North Iowa Times

Tue
13
Oct

Vehicle rear-ended as driver yields to fire truck


Multiple people were injured Wednesday, Oct. 7, in an accident near the intersection of Eagle Drive and Highway 18, near the Breezy Pointe Subdivision, west of Marquette. The accident occurred when one vehicle rear-ended another, which was pulling over to the side of the road to yield to a fire truck. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Several McGregor Hook and Ladder trucks were already in the area at the time of the accident, responding to a reported explosion that occurred in the woods between Breezy Pointe and the highway.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Multiple people were injured Wednesday, Oct. 7, in an afternoon accident near the intersection of Eagle Drive and Highway 18, near the Breezy Pointe Subdivision, west of Marquette. 

According to an Iowa State Patrol report, the accident occurred when a Chrysler van driven by Tanya Wolcott, 29, of West Union, heading westbound on Highway 18, pulled to the right side of the road to yield to a fire truck exiting the subdivision. A Chevy Impala, driven by Dorothy Naber, 75, of Cedar Falls, was following the Wolcott vehicle, but was unable to stop, striking the Wolcott vehicle in the rear. 

Tue
13
Oct

Hands-on approach helps local kids learn about fire safety


This year, MFL MarMac third graders practiced escaping a smoke-filled home. For the activity, students got on their hands and knees and crawled along the ground-level floor, where the smoke was less heavy. Once they reached the exit, they ran across the yard to a designated meeting spot. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Getting to spray a fire hose is one of the most-enjoyed stations for kids attending the Monona Volunteer Fire Department’s program for National Fire Safety Week.

To simulate the effects of fire in a home, the Monona Fire Department created a small-scale house and set it on fire. It showed MFL MarMac third graders how smoke and fire rise and quickly spread.

During Fire Prevention Week, Monona firemen talked about the different fire trucks, and the equipment housed in each, including the Jaws of Life, a chainsaw, generator, traffic cones, tools and more.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

An important aspect of National Fire Prevention Week involves telling kids about fire safety: install smoke alarms throughout the house and check them monthly, develop an escape plan and meeting place, have fire extinguishers in the home.

For MFL MarMac elementary students, not only do they learn about this key information, but a series of hands-on activities and demonstrations by the Monona Volunteer Fire Department also helps them experience why fire safety is important and how firefighters protect the community.

Tue
13
Oct

Library operations moved to new addition as renovations continue at Murphy Helwig Library


Plans have been in the works for several years for the expansion, with work commencing in late spring. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Murphy Helwig Library’s main operations have now moved to its new front (shown here) and side additions while renovations take place in the original section of the library.

The library’s new meeting room currently houses books. The expansion project is expected to be complete in mid-December.

People can now enter the library through the front door (shown here), and many have remarked on the additional space, said library director Chris Bee.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Monona's Murphy Helwig Library was closed last week as books and computers were moved to the library’s new addition to accommodate renovations to the original section of the library. This was the first major closure of the library since construction began in late spring on the expansion project.

Plans have been in the works for several years for the expansion, which includes a new addition to the front of the building. It will house the children’s collection and activity area. On the left side of the library (from the front), a meeting room has been added along with a young adult area and a study room. 

Tue
13
Oct

Burkle honored for 11 years on school board


On Oct. 12, Patty Burkle (center) was honored for 11 years on the MFL MarMac School Board. She is pictured here with superintendent Dale Crozier and current board vice president Sharon Greener. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The MFL MarMac School Board honored Patty Burkle at its Oct. 12 meeting, recognizing her 11 years of service on the board. Burkle, who chose not to run for re-election in September, was most recently the board president. She said she enjoyed her time on the school board and encouraged other parents to get involved.

Scholarship

Tue
06
Oct

Monona Jr. Feeders 4-H Club turns 75 years old


For 75 years, the Monona Jr. Feeders 4-H Club has provided area youth with an enriching 4-H experience. Throughout that time, three generations of the Moon family have been part of it, including (left) Dan, Vernice and Ryan. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Three generations of the Moon family reflect on changes in the club and 4-H over the years

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

For 75 years, the Monona Jr. Feeders 4-H Club has provided area youth with an enriching 4-H experience. Throughout that time, three generations of the Moon family have been part of it.

The club was young when Vernice Moon got involved around age 12 or 13, in the 1940s. He recalled only 10 to 12 members, who were farm kids from the Monona area—all boys. Meetings were held monthly, with kids gathering at one another’s homes.

Tue
06
Oct

Hawk Watch to highlight fall raptor migration


Dianne Moller, a licensed educator, rehabilitator, falconer and eagle handler, will give several presentations, featuring a snowy owl, golden eagle and peregrine falcon, at Hawk Watch. The event will be held Saturday, Oct. 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre in Marquette. (NIT file photo)

Attendees will have an opportunity to take a photo with a golden eagle at Hawk Watch.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

For the second year, the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre in Marquette, in conjunction with the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and Upper Iowa Audubon Society, will host Hawk Watch. A celebration of the fall migration of raptors along the Mississippi Flyway, the event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Previously held at Effigy Mounds National Monument for many years, Hawk Watch moved to the Wetlands Centre last year. Since one of the Refuge’s main objectives, when it was created in 1924, was to preserve a breeding area for migratory birds, McGregor District Manager Rich King said the event is a good fit, especially since Oct. 11-17 is National Wildlife Refuge Week.

Tue
06
Oct

Manufacturing for the future


M’s Machine and Manufacturing co-owner Candace Drahn explains some of the work done at the Monona company during a tour of the facility Oct. 2. Staff gave tours as part of an open house in recognition of National Manufacturing Day, which works to stimulate interest in the industry. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Chris Howe demonstrates how the coordinating measurement machine (CMM), which checks part quality, works.

Drahn shows off the drill vending machine, which dispenses drills rather than chips or candy bars.

M’s Machine manufactures several parts for John Deere tractors.

M’s Machine holds open house to stimulate industry interest

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Manufacturing is a thriving business in Iowa, with exports growing 165 percent in the last 10 years. In 2014 alone, Iowa exported $15.1 billion worth of manufactured and value-added goods. Advanced manufacturing contributes $28 billion annually to Iowa’s economy—three times more than farming—making it the state’s largest industry. 

Tue
06
Oct

MCED, economic development hot topics for Monona Council at Oct. 5 meeting

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Economic development was a hot topic Monday evening, as the Monona City Council discussed a 2016 appropriation to the Monona Chamber and Economic Development (MCED) and heard about funding opportunities through the Iowa Area Development Group.

The council contributed $8,000 to MCED this year, an amount MCED is asking it to increase to $12,000 for the coming year, in order to bring executive director Rogeta Halvorson from 24 hours per week to 36.

“I could use the extra days to do more,” Halvorson told the council. 

Tue
29
Sep

Swiss Valley breaks ground on $20.6 M expansion of Luana plant


Swiss Valley Farms broke ground on the $20.6 million expansion of its Luana cheese manufacturing facility Sept. 24. Expected to be complete in 2016, the expansion will double natural cheese production and allow the Luana plant to produce new cheese varieties and sizes. Taking part in the groundbreaking were (left to right) Swiss Valley VP/GM of Natural Cheese Don Desjarlais, Luana Mayor Jerry Schroeder, Swiss Valley Board Chairman Pam Bolin, Swiss Valley Luana Plant Manager Rod Kregel, Swiss Valley CEO Don Boelens, Monona Mayor Barb Collins and Clayton County Supervisor Gary Bowden. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

“This is an exciting step forward,” Swiss Valley CEO Don Boelens said as he spoke to those gathered at the ceremony. “This expansion will be a great benefit to our customers, our members and to the Clayton County community.”

Those in attendance at the ceremony scoped out plans for the expansion, which centers around improvement of the cheese manufacturing operating equipment.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Swiss Valley Farms began a new chapter in the history of its Luana cheese manufacturing facility Sept. 24, as a special ceremony marked the groundbreaking of a new $20.6 million expansion.

Announced in Nov. 2014, the expansion centers around improvement of the cheese manufacturing operating equipment, including replacement of the current press vats with a moulding system solution, installation of additional system automation, press tunnels and new buffer tanks. The project also includes a 49,000-square-foot expansion that will allow room for the new equipment and additional warehousing space.

Tue
29
Sep

Presentation hopes to ‘heat up’ McGregor Museum


One of McGregor’s most interesting historic characters is Emma “Virgin Em” Eastman (right), who was known for marrying nine times. Here, she is pictured with sister Louisa and brother-in-law Jacob Klotzbach.

Stories of local characters Virgin Em, E. Leslie Spaulding to be shared Oct 3.

 

By Ron Harris, Special to the North Iowa Times

Stories of two of McGregor’s most interesting characters—Emma “Virgin Em” Eastman and E. Leslie Spaulding—will help heat up the McGregor Historical Museum Saturday, Oct. 3, beginning at 6:30 p.m. McGregor native and historian Ron Harris will present on the two figures, providing history and anecdotes about Virgin Em and reading some of the poetry of Spaulding, who was regarded as one of the Midwest’s leading poets before his death in 1939. 

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