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Wed
08
Dec

Allamakee County designated a Home Base Iowa Community, voting precinct hearing set at Supervisors meeting


Designated a Home Base Iowa Community ... Allamakee County was officially designated as a Home Base Iowa Community at the Monday, December 6 meeting of the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors. Home Base Iowa (HBI) connects military veterans and personnel, and their families with resources and opportunities in Iowa. Pictured above, left to right, are Allamakee County Board of Supervisors Chairperson Larry Schellhammer, Allamakee County Veteran Services Director Heather Homewood, Allamakee County Economic Development & Tourism Executive Director Val Reinke, Aveka Nutra Processing Human Resources Coordinator Charlie Neubauer, Home Base Iowa Program Manager Jathan Chicoine of Iowa Workforce Development, Allamakee County Board of Supervisors member Mark Reiser and Veterans Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer Michael Coyle. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, December 6 to address a full agenda of items including the consideration of two participation agreements relating to opioid litigation, the designation of Allamakee County as a Home Base Iowa County and setting a date and time for a Public Hearing for the Ordinance describing voting precinct boundaries.

During Public Comment, Executive Director Val Reinke of Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) discussed recent and upcoming events within the county including the Lighted Holiday Parade scheduled for Monday, December 6 in Waukon. Reinke provided an update relating to a childcare survey, housing in Waukon and community development in Postville. She also discussed continued communication with Iowa House Representative Anne Osmundson relating to aluminum can redemption issues faced within the county.

Wed
01
Dec

A Sharp difference! Waukon couple’s volunteer efforts result in hundreds of clean monuments in Oakland, area cemeteries


Before and after ... The photos above and below show the before and after difference in some of the gravestone monuments that have been cleaned by Larry and Shirley Sharp of Waukon over the past year or so in Oakland Cemetery in Waukon. The Sharps began cleaning their own family headstones in Iowa and Minnesota before using their efforts to voluntarily clean other monuments throughout Oakland Cemetery in Waukon and some other area cemeteries, sometimes revealing some remarkable detail but mainly restoring an original look to the monuments. Submitted photos.

by Brianne Eilers

Recent visitors to Oakland Cemetery in Waukon may have noticed a change in the way the cemetery looks thanks to the dedication and hard work of Waukon residents Larry and Shirley Sharp. This year alone, the Sharps have cleaned and given new life to 731 headstones at the cemetery.

Shirley estimated they cleaned around 82 stones last year, and the couple didn’t know how many they have done altogether since they began doing this. The Sharps began dabbling in cleaning up old headstones about five years ago, starting with family grave markers.

“We noticed my dad’s stone was turning black,” Shirley said, and they wanted to know what they could do to fix that. Larry and Shirley contacted Stacey Gossling of Decorah, and learned how to properly clean headstones from her. The Sharps took their newfound knowledge and cleaned up the headstones of both Shirley’s and Larry’s relatives in cemeteries located in Iowa and Minnesota.

Wed
01
Dec

Allamakee County Veterans Museum to host local and documentary videos honoring Pearl Harbor Day

The Allamakee County Veterans Museum will observe Pearl Harbor Day Tuesday, December 7 by offering a program to the public in the Program Room of its new museum in the former Vet’s Club building in Waukon.

Tuesday, December 7 at 6:30 p.m. a video documentary will be presented about the Japanese air raid on the U.S. Naval and Air Bases at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Islands, which marked the entry of the United States into the Second World War.

The Pearl Harbor documentary will be preceded by a video that museum staff are calling “The last summer of peace in Waukon before the War.” It includes movie footage filmed in downtown Waukon in the summers of 1940-1941 by the Cote family for entertainment viewing in their newly opened Town Theatre on Main Street in Waukon.

Wed
24
Nov

The bell still rings on Thanksgiving Day: Complimentary holiday dinner celebrating its 10th year Thursday at former Waterville Lutheran Church


Long-time community centerpiece takes center stage again Thursday in Waterville... Once considered an anchor point of the community prior to its closure in 2010, the former Waterville Lutheran Church continues to be a centering point for the family of Betty and the late Edmond White. Hosting a community Thanksgiving meal in the church basement for the first time in 2012 as a way of saying thanks, the family - along with continued and growing support from the community - will be serving its 10th annual community Thanksgiving meal this Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, November 25, bringing the community together once again at the church at least one time each year. Submitted photo.

by Stephanie Kelley

For 133 years, the bell from a little white church in Waterville rang out on Sunday mornings. It rang for every wedding and every funeral. It rang for every celebration and every holiday. And then, in 2010, it stopped. The little white church closed the doors and stood silent.

Across the Midwest, churches have anchored their communities. Served those in need. Baptized and buried generations of families. Housed social gatherings, and, once a week, brought entire communities together to the sound of church bells. The church was the spark that kept the town alive and a part of its identity. One could find fellowship and a whole lot of potluck within its walls.

Wed
24
Nov

A place to gather: New Albin Splash Pad has successful first year as New Albin Improvement League (NAIL) continues park enhancements


Improvements continuing at New Albin Park... New Albin Improvement League (NAIL) continued to make improvements to the community park area in New Albin throughout this summer, as the new splash pad area proved to be a popular and enjoyable (as evident in photo below) place to be this past summer. In addition to the addition of the new splash pad, a shelter area was added (far left in photo above), updates were made to the basketball courts and surrounding fencing, and a new playground area was also installed. Still in progress is a community garden area that is being planned for completion next year. Submitted photos.

by Lissa Blake

A wonderful first season. That’s what New Albin Improvement (NAIL) member Betsy Whitlatch had to say about the success of the New Albin Splash Pad and additional improvements made to the city park. “This was our first full summer and we heard some really great reviews,” she said.

Whitlatch said adding a new shade shelter to the park area really made it a more welcoming space for people of all ages. “That was a huge addition to the area. We saw lots of kids and families there all summer,” said Whitlatch. Whitlatch said this summer saw higher usage of the basketball courts in the park, and even though the splash pad has been winterized and is closed for the winter, the playground is still seeing some heavy use.

Wed
17
Nov

Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative doing its part to help provide faster internet with West Waukon and northern Allamakee fiber projects


Fiber installation ... A contractor working on the fiber optic installation project in northern Allamakee County gets, literally, down in the trenches to help complete the installation. Allamakee Clayton REC has laid more than 140 miles of fiber optic network during its recent local projects on the west edge of Waukon and in northern Allamakee County. Submitted photo.

Rock solid effort ... When rock is encountered where fiber is being installed, the rock saw is brought out to help make a path. Pictured above, a West Union Trenching employee uses the saw to cut a path through the solid rock in an Allamakee County roadway to make room for the Allamakee-Clayton REC fiber to be placed. Submitted photo.

by Stephanie Kelley

Fiber optic internet is fast. Really fast. Using a download speed calculator, it means that what takes dial-up internet over 331 days, downloads with fiber in 34 seconds. That’s one movie in HD (high-definition). That’s 4.0 GB (gigabytes) of data. It’s easy to get confused when talking about the internet. Isn’t it all just WiFi? Actually, it’s not. WiFi, or wireless internet, is simply another type of internet, like dial-up, like fiber optics. Except that wireless travels through air with high energy radio waves, dial-up sends electrons through copper wire, and fiber optic internet is light traveling through glass.

Wed
17
Nov

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside!” is theme for Veterans Memorial Healthcare Foundation’s 30th Annual Christmas Fantasy scheduled for this weekend

The 30th annual Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation Christmas Fantasy will be held this weekend. The theme will be “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which is fitting for an outdoor Fantasy.

A drive-through of lighted displays will be out in front of the Allamakee County Fairgrounds Pavilion in Waukon for anyone wanting to drive through or walk through evenings during the event, which will be held Thursday-Monday, November 18-22. The grounds will be open from 5-9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday nights and from 4-7 p.m. Monday night. The format of the event was changed again this year to keep the event COVID-safe.

Silent Auction items will be displayed inside the Pavilion for anyone who would like to walk through the display of numerous items. Bidding for all the Silent Auction items will be done entirely online this year. Photos with descriptions of each item will be entered into the online auction website, which is hosted by Sweeney Auction Service.

Wed
10
Nov

Haler family of Waukon has multiple generations, and multiple members of generations, who have served their country


Proud service heritage of three generations of the Haler family ... The family of the late George Haler of Waukon has the honor of having three generations of family members who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. George (left photo above) served in the U.S. Army National Guard in Europe and North Africa during World War II. George’s son, Don Haler of Waukon (center photo above), served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. Eric Haler (right photo above), Don’s son and George’s grandson, is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force and was recently promoted to Colonel. George Haler has also had several other children and grandchildren who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces as well. Submitted photos.

by David M. Johnson

Wed
10
Nov

Midwest Veterans of America to honor 20 local veterans Thursday

Midwest Veterans of America will be hosting a Veterans Day event Thursday, November 11 at Lid’s in Waukon, beginning at 6 p.m. The event will honor 20 local veterans for their service. Those who have additional questions may contact Jerry Halverson at 563-568-5275.

Wed
10
Nov

Patriot Quilters to present quilts to area veterans this Thursday

The Waukon Patriot Quilters will be presenting quilts to several selected local veterans this Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11 at 1 p.m. at the Sweeney Shelter by the Allamakee County Freedom Rock at the Waukon City Park. The public is invited to attend the event and honor their service.

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