News

Wed
02
May

Elgin volunteer has burning interest in fire investigation

 

Mark Borcherding of Elgin has long had an interest in volunteering for his local fire department.  The 14-year volunteer recently finished a two-week training program in Ames to become a certified fire investigator.  (photo by Megan Molseed)

 

Elgin volunteer has burning interest in fire investigation

 

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

“Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be involved with the fire department,” said Elgin volunteer firefighter Mark Borcherding. “I grew up just a few houses away from our local department and would run out to the sidewalk to watch them go by when they would respond!”

Borcherding, who has served as a volunteer firefighter in Elgin for 14 years, added that it was originally chance that brought him to volunteer for the local department and later volunteer his time for special training sessions to become certified in fire investigation.

Wed
02
May

Whitcomb's design hits the 'bull's-eye' at Target

 

Holly (Solheim) Whitcomb was pleasantly surprised to hear that the Mother’s Day card she had designed was among those selected to be featured in Target stores across the country. (submitted photo)

 

Whitcomb's design hits the 'bull's-eye at Target

 

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

“Honestly, my first thought was ‘Is this even real?’” remembered Holly (Solheim) Whitcomb of finding out her Mother’s Day greeting card design was selected to be sold at Target stores across the country.

“It’s almost surreal. I didn’t think my design even made the cut at first,” continued the Clermont native.  “Then I saw a facebook post of my card - in Target!”

Whitcomb, daughter of Dave and Linda Solheim of Clermont, has long had an interest exploring her artistic visions, from crafts to paintings.  In 2010, she decided to take her hobby to a new level by joining the website Minted, an online resource which supports independent artists and sells one-of-a-kind designs.

Wed
02
May

UIU alum to be keynote speaker at May 5 Commencement

Marshall Richards

 

UIU alum to be keynote speaker at May 5 Commencement

 

 

Marshall Richards, an Upper Iowa University (UIU) alumnus and Peacock Hall of Fame inductee from Phoenix, Ariz., will deliver the keynote address during the university's 156th Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 5, at Harms-Eischeid Stadium in Fayette.

Over 600 students will be participating in the 2018 Commencement ceremonies. Graduates of the University's MBA, School of Business, and School of Science and Mathematics programs will participate in a 10 a.m. ceremony. This ceremony also includes associate degrees with an emphasis in general business.

The ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m. for MPA, MSC, MEd, MSA, Andres School of Education, and School of Liberal Arts graduates. Associate degrees with an emphasis in liberal arts, criminal justice and psychology will also be awarded during this program.

Wed
02
May

Fayette County Food Shelf expanding to meet needs

 

Fayette County Food Shelf manager Karen Martin is gearing up to break ground on an expansion to the local charity.  Martin has said she is excited for the expansion to help the Food Shelf become much more self-sufficient. (Megan Molseed photo)

 

Fayette County Food Shelf expanding to meet needs

 

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

“Our goal is for this place to become self-sustainable,” said Fayette County Food Shelf manager Karen Martin.  

“This upcoming expansion will give us the space we need to take more items, sort items faster, and keep things running in the most efficient manner.” 

The current Fayette County Food Shelf opened in its current location for nearly four years after a fire destroyed the previous building, including the over $100,000 worth of contents in December 2013.  

Wed
02
May

'Bring Mom Back Home' to West Union

 

Denver and Dayton Steinlage (l-r) can’t wait to bring their mom, Candace Steinlage, back home during the First Annual “Bring Mom Back Home” celebration from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 12, in downtown West Union. Festivities on Mother’s Day weekend kick off with the Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital and Clinics 5K at 9 a.m. followed by a Car Show and Shine at NAPA Auto Parts starting at 10 a.m. Buck Hollow will perform downtown from noon to 2 p.m., and all area businesses are encouraged to be open and promote their products and services to area patrons. Chris DeBack photo

 

'Bring Mom Back Home' to West Union

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

Be sure to “Bring Mom Back Home” to West Union on Saturday, May 12, to kick off the celebration of Mother’s Day weekend. 

The “Bring Mom Back Home” retail event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a number of festivities taking place in downtown West Union. 

It all gets underway with the Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital and Clinics “Fun” Run/Walk 5K with registration at 8:30 a.m. The walk will start at 9 a.m. 

Wed
02
May

Red Giant: Wholesale Fireworks opens in old Signode Building

 

Red Giant Wholesale Fireworks recently moved into the old Signode Building in West Union. Owners Terry and Julie Redfearn (l-r) of Hazel Green, Wis., have spent the last year bringing the building up to code. The owners of Tri-State Fireworks, a fireworks retail store in Hazel Green and Independence, recently decided to try their hand at the wholesale side of the fireworks business to supply their own retail stores and pick up any other business they could. (Chris DeBack photo)

 

Red Giant: Wholesale Fireworks opens in old Signode Building

 

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

It has been a year since Terry and Julie Redfearn of Hazel Green, Wis., purchased the Signode building in West Union. 

The owners of Tri-State Fireworks, a Wisconsin-based fireworks retailer, have spent the last year bringing the 36,000-square-foot former manufacturing facility up to code for their next business venture: wholesale fireworks. The couple will use its new fireworks company, Red Giant Wholesale Fireworks, to supply its current and two new retail fireworks locations, plus pick up any other business they can along the way. 

Wed
02
May

A day in the life of Prom

The final touch for these NFV Prom attendees, Tommy Rolison and Hailey Smith, was pinning on the boutoniere and clasping the wrist corsage that the couple picked out from Old Mill Floral. All dressed up and ready to go, it was time for the couple to pose for a few photos prior to heading off to the Grand March that was held at the NFV Performing Arts Center.

 

A day in the life of Prom

 

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

“It’s hard to believe it’s my Senior Prom,” North Fayette Valley senior Hailey Smith said softly as she unzipped the garment bag to reveal the shimmery green dress she had chosen for the occasion with the theme “Diamonds Are Forever.”

“It doesn’t seem real that we’re already here,” the young woman continued as she shooed away her golden retriever, Whitney, who was eyeing the floor length gown with curiosity.  “It’s exciting and kind of sad at the same time.” 

Hailey, like many of the other North Fayette Valley juniors and seniors, started her day bright and early last Saturday in preparation for the annual tradition.

“I was up at 6:30 this morning, ” she said with a wide grin.  “I was just too excited!”  

Wed
25
Apr

Fertilizer plant fire leads to evacuation

 

A fire broke out at the old fertilizer plant, which still contains fertilizer, owned by Farmers Union Co-op in Ossian on Friday afternoon. Due to the volatility of the situation and the number of children in close proximity to the blaze, students from DeSales School and DeSales Childcare Center were evacuated, but due to the quick response by local emergency response crews, officials stated that the children were not in danger at any point. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Fertilizer plant fire leads to evacuation

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

The Ossian Fire Department, along with the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office, Winneshiek County Emergency Management, Calmar Fire Department, Castalia Fire Department, and Calmar Police, responded to a fire call at the Farmers Union Co-op’s old fertilizer plant in Ossian on Friday afternoon.

The 9-1-1 call came in at 12:15 p.m. and advised that a fire had broken out at the facility, which still contains fertilizer.

Due to the volatility of the situation, children at nearby DeSales School and DeSales Childcare Center were evacuated and relocated to South Winneshiek Elementary/Middle School.

Wed
25
Apr

Decorah eagles face onslaught of challenges

 

Taken during the most recent spring snowfall, the Decorah eagles sit side-by-side to protect the young eaglets. Although the recent spate of winter weather has affected the bald eagles in both Decorah nests, Raptor Resource Project officials are hopeful the young eagles in the nest near the Decorah Fish Hatchery (pictured) and the un-hatched eggs in the Decorah north nest will all be unaffected long-term by the extended winter weather. (submitted photo)

 

Decorah eagles face onslaught of challenges

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

The Decorah Eaglecam was first launched in 2009 in the form of a camera that refreshed a new image of the beloved local bald eagles once every two minutes. The camera began live-streaming video of the eagles’ nest two years later through Ustream, and soon after, the world fell in love with the Decorah eagles.

Since its launch, the live feed has seen a total of over 355,900,000 views, making it the world’s most popular live-streaming video.

Wed
25
Apr

WC and Starmont foster a relationship of collaboration

 

As many rural Iowa school districts do in an effort to be more cost-effective, West Central (pictured) and Starmont have begun to share programs in an effort to offer more educational and extracurricular activities to their students. Currently, the two schools share baseball and wrestling. They shared West Central’s spring play and are looking into sharing cross country and FFA next fall.  file photo

 

WC and Starmont foster a relationship of collaboration

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

While there has been zero talk of Starmont and West Central merging into one school district, that hasn’t kept their superintendents from collaborating on school programs. 

 

In February 2017, Troy Heller, Starmont and Tripoli shared superintendent, and Fred Matlage, West Central and Sumner-Fredericksburg shared superintendent, began discussing how a relationship between the two schools just 12 miles apart could be mutually beneficial.

Each superintendent wanted to emphasize that neither of them has ever discussed any kind of whole-grade sharing or school district consolidation. However, their discussions are part of a trend that has been going on over the last two decades to give students in rural Iowa the best education possible for the cost. 

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