News

Wed
03
Oct

Turkey Valley Homecoming

 

Members of the 2018 Turkey Valley Homecoming court include (front, l-r) Queen candidates Kaayla Burke, Kelsey Kurtenbach, and Karissa Schmidt; (back) King candidates Carter Reicks, Dalton Rush, and Simon Schmitt. (submitted photo)

 

Turkey Valley Homecoming

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

Turkey Valley’s 2018 Homecoming is being celebrated this week! With activities kicking off Sunday, Sept. 30, the weeklong celebration will conclude with Friday night’s football game, Queen coronation, and Homecoming dance.

Wed
03
Oct

Kurdelmeyer enjoys digging through Earth's past

 

Bob Kurdelmeyer of Clermont displays the large number of trilobite fossils he has found digging through rocks in Fayette County. In what has become more of an obsession than hobby, Kurdelmeyer has mapped 160 locations in Fayette County where he has found a fossil. 

 

Kurdelmeyer enjoys digging through Earth's past

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

Five years ago, Bob Kurdelmeyer of Clermont wouldn’t be able to tell you the difference between limestone and concrete. Now, not only can he tell you the difference between a cephalopod and trilobite fossil, but he can tell in which type of rock to find them and the best places to look in Fayette County.

He’ll be the first to admit, trilobite fossils have become a bit of an obsession. Most days, you’ll find the telecommunications coordinator at Northeast Iowa Community College out in the field searching ditches, creeks, rivers, and anywhere else he can find exposed rock, looking for the ancient remains of one of the earliest-known groups of arthropods. 

“I am probably out in the field close to 250 days per year,” Kurdelmeyer said. “Northeast Iowa is such a rich area; I can stop at five or six spots on the way home from work that are just killer. The landowners have been awesome. It helps that I used to mark snowmobile trails, so I knew a lot of them. More often than not, a landowner will say, ‘Hey, I know where another really good spot is.’” 

Wed
03
Oct

Jimmy D's celebrates 10th annivesary

 

Liz Hageman and David “Jimmy” Novak are looking forward to the 10th anniversary celebration of Novak’s purchase of Jimmy D’s in Hawkeye.

 

Jimmy D's celebrates 10th anniversary

 

 

By Chris Deback

cdeback@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

 

David “Jimmy” Novak can’t help but smile when he takes a look around his bar and sees all the blood, sweat, and tears he has poured into Jimmy D’s in Hawkeye.

“We built it from nothing,” he said with a fond smile. “There was hardly anything here when I bought it. They had nine bar stools, two tables, and an old 19-inch, tube-style TV. Since then, we renovated the whole works, including the apartments upstairs.”

It was fate that led Novak into the bar after a wedding in Nashua, which resulted in a conversation about buying the local business with former owner Pat Jacobsen, who was a former employee of his at Agriprocessors in Postville. 

“I was coming back from being the best man in a wedding in Nashua, and I stopped in here for a beer,” he recalled. “The owner told me the place was for sale. I was just inquiring about it, and [Pat] called me the next day and said she would give me a good deal. I never would have been here if it wasn’t for that wedding.” 

On Oct. 8, 2008, Novak saw his childhood dream come true when he purchased the bar from Jacobsen. 

“I always wanted to own a bar ever since I was a little kid,” Novak explained. “I never really wanted the food aspect, but it has escalated into that. You have to go where the money is, and it is in the food now. After the first few days it felt like I made a mistake. Everyone in this town didn’t think I could make a go of it because [the bar] was so far rundown and didn’t have clientele.”

Thanks to hard work and perseverance from Novak, and his countless employees who have worked for him over the last 10 years, Jimmy D’s has slowly improved, like a Phoenix rising from ashes, into the “Best Damn Bar in the Land.” 

The first thing the Army veteran did was add more tables and chairs before jumping into improving the restaurant. In the last 10 years, Novak has upgraded the kitchen, adding a walk-in cooler and buying new beer coolers and food freezers. Those investments have paid off as people have raved about the food, especially the steak, with the establishment receiving 5 out of 5 stars on Facebook. 

Wed
03
Oct

'Shabby chic' accessories for hair, decor

 

Selling at Old Mill Floral in West Union and on her Etsy account, TimberLouiseHandmade, Lori Marlatt sells a yarn ball garlands, yarn mobiles, headbands [pictured], hair bands and hair clips. (Photo by Haley Brase)

 

'Shabby chic' accessories for hair, decor

 

 

By Haley Brase
hbrase@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

Lori Marlatt is a floral designer at Old Mill Floral in West Union, but she continues her creativity after hours.

Marlatt would describe her items as “shabby chic.” At the floral shop, she sells rosebud headbands, variations of bow headbands, snap hair clips, two kinds of hair bands, yarn-ball garlands and baby mobiles in diverse colors. In addition to selling at Old Mill Floral, she has an Etsy account, TimberLouiseHandmade. Her Etsy account is named after her cat, Timber Louise.

Wed
03
Oct

Cosmetology, teaching just her style

Jeanette Moschel observes Hailey Bodensteiner as she completes a procedure on her skills sheet during a cosmetology course at Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar. While in school, students must complete six skills, plus complete theory class. Moschel has been teaching at NICC for 31 years; in addition to teaching, she is a cosmetologist at Hair Hut in West Union. (Submitted photo)

 

 

 

Cosmetology, teaching just her style

 

By Haley Brase
hbrase@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

Working as a veteran cosmetologist at Hair Hut in West Union, Jeanette Moschel also shares her professional expertise with her alma mater, Northeast Iowa Community College, as a part-time cosmetology instructor. 

Starting her classes in Decorah through NICC, Moschel graduated from the cosmetology program in Calmar in 1976. She was a part of the first cosmetology class when it moved to Calmar, which she thinks is “pretty cool.”

Now, she is an instructor, along with Julie Elsbernd and lead instructor Marilee Mai. Teaching Monday, Tuesday and every other Wednesday at NICC, Moschel enjoys working at her alma mater. 

Wed
03
Oct

NFV celebrates Homecoming Week

 

Members of the 2018 North Fayette Valley Homecoming Court include (front, l-r) Ava Hutchinson, Makenna Koch, Taylor Ellis, Ryin Lehmann, and Cassidy Bohr; (back) Gunner Rodgers, Easton Halverson, Adrian Wurtz, and Carson Ward. Missing from the photo is Weston Fantz. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

NFV celebrates Homecoming Week

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

The students at North Fayette Valley High School are on a “Road Trip” this week as they celebrate Homecoming Sunday, Sept. 30 through Saturday, Oct. 6. 

Taking a “Road Trip to Victory,” North Fayette Valley Student Council members have planned a number of fun activities to get the student body excited for Homecoming Week. 

“In May, we came up with four different themes, and we sent out a poll to the student body to vote on,” said Karlee Ihde, NFV Student Council president. “The ‘Road Trip’ theme won. Other themes included Disney, video games, and board games.” 

Wed
03
Oct

Pocket Park land purchase defeated

 

Pocket Park land purchase defeated

 

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

At its regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 1, the West Union City Council voted, 3-2, against the purchase of the lot at 122 East Elm Street, which would have been the location of the West Union Pocket Park. The land was for sale for $7,000. 

A public hearing was held before the vote took place. Mayor Adam Keller opened the hearing by noting that the City would only be purchasing the land for the park, not the contents that would have been placed in the park. 

A West Union Pocket Park Committee, which had drawn up plans of what the park could look like, was going to seek grants and in-kind donations to fill the park. The land would still have  been for sale to a potential business, with the ability to move the park’s contents to another location if it were to be sold. 

Councilman Kennon Gumm voiced a number of concerns with the park, one of which was with the fence planned along the back portion of the park, which he felt could be a hindrance to law enforcement.

Wed
26
Sep

42nd Annual Rendezvous this weekend

 

Tomahawks will be flying, among many other fun family activities, at the 42nd Annual Fort Atkinson Rendezvous this weekend. At last year’s festival, young Jedrek Beckman of Cedar Rapids takes aim at his target at the historic fort grounds. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

42nd Annual Rendezvous this weekend

 

 

 

The 42nd Annual Fort Atkinson Rendezvous will be held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29–30, at the historic grounds in Fort Atkinson.

On Saturday, the fun and activities will begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue until 4:30 p.m., while on Sunday, the entertainment will be held between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

There is no admission charge, and parking is free. 

Wed
26
Sep

The backbone of the U.S. government

 

Chris and Jennifer Swenson and their two children, Arthur, 5, and Ellie, 9, are enjoying themselves at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Swenson has worked for the Foreign Agriculture Service in the Legislative Affairs Office at the United States Department of Agriculture since June 2008. Before that, he worked for several Congressmen, including Greg Ganske and Jim Nussle. Submitted photos

 

The backbone of the U.S. government

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

Chris Swenson is one of many people that make up the backbone of the United States government. 

While the President and Congress are the face of our nation, it is people like Chris Swenson — through his job with the United States Department of Agriculture — that help keep the government running on a daily basis. 

Born and raised on a farm north of Clermont, Swenson has spent his adult life in service to the American people. A political science major at Iowa State University, he initially interned with former Iowa Congressman Greg Ganske. 

“I grew up always interested in politics and current events,” the son of Bob and June Swenson said. “Starting out as a freshman at ISU, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, but that is why working with Ganske was so great. It gave me an idea of the kind of work I wanted to do. I also really liked the city, which is why I chose to move back here (Washington, D.C.).”

Wed
26
Sep

Experience the family fun at Montauk Fall Festival

 

Hannah Frederick, site coordinator for the Montauk Historic Site in Clermont, invites the public to a fall festival at Montauk from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. Pumpkin painting, apple cider, snacks, historic lawn games, and hay rides will all be part of the fun.

 

Experience the family fun at Montauk Fall Festival

 

 

By Haley Brase
hbrase@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

Celebrate fall at the Montauk Historic Site in Clermont Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 29. The fun will include pumpkin painting, apple cider, snacks, historic lawn games, and hay rides to explore the expansive land. At 2 p.m., a program in the apple orchard will feature Bremer County Iowa State University Extension coordinator Ron Lenth, who is going to explain how to care for apple trees and how to maintain them.

Fall being Montauk site coordinator Hannah Frederick’s favorite season, she wanted to plan a relaxed fall event for families. The pumpkin decorating will be in the carriage house, which has been redone for special events. In addition to the outdoor festivities, the mansion will be open for tours.

Built in 1874, Montauk was originally the home of Iowa’s 12th governor, William Larrabee, and his wife, Anna. The couple had seven children; the last living child continued to reside in the house until her passing in 1965. She was 96 years old.

“After she passed away, her nieces and nephews started an organization that turned the house into a museum,” Frederick explained. “They operated it, and then the State of Iowa took it over in 1976.”

The property is home to a barn, a carriage house, a shop, the wood shed, an ice house, an outdoor laundry building, the pump house, corn cribs, a chicken coop, a small apple orchard, walking trails and another house meant for the caretaker.

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