Community News

Wed
06
Jan

Veterans Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees votes to move forward with renovations of former Mayo Clinic building, VMH Medical Clinic-Waukon planned for Spring 2021 launch


The former Mayo Clinic building in Waukon. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

by Brianne Eilers

The Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH) Board of Trustees met in December for it monthly meeting as well as its yearly joint meeting with the medical staff. The month of November ended on a positive financial note at Veterans Memorial Hospital, with a profit of $5,183. While it may not be a huge profit, VMH Administrator Michael Coyle pointed out that it is significantly better than the loss in November 2019 of $31,483 for the month.

Year-to-date, the hospital is showing a positive bottom line of $35,633. At this time in November 2019, VMH was looking at a loss of $427,730. “That’s a nice little turn around,” Coyle said, adding that the difference between where they were at, year-to-date, from November 2019 compared to November 2020, is a positive $463,363. Coyle also noted that they had budgeted a profit margin of $22,800 for the year and currently they are $12,833 positive to budget.

Wed
06
Jan

Winning entries in Waukon Park & Recreation first annual Christmas Coloring Contest


Pre-K and Under ... Pictured above, left to right, Brooklyn Garbes and Blakely Wadsworth

Kindergarten-1st ... Pictured above, left to right, Mya Deeney and Theo Rausch

2nd-3rd Grades ... Pictured above, left to right, Isabella Hogan and Adelyn Zezulka

The Waukon Park and Recreation Department held its first annual Christmas Coloring Contest through the Waukon Wellness Center, beginning December 1 with entries due by December 16. Open to youth in third grade and under from throughout the local area, the contest ended up with 145 total entries in its first year, with two winners being selected in each of three age categories for the contest: Pre-Kindergarten and Under, Kindergarten and First Grade, and Second and Third Grade. The selected winning entries from each age group are pictured and identified in the surrounding photos, with each winner getting to select from prize choices of a punch card to attend the Waukon Wellness Center or a punch card to attend the Waukon Family Aquatic Center. Submitted photo.
 

Wed
30
Dec

Multi-year study notes steady population of Curelean Warblers in Yellow River State Forest/Effigy Mounds area while worldwide populations are in decline


Small in stature, but significant in nature ... Although small in size, the presence of the Cerulean Warbler noted in a 13-year study conducted in northeast Iowa signifies a steady population of the bird in the local area when other such studies have noted decreases in its population, including as much as an estimated 70% decline in population worldwide by Cornell University. Pictured above, is a Cerulean Warbler female and pictured below, a Cerulean Warbler male, with the bird’s presence in the northeast Iowa region playing a large role in the Effigy Mounds/Yellow River Forest Bird Conservation Area being designated as a “Globally Significant Bird Area” by the National Audubon Society and by the Birdlife International Important Bird Area program. Submitted photos courtesy of Kat Busse.

Findings lead to “Globally Important Bird Area” designation; Credit given to YRSF forest management

by Kelli Boylen

A small blue neotropical migrant bird in Allamakee County might not excite some people, but its presence might mean more than you think.

Cerulean Warblers are small, forest-dwelling birds. They are about four inches long, have a wingspan of eight inches and weigh a mere one-third of an ounce.

Estimates of experts vary, but Cornell University estimates there has been more than a 70 percent decline in the worldwide Cerulean Warbler breeding population between 1970 and 2014, mostly due to habitat loss and degradation in nesting and wintering areas. Overall, that is grim news for the species, but here in Allamakee and Clayton Counties, Cerulean Warblers are doing well.

Wed
30
Dec

“First Days” Hike at Luster Heights Unit of Yellow River State Forest January 1-3


This view is just one of the prizes ... The First Days Hike at the Luster Heights Unit of Yellow River State Forest in Allamakee County will loop to the North Overlook, pictured in the photo above. As part of their First Days Hike experience, participants are also encouraged to enter a random drawing to win a two-night stay at the cabin at Yellow River State Forest, a hand-carved walking stick and Friends of Yellow River State Forest t-shirts. Submitted photo.

The Friends of Yellow River State Forest group is sponsoring a “First Days” Hike at the facility’s Luster Heights Unit this Friday through Sunday, January 1-3. Maps will be available at the parking area of the Luster Heights Unit, located south of Harpers Ferry.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions this year, instead of the group’s usual First Day Hike event with a gathering of people, anyone is welcome to hike the designated route on their own at the Luster Heights Unit of Yellow River State Forest, located at 481 Luster Heights Road, Harpers Ferry, anytime January 1, 2 or 3. The approximate two-mile trail is mostly level and most people would consider it to be an easy hike.

Wed
30
Dec

Arrest made in mid-December vehicle theft from Waukon

Tuesday, December 15, the Waukon Police Department received a report of a vehicle stolen from Waukon. The vehicle and suspect were eventually located in Worth County in north central Iowa.

Monday, December 28, 23-year-old Jordan M. Kellogg of Ionia was arrested on a warrant issued for the crime. Kellogg was charged with First Degree Theft (a Class D felony) and Driving While Revoked. Further charges are pending.

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
 

Wed
30
Dec

January is National Mentoring Month: Be the “ONE” to make a difference in mentoring


Take ONE step; Become a mentor... January is National Mentoring Month. Jeannie, of Lansing, and her mentor, Krystal Johnson of Waukon, enjoy spending time together. Submitted photo.

January is National Mentoring Month. Helping Services for Youth & Families is celebrating mentoring friendships and inviting others to engage in their community with the theme “Take ONE step to build a friendship. Become a mentor!”

Mentoring has a positive impact on youth. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships bring about powerful and positive changes in youth. Mentored youth have a greater chance of avoiding negative influences, such as substance abuse, bullying or dropping out of school. One in three youth grows up without this critical asset.

Wed
23
Dec

Ice skating rink ready for use ...

The new community tennis courts on the west edge of Waukon near Waukon High School and the Waukon Wellness Center have been transitioned to an ice skating rink available for public use at no charge for this winter season. A framed structure measuring 90’x110’ has been set up on the tennis court area, as pictured in the surrounding photos, and was filled with water by the Waukon Fire Department to provide the frozen skating surface pictured at right. The new facility is now fully lighted automatically from 4-8 p.m. each evening, and is open to the public every day as well. Entrance to the skating facility can be gained only through the gated entrance near the middle of the east side of the fenced-in structure (closest to the large school parking lot).

Wed
23
Dec

Hacker, Nelson & Co. announces promotions within its next generation of leadership


Michelle O’Neill ...

Brent Berns ...

Hacker, Nelson & Co., P.C. is announcing the promotion of eight Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) to the position of Principals of the firm, including a pair with local ties to the Waukon area. CPAs Brent Berns, Kelly Brickley, Ryan Bullerman, Christi Meyer, Todd Muhlbauer, Michelle O’Neill, Steve Samec and Amanda Webb join Ken Keune and Neil Schraeder as owners and Principals of the company.

Michelle O’Neill has worked in the Hacker, Nelson & Co. office in Waukon for many years and is the lone Waukon office staff member listed within the promotions, with all others being with the firm’s Decorah or New Hampton office locations. Brent Berns has been a long-time employee of the firm’s Decorah office, and he is a 1991 graduate of Waukon High School.

Wed
23
Dec

Mosaic invites area residents to “Open your heart. Open your home” through Mosaic at Home program

For over 100 years, Mosaic has supported people with disabilities and other challenges to live a full life at home and in their communities. Mosaic is a whole-person healthcare organization reaching across 10 states and providing support to more than 3,700 people.

Mosaic has had a footprint in Allamakee and Winneshiek counties for 34 years. In 1986, Martin Luther Homes was established in Waukon supporting eight people. In 2003, Martin Luther Homes and Bethpage, both of which were dedicated to supporting those with disabilities, merged their Lutheran-based organizations; renaming themselves: Mosaic.

Wed
16
Dec

Reminiscing reveals one of the many advantages of shopping local...

The letter to the editor pictured at right was submitted by Jane (Cronin) Butler of Waukon and first appeared in the Waukon newspaper during the holiday season in 1974 regarding her father, Joe Cronin, who had owned and operated Cronin’s Variety Store and Gifts in the middle of the long Main Street business block in Waukon. The letter was written and submitted by former Waukon residents Jack and Catherine Wadsworth when they lived in Wenatchee, WA and recalled a treasured moment from several years earlier when Jack was shopping with his grandmother in Waukon and experienced one of the many invaluable advantages of shopping local, as noted in the letter’s final paragraph.

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