News

Thu
12
Jan

Bustas putting it all on the line

 

Jeff Busta (right) of Calmar and his son, Nick, of St. Lucas, have each worked as linemen for Alliant Energy for their entire working careers. While Jeff works in the Decorah district and Nick works in the West Union district, the two have been able to work side by side on several occasions. (submitted photo)

 

Bustas putting it all on the line

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

Helping bring electricity to the people of northeast Iowa isn’t something new to the Busta family. For Calmar’s Jeff Busta, who has 33 years of experience working as a lineman for Alliant Energy, and his son, Nick, of St. Lucas, helping people keep their lights on is just part of the job.

“We do a little bit of everything. Every day brings something new,” said Nick, who has worked for the power company since 2010. “We do new-service calls, wire upgrades, maintenance, tree trimming, long-term projects, and much more. If we have a power outage in our area, that takes priority over anything else.”

Thu
12
Jan

Clermont council hears budget requests

Clermont council hears budget requests

 

 

 

Megan Molseed

Contributing Writer

 

 

The Clermont City Council held its first regular meeting of 2017 on Monday. 

During the meeting, the council met with Turkey River Recreational Corridor (TRRC) director Mallory Marlatt regarding the 2016 TRRC budget and what the organization’s plans are for the next year.

 “We have a lot of exciting things in store,” said Marlatt.  “We have a variety of programs, from the Turkey River Safari to the Turkey Trot or our workshops. We have received a lot of community support, and we expect that to grow and expand.”  

Thu
12
Jan

Elgin council proceeding with annexation plans

Elgin council proceeding with annexation plans

 

 

 

Brian Smith
Contributing Writer
bsmith@fayettepublishing.com

 

The Elgin City Council continues to proceed with plans to pursue an involuntary annexation of the Elgin Co-Op. Jim Holz of MSA Professional Services was on hand at Monday night’s meeting to provide an update of the process.

  “In a conference call with the attorneys that are helping us with the process, I got the impression that they felt positively about the City’s case for wanting to proceed with the involuntary annexation,” said Holz.

Thu
12
Jan

Dyksta making the most of new DNR job

 

Meet Jason Dykstra, a new Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) technician who will serve northeast Iowa. The 24-year-old officially began his new duties in November and will be responsible for park upkeep across a total of over 6,000 acres at Volga River Recreation Area in Fayette, Fort Atkinson State Preserve in Ft. Atkinson, and Brush Creek Canyon State Park in Arlington. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Dykstra making the most of new DNR job

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

For Jason Dykstra, working in northeast Iowa as a natural resource technician for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is a career match made in heaven.

The 24-year-old began his new role in early November. Among his duties, Dykstra will be responsible for overall park upkeep and resource management at Volga River Recreation Area near Fayette, Fort Atkinson State Preserve in Fort Atkinson, and Brush Creek Canyon State Park in Arlington.

Thu
12
Jan

WUACT's 'Middleville' to open Friday

Eiler Merkle (front, left) and Trevor Weidemann (front, right) play two guys new to Middleville, Iowa, who are getting their hair done in this scene by (l-r) Meg Moellering,  Marcia Whitcher, and DeLyte Ebbers as the ladies distract the two guys from their goal of retrieving a lost painting. The comedy entitled “Middleville,” was written by former West Union native Janet (Story) Schlapkohl and is the first production of the West Union Area Community Theatre. 

 

WUACT's 'Middleville' to open Friday

 

 

Don’t miss West Union Area Community Theatre’s (WUACT) first production, “Middleville,” at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13-14, at the North Fayette Valley Performing Arts Center.

 

Thu
12
Jan

New life for WU Events Center

 

Jeff Alber, owner of Brick City Bar and Grill in Clermont, recently purchased 5 acres of land and the Echo Valley Banquet and Reception Center building and parking lot in West Union from Mark Nelson. Nelson had originally purchased the entire 27 acres of land in late 2016 from Lee Hansmeier of Waukon. Alber is changing the name to the West Union Events Center and will be honoring all previous bookings. Chris DeBack photo

 

New life for WU Events Center

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

When Mark Nelson purchased the 27 acres of land that Echo Valley Banquet and Reception Center sits on, the future of the large West Union banquet hall was in doubt.

The questions were answered Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 3, when Jeffrey Alber, owner of Brick City Bar and Grill in Clermont, purchased the building and 5.5 acres of land around it. His goal is to keep the large facility open to rent for wedding receptions, reunions and other big parties. While the transaction may have only taken 14 days, something Alber said he has never seen before, it's a natural progression for his bar and grill.  

Thu
12
Jan

Chamber to honor WU residents who 'Shine Bright Like a Diamond'

Chamber to honor WU residents who 'Shine Bright Like a Diamond'

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

Every year, the West Union Chamber — A Main Street Community honors people in the West Union community who ”Shine Bright Like a Diamond” at its annual Community Awards Banquet.

This year’s award recipients include the following: Community Service — Marian Harford; Health — Jessica Wegner; Education — Ken Balk; Religion — Marlys Anderson; Historic Preservation — Donald and Linda Bright; Youth — Katelyn and Madelyn Tyler; Iowa Main Street Volunteer of the Year for West Union — Jane Blumhagen; and Business of the Year — Barrel Drive In.

The Fayette County Union will also be honoring the West Union Citizen of the Year, which will be announced in next week’s paper.

The event will start with a social hour at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at the West Union Events Center (formerly Echo Valley Banquet and Reception Center) on Hwy. 18 East just outside West Union. Dinner and the awards ceremony will follow at 7 and 8 p.m., respectively. Tickets are $22 before Jan. 22, and $25 after. There will be no tickets available at the door.

Wed
04
Jan

Weston Noble touched many lives

 

Frank Reyner (right) talks with legendary Luther College Nordic Choir conductor Weston Noble during the Weston Noble Alumni Choir European Tour in 2010. Noble died on Dec. 21 of complications from a fall. submitted photos. 

 

Weston Noble touched many lives

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

When famed Nordic Choir conductor Weston Noble died on Dec. 21 at the age of 94, he didn’t just leave behind his students at Luther College and his fame in the music world, but a lasting impression that touched thousands of lives.

Two local West Union residents, Leslie Poppen and Marie Reyner, had the pleasure to not only be taught by Professor Noble, but to perform in his famed Nordic Choir during their time at Luther College almost two decades apart.

Wed
04
Jan

Supervisors discuss shop plan

Supervisors discuss shop plan

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

At the Tuesday, Dec. 27, Fayette County Supervisors meeting in West Union, concerned citizen Mary Streif voiced her opinions, as well as opinions gathered from Fayette County residents, regarding the Secondary Roads proposal and the county shop project.

“We all believe that the County does indeed need a new shop,” acknowledged Streif as she addressed the board of supervisors, “but I’m not sure it is being gone about in the right way.”

Wed
04
Jan

Farmland values decline for third year

The average value of farmland in the state of Iowa has declined for a third straight year after hitting record highs in 2013.

 

Farmland values decline for thrid year

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

For the third year in a row, average Fayette County farmland value has been in decline.

According to the annual Iowa State University Land Value Survey, the average estimated worth of farmland in Fayette County is approximately $7,694 per acre. That is a decrease in $529 per acre over 2015, which saw land value at $8,223.

Fayette County isn’t the only one to see the decline as the state of Iowa has also a whole has seen a decrease in land value for the third straight year. In fact, every county across the state reported a drop in farmland value. In 2015, the average value of farmland in Iowa was $7,633. There was a $450 decrease in 2016 to $7,183, which amounts to a 5.9 percent drop in value. The survey represents a statewide average of low-, medium- and high-quality farmland.

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