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Tue
30
Apr

Finding chemistry through competition


A group of MFL MarMac juniors put their chemistry skills to the test during a recent competition at Loras College in Dubuque. Participants included (front, left to right) RoseMary McGeough, Megan Lang, Rachel Davis; (back) Beau Benzing, Eli Johnson, Cedrick Drahn, Taylor Berns, Destiny Berns, Kayleigh White and Max Koeller. One of the school’s two teams placed third in the Chemistry Olympics, and Koeller, Johnson and Benzing placed in two individual events. (Submitted photo)

“It was not only educational,” said Koeller of the Chemistry Olympics experience, “but it taught us that there’s more to a lot of fields in science.” (Submitted photo)

Megan Lang competes in a lab that was one of five different events at the Chemistry Olympics at Loras College. Students were each assigned a lab to compete in and focused on practicing the labs beforehand, working on proper technique to get the best results. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

A group of MFL MarMac juniors put their chemistry skills to the test during a recent competition at Loras College in Dubuque. It was admittedly a bit of an experiment for the students—the school had never before participated in the event.

“I just love any chance for my students to compete in science,” said teacher Cheryl Drowns, who was familiar with Chemistry Olympics through her former position at Beckman High School. “I think it’s a big motivator and pushes them to perform their best and problem solve.” 

Tue
30
Apr

Brothers start mobile blasting business


Garret blasts stainless steel semi stacks. (Submitted photo)

Brothers Gatlin and Garret Keehner have started their own business, Keehner Mobile Blasting Service (KMBS), which is based in Monona. Here, Gatlin sponge blasts pipes inside a water treatment plant, preparing the surface for epoxy paint. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Brothers Gatlin and Garret Keehner have started their own business, Keehner Mobile Blasting Service (KMBS).

Based in Monona, the venture was inspired by the boys’ parents, Justin and Angie, who had a mobile blasting service in Montana before moving to the area.

Gatlin is a 2015 MFL MarMac graduate, while Garret is currently finishing up his senior year at the school. The two found there were people in the area in need of this type of service, so decided to make the jump into owning and operating their own business so they could offer a solution.

Tue
23
Apr

Students apply physics knowledge in competition


Students from MFL MarMac’s high school physics class tied for fifth place as a team at the State of Iowa Physics Competition held at the University of Northern Iowa on April 9. Sisters Hannah (left) and Summer Schutte placed first in the catapult event.

Keagan Moose (left) and Hailey Smith test their bridge, made up of toothpicks and Elmer’s glue, at the state competition. This year marked just the second time MFL MarMac qualified for state as a team.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Students from MFL MarMac’s high school physics class tied for fifth place as a team at the State of Iowa Physics Competition held at the University of Northern Iowa on April 9. This was just the second time the school had qualified as a team, after winning the local Physics Olympics in Monona in March.

“Although the school has competed in Physics Olympics before, this was my first year being involved, so it was really new to all of us,” said teacher Cheryl Drowns. “To get to state is a huge achievement.”

One of her goals this year was to give students a chance to compete in science.

Tue
23
Apr

Plan will help McGregor manage its urban forest


Arborist Richard Kittleson inventoried 119 street and park trees in McGregor last summer. Thirty-six percent of them are maples, like these in Triangle Park. (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

A newly-developed plan will help the city of McGregor manage its urban forest and budget for future maintenance and tree plantings.

The urban forest management plan was created by arborist Richard Kittleson, based on a tree inventory conducted in the community last summer. 

“The DNR Urban Forestry Department has been doing these with grants from the U.S. Forest Service, so there’s no charge to cities,” he shared during a presentation to the city council April 17.

Tue
23
Apr

McGregor Council may consider allowing UTVs on city streets

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The McGregor Council may consider allowing general use of ATVs and UTVs on city streets. The vehicles are currently only allowed for construction and use by city staff.

The discussion stemmed from a UTV ride that visited the community several weeks ago to fuel up, said mayor Lyle Troester at the city’s April 17 council meeting.

“It created a disturbance,” he explained, because the riders weren’t aware UTV operation was prohibited. “They just assumed [it was OK] since we’re surrounded by county roads.”

Tue
23
Apr

Wright sworn in as new Monona councilman


Monona Mayor Lynn “Marty” Martinson (left) swore in the city’s newest council member, Tim Wright (right), on April 15. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Tim Wright was sworn in as Monona’s newest city council member at the regular meeting April 15. He replaces Doug Bachman, who resigned earlier this spring.

Wright’s appointment runs through the fall. At that time, if Wright would like an opportunity to complete the remaining two years of Bachman’s term, his name must be on the ballot for the November city election.

New Hay Days activities planned

The council authorized street closures and the use of ATVs on city streets for Monona’s annual Hay Days event, which will be held this year on Saturday, June 8.

Tue
16
Apr

Cutting out a piece of history


Samson Elledge watches as the Torchmate plasma cutter forms one of the street banners the class is creating for the city of Monona. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Last fall, the city’s visioning committee, along with Monona Chamber and Economic Development, Inc. (MCED), sponsored a contest that encouraged residents of all ages to develop imagery they felt best represented Monona. Six different designs were eventually selected for the banners: a soldier, an MFL MarMac bulldog, a tractor and field scene, a tree with a trail wrapping around its trunk, a butterfly among flowers and a butterfly in the palm of a hand.

Teacher Joe Milewsky and student Cayden Ball show how a computer program is used to determine which pieces the plasma cutter will remove from the banner and how it will move while doing so.

Sophomore Thaddeus Herold worked on the Bulldog banner, which, in addition to the animal’s face, includes a line of paw prints.

Samson Elledge shows off his finished product.

The class hopes to have the metal banners, which will be painted, cut out by the end of April. They should go up this spring.

Monona street banner project connects students with community

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Samson Elledge watches intently as the plasma cutter skims over the blackened sheet of metal. Sparks fly as it traverses the space, carving out stars in its wake, followed by a soldier’s silhouette then the letters “M-O-N-O-N-A.” 

It’s pretty cool, acknowledged the MFL MarMac senior, to watch one of the city of Monona’s new street banners form before his eyes—thanks to his hard work and determination. 

Tue
16
Apr

‘Younger Americans’ enjoy show choir experience


Local kids in preschool through fifth grade took the stage with members of the MFL MarMac Young Americans show choir for a clinic on April 7. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Each youth group learned the music and movements to a selection from the “Fun in the Sun” program performed by the Young Americans at competitions and concerts this year.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

MFL MarMac’s Young Americans show choir hosted its first ever clinic April 7, giving local kids an opportunity to grow their singing and dancing skills. 

Riley Whitney and Rose Grau, both sophomore members of the Young Americans, organized the clinic, which Whitney said was inspired by the events other school organizations and sports teams host. 

“I got to thinking, ‘Why don’t we do that?’ Whitney shared. “It’d be awesome to get kids up on stage and dancing and get our name out there so kids know what the Young Americans are.” 

Tue
16
Apr

Mar-Mac PD has two new officers


James "J.T." Cunningham

Mason Kwilinski

Two new full-time officers have joined the Mar-Mac Unified Police District. James “J.T.” Cunningham and Mason Kwilinski were sworn in April 10, following approval by the police commission. Cunningham is a Guttenberg native, while Kwilinski hails from Montevideo, Minn.

Mar-Mac Police Chief Robert Millin said both officers would begin working for the department within the next few weeks. Neither is certified, he noted, so the goal is to have them attend the academy this fall.

The police commission, at Millin’s recommendation, also approved the hiring of two part-time certified officers: Conrad Rosendahl, of Lansing, and Mak Kriener, of Cresco. 

Tue
16
Apr

Marquette looks to crack down on nuisances

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The city of Marquette is hoping to crack down on nuisance properties in the community. 

“We’ve received a lot of complaints about yards and houses that don’t look good,” said mayor Steve Weipert at the April 9 council meeting. “We’re trying to figure out a way to handle the situation.” 

“We’ve sent out some letters—some for trash and some for junk vehicles,” added city clerk Bonnie Basemann, but the notices have produced few results. 

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