Corydon Times

Judy Utiger-Bacci provides rehab to Wayne County through reading
Marcus Ayala, son of Lacey and Enos Ayala of Corydon, reads a story to the LeCompte Memorial Library’s official teddy bear, T.S. Eliot. Photo by Judy Utiger-Bacci
Judy Utiger-Bacci, director of the LeCompte Memorial Library in Corydon, prefaces her own story with self-effacement, saying she cannot replicate fellow librarian Jackie Gunzenhauser’s round kick.

“My idea of exercise is from the door to the car,” Utiger-Bacci joked.

Gunzenhauser, a Black Belt, is Utiger-Bacci’s counterpart at the library in Humeston. Like Gunzenhauser, Utiger-Bacci is nonnative to southern Iowa, but wishes to do her part to expand the perspectives of the people, specifically the children, in Wayne County. She believes in their potential.

Though she might not be able to break boards, Utiger-Bacci did read 'War and Peace' when she was only 11 years old, and understands the power of narrative. She understands the transformative nature of reading for young people.

Feb 23, 2015, 08:39

Ryan Kirsch finds new role on sidelines of Cyclone basketball
Ryan Kirsch, left, with Iowa State head basketball coach Fred Hoiberg.

Ryan Kirsch posts up for the Cyclone men’s basketball managers team, pivoting against the Iowa State coaches’ squad, minus Fred Hoiberg. Each pass and bank shot feels natural to him, like a memory. This motion comes more fluidly to Kirsch than applying conformal coating during his day job as an industrial engineering major at ISU. He doesn’t want to quit his day job—he’s just seeking a balance.

Kirsch was the valedictorian of the 2011 Wayne Community High School graduating class, but he is more than just a smart kid. He participated in basketball, football, baseball and cross country.

Feb 16, 2015, 12:08

Locals organize Wayne Community School District’s first Special Olympics cheer squad
The Wayne Special Olympics mixed cheer squad is pictured above, front row from left to right, Suzie Moorman, Cody Ebbers, Chelsea Sloan and Sarah Moorman. Back row, left to right, Jerica Hysell, Kenna Nickell, Tatym Kunzie, Abby Clark and Alexis Stroud. Photo by Jason Selby
On the second floor of the Corydon American Legion building, Nicole Becker diligently organizes a line of dancers into the formations of a cheer squad. The clacks of tap shoes mix with the squeak of sneakers, echoing throughout the room. Parents lean against the wall as their children stretch.

Some are special needs students from Wayne Community School District. Others are former youth cheerleaders from Wayne Elementary whom Becker coaches. Becker is also a dance instructor at Precision Dance Studio along with co-owner Erin Ebbers.

The students are preparing to compete for Wayne’s first mixed cheerleading squad at the Special Olympics. The team will perform in Iowa City on Sat., March 14.

Feb 9, 2015, 12:51

Michael Pugh travels the world to share scientific knowledge
Dr. Michael Pugh, center in the white coat, stands with Russian farmers during a trip representing the American Embryo Transfer Association.
Since 2006, Michael Pugh has owned and operated Westwood Embryo Services, a specialty veterinary clinic in Waverly, which is around 20 minutes north of Cedar Falls. He travels from Minnesota to Missouri providing specialty services.

“We like it because it’s a bigger town with a small town feel,” Pugh said of Waverly. “Good schools and things like that.”

Growing up, Pugh learned the importance of education and a supportive community.

Pugh is a 1992 graduate of Wayne Community High School. He grew up on a farm two miles north of Corydon, raised by loving parents Sharon Pugh and the late Don Pugh. He earned his BS in animal science from Iowa State University in 1996, his MS in animal production: reproductive physiology in 1999, and his DVM in 2006. Pugh still serves as a mentor for college students, who often hail from ISU.

Feb 2, 2015, 09:30

Wayne County native Jason Tuttle named Ames Police Spokesman
Wayne County native Jason Tuttle is taking over the role of investigations commander and spokesperson for the Ames Police department. Photo courtesy of the Ames Tribune
When Jason Tuttle was a young boy in the Cub Scouts, Iowa State Trooper Brian Shelley was one of his Cub Scout leaders.

“I was always really interested in his job,” Tuttle began. “At the time, he lived a couple blocks up from my grandpa, so I would often walk by his house and see his squad car sitting out front of the house. That was my first exposure to the field of policing.

“As I got older, I thought about what I wanted to do in college, and criminal justice just seemed like the obvious fit.”

Tuttle attended Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa before earning his degree from Buena Vista University. He is a 1995 graduate of Mormon Trail Community High School.

Jan 27, 2015, 15:06