Local News

Tue
26
Jan

McGregor Council says no to condos at former Holiday Shores Motel location

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

At a special meeting Jan. 25, the McGregor Council voted unanimously to deny a request by Trilogy Partners, LLC, to re-zone the former Holiday Shores Motel property from W1-waterfront commercial to W2-waterfront mixed use, in order to build condominiums at the location.

The meeting, which also included a public hearing, was the latest step in the process, after McGregor’s planning and zoning commission, in December, recommended the council deny the request and work with Trilogy to develop a mixed use plan for the location, to include condominiums and short-term lodging.

Tue
26
Jan

McGregor Council takes issue with police budget

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The Mar-Mac Public Safety Commission approved the Mar-Mac Police Department’s 2016-2017 fiscal year budget in early January, passing it on to the cities of Marquette and McGregor for approval. The proposed budget is $233,029.01, with Marquette covering 53 percent ($123,505.38) and McGregor 47 percent ($109,523.63).

While the Marquette Council approved the proposed budget with no discussion at its Jan. 19 meeting, the McGregor Council expressed some concerns at their meeting on Jan. 20. 

“I would like to see [the budget] cut now instead of getting a check back,” said councilman Joe Muehlbauer, referencing the return of unused funds to the cities at the end of the year. 

Tue
26
Jan

McGregor groups share updates

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Five McGregor groups—the library, art center, park board, museum and chamber of commerce—shared their yearly updates and budgets with the McGregor Council at its Jan. 20 regular meeting. Some notable information included:

Library—Last fiscal year, from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, the McGregor Public Library had 11,724 visits to the library, with over 16,500 items borrowed. Over 1,000 kids took advantage of the library’s 94 children’s programs, while over 500 adults attended 95 adult programs. Computer usage reached nearly 2,000, and, as a Wi-Fi hotspot, the library has also become a popular destination for residents and tourists to use their laptops and other devices. 

Tue
19
Jan

Say cheese!


Last week, MFL MarMac students enjoyed trying Swiss cheese, donated by Swiss Valley Farms in Luana, as part of the district’s monthly Taste Test Tuesdays. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Brandi Crozier, an AmeriCorps volunteer who’s now serving MFL MarMac through the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, hands out Swiss cheese to elementary students.

Many students enjoyed tasting the Swiss cheese, while others were not as thrilled.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Throughout the school year, MFL MarMac students of all ages are broadening their knowledge of food through monthly Taste Test Tuesdays.

Taste Test Tuesdays follow an online Harvest of the Month calendar, said Brandi Crozier, a volunteer with AmeriCorps who’s now serving the school district to promote local food and wellness initiatives through the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative. 

“It provides a lot of options for fresh, local foods, and foods we have access to,” Crozier said of the calendar.

Tue
19
Jan

Mullarkey takes over as director of Driftless Area Wetlands Centre

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Marquette’s Driftless Area Wetlands Centre has a new director. Alicia Mullarkey recently took over the position, bringing a wealth of outdoor knowledge.

“I’ve always loved the outdoors,” said Mullarkey, an Iowa native who grew up south of Des Moines. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science fields. While pursuing her master’s, she studied invasive plants. She’s served with AmeriCorps, working in state parks, and interned with the Missouri Department of Conservation, where she studied rare plants. Mullarkey said she most recently worked for the University of Nebraska-Omaha, in the biology department. She managed the nature preserve, most notably focusing on prairies.

Tue
19
Jan

Monona Council receives MCED update

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Monona Chamber and Economic Development (MCED) Executive Director Rogeta Halvorson shared MCED’s latest pursuits with the Monona Council at its Jan. 18 meeting.

The number of visitors to MCED’s website and Facebook page has grown, further promoting the community and chamber members, she noted. Halvorson recently developed an employment page on the website, allowing members to post job openings.

Tue
12
Jan

Trappe, Russett switch real estate roles


Steve Russett and his real estate business have served Monona and the surrounding area for 30 years, for the last 10 years with the help of Nathan Trappe. At the start of the year, Russett transferred it to Trappe. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Steve Russett and his real estate business have served Monona and the surrounding area for 30 years, for the last 10 years with the help of Nathan Trappe. At the start of the year, Russett transferred it to Trappe. 

“It’s coming under me now. We’re just switching roles,” explained Trappe, noting that Russett wants to slow down but will still remain active with the company. “The only thing that’s changing is the name.” 

Tue
12
Jan

Students taking advantage of chance to earn college credits in high school

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

A number of MFL MarMac High School students are heading off to their post-secondary education destinations with college credit already under their belts, thanks to a partnership between the school district and Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC). Katie Gilbert, from NICC, spoke before the MFL MarMac school board at its Jan. 11 meeting, explaining some of the options open to students. 

Tue
05
Jan

Mason’s tenure as Marquette mayor comes to a close


Norma Mason’s six-year tenure as the mayor of Marquette came to a close at the end of December.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

When the Marquette Council meets for its regular monthly meeting Jan. 19, for the first time in six years, someone new will call the meeting to order. December marked the end of Norma Mason’s tenure as the city’s mayor, with her passing the gavel on to David Schneider, who was elected in November.

Mason’s involvement with city government began nearly 20 years ago. Curious about an upcoming meeting, Mason ventured to city hall, where she learned Marquette was looking to fill an open seat on the council due to a resignation. Recently retired, she decided to give it a shot.

“That got me hooked,” she said with a smile.

Tue
05
Jan

NIT turns 160 in 2016

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

1856: James Buchanan was elected 15th president of the United States, the Republican Party held its first national meeting, the Crimean War ended in Europe and the tin-type camera and accordion were both patented. On Friday, Oct. 10, the North Iowa Times was established in McGregor.

The newspaper was founded by Col. A.P. Richardson and F.W.D. Merrill, the brother of Iowa Governor Samuel Merrill, although Merrill’s name appeared on the masthead for just two weeks. In the first issue, Richardson stated, “The commercial interest of McGregor to say nothing of the demands of a country west of us unsurpassed in fertility required the establishment of a newspaper.” 

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