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Wed
28
Jun

Allamakee County to participate in Iowa 99 County Bible Reading Marathon again this year

County residents invited to take part in new format for July 6 event

Allamakee County will be taking part in the 2017 Iowa 99 County Bible Reading Marathon once again this year, inviting people to read 30-minute or more segments of the Bible Thursday, July 6 throughout an 8 a.m.-8 p.m. timeframe. This is the second year Allamakee County has participated in the event, with some changes in location and longevity of the event taking place this year.

This year's event for Allamakee County will take place at the Waukon City Park at the small shelter between the wooden playground and the ball diamond, a different setting than the Allamakee County Courthouse lawn used last year. The timeframe of this year's event has been pared down from a three-day event to just a 12-hour format on a single day.

Wed
28
Jun

Upper Iowa Resort and Rental bounces back from 2016 flooding in time for the 2017 camping season


Upper Iowa Resort and Rental recovered in time from the record-setting flooding of the Upper Iowa River in August of last year to be open for the start of camping season this year, cleaning up its flood damage and making some improvements to help minimize potential flood damage in the future. Among those improvements is the addition of a new gravel roadway (far left) parallel to the existing road and the river, making for easier access to campsites. The existing roadway and surrounding camping areas were also raised about two feet with the addition of 40-plus loads of dirt, as well as sand excavated from campground hillsides. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

After being flooded in August of 2016, the office and general store area of Upper Iowa Resort and Rental was gutted and restored to be operational for the opening of camping season this year. Owners Bob and Kristi Hager worked on that project during this past winter, refurbishing the building to become a focal point of indoor entertainment as part of the overall experience for campers and visitors to the resort area. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

A cabin formerly located at Camp Tahigwa, the former Girl Scout camp near Dorchester, didn't have far to go to find a new home, as Upper Iowa Resort and Rental owners Bob and Kristi Hager purchased the cabin and had it recently moved to its new home as part of the restoration and improvements at Upper Iowa Resort and Rental following the August 2016 record-setting flooding of the Upper Iowa River. The cabin was transported just a few weeks ago from its original Camp Tahigwa location about five miles away, being placed on the new basement foundation pictured above to add to the cabin availability at Upper Iowa Resort and Rental. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

by Joe Moses

August 23-24 of 2016 saw a heavy rainfall and flood event that affected much of northeast Iowa, with the Upper Iowa River valley in northern Allamakee and Winneshiek counties suffering flood damage due to the six to eight inches of rain reported by the National Weather Service across that area during that overnight period.

As a result of that rainfall and the flow downstream of the more than eight inches of rain that fell in the Decorah area of Winneshiek County, the Upper Iowa River swelled to a record crest of 24.3 feet, nearly two feet higher than it had ever reached before. The Upper Iowa's previous record crest had been 22.5 feet back in 2008.

Wed
28
Jun

RAGBRAI® in Allamakee County

Waukon RAGBRAI hosting June 28 Town Meeting; All are encouraged to attend to learn more

The Waukon RAGBRAI Committees will be hosting a Town Meeting Wednesday, June 28 from 6-7 p.m. at Iron Ridge Church, located at 512 Ninth Street SW in Waukon. Residents and others interested from all communities in the Allamakee County area, including the pass-through and final destination towns, are invited to attend the meeting.

Wed
28
Jun

Former Blumenthal building in Lansing is alive and well with industry once again


A sign indicates the new home for a satellite facility for Prairie Industries in the former Blumenthal building on the west side of Lansing. Following closing about a year ago of the longtime button factory, as it was more locally referred to, the Blumenthal facility was purchased by Tumbleweed Welding, whose owners not only occupy a portion of the building with their business but also reached out to Prairie Industries in Prairie du Chien, WI to offer the remaining portion of the building to potentially meet that company's expansion needs, thus gaining back some of the jobs and other economic and community benefits lost by the Blumenthal closing. Photo by Susan Cantine-Maxson.

Both "sight" and "site" are appropriate for the above caption headline, as seeing the former Blumenthal facility on the west end of Lansing with a full parking lot is, indeed, a welcome sight to community and county residents following closure of the Blumenthal facility just over a year ago. The site, itself, has also proven to be welcoming to a pair of businesses new to the Lansing area, as Tumbleweed Welding had originally purchased the facility and has been utilizing about one-third of it before reaching out to Prairie Industries of Prairie du Chein, WI with an invitation to accommodate its expansion needs in the remaining two-thirds of the building, a proposition that has proven to be a nice fit, according to industry and local officials. Photo by Susan Cantine-Maxson.

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

Two businesses have filled the gap left by the closing of the Blumenthal-Lansing button factory in 2016 in Lansing. Tumbleweed Welding and Prairie Industries have both started operations in the former button factory within this past year.

When news of the closing of the button plant hit the local area, it was the end of an era. Many people in Lansing and the surrounding area, along with generations of their families, had worked at the facility all of their lives. There had been button factories in Lansing since the 1800s, and the building sat idle following announcement of the Blumenthal closing next to a vacant lot where the Northern Engraving building had once been as well.

Many wondered if this building would meet the same fate, including the 70 employees who were left without jobs. The future seemed grim.

Sat
24
Jun

UPDATE: Stolen vehicle found, residents advised to maintain awareness

The Waukon Police Department reports that a red 1999 Dodge Neon bearing Iowa license plate EKJ 091 was stolen from Waukon between 11 p.m. Friday, June 23 and 10 a.m. Saturday, June 24 in the 500 block of West Main Street. The department also received a report of another vehicle on Clinton Street in Waukon that was broken into and the ignition mechanism removed. Both vehicles were locked and the keys were not in the ignition at the time.

In an updated report, the Waukon Police Department advises that the stolen vehicle has been located in Dubuque, but also warns that there is obviously still a concern of future break-ins due to the method used and that there were two vehicles affected.

Wed
21
Jun

New book tells Harpers Ferry native's tale from becoming an orphan to creating a mission to help them and others


Jeff (JT) Olson ...

JT Olson returning to native Allamakee County to share story June 29 at Old East Paint Creek

by Kelli Boylen
freelance writer

Jeff (JT) Olson knows what it is to be an orphan.

He clearly remembers the day his parents died. He was 12 year old, and his parents had been away for their 16th wedding anniversary. He was excited to be reunited with his brothers, sisters and parents.

He then learned his parents, Othello and Lora Mae Olson, had been killed in a car accident on their way back to their rural Harpers Ferry home on the Lansing-Harpers Road.

He also remembers the family members who took care of him and his four siblings, John, Jim, Julie and Jerene. A widowed aunt took care of the three oldest children so they could finish out the school year at Waukon Junior High, and then all five children moved to Brookfield, WI with their aunt and uncle, Ralph and Marie Ann Seifert.

Wed
21
Jun

RAGBRAI® in Allamakee County

Waukon RAGBRAI hosting Town Meeting June 28; All are encouraged to attend

The Waukon RAGBRAI Committees will be hosting a Town Meeting Wednesday, June 28 from 6-7 p.m. at Iron Ridge Church, located at 512 Ninth Street SW in Waukon. Residents and others interested from all communities in the Allamakee County area, including the pass-through and final destination towns, are invited to attend the meeting.

More specific details will be presented about RAGBRAI's overnight stay in Waukon, including information about road closures and layout of the entertainment and other venues in downtown Waukon. Additional information will address volunteer and rider hosting opportunities, as well as funding and other logistical information. Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to ask questions in regard to RAGBRAI and its July 28-29 visit to Allamakee County.

Wed
21
Jun

Lori Egan begins campaign for District 56 seat of Iowa House


Lori Egan ...

Lori Egan, a nurse from Waukon, has announced her candidacy to represent the Iowa House of Representatives 56th District, which includes all of Allamakee County and parts of Clayton County.

“I’m running for the Iowa House because Clayton and Allamakee counties are being forgotten by the politicians in Des Moines,” Egan said. “As a 30-year resident of Waukon and a nurse, I'm concerned about the future of working families and our community. I’m running because economic opportunity should not be limited to those in Des Moines. We need living wage jobs with benefits right here in Clayton and Allamakee counties. We need health care that is affordable and accessible and we need an education system that provides our kids with the skills they’ll need to land a good job."

Egan is currently the Health Programs Director at the Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation (NEICAC). Previously she served as a nurse with the Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, WI.

Wed
14
Jun

Supervisors approve amendments to County's ATV/UTV Ordinance following Monday's public hearing

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, June 12 to address a full agenda of items. Among those items were the Public Hearing for amendments to the ATV Ordinance LV, the signing of the revised Solutions Information Technology (IT) Services Agreement for Fiscal-Year 2018 and approval of the revised 28E agreement for the issuance of drivers licenses.

Wed
14
Jun

RAGBRAI® in Allamakee County


A very small sampling of what's to come in late July ... Approximately three dozen riders associated with the RAGBRAI® organization (a small sampling of which are pictured above coming down the hill of West Main Street in Waukon) made their way into Waukon Friday afternoon, June 9 as part of the RAGBRAI Pre-Ride route inspection that took place this past week across the state along the route RAGBRAI XLV will be traveling July 23-29. Along with inspecting the route, the riders were also treated to a small sampling of the hospitality and amenities that will be available to riders as they travel Allamakee County Friday, July 28 through Saturday, July 29, making their way from Postville to Waukon for the Friday overnight stop before heading through Waterville and Harpers Ferry to this year's official ride ending destination in Lansing. In her blog about the pre-ride inspection event (available at www.ragbrai.com), RAGBRAI marketing and media manager Andrea Parrott described the final day route of 44.9 miles and 3,200 feet of climb through the hills and valleys of Allamakee County as "a lovely but challenging ride," further describing the final day's route as "perhaps the most beautiful ride ever on RAGBRAI." Further blog posts and photo galleries of the RAGBRAI Pre-Ride through Allamakee County and along this year's route can also be found at www.ragbrai.com. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

Waukon RAGBRAI seeking volunteers to host riders in homes or yards overnight

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