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Tue
28
Mar

Northeast Iowa drug trends: Meth still drug of choice, but heroin a growing concern

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Methamphetamine is still the drug of choice in northeast Iowa, but heroin use is a growing concern.

That’s according to a special agent with the Division of Narcotics Enforcement (part of the Iowa Department of Public Safety), who led a presentation about northeast Iowa drug trends on March 23, at Clayton Ridge Middle School in Garnavillo. 

The event was sponsored by the Clayton County Community Collaboration Council (5C), which, through initiatives and education, works to raise awareness of alcohol, tobacco and drug use.

Tue
28
Mar

Library tech help sessions offer both knowledge and comfort for attendees


Murphy Helwig Library Director Chris Bee (far right) shares tech advice with Marilyn Swanson, Ellen LaFrentz and Helen Hanson at one of the library’s tech help sessions. The library will offer these free, informal sessions the third Tuesday of each month, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Having trouble connecting your tablet to Wi-Fi? Curious about the difference between a megabyte and a gigabyte? Wondering how an app on your cell phone works?

Discover the answers to these and other related questions at Monona’s Murphy Helwig Library, during tech help sessions offered the third Tuesday of each month. Anyone is welcome to these free, informal sessions, which run from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

“It’s just to help people with technology, whether it’s phones or tablets,” said library director Chris Bee. “We wanted to create an opportunity for people to ask questions no matter the device.”

Tue
21
Mar

Through speech, teens share pieces of themselves


On Monday, March 27, Ayla Boylen (left), Walter Stavroplus and Anjela Waterman will join talented teens from across the state at the All State Speech Festival. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

On Monday, March 27, three local teens will join talented students from across the state at the University of Northern Iowa, for the All State Speech Festival. 

Ayla Boylen, Anjela Waterman and Walter Stavroplus were nominated for the prestigious event after earning straight ones at the State Individual Speech Contest at Waldorf College on March 11.

Only a fraction of participants are nominated to All State. 

Tue
21
Mar

Storm spotters are local eyes on the sky for NWS

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The National Weather Service (NWS) has 122 offices around the country, all tasked with providing their service areas with weather forecasts and hazardous weather notifications.

“At the National Weather Service, we try to tell the potential of hazardous weather,” explained Todd Shea, warning and coordination meteorologist with the NWS office in La Crosse. “We’re not hypers or storm chasers.”

The main goal, he said, is to create a weather ready nation.

Tue
21
Mar

Three recognized at Eagle Court of Honor


Boy Scout Troop 32, of Marquette-McGregor, held an Eagle Court of Honor ceremony March 19, recognizing three young men—Nicholas Larson (left), Hunter Jensen and Walter Stavroplus—who attained Scouting’s highest rank over the past year. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Boy Scout Troop 32, of Marquette-McGregor, held an Eagle Court of Honor ceremony March 19, recognizing three young men—Nicholas Larson, Hunter Jensen and Walter Stavroplus—who attained Scouting’s highest rank over the past year. 

Larson’s Eagle Scout project involved restoring the Civil War headstones at McGregor’s Pleasant Grove Cemetery. Over a dozen headstones were cleaned and raised to the correct height.

Tue
21
Mar

No more resident-only parking area on the Marquette riverfront

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

A riverfront parking perk for Marquette residents will soon be a thing of the past because, according to the city’s attorney, it could violate several laws.

A city ordinance currently restricts parking in the north riverfront lot (in front of the fishing pier) to only residents who were issued a permit from city hall, without a fee, upon written application and proof of residency. Violators are subject to a $250 fine.

Tue
21
Mar

Marquette water, sewer fee adjustments proposed

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Marquette’s water and sewer committee presented a recommendation for utility rate and service fee adjustments at the March 14 city council meeting.

An independent study, said councilwoman Pam Brodie-Fitzgerald, recently found the city “is severely under-budgeted for what it charges for water and sewer.”

Over the years, Brodie-Fitzgerald said, the fund has been supported by revenue from the boat. Over time, however, that has declined. Plus, she added, the fund is supposed to take care of itself.

Tue
14
Mar

Sullivan Opera House survey results are positive


The results of a survey conducted from mid-November through mid-January to gauge the community’s thoughts about the potential re-use and rehabilitation of McGregor’s Sullivan Opera House (old hardware store) have been released. Most survey responses showed a desire for the building to be renovated or rehabilitated. (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The results of a survey conducted from mid-November through mid-January to gauge the community’s thoughts about the potential re-use and rehabilitation of McGregor’s Sullivan Opera House (old hardware store) have been released.

“I’m very pleased. The majority of responses were positive,” said Duane Boelman, who was recently hired as McGregor deputy clerk and to lead the city’s economic development efforts.

The survey was commissioned by the McGregor Historic Preservation Commission and city of McGregor, with help from the Technical Assistance to Brownfields program from Kansas State University.

Tue
14
Mar

Mar-Mac police officer resigns

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The Mar-Mac Public Safety Commission accepted the resignation of officer Brad McNett at its March 7 meeting. McNett’s resignation will be effective March 16, leaving the department short handed.

A third full-time officer has already been budgeted for in the upcoming fiscal year, however, the commissioners did not move to fill the position, feeling it would be best to evaluate the direction of the Mar-Mac Unified Law Enforcement District first. In the time it would take to hire and certify an officer, the year would be half over.

Wed
08
Mar

MFL MarMac choir members perform at Carnegie Hall


MFL MarMac choir members Micah Decker (left), James Slama, Spencer Rose and Christopher Wright stand with choral director Jaydeane Berns outside Carnegie Hall, where they performed Feb. 19. (Submitted photos)

MFL MarMac choral director Jaydeane Berns admitted she cried hearing her students rehearse in Carnegie Hall for the first time. “It was really powerful, and something I never thought I’d experience,” she shared.

The gravity of the opportunity began to sink in the first night the boys were in New York City, when they saw a poster promoting the concert “The Glory of Freedom,” of which “The Testament of Freedom” was a part. “The first time it hit me was that first night,” Christopher Wright noted, “when we walked by a big poster and saw our school name.”

James Slama, Micah Decker, Spencer Rose and Christopher Wright pose with Lee Nelson, who conducted “The Testament of Freedom.” The boys were previously acquainted with Nelson through the Real Men Sing honor festival at Wartburg College, where Nelson works.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Four MFL MarMac high school choir members had the experience of a lifetime Feb. 19, when they performed at prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City.

“It was a year ago, on April 19, that we found out we were accepted and going,” said choral director Jaydeane Berns.

That “we” included juniors Christopher Wright, James Slama and Micah Decker, along with senior Spencer Rose. 

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