News

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. 

Wed
25
Jun

Bobbing for cash on the way to Italy

  By Taylor Schaefers

Press Intern

This year’s Stars and Stripes celebration in Guttenberg on July 5 has added new events to the schedule. One of these events is Bobbing for Cash, a fundraiser for the Italy 2015 trip for Clayton Ridge High School students.

The race is open to anyone who wants to participate. To be part of this, one must adopt a bobber for $10. All bobbers will have a number written on them and all bobbers will be dropped into the river along the north dike wall. These bobbers will race down the river to the finish line. The owner of the first bobber across the finish line will win a cash prize of $500. Second place finish will be awarded $100 cash, and third place finish will receive $50 cash.

Bobbers can be adopted from now up until 8:00 p.m. on July 5. People can sign up for bobbers with students going on the Italy 2015 trip. Some local businesses have sign-up sheets, and students will have sign-up sheets available during the Garnavillo Fourth of July celebration and the Guttenberg Stars and Stripes celebration on July 5.

All profits from the bobber race will directly benefit all trip-goers. Angie Cook is head supervisor of the Italy 2015 trip. I asked her about the ins and outs of the trip. First of all, what is this trip about? Italy 2015 is an 11-day trip to Italy to learn about the different culture and history of another place in the world and to promote international understanding.

Wed
25
Jun

Super Senior remembers Guttenberg's Princess Theater


Super Senior Kermit Dubbels owned and operated the Princess Theater in Guttenberg from 1954 to 1967. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

“When I was a kid – a few years ago – the Princess Theater was in the old rock building across from The Landing. That was back in the silent film days,” says Kermit Dubbels, who is being honored as Super Senior in the annual Stars and Stripes parade. He purchased the Princess Theater in 1954 and ran it for over a decade. 

Dubbels was born at 9:30 in the morning in 1923, delivered by midwife at his parents’ home in Guttenberg. “When I was growing up, it was wonderful. We spent all summer on the river, we played sandlot ball games; we’d shoot marbles, play out in the street, and beg ice from the iceman. Good old river ice.” 

He spent three years in the Army, then returned to Guttenberg and eventually married. “She was a Cedar Rapid-ian,” he laughs. “She lived next door to my aunt.” Kermit and Beverly had five children: Greg, Diane, Debbie, Tracy, and Linda, who now live all across the U.S. 

Wed
25
Jun

RAGBRAI committee chosen as parade grand marshals


From left are Austin Greve, Nancy McClellan, Amanda Rork and Larry Crubaugh, Guttenberg's RAGBRAI co-chairs. The four are being honored for their extensive efforts in organizing the event. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

This year’s Stars and Stripes parade will honor grand marshals Nancy McClellan, Austin Greve, Amanda Rork, and Larry Crubaugh, co-chairs in coordinating RAGBRAI’s ending in Guttenberg. Committee members work on RAGBRAI from February until July, managing logistics, hospitality, entertainment, and safety for the two weekends in question, July 18 and 26; and follow up with reports to RAGBRAI officials, bill pay, and a volunteer appreciation event. Since June, the four have been meeting weekly with other volunteers, and soon they expect to devote anywhere from 20 to 50 hours per week organizing the event. 

Wed
18
Jun

Meet Taylor Schaefers, Press intern


Taylor Schaefers is the summer intern at The Press. Look for her at area events and around town. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

Taylor Schaefers is the summer intern at The Guttenberg Press. She just completed her junior year at Clayton Ridge High School, where she participated in track, basketball, Interact, Spanish Club, and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Club.

Readers may recognize Taylor from recent Press coverage of state track events and as a varsity starter on the Clayton Ridge High School girls basketball team.

Taylor is looking forward to her senior year in high school, and following graduation she plans to  pursue studies at an area college, as yet undecided.

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