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Wed
14
Sep

State of Iowa Auditor Rob Sand to visit Waukon Thursday

State of Iowa Auditor Rob Sand will be making stops in northeast Iowa this week as part of his 100 Town Hall Tour. Auditor Sand invites members of the community to attend these meetings and learn more about the State Auditor’s role, the Public Innovations and Efficiencies (PIE) program created by Auditor Sand in 2019, and the most recent investigations completed by his office.

Auditor Sand will be hosting an Allamakee County Townhall Meeting as part of that 100 Town tour this Thursday, September 15. The meeting will take place from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at the Allamakee County Freedom Rock location in the Waukon City Park, located at 1240 Rossville Road in Waukon.

Wed
07
Sep

Veterans Memorial Hospital to host meetings in Allamakee County to discuss City to County conversion

Meetings to begin September 13 in Waukon

This past March, Veterans Memorial Hospital shared its intent to file a petition to invoke a public vote for a City to County conversion and received the Waukon City Council’s support. In July, the hospital turned in a petition with more than enough signatures to earn inclusion on the ballot for the November 8 General Election for voters to vote on this conversion. Veterans Memorial Hospital staff and board members will now visit each Allamakee County community in the next two months to hold meetings to present and discuss the needs and impacts of this City to County conversion.

Wed
07
Sep

Lansing realizes biggest profit of any city participating in RAGBRAI 2022


Heart-felt appreciation for their efforts ... Lansing RAGBRAI 2022 executive chair Ian Zahren (at right) shows his emotion as he and his spouse, Andrew Boddicker, who is being hugged at left by Lansing RAGBRAI committee member Mary Ann Baldwin, were presented with an appreciation gift from the Lansing RAGBRAI committee for their efforts in spearheading the community’s “tire-dip” hosting for this year’s RAGBRAI that came to full fruition the final full week of July. Through the efforts of Zahren and Boddicker, and the many other committee members and volunteers, the Lansing RAGBRAI committee was able to generate an overall profit of $115,400, the largest profit of any community participating in RAGBRAI 2022. All of that profit will now be returned to the Lansing community, a vast majority of which will be made available through mini-grant funding that nonprofits can now apply for. Photo by Bob Raymond.

Lansing RAGBRAI volunteer appreciation celebration held in conjunction with music-in-the-park event ... An added attraction at the Thursday, September 1 music-in-the-park event (pictured above) held at the Farmer’s Market in Lansing was an appreciation celebration for volunteers that assisted with the Lansing RAGBRAI 2022 effort. Through those volunteer efforts, the Lansing RAGBRAI committee was able to generate a profit of $115,400, which will be invested in the Lansing community through donations and mini-grant funding that can be applied for. Photo by Bob Raymond.

by Julie Berg-Raymond

RAGBRAI 2022 is in the books - and Lansing, hosting the end-of-the-line “dip-site” for the third time (1977, 2017 and 2022), made the biggest profit from the event of any participating city this year.

Ian Zahren, Lansing RAGBRAI executive chair, recently announced that the organization generated $208,000 in total revenue (Main Street restaurants and bars made an additional $50,000) and recorded an after-expenses profit of $115,400. By way of context, the 2017 event in Lansing generated $102,855 in total revenue, and recorded a profit of $33,017, after expenses. These numbers, Zahren noted, reflect a doubled revenue, and a quadrupled profit from that 2017 venture.

Wed
07
Sep

Harpers Ferry residents being asked to vote on hotel/motel tax in September 13 special election

Residents within the city limits of Harpers Ferry will be voting on Public Measure AM seeking approval of a seven-percent hotel/motel tax in a special election scheduled for Tuesday, September 13 in Harpers Ferry. The Harpers Ferry Community Center will be the lone polling location for the election, and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The official language that will be on the special election ballot for Public Measure AM reads as follows:

“Shall the City of Harpers Ferry, Iowa, be authorized to impose a hotel and motel tax at the rate of seven percent (7%), effective January 1, 2023, with at least fifty percent (50%) of the revenues derived from the tax to be used for park and recreation programs and facilities for the City of Harpers Ferry?”

A simple majority of 50% of voters plus one more is required to pass the measure. The tax would then go into effect January 1 of the new year for a time period yet to be determined.

Wed
31
Aug

Collaboration between City, State and new owners has AJ Steakhouse preparing to open soon in long-idle building on Waukon’s Main Street


New life for a long-idle building ... After more than two decades of sitting vacant, the building on the southwest corner of the stoplight intersection in Waukon that once housed JCPenney and Tierney’s Clothing Store in earlier years has been brought back to life. Through a collaborative effort by the City of Waukon, State of Iowa and the new business owners, Arturo Barreda and Jose Velarde, AJ Steakhouse is scheduled to be open for business in early September. Standard photo by Lissa Blake.

A view that’s all new ... The main floor of AJ Steakhouse (pictured above), in combination with outdoor seating in the adjacent outdoor plaza to the east, will accommodate up to 175 people when the new restaurant opens in early September. The top floor of the renovated building at the corner of Main Street and Spring Avenue will eventually accommodate private parties of around 40 people. Photo by Lissa Blake.

New kitchen ready to serve up 20-plus menu items ... AJ Steakhouse features a new, state-of-the-art kitchen, which is pictured above prior to its anticipated opening in the near future. The kitchen is designed to work well for preparing the new restaurant’s 20-plus menu items that will be available in a variety of price ranges. Photo by Lissa Blake.

Ready to begin their new venture ... Pictured outside their new restaurant venture in the former JCPenney/Tierney building in Waukon are, left to right, Jose Velarde with his brother, Alvino Velarde, and Nancy and Arturo Barreda. AJ Steakhouse is scheduled to open in early September on the corner of Main Street and Spring Avenue. Photo by Lissa Blake.

Visit by Iowa Lt. Governor, mural by Iowa City artist ... Iowa Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg (left) visits with AJ Steakhouse co-owner Arturo Barreda (right) during Gregg’s Friday, August 26 visit to Waukon. In the background of the above photo is a hand-painted mural by Jesus Rubalcava of Iowa City, who also did the art located inside Fiesta Vallarta. Photo by Lissa Blake.

by Lissa Blake

A long-vacant property on Main Street in downtown Waukon is getting a fresh start thanks to a collaboration between the City of Waukon, State of Iowa and local business owners.

AJ Steakhouse, located in the building known previously as JCPenney or Tierney’s on the southwest corner of the stoplight intersection on Waukon’s Main Street, is set to open early in the month of September.

New building and business owners Arturo Barreda and Jose Velarde first opened Fiesta Vallarta in 2014 just a couple blocks east of their newest venture, and their busy Mexican restaurant has been a draw to downtown Waukon ever since.

A few years back, after the Waukon community lost both Mulligan’s and Gus and Tony’s to fires, the two restaurateurs started thinking about what they could do to fill that void. “We needed more restaurants and we thought the steakhouse would be a good idea,” said Arturo.

Wed
31
Aug

Residents urged to be involved in Allamakee County Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee

Initial planning meeting scheduled for Wednesday

Hazard risks can be natural or man-made, and cover a variety of things, such as storms and flooding, hazardous materials, infrastructure, terrorism, human disease and more. The public is invited to be involved in Allamakee County Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee (HMPC) meetings to identify hazard risks and discuss ways communities can prevent, or mitigate, these risks in the future.

Planning committee members require no previous experience to be involved. The planning process will provide the data, materials and questions necessary to engage stakeholders in thinking about hazard mitigation needs for their community.

Planning committee members will attend up to five meetings over the course of the coming year. The initial planning meeting will be held from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, August 31 at Waukon City Hall, located at 101 Allamakee Street in Waukon.

Wed
31
Aug

DNR to host public meeting on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) August 31 in Waukon

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is hosting an informational meeting on Chronic Wasting Disease Wednesday, August 31 at the Waukon Banquet Center from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The DNR invites everyone to attend who is interested in learning more about what Iowans can do to help slow the spread of the disease.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal disease that affects members of the deer family, including white-tailed deer in Iowa. The DNR began statewide surveillance efforts for the disease in 2002 when CWD was detected in wild deer in some of Iowa’s neighboring states. Since then, the DNR has maintained statewide surveillance efforts in order to monitor the spread of the disease in Iowa’s white-tailed deer population. Following the 2021-2022 hunting seasons, a total of 163 CWD-positive deer have been detected in 12 Iowa counties.
 

Wed
24
Aug

Lansing man arrested on First Degree Murder charges after death investigation from May 9

Andrew Karvel ...
Andrew Karvel ...

May 9 of this year, the Lansing/New Albin Police Department responded to a medical call of an elderly man unconscious and not breathing. When officers arrived on scene, it was determined that 83-year-old Daniel William Lundy was deceased, and a death investigation was initiated.

Wednesday, August 17, the Lansing/New Albin Police Department arrested 67-year-old Andrew Raymond Karvel of Lansing, who was then charged with Murder in the First Degree in connection to the May 9 incident. Karvel remains in the Allamakee County Jail where he is being held without bond.

The investigation remains active and no further information will be released by authorities at this time. The Lansing/New Albin Police Department is being assisted by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Major Crimes Unit, Allamakee County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office.

Wed
24
Aug

Century-old house on West Main Street transported to its new home in Waukon


On the move ... The house that was built in 1911 and stood at 404 West Main Street in Waukon ever since was moved to a new home just about two blocks away in the initial block of 6th Street SW Wednesday, August 17. Members of the Agnes Anderson family, four generations of which lived in the house over the years, were in attendance to watch the house be transported by Aylsworth House Movers, LLC of Wadena. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

A moving experience ... Several members of the Agnes Anderson family, along with other interested on-lookers (all pictured directly above), watched the house that had been called home by four generations of Agnes’ family during the past century be moved from its original location at 404 West Main Street in Waukon to its new home in the initial block of 6th Street SW during a Wednesday morning, August 17 event. Originally lifted from its foundation on the beams of a transporting truck (as pictured in another photo above), the house was slowly moved just a block and a half west on West Main Street before turning the corner at 6th Street SW (photo directly below) and then heading south just a half block to an excavated lot in the middle of the initial block of 6th Street SW, where it was then backed into place (as pictured in lower photo) into its new location. Aylsworth House Movers, LLC of Wadena completed the task. Standard photos by Joe Moses.

by Joe Moses

The two-story house located at 404 West Main Street in Waukon, near St. John’s Lutheran Church, has found a new home just a couple blocks away at 4 6th Street SW, where it begins the next chapter in its 100-plus year history. The home that previously housed several generations of the family of Agnes Anderson of Waukon was moved to that new location Wednesday, August 17, the lot adjacent to the former C-Mart property not far from its century-plus original location.

Wed
24
Aug

Lansing artist Sandi Boyd has found a way to process and survive trauma through making art, with “Brave by Design”

Sandi Boyd ...
Sandi Boyd ...
One of the many “pretties” ...
One of the many “pretties” ... This piece is an example of destructive bloom technique by Lansing artist Sandi Boyd. While acrylic pour painting is a medium beginners can learn and master, there are many techniques involved. Submitted photo.

Serenity Fairy ... “Serenity Fairy” was created by Lansing artist Sandi Boyd using the swipe technique. It is an example of a piece where Boyd combines acrylic paint pouring with the use of “found objects.” Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.
Young art collector ...
Young art collector ... Silas Strong is one of Lansing artist Sandi Boyd’s regular patrons. He is the best kind of art collector - he knows what he likes, and that’s what he purchases. In doing so, he is supporting a local artist, developing his own aesthetic sensibility, and building an art collection that is beautiful and meaningful. This photograph was taken at the Lansing Farmer’s Market during one of his recent visits to the event. Submitted photo.

“Creativity takes courage.”
- Henri Matisse

“It’s a choice. You’ve got to choose.”
- Sandi Boyd

by Julie Berg-Raymond

“I love making pretty things – I call them ‘pretties,’” says Lansing artist Sandi Boyd.

Born in Utah and raised in Lansing, Boyd has been interested in art since she was a little girl. “We’ve got a lot of incredibly talented people in my family,” she says.

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