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Tue
21
May

New gallery Works of Elkader native going on display

“Golden Fields” is one of many works by American artist Gene Sharp to be featured in a new gallery opening this weekend in Elkader. Sharp was raised in Elkader but later lived and worked in Chicago.
“Golden Fields” is one of many works by American artist Gene Sharp to be featured in a new gallery opening this weekend in Elkader. Sharp was raised in Elkader but later lived and worked in Chicago.
Lucy Sharp and her son, Alan Szech, have renovated a space in downtown Elkader into a gallery for the works of Gene Sharp, Lucy’s father and Alan’s grandfather.
Lucy Sharp and her son, Alan Szech, have renovated a space in downtown Elkader into a gallery for the works of Gene Sharp, Lucy’s father and Alan’s grandfather.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

The works of an artist with ties to Clayton County have found a home here.

Gene Sharp, who was raised in Elkader and later lived and worked in Chicago, was a prolific artist who created an impressive body of work, especially watercolors. His works hang in Central State Bank, the Carter House Museum, and the Elkader Opera House.

Many of Gene’s pieces have been in storage since his death at age 79 in 2002. His daughter, Lucy, and grandson, Alan Szech, felt it was time to share Gene’s talent with others and have chosen to do so with a new gallery in downtown Elkader.

“This is really my mom’s passion,” Alan explained. “I just lit the fire and pushed it into her yard.”

The catalyzing event was Alan’s discovery in August 2018 of two watercolors sitting in his mother’s basement where they were getting damaged.

Tue
14
May

Top scholar Jenna Jansen is Central’s valedictorian

Top scholar Jenna Jansen is Central’s valedictorian
Jenna Jansen is the top graduate for Central’s Class of 2019. She will speak at commencement Sunday at 2 p.m.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

The valedictorian for the Central Class of 2019 is Jenna Jansen, daughter of Jim and Joleen Jansen, rural Elkader. Jenna has attended Central since kindergarten, following in the footsteps of her two older siblings, Jessica and Jacob. Her family lives near Moto Mill on an acreage they share with their dog, Jill, and eight chickens.

It has been a Register tradition to feature Central’s top graduate. Here are answers Jenna gave to our questions.

What does it mean to you to have achieved the distinction of being named the top graduate of the Class of 2019?

It is a pretty special and rewarding feeling. My sister and brother are awesome academic role models. From them, I learned, success comes through motivation and hard work. I made it a plan to work as hard as I could throughout high school by putting the necessary work to achieve my goals.

What are your outside interests/hobbies?

Tue
07
May

New owners for Register Wisconsin group buys newspaper, shopper

New owners for Register Wisconsin group buys newspaper, shopper
John Ingebritsen, left, MNC of Wisconin Regional Publisher is pictured with Gary Howe, left, who last week sold his papers, including the Clayton County Register, to the Wisconsin Media Group.

The Clayton County Register is one of four newspapers purchased last week by the Morris Newspaper Corporation (MNC) of Wisconsin.

The group also purchased The Trader and the Register’s three sister papers, the Courier Press in Prairie du Chien, North Iowa Times in McGregor, and the Guttenberg Press in Guttenberg.

The acquisition was finalized Tuesday, April 30, with Gary Howe, longtime owner of Mississippi Valley Printers and publisher of the four papers. MNC, a division of Morris Multimedia, Inc. headquartered in Savannah, GA took over operations Wednesday, May 1. Howe will remain at the company as general manager of the five publications for one year until his retirement.

Tue
30
Apr

Open season on art Students create scavenger hunt for public

This is one of the pieces that will be included in Central’s community-wide art scavenger hunt.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

Central art educator Cathy Recker has re-purposed a past event into a learning opportunity for her students that has a unique community component attached to it.

Many years ago, Recker participated in a scavenger hunt at an art museum. The event stayed with her and last fall, she started thinking about a similar experience in Elkader.

“I’m very keen on both getting my student work seen outside the school and creating business partnerships,” she said. “I pitched the idea (of a scavenger hunt) to my administrators and they loved it! The Elkader community has a strong interest in hunting, so I played off that for the theme ‘Elkader Art Hunt,’”

Hunting season is May 8 through May 19. For more on the project and how the community can participate, read on.

How are my students involved?

Tue
23
Apr

Register update Africa trip creates awareness in students

Register update Africa trip creates awareness in students
Kennedy Bulman is shown with some of the youngsters she met on a recent trip to Africa. Kennedy, a Central student, sponsors a child in Uganda.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

In the nearly four years since the Register reported on her first trip to Africa, Jamie Wingert has worked tirelessly to raise money for youngsters in the Ugandan village of Obwobwo, The kids who live there are displaced “from losing parents to AIDS, malaria and civil unrest.” The financial support of others—mostly from Northeast Iowa—has resulted in a community-to-community partnership that now helps 133 children (17 others await sponsorship). Programming takes place in a local school but Wingert would like to change that. Along with several Central students who have traveled to Africa with her, she hopes to raise $20,000 for a building that will serve as a combination cafeteria, study center, fellowship space and medical dispensary.

Tue
16
Apr

Lessons learned Garnavillo farmer reflects on China trip

The Great Wall of China was one of the cultural sites Erik Oberbroeckling visited during a recent market study tour of China. The Garnavillo farmer was one of 26 people on the tour.
The Great Wall of China was one of the cultural sites Erik Oberbroeckling visited during a recent market study tour of China. The Garnavillo farmer was one of 26 people on the tour.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

A Clayton County farmer who was part of a market study tour to China has grim news for Iowa soybean and pork producers.

“China does not want to be dependent on the USA to be a supplier of anything—end of story,” said Erik Oberbroeckling, a third generation farmer from Garnavillo. “They want to be self-sufficient and feed their own people. They won’t be able to do it but they’ll try, and while they’re trying beans will continue to pile up.”

Oberbroeckling was one of 26 people who participated in a recent 10-day market study tour sponsored by Iowa Farm Bureau. As part of the tour, the group visited Chinese crop and livestock farms and met with users of U.S.-grown soybeans and other crops. They divided their time between Beijing and southeast China.

Tue
09
Apr

Art in the Alley Fund-raising for project continues

Art in the Alley Fund-raising for project continues
Dubuque is one of several Iowa cities with art in its alleyways. A movement is underway in Elkader to launch a similar project that would beautify the alley from City Hall to Founders Park.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

Efforts are currently underway to raise funds for a project that would transform the long stretch of alley from Elkader City Hall to Founder’s Park into a walking art gallery.

Art in the Alley, as the effort is known locally, has long been discussed by the Main Street Elkader Design Committee as a way to beautify the alley and draw more visitors to town. The project received seed money for Phase 1 in the form of a $10,000 matching grant from the Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation. The committee has raised about half the money it needs through fund-raising events like the recent Abbie’s Artwork show, private donations and downtown building owner investments.

Tue
02
Apr

Moving on Gibney gets ready for new a challenge

Moving on Gibney gets ready for new a challenge
Ann Gibney, who is retiring at the end of the school year after more than 30 years at Central as a faculty member, is the new Elkader Chamber Coordinator.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

Ann Gibney is ready to finish one chapter and begin another.

    A teacher for more than three decades, Anny will retire at the end of the school year. And soon after she says her final good-byes, she’ll start a new job as Elkader Chamber Coordinator.

The decision to pursue the Chamber position came several weeks after Ann announced her retirement.

“I saw the advertisement in the paper and I thought ‘I can do that,’” Ann said. “I love Elkader, and I know I’m going to enjoy promoting it. People may not realize that without the school and a strong business community, we wouldn’t have such a vibrant community. I’m excited for the opportunity to share that message with everyone.”

Tue
26
Mar

Conversations with Your Congresswoman Finkenauer makes infrastructure tour

Congresswoman Abby Finkenhauer

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

Northeast Iowans last week had an opportunity to meet one-on-one with Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer during an infrastructure-focused tour that also included small group meetings with constituents. In addition to a stop in her hometown of Dubuque and a tour of a storm-damaged school in Waterloo, Congresswoman Finkenauer spent an hour at the Guttenberg Public Library listening to concerns of residents there.

Finkenauer, who represents Iowa’s first congressional district, serves on the committee of transportation and infrastructure. Her “Conversations with Your Congresswoman” events are designed to highlight the important work being done and still needing to be done with flood mitigation and aging infrastructure.

Tue
19
Mar

MEET CENTRAL’S GEOGRAPHY WHIZ

MEET CENTRAL’S GEOGRAPHY WHIZ
Central 8th grader Olivia White has qualified for the next level of competition in National Geographic’s annual GeoBee.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

It’s not unusual for Olivia White to stop mid-paragraph when reading a novel and turn to a map to locate a village or country mentioned in her book. Neither is it unusual for her to research the traditions and lifestyles of people she’s reading about.

“Did you know there are people who drink curdled horse milk?” she asked. “I read about it so I checked it out just to be sure. Yup, there are people in Central Asia who really like that sort of thing.

A bright, articulate and engaging 8th grader at Central Middle School, Olivia’s vast knowledge of all things related to geography is paying off. She and her parents, Bernie and Melodie White of Volga, recently learned that Olivia is a semi-finalist in the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which will be held at the University of Northern Iowa on March 29.

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