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5th Annual ORBRO

The date for the 5th Annual ORBRO is set for Saturday, April 21 at 2:00 PM, hosted by Oskaloosa Rides Bikes. The group will start at The Tap, located at 206 Rock Island in Oskaloosa and the distance is less than 15 miles. According to the Oskaloosa Area Chamber & Development Group, the group will ride clockwise and stop at Bobzilla’s Bike Shop as well as a couple of other stops as they ride around Oskaloosa. New this year – a scavenger hunt. Get your bike tuned up and be sure to bring your helmet and a friend or two!

5th Annual ‘Chalk the Walk’

On Saturday, April 21, head on over to the Oskaloosa Square for a day of family fun, art, and music for the 5th Annual ‘Chalk the Walk’ event from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM. This is a free-will donation event with all proceeds going to the United Way of Mahaska County. About Chalk the Walk: This event is an annual fundraiser for Operation Backpack, a program which provides local children with essential school supplies. For more information, call 641-676-3400.

Learn About Compost for Garden Basics Class

Come learn about “black gold” (AKA compost) at this Garden Basics class on Thursday April 19, at 6:30 PM at the Mahaska County Extension and Outreach Office; 212 North I Street, Oskaloosa. Compost is decomposed plant material with some soil. It is a fertilizer form and increases organic matter. Adding compost to the soil in vegetable and flower beds benefits the plants growing in them.

Garden Basics classes are local Master Gardeners presenting live classes on a variety of gardening topics. Each one is an independent topic presented as a family friendly presentation. They are FREE, open to the public and for anyone wishing to learn about the topic. There is no pre-registration.

For more information about this or other horticulture programs, calling the MCEO at 641-673-5841 or emailing Suzette Striegel, Mahaska County Extension Horticulturist at striegel@iastate.edu.

Oskaloosa Trees Forever Fundraiser Golf Tournament

Oskaloosa Trees Forever invites you to golf in the annual Oskaloosa Trees Forever Fundraiser Golf Tournament. The four person best position tournament has been rescheduled (again) for Saturday, May 5, at Edmundson Golf Course in Oskaloosa. For more information, call Matt Sherlock at 641-673-5120. Your support helps to plant trees in Oskaloosa.

Alley Gets a Spring Cleaning to Jump Start the Season

(OSKALOOSA, Iowa) – Even with cool temperatures, it was just “spring enough” to give The Alley a good spring cleaning Tuesday, April 10. Spring cleaning for The Alley, located in downtown Oskaloosa just off the square between Smokey Row and Bridal Dreams, meant out with the winter greenery, in with the tables, umbrellas and chairs, anticipating another fun filled season.

Many helping hands pitched in for the effort from the Central College Student Volunteers, the Oskaloosa Fire Department, the Oskaloosa Street Department, Alley-friend Harold, Oskaloosa Main Street, and the Alley KADTS. Jaarsma Bakery also contributed tasty goods for the occasion, as well.

May flowers will soon follow the clean up, so visitors and residents alike are urged to stop by The Alley throughout the season and have some lunch or book a party.  On Thursdays, beginning May 31 through August 2, live music and wine will be had at 6:00 PM and visitors can also cross the street to the park in the square at 8:00 PM on Thursdays to hear the Oskaloosa City Band.

To keep up on news and updates from The Alley, give the page a “Like” on Facebook.

-Information submitted by Sherry Vavra, Mahaska County Recreation Foundation

Oskaloosa Women’s Connection Monthly Dinner

The Oskaloosa Women’s Connection (OWC) invites all women to join the group at the Peppertree in Oskaloosa for their monthly dinner on Monday, April 9 at 6:30 PM. The speakers will be Nicollete Lane, Steve Dixson, along with some of his students. whom will talk about and demonstrate robotics. Music will be provided by Andy Fuller. For reservations, call Twink at 673-7345 or Judy at 672-2313 by April 5. If the need to cancel should arise, call same numbers.

Oskaloosa Optimist Flag Project Continues to Grow

(OSKALOOSA, Iowa) – In 2012, the Optimist Club of Oskaloosa began a project of placing flags in city resident’s yard as part of a club project to promote patriotism and help fund the club’s projects. There were 65 flags the first year and participation has grown each year since.

The Optimist Club kicked off its 2018 campaign this past week and hopes the project continues to grow.

“The project has been wonderful for our city and club,” says RD Keep, secretary-treasurer of the club. “We have been able to support many community activities such as events at the George Daily Auditorium, Oskaloosa Middle School PBIS program, public library programs and movies for kids. We have been able to partner with the Oskaloosa Shooting Team to assist them with their activities and in return they help us place the flags.”

As the project grows, so does the list of things it helps to contribute to.

“It is all about promoting patriotism in our town and allowing us to give back to our community,” adds Katelynn Nimtz, Optimist Club president. “We are looking at a large project in conjunction with the new Mahaska County Environmental Learning Center.”

Project details are simple. For an annual fee, the Optimists will place a tube that juts up just above the ground (but easily mowed over) in the public right-of-way approximately four feet from the curb or edge of the road. On five holidays, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Veteran’s Day, the flags go up at sunup and are taken down just before dusk.

“We use a cotton cloth flag attached to a 10-foot standard that is inserted into the tube,” explains Keep. “It is most impressive when several flags are fluttering in the breeze in a neighborhood. Edmundson Drive, 15th Avenue West and Westfield Drive have nearly 40 flags each time. We also have the Elmhurst Housing development with all participants. It is quite a sight to see.”

The Optimists will be at Penn Central Mall this Sunday during the “Experience Mahaska” event and residents may renew or sign up at the event between 1–4 PM.

Keep says that anyone interested in the placing a flag in their yard could contact him at 641-673-0123 to learn more.

“We hope more residents will join us this year,” he concludes. “We live in a great country and should celebrate our freedom – and what better way than to display a flag?”

-The information in this article was provided in a news release from the Oskaloosa Optimist Club.

MHP Offers 3D Mammography for Breast Imaging

(MAHASKA COUNTY, Iowa) – Mahaska Health Partnership has added new, state-of-the-art breast imaging technology by Siemens called 3D breast tomosynthesis. This technology, the most advanced in the region, takes aim at improving breast cancer detection, reducing false-positive findings and cutting patient call-backs.

“Not all mammography technology is created equal,” said MHP Director of Radiology Julie Hartke. “While 2D mammograms produce a flat image of a patient’s breast, the 3D technology of True Breast Tomosynthesis takes 25 images of the breast from many angles as the X-ray tube moves across the breast.”

Siemens technology provides a 50-degree arc, which allows the technologist to build a 3D rendition of the breast and allows doctors to see the breast tissue in fine detail. Radiologists can then see more clearly through breast tissue that may be overlapping or through the tissue of women with dense breasts. Hartke said doctors are better able to detect and diagnose small tumors and rule out abnormalities that may have looked suspicious in the patient’s 2D mammogram.

“Clinical data has demonstrated that the addition of 3D digital breast tomosynthesis to a patient’s traditional 2D digital mammogram increases detection of breast tumors,” Hartke explained. “MHP chose the True Breast Tomosynthesis option because it gives us wide-angle image acquisition that helps our physicians see more than traditional 2D mammography alone.”

Dr. Akhtar Ashraf, radiologist at MHP, said that by reducing the distortion created by tissue overlap or dense breast tissue in 2D mammograms, physicians are better able to detect early breast cancers. “In clinical practice, increased diagnostic accuracy means fewer diagnostic biopsy procedures and fewer anxiety-inducing recalls, which typically contributes to both improved patient outcomes and reduced cost,” Dr. Ashraf explained.

Mahaska Health Partnership’s Radiology team completed special training and certification on the True Breast Tomosynthesis technology prior to offering the service publicly.

“Early detection is the best offense for breast cancer defense,” Dr. Tim Breon said. “Finding tumors early can be a life changer. We’re able to create treatment plans that are more effective. Our goal as a health provider is to continually seek out the technology that best lends to making a difference in the lives of our patients. We believe that Siemens True Breast Tomosynthesis technology can help us save lives.”

3D mammograms are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, as well as most insurance plans. However, some insurance plans do not cover the additional amount patients are charged for 3D mammograms. MHP is offering a substantial reduced rate of $10.00 for the 3D portion of a mammogram if it is not covered by a person’s insurance plan.

“We are so excited to be able to offer this level of technology to our region,” Hartke stressed. “This is a fine example of our mission in action. We’ve improved process by taking what we offer to the next level while keeping our patient’s needs in mind.

“Our 3D equipment has the lowest dose of radiation in our region and we’ve elected to set our cost for the 3D portion of the exam at a nominal $10 if it is not covered by the patient’s insurance, making us the lowest in the region.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment for a mammogram, please contact MHP Radiology at 641.672.3322.

-This information was provided in a news release from Mahaska Health Partnership.

‘Experience Mahaska’ at Penn Central Mall This Sunday

(OSKALOOSA, Iowa) – Penn Central Mall will host “Experience Mahaska Community Activities & Events Expo” event in the Mall on Sunday, April 8. The event is designed to be an interactive introduction of all of the incredible clubs, activities, events and organizations available right here in the Mahaska County community. The event is open to the public and will be held at Penn Central Mall on Sunday, April 8th. Nearly 45 entities that offer “things to do” for all ages in the community will host stations from 1PM – 4PM.

The community is invited to attend and experience activities that are available right here in their community with hands-on, interactive stations that are creative, fun and unique.

Come walk the MCRF trail, checkout a racecar from Eddyville Raceway Park, see the KBOE/KMZN booth, play a spin the wheel trivia game with Hy-Vee and earn the chance to win Fuel Saver points, take an indoor “test ride” on a bike from Bobzilla’s Bicycle Werks and do much much more at the Experience Mahaska Events Expo.

“I am excited to see the community working together to get the word out about what’s happening in Mahaska County,” stated Mike Gipple, Mall manager. “It has been fun connecting with entities and clubs to be a part of this great event. In addition, we are incredibly thankful to MCRF and the Mahaska Co. YMCA for their assistance in making this unique event happen.”

Penn Central Mall will provide a sheet with descriptions and introductions of the stations at the event.

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