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

This year marks the 14th season of the Iowa Hawkeyes Kid Captain program. It is a partnership between University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and the Iowa Hawkeyes football program to honor pediatric patients with incredible stories. Twelve current and former patients are selected each year to have their stories highlighted throughout the football season.
Chloe Dinkla, adopted daughter of Alex and Megan Dinkla, is one of the 2023 Kid Captains. She and her family will be recognized at the Iowa vs. Rutgers football game Nov. 11. Chloe was born Oct. 12, 2012, in Pingliang City, China. In January 2014, she came home to Iowa and the Dinkla family.
“We adopted through the special needs program in China,” says Megan Dinkla. “Chloe’s diagnosis on her adoption file was single club foot. This was something we felt more than comfortable with. From what we could research, she would need some casting on her foot and then would go on to live a normal, healthy life. She was the first, and only, referral we saw from our adoption agency, and we instantly knew she was our daughter.”
Chloe did have a club foot. She was seen by an orthopedic doctor in Des Moines in February 2014.
“We talked to our pediatrician after that appointment, and she referred us to Iowa City. Her first appointment in Iowa City was at the end of March. Everything went quickly after they located the mass in her back,” Megan says.
Once she was examined at the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, she was diagnosed with several serious conditions. Chloe had scoliosis, a curvature of the spine; spina bifida, a birth defect in which there is incomplete closing of the spine; tethered spinal cord, when the spinal cord abnormally attaches to the wall of the spinal canal; and a bony mass that split her spinal cord. Her club foot was neurogenic and caused by her spine issues.
In April 2014, Chloe had an 11-hour neurosurgical procedure to repair her spinal cord. Other surgeries followed, in June 2014, December 2014, October 2018 and April 2022. One surgery involved the placement of MAGnetic Expansion Control TM (MAGEC) rods, to minimize the progression of scoliosis. Chloe also has been treated for an eye muscle disorder, and Duane syndrome, a congenital eye misalignment that causes difficulties in the eyes moving side to side.
Dr. Stuart Weinstein, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, is Chloe’s primary doctor.
“There are different types of scoliosis, but this is called congenital because she was born with it,” he says. “If she hadn’t had the advantage of modern treatments, it would have affected her lung function and potentially her longevity. She also could have become quite deformed.”
The MAGEC rods came on the market in 2014.
“The spine is not fused, so you can stretch it,” Dr. Weinstein says. “We are able to take an externally applied device, which spins a magnet in the rod, and as it spins the rod, the rod gets longer. Before these rods, we’d have to take the patient back to the operating room every six months and make it longer to keep up with growth. Now the kids come to clinic three times a year, we apply the magnet and the rod lengthens.”
Chloe will have at least one more spinal surgery, to remove the MAGEC rods and replace those with permanent rods.
“We keep the movable rods in place until children get through the majority of their spine growth and allow their lungs to develop more normally,” Dr. Weinstein says.
Megan Dinkla says because of Chloe’s physical limitations, there is a lot she can’t do.
“No sports, dance, gymnastics. When we heard about the Kid Captain program during a visit to Stead Hospital, Chloe was instantly interested,” she says. “Her words? ‘Then I’ll be famous like Taylor Swift!’ She asked every day if we had heard from them. We were all shocked when we got the call that she had been selected.”
The University of Iowa football team hosted its annual Kids’ Day at Kinnick Aug. 12. There was an open practice at noon, with pre-practice activities in the Krause Family Plaza. The 2023 Kid Captains joined the players on the field for photos following an exclusive inside look at Kinnick Stadium.
On Nov. 11, Chloe and her family will go onto the field during pregame as her story is shared. Chloe also gets to pick the song to play that day during the Hawkeye Wave. At the end of the first quarter, football fans turn to the children’s hospital to wave to the pediatric patients and their families watching the game. This is the second year the Kid Captains have been asked to help select a song to accompany the Hawkeye Wave.
Alex Dinkla was born and raised in Guthrie Center, the adopted son of Dwight and Brenda Dinkla. Megan lived in Menlo.
“We were high school sweethearts and lived in Guthrie Center from 2000 to 2003,” Megan says. “We moved when Alex got a job as a police officer in Panora. Later he was hired by the Adair County Sheriff’s office, before joining the Iowa State Patrol in 2007. In 2008, he was able to get transferred to his home area, and we moved back to Guthrie Center.”
Megan says because Alex was adopted as a newborn, adoption was always on their hearts.
“Although I never guessed we would adopt from China,” she says. “I had a third-grader in my classroom one year who was adopted from China, and her family was in the process of adopting another child from China. Something about her story and how amazing she was made us look into adoptions from China.”
Megan says having Chloe’s file state her only health issue was a club foot turned out to be a blessing.
“We know we would never have been presented her file if her paperwork had the correct information on it,” she says. “Thank goodness the paperwork was wrong. We would have missed out on having the opportunity to raise one of the most brave, resilient and beautiful girls we know.”
Once Chloe joined the Dinkla family, Megan started advocating for other children in China still waiting for a family, specifically those with spina bifida.
“That’s how we saw our sweet Molly for the first time. We never planned to adopt a second child from China, but after Molly’s first adoption family backed out, we knew she was ours, and nothing would stop us from bringing her home,” Megan says. Molly joined the Dinkla family in June 2016. She has spina bifida and hydrocephalus but has not required any major surgeries.
The Dinkla family moved from Guthrie Center to Winterset in May 2015. Alex is a sergeant with the Iowa State Patrol, and Megan continues as a third-grade teacher. Megan also continues to advocate for special needs children in China who need a family.
“Since we moved to Winterset and adopted Molly, eight other children have been adopted by local families in Winterset. It’s been such a beautiful thing to be a part of,” she says. “People tell us all the time that Chloe and Molly are so lucky we adopted them. We completely disagree; we are the lucky ones to have the blessing of them in our family.”


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

Panorama Community Schools serves 800 students in kindergarten through 12th grade from the communities of Panora, Yale, Jamaica, Bagley and Linden, including the Lake Panorama area. On July 3, Kasey Huebner began work as the new Panorama superintendent of schools. In this month’s Q&A, Huebner talks about his background, plans for the new school year, and why he was interested in applying for this position.

Q. Let’s start with some background; where are you from, where did you attend high school and college, and what education positions have you held before coming to Panorama?
A. I was raised in Sioux Rapids and completed my high school education at Sioux Central High School. After graduating, I attended the University of Northern Iowa where I obtained my elementary teaching and coaching degree. I began my teaching career at Midwest Christian Services in Peterson, where I taught grades 3-11 special education. After one year, I took a position as a fourth-grade teacher at Spirit Lake, where my family and I have been the last 12 years. I was the elementary principal for the Spirit Lake School district the past seven years.

Q. Tell us about your family.
A. I met my wife, Terri, while we were students at UNI. She is the Mortgage Loan Processing Manager for Central Bank, which has branches in Des Moines, Okoboji, Spirit Lake, Storm Lake, Cherokee, Sioux City and Sioux Falls. We have two boys, both at Panorama Elementary. Kedrick is in third grade, and Karter is in preschool. Karter also spends some time at Little Panther Daycare.

Q. What is the Panorama Schools mission statement, and how does that translate into serving students?
A. Our district’s mission statement is “Developing a community of learners who are responsible, motivated citizens with academic, career and volunteer experiences that prepare them for life’s next step.” In today’s rapidly changing world, students must possess critical thinking skills to effectively solve problems. It is essential that we approach problem-solving creatively and ensure students have ample opportunities to practice these skills during their education in Panorama. It’s estimated about 62% of Iowa high school students went to college last year, so we aren’t just preparing students to go to college. We also need to get them ready for the workforce. I think many leaders in our community would say critical thinking and creativity is something that should be a focus.

Q. What have you been doing since your first day on the job July 3?
A. I have been getting to know people and trying to remember names. Developing relationships and understanding what Panorama is all about. I appreciate everyone’s help throughout this transition. Everyone seems passionate about Panorama and that excites me even more as I get into the school year. My focus is on people, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. My hope is to be led by people’s needs and to resort to policy only when necessary. We now are diving into the day-to-day operations, which is exciting for me as it means we can finally start doing some important work. My ultimate goal is to create a fun and memorable culture for everyone. I always consider the purpose behind our decisions, and that purpose should be driven by our students. When making decisions, if it has a positive impact, then the answer is clear.

Q. Your family now has a home at Lake Panorama. Are you enjoying the lake community?
A. We are officially settled into our new home and definitely enjoying the area. The peaceful surroundings, trees, animal life and the feeling of being in nature have been very relaxing. We have used the beach multiple times, played pickleball on a few occasions, and spent a lot of time on evening walks.

Q. What are some things that prompted you to apply for this position?
A. One of the main reasons for my interest in Panorama is the alignment between their core values and my personal ones. Currently, the stated values for Panorama Schools are “Integrity, Perseverance, Growth.” The only one I would add is “Relationships.” During my application process, we did a lot of research on this Panorama community. I have noticed a strong sense of pride, close relationships, and numerous opportunities for families and kids, which only confirmed our decision to pursue this opportunity.

Q. Have you established some goals for the 2023/2024 school year?
A. In August, the school board and administration had a work session to establish our priorities in the areas of academic excellence, district culture and district operations. We’re making great efforts to ensure that our daily work is aligned with these priorities. Our focus on academic excellence goes beyond state assessment scores. It also means preparing our students for life after Panorama by putting a focus on life development. We want to create a culture of servant leadership under the district culture priority, setting a standard of service and leading by example. District operations are a priority as we aim to use resources efficiently and effectively while maintaining fiscal responsibility. We want to provide our staff and students with the necessary resources for success. Having a clear direction and purpose is crucial as it guides us towards making improvements each day. I firmly believe that, without a vision or purpose, there is no room for growth.

Q. Panorama Schools has three cross country meets on the 2023 schedule using a new course that begins and ends on school property, with most of the course on Lake Panorama’s south shore. What’s your take on this new partnership between Panorama and the Lake Panorama Association?
A. This partnership has opened up a unique opportunity for our students and community. The addition of the cross-country course has been an incredible experience for our runners, and we are excited to host three meets with over 20 teams participating. Other districts have shown an excitement in having their student-athletes compete in this type of environment. The athletic unions both jumped at the idea of having the state-qualifying meet on this course. I am truly appreciative of the hard work put in by the staff at Panorama Schools and LPA, and I hope we continue to work together for the benefit of our community. We are stronger when we work together.

Q. Any closing thoughts?
A. I want to say my family and I are excited to be in the Panorama area. The values and dedication to academic excellence are truly exciting, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this community. I am looking forward to working with staff, students and community members to create a culture of growth and success. We have had a great start to this school year because of the administration and staff, and most importantly, our students. My door is always open, so I invite anyone to come in and have a conversation anytime.


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

About 40 LPA members attended the Sept. 22 GM Coffee to hear updates from John Rutledge, Lake Panorama Association (LPA) general manager. Rutledge started by providing some history on his various roles at Lake Panorama National Resort.
Rutledge was hired in 2007 as the LPA general manager, which also included him having a lead role with the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ). He became LPN director of operations in December 2018.
“Doing all three proved to be too much for one person, but transition during the pandemic wasn’t practical,” he said.
Rutledge said Royce Shaffer, who has been LPN operations manager for nearly five years, was appointed LPN director of operations Sept. 1.
“I remain involved from a financial standpoint, as LPN is one of LPA’s most substantial and important assets,” Rutledge said. “But I have stepped back entirely from day-to-day activities. This is a move that was recommended by me and Royce, and which was fully supported by the LPN board of managers and the LPA board of directors.”
Shaffer introduced himself, saying he had 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.
Shaffer reported 2023 was busy for both the Lake Panorama National and Panorama West golf courses. Through August, LPN paid rounds of golf were up 26% over 2022, with paid golf rounds at Panorama West up 21% over last year.
“Fall turf maintenance has begun,” he said. “Aerification has been completed at both courses, with fall chemical sprays and fall fertilization next. Also, this time of year we struggle with raccoons and skunks digging for grubs. Grub control is sprayed with our summer fertilizer application. Unfortunately, this is not 100% effective. The turf team is looking into alternate grub control options for 2024.”
Shaffer talked about a membership survey underway to gather input on The Links restaurant operation. Information gathered from this survey, plus a second one designed specifically for golf outing coordinators, will be reviewed with the LPN food and beverage task force, and shared with Nick and Lynn Kuhn, 2023 food and beverage tenants.
Shaffer closed his report by encouraging anyone not receiving the LPN Resort Weekly email to get signed up. This newsletter typically is sent each Monday and highlights upcoming LPN events and other information. To sign up, go to the LPN website,, scroll down to the “Get the Latest News” section, and enter an email address.
Turning to RIZ, Rutledge said the 2023-24 fiscal year began July 1. Projected tax increment financing revenues for this fiscal year are $2.94 million.
Expansion of the old CIPCO sediment basin, which has been renamed the 180th Trail Basin, continues. The project is expected to exceed $4 million in total cost once completed. This basin will be used for dredging spoils once the current basin is full.
RIZ operated a pilot program for cover crop incentives in 2022, working with two neighboring landowners in the Lake Panorama watershed.
“We are expanding this effort with other local producers this fall,” Rutledge said. “Cover crops address erosion vulnerability and nutrient runoff during the period between fall harvest and spring planting and crop emergence.”
Rutledge said dredging is ongoing above the debris trap.
“We traditionally relocate below the debris trap after Labor Day, but will remain upstream this year as we are in a productive area,” he said.
RIZ continues to work on mid-term and long-term plans. “Replacement of the dredge soon will be a topic for the budget,” Rutledge said. “Although the physical equipment itself has a long lifespan, the technology does not.”
Rutledge said RIZ is planning to issue $9.9 million in debt certificates this fall.
“The public notice will list $14 million of authority, but the intent is to pursue $9.9 million. This is contrary to the way we would run a business or our personal finances, but TIF (tax increment financing) requires indebtedness to ensure full use of funding,” he said. “Please know Lake Panorama RIZ’s financial health is very strong; debt issuance is simply how Iowa’s TIF works.”
The FY 2022-23 RIZ audit is complete.
“It was a clean audit with no audit comments,” Rutledge said. “We work very hard to ensure accuracy and transparency, and I want to compliment all of our team members for doing a great job.”
Rutledge said legislative issues remain a top priority.
“Property tax reform was one of the hot issues for 2023, and there is discussion the Iowa Legislature will revisit that with another round of property tax reforms,” he said. “TIF reform would impact RIZ; we’ve already been involved with key legislators and Gov. Reynold’s office to set a foundation for future discussions and input to protect RIZ.”
The LPA Water Safety committee met Sept. 19.
“We received requests to add more no-wake areas or to consider reducing some speed limits from 10 mph to 5 mph. The concern is a two-part concern, about both speed and wake,” Rutledge said.
“Boats can go 10 mph or less and still create a measurable wake. After discussion, the committee recommended no changes to the 2024 buoy map. They believe expanding the no-wake zones would push more traffic into a tighter portion of the lake, creating larger safety concerns for the main channel,” he said. “This is a tough issue as our lake is limited in size. We recommend members be courteous about creating large wakes in coves.” (Note: At its Sept. 26 meeting, the LPA board approved the committee recommendation of no changes to the 2024 buoy map.)
Another topic discussed at the water safety committee was boats that cause larger wakes.
“Wakeboats and surfboats continue to generate a lot of discussion, with some members being strong advocates for these and some being strong advocates against,” Rutledge said. “We will revisit our 2020 survey to determine if more education or a follow-up survey is needed to help balance these competing member concerns and interests.”
Sta-Bilt completed 7.5 miles of seal coat on LPA roads this year.
“We’re pleased with the results, although the price continues to ratchet upwards. This year the cost was about $30,000 per mile,” Rutledge said.
Rutledge shared a reminder about LPA’s rules regarding home rentals.
“Members are able to rent their home once every four weeks. This can be for the entire four-week period or just a couple of days,” he said. “The rules try to balance what is best for the neighborhood with the desire of members to rent their home for some occasional income.”
The LPA deer hunting program was finalized in July, and remains much the same as the last several years. The only notable change is the south shore is off limits until Nov. 1 to allow for recreational and Panorama Schools cross country use of the property.
Rutledge said the LPA annual contract with the U.S. Geological Survey that renewed Oct. 1 cost $28,970. The contract allows the LPA to receive information from river gauges to help staff understand incoming and outgoing flow, and to make adjustments to the dam based on that information.
“It also provides LPA with an independent and trusted recordkeeper,” he said. “The information we gain from these river gauges is very important for us, but this is an example of how expensive some things are in our budget,” he said.
Rutledge said work is underway on the 2024 LPA budget. He said the membership can expect a 5% dues increase and a potential ballot measure in the coming year about dues restructuring.
Other topics covered:
LPA tests annually for zebra mussel veligers, which are an early warning sign this invasive species could become established. No veligers were present in this year’s testing.
A new policy is in place that LPA Security officers will not tow boats unless there is an immediate health emergency or a life-or-death situation. Those who need a boat towed should call Coulter Marine. Rates are Main Basin to Shady Beach, $100; Shady Beach to Burchfield Cove, $150; and Burchfield Cove to North Basin, $200.
The planned Chimra water main replacement is complete. Restoration work will be done in the spring, once the backfill has settled.
Guthrie County Public Health inspects septic systems at Lake Panorama every four years. In the past, an $80 invoice was sent to property owners the year of inspection. Now $20 invoices will be sent annually, with inspections continuing every four years.

Lyn Coulter, owner of Coulter’s Panorama Marine, and Phil Watson Jr. have entered into a written agreement for Watson to purchase Coulter’s Panorama Marine. Watson is developing a boat sales, service and storage facility north of Lakeside Village, on the west side of Highway 4.
This was a voluntary sale that Coulter and Watson negotiated privately. LPA’s role is to consent to the new marina tenant. On Sept. 26, the LPA board of directors approved a 2024-2028 lease between LPA and Watson for operation of the LPA-owned marina.
LPA management is pleased to report Watson and Coulter are focused on ensuring a smooth transition for both the LPA membership and Coulter’s staff. Boat lines currently carried by Coulter’s will continue to be carried by Watson, and Coulter’s staff will have the opportunity to work for Watson’s organization.
The transition will occur in the offseason. Coulter’s will continue to provide service through the end of this year, including their normal winterization and storage services.

Two more components of the Friends of Lake Panorama plans for low-impact recreational amenities on the south shore are benches and birdhouses.

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

Construction of a nine-hole disc golf course on Lake Panorama’s south shore began in early October. 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.
John Worth, an LPA member who in 2019 volunteered to design a disc golf course at Lake Panorama, is working with LPA and Friends staff on this project. He designed the course to fit on land that is nestled between two sections of the Lake Panorama walking trails system.
“Due to the type of area the course is being built on, all pretty deep woods, this will be a bit of a non-typical course,” Worth says. “First, all the holes are shorter than probably an average course. The guideline is 200 to 400 feet, but the holes on this course run from 150 to 300 feet. This type of course is called a ‘technical’ course, which means distances aren’t as long, and fairways are tighter, so your aim needs to be good.”
Each hole will include a concrete tee pad and chained basket target. Participants will bring their own discs. A sign near the first tee will include a course map, rules and other details.
To help finance the disc golf course, tee box sponsorships are available for a one-time donation of $1,000. Colored tee signs are 9 inches by 12 inches and will include the hole number, distance between the tee pad and basket, and a graphic of the fairway between those two points. Tee box sponsor signs will be 9 inches by 4 inches and mounted on the same metal posts as the tee signs.
Tee box sponsorships will go to the first nine businesses, families or individuals who agree to make a $1,000 donation by Dec. 31, 2023. Those interested in being a tee box sponsor can make arrangements by contacting Susan Thompson, 515-240-6536 or

Construction on a fence that leads to a fenced parking lot was completed in early October. Wood was used at the entrance and surrounds the parking lot, with barbless wire used along the road to the parking lot. There is a walk-through gate to enter the recreation area. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the south shore beyond the parking lot. A gate at the west end of the road allows access by LPA staff. 
As users enter the recreation area from the parking lot, there will be a single picnic table on a concrete slab, plus a small shelter with four corner posts and metal roof. A welcome sign will be at this location and include general rules, a list of south shore donors who give $500 or more, and directional arrows to the disc golf course, which will be to the right, and the beginning of the Lake Panorama trail system, which will be to the left.
A sign at the Lake Panorama trailhead will include specific information about the trail options and trail markers, plus a map. Visitors will be encouraged to snap a photo of the map to help them stay on the trail.
Those who do the full loop down to the shoreline and back up through the meadow area to return to the parking lot will have walked 2 miles. In addition, four places where the riprap contractor widened existing trails to get to the shoreline will be offered as trail options.
People who start at the trailhead and choose the first option will walk sixth-tenths of a mile. The other three options offer distances of 1.1 miles, 1.6 miles, and 2 miles. This final loop results in walking the same distance as the original loop, but the terrain and views provide a different experience.
Brown fiberglass trail markers will be installed at each “junction” of the trail system, along with arrows and distances back to the trailhead. It’s hoped these trail markers can be installed yet this fall. The larger metal signs planned for the shelter and starting points for disc golf and the trails will be finalized over the winter.

The Panorama Schools cross country trails use some of the same sections as the Lake Panorama trail system, so blue fiberglass trail markers can be seen in some areas. The cross country trails begin and end on school property with all bus and spectator parking and bathroom facilities on school property. For the middle school, a distance of 2 miles has been mapped. For the high school, the trail is 3.1 miles.
On Sept. 14, Panorama Schools hosted its first cross country meet on the new trail with 23 schools and 650 runners involved. Greg Thompson is the Panorama Schools head cross country coach.
“We received many compliments on the scenery the course provides. Many runners appreciated having boats out on the lake and supporting them by honking their horns and ringing cowbells,” Thompson says. “Very few cross country courses are near a body of water; those that are near water are usually a small pond or river. The lake shore also made it much cooler for the runners.”
Thompson says the course had some rough spots and washouts from rain earlier in the summer on the parts that don’t have much grass growing yet.
“The dry, hot weather took a toll on the grass and made the ground very hard,” he says. “We feel we can improve those areas over the next year or so with some landscaping work and more moisture. There are going to be growing pains when developing a new cross country course, but this was a very positive, initial meet.”
Thompson says the combination of the trails for the runners and the Lake Panorama trails that go to the lake shore worked well together.
“I saw spectators on the shore by each of the side trails,” he says. “I think as we work together to develop the trail systems, this will be a premiere hiking destination for LPA members, and teams will want to come compete in our meets.” 

Two more components of the Friends of Lake Panorama plans for low-impact recreational amenities on the south shore are benches and birdhouses. Four backless benches will be placed along the Lake Panorama trail system. Two will be tucked into the timber along the shoreline section of the walking trail to provide lake views. Another two benches will be placed along the open sections of the trail system above the lake. These will provide views of the Lake Panorama dam and the native plants that cover 30 acres of land enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program Pollinator Habitat Initiative.
Fifteen bluebird houses have been built and donated by Steve Brannan to be placed along trails on the south shore. Mark Dorhout, Panorama Schools science teacher, has agreed to help choose locations for the birdhouses and may get his middle school students involved in additional birdhouse placements.

The estimated cost of these recreational amenities — Lake Panorama trail system, disc golf course, fencing and parking, four benches, birdhouses, small picnic shelter, signage — 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. Some funds also are available from the 2023 Beach Ball.
Additional donations for these south shore amenities are being sought. While donations of all sizes are appreciated, those who give $500 or more by Dec. 31, 2023, will be recognized on the welcome sign on the south shore.
Tax-deductible donations to support recreational enhancements on the south shore 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


16497 vid beef and blue cheese stuffed mushrooms
Posted 10/11/2023
By Jolene Goodman
Lake Panorama Times

With the holiday season quickly approaching, you may be searching for delicious hors d’oeuvres to make your guests feel right at home. I am sharing a wonderful recipe from Family Features that will help you beef up the menu with a tasty appetizer that’s as easy to make as it is to enjoy. This recipe will pleasantly surprise even those who are not mushroom fans, as my husband will attest to.
Loaded with savory flavor and perfect for feeding a crowd, these beef and blue cheese-stuffed mushrooms from Beef Loving Texans offer a simple yet mouthwatering way to entertain in style. Just prepare button mushrooms by removing the stems, then fill the caps with a ground beef-based mixture of minced mushroom stems, blue cheese, breadcrumbs, green onions and steak seasoning for a party-worthy platter.
Visit to find more recipes.

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

Beef and Blue Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms
Recipe courtesy of Beef Loving Texans
Total time: 50 minutes
Servings: 40

2  packages (8 ounces each) button mushrooms
1/4  teaspoon salt
1/2  pound ground beef
1/3  cup blue cheese
1/4  cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
3  tablespoons green onions
1/2  teaspoon steak seasoning blend
chives (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Remove stems from mushrooms; reserve. Season mushroom caps with salt; set aside. Mince stems to yield 1/2 cup; discard remaining stems.
Combine ground beef, minced stems, blue cheese, breadcrumbs, green onions and steak seasoning. Spoon beef mixture evenly into mushrooms.
Place stuffed mushrooms on rack in broiler pan. Bake 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with chives, if desired.
Fullsizeoutput 2d44 (cropped)


Posted 10/11/2023
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Honey
Age: 5 years old
Breed: Labrador Retriever
Owners:  Eric, Kelly, Isabelle, Evelyn and Avery Soults
Honey has four kitty brothers that live in Grimes. They don’t come to the lake. Honey loves swimming and retrieving tennis balls. Honey wears a life jacket when she swims. Otherwise, she would swim until she sinks. Honey is a great protector; she keeps her family safe from the big scary deer.
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Posted 10/11/2023
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Aloeis (AKA Aloe)
Age: 2-3-years old
Available for adoption at: Panora Pets
Aloeis is a 2- to 3-year-old that came to Panora Pets with several other kitties from a situation where the owner had far too many kitties and was not able to take proper care of them. All were thin, covered in fleas and had various upper respiratory and teeth issues. Some died almost immediately. Fortunately, Aloe was one of the healthiest and friendliest of the group. Aloe adapted rather quickly to the shelter and definitely has some of the famous “tortitude” that goes along with her tortoiseshell coat. She’s a nosey one and has to have her nose in everyone’s business all the time. She recently earned the coveted spot in one of the front picture windows at Panora Pets to watch the happenings on Main Street. She is curious, playful and energetic but does not like other kitties. Aloe prefers human attention and interaction.
Barry monaghan black polo scaled

Barry Monaghan shares details on the creation of the group and how it helps local nonprofit organizations.

Posted 10/11/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

What is Ten Squared? The short answer is one hundred. The longer answer follows.
Ten Squared is the name of two groups in Guthrie County that have made local charitable giving simple and fun. Barry Monaghan serves as the head of the local men’s Ten Squared group, and he agreed to share a little about the group and his involvement. Look for a similar story on the women’s group in weeks ahead.
Monaghan, who works at Guthrie County State Bank, said, “Back in 2016, I had seen a report on a TV station in Des Moines that there was a group of 100-plus men that had been organized in Des Moines, and they had purchased football equipment for Des Moines North High School. It kind of intrigued me.” 
Monaghan wasn’t sure he could find 100 or more to join in one town, so he expanded it to membership from throughout the county.
“I picked out 10 men in the county that I knew fairly well and asked them if they would each invite 10 men, and that’s kind of how we got started,” Monaghan said. “We had an informational meeting and looked at the format of how we wanted to do it. I have no idea where this concept began, but the following summer we were in the Cayman Islands, and there was a 100-plus men’s group in the Cayman Islands.”
Regarding the local group’s boundaries, Monaghan said, “We made a determination that our geographical locale would be based on the school districts, rather than just on the borders of Guthrie County. For example, Panorama has Linden as part of their school district, and that streams over into Dallas County.”
The group initially discussed whether or not to allow women in the group, but the members chose not no.
“So later on,” Monaghan said, “I did a radio interview shortly after we got started, and I kind of threw a challenge out to the women in Guthrie County, and that came together. So now we have a men’s group and a women’s group.”
The basic design of the meetings is that each member pitches in $100 at each meeting, and members are welcome to nominate a nonprofit in the area. The members who nominated the three finalists are allowed up to five minutes to explain why their nominated organization should receive the funds. No audio-visual equipment or handouts are allowed. After three pitches have been made (one for each of the three nominated finalists, which are randomly drawn from among all causes nominated by members for that particular meeting), the members vote on which cause they prefer. The cause that gets the most votes receives all of the money raised via member contributions.
“The whole idea is for people within the organization to nominate nonprofits, charities, whatever. It can’t be anything national,” Monaghan said. “The money all has to be spent in Guthrie County. It can’t be political.”
The Guthrie County Ten Squared Men’s group holds three meetings per year. Monaghan said the meetings are usually in or around April, July and November. He also stressed that there is no overhead, so 100% of the dues goes to the winning cause.
The group initially was formed with a goal of 100 members, but Monaghan said, “I just try to constantly encourage people to bring a friend, because the only qualification is that you pay $100 each time. And you don’t have to live in Guthrie County. We have several people who don’t, but they have ties to Guthrie County.”
The local group has grown to roughly 200 members, which means the winning cause now receives nearly $20,000. Monaghan explained that the group strives to never split the gift among multiple recipients, so that the check will make a truly significant impact.
Regarding the layout of an average meeting, Monaghan said he or a member provide a keg of beer, and members spend the first 30 minutes socializing. Immediately after that, the group hears a brief (five minutes or less) appeal from whoever nominated each of the three cause finalists, followed by a brief opportunity for members to ask questions about each cause. Then, votes are cast and counted.
Because Monaghan is a banker, he says he is in an ideal position to handle the financial dealing of the Ten Squared group. He said some members pay their $100 dues via check, some by cash, and some through Venmo or other electronic means. He uses an oversized novelty “check” for publicity purposes and sends the funds to the recipient organization as they are received from members.
Monaghan said he likes the simplicity of Ten Squared.
“It’s just a group of men coming together to make significant donations to help local charitable groups, without red tape or cumbersome rules.”
Based on the growth of the group, others feel the same.

Dana Stark built a 60-foot by 81-foot barn that includes seven horse stalls and a large indoor riding arena and tack room.

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

Dana Stark’s mother jokes she was born on the back of a horse.
“I grew up in a small town in northwest Indiana,” Stark says. “She rode throughout her pregnancy and has owned horses most of her life. I remember getting involved with horses when I was about 5 years old. I could not wait until I was old enough to be in the 4-H horse and pony club.”
Stark started her first horse “under saddle” at the age of 12, which means she trained the horse to be ridden and was the first person to ride that horse. Soon she was helping other youth as an experienced youth herself.
Dana’s husband, Dan Stark, grew up in Panora. The pair met online when they were both 16 years old and had a long-distance relationship for four years.
“Dan never really liked horses, but they grew on him when he realized I was not going to give them up,” Stark says. “We were high school sweethearts, and he was more than happy to help me with them and learn.”
Dana moved to Iowa in 2007, and the couple married in 2008. They purchased a farmhouse acreage northeast of Panora, and Stark’s Performance Horses LLC was born.
“In the spring of 2009, I started training horses and giving lessons. I gave lessons both from our farm and the barn I was working out of until fall of 2015,” she says. “Then I took a break to start our family. While we were not actively pursuing our business for a few years, our original youth, who now are adults, were still going to shows, and we were helping out any way we could.”
The Starks now have two girls, who Dana describes as “horse crazy.” Rylee is 5 years old, and Emilee is 2.
“Now that my girls are getting bigger, I knew it was time to get back to my passion. Helping youth learn about horses is just what I’m supposed to do,” Dana says. “I put an interest post on the local Panora mom’s page. With the response I received, I knew we needed to get our barn up and running.”
There already was an outdoor riding arena from earlier years. In March 2023, that became a staging area for all the materials needed to build a 60-foot by 81-foot barn. The building includes seven horse stalls and a large indoor riding arena. A 29-foot by 16-foot feed and tack room is attached to the front. Saddles of various sizes to accommodate all ages hang on one wall. Saddle pads, bridles, halters and other equipment fill other walls.
“This project isn’t yet finished, but we are up and running and making leaps forward each week,” Stark says. “The feed and tack room eventually will be climate controlled, and some work still is needed on some of the stalls. We currently board three horses, but once the stalls are finished, we hope to board five total. And the outdoor arena now is available again.”
Dan Stark works for a company called Vencomatic, where he’s a project manager for cage-free poultry systems. In his free time, he runs a mechanic business, which Dana says is his true passion.
Each weekday, Dana drives to Des Moines where she works at the Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy on Ingersoll from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. She offers riding lessons Monday through Thursday, usually from 4-6 p.m. Most are group lessons and cost $35 each. Private lessons also are available at $45.
Each month, it takes 20 lessons to pay for the grain for the six lesson horses, and 16 lessons to pay for the needed hay.
“It’s important for my clients to know what a horse costs each month,” Stark says. “Horses are a labor of love — a love I wouldn’t trade for the world but nonetheless still a labor of love. Horses are just as much of a sport as baseball, basketball and soccer, but we don’t get to put down our bat or ball. We continually have to care for our horses.”
Stark has six horses and one miniature horse with all six full-sized horses used for lessons.
“I describe our lesson program as a ‘how to.’ You will learn how to catch a horse, how to lead a horse, how to groom a horse, how to saddle a horse, how to feed a horse and more,” she says. “My end goal is that clients learn how to ride and properly take care of a horse in case they decide horse ownership is for them.”
Stark encourages those who take lessons from her to participate in horse shows.
“What makes us unique is even if you don’t own a horse, we allow weekly lesson kids to take our horses to local shows and gain show experience,” she says. “I have a few families who own their own horses and take them to shows, but mostly my lesson families are using our horses.”
Indoor horse shows are held February through April with outdoor shows beginning in May and continuing into early fall. Dana and her students, with help from Dan, participate in at least two shows each month.
“Showing is how you show off what you are learning,” she says. “I don’t have any rules where you have to show if you take lessons, but I encourage it. Horseback riding is similar to other sports. In basketball you practice, then have a game. You practice horseback riding, then have a show. Coaching for shows is my passion.”
This year, the age range for lessons was 3 to 65.
“Most of my regular weekly kids are 6 to 12 years old,” Stark says. “There has been a huge spike in the equine industry, and I’m extremely thankful I get to not only be a part of it but contribute in our community to the kids who want to learn to ride.”
Sometimes Stark has a horse available for lease.
“Leasing is a great next step when you think you are ready for horse ownership,” she says. “You get the ownership feel without all the responsibilities. Leasing a horse is a set fee and includes one lesson per week, all tack equipment, and care for the horse.”
Leased horses can be ridden whenever the client wants. If the horse is being leased for a young person, either a parent needs to be present or contact made with Stark to make sure she will be home.
The new barn makes it possible for Stark to offer riding lessons nearly year-round. Next spring, she plans to offer horse parties and will involve her miniature horse in the fun.
“It takes a special horse to be a lesson horse,” Stark says. “Our horses enjoy being ridden and come running for lessons when they are called.”
Stark says horses are good for the soul.
“I’ve had many parents tell me how much their kids have changed for the better since starting lessons. They are learning life lessons. One of my favorite things is watching the parents learn right alongside their kids. Often the parents don’t know much more than the kids, but they watch and learn. They are always lending a hand and helping me reinforce our lessons.”
To learn more, visit Stark’s Performance Horses LLC on Facebook, or call/text Dana Stark at 219-613-0651.


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

Photographer Trish Hart lives full-time at Lake Panorama with her husband, Scott. When a super blue moon rose in the eastern sky Aug. 30, just after sunset in the western sky, Hart was ready with her camera.
A blue moon is the term used when there is a second full moon in a single month. The moon’s cycle is 29.5 days, shorter than the average length of a calendar month. Eventually that gap results in a full moon happening at the beginning of a month, with enough days left for a second full moon later in the month.
The Aug. 30 blue moon also was called a “super moon.” Because the moon’s orbit is oval-shaped, there are times when it is closer to Earth than others. When the moon is at or near its closest point to Earth at the same time it is full, it appears especially large and bright in the sky; thus, the name super moon.
If you missed the Aug. 30 super blue moon, mark your calendar for 14 years into the future. The next super blue moons will occur in a pair, in January and March 2037.
Trish Hart offers custom prints of her photos on canvas, paper, metal and glass. Learn more by visiting Nature’s Canvas Photography on Facebook.


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

Janis Hochreiter is a self-described gearhead.
“Growing up, I was a tomboy. Most of my friends were boys. I got interested in cars and have been a car freak ever since high school,” she says. “My first car was a 1969 Pontiac GTO that my boyfriend and I rebuilt in his uncle’s body shop.”
The Pontiac GTO was one of the first to earn the “muscle car” term coined in the mid-1960s to describe American-made two-door sports coupes with powerful engines. Hochreiter’s GTO was the first in a string of muscle cars she has owned.
Janis and Dale Hochreiter have lived at Lake Panorama since 1993. She works from home as a risk-control specialist for an insurance company with a territory that covers much of southwest Iowa. He owns and operates Cyclone Pest Management.
Janis grew up in the Des Moines area. After high school graduation, she attended Central Missouri State University, earning a degree in industrial safety. While she was in college, her Pontiac GTO was taking up space in a garage at her parents’ house.
“I was feeling guilty about that and finally decided to sell it,” Hochreiter says. “But not long after I graduated, I found a 1972 Corvette I loved and bought it. Then I had a friend who had a 1969 Corvette he needed to sell. My dad really liked that I was interested in cars. So, I talked to him, and, with his help, I purchased my friend’s 1969 Corvette. Later I sold the 1972 Corvette and kept the 1969.”
When the Hochreiters moved to Lake Panorama, that 1969 Corvette came with them.
“After a while, I started to think I should grow up and find something nice to drive,” Hochreiter says. “I sold the Corvette and bought a 2001 BMW Z-3 convertible, which I had for 17 years.”
Hochreiter says after so many years as the owner of that BMW, it was difficult to sell.
“But I wasn’t driving it much, and the time seemed right. I sold it to a man in Kansas City, who planned to give it to his father as a gift,” she says.
It didn’t take long before Hochreiter was thinking about her next car.
“There was that empty spot in the garage,” she says. “During my adult life, I’d never been without a toy, a car I could just jump into and take a cruise.”
A year ago, Hochreiter saw an online post by Nostalgic Enterprises in West Des Moines. It was a 1969 Corvette, bright yellow with black trim and details.
“The post had gone up just 30 minutes earlier,” she says. “I called right away and asked if I could see the car. I was the first to respond, and I bought it that day.”
That 1969 Corvette now lives in a climate-controlled garage attached to the Hochreiter home. When in the garage, it’s protected by a custom-made cover.
“The body was just as it is now; it was in great shape,” Hochreiter says. “But the interior was bad. My brother also has a 1969 Corvette, and he helped me with the interior. We redid the console area, all the gauges, fiber optics, and basically gave it an interior facelift.”
Other aesthetic updates have been new visors, mirrors and chrome. Practical updates include a new Centerforce dual friction clutch, new Hays flywheel, PerTronix ignition, new vacuum lines and rear shocks.
I’m not trying to make money on this car,” Hochreiter says. “I just want to be able to drive it without worrying about it breaking down.”
Hochreiter lists some features of her 1969 Corvette that she says other “gearheads” will understand. The car is numbered 1302, which means it was the 1,302nd one of these cars to come off the assembly line. More important, the numbers match key components of the car, including the block, heads, intake, transmission and differential.
“You don’t always find that,” she says. “Also, this car isn’t a base model, but rather an L-46. That means it has the 350 motor with the 350 horsepower. I also like the special options it came with, including power steering, electric windows, air conditioning and a manual Hurst shifter.”
Hochreiter chose YLJACIT (yellow jacket) for her car’s vanity license plate. She also had special license plates for some of her earlier cars. For her first car, the 1969 Pontiac GTO, the plates were LIL GTO, inspired by the Beach Boys song of the same name. Her first 1969 Corvette sported plates with this — CNTBWRG — which stood for Can’t Be Wrong. She later moved those plates to the BMW she owned for 17 years.
Janis enjoys taking the Corvette to car meets and shows, and Dale usually goes along.
“He likes cars, but he doesn’t love them like me,” she says. “At shows, car owners often sit nearby in a couple of folding chairs. When people come by and start to ask questions or make comments about my car, they assume he’s the primary owner. He just points at me and says I’m the one they need to talk to; he doesn’t talk cars.”
When asked if Dale gets to drive the Corvette, Janis smiles.
“No one has ever driven it but me,” she says. “I’m territorial with my toys. I probably would let him if he asked. But he usually does most of the driving for us. I think when it comes to this, he enjoys being a passenger.”

Rutledges and Donovans share a family passion for these honey-producing insects.

Posted 09/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

September is National Honey Month. It was established in 1989 by The National Honey Board as a way to promote both the American beekeeping industry and the use of honey as a natural and beneficial sweetener.
September is significant for honey producers because it marks the end of the honey collection season for many beekeepers in the United States, where it’s estimated 163 million pounds of honey are produced annually.
At Lake Panorama, 307.4 pounds of the 2023 U.S. total came from four hives owned by Emily Donovan. She and her husband, Billy, and their children, Natalie and Dylan, got their start because of Natalie’s desire to find a new 4-H project.
“We are a 4-H family, and the kids like showing their dog and static projects at the fair,” Emily says. “Natalie really wanted to have ducks, chickens and goats, but LPA rules prohibit all livestock with the exception of honeybees. In 2020, Natalie received the Iowa Honey Producers Association youth scholarship. That led to her receiving one year of mentoring from Curt and Connie Bronnenberg of Spring Valley Honey in Perry, jacket and veil, gloves, smoker, a package of bees, hive and beekeeping classes.”
The annual scholarship timeline makes it possible for recipients to attend winter classes then keep bees the following spring and summer. In February 2020, Emily purchased supplies for a second hive and took beekeeping classes with Natalie through a continuing education program in Johnston.
The Donovans learned about the Iowa Honey Producers youth scholarship opportunity from John and Tricia Rutledge. Their son, Kael, received the same scholarship in 2019. That led to Kael using his beekeeping experience as a 4-H project and getting his parents involved.

KJR Apiaries
“When your kids want to do something good for nature, it’s hard to say no; so now we’re beekeepers,” says John Rutledge. “The first year Kael kept three hives. The bees produced only enough honey to share with family and friends, because an established hive produces more honey than a new hive. Branding and sales of KJR Apiaries honey progressed over the next couple of years. It is a labor of love, with any revenues reinvested in equipment or replacement of beehives that don’t survive the winter.”
Emily Donovan says January is the best time to get started in beekeeping.
“Beginning beekeeping classes are held in late winter around the Des Moines metro, and some are offered through video conferencing,” she says. “We purchase our bees and supplies through Spring Valley Honey in Perry because it is close, and we have a relationship with the Bronnenbergs, who are multigenerational commercial beekeepers. Installation of bees generally occurs in late April or May.”

How it started
The Donovans started with two hives in 2020 and now have four in their backyard.
“Four hives is about all I want to manage,” Emily says. “Natalie was a little too brave one day and went out to do a hive check without her veil and got stung several times in the face. Since then, she’s been apprehensive to help.”
During the summer months, Donovan checks the hives once a week to make sure the bees have enough room.
“I add more boxes to the hives when they need more space,” she says. “I’m also looking to see different brood stages — eggs, larvae, capped brood — to make sure the queen is healthy and doing her job.”
Each hive is comprised of two types of boxes — brood boxes and honey supers. Brood boxes stay with the hive throughout the year and are where the queen lays eggs, which become new bees. Honey is never harvested from brood boxes. Supers are added in the spring or early summer once the bees begin to grow their population and expand their efforts to include honey storage.
“August is a good time of year to pull the honey supers as the moisture content of honey reaches 18% and is appropriate for harvest,” Rutledge says. “Honey is similar to other agricultural products in that harvesting with a high moisture content invites fermentation of the harvest. Harvesting in August also gives the bees time to complete final preparations for the upcoming winter.”
Donovan says she likes to harvest the first week or two of August.
“That gives the bees time to build up the colony and store their own honey for winter. It also allows me to treat for mites a couple of times before winter,” she says.

The harvesting process
“To harvest honey, I use a fume board. I take a white towel and spray it with ‘Bee Gone.’ It is a sweet almond smelling chemical that encourages the bees to move down into the hive and off of the honey supers. After the bees move out of the box, I take it into my shed and continue the process until all the honey supers have been removed.”
A honey super can weigh 40 to 50 pounds when it is full of honey.
“This year, I had three honey supers on each of my four hives. Once all the honey is off the hive, we begin the process of scraping the wax capping off the honey,” Donovan says. “I have an electric extractor that holds up to four frames at a time and uses centrifugal force to spin the honey out of the frames. The honey comes out of a gate on the extractor into a fine mesh sieve that filters out any wax.”
The raw honey is stored in food-safe five-gallon buckets until the Donovans are ready to bottle. All of this is done in a shed Billy Donovan built specifically for the honey operation and which Emily calls the “Honey House.”

Lighthouse Honey
The Donovans chose the name Lighthouse Honey and use a picture of the lighthouse at the Lake Panorama marina on bottle labels.
“There are rules about what needs to be included on the label including the weight. It has to have the word ‘honey’ and the location and either a phone number or physical address,” Donovan says. “I’m a member of several Iowa beekeeping Facebook pages, so that helps with determining the average pricing per pound of honey.”
The Rutledge beehives are a mile east of Panora on a large tract of Conservation Reserve Program land.
“At our peak, we were keeping eight hives of our own plus three hives for our neighbor,” Rutledge says. “We are currently keeping five hives, which is a much more manageable number.”
Their management plan is the same as Donovan’s.
“The bees require a weekly check during the spring, summer and fall. Due to the cold temps, they only get a periodic check in the winter, if the temp rises above 50 degrees,” Rutledge says. “The bees require a treatment for Varroa mites before and after the honey-producing season. During the honey-producing season, the bees get a weekly inspection to make sure they have a queen who is on track with production of brood.”
“Extracting honey includes spinning it out of the frames and filtering it as it drains from the extractor into food-grade buckets. We then sterilize bottles, fill, label and sell,”he says. “The key is keeping a clean environment and checking the moisture content in the honey to make sure it is ready for bottling. We remove the honey supers in August and extract and bottle the honey during the fall.”

The buzz
What do the Rutledges like about their beekeeping hobby?
“One of our favorite things is supporting pollinators, which are, sadly, in decline. Bees have such a tremendous impact on our food supply, and they benefit from the helping hand we can provide,” Rutledge says. “Pollinators are in such short supply that large beekeepers transport and rent their hives to almond producers, primarily in California. The bees then are transported back to the Midwest to pollinate other crops here.”
Rutledge says honey produced by local beekeepers has a number of natural qualities that won’t be found in mass-produced honey.
“Local honey is a favorite of allergy sufferers, who claim to find relief from consuming local honey on a daily basis,” he says. “Honey also is a great natural sweetener for coffee or tea and can effectively soothe a sore throat.”
Kael Rutledge’s honey is advertised on his Facebook page, KJR Apiaries – Pure Raw Honey. People also can reach out via email at
“Kael continues to have a passion for beekeeping and is involved at key points throughout the year,” John Rutledge says. “Tricia and I continue to help with the routine week-to-week work as Kael has transitioned from high school to college, and now to a full-time job. We will continue to be engaged in beekeeping for the foreseeable future.”
Besides raw honey, Donovan has other items available through her Lighthouse Honey and Gifts Facebook page and at the Panora Mercantile.
“I enjoy making other products with the wax cappings like lip balm and lotion bars,” she says. “I have several colleagues who have given great reviews of the lotion bars. One of my coworkers stocked up because she said it was the only thing that cleared up her son’s eczema.”

Family ties
While Donovan admits she never dreamed of being a beekeeper, she’s now happy to be one.
“My grandpa was a beekeeper, so I love that I can honor his memory this way. He was a custodian at a school for many years, and when he retired, they gave him the chair he always sat in to eat his lunch. His chair is in my Honey House, and I sit in it to bottle the honey,” she says.
“I also love that there is so much to learn, and bees are incredibly fascinating. I love to experiment with different beekeeping practices,” Donovan says. “The thing I like the most about this hobby is that I have to practice mindfulness. I cannot worry about what I haven’t done or what I need to do when I have my hands inside a hive of 50,000 bees.”


Shane june 2022
Posted 09/13/2023

Many of you like to bake in the sun. I get it, but my milky white skin doesn’t. In fact, I have found that I feel better when I don’t spend a lot of time in the direct sun. My wife scoffs at this, saying I just need to wear more sunscreen. I am not denying that sunscreen would help, but a burger on the grill still burns, even with mayonnaise on it.
As such, I have found that the cooler fall weather is more agreeable with me. I enjoy being at Lake Panorama all the time, but there truly is something about a crisp fall day, a cozy warm sweatshirt, and — for a while longer — an enjoyable boat ride to see the fall colors. We are fortunate to experience all the seasons at Lake Panorama.

Where is it?
We added a new feature to Lake Panorama Times last month called “Where Is It?” It is a photo of a recognizable object at Lake Panorama, and I am asking you to guess what and where it is. Look for this month’s photo inside and send me your guess at Have a photo you would like to submit for the contest? Send that to me as well.

Step 3 of 3
I envisioned a three-step plan to build our publishing company here in Guthrie County when I first bought the Lake Panorama Times newspaper three years ago. Envisioning it was one thing. Making it happen was quite another. I had to find the right people who could help make this happen, and, slowly but surely, that has happened.
The first step was to redesign and reformat the Lake Panorama Times, which we did in May of this year. The publication continues to be mailed to every Lake Panorama property owner’s permanent home address, making it the most effective way to reach lake residents. In addition, we distribute copies for free at more than 30 locations in the county, and we mail a copy to all Panora Chamber members. In addition, readers can view the publication and its archives for free at
The second step was to launch Panora Times, a monthly publication that looks much like Lake Panorama Times but with content that is relevant to residents of Panora, Linden, Yale, Jamaica and Bagley. We started this in July of this year and have mailed it to all residential and business addresses in the five communities. We also provide free copies at more than 30 locations in the area, and readers can view the publication and its archives for free at
And we are now finalizing step three, which is to launch Guthrie Center Times, another free monthly publication with a similar look but content geared to the communities of Guthrie Center, Adair and Casey. This will launch in a few weeks and will be mailed to all residential and business addresses in those three communities. We will also have free copies available at a variety of locations in the area, and readers can view the publication and its archives for free at
Couple these publications with our weekly Times Vedette paid subscription newspaper, and our readership and distribution is unmatched. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate our readers, our advertisers and our staff for entrusting all of us to make this happen. We truly appreciate your support.
What’s next? Stay tuned.
Have a great September, and thanks for reading.

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

Lane Rumelhart, project manager for the Lake Panorama Association, talks about the threats these pose for Lake Panorama.

Posted 09/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Lane Rumelhart is project manager for the Lake Panorama Association. His duties include managing the LPA building codes, projects financed by the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ), LPA communications, hunting programs, campgrounds and beaches, and “other duties as assigned.” In this month’s Q&A, Rumelhart talks about invasive species and the threats these pose for Lake Panorama, the Lake Panorama Association and its members.

Q. We hear the words “invasive species” a lot regarding Lake Panorama. What invasive species are of concern, and what threats do they pose?
A. The Lake Panorama Association (LPA) has strict rules regarding invasive species when it comes to boating and other water recreation. These rules come with good reason, as aquatic “hitchhikers” could have detrimental effects on Lake Panorama, the LPA and LPA members, if these ever become established in our water. One of the most talked about is the zebra mussel. But there are other types of aquatic invasive species, too, such as bighead carp and watermilfoil. Each of these has their own unique niche and could cause major problems. There also are invasives that grow on land around Lake Panorama, such as autumn olive and emerald ash borer. Most of these species were thought to be beneficial when they were initially introduced but later found to be problematic.

Q. Since the most commonly talked about invasive species that threatens Lake Panorama is zebra mussels, let’s start with those. What’s the danger?
A. This pest was first introduced in the Great Lakes by the emptying of water ballast from sea-going ships that arrived from the Black and Caspian seas, located between Europe and Asia. The mussels since have spread into much of the upper Midwest including the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and several streams and lakes in Iowa.
Zebra mussels are small shellfish, named for the striping often appearing on the shells. The organisms can produce up to 1,000 microscopic eggs every day. Mussels could wreak havoc on LPA’s marina, dredging operation, golf irrigation system, dam and various other parts of our infrastructure. The mussels reproduce rapidly by attaching to underwater surfaces such as hoists, pipes and docks. The mussels also compete with native species for food and outcompete native mussels.
Each year, LPA tests for veligers, which are zebra mussel larvae. Veligers are microscopic and can be transported in water if a vessel is not clean, drained, and dried properly. This year the testing was done Aug. 9. A tow net made specifically for capturing microscopic organisms out of water was used in two locations — the marina and the dredge dock above the debris trap in the upper basin. The samples were sent to a lab in Minnesota for examination. The good news is this year’s testing again showed there were no zebra mussel veligers present in either sample. But we need to keep educating members and enforce the LPA rules on invasive species related to water. If veligers are ever found in Lake Panorama, we could expect mussels to start establishing themselves within one to five years.

Q. What are other invasive species that threaten Lake Panorama?
A. Bighead carp are another aquatic invasive species that have high reproduction rates and grow to over 50 pounds. These fish are a huge threat to native fish species as they directly compete for food and eat 40% of their bodyweight every day. They also are extremely dangerous, as the sound of a boat motor startles them, and they jump out of the water up to 10 feet in the air. These fish would be a huge safety concern for water recreation at Lake Panorama. This species already has been found in the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, sections of the Des Moines River and the Big Sioux River.
Watermilfoil is an aquatic plant that spreads quickly in lakes and streams. It recently was discovered at West Lake Okoboji, and the DNR will be using a herbicide soon to try to eradicate it. It’s believed it came into the lake on boats that had been in other waters. So far, Lake Panorama has not had much of an issue with this species, likely due to flow and high sediment concentration. If this plant did get established, it could form dense mats and greatly reduce boatable water. This species has been known to decrease property values in other bodies of water around Iowa.

Q. Tell us more about invasives species on land.
A. Autumn olive, sometimes known as Russian olive, is a shrub commonly found all around Lake Panorama. This is a species brought from Asia in the 1800s. Its ability to sprout in adverse soil conditions allows it to spread rapidly. Cutting the plant without treatment with an appropriate herbicide only contributes to the plant’s success as it sprouts rapidly and outcompetes every other plant around it. These shrubs form dense thickets that are nearly impossible to pass through. Olives also block the majority of sunlight from hitting the ground.
This plant, if not maintained, could eliminate well-established oak-hickory forests by covering the forest floor and not allowing any new seedlings to grow. Often LPA members see undeveloped B and C lots get cleared and wonder why LPA allows this. There are many undeveloped lots that are completely overgrown by this species, plus Tartarian honeysuckle, another invasive species, and cedar trees, a noxious plant according to Iowa DNR. Clearing allows native species to be established again. LPA encourages members to get rid of autumn olives wherever present on your lot. You can easily identify this plant by looking at its small, silver and shiny looking leaves. LPA road crews spend considerable time each year clearing this plant from road ditches to allow sunlight to hit the road during winter months. It also helps visibility and keeps the roadway clear.
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a small beetle that made its way to the United States on wooden crates. This species already has had detrimental effects at Lake Panorama and for many members around the lake. The beetle lays eggs in ash trees and the larvae burrow horizontally around the tree, cutting off circulation the tree needs to survive. A large project two years ago removed more than 300 ash trees from Lake Panorama National and Panorama West golf courses. Ash trees can be treated every other year with a chemical in an effort to keep EAB away. LPA currently has about 90 trees around the community being treated. This process is usually about 80 percent successful, and trees will need to be treated until no evidence of the beetle is found in the region.

Q. To wrap up, share a summary of the invasive species prevention rules that were first implemented by the LPA in 2014 to protect Lake Panorama.
A. Boats owned by LPA members that are used exclusively on Lake Panorama are considered “resident” boats. These must display a “resident” sticker and do not require annual inspections. Any boat that is not used exclusively at Lake Panorama must display a “non-resident” sticker. These boats must pass an inspection by LPA-designated personnel after returning from another body of water.
Inspections look for the following: plant parts, mud, animal specimens on boat or trailer or fishing equipment, and water in live wells, bilge tanks, ballast tanks or engine cooling systems. For members who do boat at other lakes, thoroughly cleaning, draining and drying the boat, trailer and equipment for at least five days in warm weather should allow the boat to pass inspection and be allowed back on Lake Panorama.
It’s not just boats that can transport aquatic invasive species. Any water-related equipment such as lifts and docks previously installed in another lake cannot be installed at Lake Panorama in the same season. Equipment that has been thoroughly drained, cleaned, dried and treated may be considered for installation, but only in the boating season following removal from a previous water body, and only after inspection.
Each member at Lake Panorama has some level of responsibility, whether that be cleaning, draining, and drying your boat or managing vegetation on your lot. LPA works hard to prevent aquatic invasives through the inspection process and eliminates overgrown areas when possible. My hope is more members will be mindful when traveling with their watercraft, become more educated on the species right outside their backdoor, and be motivated to do their part in helping keep these organisms at bay.

Electric tram provides easy access for Northrups to the lakeshore.

Posted 09/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

For Rod and Amy Northrup, their treks back and forth to their two boats and docks on Lake Panorama are much easier this year. That’s because, in late June, they had an electric tram installed that now takes them to their lakeshore area.
The couple purchased their Lake Panorama home in 2008. Their primary home is near Griswold, where Rod farms and Amy owns A Plus Designs, Inc. But many summer days are spent at the lake.
“We are about halfway into Jones Cove, on a semi-steep hill with the house sitting at the top,” Amy says. “We have an unfriendly path that we have walked up and down since we moved in. We had talked and somewhat joked about putting in a tram the past couple of years.  Our retaining walls are not in the greatest shape, and we are not getting any younger.”
Rod had back surgery last fall, and needed both knees replaced this summer.
“So, it wasn’t a joke anymore, and we started talking more seriously,” Amy says. “Otherwise, enjoying the lake house this summer wasn’t going to happen. Thanks to the tram, we haven’t missed a weekend.”
A friend from Griswold, Darrell Stamp, has owned a house on Helen’s Cove for more than a decade. Much like the Northrup home, his house sits on a steep hill with a walking path created to get to and from the water.
Several years ago, Stamp also was facing double knee replacements and decided to have a tram installed.
“The grandkids love it, and the sidewalk doesn’t get used much anymore,” Stamp says. “It works great and doesn’t take much maintenance.”
Because they had ridden in Stamp’s tram several times and knew he was happy with it, the Northrups turned to the same company for theirs. Rick Summers of Belmond owns Access Lift, which was founded in Belmond in 1959. He purchased the company in August 2002.
“We provide a customized range of lifts, trams and repair services,” Summers says. “We manufacture, install and carry warranty on transport lifts that are used all over the United States and Canada. Most often, our lifts are used in hillside areas to get people from their homes to their docks, boat launches and beach areas.”
Summers says his company installs about 20 new lifts each year and provides annual maintenance on more than 300.
“Most are on lakes and rivers in the Midwest,” he says. “We do a lot of work in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Arkansas, and recently had jobs in New York and Maryland.”
The company introduced a three-phase soft-start, soft-stop system in 2003. The standard car includes two benches facing each other; Access Lifts also offers custom-built cars, canopies, wheelchair accessibility and other custom products.
Metal mounting brackets are driven about six feet into the ground. Sections of track are laid on top of the brackets, and cables are installed to move the car on wheels up and down the track. An electric motor is activated by push buttons both at the top and bottom of the lift.
“No footings are dug or concrete needed, so we don’t disturb the ground,” Summers says. “This is just like an addition on your house, because it makes it worth more when you are ready to sell. If you live on a hill, and you only have steps or a path to get to your dock, some buyers won’t be interested. When you get ready to sell, it’s worth every dollar you spent. In the meantime, you have an easy way to get to your shoreline.”
The Northrups’ tram has two bench seats that face each other and can accommodate four people. “There is plenty of floor space for all the coolers,” Amy says. “Our neighbors use it, too. They timed it for fun, and it takes 58 seconds to get to the lake.”
The tram installation took two days.
“Our local carpenter then had to build the landings to match our deck, which took another couple of days,” Amy says. “We use it all the time to go up and down to the boats along with friends, family and coolers. Now we don’t have to take the boat to Sunset Beach to pick up anyone who couldn’t walk the hill, such as my parents. Our six grandkids, who range in age from 14 to 2, think it is a cool ride. Sometimes we have to take the key out or they would be on it all day going up and down.”
Besides the personal benefits, Rod Northrup likes not having the soil on their lot disturbed. “For others at Lake Panorama who have homes on steep hills, I think they should consider installing a tram. It would be a fraction of the cost of putting in a zig zag path or road, which then causes erosion because of land disturbance. I think this is a better alternative.”

New business is growing and developing. Owner is seeking “a few new unique vendors, and lots of shoppers.”

Posted 09/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Panora Mercantile opened April 15, 2023, at 134 West Main St. The brick building at the west end of Panora’s main business district has been the site of many businesses through the years. Now its five rooms and a closet are filled with a variety of items offered by separate vendors.
Tricia Belousek is the owner and manager of Panora Mercantile. She grew up in Iowa, graduated from Johnston High School, and attended Des Moines Area Community College before transferring to Iowa State University.
“During college, two high school friends moved to Arizona,” Belousek says. “I went to visit them during spring break and was amazed how large the state is. I started my master’s degree at Drake University before I decided to move to Arizona in 2001.”
She finished her master’s in Arizona and later earned a degree in accounting. Her career path took her into operations, order management, documenting policies and procedures and, most recently, working for a nonprofit supporting more than 100 members.
Belousek and her husband live in Cave Creek, Arizona. Her mother, two sisters and two nephews live in central Iowa.
“I’ve always wanted to own a retail business. My sister is a Realtor and helped us find the building in Panora when it was for sale in 2020,” she says. “The building was perfect for what I had in mind, with a quirky charm and lots of character.”
“I love to shop,” Belousek says. “I grew up going to see my grandmother in a small town in Missouri and stopping to shop with my mom in Centerville and Albia on the way. The small towns had different shoes, clothing and items I didn’t find at the mall. Fast forward to the present day, I still like to shop and find bargains.”
A year after buying the Panora Mercantile building, the couple purchased a nearby 1920s home, which they updated and rented. Belousek says the house renovations introduced them to many great people and businesses in Panora.

Nancy Clawson
and Carol Redshaw
In September 2022, Belousek posted on social media looking for vendors interested in sharing retail space. Lake Panorama residents Nancy Clawson and Carol Redshaw responded and now are two of the vendors at Panora Mercantile.
“I’ve enjoyed making crafts since I was a little girl,” Redshaw says. “Since I’ve already given a lot of my creations as gifts to family and friends, I wanted a place to display my creations so others can buy one-of-a-kind gifts. I’ve considered having a booth at a craft mall in Branson, but it’s not feasible because of the distance. When this opportunity came up, I was excited because it’s a craft mall right here in our nice town of Panora.”  
Redshaw’s vendor display fills two shelving units.
“I used to do jewelry shows in women’s homes where I’d bring thousands of beads, they would design their own jewelry piece, and I would offer advice and start and finish the piece. So, in the store I have jewelry and beaded serving spoons and forks, as well as beaded appetizer utensils. I enjoy embellishing onesies, T-shirts, hats, headbands and hand towels with fun words and designs.”
Redshaw also has air plants and home decor.
“Next on my ‘to create’ list is special sympathy gifts, beaded crosses, shell and pebble art, and fall and Christmas décor and gifts. It’s fun to see what sells, and I especially like it when people buy gifts,” she says.
Nancy Clawson says she was interested in being a part of the Panora Mercantile from the beginning.
“The idea of having a local place where various goods, both handmade and commercial, could be purchased year round was intriguing,” she says. “Crafters are always looking for a place or ways to help the items they make find a new home.”
Clawson is a Panora Mercantile vendor under the name SortaSisters4.
“SortaSisters4 was created after a good friend and I both retired from teaching. I had taught school and coached various things for 36 years, so I was used to being busy,” she says. “After retiring we moved to Lake Panorama from Washington, Iowa, but my teaching friend, Jane, was still in southeast Iowa. We started making crafts together as a way to stay connected and our ‘little’ sisters joined in when they could.”
The items SortaSisters4 offers at the Mercantile vary from season to season.
“We have gender-neutral onesies, pillows, lighted bottles, wine bags, tooth fairy pillows, and our surprise summer hit — freeze pop holders,” Clawson says. “Now we are adding fall and winter decorations, Christmas ornaments, and the popular microwave bowl cozies for hot soups and oatmeal. We like to make team items. Jane is a Hawkeye grad, and I’m an Iowa State grad, so both teams get represented, along with UNI and other schools.”
Clawson says being a vendor at Panora Mercantile is a great way to meet new people, including other vendors and customers.
“I appreciate having a place to display and sell items I enjoy making. Vendors can opt for different sizes of space to rent and the contract is month to month. Shoppers who come into the Mercantile will be surprised at the wide variety of offerings,” she says.

Lighthouse Honey
Belousek says Lighthouse Honey, owned by Emily Donovan, continues to grow each month. Donovan had the opportunity to do an activity for a bridal shower because she was a vendor in the store.
“I thought it would be a convenient place for people to purchase honey and my other products instead of driving to my house,” Donovan says. “I also liked the idea that it was all local vendors and crafters.”
At Panora Mercantile, Donovan sells raw honey from her own bees, handmade soap, lip balm, lotion bars and candles.
“The lip balm and lotion bars are made with my beeswax,” she says. “I make the candles and soaps as well, but these do not contain any honeybee byproducts. I also sell bee-themed coffee mugs. I plan to put together some pre-packaged gift boxes to make it easier for customers who need a quick hostess or birthday gift.”

Crafty Fox and Company
One of Belousek’s favorite vendors is Chloe Powers, a teen entrepreneur.
“I remember trying lemonade stands and making friendship bracelets to sell when I was little,” Belousek says. “When I opened my vendor offering to children, I heard from Cindy Tripp, Chloe’s grandmother. Chloe does a great job switching up her product offerings. I think it’s a great opportunity to learn budgeting and build a business.”
Tripp and her husband moved to Lake Panorama’s west side three years ago and retired last year. Their granddaughters Chloe, age 13, and her sister Izzy, age 10, have had items in the store since it opened. They started under the vendor name Chloe’s Crafts, but beginning in September, Tripp will add to their shelves.
“I will be offering seasonal items for fall and winter, including dried flower arrangements, wood art and more,” Tripp says.
Now the vendor name for Cindy, Chloe and Izzy is Crafty Fox and Company. Chloe says she chose the name because she likes foxes and they are crafty. Chloe and Izzy live south of Norwalk, and both learned how to sew from their grandmother.
Chloe’s first offering, and her most popular items to date, are Travel Hygiene Carriers. She folds a washcloth, then sews slots for things like a toothbrush, toothpaste and comb. The size and quality of the washcloths determine the prices, which range from three to five dollars.
Izzy’s biggest seller is cat toys. She sews pieces of fabric into small rectangles and squares, then tucks a bit of catnip inside before making the final stitches. She also creates keychains and jewelry with colorful plastic beads arranged in designs on plastic pegboards, then fused together with an iron.
The girls also offer painted driftwood art, painted garden art, dog bandanas and felting wool art.
“The girls have done well every month,” Tripp says. “They love being in a small local business and having a place to display their creations. They are learning about how to run a business, investing in their business, the importance of saving 10% each month, and giving to their church. This is a tremendous learning opportunity for them, plus they are improving their sewing skills.”

CNC Wood Creations
Lynnette and Craig Little have lived north of Panora for 40 years. They own CNC Wood Creations. CNC stands for computer numerical control, and is a manufacturing method that automates the control, movement and precision of machine tools through the use of preprogrammed computer software. Using CNC, they produce wooden signs, plaques and ornaments that are available at Panora Mercantile.
“We’ve been doing this for three years,” Lynnette says. “He does the computer work and gets the wooden design completed. I do any painting needed, and he finishes up with a clear coat to seal the piece. We have a lot of family background in law enforcement, emergency medical service and firefighting, so we offer items that appeal to those professions. We also do custom projects, patriotic items and holiday ornaments.”
Other vendors offer handmade doll clothes, birdhouses, Stanley and Fuller Brush products, a well-known brand of baking products and spices, children’s toys, kitchen supplies and gift items, and more. Belousek also is a vendor, offering a range of flavored olive oils and vinegars from Cave Creek, dip mixes and gluten-free foods.
Belousek is looking for additional vendors to join Panora Mercantile.
“I think 25 vendors would be ideal. Some vendors require more space, others need a small amount of space, and we can accommodate both,” she says.
Others interested in discussing becoming a vendor can contact Belousek at

Knit Knacks
One new vendor joining the Panora Mercantile in September is Emily Spradling, who lives at Lake Panorama. She has a variety of knitted items, including toys and decorative pieces, and is operating under the name Knit Knacks.
“My husband and I own the building, but it’s the vendors that make Panora Mercantile,” Belousek says. “The business wouldn’t succeed on just my items or only handmade items. It’s the variety that keeps people stopping in to see what’s there. The inventory has to change often to keep people coming back. Sometimes they find something they didn’t know they needed. I am selective with vendors and need their items to be unique from other vendors in the store.”

How it works
Vendors pay monthly rent based on the amount of space they need, plus Panora Mercantile receives 10 percent of sales to help cover expenses incurred running the store. Vendors sign a contract and set their own prices. A cashier rings up the purchase and notes what was sold and the amount paid. Panora Mercantile submits sales tax monthly to the State of Iowa.
Working remotely from Arizona, Belousek reconciles each vendor’s sales for the month, deducts their rent, then sends remaining sales proceeds to vendors via Venmo, Zelle or a check.
“Recently I asked vendors to work in exchange for space rent, and so far this is working well,” Belousek says. “I know not everyone can work, and they aren’t expected to, but it is beneficial for us both. The vendor doesn’t have to worry about selling a set amount to cover the rent, and it helps me keep cash in the bank.”
Redshaw is one of the vendors who now works in the store.
“It’s fun,” she says. “It’s a great way to meet people and greet people from out of town. I encourage people to visit The Merc to get one-of-a-kind gifts, encourage local entrepreneurs and support a local business.”
Clawson also works a shift each month to pay for her space at the Mercantile.
“It’s a good way to reduce my costs, and it also is fun. You never know who is going to walk in the door or what they will buy,” she says.
Lynnette Little works a few days each month in the store.
I enjoy it,” she says. “We try to have food samples out every day, and there is always something new in the store to show customers. I think Panora Mercantile is a great place for people to shop for gifts that are both practical and unique. For Craig and me, this is much better than dragging our display to craft shows.”
Panora Mercantile recently was approved to be a vendor on, which is an initiative of the Iowa Economic Development Authority with support from the Iowa Small Business Development Center.
“This will give The Merc an opportunity to have a website presence and get our products noticed,” Belousek says. “This is something I am just getting started, but it will be a great opportunity for vendors who want to grow and build their business beyond the store.”
Since its opening, the hours for Panora Mercantile have varied. Moving into the holiday season, Belousek said the vendors voted and decided hours September through December will be Fridays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Belousek will be in Panora the week of Sept. 18 and plans to have the store open additional hours while she is in town. On that Wednesday, Sept. 20, vendors will host a Panora Mercantile Fall Showcase 5-7 p.m. The business has a Facebook page, where regular updates and special events are posted.
“I am a member of the Panora Chamber, and we will be open in tandem with their events, such as Small Business Saturday, the Holiday Showcase and Christmas Tree Lighting,” she says. “I do plan to have special events to be open additional days or hours. If business increases, we can look at being open more.
“Panora Mercantile is a new business that is still growing and developing,” Belousek says. “Its success and future rely on vendors wanting to sell their items here and the community shopping here. I continue to look for a few new unique vendors and lots of shoppers.”

Next major fundraiser is “Angels in Denim” on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Posted 09/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Since 2010, Tori’s Angels Foundation, which is a 501C3 non-profit entity and headquartered in Panora, has been raising funds to help Iowa families who have children with life-threatening medical conditions. The organization has grown significantly in recent years, as more families learn about the services the foundation offers. To date, 130 children have been accepted. Of those, eight are from Guthrie County.
Tori’s Angels pays medical expenses not covered by insurance from the date of sponsorship until the child turns 19 years old. This includes travel expenses to treatment (airfare, mileage, hotel, meals), as well as prescriptions, medical co-pays and deductibles.
Three years ago, the Petersen family’s life was flipped upside down when they learned their young son, Reed, would need a heart transplant. Reed’s mom and dad, JJ and Dani, switched between being with him at the hospital and being at home in Shelby with his sister, Marcy. Now Reed is on the heart transplant list but continues to show improvement. Tori’s Angels helped ease the burden on Reed’s family by paying for meals and mileage during his hospital stays.
The next major fundraiser is “Angels in Denim” on Saturday, Oct. 14, when the Tori’s Angels Foundation will host its fourth annual Gala. The fundraiser will be held in Vets Auditorium in Panora.
Lidderdale Country Store will cater a prime rib dinner, and the Sweet Shoppe of Ames will provide cupcakes. Attendees will be entertained by local auctioneer Joe Bair, as he calls a host of high-end, privately donated items including several hotel packages with tickets to sporting events, a catered dinner, sports memorabilia, a necklace and much more. New this year is a silent auction, which will take place throughout the evening.
A table sponsorship is $1,000 and includes dinner for eight, bottles of wine and special recognition during the program and on Tori’s Angels’ Facebook page and website. Individuals also can buy seats for the event at a cost of $75 per person. To purchase a table for the event, contact JoAnn Alumbaugh at 641-431-0257 or M.J. Brown at 515-240-3692.
Proceeds from Gala ticket sales, as well as the live and silent auctions, go toward Tori’s Angels’ mission.
“Each of our families has a heart-wrenching story,” says Julie Dent-Zajicek, president of Tori’s Angels Foundation. “If we can help ease their burden even a little bit by assisting with medical expenses, it’s one less thing they need to worry about.”
It is only because of generous donors that the organization exists, notes Dent-Zajicek.
“Every dollar our supporters give goes directly to help our Tori’s Angels families, unless otherwise designated,” she adds.
Cooper Schmidt, another of the Tori’s Angels kids, spent the first 15 months of his life in the hospital because he was born with a kidney disease and other medical issues. He finally made his first trip home to Ankeny earlier this year after a successful kidney transplant.
Although there will be challenges ahead, Cooper’s parents, Andrew and Mady, are thankful for Tori’s Angels.
“The support from Tori’s Angels really helped us stay focused on Cooper, and knowing that all of our expenses were covered was a huge weight off our shoulders,” says Andrew.
Mady notes that although the financial help was hugely important, their appreciation for the organization ran deeper. “It’s truly the people and the community that have supported us all the way through,” she says.
Tori’s Angels volunteers get a deep sense of fulfillment in working with these families, knowing they are selflessly helping them when they need it most. The organization creates a network for families going through stressful times. The Tori’s Angels kids have prayer warriors who care deeply about them and support them in their daily struggles.
Tori’s Angels is helping Blake Bonta’s family, too. Blake is presently going through chemotherapy, and his dad, Justin, recently shared his thoughts on Tori’s Angels’ Facebook page.
“As college football begins, I think of how this year changes everything,” he writes. “I used to wave to the children’s hospital and not know what to think. I didn’t know what any of those families felt or what they were going through.”
Now, as Justin sits in the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital with Blake, he wonders how he will react when he and Blake are the ones waving from the hospital windows, instead of watching the game from their home in Urbandale.
“So many things cross my mind each day,” he writes. “These kids used to be kids we watched playing a game. Now they are helping him fight the biggest battle of his life. To that there can never be a big enough thank you.”
In addition to supporting the gala, anyone wishing to help Tori’s Angels children can send monetary donations to Tori’s Angels at P.O. Box 186, Panora, Iowa, 50216. Online donation options are located on the foundation’s website ( and on its Facebook page, www.facebook/torisangels. The organization also welcomes those interested in becoming a volunteer.
To request an application for support, contact the foundation through the website or call 641-755-2011.


Posted 09/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The Panorama West women’s golf league wrapped up its 2023 season Aug. 29 with a four-gal best-shot tournament. The league had 73 members this year. The Tuesday tournament was followed by an awards luncheon in the Panorama West Clubhouse community room. League members Paula Hansen and Rhoda Williams organized the meal and decorations.
Cash prizes for play throughout the season were distributed to league members based on pars, birdies and chip ins. Ai Dunlop, Diane Pieper, Sharon Wedemeyer and Rhoda Williams received “perfect attendance” gifts to recognize they played every week of league during the 2023 season.
The top-10 point winners in the league included 13 players because of some ties. Each was recognized and received cash awards. They were Emily Spradling in first place; Kathy Feilmeyer, second; Sharon Wedemeyer, third; Paula Hansen, fourth; Shelli Larsen, fifth; Beth Muenzenberger and Linda Wendl, tied for sixth; Diane Pieper, seventh; Julie Clausen, eighth; Brenda Dinkla and Sue Thompson, tied for ninth; and Donna Brody and Phyllis Davis, tied for 10th.
Ann Chambers completed her second year as league chair in 2023. Also assisting with the Panorama West women’s league committee this year were Peg Carr as vice-chair, Nini VonBon as treasurer, Rhoda Williams as secretary, Amy Johnson, who handled weekly statistics, and Debbie Rockwell, who managed player handicaps.


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Posted 09/13/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

Dale Hochreiter, co-chairperson for Panorama Days, gave Lake Panorama Times his initial assessment on the 2023 version of Panorama Days.
“It’s probably one of the better Panorama Days we’ve had in quite a while, even though the past ones have been awesome,” he said. “The run in the morning had the most people they’ve ever had. They had 94. When I talked to the person that does the cribbage, they said it was the most they’ve ever had in the cribbage tournament. The bank that sponsors the bingo said it was the most people they’ve ever had at bingo. It was our largest parade, by far, in all the years that Panorama Days has been going on.”
Hochreiter noted the importance of the sponsorships.
“We’re able to do everything for free because of the sponsors that we have, because of the businesses in our community and individuals that contribute money,” he said. “It’s not really a cheap event, but it’s fun when people with large families don’t have to come up with $10 a child or something. It’s all free to go on rides, to have your face painted, caricatures, balloon dude. It’s just fun.”
Hochreiter thanked all the sponsors and helpers, as well as the community for coming to participate.
“I feel very fortunate to be a part of it and watching its success,” he said.

Panorama Days awards
and recognition

Little Miss
Saylor Allspach

Little Mr.
Carter Deardorff

Bill Riley State Fair Attendees:
Brielle Coil (Sprouts)
Addisyn Leonard (Senior)
Nella Riva (Senior)

Cutest Baby Contest:
Alivia Hester: 1st Place
Alivia Grote: 2nd Place
Aubrey Deardorff: 3rd place and Best Personality
Michael Neuman: Best Dressed
Boston Pettitt: Best Smile
Maize Flack: Best Hair
Paisleigh Jungles: Prettiest Eyes

Parade Winners
Local Liquor, 1st place
Wood Duck, 2nd place
Donovan Construction, 3rd place

Garden Club, 1st place
Guthrie County Fair, 2nd place
Ski Show, 3rd place

Class of 1973, 1st place
Class of 1988, 2nd place
Lakeside Village King and Queen, 3rd place

Antique/Classic Cars
Classic Cars and Coffee (only entry in this category)

Tractor/Farm Equipment
(Not available at press time.)

Fire Department/Emergency/Vehicles
Panora Fire, 1st place
Panora EMS, 2nd place
Guthrie Center Fire, 3rd place


Mac and cheese
Posted 09/13/2023
By Jolene Goodman
Special to Lake Panorama Times

(Family Features) Back-to-school season means many families are busier than ever, leaving less time to plan weeknight meals. While a new school year brings plenty of exciting moments, it also adds up to early mornings, long days and late evenings, making it tough to keep nutrition top-of-mind.
With new routines and jam-packed calendars, quick and easy recipes can be the solutions you need. Swapping out complicated dishes for simple dinners and make-ahead snacks allows you to make your loved ones’ health a priority while also managing hectic schedules.
To help make those simple yet tasty menu additions a reality, look to a flavor favorite and nutrition powerhouse like pecans. They’re the ideal nut to keep on hand to incorporate into favorite meals and after-school snacks.
Taste is just the beginning when it comes to pecans. Their nutritious punch provides a unique mix of health-promoting nutrients. Plus, they’re a versatile ingredient that can shine in a wide range of flavor profiles from sweet or spicy to salty, smoky and savory.
For more back-to-school recipe inspiration, visit n

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

Mac and cheese with pecan breadcrumbs
Cook time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6

• 8 ounces cavatappi pasta
• 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional for salting pasta water, to taste
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 block (8 ounces) cheddar cheese
• 1/2 cup raw pecan pieces
• 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
• 4 tablespoons sour cream
• 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Cook cavatappi in salted boiling water. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta to pot and stir in butter.
Using box grater, shred cheddar cheese.
Using food processor, combine 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese with pecans. Process to coarse breadcrumb consistency.
Add remaining cheddar cheese, ricotta, sour cream, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to warm pasta. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add egg; stir. Add 2-4 tablespoons reserved pasta water to loosen mixture; stir until smooth.
Pour into buttered 9-inch square or round casserole dish and top evenly with pecan topping.
Bake 30 minutes.

Use pre-shredded cheese in place of cheddar cheese block. Use pasta of choice in place of cavatappi.


Image 50738433
Posted 09/13/2023
Special to Lake Panorama Times

A total of 96 kids participated in the Panorama Days fishing derby, which is the most the event has ever drawn. More than $1,500 of prizes, trophies and cash were given away. The results are as follows:

Ages 3-5:
Biggest fish - Stetson McClanahan
Smallest fish - Everett Peters

Ages 6-8:
Biggest fish - Jaelyn Barrett
Smallest fish - Blake Stanley

Ages 9-11:
Biggest fish - Jax Loney
Smallest fish - Caleb Pelzer

Ages 12-13:
Biggest fish - Jack Zimmerman
Smallest fish - Cruz Stanley

Overall Biggest Fish:
First place - Stetson McClanahan ($60)
Second place - Jax Loney ($40)
Third place - Raelyn Knudsen ($20)


Posted 09/13/2023
Special to Lake Panorama Times

The Panorama Days 5K run had a total of 93 participants this year. The race was held at 8 a.m. on Saturday and was the largest participation number in the history of Reshape Fitness Studio holding this event.
“Volunteer help was amazing as well,” said organizer Sue Bump. “I highly doubt this town has ever seen this big of a race. I ran this race the past five years with Reshape and Trudy and helped two years prior to that, and it’s been growing each year by an average of 20 registrants.”
Kal Hoppe, 18, of Clive won the race with a time of 16:52:00


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Posted 09/13/2023
Photo by Kevin Fister
Special to Lake Panorama Times

The Panora Chamber of Commerce held the Cutest Baby Contest during Panorama Days on Aug. 5 and honored a number of local babies with various awards, including Alivia Hester, who was the first-place winner. She is pictured with her mother, Harley Hester.


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Posted 09/13/2023
Photo by Kevin Fister
Special to Lake Panorama Times

Kirby Klinge was named the 2023 Citizen of the Year on Saturday during the Panorama Days festival. The announcement was made during the awards presentation after the parade. Klinge has been involved in numerous organizations and activities in the area including Tori’s Angels Foundation Board of Directors, Guthrie County Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, Guthrie County Community Foundation Board of Directors, and Panorama youth baseball and football. He has also been a regular and long-term volunteer for Panorama Days, Yale’s 4th of July Celebration, the youth athletic fields and concessions and as a bus driver for Lakeside Village, among many other contributions.


Pf logo tag rgb
Posted 09/13/2023
By Rich Wicks
Lake Panorama Times

Panora Fiber recently announced another step in a broadband expansion project that is geared toward providing rural customers with better access.
“It’s a multimillion-dollar broadband expansion plan for rural Guthrie County and rural Dallas County,” said Andy Randol, CEO of Panora Fiber. “It kicked off last week. Area Two is what we label the Bagley area, so between Jamaica and Bagley, we’re filling in some broadband gaps that we’re excited about.”
Area Two will include roughly 125 homes, according to Randol.
“We hope to have that done before winter,” he said. “For Project Two, we’ll be hooking people up as we go along there to state-of-the-art fiber optic broadband communications.”
Randol said Project Three and Project Four of this multimillion-dollar expansion will start more than likely in early 2024.
“(Those projects) will take us from Linden to Redfield to south of Adel. All rural areas. And down toward Earlham. Those will touch roughly another 1,000 locations, so we’re excited about that as well, giving rural customers broadband that they deserve.”
For more information, contact Panora Fiber at 641-755-2424 or visit
Fallcolorboulder (cropped)


Posted 09/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

Fall is fast approaching, which means the trees at Lake Panorama are starting to turn from green to a variety of other colors. Leaves can change color from as early as mid-September through early November. Typically, the second and third week of October are the peak times.
Because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, leaves stop their food-making process. Chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow, gold, red and orange colors come out. Clear days, cool nights and dry conditions promote high quality fall color.
Nature photographer Trish Hart lives full-time at Lake Panorama with her husband Scott. This month’s photos feature some Lake Panorama fall color views captured with her camera a year ago. 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 09/13/2023
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Boomer
Age: 6 years old
Breed: Cavapoo
Owners: Mark, Jen, Zac and Sami McCormack
Boomer enjoys watching people walk by the house and boats going across the lake. He loves playing with the neighborhood dogs and is happy to play fetch or hang out at the tiki bar that has a sign just for him.
Fullsizeoutput 2d2a (cropped)


Posted 09/13/2023
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Dewey
Owners: Pam and Brit Shelton
Dewey was found at an elementary school on a blustery November day. He kept running inside the building at recess when the kids went out to play. Dewey would hide in boxes in the library. The principal begged Pam to take him to their farm. Pam named him Dewey after the book, “Dewey,” a true story of a kitten put in a book drop at Spencer Iowa Public Library. He lived his entire life in the library. Pam’s Dewey lives at the lake enjoying the view — sometimes from a box.

George Mirras is honored with bench on the fourth hole behind the 296-yard par-four teebox.

Posted 09/13/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

A new granite bench was installed at the Panorama West golf course Aug. 25. It’s in memory of George Mirras of Urbandale, who passed away Feb. 14, 2023. The bench is on the fourth hole behind the 296-yard par-four teebox. It offers views of both the Panorama West pond and the fourth fairway.
Tom Gratias and his wife, LaDonna, have owned a secondary home at Lake Panorama since 1990. With help from Greater Des Moines Home Builders Association, Gratias led the effort to raise money for the memorial bench and worked with Friends of Lake Panorama to order and arrange installation of the bench.
He founded Gratias Construction in 1972. “I became friends with George Mirras when he worked as a salesman for Midwest Gas. He called on builders to promote installing gas furnaces and appliances until he was 70 years old,” Gratias says. “When he retired in 1993, he took up golf.”
Gratias says Mirras came to Lake Panorama most weekends to play with him at the Panorama West golf course. “Often, Joe Scheiring joined us. George wasn’t a low handicap golfer, but he did his best,” he says. “Especially as he got older, if he didn’t hit a good shot, another ball would pop out of his pants pocket like a slot machine, and he would say ‘That wasn’t a golf shot...I better try another one.’ ”
That’s the back story to the words engraved on the bench: “In Memory of George Mirras, with pants pockets full of golf balls, was always prepared for another swing.”
Mirras was born in Fargo, North Dakota, on Oct. 18, 1922. He enlisted in the Army during World War II and saw combat in France, Holland and Germany. He was promoted to Artillery First Lieutenant in the Korean War where he trained troops in Japan.
After completing his journalism studies at the University of Missouri, he worked in marketing for the Junction City Kansas Daily Union, Omaha World Herald, WOW Radio & TV in Omaha, Des Moines Register & Tribune, Business & Industry Magazine in Des Moines, Iowa Power & Light Company, and the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines.
“George simply was fun to be around, with a competitive spirit to want to hit a better shot. He played golf with me at Panorama West for more than 20 years, all the way up into his 90s,” Gratias says.
The Mirras bench is the eighth gray granite bench installed at the Panorama West golf course by Des Moines-Winterset Memorials.
Water ski shot brady lpt sept 2023 (cropped)


Posted 09/13/2023

Brady Lorenz hits an early-morning ski run on Labor Day. Have skiing or boating photos to share for a future issue of Lake Panorama Times? Send to


Shane june 2022
Posted 08/09/2023

If your Lake Panorama home is your permanent residence, you received a copy of our newest publication, Panora Times, in your mailbox a few weeks ago. This new free monthly publication is mailed to all residential and business addresses in the Panorama School District, which includes Panora, Linden, Yale, Jamaica and Bagley. As such, some of you are receiving Panora Times and Lake Panorama Times in the mail, and you will continue to. All of you can access either for free online at or You can even sign up for a free email notification when new issues come out at
The two publications look and sound a lot alike, and that is by design. We want our publications to look and feel similar but to have content unique to their readership. Some months, we will share stories in both publications, as we did in July with Panorama Days. Each publication will have its own unique content as well.
We look forward to continuing to provide you with information about the people, places and events of the area in print, online, in your email, on social media and wherever else you look for news.

Golf course or wild prairie
Some of you have lawns that look like golf courses. Others of you have lawns that look like wild prairie. I am in the second group with a desire to be in the first. A new septic system two years ago forced my lawn to the “do-over” stage. A new irrigation system last year had it looking quite good. A broken irrigation system and only one round of fertilizer this year has my lawn a bit weedy right now. The good news is that the sprinklers are working again, and Mother Nature’s tears have done wonders on the lawn.
Those from other countries often ask why we Americans care so much about our lawns. I have a successful friend who mows his own lawn with incredible detail, so much so that his neighbors mock him for it. He once told me that he believes if you are going to do something, you should do it to the best of your ability. That’s how he handles most everything in his life, including his lawn care. It’s difficult to argue with that.

Extreme heat and air pollution
I noticed the leaves on my oak tree were turning brown. Maybe you have, too. This seemed odd to me for the middle of summer, so I did a little research and learned that extreme heat and air pollution can cause oak tree leaves to change colors. Maybe that explains my graying hair, too? Maybe not.

More lake humor
Yes, I do actually have a few more boating jokes, although my list is running short. If you have a favorite or two, send them my way. In the meantime, here are a few chuckles:
When the bottom of the boat was punctured, it had one hull of a problem.
Did you hear what happened when a boat carrying blue paint collided with a boat carrying red paint? The crew is missing and believed to be marooned.
A first-time boating passenger said to the boat driver, “Do boats like this sink very often?” The driver replied, “Not too often. Usually, it’s only once.”

Have a great August, and thanks for reading. 

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

Project started with three pieces of mahogany plywood and one 3-inch by 8-inch by 16-foot plank of solid mahogany.

Posted 08/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

John and Jennifer Dilley are no strangers to boats. They bought a lot at Lake Panorama in 1984 and built a house in 1989. Over the years, they’ve owned various boats and enjoyed spending time on the water relaxing, fishing and sharing their love of the lake with family and friends.
A small workshop adjacent to their home has been the site for most of John’s woodworking projects. This past February, he took on a bigger project — building a wooden boat.
“When our two grandkids, with our son, Joe, and daughter-in-law, Carrie, moved from southern California to San Antonio in August 2022, we were excited,” Jennifer says. “We took a scouting trip to southern Texas. As water lovers, we ended up heading east to the Gulf Coast and purchasing a little sliver of sand on Mustang Island, which would provide a getaway for the family to enjoy throughout the year.”
One day, John read an article in the Port Aransas newspaper about a boat works factory that was no longer in operation.
“Farley Boat Works was established in 1915 and built boats primarily for tarpon fishing, for which that area of the Gulf Coast was world-renowned,” John says. “After it went out of business in 1973, the Preservation and Historical Association eventually purchased the Boat Works operation. By 2011, it was resurrected as a living and working museum where locals could tour, watch others build a boat, or even build a Farley for themselves.
“After a visit there, and knowing I’d miss my own woodworking shop over the winter, I decided to build a boat,” John says. “This project started with three pieces of mahogany plywood and one 3-inch by 8-inch by 16-foot plank of solid mahogany. The wood is harvested in Africa, sent to France to be made into plywood, and then to Houston for distribution to Port Aransas.”
John is a clinical psychologist who does teletherapy with his patients three days a week. That left Mondays and Fridays to work on his boat. A few men from his Texas coffee group sometimes showed up to help with the build, as did other volunteers. John had everyone who helped him sign their names on a board, which he later incorporated into the boat.
He started the project Feb. 13, and it was far enough along to transport back to Iowa April 1, where he finished the detailing in his garage. A used kayak trailer was purchased to bring the boat home to Lake Panorama.
“It was a long, slow 1,200-mile trek, all on back roads because we had to stay under 50 mph so the bearings on the small trailer didn’t overheat,” Jennifer says.
On July 8, the couple hosted a boat christening party with about 50 guests. John and Jennifer took turns explaining how the boat project evolved. The guests then were treated to a musical slideshow of the build, produced by their filmmaker son, Jake Dilley.
Also present at the gathering were three other psychologists and their wives who have been visiting the Dilley home for a retreat weekend every July since 2002. These visitors from Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois shared information on the tradition of boat christening, offered a blessing of the boat once the tarp cover was removed, and poured champagne for a final toast.
Jennifer said John’s original plan was to name his boat Jenny.
“I thanked him for the sweet thought, then offered another option. I suggested he might name the boat Farley, or better yet, My Farley, since he created her from scratch. He settled on My Farley,” she says.
After the boat was unveiled, blessed and christened, attendees lifted glasses of champagne to John Dilley’s toast — “To fish, to fun, to family, to friends, to joy on the water that never ends.”
Because Lake Panorama generally is choppy on Saturday evenings, My Farley wasn’t launched during the party. Instead, the Dilleys and their out-of-state guests launched it the next morning onto quiet Sunday-morning waters.
John plans to use the boat on calm-water days at Lake Panorama. It has a small trolling motor so he can putter around, do some fishing, and take his two grandchildren on rides when they visit.
And whenever hanging out on Mustang Island, John will volunteer at the Farley Boat Works, sharpening his skills by helping others make their own dream of building a boat come true.


John rutledge
Posted 08/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

About 50 LPA members attended the July 7 GM Coffee to hear updates from John Rutledge, Lake Panorama Association (LPA) general manager. Rutledge started with a report on the Lake Panorama National Resort. Nick and Lynn Kuhn continue to manage food and beverage at LPN and Spikes under the name The Links Lounge + Events.
“The Kuhns have a one-year lease, which we’ll be reviewing with them this fall,” Rutledge said. “We get questions from time to time about why the Kuhns are doing something a certain way. They have a great deal of latitude in the lease regarding menu, ordering, billing. We know change is difficult, but one thing we hear consistently is that the food is good, and I encourage everyone to give them a chance.”
Rutledge said initially there was talk about a one-dollar lease.
“I can assure the membership the lease is more than one dollar, and both the Kuhns and LPA are working toward a win-win arrangement. We do value hearing your comments or concerns, and I strongly encourage you to email to share those with us,” he said.
White clover has popped up at the Panorama West golf course.
“We sprayed in the fall of 2021 but lost track of this in 2022, and spraying didn’t get done. It will happen this fall, and an annual plan to spray for clover in the fall will be implemented,” Rutledge said. “We know from experience, spraying midsummer would create a lot of dead spots on the course, so we appreciate your patience.”
The Lake Panorama National 18-hole course is getting some new turf equipment.
“I am pleased to report the course is in good shape, plus we are making sure our equipment is being replaced on scheduled intervals rather than waiting until something has broken down beyond repair,” Rutledge said. “Supply chain delays have caused all of our LPA and LPN departments to be more proactive with regard to equipment.”
Turning to the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ), the 2023-24 RIZ fiscal year began July 1. Projected tax increment financing revenues for this fiscal year are $2.94 million.
Rutledge said the south shore rip rap project is complete with the final cost around $850,000. RIZ funded this, with legal agreements in place with the LPA that the area would be maintained as a green space and not a developed area.
Rutledge said two privately funded projects followed the RIZ work. First, Fin and Feather invested $20,000 in rock piles along the shoreline for fish structure.
“This will help fish spawning and will be a good place for fishing,” Rutledge said. “This also should alleviate some pressure from the marina, which has been a challenging issue. I’ve received some questions about whether these represent a safety concern. The short answer is these rock piles are very close to shore. Boaters should not be traveling that close to shore or skiing, wakeboarding or surfing that close to shore.”
The second privately funded project is being led by Friends of Lake Panorama.
“They are working to finalize their vision for low impact recreational amenities on the south shore,” Rutledge said. “The rip rap project required trails be cut for machine and equipment access, and Friends wants to make use of that. Work is underway on plans for walking trails and signage, and hopefully this work can be completed this summer.”
Expansion of the old CIPCO basin, which has been renamed the 180th Trail Basin, continues. Spring Lake Construction was awarded a $3.2 million contract in August 2021, and RIZ expects the project to exceed $4 million in total cost once completed. Rutledge said the project is progressing but is somewhat slower than originally expected.
“All parties are working together cooperatively on the adjusted timeline,” he said.
Rutledge said the three wetlands that help protect water quality in Lake Panorama are adjusted as needed to ensure good vegetation growth, while also retaining enough water to catch sediment from rain flows.
“These sites are good for reducing nitrogen but also have a positive impact on sediment and phosphorous, which fuels the blue green algae blooms,” he said.
RIZ operated a pilot program for cover crop incentives in 2022, working with two neighboring landowners in the Lake Panorama watershed.
“We plan to expand this effort with other local producers this fall,” Rutledge said. “This is a good program for them and for us. Cover crops help reduce soil and nutrient runoff between fall harvest and spring planting.”
Dredging is ongoing this summer above the debris trap. After Labor Day, the dredge will return below the debris trap and work in the upper basin and narrows.
“I know there are some small cove questions out there, but we do not have any plans to go into small coves this fall,” Rutledge said. “We most likely are looking at least another year but will be working with the RIZ board to map that out this fall.”
Rutledge said RIZ continues to work on mid-term and long-term plans.
“Replacement of the dredge soon will be a topic for the budget. Although the physical equipment itself has a long lifespan, the technology does not,” he said. “The lifespan of all vehicles and equipment are starting to be reflective of both the hardware and the software, where in the past we were mostly concerned about the hardware.”
Water quality is an issue of interest for both LPA and RIZ.
“We continue to be in a drought cycle, which causes very low flows in the Middle Raccoon River,” Rutledge said. “The recent rains have helped some, but members need to watch for boating hazards. Buoys don’t mark an exact area but rather a general area of caution.”
Sticking with the water quality theme, Rutledge said blue green algae is beginning to show up in Lake Panorama. The LPA began testing in areas of concern the second week in July and sends results via email.
“Blue green algae correspond with low flows and clear water in the spring. There’s very little we can do with flows that are this low. The water is simply stagnant,” he said.
The LPA water safety committee will meet sometime this fall. Buoy placement and wake boats are expected to be on the agenda. Members with issues they would like to see discussed can email
Rutledge said invasive species continues to be an educational priority for LPA.
“Remember to adhere to our rules if you take your boat to another body of water or purchase used lifts or docks that were on another body of water,” he said. “We’ve made our rules extremely user friendly so members can comply without a great deal of inconvenience.”
Rutledge shared a reminder about LPA’s rules regarding home rentals.
“Members are able to rent their home once every four weeks. This can be for the entire four-week period or just a couple of days,” he said. “The rules try to balance what is best for the neighborhood with the desire of members to rent their home for some occasional income.”
The annual deer hunting program will remain the same as the past several years.
“It works well to manage the herd population,” Rutledge said. “We are not trying to eliminate deer but instead to prevent overpopulation, disease and the negative impact an overpopulated herd would have on LPA and member properties.”
Rutledge addressed concerns from some that Coulter Marine was rationing gas the evening of Sunday, July 2, and the morning of Monday, July 3. During this time, boats were limited to 20 gallons of gas and jet skis to five gallons.
“The marina sold 17,000 gallons of gas between July 1 and July 4. Some rationing was required, as we only have 12,000 gallons of storage and a transport was required on Monday morning,” Rutledge said. “We can’t justify adding gas storage for one weekend a year. Thanks to our members for their patience.”
LPA Security used to tow disabled boats, when possible. Now, because of workman’s comp and liability issues, a new policy is in place that officers will not tow boats unless there is an immediate health emergency or a life-or-death situation. Rutledge said members who need a boat towed should call Coulter Marine. Their rates are Main Basin to Shady Beach, $100; Shady Beach to Burchfield Cove, $150; and Burchfield Cove to North Basin, $200.
Rutledge said LPA is working on strategic planning this summer to help the association navigate a number of issues, such as the rapidly growing level of investment at LPA, staffing retention and succession, and budgeting for the next 20 years.
“I will have more to share as this unfolds,” he said. “Please know we take this responsibility very seriously and are focused on the long-term viability of Lake Panorama rather than just looking at the next six to 18 months.”

Other topics covered:
• Sta-Bilt has completed 3.6 miles of seal coated roads on the west side. LPA staff now will prep 3.5 miles of roads on the east side for seal coat application later this summer.
• LPA is replacing a water main on Chimra. This is a planned project with work done as staff schedules allow. Restoration work will be done in the spring.
• The old railroad ties wall at Sunset Beach has been replaced with a poured concrete wall.
• The new bathrooms at Sunset and Shady beaches continue to receive compliments.
• Thanks to Friends of Lake Panorama for recreational enhancements at all three beaches and to the Panora Garden Club for landscaping and flowers.
• Guthrie County Public Health inspects septic systems at Lake Panorama every four years. In the past, an $80 invoice was sent to property owners the year of inspection. Now $20 invoices will be sent annually, with inspections continuing every four years.
• The next GM Coffee is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 1, 10:30 a.m. at the Lake Panorama National Resort events center.

Event offered family-friendly activities and games for all ages including face painting, giant bubble wands and several outdoor games.

Posted 08/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

A special event celebrating the two-year anniversary of the Lutheran Church of Hope Local Panora church drew up to 400 people to Boulder Beach July 2.
Taste of Hope was an awesome day and a tremendous success,” says Galen Redshaw, who came up with the idea for the free Taste of Hope event. “I’m humbled by the response, and it went incredibly smoothly. God’s presence was evident throughout the day and especially during the worship service. The backdrop of the lake during worship was incredible.”
The event offered family-friendly activities and games for all ages from 3-5 p.m., which included face painting, giant bubble wands and several outdoor games. A worship service was 5-6 p.m. with an estimated 300 people in attendance. Sandwiches, chips, cookies and bottled water were served at 6 p.m. A free concert by RetroGold wrapped up the event.
Emily and Billy Donovan, who have lived at Lake Panorama for 16 years, first had the idea to pursue a Lutheran Church of Hope Local Panora site. The local Panora site streams the 9:30 a.m. service from Hope Lutheran Church in West Des Moines live each Sunday at The Port. The Donovans are the local site leaders, and Emily was the games and activities coordinator for Taste of Hope.
“There were many hours that went into planning so the day of the event we could just get out of God’s way,” Emily Donovan says. “Our goal was to make sure everyone who came to Taste of Hope felt seen, known and loved. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. The weather was perfect, the volunteers were joy-filled, the worship service was uplifting, and the kids went through nine gallons of giant bubble mix. What else could we ask for?”
Besides Donovan and Redshaw, members of the Taste of Hope planning team were Allison Stanley, Gary Geels, Laura Tofteland and Anna Roeth.

Company offers underground utility installation services nationwide that include guided auger boring, rock boring, pilot tube boring, microtunneling, pipe ramming, pipe jacking, pipe bursting, railroad crossing, and bore bit design.

Posted 08/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
and Rich Wicks

Lake Panorama Times

Iowa Trenchless is a full-service boring and tunneling company that has been located on the southeast edge of Panora since 2004. From their first job in 2002, owners Jason and Shari Clark have grown the company into a respected nationwide leader in the boring and tunneling industry.
They met at Iowa State University with him majoring in business and her in forestry. Shari grew up in Rochester, Minnesota. Jason grew up in small towns in central Iowa, from Earlham to Creston to Adel.
His grandparents, Don and Mickie Stephen, owned a home in Hughes Cove beginning in 1981 and operated Stephens Cleaners, a dry cleaning business in Adel, for many years.
“I spent a lot of time at Lake Panorama,” Clark says. “I loved to fish, and I learned how to water ski there.”
Clark got his start in the industry as an 18-year-old student at Iowa State. A company named Westcon Microtunneling was doing a sewer project in Ames, and he got a job working as a laborer on the project. The next summer, he worked for the same company in Chicago, doing 48-inch diameter bores.
“I decided then I wanted to be a tunneling contractor when I grew up,” Clark says. “I spent the rest of my college summers working in this industry.”
After graduating from Iowa State in 1999, Jason took a job with Midwest Mole in Indianapolis. He and Shari married in 2000. Jason’s trenchless career took him all over the country, and the couple moved several times.
“We were living in Wisconsin and decided we wanted to move back to Iowa,” Clark says. “In 2002, I quit my job, we rented a house north of Ames and started Iowa Trenchless. We bought just enough equipment to complete the first contract. We had to park the equipment at a family friend’s construction yard outside of Earlham.
“In the company’s early years, it was just me and a couple of guys on the road running projects, while Shari managed the office, accounting and contracting paperwork,” Clark says. “This was more than 20 years ago, in a time where no one emailed job proposals and bids. Everything was done by fax. Shari has been there every step of the way, sending bills, collecting bills, booking hotel rooms for out-of-town jobs.”
As Iowa Trenchless grew, the Clarks started looking for a home base somewhere in west-central Iowa.
“We were looking for a landing spot,” Clark says. “My sister was in Waukee, my parents in Adel, my grandparents at Lake Panorama, our equipment was in a friend’s pasture in Earlham. We settled on a house in Panora.”
In 2004, Iowa Trenchless became the first business in the Panora Fiber business park on the southeast side of Panora. The Clarks now live next to their business and have continued to grow, purchasing additional land and buildings when Brokers International closed.
“We’re constantly expanding,” Clark says. “After outgrowing our first office, we built our second office with 2,000 square feet of space on each of two floors, and that has already been added onto once. We’re just about out of room and need to add on again. We also just finished building out our third shop.”
Besides the buildings, the Iowa Trenchless property includes an impressive array of equipment used for tunneling and excavating.
“We have a lot of equipment,” Clark says. “We have nearly every size of tunneling machine Akkerman Manufacturing makes. We’ve got rock machines. We probably have 15 excavators, and 20 semi-trucks. We take pride in using the newest technology and equipment to get the job done right the first time.
“But we’re more about people. Anybody can buy equipment. I’d put one of my crews with a 1992 boring machine up against some other guy’s crew with a 2022 boring machine anytime,” he says. “We have a lot of good people at Iowa Trenchless, more than 40 employees. We consistently run five crews that work on the various jobs we get, plus eight people in the office, and numerous others in our shop who handle equipment preparation and maintenance.”
Jason oversees the operation, and Shari manages the office.
“I get out on some of the jobs, mostly when there are problems,” Clark says. “I also get out sometimes in advance of big jobs.”
“In the early days of the trenchless industry, it was mostly installing utility pipes underground without having to dig a trench,” Clark says. “Now there is a lot more to the underground industry. We can do any size of pipe from 2 feet to 20 feet in diameter.”
The company offers underground utility installation services nationwide that include guided auger boring, rock boring, pilot tube boring, microtunneling, pipe ramming, pipe jacking, pipe bursting, railroad crossing and bore bit design. Some of the more visible projects done by Iowa Trenchless include railroad culverts and bike trail or pedestrian tunnels.
Clark says there are about 100 companies in the United States that do the same work as Iowa Trenchless. He’s constantly bidding on jobs anywhere in the country, and sending crews to work on jobs that can last two to three days, two to three months, or even a year. Iowa Trenchless operates year-round, seeing only a slight slowdown in winter due to weather conditions. When things do slow down, crews spend more time in southern states.
Family is important to the Clarks. Their two children, Ashley and Wyatt, both are students at Iowa State University’s College of Business. Ashley is in a pre-law program, while Wyatt has a double major and works summers for Iowa Trenchless.
The Clarks also consider their employees family.
“We want the guys and gals who work here to be paid well, to have a full benefit package and to work with good equipment,” Clark says. “I like the fact so many of our guys grew up in this area and have been able to stay here with their wives and kids. We’ve also brought quite a few people here from other places, even other states. They like it here and like raising their kids in a small town.”
“We take pride in getting things done when other contractors may not. We’ve finished lots of jobs other contractors were supposed to do, but no one ever had to finish one of ours. The most important thing for me is our people,” Clark says. “At the end of the day, that’s where the credit needs to go. We want our employees to be as proud of Iowa Trenchless as we are.”
Clark also gives credit to his parents, Randy and Linda, who he says taught him to work hard and who invested in the business to help get it started. Randy passed away in 2010, and Jason honored him in a eulogy.
“Who would sign everything over to a kid who just turned 26, so we could get a loan to get into the boring and tunneling business?” Clark asks. “There was a lot of risk involved, and, yet, they believed in Shari and me. Since then, we’ve been able to buy out a lot of other businesses.”
Iowa Trenchless supports the local community in every way they can. Clark said he deals with local companies as much as possible for the goods and services to keep his business running. He also coaches football and supports local sports and activities.
The Clarks say they have no plans to leave Panora.
“This community is a good one,” Clark says. “We like being in a small town where people support each other. That’s what I grew up in, small towns. Things are going well. We continue to have growth, and we like what we’re doing.”


Finishline (cropped)
Posted 08/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

For the sixth year in a row, the Lake Panorama National women’s league rallied in support of the Tori’s Angels Foundation. The fundraising event was July 20, in place of league play, with $6,600 raised.
Fifteen teams competed in a four-person best-shot tournament. “That’s Amore” and a trip across Italy was the theme.
After golf, the group gathered at Boulder Beach where Lake Panorama Pizzeria and Crafty’s Coffee catered a meal featuring Italian foods. Jackie Wicks, a member of the Tori’s Angels Council, talked about the children and families helped by the foundation, which recently accepted its 127th child.
Wicks introduced her granddaughter, Tori Heckman, for whom the foundation is named. A community breakfast fundraiser was held in July 2010, hosted by the Panora United Methodist Church, to assist with the medical expenses of then-5-year-old Tori, who has had multiple heart surgeries since birth. The fundraiser was so successful the idea of a foundation to help other children with life-threatening medical conditions was born.
Julie Tibbles, event committee chair, presented a $2,000 check from the LPN women’s league to Wicks. The remaining $4,600 came from money raised on the golf course that evening, direct donations, and raffle ticket sales. Raffle items were donated by women’s league members, Lake Panorama Association, Lake Panorama National, Scheels and others.
Committee members were Julie Tibbles, Jillian Ortner, Lorrie Motsick, Mare Langel, Nancy Clawson, Dee Eckley, Sherri Miller and Becky Rolfes. Several of their husbands helped with special events on the course.
Tori’s Angels Foundation helps Iowa families who have children with life-threatening medical conditions. The Foundation pays for all medical expenses not covered by insurance. Tori’s Angels is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization, with all overhead and benefit expenses paid by the foundation board members and friends. n

The plaque on the bench honors Tom and Conni Jeschke.

Posted 08/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

A black metal bench has been added to the seventh tee box at Lake Panorama National. Funds for the bench were donated to Friends of Lake Panorama in memory of Tom Jeschke, who died in March after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.
The plaque on the bench honors both Tom and his widow, Conni, with this inscription: In recognition of Tom and Conni Jeschke’s contributions to the LPA and LPN community.
Donations for the bench came from more than 20 people who were friends with Tom because of various activities they participated in with him, including golf, wood carving and fishing.
Tom started The Raccoon River Carving Club, which meets weekly at the LPN event center, and also gave wood carving classes there. He enjoyed golfing and played in men’s leagues at both Lake Panorama National and Panorama West. He was active in the Fin & Feather organization, helping to improve fishing on Lake Panorama.
Tom worked in education beginning in 1965 until he retired in 2004; then he and Conni purchased a retirement home at Lake Panorama and became involved in the community. Tom served 12 years on the LPA board of directors and was president of the board four of those years.
The bench honoring the Jeschkes is in a mulched area under a shade tree behind the back tees on the LPN seventh hole.


Img 5538
Posted 08/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

I’ve taken a lot of photos in my 25 years living at Lake Panorama. Of all the photos I’ve taken, lake sunrises and sunsets are my favorites. In mid-July I sitting on a swinging bench at Boulder Beach with a friend, and couldn’t resist snapping photos as the sun was setting. So many different colors emerged, in the sky and clouds, and on the calm water. What a lovely way to end a day. Kimmie Conner, a travel blogger, has this to say about sunsets. “You have to travel far and wide to see a lot of the world’s wonders, but sunsets can be appreciated in every corner of the earth.” And I say, especially at Lake Panorama.
Have a photo you’d like to submit? Send it to

More than 8,000 in attendance for country music festival.

River ruckus15 16 07 30 (edit)
Posted 08/09/2023
By Rich Wicks
ForLake Panorama Times

Three days of temperatures well into the 90s only heated up the excitement for this year’s Guthrie’s River Ruckus as performers, audience and event staff dealt with the sweltering conditions.
“It was a warm one, but it was a good weekend,” said organizer Grant Sheeder. “It was probably the hottest Ruckus to date. It sounds like most people kept their wits about them and stayed hydrated on Friday, so that was good.”
Sheeder said they hired a number of off-duty law enforcement officers to provide security for the event this year as well.
“Security-wise was way better than what we’ve had in the past,” he said. “So, we were very happy with the safety and security they brought to our event this year, along with the State Troopers and local Guthrie County Sheriff’s office.”
Sheeder said attendance was more than 8,000, and although that was not a sellout, it was still a strong showing.
“A lot of people came and stayed,” he said. “No major issues so far. As far as I know, there’s been nothing too crazy or out of the norm.”
Sheeder said, all in all, they were very happy.
“We appreciate Guthrie County for letting us host it here for 15 years so far. Not many festivals can say they could do that, let alone in a town or county our size. So, we’re very blessed to be able to keep doing it.”


16397 vid 5 steps toward heart healthy eating
Posted 08/09/2023
By Jolene Goodman
Lake Panorama Times

This month I am sharing a recent article and recipe from one of our other publications.
(Family Features) As the leading cause of death among Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease often results from uncontrolled high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. However, a heart-healthy eating plan can help lower or control these risk factors and put you and your family on a path toward better heart health. Consider these tips from The Heart Truth program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI):
• One way to get started on a path toward heart-healthy eating is to change your way of thinking about how and what you eat. For example, use smaller plates to help limit portion sizes. Chew food slowly and consider the textures and flavors of different food as you eat.
• Put together an eating plan that offers a balance of calories and nutrients including vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy. Consider make-at-home favorites like Heart-Healthy Pita Pizzas, which include grilled chicken as a better-for-you alternative to methods such as frying.
• Swap out sugary or salty snacks and instead enjoy lower-calorie treats. Try options like a cup of seedless grapes, small banana, cup of cherry tomatoes, handful of unsalted nuts or half cup of low-fat or fat- free yogurt.
• It is possible to eat healthy foods in restaurants. To control portion sizes, try tactics like eating half your entree and taking leftovers home for another meal. Choose foods that are broiled, baked or roasted to limit calories. Ask for low-sodium menu options and request butter, gravy, sauces and salad dressings on the side or leave them off completely.

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

Heart-healthy pita pizzas
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Servings: 4

• 4 whole-wheat pitas (6 1/2 inches each)
• 1 cup chunky tomato sauce
• 1 cup grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced (about 2 small breasts)
• 1 cup broccoli, rinsed, chopped and cooked
• 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 tablespoon fresh basil, rinsed, dried and chopped (or

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450 F.
On each pita, spread 1/4 cup tomato sauce and top with 1/4 cup chicken, 1/4 cup broccoli, 1/2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and 1/4 tablespoon chopped basil.
Place pitas on nonstick baking sheet and bake 5-8 minutes until pitas are golden brown and chicken is heated through.

Course allows hikers, walkers and runners to be alongside the lake shore for slightly more than a mile with spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding shores. 

Posted 08/09/2023
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times

The seeds for low-impact recreational amenities on Lake Panorama’s south shore were planted in April 2019 when Friends of Lake Panorama surveyed LPA members for input on projects to consider. Walking trails and disc golf were projects of interest with the south shore considered a good location. At the LPA board of directors June 2021 meeting, Friends received permission to develop a recreational concept for the south shore.
At its August 2022 meeting, the board agreed Friends could work on improvements to existing trails on the south shore. Permission also was given to work with the Panorama Community Schools to incorporate a cross country course into the Lake Panorama trails system.

Progress is being made
While some preliminary planning took place in fall 2022, most of the effort was put on hold until the rip rap construction was completed this spring, which led to new trail opportunities. People have been walking trails on the south shore for years, but only a few were aware of the existence and availability of the trails.
Now a fenced parking lot is being planned that will allow people to walk through a gate near where the LPA trail system will begin and end. There will be a trailhead sign that includes general details about the south shore, rules, a donor list, and specific information about the trail options and trail markers, including a map. Visitors will be encouraged to snap a photo of the map to help them stay on the trail.
Those who 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 rip rap contractor widened existing trails to get to the shoreline will be offered as trail options.
People who start at the trailhead and choose the first option will walk sixth-tenths of a mile. The other three options offer distances of 1.1 mile, 1.6 miles and 2 miles. This final loop results in walking the same distance as the original loop, but the terrain and views provide a different experience.
Fiberglass trail markers, similar to the blue 911 address markers used in Guthrie County, will be purchased in a brown color. Plans are to put these at each “junction” of the trail system along with arrows and distances back to the trailhead.

Cross country trails
The cross country trails will begin and end on school property with all bus and spectator parking and bathroom facilities on school property. For the middle school, a distance of two miles has been mapped. For the high school, the trail is 3.1 miles.
Access to the south shore is near the northeast corner of the school property. The school hired a contractor to clear trees to make that entrance possible. The school also purchased a roller and a landscape rake to pull behind a small utility tractor to smooth out rough areas of the trail; has committed to adding rock and mulch in a few marshy areas; and has committed to keeping the trails mowed and cleared throughout the year.
Greg Randel is director of transportation and oversees grounds at Panorama Community School District.
“We have been mowing a trail on school grounds for a long time for the cross country team to practice, and it has been a dream to one day have the entire course here. When LPA started the south shoreline project, I contacted John Rutledge to see if having a portion of our trails on LPA property could be an option. It has taken off since then with a lot of help from LPA, Friends of Lake Panorama, and Panorama schools,” Randel says.

A coach’s perspective
Greg Thompson is beginning his 30th year at Panorama Schools this fall. Over the years, he has taught many math courses and coached many sports. Since 1998, he has been the head girls track and field coach and, since fall of 1999, the head cross country coach. He and his wife, Kelly, have had a home at Lake Panorama since February 2000.
“It became clear to me about three years ago that using the Panorama West Golf Course area was becoming more difficult each year to manage the cross country course,” Thompson says. “Plus, the traffic associated with hosting races was becoming too large for the area. We received many compliments on the west course, so it was a difficult decision to begin looking for a new course.”
Yet, Thompson says the benefits of moving the cross country trail to an area that incorporates both school and LPA property are many.
“It will be easier for spectators to view the race. On the west course, most spectators only had easy access to the start and finish of the race,” he says. “On this new course, there should be many areas of a race that are easily accessible to spectators. Parking also will be easier since we can use the school parking facilities for team vehicles and for spectators.”
Thompson says it will be much more efficient to set up and manage cross country meets with the proximity to the school and maintenance equipment, and timers and meet managers will have accessibility to the press box, electricity, a sound system and use of the scoreboard and video board.
The starting line for all races will be near the elementary school just behind Little Panther Daycare. From there, the runners will use the Panorama School Elementary Outdoor Classroom area to access the south shore.
“Starting here will allow teams to set up and have a home base near the starting line and in an area that doesn’t damage the race trails or a golf course,” Thompson says.
Runners will return to school grounds and run south alongside the baseball complex and finish on the home side straight away of the track.
“Finishing on the track will allow easy access to the bleachers and bathrooms for both athletes and spectators,” Thompson says. “High school runners will run along the shore and around the prairie space. Junior high runners will run around the prairie space. Only existing trails will be used, and existing wooded areas and natural prairie spaces will be preserved.”
The first official practice for the cross country teams was scheduled for Aug. 7. Teams will practice on the course once or twice a week, usually 3:30-5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday. Two races are scheduled. The first race Sept. 14 will have more than 20 schools participating. The second will be the conference tournament Oct. 12. A third meet might happen Oct. 19 and include 20 schools, if the state athletic associations allow Panorama to be a host site for a state-qualifying meet.
Thompson says the cooperation between the school, Friends of Lake Panorama and the LPA has been wonderful.
“I have been asked many times why I haven’t moved to a bigger school,” he says. “The main reason is I love the family atmosphere of a small-town community. This experience has been another piece of evidence that living and working in a small town like Panora and Lake Panorama creates a sense of pride and community.”
Thompson says he thinks in the next two to three years, this will be one of the better true cross country courses in the state.
“Many of our current races are on golf courses, not through wooded areas and prairies,” he says. “This course allows hikers, walkers and runners to be alongside the lake shore for slightly more than a mile with spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding shores. We will continue to improve the trail system and keep it maintained for everyone to enjoy.”


Gov reynolds lake panorama press release photo
Posted 08/09/2023
Special to Lake Panorama Times

Gov. Kim Reynolds and her staff joined local officials on July 28 for a boat tour of Lake Panorama. Hosting the event were State Representative Carter Nordman and Lake Panorama Association General Manager John Rutledge. Guests of the tour included Guthrie County Supervisors Maggie Armstrong and Brian Johnson; RIZ Board of Trustees President Doug Hemphill; Lake Panorama Association board member Sue Thompson; and PolicyWorks CEO Justin Hupfer.
The group’s discussion focused on the importance of continued economic development in rural Iowa, including the critical role the Rural Improvement Zone legislation has played in the success of Lake Panorama. Rutledge expressed his gratitude on behalf of the community.
“It was our privilege to show Gov. Reynolds the beauty of Lake Panorama and to thank her for her continued support of programs that invest in the future of rural Iowa,” Rutledge said.
“Lake Panorama plays a major economic role for Guthrie County,” Rep. Carter Nordman stated. “The Lake Panorama Association has created a vibrant community that will continue to flourish for generations to come. I greatly appreciate Gov. Reynolds taking the time to visit Guthrie County and discuss issues that are important to all its residents.”
“I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit Lake Panorama and see firsthand the economic benefits it brings to Guthrie County and the surrounding areas,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The lake brings an influx of visitors while generating revenue for local businesses and communities. With the forward thinking of the Lake Panorama Association, I know Lake Panorama will remain a vital part of the region’s economy for years to come.”
The event was part of the governor’s commitment to visit all 99 counties each year.

Ruben-hein Churr represented his home country 
of South Africa while competing in two international golf tournaments in the U.S.

Posted 08/09/2023
Lake Panorama Times

The last two weekends in July were busy ones for Ruben-hein Churr. That’s because he represented his home country of South Africa while competing in two international golf tournaments in the United States.
Ruben-hein is the 14-year-old grandson of Hans van Leeuwen, who has a home with his wife, Marina, in Lake Panorama’s Horseshoe Cove. Ruben-hein’s mother, Nanja, is his daughter. Nanja and her husband, Rudi, also have a daughter, Anje, age 11. The family visited Iowa for a few days in mid-July before heading to the southeast U.S. for the tournaments.
While Nanja had been to Iowa in the past, this was the first time Rudi, Ruben-hein and Anje had been to the United States, let alone Iowa. Ruben-hein’s success in golf tournaments in South Africa, which qualified him for two U.S. golf tournaments, is what got the entire family to Iowa and to Lake Panorama.
Hans and Marina co-own their Lake Panorama home with daughter and son-in-law, Lelahni and Tim. While at Lake Panorama, Ruben-hein played several rounds at the Panorama West golf course. He and his father also played one round at Lake Panorama National, where Ruben-hein scored a 71, one stroke under par.
“I really loved the course and the attention to detail around the course,” Ruben-hein says. “The tee boxes look amazing, and the greens were good. The course can definitely rate among the best courses in South Africa. The Panorama West course is a real challenge and tests your short game. I also loved the fact the course was open to all level of golfers and families.”
The Churr family lives in a golf community in South Africa that includes a nine-hole, par-3 golf course. Ruben-hein says he started playing golf when he started walking. Rudi Churr confirms that, saying “He literally took his first few steps on the putting green at our course, while I was practicing. He loved being on the course with me and soon was using plastic golf clubs to do what I was doing. He especially liked playing in the sand; today he’s a good bunker player.”
Ruben-hein plays golf left-handed, although he throws balls, plays cricket and writes with his right hand. To get him started, Rudi Churr purchased a right-handed set of golf clubs. But perhaps because he was mirroring his father’s golf swing, the right-handed clubs didn’t work well and soon were replaced with left-handed clubs. 
What does he like about golf?
“Everything,” Ruben-hein says. “I like being out in nature. I like playing my own game; it’s just me, no outside influences.”
Ruben-hein began working with a golf coach when he was 5 and was competing in golf tournaments by the time he was 10 years old. He admits to having some “butterflies” on the first tee, but, once he’s playing, that fades away. Sometimes either Rudi or Nanja caddy for him, while some tournaments have strict rules about parents keeping their distance and not offering advice during a golf round.
Nanja doesn’t play golf but is thinking about taking up the sport so she can play with Rudi and Ruben-hein. Rudi describes his golf handicap as being in the single-digit range, and the father and son duo enjoy playing the sport together. Sister Anje enjoys walking with her brother on the course but not more than 18 holes. Her parents say she prefers saddle back outrides.
On June 27, Ruben-hein won the under-15 South African Championship at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa; he had a final score of four-under par and was the only player under par in the tournament. Due to his U.S. Kids Golf ranking, he received an invitation to play in the Under Armour 2023 World Championship July 22-23 at the Reunion Resort and Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.
At the Orlando tournament, Churr competed against 62 other boys in the 13-14 age group. He was two over par the first day of competition with a 74. On the second day, he shot a 69, three under par, for a final two-day total of 143. He finished in ninth place.
To qualify for his second U.S. tournament, the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation World Teen Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Ruben-hein had to play two tournaments in South Africa under par. He won one tournament with a 69, three under par. Later, he won the 13-14 age group of the US Kids Gauteng Local Tour Junior Golf Championship, with a score of 66, six under par.
Each year, the U.S. Kids Golf World Teen Championship welcomes golfers ages 13-18 to seven championship courses in the Pinehurst area. This year’s three-day tournament was July 27-29. Ruben-hein competed against 150 other 14-year-olds and finished in the middle of the pack.
“The result was not what he was looking for, but he learned a lot,” Rudi Churr says. “It was a great experience for him, meeting people from around the world, and playing golf in the U.S.”
The Churr family flew back to South Africa Aug. 1.
“We loved Iowa and especially enjoyed the beauty of Lake Panorama,” Rudi Churr says. “In Orlando, we went to the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, and both were amazing. We really had lots of fun, and it is something we will never forget. We agree with a T-shirt we saw at Disney, ‘most expensive day ever,’ but it was worth every cent.”
Churr says their home country is growing junior golf, but the U.S. has more opportunities for junior golfers.
“It’s awesome what groups in the United States are doing to get kids involved in golf. It was a great opportunity for Ruben-hein to be able to play in two tournaments in the U.S.,” he says.
Ruben-hein is planning a future for himself that would include playing a lot more golf in the United States. After high school graduation, he wants to attend a university in the southern part of the United States so he can continue to improve his game year-round. The University of Texas and Arizona State University are places of interest, but he is open to any Division I school with a strong men’s golf program.
“I want to play professional golf someday,” Ruben-hein says. “But wherever I go to college to play golf, I also will focus on academics and get a degree in case becoming a pro golfer doesn’t work out. Other South Africans have had success as professional golfers, and I believe I can, too. Dad has always said I should dream big, work hard and have fun. That’s what I plan to do.” 


Fundraiser will be in Vets Auditorium in Panora with a fun and light-hearted theme sure to draw an enthusiastic and generous crowd.

Posted 08/09/2023
Lake Panorama Times

Since 2010, the Tori’s Angels Foundation has been raising funds to help the families of its supported children with life-threatening medical conditions. The foundation’s primary fundraising season is spring through late fall. On June 18, 500 people were served and more than $25,000 was raised in freewill donations and a silent auction at the Tori’s Angels 13th annual breakfast benefit.
This annual event celebrates the foundation’s first breakfast in 2010 for then-5-year-old Tori Heckman who desperately needed heart surgery in Boston. The subsequent foundation was named for the 800 attendees who generously donated money for Tori’s surgery and proved themselves to be one of Tori’s Angels.
The next major fundraiser is Saturday, Oct. 14 when the Tori’s Angels Foundation will host the fourth annual Gala, using the theme “Angels in Denim.” This fundraiser will be in Vets Auditorium in Panora with a fun and light-hearted theme sure to draw an enthusiastic and generous crowd.
The event will feature a dinner catered by Lidderdale Country Store with special Gala cupcakes provided by the Sweet Shoppe of Ames. Attendees will be entertained by local auctioneer Joe Bair, as he calls a host of high-end, privately donated items. New this year will be a silent auction, which will take place throughout the evening.
Some live auction items that are expected to be the most popular are a shed donated by Sunrise Sheds, which can be customized for the winning bidder; Kansas City Royals package with hotel; Pit Boss outdoor griddle and $50 grocery gift card from the Jefferson Fareway; one-of-a-kind carved duck; custom created logo for farm, family or business; and a pendant necklace donated by Ames Silversmith and the Youngberg family.
Attendees also will have the chance to bid on homemade pies, local gift baskets and golf packages, autographed sports memorabilia and game tickets, a gourmet dinner, whole hog and more.
A limited number of tables are available and, as in past years, are expected to sell out quickly. A table sponsorship costs $1,000 and includes dinner for eight, bottles of wine and special desserts on the table, plus recognition on the table, during the program and on Tori’s Angels’ Facebook page and website. To purchase a table for the event, contact JoAnn Alumbaugh at 641-431-0257 or M.J. Brown at 515-240-3692.
Proceeds from Gala ticket sales, as well as the live and silent auctions, go toward Tori’s Angels’ mission of supporting families with children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions. To date, the foundation has accepted more than 125 children with life-threatening illnesses and currently supports more than 95 children across Iowa.
Tori’s Angels pays 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.
Anyone wishing to help Tori’s Angels children can send monetary donations to Tori’s Angels at P.O. Box 186, Panora, Iowa, 50216. Online donation options are located on the foundation’s website and on its Facebook page, www.facebook/torisangels. The organization also welcomes those interested in becoming a volunteer.
For more information about Tori’s Angels, check the foundation’s website at To request an application for support, contact the foundation through the website or call 641-755-2011.


The original Granite Club members that renewed for 2023 are now in their 15th year supporting LPN.

Posted 08/09/2023
Lake Panorama Times

In 2008, 12 businesses made monetary or in-kind contributions to Lake Panorama National to support the construction of Spikes, the snack and restroom facility located near the first tee. In exchange, the businesses received a sponsorship sign on an LPN tee box. Five of these businesses have maintained their sponsorship since.
The original Granite Club members that renewed for 2023 are now in their 15th year supporting LPN. These are Panora Fiber on the third hole; Guthrie County State Bank & GCSB Investment Center on hole five; Exterior Sheet Metal on the eighth hole; Bryton Insurance on the ninth hole; and Total Financial Solutions on the 15th hole.
Other Granite Club members include R&K Bristle Farms, first hole; Kluster Klub, second hole; Iowa Trust, fourth hole; Hawley Insurance, sixth hole; Lake Panorama Barge Service, seventh hole; Lake Panorama Realty, 11th hole; Jensen Sanitation, 13th hole; The Trash Man - Neil Wright, 14th hole; Robert Carr Insurance Agency - State Farm, 16th hole; Tometich Engineering, 17th hole; and Minnesota Cabinets, 18th hole.
Two holes remain available for sponsorship — 10 and 12. Annual sponsorships are $500. New sponsors also are asked to pay the cost of the sign. Granite Club members receive a free round of golf for a foursome, including carts, when they purchase or renew their annual membership. Club members also are recognized on the LPN website and in the LPN Resort Weekly newsletter.
Details of the Granite Club, along with a request form for more information, can be found on the LPN website at Or call Royce Shaffer, LPN operations manager, at 641-755-2080.


More than six million Americans are living with the disease.

Start (cropped)
Posted 08/09/2023
Lake Panorama Times

For the third year in a row, Panora will host an Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s. These fundraising events are held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide and constitute the world’s largest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
The walk in Panora is Saturday, Sept. 16 and is titled the Raccoon River Valley Walk. There are 19 walks scheduled in Iowa this fall with the Panora walk being the smallest town to host one. Others are in cities such as Ames, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Mason City, Ottumwa, Sioux City, Dubuque and more.
Alzheimer’s kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. More than six 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.
The Raccoon River Valley Walk begins at the Michael Mills Memorial Park at Southeast Fifth Street in Panora. Registration starts at 8 a.m. A special ceremony at 9 a.m. will be emceed by Tom Reil, former owner of Bob and Jo’s RV in Guthrie Center. The opening ceremony will immediately be followed by the two-mile walk that involves walking on a portion of the Raccoon River Valley Trail.
Edward Jones is a national presenting sponsor of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Dave Grove, an Edward Jones financial advisor based in Panora, and Melissa Loest, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Guthrie Center, are instrumental in organizing this local walk.
“We have asked several individuals from the surrounding communities such as Perry, Adel, Jefferson and Stuart to join our committee and rally support and get businesses and individuals to participate,” Grove says. “Creating some community-based teams to ‘battle’ to raise the most funds should make for some fun competition and, hopefully, help raise awareness and participation.”
In 2022, 95 participants on 15 teams raised more than $23,000.
“We have yet to crack 100 walkers and would like to change that this year,” Grove says.
Grove is the captain for Team Panora and invites those looking for a team to join him for the 2023 walk. Those interested in supporting this cause, by walking, donating or volunteering, can contact him at
In addition to Edward Jones, the Lakeside Village in Panora is a key supporter.
“Lakeside Village and Joel Hester from Karl Chevrolet hosted a car show in June that raised $1,500 for the walk, and they had a great turnout for their first year,” Grove says.
Grove says Mel Borgeson, manager of the New Homestead in Guthrie Center, has volunteered countless hours to prepare and organize the event. Other committee members are Mary Jane Carothers, Bob Grove, Andrew Brommer and Sarah Wurr.
Several local businesses, including Hometown Foods and Local Liquor, have agreed to help with a “round-up” campaign to raise funds. This will give customers the chance to contribute to the Raccoon River Valley Alzheimer’s Walk by increasing what they pay at the counter by a few cents or dollars with the extra money donated to the walk.
While there is no fee to register for the walk, all participants are encouraged to raise funds that allow the Alzheimer’s Association to provide 24/7 care and support and advance research toward methods of prevention, treatment and, ultimately, a cure. The Alzheimer’s Association is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Every registered participant who achieves the fundraising minimum of $100 receives an official Walk to End Alzheimer’s T-shirt.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the Sept. 16 walk, or who would like to start a team, join an existing team, or make a donation, can get more information and register online at Under “Find a Walk,” enter the Panora zip code of 50216.
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Posted 08/09/2023
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Blu
Breed: Airedale Terrier
Owners: Les and Cindy Tripp
Blu loves to cruise around the lake in the side-by-side Tracker. He has “friends” he barks at as we go by their house. He enjoys rides on the boat and morning walks around the neighborhood.
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Posted 08/09/2023
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Miller
Age: 1.5 years old
Breed: Domestic Shorthair - Black and White
Available for adoption at: Panora Pets
Miller came in as a young kitten with all his siblings being adopted. He can be a bit shy at first but is very sweet and loving and gets along well with other kitties.  He likes to be carried around, gives hugs, and loves canned food.


Posted 08/09/2023
Lake Panorama Times

Summer at Lake Panorama is in full bloom, and so are the flowers featured by homeowners in landscaped beds. Nature photographer Trish Hart lives full-time at Lake Panorama with her husband, Scott, and has been snapping pictures of some of these beautiful flowers on their property and elsewhere.
This month’s photos feature various shades of orange, pink and yellow, with backgrounds of green foliage and blue skies. 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 08/09/2023

A ribbon cutting was held on Thursday, July 27 by the Panora Chamber of Commerce for the Panora Times publication that was launched in July by Big Green Umbrella Media. This new publication is mailed to all households and businesses in Panora, Linden, Yale, Jamaica and Bagley the third Thursday of each month. Cutting the ceremonial ribbon is publisher Shane Goodman. View Panora Times online for free at