North Iowa Times

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Tue
16
Jul

Medical Associates Monona clinic moving to new location


Starting July 22, the Medical Associates Monona Clinic will be located at 101 Franklin St. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Starting July 22, the Medical Associates Monona Clinic will be located at 101 Franklin St. (formerly the Family Dentistry building). Additionally, the current Medical Associates Monona office on South Page Street will be closed on July 19, as staff prepare to move to the new location.

“Our new location on Franklin Street will allow Medical Associates to better serve the growing needs of patients in this community, and we look forward to serving them for years to come at our new facility,” said Brian Schatz, chief operating officer for Medical Associates Clinic.

Tue
09
Jul

Marquette riverfront property attracts purple martin tenants


Dan Beck (left) and Laurie and Dennis Mason are landlords to a growing population of purple martins on the Marquette riverfront. They are pictured with one of the houses. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Purple martins are native songbirds and the largest bird in the swallow family.

They eat insects and are most active in the early morning and early evening.

All the purple martin houses sit atop tall poles, which the Masons and Dan regularly lower to monitor the birds and maintain the numbered compartments against predators and parasites.

Dennis said the ability to raise and lower houses is key. Without maintenance and supervision, sparrows and starlings will attempt to take over the nests, driving away purple martins and even killing the young. Larger birds, along with raccoons and snakes, can also predatorize purple martin nests. These Marquette “landlords” have installed predator guards on the house poles—the shiny, silver metal preventing other critters from gaining purchase and crawling up to the nests.

Fourteen to 16 pair of the birds, along with nearly 40 babies (recently hatched or still eggs), have now taken up residence in one of two white, multi-compartment houses on the Marquette riverfront.

Purple martins are social birds and nest in colonies. The don't mind the human activity on the riverfront, and have become almost solely dependent on humans for their housing.

The riverfront is now a purple martin sanctuary. Dennis was able to erect this signage and an all-gourd "apartment complex" thanks to funds from the Marquette Action Club.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

A series of “apartments” on Marquette’s riverfront are attracting a growing number of tenants—but not of the human variety. The area has become a sanctuary to purple martin birds, thanks to the efforts of several community members.

“When I was a kid on the west bench of Marquette, an old railroad man had purple martins. That’s where the interest started,” said resident Dennis Mason, who helped establish housing for the birds with wife Laurie and friend Dan Beck, from Elkader. “I’ve been trying for 30 years at home to get them. I gathered information from other enthusiasts and I moved it around, but couldn’t get any to stay.”

Tue
09
Jul

Officers settling into roles with Mar-Mac PD


Mason Kwilinski (left) and J.T. Cunningham are the new full-time officers with the Mar-Mac Unified Law Enforcement District. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

From car accidents and domestic disputes to OWIs and thefts, J.T. Cunningham and Mason Kwilinski have seen a little bit of everything during their first few months as full-time officers with the Mar-Mac Unified Law Enforcement District.

“I even got called to handle a gosling in someone’s driveway,” Cunningham shared.

“It’s been busy,” Kwilinski acknowledged, but the two have valued the learning opportunities.

Cunningham, a Guttenberg native, became interested in law enforcement at a young age.

Tue
09
Jul

Hay Days committee asks city of Monona for greater financial commitment to event

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Hay Days committee chair Teresa Graham said this year’s annual June celebration was a successful one, drawing over 1,000 people to Monona—a 22 to 23 percent increase from 2018. 

“But we need the city’s support to pull it off if this is something you want to continue to grow,” she told the Monona Council at its July 1 meeting.

Financially, the committee is just “scraping the barrel,” Graham said. They fundraised thousands of dollars to put on the event, but, after expenses, only a couple hundred dollars remain for next year.

Mon
08
Jul

Kathleen M. (Mills) Ertz

Kathleen M. (Mills) Ertz passed away Wednesday, July 3, 2019, in Galesville, Wis. She was born in McGregor to Victor and Margaret (Lorang) Mills on Aug. 5, 1928. She married Emil Ertz on Sept. 14, 1957, and they had one son. No matter where she lived, McGregor was always "home." She had many stories to tell of her days there, including being the teller who waited on the bank robber in McGregor in 1957. 

Kathleen is survived by a son, Dan Ertz, her cat NoNo and many beloved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Emil, her brother Francis "Bud" Mills and sister Helen Lenz. 

Donations to the Alzheimer's Association are requested in lieu of flowers. The funeral will be in McGregor on Friday, July 12, at 10 a.m., at St. Mary's Catholic Church, with visitation one hour prior to the service.

Tue
02
Jul

Thanks to donations, Monona fireworks display will be twice as large this year

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

When the Monona Volunteer Fire Department shoots off the city’s fireworks at dusk this Thursday, July 4, expect a show that’s nearly twice as large as last year.

It’s all thanks to an outpouring of support from community members.

“We had really good donations last year,” said volunteer firefighter Andrew Meyer. That’s allowed the department to grow from a $12,000 display to one that’s over $20,000. 

Meyer acknowledged an ultimatum is what spurred the surge in donations.

Tue
02
Jul

Still a 'Great Place'

As 'Ports of Discovery,' Marquette and McGregor area is re-designated

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Marquette and McGregor, as the collectively named “Ports of Discovery,” have been re-designated an Iowa Great Place by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

The news was announced last week, following months of work by a local committee to complete an updated application and vision plan for the area, which was originally designated a Great Place in 2008.

Tue
02
Jul

DNR hits Walz Energy with another violation

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued another notice of violation to Walz Energy, LLC, on June 11, citing the facility’s failure to comply with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) storm water permit, as well as a discharge of storm water into nearby Bloody Run Creek.

Tue
02
Jul

Celebrate Emma Big Bear’s 150th birthday at July 6 event


Five collections of Emma Big Bear and Ho-Chunk baskets, along with jewelry, photos, books and resource materials, will be on display at the annual Emma Big Bear Day, held July 6 in Marquette. (North Iowa Times file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Celebrate the 150th birthday of local icon Emma Big Bear at the annual Emma Big Bear and Ho-Chunk History Day, held Saturday, July 6, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Marquette Community Center.

“We’ve had such a good response from people. The programs are growing,” said Rogeta Halvorson, whose parents, Roger and Connie Halvorson, started the Emma Big Bear Foundation that holds the event each year. “People just love Emma. They have stories about her, they met her, saw her or have one of her baskets.”

Tue
25
Jun

Iowa launches ‘20 Artists, 20 Parks’ to commemorate state park centennial


Artist Barbara Walton has been matched with Pikes Peak State Park for the “20 Artists, 20 Parks” project, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Iowa state parks in 2020. From April through August 2019, faculty and graduate student artists from Iowa State University will each be matched with a state park, creating artwork that reflects their time as artists-in-residence. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

One artist is matched with Pikes Peak

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

In anticipation of the 100th anniversary of Iowa state parks in 2020, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources; the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs; and Iowa State University (ISU) are bringing 20 artists to 20 state parks this summer.

From April through August 2019, faculty and graduate student artists from Iowa State University will each be matched with a state park, creating artwork that reflects their time as artists-in-residence.

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