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Wed
09
Sep

Allamakee County reports fifth COVID-19 death, most cases in a week since early May; TASC announces confirmed cases, closure and quarantine of all locations

The past week saw an impact of COVID-19 not seen in Allamakee County since early May of this year, as confirmed case numbers soared to their highest level since that spring timeframe and the first death attributed to the virus was recorded since the first week in May as well. A total of 18 new cases have been reported for Allamakee County by the State of Iowa from within the past week’s timeframe of Tuesday, September 1 through Monday, September 7, the highest number during a similar week-long timeframe since April 28 through May 4, when 27 cases were reported during that seven-day stretch.

The Allamakee County death being attributed to COVID-19 this past week was reported by the State of Iowa Tuesday, September 1, but took place prior to that reported date. Allamakee County Public Health officials report that the death involved a female in the 61-80 years of age range but could not release any further details.

Wed
09
Sep

Dates for 2021 Allamakee County Fair announced

The Allamakee County Fair Board has announced the dates for the 2021 Allamakee County Fair scheduled for next summer. Those dates have been set for Wednesday through Sunday, July 21-25 at the Allamakee County Fairgrounds in Waukon. Further event details will be published as they become available.

Wed
09
Sep

Final week to submit nominations for the 2020 Cloy Kuhse Positive Impact Award

Deadline is this Thursday at 12 Noon

Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) is seeking nominations for the 2020 Cloy Kuhse Positive Impact Award.

To be eligible, the recipient must be a business located in Allamakee County.  ACED will accept nominations until Thursday, September 10 of this year at noon. The award winner announcement will be at the ACED Annual Meeting in October. The Award Recipient will receive a plaque and will be added to the Award Plaque that is displayed at the ACED office. WW Homestead Dairy in Waukon was the 2019 Cloy Kuhse Positive Impact Award winner, and ACED looks forward to announcing another business that is making a positive impact.

Wed
02
Sep

Showdown series gives Allamakee County livestock champions an additional opportunity to show their animals, have hard work and dedication recognized


Showin’ up for the Showdown ... Five Allamakee County 4-H youth participated in the Northeast Iowa Showdown livestock show held August 2 in West Union as part of a statewide Showdown series that offers additional showing opportunities to county fair champions. Pictured above, left to right, are Wyatt Baxter, Brenna Berns, Taylor Jackson, Alaina Gebel and Marcus Gebel. Submitted photo.

by David M. Johnson

As thousands of local, rural youth walk out the school door each spring, they once more anticipate their yearly summer routines. Meeting at the local fishing hole, little league, and hoping to get a summer job for some extra spending money are likely among those summer activities.

Also among those annual rites of passage, especially in the smaller rural communities that dot the landscape, the county fair is one destination where numerous families set aside one week during the summer so their kids can be part of this rural heritage.

Wed
02
Sep

Waukon resident coordinating first-ever Spring Grove Film Festival; Actor Ed Asner will be the featured guest


Shining among the stars ... Pictured above is Katie O’Regan (right) of Waukon with award-winning actor Ed Asner (left). The two met during a film screening evening in Los Angeles and that initial meeting has turned into Asner being the special guest throughout the inaugural Spring Grove International Film Festival coordinated by O’Regan and scheduled for September 11-13. Submitted photo.

The efforts of Waukon resident Katie O’Regan have resulted in one of the most awarded and beloved actors in primetime television coming to the tri-state area for a weekend celebration in Spring Grove, MN September 11-13. The inaugural Spring Grove International Film Festival scheduled for that second weekend in September will feature acclaimed actor Ed Asner as a special guest in a variety of events presented this first year by Giants of the Earth Heritage Center in Spring Grove, MN and Sacred Noise Society, Inc.

O’Regan is the daughter of Francis and the late Leona O’Regan of Waukon and recently moved back to the area and was hired as the development director at Giants of the Earth Heritage Center. Accomplished in the arts as an actress, dancer, producer, director and writer, O’Regan established many connections throughout her career - one of which ultimately led to her getting to meet Asner.

Wed
02
Sep

First national placewinning for Waukon FBLA since 2003 ...

For the first time in nearly two decades the Waukon High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter recorded a national placewinning at the organization’s annual Leadership Conference. Eight FBLA students from Waukon High School participated in the FBLA Virtual National Leadership Experience held online June 29-July 2 this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students sent in projects and completed objective tests prior to the conference and then had the opportunity to sit in on keynote speakers and leadership seminars. Pictured at left, left to right, Waukon High School FBLA members Bridget Duncklee, Alexis Hogan and Ashley Liddiard were awarded fifth place in the nation for their video and presentation on 3D Animation during the conference. Their video and conference presentation can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTJaBs9bNvU&feature=emb_logo.

Wed
26
Aug

Painting of the Allamakee County Freedom Rock gets underway


Ready to (paint the Freedom) Rock ... The large white tent (pictured below) that many have noticed on the east edge of the Waukon City Park is currently sheltering the transformation of the Allamakee County Freedom Rock being painted by Iowa artist Ray “Bubba” Sorenson, who is pictured above as he begins his creation honoring veterans. Standard photos by Joe Moses.

Allamakee County home to 92nd Freedom Rock

by Joe Moses

With the arrival of artist Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II, painting of the Allamakee County Freedom Rock has begun in the Waukon City Park as of Thursday, August 20. Upon completion, the Freedom Rock in Waukon will be part of the 99-County Freedom Rock Tour, a statewide tourism attraction honoring military veterans.

The large white tent noticeable on the east edge of Waukon City Park serves as a temporary shelter for the rock and the painting process from weather elements. It also allows Sorenson to work on his creation without interruption.

Wed
26
Aug

New wastewater treatment plant in Waukon continues to make progress


Oxidation ditch ... Pictured above is the oxidation ditch, where the biological process will take place within the City of Waukon’s new wastewater treatment facility currently under construction. Living organisms will eat the waste here as one of the initial steps in treating the wastewater. Photo by Lissa Blake.

Final clarifier ... Pictured at right in the above photo is the portion of the new wastewater treatment plant called the final clarifier. Within a final clarifier structure, a settling action will occur and the clear water at the top will then advance to the ultraviolet (UV) disinfection phase of the treatment project. Photo by Lissa Blake.

Administration building ... City of Waukon Water and Sewer Superintendent Jim Cooper said the City’s $12.3 million wastewater treatment plant upgrade is going well. The administration building, the beginnings of which are pictured at left in the photo above, is where Cooper’s office will be located and all of the lab work will be done. It is also the site of the final stage of treatment, ultraviolet disinfection. Photo by Lissa Blake.

by Lissa Blake

Despite a two-month delay in the start of the project, the Waukon wastewater treatment plant upgrade in Waukon is moving right along. That’s according to City of Waukon Water and Sewer Superintendent Jim Cooper, who said the $12.3 million project, which started in April of 2019, is “progressing well.”

HISTORY
Waukon’s current wastewater treatment plant originally was built in 1965 and has not seen any renovations since 1986. A typical upgrade can usually keep a city in compliance with Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for about 20 years.

In 2015, following a review by the Environmental Protection Agency, the City of Waukon was issued a compliance order from the EPA, indicating it needed to bring its water treatment capabilities up to Agency standards, “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.”

Wed
19
Aug

Veterans Memorial Hospital introduces new CEO


New CEO at VMH ... Michael Coyle, the new CEO of Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon, pictured in his office at the hospital. Coyle brings years of experience to the position and began his duties August 3 following the retirement of Mike Myers, who served Veterans Memorial Hospital in that CEO role for 22 years. Submitted photo.

Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon recently welcomed Michael Coyle as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital following the retirement of CEO Mike Myers after 22 years of service to the hospital. Myers retired July 31 of this year.

Coyle brings many years of CEO experience in Critical Access Hospitals to the position including Ely-Bloomenson  Community Hospital in Ely, MN, Coteau des Prairies Healthcare System in Sisseton, SD, and West Holt Medical Services in Atkinson, NE.

Coyle said he chose to further his career at Veterans Memorial Hospital because of the hospital’s reputation for quality, full spectrum of services, beautiful location and the opportunity to make a difference in a wonderful community.

Wed
19
Aug

Northeast Iowa RC&D receives Governor’s Arts Award for Art Initiative that includes pair of Allamakee County art pieces


Award winning art project ... Mallory Hanson, Regional Tourism and Economic Development Coordinator for Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D), holds the Governor’s Art Award presented to Northeast Iowa RC&D for its “Byways of Iowa Public Art Initiative” created throughout the past five years. The Initiative involved 17 public art installations along Iowa’s Byways, including two in Allamakee County that are pictured in the surrounding photos: “Crossroads” (photo at center) placed in Waukon and “Hometown to the World” (bottom photo) placed in Postville.

At the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (IDCA) 2020 Virtual Iowa Arts Summit held August 7, Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) was honored with the Governor’s Arts Award for their “Byways of Iowa Public Art Initiative”.

The RC&D was one of three recipients selected by a panel of Iowa Arts and Culture professionals from around the state for this bi-annual award. The City of Malvern and Mary Ellen Kimball were also 2020 Iowa Arts Award recipients for their contributions to forward arts and culture in the State.

Each recipient was recognized for their efforts to enrich Iowa communities with creative projects. The RC&D was congratulated by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds who shared her thoughts via video on the importance of the arts, especially during the pandemic.

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