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Tue
11
Dec

Learning life lessons Preschool launches kindness project

Blake Hunt
Central fourth grader Blake Hunt ties a message to a sucker that was given to a fifth grader as part of the Kindness Project.
Alexis Ingles
Alexis Ingles shows the candy canes and notes Central preschoolers placed on vehicles last week.
Drake Moser, Emersyn Wiley, and Alexis Ingles
Central students Drake Moser, Emersyn Wiley, and Alexis Ingles enjoy decorating Christmas cookies during a preschool-kindergarten get-together to launch the preschool Kindness Project.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

There’s truth to the old adage, “Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give.” And if you need proof, look no further than Central Schools where the very youngest students last week launched a month-long kindness project that they hope will ultimately embrace all students, faculty and staff.

“During the month of December, the students will participate in one ‘kindness’ activity daily,” explained Central preschool teacher Caroline Erickson. “We are making goodies for the school board, bus drivers, janitors, cooks, nurses, police department and fire department. And we’re filling mugs for the teachers.”

Tue
04
Dec

Meet Hollee McCormick Allamakee-Clayton REC names next GM

Meet Hollee McCormick Allamakee-Clayton REC names next GM
Hollee McCormick was recently named to succeed Paul Foxwell as General Manager at the Allamakee-Clayton Rural Electric Cooperative when Foxwell retires next year.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

A familiar face will take over as general manager at Allamakee-Clayton Rural Electric Cooperative when current GM and Executive Vice President Paul Foxwell retires. The ACREC Board named Hollee McCormick to the post earlier this fall. She has been with the REC for four years as its manager of economic development and community relations.

Foxwell had high praise for the board’s decision, noting that during McCormick’s time with the REC, staff, members and Northeast Iowans in general have all benefited from McCormick’s efforts.

Wed
28
Nov

Courthouse clock tower Restored vane caps off project

Courthouse clock tower Restored vane caps off project
Present for the installation of the restored weather vane at the Clayton County Courthouse were, left to right, Roger Thomas (CCHPC), Supervisor Gary Bowden, courthouse custodian Myron Phelps, Lee Lenth (CCHPC), Betty Buchholz (CCHPC), Gary Goyette (CCHPC), Art Geisert, and John Nikolai (CCHPC).

By Pat McTaggart
Freelance Writer

It took six long years, but the final phase of the clock tower restoration project at the Clayton County Courthouse has been completed with the placing of a fully restored weather vane.

The courthouse was built in 1867-68 with an addition added in 1877-78. In 1896 a wooden clock tower was added to the structure and an E. Howard #1 striker tower clock was installed. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Preliminary studies for the restoration project began in 2012. The goal was to restore the clock and the tower to the way they were in 1896. The clock was removed for repair and restoration in 2014. Wooden hands and new numerals were put on the clock’s four faces and the original dark background was restored.

Balustrades around the widow’s walk on the tower were restored in 2016 and new wiring was installed in the tower in 2017.

Tue
20
Nov

An early Thanksgiving Teamwork results in perfect meal

Central Food Service students
Central Food Service students made an early Thanksgiving meal for themselves and a few special guests.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

The holidays came early to Central School when students in Deb Walz’ Food Science class last week prepared a festive meal for themselves and a few special guests.

The menu, which was negotiated by the 21 students, included glazed ham, sour cream mashed potatoes, corn casserole, dinner rolls, salad and two kinds of pie. After determining the menu, three students walked to Wilkes to purchase the ingredients using, in part, funds from their October fundraiser.

“The students really enjoyed getting to choose the menu, as well as the recipes,” said Walz. “And, of course, they enjoyed eating the delicious food they prepared!”
And in the true spirit of Thanksgiving, they invited a few community members who were in the building for other reasons to join them.

Walz is quick to note that the meal was about more than fixing a delicious entrée and side dishes.

Wed
14
Nov

Central Community Schools First enrollment increase in 20 years

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

The halls at Central are a bit more crowded this year and not just because students and staff are sharing space with construction workers. For the first time in 20-plus years, Central is able to report an increase in its student population. And though the upward tick is a modest one, Central Superintendent Nick Trenkamp sees it as a harbinger of things to come.

While it was not a major increase (+5.5 students), any increase is a positive for the long term financial outlook of the school district,” Trenkamp said. “We still have a lot of work to do but these are exciting times to be a Central Warrior!”

Central’s certified enrollment now sits at 424.1 students, up from 418.6 the year before.

Wed
07
Nov

A salute to veterans Henry Lembke: A long voyage home

A salute to veterans Henry Lembke: A long voyage home

By Pat McTaggart
Freelance Writer

Like thousands of other Iowa boys, Northeast Iowa native Henry Lembke registered for the draft on June 5, 1917, the date that all males between the ages of 21 and 30 were required to do so. World War I was raging in Europe, with America entering into the conflict on April 6. The Army was undergoing a massive transformation from a peacetime force to a force that would be needed to confront the enemy, and that force needed men. 

Wed
31
Oct

Facelift for Elkader Cinema

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

Elkader Cinema owners Lee and Diane Akin are closing their doors November 2. Not for good, of course. Just long enough to give the theater a much-needed makeover.

The theater is getting a new screen, new carpet and paint in the lobby, and two more channels for audio. The biggest change, however, will be the seats. The current commercial-grade plush chairs, which are about 30 years old, will be replaced with state-of-the-art reclining theater seats. This is the product the couple had installed in their Ames theater to rave reviews.

Tue
23
Oct

Meet the candidates Area voters watching two House races

Anne Osmundson (R)
Anne Osmundson (R)
Lori Egan (D)
Kayla Koether (D)
Michael Bergan (R)
Michael Bergan (R)

Clayton County voters will be paying close attention to two hotly contested Iowa State House races in the November 6 general election. In District 55, which includes the town of Elkader and a few surrounding townships, Democrat Kayla Koether is challenging Republican incumbent Michael Bergan. Democrat Lori Egan and Republican Anne Osmundson will vie for the opportunity to represent District 56, which includes most of Clayton County.
Register Editor Pam Reinig and North Iowa Times Editor Audrey Posten had an opportunity to present questions to all four candidates. Their answers follow.

Iowa House District 55

Tue
16
Oct

Four-way race for two Board of Supervisors seats

Dick Dinan (D)
Steve Doeppke (R)
Joleen Jansen (D)
Sharon Keehner (R)

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

The upcoming retirements of Clayton County Supervisors Gary Bowden and Ron McCartney leave two open seats on that board. Four candidates are vying for the vacancies, Democrats Dick Dinan and Joleen Jansen, and Republicans Steve Doeppke and Sharon Keehner.

The two candidates with the most votes following the November 6 election will win, regardless of political affiliation. In other words, two people from the same party or one person from each party can fill the positions. Again, it all depends the final number of votes.

The Register recently contacted all four candidates with a list of questions. Their responses appear below.
Briefly tell readers about yourself (for example, where you live, family, education, career, and previous government or volunteer experience, leadership qualities including budget management and supervision of employees, and so on.)

Tue
09
Oct

Meet Utoni Ruff Feeding Clayton County for 30 years

Utoni Ruff
Utoni Ruff, supervisor at the Clayton County Food Shelf, was recently honored for her service by the members of St. John’s Ministry, Luana and Farmersburg.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

Utoni Ruff sits behind a well-worn desk that most days she’s too busy to use and surveys her modest office. Located in the basement of a church that ceased holding worship services decades ago, the rented space is clean and cluttered, cozy and cramped. The office extends into a larger room with a scarred meeting table covered with stacks of mandated paperwork. The area also has a new in-floor scale (more on that later).
Behind the office are two equally crowded rooms, the largest of which is lined with shelves where like items stacked together for ease of gathering and distributing. A few carts and piles of large grocery bags complete the décor.

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