Local News

Tue
27
Jan

McGregor groups give updates, plans for 2015

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Several groups gave their yearly updates to the McGregor City Council Jan. 21, highlighting some of their accomplishments of 2014, as well as plans for 2015. Those providing reports included the McGregor Public Library, McGregor Park Board, McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts and McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce.

McGregor Public Library

Library Director Michelle Pettit said 12,305 visits were made to the library last year.   They held 82 children’s programs, with 781 in attendance. For the adults, 101 programs were held, with 626 people in attendance. 

A total of 16,167 items were borrowed in 2014. The top circulating books were:

1) “Fault in Our Stars” by John Green (29)

Tue
20
Jan

‘Team up against cancer:’ MFL MarMac holds awareness event


Following a Friday morning assembly that featured teacher and Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor Adam Simon as the key speaker, students and staff headed outside, where, with the sun shining down upon them, they released balloons into the clear, blue sky. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

MFL MarMac High School students and staff wore “team up against cancer” shirts Friday as part of a two-day cancer awareness event Jan. 15-16. Each person selected a cancer awareness color that meant something to them personally.

MFL MarMac High School social studies teacher and Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor Adam Simon was the featured speaker at the cancer awareness assembly.

Student Emily Hanson "gets the chop" at the cancer awareness assembly. She and teacher Anne Wuebker donated locks of their hair to the non-profit organization Children with Hair Loss, which makes wigs for girls.

Hanson feels up her shorter 'do.

Teacher Anne Wuebker starts to get her hair cut off my Becky Monroe.

Wuebker checks out the locks that will be donated.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

MFL MarMac held another successful cancer awareness event last week, as students, staff and community members came together to “team up against cancer.”

The event kicked off Jan. 15 with the home wrestling meet versus Turkey Valley and Clayton Ridge. It continued Friday morning with an assembly organized by the high school student council, featuring high school social studies teacher and Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor Adam Simon as the key speaker.

Tue
20
Jan

Marquette discusses business and tourism issues

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Councilwoman Cindy Halvorson broached the subject of the city of Marquette restoring funding to the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce at the city’s Jan. 14 meeting, citing dissatisfaction with Marquette’s business and tourism efforts.

“I feel the Chamber is the best choice for Marquette,” Halvorson said. “We need to listen to what the taxpaying businesses want. We’re not voted in for what we want, but what they want.”

Tue
13
Jan

R Place Sports Bar and Grill slated to open in Monona soon


Monona will soon have another dining option, with the opening of R Place Sports Bar and Grill planned before the end of January. Located at 107 E. Center St., the former home of Jodi’s Americana Grill, R Place will be owned and operated by Lary Walter, who also owns One R’s St. Olaf Tap.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Monona will soon have another dining option, with the opening of R Place Sports Bar and Grill planned before the end of January.

Located at 107 E. Center St., the former home of Jodi’s Americana Grill, R Place will be owned and operated by Lary Walter, who also owns One R’s St. Olaf Tap. The name R Place is a play on Walter’s first name, which is spelled with just one “R.”

“I thought people needed a place to come and eat, sit and relax and have drinks and a meal in a family atmosphere,” said Walter, a 1990 MFL graduate. “I’d really like to see Monona thrive.”

Tue
13
Jan

Driftless Area Ambassadors Program looks to connect people with nature


A nature photography workshop taught by local photographer Kat Busse will be one activity people can participate in as part of the Driftless Area Ambassadors Program. The program is facilitated by the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre in Marquette to connect people with nature. (NIT file photo)

Another activity kids can participate in to earn their Driftless Area Ambassadors badge is a pottery workshop. (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The Driftless Area Wetlands Centre in Marquette has launched the Driftless Area Ambassadors Program in an effort to help both children and adults connect more with nature.

By partnering with other environmental education efforts in the area, it is hoped participants will develop a sense of place and earn the Driftless Area Ambassador badge by learning about their local environment, intimately connecting with it through personal interactions and positively impacting the Driftless Area through personal projects.

Wetlands Centre Director Katrina Moyna said the Wetlands Centre Board felt it was important to champion the program because, these days, kids spend less time outdoors.

Tue
13
Jan

MFL MarMac receives TLC grant

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

MFL MarMac Superintendent Dale Crozier announced at the Jan. 12 school board meeting that the Iowa Department of Education recently awarded the district a Teacher Leadership Compensation (TLC) Grant that is roughly $240,000.

According to the Department of Education, the TLC System “rewards effective teachers with leadership opportunities and higher pay, attracts promising new teachers with competitive starting salaries and more support and fosters greater collaboration for all teachers to learn from each other.”

Tue
06
Jan

Printing paradise


Printer Steve Weipert places a piece of film containing four pages of the newspaper onto a printing plate so that the words and images can be burned onto the plate. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Sharon Tesar places the plate so it can be burned.

Tesar and Weipert place the plates in the press, between the blankets, which are squeezed to print the words and images on the paper.

Weipert adjusts one of the 24 keys that controls color. “From red, yellow and blue, you can print every color in the world,” Weipert said.

Weipert, standing near the folder, makes an adjustment to the press as papers are printed.

Tesar and Denny Riebe handle the newspapers as they come out of the folder, which slits the paper in half before sending it around a cylinder that cuts it into a 22-inch sheet of paper. “It goes through a folding process and it comes out just as you get it at home,” Weipert explained.

Weipert and Riebe change a roll of paper. Each roll of paper weighs 1,000 pounds and is 34 inches wide. One roll could yield 17,000 eight-page papers, which is the standard size of the NIT.

Although the press is referenced as a singular entity, it’s actually a series of six printing presses, with some printing black ink, while the others print red, yellow and blue.

Although the press is referenced as a singular entity, it’s actually a series of six printing presses, with some printing black ink, while the others print red, yellow and blue.

Although the press is referenced as a singular entity, it’s actually a series of six printing presses, with some printing black ink, while the others print red, yellow and blue.

Over the years, Weipert has learned the intricacies of the press. As the papers come out of the folder, he grabs one, checking to see where adjustments need to be made. After making the tweak, he returns to the fresh papers, selecting a new one to start the process over again. This continues on throughout the printing process.

Weipert and Riebe change a roll of paper. Each roll of paper weighs 1,000 pounds and is 34 inches wide. One roll could yield 17,000 eight-page papers, which is the standard size of the NIT.

Weipert explains the newspaper’s printing process

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Editors and reporters are often the faces of a community newspaper. They’re who readers see at events and meetings, and it’s their names in the article bylines. However, after the journalist’s furiously-written interview notes come to life as a story on the computer screen, it’s up to the printer and his press to make sure those stories are conveyed to readers. For the North Iowa Times, as well as its sister papers, the Courier Press and The Guttenberg Press (the Clayton County Register is printed in Calmar), that printer is Steve Weipert.

Tue
06
Jan

Corn, grain bin lost in New Year’s fire at Northern Ag Services


Smoke can be seen rising from a grain bin at Northern Ag Services, outside McGregor, on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1. The fire, which started after a corn dryer malfunctioned, ruined 1,500 bushels of corn at the facility. (Photo by Al Anderson)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

A New Year’s Day grain bin fire at Northern Ag Services, outside McGregor, resulted in the loss of 1,500 bushels of corn.

According to McGregor Fire Chief Dan Bickel, McGregor Hook and Ladder responded to the scene at 7 a.m. with 15 men and five pieces of equipment after a corn dryer malfunctioned, setting fire to an industrial-sized grain bin.

The fire department, assisted by the Monona Volunteer Fire Department, spent five hours on scene. Bickel said firefighters had to saw into the dryer to put the fire out.

The bin had to be unloaded by hand, as corn was shoveled and washed out the back. The bin, dryer and corn were all a total loss.

Tue
06
Jan

Monona discusses annexation possibilities

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

For several months, the Monona Council has familiarized itself with the process of land annexation, or expanding its municipal boundaries into areas not currently within the city. As the city looks ahead to phase II of its sanitary sewer project, City Administrator Dan Canton said Monona wants to know if its planned upgrades will work for possible future development. While areas to the west of town, as well as the area where the Birdnow Dealership is located and across the highway where Kwik Star and TJ’s Pizza reside, have been targeted for potential annexation, the council agreed Monday night not to move forward until gather more information and consulting with the sewer project engineer.

Tue
30
Dec

Sherman Swift Tower 100th anniversary swiftly approaches


The 100th anniversary of the original Sherman Swift Tower in National will take place in 2015. Designed by local, self-taught ornithologist Althea Sherman, the original tower (and the current replica constructed from 2008-2009) was 28 feet tall, with a 14-foot wooden chimney, which is a swift’s favorite place to nest. (Submitted photo)

These young chimney swifts, born in the tower in 2014, almost overtake the nest, which is adhered to the wall of the faux chimney with the birds’ saliva. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Chimney swifts are a small bird. At birth, they are no larger than the end of a pinky finger. Gray-brown in color, they are most recognizable for their long, curved wings. But to Deanna Krambeer, nothing compares to their eyes.

“They’re so beautiful,” she said. “They have these deep brown eyes you could just fall into.”

Krambeer admitted she didn’t know much about chimney swifts until she and her husband, Harold, got involved with the Friends of the Sherman Swift Tower, an organization that, from 2008-2009, worked to recreate the Sherman Swift Tower in National. Designed by local, self-taught ornithologist Althea Sherman, the original tower (and the replica) was 28 feet tall, with a 14-foot wooden chimney, which is a swift’s favorite place to nest.

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