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Tue
07
Nov

Friends enjoy Honor Flight experience


Two local Vietnam veterans and good friends, Bill Werges (left) and Bob Siegele, went on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Since it began in 2009, the non-profit Eastern Iowa Honor Flight has sent over 2,300 Iowa veterans to the nation’s capital to visit a variety of war memorials and historic sites. 

On Oct. 17, two local veterans and good friends, Bob Siegele and Bill Werges, joined the list, as they traveled from Cedar Rapids to Washington, D.C.

The two were among 87  veterans—along with guardians and other volunteers—who made the day-long trip.

Tue
07
Nov

MFL MarMac to present ‘Cinderella’


MFL MarMac High School will present the beloved fairy tale “Cinderella” for its fall musical production on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10 and 11. Chelbe Feuerhelm will play the lead role of Cinderella, while Micah Decker will portray Prince Topher. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

MFL MarMac High School will present the beloved fairy tale “Cinderella” for its fall musical production on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10 and 11. 

Three performances will be held in the high school auditorium in Monona, with the first on Friday, at 7:30 p.m., and the others on Saturday, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

This production will differ from the well-known Disney version of “Cinderella,” said director Diane Fisk. 

“This is even different than the Rodgers and Hammerstein [version],” she noted.

Tue
07
Nov

Option proposed for filling in opera house basement


On Oct. 23, structural engineer Todd Birkel presented a plan that would use controlled low strength material (CLSM) to safely and efficiently fill in the basement of the Sullivan Opera House building. The building’s partially-collapsed first floor could then be removed, allowing for continued rehabilitation. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Over the last few years, work has continued—slowly but surely—to ready the Sullivan Opera House building  at 252-254 Main St., in McGregor, for potential re-use.

However, the state of the partially-collapsed first floor has posed an obstacle to further rehabilitation.

“Before the building’s rehabbed, the first thing that needs to be done is to repair that floor,” said Duane Boelman, McGregor’s deputy clerk and economic development lead, who also aids the city’s historic preservation commission.

Tue
07
Nov

McGregor-Marquette Chamber holds annual awards banquet


The McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce held its annual dinner and awards banquet Nov. 6, in The Sevens Show Room and Banquet Room at Casino Queen Marquette. Those honored included Alpine Communications (award accepted by customer service manager Lori Keppler), Lynette Sander, Juanita Lang and Crystal Scarff. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce held its annual dinner and awards banquet Nov. 6, in The Sevens Show Room and Banquet Room at Casino Queen Marquette.

The chamber’s executive director, Kristie Austin, who took over the position this summer, led off the night by introducing herself and sharing some of the chamber’s plans for the coming year.

Chief among the plans is bringing back the Great River Road Race (GRRR). As in the past, it will be held the second week of October, Austin said.

Tue
07
Nov

Benches replaced thanks to McGregor Achievement Club


Two decorative benches that were either damaged or destroyed as a result of the July 19 tornado have now been replaced in Triangle Park, thanks to the McGregor Achievement Club. Pictured are McGregor Mayor Harold Brooks, Achievement Club President Darci Jones and McGregor Park Board President Maria Brummel. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Two decorative benches that were either damaged or destroyed as a result of the July 19 tornado have now been replaced in Triangle Park, thanks to the McGregor Achievement Club.

The benches, which also include the plaques recognizing the original donors, cost a total of $700. Funds came from the Achievement Club’s “McGregor Strong” T-shirt sale, organized following the tornado.

“One of our main focuses has always been parks,” said Darci Jones, McGregor Achievement Club President, as to why the group took on this project.

Tue
31
Oct

Museum offers much to explore as Monona Historical Society marks 50th anniversary


The Monona Historical Society will host a 50th anniversary celebration at the Monona Historical Museum on Monday through Saturday, Nov. 6-11, from 1 to 4 p.m. each day. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Each Tuesday afternoon, from 1 to 4 p.m., a group of wood carvers gathers in the museum’s Marting Carving Room to hone their skills and socialize with one another. Elmer Marting is shown working there, surrounded by some of the museum’s collection of over 400 different types, sizes and styles of hand carved chains. It’s the world’s largest known display of hand carved chains.

A portion of the old city jail is one of the many highlights at the museum.

The Monona Historical Museum is rich in historical artifacts, like Bob Drahn’s butterfly collection and school-related items (shown here). It also offers a plethora of publications and research materials for Monona and the surrounding area in the Willa Helwig History Center.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The Monona Historical Society was organized in November 1967, after a group of community members felt the need to preserve the area’s history and artifacts for future generations. Now, 50 years later, the group’s goal remains the same.

The collection at the Monona Historical Museum, which opened on South Egbert Street in 1971, has doubled in the past 30 years, increasing from 3,300 items in 1981 to over 7,000 today.

“We’ve got some good history of the town,” shared Carol Marting, the Monona Historical Society’s first secretary-treasurer, who, along with her husband Elmer, still remains active with the group.

Tue
31
Oct

Scarff returns to doing what she loves


Three months after a tornado destroyed her business, INKspiration Tattoo owner Crystal Scarff is up and running at a new location, in downtown McGregor. Here, Scarff preps Brenda Mohs for a tattoo. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

INKspiration Tattoo now open

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Crystal Scarff plainly remembered her cell phone going off Wednesday evening, July 19. There was a tornado warning for the area.

At similar warnings, Scarff said she usually headed to the basement of the building at 330 Main St., in McGregor, that served as the home of her business, INKspiration Tattoo. However, that night was different.

“Tornadoes don’t come down here. Let’s chill,” she recalled telling her client and others gathered in the shop at the time.

Soon, the lights began to flicker.

Tue
31
Oct

City elections are Nov. 7

Both the cities of Marquette and McGregor will have contested races in the city elections held Tuesday, Nov. 7.

In Marquette, six people are running for city council, which has just three seats up for grabs. 

All three incumbents—Steve Eagle, John Ries and Cindy Sharp Halvorson—are seeking re-election. Also running are David Schneider, Rinda Ferguson and Ryan P. Young. 

Marquette’s mayoral race will be contested, as well, with incumbent Larry Breuer challenged by Stephen J. Weipert.

Polls will be open at the Marquette Community Center from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tue
31
Oct

Sharing memories of growing up in McGregor


Bob Eggen

Alice Staples

Arlys Denning

Jim Hendrickson

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Four McGregor residents shared their fond memories of growing up in the community at the McGregor Historical Museum’s fall event on Oct. 27.

Alice Staples, Arlys Denning, Jim Hendrickson and Bob Eggen reflected on “Growing Up McGregor Strong: 1940-1960,” to an audience of around 30 people.

Not surprisingly, school was one of the topics the speakers referenced the most.

Staples attended the Moody Ridge one-room country school. Water had to be carried from the neighbor’s well, and the building was heated by an old wood stove.

Tue
31
Oct

Grant will support concept design for McGregor community center

Just a few short months after a destructive storm, the community of McGregor is starting to rebuild.

Restore McGregor recently received a $10,000 grant from The Native Fund to support a concept design for a community center. The potential building would be located at the former site of the INKspiration Tattoo property, at 330 Main St., which was reduced to a pile of debris when an EF-1 tornado ripped through McGregor on July 19. The property was donated to the city of McGregor by former owners Fred Petrie and Melanie San Fillippo.  

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