Posted 01/10/2023
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

A new website for the Lake Panorama Association launched in February 2022, replacing a site that had been in place since 2009. There are both public and private sides to the new website.
The home page on the public site includes information about Lake Panorama and the LPA. The private side of the website, which is named the LPA Portal, is restricted to Lake Panorama property owners.
At the end of December, the site had fewer than 1,000 registered members.
“With 1,700 LPA members, that means there is plenty of room to grow,” says John Rutledge, LPA general manager. “The LPA does not endorse or respond to postings on NextDoor, so members should look for LPA information on the website or contact the office.”
Being registered on the website ensures members receive all official communication from the LPA via email. This includes the Panorama Prompt, the e-newsletter distributed each Thursday. A new feature of the Prompt is links to agendas for upcoming LPA board of director meetings, and other LPA committee meetings are included. Members signed up for the website also receive special announcements from the LPA office.
When the new website launched last spring, invitations to register were sent to more than 1,300 unique member email addresses tied to the former website, with details on how to set up new accounts. As members register for the new website, the list from the old website is checked and updates made.
“There still are about 600 email addresses from the old website that receive the Prompt and other LPA news, even though members haven’t yet registered on the new site,” says Lane Rumelhart, LPA project manager. “We don’t want members to miss out on official LPA news just because they haven’t yet created an account on the new site. The downside is we don’t know if those old emails are correct. That’s why we encourage members to get registered so we know we have their current email address.”
The LPA website address remains the same as the old site — LPA members who have not set up an account on the website should go to the “Resident Sign-Up” tab, where they will request a login. Once the person has been verified as an LPA member, access to the private side of the site will be granted.
Multiple members may join under one lake address. Anyone who is listed as an owner of LPA property and who has a unique email address that is different from others listed under the same membership can register.
The LPA website features scrolling aerial photos. Several tabs below the photos take visitors to a brief history, a list of frequently asked questions about Lake Panorama and the LPA, and multiple documents that include LPA’s boating regulations and buoy map locations, building codes and applications, rules and regulations and related schedule of fines, by-laws, covenants, and home rental rules.
LPA members who establish an LPA Portal log-in will find additional documents that cannot be accessed on the public website. These include variance applications for building permits, a “Who To Call” list with contact information for area service providers, camping and dock registration forms and information, miscellaneous membership forms, hunting information, yard waste site maps and information, and current and past issues of the Panorama Prompt.
Anyone who needs help getting an account set up, or has questions, can call the LPA office at 641-755-2301 or email staff at  

Three board members were reappointed to new three-year terms.

Posted 01/10/2023
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

Friends of Lake Panorama is a nonprofit charity formed in 2013 with the goal of improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. The charity is governed by a volunteer, seven-member board of directors, which held its 2023 organizational meeting Dec. 1.
At the meeting, three board members were reappointed to new three-year terms. They are Galen Johnson, John Muenzenberger and Jan Reinicke. Other board members are Jody Muench, Jim Tibbles, Jackie Wellik and Bill Winkleblack.
In officer elections, Reinicke was elected president, Tibbles vice president, and Muenzenberger secretary-treasurer. Susan Thompson is the nonprofit’s executive director.
Preliminary plans for the next fundraising Beach Ball were discussed. The event will be held Friday, June 16. Final decisions on plans, pricing and how funds raised at this event will be used will be made at the board’s spring meeting.
Projects led by Friends of Lake Panorama completed in 2022 were reviewed. These included the dog park, the Panorama West Nature Trail, three swings added to the Sunset Beach playground, installation of shade sails at the Lake Panorama National golf course, and a new sports court for basketball and pickleball at Sunset Beach.
In addition, seven new benches were installed in 2022 with one at Shady Beach, four at Boulder Beach and two at the dog park.
The current priority project is enhancements to existing trails on the south shore of the main basin, which the LPA board approved at its August meeting. A significant section of the trail will be along the shoreline with loops of varying lengths up the hill through the timber. Friends and LPA staff are working with Panorama Community School officials to accommodate the school’s cross country teams on the trail. Final details of the trail system will be developed in the spring.
In addition to the walking trail enhancements, Friends representatives presented a recreational concept for the south shore to the LPA board, which also included disc golf, fishing dock and a small shelter. Friends continues to research these additional low-impact recreational amenities and will return to the LPA board in 2023 for further discussion.
Nearly $5,000 was donated to Friends of Lake Panorama in the final two months of 2022. Currently, donors giving to Friends can designate their gift to the trail system on Lake Panorama’s south shore and the Friends general fund.
Donations can be made by check payable to Friends of Lake Panorama and mailed to Friends of Lake Panorama, P.O. Box 488, Panora, IA 50216. Direct donations can be sent via Venmo @Panorama-Friends. Donations also can be made by credit card on the Friends website at
Donations of securities (stocks, mutual funds, etc.) are welcome, as are direct IRA qualified charitable distributions. For information, contact Kristen Crouthamel, financial advisor at GCSB Investment Center, 641-755-2799 or
Details on past and current projects are available on the Friends website. Friends of Lake Panorama also has a Facebook page. Those interested in keeping up to date about Friends activities are asked to “like” and “share” the Friends page. Questions or comments? Send an email to

If you’ve got questions, we’ll find the answers.

Posted 01/10/2023

I understand that the 44 Drive Inn is now permanently closed and that the building will be razed. When?   

The property at 104 N.W. Fifth St. in Panora was purchased in late 2022 by the Panora Area Development Group. The intent is to prepare the land for sale so that it can be developed in the future. A date for the demolition is not set yet, as utilities still need to be disconnected.

I am retired and would like to do something part-time to help others around the area.  Any suggestions?

You are in luck, as there are a number of volunteer opportunities in the area. Here is one, if you like to drive. The Guthrie County Hospital is looking for volunteer van drivers one day a week and substitutes to assist patients needing transportation to various appointments county-wide through this free service. Volunteers transport individuals to Guthrie County Hospital appointments; GCH Clinics in Panora, Stuart and Adair; Guthrie Family Medicine Center; or to congregate meals at Sneakers in the Healthy Living Center. For more information, call Melissa at 641-332-3810.

I meant to reach out before Christmas, as I wanted to give a subscription to the Lake Panorama Times as a gift to some friends who used to live here. Can I still do that?  

Absolutely. You can get all the details at Or you can send a check for $24 to Lake Panorama Times Subscriptions, 8101 Birchwood Court, Suite D, Johnston, IA 50131. Be sure to note the address of the person you want us to send the papers to.

With Lake Panorama being a private lake, do we still need to have an Iowa fishing license? Even for ice fishing?

The short answer is yes. The LPA office does sell licenses during regular office hours, or you can order online at For those of you who have 2022 Iowa licenses, know that they 

Questions and answers with Royce Shaffer

Posted 01/10/2023
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

This month’s Q&A is with Royce Shaffer, who has been operations manager for Lake Panorama National Resort since December 2018. Shaffer graduated from Audubon High School before earning a bachelor’s degree at Buena Vista University. He has been with the LPN in a variety of positions for more than 18 years. He also manages information technology for the LPA.

Q. What are the various operations within the Lake Panorama National Resort?
A. The portions of the resort I oversee are the Lake Panorama National golf course, the Panorama West golf course and clubhouse, lodging, swimming pool and fitness center. For 2023, we are working to find a food and beverage tenant who will run the Links lounge, manage Spikes, and handle event catering for the resort. The 2023 budgeted revenue for the Lake Panorama National Resort is $1.74 million.

Q. Talk more about the golf course operations. How many people does it take to keep the two golf courses running?  
A. The LPN Resort offers 27 holes of golf. Lake Panorama National golf course is a par-72 course designed in 1971 by Richard Watson that offers 18 holes of golf with a variety of yardages maxing out at 7,024 yards.
Brandon Waddle is the golf course superintendent. He was hired as the assistant grounds superintendent at the LPN in 1998. In 2013, he became the grounds superintendent at the Panorama West golf course. He returned to the LPN as grounds superintendent in 2021.
Jared Baier has been the LPN assistant grounds superintendent since 2020. Waddle and Baier are helped by 15 to 20 part-time seasonal employees.
Rob Riggins has been the LPN head golf professional since February 2021 and is charged with the management of Lake Panorama National golf operations. He is assisted by Michael Kleinwolterink, pro shop manager.
Kleinwolterink started working at the LPN as a teenager in the cart barn, moved to the pro shop, and spent two years as manager of the Links restaurant. In 2018, he returned to the pro shop as manager. There are 15 part-time seasonal employees who work the pro shop, outside services, and as starters and rangers.
The Panorama West golf course is a 9-hole par-3 course located on the west side of Lake Panorama. Five holes have the option to play from par-4 tees, maxing out this course at 1,943 yards. Garrett Young was hired in May 2021 as the Panorama West grounds superintendent and is assisted by a seasonal part-time staff of five people.
Maureen Lubeck has worked in the Panorama West clubhouse for 23 years and will start her 11th year as manager this spring. She has a team of eight who help staff the clubhouse seven days a week during the golfing season.

Q. What annual golf membership options are available for the 2023 season?
A. Memberships are available for Lake Panorama Association (LPA) property owners, non-LPA property owners, distance, and first-time members. Golf membership benefits include unlimited rounds of golf, member-only golf events, 20% apparel discounts in the LPN pro shop with signing privileges, and unlimited driving range privileges.
Lake Panorama National members also have access to discounted rates at other Iowa golf courses through reciprocal agreements negotiated annually by the pro shop. In 2022, a total of 257 memberships were sold at Lake Panorama National with 135 at Panorama West.
LPA property owners are eligible for discounted memberships at both LPN and Panorama West. Family, couple, single and junior memberships are available. In 2022, 159 LPA property owners purchased an LPN golf membership, with 113 joining at Panorama West. Of these memberships, 22 joined at both LPN and Panorama West.
In an effort to grow the LPN golf membership and promote Lake Panorama, a distance membership category is offered to singles, couples and families who don’t own a home at Lake Panorama and don’t have a residence within 18 miles of LPN. In 2022, 37 distance memberships were sold.
The final membership category at LPN is for those who are interested in a golf membership and have never been a member before. This special first-time membership is a great opportunity to try out Lake Panorama National at a discounted price. To learn more about this and all other membership options, visit our website at
If you have questions, call the Lake Panorama National pro shop at 641-755-2024, and Rob or Michael will help you.

Q. New golf carts that were to be in service for the 2022 season arrived late last fall. Tell us about the features of these new carts, which now will be available for the 2023 season. 
A. We received 60 new electric carts last fall. We continue to wait for the delivery of 24 gas carts and anticipate their arrival later this winter. Ten of the gas carts will be used at Panorama West this year.
The 60 electric carts feature an electronic screen that activates as golfers near the first tee. This technology allows golfers to see each hole from either an overall or closeup view. Distances are provided to the center of greens and other points of interest on the screen, and an electronic scorecard is available. Warnings about blind spots on the hole where players in front can’t be seen also are a part of this new technology.
Pro shop personnel now have remote access to battery status information and the ability to broadcast messages to the carts, such as severe weather alerts.
On-cart advertising is another new feature that will be offered in the 60 electric carts this year. Businesses interested in getting details on this opportunity to advertise on the electronic screens can contact me at 641-755-2080 extension 219 or

Q. Explain the role of the LPN Board of Managers and how it functions. 
A. The LPN board of managers keeps separation between the LPA and LPN, LLC, which was created to manage this LPA wholly owned subsidiary. Keeping the LPA and LPN, LLC operations separate protects the nonprofit status of the LPA. The LPA board provides oversight of the LPN, LLC board. The LPN, LLC board oversees LPN policies and direction.
At the LPA board’s November meeting, Chris Duree was appointed to a three-year term on the LPN board, replacing Katelyn Brelsford who has served on the board since its inception in 2015. Reappointed to three-year terms were Shanell Wagler and Barry Monaghan. Other current board members are Sue Merryman, Kathy DeLucca, John Coghlan and Greg Steffen. Officers for 2023 were elected at the December LPN board meeting. Coghlan was re-elected president, with Wagler as vice president and DeLucca as secretary/treasurer.

Q. Besides golf, the LPN offers two other recreational amenities — a swimming pool and a fitness center. Tell us about memberships for these two amenities. 
A. We are targeting a Memorial Day weekend opening for the swimming pool and will continue to be open until Sept. 30. Once open, public swimming will be available starting at 10:30 a.m. seven days a week.
All members and guests of the LPN pool must check in at the pro shop counter. If they do not have an annual pool membership, they will pay a $5 daily fee. After checking in, everyone will be given a wristband to wear in the pool area.
We encourage everyone to purchase an annual pool membership. By purchasing an annual membership, you can help ensure this amenity continues to be available. Discounted memberships are available to LPA property owners starting at $125 for a single, $150 for a couple, $175 for a family and $225 for a grandparent, which is available to adults 55 and older with grandchildren up to the age of 12.
The LPN fitness center is located in the lower level of the LPN clubhouse. Discounted memberships are sold to LPA property owners for $225 for singles or $290 per couple. Non-property owners also may purchase a membership or pay a $5 daily fee. This facility includes cardiovascular and strength training equipment, including treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals and a weight machine. Fitness center members and guests may pick up an access card from the LPN pro shop located in the lower level of the clubhouse during normal business hours.
Pool and fitness center membership forms can be found at

Q. The LPN also has a variety of lodging options available. Give us details on the options. 
A. Lake Panorama National Resort lodging is located along Karen Drive, just south of the LPN conference center. All units are privately owned, then managed and operated by LPN. Resort lodging currently includes five two-bedroom, two-bath townhomes, two studios and 27 motel units. The number of townhomes and studios sometimes varies as unit owners come in and out of the program.
Overnight guests of the resort have access to the fitness center and pool at no additional cost. Townhouse guests may purchase a temporary boating permit for Lake Panorama during their stay. These units are perfect if you have people visiting from out of town or family reunions. These units also are important to LPN because it makes it easier to sell golf packages, golf outings and other clubhouse events such as weddings.
Lodging reservations can be made by visiting or by calling 641-755-2080 and selecting option 5.

Q. Can you tell us when the Links restaurant will reopen, and what people who have events coming up should do?
We continue to work out contract details with a potential food and beverage tenant for 2023. We don’t have any further details to announce at this time. When we do, details will be shared through the LPN Resort Weekly and Panorama Prompt email newsletters, as well as a special email blast to the Lake Panorama National and Panorama West memberships.
In the meantime, if you are looking to schedule an event in 2023 or have questions regarding an event already scheduled, send an email to Then the appropriate contact will reach out to you.
To stay up to date on what’s happening at Lake Panorama National Resort, follow us on Facebook at LPNResort. If you don’t already receive the LPN Resort Weekly newsletter, which is published each Monday at noon, you can subscribe by visiting, then scroll to the footer and sign up under the “Stay Informed” section.

Twiggs seek to lighten the burdens of people when they are at their weakest and give them the support they need.

Posted 01/10/2023
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

The family-owned Twigg Funeral Home, with locations in Panora and Guthrie Center, began in August 2000. That’s when Doug and Kathy Twigg purchased the Beidelman Funeral Home.
Doug Twigg graduated from the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science in 1969 and received his funeral director license in October 1970. He worked for funeral homes in Estherville, Clarksville, Keokuk and Waterloo, then spent 16 years managing Bruce’s Funeral Home in Fort Dodge before purchasing the Beidelman Funeral Home.
Soon, their oldest son, Curtis, joined the business. Doug and Kathy lived at the Guthrie Center funeral home, while Curtis, his wife, Becky, and their two daughters moved into the funeral home in Panora.
“During high school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do,” Curtis says. “But during my senior year, I started thinking the funeral business might be something I would be interested in. I started washing cars, vacuuming and cleaning at the funeral home Dad managed in Fort Dodge. Eventually, Dad bought me a suit, and I started helping with funerals.” 
After high school, Twigg started taking courses in a pre-mortuary science program at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge. He and Becky married in August of 1991. In 1992, they moved to Houston, where he enrolled in the Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service for a year-long program. 
The couple returned to Iowa in 1993, and Twigg served an internship at McLaren’s Funeral Home in West Des Moines.
“After a year, I received my funeral director’s license and stayed at McLaren’s for another year before we returned to Fort Dodge, and I started working for my dad in September of 1995,” he says.
The formation of the Twigg Funeral Home was something both Curtis and his father wanted.
“We were tired of working for a corporation and wanted to run our own funeral homes the way we thought they should be run,” Curtis says. “Our goal has always been to lighten the burdens of people when they are at their weakest and give them the support they need.”
“I chose this business because I wanted to help people during the worst time of their lives with a death of a loved one,” Curtis says. “I enjoy helping people in general. Now being in small communities in and around Panora and Guthrie Center, we know the people we are serving and appreciate the opportunity to help them.”
In October 2010, Doug and Kathy’s other son, Craig, joined the family business and made his home at the Guthrie Center funeral home. He graduated from the mortuary science program at San Antonio College in 2005 and worked in funeral homes in Waterloo, Dallas and San Diego, before moving to Guthrie Center. Doug retired two years later and passed away in June 2019.
Curtis Twigg is president of the business, with Craig as vice president. Their mother, Kathy, helps with visitations, funerals, answering phones and delivering death notices to area stores. Becky has been involved since the business began, but Curtis says in the early years her main job was raising the couple’s two daughters.
“Now that they are grown, she decided she wanted to help us out more with visitations, services and wherever needed,” he says.
The Twigg Funeral Home website ( includes recent obituaries, plus a wealth of information on funeral service options and advance planning.
“People sometimes don’t think about how preplanning one’s own services will help their children or other survivors make arrangements after they pass away,” Twigg says. “The best thing to do is tell someone what type of services you would want. Any information will help the survivors.
“Whether it be a burial, cremation, memorial, celebration of life, visitation, graveside service and more, that’s what we are here for, to help with guidance into whatever services the family wants,” he says.
Twigg says the number of people who choose cremation is growing.
“I’ve been licensed almost 30 years, and cremation has gained in popularity, perhaps for financial reasons or the person just wanted something simple,” he says. “Most families still choose to have some sort of service, either a visitation, memorial service or celebration of life. We can either arrange to bury the cremains in the cemetery, or families can take the cremains home.”
Twigg recommends people write down vital statistical information for themselves, or for loved ones who may not have done any preplanning.
“We use that information for the death certificate and also for the obituary,” he says. “I’ve had some people write their own obituary before they die. People who want to preplan also can call us, and we can help them go through everything.” 
Services can be paid for in advance, as part of the preplanning process.
“We place the money in an irrevocable burial trust at the local bank, and it stays in that account until that person passes away,” Twigg says. “Another option is if the person has life insurance, they can make the funeral home the beneficiary, or we can assign a portion of that policy to pay for their services.”
Being involved in their communities is important to the Twigg family members. Curtis is a volunteer firefighter with the Panora Fire Department.
“I joined in 2005, and I’m currently the president and one of the assistant fire chiefs,” he says. “If I hadn’t chosen to be a funeral director, I would be a paid firefighter somewhere. It’s another way I’m helping people, and that’s what I enjoy doing.”
Curtis also is a member of the Panora Lions Club and the Panora Masonic Lodge. Craig is a member of the Guthrie Center Lions Club and the Guthrie Center Fire Department.
Does Twigg think preplanning might make a good 2023 New Year’s resolution?
“I feel the most important thing is to tell your family what you want if something happens to you,” he says. “I’ve had many families tell me they have no clue what type of services their loved one wanted. People don’t like to talk about death, but, unfortunately, it’s something that’s going to happen to all of us.”  


Posted 01/10/2023
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

At his Dec. 2 GM Coffee, LPA general manager John Rutledge announced Lake Panorama National Resort has an “agreement in concept” with a food and beverage tenant.
“We don’t have a contract worked out yet, although contract development is underway, and our mutual goal is for them to take over April 1,” he said. “In January, we hope to hand off coordination of 2023 events that are planned for dates after April 1 to the new tenant.”
The LPN kitchen closed in July 2022, after the departure of several key kitchen personnel. Food caterers and LPN bartenders and servers made it possible to hold remaining 2022 events. A task force of LPA and LPN board members, plus volunteers with experience in the food and beverage industry, recommended the best long-term strategy is to lease the LPN food and beverage operation to a third-party vendor.
“The LPA and LPN boards both have been involved in this process for nearly a year,” Rutledge said. “It’s been a journey to find potential tenants who are both qualified and interested. We believe this is our best path forward to having a viable food and beverage operation. We understand the membership expects progress on this, and we’re all working toward that goal.”
Rutledge said that desire for progress reminded him of this quote from Robert Kennedy: “Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies.”
“It is important for us to recognize that progress and change will go hand in hand as we forge ahead with this strategy,” Rutledge said. “We can’t have one without the other. I encourage our LPA members to be patient as this new tenant gets established, because change is going to happen if progress is to be achieved.”
Barry Monaghan, a member of the LPN board of managers who volunteered to oversee the LPN food and beverage team through the second half of 2022, led the effort to find a tenant. Speaking from the audience at the GM coffee, he provided additional background.
“We had a directive from the LPA board that they wanted to keep a restaurant open at the LPN,” Monaghan said. “We proved we can run events at the conference center by using members of the catering industry. But that doesn’t give us a restaurant. This is the only place in Guthrie County you can have a business lunch.”
Monaghan said targeted advertising and an email to the 4,700 members of the Iowa Restaurant Association resulted in just three contacts from potential tenants. After visiting the LPN, all had positive comments about the LPN kitchen and the conference center facility, but none were interested in further exploration.
“They all said we’re too far from the Des Moines metro area, and it’s too hard to get people to work here,” Monaghan said. “The couple we’re now working on a contract with know what they are doing. They are going to be a very good fit. When they first came to see the facilities, they were here for two-and-a-half hours, and they asked all the right questions. I’m very optimistic.”

Lake Panorama RIZ
Next Rutledge provided an update on the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ). He said the project to rip rap the south shore was about one-third complete by Dec. 1. JNC Construction, of Clearfield, began work Oct. 31 near the ski team dock and has been moving west.
“The contractor is doing a great job, and we’re pleased with this project, which is being funded by RIZ,” he said. “This project is on track to be completed by the end of December and will cost about $750,000.” (See related story on page 11.)
Another RIZ-funded project underway is expansion of an old sediment basin, which has been renamed the 180th Trail Basin. The basin is near the dredge operation, north of the debris trap in the upper basin. 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.
“This will be the basin we use for dredging spoils once the current basin is full,” Rutledge said. “This project is progressing but is somewhat slower than originally expected, and may stretch into another year. We’ll know more in the spring. All parties are working together cooperatively on this multi-year, multi-phase project.”
Rutledge said, in preparation for winter, the water level in the three wetlands was lowered.
“This was done before the first hard freeze to ensure the grouted rip rap is not shattered by freeze and thaw cycles,” he said. “We have worked with the DNR wildlife biologist at Bays Branch for guidance, as well as the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and our engineers. We get some questions from hunters about why we lower these, but I can assure you our actions are not random.”
Rutledge said RIZ normally has several Dec. 1 filing deadlines, and all were completed in late November. “As LPA work tapers off in late fall, RIZ ramps up,” Rutledge said. “There is a lot of work to be done in the next few months as we look ahead to plans for 2023 and beyond.”
Rutledge also mentioned the Dec. 13 election for two members of the RIZ board, with trustees Bill Dahl and Corey Welberg both running for re-election. (See related story  on page 11 for results.)

LPA rule changes, other updates 
Turning to a review of LPA activities, Rutledge said updates have been made to three sections in the LPA rules and regulations. The water safety committee recommended two changes to the “Boats and Person Watercraft Equipment” section, which the LPA board approved at its November meeting.
The updated rules now state non-pontoon boats powered by outboard motors will be limited to not more than 300 horsepower. Also, jet-powered pontoons now are allowed, with a limit of no more than a 200-horsepower rating.
In the “Guest Privileges” section of the rules and regulations, LPA members still are responsible for the behavior and conduct of their guests, including boating violations, and are directly liable for any violation of LPA rules by their guests. Fines accrued by a guest will be issued to the member.
The rule change is that now guest vehicle operation and parking violations will be assessed directly to the non-member guest and will follow the same LPA schedule of fines and appeals process that applies to LPA members. Also, LPA management is authorized to issue a “no trespass notice” to non-members who have not paid their traffic and parking violations after 30 days.
The third rule change was made at the August board meeting and is under the category of “Property Care.” Rutledge highlighted this at his GM coffee in September, but because enforcement of the rule change raised some questions, he reviewed it again.
“The rule on what can be stored on undeveloped lots, which is a lot without a home, was adjusted to be more specific about what is allowed,” Rutledge said. “Previously, the rule was very narrow and allowed for only boat trailers. The LPA board expanded this rule to allow for utility trailers, but also directed staff to prioritize member education and rule enforcement regarding non-compliant trailers.”
“We’ve gotten some pushback from members who were storing trailers longer than 14-feet. The LPA board’s goal is to protect a member’s ability to store some items on their undeveloped lot without it looking like a junkyard,” he said. 
The full rule now states: “Boat/PWC trailers, and boats, PWCs, and non-enclosed utility trailers are the only property that may be stored on undeveloped lots. Utility trailers must have a current registration displayed, be open in design, not longer than a 14-foot model, and be completely empty. Recreational vehicles, campers, motor vehicles, enclosed trailers, dump trailers and other equipment storage are prohibited on undeveloped lots.”
Rutledge also talked about new policies adopted for fishing and parking at the marina.
“Marina fishing policies were discussed at the August and September board meetings, with a policy adopted in September,” he said. “After the policy was adopted, LPA received several member requests for reconsideration. The board revisited this policy at the November meeting and made adjustments based on feedback received via email and attendance at the November board meeting. I am pleased the second effort resulted in some worthwhile improvements and compromises.” (See related story below with the new policies listed.)
Rutledge reported the potable water crossing at Sunset Beach is complete.
“This project will cost close to $400,000 when engineering and construction costs are all accounted for,” he said. “It is in service, and we’re happy to relay it is functioning as designed.”
Besides this new water crossing at Sunset Beach, which replaced one that was more than 50 years old, there are three other water crossings that bring potable water from the west-side water plant to the east side. There are two in Burchfield Cove, one of which is substantial in size and was replaced in 2020. The second Burchfield line is a smaller, supplemental line. There also is a substantial crossing from Christmas Tree Point to Tie Road, which is scheduled for replacement in LPA’s five-year capital budget.
The annual LPA program to keep the Lake Panorama deer herd at a manageable level is underway. Hunters pay registration fees, and the money is used to provide free tags so hunters can harvest additional antlerless deer. In 2021, the LPA cost for the program was less than $1,000.
“We’re on track to have member hunters and their guests take between 100 and 110 antlerless deer this season,” Rutledge said. “This is similar to previous years, and we believe this is an ethical program that maintains a good deer herd balance.”
In anticipation of snow, Rutledge issued a reminder about the LPN snow removal plans.
“We don’t plow 24/7,” he said. “We start around 5 a.m. and generally send the crews home by 6 or 6:30 p.m. Our goal is to get our members home at the end of the day, then send the crews home to get some rest, so they can return early the next morning.”
In closing, Rutledge said the 2023 LPA budget was approved at the November board meeting.
“I was asked by one of our staff what I was going to say today about the decision to increase annual dues by 5%. My answer is we did 5% because current rules don’t allow us to go any higher,” he said. “This was a very difficult budget.”
“Labor and all our input costs are higher than a year ago,” Rutledge said. “As an example, diesel fuel pricing for 2022 is double what it was in 2021. Input costs have increased dramatically, and we’re still striving to catch up.”
Besides the dues increase of 5%, other increases for 2023 are boat stickers for 10-plus horsepower boats will be $200, up from $150. Boat stickers had not been increased since 2017. Camping rates and camper winter storage rates both increased by $100.
“Please know the LPA is still a very viable association; we’re doing OK financially,” Rutledge said. “But there is no way to sugarcoat the need for additional funds for the 2023 budget.” 


Posted 01/10/2023

The LPA board of directors has finalized fishing and parking policies at the marina. The topic of restricting fishing at the marina was discussed at both the August and September board meetings. After receiving member input at those meetings, modifications were made to the first draft. The board gave final approval to the following policies at its November meeting.

Marina Fishing Policy 
1. Fishermen may fish from shore year-round but may not block any parking space with chairs, coolers, or gear.
2. No fishing is allowed on the fuel dock from May 1 to Sept. 30. Fishing is allowed from the fuel dock from Oct. 1 to April 30, except during times when the marina is open for business. Marina shall indicate whether they are open or closed via clear signage.
3. Tenants of the jetty or the covered slips are allowed to fish from their own slip or jetty space year-round. Non-tenants are not allowed to access these areas for fishing or other purposes unless they are a guest and accompanied by a tenant. No more than three guests may accompany a member.
4. Everyone, including fishermen, must adhere to posted parking rules (see below).
5. Fishing at the marina is restricted to LPA members and their guests. Guests must be accompanied by an LPA member while fishing. LPA members shall not be accompanied by more than three guests at a time.
6. Anyone caught leaving behind bait, dead fish or other nuisance items may be fined and will be subject to suspension or loss of fishing privileges at the marina.
7. No fishing from the boat ramp or the docks adjacent to the boat ramp.

Marina Parking Policy 
1. From boat ramp south: Official use only for LPA or Marina
2. Between Chimra Road and Boat Ramp: WEST side: 15-minute parking (unless designated as handicap); EAST side: Official use only for LPA or Marina
3. Upper lot: Preferred parking spot for fishermen, slip tenants or others. No vehicle or trailer shall be parked here for more than 24 hours without permission of Marina or LPA.
4. Parking area north of slips: Slip and Jetty tenant parking only (including barge service personnel) between May 1 and Sept. 30. Fishermen may use this lot Oct. 1 to April 30.
5. Parking north of Chimra Road: Overflow slip tenant parking May 1 to Sept. 30. Official use only for LPA or Marina Oct. 1 to April 30.
6. LPA management and LPA security have the authority and sole discretion to require the removal of any vehicle, vessel or trailer from any parking space or area to ensure safe and accessible use of the marina. 


Posted 01/10/2023
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

A water quality project that has been discussed for many years is close to wrapping up. JNC Construction, of Clearfield, began work Oct. 31 to repair the rip rap along the south shore of Lake Panorama’s main basin.
A separate project to install new fish habitat along the south shore was made possible by a $20,000 contribution from the Lake Panorama Fin and Feather organization.
This rip rap project was funded by the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ). It’s estimated the final cost will be about $780,000, including engineering costs, permit fees and unit quantity adjustments.
Work began near the ski team dock and moved west, with the crew doing about 1,000-foot sections of shoreline at a time. The crew pulled all existing rock out of the bank and lake. Then they regraded the bank, laid fabric, and placed dolomite rip rap below the lake level up to the water elevation line. Once the dolomite was in place, the salvaged field stone was put back on top of the dolomite, above the water elevation line.
Since the JNC Construction crew was already on site, the company agreed to work with members from Fin and Feather to place eight rock piles at various locations along the shore, about 20 to 30 feet out from the bank. Each pile will hold 35 to 40 tons of rock. These rock piles will be well below the water line and will not create any kind of hazard to boat traffic.
To make it possible to move excavation equipment and loads of rock to the lake, the contractor created several small “roads” from the job site on level ground south of the lake down to the shoreline. As part of the contract, JNC will restore vegetation on these pathways as well as the flat area along the newly restored shoreline. The company expects to complete this project in January.
Earlier in the year, the LPA board approved a proposal from Friends of Lake Panorama to make improvements to several existing trail sections on the south shore. These new pathways created to accommodate the rip rap project will be incorporated into the trail system.
As part of this new trail system, Friends and LPA staff are working with Panorama Community Schools to create a cross country trail on the south shore. The official 3.1-mile cross country trail will begin on school property, continue onto the south shore for much of the course, and loop back to end on school property. Final details of the trail system will be developed in spring 2023.
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10 Squared Plus Men’s Group donates $18,700 to Brushy Creek Honor Flight

Posted 01/10/2023

Barry Monaghan of 10 Squared Plus Men’s group presented a check in the amount of $18,700 to the Brushy Creek Honor flight to Washington D.C., for Guthrie County Veterans. Pictured from left are Pat Lutz, Dave Carstens, Patrick Moylan, Paul Wendl and Barry Monaghan.


Posted 01/10/2023

Included with the annual 2023 dues mailings is information for LPA members to know as the new year gets underway. Some key items are summarized here.
Dues and assessments are due by May 1, 2023. Finance charges of 1.5% per month will be charged on unpaid balances beginning on May 1. Members who used amenities in 2022 receive amenity statements for 2023. If there are changes in the amenities a member wants to purchase for 2023, contact the LPA office.
All dues and assessments must be paid prior to receiving boat or camping stickers. Current DNR registration copies and invasive species forms must be on file before boat stickers are issued.
Boaters who haven’t changed vessels from 2022 and who have all current information on file with the LPA do not need to complete a new invasive species form. RESIDENT vessels, which are boats used exclusively in Lake Panorama or on the Middle Raccoon River, can continue to use the round green invasive species sticker received in 2022. This green invasive species sticker must be displayed on the vessel along with the 2023 LPA sticker. If someone has lost the green sticker, they should contact the LPA office.
NON-RESIDENT vessels, which may be used on other water bodies, will be issued a new red 2023 sticker. All owners of non-resident boats will need to contact LPA Security for inspection prior to launch in 2023. Any changes to vessels registered and new DNR registrations should be emailed to
Registration is required for all docks, including floating docks. New members should update dock permit information with the Iowa DNR. All new permanent dock construction requires an LPA building permit. New and replacement dock signs must be ordered from the LPA. The form is available on the LPA website in the “Docks” folder. 
Building permits and land disturbing permits are required for most outdoor projects, including new builds, remodels, driveways and projects that disturb the land. Contact the LPA Office before starting any new project to see what is required. Owners must sign all permit applications. Members requesting variances must pay a fee and make the request by 4:30 p.m. by the first Monday of each month for consideration by the building committee.
The LPA office needs the most current member information, including mailing address, phone numbers and email addresses, in case the member needs to be contacted in an emergency. LPA does not use information from the website to update member contact information, so members need to call or email LPA with any changes. 
LPA office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number is 641-755-2301. Email is The website is
LPA Security is available 24/7. The Security department cooperates with local law enforcement, regularly patrols the entire lake, and enforces LPA rules, traffic and other regulations. Call Security’s phone number, 641-757-9035, to report issues. Call 911 or 641-747-2214 for fire or ambulance. 
Mary lou roth


Posted 01/10/2023

Mary Lou Roth (Redfern) passed away in the early hours of Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at the Guthrie County Hospital at the age of 86. She was born Dec. 3, 1935, in Guthrie Center to Lyle and Margaret Redfern (Breitenstein). She was a woman who always shared her smile, kind words and wise advice with others and will be dearly missed.
She graduated from Guthrie Center High School in 1954. On July 21, 1956, she married Joseph Roth at her parents’ home in Guthrie Center. They began their life together in Ames, where Joe was a sports reporter covering Iowa State athletics. From there they moved to Audubon, Charles City, Clear Lake and Hampton where she worked alongside Joe in the newspaper business. During those decades, she lovingly raised three children, was active in the community and had many friends. She enjoyed playing cards, cribbage and other games and belonged to many bridge clubs.
Her home was in Hampton 1970-2001 until she and Joe retired to Lake Panorama. Mary Lou being from Guthrie Center and Joe being from Audubon meant they were surrounded by many family members and friends in retirement. They loved hosting guests, playing golf and enjoying lake life.
She is survived by her son, Chuck (Diane) Roth; daughter, Becky (Scott) Rolfes; son-in-law, Kevin Jacobs; seven grandsons and 11 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; five brothers; husband, Joe; daughter, Teresa (Kevin) Jacobs; and twin infant great-granddaughters, Ashley and Emily.
Cremation has taken place, and her ashes will be interred at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, North Branch, Guthrie County with her husband, Joe. A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center, 5071 Clover Ridge Road, Panora, Iowa, 50216. 

Accomplish health goals with better-for-you family meals

Posted 01/10/2023
By Jolene Goodman

(Family Features) Setting out on a mission to eat healthier starts with creating goals and working to achieve them with those you love. To help make nutritious eating more manageable, call together your family and work with one another to create a menu everyone can enjoy while staying on track.
Connecting an array of recipes that all can agree on starts with versatile ingredients like dairy. Gathering at the table with your loved ones while enjoying delicious, nutritious recipes featuring yogurt, cheese and milk can nourish both body and soul.
For example, the key dairy ingredients in this recipe from Milk Means More provide essential nutrients for a healthy diet. The cheese varieties in feta roasted salmon and tomatoes provide vitamin B-12 for healthy brain and nerve cell development and are a good source of calcium and protein, which are important for building and maintaining healthy bones.
To find more nutritious meal ideas to fuel your family’s health goals, visit

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

Feta roasted salmon and tomatoes
Recipe courtesy of Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, culinary dietitian, on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 pounds salmon or halibut fillets, cut into four serving-size pieces
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line 18-by-13-by-1-inch baking pan with foil. Lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
In medium bowl, toss tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, oregano or dill weed, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Place fish pieces, skin side down, on one side of prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining pepper
Lightly press feta cheese on top of fish. Pour tomato mixture on other side of prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, 12-15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with fork.
Place salmon on serving plates. Spoon tomato mixture over top.


Posted 01/10/2023
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times 

Blue jays are found year-round at Lake Panorama. This common, large songbird is present from Florida to southern Canada and as far west as Montana. They thrive in a variety of habitats but prefer wooded edges and oaks. Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period.
Photographer Trish Hart, who lives with her husband, Scott, in a home in Andrew’s Cove, says blue jay numbers at their feeders increase in the winter.
“We feed them a mixture of black oil sunflower seeds, fruit and nut wild birdseed, and peanuts,” Trish says.
Blue jays sport brightly colored plumage of blue, white and black. The black bridle across the face, nape and throat varies extensively and may help blue jays recognize one another.
These birds are known for their intelligence and tight family bonds. Blue Jays are monogamous, and pairs may stay together for life. Nesting occurs during spring or early summer, and young jays fledge about three weeks after they hatch. Hart says she enjoys seeing the same blue jay couples and their fledgling babies each year.
The blue jay frequently mimics the calls of hawks. These calls may provide information to other jays that a hawk is around or may be used to deceive other birds into believing a hawk is nearby to clear out a birdfeeder for themselves.
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 01/10/2023
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Loki
Age: 1 to 2 years old
Available for adoption at: Panora Pets

It’s the oldest story in the book. Person gets kitty, doesn’t get kitty fixed, kitty has litter after litter of kittens. Finally, after multiple litters, the owner surrendered the mama and her two teenagers, Loki and Lily. Lily has been adopted, but Loki is still waiting for his home. Loki loves attention from the volunteers and will follow them around begging for attention. He has a big ego and thinks he’s the boss of the shelter and all the other kitties. But, we love his energy, confidence and large purrsonality. Loki is a big strapping boy and keeps his dark jet-black coat groomed so that it shines, which sets off his deep golden eyes even that much more.
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Posted 01/10/2023
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Sadie
Age: 5
Breed: Labrador retriever
Owners: Jared, Bob and Samantha Willson

Sadie enjoys coming to visit on the weekends and spends most of her time in the water retrieving about anything she can. She also loves boat rides and chasing the geese. Sadie’s family, Bob and Samantha Willson, live at the lake part-time in Hughes Cove. Sadie is owned by Bob’s son, Jared, who visits on occasional weekends. Sadie’s biggest pet peeve? Not being able to haul the sticks from the lake into the house or back home with her.

Here’s a look at what Lake Panorama Association employees do each fall to get ready for winter. 

Posted 12/07/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

As the winter months approach, owners of homes, boats and cars prepare for cold temperatures and freezing precipitation. Outdoor furniture is covered or moved inside. Boats not in protected coves come off lifts, are winterized and placed in storage. Ice scrapers removed from vehicles in the spring are put back into trunks. Snowblowers get a tune up, or homeowners make arrangements to hire snow removal from driveways and sidewalks.
Lake Panorama also requires winterization, and on a much grander scale. Following is a look at what Lake Panorama Association employees do each fall to get ready for winter.
First up is the lake itself. There are 80 buoys on Lake Panorama. LPA Security, led by Corey Larsen, works with the LPA maintenance crew, led by Mike Monthei, to spend at least a couple of days removing all the regulatory buoys from the lake and replacing those with smaller, winter buoys. The lake must be calm to get this job done. The smaller buoys are put in to hold the location of each buoy, so the following spring the regular buoys can be placed back in the same spot. Once removed from the lake, the buoys are power washed so these will be ready for installation in the spring.
The maintenance crew removes the debris trap that is at the north end of the lake, an annual task that requires calm conditions and all-hands-on-deck. It takes a full day to pull the debris trap out of the lake, power wash it, and store it on racks near the dredge dock. The debris trap is reinstalled in the spring, as soon as possible after ice leaves the lake.
The same crew spends a couple of days taking all the roll-off docks at the three beaches out of the water, which increases the life span of the docks. At the same time, the crew pulls in the ropes for the swim areas to avoid any harm from ice buildup. The swim ropes are left along each beach. Members are asked not to drive golf carts, snowmobiles or other recreational vehicles in these areas to avoid running over the ropes and buoys.
Lake Panorama currently is protected by three wetlands that help improve overall water quality. The wetlands slow water moving towards the lake, allowing silt to settle out. Wetlands also reduce nitrogen and phosphorus levels and improve water quality. In the fall, Lane Rumelhart, LPA project manager, lowers the water level in each wetland 12 to 18 inches to make sure ice doesn’t build up around the control structures.
“This also helps keep ice from damaging the wetland shorelines,” Rumelhart says. “In the spring, I reverse the process, raising the pool levels to contain as much water as possible so silt can settle out from nearby farm fields. There is visible silt in all the wetlands, so we know they are doing their job.”
Mike Gliem, who heads the LPA water department, keeps a close eye on fall weather forecasts. Right before cold weather arrives, he and his crew go to all three beach restrooms, both campground restrooms, and the restrooms on both golf courses, to shut off the water. The crew then blows out whatever water is left in the pipes to ensure no water is in the system that could freeze pipes. Gliem also winterizes the dog park water features and blows out the water lines at the LPN swimming pool.
Monthei’s maintenance crew works ahead to get sand and salt mixes ready to be applied for the first snowfalls of winter. The crew is able to mix a brine (saltwater) to apply to roads ahead of forecasted snow. It’s possible to store 3,000 gallons of brine at the LPA maintenance facility, which is how much is needed to apply one layer to all of LPA’s roads one time. The crew also prepares a sand/salt mix to put down on the roads after these have been plowed.
Throughout the winter, the maintenance department runs five snowplow trucks on four routes and parking lots. The crew works to remove snow early in the morning before normal working hours. There are 35 miles, which translates into 70 miles for both lanes, of LPA roads that get cleared. The crew will work until 6-7 p.m. either plowing snow or putting down brine to help melt snowfall, so residents who commute can travel home safely. The same crew members then turn around and return early the next morning, around 5 a.m.
Finally, members may have noticed LPA employees in late fall pulling vegetation out alongside the roads, which is done to help improve winter road conditions. As days get shorter, LPA needs to maximize the amount of sunlight that hits the road surface. Most of what is pulled out are invasive honeysuckle and autumn olive plants, or noxious cedar trees. Clearing these areas also make the roads safer because of increased visibility for motorists.

A total of $17,500 from the Friends of Lake Panorama’s 2022 Beach Ball was earmarked for this project.

Posted 12/07/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

The new sports court at Sunset Beach was completed the last week in November. The Friends of Lake Panorama board of directors had discussed a basketball half-court at Sunset Beach for several years. The LPA board approved the project in June 2021.
The idea of expanding the basketball court to include pickleball was raised at a Friends informational meeting at Sunset Beach last summer. Adding an extra 10 feet to the original plan made it possible to accommodate both basketball and pickleball.
A total of $17,500 from the Friends of Lake Panorama’s 2022 Beach Ball was earmarked for this project. Mark and Karen Einck donated $25,000 for the court, with another $5,500 received from other donors.
The 40-foot by 60-foot concrete pad was poured Oct. 26. Sport Construction Midwest employees installed a Goalsetter MVP hoop, placed sports court tile on the concrete and painted lines for both basketball and pickleball. An 8-foot fence with one gate surrounds the court.
Black paint shows the basketball free throw line, lane and three-point arc. The basketball lane is green tile. The regulation-sized pickleball court also is green tile, painted with white lines. The rest of the court is covered in blue tile.
A portable pickleball net on wheels has been purchased that can be stored along the fence when not in use and rolled into place when desired. It will be added to the court in the spring.
Also in the spring, the ground around the court that was disturbed during construction will be seeded to grass, and white gravel will be added around the perimeter of the fence to act as a weed barrier and fill in the small gap between the fence and the court.
Two signs will be added to the fence. One will recognize donors who gave $500 or more to the sports court project. The other will state dogs are not allowed on the court.


Posted 12/07/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

Two other smaller Friends of Lake Panorama projects also are complete. In October, Larry Isom with Isom Tree Farm planted four Autumn Blaze Maple trees at the Lake Panorama dog park. The trees were purchased by Friends, while Isom volunteered to plant the trees, plus water as needed.
The Friends board used $4,500 from the 2022 Beach Ball profits to purchase the four trees, plus two benches that will be secured to concrete pads. The concrete pads were poured in October. The two benches have arrived and will be assembled and installed in December.
A new memorial bench has been added to the Boulder Beach playground. The bench was ordered more than a year ago, but material shortages and manufacturing delays meant it wasn’t delivered and installed until mid-November.
Funds donated to Friends of Lake Panorama were used to purchase the bench, which is in memory of Craig Thompson. Thompson passed away in March 2018 after a long illness. Although a Georgia resident for many years, he was raised in Iowa and enjoyed family visits to Lake Panorama.
The bench sits at an angle in the northeast corner of the mulched area surrounding playground equipment that was installed at Boulder Beach in 2021, funded by Friends of Lake Panorama. The bench provides great views of both the playground and the lake.  
Shane goodman headshot

A time to get lit?

Posted 12/07/2022
By Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher

With only a few years under my belt as a homeowner at Lake Panorama, I am still learning the ropes. Maybe you are, too. Some are lessons learned the hard way; others are just simple things I happen to notice. This month’s lesson fits in the latter category.
Of course, I am not cruising the boat around the lake in December, but in driving the roads of the LPA, I noticed that not many homeowners choose to put up Christmas lights outside. Yes, there are a few Clark Griswolds — and you know who they are — but, by and large, lake property owners don’t go crazy with holiday lights.
Take a drive through our rural and suburban communities, and you will see quite the opposite. Santas. Snowmen. Reindeer. All 10 feet tall and inflatable (most of the time) with enough flashing lights for a Vegas show. Some even have light patterns set to music. I love the enthusiasm, and I thoroughly enjoy the Christmas spirit, but my retinas need a break from time to time.
At Lake Panorama, the holiday decorations seem to be different, less flashy, more subtle. The inside of homes may look like Santa’s workshop, but the exteriors tend to appear much like they do during other parts of the year. Maybe it’s because these aren’t the permanent homes for many property owners, and they don’t want the hassle of lighting up two places. Maybe it’s because the deer eat the light cords (that actually happened to me in the past). Or maybe it’s an appreciation for the natural scenery that has drawn so many of us to the lake to begin with.
Our youngest daughter, Abby, thought we should have at least one string of lights out. So she pulled a set out of the box, tested the lights to make sure they worked, and set them out for me to install. On the coldest day of the year, I untangled the mess and then carefully wrapped them around the deck posts, making sure the bulbs were distanced equally and pleasing to the eye. Then, when I plugged the strand in — you guessed it — nothing. I decided to wait for a warmer day to deal with it. I am still waiting.
“Honey, do you honestly think I would check thousands of tiny little lights if I didn’t make sure the extension cord was plugged in?” – Clark Griswold
Yes, I checked the extension cord.

Christmas humor
Christmas is a time to enjoy family and friends and, hopefully, remember the reason for the season. It is also a time to smile and laugh, so try these Christmas jokes out around the tree this year.
Here’s one for you World Cup fans. What did the naughty soccer announcer get from Santa Claus? COOOAAAALLLLL!!!
And one for you musicians. What is the best possible holiday present? A broken drum. You just can’t beat it.
And for you online shoppers. Did you hear that Amazon is giving away dead batteries for the holiday? They’re free of charge.
And for those of us who are follicly challenged. What did the bald man say when he got a comb for Christmas? “I’ll never part with it.”
And, finally, one for all of us… What did one snowman say to the other? “Is it just me, or do you smell carrots?”
I wish you all a merry Christmas, and I thank you for reading.

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


Posted 12/07/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

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

Q. For newcomers to Lake Panorama, let’s start with a look back at some of the first major projects Friends of Lake Panorama helped make possible. 
A. Our first project was a destination playground at Sunset Beach. It was a partnership project, completed in 2016, with Friends raising $80,000 and LPA contributing $50,000. Our second large project was the sports courts at Boulder Beach, which also was a partnership project with the LPA.
In 2017, the Panorama West golf course saw significant upgrades, thanks to an estate gift to Friends of $473,00 from James and Joyce McLuen. It was a generous gift by longtime lake residents who wanted to support a place they loved by including a bequest in their will. We hope it encourages others to think about the future impact they can have on recreational amenities at Lake Panorama.
Another major project completed in 2021 was a $70,000 fundraising campaign for new playground equipment at both Shady and Boulder Beaches. The LPA provided in-kind contributions of assistance with installation, oversight and maintenance.

Q. Several projects led by Friends were completed this year, correct? 
A. Yes, I’m happy to report five projects were completed in 2022. It has been a banner year for adding to the recreational opportunities here at the lake, but none of it could have been accomplished without the continuing support of so many in the community. Our support has run the gamut of great volunteers helping with fundraising and outreach to others to generous contributors at the Beach Ball, as well as a few individuals stepping up to make a project a reality. All are appreciated and applauded.
The biggest of the five projects is the Lake Panorama dog park. A $50,000 fundraising effort began in September 2020. Donations reached $45,000 by the time the 2021 Beach Ball was held, which provided another $5,000 to reach the project goal.
The park opened June 10. Another $4,500 from the 2022 Beach Ball was used to purchase two benches and four trees to add to the park. The dog park project was successful from the beginning as numerous volunteers helped raise the necessary funds. There were so many fundraisers held by our volunteer committee, it appeared to be a labor of dog love. Now it’s gratifying to see the dogs and their owners enjoying the space. It’s become a popular hangout for the canine crowd.
Another project that was in the planning stages for a while and completed this fall is the Panorama West Nature Trail. Private donations and funds from the 2021 Beach Ball made this project possible. Portions of an existing trail being used by a limited number of people and the Panorama school’s cross-country track teams now is a designated nature trail, and ready for visitors.
Posts with directional signage and a trailhead sign have been installed, plus two benches. Parking is in a cul-de-sac at the end of Nicholl Drive, which intersects with Panorama Road just south of the Panorama West clubhouse. Those who use the official trail, plus the optional loop, will complete 2.25 miles. It’s a beautiful trail.
A third project completed this year was the addition of three swings near the existing Sunset Beach playground. The swing set includes two bench swings and one toddler swing and was financed by profits from the 2021 Beach Ball.
A fourth project that wrapped up this fall also is at Sunset Beach. The Friends board had discussed a basketball half-court there for several years. The idea of expanding the basketball court to include pickleball was raised this summer. Adding an extra 10 feet to the original plan made this possible.
Mark and Karen Einck donated $25,000 for this project, with another $5,500 in donations received. A total of $17,500 from the 2022 Beach Ball finished this project, which now is ready for basketball players. A portable pickleball net on wheels will be available there in the spring.
The fifth project came together quickly this spring at Lake Panorama National. Eight large shade trees located around the Spikes snack shop, and between the first and 10th tees, were removed in February. Research on artificial shade options led to a project that cost $22,000.
Fundraising began in April, and the goal was reached in June. Six metal poles were installed in concrete footings in the grassy horseshoe area near Spikes, with two heavy-duty fabric sails attached to the poles. The main use of this area is for golfers in carts before and after tournaments and league play.

Q. What other projects are in the works? 
A. The current priority project for Friends of Lake Panorama is enhancements to existing trails on the south shore of the main basin, which the LPA board approved at its Aug. 30 meeting. The board also approved Friends and LPA staff working with Panorama Community Schools personnel to move the cross country team trail from Panorama West to the south shore. The new cross country trail will begin on school property, continue onto the south shore for much of the course, and loop back to end at the school.
So far the school has spent about $5,000 to make a path through an area of cedar trees on LPA property that is near the northwest corner of school property. This new path is about 25 feet wide and 100 yards long and will connect with existing trail sections on the south shore. School personnel also are committed to helping with ongoing maintenance.
The south shore has several existing trail sections that will be combined into a single structure offering a variety of lengths and difficulty. Final details for the trail system will be developed in spring 2023.
Earlier this year, Friends of Lake Panorama presented a recreational concept for the south shore to the LPA board, which included disc golf, fishing dock, a small shelter and the walking trail enhancements. Friends continues to research these additional low-impact recreational amenities, and will return to the LPA board in 2023 for further discussion.

Q. How can people donate to Friends of Lake Panorama? 
A. Statistics show a high percentage of charitable contributions are made in the last few weeks of the year. We’re looking forward to donations coming in to support the trails project on the south shore, as well as the Friends general fund. All donations are tax-deductible and donors receive a confirmation letter for tax purposes.
There are several donation options. One easy way is to clip the coupon from the Friends ad in this issue of the Lake Panorama Times, fill it out and mail it with a check to Friends of Lake Panorama, P.O. Box 488, Panora, IA 50216. Or simply include a note with your check so we know how you want your donation used.
Direct donations can be sent via Venmo @Panorama-Friends. Donations also can be made by credit card online at Details about all past, present and future Friends projects also are on the Friends website.
Donations of securities (stocks, mutual funds, etc.) are welcome, as are direct IRA qualified charitable distributions — for donors over age 70 ½ who are required to take forced IRA distributions. There are potential tax-saving benefits when considering either of these direct donation strategies. For information, contact Kristen Crouthamel, financial advisor at GCSB Investment Center, at 641-755-2799 or

Q. Any additional thoughts you’d like to share? 
A. Friends of Lake Panorama is the perfect opportunity to forge a strong partnership with the Lake Panorama Association to improve the recreational opportunities here at the lake. Working together, we have the potential to improve the quality of life for current and future residents. While the LPA’s focus, out of necessity, needs to be on safety, security and infrastructure needs, Friends of Lake Panorama can be a catalyst and support group focusing on the amenities our community members desire.
Our working relationship with the LPA is a good model as we move forward. The LPA board has provided financial contributions when possible and many in-kind contributions. LPA staff have spent many hours helping make each of the projects come to be a part of life at Lake Panorama.
We are proud of our commitment to engage LPA community members in establishing priorities and continuing our work to provide additional amenities. The volunteer committee working on developing a concept for recreational amenities on the South Shore is another good example of seeking input from community members with expertise and commitment.
In addition, we were encouraged by the strong response to the survey conducted among lake members affirming their support for south shore projects.
We will be doing outreach for the support needed to complete the next phase of projects and hope you’ll include Friends in your priorities. We’d like to widen our fundraising base in the community and get new first-time donors on board. We appreciate your support and look forward to working with you to build a strong Friends organization for the future.
That future support can include marking your calendars now for the sixth Beach Ball on Friday, June 16, 2023. This is our primary fundraising event in addition to the individual donations we solicit throughout the year. It’s always a fun event so save the date and plan to attend. More information will be available in the spring.  

Fin and Feather stocks fish that range from 3 inches to 8 inches in length.

Posted 12/07/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

Nearly $18,000 worth of fish were added to Lake Panorama Nov. 2 and funded by Fin and Feather. Fish stocking totals for 2022 included 1,500 walleye, 1,500 smallmouth bass, 3,000 largemouth bass and 1,000 perch.
The longtime supplier for the fish-stocking program is North Star Fish Hatchery, a third-generation, family-owned business in Montour, Iowa. North Star brought the fish to Lake Panorama, where the fish were introduced into the lake near the LPA work area at the mouth of Burchfield Cove. In the past, Boulder Beach has been the most popular location for stocking, but Fin and Feather decided it would be best to vary the location.
Fin and Feather stocks fish that range from 3 inches to 8 inches in length, depending on the species, to promote high survival rates. Fingerlings are less expensive, but survival rates are lower. Experience has shown group leaders that stocking larger fish is a good investment. This year, the perch and walleye were larger than usual.
Volunteers in the nonprofit Fin and Feather group have been stocking fish and working to improve fishing conditions in Lake Panorama since 1984. When the dam was closed in 1970, the only thing natural to the lake were crappie, largemouth bass, carp and catfish.
Besides stocking fish, the group helps improve fish habitat and sponsors an annual fishing derby for children during Panorama Days. Fin and Feather raises its money through annual memberships and a fundraising banquet each spring.
The 2023 banquet is scheduled for Saturday, May 13, the same date as the LPA annual meeting. The event will be held at the Lake Panorama National conference center, with social hour at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. 

Brenda Dinkla has about 350 spoons in her collection.

Posted 12/07/2022
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times 

For as long as Brenda Dinkla can remember, she’s been interested in collecting spoons.
“I started when I was probably 10 years old,” she says. “This was in the 1960s, and our family would take driving vacations to different places. Some places we visited would have a spoon you could buy as a souvenir. That’s how I first got interested in spoons.”
Dinkla doesn’t know where those early spoons ended up, but she distinctly remembers when she became a true collector.
“I enjoyed going to auctions. I was 14 years old and at an auction of items owned by Fletcher Hunt, who was at the auction,” she says. “I was looking at things coming up for sale and found seven or eight spoons. The handles were very ornate, and some had engraving in the bowl of the spoon.”
She doesn’t remember where she got the money to buy the spoons, or how much she paid, but she does remember being the winning bidder.
“That was the start of me searching for spoons that were older and with images and features I liked or that had a special meaning to me because of where it was from,” Dinkla says. 
Souvenir spoons were first produced in Europe around the mid-1800s. Wealthy Americans touring Europe brought home these souvenirs marked with the names of cities and famous landmarks they saw. The first souvenir spoon in the United States was created in 1889, featured a profile of George Washington, and was created to mark the 100th anniversary of his presidency.
Soon, hundreds of souvenir spoon patterns were being produced to commemorate American cities and towns, famous people, historical events and significant events of the time. The spoons were made of sterling silver. The collapse of the silver market in 1893 meant for the first time silver was affordable to many more Americans, and the popularity of spoon collecting increased.
By the 1930s, most souvenir spoons were silver-plated. Beginning in the 1950s and yet today, souvenir spoons are made of stainless steel.
“The most collectible spoons are the ones made of sterling silver,” Dinkla says. “You can tell a lot about the time a spoon was made, and its value, by the material used.”
After buying those first sterling silver spoons, Dinkla started reading sale bills, and purchased other spoons for her collection at auction.
“They are much harder to find now,” she says. “I used to walk through an antique store and find a spoon I liked, but most sell online. In the last 10 years, I’ve turned to occasionally browsing online, and if I find something that really interests me, I’ll buy it.”
Dinkla has about 350 spoons in her collection. She displays 200 of her favorites on wooden racks on a wall in the Karen Drive townhome she and her husband, Dwight, moved to four years ago. Dwight grew up in Casey, and Brenda in Adair. They’ve lived at Lake Panorama since 2010, after 30 years in Guthrie Center.
“I really like the old sterling silver ones the best, with some of my favorites being spoons that show things from my past or from surrounding towns,” she says. “For instance, I have one that shows the old Guthrie Center high school from the early 1900s. I also have one of the old Rock Island train depot in Adair, and a church in Casey that no longer exists.”
While many of Dinkla’s oldest spoons are closer to the size of a typical spoon a person would use for eating, some are much smaller. One tiny one is actually a pin.
“Brides would register for flatware, and once they had acquired a full set, the company selling the flatware would give the bride a pin with a small spoon attached,” she says.
Because the sterling silver spoons tarnish over time, Dinkla cleans them every three months or so.
“It’s an all-day project, but polished sterling is really beautiful,” she says. “I love looking at each one as I clean it, because each is so detailed and historical. Each has a story, and I wish I knew that story. It’s interesting to think about how people traveled back then and how they purchased souvenir spoons.”
Dinkla says she knows some people who have a few souvenir spoons, but not a collection like hers.
“Once in a while, someone will give me a spoon as a gift,” she says. “But most of my spoons I’ve found on my own and purchased because I liked something about them. The hunt is part of the fun.”


Posted 12/07/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

Two metal stands that overflowed with pink petunias through the summer months now are decked out for the holiday season. Members of the Panora Garden Club gathered the afternoon of Nov. 28 to transform the metal stands into Christmas trees.
The metal stands were installed last spring near the gazebo in Panora’s downtown area. The garden club used donated funds to have the stands created and installed. Volunteers kept the petunia pots watered throughout the summer.
Garden club members used plastic zip ties to attach freshly cut pine branches onto the metal stands in layers. Strings of lights, colorful flowers, pine cones and other decorations were added before each “tree” was topped with a golden star.
Earlier in the month, club members filled several of their blue pots with a variety of holiday decorations, which are scattered throughout the Panora business district. 

Santa’s Workshop and Breakfast 

Posted 12/07/2022

The annual Santa’s Workshop and pancake breakfast, sponsored by the Panora Chamber, was held Saturday, Dec. 3. An estimated 200 people enjoyed the pancake breakfast at the Panora Community Center, available for a freewill donation.
Children had the chance to talk with Santa, have their photos taken with him, and pick up a goodie bag. A variety of crafts and games were available in the adjacent Veteran’s Auditorium and included such things as cookie decorating, coloring, creating Christmas tree ornaments and participating in the Candy Cane walk.
The Santa’s Workshop activities were sponsored and staffed by several businesses and community groups. Those included Guthrie County Hospital and Clinics, Crafty’s Coffee and Gifts, Women for Panora’s Future, Stormy Miller, Patty Stanton, Panorama FFA, and two 4-H clubs, the US Sunbeams and Cass Pioneers. 

Jeff Conner is the owner and CEO of Power Lift. He and his wife, Robin, have owned a home on Lake Panorama since 1998. 

Posted 12/07/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

There is a large complex of buildings on the northeast edge of Jefferson, north of Highway 30. At one time, Parker Grain Wagons were manufactured at the site, before the company went out of business. For the past 20 years, athletic performance strength training equipment has been created there under the Power Lift brand.
Jeff Conner is the owner and CEO of Power Lift. He and his wife, Robin, have owned a home on Lake Panorama’s Burchfield Cove since 1998.
Conner describes himself as “just a farm kid” who was raised four miles north of Jefferson. He was a wrestler at Jefferson High School and also for a brief time in college, before returning to the family farm.
The Conners soon had three children to raise, and he worked a variety of jobs. He spent 10 years with Morton Buildings. In the 1980s, he started selling for American Athletic, a company in Jefferson founded in 1954 to manufacture trampolines that later expanded its athletic equipment offerings.
In 1987, he formed Conner Athletic Products to distribute high quality fitness equipment. From 1989 to 1998, Conner Athletic Products was the Midwest United States distributor for Hammer Strength Equipment.
Conner was first exposed to weight lifting as a college wrestler. As his children got involved in weight training for youth sports, his past experience, combined with their new opportunities, stuck in his mind.
“I realized no one was providing the things the market really needed,” he says. “I’m not an engineer, but as a farm kid, I understand how things work. I decided to start manufacturing products I knew would sell, to customers I already had lined up.”
The Power Lift brand name was created in 1999. Power Lift began manufacturing in 2000 with four employees working in several different rented locations throughout Jefferson. Manufacturing was consolidated into a 50,000-square-foot facility at its current location in 2003. A 10,000-square-foot office and showroom complex was added in 2005. Another 5,000-square-foot space was added a year later.
Conner’s first product was Olympic Lifting platforms, which continues to be a popular offering. These oak floor platforms feature five layers of wood, covered by five coats of polyurethane. The platform is flanked on each side by rubber surfaces, so a standing lifter can drop a free weights bar without damage to the wood platform.
Next came modular free-weight lifting rack stations in a variety of sizes, shapes and features. Then came a variety of weight stack machines, so users can strengthen all upper and lower body parts. Two years ago, the company began offering laser cut logos and signs, which allows buyers to customize the equipment and accessories they purchase.
“Everything we build is sold for a customer; we don’t produce for inventory,” Conner says. “Probably 80% of the equipment is customized for a particular customer. In addition, we can provide customized colors, logos and signage. Larger companies don’t have the ability to provide the type of customization we do.”
The company’s 5,000-square-foot showroom is filled with equipment and photos of previous installations.
“We bring in college and high school coaches from around the country,” Conner says. “Having them be able to see in person the various pieces of equipment we build is helpful as we design their weight rooms.”
Power Lift has 85 employees, most of whom live in the Jefferson area. Eight sales people are scattered across the United States to service specific regions.
“All of our sales people were previously involved in weight training either as an athlete or a coach,” Conner says.   
Four engineers work on research and development, coming up with new products or ways to improve existing products. The company holds five patents. The engineers also manage equipment design and room layouts for customers.
Larry Isom, who also lives in Burchfield Cove with his wife, Heather, and their two children, has been with Power Lift for 17 years and is senior director of engineering. He grew up in southern California and attended Cal Poly, where he and Heather met. 
Isom started working in the commercial strength industry for Life Fitness while he was still in school. The couple moved to Kentucky in 2000 so he could work in the Hammer Strength division of Life Fitness.
“That was when I first met Jeff,” Isom says. “From Kentucky we went to Minnesota where I was head of engineering for the commercial strength division. I left that position to work for Jeff.”
The Isoms’ move to Iowa in 2005 brought them directly to Lake Panorama.
“Jeff had me out to the lake as part of the recruitment,” Isom says. “That was part of the appeal to make the transition, and it’s been a great place to live.”
The Power Lift list of customers is more than 3,500 and counting, with equipment sold across the United States and 18 other countries. About 90% of all items sold in the United States are delivered and installed by Power Lift employees.
“Eighty percent of our business is colleges, universities and high schools,” Conner says. “The remaining 20% is pro sports, all branches of the U.S. Military, Olympic training centers, sports performance centers, and international. We ship a lot of product to China.”
Conner says selling to high schools is how Power Lift started, and he plans to continue to serve those smaller customers. Three new Power Lift rack stations recently were added to the Panorama Community Schools weight room, with plans to add seven more over the next five years. The 10 new racks will replace some that are more than 20 years old.
The Power Lift sales team helps customers with equipment layouts, and deciding what equipment is needed, before an engineer takes over. Larry Isom did the design for the Panorama project.
“We created a new version of our step-up platform that attaches to the racks,” he says. “My daughter Danica goes to morning workouts and uses the equipment. It was cool to build something I knew she would use.”
Bruce Dahlhauser is the Panorama secondary school physical education teacher, assistant football coach, strength and conditioning coach, head boys track coach, and responsible for Panorama’s strength and conditioning activities.
“The Power Lift stations are equipped with several features that allow us to program more efficiently and improve the flow of traffic,” Dahlhauser says. “Each station includes a power rack, which is equipped with plate storage, chain and band storage, spotter arms, bar catches, and a chin-up handle, a multi-angle adjustable bench, an extra set of bar catches, band attachments, a landmine rotation attachment, a step-up platform, and stability ball storage.”
Dahlhauser says the new stations make it possible for students to do more exercises in one location.
“Previously, athletes had to move to different parts of the weight room to perform some of these exercises and get pieces of equipment,” he says.
“Power Lift has one of the best reputations in the business, serving individuals, programs and organizations at every level around the globe,” Dahlhauser says. “They have lived up to that reputation as we worked with them on this project. Having a company of their caliber 20 miles up the road is a tremendous asset for our school district.”
Asked to reflect on how Power Lift became an industry leader, Conner says it’s because he saw a unique opportunity.
“The timing was good. Now there are multiple players, but back then, there wasn’t as much competition for the style of equipment I wanted to make. In recent years, weight rooms have become recruiting tools, with everyone wanting to have a strength training facility with the ‘wow’ factor,” he says. “That’s what we are known for, being innovative and creating the wow factor.”
Sons Matt and Christopher are involved in the Power Lift business, while daughter Celli lives in Little Rock. There are 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren in the family. Looking ahead, Jeff believes Power Lift has a bright future as a family-owned business.
“I’m in the trenches every day and don’t take time often enough to think about all the places Power Lift equipment can be found. It’s pretty incredible,” he says. “Now we need to grow and just keep going.” 
Lpt december 2022


Posted 12/07/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

Three new members of the Guthrie County Board of Supervisors will be sworn into office Tuesday, Jan. 3 at the Guthrie County Courthouse.
Supervisor districts are redrawn every 10 years to reflect the most recent census numbers and ensure each supervisor represents an equal portion of the county population. Last spring, the Guthrie County supervisors approved a map that cut the number of voting precincts from eight to six and kept the number of supervisor districts at five.
Joining the board for the first time will be Maggie Armstrong, Brian Johnson and Steve Smith. Armstrong, of Panora, won the Supervisor District 3 seat, which includes the town of Panora and Lake Panorama voters who live in Cass Township. Johnson, also of Panora, won the Supervisor District 2 seat, which covers the towns of Yale, Jamaica and Bagley, plus Lake Panorama voters who live in Victory Township. Smith, of Guthrie Center, won the Supervisor District 4 seat, which covers Guthrie Center. 
Also on the five-member board will be incumbent Jerome J.D. Kuster, Guthrie Center, who won re-election Nov. 8 in Supervisor District 1. Mike Dickson, of Stuart, who lives in the newly established Supervisor District 5, was not required to run for re-election this year, because he was the only incumbent residing in the new district.
For this story, the three who will join the Guthrie County Board of Supervisors in January were asked four questions.

The first question was why each was interested in pursuing a seat on the Guthrie County Board of Supervisors.
Armstrong said she was raised in Guthrie County and loves Guthrie County. “The new district map gave me the opportunity to run for supervisor and represent my neighbors,” she said. “As it is now, we need some fresh ideas, and we need some new perspectives at that board of supervisors’ table. Also, representation was a big factor in my decision to run. The people who live in District 3 need to have strong representation at the county level.”
Johnson said he grew up in a family where community service was practiced. “As I answer this question, it is the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, which had a profound impact on me,” he said. “President Kennedy asked people to give back, and I hope that by serving in this public role, I can serve the people in District 2 and in Guthrie County.”
Smith said he has always enjoyed working with people who are all working toward a common goal. “Collaborating with other supervisors, county and community groups, and citizens of Guthrie County seemed a natural fit for me,” he said. “I am interested in maintaining and improving the vitality of Guthrie County. I believe Guthrie County soon will have a surge in population. Helping to plan and provide for the needs of the current citizens and those moving into the area will be a challenge, but a challenge I welcome.”

The second question asked the new supervisors what they liked about the campaign work they did that led to their successful election.
Smith said talking to Guthrie County residents and listening to their concerns and aspirations were highlights. “It is always interesting to hear people’s different perspectives on issues,” he said. “Also, learning the process and procedures for campaigning for an elected office was an eye-opening adventure for me.”
Armstrong said she enjoyed the opportunity to talk with and listen to people’s concerns and opinions about the future of Guthrie County. “So much of my campaign was based on connecting with voters and establishing relationships with community groups, and I took that responsibility very seriously,” she said. “Giving people a chance to ask me questions and taking the time to have thoughtful conversations is something I’ll always cherish.”
Johnson said simply meeting more people in Guthrie County was a highlight for him. “I really enjoyed visiting with voters and hope they will continue to reach out to me,” he said.

The third question was about what the new members of the Guthrie County board hope to accomplish in their first six to 12 months in office.
Johnson said he knows the new members have a great deal to learn. “All three of us have had discussions with department heads in an attempt to get a jump-start on 2023,” he said. “If we can get a good budget done, develop a more efficient agenda and make it more transparent to the public, we will have a good start.”
“I think bringing closure to the new law enforcement center project, and finding a solution to the current county Emergency Medical Services controversy are high priorities,” Smith said. “If we bring closure to these things, then moving forward to infrastructure and other needs will be easier.”
Armstrong agreed completion and opening of the county’s new law enforcement center is a top priority. “It is such a critical piece of public safety for Guthrie County,” she said. “After that, we need to take a wide-angle approach to determining what is next with collaboration from all county departments. It also will be important to find successes in some of the smaller projects throughout the county. This is where strong communication, effective planning, thoughtful budgeting, and a big-picture approach are so important.”

The final question was if the new supervisors have any personal goals as they begin their work for Guthrie County citizens. 
“My wife, JoAnn, and I love living in Guthrie County,” Johnson said. “I want to find ways to help our small towns survive and help make our businesses even more viable.”
“My No. 1 goal is to always be an effective, thoughtful leader who listens and remains committed to making sure the health and prosperity of Guthrie County is our key priority,” Armstrong said. “I hope to continue building and maintaining the strong relationships I developed during my campaign, and to always have an open mind when faced with making hard decisions.”
Smith said his main priority will be to establish positive working relationships with the other four supervisors, county employees and Guthrie County citizens. “In an effort to lead Guthrie County into the future, all parties will need to work together, set and reach goals, and provide for the many needs of Guthrie County citizens,” he said. “We also need to find ways to promote Guthrie County as a ‘county of choice’ for both young adults and people of all ages who are looking for a place to call home.”  

Revisiting a 1980 wedding at Lake Panorama
Send in the clowns.

Rick morain
Posted 12/07/2022
By Rick Morain

Kathy and I got married a few weeks ago.
Well, almost. What we did was renew our wedding vows in a ceremony at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Jefferson.
Our close friend, the Reverend Roger Linnan, former priest at St. Joseph and now of Sioux City, performed the ceremony. It was his first crack at us — we were married nearly 43 years ago, on Feb. 2, 1980, in my parents’ home at Lake Panorama, with the late Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Harris of Jefferson officiating and with all our close relatives present.
(Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day. That’s a big help as a reminder, given my memory challenges, which were always present but disturbingly more so these days.)
Our four children, bless them, were all there a few weeks ago, as were our daughters-in-law, son-in-law, and all but one of our six grandchildren. Daughter Molly and her husband flew in from Texas, son Matt from North Carolina, and granddaughter Laura from Arizona. Dan’s family lives in Ames and David’s in Adel. Kathy organized a role for each of them at the ceremony.
We didn’t have a musician this time, except for some recorded music. At the Panorama event, my late brother Tom played for us on Mom’s piano.
We appreciated Tom’s willingness to play. We told him what musical selections we wanted, and he said he could handle them. He seemed eager to do so. The reason became clear at the start of the ceremony.
As Kathy and I entered the living room for the processional, Tom substituted “Send in the Clowns.” As a remembrance, I played that as the processional this time.
We had three readings at our 1980 wedding, and grandchildren reprised them.
We savored the wedding feast afterward back at our house, on takeout from a local restaurant. In 1980, we reserved a banquet room in The Port restaurant at Panorama. It was February, and The Port that winter was closed, but management opened it up for us. Unfortunately the heat hadn’t been on long enough, and we all dined in our winter coats.
Kathy had no trouble finding the church. That’s different from our wedding day back in 1980. She had been to my parents’ place at the lake a couple of times, but I had always taken her there. She still lived in Ames, and on our wedding day she drove over with her family members.
As many of you know, the roads through the Lake Panorama residential areas wind around. It’s confusing to newcomers. It was confusing to Kathy. As H-Hour approached, I kept looking at my watch. As the minutes ticked by, I kept telling myself that she had not got cold feet, that she indeed would show up. She did, after taking several wrong turns and backtracks. My heart rate, already pumped for the day, returned closer to normal.
We didn’t wear what we wore in 1980. That should come as no surprise.
Anyway, it was a signal day back then, and it was again. We’re grateful to everyone who made it memorable then, and now. After almost 43 years, we’re convinced more than ever that we did a good thing.

Rick Morain is the retired publisher of the Jefferson Herald.   

Annual memberships are available at both courses for both

Lake Panorama Association property owners and those who are not LPA property owners.

Posted 12/07/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

Anyone who was a golfing member of either Panorama West or Lake Panorama National in 2022 will receive 2023 golf membership applications and related information about the 2023 season in their mailbox. Application forms also are available online and in the LPN pro shop.
There are two golf courses at Lake Panorama, both offering annual memberships. Lake Panorama National is an 18-hole course located on the east side of Lake Panorama. Panorama West is a nine-hole course on the west side of the lake. Both courses are owned by the Lake Panorama Association and managed by Lake Panorama National.
Annual memberships are available at both courses for both Lake Panorama Association property owners and those who are not LPA property owners. All memberships include free use of the Lake Panorama National driving range. There are several membership options.
A Lake Panorama National 2023 membership for LPA property owners is priced at $2,541 for families, $2,159 for couples, $1,650 for an individual, and $424 for junior golfers under the age of 18. An LPN membership for non-LPA property owners is $2,794 for families, $2,413 for couples, $1,905 for individuals, and $424 for juniors.
For LPA property owners joining at Panorama West, fees are $793 for a family, $623 for a couple, $453 for an individual and $113 for a junior. For non-LPA property owners, Panorama West memberships are $906, $736, $567, and $113 for those same four categories.
A special “first time” membership is available for those who have never been a Lake Panorama National member. The cost of this membership for a family is $1,620, for a couple it is $1,334, and for an individual, the cost is $881. LPN members who refer a “first time” person who joins will receive $50 in LPN pro shop credit.
Distance memberships at Lake Panorama National are available for those who do not own a home at Lake Panorama, and who live more than 18 miles from the LPN. This membership costs $2,160 for a family, $1,779 for a couple, and $1,175 for an individual.
Memberships for the swimming pool and fitness center at the LPN also are listed on the 2023 membership applications.
Those using private carts on either golf course must pay a trail fee. At the LPN, members have the option of a cart lease, which entitles one person to a seat on an LPN cart for the season.
Other services listed on the membership forms are cart storage at both courses and a USGA handicap at the LPN. Those who play in the LPN’s leagues and handicap tournaments must pay the $30 handicap fee. This fee is not required for Panorama West leagues.
All memberships paid by Dec. 31, 2022, will be entered into a drawing. Prizes awarded will include a driver and fairway wood combo valued at $850; Bushnell range finder valued at $300; a Michael Kleinwolterink print valued at $200; three-dozen Titleist custom golf balls valued at $180; a 2023 single LPN pool and fitness membership valued at $350; bring three guests free to your member course, cart included; and a nine-hole playing lesson with Rob Riggins, LPN head golf professional, valued at $150.
Membership forms are online at


Edward buchanan
Posted 12/07/2022

Edward Joe Buchanan, 81, son of Roy and Ruth (Parrish) Buchanan, was born Aug. 27, 1941, in Taylor County, Iowa. A beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, at his home.
 Ed was raised on the family farm and graduated from Clearfield High School in 1959. In 1960, Ed went to work constructing telephone systems for Afton Telephone Company. On Dec. 20, 1963, he married DeVona “Dee Dee” Stevens in St. Marys, Iowa, and raised two children, William “Bill” and Tonia. They made their home in Truro, Iowa.
In 1965, Ed was one of the founding members of Interstate 35 Telephone Company. Ed spent his entire career in the rural telephone industry, serving as the president of Interstate 35 Telephone Company until 2007. He was recognized by his peers as an industry leader, serving as a director of the Iowa Telephone Association, Iowa Network Services, National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA), Iowa Telecom, and Iowa Wireless, and a committee chair for OPASTCO, and past chair of Farmers and Merchants Bank. Throughout Ed’s life, he served his community in various capacities, as a volunteer fire chief, member of the Lions Club, City Council member, School Board member and a member of the Knights of Columbus. In 2002, Ed and Dee Dee moved to Lake Panorama and are members of St. Cecilia Catholic Church.
 Over the years, Ed enjoyed many hobbies including golf, traveling for industry meetings, water skiing, hunting, motorcycling, and Corvette club. He has visited all 50 states and numerous countries. Ed treasured most his time with family and friends, and wintering in Orange Beach, Alabama, with Dee Dee.
 He is survived by his wife, Dee Dee Buchanan of Panora; son, Bill (Malloree) Buchanan of Staunton, Virginia; daughter, Tonia (Stan) Rouse of Blue Hill, Nebraska; grandchildren, Tyler and Tanner Buchanan, Kyl, John, and Katelynn Rouse; sisters, JoAnn (Keith) Denton of Avoca and Barb Osterwise of Maui, Hawaii; sister-in-law, Kay Buchanan of Crescent City, California, and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Billy and David Buchanan.
 Memorial services were Nov. 26, 2022, at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Panora. Burial of his cremains will be at a later date in the Conway Cemetery, Conway, Iowa.
 Memorials may be left to St. Jude’s or to the discretion of the family. 


Img 3178
Posted 12/07/2022

Jeffrey Bilbrey passed away peacefully on Oct. 18, 2022, at the age of 75.
Jeffrey (Jeff) was an entrepreneur in his business life. In the fall of 1984, he opened a new restaurant called “The Waveland Cafe” near Waveland Golf Course in Des Moines. He served breakfast and lunch in the setting of an old-time diner. The food was so good that it was not uncommon for a line to form out the front door on a Sunday morning during breakfast. He had many “regular” customers, and it was a favorite place of many. Some even had a favorite table. Jeff sold the Waveland Cafe in 1993 to the people who still own it today.
In 1994, Jeff started the Urbandale Café, which was located on the corner of 86th Street and Douglas Avenue in Urbandale. It was in the same retail center as Hy-Vee. He owned and operated that restaurant for 16 years. Jeff retired when Hy-Vee expanded into that location.
During the winter of 2013, Jeff had the idea of moving out to Lake Panorama. He and his mother (Kathleen) each sold their respective homes and moved to Lake Panorama in the spring of 2013 to be closer to family. Jeff took such good care of his mother. By sharing a home, he surely extended her life. She passed away at 98 years of age.
Jeff’s passions were playing golf and sailing. He owned numerous sailboats before retiring, and one of those ironically found its way to Lake Panorama with a different owner. He loved living at the lake. He loved playing golf with the old guys who have a perpetual game going every day… even during winter.
Jeff was a very generous person. He was the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back, even if he needed the shirt. He would just find a way to live without the shirt so the person in need could have one. He was a loyal and faithful friend.
Jeff is preceded in death by his mother and father, Kathleen and Charles Bilbrey, and his sister, Jan Webster. He is survived by his sisters, Jackie Van Ahn and Ruth Jordal, along with many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Jeff’s life will be held Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. at the Panorama Par 3 Clubhouse. Because Jeff always owned dogs and loved them dearly, any donations can be made to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. 

This project is being funded by the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone. 

Posted 12/07/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times 

Good progress is being made on the project to repair the rip rap along the south shore of Lake Panorama’s main basin. JNC Construction, of Clearfield, began work Oct. 31 near the ski team dock and is moving west. At the end of November, about half of the shoreline repair was near completion.
The crew pulls all the existing rock out of the bank and lake. Then they regrade the bank, lay fabric, and place dolomite rip rap below the lake level up to the water elevation line. Once the dolomite is in place, the salvaged field stone is put back on top of the dolomite, above the water elevation line.
This project, which is expected to be completed before the end of this year, is being funded by the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ).   

Make Holiday Memories with Sweet Eats

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Posted 12/07/2022
By Jolene Goodman

(Family Features) Whether your festivities include immediate family or bring together relatives from around the country, the holidays are about making memories with loved ones. From the first days of the season to the last, many families spend their precious time together with favorite activities and the best foods the holidays have to offer. Our daughters will join us here in Iowa for Christmas. As I shared last month, they value tradition but love new recipe ideas and strive to eat healthier. Having adult children is a real joy. Ours love to cook and experiment with recipes, and it is a common thread of conversation among us. So, this year, I am trying some new recipes. And, I am working on being a little more festive and creative, but striving for simplicity and minimal time in the kitchen. The following recipe accomplishes all these goals! Fresh ingredients, like Envy apples, provide an easy way to update classics due to their sweet taste and availability. The sophisticated flavor; uplifting, fresh aroma; delightfully satisfying crunch; beautiful appearance; and naturally white flesh that doesn’t brown as quickly as other apples all lend themselves to shareable recipes like this Apple Wreath Salad. Find more memory-making recipes at

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

Apple Wreath Salad
Recipe courtesy of “The Produce Moms”

Balsamic Dressing:
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, finely ground
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

10 ounces baby arugula
3 Envy apples, sliced
9 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
3 ounces pomegranate arils
3 ounces pecans, toasted

To make balsamic dressing: In small serving bowl, whisk honey, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Place dressing bowl in center of large board or platter. Arrange arugula around dressing bowl in wreath shape.
Place apple slices on top of arugula. Sprinkle on goat cheese, pomegranate arils and pecans.

Trish Hart’s nature photo of the month

Posted 12/07/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times 

Photographer Trish Hart often has Lake Panorama wildlife posing for her camera, whether it be a deer on alert or a bird wondering why there isn’t more food in one of her many feeders. But sometimes she catches an animal off guard, as was the case with this sleeping squirrel.
There are 280 different species in the squirrel family that live throughout the world, 40 of which are tree squirrels. The most common tree squirrels in the Lake Panorama area are fox squirrels, named because of their coloration similar to red foxes.
According to the Iowa DNR, squirrel paws are hand-like, with little primitive thumbs and strong claws for grasping at tree bark. These features, combined with a squirrel’s ability to rotate its hind feet 180 degrees, allow the animal to descend head-first from a tree. These same nimble paws also make it easy for squirrels to steal from birdfeeders. And, sometimes, those paws help a squirrel perch on a tree branch for an afternoon nap.
Hart offers custom prints of her photos on canvas, paper, metal and glass. Learn more by visiting Nature’s Canvas Photography on Facebook.
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Posted 12/07/2022
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Mabel
Age: Approximately 2-3 years old
Available at: Panora Pets

Mabel was a pregnant stray that was caught and brought to Panora Pets where she was immediately taken to a foster home to give birth to her kittens.  Just a few days after arriving at her foster home, she gave birth to six healthy babies. Mabel’s kittens have all been adopted, but Mabel is still looking for her own home. Mabel is friendly and loving to people but does not like other kitties. She has a beautiful, deep tortoiseshell and white coat with the cutest little face scowl you will ever see.
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Posted 12/07/2022
By Cheryl Temple
Lake Panorama Times

Name: Willow
Age: 3 years old
Breed: Golden retriever
Owners: Craig and Jodie Gratias

Willow’s favorite place to be is anywhere her family is, but especially at the lake. She’s always on the go, whether it’s swimming, boating, jet skiing (yes, she rides on the jet skis) golf cart riding, playing fetch, going for walks with mom, going to work with dad, or chasing squirrels.
Willow was brought home in March of 2020, during the start of COVID, which resulted in an extra-spoiled pooch due to never being left alone. Willow is too smart for her own good; if left in the house while its owners sit outside with friends, she opens the door on her own just to be around everybody. For some reason, Willow has a huge fear of big trucks — garbage trucks, dump trucks, UPS/Amazon trucks, etc. If she’s outside when they come down the road, she will open the door to the house to let herself in. Unfortunately, Willow finds stinky and sticky things to roll in. Ironically, she hates having to be bathed but won’t hesitate to jump off the dock dozens of times to go for a swim. Her favorite game is tug-of-war, and she thinks anything can be used to play that game, including sticks. She’s full of energy and luckily has two human brothers (Tyler, 25, and Mason, 22) who can keep up with her. There’s no such thing as “personal space” with Willow; she’s either sitting right next to her owners or laying on their laps. And, of course, Willow sleeps in bed with them, too. She’s the boss, and she knows it.

Lake Panorama Barge, Van Houten Barge, and Deluxe Docks & Lifts offer lake residents a variety of services.

Posted 11/09/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

As soon as Lake Panorama filled in 1970, property owners were looking for ways to perform various tasks on their waterfront lots. The May 1972 edition of Lake Panorama Times featured a photo of an old Army “Duck” boat that plied Lake Panorama waters for several years.
Tom Contner hired the duck boat owner to set his boat lift, which gave him an idea for a business opportunity. At the February 1986 LPA board meeting, Contner told the board he was having a barge built. His Lake Panorama Barge Service would be available to waterfront lot owners for a fee.
The 12-feet-wide and 35-feet-long barge was built in Jefferson and launched in 1986 from a trailer at the marina. Contner’s main use for the barge was setting boat docks and lifts each spring and reversing the process each fall. He also removed large logs after flood events, did riprap work, hauled beach sand, and once was hired to hydro-seed a shoreline lot from the water.
Contner sold the business in April 1994. Following is a look at how barge service businesses have expanded to meet demand as Lake Panorama grows.

Once Contner sold the Lake Panorama Barge Service, business continued as usual with ownership moving through a couple of different entities. For several years, Danny Cunningham was one of the barge operators. In 2003, he and his wife, Gina, purchased the business from Neil and Jolene Wright.
Besides boat lift and dock installation and removal, Lake Panorama Barge Service sells Shore Station lifts, docks and accessories. The business also supplies parts, labor, maintenance and repairs.
“We have been to all of the annual Shore Station service schools to stay current on their product lines,” Cunningham says.
The company still operates the Lake Panorama Barge that was built in Jefferson in 1986. In 2017, Cunningham added floats on each side to widen the barge to 18 feet.
“As lifts got bigger, it became important to have a wider barge to more safely transport lifts,” he says. “I also added thrusters up front to make it easier to move the barge sideways, which helps with maneuverability around docks.”
In the winter of 2020, Cunningham purchased a second barge in Wisconsin, then added a crane to it in his shop located at 1965 Highway 4, just north of the east entrance to Lake Panorama. He planned to use it that summer, but the COVID pandemic made it difficult for him to find the necessary workers to operate two barges.
That changed this fall when Cunningham launched the second barge and has been operating both on days when he has employees available and there is enough work. For instance, Lake Panorama Barge Service provides lift and dock placement and removal for all the condos along the east edge of Lake Panorama’s main basin. That work was completed more quickly this fall because both barges were in use.
Cunningham says spring is the busiest time for his business, because “everyone is anxious to get on the water. We do offer priority service to 40 customers each year who pay an extra fee to be at the top of our installation list. The timing still is weather dependent, but our goal is to get to these customers in the first two weeks after ice goes out of the lake.”
Summers are spent answering service calls, delivering new product, offering sand delivery, even trimming trees and repairing rip rap.
“We also complete repair and maintenance work that we can’t get scheduled during the busy seasons. We spend our winter months maintaining equipment, planning for spring sales and assembling new product to ensure early spring delivery,” Cunningham says.
Jason Alsted is a full-time employee who has been with Cunningham for five years. Austin McMichael, a recent Panorama graduate, is in his third year of seasonal work on the barge.
“A shout out to my current crew and all those who have helped in the past,” Cunningham says. “It’s difficult to find great people who are willing to work in the elements and under the crunch time pressures of the spring and fall seasons of this business.”
Each year, Lake Panorama Barge Service installs and removes about 350 boat and jet ski lifts, plus hundreds of docks.
“I’m grateful to have met so many amazing people through this business,” Cunningham says. “I encourage customers to get in touch before the busy season to get on our schedule. Once we’re on the water, I can’t take phone calls. The motor is too noisy, and we’re usually on a job.”
Text or call Cunningham’s cell at 515-971-0226, email or call the shop at 641-755-3351.

As the number of waterfront lot owners grew, so did demand for services. At the July 2001 LPA board meeting, Mark Van Houten discussed the possibility of starting a new barge service. He requested the board limit additional competitors from entering the market until he could develop the business. The board approved Van Houten’s business plan and voted to limit barge service to two viable business operations for a period of three years.
Van Houten started his barge service that fall. He did much of the work to build his barge with help from another company. It is 12 feet wide, 30 feet long, and weighs 38,000 pounds.
During the boating season, the barge is docked overnight at the end of one of the marina slips. But most days, if the weather is good, Van Houten is on the barge somewhere on the lake. He has one full-time employee, Justin Firebaugh, and hires part-time help for spring and fall.
Van Houten doesn’t sell any products, but he does all installations for lifts and docks sold at Coulter Marine. Spring and fall are his busiest times, with lift and dock installation in the spring and removal in the fall, plus repair work during the summer months.
“As waterfront homes were built, many people bought lifts and docks at about the same time,” Van Houten says. “Now those are getting old, and people are replacing them with new. Much of my summer is spent hauling old equipment to the landfill and installing new lifts and docks. Or people move from one place to another and need to have their docks and lifts moved, too.”
Van Houten sends a mailer each spring and fall to current customers asking them what services they want to schedule with him. Once the completed form is mailed or emailed back, he adds those requests to his list.
“This is the best way for customers to be sure I have them on my schedule,” he says. “During the busy times of the year, I’m the guy doing the work, and I can’t stop in the middle of a job to answer phone calls. If someone hasn’t already responded to the mailer I sent, they can text or email me.”
Van Houten knows people are anxious to get their docks and lifts in the water each spring, and sometimes try to find out when he’ll get to them.
“Weather plays a big part in the timing,” he says. “If it is windy at your place, I can’t do it. I’m probably hiding out of the wind, working in coves or where the wind isn’t as strong.”
Timing also depends on where he can group various jobs.
“My barge moves at what I call a turtle pace; it’s not very fast. It takes me 45 minutes to get from the marina to the north end of the lake. It doesn’t make sense for me to go all the way to the north end for one job, just because that’s the order in which I received a customer’s request,” he says.
As Van Houten works his 21st fall season running a barge service on Lake Panorama, he says he still enjoys the work.
“I like being outside, like being around the water, and I’m not scared of hard work,” he says.
Van Houten can be reached via email at or by calling 515-975-7016.

At the LPA board meeting July 26, 2022, the board voted to allow Tyler and Aubrey Rupp, Deluxe Docks & Lifts, to operate a barge service beginning in 2023. Rupp was provided a length and horsepower variance, equivalent to what is in place for the two existing barges, plus a guarantee the LPA will not approve a fourth competitor for three years. Rupp’s barge will be docked north of the debris trap, since there isn’t space at the marina for a third company.
Rupp, his wife Aubrey, and their two young children purchased a vacation home at Lake Panorama in the fall of 2018. They live fulltime in Johnston. They started their business, Deluxe Docks & Lifts, in January 2021.
“We felt the lake membership wanted more options when it came to dock and lift sales and service,” Rupp says. “We evaluated many different product lines and found ShoreMaster has a portfolio of products we thought the community would love. We offer both floating and stationary docks and lifts and can accommodate any size and style of boat. The dock product line includes nine different decking styles and unlimited configuration options.”
Selling docks and lifts to Lake Panorama customers led to the idea of adding barge service to their business.
“As we grew, we recognized the need to have our own barge to better serve the lake membership,” Rupp says. “With a limited boating season, we understand how critical it is to maximize everyone’s time on the water between spring and fall.” 
Rupp spent the last year evaluating different barge manufacturers, as well as barge styles, and is having a barge custom-built in Minnesota.
“It’s a 30 foot, all aluminum, fork style barge,” he says. “Imagine a portable fork lift on the water. We partnered with another ShoreMaster dealer in Minnesota who has been in the dock and lift business for 20 years, and the hands-on training has been invaluable.”
Rupp says the company will hire employees to operate the barge. He says beginning next spring, Deluxe Docks & Lifts will be a full-service operation including new installs, annual install and removal, dock and lift reconfigurations, repairs, canopy replacements, and on-lake transportation for items like beach sand and building materials.
Recently they launched a customer service portal that can be accessed through the company website at and allows for customer scheduling and communication.
“The software allows us to provide customers with real-time information, visibility to scheduling, invoices, notifications via text or email when the job is complete, and other information,” Rupp says. “We are excited to offer this new communication model.”
In addition to the portal, customers can email or call 515-612-6467.


Posted 11/09/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

In 2019, Friends of Lake Panorama launched a program called Benches at Beaches. It started as a way to help families donate a high-quality metal bench that could include a plaque to memorialize a loved one. Each bench then is installed at the beach of the donor’s choosing.
Benches at Beaches targets individuals, couples and families interested in sponsoring a single bench. Benches can be purchased as a memorial for a loved one or by those who want to leave their mark on Lake Panorama while they are alive. Both stationary and swinging benches are available.
Two new blue swinging benches were installed in mid-October at Boulder Beach. These join two other swings and one stationary bench at Boulder. A swinging bench was added to Shady Beach in May. Both a stationary and a swinging bench were installed at Sunset Beach in 2021.
The current cost of either stationary or swinging bench on a concrete slab is about $3,350. Smaller memorial benches have been donated and installed at all three beach playgrounds and are another option donors can consider.
In keeping with the colors used for beach playground equipment, bench colors available are blue and green. Those interested in discussing a bench sponsorship can email or call Susan Thompson at 515-240-6536. Read on to learn more about the two new swings at Boulder Beach.

Cindy McCarty
Cindy McCarty liked the idea of donating a bench while she can personally enjoy it. She grew up in Guthrie Center and graduated from Guthrie Center High School in 1971 during the earliest days of Lake Panorama’s development.
“We used to come here after school and during the summer to swim and water ski with friends before there were any homes or other developments at the lake,” McCarty says. “It was beautiful then, and still so beautiful today.”
She lived away from Iowa during her college years, in Missouri for her undergraduate degree and in South Dakota for graduate school. Then she returned home and lived on a farm west of Guthrie Center until moving to Lake Panorama in 1991. McCarty has been a speech/language pathologist since 1976 working in Guthrie County and the surrounding area; she owns and works at Timber Creek Therapies between Panora and Guthrie Center.
McCarty’s three children all graduated from Guthrie Center. Her daughter, Emi, and her husband, Steve Swope, live in Adel, where their children, Bennett and Presley, age 10, and Beckett, age 6, attend school.
Jess, his wife, Kylie, daughter, Aubrey, and granddaughter, Noella, all live and work in Sarasota, Florida. Younger son, Kaleb, his wife, Remember, and their children, Kennedy, age 8, Kendrick, age 7, and Karter, age 3, also live, attend school and work in Sarasota.
“My children grew up at the lake, swimming, water skiing, golfing, fishing and loving and enjoying life here,” McCarty says. “When I learned about the new swinging benches at Boulder Beach, I knew I wanted to donate one on behalf of my children, grandchildren and myself. We have enjoyed a lot of time here, and I wanted to foster that for other families as well.”
The McCarty swing is located east of the concrete beach wall and provides a great view of the beach and Lake Panorama. For the bench plaque, McCarty chose the words “Carpe Diem” – Cindy McCarty & Family.
“I believe every day is a gift to reflect upon and be grateful for, so ‘Carpe Diem’ seemed like a good message from my family and me,” McCarty says. “Seize the day! May you all relax, reflect, enjoy the bench, the sunrises, sunsets, your families and friends and soak in the beauty all around you.”

Laurie Dawes
The other new swinging bench is between the Boulder Beach playground and the lake under the shade of several tall trees. Funds for the swing were donated by 18 different families from the Panora and Adel area in memory of Laurie Dawes, who passed away March 22, 2022, from complications related to ALS. She was diagnosed with the disease five years earlier and left behind her husband, Colby Dawes, and their two sons, Braylon and Bryce.
A love of sports was the common denominator between Laurie and the many friends in the Panora community who wanted to honor her memory by donating to the swing.
Laurie enjoyed participating in sports all her life. She graduated from ADM High School, where she was a four-sport athlete. She began her college education at Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska, where she studied nursing and had a successful softball career while on scholarship.
Kylee Boettcher, secondary instructional coach at Panorama Community Schools, led the fundraising effort for the swing. The Boettcher and Dawes families first met when their sons played park and rec baseball against each other. Then in 2019, Trey Boettcher joined the Dawes’ Hype USSSA baseball team.
The Dawes family lives on an acreage between Adel and Panora. Braylon and Bryce were attending ADM Community Schools when Laurie became ill. During the COVID pandemic when school was offered virtually, they studied from home. When it came time for ADM to reopen, the family was concerned about the boys returning to a large school and the possibility of bringing COVID home to Laurie.
Since they had friends in the Panora area, the family decided to open enroll the two boys in 2021 at Panorama Community Schools, a smaller school that continued in-person learning throughout the pandemic.
Both Dawes boys are active in sports, and Laurie was able to follow their activities. During the 2021-2022 season, she became a fan of the girls’ basketball team, coached by her friend Kylee Boettcher.
“We used a motto of ‘Play for Her’ throughout the year. She attended every girls basketball game at Panorama and was determined we would go to state,” Boettcher says. “And she was right. She made it to Wells Fargo arena to see them play games March 1 and March 4.”
Her parents, Ron and Pam Tryon, owned a lot at Lake Panorama for decades while living in Adel.
“Every Sunday for many, many years, we would come to Lake Panorama and have a picnic with family and friends right where Laurie’s swing is now,” says Pam Tryon. “She learned to water ski here as a young girl, and was always so excited when Sunday would roll around and we could be together at Lake Panorama.”
In 2021, as Laurie’s health declined, the Tryons bought a house near Boulder Beach. This gave the family a place to gather near the beach and where their boat could dock. Laurie could no longer go on the boat, but she enjoyed the view from her wheelchair in the shade. Now her swinging bench is located in the same spot.
The plaque on the bench includes these words — In Loving Memory of Laurie Dawes, 1978-2022, “Play for Her!”, Panther & Hype Family.
Boettcher asked family and friends to gather at Boulder Beach Oct. 25 to see the bench and take photos; 25 people showed up. What was planned as a photo session turned into an impromptu gathering of people eager to share hugs, memories and kind words about Laurie Dawes.
Boettcher summed it up: “This swinging bench is a good way to honor Laurie and will be used by her family and friends to enjoy and remember her for many years to come,” she said.
Shane goodman headshot

A time to give thanks

Posted 11/09/2022
By Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher

With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, it is a time for us all to give thanks for our families, our friends, our co-workers and all the other wonderful people we have the opportunities to get to know.

Inspiring others
Our company, Big Green Umbrella Media, also publishes CITYVIEW magazine, and we hosted an event last week called 22 from 2022, in which we honored people who made a positive difference in the central Iowa business community. We opened it up to nominations from readers, and we then selected the top candidates and honored them at an event at the Sherwood Forest Events Center on Nov. 3. Jolene and I presented awards to each of the honorees, and I briefly shared their accomplishments and examples of how they have selflessly given to the business community. In my opening comments, I shared a quote that says, “Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life; it’s about what you inspire others to do.”
In sharing the amazing things that these folks have done, it made me think about what more we all could do. I am a firm believer in supporting local businesses and that we all win when local businesses win. We should all keep that in mind as we shop for the holidays, go out for dinner and make even the simplest of purchases.

Social media mob culture
The LPA recently posted comments in its Panorama Prompt email newsletter regarding how to effectively communicate with the staff or the board of directors regarding any concerns with day-to-day operations, suggesting doing so directly via a phone call or an email to the LPA office. In the post, the LPA also acknowledged the “popularity and convenience of social media sites” but stated how they will not engage in debate on those forums. I wholeheartedly agree. My personal experience is that LPA staff and board members welcome the opportunity to work directly with members to resolve issues as best they can.
I am disheartened by the negative posts in recent months on social media platforms —most notably Nextdoor — that condemn the work of volunteers and area merchants and service providers, with some comments going as far as suggesting boycotts of these businesses. We are fortunate to live in a free country, and we have choices on where we choose to spend our money. Thank goodness for that.
I am a big supporter of free speech, but we also need to show some common courtesy and respect for others, especially during times of staffing shortages and supply chain issues. When we do have a problem or concern, we should attempt to resolve it directly with the source and not resort to the mob culture that so many social media sites have become feeding grounds for.
Social media users often forget that their comments and posts are searchable records, attached to their names forever. The issues or concerns they have may eventually be resolved or repaired, but those posts are permanent and, as such, not easily forgotten. During this time of giving thanks, I offer this as a reminder that we can all do better.

Thanksgiving humor
I veered off from my lake humor in last month’s column and offered Halloween jokes instead. I will keep the holiday trend going and give you a few Thanksgiving funnies to share around the turkey this year.
Why do turkeys love rainy days? They love foul weather.
What did the turkey say to the turkey hunter on Thanksgiving Day? Quack, quack.
What happened to the turkey that got in a fight? He got the stuffing knocked out of him.
What sound does a limping turkey make? Wobble, wobble.
And finally, what do you call a turkey the day after Thanksgiving? Lucky.

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


His involvement with Guthrie County Hospital began when he was delivered at the hospital to his parents, Dean and Virginia Flanery.

Posted 11/09/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

Dennis Flanery recently was named director of the Guthrie County Hospital Foundation with his first day on the job Sept. 1. Flanery and his wife, Diane, have had a home at Lake Panorama since 1985. He was elected to the Lake Panorama Association board of directors this past May and currently serves as the LPA board treasurer.
Flanery was raised on a farm his family still owns near Guthrie Center. He earned a finance degree at Iowa State University and worked at University Bank & Trust (now U.S. Bank) in Ames for 10 years. The family moved back to Guthrie Center, where Dennis was market president at Peoples Bank for 28 years.
Diane Flanery earned a degree in elementary education at Iowa State and taught 10 years at Nevada Schools. She transitioned to teaching at Guthrie Center Elementary, obtained her master’s in school administration from Iowa State, and now is the elementary principal in Guthrie Center for ACGC Schools.
In this month’s Q&A, Dennis Flanery talks about his involvement with the Guthrie County Hospital (GCH) and the GCH Foundation, current programs and future plans.

Q. You have a long history with the Guthrie County Hospital. Give us details.  
A. My involvement with Guthrie County Hospital began when I was delivered at the hospital to my parents, Dean and Virginia Flanery. During my life, I have used the hospital for tests, stays as a patient, surgeries and emergency room visits.
I was elected to the GCH Board of Trustees in 1996, served a six-year term, and was a team leader for a capital campaign. After my term as a trustee ended, I knew I wanted to continue being a part of the hospital. The services it provides for healthcare, and the economic impact it provides, are extremely important to the area.
In 2003, I was fortunate to be able to join the GCH Foundation board and have served as president and treasurer. I have always felt good about the work the foundation does for the hospital.
Q. Tell us more about the GCH Foundation. 
A. The foundation began in 1995 to solicit gifts and manage funds for the benefit or support of healthcare of the citizens within Guthrie County. We currently have a 13-member board that meets the second Tuesday of each month. The meetings are held at 7:30 a.m. at the hospital. The board takes an active role with fundraisers, promotion of the hospital and its services, and management of the foundation assets.
Current board officers and members include Steve Smith, chair; Kim Finnegan, secretary; Laura Stetzel, treasurer; Kent Stephenson, past chair; Eloise Wilson; Forrest Schnobrich; Kirby Klinge; Maggie Armstrong; Sherry Eddy; Nancy Armstrong; Susan Bowland; Tom Godwin; and Mary Jane Carothers.
Jodi Sutton was our last foundation director, and she left the position nearly 10 years ago. I had the pleasure of working with Jodi, and she did an outstanding job. She now resides in Dallas, Texas, close to family. I spoke with her a few weeks ago, and she was the same outgoing, positive person I remember. She was happy I had taken the position and wished me and our board the best.
We started talking about hiring a director several years ago, but with COVID and some other issues, we took our time as a board. I really enjoyed my career at Peoples Bank but started thinking about the new opportunity to benefit the hospital as the foundation director. I am excited to work with my board to promote and expand on the past successes of the foundation.

Q. You’ve said one of the services the GCH Foundation provides that you’re most proud of is the courtesy van program. Tell us how that operates. 
A. The foundation owns two vans that provide free rides to the hospital or clinics for appointments and tests. Patients anywhere in Guthrie County can be picked up and returned home with the service, but they must be able to enter and exit the van with little assistance.
It is expensive to purchase the vans and cover maintenance and fuel. However, the board feels the benefits to the hospital and county outweigh the cost.
Volunteers drive one day a week, Monday through Friday, and substitute drivers fill in as needed. We are extremely grateful to these volunteers who donate their time to provide this valuable service. Our current drivers are Bill Sparks, Jay Merryman, JoAnn Johnson, Reuben Hanson, Ron Eike and Stan Landon. We are always looking for drivers. If interested, please call 641-332-3879.

Q. Fundraising is a big part of the work of the GCH Foundation. What’s planned for the coming months? 
A. Our next big fundraising push is our annual appeal, which begins in November and runs through January. The Annual Appeal solicits money each year for various projects and needs. This year’s project is centered on being heart healthy. Funding will focus on cardiac rehab and new EKG machines for the hospital and for our four clinics located in Adair, Guthrie Center, Panora and Stuart.
The foundation’s largest fundraiser each year is our golf tournament held at Lake Panorama National. It is always held the second Tuesday in July and fills up each year. Next year’s event will be Tuesday, July 11, 2023.
In addition to the golf tournament, the foundation plans to add two or three more fundraisers in 2023. One event will be women-only at the LPN Conference Center on April 14. That event will be a lot of fun, and proceeds will benefit the nursing staff at the hospital. More details to come soon on this and all other planned events.
Anyone interested in discussing donations, fundraising assistance or planned gifts can contact me at 641-332-3879 or

Five projects move from the current list to the completed list.

Posted 11/09/2022
By Susan Thompson
Lake Panorama Times 

By the time 2022 comes to a close, Friends of Lake Panorama will have moved five projects from the current list to the completed list. At the same time, planning and fundraising is underway for improvements to existing trails on the south shore of Lake Panorama’s main basin.

Lake Panorama Dog Park
The biggest of the five projects is the Lake Panorama dog park. Friends of Lake Panorama launched a $50,000 fundraising effort in September 2020. Donations reached $45,000 by the time the 2021 Beach Ball was held, which provided another $5,000 to reach the project goal.
Construction began in September 2021, and the park opened June 10, 2022. It is located at the corner of Sage Trail and RV Road, near the east campground. The park includes a 6-foot-high chain link fence 400 feet long and 150 fee wide. There are two sections, one for small dogs and one for large dogs.
This fall, another $4,500 raised at the 2022 Beach Ball was used to purchase benches and trees for the dog park. Four Autumn Blaze Maples from Isom Tree Farm were planted in early October. Two metal benches on concrete pads will be installed in late November.

Panorama West Nature Trail 
The final pieces of a project that received 2021 Beach Ball funding came together in late October. A total of $5,000 was committed to the Panorama West Nature Trail, plus some private donations were received. Portions of an existing trail being used by a limited number of people and the Panorama school’s cross-country track teams now is a designated trail and ready for visitors.
Seven posts with directional signage and a trailhead sign have been installed plus two benches. Parking is in a cul-de-sac at the end of Nicholl Drive, which intersects with Panorama Road just south of the Panorama West clubhouse. The trailhead sign features a drawing of the trail. Users are encouraged to take a photo of the drawing to help guide them on the trail.
At the three-quarter mile mark, there is an optional three-quarter of a mile loop. Those who use the official trail, plus the optional loop, will complete 2.25 miles. The trail winds through grassy open areas and timber and does not cross any portion of the golf course or roadways.

Sunset Beach Swings 
In 2014, shortly after receiving 501(c)3 nonprofit status, Friends of Lake Panorama started raising funds for a large destination playground at Sunset Beach. The playground opened in summer of 2016, replacing an old slide, merry-go-round and swings.
Some expressed disappointment swings were no longer available. The Friends board decided to use proceeds from the 2021 Beach Ball to bring swings back to Sunset Beach. Three swings were ordered August 25, 2021, and installed in late August of this year. The swings, which include two belt swings and one toddler swing, are directly west of the existing playground.

Sunset Beach Sports Court 
The Friends board had discussed a basketball half-court at Sunset Beach for several years, and the LPA board approved this project in June 2021. The idea of expanding the basketball court to include pickleball was raised at an informational meeting at Sunset Beach this summer. Adding an extra 10 feet to the original plan made it possible to accommodate pickleball.
A total of $17,500 from the 2022 Beach Ball was earmarked for this project. Mark and Karen Einck donated $25,000 for the court with another $5,500 in donations also received.
The concrete pad was poured Oct. 26. Sport Construction Midwest employees installed a Goalsetter MVP hoop, placed sports court tile on the concrete, and painted lines for both basketball and pickleball. An 8-foot high fence and one gate will finish off this project. Once the fence is in place, a portable pickleball net on wheels will be available.

Shade Sails at LPN
While the other four projects completed in 2022 have been in the planning stages for a while, the fifth project came together quickly this spring at Lake Panorama National Resort. A total of 304 ash trees were removed from the golf course in February, with eight of those being large shade trees located around the Spikes snack shop and between the first and 10th tees.
Research on artificial shade options led to Shade Sails of Iowa and a project that would cost $22,000. Fundraising began in early April, and the goal was reached in early June.
Six metal poles were installed in concrete footings in the grassy “horseshoe” area in front of Spikes. On July 7, two heavy-duty fabric sails were attached to the poles at angles. The main use of this area is for golfers in carts before and after tournaments and league play. To make it more versatile, electrical power and lights were added.

South Shore
At its Aug. 30 meeting, the LPA board approved a proposal from Friends of Lake Panorama that will make improvements to existing trails on the south shore of Lake Panorama’s main basin.
The board also approved Friends and LPA staff working with Panorama Community Schools personnel to move the cross country team trail from Panorama West to the south shore. The cross country trail will begin on school property, continue onto the south shore for much of the course, and loop back to end on school property.
So far, the school has spent about $5,000 to make a path through an area of cedar trees on LPA property that is near the northwest corner of school property. This new path is about 25 feet wide and about 100 yards long and will connect with existing trail sections on the south shore. Stumps were removed, and the ground has been smoothed and is ready for grass seed that school personnel will spread later this month so it will be ready to germinate in the spring.
School personnel also are committed to ongoing maintenance assistance and have pieces of equipment that can be used to keep the trails smooth and brush cleared.
The south shore has several existing trail sections that will be combined into a single structure offering a variety of lengths and difficulty. Users will be able to choose a combination of loops based on the total distance they want to walk. Final details for the trail system will be developed in spring 2023.
Earlier this year, Friends of Lake Panorama presented a recreational concept for the south shore to the LPA board, which included disc golf, fishing dock and a small shelter, in addition to the walking trail enhancements. Friends continues to research these additional low-impact recreational amenities and will return to the LPA board in 2023 for further discussion.
All donations to Friends are tax-deductible, and donors receive a confirmation letter for tax purposes. Statistics indicate a high percentage of charitable contributions are made in the last few weeks of the year. Those interested in making a donation to Friends of Lake Panorama in 2022 have several options.
Current donation options are the South Shore trail enhancements and the Friends general fund. A coupon to complete and send with a donation is available in an ad on page 16.  Donations by check can be mailed to Friends at P.O. Box 488, Panora, Iowa, 50216.
Direct donations can be sent via Venmo @Panorama-Friends. Donations also can be made by credit card online at Details about other ways to donate, plus all past, present and future Friends projects also are on the Friends website.

Bruce Reis 

Posted 11/09/2022
Bruce LeRoy Reis of Des Moines passed away Oct. 20, 2022, surrounded by his loving wife and children at the EveryStep Kavanagh House in Des Moines.
Bruce was born March 6, 1950, in Ames. He was the second son of five children of Raymond and Lillian (Johnson) Reis.
Following graduation from Woodbine High School in 1968, Bruce attended the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, where he received a degree in business.
Bruce was a devoted brother and regarded family as his top priority. Bruce married Linda Seeley on Aug. 10, 1973.
He had an unwavering loyalty, work ethic and determination for doing his best. He worked for Tommy Gate in western Iowa for many years before moving to Perry in 1992. He finished his sales career of nearly four decades at Jim Hawk Trailers.
Throughout his life, Bruce was a talented vegetable gardener who loved sharing his harvest. He and Linda’s shared vision of their beautiful historic home renovations could have been an HGTV series.
As a brother, husband, father and grandfather, he taught by example to keep your word and if you’re not happy, do something about it, and don’t live your life complaining. Bruce had high morals. He was always polite and available to listen without judgement or comment unless asked.
He loved to be outdoors, respected the environment and while we joked about his frugality, he was a savvy investor and taught his family to be financially responsible.
Bruce loved spending time with his family, who are the pride of his life. He didn’t miss an event of his four children and supported them without pressure. He taught them a variety of life skills, from ice fishing at Willow Lake and building sturdy tree houses to enduring friendships to running a small business, Park Snacks in Woodbine.
He took on the role of grandpa with ease, from hourlong golf cart rides to tickle time and bottomless bowls of fruit loops.
In retirement, Bruce enjoyed golfing and traveling with Linda and fishing, “Fishy, fishy in the brook, please get on my little hook” was his call, and there wasn’t a fish he didn’t keep and clean.
Survivors include wife, Linda, of Des Moines; daughter, Kasey, and her partner, Don Burton, of Des Moines; daughter, Kate, and her husband, Steve Clark, and grandchildren, Owen and Eloise, of Des Moines; son, Jim, and his wife, Rachel Reis, and grandsons, Benton and Tyson, of Adel; daughter, Fran, and her husband, Ben Seitz, and grandchildren, Henry and Hazel, of Oak View, California; sister, Barbara Craver, of Davenport; and sister, Kristin Hill, of Palm Harbor, Florida.
Bruce was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Michael Reis; and sister, Susan Tweedy.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at EveryStep Kavanagh House for the exceptional care Bruce received. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity. A celebration of Bruce’s life is planned for Saturday, Nov. 26 from 2-6 p.m. at the Proletariat, 1213 Second St. in Perry. 

Susan Osburn

Posted 11/09/2022
Susan Elaine Osburn, 70, daughter of Eugene and Helen (Senff) DeWitt, was born May 5, 1952, in Oskaloosa.  She passed away Oct. 17, 2022, at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center.
Susan grew up in Jordan, Iowa and attended United Community School. The family moved to Humboldt, and she graduated from Humboldt High School in 1970. Following high school, she served in the United States Air Force from 1970 to 1972. She was always proud of her time in the Air Force. She worked at Farm Bureau Insurance for 37 years as a business analyst, retiring from full-time work in 2008 and from part-time work in 2014. On Nov. 20, 1993, she married Jerry Osburn in Grimes. They moved to Lake Panorama in December 2012.
Susan enjoyed fishing, camping, animals, picking wild flowers, repurposing greeting cards and sending them to family and friends. She was a member of Faith Bible Church, Panora. Family and church were very important to her.
Susan is survived by her husband, Jerry Osburn, of Panora; daughters, Heidi Willis, of West Des Moines, and Leah Spencer, of Adel; son-in-law, Chris Willis, of Pike Road, Alabama; granddaughters, Reanna Rogers, of Boone, and DJ Willis, of Pike Road, Alabama; grandson, Christian Green, of Pike Road, Alabama; great-grandson, Jace Gittings, of Boone; brother, Larry (Louise) DeWitt, of Urbandale; sisters, Joyce DeWitt of Granger; Mary (Jerry) Sebben of Waukee; and Patricia DeWitt of Granger; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Funeral services were Oct. 24, 2022, at Faith Bible Church, Panora. Burial was in the Iowa Veterans Cemetery near Van Meter on Nov. 7, 2022. Twigg Funeral Home, Panora, was entrusted with her services. 

Landus brings change, but many things stay the same
Harvest is the busiest time of the year for the farm cooperative.

Posted 11/09/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

For many years, the large complex of grain bins, an office building and truck scales on the northeast corner of Panora was part of the Heartland Co-op. In February 2022, Landus and Heartland Co-op reached an agreement for Landus to purchase the Panora and Rippey grain and agronomy assets from Heartland, while Heartland purchased the Woodward and Earlham grain, agronomy and feed assets from Landus.
This brought some changes to the Panora farm cooperative, but many things have stayed the same. One of those is Brenda Wilson, who continues as the Panora location lead, just as she was for 20 years under Heartland Co-op. Wilson graduated from Adair-Casey High School and earned an associate degree at Nebraska College of Business in Omaha.
“If it weren’t for my customers throughout the years who had confidence in me, I may have stayed with Heartland just because it was familiar and safe,” Wilson says. “But I look out for my customers, and I think a lot of each of them.”
Another reason Wilson decided to make the move to Landus was because of its president and CEO, Matt Carstens, a Guthrie County native.
Carstens grew up near Bagley where his family still farms and attended high school in Panora, where he met his wife, Shanda. He earned a degree in agricultural business from Iowa State University. After 25 years of experience in the agriculture industry, he was named Landus Cooperative president and CEO in March 2020.
Aaron Hall, who had worked for Heartland for eight years, also became a Landus employee, along with Wilson.
“We have a wonderful part-time/seasonal crew including Sheila Trent, who’s been here 13 years; Butch Grage, who retired from Landus in Bayard but has helped us part-time for five years; Gavin Pote; and three migrant workers from Mexico who are here for harvest season,” Wilson says.
Carstens says it’s been a privilege getting to work more closely with farmers in the Panora community.
“We also have been thrilled to welcome new employees to the Landus team this past year at Panora,” he says. “The local employees know the community and local farmers better than anyone, so it’s important we support and empower them to do what’s right for their farmers.”
Harvest is the busiest time of the year for the cooperative, as trucks filled with harvested grain cross the scales to be weighed before unloading.
“We have corn storage for more than 1.7 million bushels and soybean storage of over 416,000 bushels here in Panora,” says Wilson. “This harvest season, we’ve received more than 600,000 bushels of beans. Our overage is shipped to Yale or Ralston during soybean harvest.
“We want our farmers to bring us their grain and we’ll figure out where it goes,” she continues. “We work hard to be open and ready to serve during harvest season, since we know how hard our farmers are working. We’re in the grain business, and we’ll work to serve our customers for all of their corn and soybean needs. We’re also proud to serve the needs of the community with lawn fertilizer, lawn chemicals, packaged chemicals, pet foods and livestock feeds.”
The earliest known roots of Landus developed in 1888 with Farmers Elevator and Livestock Company in Jordan, Iowa. Over the years, dozens of elevators, grain companies, feed millers and suppliers, agronomy facilities and even a hardware store and energy company merged, changed hands and banded together. The transformations culminated in 2016 with the founding of Landus.
Landus is headquartered in Des Moines and serves more than 7,000 farmer-owners in Iowa and Minnesota. Membership is a one-time fee of $500 and is systemwide, not tied to a specific location. Members enjoy discounts on vehicles and hotel rooms, can attend the cooperative’s virtual annual meeting in December, and earn patronage on their purchases from Landus.
Besides the fairly new Landus location in Panora, other Landus locations in Guthrie County are in Bayard, Casey, Stuart and Yale. Carstens says the purchase of the Panora location was a good move for farmer members in the area.
“Through our expansive rail network and optimization partnerships, Landus was able to immediately plug the Panora facility into a powerful hub of grain demand. Panora is key to helping us support our grain asset in Hamlin, where we recently announced a partnership with AMVC to build a state-of-the-art feed mill that will consume more than eight million bushels of corn annually,” Carstens says.
“Panora also is critical to our shuttle loading facility in Bayard, where we shipped out more than 17 million bushels of corn to export markets last year,” he says. “Panora is such a great strategic fit for Landus within this territory, which gives local farmers closer access to more valuable markets and end users of their grain. We’ve been able to shorten the distance local grain has to travel to access rail or processing markets.”
Landus is the seventh largest grain company in North America as measured by grain storage. The cooperative has more than 600 employees across 60 locations in the United States and Mexico and exports 19% of the corn and 16% of the soybean grown in Iowa.
Meanwhile, at the Landus location in Panora, Wilson is busy taking care of her farmer customers and praising her team for their hard work and dedication. She also owns a commercial cleaning business, and she and her husband farm in the Casey area, where they raise corn, beans, hay and have a commercial cow-calf operation. 


Posted 11/09/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times

In late October, Lake Lumber in Panora introduced a new display of items sure to be of interest to area dog and cat owners. Lake Lumber is owned by Kelvin and Stephanie Hafner, after the business was purchased from Tom and Sharon Neel in 2021. The Neels continue to work at Lake Lumber.
“I attended my first hardware buying market in Rochester, Minnesota, with Sharon in June,” says Stephanie Hafner. “There were several pet line vendors with an array of products for pet lovers. Lake Lumber already had a small selection of pet products, but after talking with Sharon and Kelvin, we decided to expand the pet department. Kelvin and I have a long-standing rule of no pets in our home, so we’re excited to help others spoil their fur babies.”
Hafner reached out to close friends who have pets to get feedback on product offerings.
“We brought in several different companies to provide an assortment of supplies for pet owners,” she says. “For dogs, we now have treats and toys, collars, leads and harnesses, life jackets, apparel, grooming supplies, bowls, and waste cleanup supplies. There also is a small selection of cat toys and treats.”
While Hafner says Lake Lumber always has welcomed service dogs, the business has adopted a more pet-friendly atmosphere so owners can bring their pets with them as they shop.
Lake Lumber also now has a stuffed Black Lab mascot that needs a name.
“We’re inviting anyone interested to stop in and enter a name for our mascot at the new pet display or add their entry in the comments on the Lake Lumber Facebook and Instagram accounts,” Hafner says.
Entry deadline is Nov. 30, 2022. The person who submits the winning name will receive a $50 Lake Lumber gift card. A drawing of all others who participate will be held, with that person winning a $20 gift card. 

The full-color, hardcover 112-page book includes both historic and contemporary photos.

Posted 11/09/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times 

Those looking for a holiday gift for family members or friends might want to consider purchasing one or more copies of “Lake Panorama – The First 50 Years.” The book, authored by Susan Thompson, arrived at the Lake Panorama Association office July 19, 2019.
The full-color, hardcover 112-page book includes both historic and contemporary photos. Chapters in the book describe six decades of planning and development. There also are special topic chapters on Lake Panorama’s golf courses, infrastructure and water quality efforts. Sidebar stories highlight various groups and activities such as HALO, Lake Panorama ski team, Fin and Feather, Fourth of July fireworks and more.
The LPA financed the book’s production. About 1,000 books were printed, with 350 purchased online in advance. About 175 remain in stock. The book’s cost is $25, which includes tax. LPA will ship at an additional cost of $5 per book. Once ordered online, books will be shipped from Panora in 7-10 business days.
Books are available for direct purchase at the LPA front desk Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The book also is available in the Lake Panorama National Resort pro shop. Purchases can be made at the LPA and LPN via cash, check or credit card. The book also is available at the Panora Library, with purchases cash or check only.
Here is the link to order online and have one or more books shipped: or scan the QR code. 

Raises enough money to award $500 scholarships each spring to two graduating Panorama Community School students. 

Posted 11/09/22
For many years, the area service club Women for Panora’s Future (WFPF) sponsored a Christmas tour of homes the first Sunday in December. The tour was canceled the last two years because of COVID concerns but is making a comeback for 2022.
“We are excited to be doing this project again after two years,” says Marcia Roenfeld, WFPF president. “In addition to our annual raffle for a monthly plate of cookies or a pie, and our can collection drive the months of May and June, this is our big fundraiser for scholarships.”
The home tour normally raises enough money to award $500 scholarships each spring to two graduating Panorama Community School students.
This year’s home tour will be Sunday, Dec. 4, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Ticket holders choose their own route to each location during that time period.
“We are excited to have five homeowners who will have decorated for Christmas and be ready to showcase their homes,” Roenfeld says. “Four of the homes are at Lake Panorama, and one is in Panora.”
Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased in advance from club members, at the Panora Library, at the Panora Community Center the day of the tour, or by contacting Roenfeld at Door prizes, raffle prizes and holiday refreshments also will be available at the Community Center 1-4:30 p.m.
Tickets must be presented at the door of each home the day of the event. Homes on the tour are owned by David and Deborah Townsend, Ken and Jan Tolton, Andrew and Abby Pudenz, Tim and Susan Schafer, and Galen and Carol Redshaw. Home addresses will be printed on the tickets.
The WFPF club has been in existence for 50 years. The first Christmas home tour was in 1978 with 70 people attending at a ticket price of $3.
In addition to the home tour, WFPF members help decorate the Panora town square for Christmas and run the candy cane walk and cake walk during community events. They donate cookies for Memorial Day activities and the Haunted Village; clean the roadside ditches on Highway 4 north of Panora twice a year; hold two blood drives a year; and donate money to several local organizations. They also purchase Christmas presents for all residents of Panora Specialty Care.
The group meets the first Tuesday of each month and welcomes new members. Contact Roenfeld at for more information.


Posted 11/09/22
This is the 49th year the Panora Women’s Service Organization (WSO) annual salad luncheon has been part of the local holiday season. This year’s fundraising luncheon is Friday, Dec. 2.
The WSO luncheon begins serving at noon and is held in the St. Cecelia Catholic Church basement. As guests arrive, they can purchase raffle tickets and sign up for door prizes.
Tickets are $20 with only 125 available. The meal includes ham balls, rolls and a large variety of salads made by WSO members. Tickets can be purchased from any WSO member, at the Panora Library, or by contacting the WSO president, Toni Wright, 641-757-0886 or
Proceeds from the WSO holiday luncheon help fund local projects and make it possible to provide a $500 scholarship to one Panorama High School graduating senior each year, which can be renewed annually for up to three years. In most years, WSO is providing $2,000 in scholarship money to four Panorama graduates.
Another big fundraising event for WSO is an annual home tour each June, which this year will be Friday, June 2. This will be the 47th WSO home tour. Tickets for this event also will be limited so those interested will want to contact their usual ticket seller in early May.
The salad luncheon and home tour will secure this year’s scholarships plus make it possible to donate to other local causes. Some of those include Tori’s Angels, Panora Library, Heritage Park, Guthrie County Historical Village, Guthrie County Food Pantry, and the Panora Garden Club Main Street petunia trees and flower pots. 

Final cost is estimated to be $780,000. 

Posted 11/09/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times 

A water quality project that has been discussed for many years has begun. JNC Construction, of Clearfield, Iowa, began work Oct. 31 to repair the rip rap along the south shore of Lake Panorama’s main basin. The company was awarded the project with a bid of $693,897.
This project is being funded by the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ). It’s estimated the final cost will be about $780,000, including engineering costs, permit fees and unit quantity adjustments.
JNC expects the project to take six to seven weeks. Work began near the ski team dock and will move west. The crew will do 1,000-feet sections of shoreline at a time. First, they will pull all the existing rock out of the bank and lake. Next, they will regrade the bank, lay fabric, and place dolomite rip rap below the lake level up to the water elevation line. Once the dolomite is in place, the salvaged field stone will be put back on top of the dolomite above the water elevation line.
The crew will have a debris curtain about 300 feet long in the water to contain any loose grass or debris that may fall into the lake while they are working. Also, there are several drainages that go toward the lake from the south shore. JNC will place drainage culverts in these areas to allow water to safely run back toward the lake.
In 2021, JNC Construction completed three projects at Lake Panorama, adding rip rap on the west side of the Burchfield Cove river channel; creating a “bench” and sediment basin for long-reach excavator use in that area; and adding rip rap at the County basin to address some shoreline erosion.
RIZ and the Lake Panorama Association signed a formal agreement in exchange for RIZ funding of the project. The agreement states the South Shore must remain a greenspace for at least the next 15 years. Projects such as walking trails, docks or picnic areas are not considered development and may be included as part of the greenspace definition.  

Thanksgiving traditions and memory-making meals

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Posted 11/09/2022
By Jolene Goodman

(Family Features) Thanksgiving traditions build, change and establish through the years. Our family’s are ever changing, but some things have become tradition. One is that we are open to changing up meals, gatherings, locations, etc. We now have two daughters living out of state — way out of state, in California and Arizona. Geography will be challenging for us now, but I am happy to share that for the upcoming holiday we will all be together at a Colorado destination. In recent years, we have changed up the holiday “meat” from turkey or ham to ham balls. Ham balls along with those classic sides have been our tradition. These are agreed favorites of everyone. But, as I flip through current recipe ideas, I am going to add a baked turkey breast to the menu this year. Time to change it up a bit. I don’t even care if anyone eats it. I love leftover turkey to make casseroles, tacos, soups, etc. And, I have missed it. Following is a recipe I am going to try this year that I think you will like. If you try and like it, send me a note. Thanks for reading!

Turkey Cranberry Dinner Rolls
Nonstick cooking spray
1 package of Wonder Dinner Rolls
2 cups diced turkey, cooked
1 cup cranberry sauce or relish
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon dried minced onion
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon parsley
1 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325 F. Cover 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Remove rolls from package in one piece, cutting entire slab in half lengthwise to create one half of “tops” and one half of “bottoms.”
Place bottom half in foil-covered pan and layer with turkey, cranberry sauce and Swiss cheese. Add top half of rolls.
In microwave, melt butter and whisk in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion and salt and pepper, to taste. Pour evenly over rolls.
Cover with foil and let sit 5-10 minutes then bake, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese. Slice into individual rolls.

Trish Hart’s nature photo of the month

Posted 11/09/2022
By Susan Thompson 
Lake Panorama Times 

One of the great things about living in Iowa is experiencing four seasons. Every autumn, we can look forward to the beauty of fall colors on the many varieties of hardwood trees at Lake Panorama. Yellow, red and orange leaves are the result of chemical processes that take place in trees as the seasons change from summer to winter.
Since April 2017, Trish Hart has worked 20-25 hours a week at the Lake Panorama National Resort front desk. The trees surrounding the LPN conference center and on the golf course often provide her with beautiful views begging to be captured on camera.
Such was the case with these maple trees that line the grassy area between the Clover Ridge condos and the LPN driving range net. Maple trees offer some of the most brilliant fall colors. The leaves of soft silver maples turn yellow, while the leaves of hard maples turn flame red.
Hart offers custom prints of her photos on canvas, paper, metal and glass. Learn more by visiting Nature’s Canvas Photography on Facebook