Clubs Rotary learns of strife in the Congo

The Vermillion Rotary Club with Dan Van Peursem presiding met for our weekly lunch at the Neuharth Center. Our guests today from Vermillion High School were Dan Smart, Jenna Stewart, and Max Swanson. On the weekend following Easter weekend a group of Rotarians will be staying in Vermillion for two or three days as part of a longer Rotary Study Group visit to this area. We are looking for host families for the group and anyone interested in extending this hospitality should call Tim Schorn at 624-3474 or Dan Van Peursem at 624-6368. Leslie Medema, a recent graduate of USD and currently a student in the School for Public Affairs at Princeton University, presented a report on a project she worked on recently that drew up proposals to deal with the various and numerous war crimes and human rights abuses that have taken place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo over the last nearly 10 years of intermittent civil war. The Mobutu regime (in what was then called Zaire) was toppled by a rebel movement growing, in part, out of the murderous civil war in Rwanda which spilled out into the northern and eastern parts of the Congo. Under the successor regime headed up by Laurent Kabila the violence and warring did not much abate. Outside countries (mainly Uganda and Rwanda) intervened in shifting alliances with various Congolese groups. Following Laurent Kabila's assassination Joseph Kabila (perhaps Lawrent Kabila's son) took over the top position, but conflicts persist. It is estimated that 3 million people have died in the Congo in recent years because of the ongoing civil war. The Princeton team that Medema was part of first studied the situation in the Congo and then made an on the ground survey interviewing many of the political actors and contenders. Joseph Kabila has stated support for some kind of judicial process that would deal with the war crimes. However, as Medema explained, the four official vice-presidents in the current regime happen to include leaders of large movements that have opposed each other (in deadly fashion) in recent years. Maybe Thomas Hobbes had it right about the horrors of civil war.

Midday Connection plans style show

The Women's Midday Connection will be meeting April 13 at the Centerville Legion Hall for a noon luncheon. We are glad to welcome the owners of "Go Casual" (a unique woman's clothing shop from downtown Sioux Falls) as our special feature. They will present a style show of spring clothing using some of our local girls as models. Our speaker will be Carolyn Cappel from Yankton. For reservations cal Wilhelmina Jorgenson at 326-5562, Jan Stevens 563-2821, or Lois Lounsbery at 763-5284 by April 9. Come and relax, have lunch, enjoy the latest styles in clothing, and be uplifted with the fellowship shared by all.

Master Gardeners plan spring plant sale

The Clay County Master Gardeners met March 25 at the 4-H Center. Sharon Allen presided at the meeting.

Three members attended Steve Munk�s presentation at Yankton � �Pruning and Planting Shrubs and Trees� on March 24. They reported on some new things that were learned.

A discussion was held on the possibility of purchasing supplies for terrariums and offering �Building A Terrarium� as a project on the Friday, June 11 Come Create Day.

Members volunteered to plant petunias on May 15 for our plot for Vermillion Beautiful.

The group will take care of the north flower bed by the 4-H Center this year. Sharon will clean it off and assess what is needed.

A discussion was held on what could be done to assist the Farmers� Market. A motion was passed to donate $50 toward rent to the Clay County Fair Board with the stipulation that the Farmers� Market stays at the fairgrounds this year to provide continuity.

Our spring plant sale will be held Saturday, May 1 at 9 a.m. inside the 4-H Center. Ruth Williams will make large signs for the highway. Set up will be at 8:30 a.m.

SDSU will be contacted to see if they would like us to answer phones again for Garden Line.

Several members offered to help unload trees and shrubs when needed by the Soil Conservation Service around the end of April.

Members may bring packets of seeds or plants to exchange with other Master Gardeners at the next meeting on April 22.

Roberta Iverson will be in charge of finding servers when needed. Ruth Williams will bring treats in April.

The next meeting is April 22, Earth Day, at 7 p.m. at the 4-H Center. Joe Hoffman will speak to us about garden design. A short meeting will follow the educational program.

Brenda Martens, secretary

Vermillion Beautiful plans May plantings

Vermillion Beautiful, Inc. met April 1 at 7 p.m. at the Austin-Whittemore House. The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved and the treasurer�s report was given. The group is grateful for the contributions received for this year�s flowers.

Barb Yelverton reported on the IDEA meeting she attended at the University on March 9. She put information in their Web site indicating the jobs our groups has for students to do.

Judy Clark and Barb Yelverton will man a table at the Earth Day Fair on April 22. Todd Brevik was asked by the Earth Day chair for campus jobs for 70 students. He will find out if students can do off campus jobs, and if so, they may help in flower bed preparation.

The group is planning a work day for April 24. Meet at the medical school parking lot at 9 a.m. Some shovels and rakes are available.

A plant materials list will be in the landscaping part of the Streetscape plan. Our group will concentrate only on this year�s plantings until we find out more on that.

Members discussed materials to buy in preparation for planting and designated jobs for people. Judy Clark will get the letters out to the various groups and organizations who have helped in the past. There will be a preplanting session on May 13 at 7 at the Austin-Whittemore House. Actual planting date is May 15. Plants will be distributed at the Hy-Vee parking lot at 9 a.m. Volunteers are always needed so if you are not a part of a designated group, come anyway and bring a hand trowel.

The next meeting will be May 6 at 7 p.m. We welcome people who are concerned about their community.

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