North Iowa Times

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Tue
21
Feb

Effects of Luster Heights closure already being felt


On Feb. 8, the Iowa Department of Corrections announced a suspension of operations at four facilities, including Luster Heights, located near Harpers Ferry. The effects of the decision are already being felt. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Luster Heights Correctional Facility now sits empty, just two weeks after the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC) announced a suspension of operations at the facility as well as three other units around the state.

According to DOC Director Jerry Bartruff in a statement on Feb. 8, the move to shutter the doors at Luster Heights—along with the Lodge Unit in Clarinda, the John Bennett Unit in Fort Madison and the Sheldon Residential Treatment Facility—was made in order to cut the DOC’s fiscal year 2017 budget by $5.5 million.

Tue
21
Feb

MFL MarMac teachers find additional way to collaborate with one another, community


MFL MarMac teachers have discovered a new way of collaborating with one another and the community...and it all begins by placing a simple sign outside their classroom doors. The signs, like this one, invite people observe lessons and provide feedback. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

MFL MarMac teachers have discovered a new way of collaborating with one another and the community...and it all begins by placing a simple sign outside their classroom doors.

The signs invite people—be it staff, school board members, parents or other members of the community—to enter classrooms, observe lessons and provide feedback about what they’ve seen and heard.

The movement is called #ObserveMe, and was created by California math teacher specialist and educational trainer Robert Kaplinsky in order to foster more collaborative school environments.

Tue
21
Feb

Marquette Council gives go-ahead for emergency evacuation route survey

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

At its Feb. 14 regular meeting, the Marquette Council gave Bart Nies, with Delta 3 Engineering, the go-ahead to perform a survey for an emergency evacuation route off the bench.

The council considered two possible routes that would go over the bluff and come out in McGregor, near Eagle Drive. The route would be gravel and used strictly for emergencies. One option would forge a new road through city property and another, using an already existing road, would travel through both city and private property.

Tue
21
Feb

Bulldog wrestlers earn valuable experience at state


Freshman Ethan Stubbs (left) and sophomores Michael Egan, Korby Keehner and Nathan Johanningmeier were the youngest group MFL MarMac has ever sent to state.

Sophomore Korby Keehner placed eighth in the 220-pound weight class, becoming the fourth Keehner to bring home a medal for the Bulldogs.

Korby Keehner (far left) stands on the podium at the IHSAA State Wrestling Tournament.

Sophomore Michael Egan (132 pounds) wrestles in his second state tournament.

Despite suffering two close losses in the state tournament, sophomore Nathan Johanningmeier (152 pounds) is “not far away” from advancing further said head coach Chet Bachman.

“It was neat to have a freshman go to state,” said head coach Chet Bachman of Ethan Stubbs, who wrestled at 106 pounds.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

MFL MarMac returned from the state wrestling tournament with some hardware, following an eighth-place finish in Class 1A by sophomore Korby Keehner. Three other wrestlers—freshman Ethan Stubbs and sophomores Michael Egan and Nathan Johanningmeier—did not place, but picked up some valuable experience.

“I’m proud of these guys,” said head coach Chet Bachman at a welcome back event at the high school Feb. 19. “They had their work cut out for them.”

According to Bachman, with three sophomores and one freshman, this was the youngest group MFL MarMac has ever sent to the state tournament. It’s the largest in 10 years.

Tue
14
Feb

Operations suspended at Luster Heights


On Feb. 8, the Iowa Department of Corrections announced a suspension of operations at four facilities, including Luster Heights, located near Harpers Ferry. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Luster Heights Correctional Facility, located outside Harpers Ferry, has been on the chopping block before.

“This happens every few years in February, at budget time,” noted McGregor City Administrator Lynette Sander.

It’s always managed to stave off closure, though, most recently in 2009 and again in 2013. This time around, however, Luster Heights, which is a minimum-security satellite facility of Anamosa State Penitentiary, won’t be so lucky.

Tue
14
Feb

‘It embodies the spirit of the landscape’


Edmore Green, tribal chair of the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska, was one of several featured speakers at the launch of the “America the Beautiful” coin honoring Effigy Mounds National Monument on Feb. 7. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

“We’ve been making coins for 225 years, and now we have another one,” said Marc Landry, superintendent of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. The Effigy Mounds quarter was the 36th in the “America the Beautiful” coin program.

Many of the mounds created over 2,000 years ago are now gone, said Effigy Mounds Superintendent Jim Nepstad, “but thankfully, many were preserved in places like Effigy Mounds.” Nepstad spoke at the coin launch held Feb. 7, in Waukon.

Effigy Mounds quarter launched

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

“We’ve been making coins for 225 years, and now we have another one.”

Marc Landry, superintendent of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, was one of several featured speakers at the launch of the “America the Beautiful” coin honoring Effigy Mounds National Monument on Feb. 7. Over 1,000 people packed the gym at Waukon High School for the event.

Tue
14
Feb

The thrill of the climb


Don Smalley stands atop Oregon’s Mt. Hood in June 2016. It was one stop on his quest to reach the highest point in each state.

Smalley did ice climbing to reach the top of New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington. “I wanted to experience the high wind and cold temperatures,” he said.

Granite Peak, in Montana, is one of 25 high points Smalley has reached since starting his journey last year.

Smalley nears the summit of Granite Peak, in Montana, which he said was one of his most challenging climbs so far.

Smalley climbing highest points in all 50 states

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

For many years, Don Smalley was an avid runner and biker, participating in competitions that revolved around those activities. In 2008, he did an Ironman Triathlon, marking the end of his competition career.

“It was the culmination of three years of triathlons,” he said. “I enjoyed every minute of it, but I promised myself, once it was over, I would be done with competitions.”

Tue
14
Feb

Baseball field getting lights

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The MFL MarMac baseball team can anticipate some night games in the future. Lights for the baseball field are expected to be up and running in late-May or early-June, said superintendent Dale Crozier at the Feb. 13 school board meeting.

The new lights were just one of several projects discussed. Crozier said planning is also underway for some space improvements at the elementary school, including expanded bathrooms, the addition of a conference room and remodeling of the office. The latter would not only create more space, but also be more aesthetically pleasing, he said.

Tue
14
Feb

Four Bulldogs headed to state wrestling tournament


Pictured (left to right) are assistant coaches Collin Stubbs and Mike Meyer; head coach Chet Bachman; state qualifiers Michael Egan, Korby Keehner, Nathan Johanningmeier and Ethan Stubbs; and assistant coaches Tracy Decker, Travis Johnson and Gary Berns. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Four MFL MarMac wrestlers—Ethan Stubbs, Michael Egan, Nathan Johanningmeier and Korby Keehner—are headed to the state wrestling tournament after placing in the top two at the IHSSA Class 1A District 6 tournament at Starmont on Feb. 11.

The 106-pound Stubbs, a freshman with a 37-7 record, punched his ticket to state with a second-place finish.

Egan, who’s a sophomore, also finished second, but at 132 pounds. He has a 46-2 season record and was also a state qualifier last year.

Mon
13
Feb

Ruth Evelyn Starkey

 

Ruth Evelyn Starkey passed away peacefully at Mercy Hospice House on Feb. 8. 

 

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