News

Wed
03
Sep

Remote-read meters planned for Guttenberg utilities


Dan Pierce, water operator for the city of Guttenberg, displays the new technology that will save time and improve accuracy when reading utility meters. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Shelia Tomkins

The City of Guttenberg is in the first year of a three-year program to replace and update all utility meters to allow city employees to read them while driving by.

The new technology will greatly shorten the time city employees spend reading meters and will also address the problem of reaching meters during bad weather, especially during the winter when deep snow can make the job difficult.

City workers will update each water meter by installing a white box that will transmit a signal to a hand-held device as a utility worker drives by. Electric meters are also being updated; they will look similar to the old meters but will transmit a reading when workers drive by with the device.

Jamie Blume, utility billing clerk, assures residents that the only time the box sends a signal is when the reading device drives by. "Otherwise it just sits there and stores data — it won't transmit," she said.

Wed
03
Sep

Proceeds from RAGBRAI benefit 37 area organizations


The Guttenberg RAGBRAI committee distributed more than $50,000 to 37 local entities on Wednesday evening, Aug. 27. Above, recipients display the checks handed out by Mayor Russ Loven and announced by RAGBRAI committee co-chair Nancy McClellan. The funds came from RAGBRAI parking fees. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Dolan)

By Molly Moser

Larry Crubaugh, one of four co-chairs on Guttenberg’s RAGBRAI committee, describes the event as “Very simply, a tremendous success – but not without the help and cooperation of the entire community and surrounding area.” Last week, 37 groups and organizations in the community received donations from RAGBRAI proceeds. 

“In 2005, we gave out $22,000 in donations and we helped about 19 groups. This year, we gave out over $50,000 to 37 separate entities,” said organizer Nancy McClellan. “Some are local – everything from Veteran’s groups, to scouts, to schools.” The committee earmarked money for city projects, the swimming pool upgrade, and the golf clubhouse renovation. GD&T also received a donation for special projects. 

Other organizations receiving donations included the Guttenberg Police Dept., Guttenberg Fire Dept., Guttenberg EMS Dept., Guttenberg Municipal Hospital, Guttenberg Library, St. Mary's, Kids Kampus, Dollars for Scholars, River Park Cruisers, Gridiron Club, 4-H, FFA, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownie Scouts, Guttenberg Veteran's Monument, Lockmaster House Museum,  Umbrella Arts, Creativity Center, Guttenberg Rotary Club, Clayton County Emergency Management Agency, City of Garnavillo, Garnavillo Fire Dept., Great River Amateur Radio Club,  Substance Abuse Services for Clayton County, Quilts of Valor (local donation),  Clayton County Womenade, RAGBRAI Dream Team/YMCA Des Moines,  Rock Valley Iowa Relief Fund, Clayton Ridge High School Classes of 2015 and 2017, Clayton Ridge Music Boosters, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Guttenberg Aerie 4114.

Wed
27
Aug

River of Music series concludes this Friday

By Shelia Tomkins

Uncle Sam's Band will close out Guttenberg’s River of Music, a free summer concert series for residents and guests, this  Friday, Aug. 29. The concert will take place from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the band shelter in the park along the river north of the school.

Uncle Sam's Band, a well-known local band, features musicians Bruce Bryant, Scott Fischer, Troy Thein, Mick Thein, and Jeremy Anderson.

Wed
27
Aug

Acre Street paving set to begin

By Shelia Tomkins

Guttenberg's major street improvement project for 2014, the renovation of Acre Street, is coming into its final phase with paving scheduled to start this Thursday, Aug. 28, weather permitting. 

Residents along the street received letters last week telling them what to expect as paving crews from Eastern Iowa Excavating and Concrete begin work on the 1.5 mile stretch of the street. 

Wed
27
Aug

Donors help keep Plagman Barn alive


A freshly painted ramp along with repairs to the dormer windows and cupolas atop Plagman Barn have the building in top shape for this year's Show Days. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Just in time for the 33rd annual Show Days, a series of repairs on Plagman Barn have been completed this summer with the help of generous donors and volunteers. A grant from the Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation in the amount of $2,530 repaired leaks in the eight dormer windows and two cupolas atop the show barn. 

“The barn is really looking good,” said Larry Moser, president of the Northeast Iowa Farm Antique Association. New vinyl windows and siding were purchased through the Edgewood Building Center and installed by Bear Creek Construction. Using its own funds and a generous donation from Mr. and Mrs. Fred Phelps, of Colesburg, the Association has been able to replace siding on the west and east ends of the barn. 

The north and south sides of the barn still need re-siding, and the Association is planning to apply for grants to complete the project next year. “If we hadn’t done this the barn would have rotted down on us, and that barn is the draw,” said Moser. Flushable toilets in the barn’s restrooms are the final step in barn updates.

Wed
27
Aug

Open house at the Rathskeller scheduled for Sept. 20


The Rathskeller, a bar that served Guttenberg in the early 1970s, will be open for public viewing during the weekend of Germanfest. See next week's issue for more details. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center, located at 214 S. River Park Drive, is planning an open house next door in the basement of the Gutenberg Haus from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20, during Germanfest.

Many may remember the building as the Rathskeller Bar and Cafe, as it was known until it was closed in the early 1970's. The Rathskeller is housed in the Albertus Building, which is on the National Historic Register of Historic Places. The familiar building is three stories of two-foot thick rock walls and massive oak crossbeams uniquely constructed by a German immigrant and his wife over a three-year period.

The Albertus family used locally abundant limestone, quarried by hand, and hand-cut oak beams to build one of Guttenberg's finest examples of German architecture. Old-world keystone construction was used throughout the building in windows, doors, and passageways, and in the two vaults in the cellar. Those vaults became the Rathskeller.

Rathskeller is a German word for a bar or restaurant in a basement. The late Doug and Jerri Geuder, who also operated Doug’s Steakhouse, opened the Rathskeller in Guttenberg in the early 1970s. Joe Moser ran the bar for the Geuders until 1975, when the establishment closed. 

Wed
20
Aug

Former Press employee stops for a visit


Former Guttenberg resident Gary Olson, now of Altamonte Springs, Fla., looks over the camera that was used to produce page negatives when he worked at The Press as a high school student more than 50 years ago. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Shelia Tomkins

A recent visitor to The Guttenberg Press renewed old acquaintances when he stopped at  the place that launched his career in journalism and communications.

Gary Olson and his wife, Carol, of  Altamonte Springs, Fla., stopped in Guttenberg during their travels this summer. He made it a point to visit The Press office, still located in the same building where he worked during his school years in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He graduated from Guttenberg High School in 1963.

"I started working at The Press in junior high, writing sports stories for Charlie Millham," he recalls. The young Olson also worked summers at The Press during his high school and college years.

Strolling through the office on his Aug. 6 visit here, Olson pointed out the room that he used for an office, as well as room that served as the office of "Mr. Millham."

Wed
20
Aug

Side Project to play this Friday at River of Music

By Shelia Tomkins

Guttenberg’s River of Music, a free summer concert series for residents and guests, will feature music by Side Project this Friday, Aug. 22, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the band shelter in the park along the river north of the school.

The group features classic rock and country music. Band members are Aaron and Angela Reed, John Collins, Tim Geuder and Derrick Livingston.

Wed
20
Aug

City informational meeting looks at hospital alignment

By Molly Moser

Guttenberg’s city council held conversations with officials from Waverly during an open informational meeting on Aug. 12. Lisa Bennett, CFO of Waverly Health Centers (WHC), Philip Jones, Waverly City Administrator, and Tim Kangas, mayor pro-tem in Waverly, explained the relationship between the City of Waverly and Waverly Health Centers and discussed the hospital’s reasons for declining multiple offers of alignment from larger entities. 

All city council members attended with the exception of Jane Parker. City Manager Mary Willett, along with Mayor Russ Loven, led the meeting. City Attorney Mike Schuster was also present. Less than a dozen Guttenberg residents attended, and GMH board members and administration were not in attendance. 

The meeting arose from a letter of intent delivered to City officials by GMH earlier this year regarding the hospital’s ongoing research into potential alignment with UnityPoint Health. 

Wed
20
Aug

Four longear sunfish confirmed in Iowa waters


The longear sunfish has been listed as a threatened species in Wisconsin since 1979. The thin, deep-bodied sunfish can be identified by its elongated opercular "ear flap." It is black olive to rusty brown, with ligher colored sides, breast and belly yellow to orange red. The back and sides of the fish can have specks of yellow, orange, emerald and blue. Breeding males are iridescent green above and bright orange below, with ventral fins rusty orange and pelvic fins blue black. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

The potential discovery of a longear sunfish in Iowa’s waters made news last month, and now nationally known experts have agreed that the fish collected in July is indeed a longear sunfish. This is the first confirmed occurrence of the fish in Iowa in 80 years. 

DNR Fisheries Technicians Bernie Schonoff and Adam Thiese collected the longear sunfish this July at the Fairport Fisheries station. Once listed as common in bayous around Muscatine, the longear sunfish have been extirpated from the state for more than eight decades. They were last noted in Iowa in 1932. 

“The longear live in several states basically from New York south and then east along the Ohio River corridor and then down into Texas. They are fairly abundant in Missouri and they also occur in Minnesota,” Schonoff told The Press.

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