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Wed
03
May

Train derailment near De Soto, WI also closes highway ...

Crawford County, WI officials received a report of derailment of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) train on the banks of the Mississippi River just to the south of De Soto, WI at approximately 12:15 p.m. Thursday, April 27. As pictured in the surrounding photos provided courtesy of Amy Ping Knutson of De Soto, WI, a freight train traveling southbound derailed off the tracks, causing two of the three locomotives and a reported number of 10 railroad cars to veer off the tracks, with most of those derailed vessels ending up on the banks of the elevated railway or in the ditch area (filled with water at the time due to flooding) between the railroad tracks and Wisconsin Hwy. 35.

Wed
03
May

Kee High School graduate Daniel Wagner receives Main Street Iowa award for restarting Lansing Farmer’s Market


Lansing Farmer’s Market wins Best Placemaking Project Award ... Left to right: Michael Wagler, Main Street Iowa State Coordinator; Daniel Wagner, Main Street Iowa award recipient for Best Main Street Placemaking Project, Lansing Farmer’s Market; Andy Kelleher, outgoing Main Street Lansing Executive Director; Ian Zahren, advisor and mentor to Wagner; and Debi Durham, Executive Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority. Submitted photo.

Awards also won at Main Street Iowa Awards Celebration ... Main Street Iowa hosted its annual Development Awards celebration Friday, April 21 at Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines. The program honors the efforts of those who work to revitalize Iowa’s downtowns and make a difference in the state’s Main Street districts. Lansing received the following state awards and special recognitions: Leadership Award - Andrew Boddicker; $5 Million Main Street District for private dollars invested in commercial district rehabilitation and property acquisition in the designated Main Street district since the program’s inception; Best Main Street Placemaking Project - Daniel Wagner for the Lansing Farmer’s Market (see accompanying article started on Page 1 of this same edition). Debi Durham, Executive Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Iowa Finance Authority (IFA), and Michael Wagler, Main Street Iowa State Coordinator, presented the award honors. Pictured in the submitted photo above, left to right, at the presentation of Boddicker’s Leadership Award are Michael Wagler, Main Street Iowa State Coordinator; Andrew Boddicker, Leadership Award winner and incoming Main Street Lansing Executive Director; Andy Kelleher, outgoing Main Street Lansing Executive Director; Debi Durham, Executive Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority. Pictured in the submitted photo below at the recognition of Lansing as a $5 Million Main Street District are, left to right, Michael Wagler, Andy Kelleher, Lansing City Council members Curtis Snitker and Ian Zahren, Best Main Street Placemaking Project award winner Daniel Wagner for re-establishing the Lansing Farmer’s Market, Andrew Boddicker and Debi Durham. “The Main Street Iowa program is a powerful economic development tool that has stood the test of time since its introduction in 1985,” Durham said. “We continue to see significant growth in businesses, jobs, and investment in communities of all sizes because of the program. As a result, these districts serve as inspiring examples of what’s possible for Iowa’s downtowns.” “Main Street is grassroots economic development,” Wagler said. “It is inspiring to witness the impactful work of local Main Street program staff, volunteers, and community partners.” For more information about Main Street Iowa and how Iowa communities can access commercial revitalization assistance through the Iowa Downtown Resource Center, visit iowaeda.com/downtown-resource-center/, email Michael.Wagler@iowaeda.com or call 515-348-6184.

by Julie Berg-Raymond

When, in 2021, Daniel Wagner - along with his Kee High School classmate at the time, Damon Weber - first came up with the idea of re-starting a farmer’s market in Lansing, Wagner was thinking it would be cool to buy the products of peoples’ hard work directly from the producers - whether they be handcrafted goods, or fresh-grown produce.

Wed
26
Apr

Kee High School 2023 Prom Royalty...

Kee High School seniors Cota Gavin (left) and Brooklyn Bakewell (right) were selected as the 2023 Kee High School Prom King and Queen at the annual event held Saturday, April 22. Bakewell was selected from a Queen court that also consisted of fellow seniors Alyssa Darling, Monica Davis and Jayden Rankin. Gavin was chosen from a King court that also included fellow seniors Jackson Poley, Ben Franceschetti and Dylan Waterworth. Photo courtesy of the Kee High School Yearbook.
 

Wed
26
Apr

Waukon High School 2023 Prom Royalty...

Waukon High School seniors Paige Hansmeier (left) and James VanderVelden (right) were selected as the 2023 Waukon High School Prom Queen and King at the annual event held Saturday, April 22. Hansmeier was selected from a Queen court that also consisted of fellow seniors Maycie Curtin, Cassidy Gibbs and Kiersten Gibbs. VanderVelden was chosen from a King court that also included fellow seniors Evan O’Neill, Kael Crawford and Jakob Regan.
 

Wed
26
Apr

Big Time Grain Company to headline grandstand entertainment for 2023 Allamakee County Fair

Bret and Chad Bourquin of Big Time Grain Co. ...
Bret and Chad Bourquin of Big Time Grain Co. ...

The Allamakee County Fair Board has announced country music group “Big Time Grain Company” will be the headlining act for this year’s grandstand entertainment at the 2023 Allamakee County Fair. The brother duo of Bret and Chad Bourquin front this musical act scheduled to perform Friday evening, July 21 in the grandstands, with Flatland Ridge returning to the Fair as the opening act that evening.

Raised on a farm near Olathe, KS, the brothers first formed “Big Time Grain Company” in 2012 and the band has since opened for such headlining performers as Big and Rich, Luke Combs, Restless Heart, Dan & Shay, and many others. With songs such as “Little Redemption” and “Hard to Want”, the musical act was chosen to perform for a crowd of more than 800,000 people at the celebration rally when the Kansas City Royals won the 2015 World Series and has also been the featured entertainment for Kansas City Chiefs home football games.

Wed
26
Apr

Mississippi River flooding forecasted to reach major stage, second highest ever ...

Water levels on the Mississippi River have been steadily climbing over recent weeks, now to the point of flooding communities along the mighty river, evidence of which can be seen in the photos below along the river valley in Allamakee County from New Albin through Lansing and Harpers Ferry, and on down the river. A combination of record snowfall amounts this year in Minnesota melting so quickly during the unusually warm second week of April, in addition to additional recent snow and rainfall, has caused the Mississippi River to rise more than 10 feet since April 1 from its typical Lansing gauge level hovering above eight feet to its latest measurement as of press time Tuesday morning, April 25 of just over 19 feet, which is considered moderate flood stage, rising nearly six feet within just the past week.

Wed
19
Apr

World premiere of “Adelia!” in honor of daughter of former EASCD band director to be performed during spring concert this Monday


For whom the music plays ... Adelia Dundas, daughter of former Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) Band Director Christoph Dundas and his wife, Kelsey, is pictured at right sporting a t-shirt supporting the Aicardi Syndrome she was diagnosed with early in her young life. The combined 5th-8th grade band in the EACSD will be performing the premiere of “Adelia!”, a piece of music created in honor of Adelia, who passed away March 30, 2021 after also battling Myelodysplasia Syndrome, a rare bone marrow cancer. Submitted photo.

“Adelia!” composer works with Middle School Band ... Justin Marshall Riley, a music composer from Jefferson, WI, works with the Kee Middle School Band during a recent visit to Lansing. Riley was asked by Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) Band Director Liz Bahr to create a musical piece in honor of Adelia Dundas, daughter of former EACSD Band Director Christoph Dundas who passed away at age 10 in March of 2021. The piece, entitled “Adelia!”, will be performed at the EACSD Spring Concert scheduled for this coming Monday, April 24 in the Kee High School gymnasium. Submitted photo.

Early father-daughter moment in the EACSD ... Former Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) Band Director Christoph Dundas holds his daughter, Adelia, at a Kee Band Spring Concert in 2012, when she was just over a year old. Following Adelia’s passing in March 2021 from Myelodysplasia Syndrome, a rare bone marrow cancer, money gifted to the Dundas family after Adelia’s birth by Dundas’ Kee band students at the time has now been gifted back to the Kee band program, which used it to have a special piece of music created in memory of Adelia and in honor of her family. Submitted photo.

The Dundas family ... Pictured above is the family of former Eastern Allamakee Community School District Band Director Christoph Dundas on a camping trip in 2020. Pictured between parents Kelsey and Christoph Dundas is Adelia, with her siblings, Caleb, Jacob and Emmaline, also sharing big smiles. Submitted photo.

Fifth-grade band with composer and idea originator ... Members of the fifth grade band in the Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) are pictured above with their band director, Liz Bahr (at left in back), and music composer Justin Marshall Riley (at right in back) during his recent visit to Lansing. Riley was asked by Bahr to create a special piece of music in honor of Adelia Dundas, daughter of former EACSD Band Director Christoph Dundas who passed away at the age of 10 in March 2021. The piece will be premiered at the grades 5-12 Spring Concert in the Kee High School gym Monday, April 24. Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

Original composition commissioned in memory of Adelia Dundas will also be live-streamed

by Julie Berg-Raymond

This is a story that resonates on so many levels, it’s difficult to know where to begin its telling. On one level, it’s about the world premiere of a new musical composition being performed by band students in grades five to eight at a small middle school in rural Iowa. On another, it’s a story about how that small rural school district - Eastern Allamakee - embraced a just-out-of-school-himself band teacher and his young family in a way that would touch many hearts and traverse many years, and about how that family and that school district have since both given so much to the other.

This story is about all those things. At the center of it all, though, is a young girl named Adelia.

Wed
19
Apr

Waukon High School 2023 Prom Queen and King candidates ...

The 2023 Waukon High School Prom is scheduled to be held this Saturday, April 22 at the Waukon Middle School gymnasium. Doors will open to the public at 7:30 p.m. for the Grand March, which is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Parents and community members may view the Grand March either seated in the auditorium or standing in the gym.

Following the Grand March will be the coronation of this year’s Prom King and Queen. Visitors are asked to exit the building after the coronation in order for students to start the Prom dance, which is scheduled to begin at approximately 9 p.m. Students need to be present and attend both the Prom and Post Prom event to be eligible for prizes at Post Prom being held in the Waukon High School gymnasium. For those who prefer not to attend the Prom dance, there will be alternative activities and games set up in the Waukon High School Library.

Wed
19
Apr

Kee High School 2023 Prom Queen and King candidates ...

The 2023 Kee High School Prom is scheduled for this Saturday, April 22. Pictured above are this year’s senior class Queen and King candidates for the annual event. Left to right - Front row: Queen candidates Alyssa Darling, Monica Davis, Brooklyn Bakewell and Jayden Rankin; Back row: King candidates Jackson Poley, Cota Gavin, Ben Franceschetti and Dylan Waterworth.

The annual Prom banquet will be held at TJ Hunter’s Banquet Hall on Main Street in Lansing, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Prom dance will also take place in the banquet hall this year following the Grand March and coronation of this year’s Prom King and Queen that will take place in the Kee High School gymnasium.

Wed
12
Apr

Extraction pit project to fill coal ash ponds at Lansing Generating Station approved by Board of Adjustment


Project involving heavy truck traffic approved ... Following the path of the red line in the map image above, trucks will drive from 2074 Lafayette Ridge Drive to Great River Road to Power Plant Drive, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., from May into at least November of this year, to complete a project hauling dirt to fill and cap coal ash ponds at the now decommissioned Alliant Energy Lansing Generating Plant. Four-way stop signs will be placed at the intersection of Lafayette Ridge Drive and Great River Road to help with traffic safety during the project. A permit to allow the project was unanimously approved by the Allamakee County Board of Adjustment Monday, April 3, with eight conditions placed on that approval. Image courtesy of the Allamakee County Zoning Office.

Project scheduled to run May-November this year

by Ellen Modersohn

It appears an extraction pit project south of Lansing will go ahead after the Allamakee County Board of Adjustment voted unanimously to grant a conditional use permit for it during a Monday, April 3 meeting. The board placed eight conditions on its approval of a petition to remove common fill from the Randy Gaunitz farm at 2074 Lafayette Ridge Drive and haul it to the defunct Alliant Energy plant on Power Plant Road. The soil will be used to fill and cap ash ponds.

Board members Bernard Pratte, chair, Gene Averhoff, Ann Klees and Shawn Gibbs heard comments on the project, mostly from property owners near the extraction pit site or along the route to Power Plant Road. Several people spoke for the allotted three minutes each, and three people ceded their speaking time to Dale Reeves, whose mother owns property near the Gaunitz farm.

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