News

Mon
29
Dec

Holiday generosity reaches over 200 area families


Many Guttenberg groups collaborated with the Family Resource Center to provide food, clothing, home goods, and toys for the Shepherd of the Hills Christmas Just 4 Kids Project, which provided necessary items to over 200 families in Clayton County during a two-day giveaway. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

A large red vehicle with Delaware county license plates arrives in Guttenberg bearing a trunkful of gifts just days before Christmas. Two women unload armfuls of wrapped presents, bringing them to the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital Family Resource Center for distribution.

“Caterpillar personally adopts one family every Christmas,” says Kari Harbaugh, who coordinated many giving efforts at the Family Resource Center this year. “It’s going to be awesome to help this family, because they’re going to be so appreciative.”

Through various drives, family adoptions, and volunteerism, the season of giving brought food, clothes, home goods, and toys to over 200 families in Clayton County this year. Members of the Guttenberg community contributed greatly to widespread efforts to fill bellies and warm hearts this Christmas. 

The Family Resource Center coordinated drives from GMH and the hospital auxiliary, Cornerstone Family Practice, The Guttenberg Press, Thrivent Financial, the Clayton Ridge School District, and others to provide items for Shepherd of the Hills’ Christmas Just 4 Kids Project. Brown’s Sales and Leasing also contributed to the project with a Fill the Truck promotion, matching each gift donation that was received. 

Mon
29
Dec

Guttenberg Police Department now using body cams


Guttenberg police officers sport new body cameras attached to their uniforms. From left are officers Zach Lacey, Derrick Chambers, Kari Hoyheim, Mayor Russ Loven, Chief George Morteo, and officer Eric Sullivan. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Guttenberg residents continue to see the benefits of hosting RAGBRAI, as this month the police department received five new body cameras purchased with a portion of the $3,000 the department was awarded by the Guttenberg RAGBRAI committee. 

According to a yearlong study completed by Tony Farrar, executive fellow for the Police Foundation, officers wearing cameras experienced a dramatic reduction in use-of-force incidents and complaints against officers. During the study, patrol officers on the Rialto, Calif., police department wore cameras for every shift. The study concluded that body cameras decreased use-of-force incidents by more than half, and citizen complaints occurred an astounding 88% less often than during the twelve months prior to the addition of cameras.

Wed
24
Dec

Lighting contest winners named

Judging for the Christmas lighting contest sponsored by the City of Guttenberg and Guttenberg Development & Tourism took place the night of Thursday, Dec. 18. Winners are as follows. Prizes are in the form of credits on city utility bills.

Business

First place, $50 - Kuempel Hardware

Second place, $30 - Blooming Branches

Wed
24
Dec

Clayton Ridge school board considers facility plans

The Clayton Ridge Board of Director’s held a work session on Wednesday, Dec. 17, in the high school library.  Members in attendance were Janice Andregg, Jason Reimer, Christine Aulwes and  Mike Finnegan. Dr. Hoffmann arrived at 8:15 p.m. Absent were Kathy Ihde and John Heying.   Also in attendance were Allan Nelson, Kris Einck, Shane Wahls, David Schlueter, Mary Seifert and Brian Schwartz.

The work session was held to study goals and priorities for the school improvement master plan.Superintendent Nelson presented election rules and offered opinions on possibly changing facility goals to match the final design.  Input from a faculty meeting held earlier in the day was also shared. 

Wed
24
Dec

Film premiere brings new life to Rathskeller


Liz Smith, left, and Kari Houghtaling filmed a full-length tribute to their favorite film, Home Alone, in Guttenberg over a three-day weekend during last winter’s polar vortex. The film premiered in Guttenberg on Friday, Dec. 19, in the Rathskeller, hosted by Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Nearly 150 guests walked the red carpet at Friday night’s premiere of Abode Solo. Dressed in glitz, glamour, and holiday sweaters, attendees flocked from Guttenberg, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Duluth, Iowa City, Des Moines, Minneapolis, and Dubuque to see the Home Alone tribute acted and produced by Guttenberg native Liz Smith and her close friend Kari Houghtaling.

Wed
24
Dec

GMH and UnityPoint conclude discussion on alignment


UnityPoint Health Dubuque and GMH have been exploring a closer partnership for more than a year. In October, the GMH Board of Directors announced a pause in discussions to give hospital leaders time to evaluate key issues important to the GMH employees, physicians and community. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

After more than a year of partnership discussions, UnityPoint Health Dubuque has announced their decision to conclude alignment discussions with Guttenberg Municipal Hospital. As a result of this decision, the Letter of Intent between the parties has been withdrawn.

“UnityPoint Health is anchored in a belief that healthcare is local,” says David Brandon, president and CEO of UnityPoint Health Dubuque. “While we continue to believe an alignment between our two organizations can strengthen healthcare in Clayton County, it has become clear that GMH needs to have a wider discussion about the future of healthcare in their community. We respect that, and until this conversation occurs, it is not in either of our organizations’ best interest to pursue a closer alignment.” 

GMH Board Chair Penny Hansel said, “We have learned a lot over the past several weeks and right now, the circumstances are not right for pursuing this. We appreciate UnityPoint Health’s understanding and respect for our community.”

Wed
17
Dec

Deadline reminder for scholarships

The grade transcript deadline for receiving Dollars for Scholars scholarship money is Jan. 7, 2015.

The letters should include a grade transcript and a completed recipient form. The recipient form (CR Dollars for Scholars Recipient Form) can be found at http://www.claytonridge.dollarsforscholars.org under the Students and Parents link.

The letters must be postmarked on or before Jan. 7, 2015. Please address letters to:

Wed
17
Dec

School board discusses financing

A special school board work session was held on Thursday, Dec. 11, and called to order by Vice-President Janice Andregg at 5:15 p.m. Board members present were Andregg, Christine Aulwes, Jeff Hoffmann, Mike Finnegan, John Heying and Jason Reimer. Also in attendance were Allan Nelson, David Schlueter, Kris Einck, Shane Wahls, Mary Seifert and Matthew Gillaspie.

Wed
17
Dec

City makes planning for train derailment a top priority


With trains becoming longer and potentially hauling increased amounts of crude oil, city officials are enhancing the existing disaster management plan to include derailment-specific training and actions. (Press photo by Austin Greve)

By Molly Moser

In response to the July 2008 derailment just outside of Guttenberg, the Dakota Minnesota and Eastern Railroad (a subsidiary of Canadian Pacific Railroad) agreed last week to pay $625,000 to settle a civil complaint filed by the state of Iowa and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Four diesel locomotives that derailed were submerged in the river for days, leaking over 4,000 gallons of diesel oil and other petroleum products. The leak caused floating slicks of oil across a 10-mile stretch of Bluff Slough.

"This settlement covers just a portion of the losses," said DNR Fisheries Biologist Karen Osterkamp, who estimates that recreational and ecological losses are much higher. Turtles, mudpuppies, water birds, mussels, and fish were impacted immediately, and the long term effect of the petroleum still in the sediment remains unknown. The settlement is expected to go into effect after a 30-day comment period, at which point dollars would be used for Mississippi restoration.

In May of this year, another accident involving the railroad and a single vehicle caused all but two of Guttenberg’s 13 railroad crossings to be blocked by train cars for an extended period of time. “At the same time, the Marina Road was closed because of high waters –  so there was only one crossing open at the far south end of town,” said Guttenberg Mayor Russ Loven. “If there was a derailment affecting the same amount of the town we would have many challenges, especially if it were some type of volatile material.”

Wed
17
Dec

Washington professor writes on paddle pilgrimage


Ashley Hess snapped this photo of her father, John, with Dr. David Ellingson (right), whose book Paddle Pilgrim recounts his experiences with the people and places along the entirety of the Mississippi River. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Many have made the journey. They get their feet wet in the headwaters at Lake Itasca, and then paddle stroke after stroke, day after day, all the way to New Orleans. For professor and Lutheran minister Dr. David Ellingson, it was a journey of two million strokes over 65 days. 

A few thousand strokes in, Ellingson’s kayak cleared turbulent waters below Lock and Dam 10 and was welcomed ashore by two people on the small sandy beach that is Guttenberg’s shanty neighborhood.

“It was a Saturday afternoon. My daughter Ashley and I were down at the shanties with a little fire, sitting around in lawn chairs listening to music,” recalls Guttenberg city councilman John Hess. They invited Ellingson to pull his kayak up on the beach and started to chat. 

Pages

Subscribe to News