North Iowa Times

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Tue
13
Mar

White-nose syndrome to blame for plummeting bat population


After surpassing 300 as recently as 2016, the bat population at Spook Cave plummeted in the last two years, to just four bats in 2018. The culprit is a highly-contagious fungus called white-nose syndrome. Bat count volunteer Gary Siegwarth snapped this photo of local bats several years ago.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

For roughly 10 years, a group of local caving enthusiasts has made an annual late-February sojourn into Spook Cave, surveying and counting the bat population that’s taken up winter residence in the McGregor-area tourist attraction.

In the early years, around 100 bats could be seen, said volunteer Gary Siegwarth. That number grew over time, surpassing 300 as recently as 2016. Last year, however, the population plummeted, with only eight bats located. This year, the number shrunk again, as just four bats were observed.

Tue
13
Mar

Aid research efforts by becoming a citizen scientist


One example of citizen science—where members of the general public collect and share data about the natural world with researchers and scientists—is the tagging of monarch butterflies (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Butterflies, birds, flowers, water—with a bit of knowledge and initiative, the general public can collect and share data about these things and more, aiding the research efforts of universities and other organizations. The concept is called citizen science.

“Anybody who has a little expertise in something can do it,” said Jim Langhus, a former MFL MarMac science teacher, who spoke about citizen science during the monthly coffee house program at Monona’s Murphy Helwig Library on March 6. “It’s fun, the challenge of it all and helping [researchers and scientists] gather volumes of information.”

Tue
13
Mar

Mobile Wellness Chiropractic brings back the house call

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The days of a doctoral house call might seem like a thing of the past, but Dr. Jessica Sloan is looking to bring the practice back. The 2009 MFL MarMac alumna and recent graduate of Palmer School of Chiropractic has begun providing chiropractic care in the comfort of a patient’s home through her business, Mobile Wellness Chiropractic.

“I’d heard of other house call clinics, so I did some research, and it made sense,” said Sloan, who lives near McGregor. “Have portable table, will travel.”

Tue
06
Mar

Highlighting Inspiring Women: She continues a manufacturing tradition


M's Machine President Casey Drahn (left) and vice president Candace Drahn

Throughout March, which is Women’s History Month, the North Iowa Times will publish a series of articles highlighting local women. Whether through their careers, hobbies, volunteer efforts or unique personalities, these women have become an inspiration to others. Here is our first article, featuring Casey and Candace Drahn, from M's Machine.


By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Monona-based M’s Machine & Mfg. Co., Inc.,  has been one of the area’s leading manufacturers since 1981, when Paul Murphy and Chet Allen opened the company to provide high-quality machining services. Today, M’s is responsible for milling and turning metal and plastic parts for some of the Midwest’s leading agricultural, automotive, industrial and medical manufacturers.

Tue
06
Mar

Fifth graders bring historical figures to life


With bus seat and all, Ava Lindner portrayed civil rights activist Rosa Parks during the “wax museum” event presented by the MFL MarMac fifth graders last week. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

The fifth graders had to stand still for as many as 10 minutes at a time. Pictured here are Harriet Tubman (Isabelle Kirby), Milton Hershey (Rylee Kugel) and Pocahontas (Avery Lamborn).

Each fifth grader also wrote a research paper, highlighting their historical figure’s early life, leadership abilities, accomplishments and legacy. These papers were displayed before each of the students in the wax museum, allowing attendees to read more about the individual as they passed by. Shown with his research paper is Cameron Duffield, who portrayed Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Some of the “wax figures” were more well-known, such as Egyptian queen Cleopatra (Karish Kluth), while others, like Native American dancer Maria Tallchief (Ava Kishman), allowed attendees to learn about someone new.

In addition to looking like their historical figures, students also had to come up with poses to reflect the individual's mannerisms. Keith Anderson wrestled with a snake to best interpret his historical figure, Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter.”

Characters spanned across different centuries, continents and backgrounds. Shown here are Queen Elizabeth (Haleigh Nickolai), Harriet Beecher Stowe (Marie Nierling) and Annie Oakley (Evelyn Ruff).

Jonah Wille, representing Henry Ford, posed with his own Model T.

Sporting a largely homemade costume, Dustin Larson took on the role of America’s first president, George Washington.

With his lantern and tricorn hat, Parker Kuehl was recognizable as Paul Revere.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Henry Ford. Amelia Earhart. Benjamin Franklin. Rosa Parks. These well-known historical figures were among those brought to life by MFL MarMac fifth graders last week, during a special “wax museum” event.

Scattered around the school’s gym, each student portrayed a different character—ranging from politicians and entertainers to inventors and athletes—mimicking their looks and mannerisms. For minutes at a time, they stood still, like wax figures, as attendees traveled around the gym viewing them. The students then came to life, sharing information and answering questions about their historical figure.

Tue
06
Mar

Students tackle big topics through documentary filmmaking


Gigi Darnell (left), Jaxton Schroeder and Dacia Schoulte are among the eighth graders in Scott Boylen’s language arts classes who are creating their own documentaries. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Kaylee Bachman (left), Riley Moreland and Carlie Jones are working on a documentary about Walz Energy.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Only a few months removed from writing their own novels, MFL MarMac eighth graders are now adding documentary filmmaking to their list of accomplishments.

The process began earlier this semester, when students in Scott Boylen’s language arts classes watched several documentaries, identifying the unique features of documentary filmmaking. They also learned about proper interviewing and filming techniques.

Now, after researching a topic of interest, the students—split into small groups—have begun interviewing multiple sources in order to further investigate their topics.

Fri
02
Mar

Faye Marie Kautman

 

Faye Marie Kautman, 75, passed away on Feb. 27, at Crossing Rivers Health Hospice in Prairie du Chien. 

 

Thu
01
Mar

Grace Louise Erickson

 

Grace Louise Erickson, 88, of Farmersburg, died Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Elkader Care Center, Elkader. 

 

Grace Louise was born Dec. 31, 1929, near Rossville, to Sankey George and Minnie (Haman) Van Gorder. She was educated at Jefferson No. 8 Country School in Allamakee County and Waukon Public School. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul Methodist Church in Waukon.

Thu
01
Mar

Maxine Viola Greener

 

Maxine Viola Greener, 96 of Marquette, died Monday, Feb. 26, at the Great River Care Center in McGregor. Maxine had been receiving care there after a fall at her home October 2017.

 

Maxine was born Dec. 19, 1921, in Lakota, the daughter of Korse and Ella (Thaves) Ellman. She was united in marriage on July 1, 1940, at Estherville, to Louis W. Greener.

Tue
27
Feb

Sear resigns from Mar-Mac Police, but other tensions brew on police commission

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The Mar-Mac Unified Police Commission accepted the resignation of officer Rodger Sear III at a special meeting Feb. 22. Sear was suspended from the department after being arrested by the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 16 for several drug-related charges, including manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. 

But that wasn’t the only resignation the commission faced last week. Although he has since rescinded his letter, police chief Jason Bogdonovich considered stepping down, not due to Sear’s situation, but citing conflicts with a member of the commission.

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