North Iowa Times

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. 

Tue
29
Sep

Work begins on Turner Park track

Vorwald Enterprises, of Monona, began excavation work last week on the one-fourth mile, paved walking/biking track that is part of phase I of the Turner Park: Fitness for All Ages improvement project. Workers from McGregor Municipal Utilities also moved utility poles. Once Vorwald has completed excavation (estimated for the beginning of this week), the site will be ready for Iverson Construction to lay asphalt. The track, which will be 10 feet wide, will go around the perimeter of Turner Park, which is located next to the Great River Care Center, in McGregor.

If funding comes through, phase II of the project—installation of new nature-inspired playground equipment—could take place yet this fall. 

Thu
24
Sep

Lois Ruth Knapp

 

Lois Ruth Knapp, 89, of Dubuque, Iowa, formerly of Postville, died on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Stone Hill Care Center in Dubuque. 

Lois was born on May 27, 1926 to Glen and Amy Zoe (White) Tindell in Guttenberg. 

Lois was united in marriage with Donald LeRoy Knapp on June 25, 1946 at the Community Presbyterian Church in Postville. To this union a daughter, Amy Zoe Knapp, was born. 

Wed
23
Sep

Robert James Gerndt

 

Robert James Gerndt, 77, of McGregor, Iowa died Saturday, Sept. 19, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. 

Robert James was born on Aug. 17, 1938 to Harry and Helen (Trygg) Gerndt in McGregor, Iowa. He attended school in McGregor, Iowa. 

Tue
22
Sep

City of Marquette contemplates restoring funding to Mar-Mac Chamber

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The city of Marquette is contemplating restoring funding to the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce. At its Sept. 15 regular meeting, the council dispatched councilmen Jason Winter and John Ries to sit down with chamber representatives to discuss the possibility and to discern if some of the city’s reservations can be addressed.

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