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Wed
23
Dec

Patterson Creek Social Club’s ditch tree display means even more this holiday season


One of the many you’ll see along Patterson Creek Drive ... The tree pictured above was decorated by Kelly Urell of Waukon, and was one that went beyond just decorating the tree with its creativity. More than 40 trees along Patterson Creek Drive northwest of Waukon off State Highway 76 have been decorated this year by area families, individuals and organizations in a holiday tradition that continues to grow since it first began 10 years ago. Submitted photo.

Trees celebrating heritage ... The Patterson Creek Social Club tree is done by Andy Schlitter and Maureen Fahey of Waukon and this is a tree that has been decorated almost every year since the ditch tree tradition started 10 years ago. After Christmas they flip the sign and it says, “Irish you a happy St. Paddy’s Day!” Submitted photo.

Trees that give back ... The tree pictured above is called the Giving Tree, and although it’s technically located on adjacent Haymeadow Drive, it’s certainly been a popular addition to the ditch tree tradition. The tree is decorated by Kris and Eaton Coté, and just some of the many toys and fun things remain on it that kids could pick off as a gift as they drive by with their family. Submitted photo.

Trees in memory of loved ones ... Pictured above is one of more than a half dozen memorial trees decorated in memory of loved ones along Patterson Creek Drive. This one is decorated in honor of Tom Baxter by his family and features many of his favorite things, such as the Iowa Hawkeyes, dairy products from his career at Calhoun Creamery, and all things Irish. Submitted photo.

Trees in their honor ... The tree pictured above was decorated by Haylee Hanson of Lansing in honor of teachers. There were also trees in honor of Veterans Memorial Hospital and other front line and essential workers who have risked so much this year during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep doing their job. Submitted photo.

Trees that show their passion ... The tree pictured above was decorated by the Dan and Jane Sivesind family of Waukon. It shows their passion for the dairy industry with ribbons and awards from showing dairy cattle, as well as ear tags and twine string garland. Submitted photo.

by Lissa Blake

During a holiday season that follows the kind of year that 2020 has been, when people likely need something to really lift their spirits, a group of local friends, neighbors and families has found a way to add even more meaning to what has become an annual tradition.
What started out 10 years ago as just a fun way to dress up a few scraggly ditch trees along Patterson Creek Drive, has blossomed into an eclectic display of more than 40 trees decorated by a variety of people in an even wider variety of themes.

“I’m incredibly impressed with the selection this year. There are so many cute, creative, commemorative and comical trees,” said Elizabeth Mahr, a Waukon High School  and Iowa State University graduate.

Wed
23
Dec

Allamakee County Freedom Rock now protected by steel shelter constructed and generously donated by Waukon native


Covered in generosity ... The Allamakee County Freedom Rock located in the Waukon City Park received a protective covering Wednesday, December 16 courtesy of Waukon native Greg Dougherty of Gillette, WY. Dougherty’s company, Greg’s Welding, Inc. with locations in Wyoming and North Dakota, constructed the steel frame for the shelter in Wyoming before transporting the pieces of the structure to Waukon, along with a crew that assembled the finished product pictured above with help from local contractor Kelly Concrete, with all labor and materials generously donated to provide shelter for the Freedom Rock before winter sets in. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

Waukon native gives generously ... Waukon native and 1977 Waukon High School Greg Dougherty is pictured above standing next to the Allamakee County Freedom Rock in the Waukon City Park. Dougherty, owner of Greg’s Welding, Inc. in Gillette, WY, donated the design, construction and installation of a steel protective shelter that was installed over the Allamakee County Freedom Rock Wednesday, December 16. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

Committee thrilled with completion ... Waukon native Greg Dougherty (center) of Gillette, WY stands under the new Freedom Rock shelter with Allamakee County Freedom Rock Committee members, Waukon Park and Recreation Wellness Director Jeremy Strub (left) and Ardie Kuhse (right), who began the process to bring a Freedom Rock to Allamakee County back in 2016. Dougherty learned of the Allamakee County Freedom Rock this past summer while home visiting his mother and other family members, and continued to follow its progress before offering to donate the construction and installation of the steel shelter now protecting the monument. Standard photo by Joe Moses. Additional photos can be found in a Photo Gallery on this website.

Additional generosity aids in completion ... Local contractor Kelly Concrete added its own bit of generosity to the completion of the new shelter over top the Allamakee County Freedom Rock located in Waukon City Park. Owner Chad Kelly and his crew dug and poured the concrete footings to which the shelter’s four corner posts are anchored, and also provided the services of the company’s crane truck (pictured above) to lift the steel roof structure and hold it in place while it was secured to the metal posts supporting the structure in each of the shelter’s four corners. Standard photo by Joe Moses. Additional photos can be found in a Photo Gallery on this website.

Shelter kicks off Phase II of monument project

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Freedom Rock project took another step forward Wednesday, December 16 with the installation of a steel shelter over the monument honoring veterans in the Waukon City Park (see photo above).

Greg Dougherty, a Waukon native now residing in Gillette, WY, donated the steel shelter in addition to the services of his company, Greg’s Welding, Inc. with locations in Wyoming and North Dakota. Dougherty and a crew comprised of foremen from his company made the more than 12-hour journey from Gillette to Waukon in transporting the steel shelter and then installed it at the site of the Allamakee County Freedom Rock.

Wed
23
Dec

Musicians, fans come together to celebrate and support blueswoman and Waukon native Vicki Price following her successful cancer surgery


Vicki and Joe Price ... Submitted photo taken by Bradley Cook.

Benji Nichols ...

David Zollo ...

Mike McAbee ...

Rad Lorkovic ...

Mike Munson ...

‘Christmas at T-Bock’s’ virtual concert will feature several regional musicians, plus Joe and Vicki Price

by Julie Berg-Raymond

It would be difficult - indeed, it may be impossible - to adequately express the importance of music in all of our lives. Whether we’re celebrating, mourning, dancing or dreaming, music has always offered a way to punctuate the experience of living a fully human life.

In the great bluesman Willie Dixon’s estimation, music (particularly, for him, blues music) is also a way of “calling on God”; and the past year has seen many of us doing exactly that, as we have turned to musical artists of the past and present for what their work makes possible - an experience of the connection to something greater than and beyond ourselves. In the wail of a steel guitar, the sigh of a tenor sax, the moan of a perfectly turned blue note, we hear the echo of our own longings; we know we are not alone.

Wed
16
Dec

Honoring a local hero and others on that “date which will live in infamy”...

Members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion Posts joined with members of the Lawrence D. “Bud” Anderson family (pictured above) near his gravesite (pictured below) at Mt. Olivet Cemetery outside of Waukon Monday, December 7, a date honored each year as Pearl Harbor Day after the Japanese attack on that U.S. Navy shipyard located on the island of Oahu in the state of Hawaii in 1941 - a day labeled by then U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt as “a date which will live in infamy”. The gathering marked the date of that surprise attack that ultimately drew the United States into World War II, and also marked the date that 23-year-old

Wed
16
Dec

Ultraviolet lights streamline sanitation in Allamakee County ambulances and hospital


Allamakee County EMS receives donation of ultraviolet lights ... Representatives of the various Emergency Medical Services (EMS) departments in Allamakee County are pictured above with ultraviolet light systems recently purchased by the Allamakee County Community Foundation through the generous support of area individuals, organizations and businesses. The ultraviolet lights will be used to enhance sanitation measures in all area ambulances and at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon. Pictured above, left to right, are: Front row - Mindy Koenig - Postville Area Ambulance, Cheryl Livingston - Veterans Memorial Hospital Ambulance, Brittany Darling - Lansing EMS and Becky Benzing - Harpers Ferry Rescue Squad; Back row - Conrad Rosendahl - Lansing EMS, Randy Plaht - Postville Area Ambulance and Loren Mitchell - Waterville Ambulance. Submitted photo.

Area individuals, organizations and businesses help make the purchase through Allamakee County Community Foundation challenge grant

Amid rising numbers of positive COVID-19 cases, Allamakee County medical providers have a new avenue for stopping the spread. Harnessing the power of local generosity, the Allamakee County Community Foundation (ACCF) has purchased 12 quick-sanitizing ultraviolet (UV) lights for the six ambulances services of Allamakee County, along with special eye protection glasses, replacement bulbs and two larger lights for Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon.

“We are grateful to the people, organizations and businesses of Allamakee County who donated to this cause,” says Betty Steege, ACCF coordinator. “EMS touches us all, and the medical community needs our support more than ever as the virus continues to present challenges in our area.”

Wed
16
Dec

Allamakee County Public Health offers information on COVID-19 vaccination locally

Allamakee County Public Health recognizes there is a lot of information regarding the new COVID-19 vaccine. To help explain the local process, Allamakee County Public Health officials offer the following clarifications:

• COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed in phases and County Public Health will adhere to guidelines and plans as provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
• The first allotment - called Phase 1A - will be prioritized for long-term care facilities and healthcare workers. Long-term care facility vaccinations are contracted through pharmacies, and most local healthcare workers will be vaccinated by Allamakee County Public Health.
• The vaccine is not yet available to the general public and local healthcare providers are not able to give it to their patients at this time.

Wed
09
Dec

Soaring eagle, lifting spirits: Artist of rural Harpers Ferry shed mural hopes others find comfort and inspiration in her therapeutic creation


An inspiring view in a time of uncertainty ... The long-standing blue metal shed on the farm property of the late Lloyd and Ethel Meehan west of Harpers Ferry along Lansing Harpers Road received a picturesque facelift throughout this past summer and fall with the mural pictured above that now graces the side of the building facing the “T” intersection of State Forest Road with Lansing Harpers Road. Rural Harpers Ferry resident Mary Willie was granted permission from the Meehan family members who currently own the farm to paint this mural representative of the area in an effort for her to lift the spirits of others during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while also serving as a bit of therapy for herself during the past several months of social distancing and uncertainty. Submitted photo.

Seasonal adjustments... Whether it was the warmth of summer or the chilly winds of fall, Mary Willie of rural Harpers Ferry could likely be found painting the mural she created on a farm shed west of Harpers Ferry during the past nine months. Willie often noticed the shed when she traveled to and from nearby Yellow River State Forest, thinking it would be an ideal location for an outdoor mural. Submitted photo.

by Kelli Boylen

It’s hard to say CO-VID-19 is positive in any way, but sometimes something positively beautiful can come from uncommon, not-so-positive things. Such could be said about the new look of the blue metal shed located on the former Lloyd and Ethel Meehan farm west of Harpers Ferry.

Mary Willie of rural Harpers Ferry wanted to find a different way to connect with others when recommended COVID social restrictions started last spring. She was feeling anxious and isolated from her friends, so she turned to her art.

Wed
09
Dec

Allamakee Ecumenical Choir to present 44th annual “Festival of Lessons and Carols” Sunday at St. John's Lutheran Church; Live stream viewing option available


Performing at annual Ecumenical Concert this Sunday ... The Ecumenical Men’s Choir known as the Heartland Barbershop and Gospel Singers will be performing at the Allamakee Ecumenical Choir’s 44th Annual Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols this Sunday, December 13 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Waukon, beginning at 7 p.m. The group is pictured above donning the new tuxedos made available to its members through a generous gift from Dr. Richard Hermeier, and they appreciate Dr. Hermeier’s gift and continued sponsorship support of their musical efforts. Pictured above, left to right, are: Front row - Chris Stuckman, Cameron Berges, Jeff Goettel, Brian Bieber, James Bieber; Back row - Randy Johnsen, Dolan Jones, John Payne, Greg Hagensick. Not pictured: Jonathan Buhl. Submitted photo.

The Allamakee Ecumenical Choir will present its 44th annual Candlelight Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols service this Sunday, December 13 at 7 p.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church, located at 8 Fifth Street SW in Waukon. Area clergy will read the lessons, and carols will be sung by the assembly present along with organ accompaniment.

Choral numbers will be presented by the Ecumenical Men’s Choir, also known as the Heartland Barbershop and Gospel Singers. Musical selections will also be presented by the St. John’s Lutheran Church Youth and Senior Handbell Choirs and the Bixby String Trio. The program is prepared and directed by James Bieber, Organist and Director of Music at St. John’s Lutheran Church, and he is assisted by his daughter, Waukon Middle and High School Choral Director Sarah Bieber.

Wed
09
Dec

Honoring their heroes ...

These thoughtful and grateful individuals stood outside the entrance areas of Veterans Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Room, Good Samaritan Society and Gundersen Health System Clinic in Waukon Tuesday, December 1, expressing their appreciation and support for the efforts of healthcare and other frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. “What a great little ray of sunshine during this hard time!” one local healthcare worker shared. “Thanks for the support!” Submitted photo.
 

Wed
02
Dec

Lansing Women in Business group is all about supporting one another and the local community - especially now


Taking care of business - and each other ... Some members of the Lansing Women in Business group recently gathered at Coffee on the River in downtown Lansing. From left: Fawn Brickman, owner of Driftless Travel; Wendi Eiden and Diana Wilson-Thompson, co-owners of Coffee on the River; Sammi Scholtes, with Mosaic; Jana Schoh, co-owner of Red Geranium Floral and Gifts; Lesya Ryzhenkova, co-owner of The Good Life Gallery and Frame Shop; Jennifer Davis, with Eastern Allamakee Community School District; and Maryann Baldwin, owner of Lansing Fitness Center. Pictured in the three inset photos at the top of the photo above are other Lansing Women in Business members who shared their thoughts on the organization and what it means to them. Left to right in those submitted inset photos are Michelle Stiehl, owner of Polished on Main; Valerie Reinke, Executive Director of Allamakee County Economic Development & Tourism; and Elissa Strobel, owner of Driftless Gypsy Boutique. Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

Group will host ‘Light Up Lansing’ Saturday, December 12 to collect food for LIFT

by Julie Berg-Raymond

On a recent evening in downtown Lansing, a forecasted snowfall had instead delivered a cold, late-autumn rain. Where Main Street meets the river, a light fog was obscuring the Black Hawk Bridge from view; and lights sparkled in the windows of a former grain elevator - home now to a coffee shop and wine bar, Coffee on the River - where, inside, several masked women were busy wrapping colorful, holiday-themed paper around large boxes that would be distributed in shops around town in the coming days.

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