News

Wed
26
Feb

Grocery cart race benefits food shelf


With help from Farm Bureau, Bender's Foods, and teams from Clayton Ridge High School and Clayton County 4-H, the county food shelf received over $300 in donated food. Front from left are Farm Bureau representative Jesse Westhoff and Bender's manager Karl Behning; second row, Farm Bureau rep Nick Westhoff, contestants Abby Von Handorf, Hannah Andregg, Andrew Burgin, Jacob Kahle, and Farm Bureau rep Erik Oberbroeckling; back row, competitors Joe Kann, Colten Rastetter, and Sharon Keehner. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

At the call of “Ready, set, go!” two teams rushed their shopping carts forward and began a race to feed the hungry. Hannah Andregg, Abby Von Handorf, Colten Rastetter, and Joe Kann, of the Clayton County 4-H Youth Council, competed against Clayton Ridge High School faculty and students Sharon Keehner, Andrew Burgin, and Jacob Kahle in the Clayton County Farm Bureau’s Grocery Cart Race at Bender’s Foods in Guttenberg on Friday.

The annual event is part of Farm Bureau’s Our Food Link program, a new year-round pro-ject to reach consumers of all ages and backgrounds with information about today’s agriculture. “We’re here to promote the fact that by the third or fourth week in February, the average family of four in America has earned enough income to buy their food for the rest of the year,” said Farm Bureau representative Erik Oberbroeckling. Samantha Erhardt, regional manager at Farm Bureau, detailed another focus of the event – farm to fork. “By sponsoring this grocery cart race, we hope to help consumers understand where their food comes from,” said Erhardt.

Wed
26
Feb

Clayton Ridge student surveys city cemetery


Through her volunteer project, Jessica Klein, daughter of Jim and Carol Klein, learned to recognize military graves, taught herself to use Excel to create spreadsheets, and perfected a method for reading difficult gravestones. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Clayton Ridge senior Jessica Klein plays clarinet and alto saxophone in the high school bands. She participates in speech. She sings in the mixed choir and the chamber choir, acts in plays, and student directs musicals. Lately, she’s also been spending a lot of time in area cemeteries.

Between July 2012 and October 2013, Klein logged 280 hours compiling and organizing burial records in Guttenberg City Cemetery. She copied the plat book by hand, one entry at a time, alphabetizing the 1500 entries inside. When that resource fell short of the roughly 2700 graves in the cemetery, she turned to the Iowa Graves WPA Survey. 

“There were no dates in the plat book. The WPA records are handwritten death records from the time of death, and there are a lot of misspellings and wrong dates. I don’t think there’s any way you can fix records from 200 years ago,” Klein explained. Even so, the errors are what inspired her project.

While researching her ancestors for a junior high genealogy project, Klein came across a website with an index of Clayton County gravesites. “There were lots of blank listings,” she remembers. Klein held on to the idea until high school, when she began collecting community service hours for silver cord recognition during her high school graduation ceremony.

Wed
19
Feb

Interact Club receives charter at Rotary meeting


On hand for the presentation of the Interact Club charter were, from left, Gary Mick, immediate past president of Rotary; Taylor Schaefers, Interact president; Jean Green, Rotary secretary-treasurer; Peggy Degnan, Rotary president. Not pictured is James Feudner, Rotary president-elect. (Photo submitted)

Clayton Ridge Interact Club, which was established on Sept. 13, 2013, was presented its official club charter during the Guttenberg Rotary Club’s meeting held on Thursday, Feb. 13, at Riverview Café.  

Rotary Club President Peggy Degnan  presented the charter to Interact President Taylor Schaefers. Other Interact officers are  Kris Ihde, vice-president; Maysie Scherer, treasurer; Hope Heitman, secretary, and directors Jonathan Klaes, Brianna Finnegan and Kaylyn LeGrand.  

Wed
19
Feb

Winter water problems spread

By Shelia Tomkins

As Old Man Winter continues his icy grip on the area into mid-February, the number of Guttenberg household affected by frozen water lines continues to climb.

As of Monday morning, Feb. 17, Jamie Blume, city utility billing clerk, reported that the city was aware of 67 frozen water lines, including the Guttenberg Fire Station and the South Marina building.

Wed
19
Feb

From pedalers to paddlers, Guttenberg attracts all kinds


An estimated 150 to 200 canoers and kayakers will land in Guttenberg on Saturday, Aug. 2, for a banquet and night out to celebrate their week-long river journey. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Just one week after RAGBRAI comes to a close in Guttenberg, another group of athletes is expected to paddle their way through Lock and Dam 10 to land in our city. The Great River Rumble, active since 1995 and headquartered in Dubuque, will finish a week-long canoe and kayak trip on the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. 

“We’ve paddled every mile of the Mississippi from St. Cloud all the way down to the arch in St. Louis. We’ve really covered a lot of ground over all these years,” says Rex Klein, Rumble Chairman. He lists the majority of participants in the event as Midwesterners, but says the event gets advertised nationally – drawing canoers and kayakers from Kansas, New York, Florida, Texas, and California. “The last couple of years we’ve been averaging between 150 and 180 people for the full week on the trip. Last year we had 198 people.”

The event will include teenagers to septuagenarians, and experience is necessary for the routes the Rumble takes. The trip is strenuous, averaging about 20 miles per day, and strong winds as well as rough water are a possibility. This year’s event begins in Sauk City, Wis., with a 25-mile paddle to Spring Green. Six days later, paddlers will leave Wyalusing State Park and travel a short seven miles before landing in Guttenberg, where they will have parked their cars on July 26.

Wed
19
Feb

GMH discusses potential integration


GMH has begun a thorough investigation of possible partners for future stability under the Affordable Care Act. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

As part of a national agenda to improve population health management, health care providers will soon be reimbursed based on level of patient satisfaction, quality of outcomes, and ability to keep costs low. Preparation to meet this triple aim, which will be the goal of the health care delivery system from this year forward, is driving partnerships across the country, and Guttenberg Municipal Hospital is no exception.

In order to meet the demands of the Affordable Care Act while facing a reduction in government reimbursement, the hospital board has begun a thorough investigation of potential affiliates to ensure sustainability. Work groups will meet in March, and GMH intends to engage in employee and community education in the mean time. Interested readers should visit www.guttenberghospital.org and watch for a presentation on local channel six for more information.

Because no formal decisions have been made at this time, many questions remain. “At the end of the day, we want patient services that are provided locally and are of high quality,” said board member Doug Reimer. “All that’s been done so far is to set a direction that’s positive for patients, employees, and the community.”

Dr. Jeff Hoffmann, GMH Chief of Staff, encourages the community to get involved with the process. “Be at meetings. Ask questions,” he said. Hoffmann is cautious about aligning GMH with a larger entity, especially in terms of retaining the independence to accept a variety of insurance products. “I’m not against integrating, it’s just to what degree,” he told The Press. His goal is to maintain the access to primary care that patients currently receive in Guttenberg. 

Wed
05
Feb

General surgeon joins Guttenberg hospital staff


Front from left are Donna Kelly, RN, Dr. Tamara Holzer, and Tami Haars, RN. (Photo submitted)

The Guttenberg Municipal Hospital Surgical Services department has announced the addition of a general surgeon, Dr. Tamara Holzer.  

Dr. Holzer offers a variety of procedures including colonoscopy, breast surgery, hernia repairs, gallbladder removal, appendectomy, and bowel procedures as well as laparoscopic surgery.

A native of Vinton, Dr. Holzer currently lives in Prairie du Chien, Wis.  She is excited to provide outreach services to the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital and the surrounding service area.

Wed
05
Feb

RAGBRAI to dip tires in Guttenberg


This year's RAGBRAI route will include overnight stops in Rock Valley, Okoboji, Emmetsburg, Forest City, Mason City, Waverly, Independence, and Guttenberg. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

This year’s river-to-river ride across Iowa will end in Guttenberg, RAGBRAI officials announced on Saturday, Jan. 26. The ride’s northern route begins in Rock Valley, a first-time RAGBRAI host, on July 19, and cyclists will roll through Guttenberg a week later on July 26. 

City Manager Mary Willett attended the announcement party in Des Moines, where she met John Karras, RAGBRAI’s co-founder. “I’ve never been to their announcement before – I really didn’t know what to expect,” said Willett. Her cousin, a 72-year old RAGBRAI veteran, introduced her to various cyclist teams while a bike helmet wearing, kick-lining band performed live. “I’d definitely say the RAGBRAI crowd likes to dance,” Willet laughed. 

As overnight towns were announced one by one, cyclists calculated mileage. She recalls a collective, good-natured groan about the climb into Guttenberg. At 3,073 feet of climb over 68 miles, Willett said, “This is considered to be the most challenging destination because of the elevation.”

RAGBRAI staff will visit Guttenberg for the first of many planning meetings on Feb. 5. Beginning next month, there will be at least two meetings per month leading up to the event. A route inspection is scheduled for the first week in June, and a comprehensive two-day meeting later that month will cover food and vendors, entertainment, public safety, electrical walk-throughs, and much more. 

Wed
05
Feb

The Wave of the Future pool upgrade project rolls forward


Dave Burbach, of Burbach Aquatics, Inc., shared images and information on eight Iowa swimming pool refurbishment projects completed by the company. In Missouri Valley, where the pool stands along the highway, Burbach stated, "The community was stagnant, but the pool was a sparkplug. Things have really taken off." (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

“You’re embarking on an exciting venture to upgrade your pool,” said an enthusiastic Dave Burbach, of Burbach Aquatics, during a presentation he gave at last week’s recreation board meeting. The board has been discussing options for the 40-year-old swimming pool since last fall. With the new city manager in place, the project can continue after a four-month hiatus.

Burbach described Guttenberg’s pool refurbishment as a ‘gateway project,’ because it is highly visible from the highway as visitors enter the city from the north. According to Burbach, that's a critical point in determining how much emphasis should be given to the pool project. “It shows quality of life,” he told the board.  “Families looking to move compare assets in communities. The family will be nested where they think they’re going to have the best environment for their children.”

Burbach Aquatics, Inc., is a full-service architecture and engineering firm operating out of Platteville, Wis., that specializes in aquatic recreation facilities. Following a holistic evaluation of the Guttenberg pool facilities, Burbach provided recommendations for refurbishing the current swimming pool.

“Some areas of the pool vessel have deteriorated concrete. That cannot be salvaged,” said Burbach. In the case of Guttenberg’s pool, upgrading is possible as long as certain areas are completely replaced – specifically, the north pool wall, which is the weakest part of the vessel. With Burbach’s recommended renovations, the life of the pool will be extended an estimated 15 to 20 years. 

Wed
05
Feb

Community Snow Day Saturday

Everyone is invited to attend a free Community Snow Day on Saturday, Feb. 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in the west field at the G & G Activity Center at 602 Kosciusko Street in Guttenberg.

"Bring your family for a fun-filled morning of building a snow creation," invite organizers. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Cider, coffee, hot cocoa and baked goods will be provided for all who attend. There is no cost to attend, and a drawing for door prizes will also be part of the fun that day. 

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