Local News

Wed
24
Jul

McGregor wrestles with $44,000 in storm repair costs

By Audrey Posten

The June 22 through 27 storms that brought heavy rains and flash flooding to the area will cost the city of McGregor an estimated $43,794.99, according to City Administrator Lynette Sander.

While the state has made a disaster declaration, President Barack Obama has yet to issue a Presidential Disaster Declaration, which is needed to receive federal Public Assistance Program funding. Sander said it may be several weeks yet until a ruling is reached.

In the meantime, work will continue on a number of storm damage projects. The McGregor Heights Road storm sewer pipe that collapsed has already been replaced, at a cost of nearly $5,800. Work crews have also already spent time repairing shoulders along McGregor Heights Road and Ash Street. Trash racks were cleaned and rock was dozed around the Pikes Peak and Siegel Dams.

Wed
17
Jul

Alexander Hotel gets fresh look

By Lucy Rodenberg

One of McGregor’s “Grand Old Ladies” is receiving a fresh look. The Alexander Hotel, which is showing the effects of time, is receiving repairs to the porch roof at the front of the stately brick building.

The hotel, built for Charles I. Lewis, was designed by architect Hugo Schick of Schick and Roth of La Crosse. Schick was one of the best known architects of the northwest and was born in northern Austria. After graduating with a degree in architecture in Vienna, he came to America in 1880 where he first settled in New York City, later coming to La Crosse in 1886.

The Lewis Hotel’s foundation was laid in 1899 and the hotel was built by John Moss at a cost of $521,000, with an additional $4,000 to $5,000 for its furnishings. At that time, McGregor had nine other hotels and several homes that provided room and board to the many settlers going west.

Wed
17
Jul

New administrator named at Great River Care Center

Deanna Kahler
Deanna Kahler

By Trudy Balcom

Deanna Kahler took over as administrator at Great River Care Center on June 26.

Kahler, a resident of Elgin, comes to the position from Maplecrest Manor in Fayette, where she served as community relations coordinator for seven years.

“The transition is just getting accustomed to the staff, residents and families,” she explained. “The two operations are very similar.”

Great River Care Center (GRCC) includes a 50-bed full nursing care facility along with nine assisted living apartments at the adjoining Turner Pointe facility.

GRCC offers rehabilitation care, respite care and hospice care, as well as serving as a senior meal-site and preparing Meals on Wheels.

GRCC is owned by the John R. and Zelda Z. Grubb Foundation and is managed by Healthcare of Iowa which also manages Elkader Care Center, and about 18 other nursing homes in eastern Iowa.

Wed
17
Jul

Selection process for new police chief underway

By Trudy Balcom

The Mar-Mac Public Safety Commission met Mon. July 15, and began reviewing resumes from five applicants for the position of chief of police.

Commissioner Rogeta Halvorson expressed disappointment that the application materials had not been provided to commission members in advance, so that members could discuss the applicants at the meeting instead of reading the resumes.

Commission members spent about an hour reading the applications. Applicants were identified only by number in the commission’s discussions in order to protect their privacy.

Commissioner Gay Hallberg said she would like to see the application period extended in order to get a larger pool of applicants. Others agreed, and Police Commission Chair Robyn Denning said he thought more applications would come in after the county sheriff’s department completed their hiring process for a new deputy.

Wed
17
Jul

Court orders $6,000 fine in Gaede case

Steve and Ruth Gaede
Steve and Ruth Gaede in their retail shop. The couple say they plan to open a canoe, kayak and personal watercraft rental as well as offer bait and tackle from the shop starting some time in August, in order to fulfill their zoning requirement and comply with a court order. The couple cannot stay on the property until a business opens at the location. (Photo by Trudy Balcom)

By Trudy Balcom

After a more than a year of delays, the civil trial against Steven and Ruth Gaede for a zoning infraction at their property at 83 Water St. in Marquette is over.

In a decision filed on June 12, First Judicial District Judge Joel A. Dalrymple found the couple’s structure “not in conformity” with Marquette’s zoning ordinance.

The court has ordered the Denver, Iowa, couple to pay $6,000 in civil penalties and has barred them from using their structure for “personal, residential, storage and recreational purposes until such time as a bona fide commercial activity, consistent with the city of Marquette’s zoning ordinance is established and maintained throughout the entire lower level of the said structure,” the ruling states.

Tue
09
Jul

Emma Big Bear birthday celebration brings the past to life

Chloe Lorenz reenacts Emma
Reenactor Chloe Lorenz portrays Emma Big Bear as she used to sit on her porch at her Marquette home. (Photos by Dan Howard)
Judith Engle shows prints
Judith Engle shows off her artistic talent with prints of Emma Big Bear and the Winnebago tribe.
Spencer Lonetree tells tales of the past
At Emma Big Bear’s 144th birthday celebration on July 5, Spencer Lonetree presented history of the Winnebago Nation, as well as family stories about Emma.
Tue
09
Jul

State of Iowa receives Presidential Disaster Declaration

     On July 3, Gov. Branstad received word that Pres. Obama approved his request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 47 Iowa counties impacted by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that began May 19.
     The counties included in the declaration are: Appanoose, Benton, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Butler, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clay, Clayton, Crawford, Davis, Delaware, Des Moines, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hardin, Henry, Ida, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Lyon, Mahaska, Marshall, Mitchell, Monona, Monroe, O’Brien, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Poweshiek, Sac, Sioux, Story, Tama, Wapello, Webster, Winnebago, and Wright.
     The governor sent the request for the declaration on June 19, in response to significant damage that was caused by heavy rains, thunderstorms and flooding in those counties between May 19 and June 14.

Tue
09
Jul

Historical Battle of Prairie du Chien reenactment to send audience to the past

War of 1812
Reenactors, portraying officers of the U.S. Army, deliver a message to their commander from the British, requesting their surrender before the battle.

By Audrey Posten

Tue
02
Jul

McGregor teen publishes book with help of NaNoWriMo

MacKenzie Gramlich
MacKenzie Gramlich of McGregor recently published her book “Five Deep Breaths.” (Photo by Andra Meana)

By Pat McTaggart

Tue
02
Jul

McGregor riverfront to get a new look

McGregor Riverfront
Riverfront improvements are on their way for the McGregor area as soon as the city can take the steps necessary to gain approval from organizations like the Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The diagram above shows the potential improvements.

By Caitlin Bittner

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