News

Wed
11
Mar

Talent show contestants entertain crowd with singing, dancing


From left are this year's talent show winners, Autumn Kivi, 15, of Prairie du Chien, Crystal Ball, 15, of Dyersville, and Alex Simon, 17, of Guttenberg. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

G&G Living Centers, in partnership with GD&T, hosted their annual talent show on Sunday in the municipal building’s third floor ballroom. Six acts graced the stage before a large crowd of families, friends, and community members. 

First place in the show was awarded to Autumn Kivi, 15, of Prairie Du Chein. Kivi took second place at last year’s competition for her charismatic rendition of “At Last,” the 1960s hit made popular by Etta Games. This year, Kivi returned with “Cry Me a River” by Ella Fitzgerald. Kivi began singing at the Eagles Heart and Cancer Telethon when she was four. Her experience showed as she entertained the audience with her emotion, eye contact, and confident, fluid vocals. 

Seventeen-year-old Alex Simon opened the talent show with the reading of a poem titled, “My Little Italian Mother.” Simon earned second place for the poetry, which described his mother, Janette, in her transition from “invisibly mighty” to a woman who holds a PhD. The last line of the poem read, “She said she did it for me.”

Wed
11
Mar

City council approves budget

By Shelia Tomkins

The city budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015,  was approved at the March 2 meeting of the Guttenberg city council. 

For the coming fiscal year, revenues are estimated at $23,065,834 and expenditures at $23,124,206. As per state requirements, the city budget includes the budget for Guttenberg Municipal Hospital. The hospital portion makes up almost 70% of the city budget for the coming fiscal year. The hospital budget predicts revenues and expenditures at $16,443,000 each. The estimated total tax levy per $1,000 valuation on regular property is 15.11220, reflecting a minor decrease from this year's levy of 15.11400. 

Mayor Russ Loven led councilmembers Steve Friedlein, Jane Parker, Dave Schlueter, Fred Schaub and Virginia Saeugling through the agenda. City Manager Mary Willett and City Attorney Michael Schuster were also present.

Water rate increase

The council approved the second reading of an ordinance that will increase water, sewer and storm sewer rates. A recent audit report recommended an increase in customer water and sewer rates in order to cover operating costs. Proposed is a base rate increase of $1 for water, $2 for sewer and $.50 for storm sewer. The ordinance also provides for a minimum monthly billing even if service is disconnected. 

City manager salary increase

City Manager Mary Willett has been on the job for a year now, and in accordance with her employment agreement a one-year review was recently completed. "We have had some really big challenges, and she's stepped up to the plate," said the Mayor of her evaluation. He noted that major city issues in the past year included comprehensive planning, the change of electricity providers, strategic planning, Acre Street renovation, frozen water pipes, municipal hospital plans, the Garber Road bridge, major capital expenditures, levee accreditation, the RAGBRAI visit last summer, Canadian Pacific Railroad concerns, as well as financing and budgeting. 

Wed
04
Mar

Calling for river essays, stories, songs, poetry for summer event

Essays, stories, songs, and poems about the Mississippi River are being sought for inclusion in “Celebrate the River & Guttenberg” weekend  events set for Aug. 7-9.  

The impetus for this event came from Mayor Russ Loven who has participated in a number of Mississippi River Mayors' Conferences.  The conference agendas always included encouragement for river towns to celebrate the river with music, the arts, food, fun and education.  

Mayor Loven, Emily Moser of Guttenberg Development & Tourism and Juanita Loven have been working on a preliminary schedule of events.  

Wed
04
Mar

City officials at Legislative Day

Guttenberg Mayor Russ Loven and City Manager Mary Willett attended the Iowa League of Cities Legislative Day on Tuesday, Feb. 24, in Des Moines.

The morning included an economic development workshop at Embassy Suites. The mayor and city manager had the opportunity to hear from state agencies, law firms and League staff on topics such as Economic Development, Tax Increment Financing laws and practices, and changes to the state economic funding mechanisms. 

Wed
04
Mar

Cochlear implants give sound to area three-year-old


Lucas loves to name objects, letters, and colors in picture books. He is beginning to transition from learning primarily through sign language to learning vocally. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

A Garnavillo boy born without the ability to hear is now dancing and singing along with the radio. 

Lucas Sadewasser, now almost three, received cochlear implants about 18 months ago, and he’s surprising those around him with his progress. 

A cochlear implant is an electronic device that partially restores hearing for people who have severe hearing loss and don't benefit from hearing aids. The implant consists of an external processor, which sits behind the ear; and a second portion, a receiver, that is surgically placed under the skin. 

A microphone on the external portion picks up sounds from the environment. The speech processor selects and arranges these sounds and transmits sound signals to the internal receiver. There, sound signals are converted into electric impulses and sent via the auditory nerve to the brain, where they are interpreted as a form of hearing. 

While a cochlear implant does not restore normal hearing, it can give a deaf person a useful representation of sounds and help him or her to understand speech. Results vary from person to person, but according to Mayo Clinic, most patients report improved ability to hear speech without needing visual cues and to recognize normal, everyday environmental sounds; the ability to hear soft sounds; and the ability to locate the sources of sound.

Wed
04
Mar

Guttenberg Care Center introduces holistic health practices


Diane Loeffelholz (left) and Joyce Horstman traveled with Guttenberg Care Center residents to visit Nature Haven Farm in Garnavillo. The farm, operated by Kay and Vic Vifian, will provide edible flowers, squash, corn, herbs, berries, and melons for meals at the Care Center. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Aromatherapy. Reflexology. Massage therapy. Sounds more like a spa day than a nursing home, right? Wrong. The Guttenberg Care Center, with support from owner ABCM Corporation, has embarked on a journey to incorporate holistic health into the many options available to residents. Music and art therapy, tai chi, meditation, and locally grown foods are among the many facets of the care center’s holistic health plan.

“Holistic Health is the next logical approach for us in expanding the fundamentals of Person Directed Care. It is our responsibility to enrich resident’s lives while managing their medical care,” said marketing coordinator Jane Staebler. A stakeholder group formed last year consulted with the Maharishi University in Fairfield, Luther College in Decorah, and Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids. “We’ve learned through visiting some of these places that although it’s becoming more common, holistic health is still very foreign in the nursing home community,” Staebler told The Press.

Wed
25
Feb

St. John's youth plan to attend national gathering in Detroit


St. John's youth held a Shrove Tuesday meal to raise funds for a summer trip. Front from left are Isaac Sweet, Mariah Balahaja; middle row, Matthew Andersen, Ben Schmelzer and Michael Andersen; back row, Emily Kraus, Carlie Hyde and Abrianna Moore. Not pictured are  Josef Von Handorf and Braydn  Harbaugh. (Photo submitted)

This summer ten young people from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Guttenberg will be attending the ELCA National Youth Gathering in Detroit.  

These local teens along with four chaperones will spend five days in Detroit at Fords Field with 40,000 other young Lutherans from around the country and world. While at the convention, they will spend one day doing volunteer work at an urban inner city setting.  

To help raise money for their trip, the group hosted a Shrove Tuesday spaghetti and pie supper at St. John’s on Feb. 17.  Thrivent  Financial assisted the youth with funds to help purchase supplies for the spaghetti supper. 

Wed
25
Feb

Guttenberg Hospital Auxiliary offers free memberships


Gift shop manager and Auxiliary member Cheryl Simmons notes that GMH and CFP employees are the shop’s best customers. The Auxiliary distributes half of the profits from the gift shop to special projects that benefit the hospital and surrounding community. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

The Guttenberg Municipal Hospital Auxiliary has elected to waive the $10.00 membership fee for the remainder of 2015 in hopes of recruiting some fresh new perspective into the organization. The Auxiliary supports the hospital with fundraisers including Easter baskets, uniform sales, quilt raffles, and the annual Cookie Walk during the holiday season. 

Wed
25
Feb

Superintendent Nelson approved for early retirement

By Molly Moser

The Clayton Ridge School board approved the early retirement of Superintendent Allan Nelson during a special meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 17.  Members in attendance were Janice Andregg, Christine Aulwes, Mike Finnegan, Jason Reimer, John Heying, and  Dr. Jeff Hoffmann. Kathy Ihde was absent. Also in attendance were Allan Nelson, David Schlueter and Mary Seifert.

Wed
25
Feb

CR school board authorizes April 7 bond referendum

By Molly Moser

During their February meeting, the Clayton Ridge School Board voted to accept a school improvement petition with 117 signatures from community members. The board has decided to hold a special election on April 7 to request the issue of up to $10 million in general obligation bonds for the purpose of renovating school buildings in Guttenberg. Public hearing dates have been set for March 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the middle school auditorium in Garnavillo and March 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the high school gym in Guttenberg. 

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