News

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. 

Tue
28
Jan

Blizzard paralyzes Northeast Iowa

By Shelia Tomkins

The most brutal weather of the season arrived in Northeast Iowa on Sunday, Jan.  26, in the form of a blizzard that shut down travel in the area.

With sustained winds in the 20-40 mile per hour range, and gusts in excess of that, the approximately 4-5 inches of snow that fell Saturday evening into Sunday morning was whipped into white-out conditions, causing poor visibility and major problems for travelers. 

Tue
28
Jan

GMH invites city council to informational meeting

By Molly Moser

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital hosted an informational meeting regarding their strategy for integration on Tuesday, Jan. 21. City Council members Jane Parker, Fred Schaub, and David Schlueter were in attendance, as were hospital board members Mary Eulberg, Penny Hansel (via telephone), Sue Osterhaus, and chairman Doug Reimer.  Also in attendance were Mayor Russ Loven, GMH Chief of Staff Dr. Jeff Hoffmann and various GMH employees, as well as members of the community.

Tue
28
Jan

Incentive program improves CR student performance


A student enjoys the middle school's fall merit trip, a carnival that included learning to make apple crisp, a haunted house, an obstacle course, and more. Nearly 95% of students qualified for the October merit trip. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Clayton Ridge Middle School students have more opportunities for excitement outside the classroom than ever before. Picnics, hiking, movies, carnivals, ski trips – all of these adventures are made possible by a discipline plan that includes incentives for positive behavior.

Students who meet specific criteria are allowed to participate in monthly and semesterly merit activities. Monthly activities, which are a new addition this year, are done by grade level and are a half-day in length. They may take place at school, like the carnival held last October, or involve a trip to Osborne, Pikes Peak, or other nearby parks. Each semester, a large trip is organized for all grades.

“At the beginning of the year, kids go through each setting for training on expectations in that setting,” explained Stephanie Thomas, middle school guidance counselor. Students are walked through ways to be ready, respectful, responsible, and safe in each of 11 settings including classroom, hallway, office, nurse, field trips, lunch, bullying, and more.

“This is a big thing in the education world,” Thomas told The Press. Clayton Ridge Middle School has been recognized by the Iowa Department of Education on two occasions as a Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports (PBIS) Banner School. The elementary has also been recognized for their efforts to teach expectations and use incentives. 

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.”

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