News

Wed
23
Jul

RAGBRAI committee pleased with parking weekend in Guttenberg

By Shelia Tomkins

Cyclists, cars, vans, buses, semis and their entourages arrived in Guttenberg this past weekend to park vehicles and catch buses to western Iowa to begin the week-long Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa on Sunday, July 20, at Rock Valley, a ride that will end this Saturday in Guttenberg.

The town buzzed with activity on Friday as hundreds of cars arrived to park in a designated area in south Guttenberg. Local volunteers were on hand during the day and evening to direct vehicles to parking spots, and returned with little sleep in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday to park those who were still coming in that morning.

Ingleside Park north of the school turned into a small city that evening, filled to capacity with colorful tents set up by overnight campers. The smell of burgers and brats wafted from the local Gridiron Club's food stand, and live music by Side Project provided a party atmosphere. Local volunteers in colorful t-shirts manned the beverage garden and answered questions at an information booth. Visitors had numerous choices for places to eat in Guttenberg, including a spaghetti supper at the school.

On Saturday morning, campers packed up their gear before loading onto charter buses for the trip to Rock Valley on the Missouri River. Semis, moving vans and other vehicles carrying bikes and gear joined the western caravan. Many local volunteers made positive comments on how litter-free the park was in the aftermath.

Many months of planning went into making the weekend run smoothly, and local committee members are terming it a big success. This week they will be assessing feedback to make sure next Saturday's finale goes as smoothly. The Press asked local RAGBRAI Co-Chair Nancy McClellan to summarize the challenges and successes of the past weekend, and this is her report.

Wed
23
Jul

July is prime season for seafood


Steve Hansel has over a decade of experience in the sea food industry. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

An evening walk around Guttenberg in mid-July brings all kinds of mouth-watering scents from backyard grills. Thanks to Steve Hansel of Deep Blue Seafood, located on Kestrel Avenue, premium wild caught shrimp, lobster tail, cod loins, and more are available to locals for grilling in landlocked Iowa.

Deep Blue Seafood, in business since 1998, also sells thousands of gallons of oysters each season. "We run to Texas all the time to pick up shrimp and oysters," says Hansel. He admits he went years without trying oysters, but now he enjoys them southern-style - grilled over an open fire and topped with sharp cheddar and hot sauce. 

"Everybody overcooks sea food," says Hansel with a good-natured grin. "It doesn't take very long to cook, and should be clear -to-white when finished." He cooks his own shrimp on the grill with garlic butter, a simple but delicious way to bring out its best flavors. 

Wed
23
Jul

RAGBRAI riders from coast to coast pedal across Iowa


After months of preparation by organizers and months of training by cyclists, RAGBRAI kicked off on Friday night as hundreds of riders and support crew enjoyed Guttenberg and camped alongside the Mississippi River. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Bike-hauling vehicles with plates from Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Colorado, New Jersey, Texas, New England, North Carolina, Vermont, Arkansas, Idaho, Alabama, and even Ontario filled RAGBRAI’s main parking lot in Guttenberg on Friday. Some joined the ride for the first time, and others have been cycling across Iowa for decades.

RAGBRAI rider Albrecht was relieved to arrive in Guttenberg after a two-day drive from Ontario. “Now my vacation starts,” he said, noting that the car ride was more daunting than the bike ride. 

Though driving from Canada to Iowa might be a greater task for some than pedaling coast-to-coast across the state, Orv Wood of Kansas City feels that RAGBRAI is more intimidating than climbing Mount Fuji. Wood was stationed in Japan while serving in the U.S. military and once climbed the mountain. As the Japanese proverb says, “A wise man will climb Mt. Fuji once, a fool will climb Mt. Fuji twice.” Some might say the same applies to RAGBRAI, but Wood returned to Iowa this year to make his fourth trek across the state. 

Wed
16
Jul

RAGBRAI begins to roll this Friday!

By Shelia Tomkins

The first wave of participants in RAGBRAI XLII, the annual bike ride across Iowa sponsored by the Des Moines Register, are expected to arrive in Guttenberg this week in advance of their week-long ride from Rock Valley in western Iowa to Guttenberg.

Wed
16
Jul

Iowa's first crowdfunding website for the arts launched


Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center was one of three organizations selected for promotion in Iowa's first arts specific crowdfunding website. The nonprofit exists to provide an after school art program to area students three days a week. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

On June 20, Northeast Iowa RC&D announced the launch of Iowa’s first crowdfunding website for the arts. The website, www.IowaART.org, began accepting donations for three projects on July 1. Each project is requesting $5,000 and contributions may be tax deductible as a charitable donation. 

Guttenberg’s Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center applied for and was chosen as one of the projects that will benefit from the crowdfunding campaign. Projects for the site were selected through a competitive process by the Northeast Iowa Arts Funding Council, which is a multi-county group of volunteers that includes artists and community leaders. Their goal is to encourage, support and strengthen the arts in Northeast Iowa. 

Crowdfunding is the collection of financing from backers (the ‘crowd’) to fund an initiative. Today, this is most often accomplished using a web-based platform like Indiegogo, Kickstarter, or Go Fund Me. Crowdfunding is used in limitless ways, raising funds for nonprofits, start-ups, charities, and emergency causes. 

"The Creativity Center is thrilled and honored to have been chosen for this great opportunity. Myself, and all our volunteers and supporters are very excited to see what kinds of funds this will provide us!" said Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center director Cindy Olsen, who plans to designate funds raised through the crowdfunding campaign to long-term sustainability for the organization through the opening of the Artisan Café and Courtyard.

Wed
16
Jul

Police Chief's actions questioned

By Shelia Tomkins

During his monthly report to the Guttenberg city council on July 7, Police Chief George Morteo was questioned about the ethics of posting bond for a friend who had been charged by the city. 

Council member Virginia Saeugling asked the chief if he had indeed bailed out a person arrested by a GPD officer. When he replied in the affirmative, Saeugling questioned whether that represented a conflict of interest.

Wed
16
Jul

Tara Fall: Overcoming obstacles through optimism


Without Fall saying it, one would never realize what her brain, body, and spirit have been through. She shared conversations about travel, the Spanish language, and small-town life versus life in the city with her audience before beginning an inspirational presentation about the life-altering obstacles she’s had to overcome. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

“I knew at that moment nothing would ever be the same again. How could it?” said inspirational speaker Tara Fall, to a captive audience at the Guttenberg Public Library last Tuesday evening. Fall is author of the new book BrainStorming: Functional Lessons from a Dysfunctional Brain, and she speaks publicly about her experiences with seizures, brain surgery, stroke, and memory loss.

  In the midst of brain surgery meant to cure her epileptic seizures, Fall awoke first to the sound of a bone saw opening her skull. Doctors put her deeper into a sleep-state, but she awoke again later to the sound of a retractor releasing her brain and the feeling of what she thought was an oncoming seizure. It wasn’t.

When she awoke from surgery, Fall couldn’t speak or hear, she was 98% blind, and she was paralyzed on the left side. As she regained her hearing doctors told her she’d had a stroke. At what might have seemed an all-time low, Fall rejoiced. She still had her memories, and she retained a remarkable optimism that has come to define her journey.

Prior to her brain surgery, Fall’s seizures had become more and more life-threatening. One night, a seizure occurred while she slept. When she woke in a hospital in Iowa City, she had lost the past 18 months of memory. She didn’t recognize her children or recall their births, and that’s when brain surgery became imminent. “I knew that surgeons were either going to take a piece of my brain, or the seizures were going to take my life.”

Wed
02
Jul

Stars & Stripes parade entries

Knights of Columbus members from Guttenberg and North Buena Vista parishes will again co-sponsor this year's Stars & Stripes parade on Saturday, July 5, along with Guttenberg Development & Tourism. 

This year's parade theme is "Where the Rubber Meets the River," in honor of the anticipated arrival of RAGBRAI in Guttenberg in July.  

The parade will begin at 7:00 p.m. on July 2. 

Route

Wed
02
Jul

RAGBRAI town hall meetings set for July 6 and July 9

The Guttenberg RAGBRAI committee invites residents and business owners to a town hall meeting to learn first-hand what the local committee has planned for the RAGBRAI weekends of Friday and Saturday, July 18-19,  and the big day on Saturday, July 26.  

The meetings are planned for 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 6, and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9, in the lower level council chambers of the Guttenberg Municipal Building. 

The sessions will give people an opportunity to learn about community plans for the event and to raise questions about any topic that concerns them.

Wed
02
Jul

Moser hired as new GD&T director


Moser assists a couple from Rochester, Minn., in finding their way around Guttenberg. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Guttenberg Development & Tourism has announced that Guttenberg native Emily Moser, a 2014 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, has accepted the development and tourism director position. 

“We were very pleased to hire such a capable, energetic young lady. I think it will be to our advantage that Guttenberg is her home town,” said board member Jane Thein.

Moser graduated from Clayton Ridge High School in 2010, then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree from UNI in art and art history. She received various awards and honors including graduation with magna cum laude distinction and recognition as the first place presenter in the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Humanities. 

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