News

Wed
12
Apr

Agreements questioned at Elgin council meeting

Agreements questioned at Elgin council meeting

 

 

Brian Smith
Contributing Writer
bsmith@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

Significant discussion regarding a 28E agreement and a lease agreement between the City of Elgin and some county organizations took place at the Elgin City Council meeting on Monday evening.

   The discussion took place during the early part of the meeting when the payment of bills is typically discussed and either approved or not approved. Councilmember Ron Hills questioned whether the City is responsible for maintenance of a road that leads back to the City lagoon.

Wed
12
Apr

Montauk named a top-3 historical site

 

Wade Schott, Montauk Historic Site curator, displays a top-three finalist certificate for the People’s Choice Site of the Year award. Montauk is a Silos & Smokestack National Heritage Area. (Chris DeBack photo)

 

Montauk named a top-3 historical site

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

Montauk Historic Site in Clermont, a Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area, was recognized on Monday, April 3, as a top-three finisher for the People's Choice Site of the Year award.

Putnam Museum in Davenport was the overall winner of the People’s Choice Site of the Year award, but finishing in the top three is still quite an achievement for rural Clermont historic site. 

“It was an honor to even be nominated. It means someone appreciates you,” said Wade Schott, Montauk Historic Site curator. “To go on and finish in the top three out of this year’s nominees is quite an accomplishment. It shows that our work doesn’t go unnoticed, that the public is aware that we are here and they support us.” 

Approximately 5,000 people visit Clermont’s Montauk Historic Site, Union Sunday School and the Clermont Historical Museum each year. 

Wed
12
Apr

A laugh to benefit the Hawkeye Community Hall

 

 

 

 

A laugh to benefit the Hawkeye Community Hall

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

What do you get when you combine stand-up comedy with a magic show? The Dirty Jokes & Magic Tricks Show on Friday, April 28, at the Hawkeye Community Hall in Hawkeye. 

Proceeds from the event will go to future renovations of the Hawkeye Community Hall. 

This isn’t your average comedy and magic show with stand-up comedian Jeremy “The Mighty Jer-Dog” Danley and R-rated magician Nathan “The Maniac of Magic” Allen. 

Wed
12
Apr

Final day of school June 2

Final day of school June 2

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

On Monday, April 10, at the regular meeting of the North Fayette school board, the last day of school this year for all students, excluding seniors, was approved for Friday, June 2. 

The seniors’ last day will be Wednesday, May 24, two days before graduation on Friday, May 26. According to Duane Willhite, North Fayette and Valley shared superintendent, the school district has 6.75 extra hours available in the schedule; with a school day only being 6.5, it can waive the final day. 

Wed
12
Apr

School boards approve another spring break

 

Ashley Henderson, West Union Elementary first-grade teacher, has her first-grade students back in the swing of things after a weeklong spring break March 20-24. The North Fayette and Valley school boards approved spring break for next year as March 26-30, which is the week leading up to Easter (April 1). 

 

School boards approve another spring break

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The North Fayette and Valley school boards approved March 26-30, the week leading up to Easter on April 1, for spring break for the 2017-2018 school year. 

Whether families had some fun in the sun or stayed around northeast Iowa, North Fayette Valley’s spring break was a much-needed rest for students and staff alike. 

What is a common annual occurrence in many larger school districts in Iowa and across the country, March 20-24, was the first-ever spring break in both the North Fayette and Valley school districts. 

“We have had several people come from other districts where they have had spring breaks,” said Duane Willhite, North Fayette and Valley shared superintendent. “We have been struggling a little bit with general crankiness [such as] disrespect, stress, and tension between teachers and students and students and students. The staff members who have come from districts that had spring breaks have said this semester is a long run with no breaks, especially with Easter being so late. When they have experienced spring break, students and staff come back refreshed and rested, with better attitudes, in better moods, and both students and staff are ready to finish out the year strong.”

When spring break was first discussed amongst the North Fayette and Valley school board members last year, it was always the district's intention to review it after a year. Willhite sent out surveys to students, staff and parents to get feedback on the break. 

Wed
12
Apr

75 years of improving West Union

 

The West Union Lions Club is celebrating 75 years since its establishment on March 19, 1942.  The group will host an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at the North Fayette Valley Performing Arts Center. Current members of the West Union Lions Club include (front, l-r) Dick Woodard, Bob Scott, Wayne Bicknese, Norman Jones, George Woodard, Willie Fritz, Jim Boelman, and LeRoy Soppe; (second row) Pam Moss (president), Carolyn Breuer (treasurer), Ron Saboe, Joe Breuer, Tom Luhman, Amie Johansen, Abbey Ambrosen, and Joyce Friederich; (back) Tracy Weidemann (secretary), Erin Yauslin, Derwin Osmundson, Bruce Bemis, Chris Ebbers, Mark Klinkefus, Bruce Ehler (vice president), Lynn Kelck, and Corey Moser. Chris DeBack photo

 

75 years of improving West Union

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

The West Union Lions Club is celebrating 75 years of supporting and improving the community of West Union. 

The club was started on March 19, 1942, at the Rex Hotel in West Union with 23 charter members. 

It has established a proud tradition of service and charity for the community it supports. 

“Our mission is service and opportunity to others,” said Pam Moss, West Union Lions Club president. “Everything we do is to raise money to give back to our community.” 

Among the more longstanding fundraisers is the Lions Pancake Supper that was started in the late 1970s and continues to this day. The club used to host minstrel and variety shows in its early years and then continued with a candy sale in the 1960s.

Wed
05
Apr

For the love of the game

 

Tom Bushman of Ossian has been wearing stripes as a high school athletics official since 1975. Splitting time as a basketball and volleyball referee, he believes that a shortage in the number of officials around the state is something that will need to be addressed in the near future. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

For the love of the game

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

Millions of young boys and girls around the world participate in sports. High school sports help students stay fit, learn the importance of teamwork, develop leadership skills, and much more. While participation rates in high school athletics have increased for an astounding 27 consecutive years, the number of sports officials around the nation is dropping.

“There is absolutely a shortage in officials around the country,” said Ossian’s Tom Bushman, a 42-year veteran in officiating. “The shortage is something that we have definitely felt on a local level here in northeast Iowa.”

For Bushman, who is now the owner of a local insurance company, officiating local athletics was a major source of income for him when he first got involved.

Wed
05
Apr

Unsung heroes: Emergency dispatchers

 

Being a 9-1-1 dispatcher carries some of the biggest responsibilities in the emergency response process. Isaac Phillips, one of Winneshiek County’s six full-time dispatchers, relays a message to local law enforcement after answering an incoming call concerning a motor vehicle accident in the county. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Unsung heroes: Emergency dispatchers

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

In the event of any type of emergency within the boundaries of Winneshiek County, before law enforcement, ambulance service, or fire crews are contacted, a caller’s first point of contact is an emergency response dispatcher.

“Our dispatchers are a critical piece of the public safety net that we provide,” explained Decorah Police Chief Bill Nixon. “I think their job description is something that is vague to a lot of people. They do a lot more than most realize.”

Wed
05
Apr

Swenson defies stigma of autism

 

Korbin Swenson (left), is a 12-year-old child with autism. He recently went fishing with his grandfather, Laverne Swenson, and picked up a fossil from the stream on Laverne’s property in rural Clermont.  submitted photo

 

Swenson defies sitma of autism

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

It was evident fairly quickly that this wasn’t going to be a typical interview.

While I knew ahead of time that 12-year-old Korbin Swenson has autism, I swiftly realized that my preconceived notions were all wrong. 

It turns out I was the one who was going to be interviewed first. Korbin’s mom, Heidi Swenson, told me Korbin spent the 3½-hour car ride from Burlington to West Union coming up with questions to ask me.

Wed
05
Apr

Miss Elgin crowned

 

The crowning of Miss Elgin took place at the Elgin Public Library on Sunday, April 2. Pictured are 2016 Miss Elgin (left) Jaymes Dotzenrod with 2017 Miss Elgin Callie Lembke.

 

Miss Elgin crowned

 

 

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