News

Wed
19
Apr

Assessed values in county rise 5.6 percent

Assessed values in county rise 5.6 percent

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

Assessed values on residential properties, used to determine the amount of property tax someone would pay, rose approximately 5.6 percent this year across Fayette County. 

That doesn’t mean everyone saw a 5.6 percent increase; rather, the increase or decrease varied based upon an individual’s property. The property taxes based on these new assessments won’t be paid until fall 2018 and spring 2019. 

Wed
19
Apr

Koester continues to beat the odds

 

Kenneth and Carolyn Koester (l-r) were married on Aug. 26, 1967. The couple have two sons, Kenneth and Michael. Carolyn was diagnosed with scleroderma in 1993 and has had myriad health issues over the last several years.  (Chris DeBack photo)

 

Koester continues to beat the odds

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

Carolyn Koester doesn’t want to be called an inspiration.

“[My friends at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Eldorado] tell me I’m an inspiration,” she said. “I have never tried to be anyone's inspiration. I have just been me; I just live my life.”

However, it's hard not to be inspired by this courageous, tough as nails woman.

Wed
12
Apr

A perfect example of community pride

 

Turkey Valley Community School, located in Jackson Junction, has an enrollment of approximately 350 students. In a day and age where many rural school districts are struggling to make ends meet, the Trojan community rallied to raise over $60,000 at a recent Turkey Valley Education Foundation-sponsored gala. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

A perfect example of community pride

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

It all started in 2009 when the Turkey Valley Education Foundation was established to help provide additional funding for the Turkey Valley Community School District. 

The organization started an annual gala event that same year to help contribute to additional learning devices for students at the school. This year, the event raised more money than any other year, surpassing $60,000.

“We actually expected to see a decline this year, with the overall and farming economy down,” explained four-year board member Nancy Franzen. “We ended up selling 297 tickets and greatly surpassed our expectations, estimated to be between $60,000 and $65,000.”

Wed
12
Apr

Recreation Department kicking off new season

 

The South Winneshiek Recreation Department’s youth soccer league is off to a strong start. In its inaugural season, over 160 preschoolers through sixth-graders have signed up to play on Saturday mornings in Ossian, which greatly exceeded expectations. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Recreation Department kicking off new season

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

One year ago, the South Winneshiek Recreation Department did not exist. In the past 12 months, the program was officially established, a program director was hired, and the fun began. 

While the Rec Department established several familiar programs like basketball, flag football, baseball, and softball, it also looked to introduce new sports and activities.

Wed
12
Apr

Agreements questioned at Elgin council meeting

Agreements questioned at Elgin council meeting

 

 

Brian Smith
Contributing Writer
bsmith@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

Significant discussion regarding a 28E agreement and a lease agreement between the City of Elgin and some county organizations took place at the Elgin City Council meeting on Monday evening.

   The discussion took place during the early part of the meeting when the payment of bills is typically discussed and either approved or not approved. Councilmember Ron Hills questioned whether the City is responsible for maintenance of a road that leads back to the City lagoon.

Wed
12
Apr

Montauk named a top-3 historical site

 

Wade Schott, Montauk Historic Site curator, displays a top-three finalist certificate for the People’s Choice Site of the Year award. Montauk is a Silos & Smokestack National Heritage Area. (Chris DeBack photo)

 

Montauk named a top-3 historical site

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

Montauk Historic Site in Clermont, a Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area, was recognized on Monday, April 3, as a top-three finisher for the People's Choice Site of the Year award.

Putnam Museum in Davenport was the overall winner of the People’s Choice Site of the Year award, but finishing in the top three is still quite an achievement for rural Clermont historic site. 

“It was an honor to even be nominated. It means someone appreciates you,” said Wade Schott, Montauk Historic Site curator. “To go on and finish in the top three out of this year’s nominees is quite an accomplishment. It shows that our work doesn’t go unnoticed, that the public is aware that we are here and they support us.” 

Approximately 5,000 people visit Clermont’s Montauk Historic Site, Union Sunday School and the Clermont Historical Museum each year. 

Wed
12
Apr

A laugh to benefit the Hawkeye Community Hall

 

 

 

 

A laugh to benefit the Hawkeye Community Hall

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

What do you get when you combine stand-up comedy with a magic show? The Dirty Jokes & Magic Tricks Show on Friday, April 28, at the Hawkeye Community Hall in Hawkeye. 

Proceeds from the event will go to future renovations of the Hawkeye Community Hall. 

This isn’t your average comedy and magic show with stand-up comedian Jeremy “The Mighty Jer-Dog” Danley and R-rated magician Nathan “The Maniac of Magic” Allen. 

Wed
12
Apr

Final day of school June 2

Final day of school June 2

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

On Monday, April 10, at the regular meeting of the North Fayette school board, the last day of school this year for all students, excluding seniors, was approved for Friday, June 2. 

The seniors’ last day will be Wednesday, May 24, two days before graduation on Friday, May 26. According to Duane Willhite, North Fayette and Valley shared superintendent, the school district has 6.75 extra hours available in the schedule; with a school day only being 6.5, it can waive the final day. 

Wed
12
Apr

School boards approve another spring break

 

Ashley Henderson, West Union Elementary first-grade teacher, has her first-grade students back in the swing of things after a weeklong spring break March 20-24. The North Fayette and Valley school boards approved spring break for next year as March 26-30, which is the week leading up to Easter (April 1). 

 

School boards approve another spring break

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The North Fayette and Valley school boards approved March 26-30, the week leading up to Easter on April 1, for spring break for the 2017-2018 school year. 

Whether families had some fun in the sun or stayed around northeast Iowa, North Fayette Valley’s spring break was a much-needed rest for students and staff alike. 

What is a common annual occurrence in many larger school districts in Iowa and across the country, March 20-24, was the first-ever spring break in both the North Fayette and Valley school districts. 

“We have had several people come from other districts where they have had spring breaks,” said Duane Willhite, North Fayette and Valley shared superintendent. “We have been struggling a little bit with general crankiness [such as] disrespect, stress, and tension between teachers and students and students and students. The staff members who have come from districts that had spring breaks have said this semester is a long run with no breaks, especially with Easter being so late. When they have experienced spring break, students and staff come back refreshed and rested, with better attitudes, in better moods, and both students and staff are ready to finish out the year strong.”

When spring break was first discussed amongst the North Fayette and Valley school board members last year, it was always the district's intention to review it after a year. Willhite sent out surveys to students, staff and parents to get feedback on the break. 

Wed
12
Apr

75 years of improving West Union

 

The West Union Lions Club is celebrating 75 years since its establishment on March 19, 1942.  The group will host an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at the North Fayette Valley Performing Arts Center. Current members of the West Union Lions Club include (front, l-r) Dick Woodard, Bob Scott, Wayne Bicknese, Norman Jones, George Woodard, Willie Fritz, Jim Boelman, and LeRoy Soppe; (second row) Pam Moss (president), Carolyn Breuer (treasurer), Ron Saboe, Joe Breuer, Tom Luhman, Amie Johansen, Abbey Ambrosen, and Joyce Friederich; (back) Tracy Weidemann (secretary), Erin Yauslin, Derwin Osmundson, Bruce Bemis, Chris Ebbers, Mark Klinkefus, Bruce Ehler (vice president), Lynn Kelck, and Corey Moser. Chris DeBack photo

 

75 years of improving West Union

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

The West Union Lions Club is celebrating 75 years of supporting and improving the community of West Union. 

The club was started on March 19, 1942, at the Rex Hotel in West Union with 23 charter members. 

It has established a proud tradition of service and charity for the community it supports. 

“Our mission is service and opportunity to others,” said Pam Moss, West Union Lions Club president. “Everything we do is to raise money to give back to our community.” 

Among the more longstanding fundraisers is the Lions Pancake Supper that was started in the late 1970s and continues to this day. The club used to host minstrel and variety shows in its early years and then continued with a candy sale in the 1960s.

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