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Getting the year started off with a bang

We didn’t exactly kick off 2017 at a leisurely pace; after all, it’s been quite a newsy month — one that included some nasty weather, the appearance of Temple Grandin, plenty of sports action and, of course, the lead up to the New Hampton Community Schools’ bond referendum.And before we get to our monthly tips of the hat, we’ll make one last plea to get out and cast a vote in the referendum that is being held today [Tuesday].What we did learn in the first month or so of 2017 was something we already knew. This is a great place to live, work and play, and the following are just some of the examples that back up that contention.A tip of the hat ...To the New Hampton High School FFA chapter and its advisor, Jim Russ, for bringing Temple Grandin, the world-renowned autism spokesperson and animal behavior consultant to the livestock industry, to New Hampton for two unique presentations that not only were educational but inspirational as well. If anything, the “Temple Grandin Experience” reminded us of the can-do spirit of one of the state’s best — if not the best — FFA chapters in the state.A tip of the hat ...To the New Hampton High School wrestling team for remembering its past and its supporters during its annual dual tournament. First, the tournament was re-named the Doc Carr Duals to honor the legacy and memory of Dr. James Carr, and second, the Chickasaws welcomed back members of the 1957 state championship wrestling team during the tournament held in early January.A tip of the hat ...... and thank you for a job well done for a long time, to Mary Langreck and Val Kolbet, for their combined 75 years of service to Comprehensive Systems’ group home in New Hampton. Both women touched innumerable lives before heading into retirement last month.A tip of the hat ...... and thank you to Dave Jacobsen, who worked tirelessly on behalf of his fellow veterans the past seven years as the Chickasaw County’s Veterans Affairs Director and who retired from his post late last month.A tip of the hat ...To New Hampton Superintendent Jay Jurrens, the School Board members and the building committee for making sure voters were informed about today’s referendum. No matter how the vote turns out today, no matter if you’re for or against this project, it would be hard to argue that school leaders and proponents of the referendum have not been incredibly transparent through this process.A tip of the hat ...To Gerry and Marilee Mishak for their continued work in bringing Cowboy Poetry to Chickasaw County. We know we said it last month, but it’s worth saying again. Not only has this couple worked tirelessly on this event year after year but they have helped raise thousands of dollars for worthy causes.A tip of the hat ...To a host of New Hampton High School large-group speech students — Cassie Short, Kate Scott, Caitlin Houdek, Emma Glaser Rachel Grober, Kori Jirak, Quenten Putney, Will Throndson, Savannah Anderson, Hannah Schwickerath, Isabel Leichtman, Sidney Wenzlaff, Journey Howe, Brittney White, Emmeline Eike, Foster Popken, Jeffery Reicks, Grace Denner, Carver Gage, Nick TeKippe, Cody Deere, Celena Quirk, Collen Mahoney, Danni Priestly and Sydney Lau — who advanced out of the district contest to Saturday’s state contest in Dubuque. And one more tip of the hat should go to Johnny Connor, the coach who recruited a team of almost 80 students for an activity that will benefit them for a lifetime.A tip of the hat ...To those that man the plows when bad weather hits, and like we said at the top of this editorial, we had some challenging storms to deal with in January — especially the ice that hit the area on Jan. 15-16 and the almost 10 inches of snow that fell the following week. We appreciate your efforts to help us get to where we need to be when Old Man Winter makes his frequent appearances in our neck of the woods.A tip of the hat ...... and congratulations to the New Hampton High School Dance Team for another successful season, which included a third-place state finish in the hip-hop division.A tip of the hat ...To the organizers of the Ice Fishery, an annual event that introduces both adults and kids to the great sport of ice fishing.A tip of the hat ...To New Hampton resident Bill Boyd for being named the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association’s umpire of the year at the group’s annual convention last month.A tip of the hat ...To New Hampton Middle School for finding a unique way of educating its students with its Midmester Academy that began Jan. 26 and runs through this Friday. The program offers both staff members and students to really dive into their passions while still working on those basic tenants — English, math, science, etc. — of a child’s education.A tip of the hat ...To Rapid Printers’ Brad Schwickerath and Heather Maurer for all the work they put into the annual Wedding Extravaganza that was held in New Hampton this past Saturday.A tip of the hat ...To the Willis and Pat Hansen Charitable Foundation for its gift of $50,000 for the renovations that will soon take place at the New Hampton Municipal Pool. And a shout-out to Roger and Jean Kolbet for their gift of $10,000 to the cause.A tip of the hat ...To our high school student-athletes for giving us an exciting regular season and best of luck to all of you as you begin the postseason this month.

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