News

Wed
16
Oct

Cat trapping questioned by Fayette pet owner

UIU Assistant Professor of Biology Paul Skrade tests telemetry equipment used to monitor locations of feral cats with tracking collars through grant-funded research. (Submitted photos)

 

Cat trapping questioned by Fayette pet owner

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

 

 

An Upper Iowa University Professor says cat trapping is good.

The assistant professor of wildlife biology Dr. Paul Skrade has been feeling the heat about a cat trapping project ever since the owner of a cat that was trapped became upset when she saw her kitty coming home acting like he was still experiencing the effects of a night on the town.

Fayette resident Megan Williams said she barely recognized Gizmo following his trap time. She said the cat was stumbling and finally collapsed and stopped moving.

Gizmo had just experienced the Upper Iowa cat capture and was still experiencing the effects of what humans might refer to as being ruffied on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Described by his owner as a “free-ranging” pet, Gizmo had taken the bait of one of the live traps used in the Upper Iowa research project.  The project involves trapping, collaring the feline with an attached radio transmitter, and then releasing the cat so students can track its whereabouts. During this process, the trapped cat is given an injection of Rompun or xylazine, to sedate it while the collar is put on. The cats can be lethargic for a period of time after the injection.

Dr. Skrade said the project only targets feral cats, not pets. 

Then how did Gizmo end up getting ruffied?

Wed
16
Oct

Fall Fund Fest Thursday

There will be baskets filled with almost anything imaginable along with other gifts available for silent auction at the Palmer Memorial Foundation Fall Fund Fest, Thursday, at Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital and Clinics in West Union. Pictured are hospital staff with some of the baskets and items. They are (front) Jaime Hoey, (back, l-r) Jenni Elsbernd, Patrice Kuennen, Brenda Moser and Jen Connor. (Jack Swanson photo)

 

Fall Fund Fest Thursday

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

 

 

 

Palmer Memorial Foundation is announcing its upcoming annual Fall Fund Fest to raise funds for Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital and Clinics and other community healthcare needs. 

The Fall Fund Fest will take place on Thursday, Oct. 17, 5-7:30 p.m., at the Dance Pavilion on the Fayette County Fairgrounds. During this time, Palmer Memorial Foundation supporters will have the chance to view and make silent bids on a variety of baskets/items. Patsy Wellman will be providing the entertainment and a meal will be offered.

“Because of our generous donors, this event has been a great success in the past and we hope the event will continue to grow,” said Palmer Memorial Foundation Director Jamie Hoey.

Hoey went on to point out, “We will be adding another silent auction section and not doing a live auction. Also, some of the baskets will be available on-line prior to the Fall Fund Fest. A chance auction will also be incorporated into the evening for large and small prizes.”

Wed
16
Oct

Austin named WU Economic Development Director

Kristie Austin

 

Austin named WU Economic Development Director

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

After a month’s long search process, the West Union city council has announced it has filled the Economic Development and Marketing Manager position.

“We interviewed many candidates for this position and, as we got down to the final candidates, it was not an easy decision,” said West Union city manager, Nick McIntyre of the search.  “I am confident that we have offered the position to someone who will do very well in the role.” 

Kristie Austin, who currently resides in Garnavillo, will be stepping into the position by the end of the month.

“I am excited,” smiled Austin of stepping into her new role.  

“I have a passion for small towns and communities,” she continued.  “It is important to make these areas a go-to place to live, work, and play.  I am ready to help to continue developing that in West Union.” 

Austin, a North high graduate, is no stranger to the West Union area as she grew up in Hawkeye.

Wed
16
Oct

Cheer for a Cure!

The North Fayette Valley Cheerleaders will be hosting a “Light up the night to fight breast cancer” event after the varsity football game on October 25.  The event, which will raise funds for the Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Breast Cancer fund through the sale of lanterns which will be sent up in the sky in honor of those battling breast cancer, was spearheaded by NFV junior Kailee Ginger (center) who’s mother, Tanya, is a three-year breast cancer survivor.  Pictured are (l-r) Emily Guyer, Val Boleyn, Kailee, Emma Pleggenkuhle, and Brianne Roys.  (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

Cheer for a Cure!

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The North Fayette Valley cheerleaders are asking for the public’s help to raise funds for the Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Health Center (GPHC) Breast Cancer and Mammogram fund as they plan to “Light up the night to fight!” after the North Fayette Valley varsity football game on Friday, October 25.

“We will be lighting pink lanterns and sending them up after the football game, that night,” noted North Fayette Valley cheerleader and event organizer, Kailee Ginger.  “The lanterns are now for sale, and we hope the sky will be full of them that evening!” 

Ginger, who started planning this event earlier in this year, was inspired by her mother, Tanya Rohwer’s, battle against breast cancer.  

“My mom is a three year breast cancer survivor,” the NFV junior said quietly when asked what inspired her to organize the fundraiser.  “My grandma battled breast cancer two times as well as my great grandma and my aunt.” 

Wed
16
Oct

Fayette County gets $490,000 grant to buy over 100 acres near Fayette

This is the 134.6 acre tract that will be purchased through the REAP grant for $490,000. Jim and Nina Beeghly of Decorah currently own the property. It is located north of Fayette and contains a portion of the Volga River Recreational Trail. (Submitted photo)

 

Fayette County gets $490,000 grant to buy over 100 acres near Fayette

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

The Fayette County Conservation Board has announced that they will receive a $490,000 Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) to purchase a 134.6-acre tract of land that is adjacent to the Fayette to Volga River Recreational Area Trail.

The Jim and Nina Beeghly Tract is adjacent to the city of Fayette and contains a multitude of varied ecosystems including wetlands, savanna, native prairie and forest resources.

Director of the Fayette County Conservation Board Rod Marlatt said that because of the grant, no local county property tax dollars were used in the acquisition. Only three counties in the state were fully funded, and one partially funded in the latest round of REAP grants.

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.

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