News

Wed
09
Oct

Meyer fights back against breast cancer

With the help of husband Kevin (left) by her side, Spillville’s Joyce Meyer has had an eventful past year. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in November (2018) and underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation until Sept. 30 when she completed her final treatment at Gundersen in La Crosse, Wisc. (submitted photo)

 

Meyer fights back against breast cancer

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

It was news that turned her and her family’s lives upside down. Less than a year ago, Spillville’s Joyce Meyer learned some of the worst news of her life when she was told that she has breast cancer. The rollercoaster year for her has certainly had its ups and downs, but Meyer recently was able to ring the ceremonious bell at Gundersen in La Crosse, Wisc., as she completed her final treatment on Sept. 30.

“I first found a lump in my breast by doing a self-exam at the end of November (2018), right before I was going to schedule my annual mammogram,” recalled Meyer. “Two hours later, I was in the Calmar Gundersen Clinic where my PA, Stephanie Cenex, confirmed that there was a lump.”

One week later, Meyer had a special mammogram and ultrasound done at Gundersen Clinic in West Union, followed by a biopsy to confirm the cancer a couple ofweeks later.

“When I told my husband, Kevin, after the biopsy that I had cancer, we just held hands,” continued Meyer. “We couldn’t find the words to talk much more about how this could change our life at that moment. We were devastated and shocked and our world felt so uncertain.”

Wed
09
Oct

Imoehl soars with Buddy Bench idea for Eagle Scout project

Brennan Imoehl installed the “Buddy” benches at the West Union and Fayette Elementary schools last school year as part of his Eagle Scout project.  (submitted photo)

 

Imoehl soars with Buddy Bench idea for Eagle Scout project

 

 

“I liked this project because of the anti-bullying part of it,” smiled Brennan Imoehl of the Buddy Benches he installed at both the West Union Elementary and the Fayette School for his recent Eagle Scout project.   “Something like this can be very important to kids.” 

When Imoehl joined the local West Union Cub Scout chapter, Pack 54, in the first grade, he knew pretty quickly that it was something he wanted to see through as he grew up.  

“Early on, I just had a lot of fun in cub scouts,” he said with a grin.  “As I started moving through the ranks in Boy Scouts, I realized it was something I had to see through!” 

From summer camps where the West Union native and his fellow Troop 54 Boy Scouts spent their weeks rock climbing and learning wilderness survival, to the many community service projects completed throughout the years, Imoehl has enjoyed his moments as a scout.

“I loved all of it,” smiled the 17 year-old NFV senior.  

Wed
09
Oct

Juniors want to be real firefighters some day

Andrew Schmidt (left) and Dane Schott have their own fire fighting outfits at the Clermont Fire Department. The two junior firefighters both hope to have careers in firefighting. (Jack Swanson photo)

 

Juniors want to be real firefighters some day

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

 

They may be “junior” firefighters now, but both Dane Schott and Andrew Schmitt aspire to one day make fire fighting their profession.

Both juniors at North Fayette Valley High School, the pair both seem to have a love for the role and what it means to people who need help, and the community in general.

Wed
09
Oct

Paver replacement shuts down Vine St. in WU

A portion of Vine St. in downtown West Union will be closed off for the next two weeks for paver replacement.  The pavers, which were part of West Union’s Streetscape project began breaking shortly after installation.  After multiple requests for replacements to the company, the city of West Union was finally granted the replacements under the original warranty.  The road will be closed to traffic during the construction, but the sidewalks will remain open.  

 

Paver replacement shuts down Vine St. in WU

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

“It was a case of ‘do you want the good news, or the bad news’” laughed West Union city administrator, Nick McIntyre of the replacement of pavers along Vine Street which began Monday morning.  “It was long overdue, and it’s a great step in the right direction that we are getting this done; but it will, unfortunately affect the downtown for about two weeks.” 

The replacement of the pavers along Vine Street has been a long time coming, as the blocks began falling apart within a few short years of installation.

Wed
09
Oct

A fight for her life

Barb VanHorn was diagnosed with was ductal carcinoma in situ a typically noninvasive form of breast cancer.  Shortly after her first surgery to remove the cancer cells, Barb learned that her cancer was becoming more invasive.  After three months of chemotherapy followed by daily radiation therapy, Barb is now receiving infusions every three weeks to attack the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2) in her body, which was believed to be aiding to the cancer’s growth.  (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

A fight for her life

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

“The biggest take-away I want someone to have from my experience is that it is so incredibly important that women find the time to take care of themselves and not put off necessary screenings,” said local businesswoman Barb (Roach) VanHorn as she recounted her recent breast cancer battle.  “It’s so easy to get lost in the day to day hassles and put something so imperative off.  I am a perfect example of how important regular screening can be.” 

While VanHorn had been on top of her regular screenings for many years, she found herself “too busy” to make the time for her yearly mammogram. 

“I just kept putting it off,” she said softly.  “It had been awhile since I had scheduled a mammogram and one day I told myself it was time to go back in for the regular screening.  I had no idea how that would end up changing my life.” 

Shortly after her appointment, nearly a year ago, VanHorn received a call from the doctors asking her to come back in for a closer examination.

“They said they found something on my left breast that they wanted to get a closer look at,” explained VanHorn.  

“I didn’t know what to think, at first,” the West Union woman continued.  “I hadn’t felt anything out of the ordinary.  No bumps and I wasn’t feeling ill or tired, so I didn’t know what to expect with that follow up.”

The doctors had noted some calcifications in VanHorn's left breast and they wanted to examine those a little closer.

“They had me speak to a radiologist right there,” she remembered.   “We had to schedule a biopsy to figure out exactly what it was I was facing.” 

After some deliberation, VanHorn decided to schedule her biopsy for January 2, to get her through the holiday season.

“I wanted to wait until after Christmas,” she explained.  “It was on my mind, but I wanted to make sure to focus on family.  I didn’t want the holiday to be a stressful time.” 

As VanHorn welcomed the New Year, she prepared for her trip to the Gundersen Hospital in LaCrosse for her biopsy.

Wed
02
Oct

Ossian FB receives $9,500 in grants

The Ossian Fire Department received a pair of grants this spring which totaled $9,500, including a $2,500 grant from America’s Farmers Grow Communities organization. Pictured accepting the check are (l-r) Sadie Burroughs, Lenny Imoehl, Dale Beckman, Alan Schmitt, Denis Holien, Art Uhlenhake, and Cody Grant. (submitted photo)

 

Ossian FD receives $9,500 in grants

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

The Ossian Fire Department recently received a pair of grants that totaled $9,500 and will be used to help purchase new turnout gear. The grants came from two different entities, as the Winneshiek County Communiy Foundation gave $7,000 and America’s Farmers Grow Communities gave $2,500.

“To outfit a firefighter, it costs approximately $2,600 fro boots, pants, a coat, and helmet,” said Denis Holien, Ossian Fire Chief. “These have to be replaced every 15 years, so it is very important to have generous grants like this to help us stay up to date.”

Wed
02
Oct

NFV celebrates Homecoming Week, Sept. 29-Oct. 5

Members of the 2019 North Fayette Valley “Making Our School Home” homecoming court are (back l-r) Seth Meyer, Joel Grimes, Trey Darnall, Zander Britt, Brennan Imoehl, (front l-r) Payten Lehmann, Pauline Clark, Gina Gibson, Lexi Ruroden, and Claire Halverson. (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

NFV celebrates Homecoming Week, Sept. 29-Oct. 5

 

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

The students at North Fayette Valley High School are making their school “Home” this week as they celebrate Homecoming Sunday, Sept. 29 through Saturday, Oct. 5. 

The North Fayette Valley Student Council members have planned a number of fun activities to help make their school “Home” and get the student body excited for Homecoming Week. 

“I have never been so excited for the week. We have lots of exciting things going on here at the high school,” said NFV senior, Cassi Moss of this week’s festivities.  “I hope you all have fun this week and thank you for supporting the NFV district. “ 

Wed
02
Oct

2nd Annual WU BrewBQ this Saturday

West Union City administrator, Nick McIntyre and West Union Mayor Adam Keller are ready for the second annual BREWBQ festivities that will begin this Saturday morning. (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

2nd Annual WU BrewBQ this Saturday

 

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

With the forecast calling for sunny and a high of 58 degrees on Saturday, October 5, it will be a perfect day for all area craft beer, chili, and barbecue lovers to come on down to the second annual West Union BREWBQ! 

The second annual event will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday in downtown West Union. 

“It will be a great event to top off homecoming week,” smiled West Union Deputy City Clerk and BREWBQ Committee member. “It’s going to be a lot of fun, we even have some new events this year!” 

The event started last year, as city officials were looking to begin an annual town-wide event.  With the growing popularity of microbreweries mixed with a good old-fashioned chili and BBQ cook-off, the BREWBQ was born.

“It is a great way for people to come down and take part in the cooking competitions while enjoying some of the local brews,” said Johansen.  “Plus, this year we have been working with the North Fayette Valley Student Council to incorporate a homecoming grand march into the festivities.” 

With a number of family friendly activities planned for the day, the West Union BREWBQ Committee says all are welcome to participate throughout the day, from BBQ and chili samples, live music and so much more.

“A $5 wristband gets you all the samplings you want throughout the day,” said Johansen.  “We will also have T&T BBQ there during the event.” 

So far, there are six barbequers registered and 13 chili entries.  

The event kicks off at 7 a.m. as the BBQ set up begins.  By 9 a.m., a variety of locally donated meats will be handed out to the BBQ cookers.  

Chili contestants will set up at 11 a.m.

The beer garden will open at 11 a.m.  The judging of the Chili Cook-Off will be held at noon. The beer garden will serve as a tour of northeast Iowa brewery tour with many local flavors on tap along with traditional domestic beers such as Busch Light and Bud Light, among others. 

Not Jupiter and other guests will provide live music for the event.  A number of children’s activities, including bounce houses, will be available, as well. 

New this year is a Golf Cart Rodeo.  This rodeo will consist of two person teams where one contestant drives blindfolded while the other provides the direction.  

“It should be a fun event to watch,” laughed Johansen.  

There will be a beanbag tournament at 2 p.m. followed by a NFV Homecoming Grand March on the plaza at 4 p.m.

“Many of the local businesses will be providing dinner specials for NFV students who will be attending the homecoming dance,” noted Johansen.  “It will be a fun way for the kids to get dinner before they head up to the school.” 

Spots are still available in the Chili Cook-Off. Those interested have until Friday, Oct. 4, to preregister for the cook-off by calling West Union City Hall at (563) 422-3908. There will be a $25 entry fee. Contestants must bring the chili fully prepared and ready to serve, with the necessary utensils, the public. The committee will provide bowls, spoons, and sampling cups. It is also advised that signage be brought to denote to the public how spicy the chili is. 

 

 

Wed
02
Oct

Heartbreaking: WU Rec Center vandalized

It was a heartbreaking discovery for West Union residents this weekend as the damage done by vandals to the trail light posts at the West Union Rec Center was discovered Saturday morning.  The posts not only serve to light the public trails, but also serve as outlets to supply energy park-goers as well as the annual Festival of Lights display headed by volunteers such as Judy Roach (right).  While discouraged by this act of vandalism, many West Union residents like Chris Bemiss (left) were happy to step in and help in anyway they could. In addition to a family donation, Bemiss assisted in setting up a Go Fund Me page for fundraising efforts to not only replace the broken trail lights, but to also install a security system in the public park.  (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

Heartbreaking: WU Rec Center vandalized

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

“Why would someone do this,” was all Judy Roach, one of the organizers and volunteers for the West Union Rec Center’s annual Festival of Lights, could say when she first heard about recent vandalism to the community park.  

“It is really unbelievable to me that someone could do something like this to such a wonderful place,” she continued of the damage.  “This is a place that is run by volunteers that so many people benefit from.  It just boggles my mind that anyone would try and ruin it.” 

On Saturday, September 28, the West Union Police Department took a call from a citizen reporting damage to light fixtures along the trail at the West Union Rec Center.

“As far as we can gather, the damage happened between 7 p.m. Friday, September 27 and 10:41 a.m. Saturday, September 28,” noted West Union deputy Jesse Stanbrough of the vandalism.  “We are still looking to get an estimate for the damage.” 

Along the rec centers winding trails are multiple light fixtures that sit close to the ground, along with illuminating the path of the popular trail, each of these fixtures provides electrical outlets to the park.  These outlets are central to the annual Festival of Lights display.  

“We plug in some of the displays directly to the lights and others we string cords to connect,” said Roach.  “Without these lights, we can’t get any of our displays up and running.” 

Wed
25
Sep

Check out Rendezvous Days in Fort Atkinson

Visitors both young and old will have the opportunity to learn about Fort Atikinson at this year’s 43rd Annual Fort Atkinson Rendezvous this weekend. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Check out Rendezvous Days in Fort Atkinson

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

Fort Atkinson will be the place to be this weekend as the 43rd Annual Fort Atkinson Rendezvous will be held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28–29, at the historic grounds in town.

On Saturday, day will begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue until 4:30 p.m., while on Sunday, the entertainment will be held between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

There is no admission charge, and parking is free. 

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