North Iowa Times

Tue
16
Feb

Staging a comeback


The McGregor Historic Preservation Commission (MHPC) hopes to save, restore and reuse the former hardware store/Sullivan Opera House building, located on Main Street. The MHPC is currently forming a non-profit organization to fundraise and seek grants for the project. The group is also seeking volunteers to help with restoration efforts and to share ideas and history. (North Iowa Times file photo)

The once grand building at 252-­256 Main St. was built circa 1880. Over the years, the first floor held a number of businesses, selling crockery, menswear, confections and hardware.

T.J. Sullivan opened the Sullivan Opera House in 1905, and it remained operational into the 1930s.

T.J. Sullivan

Saving McGregor’s Sullivan Opera House an investment in the future

 

Submitted by the McGregor Historic Preservation Commission

The paint is chipped, its walls are cracked and it hasn’t been inhabited for nearly 20 years. But for historic preservationists looking over the old hardware store/opera house on Main Street in McGregor, the building has great economic and cultural potential. With the help of the community at large, saving, restoring and reusing the building could not only serve as a landmark of McGregor’s past, but also a key to its future.

Tue
16
Feb

Fletcher, Egan advance to state wrestling tournament


MFL MarMac senior Hunter Fletcher advanced to the state wrestling tournament after placing second at the district tournament in the 160-pound weight class on Feb. 13. (North Iowa Times file photo)

Michael Egan is the first Bulldog freshman to make it to state in 10 years, after he placed second in the 126-pound weight class at districts Feb. 13. (North Iowa Times file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

MFL MarMac’s Hunter Fletcher (160) and Michael Egan (126) are headed to the state wrestling tournament after both finished second in their respective weight classes at districts on Feb. 13.

Head coach Chet Bachman said Fletcher, a senior, has a feel-good story, and is the product of hard work and a lot of time put in during the offseason.

Tue
16
Feb

Monona residents share input as part of visioning program process


Dozens of Monona residents of all ages (including kids) shared their thoughts about the community Feb. 13, during the first input session organized as part of Monona’s participation in the Iowa’s Living Roadways 2016 Community Visioning Program. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Dozens of Monona residents of all ages shared their thoughts about the community Feb. 13, during the first input session organized as part of Monona’s participation in the Iowa’s Living Roadways 2016 Community Visioning Program.

Monona is one of 10 communities participating in the program, which is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Transportation in partnership with Iowa State University Landscape Architecture and Extension and the non-profit Trees Forever. The program integrates technical landscape planning and design techniques with sustainable community action to assist community leaders and volunteers in making sound and meaningful decisions about the local landscape.

Tue
16
Feb

Stayin’ alive


Students at the MFL MarMac McGregor Center learned about hands-only CPR last week. Here, teacher Eric Dettbarn helps his students as they practice. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

In order to help students gauge how quickly they need to give compressions, school nurse Jennelle Schroeder picked out some songs that have 100 to 120 beats per minute. They included disco favorite “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, as well as a contemporary favorite, “Uptown Funk.”

Jill Miller, a nurse at Central Community Hospital in Elkader, noted that giving hands-only CPR can be physically taxing, but it’s worth it if it helps save someone’s life. “You get tired and sweaty, but it’s rewarding," she said.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Students at the MFL MarMac McGregor Center learned about hands-only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) last week, with the help of Jill Miller, a nurse at Central Community Hospital in Elkader. 

CPR is necessary when a person is having sudden cardiac arrest, Miller told students. CPR helps send oxygen through the body’s bloodstream, keeping organs alive.  

Miller explained how hands-only CPR is administered, noting that breathing into a person’s mouth is not necessary.

Tue
16
Feb

School board approves new softball, baseball coaches

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The MFL MarMac School Board met Feb. 15, approving the hiring of Melissa Ward as the new head softball coach and Brandon Burke as the new head baseball coach, pending proper coaching certification. The board also agreed, if needed, to pay a person $35 for a night or afternoon to work with baseball and softball pitchers and catchers before the coaches are available.

In other business:

•The board set a public hearing for the budget and calendar for Monday, March 14, at the next school board meeting.

Tue
16
Feb

Monona Council hears about brownfields workshop

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Clayton County Development Group (CCDG) Executive Director Darla Kelchen spoke to the Monona Council at its Feb. 15 meeting, welcoming participation in a brownfields workshop CCDG has organized for area communities.

Brownfields include property, like abandoned buildings or old gas stations, that may still contain hazardous materials, pollutants or contaminants. 

Mon
15
Feb

Juneaver Wilhelmina McNichols

 

Juneaver Wilhelmina McNichols, 98, Farmersburg, Iowa, died Friday, February 12, 2016, at the Elkader Care Center, Elkader, Iowa.

Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, February 16, 2016, at 1:00 pm at St. John Lutheran Church in Farmersburg, Iowa. 

Visitation will be held from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm before services at the church on Tuesday.

Burial will follow in Farmersburg – Wagner Cemetery, Farmersburg, Iowa.

Tue
09
Feb

Murphy Helwig Library expansion complete


Chris Bee (left) and Heidi Feuerhelm stand in front of Murphy Helwig Library’s new fireplace, one of the many exciting additions from the expansion and renovation project. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Library director Chris Bee said groups have already expressed interest in utilizing the meeting room, which can be accessed without disturbing other parts of the library and even when the library is closed.

On the left side of the building, a young adult area was added. The space boasts several reading chairs and stools, as well as counter space with some trendy purple and green chairs on which to sit.

The counter is unique, in that it’s a dry erase counter, allowing kids to draw, write or work out problems on it with dry erase markers.

A lack of plug-ins was cited as one of the library’s biggest issues when planning for the project began. Outlets are now scattered throughout the library's walls and floors. A charging station was also added.

One of the project’s biggest changes was an addition to the front of the library building, to house the children’s collection and activity area.

The space is three times the square footage of the previous area, allowing for plenty of room for library programming.

The seating works for all—from kids to adults. The furniture is also easy to re-arrange, depending on the day’s needs.

Another update was the addition of a study room in the back right corner, giving people a quiet space to do homework, take tests or fill out job applications.

The library’s welcome area was also re-vamped, to include new furnishings and a fire place, making for a homey atmosphere.

“The fire place is a big hit,” said librarian Heidi Feuerhelm, noting that one person has already fallen asleep there. “We have people sit down and read the paper. It’s a place to hang out instead of just going in and out.”

Other important updates included energy-efficient heating and LED lighting.

A new circulation desk allows staff to see most every area of the library.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

After several years of planning and around eight months of construction, Murphy Helwig Library’s renovation and expansion project is complete.

Library director Chris Bee and librarian Heidi Feuerhelm said patrons have been trickling in to check out the enhancements to the building on North Page Street in Monona, which the library has occupied since 1970.

Tue
09
Feb

Great River Care Center therapies help combat dementia


McGregor’s Great River Care Center offers art and music therapies to its residents as a way to help combat dementia. One art form residents have explored is painting. (Submitted photos)

“I love the look on their faces, the look of happiness as the painting progresses,” stated artist Lynda Coon, who teaches the painting classes. “They’re almost in awe because they didn’t think they could do it. It gave them a boost in self-esteem.”

Great River Care Center residents also enjoy chalk drawing.

“You have to use your brain and you have to think in order to paint, to sculpt and to sing,” explained activity director Debbie Johnson. “It’s all a good use of your mind.”

Great River Care Center was recently awarded the Legacy to Care Award for its therapy offerings. Pictured are activity director Debbie Johnson and administrator Deanna Kahler.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

McGregor’s Great River Care Center is following the adage “if you don’t use it, you lose it,” in offering art and music therapies to its residents as a way to help combat dementia.

“You have to use your brain and you have to think in order to paint, to sculpt and to sing,” explained activity director Debbie Johnson. “It’s all a good use of your mind.”

Tue
09
Feb

Token of love stands the test of time


This 266-year-old puzzle purse valentine, passed down through the MacGregor family, is in the McGregor Historical Museum’s collection.

MacGregor family valentine in museum collection

 

By Audrey Posten

Although members of the MacGregor family no longer inhabit the community that bears their name, a token of love passed from generation to generation continues to live on at the McGregor Historical Museum. That token of love is a puzzle purse valentine, dating back to 1750.

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