News

Wed
18
Mar

Exercise demos at wellness fair


Last year over 500 people attended the Clayton County Wellness Fair. This year's organizers are, front from left, JoAnn Janssen, Kari Harbaugh, Emily Moser; back row, Leigh Ann Judge, Shane Anderson, Lynn Bockenstedt, Tracy Yelden, and Claudia McCalley. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Area health resources will come together next month for the fourth annual Clayton County Wellness Fair & Family Night, co-sponsored by Guttenberg Municipal Hospital, St. John's Church, Clayton Ridge Schools, Thrivent, Clayton County Dairy Promotion, Families Helping Hand, and Prairie Farms Dairy. The event will take place at Clayton Ridge High School in Guttenberg on Tuesday, April 14, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The wellness fair will fill the high school gymnasium with over 40 vendors. New this year, the multipurpose room has been designated as an area specifically for interactive presentations. Exercise demonstrations will include weight lifting, balance exercises and equipment-specific instruction. “These groups are going to have a lot more space than before,” said Kari Harbaugh, one of many volunteers who help organize the annual countywide wellness fair. 

A professional health market place navigator will be in attendance to provide information on health care coverage options. Resources for families who may need specialty clinics will be available, and cancer-related support groups and education will also be represented at the wellness fair. Numerous organizations will have booths offering various health screenings as well as information on area fitness, recreation and education opportunities. The event includes information relevant to people of all ages living all across Clayton County.

Wed
18
Mar

Team Lucy presents: A walk around Esmann Island 2015


Members of Team Lucy 2014 included, front from left, Joe and Mary Mellon, Mary Eulberg, Cindy Miller, Becky Hefel, Tonya Schaefer, and Heather Reyerson; back row, Isaac Eulberg, Rick Eulberg, Chris Miller, Roger Hefel, and Tony Reyerson. “There are hundreds of people doing the walk, some relatives/friends of people with the disease, some with the disease. I was amazed at my emotion seeing many in scooters like Lucy had - but I know she would be so proud of Tony for doing this,” said Becky Hefel, sister of the late Lucy Smith Reyerson. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

“The things I remember the most about mom would be her generosity, her quick wit, the endless smile, open arms, and her passion for being a great mother,” says Tony Reyerson of his late mother, Lucy Smith Reyerson. “But most of all, she was my best friend.”

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester diagnosed Lucy with multiple sclerosis in 1989. On Jan. 11, 2000, she passed away from pneumonia and complications of the disease. This year, Lucy’s family and friends have organized a walk around Esmann Island to honor her memory and fundraise for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

When Tony decided to join the MS volunteer committee in his home city of LaCrosse, he learned of a group in Platteville, Wis., who raised $25,000 by hosting a private walk in their town. “That’s what sparked this idea,” he says. “I mentioned it to my wife, Heather, and my mother-in-law, Mary Eulberg. Mary being the go-getter she is, took right off with it and started making some connections.”

“Our mission behind this walk is to raise awareness for those in our community fighting MS and to raise money to go toward MS research,” said Reyerson’s wife, Heather (Hefel) Reyerson. She and her mother join many others each year for LaCrosse’s Walk MS event as part of Team Lucy.  

Wed
11
Mar

Property taxes are due March 31

Linda Zuercher, Clayton County Treasurer, reminds property owners that the second half payment for property taxes is due Tuesday, March 31, 2015.  Penalties will start on April 1. To avoid the penalty, payments must be received by the end of the business day March 31 or have a March 31 postmark.

There are several payment options to choose from. You may pay in person at the Treasurer’s Office in the Courthouse or at the Driver’s License Station located in the County Office Building at 600 Gunder Road. The offices are open Monday through Friday   8:00 a.m.  -  4:30 p.m. Both locations will accept cash and checks for payments.

Wed
11
Mar

Shari Harbaugh memorial pool tournament March 21


The Shari Harbaugh Memorial Kings & Queens Pool Tournament celebrates the life of the late Shari Harbaugh, pictured here at right during a pool tournament with her uncle Jesse Harbaugh and her cousin Keisha Harbaugh. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Guttenberg resident Dan Ganahl met the late Shari Harbaugh of Edgewood during pool league. They had been friends for just over a year when she was killed in a tragic car accident on Dec. 1, 2014. Ganahl decided to organize a pool tournament in her honor. “She deserves a big happy celebration,” he said. “A lot of people knew her and she was one of those people that will be remembered.”

The Shari Harbaugh Memorial Kings & Queens Pool Tournament is planned for Saturday, March 21, hosted by both Moxies Tap and the Dam Bar in Guttenberg. “I had some high expectations, and this event has definitely exceeded those,” Ganahl told The Press. At print, there are 52 couples signed up for the tournament. Moxies will be bringing in an extra pool table to accommodate the tournament, and 14 other businesses have also signed up as event sponsors.

Over 30 envelopes stuffed with gift cards from area businesses will be raffled off during the tournament on March 21. Prizes like a roadside car kit, pool stick and cue, manicure/pedicure, and more have also been donated for the raffle. Danny and Andy Schroeder have donated a whole hog to the raffle, and two winners will each receive one half of the hog. A 50th anniversary Ruger 10/22 stainless steel rifle was also donated as a raffle prize. 

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.

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