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Wed
17
Jun

Tina Lyon and her sister, Michele Stahl, sew hundreds of facemasks from late mother’s fabric in effort to help combat spread of COVID-19


Sewing sisters ... Tina Lyon (foreground at right) of Waukon and her sister, Michele Stahl of La Crosse, WI, spent a couple days sewing together in their late mother’s former sewing room at their dad’s house in Lansing. The two used their late mother’s fabric as part of a continuing project that has produced hundreds of free facemasks distributed throughout the local area. Submitted photo.

Many colors, sizes and styles ... Pictured above are just some of the hundreds of facemasks sewn by sisters Tina Lyon of Waukon and Michele Stahl of La Crosse, WI to be freely distributed throughout the local area to help combat the spread of COVID-19. The project has involved sewing three different adult styles, three different adult sizes, as well as teen and children masks made out of their late mother’s fabric. Submitted photo.

Where all the “help” is created ... Pictured above is the living room in the house of Al and Tina Lyon in Waukon, where Tina has been sewing facemasks for free local distribution to help combat the spread of COVID-19. She began sewing in March when the pandemic first made its presence known in Iowa and still has her home workshop set up. Submitted photo.

by Lissa Blake

What started out as a way to help a family member, turned into a way to help hundreds of others.

“It’s been an interesting journey,” said Tina Lyon, Waukon, of the 400 masks she and her sister, Michele Stahl, have sewn for people since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of this year.

Lyon said the idea for sewing masks got started as an effort to help her step-daughter have some clean N-95 mask covers. As a retired nurse with 30 years experience, Lyon said she understood the importance of trying to slow the spread of COVID-19 through the wearing of masks.

“Al’s daughter, Amanda Horne, works in Cedar Rapids in a dialysis unit. At the time, she was expecting, and masks were in short supply, so she was having to use the same one each day. I thought it would be nice to try and sew some mask covers for her, so she had several,” recalled Lyon.

Once she made the mask covers, she thought, “I can do better than this.”

Wed
17
Jun

Wisconsin Hwy. 82 now to be closed through July 2; Black Hawk Bridge now open to access boat landing

The closure of Wisconsin Highway 82 (WIS 82) across the Mississippi River between Wisconsin Highway 35 (WIS 35) and the Black Hawk Bridge at Lansing has now been extended to July 2, according to Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) officials. The closure, originally scheduled for June 6-14, has been extended to accommodate additional construction activities along 1.4 miles of WIS 82 between the intersection of WIS 82/WIS 35 and the Black Hawk Bridge over the Mississippi River.

Project Manager Travis Buros of the Wisconsin DOT explained that when crews opened one of the smaller slough bridges they were working on as part of the planned improvement project they discovered some necessary repair work that they had not anticipated. He said that the worst case scenario is that the highway will now be closed through July 2. However, he said if weather cooperates and work is relatively straightforward, the closure could end as early as June 24.

Wed
10
Jun

Allamakee County Fair will take place this year, although with modifications

Fair Board, ISU Extension finalizing plans with mitigation guidelines in mind for early July event

Following a lengthy meeting Wednesday, June 3, the Allamakee County Fair Board has made the decision to continue plans to host the 2020 Allamakee County Fair, but in a modified format due to the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation guidelines put in place as a result of that virus. The board sought input from the Allamakee County Public Health Department, Allamakee County Emergency Management and a variety of City and County officials in making the decision, working in conjunction with the Iowa State University (ISU) Extension Allamakee County office to help make the decision on whether to proceed with the annual event and now working on details of just what a modified version of the Allamakee County Fair will entail.

Wed
10
Jun

Plans for splashpad and other park improvements in New Albin receive significant boost from $100,000 Wellmark Foundation Grant


Splashpad and improvements ... Above is a rendering of the new splashpad being planned as part of an overall park improvement project in New Albin. Pictured at right in the image is upgraded playground equipment also planned as part of the overall project. Submitted image created by MySplashPad.

Another view and additional improvements … Pictured above is another view of the splashpad and overall park improvement project being planned for the park area in downtown New Albin. In addition to the splashpad features pictured above, the current basketball court area (pictured at right in the photo background) will be improved upon and fenced off, with an upgrade to playground equipment also planned as part of the overall project. Submitted image created by MySplashPad.

by Lissa Blake

After six years of planning, New Albin’s new splashpad site is starting to take shape.

According to Splashpad Project Coordinator Betsy Whitlatch, the idea to create a family-friendly place for people of all ages started about six years ago. Alexie Grotegut and Hope Lemke founded New Albin Improvement League (NAIL) in 2014, along with several other New Albin residents, with the goal of building a splashpad in the community. Six years later, NAIL organizers and many other volunteers are still working toward fully accomplishing this goal, but are beginning to see the end in sight.

Wed
10
Jun

Dairy Days Parade scheduled for Monday

The Allamakee County Dairy Promotion Board has rescheduled its Annual Dairy Days Parade to Monday, June 15, postponed from its original June 1 date due to COVID-19 restrictions. The parade will be held in Waukon, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The route will begin at the Allamakee County Fairgrounds in Waukon, traveling south down Allamakee Street to the stoplight intersection and then west on Main Street to the Post Office, where it will then turn north on Second Street NW and travel to Eighth Avenue NW, turning east to return back to its original fairgrounds location.

No candy or other treats or items are allowed to be thrown or shared by parade participants. All parade entrants and parade viewers are reminded to conduct themselves according to the proper social distancing guidelines. The Allamakee Dairy Wagon and Allamakee County Cattlemen will be at the Waukon City Park serving their respective specialties, beginning at 4 p.m.

Wed
10
Jun

Absentee voting fuels significantly higher voter turnout for June 2 Primary Election

Kelleher and Reiser win party nominations for Board of Supervisors, other races mirror broader results

The Tuesday, June 2 Primary Election yielded one of the best voter turn-outs for Allamakee County in recent history, actually about double the percentage of registered voters as in more recent best turn-outs with 35.41% of the county’s registered voters casting a ballot this year. Of those 2,377 votes cast in this year’s Primary Election, a vast majority of those - 2,063 votes - came in the form of absentee ballots, a process encouraged by Allamakee County Commissioner of Elections Denise Beyer and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate for this election due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wed
10
Jun

Allamakee County experiences first full week without any new confirmed cases of COVID-19

For the first time since COVID-19 cases began to be officially reported for Allamakee County in mid-March, there were no new cases for an entire Monday-to-Monday week’s timeframe this past week for the county, according to public health reports. In fact, the absence of any new confirmed cases actually stretches beyond this past full week’s timeframe to Thursday, May 28, an 11-day stretch of no new cases being confirmed in Allamakee County by public health officials.

A new case had been initially reported Sunday, May 31 for the county, but was removed from the Allamakee County total the next day following further investigation into the actual county of residence for that individual. The past week’s timeframe of no new cases comes during a week where 111 tests were reported as being conducted, with 144 tests reported dating back to that May 28 date when the last positive case had been reported for Allamakee County.

Wed
03
Jun

Allamakee County Sheriff Deputy Ross Kolsrud and new K9 Deputy Tyr complete training to begin new partnership


New partners complete training ... Allamakee County Sheriff Deputy Ross Kolsrud and his new K9 partner, Tyr, display the certificate they were awarded for completing training together through Blue Line K9 of Minnesota, LLC in May of this year. Tyr is the new K9 officer purchased by the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Office with help from funds raised locally in anticipation of the retirement of the Department’s current K9 officer, Erro. Submitted photo.

New K9 officer ... The Allamakee County Sheriff’s Department is welcoming a new K9 officer named Tyr in anticipation of the retirement of the Department’s current K9 officer, Erro. Tyr recently completed K9 training with his handler through the Department, Allamakee County Sheriff Deputy Ross Kolsrud. Submitted photo.

by Lissa Blake

There’s a new officer reporting for duty at the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Office.

K9 Deputy Tyr (as in “tear” drop) and his handler, Deputy Ross Kolsrud, recently graduated from training. Kolsrud, who has been with the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Department for 10 months now, said he and Tyr graduated from the K9 training program at Blue Line K9 of Minnesota, LLC, located in Rushford, MN.

Kolsrud had previously worked in law enforcement as an officer with the Lansing/New Albin Police Department. When he joined the Sheriff’s Department, Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick asked if he would be interested in the K9 program.

“I had always thought that would be interesting and fun to do. I didn’t ever think I would get that position being a new deputy,” said Kolsrud.

Wed
03
Jun

Black Hawk Bridge, Hwy. 82 will now both be closed June 5-15

Repair projects on both the Black Hawk Bridge at Lansing and three other Wisconsin Highway 82 (WIS 82, the dike road) bridges connecting Iowa and Wisconsin will close that route to traffic Friday, June 5 through Monday, June 15, according to Department of Transportation (DOT) officials. An ongoing road project on WIS 82 has been slowing traffic with single-lane closures during the past several weeks, but will require shutting down that roadway entirely for a 10-day period, allowing the Iowa DOT to also conduct some repair work on the Black Hawk Bridge.

In conjunction with the Wisconsin DOT project repairing bridges on WIS 82 on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River, the Iowa DOT will replace two deck panels on the Black Hawk Bridge during that closure. Electronic message signs are already in place along state highway routes in both Iowa and Wisconsin prior to and during the road and bridge closures to alert motorists.

Wed
03
Jun

Senator Grassley visits Allamakee County ...

Iowa’s longtime United States Senator Charles Grassley visited Allamakee County Tuesday, May 26 when he stopped at Allamakee-Clayton Rural Electric Cooperative (REC) as part of his annual meetings in all 99 Iowa counties. As threats associated with COVID-19 continue, those in attendance were seated socially distant from each other and handshaking was avoided. Among those in attendance were members of REC’s board of directors and general manager Hollee McCormick.

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