News

Wed
14
May

Stars and Stripes theme announced

Bicycles have inspired Guttenberg Development and Tourism, which selected “Where the rubber meets the river,” as the theme for this year’s Stars and Stripes parade. The parade will be held on Saturday, July 5, at 7:00 p.m.

Children are encouraged to decorate bicycles and enter the mini-float division. GD&T will offer prize money for winners in each category. The theme isn’t limited to bicycles, however, and participants are encouraged to think of clever ways to incorporate tires into their parade entries. One Guttenberg couple plans to ride their motorcycles in the parade. 

Wed
14
May

City moves forward on financing

By Shelia Tomkins

At its regular monthly meeting on May 5, the Guttenberg city council moved forward on issuing bonds to finance the Acre Street project, purchase a fire truck and to refinance existing debt.

Mayor Russ Loven, council members Virginia Saeugling, Fred Schaub, Dave Schlueter and Jane Parker and City Manager Mary Willett were in attendance.

No comments were received at a public hearing on the issuance of general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $1,075,000. Michael Hart from Northland Securities gave a presentation on the bond purchase agreement, and noted an approximate savings of $35,000 by refinancing existing debt.  

Ambulance

Discussion continued from last month's meeting regarding the purchase of a new ambulance for Guttenberg Municipal Hospital. Last month the council okayed financing $141,000 toward the purchase of the ambulance, which left a shortfall of $12,762 from the purchase price. The hospital board subsequently offered to fund half of the deficit from hospital funds, provided as a no-interest loan to the city. Minutes from the hospital board meeting noted that concern was expressed that the city do a better job of budgeting. "That hit a few sore spots," noted the city manager.

Councilman Schlueter said, "I think that comment is unfair." He noted that the city doesn't control the specs of the purchase, and that the funds set aside were within 7%. "If we overbudget then another service gets cut," he said. 

Discussion then turned to expanding healthcare costs, the financial pressures the city is facing, accounting methods used to determine the ambulance service's profitability, the city's contract with the hospital, the hospital's affiliation plans and the difficulty of running an ambulance department.

Wed
14
May

May is bicycle month Pedals emerge following April showers


Artist John Martinson, right, arrived in Guttenberg with three welded steel bicycle sculptures on Monday, April 28, to participate in the Umbrella Arts group's reCycle Sculpture Project. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

The young but impactful Umbrella Arts group is once again making news as their reCycle Sculpture Project gains popularity. Many business owners are gearing up for this summer’s events by channeling their inner ‘cycle-angelo,’ building bicycle sculptures or displaying decorative bikes in their storefronts. 

Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center, the Umbrella Arts group’s backbone organization, recently installed three such sculptures created by Galena artist John Martinson. Martinson’s work embodies the idea behind the reCycle project – using imagination to repurpose bicycles or parts, and engaging the community through public art. 

“We are thrilled to have John’s sculptures,” said Shepherd Gallery director Cindy Olsen. “We’ve been looking for a skilled metal sculptor for quite some time, and we hope to carry more of his work in the future.”

Wed
14
May

Quirks of Palmer house attract a writer and her family


Christi Riverton is the author of three paranormal romance e-books. Jeweled Embers, Rubied Fires, and Treasured Inferno, which were originally written as a single book, each ends in a cliffhanger. The books are available online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and directly through the publisher. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Residents of Guttenberg may have noticed activity in one of our most remarkable structures, the Palmer house. The familiar two-story structure at the corner of second and Herder Streets served as the late Dr. Carson Palmer’s office, pharmacy, hospital, and home. Dr. Palmer served Guttenberg for many years as a physician, surgeon, optometrist and dentist.

Christi and Matt Riverton moved into the Palmer house just after Christmas. The couple and their six children, Skylur, 16; Tearlyn, 11; Braxen, 8; Zane, 6; Ireland, 4; and now three-month-old Aspen, relocated from Dubuque, drawn to Guttenberg by the iconic home. With eight bedrooms, the house provides enough space for everyone. 

Their new home required various updates, and its quirks mystified the family at first. A button to open the garage door, located in the kitchen, puzzled the family. Christi Riverton noticed a strange tube protruding from the wall in an upstairs room, and after speaking with a Palmer family member, discovered the tube stretched down to the front porch. “It was a way to call the doctor from the porch,” she explained. 

The home’s quirks attracted Christi Riverton’s interest, as do the everyday quirks of the people in her life. Riverton is a writer with three published paranormal romance novels.  “I use real life people to make my characters. I can build an entire character around somebody’s one weird quirk,” she says. “It makes them come to life.”

Wed
07
May

An international career in the floral industry


Mitch Rubner, grandson of Arletta Hankes of rural Millville, is in China pursuing a career in the floral industry. Above, he attended the China import and export fair, among the largest trade show in the world. (Photo submitted)

  By Shelia Tomkins

A career in the floral industry has taken a Colorado man half-way round to world to China, where he is employed in product development for makers of permanent floral displays.

Mitch Rubner has numerous relatives in Northeast Iowa, including his father, Kevin Rubner of Manchester. His grandparents are Arletta Hankes of rural Millville, the late James Hankes, and Joe and Jean Rubner of Dyersville.

Mitch is following in the footsteps of his mother, Lisa Hankes Weddell, who now lives in Highlands Ranch, Colo. Lisa has enjoyed a successful career in the fresh floral industry, specializing in high-end wedding and event design. She has also been a part of Rose Bowl parade float floral design teams for more than a dozen years.

Wed
07
May

Acre Street project underway

By Shelia Tomkins

Guttenberg's major street improvement project for 2014 is scheduled to begin Monday, May 12, when  contractors began work on the Acre Street renovation project.

Eastern Iowa Excavating and Concrete of Cascade was the low bidder at $1.1 million to renovate  a 1.5 mile stretch of the street. 

According to City Manager Mary Willett, the contractor will open and work on 300-400 ft. at a time. "The street will be open to through traffic at the end of every construction day," she said.

Wed
07
May

Free concert series: Guttenberg's River of Music 2014


Look for a full schedule of events for Guttenberg's River of Music concert series in an upcoming issue of The Press. Concerts will be held in the park every Friday evening, June through August. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Molly Moser

The newly formed Umbrella Arts group, an initiative of Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center, is organizing a free, family-oriented summer concert series entitled Guttenberg’s River of Music. Concerts will be held every Friday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m during June, July, and August (with the exception of the 4th of July and RAGBRAI).   

“We encourage all residents – especially families – and visitors to bring their chairs or blanket and a picnic lunch (or restaurant carry-out) to enjoy while listening to live music provided by local musicians,” said Juanita Loven, Umbrella Arts chair. “Spend a Friday night mingling with friends and neighbors in our beautiful Ingleside Park, between the bandstand and gazebo.” 

Loven, Sherri Oliver, and M.J. Smith have joined forces to bring this vision to life. “Mark your calendars now,” Loven urges. “To make this project a success, we need to have community support – a park filled with people!” 

Wed
07
May

River Run for Ryan to be held Saturday, May 17


Ryan Hunt was all smiles on race day in 2011, when the Hunt family last organized River Run for Ryan. Ryan now has difficulty walking on his own, but he will still attend this year's event. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

“Ryan’s amazing. He lives every day with challenges that we don’t even understand,” says Marie Hunt. Her son, Ryan, is a nine-year-old boy with MPS II, or Hunter Syndrome – but the condition hasn’t stopped him from living his life with joy. “He’s such a happy little boy. He has a great laugh. When he laughs, you have to laugh with him,” she smiles.

This month, the Hunt family will hold the fifth River Run for Ryan, a 5K run and one-mile walk that benefits the National MPS Society. The route begins in Ingleside Park and continues south on River Park Drive, before looping back to the north end of town and finishing with a stretch on the river walk along the levee. 

The River Run for Ryan has been a rallying point for the Hunt family and the community, with sponsorships from over 30 local businesses and a growing number of individual contributors. “We appreciate all the community support for Ryan,” says Marie, who shares her family’s excitement over several new sponsors.

Jonathan and Marie Hunt live in rural Garnavillo. They’ve been married for almost two decades and share three children – Ryan, nine; Jana, 11; and Adam, 14. Eight years ago, the family relocated from Woodstock, Ontario, to Garnavillo.  

Wed
30
Apr

Logan Keehner presents at Coe College symposium

 Submitted by Derek Nicholson

Coe College

Logan Keehner, a senior business administration and public relations major from Guttenberg, presented his research findings in front of students and faculty on Tuesday, April 15, at Coe College, Cedar Rapids.

Keehner’s research focused on Twitter use by six different music artists of varying genres. “I researched the music industry last summer,” he said. “I wanted to focus on organic or unpaid promotional efforts rather than paid advertising.”

Wed
30
Apr

Guttenberg Marine and RV Center to host safety class


With boating season just around the corner, river-lovers can brush up on their knowledge through a boat safety course on May 17. Call 252-2628 to sign up. (Press photo by Jane Thein)

By Molly Moser

Brooks Ante, owner of Guttenberg Marine and RV Center, is announcing a course led by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in boating safety. Class will take place on Saturday, May 17, the first day of national boat safety week.

This beginner boating class will give you the knowledge needed to obtain a boat license or safety certification in many states. Many boat insurance companies will offer discounts on boating insurance to boaters who successfully complete About Boating Safely, and the course is required for children ages 12-16 to legally operate any watercraft. 

The course will be held at the Guttenberg Municipal Marina Center. Participants are asked to register by May 10. To sign up, contact Guttenberg Marine and RV Center at 563-252-2628. Family discounts will be available. 

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