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Tue
07
Nov

Honoring those who have served: Veterans Day 2023

Captain Mary Plein ...
Captain Mary Plein ... Waukon native Mary Plein served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps for 16 years. She spent time serving her country during World War II and again during the Korean War. Submitted photo.

Waukon native Mary Plein served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps during World War II and Korean War, continued her service in her community

by David M. Johnson

Veterans Days is designated as a time to remember those who have served their country through military experience. They have sacrificed part of their lives to fulfill what they believe is a responsibility to their community and their nation.

Those who have not had the experience of military service, who have gone on to live their day-to-day lives, can be appreciative of those who put that day-to-day living on hold and joined the military services in order to make that freedom a possibility. Whether serving on the front line in combat, on the decks or holds of naval ships or flying sorties, or serving more behind the scenes as cooks, truck drivers or mechanics, all have done their part during their service to their country.

Tue
07
Nov

Crews and community celebrate official start to bridge replacement project with groundbreaking ceremony


A sign of things to come ... A groundbreaking ceremony was held near the east approach of the current Black Hawk Bridge at Lansing Thursday, November 2, marking the official start of construction of the planned replacement bridge pictured on the sign in the photo above. Also pictured in the photo above are, left to right, Tony Gustafson, chief engineer, with Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT); Aaron Rosenbery, project manager, with Kraemer North America (contractor on the bridge project); Clayton Burke, project manager, with Iowa DOT; and Dan Kleinertz, project supervisor, with Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

Wide variety of representation at groundbreaking ... Residents of both Wisconsin and Iowa attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Mississippi River bridge at Lansing Thursday, November 2. The ceremony was held at the northeast corner of the existing Black Hawk Bridge that connects Iowa Hwy. 9 and Wisconsin Hwy. 82, with the existing bridge looming above on the left side of the photo and some of the heavy equipment to be used in the new bridge construction standing tall in the background of the photo. Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

Digging in to get the project underway ... Several of the individuals who will be instrumental throughout the Black Hawk Bridge replacement project turned over their first shovels of dirt at the Thursday, November 2 groundbreaking ceremony near the east approach of the existing bridge. Pictured, left to right, are Paul Lindsey, who is the lead inspector for HNTB Corporation, an engineering consulting firm out of Madison, WI; Clayton Burke, the Iowa Department of Transportation’s manager for the project; Travis Konda, a Structural Engineer for HNTB; Aaron Rosenbery, project manager for Kraemer North America, contractor for the bridge replacement project; and David Stanke, Kraemer North America Vice President for the Wisconsin area. Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

by Julie Berg-Raymond

An important moment in area history unfolded Thursday, November 2, at the site of what will be the new Mississippi River bridge at Lansing.

Representatives from the Iowa and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Kraemer North America (contractors on the project), along with community members ceremonially broke ground on the project to replace the Black Hawk Bridge. According to a short statement released by the

Iowa DOT, “work is about to begin on the new Mississippi River Bridge that will improve the connection between Lansing and Crawford County, Wisconsin.” The new bridge will offer a safer, smoother ride as travelers move through the area.

“The groundbreaking is just the beginning of the multi-year process to replace the bridge,” the statement continues. “Completion of the new bridge is expected in 2026. During construction, the current bridge will stay open and ready for use.”

Tue
07
Nov

Allamakee County Veterans Museum has variety of video interviews of local veterans available for viewing, many other resources for the public to utilize


Program room available for public use ... The program room at the Allamakee County Veterans Museum in Waukon offers the public the opportunity to view the museum’s collection of 18 video interviews of area military veterans. In addition to the video interviews and the numerous displays throughout the museum, the facility also has a library of other resources and the program room can be used by the general public. Submitted photo.

The mission of the Allamakee County Veterans Museum is to preserve the history and service of local veterans. A key part of that mission is the museum’s video Veterans History Project. Currently, the museum’s library of video interviews includes 18 videos (listed further below in this article) with veterans who served in  World War II, Korean  Conflict, Vietnam Conflict, and career service.

Many of these videos have already been presented at public programs in the museum at 105 Allamakee Street in Waukon during the last two years. The videos are also available for the public to watch upon request while visiting the museum at any time the museum is open to the public.

Tue
31
Oct

Candidates in local contested City Council and School Board races share their views prior to November 7 City/School Election


Waukon City Council - At-Large

Lansing City Council - At-Large

New Albin City Council - At-Large

Allamakee Community School District - District #3

Eastern Allamakee Community School District - At-Large

Eastern Allamakee Community School - District #1

Tuesday, November 7 is scheduled as the City/School Election to determine which candidates will be elected by voters to leadership positions at the most local levels of government and guidance. A Notice of Election with polling sites and a complete list of candidates and offices for this year’s election was published on Page 24 in the October 25 print edition and e-edition of The Standard. Polling sites will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, November 7.

INFORMED CHOICES
In an effort to help inform voters prior to their venture to the polls November 7, The Standard issued a questionnaire to each of the candidates in the contested races on this year’s election ballot, with the exception of the Postville community which has its own newspaper. The series of questions asked and each candidate’s returned responses to those questions can be found throughout this week’s edition, most of them beginning on this week’s front page.

Wed
25
Oct

Highway 51 bridge over Yellow River in Allamakee County dedicated in memory of fallen Iowa State Trooper Ted Benda


Dedication ceremony in honor of fallen State Trooper and Allamakee County native ... Family, friends and a number of law enforcement colleagues gathered at the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) maintenance garage location on the south edge of Waukon Monday, October 16 for a dedication ceremony naming the State Highway 51 bridge over Yellow River in Allamakee County the Trooper Ted Benda Memorial Bridge. Trooper Benda lost his life in a single-vehicle accident on that same highway in October of 2021 while responding to a call to assist Clayton County authorities.

Dedicated in his honor ... The sign pictured above is one of two that will be placed on the north and south approaches to the State Highway 51 bridge over Yellow River north of Postville in honor of fallen Iowa State Patrol Trooper Ted Benda. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for putting the signs in place and was scheduled to do so shortly after the October 16 dedication ceremony held at the Waukon DOT location.

Family pride and gratitude ... Members of the family of fallen Iowa State Patrol Trooper Ted Benda gather near one of the signs that will be placed at each end of the State Highway 51 bridge over Yellow River nearly four miles north of Postville designating the bridge as Trooper Ted Benda Memorial Bridge. Left to right are Madilyn, Sylvia, Holly and Vivyan Benda and Marsha, Avery and Lawrence Benda.

Gathering to honor one of their own, family, friends and law enforcement colleagues of fallen Iowa State Patrol Trooper and Allamakee County native Ted Benda were in attendance at a dedication ceremony held Monday, October 16 to designate the State Highway 51 bridge that spans Yellow River, approximately four miles north of Postville, as Trooper Ted Benda Memorial Bridge.

Wed
25
Oct

Request for new trial denied, Lansing man sentenced to 50 years in prison for May 2022 murder of his roommate

Sentencing was handed down in Allamakee County District Court in Waukon Monday, October 23 following the murder conviction of 66-year-old Andrew Karvel of Lansing, who had been found guilty of second degree murder in the May 9, 2022 strangulation death of his roommate, 83-year-old Daniel Lundy. Karvel had been found guilty of the crime by an Allamakee County jury in August of this year.

Wed
25
Oct

More housing survey results needed! Final week to participate in housing survey used in community development

by Lissa Blake

The deadline to weigh in on housing needs in Allamakee County is fast approaching, and organizers need more input from across the county.

“Whether you live, work or own a business in Allamakee County, we need to hear from you,” said Val Reinke, executive director of Allamakee County Economic Development and Tourism.

Reinke explained each county in Iowa is required to do a housing study every five years.

“We use this data to work with developers, city councils and builders, and to apply for programs,” said Reinke, adding, “The first thing they ask us is to see our housing study.”  

So far, only 200 people have responded to the current survey, which has a deadline of Tuesday, October 31.

“We need input from every community in the county… people who rent, people who own, people who come to the county for work. Housing is a real issue here,” she said.

Wed
18
Oct

Opportunity to receive $250,000 in State funding to support local childcare needs help from Allamakee County communities; Meeting set for Thursday

by Lissa Blake

Trying to raise half a million dollars to increase child care availability in Allamakee County might seem like a monumental task, but the opportunity is readily available if the local community can come together to take advantage of it.

The State of Iowa Department of Health and Human Services is offering half of that funding total, and the Allamakee County community needs to raise the other $250,000 by the end of October in order to receive the State’s contribution, with $60,000 already pledged to that county match commitment by some local businesses and organizations.

Everyone interested in helping to find solutions for additional access to child care in Allamakee County is invited to an informational meeting scheduled for this Thursday, October 19 from 12-1:30 p.m. at Lansing Office Works, 274 Main Street in Lansing. Lunch will be provided (see additional details in the shaded box printed on this same page).

Wed
18
Oct

Public meeting Thursday to discuss child care solutions program Allamakee County is selected to participate in

Allamakee County is one of 10 communities in the state of Iowa that has been selected to participate in a child care solutions program. The program has $2.5 million available to invest within the communities that are able to provide a 50/50 match to access the funds.

An informational meeting about the program and that funding opportunity is scheduled to be held Thursday, October 19 at the Lansing Office Works building, 274 Main Street in Lansing, from 12-1:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided. There is also a virtual link available for those who cannot access the meeting in-person, and that link is available at https://us06web.zoom.us/i/87181480659.

“Be a part of the solution!” meeting organizers urge. “Child care is a critical building block for our workforce and economy. We are looking for our county to come together to support this fund in efforts to create sustainability for our providers.”

Wed
18
Oct

Director of Iowa Economic Development Authority Debi Durham tours Lansing, and says she’s impressed by the “welcoming” community


IEDA Tour of Lansing takes advantage of Mt. Hosmer perspective ... Among the group providing and taking the October 11 tour of Lansing were, left to right, Nichole Hansen, director designee at Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA); Christopher Troendle, housing planner for Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) and board president of Main Street Lansing (MSL); Debi Durham, head of the IEDA and the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA); Andrew Boddicker, Main Street Lansing executive director; Anne Osmundson, member of the Iowa House of Representatives from the 64th district; Dr. Sarah Murray, superintendent of the Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) and principal of Kee High School/Middle School; Lansing Mayor Melissa Hammell; and Lansing City Council members Mike Manning and Curtis Snitker. Not pictured: Deanna Triplett, senior policy and partnership manager with IEDA. Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

Touring the Old Stone School ... The tour of Lansing provided to Iowa Economic Development Authority leaders Wednesday, October 11 included visiting the historic Old Stone School in Lansing. Viewing wall displays inside the building are, left to right, Valerie Reinke, executive director of Allamakee County Economic Development & Tourism (ACED); Main Street Lansing (MSL) Executive Director Andrew Boddicker; and Debi Durham, head of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA). Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

by Julie Berg-Raymond

By early last week, Main Street Lansing (MSL) Executive Director Andrew Boddicker had all his boxes checked for an event he’d organized and scheduled for Wednesday, October 11 - a visit to Lansing by Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).

Among the checked boxes, city council approval had been granted for an ATV/UTV Mt. Hosmer permit, and the council had also granted permission for Boddicker to clean the front, northwest room on the ground floor of the Old Stone School. Blake Schoh, owner of S&S Houseboat Rentals, was lined up to captain a short pontoon ride on the Mississippi River in the afternoon. Chef Wendi Wilson-Eiden had designed a menu and would be preparing dinner in the evening at Coffee On The River - the restaurant she co-owns with her sister, Diana Wilson-Thompson. The guest list was confirmed, and The Standard newspaper had assigned a reporter.

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