The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

October 7, 2013

Students help retired Iowa teacher with cleanup

ROCK BRANCH, Iowa (AP) — A retired high school teacher in northwest Iowa said he was amazed by the outpouring of community support after a tornado severely damaged his home.

Two buses on Sunday carried about 50 students, staff members and parents from Hinton High School to the rural Rock Branch home of Wayne Stadler and his wife, Debbie, the Sioux City Journal reported ( ). Staff members at the school used social media to reach out to the community about helping.

The Stadlers' home was raked by one of the nine tornadoes that struck northeast Nebraska and northwest Iowa on Friday, injuring at least 15 people. Their roof was torn off and their barn and several sheds were destroyed. The Stadlers, who were in a crawl space in their basement during the tornado, weren't injured.

Steady rain and wind didn't deter the group from cleaning up debris and keepsakes that had been blown into surrounding cornfields and hauling away damaged trees.

Wayne Stadler had taught at the high school for 32 years and retired in 2008.

He said the damage was almost overwhelming, but the hard work by his friends and former students gave him a good start on the cleanup.

"To turn around and come back today and have all of these volunteers show up to clean up outdoors, it's amazing," he said. "A person always likes to be on the giving end, but when you need it, the receiving is pretty important."

Some of the young volunteers are on the school's football and volleyball teams.

"Having us come here is not really a surprise because we're all pretty close and we're all happy to come help (Sadler)," said Tori Bishop, 18, a senior. "It's definitely something that we love to do because he is a part of our Blackhawk community."

The Sadlers, who are currently staying with neighbors, are not sure if they will keep the damaged property.

"Honestly, we're still kind of in the air as far as what we're going to do, as far as where we're going to go from here, as far as our permanent situation," he said. "When you lose it totally, you're just not sure."


Information from: Sioux City Journal,

Text Only
AP Iowa
  • Iowa police investigate gunfire at pedestrian mall IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa City police say they have arrested a juvenile who was shooting a weapon into the air and are searching for another. Police say several shots were fired Sunday morning at the pedestrian mall downtown. Witnesses tell police

    July 28, 2014

  • Tornado-stricken Nebraska town gets some Iowa help SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Sioux City school district is donating excess desks, tables and shelving units to help out some northeast Nebraska students whose middle school in Pilger (PIHL'-gur) was heavily damaged by a tornado. The Sioux City Journal

    July 28, 2014

  • People rescued after boat overturns near Dubuque DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — At least a half-dozen people have been rescued after their boat overturned on the Mississippi River near Dubuque. Nate Johnson with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the incident occurred Saturday. At least three othe

    July 28, 2014

  • One person killed, several injured in Iowa collision WASHINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say one person has been killed and several others injured in a collision between a car and pickup in eastern Iowa. Iowa State Patrol and Washington County sheriff's officers responded to the crash around 4:30 p.m.

    July 28, 2014

  • Former Iowa inmate convicted in killing dies DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa inmate who was sentenced to life in prison has died less than a year being granted compassionate release because she was dying. Friends and family members told The Des Moines Register ( ) t

    July 28, 2014

  • Southeast Iowa's Lake Darling State Park reopens BRIGHTON, Iowa (AP) — Lake Darling State Park has reopened after around six years of restoration work in southeast Iowa's Washington County. The $16 million project began in 2008 and included draining the 300-acre lake and replacing a dam. The park n

    July 25, 2014

  • University of Iowa bans restroom videos suspect IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — University of Iowa police have identified a university employee as the person suspected of placing a video camera on the floor of a restroom and recording scenes there. The camera was found June 4 in the University Capitol Cent

    July 25, 2014

  • Iowa panel sued for rejecting Cedar Rapids casino CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Former Linn County Attorney Eugene Kopecky has sued the Iowa Racing Gaming Commission over its rejection of the proposed Cedar Rapids casino. Kopecky says he wants a court to force the commission to reconsider its decision a

    July 25, 2014

  • Manure odor biofilters topic of Iowa conference AMES, Iowa (AP) — The latest technology designed to reduce the odor from hog manure will be the focus of a conference next month at Iowa State University. The Biofilter Conference on Aug. 20 is aimed at producers and managers of animal feeding operat

    July 25, 2014

  • Northwest Iowa man dies in hay bale accident WESTFIELD, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa man has died after being hit with a hay bale. The Le Mars Daily Sentinel reports ( ) 76-year-old Barry E. Knapp, of Westfield, died Tuesday while stacking hay bales. The Plymouth County She

    July 24, 2014

AP National