News

Wed
11
Dec

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train a huge success

The Holiday Train rolled into Ossian on Saturday morning and was greeted by hundreds of people from throughout northeast Iowa. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train a huge success

 

 

Wed
11
Dec

NFV school board swears in new members

NFV school board swears in new members

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The North Fayette Valley School Board met for its regular meeting on Monday, December 9.  

During the meting, the board met for its regular session to approve the third reading of the district’s therapy dog policies in preparation for the dog that will be brought into the West Union Elementary upon satisfactory training.

“We had a policy for dogs that visit our school, but nothing for therapy dogs that will be a part of our day to day schedule,” explained NFV Superintendant Duane Willhite.  “We have taken those policies and adopted them to fit this scenario.” 

Willhite went on to add that small changes were made, requiring the therapy dog to have sufficient training, as well as requiring the dog’s owner to follow a general care and upkeep schedule with the animal.

“We added something to require that not only the dog’s vaccinations are continuously up to date, but to add that the animal is properly groomed and bathed regularly.” 

The board approved the third reading of the policies, and discussed a tentative schedule with the dog’s owner, NFV Special Education instructor, Jessica Bushman.

“If he stays on the trajectory he’s on, he should be ready for classroom integration by May,” said Bushman.  “That will give him time to visit the classroom before the end of the school year.” 

After the approval of the reading, the session closed, and the board said goodbye to longtime board member Dawn Daughton as she did not seek reelection for another term.

Wed
11
Dec

Shrimptastic now under new ownership

Earlier this year, Shrimtastic, LLC, in rural Fayette came under new ownership as Brandon Albertson purchased it. The business will be operated primarily by Austin Ives (pictured). (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Shrimptastic now under new ownership

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

If you’re a seafood enthusiast, there is a good chance that you are familiar with Shrimptastic, LLC, in rural Fayette. The business first opened in 2015 and has continued to provide fresh, tasty shrimp ever since. In September, however, the business came under new ownership as Calmar’s Brandon Albertson took over.

Shrimptastic, which is located just off Highway 150 to the north of Fayette, will be operated primarily by new production manager Austin Ives. 

“We basically had zero background knowledge of how shrimp production worked prior to this,” laughed Ives. “We actually started working with John and Sharon Orr back in May to see if this is something that would be feasible for us.”

Ives admitted that along with learning a lot from the Orrs, he did a lot of research online to learn about process of raising shrimp.

“This endeavor is something that I know Brandon has always wanted to do,” continued Ives, who has worked with Albertson at his construction company, Northeast Iowa Sprayfoam and Construction. “He looked at starting his own company several years ago, but never went through with it.

Wed
11
Dec

Volga Valley Conservation Club keeping Christmas tree tradition alive

These are some of the trees available for purchase at the Volga Valley Conservation Club grounds. People can cut their own tree or choose from fresh cut trees for their Christmas holiday. 

 

Volga Valley Conservation Club keeping Christmas tree tradition alive

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

One could argue that the Christmas tree is the most iconic symbol of the season. After all, what Christmas decorating display would not include an evergreen tree? What household that celebrates Christmas doesn’t have some type of tree set up during the holidays? It’s represented beauty and life since the inception of the Christmas celebration.

For the Volga Valley Conservation Club the Christmas tree not only represents life, it virtually provides life. It’s through the sales of the evergreen trees that allows the Club to continue to operate.

Wed
11
Dec

Compensation Board recommends 5 and 6 percent raises for County officials

Compensation Board recommends 5 and 6 percent raises for County officials

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

It took the president to break a tie on the Fayette County Compensation Board to approve the recommendation to raise the salaries of the Sheriff and County Attorney by 6 percent and the Supervisors, Auditor, Recorder and Treasurer by 5 percent.

The Board met Monday, Dec. 9, at the courthouse to make salary recommendations for all elected County officials. They could recommend raising the salaries or keeping them at the current level but they could not recommend lowering salaries.

Board President Al Burkhart, representing Sheriff Marty Fisher on the Board, was forced to cast the tie-breaking vote after a recommendation to raise the salaries to the levels stated above had three members voting for and three members voting against.

Board member Dave Moore, representing County Attorney Wayne Saur, made the initial motion for the raises. Board member Steve Drewes, representing Auditor Lori Moellers, seconded the motion and Board member Tobin Britt, representing Treasurer Kyle Jacobsen, also voted in favor the motion.

Board members Jeff Clements, representing Recorder Karen Ford; and Gary Grimm, and Bob Falb, both representing the Board of Supervisors, voted against the motion. Grimm and Falb both felt the increases were too high. 

If approved, the increases would put Fisher’s salary at $91,480; Saur’s at $83,984; Ford, Moellers and Jacobsen would all be at $64,488, and the three Supervisors, Janell Bradley, Janine Tellin and Marty Stanbrough, would all be at $38,021.

Wed
11
Dec

'The Messiah' performed Sunday

Doug Poppen is in his 34thyear directing “The Messiah” at the United Methodist Church in West Union.  Poppen began directing the local chorus for the annual event in 1986, the same year he took the position as the high school chorus director in West Union. (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

'The Messiah' to be performed Sunday

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The 77th Community Chorus’ performance of Handel’s “The Messiah” returns to West Union United Methodist Church on Sunday, Dec. 15. The longtime community production is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

For the 34th consecutive year, the annual program will be under the direction of Douglas Poppen. 

“It keeps drawing me back!” laughed the longtime choral director.  

“You don’t normally see such a complex piece done to this caliber in a community this size,” continued Poppen. 

Founded in 1942, the annual performance of “The Messiah” has been performed every single year, with the exception of 1943, when it was cancelled due to World War II.

“It is a valued tradition for many,” reflected Poppen of the annual performance.  “The pieces are meaningful, but there is so much more.  We have a lot of families who perform together.  It becomes generational.”

Wed
04
Dec

Montauk Open House follows Larrabee Victorian theme

Hannah Frederick, Montauk Site coordinator decided to follow a classic Victorian style of decorating for this years Montauk Holiday Open House on Saturday December 7 and Sunday December 8.  According to Frederick, the Larrabee family’s Christmas decorating style would have been much more understated than what is typically seen today.  (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

Montauk Open House follows Larrabee Victorian theme

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

“The decorations we chose this year are based on the years the whole Larrabee family would have still be living here,” explained Hannah Frederick, the Montauk Site coordinator of the décor selected for this year’s annual open house at the historic site. 

“That would have been in the late 1880s-1890s, and the Christmas decorating in that era was usually quite a bit more understated than what we see today,” Frederick continued.  “So I sort of went between making the house look festive for today’s standards and staying true to the era.” 

The annual event, which will be held on Saturday, December 7 through Sunday, December 8, will include a performance by local pianist David Beck who will perform a variety of Christmas songs Saturday afternoon as well as a variety of local piano students who will perform recitals on Sunday afternoon.

Wed
04
Dec

Nutrient expanding in West Union

Nutrien Solutions Branch Manager Kennon Gumm is shown outside the bulk soybean treatment facility in West Union. (Jack Swanson photo)

 

Nutrien expanding in West Union

 

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

Nutrien Ag Solutions in West Union has major expansion projects coming up in the near future.

According to Branch Manager Kennon Gumm the two-phase plan will include construction of a new bulk chemical warehouse facility and a new seed storage warehouse.

Phase I of the plan has begun and entails the construction of a new 120-foot by 80-foot heated building. Inside the building there will be 26 different chemical storage lines with automatic dispensing.

In a diked area outside the building there will a new liquid nitrogen and starter fertilizer tank with 140,000-gallon storage capacity.

Wed
04
Dec

Monroe's inviting public to experience a Victorian Holiday first hand

The parlor in the Ziegler Mansion looks like something that Ebenezer Scrooge could have came home to. It is decorated in the Victorian style and even has a full-size open sleigh in the room.

 

Monroes inviting public to experience a Victorian Holiday first hand

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

Christmas as we know it today is steeped in the Victorian era. 

The Victorians are credited with most of the traditions we practice today, including gift giving, singing carols, having a Christmas feast, Christmas trees and evergreen decorations, even exchanging Christmas cards.

Of course one of the most famous Christmas stories of all, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, is set in Victorian England. 

Now LeVirgil and Marie Monroe are inviting the public to get a first hand glimpse of what one of the grand homes of that era would have looked and felt like during the grandest celebration of the year.

The Monroe’s are the owners of the S. B. Zeigler historic mansion at 116 Adams St., in West Union. They have made the mansion, which was completed in 1883, into a bed and breakfast. On Saturday Dec. 7 and Sunday Dec. 8, from 3 to 6 p.m., they will be inviting the public to take a step back in time and see Christmas the way Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim might have. Their open house will feature tours of the mansion, which is decorated in full Victorian style with over a dozen Christmas trees, five mantels where stockings can be hung with care and even a Santa’s sleigh. Holiday treats will even be part of the open house. 

Wed
04
Dec

Local artisans create window to the world

Steve and Peggy Kittelson have spent untold hours crafting the “Hometown To The World” art piece for the City of Postville. (Jack Swanson photo)

 

Local artisans create window to the world

 

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

How could someone capture the beauty of the whole world in one piece of art?

Of course the answer is, you couldn’t, but that doesn’t mean that Steve and Peggy Kittelson didn’t try….and most who see what they created would have to say they came close.

Their “world” is a three-foot diameter globe covered with thousands of pieces of glass in more colors than you can count. And like a “real” globe, all the continents and oceans are represented, complete with topography, showing terrain, elevations and climate, all through the use of different colors and textures. But the colors aren’t painted or lines drawn. It’s all pieces of glass that swirl together in a mix of dazzling shapes that actually comes together to form a whole. 

Although the globe alone is a sight to behold, it’s only the beginning of an art experience that will probably leave the viewer breathless. The intensity of all these glass objects and shapes is multiplied a hundred or more times over into a series of faceted, symmetrical patterns almost more than the eye can register all at once. This is done by viewing it through a teleidoscope, which creates a kaleidoscopic image.

Soon the world is going to be able to see the Kittelson created world.

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