River Valley

Wed
15
Jul

One of Lansing’s landmark dining establishments, Clancy’s, torn down


The former Clancy’s building overlooking the Mississippi River at the corner of Main and North Front Streets in Lansing underwent demolition Tuesday, July 7. The building had fallen into progressive disrepair and current owners, Scott Berg and Wally Mahr, say they don’t have any immediate plans for the newly-created lot. Submitted photo.

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

Fri
10
Jul

California artist seeking stories of river history, lifestyles


This shantyboat is making its way down the Upper Mississippi River and is expected to be approaching the Lansing area this Sunday, July 12. On board are Santa Cruz, CA artist Wes Modes and his crew, who are working to compile a project entitled "A Secret History of American River People" and are seeking to talk to area residents about their history, experiences and lifestyle in a river community. Submitted photo.

A rustic recreated 1940s shantyboat, a daring river voyage, and a meticulous archive of river stories are all part of a multi-year art and history project being undertaken by artist Wes Modes of Santa Cruz, CA and entitled "A Secret History of American River People." Modes set sail last summer on the Mississippi River to collect the stories of people who live and work on the river from the deck of his homemade houseboat (seen in the photo accompanying this article). This year, he and his crew (and dog) have started near La Crosse, WI, where he left off last September and are slowly making their way downriver. The artist is looking for residents who recall the history of river communities to tell their stories in interviews for the project. Also, residents are invited to come see the shantyboat. He plans to be in the Lansing area this Sunday, July 12 through the following Wednesday, depending upon weather and river conditions.

Wed
08
Jul

Paddling for Prevention braves Mississippi River for a worthy cause


Decorah natives Corey Smock and Lance Loney (front to back in foreground canoe in the above photo) navigate their way into the riverfront docking area near Shep’s Riverside Bar & Grill in Lansing Friday, June 26 for a fundraising event to aid the cause supported by their journey. Through their efforts labeled “Paddling for Prevention,” Smock and Loney are canoeing the entire length of the Mississippi River in an attempt to raise financial support and awareness for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, making this stop in Lansing on Day 23 of what is expected to be a 60- to 70-day venture covering the Mississippi’s 2,552-mile length. Photo by Paddling for Prevention.

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

A crazy dream? A worthy goal? A willing friend? All of these components create the perfect opportunity for two young men to take the trip of a lifetime: to paddle the entire length of the Mississippi River to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
When Corey Smock of Decorah first told his mom, Waukon native and current Decorah resident Renee (Thune) Smock, that he wanted to canoe down the Mississippi, she was not enthusiastic. She said she might feel better about it if he found someone to go with him. The first friend that Corey asked, fellow Decorah High School graduate Lance Loney, said, “Sure, let’s do it!” Thus the planning began and Mom’s worries had to turn to support for her son’s adventure.

Wed
01
Jul

White named new Main Street Lansing Executive Director


Craig White

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

Wed
24
Jun

Friends of Pool 9 volunteers complete beach renovation


Dozer operator Ken Steiber removes the heavy growth of poison ivy and reshapes the beach surface. The Lansing beach area following renovation offers better beach accessibility and increased width of the beach area. Submitted photo.

Twenty Friends of Pool 9 (FOP9) volunteers and staff from the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge McGregor District spent Friday, June 12 improving the beach area just upriver from Lansing. Shrubs, overhanging branches and poison ivy were removed and the beach was reshaped with a bulldozer. Brennan Construction of Lansing provide the equipment and Weymiller Marine transported it to the beach area. Ken Steiber operated the dozer, as he had done before for FOP9 during the 206 beach project.
The beach renovation project would not have taken place without the contributions of Brennan Construction and Weymiller Marine.  “This was a major donation by Brennan and Weymiller,” stated Bruce ReVoir, President of FOP9, “And we could not have done it without them. We thank them and appreciate their willingness to support FOP9 activities of this type.”

Wed
24
Jun

Ferryville to host evening bonfire, storytelling with Civil War historian

The Ferryville Tourism Council will be sponsoring an evening of family fun  Wednesday, July 1 near the south pavilion at Ferryville’s Sugar Creek Park, located on Highway 35. A bonfire and an evening of story telling around the fire will be held from 8-9:30 p.m.
The guest storyteller will be Civil War historian and author Bob O’Connor of Charles Town, WV.  O’Connor is the older brother of Ferryville resident Joanne White and he will be visiting Ferryville during that week. He is the author of 10 published books, including six novels and four non-fiction works. He has been a finalist four times in the National Book Awards competition.  He is also an artist in residence for schools and public libraries in West Virginia.

Wed
17
Jun

Energy audit saves Lansing resident's life


Deb and Kim Volker (left to right) of Lansing give credit to a home energy audit performed by Winneshiek Energy District's Green Iowa AmeriCorps program for saving Kim's life. A recent energy audit of their Lansing home revealed a water heater that was not properly ventilated and leaking LP gas. Submitted photo.

by Lissa Blake

It’s common knowledge that a home energy audit can help save money.
But for Lansing resident Kim Volker, it saved his life.
Volker, 63 years old, of Lansing, and his wife, Deb, have been doctoring for cancer for several years. Kim has CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) and Deb has colon cancer.
While both are all too familiar with the fatigue associated with treatment, Kim came down with a respiratory ailment in October that he was unable to kick all winter. “I was coughing, tired and losing weight. I kept going to the doctor. They put me on five different antibiotics and none of them helped,” said Kim.
Kim was even referred to a pulmonologist in La Crosse, WI, “who really couldn’t explain the way I felt,” he said of his continued health mystery.

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