North Iowa Times

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Tue
06
Nov

Musical ‘Annie’ takes the MFL MarMac stage Nov. 9-10


Abby Schellhorn (left) will play the lead role in MFL MarMac’s fall musical, “Annie.” Max Koeller will portray Oliver Warbucks and Riley Whitney his secretary, Grace Farrell. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Emma Ammons can be seen as the mean-spirited Miss Hannigan and Nick Stavroplus as her ne’er-do-well brother, Rooster.

“Annie” will feature many classic tunes, such as “It’s the Hard Knock Life.” Ruby Koeller, Abby Schellhorn and Maria Stavroplus perform the number here.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The MFL MarMac fine arts department will present “Annie” for this year’s fall musical. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, then at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, all in the high school auditorium, in Monona. 

Originally a Broadway musical based off the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” “Annie” has also had several film adaptations, most notably the 1982 movie starring Aileen Quinn, Carol Burnett and Albert Finney. 

Tue
06
Nov

Monona will host Clayton County Vets Day celebration Nov. 10

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Monona will host a county-wide Veterans Day celebration on Saturday, Nov. 10, resurrecting a unique area tradition.

“There was always a county-wide event, but it kind of went by the wayside,” explained Rick Blietz, with Monona AmVets Post 27, which is co-sponsoring the celebration with the Northeast Iowa Vietnam Veterans Association.

“For many years, Clayton County was the only county in the state that celebrated Veterans Day as a county,” added Ed Blume, president of the Northeast Iowa Vietnam Veterans Association. “We thought it was a tradition that shouldn’t be let go.”

Tue
30
Oct

The great pumpkin grower


Bob Ruff, pictured with daughter Mackenzy, is a prolific pumpkin grower. A member of the Pumpkin Growers Hall of Fame, Ruff has grown several 800-pounders, as well as one pumpkin that tipped the scale at 1,205. Each year, the family grows two acres worth of squash and gourds on their property between McGregor and Garnavillo. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Growing a giant pumpkin is a science. 

Bob Ruff would know. Under the tutelage of his mother, Eileen, who always had a large garden, the McGregor native learned to coax the best plants from the earth. 

“We raised everything we ate,” he reflected. 

In the late-1980s, Ruff saw a large pumpkin in a seed catalog and decided to grow one of his own. One of his first efforts reached 252 pounds, earning Ruff the top prize at Anamosa’s acclaimed Ryan Norlin Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off, held every October. 

Tue
30
Oct

McGregor receives positive feedback from downtown exchange


McGregor paired up with Edgewood to participate in the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Downtown Exchange program. Feedback was positive, with visitors particularly enjoying the community’s historic appearance. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

“Attractive and historic.” “Streetscape was lively and pleasing.” “Very friendly.” These were just a smattering of the comments six visitors from Edgewood made when they came to McGregor in August as part of the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Downtown Exchange program. 

“There was a lot of positive feedback,” noted McGregor’s deputy clerk and economic development lead, Duane Boelman. 

City officials, business owners and residents, he added, “can get tunnel vision, where we see the same things—bad and good things—all the time. So it’s good to see what it looks like to visitors. They see things we wouldn’t.” 

Tue
30
Oct

Stories of city dump, storm sewer adventures entertain at museum event


Corky Bickel was one of the featured speakers at the McGregor Historical Museum’s fall event on Oct. 26. Here, he showed a photo of himself, Bob Myers and two other boys on a boat they built. He estimated they were around 12 years old at the time. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Herb Collins regaled the crowd with stories about the baseball field at Turner Park, back when it was located by the river.

Bob Myers shared about how he began working on the docks and when he started making house boats.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Herb Collins, Corky Bickel and Bob Myers took people on a walk down memory lane at the McGregor Historical Museum’s fall event on Oct. 26. The three shared stories of growing up in the community, highlighting everything from baseball at old Turner Park to time spent on the Mississippi River.

Collins, who came to McGregor in 1945, started the night reminiscing about the old city dump, which he said was located past the elevator. It wasn’t necessarily the most sanitary site.

Tue
30
Oct

Monona Council approves MCED funding

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The city of Monona will continue to fund Monona Chamber and Economic Development (MCED) at an amount of $12,000 per year, matching the allocation MCED has requested for the past few years. 

The city council approved the request at its Oct. 22 meeting, following the quarterly MCED report. 

“There’s been a lot of activity going on, a lot of interaction,” said MCED Board President Linda Knockel. 

In the past five years, she said MCED has nearly tripled its membership, to 70 businesses. 

Fellow board member Justin Birdnow added that 20 more businesses could still potentially be members. 

Tue
23
Oct

Travel down memory lane at museum event


Mississippi River excursion boat, from the museum’s photo collection.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Take an excursion through McGregor’s storied past at the McGregor Historical Museum’s fall event, “Traveling Down Memory Lane.” 

Held on Friday, Oct. 26, at 6:30 p.m., the event will feature speakers Corky Bickel, Bob Myers and Herb Collins, who will share their memories of the community.

Some of the topics will include river adventures, storm sewer wild rides, early recollections of Main Street merchants and McGregor characters who were known and loved.

Tue
23
Oct

Being seen online: Chamber continues to offer classes that help businesses grow

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce will partner with Brian Stoll, of Illuminate Digital LLC, to offer the latest in a series of classes to help local businesses grow by maximizing their online presence.

The class, which will focus on search engine optimization, will be held in the Sevens Room at Casino Queen Marquette from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thanks to funds raised from last fall’s Tailgate Fundraiser, put on by the Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce to aid the McGregor-Marquette Chamber in the wake of the July 19, 2017 tornado, the class is free to all chamber members. There will be a small fee for those who are not members.

Tue
23
Oct

Candidate Profiles: State House District 56

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Democrat Lori Egan and Republican Anne Osmundson will face off in the Nov. 6 general election for the opportunity to represent District 56 in the Iowa State House. The seat has been held for the past two years by Republican Kristi Hager, who chose not to seek re-election. State House District 56 includes all of Allamakee County and nearly all of Clayton County, excluding Marion, Highland and Boardman townships. Egan and Osmundson recently took time to share their thoughts on some key issues.

Lori Egan

Tue
16
Oct

Daring to debate


Max Koeller, Miqenzie Gilberts, Sam Koeller and Joe Dodgen competed on the MFL MarMac debate team this fall. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

MFL MarMac students gain confidence and speaking skills through program

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Should the United States agree to the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea?

“Most of the world follows it when it comes to sea mining or navigation of the sea,” explained Max Koeller. “We kind of follow the rules, but haven’t actually agreed. The U.S. is one of the very few countries who isn’t part of it.”

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