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Tue
17
Oct

Vavra taking over Marquette marina

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Robert Vavra has agreed to purchase the Marquette marina from Casino Queen Marquette.

“We’re pretty excited,” remarked Vavra of himself and his wife, Deb, at Marquette’s Oct. 10 council meeting.

The move will give Vavra’s Maiden Voyage tour boat a new home, something he’s sought for the past few years.

Vavra said he plans to run the marina just as it’s been operating, but with a few improvements.

Tue
10
Oct

Fundraising continues for new Luana fire station


This design shows what the new Luana fire station will look like. Fundraising for the new fire station began almost two years ago, and has so far yielded $140,000, nearly halfway to the $300,000 goal. With just $10,000 more, construction can begin, at a site below the old co-op.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Luana’s volunteer firefighters have talked about building a new fire station for years. They were always sarcastic about it, though, noted fireman Matt Baade. But nearly two years ago, the idea finally took root.

“We thought, ‘If we’re going to be serious about it, we need to start raising money and go for it,’” he shared. “Whether it takes three years or 10 years, you have to start somewhere.”

So far, efforts have yielded $140,000, nearly halfway to the $300,000 goal.

With just $10,000 more, construction can begin, said Baade, who’s also chairman of the building committee.

Tue
10
Oct

Individuals recognized for McGregor historic preservation efforts


The McGregor Historic Preservation Commission held its annual awards ceremony Oct. 7, recognizing individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to the historic preservation of McGregor. The honorees, pictured with McGregor Mayor Harold Brooks (back, right), included (front, left to right) Melanie San Fillippo, Michelle Pettit, Richard Palucci; (back) Fred Petrie, Gary Bowden (accepting for the McGregor United Methodist Church congregation), Barbara and Skip Corson, Charlene Palucci and Med and Corky Bickel. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Members of the McGregor Historic Preservation Commission are (front, left to right) Lynette Sander, Maureen Wild, Dave Kneer; (back) Marsha Bickel, Rogeta Halvorson, Richard Palucci, Michelle Pettit and Duane Boelman. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

The building that now houses McGregor City Hall is 100 years old. It was constructed in 1917 as McGregor’s First Church of Christ, Scientist.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The McGregor Historic Preservation Commission held its annual awards ceremony Oct. 7, recognizing individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to the historic preservation of McGregor.

The event took place at McGregor City Hall, in conjunction with a centennial celebration of the city hall building.

Mayor Harold Brooks began the ceremony by presenting tribute awards to Skip and Barbara Corson, as well as Melanie San Fillippo and Fred Petrie, who lost their buildings during the July 19 tornado.

Tue
10
Oct

Marquette’s new Casey’s store to open Oct. 19


The new Casey’s General Store in downtown Marquette is slated to open Thursday, Oct. 19. A grand opening will be held a week later, on Friday, Oct. 27. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The new Casey’s General Store currently under construction in downtown Marquette is slated to open Thursday, Oct. 19, according to Sam James, director of finance with Casey’s General Store.

The store’s grand opening will be held a week later, on Friday, Oct. 27.

“The store will run some specials and do some contests, like giving away free gas to someone for a year,” James said.

Tue
10
Oct

Parking restrictions approved for several Monona streets

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

At its Oct. 2 meeting, the Monona Council approved parking restrictions for several city streets, including South Page, Maple, Fair and Davis streets.

On South Page, changes will occur in front of MFL MarMac Elementary, where parking was not allowed in six spaces. After consulting with the school, Monona Police Chief Jo Amsden recommended allowing parking in four spaces, while leaving two restricted, a move the council approved.

Tue
03
Oct

Concerns raised over construction of cattle feedlot and biogas operation


Construction is currently underway on a 10,000-head cattle feedlot and biogas operation along Highway 18, east of Monona. The DNR has yet to issue a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the project, and area residents are concerned discharge could harm the Bloody Run Creek Watershed. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Area residents are concerned about how a 10,000-head cattle feedlot and biogas operation currently under construction east of Monona could impact the Bloody Run Creek Watershed.

Walz Energy began grading the roughly 50-acre site at 22578 Highway 18 several months ago. Now, construction is underway on six open front cattle barns, to go with an additional barn already in existence, as well as a feed storage area, concrete transfer pits and an earthen liquid manure storage lagoon with a capacity of nearly 39 million gallons.

Also included on the site will be four tanks for anaerobic digestion and methane production for scrubbed biogas.

Tue
03
Oct

Current, former residents saddened by loss of McGregor pedestrian bridge


The McGregor pedestrian bridge that spanned across B Street, connecting Second Street with Point Ann Lane, was torn down Sept. 19, leaving many current and former residents saddened. (Submitted photo)

This image shows the pedestrian bridge in August, not long before it was torn down. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The McGregor pedestrian bridge that spanned across B Street, connecting Second Street with Point Ann Lane, was torn down Sept. 19. Already in need of repair prior to the July 19 tornado, the bridge was no longer salvageable.

City administrator Lynette Sander, speaking at McGregor’s regular council meeting Aug. 16, said the city was awarded FEMA funding following last September’s heavy rains, to repair the footing of the bridge at the south end, where the soil eroded. Those funds are still being held in a city account.

Following the tornado, a structural engineer inspected the bridge, determining if the frame could be re-used if the decking was replaced. It was deemed unsafe.

Tue
03
Oct

Hawk Watch will spotlight fall raptor migration


Marquette’s Driftless Area Wetlands Centre, in conjunction with the Upper Iowa Audubon Society, will host Hawk Watch on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. One of the event highlights will be live bird presentations with a red-tailed hawk and peregrine falcon. (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Celebrate the fall migration of hundreds of thousands of raptors and other birds along the Mississippi River Flyway at Hawk Watch on Saturday, Oct. 7. Marquette’s Driftless Area Wetlands Centre, in conjunction with the Upper Iowa Audubon Society, will host the 33rd annual event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The day will include live bird presentations, bird spotting and identification, a nature storytelling performance, face painting and other kid’s activities. The free event will appeal to families as well as both amateur and more experienced birders, said Wetlands Centre Director Alicia Mullarkey.

Tue
26
Sep

Swimming with Decorah, MFL MarMac sophomores discover fun and competition


Destiny Berns (left) and Maya Butikofer are competing with the Decorah girls swim team for the second year.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

While other MFL MarMac athletes have taken to solid ground—the court, field or race course—for their fall sports, sophomores Maya Butikofer and Destiny Berns are showcasing their athletic prowess in the pool, as members of the Decorah girls swim team.

Both girls began swimming  with the Monona/Postville swim team during the summers of their early middle school years.

“My friends did it, and they said it was fun,” said Maya of how she got involved in the sport.

“At first, we did it for fun,” Destiny added. “We really started to like it.”

Tue
26
Sep

Director of Iowa Department of Education visits MFL MarMac


Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise (right) speaks with MFL MarMac high school Spanish teacher Jim Tripp during a visit to the district Sept. 19. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Wise listens as MFL MarMac staff share their thoughts on the TLC program.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Dr. Ryan Wise, director of the Iowa Department of Education, visited MFL MarMac Sept. 19, speaking with staff and students about the educational issues that are important to them.

“This is the best part of my job,” said Wise, who noted that MFL MarMac is the 107th Iowa school district he’s visited since taking over his position in 2015. “This is where learning happens, so I make it a priority.”

“I think it’s important,” he continued, “that folks like me, on the policy end, see how those policies play out in practice. I want to know, ‘How can I work better and smarter to support your learning?’ I want to be able to see what you do and how policy connects to what you do.”

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