News

Wed
08
Apr

Mobile Food Pantry

Mobile Food Pantry

 

The West Union Mobile Food Pantry is Saturday, April 11, at 9:30 a.m. at the Cross Fire Church, West Union.

The new system will be a single-car drive through in the parking lot; the church will not be open.

Each client will receive two boxes of food off the parked Northeast Iowa Food Bank truck.

For additional information, contact Ann Huchens, 422-3111.

Wed
08
Apr

Winneshiek Medical Center provides COVID-19 capabilities

Winneshiek Medical Center provides COVID-19 capabilities

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

The Bee recently had several questions about COVID -19 and what was being done locally to battle the virus that they asked of the Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah. Four cases of COVID – 19 have been confirmed in Winneshiek County with no deaths.

WMC officials provided these responses.

How many ventilators does the hospital have?

• We have one ventilator, and two machines that can be converted for this use, if necessary.

• We work closely with Mayo Clinic and Gundersen Health System if critical patients need a higher level of care. At this time, we would continue to follow normal protocol and extremely ill patients would still be referred to our primary referral centers at Mayo Clinic and Gundersen Health System.

How many coronavirus tests are available?

• We have a limited number of tests. 

• We are only testing patients who fall under Iowa Department of Public Health criteria.  There is a national shortage of test media (what keeps the swab “alive” on the way to the testing lab) and we are not able to test everyone.

Wed
08
Apr

Mayor declares state of emergency for Ossian

Mayor declares state of emergency for Ossian

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

Ossian Mayor Bryan Beckman announced that he has signed a proclamation recognizing declared state of emergency for the city of Ossian and authorizing municipal response. 

“The proclamation is no more restrictive than the federal, state, and county proclamations.  It is yet unknown what if any response from a City level would look like. The situation changes daily and we will have to take it as it comes,” the Mayor explained. 

The Ossian City Council used a seating arrangement that met social distancing guidelines at the regular meeting Monday evening, April 6, at the Ossian Community Center. The council approved several resolutions, including Resolution #630 (addressing enforcement of grass and lawn debris blown onto City streets and alleys), Resolution #631 (approving FY2020/2021 wages), and Resolution #632 (amending the employee handbook vacation benefits section).

Wed
08
Apr

Easter Bunny out and about in West Union

Easter Bunny out and about in West Union

 

The Easter Bunny will be out and about in West Union on Saturday, April 11!  The bunny will be following a route throughout town starting at 10 a.m. on East Main st. and moving around town.  The bunny would love for anyone who wants to say “hi!” to step out and wave to greet him as he goes by! 

Wed
08
Apr

Social Distancing Easter Egg Hunt

Social Distancing Easter Egg Hunt

 

Easter egg and Easter basket hunts across the country have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped the community of Elgin from putting on their own version of the annual tradition.  

            This week, Elgin residents are encouraged to make and decorate eggs at home and hang them in their windows for area youngsters to “hunt.” 

            “It’s just a great way to make sure we get the kids out and walking while we celebrate Easter,” said Cindy Torkelson of the hunt.  “It’s hard not being able to do what we normally do this time of year, and this is a good way to get as close to that as we can!” 

            The Easter egg hunt is the second of its kind in the area, as residents had previously invited area children on a “Bear Hunt,” looking for teddy bears sitting in windows throughout town.

Wed
08
Apr

Fayette Council decides to waive water shut offs and late fees

Joshua Barker was sworn in as a new police officer at the Fayette City Council meeting, Monday. (Submitted photo)

 

Fayette Council decides to waive water shut offs and late fees

 

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

The Fayette City Council decided to forgive any late fees and not do any water shut offs in regards to late payments of city water bills, following examples being done in other cities as part of a reaction to the COVID – 19 situation.

“I don’t think we should be turning off people’s water at this time. Especially when people are being asked to be extra hygienic and with the other factors they could be experiencing that we don’t know about. They don’t need any additional stressors. We don’t want to be seen as heartless,” said council member Amy Tucker at the regular council meeting, Monday, April 7, via phone conference.

Unemployment as a result of shutdowns was one of the factors brought up that may be a reason for the water bills not being paid in a timely manner.

It was decided to put a hold on the late fees and shut offs until May 4.

The Council also approved the hiring of a new full-time police officer,  Joshua Barker, at an annual wage of $39,117.

Wed
08
Apr

Fayette Library locked but not completely shut out

The Fayette Library is now closed for for those who are interested in reading on electronic devices or computers, there are now helpful guides to get you started at the Fayette Post Office on the Library bulletin board. There are three to choose from - one is for Libby, the easy-to-use reading app; one is for Overdrive, useful for older devices that do not support Libby; and one for those who prefer to read through their Kindle device. If you have internet at home, they can also be found as a PDF on the eBooks/audio section of the Library website https://www.fayettelibrary.lib.ia.us/ebook-audio. (Submitted photo)

 

Fayette Library locked but not completely shut out

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

The Fayette Community Library is closed, well, not exactly.

Many area libraries are closed as we face the covid-19 threat but Fayette Library Director Annette Butikofer is finding ways to still make the Library accessible. 

“It makes sense to close and wait out this pandemic and most  libraries in this area are closed until further notice. Staff may still be working, as libraries are responsible for far more than most people know. But some libraries, including Fayette Community are doing their best to protect staff and patrons while offering a tiny piece of normal for these hard days,” Butikofer shared.

According to Butikofer, Fayette is one of the very few libraries offering “curbside” service. 

Wed
08
Apr

Public Health official gives update on COVID - 19 battle capabilities

Public Health official gives update on COVID - 19 battle capabilities

 

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

 

Fayette County Public Health Information Officer Jamie Hoey recently went through a checklist of what the County has available in terms of prevention and care when it comes to battling COVID – 19.

She said Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital in West Union does not have ventilators but would have means to aid patients until a ventilator could be provided. 

“We have the ability to keep a patient ventilated until a transport arrives,” she pointed out.

When it came to kits for testing for COVID – 19, a specific number of kits on hand was not available but Hoey said the demand was not out numbering the supply.

Wed
08
Apr

NFV plans to begin distance learning

 

 

 

 

Area students are bringing the classroom into their living rooms as schools begin online learning while shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Here, North Fayette Valley third-grader, Mikah Opperman (right) does a little online school work with her teacher, Karen Schmitz (on screen) while her big sister Morganne Molseed, (left) a senior at NFV, works on her own online school work.  (Megan Molseed photo) 

NFV plans to begin distance learning

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

As Iowa's confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to climb, Governor Kim Reynolds extended to April 30 business and school closures, during her April 2 press conference. The order also included a further suspension of non-essential surgeries and a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.

The school closures, which officially took effect on March 15, had been set to expire April 13.  

With this recent announcement, the North Fayette Valley school district is working hard to make sure all students have learning opportunities available to them, in order to meet standards critical for a student to continue on to the next grade level. 

“We are planning a ‘soft start’ on distance learning next week, with each teacher at the elementary providing learning opportunities for math and reading and each teacher at the middle school and high school providing one learning opportunity for each content area,” noted North Fayette Valley Superintendant, Duane Willhite.   “As per the directions from the Iowa Department of Education, (the district) is recommending the activities, however, they are not required.” 

Wed
08
Apr

Farm Families; keep doing what we do in face of pandemic

 

 

Farm Families; keep doing what we do in face of pandemic

 

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

Food isn’t something that people think too much about, other than what they’re going to have to eat, until times like these come along.  Now peoples’ thoughts are turning more towards “is there going to be enough food?”, “what kinds of foods will be available?’ or “where will the food come from?’

Right now, one of those food providers, Fagle View Farms, owned by Dan and Melissa Fagle, haven’t let up a bit in the wake of the COVID – 19 pandemic.

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