North Iowa Times

Tue
02
Feb

A rash of resignations in Marquette over council’s decision not to enforce zoning

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Marquette mayor David Schneider, councilwoman Rinda Ferguson, city manager Dean Hilgerson and city attorney Jim Garrett have all resigned following the council’s decision Jan. 19 not to enforce the city’s zoning ordinance, in allowing a property owner at the city’s Timber Ridge subdivision to live in a mobile home on the lot while he constructs a home.

Tue
02
Feb

Ruffs enjoy working together at the capitol


Rep. Patti Ruff’s son, Liam, has joined her at the capitol this session, serving as her legislative clerk. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

When Rep. Patti Ruff began this year’s session with the Iowa State Legislature, she had a familiar—and familial—face at her side, with son Liam taking on the role of her legislative clerk.

“My regular duties are to check the mail, send out the agenda for the education committee, organize her schedule and keep everything running smoothly so she doesn’t have to stress about minor tasks,” explained Liam of his role. 

Tue
02
Feb

MFL MarMac holds annual cancer awareness event

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

On Jan. 28, MFL MarMac finally got to hold the second part of this year’s cancer awareness event, after it was postponed due to weather earlier in January. 

During a morning assembly, students—dressed in a variety of awareness colors—listened to choir director Jaydeane Berns, who had melanoma when she was in her 20s, speak about her experience. 

“As of next month, I’ll be a 26-year survivor thanks to early detection,” she told those gathered, noting that she discovered an irregular mole, which prompted her to get checked out.

Tue
26
Jan

Mobile home sparks debate in Marquette


Fearing the cost of a continued legal battle and damage to the city’s reputation, the Marquette Council chose to disregard the city’s zoning ordinance at its regular meeting Jan. 19 to allow a mobile home on a lot at the Timber Ridge housing development. The lot belongs to Dave Evans, who is building a home on the property, which he said will be completed this fall. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Fearing the cost of a continued legal battle and damage to the city’s reputation, the Marquette Council chose to disregard the city’s zoning ordinance at its regular meeting Jan. 19, to allow a mobile home on a lot at the Timber Ridge housing development.

The lot belongs to Dave Evans, who is building a home on the property, which he said will be completed this fall. In the meantime, he’s established a mobile home at the location, without a permanent foundation, a move that goes against both city and state codes, as the property is not within a mobile home park. Evans has also constructed a deck off of the mobile home.

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.

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