Saturday, July 24, 2021

Exeter graduate illustrates children's book


Steph (Erdkamp) Covey recently illustrated the book “The Power of You.”

Steph Covey donated a copy of the book she recently illustrated, “The Power of You,” to Exeter Public Library.  Her parents, Pat and Dave Erdkamp (middle and right), presented the book to Exeter librarian Lynette Trauger (left).



Exeter High School graduate Steph (Erdkamp) Covey (class of 1994) just illustrated her first book.

Covey grew up enjoying art and taking every art class she could at Exeter High School.  She hadn’t planned on illustrating a book for someone else but her mother-in-law saw an ad on Craigslist in Missouri where she now lives, looking for an artist to work on a book and immediately thought of Covey.

She contacted the author, Roger Barbieri, showed him some of her work, and he hired her to illustrate his book, “The Power of You.”

Covey explained the book is about “helping people love themselves.”

She contributed all of the artwork in the book, the cover, front and back and eleven other pages.

She enjoyed “watching how things came to life, how God used me to do the book.”

During the eight months it took to do the illustrations she did struggle with artist block and “learned to walk away when a page got frustrating, and to stop when it’s good.  Call it, enough is enough.”

Covey started doing the illustrations in acrylic paint but the quick drying time wasn’t allowing her to blend colors together well.  During this project she started using alcohol markers which allowed her to fuse the colors. Most of the clothing on the children are done with markers while the backgrounds are primarily acrylic paint.

Throughout the process Covey learned a great deal about self-publication.  She wrote a book of her own and hasn’t finished the illustrations but now she knows which direction she can go in to get it published.  The book is about a squirrel who finds himself in a pickle (and it might feature Exeter Lumber).

As a child she remembered that her dad, Dave Erdkamp, and his brother Dale, always had a calendar in the office at Exeter Lumber that contained hidden eyeballs on each page.  She decided to put a hidden little heart on each illustration in “The Power of You.”

Covey has fond memories of growing up in Exeter and a great love of art her whole life, “I always liked to draw or color.  Mrs. Ferris was my art teacher in high school and we spent a lot of time on a mural in the elementary wing.”

Covey has generously donated her book to the Exeter Public Library and the board book is available for check out.  She is currently illustrating her second book called, “Maggie and the Grumpy Old Man,” by Ethan Endicott.


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Throwback Thursday, July 17, 2011



All adults are welcome at the Exeter Aquatic Center on Monday Wednesday and Friday from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. for an adults only swim.

Swimmers from Exeter and Milligan braved the chilly morning waters at the Exeter Aquatic Center for Level 5 and 6 lessons weekday mornings at 8 a.m.  One of the last days of their lessons the swimmers had to come dressed in jeans and long sleeves shirts and jump in fully clothed.  With their swim suits underneath the students had to practice treading water and remove their outer clothes simulating an accidental water entry.  Then, they used their long pants and shirts to make a flotation device.

Tara Mueller was the first brave swimmer to jump in with her clothes on Thursday morning at the Level 5 and 6 swim lessons.  The other swimmers watching her were Jacy Schlueter, Mitchell Manning, Instructor Alex Shaner, Blake Stueben, Instructor Madeline Baltzer, Joey Bartu and Patrick Murphy.


On the weekend of July 8-10, the Exeter 14U girls softball team participated in the ASA Class C State Softball Tournament.  The tournament was held at the Smith Complex in Hastings.


The girls finished the tournament with a record of 7 and 1.  They came home with the Class C State Championship.

Members of the team were: Lucy Murphy, Tara Mueller, Sam Horne, Hailey Luzum, Lindsey Stoldorf, Sierra Christiansen, Marissa Howard, Madison Horne, Maitlyn Thomsen, Erica Yound Haylee Sheffield, Katie Skinner and Janey Due. They were coached by Taylor Erdkamp, Bob Ruhl and Kelsey Moore.



Frances Becwar never imagined that a conversation at coffee one morning would help to fulfill an item on her bucket list, riding a motorcycle.  Around her 85th birthday she fulfilled that bucket list item riding on the back of John Mueller’s touring motorcycle.


Exeter's Salon C has a new stylist with a familiar face. 2007 Exeter-Milligan graduate Brittanie Schlueter has returned home to Exeter to work at Salon C.  Schlueter attended college and then graduated from cosmetology school.  She specializes in cuts and colors Tuesday through Saturday in downtown Exeter. As Schlueter has a 2 1/2 year old herself she works well with children. 


Exeter Cub Scouts enjoyed playing and calling Bingo recently at the Exeter Care Center.  Three scouts, Braden Capek, Clint Oldehoeft and Ben Bartu participated in the event. The boys enjoyed taking turns calling the Bingo numbers and passing out snacks to the residents.


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Exeter -Milligan School Board Discusses Fall Plans


The Exeter-Milligan school board met on Wednesday, July 14 with board president Adam Erdkamp absent.

The board quickly worked through a hearing on student fees and parental involvement before closing them and opening the regular meeting. They approved the consensus agenda before moving on to the next item.

Superintendent Paul Sheffield gave an update on the summer projects. “They are moving right along. We will be ready to roll.  It’s gone fairly well.”

Sheffield also gave a brief glimpse of the 21-22 budget, “Our task asking will stay the same.  We will increase the budget a little.”

He went on to explain that expenses for this year’s budget will be down because of staff reduction.  The district did not replace the sixth grade teacher, one para and one cafeteria worker.

Sheffield informed the board that the district would be receiving around $95,000 in ESSER III (Elementary and Secondary school Emergency Relief)  funding. 

To comply with the requirements of the funding Sheffield distributed the return to school plan. The plan notes that face masks will be optional this fall.  He explained that the funds are geared toward districts that have not had in person learning.

Sheffield explained that if there was an outbreak of COVID the district would follow CDC and DHHS guidelines.

The board moved on to the policy updates.  The changes that were made in the policies were a result of changes made by the state legislature. 

The board adopted the federal free and reduced meal guidelines and approved the student and staff handbooks.  One change that was made restricted grades 6 – 8 from having their phones with them in the classroom.  They must be in their back packs or lockers but they can check messages after eating lunch.

Sheffield explained that the 9 – 12 have learned to manage their phone time but the 6 – 8th grade have not yet.  They have discouraged phone usage at lunch time for all grades.

The school open house will be held on Thursday, August 12 from 5 -7 p.m.  The next board meeting will be August 11.