News

Wed
10
Jul

Supervisors meet with NextEra Energy Resources

Supervisors meet with NextEra Energy Resources

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

At their meeting on Monday, July 8, the Fayette County Supervisors met with representatives from NextEra Energy Resources to discuss its wind-farm project in Fayette County. 

The Supervisors met with Kimberly Dickey, NextEra Energy Resources project manager, and Adam McDonald, NextEra Energy Resources senior land services representative. Dickey lives in Linn County and manages projects for NextEra that are in various stages of development supporting project teams in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Southern Minnesota. McDonald is the land agent who is meeting with landowners in Fayette County to gage their interest in participating in the project and signing what Dickey called “option agreements.”

Also in attendance was Fayette County Engineer Joel Fantz and Kevin Lehs, Hawkeye wind farm project manager. 

Dickey opened the conversation by noting that the project is in the very preliminary stages of development. The company had only installed a meteorological tower approximately three or four months ago to measure wind speed, wind direction, and various other data points. This allows the company to evaluate whether or not the Hawkeye area, which it is targeting for this project, is a good spot to build a wind farm. 

“I want to emphasis that it is a very, very early stage and first step in that process,” Dickey told the Supervisors. “We have to measure the wind resources first to see if the project is even feasible. We typically take at least a year to gather that data and make a determination whether to move forward into the next phase of wind-farm development.”

Wed
10
Jul

11 contend for Fayette County Fair Queen

11 contend for Fayette County Fair Queen

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The 2019 Fayette County Fair (July 23-27) is less than a month away.

The unofficial opening of the Fayette County Fair is always the Fayette County Fair Queen Contest, which is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, in the Bandstand on the Fayette County Fairgrounds in West Union. 

Before the crowning, the queen contestants will host free kids games starting at noon and introduce themselves at 3 p.m. in the Bandstand. 

This year, 11 young females will be vying for the crown of 2019 Fayette County Fair Queen, as well as Fair Princess and other awards. Those young females include Aryel Allwood, Miss Maynard; Valerie Boleyn, Miss Elgin; Olivia Decker, Miss Westgate; Naomi Gaede, Miss Oelwein; Katelyn Kuehner, Miss Hawkeye; Rory Kuennen, Miss St. Lucas; Ryin Lehmann, Miss Clermont; Carson Larson, Miss Fayette; Kylee Anfinson, Miss Arlington; Taylor Ney, Miss West Union; and Jocelyn Kuker, at-large candidate. There is no Miss Waucoma or Miss Wadena. 

 A pie auction following the queen coronation will conclude the event. 

The 2019 Fayette County Fair Queen will represent the county at the Iowa State Fair Queen contest on Saturday, Aug. 10, in Des Moines, as well as many area activities throughout the year. 

The 2018 Fayette County Fair Queen and Princess are Megan Niewohner and Gene Anne Burst, respectively. Renee Larson is the Fayette County Fair Queen coordinator, whose hard work makes this a wonderful day for all of the candidates.

Wed
10
Jul

Hanson committed to improving economic vitality of Fayette County

Elgin native Mallory Hanson will be the director of the new Fayette County Economic Development & Tourism organization. Chris DeBack photo

 

Hanson committed to improving economic vitality of Fayette County

 

 

 

Fayette County’s new Economic Development Director Mallory Hanson is kind of in a precarious situation. 

Hanson currently works for an organization that has yet to be officially created. While much of that will change today, (Wednesday, July 10) after she hosts at meeting at the West Union Chamber — A Main Street Community Office with potential partners, her first week in her new role was certainly an interesting one. 

With no formal organization to work for, Hanson has spent her first week gearing up for the meeting that should answer a lot of questions and set-up the organization known as Fayette County Economic Development & Tourism. This will be a brand new organization that is separate from the recently disbanded Fayette County Economic Development. 

Hanson noted she is looking to establish the new organization differently than how the previous economic development organization had been set-up. FCED was created and organized using a 28E agreement, while Hanson hopes to make the new economic development organization a 501(c)6. 

“I have invited all of the [former FCED] partnering entities and organizations to come to the July 10 meeting,” said Hanson. “How the organization is structured should be a decision that is made by the partners. I have some thoughts as to what a good structure might be, and I want to discuss that before I moved forward with anything.”

While the organization's formal name will more than likely is Fayette County Economic Development & Tourism, the Elgin native is hoping to develop a much catchier branding name with more promotional pull, such as “Visit Fayette County.”

Wed
03
Jul

Family still waiting on 'Justice for Kaiden'

It’s been a year since Kaiden Estling was killed in a hit-and-run accident on Highway 150 just south of Fayette. It’s said that time heals all wounds, but for Kaiden’s mother, April Estling, that healing process can’t begin until the person responsible has been caught.  Chris DeBack photo

 

Family still waiting on 'Justice for Kaiden'

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

It’s said that time heals all wounds

April Estling doesn't know if those words will ever ring true for her after her son, 14-year-old Kaiden Estling, was killed in a hit-and-run accident a year ago. 

“It is like a piece of me is missing,” she said as she fought back tears. “Every time I picture his face, I can literally feel my heart shatter. It never gets easier. Now that Friday was a year since it happened, it feels like it is happening all over again. No matter what his brother and I do, our family isn’t complete. We are missing someone.”

On Thursday, June 28, 2018, Kaiden, who lived in Maynard, had gone to Fayette on his moped to visit a friend, and his mother told him to be home before dark. After hanging out with his friend, Estling went to leave town but noticed that some of his other friends were getting out of class at Warrior Servant Martial Arts in Fayette, where he took martial arts, so he stopped to talk to them. 

After losing track of time, Kaiden left Fayette to head for home on his blue 2016 Yongfu moped, but he would never make it. 

“About 10 p.m. I realized he wasn’t home, and I started feeling sick to my stomach, it was really weird,” Kaiden’s mother recalled. “I yelled out to his little brother, Amir, who was in the living room, ‘Did Kaiden come home?’ and he said ‘No.’”

At approximately 10:08 p.m. the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call for a moped accident on Highway 150 near 118th Street approximately two miles south of Fayette. Kaiden was in the southbound lane of Highway 150, when his moped was struck by another vehicle causing him to lose control and end up near the west ditch. The driver fled the scene and someone else found Kaiden and called 911. 

“When I realized he wasn’t home I started calling him, and he didn’t answer,” April said as she began to sob. “That wasn’t like him, even if he missed the call he would call me back within a couple minutes. At 10:30 p.m. he wasn’t answering me, he wasn’t calling me back so I got in the car and I knew he had gone to Fayette, so I headed that direction.”

Wed
03
Jul

Arlington picks its hero, Lucas Baker, as grand marshal

The Arlington Community Club has chosen Lucas Baker as its grand marshal for the Arlington Days’ Parade at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 6. Baker, who is pictured with his dog Sparky, was chosen for his courageous fight with Acute T-Call Lymphoblastic Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  submitted photo

 

 

 

Arlington picks its hero, Lucas Baker, as grand marshal

 

By Jack Swanson
Contributing Writer

 

 

Superman, Batman, Lone Ranger, Michael Jordan, John Wayne, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Phelps, 9/11 firemen and rescuers, service men and women, and teachers are all things that come to mind when someone thinks of a hero.

But when the members of the Arlington Community Club decided to pick a hero to lead their Arlington Days’ parade themed “Thank A Hero,” their thoughts turned to a 10-year-old boy who has been fighting one of life’s deadliest enemies for the last 10 months.

The 2019 Arlington Days’ Grand Marshal is Lucas Baker.  

It started with a cough on Sept. 8, 2018. The cough was causing him to be short of breath and, at times, Lucas could barely breathe. His parents, Nick and Bridget Baker, seeing their son struggling to breathe rushed him to the emergency room. Lucas’ fight with one of the worst evil villains known to man had just begun.

An x-ray showed a mass in Lucas’ chest. After two weeks in the University of Iowa’s Children Hospital having labs, imaging, and lots of procedures and tests, he was diagnosed with Acute T-Cell Lympoblastic Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

The plan was to “shrink and dissolve” the mass and let his body flush it out.

Since then Lucas’ has spent his time making trips to Iowa City for chemotherapy and meds. He had his blood drawn weekly to see if he can face the chemo treatments, if not, he has to wait another week, putting him further behind in his fight. Every time he has a fever, it’s back to the hospital. In order to go outside he has to wear a surgical mask.

Because of his illness he could not be with his fourth grade friends in the classroom.

Lucas hopefully will finish his last intensive phase of this battle this summer.  Then he will start his maintenance phase, which will allow him to start fifth grade at Starmont School in the fall.  

Wed
03
Jul

Wrongful death lawsuit filed against West Union

Wrongful death lawsuit filed against West Union

 

By Chris Baldus
editor@oelweindailyregister.com

 

 

 

The family of a man killed two years ago when a West Union Police SUV struck his pickup has filed suit against the city and the officer.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed Thursday, June 20, in Fayette County District Court on behalf of Willys H. Fritz’s widow, Leanne, and his adult children, Susan Gail Lueder and Daniel. It seeks a jury decision on its claims that recklessness and negligence by the city and former West Union police officer Bryson Geoffrey Hennigar led to the wrongful death of Willys Fritz.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, but asks that they exceed the court’s jurisdictional minimums.

Wed
03
Jul

Area 4th of July celebrations

Area 4th of July celebrations

 

Area Fourth of July celebrations promise a variety of activities and entertainment in addition to the usual oohs and aahs of a traditional fireworks show. Following are some area plans for the Fourth of July 2019:

 

Clermont – A holiday fireworks show for the Valley community is set for Thursday, July 4, at dark. The fireworks will take place over the campground lake at Skip-A-Way Resort in Clermont.

 

Festina – The Firecracker 5K, sponsored by the Festina Improvement Association, will start at Neal’s Auto Body in Festina on July 4. Race time is 9 a.m., with prizes awarded to the top three male and female finishers and to children 12 and under. Festina’s annual Fourth of July parade will begin at 11 a.m.

 

Wed
03
Jul

July 4th Star-Spangled Celebration

The West Union Chamber — A Main Street Community’s Annual Fourth of July Celebration is Wednesday-Thursday, July 3-4. Cole Moser and Tate Germann enjoyed a short game of dodgeball last year before heavy rain canceled the event. Dodgeball and many other entertaining activities are back again this year.

 

West Union's Star-Spangled Celebration

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

Don’t miss the West Union Chamber — A Main Street Community’s Fourth of July Celebration Wednesday-Thursday, July 3-4, at the West Union Recreation Complex. 

The party kicks off tonight (July 3) at 6:30 p.m. with the double-elimination Chicago style, 16-inch softball tournament. Six area teams will be vying for the championship crown with games starting at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Light concessions will be available for purchase. 

Following the softball tournament will be a free outdoor movie on ball diamond No. 1. While the name of the movie can’t be printed rest assured that it is a classic, kid-friendly baseball movie that the whole family can enjoy. Light concessions will be available for purchase. 

The following day (July 4), the 16-inch softball tournament gets back underway at 9 a.m. with games at 10 and 11 a.m., as well. The championship round will be at 4 p.m. Please note that even though the tournament is double elimination, there will only be one championship game regardless if its the losing teams first loss. 

Wed
26
Jun

How will IHSAA rules for officiating affect SW?

 

Area wrestling referee Dwayne Lundtvedt of Decorah closely watches the action during a past South Winneshiek wrestling meet. Recent changes made by the Iowa High School Athletic Association may help increase the pool of sports referees in the area. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

How will IHSAA rules for officiating affect SW?

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

Earlier this month, the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) made a rule change at its monthly board meeting to try to increase the potential pool of registered officials and better include interested students. 

The Association voted to begin allowing high school students to serve as officials for sub-varsity (junior varsity) high school contests beginning in the 2019-2020 year. Current policies allow high schoolers to officiate seventh- and eighth-grade events or sub-varsity matches. The rule change also affects only boys’ sports.

“The officials’ shortage is a nationwide issue that we’re seeing up close here in Iowa,” said Alan Beste, IHSAA executive director. “We have students trying out officiating and wanting more opportunities, and at the same time, their school’s administrators and coaches are desperate to find referees for freshmen, sophomore, or junior varsity events.”

Wed
26
Jun

Assessor updates Supervisors on land valuation increases

Assessor updates Supervisors on land valuation increases

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

Assessor updates Supervisors on land valuation increases

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

The Fayette County Supervisors met with Fayette County Assessor Ali Manson for an update during their regular meeting on Monday, June 24. 

She noted that Vanguard Appraisals would be starting its fieldwork for reassessing all the residential property in Fayette County sometime around July 15. An exact date will be published in the newspaper in the coming weeks. 

It involves the Vanguard appraisers knocking on the door of every home in Fayette County. They will ask to be let into your home, so they can give a proper assessment of the property. However, homeowners can refuse to let them into their home. The homeowner can then give the necessary information to the appraiser verbally. If they don’t provide any information at all, the appraisers will then guess the approximate value. Because the appraisers will be cold calling when they knock on a person’s door, it is okay to work with the appraisers to schedule another time that is more convenient for you. 

If you don’t let the appraisers into your home and their best guess is a lot more than you think your home is worth, you can then ask the appraisers to come in and reassess the property. You won’t be just stuck with their guess.

Once a person’s new assessed value arrives in the mail, there will be informal hearings for people to attend and ask the appraisers how they determined the value of their home. 

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