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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.

Wed
02
Dec

Full week of daily double-digit cases pushes Allamakee County to second highest weekly total of COVID-19 cases and includes outbreak at Northgate Care Center

A full week of double-digit cases of COVID-19 reported each day for Allamakee County this past week has produced the second highest weekly total of new confirmed cases for the county since the pandemic began. The 107 new cases reported during this past week’s timeframe of Tuesday, November 24 through Monday, November 30 is second - by just one case - to the highest weekly total of 108 cases reported just two weeks ago, November 10-16.

Although representing just one of the now nine months the COVID-19 pandemic has grabbed hold within the local population, the month of November, by itself, accounts for just shy of one half of the entire Allamakee County case total since those cases were first reported in March of this year. Since November 1, the State of Iowa has reported a total of 385 of the county’s now 818 total cases as of Monday, November 30.

Wed
25
Nov

Waukon football team is crowned the 2020 Class 2A State Champion ...

Members of the Waukon football team celebrate the Class 2A State Championship they won with their 28-14 triumph over undefeated Central Lyon/George-Little Rock (CL/G-LR) in the Class 2A State Championship game played in the UNI-Dome at Cedar Falls Friday, November 20. The Indians and Lions battled to just a 16-14 Waukon lead at halftime before the Tribe defense shut CL/G-LR down in the second half and the Indian offense struck one time each in the third and fourth quarters to secure their second State Championship in the past four years and the second such title in program history. A special pull-out section with additional photos and complete coverage of the Indians’ State Championship win can be found on Pages 13-16 inside the November 25, 2020 print edition and its e-edition. To be part of an upcoming commemorative “Overcoming All Odds” special publication, details are available on Page 15.

Wed
25
Nov

State of Iowa Auditor Rob Sand holds virtual town hall meeting with Allamakee County, discusses variety of topics with locals

by Joe Moses

Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand met with a small group of individuals via Zoom web-conferencing during a virtual meeting relating to Allamakee County Wednesday, November 18 as part of a 99-County Town Hall Virtual Tour. Sand participated in other virtual meetings relating to Scott, Clinton, Jackson, Dubuque and Clayton Counties earlier that same day.

Sand began the meeting by discussing the decision to use virtual meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic with outdoor meetings allowing for social distancing being a possibility next year during warmer months. Sand explained that an hour has been allotted for the virtual meeting with questions being welcome and that he would be providing an update relating to work taking place in his office.

Wed
25
Nov

Andrew Kelleher named a Rising Star Under 40

The 7 Rivers Alliance and the River Valley Media Group announced the winners of their annual Rising Stars Under 40 honor during a Wednesday, October 28 virtual ceremony. Among the 28 individuals awarded the honor is 2014 Kee High School graduate Andrew Kelleher, who grew up in Allamakee County and now serves as Executive Director of Main Street Lansing.

The 7 Rivers Alliance - a regional economic development group - sought nominations for the award from throughout the tri-state region of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin for young men and women who are making a difference. This year 28 recipients were selected from the three states.

“The stories of these exceptional people are inspiring and show how fortunate we are to have them living and working in our communities,” said Chris Hardie, CEO of the 7 Rivers Alliance. “They are true leaders in their workplaces and communities.”

Wed
18
Nov

Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative deploying fiber internet in west Waukon


Fiber-to-the-home project on Waukon’s west side scheduled to begin ... The fiber-to-the-home project being undertaken on the west side of Waukon by AC Skyways, a division of Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative, is scheduled to be completed in two different phases over the next year’s time. The fiber route for Phase 1-A (highlighted by the orange and black lines in the left map image above) is scheduled to begin next week and be completed by the end of this year. Phase 1-B (highlighted by the orange and black lines in the right map image below) will take place in 2021. Submitted images.

AC Skyways, a division of Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative, has announced it is the recipient of an Empower Rural Iowa Emergency Broadband Expansion grant to expand on an already planned fiber-to-the-home project on the west side of Waukon, with the construction of the first phase of the project to start later this month. The routes of the two planned phases for the project are outlined by orange and black lines in the two map images to the left of this article.

Wed
18
Nov

Waukon High School graduates helping to understand, combat the COVID-19 pandemic as active students at the University of Iowa College of Public Health


Unique opportunity ... Callie Ferring, a senior at the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health, is seizing the opportunity to work in a frontline public health role in her home state of Iowa. She is a 2017 graduate of Waukon High School and the daughter of Mike and Linda Ferring of Waukon. Photo courtesy of the University of Iowa.

Valuable experience ... Madison Snitker, a graduate student in the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health, wants to continue on her current path in a local public health setting with a job in health communications or emergency response. She is a 2016 graduate of Waukon High School and the daughter of Ted and Lisa Snitker of Waukon. Photo courtesy of the University of Iowa.

Madison Snitker, Callie Ferring working as contract tracers for Johnson County Public Health
 

A pair of Waukon High School graduates are among more than 45 current students at the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health in Iowa City who are working part-time as contact tracers at Johnson County Public Health in Iowa City. Madison Snitker and Callie Ferring, who graduated from Waukon High School in 2016 and 2017, respectively, are among those U of I students involved in the unique experience of helping the local public health department and greater community handle the coronavirus pandemic while gaining valuable skills.

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