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Tue
20
Feb

The heart of a warrior


Baby Aria Koenig turned a year old on Feb. 15.

Aria Koenig is pictured with parents, Eric and Randee, and brother, Carver.

Baby Aria’s journey raises awareness of congenital heart disease

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Looking at her infectious smile and shock of fuzzy, blonde hair, there’s no question Aria Koenig is an adorable baby. But for the Monona 1 year old, what’s most remarkable is what lies within—the heart of a warrior.

You see, Aria was one of the one in 100 babies born with congenital heart disease. She had five defects in all, including hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), where her heart’s left side had not developed as strongly as the right.

Tue
20
Feb

Ending the distortion


During a curricular presentation at a recent school board meeting, MFL MarMac fifth grade teacher Amy Bunting shared what she's learned about Irlen Syndrome, a perceptual processing disorder that distorts how people view printed words on pages or screens.

MFL MarMac teacher researches syndrome that affects reading

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Last year, when one of her students was struggling with reading problems, MFL MarMac fifth grade teacher Amy Bunting devoted her personalized professional development time to discovering the cause.

“He said the words were crossing,” she explained during a curricular presentation at the Feb. 12 school board meeting. “Right away, I thought it was dyslexia.”

However, the real culprit was something Bunting had never heard of: Irlen Syndrome.

Tue
20
Feb

Engineering plans needed before Marquette Depot Museum expansion proceeds


An update was provided on the Marquette Depot Museum and Information Center expansion project at the Feb. 13 Marquette Council meeting. (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times 

The city of Marquette is now seeking professional engineering services for the Depot Museum and Information Center expansion project, after learning both the size of the addition and the Iowa Code require a set of engineering plans for the project to continue.

Mayor Steve Weipert said the city has already sought input from Martin Gardner Architecture, which developed the original conceptual drawings for the building, but the council felt it was important to obtain three to five more quotes.

Tue
20
Feb

North Iowa Times earns three awards in Iowa Better Newspaper Contest


North Iowa Times Editor Audrey Posten received two first-place awards for best breaking news photo and best breaking news story, as well as a second-place award for best personality feature.

This photo depicting the damage to the INKspiration Tattoo following the July 19 tornado earned the first-place award for best breaking news photo in the weekly 1 category in the 2018 Iowa Better Newspaper Contest. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

For the fourth year in a row, the North Iowa Times has been recognized as an award-winning newspaper. Editor Audrey Posten recently received three awards in the 2018 Iowa Better Newspaper Contest.

Posten received first place awards for best breaking news story and best breaking news photo in the weekly 1 category, for newspapers published weekly with 1,001 circulation and less. Both awards stemmed from her coverage of the EF-1 tornado that struck McGregor on July 19, 2017.

The article, entitled “Dented, but not broken,” beat out seven other entries for the top spot. The judge’s comments noted the article featured a “good lead and overall writing,” and also complimented Posten’s use of many sources to tell the story.

Tue
13
Feb

Bowden, McCartney won’t seek re-election to board of supervisors

By Pat McTaggart

After eight years of serving on the Clayton County Board of Supervisors, Republicans Ron McCartney and Gary Bowden have decided not to run again. The two men were interviewed to answer several questions concerning their decision and their time in office.

Why did you decide not to run again?

Tue
13
Feb

McGregor residents share ideas for community center


Joan Burns (left), Dan Bickel, Lynette Sander and Rogeta Halvorson consider several exterior options for the community center during an input session last week. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Michael LeClere (center), with Martin Gardner Architecture, discusses several possible functions the community center could have with Jason Echard and Michelle Pettit.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Open and welcoming. Multi-functional. New, yet invoking McGregor’s history. Those are just a few of the ideas McGregor residents said they’d like to see incorporated into a community center.

They shared those thoughts last week, at an input session with Bethany Jordan and Michael LeClere, from Martin Gardner Architecture, who have been tasked with developing conceptual designs for the building. 

The conceptual designs will be created thanks to a grant the city of McGregor received from The Native Fund, a nonprofit created by football player Dallas Clark and actor Ashton Kutcher.

Tue
13
Feb

Luster Heights could be new home of Refuge’s McGregor District office

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Luster Heights might soon have a new occupant. The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is currently in talks with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to purchase the 25-acre site near Harpers Ferry for re-location of the McGregor District office of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

“Right now, we’re checking all the boxes to make sure it works for us,” said Refuge Manager Sabrina Chandler.

The Iowa Department of Corrections closed Luster Heights Correctional Facility last February due to budget cuts, and later turned the property over to the Iowa DNR, which controls state forest land around the site.

Tue
13
Feb

Unique take on TV news earns students All State nomination for group speech


Chelbe Feuerhelm (left), Reagan Butikofer, Sierra Wiebensohn, Coltin Ball, Lizzie Herzmann and Keagan Smerud (not pictured) were part of the MFL MarMac TV news team that earned straight ones at the state group speech contest. The group’s performance also earned them an All State nomination. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

MFL MarMac students Chelbe Feuerhelm, Reagan Butikofer, Sierra Wiebensohn, Coltin Ball, Lizzie Herzmann and Keagan Smerud recently earned straight ones for their TV news performance at the state group speech contest. Last week, they discovered that effort had also earned them an All State nomination, a rare honor for speech participants.

Like a typical newscast, the group’s portrayal featured several real-life news stories, the weather and even a commercial break. The big difference? It was based on an airplane, during a flight from Chicago to Colorado Springs.

Tue
06
Feb

Local organizations and neighbors ask EPA to intervene on Walz Energy project


A letter initiated by the Clayton County Conservation Awareness Network seeks the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s intervention to determine whether the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ after-the-fact issuance of an NPDES permit to Walz Energy violates the Clean Water Act.

About 40 individuals and groups have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to more closely monitor the potential impacts of the Walz Energy commercial feedlot and biogas manufacturing operation being developed in the watershed of Bloody Run Creek, east of Monona. The location of the project is in an environmentally sensitive karst area, with known sinkholes nearby. Bloody Run Creek is a popular trout stream and an officially designated Outstanding Iowa Water, which merits special protection under Iowa and EPA regulations.

Tue
06
Feb

Ruff takes another shot at state free throw contest


Mackenzy Ruff has won the Knights of Columbus Council 8178 free throw contest every year since she was 10. She’s also gone on to state each year, a feat she hopes to continue in 2018, in her final year of eligibility. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times 

“I do one dribble before I shoot, then I take a moment to breathe. I’ve found that one dribble is enough for me to know what I’m doing.”

Becoming a perfect free throw shooter isn’t easy. Mackenzy Ruff is coming close, though.

The MFL MarMac freshman has won the Knights of Columbus Council 8178 local free throw contest each year since she was 10 years old. Her success hasn’t ended there.

“Every year, I’ve gone to state,” she said.

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