News

Wed
15
Aug

Fayette County is 'SOLD' on Mann being inducte dinto 4-H Hall of Fame

 

Tom Mann has been a featured auctioneer at the Fayette County 4-H Achievement Auction since 1987. Mann said that for as long as he can, he plans to come back to the Fayette County 4-H Achievement Auction at the fair each year to lend his auctioneering skills.  Chris DeBack photo

 

Fayette County is 'SOLD' on Mann being inducted into 4-H Hall of Fame

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

For over 50 years, former West Union resident Tom Mann has been involved with Fayette County 4-H. From his time as a 4-H member while growing up to his own children’s involvement to helping young boys and girls show cattle at the Fayette County Fair, Mann has been one of Fayette County 4-H’s biggest supporters. 

In recognition of his many contributions, Tom Mann will be the 2018 Fayette County inductee to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame on Sunday, Aug. 19, at the Iowa State Fair. 

“It is a great honor and one that took me by surprise when I found out,” said Mann.

Wed
15
Aug

NFV welcomes new teachers

NFV welcomes new teachers

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

North Fayette Valley will welcome five new teachers to the school district when school starts on Thursday, Aug. 23. 

Those new teachers are Megan DeBack, Spanish and English as a Second Language (ESL); Kyle Harms, high school and middle school chorus; Holly Mohs, middle school and Valley Elementary physical education; Emily Kullen, TigerHawk Preschool; and Jamie McGowan, eighth-grade language arts. 

With North Fayette and Valley’s merger complete as of July 1, grade levels in the different education centers shifted and a number of current educators changed positions for the new school year. 

In the past, sixth grade had been located at Valley and Fayette elementaries. Now, all of sixth grade will be located at the Valley education center as it becomes part of NFV Middle School. West Union Elementary (WUE) used to be kindergarten through fourth grade with Fayette Elementary housing fifth and sixth grade for students in the former North Fayette district. This year, WUE will host kindergarten through third grade while Fayette Elementary will have fourth and fifth grade. 

Kelly Farley and Molly J. Holthaus have been moved to NFV Middle School from Fayette Elementary. Farley will teach sixth-grade math, while Holthaus will teach sixth-grade science. Transferring from WUE to the middle school is Kim Kleve, who will teach sixth-grade language arts. Also transferring from WUE to Valley Elementary is Renee Larson, who will teach first grade. 

Jim Calkins has moved from a high school social studies teacher to the middle school to be the seventh-grade social studies instructor. Darin Johnston doesn’t change buildings, but he will go from being the eighth-grade social studies teacher to the sixth-grade social studies instructor. Johnston and Calkins will also be the middle school’s Leader in Me advisors. Alicia Schneider goes from sixth grade to kindergarten at Valley Elementary. 

At West Union Elementary, Tina Halverson will be the new Title I teacher while Morgan Deering moves to first grade. Ashley Henderson will move up two grades from first to third grade. At Fayette Elementary, Stephanie Wirtz transferred from sixth to fifth grade and Joni Walvatne moved up from fourth to fifth grade. 

Wed
08
Aug

Franzen excited to return to Warrior country

 

Sara Franzen, new South Winneshiek Education Foundation manager and public relations director (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Franzen excited to return to Warrior country

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

For new South Winneshiek Education Foundation manager and district public relations director Sara Franzen, the hallways leading to her new office are quite familiar as she prepares to begin the new school year. The 2011 graduate of South Winn is looking forward to beginning a new endeavor, as she will serve the district in a pair of brand-new positions.

“I am looking forward to having a lot of fun getting involved in all of the good things that are happening at South Winn,” said Franzen, who also works as an admissions representative at nearby Northeast Iowa Community College. “I am excited to reconnect with the school and help share all of the good things that we have going on in the classrooms.”

Wed
08
Aug

'You have time, but not a lot'

 

Pictured is one of Clermont’s public ash trees located at 909 Locust St. Richard Kittelson recently evaluated Clermont’s 20 public ash trees and has recommended to the council that 15 of the trees should be removed and replaced with new trees.

 

'You have time, but not a lot'

 

 

By LeAnn Larson
lanews@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The Clermont City Council met for its regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 6.

After the agenda was approved, Mayor Jim Matt asked citizen John Bolsinger, who was in attendance, to come speak on behalf of the Clermont Historical Society about the upcoming Clermont Historical Society Tea on Sunday, Sept. 16. The event will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with music provided by Russ Guyer. 

"We were told that you would be willing to take tickets from us to sell,” said Bolsinger. “The packets I've included have $10 admission for adults and $5 for children age 5 and under. The money raised at this event will go toward the Larrabee Building’s windows. I think, to date, we are at about $25,000.” 

Wed
08
Aug

Hawkeye Council continues to address land issue

 

Hugh Curtis (right) is sworn in as Hawkeye’s newest councilmember by Mayor Don Kelly following the resignation of Councilmember Angie Weidemann on Monday evening.  

 

Hawkeye Council continues to address land issue

 

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

The Hawkeye City Council met for its regular meeting Monday evening, Aug. 6.  During the meeting, the council accepted the resignation of Councilmember Angie Weidemann from her council seat as well as her resignation from the Park board.  

The council then approved appointing Hugh Curtis to serve the remainder of the term through Dec. 31, 2019.

In other news, it was a packed house Monday evening as the council considered letters to the council from city residents regarding the K&K Gardens land vacation/swap issue; an issue which had been addressed in previous meetings, leading to a decision by the council to ask that K&K Gardens owner Keith Kovarik remove one of his longstanding hoop buildings from a plot of land owned by the City of Hawkeye on South Street.  

“To say that I am disappointed in your decision is an understatement,” read a letter from Hawkeye citizen Allison Rose.   

Wed
08
Aug

What does the future hold for the WU Streetscape?

 

These bioretention structures have been a source of beautification for the West Union Downtown Streetscape Project, but keeping them weed-free has been a major challenge. (Chris DeBack photo)

 

What does the future hold for the West Union Streetscape?

 

 

 

 

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a two-part series on the West Union Streetscape Project. This part is a reflection of current conditions and what the future may hold for West Union’s downtown.

There is no denying that West Union has a beautiful downtown, thanks to all the hard work that has been put into the West Union Downtown Streetscape Project that was completed five years ago.

While not everything has worked according to plan, the pilot project has certainly been a positive for the city. However, West Union has experienced a bit more frustration than it was anticipating when City leaders initially took on this project over a decade ago. 

Wed
25
Jul

Fayette PD seeing benefits of body-cams

 

Fayette Police Officer Stone Allen (left) and Chief Ben Davis display the department’s newly acquired body cameras (circled). The cameras, which have become a vital piece of equipment to law enforcement throughout the country, provide significant benefits for the department, the City of Fayette, and the public. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Fayette PD seeding benefits of body-cams

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

The Fayette Police Department is now recording! Earlier this month, all four members of the force began wearing new body-worn cameras that will help protect not just themselves, but the City of Fayette and the public as well.

“Body-worn cameras have become an important part of modern policing and there are very few departments out there that do not use them,” said Fayette Police Chief Ben Davis. “It comes down to being a safety aspect. With the cameras, we can have accountability for every action that occurs during an interaction between an officer and citizen.”

The department officially began utilizing the new Bodycam by Provision cameras on July 3 and requires on-duty officers to record every public interaction that they encounter. 

Wed
25
Jul

The impact of an educator

 

Doug Poppen directs the Doug Poppen Reunion Choir through the song “How Can I Keep From Singing” as his son, Sam, plays the violin on Sunday, July 22. 

 

The impact of an educator

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

Teachers often say they got into the field of education to inspire and have an impact on the young minds of tomorrow. 

While many strive to achieve this, very few have the impact that former North Fayette Valley vocal teacher Doug Poppen’s had over his three decades in West Union. 

That was on full display during the Doug Poppen Reunion Choir Concert on Sunday, July 22, in the NFV Performing Arts Center. 

Wed
25
Jul

Hanson gets Democratic nod in race for Supervisor

Ben Hanson

 

 

Hanson gets Democratic nod in race for Supervisor

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

Fayette County Democrats have chosen a new candidate to represent their party in the Fayette County Supervisors race in the November general election. 

Tim O’Brien withdrew from the race last week, noting he was doing so so that he could spend more time with his family. Benjamin Hanson of St. Lucas was nominated at a Fayette County Democrats Nominating Convention on Monday, Aug. 23, at Bents Smokehouse in Westgate. This will remove O’Brien’s name from the ballot and put Hanson’s name in its place. 

Hanson is a native of Fayette County. He was born to Jim and Carla Hanson in West Union, but lived much of his childhood in Clermont. Jim Hanson was principal at Valley for approximately 12 years in the 1970s and 1980s. 

Wed
25
Jul

Grandstand tickets still available for Saturday night's concert

Grandstand tickets still available for Saturday night's concert

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss country music stars Sammy Kershaw and Collin Raye live at the 2018 Fayette Fair on Saturday night, July 28. 

Sammy Kershaw debuted on the country music scene in the 1990s with the plan to reclaim country music’s roots and recapture the spirit that endeared many country music stars to fans of the genre. 

He is often referred to the “heir apparent” to country music sensation George Jones with his soulful sound and Cajun vocals. Born in Kaplan, La., as the oldest of four children, Kershaw sang his first country music song “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” in clubs and honky-tonks at 12 years old. The tragic loss of his father at a young age helped him mature quickly, giving him an edge over many other young artists of his time. 

He released his debut album “Don’t Go Near the Water” in 1991 and has since had 25 singles reach the Billboard's Top 40 Hot Country Songs, including “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful,” which hit number one on April 24, 1993. Other singles to reach the Top 10 include "Cadillac Style,” "Anywhere But Here,” "Haunted Heart,” "Queen of My Double-Wide Trailer,” "I Can't Reach Her Anymore,” "National Working Woman's Holiday,” "Third-Rate Romance,” "Meant to Be,” "Vidalia,” and "Love of My Life.” He has released 16 studio albums, three of which reached platinum and two attained gold. 

Born Floyd Elliot Wray in De Queens, Ark., on Aug. 22, 1960, Collin Raye burst onto the country music scene with his hit song “Love, Me” in 1991. 

Raye’s debut album “All I Can Be” was released in 1991 after his first hit single “All I Can Be (Is a Sweet Memory)” reached No. 29 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart. Since then, the country music star has released 24 Top-10 records, 16 No.-1 hits, and has been nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year 10 times. 

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