Reporter may 8, 2013

October 8, 2014  |  By  | 

R 2 | Lyon County ReporterMay 8, 2013 HOW BIG SHOULD IT BE? Marcus Haselhoff pon- ders the space station’s dimensions for his team during the NASA Space Settlement Design Com- petition at the Johnson Space Center. (Photo/ Submitted) FINAL TOUCHES Coryn VanBeek formulates a Gantt chart for the final presentation at the NASA Space Settlement Design Competition at the Johnson Space Center on March 16. (Photo/Submitted) the hides, how they’re working, and how they indicate the presence of the narcot- ics. Dogs will indicate in either an aggres- sive manner by scratching or a passive manner, which is how Athos indicates. The handler is also scored on his control of the dog and use of the leash. VerMeer felt the duo did excellent searching vehicles on day one. He explains the rst year is really about him learning how to read the dog. Searching the rooms on day two wasn’t as successful. When VerMeer misses a subtle clue like a head snap, Athos will fail to in- dicate the presence of narcotics. “We had an issue with that in searching the rooms,” said VerMeer. “It was a hard hide.” Fifty-one dogs from departments throughout the state participated. While Athos and VerMeer did not bring home the top trophy from the event, they did at least certify and VerMeer learned a lot. “Since this was my rst year I really wanted to go and do well enough to certify,” he said. “That’s the main reason for going, to get the certication. The trophy would’ve been a bonus,” said VerMeer. Training for the competition has been ongoing ever since Athos joined VerMeer on the road last May. “When we are at home or if we are slow at the oce, I’ll work with him,” said VerMeer. “I’ll hide narcotics in a car or a room and have Athos search,” he said. The key in these training ses- sions is for VerMeer to not give any clues to Athos. “I try not to clue him by slowing down when I get to where I know I’ve hid- den the narcotics,” he said. For Athos, the training sessions are all about the reward. “Everything I do with him for training is a game. Ultimately he want his reward,” said VerMeer. Athos’s reward is a ball attached to a rope. “He knows what he has to do to get that reward. If I make a trac stop and I run him around the individual, if he nds something he knows he’s going to get his ball,” explained VerMeer. For VerMeer, this competition was a valu- able learning experience. Going into the event, he was concerned with how Athos would react. “He’s not a dog-friendly dog,” said VerMeer. The order of performance is scheduled randomly by drawing names out of a hat explained VerMeer. “Several guys that had done this before explained it ahead of time, but I was still concerned,” he said. Fifty-one dogs and their handlers participated from around the state. Judg- es are law enforcement professionals who have certied at this same competition for at least three years in a row. Certication by the USPCA is not a re- quirement to be a canine handler. How- ever, the organization sets the standards for training recommendations and certi- cation can be completed every year. Being certied has benets to the department as a whole, not just for the dog and handler. If there were a court case involving narcot- ics charges and the dog’s training as a nar- cotics canine were in question, the USPCA would send an expert witness to verify how the dog was trained and that he met certain qualications. Overall, Deputy VerMeer was pleased with the outcome of his rst certifying competition. “It was a great learning ex- perience,” said VerMeer. “For this being our rst year and not knowing completely what to expect, I was pleased with how we did, “ he said. community     Your Team at Helping clients reach their goals for over 15 years Corey Heimensen  Wilma Miller  Shardell Teunissen  Jessica Jensen  209374 PLANNING THE ITINERARY Central Lyon student, Jacob Kumba, works on the five-day itinerary for the humans staying at the pro- totype space station during the NASA Space Settle- ment Design Competition at the Johnson Space Cen- ter. (Photo/Submitted) CL students participate in NASA competition A group of seven Central Lyon students recently trav- eled to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas to participate in NASA’s Space Settlement Design Compe- tition. The premise of the competition is to build a space settlement to serve as a docking station that will orbit around the moon. The competition, a 21-hour marathon, divided the 45 participants, most of them from Iowa, into four teams to design the best project. Students were expected to present their project the following day at 9 a.m. The seven representatives from Central Lyon were split amongst three of the teams, none of which was the winning team. CENTRAL LYON’S CHARACTER COUNTS BULLETIN BOARD SERVES AS A CONSTANT REMINDER When you come to Central Lyon, you’ll find out that the students know “Charac- ter Counts” wherever you are! This year’s theme was “Always strive to ‘be a star’!” TK – 1st graders who demonstrated good character throughout the school year received a sticker and had their name put up on the Character Counts bulletin board. The theme this year allowed teachers to put different colors of stars on the board each month as it coordinated with the monthly character trait. Teach- ers looked for students who were responsible, trustworthy, caring, fair, good sports, respectful, loving, and good citizens. Each month one child was selected from each class and received a snack pack for getting their name on the board. (Photo/Submitted) ATHOS INDICATES Lyon County Deputy Sheriff, Rob Ver- Meer, works with Athos as Athos indi- cates the presence of narcotics on a vehicle. (Photo/Jessica Jensen) There is something you don’t see every day in May ONE LAST TIME? This snowman, found in the 600 block of South Carroll Street in Rock Rapids last Thursday and surrounded by green grass, is hopefully the last we will see of the white stuff for a few months. . (Photo/Jessica Jensen) Central Lyon’s Character Counts Lyon county deputy and canine compete Canine from Page 1