News

Wed
15
Aug

Schmitt crowned Iowa Dairy Princess

 

Jessica Schmitt (right) of Fort Atkinson was crowned the 2018-2019 Iowa Dairy Princess last week at the Iowa State Fair. Schmitt, who is also the Winneshiek County Fair Queen, was joined by fellow local royalty Grace Howe of Waukon, who was named the Iowa Dairy Princess Alternate. Not pictured is Kassi Steinlage of West Union, who was named Miss Congeniality in the contest. (submitted photo)

 

Schmitt crowned Iowa Dairy Princess

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

Schmitt crowned Iowa Dairy Princess

Jessica Schmitt, an 18-year-old from Fort Atkinson, was crowned the 65th Iowa Dairy Princess during an evening ceremony at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines Wednesday Aug. 8. 

She was also recognized for her outstanding performance in the public speaking portion of the contest.

Schmitt, the daughter of Carl and Terry Schmitt, will spend the year serving as a goodwill ambassador for Iowa’s dairy farm families. Throughout her yearlong reign, she will make public appearances to connect with consumers and help them understand the dedication of dairy farmers to their cows, their land and the milk they produce.  

Wed
15
Aug

Allen ready to serve the community of Fayette

 

Stone Allen, Fayette’s newest deputy comes to the area from Hudson.  Allen began his duties as a Fayette police officer in July and is excited to begin his new position in the northeast Iowa community.  (photo by Megan Molseed) 

 

Allen ready to serve the community of Fayette

 

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

“I’m really excited to start my time here as an officer,” said Stone Allen, the newest member of the Fayette Police Department.  “I was really drawn to the small-town atmosphere, but also to the college-town aspect.  I think it will be a really great place to be!” 

The Hudson nativeofficially began his duties in the northeast Iowa town in July and is excited to see what the next step will bring.

“It’s been pretty quiet here so far,” laughed Allen.  “I know the campus and students will be a big part of my job, and with school starting in a few weeks, I know it will be a bit of a change!” 

Wed
15
Aug

Harmses donate $750,000 to Fayette Rec Center Project

 

UIU alumni Steve (’73) and Diane (’73) Kinkead Harms of West Des Moines have donated $750,000 to the Upper Iowa University and City of Fayette $1.15 million Recreation Center Project. In addition to the communitywide impact, the project will provide significant benefits to both traditional UIU students and student-athletes. (photo submitted)

 

Harmses donate $750,000 to Fayette Rec Center Project

 

 

A pair of 1973 alumni have provided their alma mater with a healthy start on the Upper Iowa University (UIU) and City of Fayette $1.15 million Recreation Center Project. Steve and Diane (Kinkead) Harms of West Des Moines have donated $750,000 to the improvement project, which will benefit both the Rec Center and indoor pool located on UIU’s Fayette campus.

 “Diane and I were pleased to support the Recreation Center construction back in 2000, and it has proved to be a tremendously important facility not just for UIU, but for the City of Fayette and surrounding communities,” Steve Harms said. “The enhancements of new, multipurpose flooring and air conditioning included in this project will increase the utility of the building and provide a more comfortable environment for users throughout the year.”

Wed
15
Aug

Highway 18 project enters final phase

 

The third phase of the Iowa DOT’s Highway 18 Project should get underway later this week. Mathy’s Construction will lay down the final two lifts of asphalt, at which time a portion of Highway 18 will be one lane. Once the pilot car and flaggers are on the highway, area residents can expect delays for the next three to four weeks. Chris DeBack photo

 

Highway 18 project enters final phase

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

The third and final phase of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Highway 18 Project is set to get underway later this week barring any setbacks. This is a surfacing project that runs from Golden Road just east of West Union to the Turkey River Bridge in Clermont. 

Danny Steenhard, IDOT construction tech field supervisor, noted that he expects Mathy Construction to bring its asphalt plant back into the area, and it could be here as soon as the end of the week. 

“Right now, [Mathy Construction] is milling all of the butt joints for all the side roads and the beginning and ending of the project,” Steenhard said. “They do have some corrective work to complete. The four-foot widening on the high side of the curbs was installed incorrectly. They are going to come in and mill it off to the proper slope before they put any asphalt down.” 

Once the plant is here, Steenhard said that Mathy Construction would start to put on the first layer of new asphalt, at which point a portion of Highway 18 between West Union and Clermont would become one lane.

“Hopefully, if everything goes right, the first lift of asphalt will be started by the end of this week,” the he explained. “As soon as they start, there will be a pilot car and flaggers on Highway 18 for the next three to four weeks.”

Wed
15
Aug

Fayette County is 'SOLD' on Mann being inducte dinto 4-H Hall of Fame

 

Tom Mann has been a featured auctioneer at the Fayette County 4-H Achievement Auction since 1987. Mann said that for as long as he can, he plans to come back to the Fayette County 4-H Achievement Auction at the fair each year to lend his auctioneering skills.  Chris DeBack photo

 

Fayette County is 'SOLD' on Mann being inducted into 4-H Hall of Fame

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

For over 50 years, former West Union resident Tom Mann has been involved with Fayette County 4-H. From his time as a 4-H member while growing up to his own children’s involvement to helping young boys and girls show cattle at the Fayette County Fair, Mann has been one of Fayette County 4-H’s biggest supporters. 

In recognition of his many contributions, Tom Mann will be the 2018 Fayette County inductee to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame on Sunday, Aug. 19, at the Iowa State Fair. 

“It is a great honor and one that took me by surprise when I found out,” said Mann.

Wed
15
Aug

NFV welcomes new teachers

NFV welcomes new teachers

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

North Fayette Valley will welcome five new teachers to the school district when school starts on Thursday, Aug. 23. 

Those new teachers are Megan DeBack, Spanish and English as a Second Language (ESL); Kyle Harms, high school and middle school chorus; Holly Mohs, middle school and Valley Elementary physical education; Emily Kullen, TigerHawk Preschool; and Jamie McGowan, eighth-grade language arts. 

With North Fayette and Valley’s merger complete as of July 1, grade levels in the different education centers shifted and a number of current educators changed positions for the new school year. 

In the past, sixth grade had been located at Valley and Fayette elementaries. Now, all of sixth grade will be located at the Valley education center as it becomes part of NFV Middle School. West Union Elementary (WUE) used to be kindergarten through fourth grade with Fayette Elementary housing fifth and sixth grade for students in the former North Fayette district. This year, WUE will host kindergarten through third grade while Fayette Elementary will have fourth and fifth grade. 

Kelly Farley and Molly J. Holthaus have been moved to NFV Middle School from Fayette Elementary. Farley will teach sixth-grade math, while Holthaus will teach sixth-grade science. Transferring from WUE to the middle school is Kim Kleve, who will teach sixth-grade language arts. Also transferring from WUE to Valley Elementary is Renee Larson, who will teach first grade. 

Jim Calkins has moved from a high school social studies teacher to the middle school to be the seventh-grade social studies instructor. Darin Johnston doesn’t change buildings, but he will go from being the eighth-grade social studies teacher to the sixth-grade social studies instructor. Johnston and Calkins will also be the middle school’s Leader in Me advisors. Alicia Schneider goes from sixth grade to kindergarten at Valley Elementary. 

At West Union Elementary, Tina Halverson will be the new Title I teacher while Morgan Deering moves to first grade. Ashley Henderson will move up two grades from first to third grade. At Fayette Elementary, Stephanie Wirtz transferred from sixth to fifth grade and Joni Walvatne moved up from fourth to fifth grade. 

Wed
08
Aug

Franzen excited to return to Warrior country

 

Sara Franzen, new South Winneshiek Education Foundation manager and public relations director (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Franzen excited to return to Warrior country

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

For new South Winneshiek Education Foundation manager and district public relations director Sara Franzen, the hallways leading to her new office are quite familiar as she prepares to begin the new school year. The 2011 graduate of South Winn is looking forward to beginning a new endeavor, as she will serve the district in a pair of brand-new positions.

“I am looking forward to having a lot of fun getting involved in all of the good things that are happening at South Winn,” said Franzen, who also works as an admissions representative at nearby Northeast Iowa Community College. “I am excited to reconnect with the school and help share all of the good things that we have going on in the classrooms.”

Wed
08
Aug

'You have time, but not a lot'

 

Pictured is one of Clermont’s public ash trees located at 909 Locust St. Richard Kittelson recently evaluated Clermont’s 20 public ash trees and has recommended to the council that 15 of the trees should be removed and replaced with new trees.

 

'You have time, but not a lot'

 

 

By LeAnn Larson
lanews@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The Clermont City Council met for its regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 6.

After the agenda was approved, Mayor Jim Matt asked citizen John Bolsinger, who was in attendance, to come speak on behalf of the Clermont Historical Society about the upcoming Clermont Historical Society Tea on Sunday, Sept. 16. The event will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with music provided by Russ Guyer. 

"We were told that you would be willing to take tickets from us to sell,” said Bolsinger. “The packets I've included have $10 admission for adults and $5 for children age 5 and under. The money raised at this event will go toward the Larrabee Building’s windows. I think, to date, we are at about $25,000.” 

Wed
08
Aug

Hawkeye Council continues to address land issue

 

Hugh Curtis (right) is sworn in as Hawkeye’s newest councilmember by Mayor Don Kelly following the resignation of Councilmember Angie Weidemann on Monday evening.  

 

Hawkeye Council continues to address land issue

 

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

The Hawkeye City Council met for its regular meeting Monday evening, Aug. 6.  During the meeting, the council accepted the resignation of Councilmember Angie Weidemann from her council seat as well as her resignation from the Park board.  

The council then approved appointing Hugh Curtis to serve the remainder of the term through Dec. 31, 2019.

In other news, it was a packed house Monday evening as the council considered letters to the council from city residents regarding the K&K Gardens land vacation/swap issue; an issue which had been addressed in previous meetings, leading to a decision by the council to ask that K&K Gardens owner Keith Kovarik remove one of his longstanding hoop buildings from a plot of land owned by the City of Hawkeye on South Street.  

“To say that I am disappointed in your decision is an understatement,” read a letter from Hawkeye citizen Allison Rose.   

Wed
08
Aug

What does the future hold for the WU Streetscape?

 

These bioretention structures have been a source of beautification for the West Union Downtown Streetscape Project, but keeping them weed-free has been a major challenge. (Chris DeBack photo)

 

What does the future hold for the West Union Streetscape?

 

 

 

 

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a two-part series on the West Union Streetscape Project. This part is a reflection of current conditions and what the future may hold for West Union’s downtown.

There is no denying that West Union has a beautiful downtown, thanks to all the hard work that has been put into the West Union Downtown Streetscape Project that was completed five years ago.

While not everything has worked according to plan, the pilot project has certainly been a positive for the city. However, West Union has experienced a bit more frustration than it was anticipating when City leaders initially took on this project over a decade ago. 

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