News

Wed
06
Feb

A chance to reconnect

 

 It had been 20 years since Kenan (Popenhagen) Willey spent more than a day with her friend Bia Malouf Schlesinger. Schlesinger was a foreign-exchange student from Brazil who stayed with Ken and LeAnn Popenhagen for the first semester of Willey’s senior year in 1996. Willey enjoyed getting to reconnect with her friend while vacationing with her family in Brazil.  Submitted photos

 

A chance to reconnect

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

It’s been over 20 years since Kenan (Popenhagen) Willey spent longer than a day her with friend Bia Malouf Schlesinger.

In 1996, Schlesinger was a foreign-exchange student from Brazil who was hosted by Willey’s parents, Ken and LeAnn Popenhagen, during Willey’s first semester of her senior year. 

“My mom had some foreign exchange students when she was in high school so she thought it would be something fun for us to do,” Willey recalled. “She came in August and left in January.  

Wed
06
Feb

Fayette Council discusses trap shoot options

Fayette Council discusses trap shoot options

 

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The Fayette City Council met for its regular meeting on Monday, February 4 at the Fayette City Hall. 

 

During the meeting, the council spoke with Blake Gamm regarding a request to allow tactics for the local trap-shooting club on a plot of land within the city limits.  

 

“I received a letter from Upper Iowa University last fall that said they were considering developing a trap-shoot team of their own,” said Gamm.

 

 “The letter suggested working in a sort of partnership with our team, a suggestion we think would be very beneficial to many,” he continued.  “Since our team was formed, three seasons ago, we’ve been shooting out at the Volga recreation area, but we have since outgrown that space.”

Wed
06
Feb

Winter trails are open at VRSRA

 

Andy Roach, an Iowa Department of Natural Resources park manager at Volga River State Recreation Area near Fayette, recently cleared and groomed the trail system at the local park. All of the trails throughout the park are available for cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and hiking; while several of the trails are available for snowmobiling. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Winter trails are open at VRSRA

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

For the first time in several years, the trail system at Volga River State Recreation Area near Fayette is open and ready for winter use.

“With the recent weather we have had, it had made our multi-use trails more functional than in years past,” said Andy Roach, a Fayette County native and Iowa Department of Natural Resources park manager at the local recreational area. “With all of the snow and frigid temperatures that we have had this year, the snow has stuck around much longer than in years past and we have been able to make the most of it.”

The local park allows for several winter activities on the approximately 25 miles of trails within the park boundaries, including cross country skiing, snow shoeing, hiking, and even snowmobiling. To prepare the existing trail system, however, it took all hands on deck.

Wed
06
Feb

Fayette County Cattlemen royalty

 

At Saturday night’s Fayette County Cattlemen’s Association Banquet in West Union, the 2018 royalty passed their crowns on to the 2019 royalty. Pictured are (front 2017 Li’l Miss Cowgirls Alex Steinbronn; (second row, l-r) 2018 Li’l Miss Cowgirl Braelyn Meyer and 2019 Li’l Miss Cowgirl Hailee Cannon; (back) 2018 Beef Princess/2019 Beef Queen Kelsey Pagel, 2018 Beef Queen Rachel Darnall, and 2019 Beef Princess Abby Boehm. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Fayette County Cattlemen royalty

 

 

Wed
06
Feb

What's next for Villont building?

Design Consultants through Main Street Iowa recently completed a concept drawing of the Villont building located at 101 East Main. (Submitted photo)

 

What's next for Villont building?

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

The building at 101 East Main Street in downtown West Union, also known as the Villont building, could be given a second life in the next few years. 

Main Street Iowa recently completed a concept drawing of what the exterior of the property could look like with some tender loving care. The West Union Chamber — A Main Street Community received the concept drawing free of charge for being a Main Street community. Main Street Iowa is also working on concept drawings for two other lots — the former Gus and Tony’s Town House Café and Top Hat — in the downtown streetscape area. Those will also be free of charge. 

“The drawing is awesome,” said Nick McIntyre, West Union city administrator. “I think it would be great to take it back to its historical looks, which the drawings show. We could have a retail space downstairs and two good apartments upstairs.”

 

Wed
06
Feb

Michelson hangs up his holster after 38 years in state parks

 

After 38 1/2 years on the job, Scot Michelson of rural Fayette retired as Northeast District Parks Supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Michelson saw a lot of interesting things during his time as a park ranger at Volga River State Recreation Area, but most interesting was interacting with the Bigfoot Research Organization. Chris DeBack photo

 

Michelson hangs up his holster after 38 years in state parks

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

It isn’t an easy decision to walk away from a job you love. 

After 38½ years working, protecting, and managing state parks in Iowa, Scot Michelson has done just that. On Thursday, Jan. 24, he retired from his position as Northeast District Parks Supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 

Michelson’s love of the outdoors was instilled in him throughout his childhood growing up in Manchester. However, it wasn’t until a trip his junior year of high school to Isle Royale National Park in Minnesota that set him on the path he recently finished. 

Thu
31
Jan

Valuable experience for Monroe as local EMT

 

Madelyn Monroe, who grew up and lives in Ossian, recently became the youngest emergency medical technician (EMT) on the Ossian EMS. The 20-year-old is currently in the Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) nursing program and looks to use her experience on the ambulance in school and in her eventual nursing career. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Valuable experience for Monroe as local EMT

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

Meet Madelyn Monroe, the youngest current member of the Ossian Ambulance Service. Monroe is a lifelong Ossian resident who grew up and currently resides in Ossian and is ensuring that she makes the most of her experience as an EMT (emergency medical technician) for the local volunteer ambulance service.

“I have been involved in the healthcare setting since I was 14-years-old, starting out as a dietary aid, then becoming a certified nurse’s assistant (CNA)/patient care technician (PCT), and adding emergency medical technician to the list,” explained Monroe, a 2017 graduate of South Winneshiek High School. “Currently, I am pursuing a degree in nursing, so volunteering as an EMT is a great way to gain real life experience in the medical field.”

Thu
31
Jan

My path to American citizenship

 

The author, Mala Erickson, poses with her husband, Mike, and son, Mark, after being sworn in as a U.S. Citizen in Des Moines, recently. (submitted  photo)

 

My path to American citizenship

 

 

Mala Erickson
Contributing Writer

 

 

 

If you read a newspaper, go online, or turn on the television news lately, there is a lot of discussion about immigration policies in the United States. Without entering the political debate, I wanted to share my story as an immigrant to the United States.

I was born in Saskatchewan, which is in the Canadian Prairies, north of Montana. Through my grade school years, we lived in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Yes, it was cold – 40 below was not uncommon and that was before factoring in windchill. Just because I grew up with that doesn’t mean I like cold weather! At least summers were mild with temperatures up to the mid-80s, although they were much too short. 

Our family travelled fairly extensively throughout the U.S. I had been to 11 states by the time I went to university in Manitoba and then on to veterinary school in Saskatchewan. After working in Alberta for two years, I wanted to pursue more training and started to explore opportunities in the U.S. through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), I applied for a TN (non-immigrant) Visa to live and work in the U.S.

Thu
31
Jan

Dr. Daniel Baker was a Van Allen protege

 

Dr. Daniel Baker (far left), a native of Clermont, was a protégé of world renown scientist Dr. James Van Allen (second from the right). Baker studied under Van Allen while at the University of Iowa, where he worked on an instrument that would measure low energy electrons on Pioneer 10, which went to Jupiter and is now headed for interstellar space. We’ll never know when Pioneer 10 actually makes it to interstellar space as it sent its last transmission on Jan. 22, 2003. Submitted photo

 

Dr. Daniel Baker was a Van Allen protege

 

 

It’s hard to look up into the night sky in Fayette County on a clear summer’s night and not be in awe of the visible universe.

Space is the final frontier and it’s this frontier that has captured the imagination of Clermont native Dr. Daniel Baker since he first looked to the night sky.

“I was always very interested in science, and especially interested in space exploration,” he said. “Looking at the night sky I would often think about the moon and the planets.”

The son of the late Joseph and Alvira Baker has always been interested in the mysteries of space. During his childhood in the ‘50s and ‘60s, at the height of the Space Race between the United States and U.S.S.R., Baker found his love of science and space grow with every new achievement made by man.

Thu
31
Jan

Wheelchair can't hold UIU's Hawes back from uphill success

 

A native of Waukon, Markus Hawes is the Upper Iowa University Tutor Center manager. in 2011, five days after graduating from high school Haws broke his C7 vertebrae diving into home plate during a baseball practice. He was paralyzed from the waste down, but that hasn’t stopped Hawes from going on to have a successful career.

 

Wheelchair can't hold UIU's Hawes back from uphill success

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

Markus Hawes is an incredible young man. That much is evident when you first meet the Upper Iowa University Tutor Center manager who is a paraplegic. 

It’s definitely his upbeat and persevering attitude, despite an unfortunate accident that changed his life almost eight years ago, that makes him stand out. 

In 2011, five days after graduating from Waukon High School, Hawes was at baseball practice when he got himself into a pickle between third base and home plate. Trying to avoid being tagged, he dove for home, collided with the team’s catcher, and broke his C7 vertebrae. Life was never the same after that moment. 

“I was taken by ambulance to Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon and then airlifted to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.,” Hawes recalled. “After the accident, I spent six weeks at Mayo, where I pushed hard in physical therapy so I could get home. I was released on July 1, and I spent the rest of the summer at my parent’s house.”

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