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Highlighting Inspiring Women: She makes others stronger

Throughout March, which is Women’s History Month, the North Iowa Times will again publish a series of articles highlighting local women. Whether it’s through their careers, hobbies, volunteer efforts or unique personalities, these women have become an inspiration to others.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Tera Mathis has strived to be physically strong from a young age.

“I lifted in the weight room as a girl, in high school,” she recalled. “At the time, it was not a friendly female atmosphere, but I learned a lot from watching the boys.”


Above-normal flood risk this spring

Marquette, McGregor and other nearby towns along the Mississippi River should brace for the potential of above- or well-above-normal flooding this spring, according to the preliminary hydrologic outlook issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) office in La Crosse on Feb. 21. 

In addition to the main-stem Mississippi River, the flooding risk is similar for many tributaries in Wisconsin that feed into it. Western tributaries in southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa, on the other hand, have a near- to below-normal risk of spring flooding. 

The NWS predicts a greater than 95 percent chance the Mississippi will reach the minor flood stage of 16 feet at McGregor this year. Normally, the river has a 52 percent chance of reaching that level in the spring. 


Friends Helping Friends: Giving back

Linda Jones, of McGregor, sits with her dog, Toby, who was a gift from her family after her cancer diagnosis 10 years ago. Displayed with her are T-shirts from many years of the Friends Helping Friends fall cancer walk that Linda helps organize. The group’s Winter Triathlon and Benefit is March 8 and 9, in McGregor.

Jones shares experiences with personal health crisis and the group she’s passionate about

By Becky Ruff

Like many efforts of so many people in communities, both small and large, the group that began what is now known as Friends Helping Friends just started planting seeds where they were needed. 

Linda Jones of McGregor was involved when it started. 

“I believe it was 1989,” she said. Linda remembers there were also a number of people from the community and from local businesses, including the Chamber of Commerce, that started doing fundraisers for various needs.  


Edward Carl Davies

Edward Carl Davies, 70, of McGregor, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Davenport. 

He was born on Sept. 19, 1948, in McGregor, to Earl and Elsie (Reinhardt) Davies and attended Mar-Mac High School, graduating in 1966. A life-long lover of water, Ed enjoyed spending as much time as possible on the Mississippi River during his childhood. The majestic power of the river would be an influence on Ed for the rest of his life. 


Paul Fiddler

Paul Fiddler, 97, of McGregor, died Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, at Prairie Maison under hospice care in Prairie du Chien, Wis.

He was the son of Michael and Jennie (Albright) Fiddler. Paul was baptized and confirmed Catholic. He attended school in Blue Earth, Minn..

Paul was united in marriage with Delores Radermaker on Aug. 2, 1950, in Butler, Kan. He farmed before being drafted into the United States Army on Dec. 18, 1944. Paul served six months in the South Pacific, before being discharged on Jan. 31, 1946. He was at the signing of Japan Peace Treaty.


Sandstrom finds calling in Haiti

Monona resident Kylie Sandstrom completed a mission trip to Haiti earlier this month, where she and other members of the organization HELP Mission International, Inc., helped at an orphanage. Kylie and her husband, Nate, first formed a connection with the orphanage in 2012, and one or both of them have returned every year since. (Photos courtesy of Kylie Sandstrom)

Rebuilding a roof at the orphanage was one of the projects HELP Mission team members worked on when Kylie visited in early February.

These are some of the school desks Kylie helped build.

Kylie Sandstrom, pictured with Pastor John from HELP Mission, as well as Pastor Kelly, who founded the orphanage in Haiti.

Girls at the orphanage receive the baby dolls Kylie brought.

One of the school classes meets.

Kylie Sandstrom poses with other HELP Mission Work Team members during a recent trip to Haiti.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

It was 2012. Haiti was still reeling from 2010’s devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that extensively damaged the Caribbean nation’s infrastructure and killed as many as 300,000 people. Living in Fort Dodge then, Nate and Kylie Sandstrom wanted to help. 

“We felt like we were called to go after the earthquake,” Kylie said. “It felt like God’s calling.” 


Walz Energy is waiting on weather to begin work again

After a year of little noticeable activity, chief operating officer Jon Haman said Walz Energy, LLC, is waiting on the weather to begin work again on the 10,000-head cattle feedlot and biogas operation outside Monona.

Work at the site first began nearly two years ago, with plans to construct six open front cattle barns, to go with an additional barn already in existence, as well as a feed storage area, concrete transfer pits and a liquid manure storage lagoon with a capacity of nearly 39 million gallons. Also included on the site will be tanks for anaerobic digestion and methane production. 

Haman said the upcoming work will include putting a liner in the lagoon and installing the methane digesters.


Monona Council OKs repairs to section of West Franklin

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

A 110-foot section of West Franklin Street, in Monona, will be getting much-needed repairs.

The road narrows at one point, said city administrator Dan Canton at the Feb. 18 council meeting, and drivers are catching the corner and traveling onto the gravel edge, causing the road to deteriorate.

The council approved Bacon Concrete, of Postville, to make the repairs, at a cost of $4,505. Canton said the damaged portion of the road will be excavated out, then replaced with 7-inch-thick concrete. The 110-foot stretch will start out 9 feet wide, then taper down to 4 feet. 


Zelma L. Moore

Zelma L. Moore, 93, of McGregor, died Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien, Wis. Zelma Louene “Percie” Moore, the daughter of Percy Roy and Zelma Marie (Huber) Freeman, was born Jan. 1, 1926, in Norwood, Ohio.  

She was baptized and confirmed on March 24, 1940, at the Congregational Church in McGregor. She graduated from McGregor High School in 1943 and was the co-valedictorian of her class. Percie was united in marriage with Kenneth James Moore on July 13, 1946, at the Congregational Church in McGregor. Percie worked as an usher at the McGregor Theater, was a telephone operator, worked at Vick’s Grocery Store, was an office manager at Brooks-Teaser Insurance and worked at Star Milk Coolers.  


Senior wrestlers all place at state

MFL MarMac seniors Michael Egan (left), Nathan Johanningmeier and Garret Keehner all placed at last week's state wrestling tournament in Des Moines.

In his last state match, Egan tied the MFL MarMac record for 171 career victories.

Michael Egan earned a fifth-place finish in Class 1A at 145 pounds.

“It means a lot to look back on it, to say you won all these matches, all these big things,” said Egan of his time wrestling for MFL MarMac. “It’s a testament to the hard work you had to put in. It takes a lot of work to get to where we got this year.”

Johanningmeier finished his career with over 150 wins.

Nathan Johanningmeier wrestled into sixth place at 182 pounds in Class 1A.

Johanningmeier felt he wrestled best after his second-round loss. “I felt like I wrestled my best, just coming off that loss and knowing I had to win again to be able to place,” he said.

In addition to his superb season record, Keehner also finished with over 140 career victories. He broke MFL MarMac’s season record for pins, with 37.

Garret Keehner placed third at 220 pounds in Class 1A.

Keehner went to the tournament a perfect 44-0—the first time any Bulldog has gone to state without a single loss. But he tried to keep that out of his mind as he competed. “I didn’t want to jinx myself right away and end up going home with two losses and no medal. So I went in open-minded,” Keehner remarked

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Three MFL MarMac wrestlers came away from last week’s state wrestling tournament in Des Moines with medals. A Class 1A third-place finish for Garret Keehner at 220 pounds, along with fifth for Michael Egan at 145 and sixth for Nathan Johanningmeier at 182, represents the first time since 2010 the school has boasted multiple place winners, estimated head coach Chet Bachman.

“These three kids represented our school very well,” he said of the seniors. “I was very proud of them.”


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