North Iowa Times

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Tue
24
Jul

McGregor could be part of potential art projects

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

McGregor’s deputy clerk and economic development lead, Duane Boelman, recently presented the council with two opportunities the city has been given to participate in unique art projects.

The first, said Boelman, is an effort between Northeast Iowa RC&D and the River Bluffs Scenic Byway to feature scenes from along the byway on posters and wooden postcards.

Decorah artist Mary Ann Gloe will create the images. For a pledge of $1,500, Boelman said she would consider including Pikes Peak State Park.

Tue
24
Jul

164th Clayton County Fair has fun for the whole family Aug. 1-6


The Little Piglet Show, now in its third year, will be one of many fun events at the 164th Clayton County Fair, held Aug. 1-6 in National. (NIT file photo)

From live entertainment and inflatable activities to livestock showing and good food, the 164th annual Clayton County Fair, held Aug. 1-6 in National, will offer fun for the whole family.

Clayton County 4-H and FFA members have entered 3,219 exhibits for the county fair competition, according to Tammy Muller, Clayton County 4-H and Youth Program Coordinator. Entries are up 245 exhibits. The market beef, breeding beef, bucket bottle calves, dairy, sheep, horses, meat goats, dairy goats, dogs, rabbits, pets, Clover Kids and communications divisions have all seen an increase, Muller noted.

The 4-H exhibit hall, featuring projects ranging from art to engineering, will be open to viewers Wednesday, Aug. 1, beginning at 4 p.m., then Thursday through Sunday starting at noon.

Tue
24
Jul

School days will be a bit longer this year

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The daily schedule at MFL MarMac will look a bit different this year. 

Instead of starting classes at 8:25 a.m., they will now begin at 8:20 a.m. The end of all regular school days will move from 3:20 to 3:25 p.m. The district has 2:20 p.m. early releases on most Wednesdays. 

“That will add 40 minutes to the week and three to four days, hour-wise, to the end of the school year,” explained high school principal Larry Meyer. 

Tue
17
Jul

One year later: Restoring McGregor after the tornado


Laura Nozal’s home at 210 Ann St. was one of the most heavily damaged by the July 19, 2017 tornado. Repairs are now completed, but Nozal said she won’t be planting trees any time soon. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Northeast Iowa Lions Club volunteers were in McGregor earlier this month to mulch newly-planted trees on private properties.

Tornado-damaged downtown buildings, like the Barron Building, have been restored sensitively, keeping historical integrity in mind.

McGregor City Administrator Lynette Sander and City Clerk Duane Boelman receive a check for the Restore McGregor 2017 Tornado Fund. The lot next to the library, where the INKspiration Tattoo building stood, was donated to the city by Fred Petrie and Melanie San Fillippo shortly after the tornado. Down the road, it may be the location of a community center/library expansion.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Thursday is July 19—a day that marks one year since an EF-1 tornado ripped through McGregor, leaving a path of destruction in fallen trees and damaged or destroyed homes and buildings that will forever be felt in the historic river community.

In the days following the tornado, residents experienced a gamut of emotions: shock, sadness, frustration. But there was also love. Love for their fellow neighbors and for the city.

Tue
17
Jul

Youth baseball team wins state tournament for second year in a row


Members of the MFL MarMac Iowa USSSA State Championship were (front, left to right) Zach Driscoll, Quinn McGeough, Parker Kuehl, Kyle Tilson, Jacob Schellhorn, Kade Humble; (second row) Jaron Wille, Dustin Larson, Austin Schaller, Brayden Gordon, Ben Krambeer and Aiden Schoulte, along with coaches Paul Gordon and Jeremy Schellhorn. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

MFL MarMac’s 11U baseball team capped off its season in a big way, winning the Iowa USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association) State Baseball Tournament, held the weekend of July 7 in Cedar Rapids.

2018 marks the second year in a row this group has won the competitive tournament. This time, however, they competed at the gold, rather than silver, level.

“It’s the same tournament,” said coach Jeremy Schellhorn, “but the competition is tougher.”

Tue
17
Jul

Marquette agrees to zoning change for railroad property

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

At its July 10 meeting, the Marquette Council approved the final readings and passage of ordinance 402, which would change the zoning district classification for a portion of railroad property in the community from A1 - limited agricultural to C1 - highway commercial.

The property is located south of the railroad tracks and north of Bloody Run, in the Canadian Pacific rail yard. CP hopes to construct a new building there next year, which would be utilized by its engineering services employees.

“We’re building this building for the people who maintain the infrastructure of the railroad,” explained Tim Carlson, senior project manager for Canadian Pacific. 

Tue
10
Jul

Marquette’s bench evacuation route opens


McGregor Hook and Ladder firemen Dan Bickel and Tyler Thornton, Mar-Mac EMS President Mike Gilman, fire chief Jerry Thornton, Marquette council members Cindy Halvorson and John Ries, Clayton County Emergency Management Director Sarah Moser and Marquette City Clerk Bonnie Basemann were among those who officially opened Marquette’s bench evacuation route for use July 5. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Nearly a mile long, the graveled route stretches from the end of Walnut Street, in Marquette, to Eagle Drive, in McGregor. The public is also welcome to use it for hiking and biking, but no motorized recreational vehicles will be allowed.

The Mar-Mac rescue squad was one of the first vehicles to maneuver the evacuation route.

The city of Marquette hopes a padlocked chain and signage will help discourage people from abusing the evacuation route with motorized recreational vehicles.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

While no one living on the Marquette bench hopes there will be an emergent need to escape their neighborhood, it’s reassuring to know a safe route will now be available.

In the planning stages for nearly two years, and under construction since last fall, the Marquette bench evacuation route officially opened for use last week. City officials, as well as representatives from McGregor Hook and Ladder and the Mar-Mac Rescue Squad, traversed the nearly mile-long, gravel route on July 5, to mark the occasion.

Delta 3 Engineering, of Platteville, Wis., engineered the project, while Bacon Concrete, of Postville, completed the route at a cost of $218,815.

Tue
10
Jul

Creating the unexpected


Bird Skemp’s favorite way to create jewelry: sitting cross-legged on her living room floor, while the afternoon sun filters through the windows of her rural McGregor home. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Bird Skemp creates primarily earrings, but some necklaces and bracelets, as well. Her “Baubles by Bird” are available locally at The Left Bank Shop and Gallery, in McGregor, and The Planted Tree and the Huckleberry’s Restaurant gift shop, in Prairie du Chien.

No, these earrings aren’t made of metal, but rather paper, enhanced by beads, paint and unique textures.

“I don’t look at what the styles are. I’m selling to people who don’t want to wear what everyone else is wearing,” said Bird. “My jewelry is going to be unique, artsy, handmade.”

Jewelry making a life-changing experience for Skemp

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Jewelry maker Bird Skemp does her best work sitting cross-legged on the living room floor, a cat nestled in her lap, as the afternoon sun filters through the windows of her rural McGregor home and Judge Judy drones on the TV.

“I put something on just for the noise,” she quipped.

She can work for hours this way, in her makeshift studio, surrounded by baskets and containers bursting with beads, tools, paints and paper scraps.

Tue
10
Jul

Genies learn about McGregor history during recent visit to library

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The Clayton County Genealogical Society held its June meeting in McGregor, where members enjoyed a local history lesson from McGregor Public Library Director Michelle Pettit.

Pettit began the presentation by sharing some history about the community’s libraries. The first, she noted, was created in 1867 and operated out of a law office before closing 10 years later. The city didn’t have its next library until 1920.

“It was a subscription library,” Pettit said. “So people had to pay to be part of it.”

Tue
10
Jul

McGregor Historical Museum proves itself a treasure of Clayton County


The McGregor Historical Museum is located at 256 Main St. (Photos by Rachel Mergen)

The museum contains many exhibits that explain and tell the stories of McGregor’s extensive history.

By Rachel Mergen, North Iowa Times

According to McGregor Historical Museum Director Diane Malcom, at one point in time, Iowa was preparing to have McGregor be as large and well-known as Chicago. Standing at a population of less than a thousand, this former dream may not have occurred due to great flooding and fires, but the city is still able to claim a unique history, full of many stories that are now protected within the walls of its local museum. 

Exhibits in the McGregor Historical Museum include historical photographs of the city, Native American history, Mississippi River history, a military display, an authentic pipe from the local Catholic church and local deaf artist Andrew Clemens’ sand bottles from the 1800s, along with much more. 

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