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Tue
29
Aug

Kindness rocks bring heartwarming message to McGregor, Marquette


Two weeks ago, the “kindness rocks” movement made its debut in McGregor and Marquette. Residents are encouraged to decorate and hide their own rocks, and/or find those hidden by others, all in the hopes of spreading kind messages around the communities. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Kindness rocks can be placed anywhere—in parks, along trails or walking paths and at local businesses or offices. One was recently spotted on one of the street pianos in McGregor’s Triangle Park.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

It all started 2.5 years ago, when writer, business mentor and empowerment coach Megan Murphy began collecting rocks during her walks along the beaches of Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. Reflecting on her own life and the idea that people often search for “signs in the sand,” she began decorating the rocks in bright hues  and with inspiring messages. She then placed them on the beach, for others to find. The goal: to connect people through a small act of kindness.

Tue
29
Aug

McGregor’s annual Labor Day parade is Sept. 2

Community is 'open for business'

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

McGregor will host its annual Labor Day parade Saturday, Sept. 2, marking the community’s first big event since a  tornado ripped through the town July 19, leaving a path of destruction in fallen trees and damaged or destroyed buildings and homes.

The storm was not far from the minds of the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce board members who selected this year’s theme: McGregor Strong.

Tue
29
Aug

Viewing eclipse with loved ones a special experience for McGregor resident


McGregor resident Diane Benson, with dog Tootie, enjoyed witnessing the Aug. 21 solar eclipse with her “adopted niece and nephew,” Justice and Jasmine Olmstead. The group shared a pair of eclipse glasses, which can be seen on Justice. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Millions of Americans turned their eyes toward the sky Aug. 21 to witness the historic total solar eclipse, the first since 1918 to stretch from the west coast to the east coast. While many traveled to a portion of the country in the “path of totality,” meaning the moon entirely blocked the sun, others chose to watch from northeast Iowa, where around 85 percent of the sun was blocked by the moon.

Among them was McGregor resident Diane Benson, who experienced the site with who she calls her “adopted niece and nephew,” Justice and Jasmine Olmstead.

Tue
29
Aug

Monona police chief proposes curfew change

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Monona Police Chief Jo Amsden is proposing a change to the city’s nightly curfew, citing issues with some local juveniles who have been caught sneaking out and wandering around town.

Amsden, speaking to the city council at its Aug. 21 meeting, said she’d like to see curfew moved back one hour, from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday nights, and from midnight to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Officers would take school functions into account, she noted, not penalizing students who arrive home late from a sporting event or other activity.

Tue
22
Aug

FEMA gives preliminary damage figures

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

McGregor City Administrator Lynette Sander said FEMA’s preliminary damage estimate for the city’s property from the July 19 tornado is $109,500.

This “conservative estimate,” as she called it, includes $85,000 for debris removal. The remaining $24,500 is for damages not covered by insurance, including the pedestrian bridge over B Street, the banners and brackets on the street lights, storm sewer fencing and some storm sewer wall damage.

The amount was surprising, said mayor Harold Brooks.

Tue
22
Aug

Owners of former INKspiration property offer to donate it to city of McGregor

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

At its Aug. 16 meeting, the McGregor Council considered an offer by Fred Petrie and Melanie San Fillippo to donate the former INKspiration Tattoo property, at 330 Main St., to the city.

The building on the lot, which is next to the McGregor Public Library, was destroyed—and then demolished—following the July 19 tornado.

If accepted, the property could be used however the city would like, said city administrator Lynette Sander.

“It could be a site for a community center, a library expansion or parking,” she noted.

Tue
22
Aug

Annual Luana Daze celebration is Aug. 26-27


Luana Daze, held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26 and 27, will again feature the Tough Scrambler obstacle course race. The event, which promises to be even muddier this year, will take participants on a 2.5-mile trek through over 10 obstacles. (NIT file photo)

Head to Luana this Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26 and 27, for the community’s annual Luana Daze celebration.

This year’s event features some popular, long-time activities along with several new ones.

Luana Daze will kick off bright and early Saturday morning, with the Luana Community Club’s pancake and sausage breakfast, beginning at 7:30 a.m. and running until 10 a.m.

Todd Olson, owner of the Luana Tap, will also offer his famous Bloody Marys and mimosas starting at 7:30 a.m.

Tue
22
Aug

Hager provides more details on plan for Luster Heights

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

State Rep. Kristi Hager (R - Waukon) has released more details regarding a proposed plan to utilize Luster Heights Correctional Facility as a faith-based, non-profit, transitional living center for individuals coming out of jail/prison or struggling with homelessness or substance abuse issues.

Hager, as part of “Citizens for Luster Heights,” has authored a petition asking the state of Iowa for a five-year lease of the facility, located outside Harpers Ferry, which was closed in February due to Department of Corrections (DOC)—and state—budget cuts.

Tue
22
Aug

Days numbered for pedestrian bridge


Already in need of repair prior to the July 19 tornado, the pedestrian bridge over B Street will now have to be torn down. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The days are numbered for McGregor’s well-known pedestrian bridge, which spans across B Street. Already in need of repair prior to the July 19 tornado, the bridge is no longer salvageable.

City administrator Lynette Sander, speaking at McGregor’s regular council meeting Aug. 16, said the city was awarded FEMA funding following last September’s heavy rains, to repair the footing of the bridge at the south end, where the soil eroded. Those funds are still being held in a city account.

Tue
22
Aug

McGregor’s Determination Park to be dedicated in honor of Breitbach


Long-time McGregor resident Dave Breitbach, who also served on the city’s park board for roughly 15 years, was instrumental in creating Determination Park. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

At its Aug. 16 meeting, the McGregor Council unanimously approved a request by Maria Brummel, on behalf of the city’s park board, to dedicate Determination Park in memory of long-time resident Dave Breitbach.

Breitbach, who passed away in June as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, served on the park board for roughly 15 years.

When he joined, said Brummel, one of his goals was to help develop a park that had been promised to the lot owners in the Ridgewood West Subdivision, by Eagle Drive. “He was very forthright about it,” she noted with a smile.

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