it’s always worth a call to be put on the wait list in case of any cancellations,” Miller says. “Most times we can accommodate last minute bookings, as long as we aren’t full.”
Miller decorates for each holiday. Dogs booked during Thanksgiving receive a complimentary feast that includes home-grown green beans, sweet potatoes and squash from the family’s garden. Dogs booked at Mitzie Rue’s during holidays always go home with some kind of goodie.
It isn’t just the holidays when visitors get the royal treatment.
“All dogs staying with us get bedtime snacks, and I play doggie lullabies at bedtime,” Miller says. “We are a family oriented, family-owned small business. Many of our customers have become like friends and family, always thinking of our kids during the holidays and on vacations. Along with their dogs, they have become loved by our family.”
Miller says the business has been more successful than she ever expected, and she is quick to give credit to others for that success.
“If it weren’t for my husband saying ‘yes, you can do this; your dream is possible’ and physically building it, and for my late father always believing in me and putting his family first, this dream would never have become reality,” she says. “I wish Dad and Mitzie were here to see it, but I trust in God’s plan and know they are a part of it in so many ways.”
Miller says Mitzie’s legacy lives on, because her customers know her name and her face.
“And I get to talk about her almost every day,” she says. “This truly is my dream job, and I enjoy every single day. I believe that shows through in how much we care for and enjoy our customers. Without our customers, who have loyally stuck with us since we first opened, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
Mitzie Rue’s has a Facebook page, plus a website at Contact Miller by calling 641-755-3793 or emailing

Both Lake Panorama Association property owners and those who are not LPA property owners can purchase season passes.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

A good way to stave off the winter blues is to purchase 2024 season passes to play golf at Lake Panorama National or Panorama West, or both.
Lake Panorama National is an 18-hole course located on the east side of Lake Panorama. Panorama West is a nine-hole course on the west side of the lake. Both courses are owned by the Lake Panorama Association and managed by Lake Panorama National.
Those who had season passes in 2023 at either course will receive 2024 season pass details by mail. Purchase forms also are available online and in the LPN pro shop.
Both Lake Panorama Association property owners and those who are not LPA property owners can purchase season passes. There are several options, with all options including free use of the Lake Panorama National driving range.
A Lake Panorama National 2024 season pass for LPA property owners is priced at $2,795 for families, $2,375 for couples, $1,815 for an individual, and $466 for junior golfers under the age of 18. An LPN season pass for non-LPA property owners is $3,073 for families, $2,655 for couples, $2,096 for individuals, and $466 for juniors.
For LPA property owners purchasing a season pass at Panorama West, fees are $817 for a family, $642 for a couple, $467 for an individual and $117 for a junior. For non-LPA property owners, Panorama West season passes are $934, $759, $583, and $117 for those same four categories.
Those who have never had a season pass at Lake Panorama National can purchase a “special first time” pass. The cost for a family is $1,782, for a couple it is $1,467, and for an individual, the cost is $969. LPN 2024 passholders who refer a “first time” person who purchases a season pass will receive $50 in LPN pro shop credit.
Those who do not own a home at Lake Panorama, and who live more than 18 miles from Lake Panorama National, can purchase LPN season passes for $2,376 for a family, $1,957 for a couple, and $1,292 for an individual.
Season pass details for the LPN swimming pool and fitness center also are on the 2024 forms.
Those using private carts on either golf course must pay a trail fee. At the LPN, members have the option of a cart lease, which entitles one person to a seat on an LPN cart for the season.
Other services listed on the 2024 forms are cart storage at both courses and a USGA handicap at the LPN. Those who play in the LPN’s leagues and handicap tournaments must pay the $35 handicap fee. This fee is not required for Panorama West leagues.
All season pass purchases made by Dec. 31, will be entered into a drawing. Prizes awarded will include LPN Pro Shop shopping spree, $500 value; Scotty Cameron putter, $450 value; custom Titleist golf bag, $250 value; one-nNight condo stay at LPN, $249 value; 2024 family pool pass, $190 value; 9-hole playing lesson with Rob Riggins, $150 value; 2024 LPN men or women league entry fee, $105 value; and $100 gift card for The Links Lounge.
Forms to complete when purchasing season passes are online at


Posted 12/13/2023

Submit your questions at or email

Q: How thick should ice be on Lake Panorama before people should be ice fishing?
A: Some people have steadfast rules about how many inches ice should be to make it safe to fish, but the reality is that no ice is 100% safe ice and any journey across it comes with risks. In other words, safety depends heavily on the quality of ice — not just the thickness. Even so, most people agree that less than 4 inches of ice is not safe to walk on. According to, 4 inches can generally support one person on foot, provided it’s just a person and a tent. Five to 7 inches can support a snowmobile or small ATV. Nine to 10 inches can support a small car. Thirteen inches can support a medium truck. Sixteen to 17 inches can support a heavy-duty truck. And 20-plus inches can support a heavy-duty truck with a wheelhouse shelter.

Q: What does it mean when lake water is said to “turn”?
A: According to U.S. Geological Survey, many lakes experience a “turning” of water layers when seasons change. In summer, the top of the lake becomes warmer than the lower layers. Since warm water is less dense than colder water, it stays on top of the lake surface. But, in the winter, lake surfaces can get quite cold. When this happens, the surface water becomes denser than the deeper water with a more constant year-round temperature (which is now warmer than the surface), and the lake “turns” when the colder surface water sinks to the lake bottom.
Q: Does Lake Panorama follow the Iowa DNR regulations for hunting? What about trapping?
A: According to section 6.3 of the LPA Rules and Regulations guide, all rules and regulations regarding fishing, hunting, and/or trapping promulgated by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are adopted by the Lake Panorama Association. Hunting within the confines of Lake Panorama Subdivision is prohibited, except in such areas and under such conditions and regulations as may be designated and established from time to time by the Lake Panorama Board of Directors. Trapping is generally prohibited but may be allowed under certain controlled situations with special permission by the Lake Panorama Association. Contact the LPA office with any specific questions.


Posted 12/13/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

Guthrie County Auditor Dani Fink provided results of the Dec. 5 special election to elect two members (trustees) to the board of the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ). Trustees JoAnn Johnson and Doug Hemphill were both running for re-election to the board. Johnson received 65 votes, and Hemphill received 64. No other votes were tallied. Johnson and Hemphill will have three-year terms and will continue to serve with fellow trustees Bill Dahl, Larry Petersen and Corey Welberg.

Only 80 books remain in stock.

Posted 12/13/2023

Looking for a holiday gift for family or friends, or perhaps new neighbors at Lake Panorama? Consider purchasing one or more copies of “Lake Panorama – The First 50 Years.” The book, authored by Susan Thompson, arrived at the Lake Panorama Association office July 19, 2019.
The full-color, hardcover 112-page book includes both historic and contemporary photos. Chapters in the book describe six decades of planning and development. There are special topic chapters on Lake Panorama’s golf courses, infrastructure and water quality efforts. Sidebar stories highlight various groups and activities such as Lake Panorama ski team, Fin and Feather, Fourth of July fireworks and more.
The LPA financed the book’s production. About 1,000 books were printed, and now just 80 books remain in stock. The book’s cost is $25, which includes tax. LPA will ship at an additional cost of $5 per book. Once ordered online, books will be shipped from Panora in seven to 10 business days.
Books are available for direct purchase at the LPA front desk Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and in the Lake Panorama National Resort pro shop during business hours. Purchases can be made at the LPA and LPN via cash, check or credit card. The book also is available at the Panora Library, with purchases cash or check only.
Here is the link to order online and have one or more books shipped:


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Posted 12/13/2023
By Lynn Kuhn
Special to Lake Panorama Times

Tis the season to dream about a landscaping project. That’s right! Winter is the perfect time. The best way to ensure your dream becomes a reality is to avoid these common mistakes.


This is at the top of my list due to the stress it may cause for the client, designer and contractor. Avoid this stress by doing the following.
Start the design process one or two seasons before you want the project completed. For example, if you want a project completed in spring, then start planning late fall/early winter. Meet with your designer and/or contractor before the snow falls so you can walk around the property and see the existing landscape.
The design and quoting process takes more time than you think. To have a meaningful quote, you need to start with a solid design. Most projects require one or two revisions to end up with a design solution that meets your needs and your budget.
Speaking of budgets, if you have a budget, share it with your designer and contractor during the first meeting. However, most people do not have an understanding of what landscaping features cost and, therefore, don’t know what level of investment to budget for. The best way to handle this is to collect images of landscape features you are interested in, bring them to the initial meeting, and ask the contractor for a range of what they may cost, which an experienced contractor will likely be able to do.
Lastly, communicate your priorities to your designer by ranking them. This guides the design process and material selection, too. The more information you provide, the better. An experienced designer will take that information and explore design solutions that you may or may not have considered.


It is very common for landscaping to be out of scale with the house or the property as a whole. This shows up in various ways. Here are a couple of examples.
A two- or three-story house should have wider landscape beds and taller trees to make it look nestled into the surrounding landscape. Unfortunately, it is all too common to see narrow beds alongside tall homes, making the plants appear as if they are pushed up against it. Keep in mind the taller the house, the taller the plants should be. This can be a challenge in neighborhoods with narrow side yards. Plants with columnar form can help in these situations.
The overall size of the property should inform the amount of landscaping that is appropriate. It’s all about balancing positive and negative space. An acreage may require tree groupings and broader sweeps of vegetation in certain spots to enhance the property while a townhome may require compact plants in smaller groupings.


Thoughtful plant selection is the key to avoiding this very common mistake. It starts with knowing what role or function you want from the plant. For example, on the front corner of the house, you may need an anchor plant that does not exceed 15’ tall, loves full sun, tolerates clay soil, provides winter interest, and won’t rub up against the house. That’s a lot of boxes to check.
The next step is to make sure the beds are wide enough to accommodate the plants. Many homeowners make the mistake of creating beds, THEN deciding what to plant. This often leads to creating a high-maintenance situation resulting in an overly pruned landscape, which is not aesthetically pleasing unless you are at Versailles.
If you start with a solid landscape design created by a designer with plant knowledge, this can be avoided.

Structure, often referred to as the framework, is very apparent this time of year. It’s the foundation of the entire landscape. It consists of structures (deck, pergola, fire pit, walls, etc.) plus woody plants (trees and shrubs) and how these elements are arranged. For example, are the trees planted in groves or in lines?
When elements are haphazardly placed in the landscape, it looks unorganized. There is no flow or connection between the spaces. There is no logic. It feels chaotic. Lack of structure and organization may be apparent in the framework, as well as the softer elements within the framework, such as herbaceous plants (perennials, annuls, ornamental grasses).


The landscape is so dynamic as it is growing and shifting constantly. Your lifestyle and values may also change over time. Down the road, you may end up with something you simply don’t like. These shifts make it challenging to know what elements to include and what level of investment to make in your property. Alignment between the landscaping project and what is truly important to you requires a deeper dive into what you value and how that shapes your landscape project. I recommend starting with defining your WHY. Ask yourself…
Why do I want to make this investment? How do I want to use my outdoor space? How do I want to feel when I’m in it? How do I want others to feel? What are my goals? Perhaps you’d like to connect with your grandchildren, entertain friends, or simply unwind after a long day.
Once you’ve reflected on what’s truly important, you can create an outdoor environment that you will love for years to come.

Written by Lynn Kuhn, author of “Conversation Gardens: Where Conversations Flow and Relationships Grow.” She is a landscape architect, speaker and owner of Conversation Gardens (formerly Outdoor Transformations). You can reach Lynn at or


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Posted 12/13/2023
Special to Lake Panorama Times

Women For Panora’s Future (WFPF) held its annual Holiday Tour of Homes on Sunday, Dec. 3 from 1-4:30 p.m. Four homes were on the tour, as well as Twin Vines Winery. The home tour usually raises enough money to award $500 scholarships each spring to two graduating Panorama Community School students. The tour is the group’s largest annual fundraiser with other key fundraisers being an annual raffle for a monthly plate of cookies or a pie and a can collection drive in May and June. Homes that were on the tour are owned by Paula Wachholtz, Troy and Stephanie Reinhart, James and Julie Tibbles, Kenny and Sonya Pierce, and twins Brad and Ben Hayes, owners of Twin Vines. The first Christmas home tour was in 1978 with 70 people attending.


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Posted 12/13/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

For many years, Kandi Meinecke has operated Britches N Bows Country Store and Boutique from her home in rural Panora. With the recent closing of the Quinnebago/Lexie Lou’s store, Meinecke saw this as an opportunity to move her business into a downtown lot that will provide the space she needs as she works to expand her offerings.
Meinecke was the winning bidder when the Quinnebago building was recently auctioned.
“We just want to expand our business,” she said. “We’ve been out here for 25 years.  We’re going to offer some additional services that we don’t offer now.”
Meinecke said the business will be a full-blown floral shop, providing florals for every occasion, and making deliveries.
“And we’re going to have a coffee bar with specialty coffee drinks and treats,” she said. “We will be selling home décor, gifts, cards, a variety of items like that.”
She also stated that the business will set up displays in the basement area, as they also decorate for weddings and have wedding rentals.
Meinecke said the official opening day for the new location is uncertain, but she said she hopes by March 1. She currently employs a few part-time employees but said, “I will have to have way more staff in there. Three full-time and probably three part-time.”
Some type of grand opening event will be held, but Meinecke said she does not yet have an official date or details.

Q&A: Royce Shaffer

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

This month’s Q&A is with Royce Shaffer, who was appointed LPN director of operations Sept. 1 after being operations manager for nearly five years. He has been with the LPN/LPA organization in various roles since 2003 with the exception of a year-and-a-half beginning in 2006 when he managed the Majestic Hills golf course in Denison.

Q. What are the various operations within the Lake Panorama National Resort?
A. Lake Panorama National Resort consists of the Lake Panorama National golf course, the Panorama West golf course, The Links Lounge + Events, lodging, swimming pool and fitness center. After the closure of the Links Lounge In 2022, a food and beverage task force of LPA and LPN board members, plus volunteers with experience in the food and beverage industry, reviewed all options and recommended the best long-term strategy would be to lease this portion of the LPN operation to a third party vendor. In 2023 a one-year agreement was signed with Nick and Lynn Kuhn who operate The Links Lounge + Events. The Kuhns also own and operate The Hall in West Des Moines, The Beerhouse in Urbandale and The Clubhouse Bar + Grille at Sun Valley Lake. This task force remains in place today to oversee the success of this arrangement.

Q. What is the status of The Links Lounge + Events for 2024?
A. This past September the food and beverage task force gathered input on the 2023 operations via a survey. A total of 490 responses were received. From this survey, the task force identified a list of items they wanted to work on with our current tenant. Eighty-three percent of respondents expressed wanting a casual full-service dining experience. When asked to choose between personal service and fast service, 82% chose personal service with only 18% choosing fast service. Seventy-five percent of respondents stated they would like a server to take their order, with only 60% of respondents feeling it was important for a server to close out their order. This information has been helpful in crafting a strategy for 2024. LPN has reached a tentative agreement with the Kuhns that will address this feedback and modestly expand hours during our busy season.
If you are looking to schedule an event in 2024 or have questions regarding an event already scheduled, send an email to Lynn can answer any questions you may have and get your event on our 2024 calendar.
I encourage you to continue to support this operation during the off season. The Links Lounge has transitioned to winter hours. Winter hours are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Watch their Facebook page for updates on hours, menus and special events.

Q. What seasonal golf pass options are available for the 2024 season?
A. In 2023, a total of 242 seasonal golf passes were sold at Lake Panorama National, with 126 at Panorama West. By now, anyone who purchased a seasonal golf pass at either golf course in 2023 should have received 2024 forms in the mail.
Seasonal passes are available at both courses for Lake Panorama Association property owners and those who are not LPA property owners. LPA property owners are eligible for discounted passes at both golf courses. In 2023, 153 LPA property owners purchased an LPN season pass, with 109 purchasing passes at Panorama West. Family, couple, single and junior passes are available.
In an effort to grow golf at Lake Panorama National and promote Lake Panorama, a distance pass category is offered to singles, couples and families who don’t own a home at Lake Panorama and don’t have a residence within 18 miles of LPN. In 2023, 38 distance memberships were sold.
Season passes come with many great benefits including unlimited rounds of golf, pass-holder-only golf events and tournament entry fee discounts, 20% apparel discounts in the LPN pro shop, unlimited driving range privileges, pass-holder-only golf leagues, discounted guest fees rates, and 30-day advance tee time booking. Lake Panorama National pass holders also have access to discounted rates at other Iowa golf courses through reciprocal agreements negotiated annually by the pro shop.
Passes paid by Dec. 31, 2023, will be entered into a drawing. Prizes awarded will include a $500 LPN pro shop shopping spree; Scotty Cameron putter valued at $450; custom Titleist golf bag valued at $250; one night condo stay at LPN valued at $249; 2024 family pool pass valued at $190; nine-hole playing lesson with Rob Riggins, LPN head golf professional valued at $150; 2024 LPN men’s or women’s league entry fee valued at $105; and a $100 gift card to The Links Lounge.
The final pass category at Lake Panorama National is for those who are interested in golf and have never been a pass holder at Lake Panorama National golf course. This special first-time season pass is a great opportunity to try out the LPN at a discounted price. To learn more about this and all other pass options, visit our website at
If you have questions, call the Lake Panorama National pro shop at (641) 755-2024, and Rob or Michael will help you.

Q. Explain the role of the LPN Board of Managers and how it functions.
A. The LPN board of managers keeps separation between the LPA and LPN, LLC, which was created to manage this LPA wholly owned subsidiary. Keeping the LPA and LPN, LLC operations separate protects the nonprofit status of the LPA. The LPA board provides oversight of the LPN, LLC board. The LPN, LLC board oversees LPN policies and direction.
This seven-member board consists of Sue Merryman, Kathy DeLucca, John Coghlan, Greg Steffen, Barry Monaghan, Shanell Wagler and Chris Duree. Merryman and DeLucca’s terms expire at the end of 2023. Merryman has served her two-term limit, whereas DeLucca is able to serve another three-year term. John Coghlan, who was appointed to the board in August 2018, also will be stepping down from the board at the end of this year. Coghlan has served three years as president. The LPA board of directors will appoint new members to the LPN board of managers at their December meeting.
Wagler currently serves as president, with Monaghan as vice president, and DeLucca as secretary/treasurer.

Q. The LPN also has a variety of lodging options available. Give us details on the options.
A. Lake Panorama National Resort lodging is located along Karen Drive, just south of the LPN conference center. All units are privately owned, then managed and operated by LPN. Resort lodging currently includes five two-bedroom, two-bath townhomes, two studios, and 27 guest house units. The number of townhomes and studios sometimes varies as unit owners come in and out of the program.
Overnight guests of the resort have access to the fitness center and pool at no additional cost. Townhouse guests may purchase a temporary boating permit for Lake Panorama during their stay. These units are perfect if you have people visiting from out-of-town or family reunions. These units also are important to LPN because it makes it easier to sell golf packages, golf outings and other clubhouse events such as weddings.
Lodging reservations can be made by visiting or by calling guest services at 641-755-2080.

Q. Any closing thoughts?
A. I want to thank the Lake Panorama Association membership for their support during 2023. As a wholly owned subsidiary of LPA, your support of Lake Panorama National Resort benefits Lake Panorama. I am optimistic we are in a good position for a great 2024.
To stay up to date on what’s happening at Lake Panorama National Resort, follow us on Facebook at, or keep an eye on our website at If you don’t already receive the LPN Resort Weekly newsletter, you can subscribe by visiting our website, then scroll down to the “Get the Latest News” section and sign up with your email address.


Board also opens grant application period for 2024.

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Posted 12/13/2023
By Shane Goodman
Lake Panorama Times

The Guthrie County Foundation held its fall reception on Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Panora Community Center. Members of the various organizations that received grants for 2023 each gave a short presentation showing what they used the grant funds for.
The foundation is also now accepting 2024 grant applications until 12 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Organizations applying must be a 501(c)3 or have the same tax-exempt qualifying status and located within Guthrie County or providing services to Guthrie County residents. The application link and instructions for applying are available at
The 2024 grant application process will use a single streamlined online application form with additional questions included for grants requesting more than $25,000. The foundation will award approximately $200,000 in 2024 for projects benefiting Guthrie County.
The Guthrie County Community Foundation is governed by an advisory board with members from across Guthrie County. Current board members are Ryan Albers, Andrew Arganbright, Susan Belding, Tamara Deal, Joni Dvorak, Mary Ebert, Diane Flanery, Carla Hilgenberg, JoAnn Johnson, Kirby Klinge, Regina Lloyd, Ben Smith, Bret Wedemeyer and Julie Zajicek.
The mission of the Guthrie County Community Foundation is to foster giving, strengthen service providers, and improve the local conditions and quality of life. If you are interested in serving on the board, visit Questions may be directed to



Obit chris reynolds
Posted 12/13/2023

Christopher C. Reynolds, 67, passed away on Nov. 28, 2023, at his home in Panora.
Chris wished to be cremated with a celebration of life for friends and family, which will be planned for a later date.
Chris was born on Dec. 11, 1955, the son of Audrey and Garnet (Hansen) Reynolds. He grew up in Panora and graduated from Panora-Linden High School in 1974. Chris was an outstanding four-sport athlete for the Panora-Linden Hawks. He was also crowned Homecoming King. After graduation, Chris went to work for Burgess Construction. Shortly after, he started his own business, R & C Construction, with his good friend, Aaron Christofferson. For more than 40 years, Chris and Aaron built many homes and condos at Lake Panorama and the surrounding areas. They had a gift for their trade and were well known for building dreams from the ground up.
In his early years, Chris enjoyed many fun weekends with friends as he played a mean third base for the Panora Merchants fast-pitch softball team and later played slow-pitch with the Branson Decorating team. Chris enjoyed fishing, jeeping, woodworking, and entertaining his friends and family in his shop. He would never let you forget his passion for the Iowa State Cyclones. You never left his place thirsty.
Chris did not know a stranger. He always had an opinion to share. His infectious laughter and heartfelt conversations effortlessly created bonds that lasted a lifetime. He had a heart of gold, and his fun-loving nature not only touched his family, but everyone who knew him. The last 15 years, his struggles with multiple sclerosis finally took a toll. He had many friends just a phone call away willing to help when his pain required assistance. We will all miss his big smile, his laughter, his jokes and, most of all, his company.
Left to cherish his memory are his brother, Ron (Kristie) Reynolds of Panora; nieces, Ashley (Steve) Schable of Carroll, Chaille (Damon) Crandall of Panora; and nephew, Cole (Emily) Reynolds of Clive. Great nieces and nephews: Cade, Camryn, Chase and Colt Schable, Cruz and Cacen Crandall, and Drake and Ande Reynolds. His special friend, Vickie Kirtley, her son, Cody (Ruth) Hayes of Altoona, and their children, who knew Chris as Papa, Aiden, Emma, Rylen and Kayson; many cousins; and countless good friends.
Chris was preceded in death by his parents, Audrey and Garnet Reynolds, and his son, Reid Carlton (1992).



David rutledge
Posted 12/13/2023

David Rolan Rutledge, 74, passed away peacefully at his Guthrie Center home Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023, where he spent his final days in the company of loved ones. David was born July 14, 1949, to Rolan and Mary (Klecker) Rutledge in Dubuque. David grew up in Dubuque and graduated from Wahlert High School in 1967. He attended Loras College, then Iowa State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in design.
While at Iowa State University, David met Trudy Jane Garrett. They married on May 29, 1971. David and Trudy briefly lived in Kansas City, Missouri, before relocating to Trudy’s hometown of Guthrie Center. They moved to Guthrie Center during the April Blizzard of 1973 and began their family shortly thereafter. To their marriage, three sons were born — John, Robert and Thomas.
David spent the majority of his career in construction, first working for his father-in-law, John Garrett, and later working independently. He enjoyed challenging projects and embraced the opportunity to be creative. In retirement, he owned and operated a gun shop in Guthrie Center, where he enjoyed conversations with friends and customers as much as he enjoyed buying and selling guns. David was an active member in the community, serving on the Guthrie Center Volunteer Fire Department and the city council. He was an elder and deacon at the First Christian Church.
David had a lifelong passion for hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. A highlight of every spring was his fishing trip to Trout River Lodge in northwest Ontario. He looked forward all year to sharing this annual adventure with family and friends. In autumn, David could be found in the Iowa timber bowhunting for whitetail deer. He cherished the solace of the wilderness, as well as the camaraderie he enjoyed sharing outdoor pursuits with family and friends.
David was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by Trudy, his wife of 52 years, who lovingly cared for him during the final chapter of his life. Also surviving David are sons John (Tricia) of Panora; Robert (Danelle) of Longmont, Colorado; and Thomas (Amy) of Guthrie Center; grandchildren Kael and Emma (John); Drew and Eden (Robert); Jalen (Thomas); siblings Connie (Earl) Rohr of Clermont, Florida; John Paul (Lynn) Rutledge of Webster Groves, Missouri; and Gary (Lori) Rutledge of Castle Rock, Washington; plus several nieces and nephews.
Visitation was held at the First Christian Church Fellowship Hall, Guthrie Center, on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, from 5-7 p.m. Funeral services were at the First Christian Church, Guthrie Center, at 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, with burial following the service at Union Cemetery, Guthrie Center. Twigg Funeral Home was entrusted with his services.
Memorials may be left to the discretion of the family.


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Posted 12/13/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

The annual Reshape 5K Turkey Trot run was held on Thanksgiving morning at Twin Vines Winery, just west of Panora on Highway 44. A brisk but sunny 30-degree morning didn’t chill the enthusiasm, as the event drew a record 107 registrants. According to event director Sue Bump, the event has a longstanding challenge in which, if registration reaches 100 or more, Ben Hayes, co-owner of Twin Vines Winery, will run as well. As a result, Ben went the distance.
Jonah Niedermeier was the overall first-place finisher in 18:16. Lacey Fulton was the first female finisher, clocking in at 24:33. Although most participants were from Guthrie County, results show finishers from Chicago and New York. Bump said fun was enjoyed by all, and participants had a healthy start to the day, prior to Thanksgiving feasting.

Three farmers near Yale participated in a 2022 trial program to fund the use of cover crops on row-crop land in the Lake Panorama watershed.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Since 1998, the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ) has made it possible for Lake Panorama home and lot owners to use a portion of their property tax dollars to fund erosion control and water quality efforts. RIZ funds an annual dredging program that removes silt from Lake Panorama and portions of the Middle Raccoon River north of the lake.
In recent years, some RIZ funds also have been used to slow the flow of sediment into the lake. Three wetlands on streams that lead into Lake Panorama are in place to help protect water quality, and two more wetlands are in the planning stages.
In late summer 2022, Tamara Deal, a Lake Panorama resident, made a presentation to the RIZ board of trustees about the potential impact the use of cover crops on farmland upstream could have on the lake’s water quality. Deal had studied the use of cover crops as a way to improve soil health and profitability on her family’s farm. That led to her becoming an advocate for cover crops and making presentations to groups about the link between soil health and improved water quality.
Following her presentation, the RIZ board did some additional research. The result was a one-year trial program to fund the use of cover crops on row-crop land in the Lake Panorama watershed. Three farmers near Yale participated in that 2022 trial. This fall, the Lake Panorama RIZ Cover Crop Program is open to all producers who have row-crop land in Guthrie County that is within the Lake Panorama watershed.
Cover crops are grown in addition to primary cash crops such as corn and soybean. Cover crops can reduce soil erosion, increase soil organic matter and fertility, improve soil structure and promote water infiltration.
Aerial seeding of cover crops can be done with airplanes or helicopters, either before or after the cash crop is harvested. Another option is to use a drill to plant seed directly into the ground. Cover crops protect the soil in the late fall, winter and early spring.
Lane Rumelhart is the Lake Panorama Association (LPA) project manager and oversees the RIZ cover crop program.
“Lots of farmers have been flying it on, so they aren’t running over their crop right before harvest,” he says. “This gets them better germination and a longer growing season.”
Producers enrolling in the program must commit at least 25 acres to cover crops and have those acres verified as meeting all other requirements. The RIZ program reimburses producers up to $15 per acre for cover crops.
It can cost up to $40 per acre to plant a cover crop. There are both Iowa and federal programs that offer farmers financial incentives for planting cover crops and other water quality and conservation efforts. Farmers enrolled in the RIZ program also can participate in these other cost share programs.
“Cover crops are good for Lake Panorama because they hold soil in place in late winter and early spring so there is less silt runoff,” Rumelhart says. “Cover crops help keep nutrients in farm fields rather than allowing those to escape and lead to water quality problems, such as blue green algae blooms. The idea is that with more cover crops upstream, Lake Panorama will slowly gain improved water quality.”
Dave Deardorff of Yale is one of the three producers who participated in the RIZ trial program in 2022. He is a member of the Guthrie County Soil and Water Conservation District Commission and has been planting cover crops on 240 tillable acres for the last seven years. He enrolled those 240 acres in the RIZ cover crop program both last year and again this year.
“This gives some additional coverage to the ground,” Deardorff says. “I’ve been using no-till for more than 25 years, which keeps soil in place. Adding a cover crop helps reduce overall soil and wind erosion. I see more people in our area using no-till or minimum tillage. This, along with a cover crop, is one of the best ways to conserve the soil.”
Deardorff uses aerial seeding of rye for his cover crop.
“Last year we didn’t have enough moisture to get a good stand, but this fall was better,” he says. “We got a good stand, and I’ve been able to graze my cows this fall. Often rye will green back up in the spring and give another chance to graze cattle before row crops are planted.”
Brothers Kevin and Kendall Kipp of Yale also participated in the 2022 trial program and enrolled the same acres in the RIZ cost share program this fall. Kendall says there wasn’t enough soil moisture last year to get a good stand, but this year was different.
“We had it flown on right after Labor Day and then got some good rain,” he says. “By the time harvest happened, there was probably 4 inches of growth. It’s pretty even, and we have been able to graze our cattle on it this fall.”
Lake Panorama RIZ owns 235 acres of tillable ground. In 2022, the Kipp brothers leased that ground on a one-year contract. This year, a half-dozen bidders vied for the chance to rent the RIZ ground. Heidi Kipp, the 20-year-old daughter of Kendall and Teresa Kipp, was awarded a three-year farm lease for the RIZ ground.
“My brother, Walker, is 25. We both were born and raised on the farm and have helped any way we could since we could walk,” Heidi says. “This is my first year having land of my own to farm.”
One requirement of the three-year lease is that all the RIZ tillable acres be protected by a cover crop.
“I’m interested to see how the cover crops work,” Heidi says. “I think erosion control and improvements to soil health are two important factors, and I hope to see improved yields in the future. There are 45 acres of fenced land, so being able to graze cattle is another benefit for me. I think the RIZ program will result in improved water quality.”
Keith Buttler has owned and operated Buttler Agronomy Services in Guthrie Center for 30 years. He provides agricultural inputs, services and recommendations to area farmers. He uses cover crops on his own farm and applies what he has learned to help others.
“I started it more as an erosion control tool. I have some land with steeper slopes, where a hard rain can cause a lot of erosion,” Buttler says. “I’ve always used no-till but added the cover crops 14 years ago. The practice slows erosion, helps capture nutrients in the soil, increases biological activity, and soil health steadily improves each year. On my farm, yields have improved 15-20% because of the combination of both cover crops and improved genetics.”
Buttler can help producers arrange seeding either into standing crops with an airplane, or after harvest with grain drills.
“Most farmers use rye,” he says. “It’s winter hardy, so it can go dormant in the winter, then grow again in the spring.”
Buttler says incentives such as the RIZ cover crop program make a difference.
“This year I’ve had three times the amount of people putting in cover crops than last year,” he says. “I think the early harvest caused by drought conditions encouraged some to give it a try, plus there are several cost share programs.”
Randy Glade’s farm operation is on both sides of Redwood Road just west of Lake Panorama. He’s been using no-till for more than 30 years and planting cover crops after harvest for more than 15 years.
Most research shows after three continuous years of cover crops, farmers will see better yields, and that’s been the case for Glade. Over time, his soybean yield has increased nine to 12 bushels per acre and his corn yield more than 25 bushels an acre by not tilling his farm ground and planting cover crops.
This year, Glade doubled the number of acres where he planted a cover crop for a total of 111 acres. He enrolled in the RIZ cover crop program and is pleased with this year’s results. Iowa Cover Crop of Jefferson aerial applied rye into standing corn on his farm Sept. 15.
“The timing was excellent because, over the next three days, we had a half-inch of rain. That helped get a better than average stand,” he says. “This has provided good grazing pasture for my feeder cattle.”
“The combination of cover crops and no-till results in looser planting-depth soil, which leads to better soil-to-seed contact,” Glade says. “I also get better water infiltration, which allows the soil to catch and hold more rain.”
By early December, there were 10 producers with 1,279 acres approved for funding as part of the 2023 Lake Panorama RIZ Cover Crop Program. It’s expected additional participants will be approved in December. For more information, contact Lane Rumelhart by calling the LPA office at 641-755-2301 or email him at


Posted 12/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Blue Jays are found year-round at Lake Panorama. Photographer Trish Hart, who lives with her husband, Scott, in a home on Andrew’s Cove, says Blue Jay numbers at their feeders increase in the winter.
“We feed them a mixture of black oil sunflower seeds, fruit and nut wild birdseed, and peanuts,” Trish says.
These large songbirds are present from Florida to southern Canada and as far west as Montana. They thrive in a variety of habitats but prefer wooded edges and oaks. Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period.
Blue Jays have brightly colored plumage of blue, white and black. The black bridle across the face, nape and throat varies and may help these birds recognize one another.
Blue Jays are known for their intelligence. They are monogamous, and pairs may stay together for life. Nesting occurs during spring or early summer, and young jays fledge about three weeks after they hatch. The Harts enjoy seeing the same Blue Jay couples and their babies each year.
The Blue Jay frequently mimics the calls of hawks. These calls may provide information to other jays that a hawk is around. Or a Blue Jay may be trying to trick other birds into believing a hawk is nearby to clear out a birdfeeder for itself.
Hart offers custom prints of her photos on canvas, paper, metal and glass. Learn more by visiting Nature’s Canvas Photography on Facebook.


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Posted 12/13/2023
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Breaker
Age: 11.5 years old
Breed: German Shorthair Pointer

Breaker adopted Denny and Ruth Rowedder as his humans. He came to live at the lake in 2013 from Great Plains Pointer Rescue. Breaker enjoys greeting the neighborhood kids on walks, sleeping in the sun and, especially, playing ball at the dog park.


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Posted 12/13/2023
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Quentin
Age: Almost a year old
Available for adoption at: Panora Pets

Quentin is healthy, happy and just a general joy from the first moment he came in to Panora Pets. He is easy-going and so charismatic that you’ll stop whatever you are doing just to engage with him. Quentin gets along well with the other kitties, and nothing seems to phase the kid. Quentin should be an excellent addition to any home and family, even the most active. He is neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Adoption fees are $25 throughout the month of December. Visit to fill out an application and view all of the profiles.


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Posted 12/13/2023
By Jolene Goodman
Lake Panorama Times

We like to surround ourselves with good friends who are also good cooks.
We moved to our current home at Lake Panorama a few years ago. We love our place, and we love our neighbors. And, as with many of you, these great neighbors have become great friends. These are people we can borrow an egg from, share treats with, and call to close the garage door when we’ve forgotten. They collect the patio umbrella that blows off our deck and put it back, maybe telling us of the good deed another time. We have dinner together. We share recipes. We drink good wine. Simply said, we enjoy our time together and make long-lasting memories.
Recently, Paula and Lyle Hansen invited us over for dinner. Paula keeps food simple with incredible flavors. Her menu included pork tenderloin, roasted vegetables and homemade bread (a recipe for a later column). There is nothing quite as easy or delicious as grilled pork tenderloin. This dry rub and glaze is simple enough for a weekend meal or fancy enough for company.
Thanks for sharing your recipe, Paula.

Jolene Goodman is the advertising director for Lake Panorama Times and vice president of Big Green Umbrella Media.

Grilled Honey-Herb Pork Loin
1-1.5 pounds pork tenderloin
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Honey glaze
4 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup honey
3 TBSP low sodium soy
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP olive oil

Pat pork dry with a paper towel. Mix together sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme and pepper. Rub mixture all over pork tenderloin. Place pork in a zip lock bag and place in refrigerator for several hours, up to overnight. Preheat grill to medium-high heat or 425 degrees using half of the burners. Prepare honey glaze by mixing ingredients. Sear the tenderloin on the lit grill side for 5-6 minutes on one side with the grill lid closed. Turn it over and sear the other side for 4-5 minutes with the grill lid closed. Then, move the tenderloin to the unlit side (using indirect heat). Baste with honey glaze every so often. Continue cooking until the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Continue basting throughout the cooking time. Let meat rest on a plate covered loosely with an aluminum foil tent for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Group formed in 2017 after accepting a
challenge by 10 Squared Men of
Guthrie County organizer Barry Monaghan.

Posted 12/13/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

The 10 Squared Women of Guthrie County group proves that whatever men can do, women can also do.
Member Kristen Crouthamel shared details on how the group formed and how it functions.
She said both the men’s and women’s groups share the same basic gameplan. Members meet several times per year, donating $100 each at each meeting, and vote on a local charitable group to be the recipient of the funds raised. The name “Ten Squared” indicates the goal to have at least 100 members and the $100 donation each member gives per meeting.
Crouthamel recalled that shortly after the Ten Squared men’s group began, Barry Monoghan put out a local challenge, asking area women to form a similar group.
“I think we started in 2017,” she said. “The ringleader was originally Shannon Neff-Muell. She worked at the bank, and she came to a few of us and asked us to accept Barry’s challenge.”
Describing the functioning of the group, Crouthamel said, “We’ve always kind of hovered around 100 members, but in the last two or three quarters, we’ve gained at least 35 new members. We meet four times a year, and the men meet three times a year, so it ends up being about an equal amount of money being given out over the year.”
Crouthamel says another difference is the women’s group allows members to join the meetings via Zoom. She said this is helpful for members who are busy with other commitments such as work and childcare.
According to Crouthamel, each member is welcome to nominate local charitable groups to be considered as a recipient of funds. Currently, the women’s group has more than 20 community groups “in the hat,” and three are randomly drawn at each meeting to be voted on. The top vote-getter then receives the entire amount raised at that meeting.
“If a group has gotten money from Ten Squared Women, they have to wait two years to be eligible again,” she noted.
As with the men’s group, Ten Squared Women gives 100% of the funds directly to the recipients. Crouthamel said the only “overhead” was when the group formed and purchased the large novelty check that is used in photos of the funds being given to recipients.
Crouthamel welcomes any women in the area to join Ten Squared if interested. To learn more, individuals can visit their Facebook page or email them at


Jolene  family july 2023 43
Posted 11/09/2023

If you are a regular reader of my columns, you know I am not much of a golfer. In fact, I have often stated that I would rather go to the dentist than golf. To be fair, I do enjoy my dental cleanings. Cavities? Not so much.
I will find a lot of excuses not to golf, starting with having a full-time job. Having said that, I have enjoyed an occasional game of disc golf on the weekends through the years, and I was looking forward to our feature on the new course that is being installed at Lake Panorama. Be sure to check out the story and the related pieces in this month’s cover story.

With the ease of streaming, Jolene and I don’t make our way to the movies on the big screen very often. But when a movie really captures our interest, we do make the time. Our youngest daughter and I used to catch a movie most Tuesday evenings in the summers on daddy/daughter dates, and I miss those times. I am looking forward to seeing a movie or two or three over the holidays, and Michael Woody shares several to consider in this month’s film reviews. 

Have you had a flu shot this year? Or another round of COVID vaccinations? Or both? Or neither? We share some thoughts from Guthrie County Public Health in a story this month, and you might be surprised to know that fall is considered to be the best time for vaccinations.

You will certainly be impressed after reading the latest installment of our business stories, this time on Lexi Blakeley and her Sapphire Skin Co. & Spa in Panora and Guthrie Center. This 24-year-old entrepreneur continues to amaze. See this story and all past business features at

More lake humor
I have five for you this month. These should keep you from talking politics around the Thanksgiving table.
One of my lake friends was cooking in a wok on the back of his boat. He was making a stern fry.
What do you call a boat full of mean potatoes? A dictatorship.
Where did Bugs Bunny decide to park his boat? At the “What’s-up dock!”
When the bottom of a boat had a hole, it was one hull of a problem.
And finally, I’m not one for buoyancy, but you know, whatever floats your boat.

Have a great November, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Lake Panorama Times
515-953-4822, ext. 305

LPA member John Worth volunteered to design a nine-hole course for Lake Panorama and help guide its construction.

Posted 11/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

A nine-hole disc golf course on Lake Panorama’s south shore soon will be a reality. The course is one part of a package of low-impact recreational amenities developed by Friends of Lake Panorama and approved by the LPA board of directors at its July 25 meeting.
Building a disc golf course at Lake Panorama has been discussed for more than five years. In April 2019, the Friends board of directors conducted a survey to gather input from Lake Panorama Association members and help prioritize future projects. Ten possible projects were proposed for consideration.
As a result of that survey, the Friends board, in cooperation with the LPA, has completed several projects that ranked high on the survey. These include new playground equipment at Shady and Boulder beaches, Panorama West Nature Trail, a dog park and a sports court at Sunset Beach.
The survey results also showed interest in a trail system on the south shore and a disc golf course somewhere within the Lake Panorama community.
In the comments section of the survey, LPA member John Worth volunteered to design a nine-hole course for Lake Panorama and help guide its construction. After meeting with the Friends board and LPA staff, he scouted several locations and found the south shore to be ideal.
“My interest in disc golf goes back to my high school days in Atlantic in the late 1970s when Frisbees were common amongst the young crowd,” Worth says. “We used to practice our fancy throwing and catching skills in parking lots along the main drag for all to see. We heard people were using Frisbees to play a golf game, so we gave it a try in the local park. We laid out a few holes, using trees as targets, and I haven’t quit playing since.”
In 2007, one of Worth’s good friends became the Atlantic Park and Recreation director.
“We were quick to start scheming how to get an official disc course in Atlantic,” Worth says. “Thanks to some very dedicated and persistent individuals, a new course was installed within the next two years. I was able to provide some input on the course layout and volunteered many hours to help install and groom the course.”
Worth and his wife, Angie, lived in Atlantic most of their lives, pursued their careers and raised three children.
“As we became empty nesters and started thinking about retirement, we moved fulltime to Lake Panorama in 2016,” Worth says. “The lake is a very special place to us. We love the relaxing environment and have made many dear friends here. We also enjoy making memories with our three children and five grandchildren.”
Worth retired in January 2022 from a career in manufacturing, where he worked initially as an engineer and then in management. With their move to Lake Panorama, Angie Worth started a new career in real estate and is part owner of Sunset Realty.
Construction on the Lake Panorama disc golf course began Oct. 4. “The course is literally cut out through the wooded area on the east side of the south shore,” Worth says. “Each hole is a Par 3, bringing the total par for a round of nine holes to 27. The holes range in distance from 155 feet to 320 feet long.”
Though John Worth did much of the course design, he got some help from his son, Jesse Worth.
“Jesse cut his disc golf teeth on the makeshift course we had in the Atlantic park,” Worth says. “When he headed to Iowa State in 2006, he discovered two 18-hole disc golf courses in Ames. That’s when Jesse and I switched our disc gear to the smaller diameter, official golfing discs. Jesse was very helpful in thinking through how a new course would best fit into the south shore area.” 
Jesse now lives in Ames with his wife, Leah, and their daughter and works for Hawkeye Molding in Roland. On a visit to Lake Panorama in mid-October, he and his dad spent a sunny afternoon testing out the course.
“It was fairly surreal to experience the course for the first time,” Jesse says. “The mix of shots through nine holes play well and feel balanced. It’s exciting to think of the course really establishing itself in the coming years. I know it’s going to be well received by the community.”
Another experienced disc golfer played a practice round at the Lake Panorama disc golf course in October before the tee boxes and baskets were installed. Josh Tuggle and his wife, Mariah, live in Bloomington, Minnesota. Mariah’s parents, Paul and Marcia Cates, have a house on Lake Panorama.
Tuggle grew up in Norwalk, attended Iowa State University, and graduated with a construction engineering degree. He works as a design manager for a company that builds utility scale solar plants across the country.
“My brother, Ryan, got me hooked on disc golf a few years ago, and I got Mariah into it as well,” Tuggle says. “I have played 120 courses in 21 states but mainly in Minnesota and Iowa. I’m a member of the Professional Disc Golf Association and now play at the highest level. The past few years, I’ve played in about 10 tournaments each year.”
Tuggle has followed the development of the Lake Panorama disc golf course. When tee box sponsors were being sought for each of the nine holes, he decided to sponsor the sixth hole. The sponsor sign on that hole will be “Tuggle & Cates Family.”
What did Tuggle like about the course in his exploratory round?
“The course has a variety of shots and fun lines,” he says. “It may be on the shorter side but still is a great challenge with the wooded holes.”
Tuggle offered this advice to those who might be trying the sport for the first time because of the Lake Panorama course.
“It can be overwhelming to pick some discs as a beginner. I recommend going to a store and picking a nice putter and midrange that feel good in your hands,” he says. “Most people go after the drivers when picking some first discs, but it’s better to start slow.”
The other eight tee box sponsors for the Lake Panorama disc golf course are: No. 1 -Sunset Realty; No. 2 - State Farm Insurance, Robert Carr; No. 3 - Panora Fiber; No. 4 - OvaEasy; No. 5 - Hawkeye Molding; No. 7 - Aaron & Mindy Poldberg Family; No. 8 - Martin-Flanery Ace Run; and No. 9 - Lake Panorama Realty.
John Worth has played more than 30 disc golf courses in Iowa and a few out of state.
“It’s such a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise,” he says. “There is a concrete tee pad on each hole, which is used to throw your first shot from. From there, you simply throw your next shot from where your ‘drive’ or last shot landed. Keep going until you land your disc in the target, which is a metal wire basket that uses hanging chains to deflect the disc into the basket.”
Worth encourages the interested and the curious to walk the course.
“I think many will return with a disc in hand to give it a try,” Worth says. “You can use any flying disc you have at home. Once you are hooked, you will want to purchase official disc golfing discs. These come in three categories — drivers, midranges, putters — each intended for different throwing distances. Having one of each type is a great starting point and are readily available at sporting goods stores.”

The timeline
The course will be playable once tee pads are poured and baskets have been installed. Information on the opening date will be provided in the LPA Prompt and on the Friends of Lake Panorama Facebook page.
Signage won’t be in place until next spring. There will be a tee sign adjacent to each tee box showing the hole distance and layout, a hole sponsorship sign on each hole, and a large sign near the first tee box. The large sign will include a map of the disc golf course and general information about the course. There also will be separate signs for disc golf course rules and the UDisc app.
Disc golfers use the UDisc app on their smart phones to keep score and navigate interactive maps of disc golf courses. UDisc, LLC, was co-founded in 2012 by Matt Krueger and Josh Lichti, two computer engineers who bonded over coursework and disc golf at Iowa State University. UDisc has grown from a hobby project to a tool that covers more than 14,000 courses worldwide.

By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Beyond the disc golf course, other portions of the Friends of Lake Panorama plans for the south shore also are progressing. A fenced driveway at the south end of Chimra Road and a parking lot that provides walk-through access to the recreation area is complete. A small shelter near the parking lot is in place, and a picnic table will be added in the spring.
The Lake Panorama trail system with a variety of distances is complete. Those who start at the trailhead and do the full loop down to the shoreline and back up through the meadow area to return to the parking lot will have walked two miles. In addition, four places where the riprap contractor widened existing trails to get to the shoreline are offered as trail options.
Brown fiberglass trail markers have been installed at each junction of the trail system and are marked on each side with colored arrows.
There are five trail options, each designated with a different color. The original two-mile loop is the “green” trail. People who start at the trailhead and choose the first option they reach, the “red” trail, will walk sixth-tenths of a mile. The other three options offer distances of 1.1 miles (blue), 1.6 miles (yellow), and 2 miles (orange). This final loop results in walking the same distance as the original loop, but the terrain and views provide a different experience.
Next spring, benches and bluebird houses will be installed along the trails throughout the recreational area. Three large metal signs also will be in place by spring. One will be near the shelter and include a Lake Panorama map, general information about the south shore project, and a list of donors who give $500 or more to the project by Dec. 31, 2023. Other signs will be posted near the first hole of the disc golf course and the Lake Panorama trailhead.
The estimated cost of these recreational amenities is $35,000. Over the past two years, Friends has received $11,000 in private donations for projects on the south shore. Some funds also are available from the 2023 Beach Ball and disc golf course tee box sponsors.
Tax-deductible donations for south shore projects can be made by check payable to Friends of Lake Panorama, and mailed to Friends of Lake Panorama, P.O. Box 488, Panora, Iowa, 50216. Donations also can be made through Venmo @Panorama-Friends, or by credit card on the Friends website at

Many other types of shots are used in disc golf; it’s up to each player to find what works best.
By John Worth
Special to Lake Panorama Times

This introduction to the Lake Panorama disc golf course is for those who’ve never played the sport and those who are expert players. There are nine holes on the course, and all are par 3s. Much like tennis, there are two main shot types when throwing a disc. The most common is the backhand shot, which probably is how everyone learned to throw a frisbee. The other is the forehand shot, again, think tennis and the arm motion used. Also, how the hand grips the disc is different for each of these two shot types.
When a right-handed person throws a backhand shot, it will typically fade to the left near the end of its flight. When a right-handed person throws a forehand shot, it will typically fade to the right near the end of its flight. For a left-handed person, the direction of fade would be the opposite. The Lake Panorama course was designed to use both right and left fading shots. There are many other types of shots used in disc golf; it’s up to each player to find what works best. Here’s a hole-by-hole look at the Lake Panorama disc golf course.
Hole No. 1 — 290 feet. As you reach the first tee pad, there is a beautiful view of Lake Panorama’s main basin. This hole was designed with a wide fairway and a tree in the middle of the fairway. This allows the player to choose either a backhand or forehand shot to fade around the tree and into the basket from either direction. Wind off the lake may be a factor as you throw off the tee pad.
Hole No. 2 — 165 feet. This hole is a dogleg right, so a right fading shot is required. Most right-handers will use a forehand shot and left-handers will use a backhand shot. The hole is blind, meaning you can’t see the basket from the tee pad, so walk down the fairway a few feet to get a view of the basket. The hole includes a large tree that hangs over the fairway, which creates a “tunnel” to throw your shot through. Some players may choose to throw a very high, strong right fading shot over the tree. Called a Hyzer, this shot is thrown at a sharp angle to get a strong fade.
Hole No. 3 — 190 feet. A right fading tee shot is required on this hole. The basket is barely visible from the tee pad on the right side of the fairway. The tee pad is positioned so players will throw over a small waterway and between trees on either side. The tree gap is somewhat intimidating but a fun challenge.
Hole No. 4 — 180 feet. This hole is a very enticing, slight downhill shot that is straight on. The fairway is just wide enough to use a mild right or left fade to get to the basket. This hole begs to be aced (hole-in-one), so most players will throw a mid-range disc straight at it. Beware of the wind coming off the lake. The lake view from the No. 4 basket is fantastic.
Hole No. 5 — 155 feet. There is an uphill hike to get to the tee pad. Once you arrive, the view of the basket from the tee pad is both humbling and exciting. The shot is straight and narrow, through a mild ravine to the basket on the other side. The hole is characterized by many trees and a tight fairway choke point of about 10 feet wide. Most players will throw a mid-range disc straight at the basket and hope to clear the narrow fairway gap.
Hole No. 6 — 230 feet. A short, uphill hike will get you to the tee pad. The basket is visible from the tee pad on the left side of the fairway, and a left fading shot is required. Right handers who love the backhand shot will feel right at home on this hole. There are a couple of trees in the middle of the fairway that players will need to navigate as they approach the basket.
Hole No. 7 — 245 feet. While this hole is similar to the last one, in that it is a left fading shot, the hole is blind. Players will want to walk a few feet down the fairway to get their bearings on the exact shot required to reach the basket. The fairway is narrower than No. 6, but there are no trees in the fairway to avoid. So, as they say in disc golf, grip it and rip it.
Hole No. 8 — 155 feet. This hole is a short and sharp dogleg left. The fairway is straight with the basket in a carved-out pocket on the left side. While most players will choose to play a sharp left fading shot, there are other shot type opportunities here for those who want to be creative.
Hole No. 9 — 320 feet. The longest hole on the course requires a long, right fading shot as the fairway curves to the right. The hole is blind so it will pay off to walk up the fairway the first few times to get your bearings on the basket location. The basket is framed by large, overhanging trees at the far end of the fairway.
As you finish your round, you’ll find the course layout has looped you around, and you are on one of the main walking trails that will take you a short distance back to the parking lot. Your only decision now is whether to play another nine now, or later?

By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The addition of a disc golf course on Lake Panorama’s south shore comes at a time when the sport continues to grow in the United States and around the globe. There currently are 14,048 disc golf courses worldwide with 9,465 in the United States.
Iowa is considered the seventh best disc golf state in the country, with 377 disc golf courses. Iowa is No. 1 as far as disc golf courses per capita in the U.S.
The COVID pandemic of 2020 and 2021 brought many new players to the game. Players who started in those two years reported in an October 2022 survey they are just as enthusiastic about disc golf as players who found the sport before the pandemic.
Ed Headrick was an American toy inventor who worked for Wham-O. He is most well-known as the father of both the Frisbee and of the sport and game of disc golf.
Headrick redesigned Wham-O’s flying saucer to create the Frisbee design, which received a U.S. patent. He marketed the Frisbee by promoting trick throws and games that could be played with this new disc. Target shooting with Frisbees became Headrick’s focus, and he saw potential in Frisbee Golf as a legitimate game and sport with courses where people could play and compete in tournaments.
Wham-O wasn’t interested and wouldn’t allow a license of the Frisbee trademark to be used for Frisbee Golf. In 1975, Headrick left Wham-O and trademarked the words “Disc Golf” to use for the game and sport he envisioned.
In 1976, Headrick and his son, Ken, started the first disc golf company, DGA, which is an acronym for Disc Golf Association. The purpose of DGA was to manufacture discs and targets and formalize the disc golf game. In 1977, the father-son team developed and patented the modern catching basket for disc golf.
To develop the rules and standards for the sport and game, plus create a dues-paying membership base, Headrick began the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) in 1976. Through the PDGA, Headrick and fellow disc golfers developed the first disc golf rules and standards.
Headrick headed the PDGA until 1982, when daily operations were turned over to an elected board of disc golf players. PDGA continues to be the overseeing body for the sport of disc golf. In 2022, the PDGA gained more than 40,000 new members and sanctioned more than 8,900 events worldwide. There currently are more than 103,000 PDGA active members.
Headrick passed away Aug. 12, 2002. As he requested, his ashes were incorporated into a limited number of discs, which were given to friends and family.


11 g23 jackie wicks  brooke and sam grett  mj brown welcome table
Posted 11/09/2023
Special to Lake Panorama Times

Overwhelming generosity was the resounding highlight of the fourth annual Tori’s Angels Gala, held on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Vets Auditorium and the Community Center in Panora. Foundation spokespeople say the organization raised more than $150,000, enough money to fund the necessary expenses for all the Tori’s Angels families it presently supports for the next six months — a figure that is nearly three times what was raised at previous galas.
The 235 people attending the “Angels in Denim” gala started the night by enthusiastically reviewing and bidding on donated silent auction items. They snacked on appetizers before enjoying a prime rib dinner catered by Lidderdale Country Store. The program was emceed by Foundation Executive Director Julie Dent-Zajicek. She recognized the Tori’s Angels sponsored families in attendance and made a special presentation to Bill and Connie Ridgley, who were honored for their work as founding members of Tori’s Angels Foundation and for the strong legacy they’ve provided. In his remarks, Bill noted the importance of funding the organization as it continues to grow. Currently, Tori’s Angels actively supports more than 100 families across the state.
The room lit up with excitement when auctioneer Dan Wilson kicked off the live auction. Twenty-three big-ticket items were offered, including a custom shed from Sunrise Sheds, two NFL signed jerseys, multiple sports packages including tickets and hotel stays, an exclusive bourbon basket, multiple vacation rentals and a stunning diamond necklace donated and created specifically for the Tori’s Angels Gala by Ames Silversmith and the Youngberg family.
Attendees heard inspiring stories from Angel families during the event and had an opportunity to “Fund a Child,” which was met with incredible support. Shawna and Matt Gunn (parents of Savannah), and Mike Maurer (father of Alex), shared their appreciation for Tori’s Angels. In addition, Panora natives and recipients of Tori’s Angels funding, Emma Reinhart, daughter of Steph and Troy Reinhart, and Liberty Ashworth, daughter of Jen Jensen and Tim Ashworth, provided heartfelt messages that resonated with the audience.
Proceeds from the gala ticket sales, live and silent auction items and generous matching fund gifts go toward Tori’s Angels mission of supporting families with children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions. Since 2010, Tori’s Angels has been raising funds to pay medical expenses not covered by insurance from the date of sponsorship until the child’s 19th birthday. This includes travel expenses to treatment (airfare, mileage, hotel, meals), as well as prescriptions, medical co-pays and deductibles. The foundation depends on the generosity of community “Angels” to help relieve the financial burden for these families.
Anyone wishing to help the Tori’s Angels children is invited to send donations to Tori’s Angels at P.O. Box 186, Panora IA 50216. Online donation options are located on the foundation’s website,, and on the Facebook page, www.facebook/torisangels. The organization also welcomes anyone interested in becoming a volunteer to leave a message at

Tickets purchased in advance cost $10; tickets purchased the day of the tour will be $15.

Posted 11/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The annual holiday tour of homes sponsored by Women for Panora’s Future (WFPF) will be Sunday, Dec. 3. One home is in Panora, three of the homes are at Lake Panorama, and one is the Twin Vines vineyard west of Panora on Highway 44. Ticket holders will choose their own route to each of the five locations from 1-4:30 p.m.
The home tour usually raises enough money to award $500 scholarships each spring to two graduating Panorama Community School students. The tour is the group’s largest annual fundraiser; other key fundraisers are an annual raffle for a monthly plate of cookies or a pie and a can collection drive in May and June.
Tickets purchased in advance cost $10; tickets purchased the day of the tour will be $15. Advance ticket can be purchased from WFPF club members, Crafty’s Coffee, Panora Library or by calling 712-249-2142.
Tickets the day of the tour will be available at the Panora Community Center from 1-4:30 p.m. Holiday refreshments will be available, and club members will be selling raffle tickets for $1. There also will be a door prize drawing.
Tickets must be presented at the door of each home the day of the event. Homes on the tour are owned by Paula Wachholtz, Troy and Stephanie Reinhart, James and Julie Tibbles, Kenny and Sonya Pierce, and twins Brad and Ben Hayes, owners of Twin Vines. Addresses will be printed on the tickets.
The WFPF club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The first Christmas home tour was in 1978 with 70 people attending at a ticket price of $3.
WFPF members help decorate the Panora town square for Christmas and run the candy cane walk and cake walk during community events. They donate cookies for Memorial Day activities and the Haunted Village; clean the roadside ditches on Highway 4 north of Panora twice a year; hold two annual blood drives; donate money to several local organizations; and purchase Christmas presents for Panora Specialty Care residents. The group meets the second Tuesday of each month and welcomes new members.

Lexi Blakeley says, as a licensed professional, she has access to the best of the best of skincare.

Posted 11/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

It was Nov. 16, 2022, when Lexi Blakeley had a ribbon cutting and open house for Sapphire Skin Co. & Spa in Panora’s business district. A year later, this 24-year-old business owner opened a second location for Sapphire Skin in Guthrie Center, with a ribbon cutting and open house planned for this Nov. 15.
Blakeley grew up in northwest Iowa and moved to Des Moines to pursue her educational goals of becoming a licensed esthetician. During the pandemic, she and her fiancé, Alex McGregor, decided they wanted a home in a smaller town and bought a “fixer-upper” in Guthrie Center.
“I attended La James International College where I received my degree in esthetics, reflexology massage and microdermabrasion. I opened my business right out of school, and I’m so glad I did,” Blakeley says. “This field truly is my calling.” 
“My initial passion for skincare and beauty started when I was a teenager. My interest and passion solidified as an adult after dealing with severe cystic acne and rosacea caused by an endocrine disorder,” she says. “I decided to learn more about the science, disorders and diseases of the skin. I became a skincare junkie and started helping friends create effective skincare routines. That’s when I decided it was time to follow my passion.”
Blakeley rents the Panora location at 107 N. First St. She and McGregor started updates to the building in May 2022.
“We were attracted to this building because of its downtown location and its historic charm. We did all of the updates such as painting the exterior and interior and installing new flooring,” she says. “The storefront needed a little love after sitting empty for a while. I prioritized creating a serene, calming space that was aesthetically pleasing, with lots of natural greenery and soft whites.”
Blakeley says, as a licensed professional, she has access to the best of the best of skincare.
“At Sapphire Skin Co., my success relies on results-driven treatments and products. I only sell products I use every day in the treatment room and I’ve seen work for me,” she says. “It’s important to source your skincare products from licensed individuals who have education in skincare. I also offer customized skincare routines and beauty consultations every day.
“Business has been steady since opening, and I have so much gratitude for the community’s support,” Blakeley says. “I have met so many amazing people, as clients and through the Panora Chamber of Commerce. I am incredibly fortunate to have such immense support from both Panora and Guthrie Center and surrounding communities.”
This past July, Blakeley and McGregor started the process to purchase the building at 322 State St. in Guthrie Center.
“This opportunity came about through a local salon owner who wanted to step back from day-to-day operations. The Cut Loose Salon has been there for many years and will continue to operate there,” Blakeley says. “The room we renovated into a spa oasis used to be a vault. We painted every square inch and added a hand-poured gold flake epoxy floor. The safe within the vault and most of the original shelving were left to keep the original charm.”
Jeanna Van Unen, the 27-year-old owner of JV Massage and Bodywork, has been a licensed massage therapist since January 2021. She offers massage therapy — Swedish technique, deep tissue, Himalayan salt stone — plus aroma therapy and CBD pain relief. She also has experience in palliative and geriatric massage techniques.
Van Unen offers appointments in the Sapphire Skin Co. Guthrie Center location Monday through Friday with both day and evening times available. She will take Sunday appointments at the Panora location. Appointments with Van Unen can be booked online at or by calling or texting 641-745-7131.
Blakeley specializes in corrective chemical peels, facials, microdermabrasion, relaxation and massage-centered spa services, lash extensions, lash lifts and tints, full body waxing, and acne treatments and extractions.
She offers appointments at the Panora location Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Mondays, she takes appointments at the Guthrie Center location 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointments with Blakeley can be booked online at or by calling or texting 712-450-0455.
Sapphire Skin Co. & Spa also has a Facebook page, where updates on appointment openings and special events are posted.
“Self-care, mental health and wellness are very important to me,” Blakeley says. “I love that I am doing what I’m passionate about every day. I have the opportunity to build close relationships with my clients by giving them a calm, relaxing spa experience. Whether it’s educating people on professional-grade skincare, doing acne treatments, or customized lash extensions, I love seeing people leave relaxed, revived and feeling their best.”
Blakeley says her fiancé, Alex McGregor, is the backbone of the “behind the scenes” part of her business. McGregor is a full-time registered nurse and administrator at an assisted living facility in Johnston.
“He did all the work on the Panora building and the treatment room at the Guthrie Center location and supported me through school. In our free time, we work on our house on do-it-yourself projects,” she says. “And I have custody of my 5-year-old sister. I am an ambitious 24-year-old who came from absolutely nothing, just trying to make a life I love, doing what I love.”

CDBG grant of $400,000 will be used to construct upper-level housing with three apartments.

Img 0007
Posted 11/09/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

Residents and visitors alike have been wondering what is planned for the former Moore’s Dry Goods building at 113 E. Main St. in Panora and what is causing the delay. Several years ago, apartments were in the upstairs, but the building has been sitting empty since. However, a plan is underway, and the momentum appears to be picking up.
Timothy Schutte, broker/owner at Timothy Schutte Real Estate Team in Urbandale, explained where the project stands and the next steps planned.
“I bought the building in 2017, and I was going to look at doing historical rehab,” he said. “There were seven apartments in here — three upstairs, three on the main floor, and then one in the basement.”
After the last renter departed, the building sat empty.
“I almost literally forgot about it for a little while, because I had other stuff that I’m doing all the time,” Schutte said.
“So we bought this, thinking I would do historic rehab; it didn’t work,” Schutte said. “Then I got sick of it and tried to sell it last year or the year before that, but I wasn’t getting any bites or nibbles. So I started making some phones calls and got connected with Region XII Council of Governors. Carla Jannings is my grant writer who has done this type of project before. It’s called the CDBG — Community Development Block Grant — for upper-story housing. These old buildings are expensive, and you can’t make the numbers work, so that’s why these grants exist.”
Schutte was awarded a CDBG grant of $400,000 for the project.
“We are hoping to be able to start really going after it, probably January-ish,” he said. “The exterior windows are all going to go back to their original height. I can’t touch anything on the main level or below the upper story with the grant money. I can’t even touch it until after the upstairs is all done.”
Schutte said there will be three apartments.
“There’s going to be two two-beds, and there’s going to be a two-bed with an office. That might turn into a third bedroom, depending on what we’re allowed to do,” he said.
Schutte said they are in the stage of a Section 106.
“That is the historic inventory, to know what I have to keep and what I don’t have to keep, from a historic standpoint,” he said.
Because of the building’s age and history, this step is required as part of the grant process.
“I think it’s going to be something the community likes,” he said. “It will be nice apartments. They’ll have granite countertops. I’m really going to try to have washer and dryer in each unit.”
Schutte said they will be cleaning up behind the building as well.
“We’ve been waiting for a bunch of stuff,” he said. “We got awarded the grant in March or April, and from the time we applied for the grant in November until we got it, I couldn’t touch it. It’s complicated stuff.”
According to Schutte, the architect is at the point where he needs approval from the historian, and that is supposed to happen by the end of this month. Then the historical aspect has to be approved by the State before the funds are released to the City, and then the City will reimburse him.
The upstairs apartments may be ready in about a year, and Schutte hopes to have a business rent the main floor.
“In a year and a half, the main level, I would hope, will have a tenant in it,” he said. “It’s 3,000 square feet.”
As for now, much needs to be done on the upper floor. Schutte plans to remove the dropped ceilings so the spaces will have the high ceilings that were common a century ago.
“We’re also going to try to make it so they have more modern living, like islands and granite countertops or hard surface countertops of some sort,” he said, adding that he plans to use local contractors whenever possible so the grant funds stay here.

This year’s luncheon will be at a new location, moving from St. Cecelia Catholic Church to Faith Bible Church.

Posted 11/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The Panora Women’s Service Organization (WSO) will celebrate a significant milestone in December with its annual holiday luncheon. This is the 50th year for this fundraising event, which will be Friday, Dec. 1.
“We’re planning a special celebration for our golden anniversary,” says Toni Wright, current WSO president. “Photos and memorabilia will be on display, and early members and longtime members will be honored.”
This year’s luncheon also will be at a new location, moving from St. Cecelia Catholic Church to Faith Bible Church, which is north of Panora on Highway 4.
“We’re excited about the new location, which is larger and better designed for this event,” Wright says. “In the past, we’ve been limited to a maximum of 125 guests, but this year we can comfortably seat more.”
The WSO luncheon begins serving at noon. As guests arrive, they can purchase raffle tickets and sign up for door prizes. The meal includes ham balls, dinner rolls and a large variety of salads made by WSO members. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from any WSO member, at the Panora Library, or by contacting Wright at 641-757-0886 or
Proceeds from the WSO holiday luncheon help fund local projects and make it possible to provide a $500 scholarship to one Panorama High School graduating senior each year, which can be renewed annually for up to three years. In most years, WSO is providing $2,000 in scholarship money to four Panorama graduates.
Another major fundraising event for WSO is an annual home tour each June, which this year will be Friday, June 7. This will be the 48th WSO home tour. Tickets for this event will be limited, so those interested will want to contact their usual ticket seller in early May.
The holiday luncheon and home tour will secure this year’s scholarships plus make it possible to donate to other local causes. Some of those include Tori’s Angels, Panora Library, Heritage Park, Guthrie County Historical Village, Guthrie County Food Pantry, and the Panora Garden Club Main Street petunia trees and flower pots.

New members are welcomed, and the time commitment is minimal.

Img 0026
Posted 11/09/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

On Oct. 10, the Women For Panora’s Future (WFPF) group met to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club’s existence. In addition to cake and refreshments, the group enjoyed looking through the various scrapbooks that chronicle the history of WFPF and the many community projects that WFPF has held or helped with over five decades.
The WFPF is exactly what its name implies: a group of local women who meet and participate in events to benefit Panora. Projects that WFPF holds or gives toward annually include: Adopt-A-Highway cleanup (April and September), blood drives, community Christmas lighting, Fire Department and EMS, Haunted Village at the Historical Village, Guthrie Youth Foundation, Heritage Park, Panorama Days Cake Walk, Pie and Cookie Raffle, Panorama Graduate Scholarship Fund, Relay for Life, Memorial Day ceremony, Panora Nursing & Rehab Center, fifth grade class, New Opportunities, and can recycling.
“Panora Women’s Club was the older group, and they met at 10 a.m.,” current WFPF President Carla Fitzgerald said, explaining how the group formed. Fitzgerald said this didn’t fit well with the schedules of most younger women, due to work and/or childcare commitments.
“Their members were declining, so they invited us, trying to recruit us, and we really weren’t that interested,” Carolyn England recalled. “But we wanted to be polite, so they helped us form our club. They called us the Junior Women’s Club, which is really funny now.”
At first, the club was federated, meaning they paid dues to the larger state and national organizations. Eventually, the local women decided they would get more local bang for the buck by becoming independent, and that is how the group became the WFPF.
Fitzgerald said that, decades ago, the WFPF had “Secret Sisters” in which each member would secretly buy small gifts for another member throughout the year. Guesses were later made as to who the secret givers were before the truth was revealed.
“We got to the point where we realized we could be using that money to help people at the care center,” Fitzgerald said. “So, at Christmas  time, we get names from the care center, and we give them little Christmas presents.”
Currently, the WFPF has 27 members, but that number has fluctuated over the years, sometimes well into the 40s. Fitzgerald said new members would definitely be welcomed, and the time commitment is fairly minimal.
“We try to keep meetings short, and we do have fun,” Fitzgerald said. There is no minimum requirement for participation by members.
“A lot of members just put in the time that they can,” England said. “If they can’t, they don’t. We meet once a month, on the second Tuesday, except for summer and January and February.”


Posted 11/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Voting for two positions on the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ) board will take place Tuesday, Dec. 5. The polls will be open from noon until 8 p.m. in the lower level of the LPA office, 5006 Panorama Drive.
Voters can request absentee ballots from the Guthrie County Auditor for the “Special Election” and fill in Lake Panorama RIZ. Absentee ballot requests must be received by the auditor’s office by Nov. 20. Voters also can vote absentee at the auditor’s office in the Guthrie County courthouse prior to the election.
Trustees Doug Hemphill and JoAnn Johnson are running for re-election to three-year terms. Other trustees on the RIZ board are Bill Dahl, Larry Petersen and Corey Welberg.
Voting is limited to individuals whose voter registration address is located within the Lake Panorama subdivision. LPA members who do not consider Lake Panorama their primary residence for voting purposes are not eligible to cast a ballot.
This is a government election, not an LPA election. Every eligible voter can cast a ballot. This differs from LPA elections, where each membership is allowed just one vote.
The trustees are responsible for administering the RIZ, which includes the platted portions of the Lake Panorama development. The Lake Panorama RIZ is a local government entity designed to manage erosion control and water quality at Lake Panorama and within its watershed.
RIZ was formed in 1997 by the initiative of the LPA through legislation in Des Moines. The tax increment financing district allows tax growth dollars to stay within the Lake Panorama development for water quality purposes.
The board of trustees oversees the annual budget and associated expenditures. Estimated revenue for the 2023-2024 fiscal year is nearly $3 million. These funds are used exclusively to fund improvements allowed under IA Code 357.H, which includes dredging operations, erosion control practices and water quality improvements.
A key focus of RIZ is the dredging of sediment from Lake Panorama. This ensures lake depth remains suitable for safe enjoyment by LPA members and their guests.
One current multi-year project is the expansion of the 180th Trail Basin. This project represents an investment of about $4 million of RIZ funds. This basin is where dredging spoils will go once the current basin is full.
Preventative efforts are an expanding priority for RIZ, with two additional wetlands in the planning stages, which would bring the total number of wetlands protecting Lake Panorama to five. RIZ also has implemented a voluntary cover crop incentive for upstream property, within a targeted area of the Panorama watershed.
Last year, RIZ completed rip rap along the south shore, which totaled $820,000. LPA signed an agreement with RIZ that in return for this investment, the south shore will not be used for anything beyond recreational purposes for the next 15 years.
For more information on Lake Panorama RIZ, visit
Bonny snyder



Posted 11/09/2023

Bonny Mae (Tiefenthaler) Snyder, 74, of Lake Panorama, died Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Guthrie Center, with Father Michael Peters and Deacon Dennis Patrick presiding. A burial followed at Resurrection Cemetery, Guthrie Center. A visitation was held Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023, from 5-7 p.m. at the Twigg Funeral Home, Panora.
Bonny was born on June 9, 1949, in Carroll, the daughter of the late Arthur and Lorna (Smid) Tiefenthaler. She enjoyed her childhood in Breda and graduated from St. Bernard High School in 1967. Following high school, Bonny received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Iowa State University in 1971 and taught for two years following.
On June 2, 1973, she was married to her high school sweetheart, Len Snyder, also of Breda. The couple resided in Bayard; Ames; York, Nebraska; and Little Rock, Iowa, before moving to Guthrie Center in 1987 and, finally, Lake Panorama in 2003. The couple had four daughters, Amy, Katy, Abby and Kelly.
Bonny was a wonderful mother and a homemaker. She devoted her life to her husband and four girls and later in life her sons-in-law and grandchildren. Of course, next in line to her love for her family was her love for the Iowa State Cyclones. This was all well reflected in her Iowa State GIRLS license plates.
She was an avid bridge player (winning many bridge marathons) and loved to bowl, swim, read, cross-stitch and play games and cards. She had a heart for theater, music and singing. Bonny led the choir at St. Mary’s for several years and was also in PEO and Friends of the Library in Guthrie Center. She loved to travel with her fondest memories being time spent with family at Black Hawk Lake in Lake View, the annual week (41 years strong) at Fillenwarth Beach Resort in Okoboji and meeting new friends with winter stays in Arizona and Florida. (She didn’t love the baseball spring training as much as Len.)
Bonny was the life of the party, the smile who lit up every room, and a friend to everyone. As a result of her generous spirit and fun personality, she was loved by many.
Survivors include her husband of 50 years: Len Snyder of Lake Panorama; four daughters: Amy (Jerry) Hoover of Guthrie Center, Katy (Quinn) Hildman of Waukee, Abby (Brett Smith) Snyder of Waukee, and Kelly (Nolan) Grimm of Waukee; 11 grandchildren: Genevieve, Jorja and Jayla Hoover; Kyla and Kobe Hildman; Brady, Bo and Andi Snyder-Smith; Rossi, Sage and Gianna Grimm; brother Alan (Marlene) Tiefenthaler of Breda; sister Jean Huegerich of Lake View; and nieces and nephews.
Bonny was preceded in death by her parents; in-laws, Leonard and Janet Snyder; grandson, Paul Hildman; nephew, Keith Huegerich; and niece, Gina Tiefenthaler.
We would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to Bonny’s extended family, friends and the Guthrie Center community for their many kind condolences and heartfelt sympathies.

The best time to get vaccinated is in the fall, according to Jotham Arber, executive director of health services.

Posted 11/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

It’s the time of year when Guthrie County residents are starting to spend more time indoors, which means they are at greater risk of illness due to a virus. Jotham Arber, an epidemiologist, is executive director of health services for the Guthrie County Public Health department. He says there are vaccination options that can reduce the risk.
“We strongly recommend individuals receive the 2023 flu vaccination,” Arber says. “The flu vaccine helps protect against seasonal influenza, which can cause serious illness and hospitalization. The flu vaccine is one of the best tools we have for fighting influenza.”
There are multiple types of flu vaccines, including standard-dose, high-dose, and nasal spray vaccines. There also are two types of influenza vaccine: the trivalent, which is formulated to protect against three flu strains, and quadrivalent, formulated to protect against four strains.
“The best time to get vaccinated is in the fall, ideally before Thanksgiving, since the flu season typically begins in earnest in December,” Arber says.
Flu vaccines are available at various locations, including the Guthrie County Public Health office, pharmacies and an individual’s primary health care provider.
A new COVID vaccine also is available this fall, designed to address the emerging variants and provide added protection against the virus.
“We recommend individuals, especially those who are older and have immunocompromising conditions, get the updated vaccination for COVID-19,” Arber says. “As always, we recommend county residents follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and their healthcare providers regarding the need for this new vaccine.”
The availability of these vaccines varies, but Arber says the supply in Guthrie County is meeting demand.
“We have the vaccine available through our pharmacies and here at the health department,” he says. “The health department also is the bridge provider for the vaccine, which means we can vaccinate any person regardless of their ability to pay. We are working with our pharmacies and providers to make sure anyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine can get it.”
RSV stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which can cause respiratory illness, especially in young children and older adults. A new RSV vaccine has been developed to provide protection against that virus.
“RSV vaccinations are recommended for those 60 and older. Women who are pregnant can receive an RSV vaccine during week 32 and week 36 of pregnancy, and the vaccine will protect infants through the first six months of their life,” Arber says.
Babies up to eight months old can get an RSV immunization as they enter their first RSV season. This is not a vaccine, but rather a dose of RSV protective antibodies. A second dose may be recommended for toddlers before they enter their second RSV season if they have lung, heart or immune problems. Eligible individuals can get the RSV vaccine at their primary health care providers, pediatric clinics and pharmacies that offer it.

AEDs and CPR training
Besides fall vaccinations, Arber’s office is busy with a new initiative that focuses on increasing access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and promoting CPR training. Key components include acquiring 30 AED units to place at new sites and replace expired units, providing CPR training to community members, paying for training for volunteer first responders and creating awareness about the importance of immediate response to cardiac emergencies.
“The primary goal of the AED/CPR Initiative is to increase survival rates in cardiac emergencies by providing easy access to AEDs and equipping community members with life-saving CPR skills,” Arber says. “We want to increase the number of first responders in each of our communities and, ultimately, we aim to create a safer and more prepared community.”
So far, 15 AEDS and necessary equipment have been purchased, three new units placed, and three CPR trainings held where 32 community members learned CPR techniques.
Funding for this project started after the formation of the Our Community Health Foundation in 2021.
“The foundation is a way to support health initiatives in Guthrie County,” Arber says. “It serves as a vital source of funding for projects that enhance the wellbeing of our community yet don’t have sustainable funding sources. We needed this nonprofit 501c3 designation to apply for funding.”
Last May, the foundation received a $19,400 gift from Ten Squared Men of Guthrie County for the Guthrie County AED and CPR Initiative. The project also was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Guthrie County Community Foundation.
“These contributions have paid for the equipment but won’t cover the full project cost,” Arber says. “We estimate the entire project will cost around $50,000. We are actively seeking additional donations and grants and exploring potential county or state funding to ensure the success of this life-saving initiative.”
Arber says he and his staff are dedicated to the health and wellbeing of Guthrie County residents.
“Our public health team is committed to providing essential vaccinations, responding to emerging health threats, and promoting initiatives like the AED/CPR project to enhance community safety,” he says. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of fall vaccinations, stay informed about health issues, and support our health initiatives, as these play a vital role in keeping our community safe and healthy.”


Posted 11/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Friends of Lake Panorama is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity dedicated to supporting recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. The first meeting of the Friends of Lake Panorama board was Dec. 3, 2013. An application for nonprofit status was filed with the IRS in January 2014 and approved in July of that year.
The charity is governed by a volunteer, seven-member board of directors. In this month’s Q&A, Jan Reinicke, Friends board president, talks about the charity’s successes over the past 10 years and its current priority project.

Q. You’re the only member of the current Friends board who has been on since the first meeting in 2013. Why were you interested 10 years ago in helping with this effort, and why have you been willing to continue since then?
A. Having been a part of the Lake Panorama community since the mid-1980s, it was easy to see the evolutionary changes occurring in the development. Over the years, it had become much more than just a place for retirement or weekend enjoyment. It had attracted more permanent residents. Many were families with children finding a home at the lake. While the lake has always been the major attraction, there was a need for more recreational opportunities. Friends of Lake Panorama was the perfect vehicle for bringing people together to develop the partnerships and raise the resources necessary to improve our playgrounds, build the sports courts, establish the dog park and all the other improvements we’ve seen in the last 10 years.

Q. What are some of the things accomplished in the last 10 years that stand out for you?
A. All of our projects have added to the quality of life here at Lake Panorama, but certainly some stand out because they were the product of priorities identified by the members of the lake community. I’ve been very proud of the fact we’ve reached out to the membership many times over the last 10 years to seek input. I believe some of the success we’ve had in fundraising is the result of being responsive to the membership.
At our first board meeting 10 years ago, we agreed that once the IRS granted Friends nonprofit status, fundraising efforts would focus on two projects — one on each side of the lake. We settled on a destination playground at Sunset Beach and sports courts on the east side.
The Sunset Beach playground opened in July 2016. The Boulder Beach sports courts opened in June 2018. Many other successful projects followed. Playground improvements at both Shady and Boulder beaches. Rain garden at Panorama West. Dog park. Sports court and three swings at Sunset Beach. Panorama West Nature Trail. Shade sails at Lake Panorama National. Direct donations of more than 20 benches added at the three beaches and two golf courses.
In August 2017, Friends received a $473,700 estate gift from Jim and Joyce McLuen to be used at the Panorama West Golf Club. This led to new irrigation, cart paths, tee signs and markers, trash receptacles, and ball washers, plus turf improvement, clubhouse landscaping and sand trap renovations. This estate gift turned an already good golf course into something truly special, and is a shining example of the impact estate gifts to Friends can have at Lake Panorama.

Q. Friends works closely with the Lake Panorama Association. How important is that relationship?
A. While Friends strives to develop many working partnerships to carry out projects and fundraise, our most important relationship is with the Lake Panorama Association board and staff. None of the projects could have been completed without the approval, guidance and assistance of the LPA.
Because all of the projects that Friends of Lake Panorama propose have to be maintained by the LPA, it is important to work with the LPA from conception to completion. Friends has been fortunate to have a very supportive board and caring staff to work with during the last 10 years. We appreciate the very productive relationship.

Q. It probably goes without saying that none of the Friends’ projects would have been possible without its many donors. What sort of support have you seen from donors in this first 10 years of existence?
A. Friends has been the catalyst for many improvements around the lake, but we just facilitate meeting the needs the Lake Panorama community has prioritized. It is the donors who deserve the credit for being able to accomplish the many projects over the last 10 years.
Many people have been particularly generous in their support each time we’ve identified a project, while others have given to the projects that interest them. The dog park was a huge success because a group of committed people came together and did some very creative fundraising.
Our annual fundraising event, the Beach Ball, has been supported by many businesses, couples and individuals who donated auction items and sponsored tables, plus the many people who attend and participate in the auctions and other fundraising activities throughout the evening.
Some people donate on a regular basis with matching funds from their employers. We’ve helped facilitate some gifts for very special projects, such as memorial benches at our beaches and golf courses. All of these projects are important, and indicative of the very generous and caring people at the lake. It’s our donors who’ve truly made the difference.

Q. The current priority project for Friends is a suite of low-impact recreational amenities on Lake Panorama’s south shore. How are things progressing?
A. In August 2022, the LPA board approved a Friends proposal to enhance existing trails on the south shore of the main basin. At the same time, the board approved Friends and LPA staff working with Panorama Community Schools personnel to move the cross country team trail from Panorama West to the south shore.
This project allowed us to work with a wider community and have the kind of impact that is consistent with our mission as a nonprofit entity. Developing a cross country track in partnership with the school on the south shore is a great example of community cooperation and support.
The new cross country trail begins on school property, continues onto the south shore for much of the course, and loops back to end at the school. Two large meets were held on the course this fall, and all reports have been extremely positive.
While much of the cross country trail is on the Lake Panorama trail system, there are additional sections that are separate from the cross country trail. While we help support the students and school, the lake community gains a great walking trail system and support in maintaining it. It was truly a project that came together at the right time, and Friends is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the school.
The cross country course and Lake Panorama trail system is just one part of a package of low-impact recreational amenities for the south shore developed by Friends of Lake Panorama, in cooperation with the LPA.
Other parts of the package that are complete are a fenced driveway to a parking lot that provides walk-through access to the recreation area, and a small shelter near the parking lot. The disc golf course is nearing completion, with signage to be added in the spring. Also in 2024, a picnic table will be added to the shelter, and benches and bluebird houses will be placed near trails throughout the recreational area.

Q. How can people donate to Friends of Lake Panorama?
A. Statistics show a high percentage of charitable contributions are made in the last few weeks of the year. We’re looking forward to donations in these last two months of 2023 to support the south shore recreational project.
There are several donation options. One easy way is to clip the coupon from the Friends ad in this issue of the Lake Panorama Times, fill it out and mail it with a check to Friends of Lake Panorama, P.O. Box 488, Panora, IA 50216. Or simply include a note with your check so we know how you want your donation used.
Direct donations can be sent via Venmo @Panorama-Friends. Donations also can be made by credit card online at Details about all past, present and future Friends projects also are on the Friends website.
Donations of securities (stocks, mutual funds, etc.) are welcome, as are direct IRA qualified charitable distributions — for donors over age 70 ½ who are required to take forced IRA distributions.
All donations are tax-deductible, and donors receive a confirmation letter for tax purposes. We hope Friends supporters will consider a 2023 donation in recognition of our 10th anniversary, and the beginning of our next 10 years.
I wait until spring to cut back the circle garden so i can enjoy the fall color  winter texture  and for wildlife habitat.


Posted 11/09/2023
By Lynn Kuhn
Special to Lake Panorama Times

Many gardeners panic just a bit this time of year. The days are shorter and colder, and there’s so much to do. My advice? Relax. The garden is more resilient than we give it credit for, and you can always pick up where you left off in the spring. That said, there are certain things I recommend you do before the ground freezes and the snow falls.
1. PLANT BULBS. You can plant spring blooming bulbs fairly late, even if there is 1-2” of frost in the top layer of soil. A good rule of thumb for determining the proper depth is to plant them three times the height of the bulb. Come spring, you’ll be patting yourself on the back for taking the time to get them in the ground.
Designer’s Tip: Don’t space them out to cover an entire area creating a sparse display. Instead, create clusters or swaths that wind through the garden.

2. WATER DEEPLY. If you have added plants to the garden this year, water them thoroughly. This is very important for shrubs and trees, especially conifers. The goal is to saturate surrounding soil right before the ground freezes, locking in moisture and making it accessible very early spring when the roots become active.
Designer’s Tip: If temperatures dip below freezing, and you are tempted to put the hose away, unhook the hose from the spigot and keep it in place for one last deep watering, which is typically around Thanksgiving.

3. DETER DEER. Despite what you may have been told or read, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed deer-proof plant, especially in the fall when deer are mating and bucks love to scrape their antlers against tree trunks. Therefore, we do what we can and hope for the best. This includes selecting plants deer “typically” don’t bother and protecting newly planted trees until they grow and become less palatable to the deer. My advice is don’t waste your time and money on odor deterrents such as human hair, blood meal, garlic and fabric softener. They may work for a while, but, eventually, the deer will figure it out. Instead, experiment with physical deterrents such as thorny branches, netting and fencing at least 8’ tall.
Fun Fact: Deer experience the hormone oxytocin more intensely than humans do when they spot the opposite sex. This leads to them getting to their mate by any means necessary, including jumping fences. (Source:
Another Fun Fact: Human eyes are closer together than the eyes of a deer, therefore we have better depth perception. (Source:
Designer’s Tip: Planting beds along deer fencing that are 6-8’ wide will be perceived as obstacles and may deter deer from taking a leap.

4. WRAP TREE TRUNKS. I advise clients to wrap tree trunks less than 4” diameter from November to April. Leaving it in place past April will invite disease and pest problems, so be sure to remove it during the growing season. Tree wrap can help prevent sunscald and rodent damage. If not secured properly, tree wrap will slide down the trunk. To prevent this, secure it with duct tape, but don’t let the tape touch the bark.
Designer’s Tip: “Thin-skinned’ trees (such as red maple and hybrid maples like Autumn Blaze) are more susceptible to sunscald, especially on the south facing side of the trunk. Protect your investment and wrap these types of trees.

5. CUT BACK PERENNIALS. This is truly optional, and I could dedicate an entire column on this ongoing debate. My opinion is…if you don’t like the way a perennial looks through the winter, or if you want to reduce your spring to-do list, cut them back in the fall. If you want to attract wildlife, let the plants stand through winter. It depends on your garden goals. When in doubt, let it be until spring. That said, here are some plants you could cut back in the fall: Hosta, Lungwort, Daylily, Peony, Catmint, Astilbe, Salvia, Phlox and Beebalm. Some plants benefit from dead foliage and stems that provide insulation through the winter. If their stems are cut, it is an open invitation for moisture and that can damage the crown. Here are the plants that can be cut back early spring rather than fall: Coralbells (Heuchera), Mums.
Designer’s Tip: Let beautiful ornamental grasses stand all winter. Cutting them back in fall can damage them or delay when they sprout in the spring.

Written by Lynn Kuhn, author of “Conversation Gardens: Where Conversations Flow and Relationships Grow.” She is a landscape architect, speaker and owner of Conversation Gardens (formerly Outdoor Transformations). You can reach Lynn at or


Posted 11/09/2023
By Jolene Goodman
Lake Panorama Times

If you like the buffalo chicken dip that your taste buds salivate over at parties, you will love this soup option. Buffalo Chicken Chili was unveiled at our UNI tailgate in Cedar Falls this year by our daughter, Samantha. Soup was our food theme and proved to be a great option as it warmed us up while we fought the chilly wind that stuck with us all day. We had six different soups including broccoli cheese with noodles, turkey vegetable kale, regular chili, chicken tortilla, cheesy potato, and buffalo chicken chili. So many delicious choices, and I sampled them all. They were all fantastic, but an appetizer made into a meal? Well, that was the winner for me. Buffalo Chicken Chili is not only tasty, it fills you up with meaty bites of chicken, too. Give this recipe a try for your next tailgate or one of those cold stay-at-home nights. Enjoy!

Jolene Goodman is the advertising director for Lake Panorama Times and vice president of Big Green Umbrella Media.

1-1.5 pounds ground chicken
1/4 - 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
2 cups chicken broth
15 ounces can Navy Beans or Black Eyed peas (drained & rinsed)
15 ounces can corn
1 packet of ranch seasoning
dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 block of cream cheese (8 ounces)
14.5 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
2 tablespoons cilantro
blue cheese crumbles

Brown the chicken. Add buffalo sauce (1/4 cup for more mild or up to 1/2 cup for more heat), chicken broth, navy beans, corn, ranch packet and other seasonings to pan. Stir and simmer. Add cream cheese and fire-roasted tomatoes. Continue stirring to blend cream cheese into mixture. Add 2 tablespoons of cilantro and stir. Place blue cheese crumbs on top of individual serving bowls. Serves four.
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Posted 11/09/2023
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Henry Irvin Kurtz
Breed: Golden Retriever
Owners: Scott and Mindy Kurtz

Henry was adopted from a rescue in Minnesota.  He is 6 months old and has been part of the Kurtz family for a month. He adapted quickly to his forever home at Lake Panorama. He loves his toys and playing fetch with his ball. Henry enjoys exploring the outdoors but also likes snuggling indoors and looking out the window. He is very food forward, so Scott and Mindy have been training him with treats. He likes to play with other dogs and especially likes it when his human sister’s dog, Penelope, comes for a visit. Henry loves to learn and, in the short time, has mastered sit, shake, high-5 and down. Scott and Mindy hope to get him out on the boat next year.
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Posted 11/09/2023
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Bixby
Age: 4-5 years old
Available at: Panora Pets

During the hottest dog days of summer, this stray guy was found wandering around a local farm looking for some shade and water. He is now all cooled off and feeling much better. Bixby quickly settled in at the shelter and has made some new friends already. He seems to have lived a bit of a rough life referenced by the tatters to his ears and his slightly weepy eye that makes him appear as if he is doing a half wink at you. Bixby is very friendly and sweet and pretty non-phased by all the changes in his life. And, like is said about retired tomcats, they make some of the best furry companions with their chill purrsonalities and sweet dispositions — not to mention their adorable big round tomcat heads. Bixby is neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. He is available for adoption at Panora Pets.

Of 710 completed surveys,
654 gave a satisfaction score of 9 or 10.

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Posted 11/09/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

During the regular meeting of the Guthrie County Hospital’s board of trustees on Oct. 26, the board heard about the latest patient satisfaction survey results through the Net Promoter Score (NPS). Danielle Lauzon, clinical safety and quality coordinator, explained that the satisfaction survey scores operate on a 0-10 scale, with 10 indicating extremely high satisfaction, and 0 being the worst score. Lauzon said the results group the scores into three groups. Scores of 9 or 10 are classified as “Promoters.” Scores of 7 or 8 are classed as “Passive,” and those less than 7 are considered “Detractors.”
“Keep in mind that this is not inpatient related,” said Lauzon. “Inpatient would be an HCAHPS  survey.”
Regarding the NPS surveys, “We had 710 surveys so far completed in this fiscal year… our Net Promoter Score is 88.5.”
Lauzon explained that of the 710 surveys completed, 654 gave a satisfaction score of 9 or 10.
“So, we’re doing really well,” she said, adding that the hospital gets to see results “in real time,” which allows staff to respond to any issues promptly.
“I’ve been around a few hospitals. These are the best scores I’ve ever seen,” said Guthrie County Hospital CEO Chris Stipe.
The trustees also heard from Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) Mary Anderson, who said, “Currently, we have seven job openings. We added a food service worker, and we also added a patient care tech to our listing, so we’re at seven right now.”  She added that Travis Martin will be begin as the new chief operating officer (COO) in November.
In reviewing the hospital’s financial status, Cheryl Marks reported, “We are up $741,000 in gross revenue from a year ago, year to date.”
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the next regular meeting of the hospital board will be Thursday, Nov. 30 at 4 p.m


Posted 11/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Fall 2023 brought beautiful colors to leaves on the many varieties of hardwood trees at Lake Panorama. Yellow, red and orange leaves are the result of chemical processes that take place in trees as the seasons change from summer to winter.
Trish Hart was busy in October, snapping closeup photos of trees in her own yard, wider views of Lake Panorama in the Narrows area, and the view she and her husband, Scott, have from their home on Andrews Cove.
Hart offers custom prints of her photos on canvas, paper, metal and glass. Learn more by visiting Nature’s Canvas Photography on Facebook.


Shane june 2022
Posted 10/11/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

I recently learned that stirring your coffee with a fork is bad luck. Who knew? Check out a column I wrote in our Oct. 4 Daily Umbrella newsletter about superstitions at While you are there, be sure to subscribe to receive this free weekday newsletter delivered to your email inbox each morning.
With Halloween just around the corner, I thought about that column and wondered if there are any boating superstitions that lake folks have. I looked around, and here are a few of the more entertaining ones I found, courtesy of
No redheads allowed onboard. Several cultures over the centuries believed redheads were unlucky, so this might be why sailors shunned them. Another possibility is that redheads were considered fiery personalities.
No women onboard. Women were considered to be too tempting to ancient mariners. Women also were believed to make the water angry, resulting in dangerous voyages. Never mind the fact that boats were named after women and that female figureheads adorned the bow of many a vessel.
Bananas are banned. Bananas are favored hiding grounds for spiders, some of which have nasty (and occasionally deadly) bites. Centuries ago, ships transported bananas from tropical islands with these stowaways unbeknownst to the sailors until they discovered them the hard way.
Always step onto a boat with your right foot. Why the right? Your left foot brings bad luck for the journey ahead. This remains popular among plenty of old salts today.
No whistling. Putting your lips together and blowing while you’re standing on a boat will stir up the wind, and, therefore, the water.
Never change a boat’s name. Never, ever, ever do this unless you want bad luck to follow you. There is hope, however, if you carefully follow each step of revered renaming rituals. Start by removing all (and we do mean all) physical traces of the name. For the rest of the steps, search for “Ceremony for Renaming Your Boat.”
Don’t say “goodbye” when departing. Ancient mariners believed uttering certain words, including this, automatically doomed the voyage, keeping the ship from returning to shore. It’s still a popular belief among captains and fishermen today.
Cats are good omens. With apologies to all you dog lovers, cats reign supreme because they hunt rats. Rats invaded trading ships of old, attracted to the food cargo. They often carried disease and gnawed on ropes.

Yes, more lake humor
Three guys are on a boat and they have four cigarettes but nothing to light them with. What do they do? They throw one cigarette off the boat, and the whole boat becomes a cigarette lighter. …
My cousin said he races boats. So I said, “Wow, you must be a fast swimmer!” …
And finally, hundreds of people lined up for the paddle sale at the boat shop.
It was quite an oar deal.

Have a great October, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
Lake Panorama Times
515-953-4822, ext. 305

Three wetlands along streams that lead into Lake Panorama now are in place to help protect water quality in the lake.

Posted 10/11/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Lake Panorama began to fill with water on June 8, 1970, when the gate for the newly built dam was closed. The lake mainly is fed by the Middle Raccoon River; there also are many small streams within Lake Panorama’s 433-square-mile watershed that eventually drain into it.
An ongoing dredging program is the main line of defense that keeps Lake Panorama from filling with silt. In recent years, steps have been taken to slow the flow of sediment into the lake before it needs to be dredged out.
Three wetlands along streams that lead into Lake Panorama now are in place to help protect water quality in the lake. These sites are effective at reducing the movement of nitrogen but also have a positive impact on sediment and phosphorus, which fuels the blue green algae blooms that generally occur each summer.
The Helen’s Cove wetland was built in 2016 and is on the east side of Sage Trail, northeast of the Lake Panorama Association (LPA) east campground. The Hughes Cove wetland was built in 2017 and is north of 200th Road, north of the Fin and Feather building. The Smith wetland was built in 2019 and is on the north side of 180th Street, north of Burchfield Cove.
“Certain native plants create an environment that reduces nutrients in the water,” says Lane Rumelhart, LPA project manager. “The blue green algae blooms we see in the summer are a result of high concentrations of phosphorus in our lake. Reduction of these excess nutrients can really benefit the lake’s water quality. Vegetation also helps stabilize the wetlands from any erosion on large flow events.”
Water levels are controlled by taking out or adding stop-logs in the outlet structure at each wetland.
“Each spring, I raise the pool level on all three wetlands to catch as much water and silt as possible,” Rumelhart says. “I try to hold off raising the pool level until the exposed perimeter of the pool has a chance to establish some vegetation. In the fall, we lower the pool level to reduce risk of ice damage on the outlet structures.”
Josh Gansen is a wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). He serves nine counties, including Guthrie County. This summer, Rumelhart reviewed each of the three wetlands with Gansen and says he received some good management tips.
“One strategy I plan to use beginning next season will be periodic draw downs in the months of July and August to encourage more vegetative growth. The plan is to reduce the pool level by 6 inches every two weeks beginning in mid-July through mid-August. This will gradually lower the water level a couple of feet over the course of four to six weeks, allowing plants that need a saturated environment enough time to get established.”
Rumelhart says this timeframe is outside of the typical high-flow parts of the year, putting the lake at less risk of taking on overflow sediment in the case of a big rain event. More cover around the edges of the wetland also helps keep more excess nutrients out of the lake, providing better water quality.
Is there a way to measure the effectiveness of the wetlands?
“We do not currently test nutrient levels coming in and out of the wetlands,” Rumelhart says. “We used to work with Iowa State University to track these numbers, but the process proved to be very time-consuming for LPA staff. We would welcome a conversation with anyone interested in volunteering to take on testing in one or all three wetlands.”
The Hughes Cove and Helen’s Cove wetlands have a sediment forebay. Water slows down as it flows into these wetland basins, allowing sand and silt to settle before making its way into the main wetland channel. These forebays allow sediment to be dug out periodically using a long-stick excavator.
Besides improving water quality for Lake Panorama, Rumelhart says the wetlands offer exceptional wildlife habitat for many creatures that would otherwise search for shelter in and around the lake itself.
“The buffer strips also provide excellent cover for pollinators to have pollen available on different spring, summer and fall forbs,” he says. “This allows the pollinator species to thrive throughout the year.”
Waterfowl and upland hunting are allowed at the Smith and Helen’s Cove wetlands. Hunters must read the signage at these locations for special regulations; for instance, no lead shot is allowed. All rules, regulations and seasons set by Iowa DNR are in effect for those who choose to hunt these areas. No hunting is allowed at the Hughes Cove wetland.
Since 1998, the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ) has made it possible for Lake Panorama home and lot owners to use a portion of their property tax dollars to fund erosion control and water quality efforts.
RIZ has funded all three of these wetlands. There have been partners along the way, such as Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality, Agribusiness Association of Iowa, and the USDA.
RIZ has plans for two more wetlands. One would be directly north of the Smith wetland. The other will be located northwest of the West Burchfield Cove, between Rose Avenue and Panorama Drive. RIZ has acquired the land necessary for these projects but needs permits from the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE).
“USACE refuses to deem the drainages that run through these proposed wetlands as intermittent or seasonal streams and is requiring RIZ to increase construction costs 30-40% for mitigation credits,” Rumelhart says. “This is an ongoing issue that RIZ, Shive Hattery Engineers, and other partners continue to work through. These hurdles have set back RIZ’s timeframe, and no date has been set to start these projects.”
Rumelhart encourages LPA members to take a drive to visit any or all of the wetlands.
“These are very successful projects, have incredible wildlife, and, in my opinion, the month of October is the best time of year to view these areas,” he says. “The weather tends to be cooler, the native grasses are in their fall color, and there are plenty of chances to see waterfowl, otters, muskrats and many other wildlife species.”

Lake Panorama resident started bowling
61 years

Img 9847 (cropped)
Posted 10/11/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

Betty Minick of Lake Panorama bowls in the Monday Afternoon League at Incredi-Bowl in Guthrie Center.  But she’s not there just for her personality and winning smile. She knows how to knock the pins around, even at the age of 92.
In fact, on Sept. 25, Minick ended up with a single-game score of 197. When asked if that’s her highest score ever, Minick said, “No, I’ve been over 200 a few times.”  Her 197 game included an impressive four strikes in a row, which is sometimes called a “four-bagger” or a “hambone.”  But that’s something most bowlers never achieve.
“I started (bowling) about 61 years ago,” Minick said.
Obviously, all that practice has paid off, since Minick currently has the second-highest women’s single-game score listed on the wall at Incredi-Bowl. The top score listed for this season is 213, just 16 points higher than Minick. Based on recent results, that position might be in jeopardy.

Addition of nonprofit funds brings opportunity for more donations and scholarships for students.

Img 5371
Posted 10/11/2023
By Shane Goodman
Lake Panorama Times

The Guthrie County Community Foundation and the Panorama Alumni Association held a press conference at the Panorama High School Board Room on Oct. 1 at 4:30 p.m. to announce a $270,000 gift from the Panorama Scholarship Foundation (PSF) to the Panorama Alumni Association. The PSF, founded by Bill and Pat Deal in 1992, provided scholarships anonymously to Panorama High School graduates for more than 30 years. Students who received PSF scholarships could earn up to $6,000 over four semesters if they met grade qualifications.
The Panorama Alumni Association scholarships program began when current alumni president Jerry Armstrong and his wife, Nancy, wanted to see the Panorama Alumni Association give back.
“We believed in the importance of supporting students who are graduating and attending college,” said Armstrong. They began an annual golf tournament to fund a Panorama Alumni Association scholarship program, which awarded $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors from Panorama High School.
With the additional funds transferred from PSF, the Alumni Association will now have assets managed under the umbrella of the Guthrie County Community Foundation, which will provide the Panorama Alumni Association with 501(c)(3) status and allow for tax-deductible donations from others to the organization for scholarships.
“This is a dream come true,” said Panorama Alumni Association board member Andy Arganbright. “With this generous gift from Tammy Deal and Cyndi (Deal) Atkins, we will be able to fund scholarships for many years to come. And this is just the beginning,” said Arganbright, “as we will continue with our fundraising in other ways as well. Anyone interested in learning more about how to donate should contact the local Edward Jones representative, Dave Grove, who will service the Panorama Alumni Association scholarship account, or anyone on the Alumni Association board.”
Association board members hope that additional donations from other alumni will grow the scholarship fund even larger for more students to benefit.
“We want to build on what the Deals created and continue to expand the scholarship fund,” said Arganbright. Growth in the percentage of students who need financial help, coupled with changes to financial aid eligibility, make these scholarships ever more important.
“Our parents believed in the importance of education,” said Tamara Deal, who also serves as the Guthrie County Community Foundation president. “And we are pleased to continue with that effort.”
The Panorama Alumni Association is one of the longest running alumni groups in the State of Iowa going back to graduates of the original Guthrie County High. Started in the late 1800s, the Alumni Association has continued to meet annually in Panora over Panorama Days to honor the many students from Panora, Linden, Bagley, Jamaica and Yale who have become members of the association.
The Guthrie County Community Foundation has awarded $1.6 million in total grants to 59 Guthrie County organizations since 2005. More than $208,000 was awarded in 2023 alone. For more information, visit

There were 125 participants on 28 teams, and more than $34,000 was raised.

Posted 10/11/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The third annual Raccoon River Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s was held in Panora Sept. 16. There were 125 participants on 28 teams, and more than $34,000 was raised. Participant and team numbers were higher than last year’s, as was the amount of money raised.
The walk began at the Michael Mills Memorial Park. The two-mile route had walkers heading east from the park, north to the Raccoon River Valley Trail, and south on the trail before looping back to the park.
These Alzheimer’s Association fundraising walks are held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide. There are 19 walks scheduled in Iowa this fall, with Panora being the smallest town to host one.
Alzheimer’s kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. More than 6 million Americans are living with the disease. In 2023, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the United States $345 billion, a number that is projected to rise to more than $1 trillion in 2050.
Tom Reil of Guthrie Center, who said both his grandmother and his father Bob suffered from the disease, was the emcee for the opening ceremony.
Edward Jones is a national presenting sponsor of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, having raised more than $5 million this year. Dave Grove, an Edward Jones financial advisor based in Panora, was instrumental in getting the local walk started.
During the opening ceremony, Dave Grove was recognized as the 2023 Volunteer of the Year for Development by the Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. After the event, Grove expressed his thanks.
“It was a beautiful morning,” he said. “We are so thankful for the support of walkers and local businesses that made this year a great success.”
Spinning flowers in four colors were available for walk participants to place in a Promise Garden. Reil asked various people in the crowd to show each colored flower, and explained its meaning. Blue – someone living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Purple – someone who has lost someone to the disease. Yellow – a person currently supporting or caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s. Orange – a person who supports the cause and the Alzheimer’s Association’s vision of a world without the disease.
Leo and Norah Grove, whose parents are Dave and Sara Grove, displayed a white flower, which will represent the first survivor of Alzheimer’s, once a cure is found. Sue Bump of Reshape Fitness Studio led walkers in warmup exercises before the two-mile walk.
The goal for this year’s Raccoon River Valley Walk was $30,000, which has been surpassed by $4,000. However, donations can continue to be made online to the 2023 Raccoon River Valley Walk through Dec. 31, at
In addition to Edward Jones, sponsors of the local walk included Lakeside Village, New Homestead, Guthrie County State Bank, Care Initiatives, Iowa Trust and Savings Bank, Panora Fiber, Nutriom and Dallas County Hospital. At registration, Crafty’s Coffee provided coffee, and Hy-Vee provided bananas and bottled water.
Committee members were Dave Grove, Mel Borgeson, Mary Jane Carothers and Bob Grove. Many other volunteers were present to help the day of the event, including members of the Panora Garden Club. Plans are in the works to hold a fourth Raccoon River Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s in fall 2024.

The Hafners are in growth mode.

Posted 10/11/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

It’s been more than two years since Kelvin Hafner purchased Lake Lumber in Panora from the Neel family. The transfer of ownership was announced to Lake Lumber employees July 19, 2021, in a meeting that involved owners Tom and Sharon Neel and Hafner.
Today, the Neels continue to be part of the Lake Lumber team. Tom works remotely most days, and the couple’s four-day work week allows them to enjoy more vacation time.
There are several new faces at Lake Lumber. Kelvin’s wife, Stephanie Hafner, came on board in May 2022. She oversees the retail operation and manages the hardware line.
“We continue to expand the retail department to offer a greater selection to serve the community’s needs,” she says.
Ryan Wambold is the new construction blueprint designer and estimator. This is one of several expanding services Lake Lumber now offers to customers. Another new service includes pole barn design provided by Lake Lumber team member Patrick Malloy, who has been with the company since 2020. Troy Bergeson is the company’s new accounting manager.
The Hafners are in growth mode.
“The pieces are coming together for growth,” Kelvin says. “Two years ago, there were 13 employees here; now we have 19. As our customer base has grown, we have added the necessary staff and equipment to support the growth with a focus on efficiency and improving the environment for staff and customers. We expanded our storage options by adding new racking systems and leasing a nearby building. We cleaned out the basement and added racking to organize and stock our retail inventory.”
Renovations on the building began a few months ago.
“We redesigned the existing footprint to offer employees more amenities and customers a more robust shopping experience. Our future growth plan includes adding another building with a dock to assist with receiving and deliveries,” Hafner says.
The entrance on the west side of the building will provide direct access into the new design center and offices. The design center will include a larger showroom for customer selections of Bertch and Waypoint cabinets, Marvin and ThermoTech windows, Therma Tru Doors, and other interior and exterior finishes. A new conference room for client selection meetings will enhance the customer experience. There also will be a new contractor and building material checkout area.
“The items showcased in the design center are a huge part of our business,” says Stephanie Hafner. “Our competitors have showrooms to help customers with the selection process; we want to provide our customers with a beautiful showroom to spotlight the products customers can select for their homes.”
The renovation on the north end also allowed for an expanded breakroom with more space to accommodate the growing staff. One bathroom has been added, and two existing bathrooms will be remodeled.
Discussions about these recent renovations began last February, as the Hafners made the decision to switch from their current hardware supplier to Do it Best. Founded in 1945, Do it Best is the only U.S.-based, member-owned hardware, lumber and building materials buying cooperative in the home improvement industry.
“We made the decision to switch to Do it Best because their business model was more aligned with ours,” Kelvin says. “Currently, the hardware store is 10% and the lumberyard is 90% of Lake Lumber. Do it Best is 60% building materials and 40% hardware. Our new partnership with them, and the plans for growth we developed with them, led to the store redesign.”
“Do it Best allows us to further expand the number of retail items available,” Stephanie says. “It is customer-focused, proactive, and has insight into what products to offer. They are a national vendor with great volume discounts, which allows us to offer more competitive pricing to our customers.”
In November, exterior updates to the main Lake Lumber building will be done with a new front entrance created. A new sign along Highway 4 will be installed.
To prepare for the new retail area, offices along the west wall will be removed, as will the current counter and checkout area. This work, combined with other renovations, will expand the retail space by about 600 square feet.
In January, a team of Do it Best employees will spend about three weeks resetting the retail area. Display areas will be stocked, lighting updated and new signage added. Two new, more traditional checkout lanes will be installed. There will be a new “Color Bar” in the paint department where direct purchases of paint and related items can be made. The store will remain open during the reset.
“We know our customer base and know many live in the chaos of a remodel or new construction,” Stephanie says. “We’ll be doing the same thing, living through what may seem like chaos, but our focus will remain the same: to provide our customers with quality customer service.”
By April, the Hafners expect to be settled in and plan to host some “reopening” events that target various segments of their customer base.
Hafner says his purchase of Lake Lumber has been everything he hoped for, and more.
“The transition with the Neels has been great,” he says. “Our business growth has been consistent and strong. I’m excited where we are right now, and excited about the remodel and the new partnership with Do it Best. We look forward to serving our customers as we continue to grow.” 


8206 kamschatca sedum
Posted 10/11/2023
By Lynn Kuhn
Special to Lake Panorama Times

Last month, I offered three low-maintenance landscapes that have awesome lakeside appeal, and I have two more to share this month. What is “low maintenance”? For this list, I picked perennials that satisfy my definition of low maintenance and are attractive as well. The plants must check all boxes to make the list.
• little or no watering once established
• not picky about soil
• deer and rabbit resistant (most of the time)
• optional dead-heading
• not invasive
• long blooming
• good looking foliage
These additional ones are also tough, tried and true. I think you’ll love them.

(Russian Stonecrop)
Thunderhead (24-30”x24”) large fuchsia heads
Back in Black (20-24”x24-30”) striking dark foliage
Neon  (12-18”x12-18”) chartreuse foliage, compact
Autumn Fire (18-24”x18”) long lasting crimson blooms
Kamtschaticum (4-6”x18”) perfect filler around other plants to discourage weeds, many varieties are available
Angelina (4-6” x 1-2’) chartreuse spiky leaves, apricot fall color, semi-evergreen
Dazzleberry (6-8”x12-18”) smoky blue-gray foliage with raspberry pink flowers
There are 400 to 500 species in the sedum family, not to mention hundreds of cultivars within the species. There has been a flood of new cultivars introduced into the market in recent years. My list includes both new introductions and oldies that have been around forever.

Designer Tip: Use Sedum kamtschaticum around the base of taller cultivars. Put Angelina at the base of plants with burgundy or dark green foliage. Pair Dazzleberry with Standing Ovation Little Bluestem for a stunning tone-on-tone combo with contrasting texture and touches of burgundy.

(Betony, Lamb’s Ear)
Hummelo (18-24”x18”) thrives in heat and poor soil
Big Ears (12”x24-36”) larger leaves than traditional lamb’s ear, pruning off blooms is optional based on personal preference

When you hear lamb’s ear, you may envision small fuzzy gray low growing foliage. Big Ears is similar but with much larger leaves. Hummelo comes from a different species within the family and doesn’t look anything like traditional lamb’s ear. It’s known for stunning pink spiky blooms and was selected as Perennial Plant of the Year in 2019. If you see one called Helen Von Stein, then buy it. It is identical to Big Ears.

Designer Tip: Use Hummelo as a substitute for the invasive and now illegal pink lythrum that used to be so popular. Yes, it’s shorter, but you still get beautiful bright pink spikey blooms.
Give these a try at the lake house.

Written by Lynn Kuhn, author of “Conversation Gardens: Where Conversations Flow and Relationships Grow.” She is a landscape architect, speaker and owner of Conversation Gardens (formerly Outdoor Transformations). You can reach Lynn at or