Community News

Wed
30
Mar

Waukon Lions Club makes donation to Wolfpack Theater Company


Waukon Lions Club donates to Wolfpack Theater Company ... The Waukon Lions Club recently made a donation to the newly formed Wolfpack Theater Company for the Company’s inaugural performance, “Beauty and the Beast,” scheduled for May 6-8 at the Waterville Community Center. Left to right - Front row: Neal Daley, Kim Gates, Rosie Phipps, Kim Thomas, Bud Strike (seated); Second row: Tammy O’Hare, Tom Phipps, Ethan Hooten, Zach Troendle, Gwen Schroedel, Rhianna Jones, Roger Bublitz; Back row: Chase Boydston, Caleb Perkins, Eireann Goettel, Gabe Goettel, Adam Hooten. Submitted photo.

by Julie Berg-Raymond

The Waukon Lions Club recently made a donation to the Wolfpack Theater Company toward its presentation of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” which will be performed Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 6, 7 and 8 at the former Waterville School Auditorium in the Waterville Community Center.

Lions Club members presented the Theater Company with a check Wednesday, March 16 at Lid’s in Waukon and bought the actors dinner. Later, several Theater Company actors performed a mini-show for the Lions Club members in attendance.

The kids of the Wolfpack Theater Company came together when they were rehearsing for Waukon High School’s production of “West Side Story,” presented in April of last year. “After ‘West Side Story,’ about 12 kids from the show got together and said, ‘let’s do something that’s good for the town,’” Wolfpack Theater Company founder and artistic director Adam Hooten recalls. And a young person’s theater company was born.

Wed
23
Mar

Veterans Memorial Hospital to file petition for public vote on conversion from City to County ownership

During the Monday, March 21 meeting of the Waukon City Council, Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH) officials shared their intent to file a petition to invoke a vote for a City to County conversion of ownership of the hospital, and that expressed intention received the council’s support. VMH will now begin a petition for voter support on the conversion April 4. Approximately 400 signatures are needed to file the petition with the Allamakee County Commissioner of Elections in order to bring the matter to a required public vote later this year.

Like most rural hospitals, VMH faces growing financial challenges. Changes made by the hospital’s current leadership team have helped the hospital become solvent over the past two years. COVID relief dollars also helped offset expenses and fund minor renovations. Converting to a County-owned hospital will build on this progress and help ensure long-term sustainability with the support of recurring annual appropriations.

Wed
23
Mar

Bridge on Makee Drive begins two-month closure for replacement project ...

The Allamakee County Engineer’s Office has announced the closure of a bridge on Makee Drive northeast of Waukon, located approximately three-fourths of a mile east of Makee Drive’s intersection with Four Corners Road, as pictured in the map image above. The bridge was closed as of noon Monday, March 21 for a replacement project that is expected to take approximately two months, depending upon weather conditions. There will be no signed detour route for the closed segment of Makee Drive and motorists are reminded to plan accordingly. Map image courtesy of the Allamakee County Engineer’s Office.
 

Wed
23
Mar

Massage therapist Shannen Mezera returns to downtown Waukon with opening of Serene Massage & Bodywork


Serene Massage & Bodywork receives First Dollar Visit ... Serene Massage & Bodywork, newly opened within the Gemini Salon & Spa location at 7 East Main Street in Waukon, recently received a First Dollar Visit from the Waukon Chamber of Commerce. Pictured above at that First Dollar presentation are, left to right, new Waukon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laurie Adrian and Serene Massage & Bodywork owner Shannen Mezera. Photo courtesy of the Waukon Chamber of Commerce.

A familiar face - and even more familiar hands - recently returned to a familiar location in downtown Waukon, but with a new venture of their own.

Massage therapist Shannen Mezera has opened Serene Massage & Bodywork within the Gemini Salon and Spa at 7 East Main Street in Waukon. Familiar to many who have benefited from her services in recent years, Mezera first offered massage therapy locally at Gemini several years ago before taking her skills to Veterans Memorial Hospital Massage Therapy Services in 2016 and now opening her own venture, Serene Massage & Bodywork, as the new year 2022 got underway.

Starting her own new venture has provided many benefits for Mezera, including more time with family and greater flexibility, and she’s excited to be part of a downtown business climate that has been growing in recent months. Her greatest inspiration in venturing out on her own, however, comes from the people she serves.

Wed
23
Mar

Waukon City Council hears of Veterans Memorial Hospital plan to move to County ownership status

by Joe Moses

The Waukon City Council met in regular session Monday, March 21 to address a variety of matters including discussion on a referendum for Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH) to move to countywide ownership status, an update relating to the Storm Water Quality Improvements Project and discussion of Waukon as a RAGBRAI pass-through community in late July of this year.

There was no Public Comment and the meeting moved into Department Reports with Park, Recreation and Wellness Director Jeremy Strub providing an update. Strub noted that summer staff will be hired at the monthly meeting taking place Thursday morning with Park staff starting April 4. Strub advised that there is a shortage of baseball and softball coaches and that, like last year, adult volunteers will be needed.

Wed
16
Mar

Allamakee County Veterans Museum to host presentation on Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boats and Submarine Chasers

Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boat ...
Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boat ...
Submarine Chaser ...
Submarine Chaser ...

The Allamakee County Veterans Museum will offer a program to the public about the U.S. Navy in World War II. The program will take place in the Program Room of the new museum in the former Vet’s Club building on Allamakee Street in Waukon.

Saturday, March 19 at 10 a.m. the program will present stories of Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boats and Submarine Chasers. Information will also be presented on Allamakee County sailors who served on these smaller fighting vessels.

There is no admission or membership charge. The facility is handicapped accessible. Due to COVID-19 concerns, masks are encouraged but not required. Light refreshments will be available.

The museum remodeling was finished in late summer.  Preparation and installation of exhibits is underway and should be completed by Memorial Day this year. Tours will not be offered until the exhibits have been completed. However, educational programs will continue to be offered periodically.

Wed
16
Mar

Supervisors hear update on Waukon Redemption Center, approve ARP funding for digitizing of some County records

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, March 14 at the Allamakee County Historical Society’s Veterans Museum in Waukon, as part of a schedule of meeting locations taking place away from the County Courthouse throughout the year. The board addressed a full agenda of items including an update relating to the Waukon Redemption Center, consideration of the Resolution to obligate American Rescue Plan funding to specific projects and discussion of the County’s March tornado drill and Alert Iowa.

Prior to the meeting being called to order, George Beardmore of the Allamakee County Historical Society provided a brief introduction and update relating to the Allamakee County Veterans Museum.

Wed
16
Mar

Diary of Ukraine - Part 2: Waterville area native Scott Ewing shares his experiences as Russia continues to invade Ukraine


Odessa, Ukraine ... Photo above shows sandbags and cement barriers set up as a barricade in Odessa, Ukraine in preparation to combat Russian forces invading Ukraine. In the center of the photo is the Odessa National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet, one of Odessa’s most famous buildings and its oldest theater. Submitted photo.

Before and after views show damage ... Photos above shared by Waterville area native Scott Ewing show images near Mariupol State Humanitarian University in Mariupol, Ukraine before (top image) and after (bottom image) Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Mariupol State University is known abroad as a center for training of highly qualified personnel which plays an important role in development of effective cooperation between Ukraine and foreign states in the field of education, science and culture. Submitted images.

(Editor’s Note: The following information was shared from a diary of events written by Waterville area native Scott Ewing, a 1980 graduate of Waukon High School and the son of Jerry and Anna Marie Ewing of rural Waterville. The sharing of the diary excerpts was made possible by Kevin Welsh of Waukon, who is a former neighbor, long-time friend and is in consistent contact with Ewing during the current historic experience of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the evacuation of Ewing and his family to Poland. Part 1 of the Diary of Ukraine [February 12-March 4] was published in the March 9 edition of The Standard.)

Saturday, March 5
Today our Polish friends, who have totally taken our family under their wings, located another apartment which Natasha and I will move into next week. To add insult to injury, in Ukraine, some of our family members have come down with COVID, and now the virus is spreading through the apartment.

Wed
09
Mar

Allamakee County Veterans Museum to host presentation on Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boats and Submarine Chasers

Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boat ...
Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boat ...
Submarine Chaser ...
Submarine Chaser ...

The Allamakee County Veterans Museum will offer a program to the public about the U.S. Navy in World War II. The program will take place in the Program Room of the new museum in the former Vet’s Club building on Allamakee Street in Waukon.

Saturday, March 19 at 10 a.m. the program will present stories of Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boats and Submarine Chasers. Information will also be presented on Allamakee County sailors who served on these smaller fighting vessels.

There is no admission or membership charge. The facility is handicapped accessible. Due to COVID-19 concerns, masks are encouraged but not required. Light refreshments will be available.

The museum remodeling was finished in late summer.  Preparation and installation of exhibits is underway and should be completed by Memorial Day this year. Tours will not be offered until the exhibits have been completed. However, educational programs will continue to be offered periodically.
 

Wed
09
Mar

Diary of Ukraine: Waterville area native Scott Ewing shares experience of evacuating to Poland with family as Russia begins its invasion of Ukraine


Adding fuel ... Waterville area native Scott Ewing helps a taxi driver fill his van with fuel as he takes them toward the border between Ukraine and Poland in late February. Ewing’s wife, Natasha, and their pregnant niece, Lilya, walked to a fueling station to avoid a line of vehicles nearly three kilometers long waiting for fuel, bringing back the needed bottles of diesel fuel in order to facilitate their evacuation from Ukraine after Russia began its invasion of the country. Submitted photo.

Evacuating Ukraine ... The niece of Waterville area native Scott Ewing and his wife, Natasha, stands with her suitcase as they walk toward the border between Ukraine and Poland in late February. Lilya, who is six months pregnant, and the Ewings were among those evacuating Ukraine as Russia began to invade the country. Submitted photo.

Crowded, but safe in Poland ... Family members of Waterville area native Scott Ewing and his wife, Natasha, gather around a table in a one-room apartment in Poland after evacuating from Ukraine in late February. The Ewings and their pregnant niece, Lilya, were the first members of the family to evacuate as the Russian invasion of Ukraine began and were later joined by other family members from Ukraine, with a total of 10 family members gathering in the small apartment at one time before continuing to find their own accommodations in anticipation of a long stay as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. Submitted photo.

(Editor’s Note: The following information was shared from a diary of events written by Waterville area native Scott Ewing, a 1980 graduate of Waukon High School and the son of Jerry and Anna Marie Ewing of rural Waterville. The sharing of the diary excerpts was made possible by Kevin Welsh of Waukon, who is a former neighbor, long-time friend and is in consistent contact with Ewing during the current historic experience of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the evacuation of Ewing and his family to Poland.)

My name is Scott Ewing. My wife, Natasha, and I have been living and working in Ukraine for the past year.  We recently were forced to evacuate.
Below I have written a diary outlining some of the details of our lives over the past couple of weeks in Ukraine. I am giving you this information in hopes that our experiences will bring the war going on in Ukraine closer to home for U.S. citizens and make it more personal to everyone.

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