News

Thu
26
Feb

'Family Feud' grand prize comes home to Iowa

 

The Reicks family from northeast Iowa recently competed on the TV show “Family Feud.” The episode aired Friday evening, Feb. 20, and revealed that the team won the grand prize of $20,000. On the popular television show set are (l-r) Mike Tobin of West Union, Beth (Reicks) Larson of Decorah, Rafael Soriano of Eagan, Minn., Lisa Reicks of New Hampton, and Sarah (Reicks) Soriano of Eagan, Minn. (submitted photo)

 

'Family Feud' grand prize comes home to Iowa

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer

zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

“Name something people are dying to get into,” said “Family Feud” TV host Steve Harvey.

“The front page of the newspaper!” was the enthusiastic answer of Sarah Soriano, the sister-in-law of West Union’s own Mike Tobin.

Tobin and four members of his family, including mother-in-law Lisa Reicks of New Hampton, sister-in-law Beth Larson of Decorah, brother-in-law Rafael Soriano and his wife, Sarah Soriano, filmed the game show episode in August 2014.

On Friday, Feb. 20, the episode featuring the Reicks family aired, revealing that the family had won $20,000 in dramatic, come-from-behind fashion.

Thu
26
Feb

Multi-age classrooms could lower class sizes at Valley

Valley sixth-grade teacher Darin Johnston (upper right) addresses the 30 students in his classroom. Currently Valley has one section of sixth grade, but with a proposed multi-age classroom plan for next year, that number could be significantly lowered.

 

Multi-age classrooms could lower class sizes at Valley

 

 

Brian Smith
bsmith@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

            The use of multi-age classrooms could lead to smaller class sizes in addition to other benefits for students at Valley Elementary for the 2015-16 school year. Principal Micah Gearhart is proposing a plan that would allow for two grade levels to be taught by three teachers. At Valley that would mean second and third grade as well as fourth and fifth grade would be engaged in multi-age classrooms.

            “Looking at our current numbers, we would shift from class sizes of 28-31 to class sizes of 18-22. After looking through the research and running a variety of scenarios, we feel that this can be accomplished without adding additional staff members, therefore making good use of taxpayer money,” explained Gearhart, who is in his first year as principal at Valley Elementary.

           Gearhart said that in his interview process and during the first few days on the job, class size was a very popular topic amongst staff and parents. For that reason, the elementary staff began researching a variety of options that could help reduce class size. After weighing the pros and cons of a several possibilities, multi-age classrooms seemed like the best option to pursue.

Thu
26
Feb

Making magical memories

 

A 2007 Turkey Valley graduate, Heidi (Hageman) Busta recently purchased Wedding and More Rentals in Clermont and has moved the business to Elkader. (Stephanie Hermen photo)

 

Making magical memories

 

 

By Mike Van Sickle
Contributing Editor

 

 

With the joyous memories of her December wedding still fresh in her mind, newlywed Heidi (Hageman) Busta is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to help play her part in developing similar magical memories for future brides and their families.

A 2007 Turkey Valley graduate, Busta recently purchased Wedding and More Rentals in Clermont and has moved the business to Elkader. The new storeowner explained that she and her husband, Nick, originally moved to Elkader because of his employment as a linesman with Alliant Energy.

Wed
25
Feb

Katlyn Lehs: She's got the scoop

 

Some might consider Katlyn's Environmental Services a 'dirty job,' in that it entails removing animal carcasses from roadways and access roads near two wind turbine projects, but Katlyn Lehs says it's not so bad. The job is giving her experience in operating her own business as she pursues a business management degree at Upper Iowa University in Fayette. (Janell Bradley photo)

 

Katlyn Lehs: She's got the scoop

 

 

Janell Bradley
Contributing Writer

 

 

We've all seen them: cats hit by vehicles, dead raccoon on the side of the road belly up, or maybe even a dead deer that makes you want to look the other way as you drive by.

Ever wonder what happens to those animals unfortunate enough not to have won the race to the other side of the road? Talk about dirty jobs.

When her father approached her with the idea of being something of a roadkill manager, Katlyn Lehs wrinkled her nose and she they made jokes about why anyone would want to have that job.

But then she thought more seriously about the pay she'd get in exchange, and Lehs said the idea didn't seem so bad.

Wed
25
Feb

Fayette Marine to be honored with memorial

Three of Pfc Jim Lee's siblings recently got together to look over some of the effects returned to the family after he died in action serving his country during the Vietnam War. From left, Ron Kelly, Maynard; Connie Cole, Fayette and Cindy Olson, Oelwein. Not able to be present was Joe Kelly, of Washington State. (Janell Bradley photo

 

Fayette Marine to be honored with memorial

 

 

Janell Bradley
Contributing Writer

 

 

It was a Wednesday night in March, and Cindy Kelly's mother was getting ready to go to a meeting with a neighbor, when there was an unexpected knock at the door.

A U.S. Marine, accompanied by the town's Methodist minister and a police officer, stood at the door when Delores Kelly answered and learned her oldest son, James Marvin Lee, was dead.

Delores and her young children lived on East Water Street in Fayette with Delores' parents, Marvin and Leona Lee, when they got the news that Jim, 21, had died on March 16 while serving his country in Vietnam. The young soldier had been driving an ammunition truck in Quang Tri Province when the truck struck a land mine. The family was notified on March 19, 1969.

Jim's body arrived back in Fayette on March 27, remembered Cindy, now married to Dale Olson and living in Oelwein. Cindy was about 15 at the time, and her younger sister Connie, about 10.

Both girls can still vividly remember seeing the Marine at the door, bearing the news of their big brother's death.

Wed
25
Feb

Blessing Industries praised for productivity

 

U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (l) gladly autographs a memory book for the grandson of Blessing Industries employee Ken Lawless (r) as company CEO Steve Roehrich looks on.  Grassley toured the factory on Wednesday, Feb. 18, as well as fielded questions from employees. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Blessing Industries praised for productivity

 

 

Zakary Kriener
News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

Iowa’s U.S. Senator Charles Grassley toured the Blessing Industries Prairieland headquarters in Fayette on Wednesday morning, Feb. 18. Grassley was greeted by a wealth of company representatives and associates, including CEO Steve Roehrich, vice president Bob Besal, general manager Mike Burkhart, representatives from Upper Iowa University and Northeast Iowa Community College, and Fayette Mayor Andrew Wenthe.

Blessing Industries Praireland is a light sheet-metal producer that makes products for Fortune 500 customers around the world. The company came under new leadership in November 2014, joining facilities in Oelwein and Quasqueton.

Wed
25
Feb

Council to host budget hearing Monday

Council to host budget hearing Monday

 

 

The West Union City Council will host a public hearing Monday in regard to the proposed 2015-2016 fiscal year budget. The proposal includes an approximate 28-cent property tax levy increase.

If approved, the increase would raise the local city property tax levy to approximately $15.04 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. The estimated tax rate on ag land would remain at $3.

A minimal increase in property tax levy revenues is projected to be collected under the proposed budget (from $1.06 million to $1.08 million) for the next fiscal year.

City Administrator Teresa Ruroden acknowledged last week that the lone department to see a significant cut to its budget compared to last year was the council’s decision to eliminate approximately $16,500 from the library budget.

Thu
19
Feb

South Winn speech students to perform at All-State Festival

 

The South Winneshiek Readers Theatre group was selected by the judges as outstanding material for their performance of “Elephant Graveyard.” They will perform at the Large Group All-State Speech Festival on Feb. 21 at the ISU Center in Ames. Members of the group are (front, l-r) Libby Manning, Alyssa Timp, Tiana Bullerman, Monica Schwartzhoff, and Josie Kriener; (back) Sawyer Breitsprecher, Mahagoni Boe, Riley Ott, RaeAnn Klimesh, and Savannah Nesvik. Not pictured: Dylan Hageman and Danae Taylor. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

South Winn speech students to perform at All-State Festival

 

 

The South Winneshiek High School speech team received three Division I ratings on Saturday, Feb. 14 at the Northeast State Large Group Speech Contest in Decorah.

Over 100 area high schools competed in the event, with South Winn’s Readers Theatre group receiving an Outstanding Material Selection by the judges. This team, consisting of 12 students, will perform at the All-State Speech Festival on Feb. 21 at the Iowa State Center in Ames.

Thu
19
Feb

Future Direction Committee convenes

 

The South Winneshiek Future Direction Committee held its first meeting last Wednesday, Feb. 11, in Calmar. An overall agenda and timeline were established, as well as chairpersons and secretaries, which included (l-r) Michelle Dietzenbach, co-secretary; Tom Bushman, vice-chairman; Steve Carnesi, chairman; and Brenda Frana, co-secretary. The group will meet once a month over the next seven months to develop a recommendation for the South Winneshiek board of education in regard to the future direction of the local school district. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Future Direction Committee convenes

 

 

The South Winneshiek Future Direction Committee, which was chosen at the February board of education meeting, held its initial meeting Wednesday, Feb. 11, in Calmar.

The meeting began with all 25 committee members introducing themselves and sharing their association with the South Winneshiek school district.

Committee members then voted on a chairperson and committee secretary. The top two vote-getters for the committee chairperson, Steve Carnesi and Tom Bushman, were elected chairman and vice-chaiman, respectively. There was a tie for most votes for secretary between Michelle Dietzenbach and Brenda Frana. Committee members agreed to make both co-secretaries.

Thu
19
Feb

Council approves sewer grant application

Council approves sewer grant application

 

 

Brian Smith
Contributing Writer
bsmith@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

            The Elgin City Council approved a USDA World Development Search Grant at its meeting Monday night, Feb. 16. If received, the grant will allow the City to do a sanitary sewer study on its sewer system that will include cleaning and televising of specified lines, a list of proposed improvements to the system, as well as a cost analysis of the suggested improvements.

            Jim Holz, a representative from MSA Professional Services, was on hand to explain the details of the grant.

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