North Iowa Times

Tue
23
Dec

Casino marks 20-year anniversary in Marquette


Things looked a bit different in Marquette before the casino opened on Dec. 26, 1994. Lady Luck executive chef Robert Weaver recalled working at the Captain’s Reef Restaurant and Banquet Hall, which was located at the site prior to the casino. “Some guy came in and said he was going to buy it and turn it into a casino,” Weaver said. “We all said, ‘Yeah right,’ but it actually happened.” (Submitted photo)

The casino’s name has changed over time, as the Miss Marquette became the Caribbean-themed Isle of Capri in 2000. In 2010, still owned by Isle of Capri, it was re-branded as Lady Luck, the parent company’s small-town brand. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

When she was a girl, Amy Ankerson remembers when the Lady Luck Casino, then the Miss Marquette, opened in Marquette 20 years ago, on Dec. 26, 1994.

“We saw the lights driving home from La Crosse,” she recalled. “I thought it was a UFO. It was the talk of the communities.”

Now Lady Luck’s Director of Marketing Operations, Ankerson explained how, when the casino first opened for business, there were so many visitors, casino team members couldn’t even park in the lot.

“People waited to get on the [Miss Marquette] when it cruised,” added executive chef Robert Weaver, who’s worked at the casino since day one, when he started as a sous chef. Weaver remembered working 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. shifts all week. “It was non-stop, just crazy,” he said.

Tue
23
Dec

Love of reading prompts friends to start club


Looking for a club to serve as an outlet for their love of reading, MFL MarMac eighth graders and friends Shelby Martin and Emma Ammons formed the Bookworms. Members of the Bookworms are (front, left to right) organizers Martin and Ammons, Tim Henkels, Colyan Nelson; (middle) Hannah Genz, Katelyn Lawson, Amy Pagaza, Megan Budde, Breanna Knickerbocker, Hope Guyer, Hannah Rose, Alexis Roott, Taylor Gerndt, Laney Gardner and (back) Tyler Moreland. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

For MFL MarMac eighth graders and friends Shelby Martin and Emma Ammons, it all started with an idea. One day, earlier in the year, they were discussing a book when they noted the school didn’t have a good outlet for kids interested in reading.

“There was no club to be in for book lovers,” Emma explained. “We wanted something for people like us.”

So, they started their own club—The Bookworms.

After deciding to give it a go, Shelby said she and Emma approached guidance counselor Marnie Carlson, who helped them spread the word. The girls then gave presentations to teachers, librarians and other school staff, explaining the benefits of the club and what they planned to do.

Tue
23
Dec

Mason misses pre-casino Marquette

Dear Editor,
The “Plastic House of Greed”  has been operating in my ancestral hometown of Marquette now for 20 years. Two decades ago, and after losing  a couple earlier referendums, the gambling industry threw tens of thousands of dollars at TV, radio and print ads. That was way too much influence peddling for our small group, Clayton County Citizens Against Gambling. The powerful gambling developers were so rightfully confident that they would win the upcoming referendum, they built the casino before election day even arrived.

Tue
16
Dec

Live stream broadcast offers MFL MarMac students a fun learning experience


Brandon Martin (left), Chris Larson and Kelsi Davis were a few of the 20 MFL MarMac middle and high school students who got the opportunity to write scripts, handle the cameras and equipment, produce play-by-play analysis and commentary and conduct sideline interviews Dec. 2 during a live stream broadcast of the basketball games against Clayton Ridge. (Submitted photos)

Dakota Weaver interviews MFL MarMac basketball player Tristen Kautman before the Bulldogs took on Clayton Ridge.

MFL MarMac student Austin Bernhard works a camera during the Dec. 2. Knight Vision live stream broadcast.

Fresh off playing the Clayton Ridge girls, Chaun'te Drahn (left) and Hayley Vogt took the commentary reins during the boys game.

Tyson Dolan (left) and Peyton Meisner share a laugh as they prepare to cover the girls game.

Students learn how to operate one of the Knight Vision Cameras.

Dillon Pitzer operates one of the cameras.

MFL MarMac students (pictured with the Wartburg Knight Vision team, instructors Angie Killian and Melissa Haberichter and Clayton Ridge students) participating in the live stream event Dec. 2 included (front, left to right) Emma Ammons, Hayley Vogt, Chaun’te Drahn, Amy Pagaza, Chloe Diehl, Brenna Boland; (middle) Victoria Van Wey, Dakota Weaver, Kelsi Davis, Bailey Boland, Dillon Pitzer, Isaac Greener; (back) Peyton Meisner, Tyson Dolan, Bryce Burke, Chris Larson, Austin Bernhard, Jordan Weaver and Brandon Martin.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

On Dec. 2, 20 MFL MarMac middle and high school students got the opportunity to learn in one day what some students in Wartburg College’s Department of Journalism and Communications learn in four years of undergraduate work. That opportunity involved live streaming that evening’s basketball games against Clayton Ridge through Wartburg’s Knight Vision online sports streaming network.

With the help of Wartburg instructor Travis Bockenstedt and several of his students, who provided both knowledge and $60,000 worth of equipment, the MFL MarMac students, along with three from Clayton Ridge, got the opportunity to write scripts, handle the cameras and equipment, produce play-by-play analysis and commentary and conduct sideline interviews.

Tue
16
Dec

Monona Chamber and Economic Development lays out plans


New Monona Chamber and Economic Development director Rogeta Halvorson recently laid out plans to promote the community and encourage economic and business growth. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Now a few months into her position as Monona’s Chamber and Economic Development (MCED) director, Rogeta Halvorson said she and the MCED Board have laid out a variety of plans to promote the community and encourage economic and business growth.

“Chambers are a funnel of information,” Halvorson said, noting that, through an updated website, along with email and Facebook, she can get the word out about community events, business promotions or even job listings. “I’m here to help Monona grow and support its social and civic aspects.”

Tue
16
Dec

Marquette Council opts to re-bid overlook project

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The Marquette Council chose at its Dec. 10 meeting to send the city’s overlook project back to bid after the one bid received came back 79 percent over the engineer’s opinion of probable cost, which was just over $600,000.

The bid, admitted engineer Tim Cutsforth with HR Green, was not completely unsurprising. All season long, contractors have been busy, he explained, noting that prices were rising by at least 50 or 60 percent.

“We’ve seen this in other projects,” he said. “That’s the climate we’re dealing with.”

However, by bidding out the project this fall through a DOT letting, Cutsforth said he hoped there would have been fewer issues, so they proceeded with the originally-anticipated cost, rather than upping it.

Tue
09
Dec

Gaylor a runner-up for Excellence in Education Award


MFL MarMac Elementary guidance counselor Kurt Gaylor (front, center) was recently recognized as a runner-up for the 2014 Excellence in Education Award. Gaylor is pictured with (front, left) MFL MarMac Elementary Principal Kathy Koether, elementary teacher and MFL MarMac Education Association President Roberta Hass; (back) Superintendent Dale Crozier, Classified Association President Janelle Smith and MFL MarMac School Board President Patty Burkle. (Submitted photo)

 

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

 

MFL MarMac Elementary guidance counselor Kurt Gaylor was recently recognized as a runner-up for the 2014 Excellence in Education Award, which is sponsored by the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA).

Tue
09
Dec

New crop of eighth graders writes novels for NaNoWriMo


Laney Gardner (left), Mikayla Roys and Shane Bowen each wrote novels in November through NaNoWriMo, an online creative project. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Emily Watson (left) reached 18,000 words with her novel, while Amber Hickman had exactly 22,443 words, the highest amount in the grade. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

 

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

 

Tue
09
Dec

ALiCE training teaches students what to do in case of violent intruder

 

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

 

Tue
09
Dec

SIAC committee targets goals for next five-year plan

 

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

 

Monday night, MFL MarMac’s School Improvement Advisory Committee met for the second time, discussing issues that could be addressed in the district’s next five-year plan.

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