News

Thu
26
Dec

Two LEGO League teams headed to State

Two area LEGO League teams are advancing to the state competition on Jan. 18, 2020, in Ames. Students and coaches from South Winneshiek and St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School include (front, l-r) Robin Timp, Kristin Kriener (middle), Landon Livingood , Karissa Wenthold, Rachel Meyer, Julia Carnesi, Maddy Jansen, Ruby Timp, Steve Carnesi, Kristy Meyer; (back) Michelle Buddenberg, Abby Wagner, Kelsey Timp, Kendric Langreck, Allison Hageman, Autumn Schmitt, Eric Kriener, Carter Meyer. (submitted photo)

 

Two LEGO League teams headed to State

 

 

Two local LEGO League teams are advancing to State on Jan. 18, 2020! A team from both South Winneshiek and St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School will be competing at the competition which will be held on the Iowa State University campus in Ames.

Cow Country Contractors was recognized for having the second-highest points with the team’s robot and was the runner-up at the Regional competition, which was held Saturday, Dec. 14, in Marion.

A community event will be held at St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, in Ossian. Attendees will be able to watch both teams’ skit and learn more about the projects. The teams will also demonstrate the missions their robots are capable of performing.

Thu
26
Dec

The Elgin library offers endless fun for area children

Area preschoolers (l-r) Jack Cline, Elissa Frank, Myra Rocke, Brooks Benson, Merrick McCready, Marin Benson, Katie McCready, Lachlan McCready, and Oliver Torkelson show off one of their many projects during a recent a recent preschool story hour at the Elgin Public Library.  (submitted photo)  

 

The Elgin library offers endless fun for area children

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

Wednesday’s at the Elgin Public Library are exciting, and that is just how library director, Lisa Leuck loves to have it.

“My favorites are the craft and Makerspace days,” smiled Leuck, who is affectionately known throughout the community as “Library Lisa.” 

“It is so cool to see what the kids will create when we say, ‘Here are the tools and the supplies, now make whatever you want,’” she smiled. “You see their imaginations and problem-solving abilities come out in full force.” 

The library has long been holding a weekly preschool story hour on Wednesday mornings as well as Wednesday afternoon after-school programs to coincide with North Fayette Valley’s early out schedule.  

Thu
26
Dec

Work on Elgin levee over for the winter

This is about on the spot where the clay covering on the Elgin levee ends, looking north. The project is about half finished. 

 

Work on  Elgin levee over for the winter

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

The work on the Elgin levee will cease until the end of winter.

That is according to Elgin Council member Jim Knobloch, who has been involved in the project for the last three-plus years.

Before stopping for the winter, he said the project was “going very well" but weather issues hampered operations.

He said the project phase of concrete wall is complete except for final cover dirt and seeding.  

The project was started in August  and he said about half of the levee has been covered.

Thu
26
Dec

Fayette Police Department conducts toy drive

Fayette Police officers (l-r) Stone Allen, Chief Ben Davis, and Sgt. Brian Waid are shown early in the toy drive. They would eventually collect 248 toys to be given to children who have been affected by domestic violence or abuse. (Jack Swanson photo)

 

Fayette Police Department conducts toy drive

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

All he wants for Christmas is to make someone’s day…..and even though he is a police officer, not in a way that Dirty Harry would have liked.

Fayette Police Chief Ben Davis and officers Sgt. Brian Waid and Stone Allen decided this year they were going to bring a little Christmas into the lives of children who to receive one act of kindness, could be something they have never experienced before.

This year the Fayette Police Department started their first ever Christmas toy drive.

They asked for donations of new, unwrapped toys from the public. In exchange they would give the donors a Christmas ornament with the Police Department’s name on it. Originally the Chief had planned to let parking violators pay their fines with a toy but the legal aspects of that plan did not work out.

Thu
26
Dec

Attorneys give City last chance to settle Fox case out of court

Attorneys give City last chance to settle Fox case out of court

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

Attorneys for the former West Union police officer who has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the city, claim that the City of West Union’s refusal to accept a settlement agreement, will end up costing taxpayers much more in the end.

Sierra Fox’s attorney, Katie Ervin Carlson, submitted sent a letter to West Union’s legal team, Wilford H. Stone and Holly Corkery of Lynch Dallas, P.C., Cedar Rapids, urging them to convince the City to accept the agreement and “do the right thing.” That letter was filed in Fayette County District Court.

Fox ‘s lawsuit, filed in April, claims she was a victim of sexual harassment, sex discrimination and retaliation while serving as a police officer.

In the letter, Carlson claims the West Union City Council, despite the advice of their legal advisor, Mayor Adam Keller and City Administrator Nick McIntyre, rejected the settlement agreement reached during a daylong mediation on Nov. 15.

Thu
26
Dec

World War II era vet, one of the last of his breed

Geroge Woodard, WWII Army Air Corps

 

World War II era vet, one of the last of his breed

 

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

The war in Germany had already been wrapped up and it looked as if it as just a matter of time before Japan would be defeated. It was 1945 and a young George Woodard had just graduated from West Union High School. Two months later, at age 18, George was drafted.

“It was the luckiest thing that ever happened to me,” George said enthusiastically.

Not quite the reaction one would expect from almost anyone who was drafted, especially in the midst of the largest war in history.

“I remember being pretty happy about it. My dad had been in the Army so I thought it was the thing to do,” the World War II era veteran related. Although he would end up working as a financial clerk stationed stateside until the war ended, George didn’t know where he would end up at the time.

George had already seen the war take its toll on people he knew closely in his hometown.

Wed
18
Dec

New book chronicles legendary Iowa doctor

Ossian native featured

 

New book chronicles legendary Iowa doctor

 

 

The “truly remarkable life story of Dr. Ignacio Ponseti (1914-2009) and his continuing impact on the lives of children around the world.” That’s how Tom Brokaw, the renowned journalist, broadcaster, and author, describes the new book, Clubfoot: The Quest for a Better Life for Millions of Children.  Brokaw goes on to describe Dr. Ponseti as “God’s gift to these children.”

The book’s author is Professor Emeritus Thomas Cook from the University of Iowa where he is the Senior Advisor for the Ponseti International Association. Cook is a physical therapist, biomedical engineer, and global health specialist who first met Dr. Ponseti in 1992. His book addresses three major questions. Who was Dr. Ignacio Ponseti? What is the treatment he developed? How successful is his quest for a world without disability from clubfoot?

Wed
18
Dec

Kipps decorate to the theme of Christmas movies

The downstairs living area of the Jon and Jessica Schmitt home in Festina was decorated to the theme of the movie Christmas Vacation, complete with an overdone turkey and catfood Jello. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Kipps decorate to the theme of Christmas movie

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

Decorating for the holiday season is one of the most famous traditions in the world. Christmas trees, blinking lights, Nativity scenes, and holiday wreaths are all common during this time of year, but for the Jon and Jessica Kipp family of Festina, decorating took on a whole new form this year.

“After Christmas last year, I told Clark (Goltz) that we wanted to be a part of the Magic of Christmas home tour,” explained Jessica. “We were still in the process of building the house, but I knew that I wanted our house to be on the tour.”

It wasn’t until April that the Kipps, including three children Adeline, McKenna, and Dillon, moved into their new home. At that point, Jessica was already well underway with the planning process for the holiday decorating.

“I had started to buy some decorations right away after Christmas last year,” explained Jessica. “It wasn’t until probably July that my sister suggested the idea of decorating the house with the theme of different Christmas movies.”

Wed
18
Dec

Couple with local ties providing foster care for kids in immediate need

Nicole Schaer (from left) talks about New Hope For Families, a faith-based nonprofit in Duluth as Therese Gruba, one of the founders, and Tom Schaer listen on. New Hope’s purpose is helping meet the need for foster care in St. Louis County and provide faith-based support for foster families who desire it. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

 

Couple with local ties providing foster care for kids in immediate need

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

 

 

(Editor’s note: John Landy of Duluth News Tribune wrote some parts of this story)

Tom and Nicole Schaer have had 32 kids already since moving into their new house.

Yes they are human, and the kids have lived with the pair for various lengths of time since May of this year. That’s when the Schaers could start accepting foster children into their home that was once the rectory of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Duluth, Minn.

Both of the Schaers have local ties. Tom grew up in the Elgin area and is a Valley High School grad. He is the son of John and Alice Schaer. His dad is now deceased but his mother still lives in Elgin. Nicole grew up in Waukon, graduating from Waukon High School but her parents; Lester and June Schogren now live in Clermont.

The Schaers are part of New Hope for Families, a faith-based nonprofit founded in Duluth. 

Wed
18
Dec

Iowa Farmland values rise

 

Iowa farmland values rise, ISU survey says

It’s been a difficult year for farmers—the planting season saw an overabundance of rain and delayed planting, the United States’ trade war with China persisted, skewing both commodity prices and demand, and farm bankruptcies rose to the highest level since 2011. However, favorable interest rates, strong yields, and limited land supply combined to help drive Iowa’s farmland values up for only the second time in six years.

The statewide value of an acre of farmland is now estimated to be $7,432, which represents an increase of 2.3 percent, or $168, since 2018. The $7,432 per acre estimate, and 2.3 percent increase in value, represents a statewide average of low-, medium-, and high-quality farmland.

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