News

Wed
09
Jan

Citizen of the Year: Amie Johansen

Amie Johansen

 

Citizen of the Year: Amie Johansen

 

 

By Chris Deback

 

 

cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

One word that isn’t in Amie Johansen’s vocabulary is “No.”

There may not be anyone who is more giving of themselves to the community of West Union than Johansen. From volunteering with the West Union Chamber — A Main Street Community to guiding young volleyball players to realize their full potential, to helping citizens at West Union City Hall, no one cares about the community of West Union more than Johansen. 

It’s her tenacious work ethic, warm smile, caring attitude, and love for her community that garners Johansen the honor of being named The Fayette County Union’s 2018 West Union Citizen of the Year. 

Wed
02
Jan

Snow days: More than what meets the eye

 

During the winter months, South Winneshiek superintendent Kris Einck takes on an expanded role as he has the ultimate say in whether or not school will be delayed, let out early, or cancelled due to inclement weather across the district. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Snow days: More than what meets the eye

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

As most Iowans know, winters in the Midwest can present a number of obstacles when it comes to transportation. One of the biggest ways that freezing rain, snow, wind, and ice can affect people across the state is weather-related school delays, early-outs, and cancellations. While most people can simply check their Smartphone or watch the local news to find out if school will be disrupted, there is much more that goes into making the decision than what meets the eye.

“Student safety is the number one priority when it comes to inclement weather,” said South Winneshiek superintendent Kris Einck. “I will do everything in my power to insure that students are in the classrooms that I can, but I will also err on the side of caution every time if road conditions are not ideal.”

Wed
02
Jan

'Walk the Red Carpet'

'Walk the Red Carpet' with Community Awards Banquet honorees

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

West Union residents will be able to “Walk the Red Carpet” at the 2019 West Union Community Awards Banquet hosted by the West Union Chamber — A Main Street Community on Saturday. Jan. 19.

This year’s theme, “Walk the Red Carpet,” will shine the bright light of Hollywood on the different volunteer contributions made to the West Union community over the past year.

In addition, the banquet will honor the following volunteer award winners for their impact on the community of West Union in the listed categories:

Business of the Year — Baumler Implements; Education — Kara Wedemeier; Community Service — Ann Hutchens; Youth — Thomas Sadler; Historical Preservation — Meg Moellering; Health — Beatrice Guenther; Religion — Tom Roys; and Parks and Rec. — Ron Crooker. 

At the same time, The Fayette County Union will honor the Union’s chosen 2018 Citizen of the Year, and Jessica Sadler will be recognized as the Iowa Main Street Volunteer of the Year for West Union.

The event will take place at the West Union Events Center with a social hour beginning at 6 p.m. Dinner and the awards ceremony will follow at 7 and 8 p.m., respectively. A 50/50 raffle and silent auction will also be part of the evening’s festivities. 

Advance tickets are on sale at the Chamber office for $20 until 4:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11. They will be available after that for $25 until Friday, Jan. 19. No tickets will be available at the door.  

Wed
26
Dec

NICC Trustees select Strake Johnson Architects

 

Renovation of Max Clark Hall on the Northeast Iowa Community College Calmar Campus is one of four projects that will be part of the first stage of the college’s construction and renovation project. Along with Max Clark Hall, renovation of the Peosta campus Main Building, Dubuque Center, and the Town Clock Business Center in Dubuque will be part of the initial stage. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

NICC Trustees select Straka Johnson Architects

 

 

The Northeast Iowa Community College Board of Trustees has selected Dubuque firm Straka Johnson Architects, P.C. to lead design, construction and renovations for projects funded by the passage of a $39 million bond levy in September.

  The Trustees selected the architectural firm at its meeting on Dec. 17 based on the recommendations of the college, a nine-member search committee, and the Requests for Proposals (RFPs) formally submitted to NICC for consideration.

Wed
26
Dec

New leadership at FCSWCD

 

The Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District board has some new commissioners with the retirement of Paul Hoeger (not pictured) of Maynard and Dick Jensen of Elgin (not pictured). The new board includes (l-r) Tim Bruihler of Hawkeye, Gene Pleggenkuhle of Hawkeye, Mark Howard of Elgin, and Don Bahe of Stanley. Not pictured are new commissioner Nick Benson of Elgin and current assistant commissioners Eric Boehm of Wadena and Rod Marlatt of Elgin.  (Chris DeBack photo)

 

 

New leadership at FCSWCD

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

The retirement of Paul Hoeger of Maynard, Dick Jensen of Elgin, and Leon Deutsch of Wadena opened three commissioner spots on the Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District board.

Voted on to the board in this year’s general election, Mark Howard and Nick Benson of Elgin and Gene Pleggenkuhle of Hawkeye were selected by their constituents to fill some pretty big boots. Tim Bruihler of Hawkeye and Don Bahe of Stanley and assistant commissioners Eric Boehm of Wadena, and Rod Marlatt of Elgin round out the board. 

Wed
26
Dec

U.S. teacher becomes student of Chinese culture

 

 

As part of a promotional event for Langston English School in Shenyang, China, Gabriel Heuton presents one lucky student with a prize of a nice Lego set.

 

U.S. teacher becomes student of Chinese culture

 

 

Vicki Rowland
Contributing Writer

 

 

While we Americans are celebrating New Year’s, 26-year-old Gabe Heuton of rural Wadena may also recall his fond memories of a “new year” that he experienced while living and teaching English in China.

A graduate of Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Gabe decided to teach internationally. He found his destined school on craigslist and interviewed via Skype with two American teachers in China. Langston English has three schools located in Shenyang, China, in the Liaoning province.  Heuton was hired to teach English to Chinese children ages 4-15.  He also taught some upper-level math classes.

Wed
26
Dec

Kaiden's Kots for the Homeless

 

West Central freshmen (front, l-r) Christian Patten, Garrison Hauge; and (back) Logan Wescott relax in a mountain of plastic bags, which will eventually be turned into cots for the class’ Kaiden’s Kots for the Homeless project. The four-year project, which began with bag collecting after the students’ eighth-grade year, aims to donate the cots at the end of their high school careers. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Kaiden's Kots for the Homeless

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

It’s been nearly six months since 14-year-old Kaiden Estling left the earth all too soon in a devastating moped accident, but thanks to his freshman classmates at West Central High School, his memory will live on through Kaiden’s Kots for the Homeless.

“We initially started the project at the end of last school year and set a goal to make 70 cots to donate by the time the class graduates from high school,” explained teacher and project leader Elaine VandeVorde. “When we lost Kaiden over the summer, it only seemed right to dedicate the four-year project to his memory.”

Throughout the summer, students in the West Central Class of 2022 started collecting plastic bags for the project. When the school year began in August, the Kaiden’s Kots for the Homeless project was officially underway.

Wed
26
Dec

Koether contests election results

Koether contests election results

 

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

On Friday, Dec. 21, Kayla Koether filed to contest the election results of Iowa House District 55 with the Iowa House of Representatives. 

Koether, who was the Democratic challenger in the House race, trails Incumbent Republican Michael Bergan by nine votes. She is contesting the election to have 29 absentee ballots counted. 

On Nov. 29, she filed a petition in Polk County District Court to have to the 33 unpostmarked absentee ballots that were received after Election Day counted. Twenty-nine of them were received the Wednesday after Election Day. Koether contended there isn’t any way those ballots could have been put in the mail after the deadline and arrived in the Winneshiek County Auditor’s Office the Wednesday after Election Day.

Wed
26
Dec

Girls' win streak over

 

 

In pro football, this would be a personal foul for putting full weight on a quarterback. However, this is basketball Friday, Dec. 14, in Postville. NFV’s Alyssa Bohr and a Pirate player each grabbed the ball, trying for a rebound. As the two struggled for control, the Postville player fell to the floor with Bohr hanging on to the ball almost all the way to the floor to cause a jump ball. (Jennifer Olsen photo)

 

Girls' win streak over

 

 

 

By Jerry Wadian
jwadian@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

The NFV girls’ win streak came to a screeching halt last week as they lost a pair of home games to some very good teams.

Due to early press deadlines imposed by the holiday, results from the game Friday in Guttenberg will appear in next week’s paper.

NFV was no match for 14th-ranked Kee High, dropping a 54-11 decision Tuesday, Dec. 18, in West Union.

Kee, a conference co-favorite, came in at 6-1, losing only its opening game to Waukon.

Wed
26
Dec

Jensen and Hoeger retire from FCSWCD

 

With 43 years of combined experience as commissioners on the Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District board, Paul Hoeger (left) of Maynard and Dick Jensen of Elgin are retiring. The two men were honored for their dedication to conservation with a plaque and coffee mug on Monday, Dec. 17, at Gus and Tony’s Town House Café in West Union. (Chris DeBack photo)

 

Jensen and Hoeger retire from FCSWCD

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

Fayette County’s soil health, water quality, and conservation in general have always been important to Paul Hoeger of Maynard and Dick Jensen of Elgin. 

With a combined 43 years of experience as commissioners on the Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District (FCSWCD) board, the two men have decided to hand over the fight for conservation to the next generation. 

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