First Lady Chris Branstad in the studio; Jack Lashier retires; Extreme ballooning & more...(Bonnie's blog 2/7/17)

First Lady Chris Branstad and David Piersel on the board for Terrace Hill Endowment for Musical Arts, joined us in the studio this morning just after the 8:30 news.  The 2017 Terrace Hill Piano Competition is February 10th and 11th.  The general public is invited to attend the finals on February 11th at 2PM at IPTV.  The winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship, second place receives a $5,000 scholarship and third place receives a $3,000 scholarship!  Tickets are free, but are suggested because seating is limited.  Go to and click on Terrace Hill Piano.  The Governor and Chris are busy preparing to move to China as Governor Branstad will be the new Ambassador to China.  Chris says they are going thru a lot of "lasts" and a lot of tearful goodbyes.  

Jack Lashier of the Iowa Hall of Pride stopped by the studios just after the 7:00 news.  Unfortunately for us, Jack is retiring from his work with the Iowa Hall of Pride.  Jack was one of the instigators of the Iowa Hall of Pride and what it  became.  His work on the project began 21 years ago and the Iowa Hall of Pride opened on February 23rd, 12 years ago.  For Jack it has been a labor of love.  Jack is moving on to work with his brother and son at Laser Resources, giving him more time to enjoy retirement.  Jack will be missed...we wish him all the best...and maybe we can get him to come back for the Van & Bonnie All Iowa Trivia Bee this fall!

Tim Cloyd joined us by phone this morning just after the 7:30 news.  Tim just finished an extreme hot air balloon flight....192 miles from Bethany, MO to Hillview, IL.  He reached a top altitude of 16,310 feet and a top speed of 68mph.  Tim flew 59 names of people who have dealt with cancer "lifting up a loved one".  He recorded the reading of the names and will post on both his website and Facebook along with other videos and photos.  People can still donate to the flight and donations will go to the Hormel Institute for Cancer Research in Austin, MN.  His is now accepting names to be flown on next years flight.  Submit names at and click on the Extreme Flight page.    Tim does this in the winter because the hot air balloon uses a lot less fuel and there are a lot more places to land!

For those of you interested in the "Get a farm for an essay and $300.00" story, send your entry to  To enter to win the 6-bedroom home in England for $2.50, go to

Things you can win right now on Market Grille's Valentine Package, Jersey Boys tickets and tickets to Jim Brickman and dinner at Splash!  Sign up today!

Tomorrow on Van and Bonnie, we'll tell you how to win a Dodge Charger, we'll have some cast members from the Sound of Music and Mike Draper from Raygun will join us.

Have a wonderful day & be prepared for an inch of snow tomorrow morning!


Van and Bonnie in the Morning

Van and Bonnie in the Morning

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