Local News

Tue
24
Nov

Festival of Trees sets the holiday mood


Let the fifth annual Festival of Trees get you in the holiday spirit. Held Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4 and 5, at the McGregor’s Landing Event Center, the event offers dozens of colorfully-decorated trees, holiday music, food and crafts, all for a good cause. (NIT file photos)

One activity kids can enjoy at the Festival of Trees is gingerbread house-making.

“There’s a lot of music this year,” noted Festival of Trees committee member Rogeta Halvorson. Featured performers include Santa’s Combo, The Ruckus Band, Victorian Carolers, Diane’s Aunts, a barbershop quartet and MFL MarMac fourth graders. Attendees can also take part in “carol-aoke,” a Christmas carol version of karaoke.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Let the fifth annual Festival of Trees get you in the holiday spirit. Held Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4 and 5, at the McGregor’s Landing Event Center, the event offers dozens of colorfully-decorated trees, holiday music, food and crafts, all for a good cause.

Festivities kick off Friday, at 3 p.m., when attendees can begin viewing trees. A half-dozen vendor booths will be set up offering crafts and other gifts, as well. 

Fifty trees will be on display throughout the weekend, all lovingly decorated by individuals, businesses and organizations from area communities. Many are like works of art, noted Rogeta Halvorson, a Festival of Trees committee member.

Tue
24
Nov

Small Business Saturday event encourages people to shop local


‘Tis the season…to shop local. McGregor and Marquette businesses are hoping to encourage shoppers to do just that this holiday season, beginning on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

‘Tis the season…to shop local. McGregor and Marquette businesses are hoping to encourage shoppers to do just that this holiday season, beginning on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day, 15 businesses in the two communities will collaborate to offer activities, refreshments and special shopping deals.

Tue
24
Nov

MFL MarMac raises awareness for type 1 diabetes


Throughout November, which is National Diabetes Awareness Month, MFL MarMac Schools have worked to fundraise and increase awareness for type 1 diabetes. Dalton Krause, a fourth-grade student in Mrs. Dull’s class, won these #SWAG socks after he paid $1 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund and was entered into a drawing for “Sock it to T1D,” which was last week’s “Fundraise Wednesday.” (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Throughout November, which is National Diabetes Awareness Month, MFL MarMac Schools have worked to fundraise and increase awareness for type 1 diabetes.

Often referred to as juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes is commonly diagnosed among children and young adults. The disease affects 1.25 million Americans, including 200,000 youth. According to the American Diabetes Association, type 1 diabetes occurs when a person’s body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone the body needs to get glucose—which comes from the sugars and starches the body takes in—from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. The condition is managed with insulin therapy and other treatments.

Tue
24
Nov

Snack pack program aids local fourth and fifth graders in need


Volunteers from three of the churches in McGregor’s Ecumenical Council—First Lutheran, First Congregational and St. Mary’s—meet monthly to assemble snack packs of food for fourth and fifth graders at the MFL MarMac McGregor Center who are in need of food during weekends away from the school’s regularly-provided meals. Volunteers include (left to right) Dorothy Peterson, Mary Chappell, Meda Weller, Edith Nading, Alice Staples, Von Redemske, Gerrie Hendrickson, Linda Munson, Carol Grady, Rachel Pruett and Betty Sweeter. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Volunteers Alice Staples, Betty Sweeter, Dorothy Peterson and Gerrie Hendrickson work to assemble the snack packs, Ziploc bags filled with foods like cereal, fruit snacks, cheesy crackers, pudding cups, apple sauce, juice boxes, granola bars and macaroni and cheese.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

“It’s very sad to think about someone going hungry.”

Those were the thoughts of Alice Staples, a local resident who, along with other members from the churches within McGregor’s Ecumenical Council, are working to make sure that isn’t the case for kids in the MFL MarMac School District.

Every month, these volunteers get together to assemble snack packs, gallon Ziploc bags filled with food to tide kids over during weekends away from the school’s regularly-provided meals.

Tue
24
Nov

Marquette Council agrees to hire part-time Wetlands Centre director

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The Marquette Council approved hiring a temporary part-time director for the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre at its Nov. 17 meeting, but not without some discussion.

Council members Cindy Halvorson and John Ries were leery of hiring a staff member now, at the start of the slower winter months.

“I just can’t see heating the Wetlands Centre,” Halvorson said, fearful of the expense of heating the building for one person and fewer events. She wondered if shuttering the doors for the winter, and re-opening in the spring, would be better.

Tue
24
Nov

McGregor FEMA project bids come in above estimated cost

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The McGregor Council reviewed bids for the city’s FEMA stormwater protection project at its Nov. 18 meeting, finding all three bids received were over the estimated cost of $2 million. The lowest was $2.79 million.

Andrew McGovern, from engineering firm HR Green, noted that the cost increase is likely related to mobilization and higher concrete prices. It may also be that the contractors haven’t dealt much with some of the project’s components, he said.

Tue
17
Nov

Peer Helpers pay it forward


Members of the MFL MarMac McGregor Center’s Peer Helpers, pictured with guidance counselor Marnie Carlson (back, far right), are (front, left to right) Lexy Johnson, Brinan Berger, Destiny Berns, Rosemary McGeough, Tejanna Hatt, Megan Lang, Ashley Weaver, Aleyna Rodriguez, Riley Whitney; (back) Kaleb Tilson, Cedrick Drahn, Ethan Stubbs, Zach Howe, Tyler Trappe, Mackenzy Ruff, Marlene Franzen, Jacob Trudo, Anna Stoddard, Ben Miene and Ari Cummuta. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

As you enter the MFL MarMac McGregor Center, an orange unity chain is visible hanging from the ceiling. The chain was the work of the Peer Helpers, who encouraged students to write positive comments on strips of paper, then link them together. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

For the MFL MarMac McGregor Center’s Peer Helpers, it’s all about paying it forward.

A leadership group of 20 select seventh- and eighth-grade students who demonstrate good character traits, Peer Helpers focus on two areas—youth mentoring and school and community outreach.

“For the mentoring program, students are matched up one-on-one with a fourth or fifth grader who could use extra support academically or socially,” explained guidance counselor Marnie Carlson.

Tue
17
Nov

Student council creates an engaging school environment


Members of the MFL MarMac High School Student Council, with adviser Megan Schellhorn (front, far left), included (front, left to right) Allison Corlett, Bryce Burke, Chaun’te Drahn, Becca Harms, Cassie Cahoon, Nicholas Larson; (back) Josie Kleinow, Brenna Boland, Skylar Moser, Sierra Wiebensohn, Chelbe Feuerhelm and Coltin Ball. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

MFL MarMac High School’s student council works regularly to create an engaging school environment.

“We try to do things throughout the year to keep students excited,” said student council president Allison Corlett.

Tue
17
Nov

It takes a community


Through MFL MarMac Elementary’s reading volunteer program, students get one-on-one reading time, for five minutes each week, with a community volunteer. Here, volunteer Erika Kielstrup, who's volunteered weekly since the start of the school year, listens as a student reads to her. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Volunteer program helps elementary students with reading

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

There’s an old saying that it takes a village to raise a child. At MFL MarMac Elementary School, community volunteers are taking that to heart by helping students with their reading skills.

It’s all part of the school’s reading volunteer program, organized this year by Heidi Meyer, who handles literacy intervention.

Through the program, each elementary student gets one-on-one reading time, for five minutes each week, with a community volunteer. Volunteers support kids on sounding out tough words and also talk about the book, Meyer said. 

Tue
17
Nov

Quilts of Valor given to local WWII veterans


Eleven local WWII veterans were honored with Quilts of Valor at MFL MarMac’s Veterans Day program Nov. 11. Those honored included (front, left to right) Henry J. Kleinow, LeeAllen Johanningmeier, Robert Drahn, Jack Elliott, Lloyd Drahn; (back) Roy Jamesen, Adelbert (Butch) Whittle, Harlan Hass, Erwin Ruff, Bob Eggen for Eugene Trudo and Adrian Kinley for Orville Knapp Sr. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Roy Jamesen (left), sitting next to Henry J. Kleinow, shared about his military service during the Veterans Day program Nov. 11.

High school students Jasmine Stocker (left) and Chaun’te Drahn present a Quilt of Valor to Erwin Ruff. Of the 11 quilts presented last week, one was made by each Stocker and Drahn. For more photos from the program, visit the North Iowa Times Facebook page. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

WWII veterans Jack Elliott (left) and Lloyd Drahn share a thought during the Quilts of Valor presentation at MFL MarMac High School Nov. 11.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

MFL MarMac’s annual Veterans Day program had a special touch this year as 11 World War II veterans were honored with Quilts of Valor.

Since its inception in 2003, when quilter and blue star mother Catherine Roberts came up with the idea of using quilts to comfort veterans while her son was deployed in Iraq, the Quilts of Valor Foundation, through local volunteers, has awarded over 128,000 quilts to service members and veterans touched by war.

Those receiving Quilts of Valor included:

Lloyd Drahn, Monona, Army

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