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Tue
02
Jun

Sharp Art Gallery enters second year


Lucy Sharp gives a virtual tour of the gallery and her father’s work.

“Golden Fields” by Gene Sharp is one of the featured works at the gallery.

Amid pandemic, focus turns to online sales, virtual tours and live ‘Drink and Draw’ events

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

Nestled between the floral shop and pharmacy on Elkader’s Main Street, Sharp Art Gallery, owned by Lucy Sharp, recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. While the shop was closed due to COVID-19, the gratitude and appreciation felt toward a welcoming town that has helped Lucy honor the gallery’s main artist, her late father, Gene Sharp, has endured. 

Speaking of the experience over the past year, Lucy said, “It’s been great. People remember my grandparents, which is cool.” 

Tue
02
Jun

FreedomBank provides over $9M in PPP loans for local small businesses

FreedomBank announced that, through May 28, it has processed 184 loans totaling $9,387,607 under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help local small businesses support payroll and related costs. 

These loan funds helped save as many as 300 jobs primarily within Clayton, Allamakee and Winneshiek counties in northeast Iowa. The average loan size was $51,000. The PPP, which was launched on April 3 to address economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, provides forgivable, government-guaranteed loans for the nation’s small businesses, which account for roughly 48 percent of the U.S. workforce.

Fri
29
May

April Elaine Miller

April Elaine Loetz Miller, 75, of Elkader, died Saturday, May 23, 2020. April was born April 5, 1945, to Theodore James and Adelaide May (Wakelee) Loetz in Elkhart, Ind. She was baptized on Nov. 18, 1945, and confirmed on May 17, 1959, at St. Paul Lutheran Church. April graduated from Mar-Mac High School. She continued her education and earned a degree in practical nursing at Blackhawk College in East Moline, Ill. She was a member of Phi Theta Kappa.

April was united in marriage with William G. Miller on Dec. 27, 1962, in McGregor. Three children were born to this union. April was a member of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in McGregor.

Tue
26
May

Couple share faith, volunteer work


Married eight years ago this month, Mary Jane and Terry Cole of Elkader are inseparable in all things, including their volunteer work at St. Croix Hospice.

By Pam Reinig, Times-Register

Anyone who knows Mary Jane Cole won’t be the least surprised to learn she hasn’t let a pandemic stop her from doing good deeds. 

The Elkader woman and her husband, Terry, are dedicated hospice volunteers. But due to restrictions set in place to protect vulnerable populations, the Coles have been unable to make hospice visits for several weeks. Mary Jane has spent the time making masks and gowns, instead.

Tue
26
May

Amid pandemic, Edgewood Locker encounters increased demand


Edgewood Locker, a business that’s been run by the Kerns family since the mid-1960s, has been busier than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured (front, left to right) are Terry Kerns, Joan Kerns (who founded Edgewood Locker with husband Tom), Jim Kerns; (back) Luke Kerns, Katie Anderson, Baili Maurer and Payson Kerns. (Submitted photo)

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

“A commitment to quality.” That’s how Terry Kerns of Edgewood Locker describes the family business’s ability to survive the global pandemic, among other things. “Fortunate” is the other term Kerns used, quite often, to describe the success of one of northeast Iowa’s most famous lockers—a locker that’s been in his family since the mid-1960s and is currently being run by Kerns and his brother, Jim. The family affair has progressed into its third generation, as their own children have gotten involved. 

The early years of success gave the locker the ability to expand, and now they serve about 60 businesses throughout northeast Iowa. 

Tue
26
May

Central’s industrial tech teacher, Mr. O’Brien, retires

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

After 16 years at Central Community School, beloved industrial tech and vocational agriculture teacher Jerry O’Brien is retiring. A lifelong resident of Volga, he came to Central because of the opportunity it provided and the stability of the district. He stayed for the people—the students, the co-workers and the community. 

It was with great fanfare, albeit mixed with sadness, that O’Brien accepted the traditional retirement bell Thursday evening following the graduation parade around Central school. The solemnity of the occasion was amplified by the surrounding crowd of family, teachers, students and school administration officials who stuck around to say goodbye. 

Tue
26
May

Central School Board talks ‘Return to Learn’ plan

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

“Information overload” is how one school official at Central’s May 18 school board meeting  described the Return to Learn guidelines set forth by the Iowa Department of Education (DOE), which requires all Iowa schools to create a plan for the eventual return to school. According to the DOE, all plans are supposed to be submitted by July 1, in preparation for any potential challenges, COVID-19-related or otherwise, that could occur during the 2020-2021 school year. 

Tue
19
May

Central Community School celebrates graduation


The Central Community School Class of 2020 graduated May 17, at an outdoor ceremony with social distancing measures in place. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

The Central Community School Class of 2020 officially graduated Sunday afternoon, amidst the dreary doldrums of an overcast May sky and the ongoing restrictions of COVID-19. 

It was a senior year filled with vibrant dreams of enlightened futures, cut short by a global pandemic that changed lives, fortunes and stole away a real semblance of closure. But the commencement carried on, and the Class of 2020 marched proudly through the rain-soaked football field and spoke eloquently of their shared experiences and bonds. As their families watched live in person or via Facebook Live, it was obvious this was not the end of their journey, but only the beginning. 

Tue
19
May

Garms retires from FreedomBank

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

“I will miss the people the most…the staff and the customers.” With that, FreedomBank President and Chairman of the Board Keith Garms has officially retired, bringing to an end a career path that started on May 14, 1974, in Farmersburg. 

A small town kid, Garms grew up on a dairy farm near Monona and graduated from MFL High School. Life then took him to Iowa State University and on to a stint in the Army as a medical records clerk in 1970-1971. During this time, he married a former Miss Elkader, Kathy Gossman, and the two forged a union that is still going strong today. 

Tue
19
May

Students recognized at Central school awards

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

In the continued effort to provide a sense of normalcy to the graduating class of 2020, Central Community School held its annual awards night  last week as scheduled, albeit this time via Zoom. While Principal Aaron Reinhart said the situation was “not ideal,” it was important to showcase the achievements and accomplishments of the graduating class.

The awards and student(s) who won them are as follows:

Governor’s Scholar Recognition Award - Michael Heer

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