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Wed
16
Aug

New Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center now open to the public


Ribbon cutting at Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center ... Members of the Allamakee County Conservation Board (ACCB) join Allamakee County Conservation Director Jim Janett in cutting the ribbon at a dedication event held Thursday, August 10 signifying the opening of the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center just south of Lansing on the former Columbus property. Pictured above, left to right, are ACCB members Jeanie Carroll, Dennis Blocker and Marilyn Clark, Conservation Director Jim Janett, and ACCB members Bill Moody and Dennis Koenig. Photo by Susan Cantine-Maxson.

A brief look inside the Center ... Photos above and below show just some of the many exhibits and interpretive displays inside the new Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center. Photos of additional displays and building features can be viewed by clicking on the Photo Galleries link on The Standard's website, www.waukonstandard.com. Photos taken by Susan Cantine-Maxson.

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

Spectacular, wonderful, magnificent, awesome, amazing… are some of the adjectives used to describe the new Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center, located south of Lansing on the former Columbus property on Great River Road and now officially open to the public.

Nestled onto a plot of land where the first Allamakee County Courthouse was established, the new 10,000 square foot Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center beckons to all who pass to stop a while and learn about how this unique area of the country was formed. The new Center officially opened to the public Saturday, August 12 with several hundred people journeying to an open house at the Center to view the educational interpretive exhibits during Lansing's annual Fish Days celebration. Thursday, August 10 a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for over 200 donors to the project.

Wed
16
Aug

Supervisors hear reviews of RAGBRAI® from countywide and several city perspectives

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, August 14 to address a full agenda of items, including the Third Reading of an Ordinance to establish a Pioneer Cemetery Commission, Consideration of Green Valley Bridge funding and the Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI®) follow-up reports for Allamakee County, Waukon, Waterville, Postville and Lansing.

Chairperson Larry Schellhammer called the meeting to order. The Supervisors moved into Public Comments, with Executive Director Val Reinke of Allamakee County Economic Development discussing the attendance at the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center over the weekend with Fish Days in Lansing.

Wed
16
Aug

Public learns more at August 8 meeting about Iowa DOT study for potential replacement of Black Hawk Bridge in Lansing


Replacement alternatives discussed for Black Hawk Bridge; Public comment sought ... The image displayed above shows four alternative locations being considered for replacement of the Black Hawk Bridge that connects Iowa Highway 9 and Wisconsin Highway 82 at Lansing, a topic discussed by Iowa Department of Transportation officials at an August 8 public meeting in Lansing. With the existing bridge noted with the directional arrow in the center of the above image, the Blue Alternative and Purple Alternative running parallel just north and south, respectively, to the current bridge are options carried over from a 2004 feasibility study by the Iowa Department of Transportation, as is the Orange Alternative that would reroute the bridge further south to a connection with John Street in Lansing. The Green Alternative traveling further to the north was a new option proposed for this more recent study being conducted. The Iowa Department of Transportation is accepting public comments on the proposed replacement options at http://bit.ly/iowadot11311. Image courtesy of the Iowa Department of Transportation.

New bridge designs would address river navigation concerns ... The image displayed above shows four alternative designs being considered for replacement of the Black Hawk Bridge that connects Iowa Highway 9 and Wisconsin Highway 82 at Lansing, a topic discussed by Iowa Department of Transportation officials at an August 8 public meeting in Lansing. With the existing bridge design pictured at the top of the above image, its 653-foot main span between the two piers submerged in the river and allowing for river navigation under the bridge is considered to be too narrow by the U.S. Coast Guard to allow barges to navigate up and down the Mississippi River's main channel. Each of the four alternative designs pictured above would accommodate the 770-foot main span required by the U.S. Coast Guard, and any of the four could also be used at the four proposed replacement locations pictured on the front page of this edition of The Standard. The Iowa Department of Transportation is accepting public comments on the proposed replacement options at http://bit.ly/iowadot11311. Image courtesy of the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Public comment accepted until August 21

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

Tuesday, August 8 at Kerndt Brothers Community Center in Lansing, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) held a public information meeting to discuss the proposed study of the Iowa 9 bridge, also known as the Black Hawk Bridge, that connects the states of Iowa and Wisconsin at Lansing.
The meeting was an open forum where interested individuals could pose questions to Iowa DOT staff about the information posted on a variety of graphic displays trying to highlight different scenarios for the future of the bridge and navigation both across and on the Mississippi River. Hundreds of area residents from both sides of the Mississippi streamed into the venue over the hour and a half time period to view the proposals for the Black Hawk Bridge replacement.

Thu
10
Aug

Bieber family boar is runner-up at State Fair Big Boar Contest; Event featured on IPTV Monday

The family of Charlie and Jill Bieber of rural Waukon entered one of their pigs in the annual Big Boar Contest at the Iowa State Fair Thursday, August 10 and nearly came home with the top prize out of 10 hogs entered in this year's contest. Their entry in the contest, "Big Chief," weighed in at 1,162 pounds, but that weight came up about 30 pounds shy of this year's title, as "Big Buck," a boar owned by McDonald Acres of Ryan, tipped the scales at 1,192 pounds to earn this year's Iowa State Fair Big Boar crown. Big Chief is co-owned by the Bieber family with Ken Kehrli of Winthrop. Pictured at right with "Big Chief" prior to their departure for the Iowa State Fair is the Bieber family, left to right, Peyton, Charlie, Jill, Zach and Emily. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

Wed
09
Aug

Great River Rumble overnights in Lansing, Harpers Ferry on its way down the Mississippi


Great River Rumble makes overnight stops in Lansing and Harpers Ferry ... More than 200 canoeists and kayakers made their way down the Mississippi River this past week for overnight stops in both Lansing and Harpers Ferry as part of the annual Great River Rumble, a week-long river adventure that traversed both the Root River in Minnesota and a portion of the Upper Mississippi River this year. The venture began in Rushford, MN Sunday, July 30 and made its way down the Root River to the Mississippi River, eventually ending up in Prairie du Chien, WI Saturday, August 5. Paddling from Black Hawk Park in Wisconsin Thursday, August 3, the "floatilla" made its way into Lansing underneath the Black Hawk Bridge (photo at top left above) Thursday, August 3, camping at the Lansing Sports Complex overnight before departing Friday morning, August 4 to make the 17-mile journey to Harpers Ferry via Lock and Dam 9. After arriving in Harpers Ferry, the crew camped overnight once again before completing the final 11-mile leg of this year's journey to end up in Prairie du Chein, WI for a final farewell banquet. Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

Annual week-long canoe/kayak trip featured record number of 220 river enthusiasts this year
 

by Julie Berg-Raymond (Lansing) and Ann Marie Gallacher-Williams (Harpers Ferry)

For the second consecutive weekend, the Lansing and Harpers Ferry communities welcomed a large group of visitors - this past weekend those visitors arriving by canoes and kayaks via the Mississippi River as part of the annual Great River Rumble after the bicycles of RAGBRAI were welcomed the previous weekend.

The Great River Rumble (GRR) travels a different section of river each year, a portion of that usually on the Mississippi. The trip is put on by Midwest River Expeditions, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people enjoy the rivers and promote environmental consciousness.

Wed
09
Aug

Public invited to open house for new Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center Saturday


Open house this Saturday for new Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center ... The Allamakee County Conservation Board (ACCB) is celebrating the completion of the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center with an open house event this Saturday, August 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the site location of 1944 Columbus Road, Lansing. Taking place during the annual Fish Days celebration in Lansing this year, attendees can tour the property and view the interpretive and dimensional displays housed at the center, covering topics such as geology, limnology (rivers/streams), archeology, wildlife studies, river town industries and economies, American Indian cultures and more. The Center will provide meeting and office space for public use, classrooms and group learning areas, multiple observation decks and more. Submitted photo.

The public is invited to celebrate the opening of the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center this Saturday, August 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Center is located at 1944 Columbus Road just south of Lansing.

Attendees can tour the property and view the interpretive and dimensional displays housed at the Center, covering topics such as geology, limnology (rivers/streams), archeology, wildlife studies, river town industries and economies, American Indian cultures and more.

Wed
09
Aug

Supervisors discuss pair of bridge projects, approve second reading of ordinance regarding Pioneer Cemetery Commission, hear latest update on Public Safety Center

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, August 7 at the Dolores Tillinghast Memorial Library in Harpers Ferry as part of the board's efforts to meet in various communities throughout the county over the course of the year. The board addressed a full agenda of items, including a Second Reading of an Ordinance to establish a Pioneer Cemetery Commission, Consideration of Bids for the North Fork Hollow Road Bridge and a Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI®) update for Harpers Ferry.

Chairperson Larry Schellhammer called the meeting to order. County Auditor Denise Beyer advised that the plat approval for Steven L. and Patricia M. Scholtes would need to be removed from the meeting agenda.

Wed
02
Aug

RAGBRAI XLV experiences Allamakee County ...

Reports of as many as 30,000 bicyclists, support crew members and additional visitors traversed the roadways of Allamakee County at one time or another Friday and Saturday, July 28-29 for RAGBRAI XLV, those bicyclists beginning their Allamakee County trek in Postville before staying overnight in Waukon Friday night and then navigating the hills and valleys through Waterville, Yellow River State Forest and Harpers Ferry before ending up at the final tire-dip destination of Lansing Saturday to complete their seven-day, 411-mile RAGBRAI journey. Comments such as “breathtaking scenery,” “friendly, welcoming people,” and “challenging but well worth it” were heard from riders as they made their way through Iowa's most northeastern county to wrap up this year's event. Photos above courtesy of (clockwise from top left) Joe Moses, Julie Berg-Raymond, Caitlin Troendle and Ann Marie Gallacher-Williams.

Wed
02
Aug

Great River Rumble to make overnight stops in Lansing and Harpers Ferry Thursday, Friday

Weeklong canoe/kayak trip traveling Root and Mississippi Rivers from Rushford, MN to Prairie du Chien, WI

Participants in the 2017 Great River Rumble, an annual canoe and kayak trip, will paddle from Rushford, MN on the Root River to Prairie du Chien, WI on the Mississippi River between July 29 and August 5 this year. The weeklong river adventure is expected to attract nearly 200 people from across the nation, and will include a pair of local overnight stops in Lansing and Harpers Ferry this year.

The group has already met in Prairie du Chien, WI Saturday, July 29 to load boats and gear, then travel to Rushford, MN by chartered bus. Overnight stops are planned for Houston, Hokah and Brownsville in Minnesota, Blackhawk Campground in Wisconsin, and Lansing and Harpers Ferry in Iowa, before a final landing in Prairie du Chien.

Wed
02
Aug

Nolting family named Bernie Heffern Memorial 4-H Family Award winner ...

The family of Faye and the late Gary Nolting of Waukon was honored with the Bernie Heffern Memorial 4-H Family Award by the Bob and late Bernie Heffern family before the 4-H/FFA Livestock Auction held Sunday, July 23 at the close of the 2017 Allamakee County Fair. The award was created by the Heffern family in memory of Bernie Heffern, who passed away in 2008. Bernie was very passionate about all areas of 4-H and its importance in the lives of youth and their families. She and her husband, Bob, were inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame in 2007 for their lifelong dedication to 4-H. Each year during fair week, the Allamakee County Fair Board observes families and selects a family who emulates the Heffern family attitude of helping others, working well with each other, and going above and beyond for the fair. The Hefferns hope that creating this award and honoring a family each year will help to develop the kind of passion and dedication Bernie showed for the 4-H program.

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