News

Wed
08
Jan

Finnegan farm featured in Our Iowa magazine contest


Tom Nugent took this photograph while flying by helicopter over the farm of Lynne and Michael Finnegan. The photograph became the Grand Prize Winner of 2013 in Our Iowa Magazine's "Focus on Iowa Photo Contest." The photo also includes land owned by Lowell and Cindy Moser, Paul and Kathy Krieg, Lynn and Lorna Moser, Bob and Joyce Hillers, and Jeffrey Bittner.

 

By Molly Moser

“I think I saw your farm in a magazine!” said callers to the home of Michael and Lynne Finnegan, of Colesburg. Their family farm, purchased by Michael’s grandfather in 1949, was featured in Our Iowa Magazine as it progressed through the annual “Focus on Iowa Photo Contest.”

Cedar Rapids based photographer Tom Nugent flew over the area last fall in search of the perfect shot. “I wanted to get a picture of Guttenberg, since that’s where my grandparents lived and where my mom grew up,” explained Nugent. Each summer, after a few weeks in a cabin an Abel Island, Nugent’s parents would go back to Cedar Rapids and he’d stay in Guttenberg with grandparents, Herman and Lenchen Ihm.

The winning shot, says Nugent, was one of the first he saw that day from the helicopter. “It looked like Grant Wood had painted a painting right there in the landscape,” he told The Press. He asked pilot Fred Lansing to turn the helicopter around so he could get the right angle.

“He couldn’t have taken the picture at a better time,” said Finnegan. “Because the farm was freshly mowed, the corn was just starting to mature, and there was early morning fog over the Turkey River.” This angle, he says, is one he often admires from Millville Road, as it shows both his farm and the intersection of the Turkey and Mississippi Rivers. 

Wed
08
Jan

City officials begin a new year


Guttenberg city officials who were elected in the November municipal elections took the oath of office in a ceremony held Dec. 30 at the Guttenberg Municipal Building. From left are Sue Osterhaus and Doug Reimer, hospital board; City Manager Mary Willett and Mayor Russ Loven; back, Steve Friedlein, Dave Schlueter and Fred Schaub, city council; front, Helene Kuempel and right, Austin Greve, park board. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

 

By Shelia Tomkins

The year 2014 will see some new faces in Guttenberg city government when officials elected in November begin their terms. In a ceremony held Monday, Dec. 30, at the municipal building, Mayor Russ Loven thanked outgoing board members for their service, welcomed new members and administered the oath of office for members of the city council, park board and hospital board. 

Thu
02
Jan

Number of permits to carry increases in Clayton County


Clayton County Sheriff Mike Tschirgi points to a sample photo ID used by individuals who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. (Photo submitted)

 

By Pat McTaggart

Freelance Journalist

In 2003 a total of 32 Clayton County residents had a permit to carry a concealed weapon.  Today, that number has reached 1,245, or 7% of the county population.  Sheriff Mike Tschirgi said a change in the permit to carry law in June 2011 helped push the increase.

“The law made it easier for people to get permits by taking the word 'may' out of rules for issuing a permit and replacing it with the word 'shall' when it comes to our decision to issue a permit to carry,” he said. “A person has to take a handgun safety course from a qualified instructor, which can also be done over the internet, pass a test, which can also be done over the internet, and then pass a background check.  We would like to see individuals take the instruction in person from a qualified instructor, but either method can be used.”

Thu
02
Jan

Iowa farmland values increase to historic peaks

 

Average Iowa farmland value is estimated to be $8,716 per acre, an increase of 5.1 percent from 2012, according to results of the Iowa Land Value Survey conducted in November. Values increased in 2013 for the fourth year in a row and achieved historic peaks. The increase is similar to results of other recent Iowa farmland value surveys, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Iowa Chapter of the Realtors Land Institute surveys.

Northeast District values

For the Northeast Crop Reporting District, which includes Clayton County,  the average land value was estimated at $9,161 per acre, an increase of $638 (7.5 percent) from 2012. Land values for high grade land averaged $11,423 per acre, while medium grade land averaged $8,573 per acre; low grade land averaged $5,670 per acre. Within the crop reporting district, values ranged from $11,239 in Black Hawk County to $5,910 in Allamakee County. For the district, 20 percent of respondents reported more land sales in 2013 compared to 2012; West Central and Northeast Iowa had the highest percentages reporting more land sales in the state. Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported the same number of sales and 43 percent reported less land sales in 2013.  

Thu
02
Jan

Cook named IATC Coach of the Year


Angela Cook, high school girls track and field coach, shares her passion for the sport with her team as well as with her two young sons, who love to run. (Photo submitted)

 

By Molly Moser

High school girls track and field coach Angela (Behrend) Cook was recognized by the Iowa Association of Track Coaches as a class 2A Coach of the Year.  She credits the recognition to her team’s growing list of triumphs. “We’ve had a lot of successful athletes lately,” says the coach. “We’re getting more well known.”

Cook’s 2013 track team earned numerous titles and broke eight school track and field records. They won four outdoor conference titles, and five team members were named to the Upper Iowa Conference Track and Field Team. The girls qualified for two events at Drake Relays and finished that meet with a runner-up in the 800-meter run and an athlete placing 14 of 25 in the long jump. The Telegraph Herald named Jasmine Staebler Athlete of the Week.

Clayton Ridge girls track also qualified six athletes in five events at the State Track & Field Championship Meet, bringing home State Champion titles in the open 200 meter dash, 400 meter dash, and 800 meter run, as well as a fourth place finish in the sprint medley relay. The team placed 6th overall at the State Meet.

Thu
02
Jan

Riverside Wellness Center now taking appointments


Riverside Wellness Center will include services from massage therapists, a mental health counselor, and Reiki practitioner, as well as hosting a variety of events and classes. Sadie Hefel, of Guttenberg, is one such practitioner. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

 

By Molly Moser

The ever-evolving city of Guttenberg will become home to yet another unique business in 2014. A group of practitioners committed to holistic health have come together to form Riverside Wellness Center, which is set to open its doors this month.

The term holistic health is used to describe the concept that cultivating good health requires a perception of the individual as an integrated system rather than separate parts. Cindy Olsen, who organized the formation of Riverside Wellness Center, describes holistic health as “a balance between emotional health, mental health, and physical health.” 

Olsen is a licensed mental health practitioner. She has operated a successful practice in Guttenberg for 12 years, and Riverside Wellness Center will join her practice in its current location at 222 River Park Drive. 

Tue
24
Dec

Christmas memories mean more than gifts


This photo from a bygone era sparked Christmas memories for the author. (Photo submitted)

 

Note: The following reader submission, inspired by the photograph at right and based on real life events, provides a glimpse of winter life on an Iowa farm in another era.

* * *

A middle-aged lady looks through an old photo album and reflects on a bygone era.  Her father was a full-time hired man for a farmer who had four farms within a five-mile radius. She recalls that the whole family was expected to help out at different times of the year.

When Catherine, called Kat, was three or four years of age, she had to help water and feed the baby chickens. They were kept in the house for several weeks in a big metal tub. Newspapers were put in the bottom and had to be changed often.

Her two brothers, older by 10 and 12 years, helped with the chores and other jobs. Their biggest job was pulling volunteer corn from the soybean fields and putting up the square bales of hay.

Tue
24
Dec

Guttenberg hospital eyes affiliation with Finley

 

Submitted by

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital

UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital (Finley) and Guttenberg Municipal Hospital (GMH) announced Friday, Dec. 20, that they have agreed to enter into discussions to consider a future alignment in which UnityPoint Health would recognize GMH as an affiliate hospital under Finley Tri-states Health Group. 

As GMH is a municipal hospital, this process may take several months while it is reviewed by applicable governmental authorities. 

Tue
24
Dec

Local pastor to be featured on KFXB


LWFB Pastor Tyler Strickfaden will give a half-hour television interview followed by a half-hour message on KFXB’s weekly program, Coming Home. The program airs at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 26. Mediacom viewers can tune in to channel 12, and others can view the episode on Youtube. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

 

By Molly Moser

Tyler Strickfaden never wanted to be a pastor. In fact, he says it was the last thing he wanted to do. 

“I don’t like standing in front of people. I’m very comfortable to be in the background,” he says. “In 2007, I felt the call to be a pastor from God. I didn’t want to do it, so I ran from it for a year.” Strickfaden says that year was one of the worst of his life. “I’ve never felt such a lack of peace.”

“The moment that I said okay, fine, I’ll do what you want me to do, it was like instantly, peace was restored,” says Strickfaden. “Ever since then, I’ve loved it.” 

Tue
24
Dec

Winterfest a unique experience for Clayton Ridge students


High school students dressed up for a formal dinner, served by faculty the day before school lets out for winter break. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

 

By Molly Moser

Clayton Ridge High School held their bi-annual Winterfest on Thursday, Dec. 19. The school gymnasium was transformed into an atmospheric dining room for the afternoon entertainment. Yards of white linen were draped from floor to ceiling, and snowflakes three-feet in diameter clung to the stage. 

Prior to the formal dinner, high school students watched an etiquette video made by TAG students. The video taught proper use of silverware, dinner table manners, and how to signal to wait staff when finished with a meal. Students also learned about appropriate dress and how to tie a tie. 

Faculty served dinner and dessert to the high school student body and special guests, including school board members and their spouses. Dinner began after a blessing sung by Steve Moser and recent Clayton Ridge graduates Jesse and Nicole Moser.

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