Local News

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Tue
05
May

Cause of Bloody Run fish kill still eluding investigators

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

The cause of an April 18 fish kill on Bloody Run Creek, near Marquette, is still eluding Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) investigators.

Officials tallied 898 dead fish, mostly trout, along a three-mile stretch of Bloody Run from Spook Cave to Iris Avenue. DNR Environmental Specialist Brett Meyers said the culprit could range from a pollutant in the water to a rapid temperature change in the stream.

“I am still interviewing landowners near Bloody Run to try and determine a cause,” Meyers noted last week.

Tue
05
May

MFL MarMac senior earns coveted Iowa FFA Degree


MFL MarMac senior Kayleigh White was the recent recipient of the coveted Iowa FFA Degree, the highest honor the state can bestow upon a member. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

MFL MarMac senior Kayleigh White was the recent recipient of the coveted Iowa FFA Degree, the highest honor the state can bestow upon a member.

 “It’s really exciting,” she said, “looking back at all the time I put in and, as an ag kid, to know how appreciated you are.”

To earn the degree, students must meet several requirements, including active FFA membership for at least two years, as well as participation in five FFA activities above the chapter level.

Tue
28
Apr

MFL MarMac teachers continue connecting with students through school closure


Even though MFL MarMac is closed for the remainder of the school year due to COVID-19, teachers are still connecting with students and offering optional learning opportunities. Here, third grade teacher Jennifer Wilwert connects with her students through the meeting app Zoom.

Pam Havlicek shares a story with her first graders.

Middle school science teachers Dawn Colsch and Twila Converse have started a weekly video conference with students. “Our conferences have included many discussions, both general and scientific, and a couple games of Kahoot and scavenger hunts,” Colsch shared.

Middle school math teacher Lindsey Fisk asked some of her students what they missed the most during the pandemic. “The students are working very hard mentally and physically,” she said.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

“I’ve had people ask, ‘What are you doing with all your free time?’ But I don’t really have any free time.”

Like other staff members at MFL MarMac, teacher and curriculum director Eliza Philpott hasn’t taken a break since COVID-19 forced the school to close last month. Shortly after the initial closure, she and the school’s instructional coaches, Jess Peterson, Brent Pape, Heidi Meyer and Melissa Haberichter, set to work gathering optional learning opportunities for students.

Tue
28
Apr

Clayton among 77 counties where COVID-19 restrictions will ease starting May 1

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Clayton County is one of 77 Iowa counties that will see a loosening of COVID-19 restrictions starting Friday, May 1. Gov. Kim Reynolds made the announcement, which includes the limited reopening of some businesses and the resumption of religious services, at her Monday press conference.

Tue
28
Apr

Staff find new ways to bring library resources to patrons


Due to COVID-19 closures, staff at local libraries are finding new ways to connect and share resources with patrons. McGregor Public Library Director Michelle Pettit has hosted several book talks, which are available on Facebook.

Murphy Helwig Library, in Monona, live streams Story Time with Sherman, the library’s popular six-foot-tall stuffed giraffe, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Pictured is library director Heidi Landt next to (a portion of) Sherman.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Local libraries are one of the major social and educational hubs of their towns, providing not just reading and reference materials, but internet access and valuable connections between community members. When the buildings were forced to close to the public last month to help limit the spread of COVID-19, that never changed. Staff simply found different ways to bring the library—and all its resources—to patrons.

“It’s hard not to be able to do what you’re used to, so we had to look for more ways we can do things,” said McGregor Public Library Director Michelle Pettit. “When you can’t be in person and close to each other, how do you connect?”

Tue
28
Apr

MCED proposes Monona hotel/motel tax

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Monona Chamber and Economic Development, Inc. (MCED) is asking the city of Monona to consider implementing a hotel/motel tax for a growing list of lodging establishments.

MCED Executive Director Rogeta Halvorson proposed the idea at the April 20 regular council meeting. She was joined virtually by Bridget Schlein, who owns the Monona Guesthouse with husband Tim, and Rachel Thurn, owner of the new Driftless Manor Getaway. Both establishments are available on the online booking sites Airbnb and VRBO.

Tue
28
Apr

Food Shelf makes surprise delivery to Valley View Apartments


Clayton County Food Shelf Director Utoni Ruff (left) places boxes of groceries in a cart for Chris Meyer to deliver to residents at Valley View Apartments, in McGregor. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Residents at McGregor’s Valley View Apartments received a surprise supply of groceries and other household staples last week, thanks to the Clayton County Food Shelf. 

Food Shelf Director Utoni Ruff made the delivery after being contacted by Chris Meyer, who, with husband Bob, has managed the senior housing complex for 20 years.

“They’re like family,” Meyer said. “We were concerned if they had enough to eat because so many don’t want to go out [due to the COVID-19 pandemic].”

Fri
24
Apr

Alfred P. Goldsmith

Alfred P. Goldsmith, 91, of McGregor, formerly of Earlville, passed away Monday, April 20, 2020.

Alfred Phillip Goldsmith was born Feb. 25, 1929, in Earlville, the son of Bernard and Mary (Schmidt) Goldsmith. On Dec. 28, 1963, he married Marjorie (Wells) Thuman in Stone City. Alfred was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving during the Korean War. He was a self-employed farmer for over 60 years, was a very involved member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in McGregor, the American Legion and the Knights of Columbus. Al was a very kind and patient man of deep faith, had a wonderful smile and loved family, friends, fishing, dancing, bingo and woodworking. He is deeply loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Tue
21
Apr

Alpine, NEIT help students in need access internet

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

When the MFL MarMac School District closed last month as part of state-mandated efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, staff quickly started formulating plans to offer students voluntary educational opportunities. But one of the biggest challenges: How do you assure all kids can take advantage of the largely online resources when some don’t have internet access at home?

That’s where Alpine Communications and Northeast Iowa Telephone Company (NEIT) stepped in. Almost immediately, the two local telecommunications providers began working with the school to connect students in need in their respective coverage areas with reliable, short-term internet access.

Tue
21
Apr

Marquette will solar power sewer plant


After six months of discussion, the city of Marquette is moving forward with a $300,000 project to solar power the city’s sewer plant. The ground arrays will be located on DOT hillside property between U.S. Highway 18 and the sewer plant. The site caused some debate because it’s next to the “Welcome to Marquette” sign, and some of the panels will be visible from the roadway.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

After six months of discussion, the city of Marquette is moving forward with a $300,000 project to solar power the city’s sewer plant.

While the council has been supportive of the project, the biggest hold-up was concern over the location of the ground arrays, which will be built into Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) hillside property between U.S. Highway 18 and the sewer plant. That’s also right next to the “Welcome to Marquette” sign that greets visitors coming into town from the west.

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