News

Wed
03
Dec

Film premiere honors Christmas, community and family


Amateur filmmaker Liz Smith, left, graduated from Luther in 2011 with Majors in Art and Political Science and a minor in Africana Studies. She’s currently working on a Master's Degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in Urban Studies and will graduate in the spring of 2015. Smith’s filmmaking partner, Kari Houghtaling, grew up in Duluth, Minn., and studied Communication at Luther College. She now resides in Milwaukee, Wis. Visit www.abodesolo.com to watch a trailer of their soon-to-premiere film. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

During a three-day weekend last winter, two college friends filmed a full-length reinterpretation of the 1990 holiday classic, Home Alone. Liz Smith, a 2007 CRHS graduate, invited her close friend Kari Houghtaling, of Milwaukee, Wis., to Guttenberg to create a film they call Abode Solo. Smith has been editing the film for nearly a year, and a premiere is scheduled in Guttenberg on Friday, Dec. 19. 

“Liz and I knew each other all four years of college at Luther, but we became best friends during senior year of college – which was when we discovered our mutual love of Home Alone,” Houghtaling explained. “Last year, Liz and I were both in the Midwest over the holidays, and she suggested that I come to Guttenberg for an extended weekend to film a remake. I didn't know how serious she was until she sent me part of a script (transcribed from the original film).” 

The two filmmakers played the majority of characters in the story, and they used St. John’s Lutheran Church, Benders, and Lindsanator’s Liquor as shooting locations. They took various street shots and filmed numerous scenes at the Smith home on Lorenz Lane, and did just one scene at the Milwaukee airport. 

“Filming the movie in different Guttenberg locations was really special because it gave me a great sense of how friendly, welcoming, and supportive the town is, and how important relationships are in the community,” Houghtaling reflected. “We would just ask to use a space (usually at the last minute) and people were so helpful and accommodating.”

Wed
03
Dec

Emphasis on central entry point, auditorium, athletic facilities School facility workshops collect community visions


An estimated 150 members of the community participated over the course of the two-day facility design workshops on Nov. 24 and 25. Participants placed stickers on their favorite designs following twice-daily presentations. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Though their thoughts on construction of a new facility were varied, community members spoke out strongly in favor of acting immediately to correct problems in the 1903 school building in Guttenberg. “Everybody agrees, the old building has to come down,” school board member Mike Finnegan told The Press following the final facility design presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 25. 

A two-day workshop led by the Baker Group gave community members the opportunity to voice their concerns about the current school facilities and to imagine what the school could look like as a facility that truly meets the needs of students and staff. 

Students, staff and community members alike rallied for a central point of entry on the Guttenberg campus, improved athletic facilities, and an auditorium. 

“What school doesn’t hold concerts in their school?” asked choir director and girls’ volleyball coach Adam Radcliffe. “An auditorium could be used for concerts, assemblies and award ceremonies, plays, sports banquets – it could be a rain location for movies or music in the park, and we could even bring in bands.”

Wed
26
Nov

Guttenberg lighting contest for residences, businesses

By Shelia Tomkins

Untangle your Christmas lights, track down the extension cords and come up with an eye-catching idea for your holiday lighting display this year. Then make plans to enter the annual holiday lighting contest coordinated by Guttenberg Development & Tourism.

The contest is open to all utility customers of the City of Guttenberg; winners will receive prizes in the form of a credit on their electric bills. 

Wed
26
Nov

Local merchants plan Christmas open house this Sunday afternoon

By Shelia Tomkins

Guttenberg merchants will kick-off the holiday season with their traditional open house on Sunday, Nov. 30, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. For details on Christmas specials and store hours, see Section B of this week's issue.

Santa arrives at noon

Santa will arrive at the Clayton Ridge High School on a fire truck at 12:00 noon. He will be available to listen to holiday wishes from youngsters until 4:00 p.m. 

Wed
26
Nov

ALICE protects students from threats


Clayton Ridge elementary students trained in ALICE will be well-versed by the time they reach high school. "I believe the community is supportive of ALICE training as a response to an extreme threat at school. In my opinion, we need to remain diligent in our commitment to protect our students from every possible threat," said Superintendent Nelson. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

In September of 2013, Clayton Ridge middle school teacher Brian Lawrence and Officer Eric Sullivan addressed the school board with an overview of the ALICE (Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate) program for responding to potential school intruders. After hearing Lawrence and Sullivan's report, the school board unanimously approved consideration of the ALICE training program. 

According to the ALICE Training Institute, research has shown that civilians have stopped active shooter events twice as many times as police intervention. ALICE equips trainees with strategies to better prepare for life-and-death encounters. 

Fast forward to today: A Clayton County coalition of certified instructors have presented ALICE to every school in the county. Clayton Ridge teachers have been instructed in ALICE, and are there to offer guidance when their students receive training from Lawrence. 

“Keystone AEA wrote a grant to host an ALICE instructor certification course. Clayton Ridge Schools asked if I would be interested in attending,” Lawrence told The Press. “I was impressed with the training. ALICE begins a vital security need that has been long overlooked and overdue.”

Wed
26
Nov

ImPACT screenings help protect Clayton Ridge athletes


Physical therapist Kim Nieman, right, volunteers her time to give ImPACT screenings to athletes in contact sports. Clayton Ridge volleyball player Janelle Burr receives the screening, which is considered a state-of-the-art tool for determining safe return-to-play in the event of a concussion. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Thousands of concussions occur every year during high school athletics. Sports are second only to motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of traumatic brain injury among young people ages 15 – 24. An estimated 300,000 sports-related traumatic brain injuries occur each year in the U.S.

Leaders at Clayton Ridge High School have taken proactive measures to protect local athletes from the long-term effects of concussions. With help from physical therapist Kim Nieman, Dr. Jeffrey Hoffmann, and the athletic boosters group, Clayton Ridge has implemented ImPACT screenings for high school athletes in contact sports like football, basketball, wrestling, volleyball, baseball, and softball.

"ImPACT is a great assessment tool that helps our health officials evaluate our student athletes.  This program is designed to provide concussion management, protecting our students while also providing the data to get them back on the playing field or court as soon as it's deemed safe," said principal Kris Einck.

Wed
19
Nov

Veterans Day presentation of Quilts of Valor

   The presentation of Quilts of Valor was one of the highlights of the community Veterans Day program held on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Clayton Ridge High School in Guttenberg.

The Guttenberg Veteran Angels group  honored members of our greatest generation who lived a simpler life, went to war when called and came home to continue their everyday life, with the memories that those of us at home will never know about.  "To them, it was just what had to be done to keep our country free.  May their Quilt of Valor be healing and comforting when they need it and a continual reminder that we honor and thank them for their service and sacrifices," said a quilt organizer.

Wed
19
Nov

Twelve Days of Christmas coming

Guttenberg shoppers and diners will have the chance to participate in a new promotion this season, Twelve Days of Christmas, sponsored by Guttenberg Development & Tourism.   

The contest will begin during the traditional merchants' Christmas open house on Sunday, Nov. 30.  

During the 12 Days of Christmas Contest, a special object (to be announced in next week's issue)  will be hidden in a different participating GD&T business each day for twelve days. Participating businsesses must be a current member of GD&T. Shoppers who find the object can enter their names in a drawing for a chance to win that day’s prize. 

Wed
19
Nov

Meyer writes on country schools, snakes, and farm life


Patricia Meyer, of Guttenberg, took the photo chosen for the cover of A Living History of Northeast Iowa: Country Schools and Classic Cars. A story she wrote, called "Blacksnakes and the Outhouse Playhouse," was also selected for publication in the book. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Guttenberg resident Patricia (Hinzman) Meyer was surprised to find that not only had a story from her childhood been selected for publication in A Living History of Northeast Iowa: Country Schools and Classic Cars, but a photo she’d taken in the 1950’s would be printed on the book’s cover. 

Meyer was born in 1939, the first of ten children. She attended three public schools and three country schools before starting high school in Garnavillo. On the last day of school one year in the 1950s, Meyer snapped a photograph with her mother’s camera. The image shows her father’s black Plymouth parked in front of the country school she attended for three months near Plagman Barn. Sixty years later, the photo became the perfect image for the cover of the 2014 Classic Cars and Country Schools book.

Each year in February, the Hinzman family moved to a new farm to begin working the land. Meyer and her siblings started a new school in March and had to learn a new set of books to pass the end-of-year exams. “It was kind of scary because country schools had different books than city schools. I was scared I wasn’t going to pass eighth grade, but I made it,” she recalls. 

Wed
19
Nov

Community invited to school facility design workshops


High school TAG students, from left, Tania Lopez, Terry Hefel, Brandon Wahls, and Alex Rose, will be guiding tours of the 1903 building and providing facts from the building's past and projections for its future. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

The Clayton Ridge School Board invites all members of the community to bring their ideas to a public workshop and open house planned for Nov. 24-25.  During the workshop, community members are encouraged to express their suggestions for use of the 1903 building space. These suggestions will be incorporated into several versions of plans to be sketched by professional planners and posted for all to see. Refreshments will be served and students will provide guided tours of the building throughout the day.

“Comments are invited on each plan over the two-day process.  Therefore, I advise participants to revisit the workshop during presentations at 12:00 noon and 6:00 p.m. each day for additional input.  In some cases, participants may take a straw vote on each plan as proposed,” Superintendent Allan Nelson told The Press.

The professional planners will have a base plan known as the ‘footprint.’ The planners will overlay the footprint with vellum paper and sketch the design elements as proposed by workshop participants.  The final sketch will be assigned a letter and posted for public comment. “Repeat visits are recommended to see and comment on plans as they are developed,” said Nelson. “All of the plans will be discussed during the final presentation starting at 6:00 p.m. on Nov. 25.”

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