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Longtime freelance writer Pat McTaggart has died.

Longtime Register freelance writer Pat McTaggart has died. The cause of death has not yet been released pending an autopsy. It is believed he died at his home Sunday, January 19.

  McTaggart, who was 70, had worked for the Register for several decades, most recently as a sports writer. He was a freelance writer for a number of other newspapers and magazines, as well. He has a keen interest in World War II and contributed several articles to specialty publications focused on that topic.


New Production at Opera House

Del Reimer, Elkader, places some of the final boards on the Elkader Opera House stage.  More than 1,500 volumteer hours were invested in the project.  See the Clayton County Register-January 22 issue for more photos and details. 


Beauty Bar soon to have new home

It was a combination of the smells. The creativity. The social nature. Helping people attain hair happiness. The atmosphere, ambiance, and after school visits to her aunt’s salon that laid the inspirational foundations of a future Elkader success story: that of Caitlin Kuehl and the Beauty Bar. Well, that and a little bit of fluck. So, in 2008, armed with a 10-year plan and some self-professed reliance on “winging it,” Caitlin’s entrepreneurial journey first took real shape in one of Iowa’s most idyllic places.

She arrived from Strawberry Point, with an “education in hair” she’d received from Capri College in Cedar Rapids, and most importantly, she came with a vision. A vision encompassed by professionalism, affordability, and a “people first” philosophy that underpins her humble beginnings at A Hair Bit Better. From there she moved to Mere Images, which she purchased in 2014, having achieved her 10-year goal in just six.


Keystone Bridge Closed Three Days


                Elkader’s historic Keystone Bridge will be closed to traffic for three days later this month. The bridge will be shut down January 20, 21 and 22 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to accommodate large equipment that will be doing some testing on the structure. The tests are needed before the rehabilitation project can begin.

Pedestrians will be able to use the sidewalk during the time the structure is closed. Emergency vehicles will use Highway 13 and enter the city from Highway 56/Strawberry Point Road. 

 The Keystone Bridge Rehabilitation Project is schedule to begin in 2021. The work will take several months to complete and during that time, the structure will completely closed to traffic. However, the City will work with the engineers and contractors to try to keep the bridge open as much as possible.


Clayton County Register coloring contest winners!

Congratulations to Marcia Kuempel, Garnavillo, for finishing in first place in our annual adult coloring contest. Other winners were: Bev Hamann, Ganavillo, second place; and Amanda Wagner, Prairie du Chien, and Debbie Wilke, Elkader, tied for third. Look for photos of the winning entrees in our January 1 issue.


Prairie students learning a lot in pursuing rain garden project

This is the area near the Performing Arts Center that will become the first rain garden at Prairie du Chien High School. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Gavin Knapp and Collin Kober stand next to the ebb and flow tank in the high school greenhouse that will be used to grow some of the plants for the rain garden.


By Ted Pennekamp


Teacher Diane Colburn gave a presentation to the Prairie du Chien School Board Monday night saying that the rain garden project at the high school is proceeding nicely and she continues to seek funding.


Biden makes Elkader Stop

Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden was accompanied on his Elkader stop by former Secretary of State John Kerry, who recently endorsed BIden.

     About 200 people turned out last Friday to hear Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden at Johnson’s Reception Hall, Elkader. The rally, which started more than an hour late, began with a big surprise: Accompanying Biden on his No Mularkey Tour was former Secretary of State John Kerry, who recently endorsed Biden to the nation’s top job.

            Sounding like a candidate himself, Kerry took 20 minutes to introduce Biden. Kerry talked about the time he spent in Iowa during his own bid for the presidency and also mentioned that he carried the state in the 2004 primary. He then touted his long working relationship with Biden, even using it as a punchline for a stab at Donald Trump.

            “The only team that’s worked more closely than us, is Trump and Putin,” he said.

            Kerry went on to say that he wasn’t endorsing Biden because he’s known him so long but because he knows him so well.


Elkader woman Celebrates 100 years

     1919 was a very good year.

      The Treaty of Versailles was signed, bringing World War I to an end. Congress passed the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote. Babe Ruth was traded to the New York Yankees for $125,000, the largest sum ever paid for a player at that time.

      And just as importantly but a lot closer to home, Marjorie “Marge” Witt was born in Elkader to William and Virginia Witt, descendants of one of the town’s pioneering families.

     Last Saturday, Marge, who became Marge Costigan following her marriage to Clark Costigan in 1945, celebrated her 100th birthday. Her four children—Heidi, John, Colleen and Dan—threw a party in her honor. Dozens of other family members and friends attended.

     “I’m not sure what the fuss is about,” Marge said in an interview in her home a few days before the event. “I sort of expected to make it to 100. After I passed 95, it was pretty easy.”


Holiday show at Elkader Opera House features young cast

The Elkader Opera House's holiday production, "Fruitcakes," features a young cast. Of the 23 performers in the show, 15 are kids. See the full story in the Clayton County Register.

The next production of the Elkader Opera House Players is a holiday comedy titled Fruitcakes. This family-friendly play is just the recipe for a fun-filled and touching evening of holiday cheer. It’s the story of Jamie, a kid who has run away from home, who at first thinks the town's inhabitants are nuttier than fruitcakes. However, he he comes to admire, appreciate and adore this quirky little town. It's a moving story of alienation, understanding and reconciliation.

The cast of 23 people is made up of eight adults and 15 kids. Eight of the youngsters—who come from Edgewood, McGregor, Garnavillo, Elkader, Prairie du Chien and Strawberry Point—are making their Opera House Player debut. The kids range from age 5 to 15. 

The show features Cary Kann as Mack, a grandfather who befriends Jamie, played by Ed-Co 6th grader Christopher Lange.


Support local busnesses: shop "small"

An Archive gift certificate is perfect for a hard-to-shop-for person. While you pick one up, let Michelle Gifford show you the store's large selection of clothing, decor items and wine.

As one of the busiest shopping weekends of the season approaches, consumers are again asked to “shop small” and support their local community by patronizing small, locally owned businesses.

Small Business Saturday November 30, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The national initiative began in 2010 with a single effort in Roslindale Village, MA. It has since grown into a massive nationwide movement to support small businesses.  In 2011, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of the day.