News

Wed
19
Feb

Igloo building 101 with the Phillips family

Isaac Phillips (right) and sons Zachary and Samuel (l-r) enjoy the completed igloo at their rural Calmar home. The process involved plenty of planning and preparation and the team of igloo builders is already taking notes on how to make the design better for next winter. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

IIgloo building 101 with the Phillips family

 

Zakary Kriener

 

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

Sure, building a snowman can be a fun winter activity for some people – but for the Phillips family of rural Calmar was looking for something new. This winter, Isaac and sons Zachary, age 10, and Samuel, age 6, embarked on a new fun and educational project as they built an igloo in their own backyard.

“The idea came up last year when I had bought a new jungle gym for the kids and was trying to think of how we could use it in the winter as well,” explained Phillips, referring to the dome-shaped structure. “There are only so many winter activities that you can do and I wanted to come up with something different than building a snowman or a sledding hill. Because of the shape of the jungle gym, I saw the perfect opportunity to try to build an igloo.”

Phillips began to research the process of building an igloo, but since authentic igloos are built differently, there was not much information available to him.

“Traditional igloos are freestanding and built with bricks of snow,” explained the father of two. “I cheated a little bit, so I came up with most of the design plan on my own.”

The project began in Nov. 2019 when Isaac started the preparation process in order to be ready for the first snowfall.

Wed
19
Feb

Aeschliman leads the TigerHawks

North Fayette Valley sophomore, Chase Aeschliman played his very first game with the Tigerhawks junior varsity team last week.  Chase wowed the crowd as he sunk a three-pointer against the Oelwein Huskies.  (Photo courtesy of Kris Freitag) 

 

Aeschliman leads the TigerHawks

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

For many, it seemed like any other Monday night junior varsity basketball game as the Tigerhawk boys took on the Oelwein Huskies at home on Monday, February 12.   But, to 15 year-old Chase Aeschliman, this was no ordinary game as the six foot three North Fayette Valley sophomore prepared for something big - his first run onto the court since joining the team last year. 

“I was very nervous,” Chase said of that evening.  “I kept practicing my shots, but I didn’t know how I would actually do in that moment.” 

When Chase was 11 years old, he suffered a stroke stemming from a detached artery.  The stroke paralyzed the right side of Chase’s body.

Wed
19
Feb

Job Fair at Maple Crest February 26

The current staff at Maple Crest in Fayette will be welcoming candidates to the Job Fair on Feb. 26. A jungle theme for the event has been chosen to center around the care facility’s monkey mascot. (Jack Swanson photo)

 

Job Fair at Maple Crest February 26

 

Maple Crest Manor, 98 Bolger Drive in Fayette, is hosting it’s first every Job Fair, Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

They are looking to hire people in every department, including Dietary, Nursing and Housekeeping. There will be open interviews and applicants will be able to tour the facilities. Childcare will be available and refreshments will be served.

“We’re just hoping to get people in the door,” said Assisted Living Director and Director of Community Relations Angie Vagts.

Wed
19
Feb

On the road to recovery, DeBack's open-heart valve surgery goes well

Chris Deback holds up his heart pillow, showing where his heart was operated on during his open-heart surgery in January.  DeBack was born with Shones Syndrome,  a rare congenital heart disease consisting of multiple left heart obstructive defects.  (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

On the road to recovery, DeBack's open-heart valve surgery goes well

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

“The support and well wishes from the community have been amazing,” smiled Chris DeBack of the many messages he received before, during, and after his January open-heart surgery.

“All of the thoughts and prayers made the healing go quicker,” continued the West Union man. “I could really feel the support.”

DeBack was diagnosed with Shone’s Syndrome, a rare congenital heart disease, shortly after birth.

With this syndrome, the patient experiences a variety of left-sided heart obstructions and lesions.

“There is the coarctation of the aorta, where a portion of the artery is narrow,” explained DeBack. “My mitrovalve just didn’t open very well.”

At six-weeks old, the New York State native had his first open-heart operation to repair the coarctation.

“There was a fifty-fifty chance that this surgery would last my lifetime,” said DeBack. “It was also just as likely that it would, overtime, become narrow again.”

Over the years, DeBack had multiple small surgeries to help with the symptoms including a stent put in his aorta

when he was 16.

“I met with a cardiologist once a year to monitor everything,” he explained.

“The surgery I had when I was 6 weeks old was to correct the coarctation, but I still had a bicuspid aortic valve and mitral valve stenosis. A ballooning surgery helped by temporarily widening the narrow portion of my aorta after it recoarced,” said DeBack, noting that this portion of Shone’s Syndrome didn’t create too big of a deal if monitored regularly.

“When I was that little, it really didn’t create any problems,” he explained. “As I got older, though, it became something I did have to watch.”

Wed
19
Feb

County-wide goal is safety

Representatives from the Ohio based company Optotraffic met with Fayette County Law Enforcement members as well as area council members to discuss the possible installation of LiDAR equipment throughout Fayette County.  (Megan Molseed photo)

 

County-wide goal is safety

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

“When all is said and done, this simply comes down to safety,” said Optotraffic representative, Cory Kuzyk during a meeting with Fayette County law enforcement and council members last week.  “The goal is to get drivers to slow down.” 

“This is part of a county-wide safety initiative,” added West Union Police Chief, Paul Becthold.  “The goal is to reduce the number of accidents, accident related injuries, fatalities, and damages.” 

Founded in 2005 as a division of an aerospace engineering company, Optotraffic offers LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology with its patented “above the road” systems.

“The goal we are aiming for is creating a county-wide effort to monitor drivers to increase safety,” noted Becthold.  “We want to be as transparent as possible.  The goal is to get drivers, throughout the county, to watch their speed and focus on safety.” 

During last week’s Tuesday evening meeting, members of the West Union, Fayette, Clermont, Oelwein, and Arlington city councils, as well as members of the local and county law enforcement met with Kuzyk and David Mostofi of Optotraffic to discuss options in installing the LiDAR technology throughout the county.

“We have talked about something like this in the past, but we don’t want to be the first to do it,” said one Oelwein council member.  “If we do this county-wide it will have a greater impact and will be much more effective.” 

Wed
12
Feb

Scholarships support NICC student's mission

Kayla Burke, a large animal veterinary technician student at Northeast Iowa Community College and Ft. Atkinson-native, is making the most of the local scholarships she received through NICC and hopes to one day go on to work as a veterinarian in northeast Iowa. (submitted photo)

 

 

Scholarships support NICC student's mission

 

Editor’s note: Story and photo published with permission from Northeast Iowa Community College.

Local organizations that support their future agricultural professionals make an impact on college-bound students with ambitious dreams.

Kayla Burke, a Large Animal Veterinary Technician student at Northeast Iowa Community College’s Calmar campus, is a standout example. Burke plans to serve her hometown of Ft. Atkinson and area farming communities as a veterinarian and, considering the number of local scholarships she received, everyone wants to make it happen.

The scholarships Burke received include the Ray Bodensteiner Family Perpetual Memorial Scholarship, William and Carole Burke Family Scholarship, Keith O’Connell Memorial Scholarship, Young Minds Change Lives Scholarship, Lawler Lions Scholarship, Turkey Valley Music Boosters Scholarship, Turkey Valley Dollars for Scholars Scholarship and the Golden Ticket Scholarship through NICC.

“My goal is to graduate from Northeast Iowa Community College with a Large Animal Veterinary Technician license and find employment as a vet tech while I continue my education at Iowa State University. I plan to study veterinary medicine and hopefully one day obtain my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). After completing eight years of college to become a veterinarian, finding a job at a veterinary clinic in northeast Iowa gives me an opportunity to help the farming families I have known my entire life!” Burke expressed.

Wed
12
Feb

Ladies Day Out to celebrate 10 years on Saturday

 

Cathy Folsom, Cassie Peterson, and Beth Hunsberger are excited to celebrate 10 years of the Ladies Day Out day out event this Saturday.  The annual event features area crafters and vendors as well as a silent auction. Proceeds from the annual event go to a number of valuable organizations.  (submitted photo) 

 

Ladies Day Out to celebrate 10 years on Saturday

 

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

Hey ladies! It’s that time again!  Time to get ready for the annual Ladies Day Out at the Clermont Opera House.  

The annual event will be celebrating 10 years on Saturday, February 15.

“This started 10 years ago as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society,” said event organizer, Cathy Folsom.  “Cancer had hit my family hard, and I wanted to find a way to give back.” 

The annual event features multiple area vendors and crafters.  There is also a raffle for a goody basket donated by the crafters and vendor, including a silent auction.  

Wed
12
Feb

Gilbertson gets extensive Native American display

This is the display of the Native American collection that was donated by the family of Jeffrey Marvin to the Gilbertson Nature Center. The display case was made by Gilbertson maintenance supervisor Isaac Sedlmayr. (Jack Swanson photos) 

 

Gilbertson gets extensive Native American display

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

A new display at the Gilbertson Nature Center near Elgin will give visitors more insight to the culture and craftsmanship of Native Americans.

About two weeks ago the Center received a donation of one man’s lifetime collection of Native American stone artifacts and handcrafted items. 

Jeffrey Marvin was a lifetime collector and enthusiast of Native American culture. Marvin, 60, from Janesville, died last year.  His parents, Mary Kay and Bob Marvin, wanted a place for their son’s collection that he had so passionately collected over the years. 

Marvin’s cousin, Steve Woods, lives right across the street from the Nature Center. Jeffrey’s ties also lead to the Nature Center through a display of an Alaskan Brown Bear that resides there. The bear was harvested in 1968 by his uncle, C. W. Swenson, from the Elgin area. Woods thought his cousin’s items should be placed in the Nature Center. Marvin’s parents thought it was a great idea and their son’s items would soon be on their way to Gilbertson.

Wed
12
Feb

Reierson honored as Outstanding Teacher

On Tuesday, February 5, North Fayette Valley Middle School teacher, Carol Reierson (second from left,) was recognized for her nomination for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.  Pictured (l-r) Iowa Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, Reierson, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, and Iowa Department of Education Director, Ryan Wise. (submitted photo) 

 

Reierson honored as Outstanding Teacher

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

North Fayette Valley middle school science teacher Carol Reierson received the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching last week.

“It was an absolute honor to be recognized for what I do,” smiled Reierson.  “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else each day, and this honor is something that means so much to me.” 

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are the nation’s highest honors for kindergarten through 12th grade educators of math and science.

Wed
12
Feb

NFV exploring competition mat options; OK's summer transportation

 

NFV exploring competition mat options; OK's summer transportation

 

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

The North Fayette Valley school board met for its regular meeting on Monday, February 10.

During the meeting, high school principal Todd Wolverton addressed the board regarding the purchase of new wrestling mats.

“I have been taking the time to look at all of the options that are out there,” said Wolverton. 

“I can say I’m glad I didn’t jump into a purchase right away because there are new products on the market that may be a better fit for our needs,” the principal continued.  “It’s been awhile since I priced wrestling mats, and a lot of options have hit the market in that time.” 

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