News

Wed
06
May

Linderbaum celebrates new baby while social distancing

Lenix Linderbaum was born on Friday, April 17.  While he was born into the time of social distancing, Lenix is surrounded by the unwavering love of his parents, sister, grandparents, cousins and many, many friends.  

 

Linderbaum celebrates new baby while social distancing

 

By Megan Molseed

mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

“I think what I worried about the most was that Scott wouldn’t be able to be there. I know at some larger hospitals that only the mother is allowed and not a support person,” said Amber Linderbaum of the day she gave birth to her son, Lenix Richard Linderbaum, on April 17 during the height of COVID-19 related social distancing.  

“Thankfully, that was not the case at Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah,” she explained adding that while she was thankful to have her husband present during the birth, it was notably different from her experience with daughter, four-year-old Lenya. 

“It has definitely been a unique experience,” noted the young mother.  “I wouldn’t say I have been scared, but more worried about the unknown; sad that Lenix is missing many of the things that his sister had when she was born.” 

For Amber, daughter of Phil and Deb Kahler of Elgin, these differences began even before her son’s birth just over two weeks ago. 

Wed
06
May

UIU alumnus to deliver virtual commencement address

Neil Wilkinson

 

UIU alumnus to deliver virtual commencemdent address

 

 

An Upper Iowa University (UIU) alumnus will deliver the commencement address during the University’s first virtual graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 9. 

A native of rural Westgate, Neil Wilkinson, ’99, has been in the financial services industry since 2000, where he specializes in business planning, retirement planning, and estate planning strategies for Financial Decisions Group. He has held the president role at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors of Iowa, Oelwein Rotary Club, and Oelwein Chamber and Area Development. A current UIU Board of Trustee member, Wilkinson is currently the chairman of Security Mutual Insurance and the Fortunaires Foundation.  He enjoys farming and spending time with his family.

Wed
06
May

Early retirement leaves little time for goodbyes for Vandersee

Denice Vandersee and one of her students, Carter Schlawin.  

 

Early retirement leaves little time for goodbyes for Vandersee

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

“This is truly not how I wanted to end my teaching career,” said Denice Vandersee, a special education instructor at North Fayette Valley high school. “Teaching online is not the same as teaching directly with a student.” 

For Vandersee, as with many of her teacher colleagues, these unprecedented times of COVID-19 and social distancing are causing a certain amount of sadness and difficulty as she adjusts to knowing she will not be returning to her students and her classroom to complete the 2019-2020 school year in person.  

However, for Vandersee, the grief is a little more palpable as she has been set to take early retirement at the end of the school year.  

“It was a very tough decision as to whether I should take early retirement,” the long-time teacher said thoughtfully.   “I kept thinking I would like to see this group of students graduate, or see next year’s students graduate.  I was thinking about how I would like to work with these students in the next play, or work with the current FCS (Family Consumer Science) group.  Coach another year of our Special Olympics.” 

Wed
06
May

Four decades of care for Deb Kelly

Ever since she was young, Deb (Schott) Kelly knew she wanted to be a nurse.  Inspired by her mother, Joyce (in photo), who had dreamed of becoming a nurse, Deb went on to study nursing at St. Luke's Methodist Hospital School of Nursing.  In 1979 Kelly accepted a job at the hospital in West Union where she has been ever since.  (submitted photos) 

 

Four decades of care for Deb Kelly

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

“When I was growing up, it still was pretty much a limited field for women who wanted a professional career, you either became a teacher or a nurse,” said 41-year nursing veteran Debra (Deb) Kelly.  

“I always wanted to be a nurse from the time I was in grade school, and my mother had wanted to be a nurse too, so I think it rubbed off on me,” she continued with a smile.  “While she didn't get to fulfill her dream until she had pretty much raised her family, she got her degree in 1986 and ended her career working as a home health nurse for Palmer!” 

Born in the 1950’s Deb attended nursing school at St. Luke's Methodist Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1978.  It was there that the 1974 Valley graduate encountered at least eight classmates with some variation of the same name.  

“I was born in the 1950's, so Debbie Reynolds and Deborah Kerr were popular film stars,” she laughed.  

While she did make friends during her time at St. Lukes, Deb knew pretty early on that she wanted to return home to begin her career in nursing. 

“I was so homesick the first few months, I almost quit and came home to go to Calmar,” she recalled.  However, the daughter of Sandy and Joyce Schott, credits her father for convincing her to keep going.  

“My dad told me I had to stick it out until Christmas, then if I wanted to come home and switch I could,” she recalled.  

“By Christmas, we were actually taking care of patients and you couldn't have got me home,” she laughed.  “That is why I chose St. Luke's for school over Iowa, you got to take care of patient's right away.” 

During her time in nursing school, Deb married her high school sweetheart, Jerry Kelly.   The couple moved back to the area in 1978, after Deb completed nursing school.

Wed
06
May

Quillin's manager confident in store content

Quillin’s Foods Manager Jim Corkery stands among plenty of produce and shows the flyer that’s coming out this week advertising items in his store. For a while the flyers weren’t being issued because Corkery didn’t know how much product he was going to have from day to day. He feels confident now that his supply can keep up with demand. (Jack Swanson photo)

 

Quillin's manager confident in store content

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

Quillin’s Foods, West Union, Manager Jim Corkery says he’s got the groceries to back up a new flyer he’s running in the newspaper again.

“We’re getting enough product for an ad again,” he said.

Corkery said in previous weeks consumers were buying up so much of certain products, there was no guarantee how long he could keep it on the shelves.

Wed
06
May

Celebrating Mother's Day apart, but together

Mackenzie Whelan is getting used to new motherhood in a new world.  Having to practice social distancing has been difficult for the West Union native, as she wishes to be able to spend more time with her mother, Melissa as she navigates all the new wonders of motherhood.  (submitted photo) 

 

Celebrating Mother's Day apart, but together

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

“I have always said I have had the most ‘boring’ pregnancy,” Mackenzie (Whelan) Heyerhoff said with a smile.  “No nausea, no morning sickness, no pain until the last two weeks or so of my pregnancy.” 

Mackenzie and her husband Nathan, welcomed their first child Cal Reid Heyerhoff, on Tuesday, February 25, just weeks before the world halted as the COVID-19 pandemic closed down entire cities and countries.  

“He was born just before social distancing guidelines started,” said Mackenzie, noting that the first guidelines were officially set about two weeks after little Cal was born. 

Wed
29
Apr

NICC holding virtual commencement May 14

 

NICC holding virtual commencement May 14

 

In response to COVID-19 and the restriction on large gatherings, Northeast Iowa Community College will host a virtual commencement ceremony this spring. The recorded ceremony will be broadcast on Facebook LIVE on Thursday May 14, 2020, at 7 p.m. Students, faculty, staff families and friends are encouraged to comment and interact during the broadcast.  A recorded version of the ceremony will also be available at www.nicc.edu.

Wed
29
Apr

SW Superintendent optimistic about graduation ceremony

SW Superintendent optimistic about graduation ceremony

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

Governor Kim Reynolds announcement Monday, April 27, that Winneshiek County would be one of the 77 counties given the okay to open up certain entities on May 1, has given South Winneshiek Schools Superintendent Kris Einck hope that there could be some type of graduation ceremony for the 2020 graduates.

“At this point we’re hoping to be able to have a face to face commencement program to honor our seniors but probably with limited guests. However, nothing is set in stone as of yet,” Einck said.

Wed
29
Apr

Winneshiek County businesses get grants from second round of funding

Heying Manufacturing Company in Calmar received a $25,000 grant in the second round of funding through the Iowa Small Business Relief Program.  It was one of eight Winneshiek County businesses to get grants in the most recent funding round. (Photo submitted)

 

Winneshiek County businesses get grants in second round of funding

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

A second funding phase of the Iowa Small Business Relief Program has resulted in eight Winneshiek County businesses getting grants. These were announced this week.

A total of 808 businesses were assisted with a total of $15.6 million in funds awarded. Businesses in Winneshiek County receiving grants include:

Ahlstrom Fitness Consulting, LLC,  $10,000

Broker Leather, LLC, $15,000

Decorah Tool & Die, Inc., $25,000

Emerson Inc. dba Marilyn's Hallmark Shops, $25,000

Heying Mfg. Co., Inc., $25,000

Mopseypoo, Inc dba Oneonta Lanes, $5,000

Red Roxy Quilt Co., $25,000

Revelation Inc. dba Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio, $25,000

Wed
29
Apr

Hog industry not shutting down despite processing plant closures

Landon Wenger

 

Hog industry not shutting down despite processing plant closures

 

 

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

 

With the recent closing of the Tyson pork plant in Waterloo due to an outbreak of the CORVID -19 virus among its employees, an atmosphere of panic has arisen in its wake.

Questions on what will happen with the pigs that were supposed to the go to the plant for processing has become a major topic among pork producers.

The Tyson Waterloo pork plant accounts for four percent of pork processing in the United States. Currently, about 30 percent of Iowa’s processing capacity has been slowed in response to COVID-19 due to other plant shut downs or decreases in production due to shortage of workers. There have also been plant shut downs in South Dakota and Minnesota.

However, an Elgin man, highly involved in the local pork producing industry, said it’s not time to panic.

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