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Tue
21
Nov

Students donate books to hurricane victims


Students in Shauna Lange’s fifth grade class at MFL MarMac recently donated books to hurricane-affected schools in Texas and Florida. (Submitted photo)

Amy Bunting’s fifth graders also took part in the donation effort, contributing several books from their book order. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, students in Shauna Lange’s fifth grade class at MFL MarMac were troubled by the destruction they saw in Texas and Florida. They wondered what they could do to help.

“We had a book order going in,” Lange said. “That’s when they came up with the idea of books.”

The class builds up credits from their book orders, which go toward purchasing books for the classroom. This time, however, the students wanted to use those credits to purchase books for hurricane-affected schools in Texas and Florida.

Tue
21
Nov

Event encourages people to support MarMac’s small businesses

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to support the small, local businesses in McGregor and Marquette as they shop for gifts this holiday season—beginning with Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25.

Twenty-six businesses, ranging from retail stores to bars and restaurants, will participate in a “Shop Small MarMac” event on Saturday, offering activities, refreshments and special shopping deals. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and run through 3 p.m., although many establishments will be open later.

The Small Business Saturday concept was first launched in 2010 by American Express, serving as an alternative to the major shopping days following Thanksgiving: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Tue
21
Nov

New business brings fun to photography


A ribbon cutting and grand opening for The Lasting Image Fun Photos Studio, at 326 Main St., in McGregor, was held Saturday, Nov. 18. Pictured are McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kristie Austin, building owners Dan Sander and Lynette Sander, Rick and Christine Small (Blood’s parents), Lasting Image photographer and owner Cinnamon Blood and her daughter Megan Domenget and husband Allen Blood. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Cinnamon Blood, owner of The Lasting Image Fun Photos Studio, poses with her husband, Allen, behind the bar that will serve as a setting for the 1800s photo shoots.

The Lasting Image Fun Photos Studio opens in McGregor

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The Lasting Image Fun Photo Studio is now open at 326 Main St., in McGregor, offering a variety of fun family photo opportunities.

The biggest draw, said photographer and owner Cinnamon Blood, is the 1800s saloon photo shoot, which allows people to belly up to a bar or pose in front of a “saloon,” all while wearing period dress.

“We have a variety of outfits put together,” Blood said. “Who doesn’t like dressing up?”

Tue
21
Nov

McGregor Council considers community center proposals

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

At its Nov. 15 meeting, the McGregor Council considered several concept design proposals for a potential library/community center. 

Last month, the city received a $10,000 grant from The Native Fund to support the endeavor.

The potential building would be located at the former site of the INKspiration Tattoo property, at 330 Main St., which was destroyed by the July 19 tornado and later torn down. The property, which is next to the McGregor Public Library, was donated to the city of McGregor by former owners Fred Petrie and Melanie San Fillippo.  

Tue
21
Nov

Monona Council approves MCED funding

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Matching its contribution from this year, the Monona Council, at its Nov. 20 meeting, approved a $12,000 appropriation to Monona Chamber and Economic Development (MCED) for the coming year—but not without some discussion.

Councilman Doug Bachman questioned the four hours per week increase for MCED Executive Director Rogeta Halvorson, taking her from 36 hours to 40 hours.

“I think there needs to be more discussion on this,” he said. “A 9 percent raise is quite a bit.”

Councilman John Elledge, while supportive of the work Halvorson has done, was leery of continuing to use taxpayer dollars to fund MCED.

Tue
14
Nov

Group carves out wooden art and fellowship


Members of the Monona Wood Carving Group include (left to right) Elmer Marting, Bob Moses, Ron Kaiser, Bob Drahn, Bob Griffith, Lawrence Schneider, David Scott and Stan Blair. The group meets every Tuesday, from 1 to 4 p.m., in the Marting Wood Carving Room at the Monona Historical Museum. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Bob Drahn shows off a wooden chain in the process of being carved.

Bob Moses works with fellow carvers in the Marting Wood Carving Room.

Carvings by Bob Drahn

Carvings by Stan Blair

Carvings by Elmer Marting

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

“Wood is so fascinating.”

Take it from Bob Drahn. Wood carving steadily since 1992, when he retired from the soil conservation service, he’s completed 500 to 600 carvings over the years. 

Many were crafted in the cozy confines of the Marting Wood Carving Room in the Monona Historical Museum, where, in 2007, he and fellow carving enthusiasts Elmer Marting and Marvin Miller formed the Monona Wood Carving Group.

As the three continued to meet every Tuesday afternoon, they began to attract other local carvers, as well as an audience.

Tue
14
Nov

Tie-breaker decides race for Marquette Council

The race for Marquette Council was so close following the Nov. 7 election that it had to be decided with a tie-breaker.

Marquette voters cast 87 votes for incumbent Cindy Sharp Halvorson, while newcomer Ryan P. Young received 83, giving the candidates two of the three available seats on the council. The third was harder to decide, however, as both incumbent John Ries and David Schneider earned 76 votes. The county supervisors randomly selected Ries during the canvass of votes Nov. 13. Other council candidates included Rinda Ferguson and incumbent Steve Eagle, who received 74 and 57 votes, respectively. Halvorson, Young and Ries will serve four-year terms.

Tue
14
Nov

Booster Club works behind the scenes to aid MFL MarMac athletics


MFL MarMac Booster Club officers include president Heidi Landt (left), vice president Robin Lang and treasurer Marcie Boland. Not pictured is secretary Tricia Koeller. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

A lot goes into athletics at MFL MarMac: hard working and dedicated student athletes, good coaching and supportive family, friends and community members. Not to be lost in the equation is the MFL MarMac Booster Club.

For years, the group of parent volunteers—and the funds they raise—has supported athletes in seventh through 12th grades.

“A lot goes to uniforms,” said president Heidi Landt. “We try to keep most uniforms on a five-year rotation.”

Tue
14
Nov

Bigger Faster Stronger program is yielding results in first year


Lakota Morrissey spots for Riley Moreland during a Bigger Faster Stronger session at the middle school. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Created by Dr. Greg Shepard several decades ago, Bigger Faster Stronger (BFS) has become one of the most widely followed strength and conditioning programs in the country. Staff at MFL MarMac came across it last year, as they researched potential program offerings to help make students healthier while also better utilizing the district’s weightlifting facilities.

“We knew it was an area that needed to be strengthened,” said middle school teacher and coach Brent Pape, who is one of seven school staff members who has since been trained in BFS. “We wanted to change the culture of the kids going into the weight room and going into sports.”

Tue
07
Nov

Exhibit to feature McGregor era Ringling family artifacts

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

See artifacts from the family that brought everyone “The Greatest Show on Earth” at The Left Bank Shop and Gallery’s latest special exhibit, “The Greatest Show in Town.”

The exhibit will feature several items that are believed to have been part of the Ringling family’s household while they lived in McGregor from 1860 to 1872. Four of the brothers—Alfred, Charles, John and Henry—were born in McGregor during that time.

“The coolest item is the little ticket box their dad made for them,” said Joe Colossa, proprietor of the Al Ringling Mansion, in Baraboo, Wis.

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