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Tue
19
Feb

'Menu of options is pretty small’ for making up school days

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Between extreme cold and snow, winter weather has wreaked havoc on MFL MarMac’s schedule the last few weeks. Making up cancelled days will take some maneuvering.

“We’re doing everything we can,” said superintendent Dale Crozier at the Feb. 11 school board meeting. “Our menu of options is pretty small.”

With no school last Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 12 and 13, the district has now missed 10 days this year. It missed a total of eight last year, said Crozier.

Tue
19
Feb

New Friends of Yellow River State Forest organization ready to get started


Those who use and appreciate Yellow River State Forest now have a way to directly support this treasure in Allamakee County, thanks to the formation of a Friends of Yellow River State Forest organization. (Photo by Scott Boylen)

Those who use and appreciate Yellow River State Forest now have a way to directly support this treasure in Allamakee County. 

A group of approximately 10 area residents started working together late last spring to form a Friends of Yellow River State Forest (YRSF) organization. 

Now, they are ready for anyone and everyone who is interested to become involved. The new Friends of YRSF organization is holding the first public meeting of the Friends group on Sunday, March 3, at 2 p.m., at the Harpers Ferry Community Center.

Tue
12
Feb

Three MFL MarMac wrestlers headed to state tournament


MFL MarMac seniors Nathan Johanningmeier (middle, left), Garret Keehner and Michael Egan are all headed to the state wrestling tournament after placing first at districts. They are pictured with head coach Chet Bachman and assistant coaches Mike Meyer, Chip McGeough, Tracy Decker and Travis Johnson.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

MFL MarMac seniors Michael Egan, Nathan Johanningmeier and Garret Keehner are all headed to the Iowa High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines this week after placing first in their respective weight classes at Saturday’s Class 1A District 1 Tournament at Denver.

“All three seniors finished the way they needed to,” said head coach Chet Bachman.

Tue
12
Feb

Preschool program introduces kids to more than reading


Jane Lundquist, children’s librarian at the McGregor Public Library, shares a book about snowflakes with the kids at last week’s preschool program. Activities are offered for 3 to 5 year olds each Tuesday, at 10:30 a.m., in the library’s community room. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

A LOOK AT LIBRARY PROGRAMS

Over the past few weeks, the North Iowa Times has highlighted some of the unique programs and activities offered regularly at the McGregor Public Library. Our fourth, and final, feature focuses on the weekly preschool program.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

“What is the snack?” innocently asked one of the kids at the McGregor Public Library’s weekly preschool program as he rolled a mound of salt dough between his palms, intent on making a snowman. 

Tue
12
Feb

Triple double: Three sets of sisters bring bond to basketball team


The MFL MarMac varsity girls basketball team includes three sets of sisters: Jordan and Jayde Schubert (left), Hannah and Summer Schutte and Lauren and Kayden Gillitzer. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The MFL MarMac girls basketball team has a rule in practice: sisters are not allowed to guard one another. Sometimes, that can be a challenge, considering three sets of them play together on the varsity squad.

Jess Schubert, an assistant coach for the team on which her daughters Jayde (a senior) and Jordan (a junior) play, recalled one instance earlier this season when the two faced off. 

“It got so aggressive they had to stop the drill,” she commented, chuckling. “[Head coach Jason Winter] said, ‘I really like the intensity, but you don’t have to hurt each other.’”

Tue
12
Feb

A ‘berry’ special Valentine’s treat


By the Spoonful owner Katie Ruff plans to make over 1,000 chocolate covered strawberries for customers this Valentine’s Day. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Ruff tempers the chocolate to create the perfect dipping consistency. “You have to bring the temperature high, then, as fast as possible, bring it down low,” she explained. “You stir as much as you can during that process.”

Tempering the chocolate makes it shiny. You’ll know it’s tempered properly when, after it’s hardened on the berry, the chocolate snaps.

Ruff offers strawberries in both dark and milk chocolate.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Valentine’s Day is often the busiest day of the year for florists, who spend countless hours leading up to the holiday deftly arranging beautiful flower bouquets for customers. For By the Spoonful owner Katie Ruff, her preparation isn’t much different—she’s just dealing with food.

Ruff began dipping chocolate covered strawberries at her McGregor shop last Thursday, and will continue through this week, assuring customers have these fruity works of art to take home to their significant others—or keep for themselves.

Tue
05
Feb

Extreme cold impacts area

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

A polar vortex gripped the Midwest with extreme cold last week, resulting in the lowest recorded temperatures in over two decades. 

During the stretch from Tuesday night, Jan. 29, through Thursday morning, Jan. 31, area residents reported thermometer readings as low as -35 degrees between McGregor and Monona, -40 degrees near Elkader and even -42 degrees outside Decorah. According to the National Weather Service out of La Crosse, wind chills made it feel more like the -50s.

Tue
05
Feb

Marquette flips switch on solar project


Dubuque-based Eagle Point Solar installed the Marquette solar project this fall. The system cost $76,000 and is expected to offset 83 percent of the city’s energy consumption at the site. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Well number four not only provides water to residents at Timber Ridge, but to other parts of Marquette, as well.

City Clerk Bonnie Basemann turns on Marquette’s first solar project—a 36.2-kilowatt system that will help power the city’s well number four, located at Timber Ridge Estates.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Marquette recently flipped on its first solar project—a 36.2-kilowatt system that will help power the city’s well number four at Timber Ridge Estates. 

City clerk Bonnie Basemann was the first to consider utilizing solar power for a public building after attending a May 2018 Clayton County Energy District workshop that highlighted the renewable energy’s potential uses and benefits. 

Tue
05
Feb

McGregor Museum’s North Iowa Times digitization project is complete


The McGregor Historical Museum’s North Iowa Times digitization project was largely funded by a $7,000 grant from the Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation (UMGC). Pictured accepting the grant from UMGC President Nancy McClellan (center) are museum board member Jim Klosterboer and director Diane Malcom. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Researching local history just got a whole lot easier. The McGregor Historical Museum’s North Iowa Times digitization project was recently completed, making archives of the state’s third oldest weekly newspaper available online.

By visiting claytoncounty.advantage-preservation.com, people can find editions of the newspaper dating back to its inception in October 1856—all from their computer, tablet or smartphone. Editions of the McGregor News from 1893 to 1913 have also been digitized. The link will soon be accessible from the McGregor Historical Museum’s updated website, mcgregormuseum.org.

Tue
05
Feb

Pikes Peak hunt wraps up, with 12 deer harvested

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Pikes Peak State Park’s first managed archery deer hunt since 2011 concluded on Jan. 10. Twenty-six hunters participated in the three-month-long antlerless hunt, harvesting 12 deer.

Although 100 tags were available, Pikes Peak Park Manager Matt Tschirgi said, “It’s a good start. Everything went well.”

Tschirgi worked with the Iowa DNR’s wildlife bureau and wildlife depredation biologist Ross Ellingson to organize the hunt, which they hoped would cull the growing herd in both the park and the city of McGregor.

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