News

Wed
29
Oct

Brown's Ford Celebrating 50 years in Guttenberg


In 1992, Dave Brown visited Las Vegas, Nev., to see the first Dodge Viper and meet designer Carol Shelby. Brown's lifelong passion for cars has led his business to 50 years of success in Guttenberg. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

In November of 1964, 24-year-old Dave Brown made his first car sale. “It was a 1964 Ford Fairlane station wagon, and it was brown. That was tough to sell,” Brown remembers. “I sold it to Joe Bauer from Buenie. He was my first customer.” 

Brown’s father had a successful career in civil engineering, but Brown found himself drawn to automobiles as a child. Born and raised in Chicago, 16-year-old Brown fibbed about his age to apply for a job as a line mechanic at Nicky Chevrolet. He worked from 4:30 p.m. to 12:00 midnight, maintaining a full-time job while receiving his high-school education. “I’d come home from school, throw my books on top of the fridge, and pick up my lunch bucket. My mom would make salami, bologna, peanut butter sandwiches, and sweet pickles because she knew I loved them. That was my supper, and the next day, same story,” Brown smiles. “I loved that job.”

Wed
29
Oct

Paranormal explorer Curt Strutz in Guttenberg


The Friends of the Guttenberg Public Library Foundation sponsored a presentation on Thursday, Oct. 23, by paranormal explorer Curt Strutz, pictured here in front of the haunted Story Inn in Story, Ind. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Dozens gathered last Thursday evening to travel into the beyond with paranormal explorer Curt Strutz. Strutz resides in Milwaukee, Wis., and has traveled the country visiting abandoned hospitals, asylums, hotels, homes, and other places of suspected paranormal energy.

In the darkened third floor ballroom of the municipal building, Strutz set the scene for one of his earliest brushes with the beyond.  In an apartment he shared with his wife and young son, strange events led to the naming of one part of the home as the ‘creepy corner.’ In the creepy corner, lamps switched on and off of their own accord. The contents of a shelf bolted to the wall frequently leaped onto the floor, and photos taken of the corner showed orange orbs when developed. The voice of a singing stuffed dinosaur could be heard when no one was near enough to activate the toy.

“At 2:00 a.m. you’d hear Barney singing from the corner. That’s creepier than a ghost,” Strutz joked with his audience. His tales were peppered with jokes, and Strutz’s healthy sense of skepticism kept a light mood in the dark room. 

Wed
22
Oct

Take a paranormal journey when "Visiting the Beyond" Oct. 23

Guest speaker Curt Strutz will present a program on "Visiting the Beyond" on Thursday, Oct. 23, at 7:00 p.m. at the Guttenberg Municipal Building. His presentation is sponsored by Friends of the Guttenberg Public Library Foundation.

Strutz has visited haunted battlefields, deserted asylums, historic locations, and known haunted residences around the United States. He will take the audience there with his interactive PowerPoint presentation that includes all original photography, personal experiences, history, and haunted happenings. 

Wed
22
Oct

Methodist Election Day meal Nov. 4

Roast beef and roast pork will be offered at the traditional Election Day meal served at the United Methodist Church, 200 South First Street, Guttenberg, on Tuesday, Nov. 4, from 4:30-7:00 p.m. 

Rounding out the menu will be mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, salad, rolls, dessert and beverages. 

Advance ticket prices are $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 3-10; prices will be $2 higher at the door. Children age 3 and under eat for free. Carry-outs are available by calling 252-2153.

Wed
22
Oct

GD&T offers members new benefits


Guttenberg's Welcome Center, staffed by GD&T director Emily Moser, receives dozens of phone calls and emails each month from visitors and residents requesting information and recommendations, along with dozens more visitors walking in to ask questions about ways to enjoy Guttenberg's scenic beauty. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Guttenberg Development & Tourism will kickoff their 2015 membership drive at the Business After Five social hour to be held on Thursday, Oct. 30, at 5:00 p.m. The event is open to both current members and those interested in learning more, and will be held at River Park Place. 

“In the last few months, our membership committee has been planning and updating membership features. We feel that our new features will be useful and advantageous for members,” said GD&T director Emily Moser. She and the membership committee will recommend a variety of new features for board approval at the Oct. 29 meeting, and hope to unveil the enhancements to both current and potential members at the social hour on Oct. 30. 

GD&T is made up of a seven-person board of active community members and an executive director. Current board members are Tom Augustyn, Andy Reimer, Sadie Hefel, Dwight Hughes, Molly Moser, Jane Thein, and Janette Simon.

Wed
22
Oct

School board moves facility improvement plans forward


The 1903 school building poses numerous problems, including defects in its roof, ceilings, exterior, plumbing, and windows. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

The Clayton Ridge School Board continues to plan for an improved learning environment at both the Guttenberg and Garnavillo campuses. During their Oct. 9 meeting, the Baker Group presented the board with a plan for the 1903 school building in Guttenberg. Brian Schwartz and Dave Jorgenson of the Baker Group, Tyler Riley of FEH Associates Inc., and Jarod Bartel of MODUS Engineering spoke of their proposal to work together to make school facilities safer and more efficient. 

“We’ve got a really good, solid professional team in place,” Schwartz told the board, expressing his passion for the project. “I really think this is an exciting opportunity for this facility – and there aren’t many architects that get to work on a school right next to the Mississippi.” 

The four-person, three-company professional team was put together by vote from the school board to produce a comprehensive report which will provide the district with a preliminary master plan, feasibility assessment of their facilities for projected future needs, updates and potential district changes, as well as bond referendum support. The information collected will provide a solid foundation to help the district to move forward with facility improvement projects. 

Wed
15
Oct

Annual Celebration of Life will benefit swimming pool


The Swampcats will be among the featured entertainment at the seventh annual Celebration of Life this Saturday. Proceeds will benefit the local swimming pool's fundraising campaign. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

When a tragedy occurs, it can be difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel. The families of Scott Nelson and Michael Clinton have created a tradition of generosity from the unexpected passing of these two men. The Celebration of Life is in its seventh year of honoring the lives of Nelson and Clinton by giving to others. The event will be held at Lakeside Ballroom on Saturday, Oct. 18. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., and musical entertainment begins at 7:00 p.m. and continues until 12:00 midnight.

In January of 2008, Scott Nelson passed away unexpectedly at age 42. In June of that same year, the family suffered another tragic loss – that of Scott’s nephew, 22 year old Michael Clinton.

“This was started to celebrate who they were, and how passionate they were about the community,” said Rebecca Nelson, Scott Nelson’s sister and Michael Clinton’s aunt.

Wed
15
Oct

Community invited to Ghoul's Night Out


Participating businesses have often dressed up to celebrate Ghoul's Night Out, but this year, community members are also encouraged to come in costume. From left are Blooming Branches staff Linda Ludovissy, Nancy Schroeder, Augie Petsche, and Nicole Moser. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Molly Moser

Guttenberg merchants are getting into the Halloween spirit by planning for Ghoul’s Night Out, an annual event that will be held on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 23. The fourth annual event gives adults the opportunity to celebrate Halloween and support Guttenberg businesses. Shops will be open late and, as an added celebration this year, the evening will culminate in a costume party.

“The businesses have put a lot of effort into the plans for this event for the community, so please come out and enjoy the festivities,” said GD&T director Emily Moser, who’s been helping to organize the event. “We’re looking forward to having everybody come out – and hopefully in costume!” 

All participating businesses will be open from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., and some will stay open even later. Community members are invited to pick up scorecards at the Welcome Center for a poker run that will incorporate participating businesses. 

Wed
15
Oct

City council postpones action on Acre Street mailbox question

By Shelia Tomkins

    The Guttenberg city council at its regular monthly meeting on Oct. 6 postponed action on the question of mail delivery on Acre Street. 

The question arose due to this summer's renovation of Acre Street, which caused individual mail delivery to be halted and a temporary cluster box system installed. A group of Acre Street residents attended last month's regular council meeting to speak in favor of retaining individual mailboxes rather than going to permanent cluster boxes. 

At Monday's meeting, it was the council's consensus to look at the road shoulders when paving was completed before making a decision on the mail delivery system. "We need more information before it goes to a vote of the council," said City Manager Mary Willett.

The discussion on mailboxes came during a brief presentation by Jim Bosley of IIW Engineers on the status of the Acre Street project. 

Wed
15
Oct

Pink pumpkins promote Breast Cancer Awareness


Breast cancer survivor Janet Olson of Guttenberg has created a lobby display at Peoples State Bank to promote awareness of the disease. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Shelia Tomkins

You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.

A large hand-lettered sign on the door proclaims this truth to all  who visit Peoples State Bank in Guttenberg during October  Breast Cancer Awareness Month, created by employee Janet Olson, a two-year cancer survivor who learned this life lesson in 2012 when she became one of the more than 200,000 women who receive the diagnosis each year.  

Following successful treatment, she has resumed her active life as a wife, mother and bank employee and has made it a mission to promote awareness of the disease. If you have never met her, she is easy to pick out this month from the smiling faces behind the customer service windows at the bank — she's the one with pink hair. 

Look around the lobby and you will see her creativity at work — her work station is decorated with pumpkins and gourds painted in pink as a nod to the pink ribbon symbol for breast cancer awareness. A display by a south window features an impressive collection of pink and white pumpkins and gourds. Co-worker Bill Tangeman grew and donated them to her project. A sign on the display proclaims "Dedicated to all those who've lost the fight and to all those who won't quit the fight." 

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