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Tue
14
Aug

Climbing Denali


Don Smalley stands with teammates Chris Rynn and Margaret Kincaid during his June climb of Denali, the highest point in both the United States and North America.

“It would’ve been great [to summit Denali], but it won’t define my life. I won’t feel like less of a person,” Smalley said. “It’s the fact that I attempted it, successful or not. I did everything I could, so I’m happy about that. I spent three weeks in a beautiful environment.”

The Denali climbers are shown with their packs, sleds, tents and other equipment. Unfortunately, the team was snowed in for nine days at 14,000 feet. The delay left too little time to summit, so they made the decision to head back down Denali in order to return home as scheduled.

No summit, but Smalley has experience of a lifetime tackling continent’s highest point

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

When climbing the 20,310-foot Denali, the highest point in both the United States and North America, there are things you have to be mentally prepared for, said Don Smalley. 

“One is the fact that there are things you’re not in control of,” explained the 65-year-old Marquette resident. Weather, injury, illness—they could all cut the expedition short, snatching a shot at reaching the summit out of the frosty air. “You have to be prepared to accept that.” 

—————

Tue
14
Aug

Additional mental health services offered at MFL MarMac

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Additional mental health services will be available at MFL MarMac this school year, supplementing the work guidance counselors and other staff already do to support students and families.

Therapist Nikki Brevig, from the Riverview Center, offered some private counseling services at the district last year, and will now be available one day each week. Mental health specialist Samantha Baumgartner will have a full-time position with the district.

“Both positions will be guidance support personnel,” explained MFL MarMac Superintendent Dale Crozier. “The main focus is increasing the overall health and wellness of students.”

Tue
14
Aug

EPA asked to continue monitoring Walz Energy


A group of Clayton County residents, along with organizations and legislators from around the state, is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue monitoring the Walz Energy facility, following a decision last month by the state’s Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) not to refer the 10,000-head cattle feedlot and biogas operation under construction outside Monona to the state attorney general’s office for ongoing violations. (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

A group of Clayton County residents, along with organizations and legislators from around the state, is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue monitoring the Walz Energy facility, following a decision last month by the state’s Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) not to refer the 10,000-head cattle feedlot and biogas operation under construction outside Monona to the state attorney general’s office for ongoing violations.

Tue
14
Aug

McGregor Library staff not just reading and shushing, much work is necessary


The McGregor Public Library is located at 334 Main Street. (Photo by Rachel Mergen)

By Rachel Mergen, North Iowa Times

The McGregor Public Library, what library director Michelle Pettit thinks of as a hub for the community, is a place full of constant excitement, as people make their best efforts  to keep quiet.

In the summer, the library staff is happy to host reading programs, welcoming children to find as much delight in books as they do.

Adult groups, like those for writers, also occupy the library every week. The staff is now adding a book club option and other opportunities for the public to further enjoy the library.

Tue
07
Aug

Effigy Mounds working with tribal partners to repatriate, rebury stolen human remains


Effigy Mounds National Monument currently has the remains of 41 native people in its collection, and all are slated for repatriation and reburial with the help of the monument’s tribal partners. The remains were missing from the park’s collection for over 20 years, after being stolen by former superintendent Thomas Munson.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Effigy Mounds National Monument currently has the remains of 41 native people in its collection, and all are slated for repatriation and reburial with the help of the monument’s tribal partners.

How these remains came to be—and stay—in the collection all these years is a tale Effigy Mounds law enforcement officer David Barland-Liles said is laced with theft and racism, but also an opportunity to reckon with and learn from the past.

Tue
07
Aug

Zoning classifications set for newly-annexed properties

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Acting on a recommendation by the city’s planning and zoning commission, the Monona City Council, at its Aug. 6 meeting, approved an ordinance establishing zoning districts for the newly-annexed properties in the southeast part of Monona.

The area includes 13 parcels, which have split into four different zoning classifications.

Per the ordinance, farmland owned by Douglas Baade, Mitchell Wagner (two parcels) and William Wagner will be classified A-1 Agricultural. 

Birdnow Chevrolet will be zoned C-1 Highway Commercial, as will properties owned by Frederick Heins and Ronald Berns. 

Tue
07
Aug

Climate change 101: Boylen talks causes, impacts, solutions at presentation


Scott Boylen led a presentation on climate change at the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre on July 31. Much of the information Boylen shared was collected during the 13th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Earlier this summer, Scott Boylen joined over 50 educators from around the country at the 13th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education at St. John’s University, in Minnesota. The institute was held by the non-profit Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, which empowers individuals and their communities to engage in solutions to climate change. Steger is an educator and polar region explorer.

“This program is for emerging leaders, educators and the public,” said Boylen, and focuses on the science behind climate change. 

Tue
07
Aug

Yacht Club donation supports Friends of Pikes Peak State Park

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The McGregor Upper Mississippi Boat and Yacht Club held its annual summer party and fundraiser July 28, at Backwoods Bar and Grill, in McGregor. Nearly 50 members attended this year’s event, which raised over $2,000 for the Friends of Pikes Peak State Park.

The past year’s commodore, Jerome Full, was tasked with selecting a beneficiary. An avid biker, Full is familiar with the Pikes Peak area and knew the damage last year’s tornado had done to the park.

“It’s such a vital part of our area,” he said, “so I thought this would be a good time to give it an oomph.”

Tue
31
Jul

The basics of Alzheimer's

Expert shares details on nation’s sixth leading cause of death

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Every 68 seconds. That’s how frequently someone develops Alzheimer’s disease, the progressive brain disorder that destroys a person’s memory and basic functions like speaking, eating and walking before compromising the body’s ability to breathe and swallow. More than five million Americans currently live with the disease, which has no known cure. And as the Baby Boomer generation—one of the largest portions of the U.S. population—continues to age, that number is only expected to grow. 

Tue
31
Jul

Unearthing history: Pot could date back 150 years


Jasmine and Justice Olmstead helped unearth this cast iron pot on Diane Benson’s property along Ash Street, in McGregor, in early July. Marty Kahler, owner of the Past 100 Years antique shop, said it’s a pig scalding pot, and could date back to the 1860s.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

From its historic downtown to the tales of former residents that continue to fascinate, the past remains very much a part of McGregor’s present. No matter where you look, there’s always something unique to discover. 

Sometimes, you don’t have to look farther than your own backyard. 

“There used to be more houses along here, all the way up to the [McGregor] Heights,” remarked Diane Benson from the deck of her home along Ash Street. “And people used to just throw things out in the back of their houses.” It makes sense, she said, that some things would be left behind. 

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