News

Tue
28
Jan

GD&T hears presentation on Main Street Iowa program


Guttenberg Development & Tourism elected two new board members at their annual dinner. Front from left are director Mary Beth Theis, board president Tom Augustyn, new board member Sadie Hefel, and Janette Simon; back row, Dwight Hughes, Jane Staebler, and new board member Molly Moser. Not pictured are Andy Reimer and Jane Thein. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Molly Moser

Since it began 28 years ago, Main Street Iowa has spanned the farm crisis, four recessions, the dot-com bust, and the real-estate crash. In spite of those obstacles, there has been growth in net new businesses every year in Main Street Iowa districts. Projects in Main Street districts generate an average of 623 jobs for Iowans and over $19 million in paychecks each year. Even during the recent national recession, construction activity in Main Street districts increased 250-350%.

This remarkable program was the topic of conversation at the annual Guttenberg Development & Tourism dinner last Monday evening at the Stadium. Robin Bostrum, Program Director for Main Street West Union and the Turkey River Recreational Corridor, spoke to a large group about the improvements Main Street has allowed her community to make. 

“We were having the same issues that many small towns are having in Iowa,” admitted Bostrum. Decreasing population, retaining youth, and revitalizing the town in general were concerns for West Union, a community with a consolidated school district and a strong agriculture base. “We looked at other communities our size, and learned about the Main Street program,” said Bostrum.

Wed
22
Jan

Publisher seeks stories from local old-timers

Hometown Memories Publishing Company intends to save a big slice of local history before it’s lost forever.

Karen Garvey, Senior Editor at Hometown Memories Publishing, is asking local old-timers to share their memories for a living history book.  She invites anyone over age 60 with yarns about the “good old days” in Northeast Iowa to write them down and mail them to her for possible publication in the book.  The hardcover coffee table book will contain tales of bygone years from people who actually lived them.

To encourage participation, Garvey is offering a $250 award for the most appealing story.  There will also be three $100 runner-up awards and a cash award for best picture.

Wed
22
Jan

Identity theft: Could it happen to you?


"Banks and credit card companies are being a lot more diligent about letting you know if something odd comes up," Cindy Thompson, of ISU Outreach and Extension, told a captive audience at Guttenberg Public Library. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

An epidemic of security breaches in recent weeks have left up to 110 million Target customers, shoppers at Nieman Marcus, and three other U.S. retailers’ consumers at risk for identity theft.  

“Chaos,” and “nightmare,” are two words participants used to describe identity theft last week at Guttenberg Public Library. Cindy Thompson, Family Life/Family Finance Program Specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach, gave a presentation on the topic to a room filled with concerned citizens.  

“I had a credit card hacked within the last month,” admitted one local woman, who asked to remain anonymous. A credit card she uses to purchase e-books came up with a balance nearly 40 times her normal monthly usage. Her credit card company noticed the discrepancy and called to question her. “I felt fortunate that they called me, but it’s scary,” she said. “How do hackers get that information?” She and her husband will probably never know the answer to that question. 

In addition to the stress of resolving identity theft, says Thompson, “There is an emotional side to identity theft that goes unspoken. People think, ‘What did I do wrong?’ They become untrusting.”

Wed
22
Jan

School board moves forward with middle school renovations

The Clayton Ridge School Board of Directors held a special meeting on Jan. 9 to hear presentations from Garland Roofing Company, Baker Group, and Modus Engineering regarding conditions in the middle school building.

Dennis Martin from the Garland Roofing Company was present to answer questions regarding roof replacement at the middle school above the multi-purpose room and shop areas. This project would then complete the re-roofing of the middle school building.

The board decided to move forward with the roofing project, requesting bids for the replacement of both roofs.

Wed
22
Jan

Adams is contestant in statewide business competition


Adams needs your help to win My People App-rentice: Des Moines, a competition which will jumpstart the launch of his product, the Arctic Stick. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Garnavillo resident Brandon Adams is in the middle of the adventure of a lifetime. He’s just won a video contest as part of a competition known as My People App-rentice: Des Moines, and he needs your help to continue being successful.

In early December, Adams filmed an informational video with plans to set up an online fundraising campaign for his invention, the Arctic Stick. Arctic Stick is a product that fits inside plastic beverage bottles to keep them cool. Any liquid can be frozen inside the Arctic Stick, then dropped into a drink for a flavor burst. 

Just one week after the video was filmed, Adams discovered My People App-rentice. “I signed up, and am one of 50 people in the state of Iowa that got picked,” he told The Press. Friends and fans voted for Adams’ unique video, in which he described his day-to-day life as it revolves around selling real estate, ice, and working on the Arctic Stick. “I won that video because yes, it was creative, but through social media I got my contacts to give me the most ‘likes,’” said Adams.

Wed
15
Jan

Ice fishing tourney here Jan. 18

An ice fishing tournament will be held at Bussey Lake, Guttenberg on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The event is being co-sponsored by Guttenberg Development & Tourism and Murray's Outdoor Store.

There will be prizes for the biggest bluegill, crappie and perch, as well as a price for the most overall  panfish weighed-in. Prizes will include four $100 gift certificates from Murray's and four children's fishing kits from Murray (children under 12 are eligible).

Wed
15
Jan

Family Resource Center open house Jan. 22 at new location


The Family Resource Center, a branch of Guttenberg Municipal Hospital, invite the public to an open house at their new location at 514 S. River Park Dr. on Jan. 22 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

The Family Resource Center will host an open house on Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at their new location, 514 S. River Park Drive, Guttenberg. This branch of Guttenberg Municipal Hospital is a hub for a variety of agencies and programs that are difficult to reach in many rural communities, and their new location allows them to provide more to the community than ever before.

The Family Resource Center was previously located in a building just two blocks north of the new location, in an office coordinator Kari Harbaugh calls “compact.” Within the small rooms, agencies had difficulty meeting with families of more than two or three. “We have space for that now,” she smiles.

The large front windows in the new location allow natural light to brighten the entire space. Tall ceilings and white walls create a feeling of freshness, and the wood flooring layered with soft, colorful rugs make the room feel like home. “The whole environment is very, very inviting, warm, and comfortable,” said Harbaugh. “Whether someone is coming to drop off a donation, attend a group, or receive services, it’s pleasing to everyone.”

The Resource Center’s old location was not handicap accessible, and Harbaugh can recall numerous incidents when first-time clients with wheelchairs simply had to wait outside. Parking was shut down daily while school busses accessed the street, making it even more difficult to enter. “It just wasn’t acceptable,” said Harbaugh.

Wed
15
Jan

City council hears update on economic prospects

By Shelia Tomkins

The Guttenberg city council, in its first meeting of the new year, heard an update on efforts to attract and expand business in the community.

Mayor Russ Loven led councilmembers Virginia Saeugling, Fred Schaub, Dave Schlueter, Jane Parker and Steve Friedlein through the evening's short agenda. Assistant City Manager Julie Zittergruen was also in attendance.

GEIDC report

Mary Beth Theis, director of Guttenberg Economic and Industrial Development Commission (GEIDC), spoke to the council about three prospects for local development. 

Wed
15
Jan

CR alumni to compete in mixed martial arts battle Jan. 24


Clayton Ridge graduates Nick Pierce (pictured) and Dalton Grinstead are on the amateur fight card for a mixed martial arts bout in Dubuque on Friday, Jan. 24. (Photo courtesy of Dubuque Photography)

By Molly Moser

Mixed martial arts (MMA) has been rising in popularity in recent years, and the sport now has a pay-per-view business that rivals boxing and professional wrestling. Pinnacle Combat, the self-proclaimed premier MMA promotion in the tri-state area, will hold their tenth event this month – an event that features two Clayton Ridge graduates.

Nick Pierce and Dalton Grinstead, both 23, are preparing for their second fight with Pinnacle to be held Saturday, Jan. 24, at Dubuque’s Five Flags Center. For those unfamiliar with the sport, Five Flags Center describes mixed martial arts as “a full contact combat sport that allows the use of striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, from a variety of other combat sports.” 

Grinstead, who has trained in Karate, wrestling, and Jiu Jitsu, is proficient in either a stand-up or ground scenario. “I don't mind being on my feet, but with my wrestling and Jiu Jitsu background, I feel supremely comfortable bringing a guy to the ground,” he explained.

Wed
08
Jan

Help write a book about NE Iowa

 

A publisher is seeking submissions about the "good old days" for a book about Northeast Iowa.

A submission form with all the details appears in this week's issue of The Press.

The publication is planned by Hometown Memories, a publisher of living history books with headquarters in Hickory, N.C. 

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