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Tue
09
Jun

Tentative reopening scheduled for Monona pool, pending state decision

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

The Monona Family Aquatic Center is tentatively scheduled to open for the summer on Thursday, June 18, as long as state pool closures, which currently allow for swimming lessons and lap swim but not open swim, are not extended.

Although the decision was made by the pool board, the Monona Council weighed in on potential pros and cons at its June 1 meeting.

“We want to make it work, but there’s trial and error too,” said councilwoman Heather Lange, who was most concerned about the responsibility placed on teenage lifeguards to enforce social distancing and other health measures.

Tue
09
Jun

Libraries modify summer reading programs


Local libraries are still offering summer reading programs this year, but in-person gatherings have been exchanged for “grab and go” activity kits and at-home reading. This photo shows one of the book kits available at the McGregor Public Library. (Submitted photo)

COVID-19 hasn’t stopped local libraries from offering their annual summer reading programs. The events will look a bit different, though, with in-person gatherings exchanged for “grab and go” activity kits and at-home reading.

Elkader Public Library

In an effort to keep everyone safe, the Elkader Public Library will not have any programs or performers. Instead, patrons are asked to call the library at (563) 245-1446 or email elkader
library@elkader.lib.ia.us to request a summer reading registration form. 

Tue
02
Jun

Third time is not the charm for Pattison water request

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

For a third time, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has turned down a request by Pattison Sand Co. to withdraw millions of gallons of water from its Clayton property and ship it to western states suffering from drought.

In the most recent application to the DNR, dated April 22, Pattison proposed drilling a well to extract 448.8 million gallons of water each year to export. 

The company is currently permitted to pump a combined 2.1 billion gallons of water each year from its wells and the Mississippi River. Another well, noted Pattison, would help them supply the water without going over that limit.

Tue
02
Jun

‘An adventure every day’ for new Spook Cave and Campground owners


Russ and Tabbi Bries (left) and Annette and Chad Davis took ownership of iconic Spook Cave and Campground earlier this year. (Submitted photo)

The biggest change at Spook Cave and Campground during the offseason was the renovation and reorganization of the store—the hub at the campground where people can register for cave tours and purchase souvenirs and camping supplies. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Spook Cave turns 65 this year, but the store pre-dates even that. “Two old school houses were pushed together to make it,” said Annette Davis, “so we wanted to restore it. We gave it a rustic look and maintained as much as we could.”

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

For many, camping is an adventure in itself. Now, imagine owning a campground.

“It’s been an adventure every day for us,” said Annette Davis, who with husband Chad and their friends Russ and Tabbi Bries, purchased iconic Spook Cave and Campground, located between McGregor and Monona, earlier this year.

“I’d always joked around about owning a campground,” Davis noted. But it wasn’t until Spook Cave’s previous owners, Paul and Paula Rasmussen, proposed the sale that she and her husband took the idea seriously. “We asked Russ and Tabbi to go 50/50, and they took the bait.”

Between a string of construction projects and a global pandemic, it’s been a whirlwind ever since.

Tue
02
Jun

MFL MarMac third grader is a winner in statewide writing contest


MFL MarMac student Brooklyn Landt has been selected as the statewide first-place winner for third graders in the Iowa Reading Association’s short story creative writing contest. She’s pictured with her dogs, who were the inspiration for her story “The Two Dogs and the Black Hole.” (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

MFL MarMac student Brooklyn Landt has been selected as the statewide first-place winner for third graders in the Iowa Reading Association’s short story creative writing contest.

“It’s quite an honor,” said Landt’s teacher, Jennifer Wilwert. “This is the first student I’ve ever submitted, and I can’t tell you the last time [an MFL MarMac student was selected].”

Landt was recognized for the short story “The Two Dogs and the Black Hole,” which was a writing assignment in Wilwert’s class. Each student had to create a fictional narrative that presented a problem, then solved it.

Fri
29
May

April Elaine Miller

April Elaine Loetz Miller, 75, of Elkader, died Saturday, May 23, 2020. April was born April 5, 1945, to Theodore James and Adelaide May (Wakelee) Loetz in Elkhart, Ind. She was baptized on Nov. 18, 1945, and confirmed on May 17, 1959, at St. Paul Lutheran Church. April graduated from Mar-Mac High School. She continued her education and earned a degree in practical nursing at Blackhawk College in East Moline, Ill. She was a member of Phi Theta Kappa.

April was united in marriage with William G. Miller on Dec. 27, 1962, in McGregor. Three children were born to this union. April was a member of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in McGregor.

Tue
26
May

A doggone problem: After several incidents, Marquette residents warned to control pets

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

The Marquette Council, at a special meeting on May 19, voted not to force a resident in the city’s bench neighborhood to give up her dogs after they escaped from her home and one allegedly attacked another resident’s dog.

The April 30 incident left a puncture mark on the victim dog’s hind leg, prompting the owner to file a vicious animal complaint with the city. That necessitated last week’s public hearing, which over a dozen people attended—most in support of the accused animals.

Tue
26
May

Rieck is MFL MarMac’s first Borlaug Scholar


MFL MarMac senior Kira Rieck is the school’s first Borlaug Scholar. She received the honor, and was invited to virtually attend The World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute at Iowa State University in late April, based on a paper she wrote about arising conflict within the heart of Uganda.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

MFL MarMac senior Kira Rieck is the school’s first Borlaug Scholar. She received the honor, and was invited to virtually attend The World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute at Iowa State University (ISU) in late April, based on a paper she wrote about arising conflict within the heart of Uganda.

Rieck heard about the opportunity through an ISU newsletter and was encouraged to apply by two of her teachers, including agriculture teacher Sarah Wille.

“I’ve wanted students to do it” since joining the district several years ago, Wille said, “but it’s a hard sell.”

Tue
26
May

Monona waiting to learn more before making pool opening decision

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

Lap swimming and swimming lessons are now allowed at Iowa pools per an order by Gov. Kim Reynolds, but the city of Monona is still waiting to see what, if any, other restrictions may be lifted after May 27 before making a decision to open the Monona Family Aquatic Center.

The pool board recently met and hoped the facility could open by June 3, said city administrator Barb Collins at the May 18 council meeting. That would allow one week to fill and “shock” the pool.

“If [restrictions are] pushed back, though,” she continued, “is it worth doing for a possible eight-week opening?”

Tue
26
May

Six long-time educators retiring from MFL MarMac

Six long-time educators—Twila Converse, Eric Dettbarn, Dawn Dull, Lynn Jones, Judie Oelke and Kathy Ruhser—are retiring from MFL MarMac Community School District.

Middle school science teacher Twila Converse graduated from college with a BA degree in education and an endorsement in art. She believes she had the best of both worlds: 25 years of being a farm wife and mother and then almost 20 years of influencing students’ lives. Converse was a caring teacher who really took the time to get to know each and every one of her students. She was loved by students and respected by her colleagues. Her compassion and “grandmotherly” touch will be missed.

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