News

Thu
28
Mar

Sparrgroves direct $2,500 grant to FC Food Shelf

 

John and Peggy Sparrgrove (center, l-r) directed a $2,500 America’s Farmers Grow Communities grant to the Fayette County Food Shelf in Fayette that will be used for food. The Sparrgroves also got their milk cooperative Foremost Dairy in Wisconsin, to donate a case of mild cheddar cheese, medium cheddar cheese, and butter. Accepting the donation on the food shelf’s behalf are Maxine Balk (far left), president of the FC Food Shelf Board of Directors, and Jeanne Stannard, treasurer of the FC Food Shelf Board of Directors.  Chris DeBack photo

 

Sparrgroves direct $2,500 grant to FC Food Shelf

 

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

The Fayette County Food Shelf recently received a $2,500 America’s Farmers Grow Communities grant thanks to Fayette County farmers Peggy and John Sparrgrove. 

Sponsored by the Bayer Fund, the $2,500 will go towards food that the Fayette County Food Shelf gives away to needy residents in Fayette County. Peggy Sparrgrove found the grant on Monsanto’s website. 

“I filled out an application online, and we were lucky enough that the people picking the grant winners liked what they saw,” said Sparrgrove. 

Thu
28
Mar

Poppen performs her last note at NFV

 

Leslie Poppen (right) helps (l-r) Aralyn Keller and Ryan Steege learn a song on the xylophone during class on Monday, March 18. Poppen will retire from teaching at the end of the school year and will miss helping children learn to sing and play different instruments.  Chris DeBack photos

 

Poppen performs her last note at NFV

 

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

For over three decades the Poppens have been a fixture in the music department at Fayette, North Fayette, and North Fayette Valley school districts. 

At the end of this school year, Leslie Poppen will join her husband, Doug, in retirement; making next year the first time in 37 years that a Poppen won’t be teaching music in some form at the now NFV school district. 

Thu
28
Mar

FC considers seeking restitution against Bruening Rock Products

 

Fayette County is considering seeking restitution from Bruening Rock Products in Decorah for damage done to gravel roads in Fayette County. This picture taken at the intersection of Heron and Fox roads in rural Fayette leads to a quarry that Bruening uses.   submitted photo

 

 

 

 

FC considers seeking restitution against Bruening Rock Products

 

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

Fayette County is considering seeking restitution against Bruening Rock Products for damage done to gravel roads on N and Neon avenues. 

Fayette County Engineer Joel Fantz brought up the matter during his weekly update with the Fayette County Supervisors during their regular meeting on Monday, March 25. 

Fantz started the discussion by noting that he believes the gravel roads have turned a corner as the County has worked the last two weekends to fix the roads. He commended and thanked milk haulers and feed companies for working with the county to minimize gravel-road damage.

Wed
20
Mar

SOO Green transmission line coming through area

SOO Green transmission line coming through area

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

Direct Connect Development Company (DC DevCO) recently announced the SOO Green Renewable Rail project, which is a 349-mile-long high-voltage direct current transmission line that will run underground along the Canadian Pacific railroad line.

Once completed, SOO Green will run from Mason City to the Chicago, Ill., area, including a route that passes through Ossian and Calmar.

SOO Green is the first to take its construction underground and to adopt the rail co-location model used in building America’s fiber optic system. The project’s construction methods will limit impacts to the environment by boring under sensitive habitat, limiting the impact on birds and other endangered species. Building SOO Green underground and utilizing an existing railroad right of way will also limit impacts to neighboring landowners.

Wed
20
Mar

Clermont Council addresses vicious dog issue

Clermont Council addresses vicious dog issue

 

 

Vicki Rowland
Contributing Writer

 

 

The Clermont Council met on Monday, March 18, 2019, and heard from citizens about a dog bite incident.  Lori Kohls sent a letter to the Council members and was on hand to speak and answer questions regarding the incident that occurred on March 7, 2019.

 

According to Kohls, Sebastian Wander, 11, rang her doorbell and explained that his dog, Ariel, got away from him when he was walking the dog.  He wanted her assistance in retrieving his dog.  Lori reached down to pick up her small Yorkie, Belle, when Wander’s dog bolted from the side of the porch and grabbed her little dog by its back and neck and began shaking it violently.  In addition, the attacking dog bit Kohls on the left hand.

Wed
20
Mar

Fying the skies with Margie Halverson Sommers

 

As a little girl, Margie Halverson (front, center) dreamed of traveling the open skies.  When the 1976 Valley graduate decided to pursue that dream when she took a course in Airline and Travel Careers at the Spencer School of Business in Spencer Iowa, she had no idea how far it would actually take her.  From Europe to Japan, the Wadena native has seen it all.  She has also made friendships with a number of her flight-crew coworkers as they fly from one end of the world to the other.  

 

Flying the skies with Margie Halverson Sommers

 

 

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

“When I was very young I wanted to be a beautician,” smiled 1976 Valley graduate Margie Halverson Sommers.  “Really, what little girls didn’t want to do hair when they grew up?” 

While young Margie thought of beauty school when she was a little girl, it wasn’t long before that dream went to the wayside and she began dreaming of the open skies and exploring the world.

“My parents would return home from business trips and tell us about their travels and the nice stewardeses on board,” the Wadena native recalled.  

“Then came Mary Tyler Moore!  I absolutely adored her independence!” she exclaimed with a laugh.  “Between that and the stories my parents shared, I decided I wanted to live in Minneapolis and work for the airlines!” 

Wed
20
Mar

Voting changes discussed at final legislative town hall meeting

 

 Numerous area residents attended the final Farm Bureau Legislative Town Hall meeting of the year on Saturday, March 16, in Arlington. Representatives attending the meeting were Bruce Bearinger, Iowa House District 64; Craig Johnson, Iowa Senate District 32; Michael Bergan, Iowa House District 55; Anne Osmundson, Iowa House District 56; and Michael Breitbach, Iowa Senate District 28.  

 

Voting changes discussed at final legislative town hall meeting

 

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

Fayette, Buchanan, and Clayton County Farm Bureaus hosted their last legislative town hall meeting of the year on Saturday, March 16, at the Arlington Community Event Center in Arlington. 

Representatives attending the meeting were Bruce Bearinger, Iowa House District 64; Craig Johnson, Iowa Senate District 32; Michael Bergan, Iowa House District 55; Anne Osmundson, Iowa House District 56; and Michael Breitbach, Iowa Senate District 28. The conversation at the town hall meeting was dominated by two topics: voting and solar energy. This article will concentrate on the time change and early voting discussion, with the article next week concentrating on closing satellite-voting locations in state-owned buildings. The following week will have an article on the discussion surrounding solar energy. 

A constituent in attendance asked the representatives about making changes to early voting, and closing voting booths an hour earlier. 

Wed
20
Mar

WU native survives EF-4 twister on motorcycle

West Union native Kenny Amdahl

 

WU native survives EF-4 twister on motorcycle

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

It’s a story that he’s not even he would believe had he not experienced it himself.

 

For West Union native and current Hubert, N.C., resident Kenny Amdahl, March 3, 2019, is a date he will never forget. The 66-year-old embarked on his annual trip to Florida for Daytona Bike Week on his prized 2015 Indian Vintage motorcycle without the slightest idea that his life would change a mere six hours later.

“As I was getting further south, my wife had called me and informed me that there was some bad weather down here,” explained Amdahl, a 1971 graduate of North High. “I have been riding since I was 18-years-old, so encountering severe weather isn’t something new to me. I have driven through it countless times.”

Amdahl continued to cruise down the open highway with his Pomeranian, Hemi, strapped in behind him.

Wed
20
Mar

Soggy roads

 

Many sections of gravel roads including 220th Street just west of West Union City Hall have been closed due to poor gravel road conditions until the roads can be repaired by the Fayette County Secondary Roads Department once conditions improve.  Chris DeBack photos

 

Soggy roads

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

Last week, Mother Nature threw one last curveball at the residents of Fayette County with warm temperatures leading to snow melting quickly causing muddy conditions on the counties gravel roads.

This quick thaw, combined with a thaw cycle in January, left gravel roads across northeast Iowa saturated with water. With the ground still frozen underneath the initial layer of dirt, water from the melting snow wasn’t able to infiltrate the ground to runoff. Instead, it stayed near the surface causing soggy conditions on the gravel roads. 

“Last fall, the area had all that rain, and it saturated our gravel roads and then they froze,” said Joel Fantz, Fayette County Engineer. “Then we had another rain and thaw in January, which saturated the roads even more. There was a tremendous amount of water trapped within the first four inches of the gravel roads. With the frost below none of the water was able to away so the only way it can get away is through the surface. We knew last fall that this would be a challenging spring. We aren’t the only county around dealing with some difficult conditions. That is really the big issue, now that these roads are thawing out.”

Wed
13
Mar

South Winn school board meeting

South Winn school board meeting

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

The South Winneshiek school board meeting was held Monday evening in Calmar as over 25 guests attended the monthly gathering.

The meeting began with a visitor comment, which can be read in its entirety at the conclusion of the article, from former community member and former board member Jennifer Johnson. The comments generated a round of applause and strong emotion from those in attendance, including the school board, administration, teachers, and staff.

Also on the agenda, the council discussed options to help make up missed school time due to an uncharacteristically brutal winter.

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