News

Wed
18
Nov

Life changes again for die-cast toy store owner

Tracy Johnson, owner of agfarmtoys.com, has moved her storefront and online presence from Des Moines into a Clermont facility that has 9,000 sq. ft. of space, including a basement, first floor and mezzanines, for her 3,000 unique items. 

 

Life changes again for die-cast toy store owner

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

A former Des Moines businesswoman has returned to her roots in northeast Iowa. Tracy Johnson has relocated her popular die-cast toys store from her storefront and warehouse in Des Moines to 9,000 square feet of space, including a basement and mezzanines, on Gunder Estates Boulevard just outside the city limits of Clermont off Stone Street.

Wed
18
Nov

Groups hope to breathe new life into Hawkeye Elem.

 

 

Pastor Roland Waterman is pictured standing at right, discussing the merits of renovating the former Hawkeye Elementary school building into both the Faith and Family Fellowship Church and a resource center that could potentially offer services such as counseling, daycare, respite care and/or other services. The church hopes to make a bid for the school if it can get commitments from other organizations. (Janell Bradley photo.)

 

Groups hope to breathe new life into Hawkeye Elem.

 

 

Janell Bradley

Contributing Writer

 

 

A local congregation has faith it can reach out to many in need by turning a former elementary building into a center offering a number of resources.

Faith & Family Fellowship Church (formerly Victory Christian Church) sold its church structure in West Union two years ago. Back then, it looked at the former Hawkeye Elementary school building as a site for its services, but because the sale of its former building was still pending, it could only rent and not buy the building that originally housed kindergarten through sixth grades.

Wed
18
Nov

Eischeid one of four new UIU Trustees

Mike Eischeid

 

Eischeid one of four new UIU Trustees

 

 

 

 

Upper Iowa University has elected four new members to its Board of Trustees. The new board members are Mike Eischeid of West Union, Mary Cheddie of Coral Springs, Fla., alumni representative Michele Matt of West Des Moines, and student representative Cody Booker of LaSalle, Ill.

“On behalf of the entire Upper Iowa University Board of Trustees, I would like to welcome our newest members,” said board chairman Dennis Murdock. “We are extremely confident that the professional and personal knowledge these four individuals have compiled will contribute greatly to ensuring UIU continues to provide the greatest possible academic opportunities to our students.”

Wed
18
Nov

Fayette's new police chief ready to embrace Iowa life

Rich Pisanti

 

Fayette's new police chief ready to embrace Iowa life

 

 

 

Janell Bradley

Contributing Writer

 

While Fayette’s new police chief has gotten plenty of questions about why he’d move here from Florida, Rich Pisanti wants everyone to know that there’s plenty he and his wife, Carleen, look forward to in their new home.

A 29-year veteran in law enforcement, Pisanti was born in New Jersey but lived in Florida from age 12. He just completed a long career with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department before he and his wife decided to move to Iowa.

Wed
18
Nov

How to manage your diabetes

 

It’s opposite ends of the spectrum for 75-year-old Jerry Blue and 25-year-old Zakary Kriener. Blue has Type 2 diabetes while Zak has Type 1. Blue takes a number of pills and a large amount of insulin each day to help keep his blood sugar in check, while Kriener uses an insulin pump to automatically provide the right insulin dose. 

 

How to manage your diabetes

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

According to the American Diabetes Association 21.1 million Americans (9.3 percent of the U.S. population) had diabetes in 2012 with 1.7 million new cases being diagnosed each year.

Right here in Fayette County, many have to work hard to keep the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States at bay. It isn’t easy, but here is the story of two, one younger and one older, who have been diagnosed with different types of diabetes and how they have coped with that diagnosis.

Zakary Kriener is a 25-year-old newspaper reporter with the Ossian Bee who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the spring of 1995. His step-father, Darryl Frana, and his mother Anne Kriener, along with his biological father Ivan Kriener noticed that the 5-year-old had an unquenchable thirst and urinated all too often. After seeing his doctor and being referred to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Zak spent one week in the hospital after his diagnosis. He checks his blood sugar three to four times per day with a finger poke.

On the other hand, Jerry Blue, businessman and former editor/publisher of the Fayette County Union, was diagnosed in 1990 at the age of 50 with Type 2 diabetes. He said it was discovered through lab work and attributed to a poor diet, lack of exercise and busy schedule that didn’t allow him to get adequate sleep on a daily basis.

Wed
18
Nov

Opening Thursday

 

Casey’s General Store in West Union will open its doors to the public at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19. Sandra Watson, store manager, and Donna Kolsrud, area supervisor, noted that Casey’s will be a full-service convenience store with a pizza and sub station. 

 

 

Opening Thursday

 

 

Wed
11
Nov

Keeping the tradition

 

South Winneshiek sophomore and Ossian resident Austin Covell sits on the bench and cement pad that he recently completed for his Eagle Scout project. The bench is located at Ossian City Park, just feet away from the tree that Ossian’s Troop 88 planted in memory of Austin’s grandfather and longtime Scoutmaster, Jack Jaster. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Keeping the tradition

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

For Ossian resident and South Winneshiek High School sophomore Austin Covell, earning his Eagle Scout merit is something that truly means a lot to him.

Covell, who has been active in Scouts since he was old enough to enter in the first grade, is the grandson of former Scoutmaster Jack Jaster. The longtime leader of the Ossian scouts served from 1988 to 2004. Austin’s father, Chuck Covell, is also very active in the scouts. He has served as Scoutmaster for the past several years, having also served as Cub Scout leader in Ossian since the early ‘90s.

When it came time for the 15-year-old Austin to decide on a project to undertake for his Eagle Scout project, the choice was easy.

“When grandpa (Jack) Jaster died in 2011, all of the Scouts decided to plant a tree in the City Park,” explained the soon-to-be Eagle Scout. “So I decided to install a new bench near the tree in the park for my Eagle Scout project this summer.”

Wed
11
Nov

Ossian Election results are in

Election results are in

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

Election Day has come and passed and as a result, Ossian and many other local communities will have new faces in mayoral and council chairs on January 1, 2016.

Winneshiek County Auditor Ben Steines reported that 1,888 total ballots were cast across Winneshiek County on Tuesday, Nov. 3. That number represents 27.9 percent of the 6,768 registered voters in the county.

Wed
11
Nov

Green elected: Meet your new mayor

 

Residents of Ossian, meet your new mayor. Bill Green, a lifelong resident of Winneshiek County, will take over the mayor’s office on Jan. 1, 2016. Green stated that he is humbled by the fact that he was elected and that he is proud to have the opportunity to represent a community full of people that share as much pride for their town. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Green elected: Meet your new mayor

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

For the first time in a decade, a new person will hold the office of mayor in Ossian. That man, Bill Green, is a lifelong resident of Winneshiek County and active member of the Ossian community. He was elected in the November 3 election to serve as the next man in charge of the town.

“It is awfully humbling to be elected by the people of this town,” shared Green. “It makes me proud to have the opportunity to represent the entire community. The people in this town have a lot of pride in their town.”

Wed
11
Nov

Alzheimer's: a disease that affects the whole family

Eleanor Torkelson holds great-grandson Theo Torkelson as she sits on the couch with her son Dirk Torkelson. Eleanor was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease five years ago, but the full impact of the disease didn’t touch her son Dirk and wife Cindy until Dirk’s father, Ivan, died in the fall of 2014.

 

Alzheimer's: a disease that affects the whole family

 

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

 

She is the picture of perfect health. That is what doctors told Dirk and Cindy Torkelson about Dirk’s 82-year-old mother, Eleanor’s state of physical health. To the Torkelsons, hearing those words was a blessing — and a curse because Eleanor suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

So, while Eleanor’s body may be ready to take on another decade of active living, her mind has begun a slow decline. It will slip away as memories fade, and she slowly stops responding to her environment.

“It’s not my mom anymore,” Dirk said. “She looks like my mom, but she doesn’t act like my mom. It is a different person completely.”

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