News

Wed
01
Jul

Arrest made in two-year-old hit and run that killed a 14-year-old from Maynard

April Estling is interviewed by media at the Second Annual Kaiden Estling Memorial Ride, Saturday, June 27, at Maynard. (Jack Swanson photo)

 

Arrest made in two-year-old hit and run that killed a 14-year-old from Maynard

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

April Estling knew that Saturday, June 27, was going to be a memorable one for her and her family. It was going to be the second memorial ride for her 14-year-old son, Kaiden, and was only one day before the second anniversary of his death, July 28, 2019. 

Kaiden was killed by a hit and run driver while he was riding his moped home to Maynard from Fayette on Highway 150. He was about three miles outside of Fayette when the accident occurred. April said she had been looking for her son when she got the call about 10:30 p.m., that her son had been found. She traveled to the scene where rescue personnel had tried to save him but were unsuccessful. He died there with no clues left behind on who could have been responsible. The person who had hit him with their vehicle had not stopped to help him or even call for help.

That person, whoever it was, had been on April’s mind almost every day for the last two years, almost every day she thought about her son and how he died.

Now, as the day approached for a ride where people would be gathered to celebrate the memory of her son and the next day that would mark the second year of his death, April braced herself for the pain she knew she was going to feel, and for the demeanor she would need to make the family and friends attending feel recovery was possible, but all the while wishing she still had answers.

It was that state of mind that she was starting to enter when she got a phone call.

Wed
01
Jul

Fireworks, car rally & Northeast Iowa tours

One of the new events planned for Independence Day this year, is a Car Rally.  This rally will travel around the area, stopping for a picnic lunch in Fort Atkinson, and site seeing in the Valley. (submitted photo) 

 

Fireworks, car rally & Northeast Iowa tours

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

While the West Union Chamber’s Fourth of July committee has altered the annual celebrations to follow social distancing guidelines, there will be no shortage of celebratory fun.  

“West Union Strong” will be this year’s theme, and organizers are encouraging area households to get involved and create a visual in their yards representing “West Union Strong.”  

Judges will be touring the town during the Independence Day celebrations to judge all of the unique “West Union Strong” creations. 

This year’s celebrations will be held at the West Union town square and will feature many new events, such as a Car Rally during the day. 

Those wishing to participate in the rally are asked to arrive at 11 a.m. and park around West Union's town square to receive instructions and road map for trip.

The rally will depart from West Union and drive north traveling thru St Lucas and arriving at Fort Atkinson. 

Participants will then take a walking tour of the famous Fort and stop for a picnic lunch. Boxed lunches will be provided for the Car Rally participants.

Next, rally participants will travel along Great River road to the grounds of Montauk Historic Site in Clermont. 

There, participants will be provided walking tour of the grounds.  Patriotic music piped in from the historic 1902 Kimball organ that's housed at the Union Sunday School building, will help set the tone for the visit.

From there, the rally travel through Clermont over to Elgin, visiting several historical sites and buildings along the way.

The rally is set to arrive back into downtown West Union by 3 p.m. 

Ice cream will be provided to the Car Rally participants and live music from Patsy and the Plum Street Jam will be playing during the arrival.  

Miss West Union is scheduled to be crowned at 5 p.m., followed by a community picnic in the town square.  

At 6:30 p.m., event organizers will treat the public to a community walk and historical scavenger hunt.  

West Union’s annual magnificent fireworks display is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. and will be set off near the Rec Center on the north-end of town.  

Wed
01
Jul

Fireworks display at Clermont for 4th

Fireworks display at Clermont for 4th

 

Skip Away Campground will be hosting a fireworks display to help the City of Clermont and surrounding communities celebrate the Fourth of July.

According to campground manager Terri Baker the fireworks will start at dark on Saturday, July 4.

“People can park anywhere, absolutely anywhere. They go high in the sky so everyone in town and around can see them, and there will be live music outside someplace by the lodge,” Baker said.

Social distancing will be up to individuals. 

Wed
01
Jul

The 'Union' of newspapers: New era begins today for Union, Echo, Leader!

For over 170 years, The Fayette County Union, The Elgin Echo and the Fayette Leader have been dominant products in homes throughout Northeast Iowa. Soon a new era begins for our publishing company as beginning Wednesday, July 1, 2020 all three of our Fayette County publications will be united as one under the masthead Union Echo Leader. (LeAnn Larson photo)

 

The 'Union' of newspapers: New era begins today for Union, Echo, Leader!

 

By LeAnn Larson
llarson@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

It has truly been challenging times, and your local newspapers have not been spared from the trail of devastation that has affected so many of our small town businesses throughout NE Iowa. We like to say, we are Iowa proud— but this too has put us into  ‘survival mode’ over the past few months!

Our staff is committed to small-town journalism and continues to passionately bring you local news, features, sports, local advertising, special sections and so much more!  It’s that special ‘slice of life’ you cannot find anywhere else! 

Just think, for over 170 years, we have been a dominant product in homes throughout Northeast Iowa. We were here long before the Spanish Flu and will continue long after the Covid-19 crisis is a distance memory.

With that being said, beginning today with our Wednesday, July 1 publication, we are uniting, merging, coming together as one to bring you your local Fayette County news! Yes, we are combining our efforts into one publication. 

Wed
24
Jun

Grab-n-go tie blanket workshop

Chase Adam, a member of the Praire Shoot Stars and Winneshiek County Council, is hosting a grab-n-go tie blanket workshop for his 4-H Leadership project. (submitted photo)

 

Grab-n-go tie blanket workshop

 

 

Wed
24
Jun

Hawkeye Library open for summer hours

Hawkeye Library open for summer hours

 

 

The Hawkeye Public Library is open its regular summer hours, Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., since June 1.  

In preparation for this opening, library staff has been quarantining books that have been returned as well as increased cleaning and sanitizing. 

Library officials are still offering curbside pick up for people who are not comfortable entering the library and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

 

Wed
24
Jun

No Maynard Days this year

No Maynard Days this year

 

Maynard Days is cancelled for this year. 

The Maynard Community Club made the following announcement on facebook:

“After asking everyone in the Maynard Community Club and getting their votes on if we should have Maynard Days, they will be cancelled for this year. There also will not be a Alex Warnke Memorial Run this year. We are hoping to do some Family Nights in the spring. The Kayden Memorial Ride will still take place on Saturday, June 27.”

The Club is still looking for Miss Maynard candidates. They currently do not have any. If there is anyone interested they should contact Sylvia at 563-637-2255 before June 30.

The Club is hoping to have the Fall Craft Show and hay ride. Due to COVID-19 they will decide when the time comes closer. The Maynard Community Club will vote on activities as they come closer to date on whether or not to do the activity.

Wed
24
Jun

Floral Hall undergoing major remodeling at Fayette County Fairgrounds

After the current updates, the Floral Hall at the Fayette County Fairgrounds has a new appearance today. It has all new aluminum siding and will also have new doors. The old windows have been covered.

 

Floral Hall undergoing major remodeling at Fayette County Fairgrounds

 

By Jack Swanson

jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

Who wants to help with the renovations with the Floral Hall at the Fayette County Fairgrounds in West Union.

If you do, you won’t have to lift a finger.

A new fund raising project is underway to help with the costs of re-doing the interior of the century plus old building.

Building Superintendent Gayle Hackman is spearheading the sponsorship of new window boxes that will replicate the 12 windows which were originally on each side of the 12-sided circular building. The windows were recently taken out so that new aluminum siding could be applied to the make the building more weather proof and maintenance friendly.

The window boxes consist of a steel frame, shaped like the original windows, which will have a tray at the bottom for flower arrangements. 

Wed
24
Jun

Westhoff named NFV high school principal

Westhoff named NFV high school principal

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

North Fayette Valley has officially named the new high school principal that will replace Todd Wolverton on July 1.  

Lori Westhoff comes to the district from Humboldt where she has been principal since 2004.  

“I am looking forward to starting and learning more about NFV, and meeting staff, students, parents and community members,” said Westhoff.  “I have been very impressed with the people I have met and the facilities.” 

Westhoff earned her masters degree in Educational Administration from the University of South Dakota in 1999. 

Wed
24
Jun

NFV 2020 commencement will be held Saturday morning

After a long few months of not knowing when, or even if, they would have a commencement ceremony, the North Fayette Valley class of 2020 will be walking to accept their diplomas this weekend.  The ceremony, which will be altered to follow social distancing guidelines, is set to be outside at the Steve Story complex, weather permitting. Pictured are NFV seniors (l-r) Joel Grimes, Julie Mackey, Alexis Ruroden, and Morganne Molseed. (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

NFV 2020 commencement will be held Saturday morning

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

After a strange few months, a lot of unknowns, and many meetings between North Fayette Valley administration, the NFV student body, parents, and officials, the North Fayette Valley senior class of 2020 is finally ready to officially graduate on Saturday!   Originally set for the evening of May 29, the 2020 graduation ceremony was an unknown for many months as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation earlier this year; abruptly shutting down schools for the year, and setting the stage for many unknowns. 

“While many public gathering restrictions have been lifted, that has not happened with school facilities,” explained North Fayette Valley high school principal, Todd Wolverton in a recent email.  

“Our planning is based on the most recent guidelines and recommendations provided by the Department of Education and the Iowa Department of Public Health,” continued Wolverton. “Even if changes are made June 25, we are not changing our plans.  It is simply too late.” 

As of press-time, the annual commencement ceremony is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 27 at the Steve Story Sports Complex at North Fayette Valley High School, as long as weather permits.  

“If we have rain, a strong chance of rain, quite a bit of wind, or if there was enough rain overnight that we cannot hold the ceremony outside, (the ceremony) will shift to 10:30 a.m. in the PAC (Performing Arts Center) inside the high school,” said Wolverton.  “If the track is wet, we are moving inside as we need to use material to set chairs on that cannot get wet.”

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