News

Wed
16
Sep

End of an era, Heying Firms, Inc. auctions land parcels

After 80 years in business, Heying Firms, Inc. sold five parcels of land to local farmers last week.  Hertz Farm Management organized the auction, which was held last Thursday at the Event Center in West Union.  (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

End of an era, Heying Firms, Inc. auctions land parcels

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

"Our family was very appreciative of the turnout for our auction last Thursday.  We were very happy the parcels that were offered all went to local farmers,” said Therese (Heying) Slack of last week’s land parcel sale of her family’s business Heying Firms, Inc.  “Of course, as all farming families know, it is a bittersweet moment to sell land that has been in the family for so many years, but the time had come.” 

Wed
09
Sep

Library moves to next phase of reopening plan

Library moves to next phase of reopening plan

 

 

The Ossian Public Library has moved to the next phase of its reopening plan. The Ossian Public Library will be open during its regular hours of Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 2 until 5:30 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays from 2 until 7 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon.

The Library will continue to offer curbside service where patrons may call the library at 562-9461 to set up a time to pick up their materials. The library also currently has two computers available for use for 30 minutes at a time.

The library staff will continue to follow State-mandated guidelines to decrease the risk of viral spread. Library officials asks visitors to use hand sanitizer, wear a mask, follow social distancing guidelines, keep visits to 30-40 minutes, and return materials in the outside book drop.

 
Wed
09
Sep

Two high schoolers test positive for Covid at South Winneshiek

Two high schoolers test positive for Covid at South Winneshiek

 

By Jack Swanson
jswanson@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

Two students at South Winneshiek High School have tested positive for COVID – 19 a week after school started.

“We did have two students at the high school test positive for COVID-19 on Monday, Aug. 31.  These students are currently being isolated and remote learning from home.  We worked closely with the Winneshiek County Public Health to ensure proper guidelines were followed,” said Superintendent Kris Einck.

He reported that the District performed contact tracing to determine if any students needed to be quarantined for preventative measures.  

“These students are remote learning from home while in quarantine.  We are confident the hybrid schedule deterred the amount of students exposed.  We will continue with all of the mitigation measures in place including but not limited to requiring face masks in the school buildings and buses, social distancing, hand washing, and frequent sanitizing.  Again we are just very appreciative of everyone's support to help us provide a safe and healthy learning environment for our students,” Einck said.

Otherwise he said there hasn’t been any problems since classes started.

Wed
09
Sep

Council approves new Ossian four-way

Council approves new Ossian four-way

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

The Ossian City Council met at a special time on Wednesday, Sept. 2, due to the Labor Day holiday on Monday. 

The meeting was highlighted by a unanimous vote to implement a new four-way stop sign at the new Jessie Street/Brooks Street intersection. Previously, the three-way intersection had only one stop sign.

The new signage and traffic procedures are expected to go into effect within the next week, but no earlier than Wednesday.

Wed
09
Sep

Getting creative in the classroom during COVID 19

Celia Klemp enjoys a little time in the special seating area in Renee Larson’s first-grade classroom. In order to stay safe in the time of COVID, Larson has gotten creative with the option, allowing her students to make towel forts at the end of a long school day.  

 

Getting creative in the classroom during COVID 19

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

It’s easy to feel at home in Renee Larson’s first-grade classroom on NFV’s Valley Campus.  

Decorated almost entirely in hues of browns and creams with hints of greens and pops of orange scattered around the room, there is a sort of homey comfort to the grade school classroom.  

Larson’s own easy-going and friendly nature adds to the aura, as the energetic teacher always has a smile on her face, ready to break out in song, sit on the floor with her pupils, or even act out one of her class’s favorite story books. 

Looking at Larson’s students feeling so at home in Mrs. Larson’s room, it is almost hard to believe that we are in the middle of a pandemic that has changed classrooms, and school days, across the country.

Save for a few telling clues such as the masks on the children’s faces hooked to lanyards, Larson’s own PPE, or the bare spots that once held some of the longtime teacher’s “special seats,” this classroom seems like any other classroom that has ever existed pre-pandemic.  

“It’s definitely different,” the young teacher said as she guided her students to the hand washing station right after a recent assembly.  “We’ve made a lot of adjustments, but it seems to be going really well so far.” 

While making adjustments to her classroom amid the COVID-19 pandemic have made the beginning of the school year a little more challenging for the instructor, she is just happy to be back in the classroom with students.   

“I was sad to not get to finish the year in person with my students last year,” Larson said of the abrupt end to the previous school year.  “I sent the students a lot of mail and delivered materials to their doorsteps.” 

“The other first-grade teacher and I worked together to come up with a plan, making welcome videos each week,” she continued of how she and her colleague kept her classes going through a variety of distance learning techniques with unique themes and a variety of Google Meet sessions. “I would make all the literacy videos and she made all the math videos.” 

While making the distance learning fun worked well for the creative teacher, she was ready to get back into her room, face to face with her students as the 2020-2021 school year began.  

“I'm so glad to be back in person with students!” Larson exclaimed, adding that while she is excited to be back, this year is looking a little different than any of her classrooms in her 15 years of teaching had in the past. 

“In the past, I've had lots of ‘special seats’ that we would share or take turns with such as bean bags, or rugs, and a lot of extras in my classroom such as lamps, end tables to make it homier,” she said.  

“I did some adjusting and limiting of things but overall am happy with how my room turned out and it still is homey,” Larson continued with a smile. “We do still have ‘special seats’ but they are just on the carpet and spaced out 6 ft. apart around the whole room, and each child goes to the same one each time rather than having that free choice.” 

While she has made her room compatible with COVID-19 related safety and social distancing guidelines, Larson also tries to stay creative to mix up the day for her students.  

“We've had to get creative with some of our team building type things and take those activities outside but that makes it even better,” she smiled. “I also had all the kiddos bring a beach towel from home that we use when we take our learning activities outside for fun too!”  

Larson is also using her own home experiences to help her prepare for the new school year.  

“With my own boys, my oldest does best with the disposable masks since he has glasses, and my youngest does best with the cloth,” she said. “I make sure they each have masks ready each day with a lanyard so when they do get to take it off it doesn't go far!” 

Even though Larson’s students do provide their own masks, she has made sure that each one has a lanyard to make sure no masks are lost.  She also has a stockpile of extra masks just in case. 

“My students provide their own masks, but I do have disposable ones on hand if need be and a church has donated extra cloth masks now too,” she said with a smile.  “I did get lanyards for my class to use and that has been a lifesaver! The kiddos are doing great bringing them back and forth each day!” 

According to Larson, the daily schedule has been different from the past, but its something she and her students are quickly adjusting to.  

“The kiddos are adjusting to air-high-fives and hugs,” she smiled. “Plus they actually really love eating in the classroom and having the specials teachers come to us!” 

Cleaning is another component that has become more of a focus for Larson’s school day.  

“Our schedule has more cleaning built in since we eat in our rooms, we wash our desks before and after we eat,” she said.  

“We've always washed our hands at arrival, and before and after we eat, but now we are sanitizing more too,” she said. “For instance, if a child comes to work with me one on one at my table they sanitize before and after and then I sanitize the spot they were at and any materials.” 

Her student’s morning routines have changed as well. 

“We've also changed our morning ‘tub time,’” she said.  “It used to be with shared manipulatives as the kiddos came in the door, this year they each have their own bag of materials that they keep for a week, then I sanitize and change to a new manipulative for the following week.”  

In the classroom, students and teachers are required to wear a mask, but Larson makes sure her students have moments to take off the protective gear throughout the school day.  

“We have built mask-breaks into our schedule by taking more learning outside, and also using our designated measured out spots around the room,” she said.   

“The kiddos are really doing great with it all, especially now that isn't quite so hot,” she added.  “They are really adjusting well.”   

Wed
09
Sep

Feldmans are already in love with this Grandparenting thing!

 

First-time grandparents Tim and Marla Feldman were ecstatic when their son Brady and his wife Brittany announced they were expecting their first child in the spring on 2020. Bowen Allan Feldman was born April 23, 2020 weighing 9 lbs 9 oz., measuring 21 inches long.  The couple recently rented a cabin to celebrate their 30thanniversary with their children and of course, little Bowen. (submitted photos)

 

Feldmans are already in love with this Grandparenting thing!

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

“We found out last fall when they came home for a visit and handed a present to us,” smiled first-time grandmother, Marla Feldman of the moment she found out her son Brady and his wife, Brittany, were expecting their first child.  “When we opened it, it was a frame that said ‘Grandma & Grandpa est. 2020!” 

For Marla and her husband Tim, it was the best news they could hear.  

“It was a wonderful surprise,” Marla grinned.  “We have always wanted grandchildren to spoil whenever we get the chance!” 

Wed
02
Sep

Winneshiek County Auditor lists local candidates

 

Winneshiek County Auditor lists local candidates

 

Winneshiek County Auditor Ben Steines announced that absentee Voting through the mail and in-person will begin Oct. 5.  

According to Steines, all registered voters in Iowa will be getting an absentee ballot request form in the mail from the Secretary of State in the first part of September.  

“Forms need to be completed including an Iowa drivers license number or voter PIN number if the voter does not have a drivers license.  Forms also need to be signed by the voter,” Steines said.

 Completed forms should be returned to the Auditor’s Office by dropping them off or mailing them to: 201 W Main St, Decorah IA  52101.

Wed
02
Sep

Decorah Pride 2020 canceled due to Coronavirus

 

Decorah Pride 2020 canceled due to Coronavirus

 

With heavy hearts and fantastic hair, the 2020 Decorah Pride Committee announces the cancellation of this year’s Decorah Pride Festival.  

Pride 2020, originally scheduled for May 11 was postponed to Sept. 19. “However, the continued and rising presence of coronavirus infections in Northeast Iowa has made cancellation necessary,” said organizers.

Wed
02
Sep

Sheriff's Office helps with Farmers to Families Food Box program

Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office officers are shown helping to distribute food throughout the County. Pictured are (l-r) Curtis Dundee, Sheriff Dan Marx, Josiah Draka, Maya Draka, Jack Draka, Devon Lubke (kneeling), Brian Mincks, and Chief Deputy Jeff Berns. (Submitted photos)

 

Sheriff's Office helps with Farmers to Families Food Box program

 

The Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office is working with Iron Ridge Church in Waukon to assist with distributing food to those in need.  

Through a federal USDA relief program, Farmers to Families Food Box, that assists farmers, distributors and families; Iron Ridge Church in Waukon is receiving large shipments of food.  The Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office is transporting some of the food to Winneshiek County and distributing it to food pantries (Calmar and Decorah) and various other organizations, and families throughout the county.  

Wed
02
Sep

Ney takes on youth director role at NFVCC

Allie Ney has recently been named the North Fayette Valley Community Coalition’s (NFVCC) Youth Development Coordinator.  Ney is excited to get the ball rolling in her new position hopefully organizing some social-distancing youth nights at the NFVCC center in the near future. (Megan Molseed photo) 

 

Ney takes on youth director role at NFVCC

 

By Megan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

“I can always count on her to go above and beyond and I think her role as the NFVCC Youth Development Coordinator is a perfect next step,” said NFVCC (North Fayette Valley Community Coalition) Director, Stacie Schroeder of Allie Ney, the coalitions newest youth development coordinator.  

Allie is responsible, energetic and motivated,” continued the director.  “She was willing to go above and beyond and really knows how to connect with people.” 

“I started working for Stacie when I took a position at the TigerHawk Connections Learning Center program (TCLC) while I was a senior in high school,” said Ney, a 2017 North Fayette Valley graduate.  “During the summers and breaks, I started working for the program daily, and I really loved it!” 

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