North Iowa Times

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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.”

Tue
11
Jun

Great River Care Center fundraiser will benefit Turner Park splash pad project

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Great River Care Center, in McGregor, has come up with a creative way to raise funds for the splash pad at nearby Turner Park. The facility will host “Splash into Summer: Chalk the Walk,” on Friday, June 28—an event that challenges people to decorate a portion of the park’s track using chalk.

Held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m, at Turner Park, the event will also feature a Rooster Andy’s Chicken Q, live music and lawn games for the whole family.

The idea came about, explained Great River Care Center (GRCC) Activities Director Debbie Johnson, because June 28 is National Food Truck Day.

Tue
04
Jun

Mason’s mark forever felt not just at Effigy Mounds, but entire NPS


On May 25, Effigy Mounds National Monument honored the life and legacy of local conservation advocate Tim Mason, who, around a decade ago, was instrumental in uncovering violations at the park.

Part of “Tim’s Day on the Land” included a volunteer service project of removing invasive garlic mustard from Effigy Mounds.

Former chief ranger Bob Palmer was one of several Effigy Mounds officials who shared memories of working with Tim Mason. Palmer said Mason, through his efforts, was able to speak not only for the Effigy Mounds employees, but for the park itself.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Effigy Mounds National Monument honored the life and legacy of local conservation advocate Tim Mason on May 25, with a volunteer service day of removing invasive garlic mustard from the park, as well as an evening program that recognized Mason’s work to preserve and protect Effigy Mounds and its resources.

Mason, who passed away in September 2018, worked seasonally at Effigy Mounds for 19 years, beginning in the 1970s. However, it was in 2010, as a private citizen, that he made his biggest mark at the park he loved, alerting the Office of Inspector General to violations of the National Historic Preservation Act and the Archaeological Preservation Act. 

Tue
04
Jun

Celebrate summer at Monona Hay Days


Enjoy being “in the heart of the great outdoors” at Monona Hay Days, this Friday and Saturday, June 7-8. (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Enjoy being “in the heart of the great outdoors” at Hay Days, Monona’s annual summertime celebration, this Friday and Saturday, June 7-8.

“When we choose a theme each year, we try to make it new and exciting,” said Teresa Graham, head of the Monona Hays Committee. “We want to show what a great area we live in, and Monona is in the heart of the great outdoors.”

“We want to make people want to come to Monona,” added Monona Chamber and Economic Development Executive Director Rogeta Halvorson. “We have all these great amenities and recreational opportunities and we want to show them off.”

Tue
04
Jun

Water Under the Bridge: Local artists challenged to create work inspired by theme

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The Left Bank Shop and Gallery in McGregor is challenging the public to submit artwork for its second special exhibit of the season, entitled “Water Under the Bridge.”

“We’ve done artist challenges before,” open to those who sell their work at The Left Bank, said gallery director Camille Sweet, “but we thought, ‘Why keep it just to our artists? Let everybody challenge their creativity.’”

Artists are tasked with creating pieces based on the theme “water under the bridge.” 

“We want to see what inspires people about the area,” Sweet said.

Tue
28
May

MFL MarMac students compete in Iowa High School Bass Team Championship


MFL MarMac students Kashton Mathis (left), TJ Hexom, Maccoy Pritchard, Braden Landt, Logan Engelhardt, Brittney Kober, Cullen McShane and Bryce Diehl (not pictured) participated in the first-ever Iowa High School Bass Team Championship. The team of Pritchard, Kober, Landt and Engelhardt placed second overall.

Kober, Engelhardt, Landt and Pritchard placed second with a 2.92-pound bass, and were just one of three teams to catch a fish that day. Their efforts were rewarded with trophies, rods and reels.

One team earns second place overall

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

MFL MarMac students moved from the classroom to the water earlier this month to participate in the first-ever Iowa High School Bass Team Championship. The event, held on Pleasant Creek Lake near Palo, was also the school’s first foray into a fishing competition.

Brittney Kober said the students were introduced to the idea by principal Larry Meyer.

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