Local News

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Fri
21
Jun

Dennis Rumohr

Dennis Rumohr, 63, of Moville, died after a sudden battle with cancer. Farmer, father, friend, Dennis went to the field in the sky on June 18, 2019. 

Spending every day on the farm, enjoying God’s creation, he made his life through his work. Especially enjoying the fruits of his labors in the fall, he lived his life according to the ebb and flow of nature’s seasons. Always standing up for what was right, he was slow to anger and quick to laugh. Happy and proud of his family, they were his greatest joy. Through his farm and family, he lived his own way and created his own life, making every day his favorite day. 

Tue
18
Jun

Last call: After 49 years, bingo at St. Mary’s will end June 23


Steve Weipert has been a long-time volunteer at St. Mary’s bingo. The long-running event will be held for the last time this Saturday, June 23. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Norb Hammes has been a staple at bingo for most of its 49 years, calling and organizing the games. He knows who all the regulars are, where they sit and how many cards they typically take.

Norb Hammes is shown here calling bingo in 1977. (Photo from St. Mary’s Guild scrapbook)

Lyle Nierling has been coming to bingo since around 1975. “I lose money, but I also make some once in a great while,” he said with a laugh. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Tom Giese verifies a bingo Sunday night, June 16.

Many people have volunteered to help with bingo over the years. Some of the notables, pictured here in 2006, included John Kohlstedt, Bob Connell, Erwin Ruff, Ralph Pirc, Norb Hammes, Marjorie Goldsmith, Alfred Goldsmith and Wayne Welch. (Photo from St. Mary’s Guild scrapbook)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The parish hall at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in McGregor, is a hub of activity every Sunday evening. People come from around the area—Waukon, Seneca, Lancaster, even Caledonia, Minn.—to try their luck at bingo. For most, it’s a tradition—the same seat, the same number of cards, meeting the same friends—week after week.

But on June 23, they’ll do it all for the last time, as the local institution comes to an end after 49 years. 

“This is huge,” expressed Karol Nelson, one of the leaders of the St. Mary’s Ladies Guild that prepares and serves food each week. “A lot of people are sad as it gets closer to being done.”

Tue
18
Jun

As Mississippi dips below flood stage, businesses look for activity to pick up


The Mississippi River finally dipped below the flood stage of 16 feet at McGregor on June 11. Marquette and McGregor businesses are hopeful activity will begin to pick up now. “Things are coming around,” said Robert Vavra, whose Maiden Voyage boat tours are up and running in Marquette. (Photo by Kamryn Tesar)

In a sign that summer—and the tourism it brings to the area—is finally ready to start, boats have started to trickle in to the Marquette marina. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The Mississippi River finally dipped below the flood stage of 16 feet at McGregor on Tuesday night, June 11—87 days after the National Weather Service (NWS) issued the first flood warning on March 16.

The length of time at or above flood stage obliterated the record for the location, which was an estimated 31 days from April 14 to May 14, 2001. NWS data shows other long stretches included 29 days from June 23 to July 21, 1993 and 26 days from April 12 to May 7, 1965.

Tue
18
Jun

Mar-Mac area offers plentiful trail opportunities throughout the year


The area in and around Marquette and McGregor offers a growing number of trail options for non-motorized use, and resident Dan Keyes has tried them all. One of his favorite past-times is fat tire biking, particularly at Pikes Peak State Park. (Submitted photos)

Many local trails are accessible throughout the year and, between them all, offer opportunities for not just hiking, but also biking, cross country skiing and snow shoeing.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

For local outdoor enthusiasts, as well as visitors, the area in and around Marquette and McGregor offers a growing number of trail options for non-motorized use. Most are accessible throughout the year and, between them all, offer opportunities for not just hiking, but also biking, cross country skiing and snow shoeing. 

McGregor resident Dan Keyes has tried them all and is among a group of volunteers working to further connect trails in the area. He sees not just the economic and tourism benefits but the quality of life they can bring to current and prospective residents.

Tue
18
Jun

McGregor resident launches historic walking tour

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

McGregor resident Joe Brooks is launching a guided walking tour of the community—an effort he hopes will connect locals and visitors alike with McGregor’s past.

“There’s so much history here,” Brooks said, “but it gets forgotten so easily. This will be a way of bringing that history out.”

The guided historic walking tour will be based around the booklet “Take a Walk Through Historic Downtown McGregor,” which was released a few years ago. It is available for purchase at several locations around town and contains history about many of the city’s buildings, homes and parks. Brooks hopes to enhance that.

Tue
18
Jun

Pikes Peak State Park has new summer interpreter


Emma Brimeyer is the new interpreter at Pikes Peak for the summer. (Submitted photo)

By Peyton Meisner, North Iowa Times

Pikes Peak State Park has a new friendly face on its staff this summer.

Emma Brimeyer, a native of  North Buena Vista and a graduate of Clayton Ridge, has been hired for the summer as an interpreter. 

Brimeyer just completed her first year of college at Iowa State, where she is double majoring in animal ecology and biology. She plans on graduating in three years and obtaining her master’s degree and teaching license in her fourth year.

As the park’s interpreter, Brimeyer said her main roles include making connections between the people and the park, answering any questions, and putting on programs for the public.

Tue
18
Jun

Community members celebrate launch of Alexander McGregor Endowment


Cathy Denning, who serves on the committee that will advise the Alexander McGregor Endowment, spoke at a June 13 open house that celebrated the launch of the fund. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Community members gathered at the Backwoods Event Center, in McGregor, June 13, to celebrate the establishment of the Alexander McGregor Endowment.

Mon
17
Jun

Ruth L. Brus

Ruth L. Brus 91, of McGregor, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, June 15, 2019, surrounded by her family. 

She was born July 28, 1927, in Dubuque, the daughter of Rudolph and Grace (Thielen) Wagner. Ruth married Don Brus on April 26, 1947, at Nativity Catholic Church in Dubuque. Ruth was locally known for her beautiful paintings, her deep faith, generous spirit and witty personality. Ruth and Don owned The Snowbird Shop in McGregor and did custom framing until their mid-70s. Ruth painted well into her 80s and donated many paintings to the St. John's bazaar. Ruth was very proud of the banners and altar frontals that she and Don created that are still in use today.

Don preceded her in death on Sept. 12, 2012.

Tue
11
Jun

Monona’s Gateway Park receiving upgrades


The city of Monona is making some big updates at Gateway Park, including a restroom next to the park shelter and seven additional sites in the campground area. (Photo by Peyton Meisner)

This map outlines the location of the new campsites.

By Peyton Meisner, North Iowa Times

The city of Monona will see some new changes to Gateway Park in the next few months. The park is currently in the process of getting a new bathroom, as well as an expansion to the campground. 

In 2016, the Monona visioning committee put forth the idea to update the park. The expansion will feature seven new campsites, with a combination of 30, 50, and 110 amps, and will also have water and sewer hookups. 

The restroom will consist of a men’s, women’s, and handicap bathroom, all of which are wheelchair accessible, and will be equipped with hot water. 

Tue
11
Jun

Defying high water, McGregor’s Beer and Bratz Garden opens for the season


After a spring plagued by Mississippi flood waters, McGregor’s Beer and Bratz Garden welcomed customers for the first time this season on June 4. Manager Ravon Thornton (left) and kitchen staff member Sara Whiteaker made light of the high water, which still surrounded the restaurant at the time of opening, but has since receded. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

With the building still surrounded by water, as well as much of the parking lot in front of it, a bridge was installed to allow customers to cross what manager Ravon Thornton called “the moat” to enter McGregor’s Beer and Bratz Garden.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

After a spring plagued by Mississippi flood waters, McGregor’s Beer and Bratz Garden welcomed customers for the first time this season on June 4.

“This time, we were determined this was going to be the opening date,” said manager Ravon Thornton.

Located right along the Mississippi River, high water isn’t an unusual foe for the long-time restaurant this time of year.

“You have to expect that here,” Thornton shared. “But not for this length of time.”

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