News

Wed
17
Apr

Easter fun for area kids

Easter fun for area kids

 

 

On Saturday, April 20, Easter Fun will be available for the area children. The following towns, times, place to meet and the sponsors are listed following:

Clermont: 9:30 a.m. at the Clermont City park, sponsored by Clermont Community Club and AgFarm Toys/Iowa Diecast Toys is sponsoring a golden egg for each age group.

Elgin: 9-10:30 a.m. at the Elgin City park, sponsored by the Elgin Community Betterment Club.

Hawkeye: 10 a.m. at the Park sponsored by the Windsor Spark-Plug 4-H Club and the Hawkeye Business Association.

Ossian: 1 p.m. at the Senior Hospice Center, sponsored by the Ossian Crown Club.

Wadena: 10 a.m.-11 a.m. at the Wadena Public Library, sponsored by the Wadena Betterment Club and Wadena Public Library.

Wed
17
Apr

Heaven Boutique Winery to open May 1

 

Lisa (Halvorson) and Carlton Goodwin (l-r) will open Heaven Boutique Winery on Wednesday, May 1. At first, the winery will only sell bottles of wine that have been mostly imported from different wineries on the western part of Iowa. The couple is waiting on their license from the federal government to start making their own wine. 

 

Heaven Boutique Winery to open May 1

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

Heaven Boutique Winery is the area’s newest attraction. 

Located off Ivy Road in rural Fayette, the winery will officially open its doors to the public on Wednesday, May 1.

Owned by Lisa (Halvorson) and Carlton Goodwin, the couple decided on the name Heaven Boutique Winery because the location is a little slice of heaven. Lisa is the daughter of former state representative Roger Halverson, who started Eagles Landing B&B and Winery in Marquette with his wife Connie. 

The 600-vine vineyard that the Goodwins will be growing their grapes on was established in 1999 by Roger and Connie Halverson for Eagles Landing. However, Lisa’s connection to the land goes back further than that as her grandparents once farmed it. 

Wed
17
Apr

NF grad crosses the finish line!

 

Zach Schmit, a 2002 North Fayette graduate, gets a big hug from girlfriend, Chelsi Baker after his run in the Boston Marathon Monday morning.  Since adding it to his bucket list five years ago, Schmit has trained tirelessly to participate in the prestigious race.  (submitted photo) 

 

NF grad crosses the finish line!

 

 

 

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

For North Fayette graduate, Zach Schmit, running has always been a part of his life.  Whether it be running with his fellow North Fayette Hawk’s on track and field team of which he was a member throughout middle school and high school; or running plays with his college football team at Coe college, little will slow the young man down.

“My bread and butter race in Junior High and High School was the 800m run,” said the 2002 North Fayette graduate.  “I didn’t run track in college, although in hindsight, maybe I should have and would have enjoyed it!”

While he didn’t participate in the organized track team during his college days, Schmit didn’t slow down his pace as he kept running, even if it was just for fun.  

Tue
16
Apr

Sierra Fox's Letter of Resignation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Monday, April 15, the West Union City Council approved the resignation of West Union police officer Sierra Fox. In her letter of resignation, Fox claims she was "forced" to resign after complaining about West Union Police Chief Paul Becthold's treatment of her. Her letter of resignation and other documents provided to The Fayette County Union by Fox’s lawyer can be read at the following link.

Wed
10
Apr

TVEA hosts annual Red Cross Blood Mobile

 

First time donor and Turkey Valley student Isabelle Langreck (left) receives encouragement from fellow donor and student aid Katlyn Baumler. (submitted photo)

 

TVEA hosts annual Red Cross Blood Mobile

 

 

 

Turkey Valley staff, students, and community members supported the call for blood donations again this year as 110 pints were collected at the Turkey Valley Education Association’s (TVEA) annual Red Cross Blood Mobile on Wednesday, April 3.

Even with multiple extracurricular activities going on, the Turkey Valley student body joined forces to prepare for the many generous community donors who continue to be heroes each day as they give blood to support others in times of need.

Wed
10
Apr

Final bake sale is April 20

 

Final bake sale is April 20

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

For 20 years, Glenda Koehn has helped raise awareness of autism in northeast Iowa through her annual bake sale the day before Easter. 

She’ll hang up the apron for a final time after her bake sale starting at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 20, at Valley Elementary in Elgin. 

“Twenty years ago I decided that I needed to do something to raise awareness about autism in our little corner of the state,” Koehn said. “After 20 years, I am kind of tired, and I am think I am burning out my good helpers. I thought 20 is a good number, as my boys are 27 and 23 now. I hope that in the last 20 years that I have raised some kind of awareness and hopefully acceptance of people with autism in Iowa. That was my main goal, and I hope I have accomplished that.”

Accomplished that she has with her bake sales raising well over $50,000 for the Autism Society of Iowa over the last 20 years. 

“The money I raise from my bake sales goes toward giving scholarships to people who can’t afford to go to the annual [Autism Society of Iowa] conference,” Koehn explained. “It is mostly for parents who can’t afford or, if they can afford it, they have to get someone to watch their children with autism and that costs money if they don’t have waivers through the state. My money also went to sending parents a packet to help them understand and get resources to help their child who was recently diagnosed with autism.”

It all started after Koehn’s eldest son, Sam, was diagnosed with autism. 

Wed
10
Apr

Sniffin's writing talent shines in award-winning journalism career

 

A young William “Bill” Sniffin with his first Iowa Newspaper Association award that he received for best news photo while working at the Harlan Tribune less than a year after he graduated from high school. 

 

Sniffin's writing talent shines in award-winning journalism career

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

It was clear to many who knew him that William “Bill” Sniffin had a talent for writing. 

Writing was something that came naturally to Sniffin, and his talent was quickly noticed by his teacher’s including the Valley school newspaper’s advisor Catherine Grove. After a concussion his sophomore year of high school ended Sniffin’s football career, Grove approached the talented writer about reporting on the games for Tiger Talk.

Since that fateful conversation, Sniffin’s journalism career has taken him on quite a journey that includes moving to Wyoming, ownership of a number of newspapers, starting his own marketing company, and earning a master’s degree from a prestigious institution in Europe. 

 

Becoming a writer

Sniffin was born on March 21, 1946, the second eldest of 10 children to Tom and Betty Sniffin of Wadena. 

“I consider myself the oldest baby boomer in America because if you count back ninth months from my birthday you’ll be at the end of World War II,” Sniffin said with a chuckle. “I was part of a big catholic family with eight brothers and one sister, and I enjoyed growing up in Wadena.”

Some of the Wadena native’s favorite memories were just socializing with friends as the small northeast Iowa town came alive on the weekend as those in the rural parts came to town to socialize. Sniffin’s freshman year of high school Wadena consolidated with Valley, and the kid from the big catholic family had a whole bunch of new classmates to get acquainted with. 

“It was a great school to go to, and I felt I got a very good education,” said Sniffin. “The most positive thing about it, even though I was from another town and a stranger, the other students were very welcoming. I made an awful lot of good friends.”

At 16 years old, Sniffin began writing for Tiger Talk, which was published monthly in the Elgin Echo. This is where his love for journalism really started. He would be named editor of the section for a short while before it was taken away when he wrote an article critical of a coach. Looking back, he doesn’t remember the coach he wrote about, mentioning it might have been football, but it set the stage for quite a career as an award winning investigative journalist and publisher. 

After high school, Sniffin attended a two-month crash course in journalism at Iowa State University. It was here that he learned the particulars of his trade before receiving a job as a reporter at the Harlan Tribune in Harlan. 

Wed
10
Apr

Turkey Valley FFA lends a hand to flood victims

 

Turkey Valley FFA has organized a drive to help deliver hay and supplies to a family affected by extreme flooding in Nebraska. Leading organizers for the drive, which will head west on Friday, include (l-r) Sam Kout, Megan Kueker, Harley Baumler, and Isaac Franzen. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Turkey Valley FFA lends a hand to flood victims

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

In times of need, Midwesterners and farmers tend to stick together. A perfect example for that can be found right here in northeast Iowa as the Turkey Valley FFA has stepped up and is making an effort to aid flood victims across the state line in Nebraska.

“It all started a few weeks ago at our (Turkey Valley Education Foundation) Gala when our FFA advisor, Mr. (Steve) Pfaffle told the community about his idea to bring hay and supplies out to the flood victims in Nebraska,” explained Isaac Franzen, a junior and FFA member at Turkey Valley. “Once I heard his idea, I knew that I wanted to do my part to get involved and help lead the drive. When I seen all of the devastation and everything that has washed away, I knew that I wanted to find a way to help these people out.”

Franzen and Pfaffle were able to find a specific family near Kennard, Neb., to donate to through local Farm Bureau agent and Isaac’s mom, Nancy Franzen.

“I was able to meet an agent from the area while I was at a training conference,” explained Nancy. “As soon as we heard of the drive, I got in touch with him and he was able to set us up with a family that was in dire need of assistance.”

The family of Ann Emery, who has a 44-head herd of cattle, is the family that will be on the receiving end of the hay and items. Her family lost its house as well as all 200 acres of its farm ground to the flood, including all of its hay supply.

Wed
10
Apr

First responders among the most vulnerable for getting PTSD

First responders among the most vulnerable for getting PTSD

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) doesn’t just affect military personnel; it can affect anyone who has experienced a trauma in their life. 

However, some, like first responders, are more susceptible to PTSD than others due to their line of work. When an emergency occurs and a first responder leaps into action, we don’t think about how that person is going to deal with the tragedy once a fire has been put out or a homicide investigation has wrapped up. 

“PTSD affects all of us, I don’t care who you are,” said Lisa Roberts, Fayette County Emergency Management coordinator. “In 2017, the suicide rate among first responders was up 116 percent across the country. What really brings it close to home for us here was the firefighter from Dubuque that took his own life about a month ago.”

That is why Fayette County EMA is hosting PTSD Awareness Training from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 15, at the Fayette Public Library. It is open to first responders and their significant others, as well as the general public. 

Wed
10
Apr

Lape leaving for Oelwein

Lape leaving for Oelwein

 

 

By Jerry Wadian
jwadian@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

Monday, April 8, the NFV School Board officially accepted the resignation of head football and softball coach Bob Lape. 

A Pennsylvania native and UIU graduate, Lape leaves NFV after 29 years of teaching and coaching.

In his 11 years as head football coach, Lape amassed an enviable record of 93-32. He coached eight playoff teams, five of which made the semifinals and the 2014 squad won the Class 2A state title.

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