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Tue
07
Feb

MFL Lions donate $1,000 toward bandstand


The MFL Lions Club last week donated $1,000 toward repairs of the 100-year-old bandstand in Monona's city park. Pictured (left to right) are Monona Deputy Clerk Barb Collins; Allan Troester, with the MFL Lions Club; Rogeta Halvorson, Monona Chamber and Economic Development Executive Director and bandstand committee member; bandstand committee member Ron Mueller and Ann Howe, with FreedomBank in Monona. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Funding for repairs to the 100-year-old bandstand in Monona's city park is now nearly half accounted for, thanks to a $1,000 donation last week from the MFL Lions Club. The project will cost an estimated $32,000, said Monona Chamber and Economic Development (MCED) Executive Director Rogeta Halvorson, who's also part of the bandstand committee.

The city of Monona recently received a $10,000 grant from Wellmark, which will go toward the project. An ice cream social event held at the park last fall also netted around $1,000. Other grant and fundraising opportunities are in the works.

Tue
07
Feb

Monona moving forward with hotel/motel feasibility study

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The city of Monona is moving forward with a hotel/motel feasibility study. The council, at its Feb. 6 meeting, unanimously approved utilizing Hotel R&D, LLC, to conduct the study.

The first phase of the study will cost $1,500, said city administrator Dan Canton. If the results seem promising, the second phase of the study could proceed, at an additional cost of $1,500. If the results are not favorable, it would not continue.

The city will bear no cost for the first phase. It will be completely covered by $500 contributions from Black Hills Energy, ITC and, most recently, Alliant Energy.

Tue
31
Jan

The circus will always be alive: Part Two


Emily Colossa, the daughter of Joe and Carmen Colossa, owners of the Al Ringling Mansion in Baraboo, Wis., was recently gifted this 3-by-4-foot enlarged photo of the Ringlings from the Ringling family, and wanted to donate it to the McGregor Historical Museum. The photo has been digitally improved from an original photo from 1895 that portrays all seven Ringling Brothers and their sister, Ida. (Photo by Diane Malcom)

This Oscar Fryklund photo shows the Ringling home at 14463 Walton Ave., around 1900. John Ringling was born there in 1866.

Ringling Bros. Circus roots run deep in McGregor

When word of the impending closure of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus broke Jan. 14, many in McGregor were saddened by the news. But what may be the end of the circus, to many in this small river community, is also a new opportunity to share McGregor’s special connection with the Ringlings, who, as boys, performed their first circus in the city. This two-part series will spotlight that connection. Part one, which ran last week, focused on the origins of that first circus, while this second part will detail the community’s plans to keep the Ringling story alive.

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Tue
31
Jan

Progressive Dinner offers unique dining experience


The McGregor Marquette Chamber of Commerce’s 15th annual Progressive Dinner will be held Saturday, Feb. 11, from 5-9 p.m.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

For the 15th year, the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce’s Progressive Dinner will welcome visitors into local B&Bs and homes for an elegant, homemade meal. This year’s annual event will be held Saturday, Feb. 11, from 5 to 9 p.m.

The Progressive Dinner, which was modeled off similar events in other communities, was created as not only a winter fundraiser for the chamber, but also as a way to showcase Marquette’s and McGregor’s many B&Bs, noted Becky Johnson, owner of the Little Switzerland Inn and many times an event host.

Tue
31
Jan

U.S. Mint to launch Effigy Mounds quarter Feb. 6-7

The first quarter to be released in 2017 under the United States Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters Program will feature Iowa’s Effigy Mounds National Monument. The coin design showcases an aerial view of two bears and one bird effigy mound from the Marching Bear Group in the south unit of the monument. Two free events will take place to commemorate the quarter launch. 

A coin collector forum will be held for the public to hear about the United States Mint and their coin programs on Monday, Feb. 6, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in the Effigy Mounds National Monument Visitor Center.

Tue
31
Jan

Monona Chamber shares update with city council

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Monona Chamber and Economic Development (MCED) Executive Director Rogeta Halvorson went before the Monona Council Jan. 23, recapping MCED’s 2016 accomplishments and highlighting their plans for 2017.

In 2016, explained Halvorson, MCED increased its business partnerships by 15 percent, to 56 members. The number of followers to MCED’s Facebook page, as well as the Monona Hay Days page, has also increased. Their website has also seen over 150,000 unique page visits per year. Two new highway billboards, which MCED helped design and facilitate, were installed. 

Tue
24
Jan

The circus will always be alive: Part One


This photo, from 1864, shows the Ringling family during their time in McGregor. Pictured (front, left to right) are Otto, baby Charles, Gus; (back) Alf T., mother Marie Salome, father August and Al. The Ringlings lived in the community from 1860-1871. It was in 1871 that the brothers held their first “real” circus performance. (Photo courtesy of McGregor Historical Museum)

Ringling Bros. Circus roots run deep in McGregor

When word of the impending closure of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus broke Jan. 14, many in McGregor were saddened by the news. But what may be the end of the circus, to many in this small river community, is also a new opportunity to share McGregor’s special connection with the Ringlings, who, as boys, performed their first circus in the city. This two-part series will spotlight that connection. Part one will focus on the origins of that first circus, while the second will detail the community’s plans to keep the Ringling story alive.

— — —

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Tue
24
Jan

‘It’s not going away’

As CWD positives grow, DNR plans special hunt to collect additional samples

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

In an effort to learn about and stem the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD), the Iowa DNR will hold a special collection hunt in a targeted surveillance area near Harpers Ferry, after nine more wild deer killed in Allamakee County in 2016 tested positive for the disease.

The additional positive tests brought the total number of confirmed cases of CWD in wild deer in the area to 15. The first deer to test positive was killed in 2013, followed by three more in 2014 and two in 2015. 

Tue
24
Jan

Marquette contributes toward Eagle Scout project

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The Marquette Council, at its Jan. 17 meeting, agreed to contribute $378 to Walter Stavroplus to complete the funding for his Eagle Scout project.

Stavroplus’ project included major updates to the kitchen portion of the shelter in the city park, which is used for both private and community functions. The kitchen is especially important to the Boy Scouts and Marquette American Legion, who sell food during the flea markets in order to raise funds for their organizations.

Tue
17
Jan

After 146 years, Ringling Bros. Circus coming to an end


This photo, courtesy of the McGregor Historical Museum, was taken during the Ringling family’s time in McGregor, from 1860-1871. Four of the Ringling Brothers were born in the community, and it is where they first fell in love with the circus and held their first circus performance.

Brothers performed their first circus in McGregor

 

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The curtain is closing on the “Greatest Show on Earth.” After 146 years, the famed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will hold its final performance in May, announced CEO Kenneth Feld over the weekend.

Feld, whose Feld Entertainment family has managed the circus since purchasing it from the Ringling family in 1967, attributed the closure to high operating costs and declining ticket sales. Ticket sales, Feld noted in a press release, saw a dramatic drop after the circus phased its famous elephants from shows.

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