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Wed
25
Feb

Superintendent Nelson approved for early retirement

By Molly Moser

The Clayton Ridge School board approved the early retirement of Superintendent Allan Nelson during a special meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 17.  Members in attendance were Janice Andregg, Christine Aulwes, Mike Finnegan, Jason Reimer, John Heying, and  Dr. Jeff Hoffmann. Kathy Ihde was absent. Also in attendance were Allan Nelson, David Schlueter and Mary Seifert.

Wed
25
Feb

CR school board authorizes April 7 bond referendum

By Molly Moser

During their February meeting, the Clayton Ridge School Board voted to accept a school improvement petition with 117 signatures from community members. The board has decided to hold a special election on April 7 to request the issue of up to $10 million in general obligation bonds for the purpose of renovating school buildings in Guttenberg. Public hearing dates have been set for March 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the middle school auditorium in Garnavillo and March 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the high school gym in Guttenberg. 

Mon
16
Feb

Volunteers invited to sewing day to make Quilts of Valor

A sewing day to make Quilts of Valor will be held Tuesday, Feb. 24, in the conference room at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital. The event is sponsored by local members of the Veterans' Angel chapter of the national Quilts of Valor Foundation (QVF). 

Local volunteers are invited to help make the quilts, which are then presented to honor and thank U.S. military veterans.   

Organizers will be there starting at 9:00 a.m. until work is completed. Volunteers are welcome to come and go as their time allows. Those attending are asked to bring sewing machines and other supplies such as fabric. 

Mon
16
Feb

Supervisors set budget hearing

By Pam Reinig

The tax levy for Clayton County residents will decrease for 2015-2016 under a proposed budget that will be presented at a public hearing March 9. The meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the county government building, 600 Gunder Road, Elkader.

Mon
16
Feb

Wopat publishes emotional narrative


The last photo of writer Kathleen (Shannon) Wopat with her late brother Stephen Shannon was taken at Fort McCoy several weeks before Shannon deployed to Iraq. From left are siblings Stephen Shannon, Jack Shannon, and Wopat. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

“Inside, the small room looked like a hospital. The walls were white, and the floor was made of concrete, and the fluorescent lights overhead made me squint. There was a long metal counter with metallic tools that I couldn’t name and everything smelled of antiseptic… This room made no effort to alter the stark reality of what we were there for: To identify a deceased human being.”

Just days before the anniversary of her older brother’s death, Guttenberg native Kathleen (Shannon) Wopat went public with a story about the experience of seeing her brother, Stephen, for the first time when his body was returned from Iraq. Wopat’s writing, titled, "May the Force be With You," was published by Story Club Magazine. 

“Growing up, my parents never denied me two things: Traveling and reading,” Wopat explained. “English was always my favorite subject in high school, and although I wanted to pursue English, I decided to study something more "practical" and applied for nursing school at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wis.” She could not deny her passion, though, and after two years in nursing school she changed her major to English Writing. 

Wopat is now an Employment Specialist at Riverfront in La Crosse, managing a program assisting low income individuals with obtaining and maintaining employment. She also works with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and receives referrals from them to place individuals in community employment. “I use my writing every day, whether it be report writing, creating resumes, writing cover letters, communicating with clients, composing letters, or practicing motivational interviewing,” Wopat told The Press.

Mon
16
Feb

GHS grad becomes board certified plastic surgeon


Dr. Cindy (Deutmeyer) McCord is pictured with her husband, Jarrod, and children Kinnick (left) and Kraigyn. Cindy is the daughter of Ken and Margie Deutmeyer of rural Guttenberg. She has three brothers: Kraig (died in infancy), Todd (owner of Guttenberg Precision Machining) and Terry (TDS Automation in Waverly) and sister-in-law Tracy of Fairbanks. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Ken and Margie Deutmeyer are proud of the accomplishments of their daughter Cindy Deutmeyer McCord, a small town girl who dreamed of becoming a doctor. Over the course of three decades, a marriage, two children, and nearly 20 moves all around (and out of) the country, McCord recently completed her training and is now a board certified reconstructive surgeon practicing in Gadsden, Ala.

McCord graduated valedictorian from Guttenberg High School in 1993. She attended Cornell College in Mount Vernon, then moved to Lincoln, Neb., to study for a Master’s Degree in biological sciences. She taught biology and microbiology at the ‘Big Red,’ while working full time at Pfizer Laboratories. 

In 2001, McCord enrolled at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. After two years studying in the Caribbean, she completed her doctorate in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2005. 

Mon
09
Feb

Clayton Ridge athletes sign with state universities


Ryan Moser signed a letter of intent with the University of Northern Iowa on Feb. 4. From left are Eagle Coach Chad Harbaugh, Garry, Ryan and Sandy Moser. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

Colten Rastetter signed a letter of commitment as a preferred walk-on with the University of Iowa on Feb. 5. From left are Eagle Coach Chad Harbaugh, Colten and his parents, Julie and Thor Rastetter. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Shelia Tomkins

Two Clayton Ridge High School seniors have been recruited into the football programs at two state universities.

Ryan Moser signed a letter of intent with the University of Northern Iowa Panthers football program on Feb. 4. On hand for the signing were his parents, Garry and Sandy Moser of St. Olaf, and football coach Chad Harbaugh. Moser will receive full tuition and books for his freshman year. 

Mon
09
Feb

Classmates gather in remembrance


Front from left are Crystal Ellis and Misty Troester, with members of the class of 2018, front from left, Amelia Berns, Sophie Berns, Eric Ihde, and Nicole Schaefers; back row, Brianna Lucey, Brooklyn Witham, Allison Troester, Brandon Wahls, and Cole Brandel. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Students in the class of 2018 are halfway through their freshman year. Most are 15 years old, and many still remember the day in May, 10 years ago, when they lost a classmate.

When Mrs. Valeria White assigned her English students a fictional story for the final project in their short story unit, Brianna Lucey started to pen a tale based on her lost classmate’s younger sister. “The story changed shape as I wrote,” she told The Press. “It became more and more about Jarren, and I wanted to include his family and classmates.”

Mon
09
Feb

Eagle Watch and Cabin Fever Weekend Feb. 13 and 14


According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there are currently 44 active eagle nests in Pool 10. Several pairs of binoculars for scoping out wildlife will be available at the Marina Welcome Center during this Saturday’s Eagle Watch, but viewers are encouraged to bring their own binoculars, too. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

“A raptor has an intensely wild and free spirit,” say officials at the MacBride Raptor Project in Cedar Rapids. “To come to the aid of one of these birds is to give expression to a similar spirit within us.” The wild and free birds of prey in Iowa will be celebrated during GD&T’s Eagle Watch and Cabin Fever Weekend. 

This year’s educational programs and entertainment will be located at the Marina Visitor Center, 715 S. River Park Drive. “The Marina Center offers a spectacular view of the river and trees across the channel for viewing eagles, and the audience can keep warm inside rather than facing the cold,” said GD&T director Emily Moser.

To help residents and visitors escape cabin fever, the event kicks off with an ice carving demonstration by Chain Reactions Carvings out of Cedar Rapids from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. Carvers will transform two ice blocks into river creatures, and Moser expects the demonstration will take place in the lower parking lot of the Marina Center and recommends bringing lawn chairs to sit and enjoy the two-hour demonstration.

At 12:00 noon the scent of fresh, hot chili will begin wafting through the city streets as a chili cookoff begins in the Marina Center. The public is encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to taste-test each entry and cast a vote for their favorite. A $5 charge to participate in the tasting will be used to award first prize to the winning pot of chili. Hot chocolate and apple cider, as well as homemade baked goods, will complement the chili and are available for a free will donation. 

Mon
09
Feb

City council eyes water increases

By Shelia Tomkins

The Guttenberg city council at its monthly meeting on Feb. 2 discussed increasing rates for  water and sewer and decided to consider an ordinance reflecting those increases at its next meeting on Feb. 11.

Mayor Russ Loven led councilmembers Steve Friedlein, Jane Parker, Dave Schlueter, Fred Schaub and Virginia Saeugling through the evening's agenda. City Manager Mary Willett and City Attorney Michael Schuster were also on hand. 

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