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Tue
21
Feb

Marquette Council gives go-ahead for emergency evacuation route survey

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

At its Feb. 14 regular meeting, the Marquette Council gave Bart Nies, with Delta 3 Engineering, the go-ahead to perform a survey for an emergency evacuation route off the bench.

The council considered two possible routes that would go over the bluff and come out in McGregor, near Eagle Drive. The route would be gravel and used strictly for emergencies. One option would forge a new road through city property and another, using an already existing road, would travel through both city and private property.

Tue
14
Feb

Operations suspended at Luster Heights


On Feb. 8, the Iowa Department of Corrections announced a suspension of operations at four facilities, including Luster Heights, located near Harpers Ferry. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Luster Heights Correctional Facility, located outside Harpers Ferry, has been on the chopping block before.

“This happens every few years in February, at budget time,” noted McGregor City Administrator Lynette Sander.

It’s always managed to stave off closure, though, most recently in 2009 and again in 2013. This time around, however, Luster Heights, which is a minimum-security satellite facility of Anamosa State Penitentiary, won’t be so lucky.

Tue
14
Feb

‘It embodies the spirit of the landscape’


Edmore Green, tribal chair of the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska, was one of several featured speakers at the launch of the “America the Beautiful” coin honoring Effigy Mounds National Monument on Feb. 7. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

“We’ve been making coins for 225 years, and now we have another one,” said Marc Landry, superintendent of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. The Effigy Mounds quarter was the 36th in the “America the Beautiful” coin program.

Many of the mounds created over 2,000 years ago are now gone, said Effigy Mounds Superintendent Jim Nepstad, “but thankfully, many were preserved in places like Effigy Mounds.” Nepstad spoke at the coin launch held Feb. 7, in Waukon.

Effigy Mounds quarter launched

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

“We’ve been making coins for 225 years, and now we have another one.”

Marc Landry, superintendent of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, was one of several featured speakers at the launch of the “America the Beautiful” coin honoring Effigy Mounds National Monument on Feb. 7. Over 1,000 people packed the gym at Waukon High School for the event.

Tue
14
Feb

The thrill of the climb


Don Smalley stands atop Oregon’s Mt. Hood in June 2016. It was one stop on his quest to reach the highest point in each state.

Smalley did ice climbing to reach the top of New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington. “I wanted to experience the high wind and cold temperatures,” he said.

Granite Peak, in Montana, is one of 25 high points Smalley has reached since starting his journey last year.

Smalley nears the summit of Granite Peak, in Montana, which he said was one of his most challenging climbs so far.

Smalley climbing highest points in all 50 states

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

For many years, Don Smalley was an avid runner and biker, participating in competitions that revolved around those activities. In 2008, he did an Ironman Triathlon, marking the end of his competition career.

“It was the culmination of three years of triathlons,” he said. “I enjoyed every minute of it, but I promised myself, once it was over, I would be done with competitions.”

Tue
14
Feb

Baseball field getting lights

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The MFL MarMac baseball team can anticipate some night games in the future. Lights for the baseball field are expected to be up and running in late-May or early-June, said superintendent Dale Crozier at the Feb. 13 school board meeting.

The new lights were just one of several projects discussed. Crozier said planning is also underway for some space improvements at the elementary school, including expanded bathrooms, the addition of a conference room and remodeling of the office. The latter would not only create more space, but also be more aesthetically pleasing, he said.

Fri
10
Feb

MFL MarMac McGregor Center January Students of the Month recognized


MFL MarMac McGregor Center January Students of the Month include (front, left to right) Katelyn Gerndt, Clare Grau, Carter Stoddard, Hayleigh Nickolai, Megan Meisner, Ava Goltz; (back) Victor Breuer, Lauren Heberichter, Andrew Heins, Kadence Pape and Jonah Wille. Not pictured is Riley Whitney. (Submitted photo)

Staff at the MFL MarMac McGregor Center recently announced the January Students of the Month, recognizing the outstanding positive behavior of students. Students are selected by their grade level team of teachers each month, with two students from each middle school grade and three each from fourth and fifth grades earning this distinction. Students are selected because of excellence or significant improvement academically, whether that is shown through their grades, attitude, attendance and/or classroom engagement. Another qualification is that the students of the month have shown top-notch character in how they treat others and themselves. 

Fourth Grade

Tue
07
Feb

Keeping Pleasant Grove beautiful


The interest earned on Pleasant Grove Cemetery’s perpetual care fund has decreased, lessening the amount of money the cemetery association has to put toward maintenance. They’re hoping community support, either through donations or volunteerism, could help ease the burden. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Support needed for maintenance costs

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

McGregor’s Pleasant Grove Cemetery is one of the community’s most picturesque and hallowed spots. With panoramic views of the Mississippi River valley and dozens of stately trees that offer shade and solitude in the summer heat and vibrant yellow hues in the fall, it’s a beautiful final resting place for hundreds of former residents. However, maintaining the cemetery’s beauty has become more difficult, and costly.

“The interest earned on perpetual care has decreased, so we’re not earning as much for maintenance,” explained Deborah Scott, with the Pleasant Grove Cemetery Association. Expenses have been exceeding income.

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

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