North Iowa Times

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Tue
17
Sep

Rivers of water overtake Marquette, McGregor streets following torrential rains


Water covered McGregor’s Main Street the evening of Sept. 12, after torrential rains fell across the area, causing flash flooding and mud slides. (Submitted photo)

McGregor Mayor Lyle Troester reported little damage from the storm, just a lot of water and debris. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Marquette’s Twin Bluffs neighborhood on Pleasant Ridge Road was underwater last Thursday, and some homes were infiltrated by the raging flood. (Submitted photo)

Marquette’s city workers were out early Friday morning, Sept. 13, clearing away a large pile of debris that was deposited onto North Street by flash flooding the evening before. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Muddy, roiling water also washed down Ash Street, from the McGregor Heights. (Submitted photo)

The properties below Marquette's bench evacuation route were some of the hardest hit. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The Mississippi River wasn’t the only muddy, roiling body of water flowing through the area last week. Torrential rains the evening of Sept. 12—on the heals of two storms that days earlier had each dropped inches of precipitation—unleashed rivers of their own down several Marquette and McGregor streets, leaving behind rocks, tree branches and a layer of gooey mud. 

The hillsides bordering Highway 76 between Marquette and McGregor, as well as north of Marquette, didn’t fare any better. Mud slides shot down the banks, felling trees and littering the roadways with rocks that were reportedly as large as basketballs. 

Tue
17
Sep

Bringing back GRRRR: ‘GRRRR Crawl’ event will showcase local flavors

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Even after the GRRRR 5K and 10K races and traditional pancake and sausage breakfast wrap up Saturday morning, Oct. 5, the fun will continue in Marquette, McGregor and Prairie du Chien with the GRRRR Crawl and Poker Run.

The event encourages people to “taste the Ports of Discovery” by visiting participating bars and restaurants for samples of Iowa beers and unique foods.

“It’s a way to get runners into town and to share what we have to offer,” said Ashley Kishman, executive director of the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce, which is organizing GRRRR this year with help from local volunteers.

Tue
17
Sep

Railroad Days will celebrate history along with completion of Depot expansion


Terry Sharp, a long-time railroad employee and president of the Marquette Historical Society, stands in the bright and spacious addition at the Marquette Depot Museum and Information Center. People can check it out this Saturday, Sept. 21, at the annual Railroad Days event. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

The addition was built on the end of the existing Depot structure and more than doubled the size of the space, allowing for more room to accommodate visitors and a growing collection of historical items and photos.

This “donation train,” created by Gencor, is one of the striking features in the Depot’s new space.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

When the Marquette Depot Museum and Information Center hosts its annual Railroad Days this Saturday, Sept. 21, the event will not only celebrate the community’s railroad history, but also the completion of the Depot’s long-awaited expansion project.

“We ran out of room probably 15 years ago,” said Terry Sharp, a long-time railroad employee and president of the Marquette Historical Society. “A lot of stuff was not displayed.”

Tue
17
Sep

Marquette mom spearheads autism safety training session for first responders

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Central State Bank is sponsoring an Autism Safety Initiative First Responders Training at the Marquette Community Center on Thursday, Oct. 3, in an effort to help not only emergency personnel, but the public in general, better understand what autism is and how they can help keep individuals with the condition safe.

The idea was spearheaded by one of the bank’s Marquette employees, Abbigale Martin, a single mother of three boys—two of whom have autism.

According to the organization Autism Speaks, autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. 

Tue
17
Sep

City of Marquette awarded school property


Recent retirees who were honored at the Sept. 9 MFL MarMac School Board meeting included Larry Cox, Kurt Gaylor and Sandra Thornton. They are pictured with school board president Gina Roys and superintendent Dale Crozier. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

School board honors retiring staff members

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The MFL MarMac School Board, at its Sept. 9 regular meeting, accepted an offer of $28,000 from the city of Marquette for 4.9 acres of district property in Marquette’s bench neighborhood.

Tue
17
Sep

Marquette is expanding solar to Driftless Area Wetlands Centre


Dave Schneider was appointed—and sworn in—to the Marquette City Council on Sept. 10. He replaces Pamela Brodie-Fitzgerald, who resigned last month. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Schneider appointed to fill council vacancy

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The city of Marquette is expanding its solar infrastructure to the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre. The council approved the $16,500 project at its Sept. 10 regular meeting.

The move comes seven months after the city flipped the switch on its first project at well number four, in the Timber Ridge subdivision. 

“We’ve saved, already, $2,000 this year on solar at well number four, which is about the equivalent of planting 59 trees,” said city clerk Bonnie Basemann.

Tue
17
Sep

Pikes Peak plans another archery deer hunt

Pikes Peak State Park is planning another managed archery deer hunt this fall, in the hopes of thinning its large herd. 

The hunt will run from Oct. 1 to Jan. 10, and be antlerless only. One hundred tags will be available to Iowa residents; a small game hunting license and habitat fee is required.  

Pikes Peak State Park Manager Matt Tschirgi will hold a registration meeting for interested hunters at the Pikes Peak Shop/Office, 15316 Great River Road, south of McGregor, on Sunday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m. Hunters should bring their hunter’s safety card or hunting license to the meeting, which will also go over guidelines and include a proficiency test. 

Tue
17
Sep

Monona reviews preliminary plans for North Page Street improvements

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The city of Monona hopes to let bids yet this year for the proposed replacement of one block of North Page Street from Center Street to the railroad tracks. The council reviewed preliminary plans, specifications and cost estimates for the project at its Sept. 9 meeting.

According to engineer John Biederman, with Fehr Graham, the project will include replacing the street, which is a well-traveled route to the Monona Fire Department and EMS building, Murphy Helwig Library and several businesses. In addition to new surfacing, he noted that the slope of the street will also be changed to improve storm water drainage. 

Tue
10
Sep

Bringing back GRRRR: A look back at event's history


“It was a special event,” said original GRRRR organizer Don Smalley, pictured here kicking off the 1989 event. GRRRR will be held this fall, on Oct. 5, for the first time in 17 years. (North Iowa Times file photo)

At its peak, GRRRR drew over 600 entrants, who were attracted to the beautiful setting, well-managed race and unique pancake and chicken gravy breakfast. (North Iowa Times file photo)

Over the next few weeks, the North Iowa Times will spotlight the history of the Great River Road - Road Race, as well as the activities that will be offered this year as part of the reincarnation of the iconic fall event. GRRRR will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 8:30 a.m., at Pikes Peak State Park near McGregor.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

After a 17-year hiatus, the Great River Road - Road Race  (GRRRR) will return on Saturday, Oct. 5. That date is nearly 40 years after the first event was held at Pikes Peak State Park in 1981.

Tue
10
Sep

Effigy Mounds art exhibit re-imagines Iowa


An art exhibit on display now at the Effigy Mounds National Monument Visitor Center re-imagines Iowa through the eyes of members of the Ioway tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, descendants of some of Iowa’s original inhabitants. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

“This is a little bit of the past connecting with the present, because we’re all here today looking at the wonderful work, but it’s kind of forward-looking work as well,” said Effigy Mounds Superintendent Jim Nepstad at the exhibit’s Aug. 30 opening reception.

Jessica Pope said the plan is for the Effigy Mounds Visitor Center to become more of a cultural center—"a living, breathing site where all Americans can come together and get to know one another.” The exhibit plays well into this vision.

Reuben IronHorse-Kent is one of five Ioway artists whose work is featured in “ReImagining Iowa.” He spoke about his piece at the opening reception.

Phillip Pursel’s painting features an Iowa corn maiden.

Sydney Pursel took a more interactive approach. “I wanted to make something that was touchable,” she explained. “I wanted to do something that had an impact and would actually contribute to the re-wilding of Iowa.” The result was two gum ball machines filled with seed balls. The balls are made of clay and compost with seeds rolled up in them. Thanks to input from Effigy Mounds staff, Pursel purchased seeds that are specific to the area.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

An art exhibit on display now at the Effigy Mounds National Monument Visitor Center re-imagines Iowa through the eyes of members of the Ioway tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, descendants of some of Iowa’s original inhabitants.

“Many of us who’ve established roots in areas for a generation or two become very attached to those places. Some might have roots in Iowa that are six, seven generations deep. But imagine having ancestors that have been attached to the land for hundreds of generations? They remember a place very different than it looks today,” shared Effigy Mounds Superintendent Jim Nepstad at an opening reception for the exhibit on Aug. 30. 

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