News

Wed
08
Jan

The search is on for new NFV Superintendent

The search is on for new NFV Superintendent

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The search has officially begun for a new North Fayette Valley Superintendent.  

Earlier this year, current North Fayette Valley Superintendent, Duane Willhite announced he would be retiring from the position at the end of the school year.

“I have been proud to serve with the school district, and the school board,” noted Willhite when he announced the decision.  

“It wasn’t the easiest decision to make, I have really enjoyed my time here (at North Fayette Valley),” he continued.  “I know the district will continue to do great things.” 

The search officially began in mid-December when the NFV school board agreed to higher an outside firm, Grundmeyer Leader Search to support the search for a new district superintendent.

“I think this is the best option for us going forward,” noted NFV school board president, Stacy Cummings of the decision to hire the firm.  “There are so many pieces to the puzzle that we may not keep track of during the hiring process that Grundmeyer can do for us.” 

Wed
08
Jan

Gundersen Palmer welcomes first baby of 2020

Arleth Belen Tzunux Gonzalez was the first baby born at Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital and Clinics in 2020. Arleth Belen, her parents, (l-r) Marta Gonzalez Perez and Apolinario Tzunux, and big brother (front) Jose Manuel received a number of gifts from local businesses for the distinguished honor. (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

Gundersen Palmer welcomes first baby of 2020

 

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

Arleth Belen Tzunux Gonzalez, daughter of Marta Gonzalez Perez and Apolinario Tzunux, of Postville, now holds the title of the first baby born at Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital and Clinics (GLPHC) not only for the year, 2020, but also for the decade. 

Arleth Belen was born a happy and healthy baby at 12:40 p.m. Sunday, January 5, weighing in at 7 pounds and four-and-a-half ounces.   She measured 18.75 inches at birth. 

Arleth Belen joins older brother, two-and-a-half year-old Jose Manuel.  

While her older brother is very doting of his new sister, he is still not quite sure what to think of the new addition to his family.

Wed
08
Jan

Cuber overcomes adversity to rise to the top

Parker Sherman is shown with some of the tools of his trade. The cubes come in a variety of combinations and even triangles. (Jack Swanson photo)

 

Cuber overcomes adversity to rise to the top

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

Parker Sherman is a cuber, and a good one.

What does that mean exactly?

Cubers manipulate mechanical puzzles that are operated by twisting groups of pieces, commonly known as 'twisty puzzles'. The most famous of these puzzles is the Rubik's Cube, invented by professor Rubik from Hungary.

Many of us have heard of the Rubik’s Cube. A few of us have tried to master it, working on it for days before getting all of the same color squares to aline. Others, perhaps the majority, have played with it for a while then thrown it aside in disgust.

Cubers, like Parker, solve the cube games in a matter of seconds. Some of the best, in under a second. Some of them solve them one-handed, blindfolded and with their feet. The games vary from the simplest (if that term can even be applied) 2X2X2s up to the most difficult, 7X7X7. The world’s record for 2X2X2 is .49 seconds, for 7X7X7, 1:40:89.

When Parker, 12, competes in a cubing tournament, he competes against every other competitor, regardless of age, location or skill level. 

Parker is currently ranked fifth in the State at 2X2X2 competitions with a best time of 1.81 seconds. He is fourth in the state in average of time in 2x2x2 at 3.14 seconds. He’s ranked 450th in North America.

Parker is the son of Matt and Jordan Sherman of Sumner. His mom, Jordan, grew up in Hawkeye and works at the Correctional Facility in West Union. Parker is currently a seventh grader at Sumner-Fredericksburg Middle School. 

A pre-me baby, at 10 he was diagnosed with severe anxiety and OCD, along with other neurological disorders that hampered his fine motor skills. He couldn’t write his name in kindergarten and it wasn’t until he was in third grade before he could tie his shoes.

Parker’s hero in the cubing world is Max Park. Park of the U.S., holds several world records and is ranked close to the top in almost every competition category.  He has 37 world records and 285 gold medals. Parker met Max at the 2019 USA Nationals. Max took the time to give Parker some tips for future competitions. Max is severely autistic.

“These stories aren’t rare in the world of cubic competitions,” Parker’s mom related.

Wed
08
Jan

A whole lot of winter fun at Winter Fest 2020 Saturday evening

Tracy Nuss (left) and Neal Bentley (right) are already for a little skating and hockey with West Union Parks and Rec director, Kathy Guyer, as it is finally cold enough to fill the West Union skating rink week.  The rink will be available during the first annual Winter Fest on Saturday, January 11 at Rotary Park in West Union.  (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

A whole lot of winter fun at Winter Fest 2020 Saturday evening

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

Whether or not it’s true that someone forgot to order the cold weather, it looks as though it may finally be here!  With that cold weather comes some winter excitement as West Union area residents gear up for the first annual Winter Fest celebration this Saturday, January 11.   

“We’ve had to adjust some things here and there,” noted West Union Parks and Rec director, Kathy Guyer of the event, which was originally scheduled for January 4.  

“We were waiting for it to get cold enough to fill the ice-rink,” she continued.  “Well, not just fill it, but cold enough to make sure it froze so people could actually use it!” 

Originally, the Winter Fest event was to include a variety of winter fun events including cross-country skiing and Skijoring (cross country skiing with a k-9 companion) both of which will likely not be occurring during the weekend event.

“Unless some miracle comes through giving us at least four inches of snow in time for us to make the paths, those events are out for this year,” said Guyer.  “That is okay, though, because we have plenty of other things for people to do!” 

This first annual event is the result of some brainstorming between Guyer and some community members.

“The original idea was to hold a fireworks display on New Years Eve,” Guyer explained.

“With New Years Eve falling midweek, the idea changed to holding it that following weekend,” she continued.  “As everyone started talking about it, the ideas grew and grew into what we now call Winter Fest!” 

The event will be held from 4- 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 11 at Rotary Park in West Union.  There will also be scenic carriage rides throughout the West Union Rec Center lights display during the event.    

“The Festival of Lights committee has graciously agreed to keep most of its display up through the 11th, so people can drive through the lights,” noted Guyer, adding that carriage rides will be free to all.  “The carriage will pick up the sight-seers at the pool and take them through the displays.” 

The event will also include an all-motorized vehicle Poker Run, which will end at 5 p.m.

Business sponsoring the poker run are: Turkey River Saloon, Shooter’s, The Zipper, Horseshoe, Bambino’s, Jimmy D’s, Tap’t Out Stein ‘n’ Dine, Brick City, Top Hat, Whiskey Grove, The Fort, Casa Mexico Tequila, and Aphea’s.

Wed
08
Jan

Ushering in the "Roaring '20's' with WU's Community Banquet

Ushering in the "Roaring '20's' with WU's Community Banquet

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

West Union residents will be celebrating the “Roaring Twenties” at the 2020 West Union Community Awards Banquet hosted by the West Union Chamber — A Main Street Community on Saturday. Jan. 25.

The banquet will honor the following volunteer award winners for their impact on the community of West Union in the listed categories:

Tue
31
Dec

Jordan Davis and Gabby Barrett to headline 2020 Winn. Co. Fair

Jordan Davis will be appearing at the Winneshiek County Fair in Decorah, IA, July 18, 2020.

 

Jordan Davis and Gabby Barrett to headline 2020 Winneshiek County Fair

 

The Winneshiek County Fair officially announced its headlining acts for the 2020 Fair, which will be held July 14-18 in Decorah. Taking to the stage on Saturday night (July 18) will be country music singers Jordan Davis and Gabby Barrett! Here is a little background information on the acts:

Jordan Davis

MCA Nashville’s Jordan Davis has been named an “Artist to Watch” by Billboard, Rolling Stone, CMT, Pandora, Shazam, Amazon Music, Sounds Like Nashville, The Tennessean, SiriusXM, Whiskey Riff and more. 

A Native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Jordan graduated from LSU and briefly pursued the path of his degree working as an environmental consultant; however, his passion for music and songwriting eventually compelled him to move to Nashville in the summer of 2012. 

Tue
31
Dec

Pastor leaves corporate life behind for new congregation, Elgin First Baptist

Pastor J. T. Young will give his first sermon as pastor of the Elgin First Baptist Church on Jan. 5. He comes to the area from Fisherville, Ken. (Jack Swanson Photo)

 

Pastor leaves corporate life behind for new congregation, Elgin First Baptist

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

What’s a corporate lawyer who worked for a global  financial services company and directly managed 60 associates in Seattle, New York, Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco; lived in Seattle, Portland, Nashville and London, England, doing as the pastor of a church in small town Iowa? God only knows?

Not only does God know, but according to Pastor J. T. Young, God put him where he is today. 

Pastor Young will give his first sermon at his new church, Elgin First Baptist Church, on Jan. 5. 

According to the pastor’s story of how he ended up in Elgin, it sounds like something akin to a miracle.

Pastor Young grew up in Castle Rock, a small logging town of about 1500 people at the base of Mt. St. Helens in Southwest Washington. Raised by devoted Christian parents, He was a member of a local Baptist church and said that is where he first felt he had a calling to pastoral ministry. He attended the University of Washington. After his sophomore year he and Laura, who he had known growing  in Castle Rock, were married. He would go on to graduate with a business and finance degree from the University of Washington before earning his law degree at Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville. Over the next 20 years, J.T. and Laura were involved in a number of churches where he taught and they led or served in a variety of church ministries in Tennessee, Washington, and England.

After nearly 20 years as a corporate lawyer and business executive, 17 of which were spent with Russell Investments, a global financial services company, J.T. left his career to pursue his pastoral calling by attending the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ken. 

It was during his time with Russell that he actually lived in London from 2004 to 2007 and traveled throughout the globe. 

“I always wrestled with the idea of joining the ministry. I’d actually been thinking about it since I graduated from high school. The idea kept challenging me, leading me back. The Bible carried me all through my ups and downs,” Pastor J. T. explained.

Tue
31
Dec

Fundraiser to aid ailing family

The Meisgeier family continues to find strength in faith and family as they battle major illnesses together. From left, Jared, Becky, Kenna and Brian. They are shown here celebrating Kenna qualifying for the State Cross Country meet. (Submitted photo)

 

Fundraiser to aid ailing family

 

(Contributed report) 

Brian and Becky Meisgeier were married in 1993. They farmed the family farm, north of Arlington, where they milked cows, had corn crop and hay ground. They lived life simply, worked hard and made a living doing what they loved.

In 2005, Brian was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. After two years, he was forced to sell his cows and rent out his land. As his disease progressed, Brian and his family faced many challenges. Being able to do simple daily tasks has become very difficult.

Tue
31
Dec

Sgt. Hendershott ready for retirement

Sgt. Hendershott

 

Sgt. Hendershott ready for retirement

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

After almost exactly 30 years with the Fayette County Sheriff’s office, sergeant Allen Hendershott is stepping out the door a retired officer.

“My official start date was January 2, 1990,” said Hendershott.  “When I leave today, it will be pretty close to exactly 30 years at the Sheriffs office.” 

An Oelwein native, Hendershott didn’t always know that he wanted to go into law enforcement.

“I wasn’t one of those little kids who dreamed of being an officer,” he said with a laugh.  “Sometimes the job picks you.” 

Tue
31
Dec

Where is she now?

Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital and Clinics (GLPHC) first baby of 2019, Ellie Jo Landsgard (center), enjoys her first Christmas with sister Sofia (left) and brother Dominik (right).  

 

Where is she now?

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

“She likes walking and will be running soon, I’m sure,” laughed Jackie Rema of her daughter, Ellie Jo Landsgard, who was the first baby born at Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital and Clinics (GLPHC) in 2019.

“She is full of energy, and she doesn’t stop with something until she has mastered it,” continued the proud mother.  “Ellie Jo pays attention to all that is going on and then tries for herself!” 

Born a happy and healthy baby at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, Ellie Jo weighed in at 6 pounds and 13 ounces and measured 18.5 inches. 

Ellie Jo is Rema’s third child and her father, Zach Landsgard’s second. 

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