• Solon sixth graders are making a difference. Nate Spengler and Mia Stahle, students in Kearce Lindner’s sixth grade class at Solon Middle School, wanted to create their own foundation (the Solon Spork Foundation) and do some good with it. The two set on a fundraiser to benefit the Solon Food Pantry and consulted their teacher. In order to participate in the dodgeball tournament, each sixth grade class had to collect 25 canned food items. The winning class collected 126 canned items with a total of 459 pounds of mostly canned goods donated to the food pantry. — Solon Economist


• The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will begin renovations at Geode State Park this winter to improve water quality at Lake Geode and enhance accessibility and recreational opportunities in the park. Work will include removing sediment, stabilizing the eroded shore line and building an in-lake silt dam, fishing jettie and fish habitat structures. Campground improvements will begin March 2018 and continue through December. — New London Journal


• The Tenco 4-bay hydroponic greenhouse and the adjacent Multipurpose Facility for processing, grading and packaging produce officially went “off the grid” on Monday afternoon. A 74.88 kWh Solar System is now operational at these facilities in Wapello County which serves as an employment and training site for people with disabilities while producing an abundance of locally grown pesticide free produce for retail establishments in the area. — The Clarion-Plainsman


• Ask WACO seventh through 12th graders what a penny bomb is and chances are all students will be able to answer the question. For two weeks, WACO students compete in a grade by grade competition to raise money for Parkview Nursing Home residents in Wayland. Students deposit silver coin and paper money as a positive amount in their grades locked clear receptacle. All pennies count negative to the total money raised. Each grade strategically selects another grade to deposit the negative amount of pennies…thus the penny bomb was born. This year the teens raised a total of $2,987.45 for the senior citizens at Parkview. — Winfield Beacon/Wayland News