Category Archives: News

On a Mission

It has been said that once a person goes on a mission trip, the experience often leads to another. La Porte City’s Jeff Hutton can vouch for that. Last summer, Jeff and his daughter Kayla, a 2009 graduate of Union High School, made the journey to Guatemala, where they spent nine days with a group from eastern Iowa doing mission work sponsored by an organization called Impacto Ministry. Impacto Ministry is a Christian organization that works primarily in Guatemala, with headquarters in La Plata, Maryland.
Guatemala is the most populous nation in Central America. Decades of Civil War, however, have taken a great toll on its people, who continue to struggle with poverty, crime, drug trade and instability brought about by corruption in the government. Located in southwest Guatemala near beautiful Lake Aititlan, which sits among peaks of volcanoes that have remained calm in recent years, the village of Panyebar is home to nearly 3,000 Mayans, many of whom live in extreme poverty. While agriculture is the primary life’s work for these Mayan people, their crops of maize, beans and coffee are literally carved into the steep slopes of the highlands that reach to the sky as high as 7,000 feet above sea level.
It was this environment in July that the Huttons chose to embrace, eager to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Much of their time in Guatemala was spent working with an after school ministry for malnourished elementary school children and a program that provides nutrition and activities for the elder extended family members who might otherwise be neglected.
As they worked with young and old alike, the Huttons were uplifted by the spirit of a people living in abject poverty, yet were so appreciative of what little they had. Jeff was particularly moved by Pedro, an elderly man he met as part of ministry called Abuelitos, a term of endearment that translates to “little grandparents.” As Pedro colored a picture using color fragments so small they would not be recognized as crayons worthy of taking on a mission trip, the pure joy Pedro expressed left Jeff feeling grateful for all the blessings he has in his life and determined to do more for the people of Guatemala.
Soon after coming home to Iowa, it wasn’t long before plans for a return trip to Guatemala were being made. This time, Jeff plans to take a more active role in leading a group of 10-12 people who want to share their love for humanity in a place where giving just a little can mean so much to those in need. As is often the case, participants of a mission trip often come home feeling they gained more from the experience than those who were recipients of their kindness and generosity. If it truly is better to give than receive, Jeff and Kayla Hutton would be the first to affirm the return on showing compassion for others is an infinitely rewarding experience. That’s why preliminary plans are now being made to return to Guatemala in February to continue the work started there.
Want to know more about the people of Guatemala and how you can help? An informational meeting at Heartland Community Church has been tentatively scheduled for October 30 at 11:30 AM. The meeting will include a PowerPoint presentation looking back at the mission trip taken in July, as well as an overview of what to expect for those who wish to join the mission in February, including fundraising activities that will help defray the cost of the journey. Please note: The mission trip in February is not exclusively reserved for members of Heartland Community Church. It remains open to all walks of faith, regardless of church affiliation.
For additional information or questions about the trip, contact Jeff Hutton by phone at 319-929-6860 or email,

Trunk or Treat at Heartland Church

  Heartland Community Church invites you to celebrate Halloween in the church parking lot at 701 Bishop Ave., La Porte City). It will be a fun and family friendly event for all ages. The event will go from 5:30-7:30 PM on Monday, October 31. Cars and trucks will be decorated for the holiday while people pass out candy in the parking lot, along with a bonfire.
Pizza and drinks will also be available for dinner inside the church on this busy night. Children and their parents are also invited into the newly renovated ministry areas for more fun games and crafts. At 7:30 PM you are invited into the sanctuary for a fun-filled rally. Part of the rally will feature a drawing for two Amazon Fire 8 with HD tablets, tshirts, and more. You must be present at the rally to win the tablet.

Top Ranked Knights Pound Vinton

STUFFED – Union’s Jackie Barz wins the battle at the net as the Union Knights cruised to a straight sets win over Vinton-Shellsburg on October 19, 25-5, 25-6 and 25-3. Results of Union’s substate semi-final match against South Tama, played on Tuesday, were not available at press time. Photo by Mary Bauer.

Senator Joni Ernst Seeking College Interns for DC Assignment

  U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) announced that her office is seeking Iowa college students and recent graduates for internship opportunities in her Washington, D.C. and Iowa offices for the spring 2017 semester.
“An internship in our Iowa or Washington, D.C. offices is a great opportunity to get firsthand experience in public policy, communications, and constituent services,” said Senator Ernst. “I encourage young Iowans who are interested in serving the great State of Iowa to consider applying for our spring internship program.”
Interns will have the opportunity to experience a wide-range of responsibilities. In the Iowa offices, interns will assist constituents and attend local events. In the Washington, D.C. office, interns will learn about the legislative process, give tours of the U.S. Capitol and help with constituent services.
Applications for fall and spring semester internships are reviewed on a rolling basis and can be submitted to Ernst_Internships@Ernst.Senate.Gov. For student/parent questions, please contact Tyler Brown at Tyler_Brown@Ernst.Senate.Gov. All media inquiries should be directed to Press@Ernst.Senate.Gov.
Senator Ernst was elected as the first woman to serve in federal elected office from the State of Iowa and also became the first female combat veteran elected to serve in the United States Senate. In Washington, Senator Ernst serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services; Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Chamber Chocolate Walk is Oct. 27


Chocolate lovers unite for the love of everything chocolate at La Porte City Chamber of Commerce’s annual Chocolate Walk on Thursday, October 27. Businesses in La Porte City will be offering chocolate treats from 5:30-8:00 PM. Stroll from business to business, enjoying a wide variety of decadent treats.
The Chocolate Walk has two starting locations. Walkers may begin at The Getaway Bar & Grill, 106 Commercial St. or Funky Monkey Vintage Finds, 308 Hwy. 218 N., where, for $2/adult, $1/kids 12 & under), they will pick up a punch card, bag and list of participating businesses. The Chocolate Walk will end at the FFA Historical & Ag Museum, 408 Main Street, where the Grand Prize Drawing will be held at 8:15 PM.
In addition to a tremendous variety of sweet treats, the Chocolate Walk is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the goods and services local businesses have to offer. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.


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