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Tue
13
Dec

Hour of Code: Raising student awareness of computer science


MFL MarMac seniors JP Murphy (left) and Shane Hexom participate in Hour of Code. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Tyler Trappe (center), dressed in an Angry Birds costume, helps Emme Schroeder and Blake Lamborn during Hour of Code.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Last week, MFL MarMac students in grades K-12 joined millions of other students around the world to participate in a technology learning event called Hour of Code.

Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science that takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. Organized by the non-profit organization Code.org, which works to expand student access to computer science, it began as a way to demystify coding and show students that anyone can learn the basics.

“It’s also meant to build awareness for computer science, because so many schools don’t teach it,” explained MFL MarMac’s teacher librarian, Melissa Haberichter, who helped organize the district’s Hour of Code event.

Tue
13
Dec

Sharing a vision for Clayton County


John Nikolai and Ellen Collins were among the over two dozen people who shared their visions for Clayton County at a public meeting Dec. 8. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Roughly 30 people from around the county—representing agriculture, industry, conservation, tourism and economic development, and more—shared their visions for the future of Clayton County at a public meeting in Elkader Dec. 8. The meeting was the second held in the last two months to gather resident input for creation of an updated county comprehensive plan. 

The county’s existing comprehensive plan was created in 2002, said Michelle Barness, a community planner with Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission, which the county has engaged to update the plan. It was short, she noted, and not as detailed as those formed today. An update will be handy for a variety of reasons. 

Tue
13
Dec

Local conservation efforts recognized


Jerome and Kris Sass (middle) received the 2016 Owner-Operator Award for the Clayton SWCD. They are pictured with Gerry Ommen (left) from the Clayton SWCD, and Nick Westhoff, from Farm Bureau.

Nick Donlon (left) was selected as the 2016 Outstanding New Cooperator for the Clayton SWCD. He’s pictured with commissioner Gerry Ommen.

Derek Larson (right) received the 2016 Bernard Hanson award as the top individual soil judge. He’s pictured with Owen Sylvester, from the Clayton SWCD.

Caleb Stuckman (right) received the 2016 Bernard Hanson award as the top pacer for 2016. He’s pictured with SWCD chairman Owen Sylvester.

This year’s top soil judging team was from MFL MarMac. Pictured are Clayton SWCD commissioner Owen Sylvester (left) with students Beau Benzing, Chloe Hubanks, Skylar Moser and Derek Larson.

The Clayton Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) honored the outstanding conservation efforts of local farm families during the annual awards banquet Dec. 7, at Freedom Bank in Elkader. This year’s award winners showcase a variety of conservation efforts, and each recipient provides an outstanding example of what people can do to protect the natural resources that everyone enjoys in northeast Iowa. The local awards program is co-sponsored by the Clayton County Farm Bureau. 

Jerome Sass received the 2016 Owner-Operator Award for the Clayton SWCD. Jerome owns and/or operates 300 acres in Monona Township, in northwest Clayton County. Over the last six years, he has implemented a combination of structural and management practices that reduce soil erosion and nutrient loss from his farm.  

Tue
06
Dec

Making, sending cards adds a personal touch

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

With the advent of email, social media and other ways to quickly communicate with one another, especially from long distances, the practice of sending cards in the mail has increasingly fallen by the wayside.

However, when you’re looking for that added personal touch to show someone just how much you care—particularly during the holiday season—nothing beats a card.

Suzanne Kaber takes that one step further. She makes her own.

Tue
06
Dec

Mock interviews help students prepare for the future


MFL MarMac senior Ty Hefner was one of 93 students who participated in mock interviews last week. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The 93 MFL MarMac juniors and seniors in Tamara Butikofer’s pre-employment strategies class got a taste of the real world Dec. 1, as they participated in mock interviews for their potential careers.

For the interviews, students were split into four groups. Each group went into the gym for a half-hour, during which time the students were matched up with and interviewed by a local business person or Northeast Iowa Community College representative.

This was a new venture for MFL MarMac, Butikofer said.

“We do some mock interviews in class, but never this big,” she explained. 

Tue
06
Dec

Plans continue to bring Dollar General to Monona

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

At the Monona Council’s Dec. 5 meeting, city administrator Dan Canton informed the council that the Overland Group has accepted the city’s counter-offer to purchase a small parcel of land in the Monona Commercial Park for $20,000.

The land, located along Highway 18, west of Fisk Farm and Home and the Davis Street Car Wash, is next to a larger property, which is not owned by the city, that the Overland Group is interested in for construction of a Dollar General store.

Tue
29
Nov

Angels Helping Angels warms the holidays for local kids

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

This holiday season will be brighter—and warmer—for many MFL MarMac kids and families thanks to the Angels Helping Angels program. 

Established four years ago, when one of the organizers wanted to help a child in the district get a new winter coat, Angels Helping Angels matches “angels” in need of winter apparel, clothing, blankets, hygiene products, food and even holiday gifts with donor “angels” who have offered to provide those items.

The program has aided over 100 children (and some families) of varying ages and degrees of need in each of the last three years. In 2015, 165 local kids received help, and this year’s number of angel recipients is anticipated to be at or above that amount.

Tue
29
Nov

Festival of Trees brings the excitement of Christmas to McGregor


With its dozens of beautifully-decorated trees, music, food, crafts and contests, the Festival of Trees has been a must-see holiday event for six years. This year’s event will be held on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3, at Backwoods Bar and Event Center in McGregor. (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

With its dozens of beautifully-decorated trees, music, food, crafts and contests, the Festival of Trees has been a must-see holiday event for six years.

“This event brings the excitement of Christmas to the McGregor community and shares it with all our friends in the surrounding area,” noted Anne Kruse, who helps organize the Festival of Trees along with many other community volunteers.

Tue
29
Nov

Holiday Train stopping in Marquette on Dec. 4


The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will stop in Marquette, at the marina parking lot, on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 2:45 p.m. (NIT file photo)

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will once again bring holiday cheer to the area as it stops in Marquette, at the marina parking lot, on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 2:45 p.m.

Now in its 18th year, the Holiday Train is adorned with thousands of lights depicting holiday scenes on 14 rail cars, one of which turns into a stage for musical performances.

However, putting on a dazzling light display is just half of the Holiday Train equation, as attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or monetary donation as admission. 

Tue
29
Nov

Monona Holiday Shop Hop runs Dec. 3-24

The Monona Chamber’s annual Holiday Shop Hop runs Saturday to Saturday again this year; however, it’s been expanded from one to three full weeks, from Dec. 3-24. This gives shoppers extra time, at their own pace, to select the places they will patronize to fill up their punch cards.  

The Monona Chamber sponsors the event to promote local shopping, to keep cash registers ringing, dollars circulating around town, and sales tax growing for an added boost to merchants and the local economy.

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