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Wed
05
Jan

Year in Review - Part II: Top local news stories from July-December 2021


Plans move forward following receipt of $100,000 grant ... The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) recently announced $2.6 million in grant funding to help 26 communities across the state revitalize their downtown districts through the Community Catalyst Building Remediation program. Among the $100,000 grant recipients was the City of Waukon for use in a proposed development agreement and renovation project for the former JCPenney/Tierney’s building (pictured above) on the corner of Main Street and Spring Avenue in the heart of downtown Waukon to be transformed into a steakhouse restaurant. Receipt of the grant funding allows for the estimated $400,000 building renovation project to move forward through a development agreement between the City of Waukon and Arturo Barreda and Jose Velarde, both of Waukon and owners of Fiesta Vallarta Mexican Restaurant just a couple blocks directly east of the former JCPenney/Tierney building location in Waukon. City officials say that development agreement is still being finalized between the involved parties but, in addition to the recently-awarded grant funding, will include a contribution of $200,000 from Barreda and Velarde, along with a $100,000 contribution from the City, part of which is also being funded by another recently received grant through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Derelict Building Program. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

To read the the full article, Year in Review - Part II: Top local news stories from July - December 2021, pick up this week's print edition or subscribe to our e-edition by clicking here.

Below is a portion of that article, July through September, summarizing the top news stories that appeared in The Standard.

JULY
The Eastern Allamakee School District (EACSD) is one of six districts in the state of Iowa to win a competitive grant to establish a therapeutic classroom in the district. The EACSD, the smallest school district to receive the grant, will receive $216,000 to support the programming this year.

Wed
29
Dec

Multiple entities weigh in on continuing issue with redemption of cans, bottles

by Brianne Eilers

The holiday season is here and for many, that means finding themselves with more empty cans and bottles after hosting parties and get-togethers with family and friends. However, with fewer places willing or able to take cans and bottles, and redemption centers closing or struggling to keep up, many people are finding it hard to get rid of their empties.

Iowa is one of ten states in which consumers pay a bottle deposit on cans and bottles containing carbonated beverages and alcoholic beverages. Iowa’s “Bottle Bill” was enacted April 1, 1978, and implemented July 1, 1979, as a way to prevent littering. The program is under the jurisdiction of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Wed
29
Dec

Year in Review - Part I: Top local news stories from January-June 2021


Educating with Ioponics ... A pair of Waukon High School graduates will be helping to educate students across Iowa as part of the Wartburg College Ioponics program that received the Iowa STEM Scale-Up Program Grant. Pictured at right, left to right, Waukon High School 2019 graduate and current Wartburg College sophomore Michaela Dehli and 1989 Waukon High School graduate and current Assistant Professor in Science Education in Wartburg’s Biology Department Dr. Michael Bechtel are part of a team that will be helping to educate Iowa students through the Wartburg Ioponics program, part of which is pictured with the two area natives. Submitted photo.

To read the the full article, Year in Review - Part 1: Top local news stories from January-June 2021, pick up this week's print edition or subscribe to our e-edition by clicking here.

Below is a portion of that article, January through March, summarizing the top news stories that appeared in The Standard.

JANUARY
The New Albin City Council met in a special session Monday, December 29 to discuss a change in the office of Mayor of New Albin. Current mayor Josh Dreps has recently moved outside of the city limits of the City of New Albin, and therefore can no longer serve as Mayor of New Albin.

Wed
22
Dec

Progress continues to be made on solar array project at Allamakee County Public Safety Center as part of Power Purchase Agreement


Solar array project progresses at Public Safety Center ... Work continues at the solar array location near the Allamakee County Public Safety Center north of Waukon. As pictured above, metal posts have been driven into the ground and will soon have solar panels attached. As of mid-December, pallets containing the solar panels (packaged in photo above) have been delivered to this location with installation to begin soon for this solar array, which will supply electricity to the Public Safety Center, two adjacent storage buildings and the Allamakee County Recycling facility. As part of a power purchase agreement (PPA), the investor-owned equipment will utilize solar energy, lower energy costs at the Public Safety Center by approximately $10,000 per year and eliminate the high cost of equipment and hardware which may make this type of project cost prohibitive for some facilities or communities. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

by Joe Moses

Allamakee County is moving forward with plans to utilize solar energy at the County’s Public Safety Center north of Waukon. That location will soon be home to a completed solar array, a collection of multiple solar panels that will generate electricity as a system. This renewable energy option will provide electricity not only for the Public Safety Center, but also for storage buildings associated with that facility in addition to the Allamakee County Waste and Recycling facility located just south of the Public Safety Center grounds.

Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick and Vice President John Nielsen of Perry Novak Electric in Decorah recently provided an update to The Standard relating to this project. Mellick discussed how the solar array project came to be, with the County being approached earlier this year by a contractor and an investor expressing interest in developing a solar array.

Wed
22
Dec

Wednesday evening storm leaves local communities without power


Just a bit of evidence ... This large branch from a tree just north of Waukon provided just a bit of evidence of the minimal structural damage done by the rare mid-December severe thunderstorm that blew through the Upper Midwest Wednesday, December 15. Although there was not a great deal of visible structural damage throughout the area, wind gusts between 60 and 70 miles per hour throughout the area did take their toll on area powerlines, leaving Alliant Energy customers in the town of Waukon without power for approximately four hours late Wednesday evening and again for a couple hours Thursday to aid repairs in surrounding areas. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

A rare December severe thunderstorm roared through Allamakee County and the surrounding area Wednesday evening, December 15, not necessarily causing a significant amount of visible damage but certainly having an impact on local electrical utilities. That impact was both immediate for most of that same night of the storm and then forced to return later the next day in an effort to remedy lingering effects.

Weather forecasters had been advising the Upper Midwest of a weather rarity for that mid-December day that would elevate temperatures into the 60s and ultimately bring strong winds and even stronger wind gusts. Those winds began to pick up throughout Wednesday and ultimately reached peak reports of 60 to 70 miles per hour at various locations in northeast Iowa.

Thu
16
Dec

ATTENTION: Alliant Energy shutting down power in Waukon for 2-hour period Thursday

City of Waukon officials have just received word that power will be shut down in the City of Waukon for Alliant Energy customers at 10:30 AM today (Thursday), and will be shut down for approximately 2 hours. This is being done in an effort to assist with repairs of electrical lines in the area. Please take necessary precautions!

Wed
15
Dec

Rolinda Acres honored with Iowa Venture Award by Iowa Area Development Group


Rolinda Acres is a 2021 Iowa Venture Award winner ... Rolinda Acres, a family farming operation owned by Pat and Tara Reisinger of rural Waterville, was one of eight winners of the Iowa Venture Award presented by the Iowa Area Development Group this year, after being nominated by Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative. Pictured above in the new robotic milking facility at Rolinda Acres are, left to right, Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative General Manager Hollee McCormick, Dairyland Power Cooperative President & CEO Brent Ridge, Pat Reisinger of Rolinda Acres, and Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative Board of Directors President Jeff Bradley. Submitted photo.

The Iowa Area Development Group (IADG), on behalf of Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and independent telecommunications companies, honored eight distinguished Iowa companies and leaders with the Iowa Venture Award at a luncheon held in conjunction with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives’ annual meeting. Among this year’s award recipients is Rolinda Acres of rural Waterville, a family farming operation nominated by Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative.

Rolinda Acres, owned by Tara and Pat Reisinger, is located near the northeast Iowa town of Waterville. The Reisingers have five hog buildings, farm 1,500 acres, milk 785 cows and operate a dog breeding business. In 2001, the Reisingers milked 150 cows. They plan to double the current number of 785 cows in 2023.

Wed
15
Dec

Local COVID-19 positive test numbers climbing once again; First week of December marks highest positivity total in nearly a year’s time

Veterans Memorial Hospital begins limiting visitors again

The positive tests for COVID-19 reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) in its weekly update hit levels not seen for nearly a year in Allamakee County for the first week in this month of December. Albeit a week ago now, the most recent update provided by the IDPH Tuesday, December 7 reported a total of 70 new positive tests for Allamakee County for the timeframe of December 1-7.

Wed
15
Dec

Investigation continues into alleged threat made against Waukon High School

The Waukon Police Department was made aware of a general threat that was said to have been made by a student while at the Waukon High School Tuesday evening, December 7. Although the threat was general in nature, it was taken seriously by the Allamakee Community School District and local law enforcement.

Through a collaborative initial investigation, the student who made the threat was found to be no threat to the safety of the school, students or the community. The student, pending completion of the investigation, was not attending school following the initial claims made.

In a post on the Waukon Police Department Facebook page that also included the above information, Waukon Police Chief Paul Wagner further noted, “I want to assure the public that if there was a threat to the safety of students at our schools, my children would not be in attendance at school, nor would any other children.”

Wed
08
Dec

Allamakee Ecumenical Choir to present 45th annual “Festival of Lessons and Carols” at St. John's Lutheran Church


To perform this Sunday at annual Ecumenical Choir Concert ... Pictured above are the members of the Heartland Barbershop and Gospel Singers, a group that regularly sings at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Waukon and that will be featured at the Ecumenical Choir Concert this Sunday, December 12 at 7 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church. This men’s group has sung at a variety of community functions and the group’s repertoire consists of a variety of selections ranging from “The Star Spangled Banner” to “The Lord’s Prayer” to “Sweet Caroline”. The group’s music has been heard as far away as the Virgin Islands. Left to right are: Front row - Jeff Goettel, Jon Payne, Cameron Berges, James Bieber, Brian Bieber; Back row: Randy Johnsen, Josh Grau, Jonathan Buhl, Gregory Hagensick. Submitted photo.

Live-stream viewing option also available Sunday

The Allamakee Ecumenical Choir will present its 45th Annual Candlelight Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols Service this Sunday, December 12 at 7 p.m. The service will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church located at 8 Fifth Street SW in  Waukon.

Local clergy will be reading the lessons. Christmas carols will be sung by the congregation. Choral numbers will be presented by the Ecumenical Men’s Choir (also known as the Heartland Barbershop and Gospel Singers) and a Women’s Ensemble. Music will also be provided by the St. John’s Handbell Choirs, Waukon High School Brass Quintet, and Baritone Horn Soloist Shauna Johnsen. The program is under the direction of James Bieber with assistance from his daughter, Sarah Bieber, Choral Director at Waukon Middle School and Waukon High School.

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