News

Wed
15
Apr

Lawrence is VFW Teacher of the Year


Guttenberg VFW member Stan Blair presents teacher and veteran Brian Lawrence with the 2015 State of Iowa VFW Teacher of the Year Award. Lawrence was chosen above all other sixth to eighth grade teachers in the state. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Brian Lawrence is a science teacher at Clayton Ridge Middle School. He is also a soldier. Lawrence spent 10½ years in the U.S. Army Special Operations with the 3rd Ranger Battalion and 20th Special Forces Group. He served during the Cold War and the Global War on Terror, and has been on multiple combat operations in Central America and the Middle East. Last week, he was named the 2015 State of Iowa VFW Teacher of the Year. 

“Brian is an inspiring teacher who continues to dedicate his daily instruction to further develop and maintain a future generation that displays outstanding character in the area of citizenship in our community, country and world,” said Principal Shane Wahls. “He has set clear and concise expectations while modeling the true meaning of citizenship and fostering the development and enrichment of lifelong values and beliefs that should characterize the “American Citizen.”  

In 1995, Lawrence was hired as an associate for the Garnavillo School District. While working full time, he completed Upper Iowa’s two-year teaching endorsement program in one year, and in 2001 – the first year Guttenberg and Garnavillo students shared classrooms – he led his own classroom for the first time. That fall, Lawrence and his eighth grade science students watched in awe as planes struck the Twin Towers. 

Wed
15
Apr

Voters reject school bond issue

By Shelia Tomkins

Voters in the Clayton Ridge Community School District, by a 4-1 margin, turned down a $10,000,000 proposed plan for school facility improvements. 

Unofficial results from the Tuesday, April 7, referendum showed 892 against the measure and 224 in favor. Sixty-percent approval was needed for passage. Approximately one-third of the district's 3,394 active registered voters went to the polls.

Wed
08
Apr

Rock the River Road Show Saturday at Lakeside

Tickets are still available for the fifth annual Rock the River Road Show set for this Saturday, April 11, at Lakeside Ballroom in Guttenberg. 

This year's headliners are the PastMasters, Steve Bobbitt and his tribute to Rod Stewart, local favorites Backwater, and special guests Carl Thompson and Mark Stumme of Midnite Express.

Scott Sanborn, well-known Eastern Iowa broadcast veteran, will be the emcee. 

Wed
08
Apr

New help for NE Iowa veterans


The Mobile Vet Center makes stops in Mount Pleasant on Tuesdays and West Union on Thursdays. (Photo courtesy of Troy Lewis)

By Pat McTaggart

Freelance Journalist

Combat veterans or those who suffered sexual trauma while serving in the military now have a new resource to help them in northeast Iowa.  

A Mobile Vet Center (MVC) is now visiting West Union every Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  It is located next to Hardee’s near the intersection of Highways 150 and 18 and is set up to serve eligible veterans throughout northeast Iowa.

There are more than 200 Vet Centers located throughout the United States. The first one was established in Washington State by a group of Viet Nam veterans in 1979. Iowa has three Vet Centers, located in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Sioux City. They serve veterans and their families, providing counseling, professional readjustment, bereavement counseling, marital and family counseling and sexual trauma/harassment counseling, as well as other services.

The MVC is the only one in the state, and there are only 49 in the entire country. It is based out of Cedar Rapids, and stops in Mount Pleasant on Tuesdays in addition to its Thursday stop in West Union.  Scott Wallingford and Troy Lewis, both combat veterans, work in the MVC.  They each are retired military and each served for 23 years.

Wed
08
Apr

Scouts buy new wheels for kitten


Dr. David Connell held Oscar while Jennifer Smith and other members of Daisy Troop 7221 took turns petting him. "He wears his emotions on his sleeve," Connell says of the kitten, who purrs loudly when pleased. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Born under a porch in downtown Guttenberg, a kitten now called Oscar was delivered to the Guttenberg Veterinary Clinic for euthanization last summer. Oscar’s hind legs were severely deformed from the knee down, and veterinarian David Connell explains the kitten would likely have become food for a hungry predator if left on his own. 

Thanks to the wisdom and kindness of the Guttenberg vet, and now thanks to a local troop of Girl Scouts, Oscar’s nine lives will be spent in good health and good company.

“It didn’t look like much else was wrong with him, so we decided to keep him here at the clinic,” said Connell. “He started scooting around, and we got a kick out of it.” In fact, Oscar has no trouble at all getting from place to place. He played with other kittens that were also at the clinic waiting to be adopted, and started gaining weight due to his healthy appetite. 

Daisy Troop 7221, led by Lynda Schaeffers, Stephanie Horns and Tessa Dietrich, toured the Guttenberg Veterinary Clinic just after Oscar’s second surgery, which removed the underdeveloped bones in one of his back legs.  Veterinary technician Shannon Knack talked to the scouts about Oscar’s situation, mentioning the possibility of a wheelchair for Oscar. “She wasn’t sure if they could afford it,” recalls Dietrich. 

Wed
08
Apr

Amanda Ihde family to hold benefit at Lakeside April 18


"I would like to thank friends, family and the community for everything they have done - from making food, sending gift cards and money for gas, or just a hand written card with well wishes. It's been very overwhelming to me how wonderful and caring everyone has been," Ihde told The Press. Clockwise from left are Chad, Kaysi, Amanda, and Haleigh Ihde.(Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

When Amanda (Aulwes) Ihde was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in the fall of 2014, the community assembled to support Amanda and her family. 

“The whole community, and the surrounding communities, have been overwhelmingly generous,” said Amanda’s mother, Linda Aulwes. “People in general have brought meals in for the family when she was too sick to cook, or sent gift certificates for gas or food.”

After months of chemotherapy treatments, Ihde is close to finishing that grueling stepping stone to recovery – but multiple trips to the University of Iowa in Iowa City have put a financial stumbling block in her young family’s path. A benefit has been organized to fundraise for medication, hospital expenses, gas and other medical costs. 

The benefit will be held on Saturday, April 18, at Lakeside Ballroom in Guttenberg from 3:00 p.m. to midnight. Topp Flight and Krankstate will provide musical entertainment from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight, and refreshments will include turkey and dressing sandwiches, sloppy joes, au gratin potatoes, baked beans, and a sale of homemade baked goods.

Wed
01
Apr

Easter egg hunt set for April 4

The annual community Easter egg hunt will be held in Guttenberg on Saturday, April 4, at 1:00 p.m., sponsored by Guttenberg Rotary Club and the Guttenberg Care Center

For the second consecutive year, the event will be held in the park south of Clayton Ridge High School on River Park Drive. 

In previous years, the event was held at the Guttenberg Care Center, but construction work caused a change in location. 

Wed
01
Apr

Accident claims life of Elkport man

An Elkport man died after the car he was riding in went out of control and crashed this weekend.

Zachary Lee, 22, of Elkport died Sunday, March 29, following a single vehicle crash on Glacier Road north of 395th Street in Clayton County.

He was a passenger in a 2006 Pontiac driven by Kyle Sear, 20, of Garber, who was injured in the crash.

Wed
01
Apr

Regional art show to be held in Guttenberg on April 11


Gail Larson, coordinator of the Region 3 Iowa Artists Show, is a member of the Clayton County Artists, who have their own show each summer in Guttenberg. Larson and many other Clayton County Artists will be submitting work for the upcoming regional show. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

The Clayton County Artists are hosting this year’s Region 3 Iowa Artists Show in Guttenberg on Saturday, April 11. The show will be held on the third floor of the Municipal Building and is open to the public from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Coordinator Gail Larson expects about 35 artists (fourteen of which are from Clayton County) to exhibit up to three works each.

Local artists Pat Peck, Carol Hartmann, Bev Hamann, Sue Bolsinger, Harry Gresham, Verna Lenth, Heather Meyer, Larson, and others are expected to have work in the exhibition. All the work to be exhibited has been created within the past two years and has never before been shown in Iowa Artists regional or state shows, so viewers can expect to see pieces they’ve not yet encountered.

Guttenberg artist Pat Peck plans to bring three oil paintings depicting scenes from her travels. One image shows a hill town in Italy built on the outcropping of a volcano known as Overito. The second is a painting of Gallway Bay in Ireland, and the third features a group of children watching a man shear a sheep. “With a competition like that, it really inspires you to do your best and find unusual things,” Peck told The Press.

“This year the judge at the show will be David Prehm, noted watercolorist and book illustrator,” said Larson. Prehm will select one piece from each 10 exhibited in Guttenberg for a first, second and third place ribbon, as well as a number of honorable mentions at his discretion. Blue ribbon winners from the regional shows go to the state show, which will be May 2 in Cedar Falls. 

Wed
01
Apr

Community celebrates Merrick's 44 years of service


Dr. Merrick and his wife, Karen, celebrated with dozens of community members during a reception hosted by Guttenberg Municipal Hospital on Friday, March 27. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Dr. Robert Merrick retires this month after 44 years of practice as a physician in Guttenberg. “Dr. Merrick has been a model physician,” says long-time coworker Dr. Andy Smith, who admires Merrick’s longevity, compassion, and dedication to the community.

Merrick and his wife, Karen, raised their three children, Kate, Emily, and Paul, in Guttenberg after Dr. Downey hired Merrick in 1971. “No one wanted to hire me because they thought I’d be drafted,” Merrick explained. “Dr. Downey said he’d take me as long as he could have me. I never got drafted.”

Over the course of his career in Guttenberg, Merrick mentored many medical students. In 2008 he was awarded Medical Educator of the Year by the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians. The award is given annually to recognize quality in family practice education to a member of the Academy involved in teaching at a student level, resident level or in the continuing education of family physicians. “He's been very involved in education and self-education, and continues to read and learn. He wanted to be the best doctor he could be, and he certainly is,” said Smith.

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