News

Wed
21
May

Memorial Day tribute is May 26

By Shelia Tomkins

Guttenberg area residents will pay tribute to veterans both living and dead at the community's annual Memorial Day parade and program on Monday, May 26.

The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Guttenberg Municipal Building. All veterans, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and anyone else in the parade should meet there between 9:00-9:15 a.m.

Wed
21
May

School board terminates positions

The Clayton Ridge School Board of Directors met in special session on Wednesday, May 7, in the middle school library.  Due to the large number in attendance, the meeting was moved to the auditorium.

The meeting opened with a presentation by Superintendent Nelson  addressing the top four things the public should know about school finance in Iowa. He also addressed the two major factors impacting the district's budget, certified enrollment projections for the next ten years, staffing changes over the last fifteen years, and the district’s unspent balance goal. 

Adam Radcliffe, Jeremy Idler and Terri Ellerbach addressed the board with concerns on the recommendation to reduce the music staff by .5 FTE beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.  Comments regarding the reduction in staff in the music program were also heard from students Brianna Finnegan, Blake Bolsinger, Anna Berns and Hailey Peterson; from parents Candi Peterson and Jaydeane Berns; and from staff member Mindy Reimer.

A motion was made by board member Heying and seconded by Andregg to approve the recommendation to terminate the .5 FTE elementary music position. The motion carried with Hoffmann, Reimer and Finnegan opposed.

Wed
21
May

Guttenberg veteran selected for Honor Flight


The trip to Washington, D.C. with Honor Flight of Eastern Iowa on April 22 was Eugene Handke's first time visiting the nation's capital, and the first time he saw the Korean War Veterans Memorial. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Corporal Eugene Handke, a veteran of the Korean War, traveled to Washington, D.C. on April 22 with Honor Flight of Eastern Iowa. It was his first trip to D.C., and the first time he laid eyes on the Korean Memorial. Honor Flight provides WWII and Korean War veterans with the opportunity to see and experience the memorials built in their honor in Washington, D.C. at no cost.

Handke grew up on Miner’s Creek, and in his family, serving country became the standard. Three of his brothers were drafted – Clarence, who stayed stateside, Raymond to Korea near the war’s end, and Roland to Italy as a military policeman. Brother Edgar enlisted in the Army and served in Germany.

Handke was drafted in 1951 and became a member of the 12th Armored Infantry, based in Worms, Germany, near the Russian border. He drove a half-track, a cross-terrain vehicle with wheels in front and continuous tracks in back. Upon arriving in Worms, Handke recalls, “We didn’t go to the barracks like we were supposed to. We went into maneuvers right away.” 

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!” 

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