News

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. 

Wed
02
Jul

Stars and Stripes celebration this Saturday, July 5


Traditions like the Stars and Stripes parade and fireworks over the river will carry on this year, and new events, like a Team Game-a-thon, are also on the docket for the day. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Molly Moser

Classic Independence Day traditions will be honored at this year’s Stars and Stripes Celebration, but organizers have left room for new traditions to develop among families, friends, and community members. The iconic summer event is scheduled to take place this Saturday, kicking off with the Farmer’s Market at 8:00 a.m. on the 400 block of River Park Drive, and ending in the timeless custom of fireworks over the Mississippi River.

Honoring our river town heritage: The Lockmaster’s Heritage House Museum, which is the last remaining lockmaster’s house in its original location along the Mississippi, will be open for visitors from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. The Lock and Dam #10 observation deck, where boats and barges can be seen locking through, is open all day. Guttenberg’s DNR Fish Hatchery, located at 331 S. River Park Drive, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and opens at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday for viewing of live river specimens. 

Family fun in the park: Food, music, and games in the park begin at 3:00 p.m. Tasty treats will include cotton candy, funnel cakes, popcorn and kettle corn, smoothies, snow cones, fried cheese, and more. Children’s games will include barrel train rides, an inflatable obstacle course, a bungie run, a bounce house, face painting, fish pond, ring toss, and others. 

Music by The After Party, featuring local D.J.s Alex Finch and Brandon Bries, will entertain event-goers all afternoon in the park. Nearby, a petting zoo full of furry, four-legged friends will be open from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m and following the parade.

Wed
25
Jun

River of Music continues this Friday with bluegrass

Guttenberg’s River of Music, a free summer concert series for residents and guests, will feature music by Friends of Backbone Bluegrass this Friday, June 27, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the band shelter in the park along the river north of the school.

Friends of Backbone Bluegrass features music by area musicians Dr. Michele Sadler, Steve Dikkers, and Bill and Karen George.

Concert goers should bring their own lawn chair or blanket and are encouraged to bring picnic baskets and coolers and enjoy dinner or snacks during the concert. Wine and beer are allowed. However, glass beer bottles are not permitted. 

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