News

Wed
05
Jul

River Road Show coming to Fayette County

River Road Show coming to Fayette County

 

 

 An Iowa Rivers Revival event, The River Road Show, will be held in mid- July on the Turkey River in Fayette County. The River Road Show is an opportunity to connect citizens and leaders to the 70,000 miles of interior rivers and streams located in Iowa, a valuable natural resource.

    Iowa Rivers Revival (IRR), a nonprofit statewide leader in river education and advocacy, is committed to protecting Iowa rivers and streams. IRR works to engage individuals, organizations, communities, and government leaders in river awareness, responsibility, and enjoyment to improve and enhance the condition of Iowa waterways – ensuring a quality, safe and lasting resource for future generations.

    “The rivers of Iowa have a long and rich story to tell, but the most important lesson we can learn from them is that we are all connected. I look forward to reaching out and connecting with scientists, public agencies and departments, legislators, students, teachers, business leaders, paddlers, and sportsmen and women through events like this one,” said IRR Executive Director Molly Hanson.

    The River Road Show will include representatives from Iowa Rivers Revival, the Fayette County Conservation Board, Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development, the Turkey River Recreational Corridor, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and local legislators.
     “The day will include a working lunch at which leaders can discuss their communities’ unique issues and projects. After that, we will paddle the river, giving participants a chance to view their community from a new perspective, the river’s edge,” noted Hanson.

Wed
05
Jul

Local boy makes it really big

Elgin native Jason Butikofer has been named deputy athletic director at Purdue University. (Submitted photo)

 

Local boy makes it really big

 

 

By Jerry Wadian
jwadian@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

When Elgin native Jason Butikofer was the manager for the University of Iowa’s men’s basketball team under Dr. Tom Davis, he dreamed of how wonderful it would be to someday be an administrator of a big-time basketball program.

Last week the former Valley Tiger and stock boy at Moore’s IGA in Elgin surpassed even his biggest childhood dreams when he was hired to be the new deputy athletic director at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

Wed
05
Jul

More than just a motto to Scout leader Ungerer

 

Having led the Fayette Girl Scout troops for nearly 25 years, retiring troop leader Shirley Ungerer has collected many photos, cards and Girl Scout memorabilia over the years.

 

More than just a motto to Scout leader Ungerer

 

 

Megan Molseed

Contributing Writer

 

 

“…To help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law” is the motto that volunteer Girl Scout leader Shirley Ungerer taught her girls.  It’s a motto that she, along with the kids, take to heart.  

“I always wanted to be a Girl Scout, but when I was a kid, we just didn’t have anyone to lead the troops,” recalled the retiring troop leader, as she recounted how she got involved as Fayette troop leader over 25 years ago. “I was looking for a way to help out in the community and this came up.  I was excited to get involved.”  

Every year Ungerer plans a variety of once-in-a-lifetime activities, from whitewater rafting in the Colorado Rockies and helicopter rides over Mount Rushmore in the famous Black Hills of South Dakota to baseball games and “ghost tours” in Tennessee.  

“We’ve had some pretty great adventures,” Shirley related.  

Wed
05
Jul

Playin' on the Plaza to open with Kindred Minds

 

The West Union-based group Kindred Minds will kick off this summer’s Playin’ on the Plaza concert series with their mix of folk, traditional, and gospel music. Members of Kindred Minds are (l-r) Jan Roseland, Art Roseland, Karen Keele Kober, and Greg James.

 

Playin' on the Plaza to open with Kindred Minds

 

 

Brian Smith
Contributing Writer
bsmith@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

    West Union’s Playin’ on the Plaza summer concert series begins on Thursday evening, July 6, with a performance from Kindred Minds. The concert starts at 6 p.m. on the courthouse square and is scheduled to entertain the crowd until 8 p.m.

    A musical group formed over a decade ago at West Union’s United Methodist Church, Kindred Minds includes the instrumental and vocal talents of Art and Jan Roseland, Greg James and Karen Keele Kober. The four-piece acoustic string ensemble includes a hammer dulcimer, guitars and a stand-up bass.

Wed
05
Jul

Longtime organist's service ends with final chord

 

A member of United Methodist Church in West Union since 1958 and an organ player there for the past 35 years, Steve Story of rural Hawkeye has retired from playing at Sunday services. He and three others volunteered their services beginning in 1982, and the former longtime West Union resident continued to serve up until his final Sunday a few weeks ago.

 

Longtime organist's service ends with final chord

 

 

Brian Smith
Contributing Writer
bsmith@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

  It began with a mother’s desire for her son to learn to play the piano and eventually turned into 35 years of playing the organ on Sundays at United Methodist Church in West Union. Steve Story’s desire to serve when the church needed an organist is typical of the way he lives his life – helping out whenever needed.

     “I am not a professional at all, but I can play church music and some historical pieces, and it turned into something that I really do enjoy. Mostly, though, I was just trying to help out,” explained Story, who has been a member of United Methodist since 1958.

Wed
05
Jul

Eagle Scout project offers way to give back

 

Kale Rodgers (right) gave the house of Ray Harford and his wife, Marian (not pictured), new life when he donated a roof to the family as his Eagle Scout project. A band of community members volunteered their time to assist Rodgers in the endeavor, which was completed over a weekend, June 24-25. Jerry Blue photo

 

Eagle Scout project offers way to give back

 

 

Brian Smith
Contributing Writer
bsmith@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

Eagle Scout project offers way to give back

Brian Smith

 

     An Eagle Scout project has provided an opportunity for many former Scouts and several community members to give back in a unique and personal way. Kale Rodgers of West Union came up with the idea in 2016 while considering what he should do for his upcoming Eagle Scout project.

    “I had gone over to Ray Harford’s house to work on a merit badge, and we had just had a pretty big rain. When we went in, I noticed that their roof was leaking and they definitely had a need for a new one. That is where it all started,” said Rodgers, who began his Scouting career as a first-grader.

Wed
28
Jun

Winneshiek Fair fast approaching

 

 

Winneshiek Fair fast approaching

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

Buttons for the 2016 Winneshiek County Fair in Decorah are on sale! The buttons, which are available for $30 in advance and $35 at the gate (ages 6 and under are free), are good for admittance to all five 2017 Grandstand events.

The Grandstand events include stock car racing at Upper Iowa Speedway on Tuesday evening, July 11; National Tractor Pulling Association (NTPA) Truck and Tractor Pull on Wednesday, July 12; America’s premier tribute band Arch Allies, as well as opener Trouble Shooter on Thursday, July 13; country music star Scotty McCreery with opener Drew Baldridge on Friday, July 14; and CC Bull Riding and Barrel Racing on Saturday, July 15.

Wed
28
Jun

'That's what farmers do'

 

Ron McCartney and Kim Dummermuth (l-r), both of Elgin, were among approximately 45 northeast Iowa farmers to travel to a ranch near Ashland, Kan., to help recovery efforts from devastating fires that destroyed over 1.6 million acres across the dry Kansas land. Last week, the group embarked on the two-day journey to help tear down and replace two miles of fenceline on one of the ranches affected. (submitted photo)

 

'That's what farmers do'

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

The story begins in March. A recipe that began with brittle-dry grass conditions, a few sparks, and millions of acres of Midwestern land stretched across Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado ended in devastation for thousands of farmers and ranchers.

With 6 percent humidity and over 70 mph winds that fateful spring morning, multiple blazes broke out across the four-state area, but none as big as the Starbuck Fire.

“The fires were so big and fast-moving that many ranchers had only a half-hour notice before the flames would reach their ranch,” explained Elgin farmer Ron McCartney, a nearly 40-year agricultural veteran. “All they could do was try to drive away from the fires and hope the wind would not switch directions and enter their path.”

In total, seven individuals from Texas and Kansas died in the fires as they tried to save their cattle. The fire blackened over 1.6 million acres across the four-state area and caused millions of dollars worth of damage, a figure that is higher than the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. 

“There were farmers who lost their entire ranch and their entire livelihood,” commented fellow farmer Kim Dummermuth of Elgin, who has over 40 years of experience farming in northeast Iowa. “I got a call from a good friend of mine who was putting together a group of northeast Iowa farmers to travel to the affected area and help with relief efforts. It didn’t take much persuading for me; if something tragic happens here, neighbors come together to help one another out. That’s what farmers do, so I agreed to make the trip.”

Wed
28
Jun

Work begins on Elgin trail expansion

 

Extension of the Turkey River Recreational Corridor Trail officially began as the Fayette County Secondary Roads Department laid down the trail bed from the campground at Gilbertson to the Gilbertson Nature Center in Elgin. Secondary Roads used a donated truck scale to create a bridge over a water channel. Chris DeBack photo

 

Work begins on Elgin trail expansion

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

Work has officially started on the Turkey River Recreational Corridor Trail extension from Elgin through Gilbertson Nature Center. 

Fayette County Secondary Roads recently completed the trail bed from the campground in Gilbertson Park to Gilbertson Nature Center and its petting zoo.

Wed
28
Jun

Area Fourth of July celebrations

Area 4th of July celebrations

 

 

 

 

Area Fourth of July celebrations promise a variety of activities and entertainment in addition to the usual oohs and aahs of a traditional fireworks show. Following are some area plans for the Fourth of July 2017:

 

Clermont – A holiday fireworks show for the Valley community is set for Sunday, July 2, at dusk. The fireworks will take place over the campground lake at Skip-A-Way Resort in Clermont.

 

Festina – The Firecracker 5K, sponsored by the Festina Improvement Association, will start at Neal’s Auto

Body in Festina on July 4. Race time is 9 a.m., with prizes awarded to the top male and female finishers and to children 12 and under. Festina’s annual Fourth of July parade will begin at 11 a.m.

 

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