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Tue
27
Feb

Sear resigns from Mar-Mac Police, but other tensions brew on police commission

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The Mar-Mac Unified Police Commission accepted the resignation of officer Rodger Sear III at a special meeting Feb. 22. Sear was suspended from the department after being arrested by the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 16 for several drug-related charges, including manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. 

But that wasn’t the only resignation the commission faced last week. Although he has since rescinded his letter, police chief Jason Bogdonovich considered stepping down, not due to Sear’s situation, but citing conflicts with a member of the commission.

Tue
27
Feb

Art in reverse


Over the summer, Monica Tiffany learned the art form of chainsaw carving. She’s since created over 20 carvings, including Gus the bear, who will greet patrons at McGregor Mercantile. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

“When I started, I didn’t even have a chainsaw,” Monica joked. “Now, I have six. There are so many different bars you can get. I never thought I’d be so excited to buy tools.” (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Bears are Monica’s primary focus, although she’s begun to expand into other designs. After she blocks out the bear’s head with a large chainsaw, she uses smaller chainsaws to add the details. (Submitted photo)

Painting or staining the bears is what really brings them to life, Monica said. The final step—what Monica calls the “Aha moment”—is when she adds the bear’s eyes, which are made of shiny, black marbles. (Submitted photo)

Chainsaw carving goes from hobby to business

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

To most people, a piece of wood is simply that: a piece of wood—destined for the campfire or fodder for the wood chipper. But to Monica Tiffany, it’s a blank canvas, ready to be turned into a work of art.

The McGregor native, who owns Preferred Painters and McGregor Mercantile with her husband, Paul, is a chainsaw carver. She learned the art form over the summer, while on vacation.

“I’ve always had a love for art—drawing, painting, sketching,” she shared. “This had been in the back of my mind for a long time.”

Tue
27
Feb

McGregor pursuing grant to give opera house rehab a boost


The city of McGregor is hoping to earn a grant through the state’s Community Catalyst Building Remediation Program, to help with rehabilitation of the Sullivan Opera House. (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The city of McGregor has been invited to submit an application for a grant through the state’s Community Catalyst Building Remediation Program. Duane Boelman, McGregor’s deputy clerk and economic development lead, said the city’s application will seek funds for the Sullivan Opera House.

The Community Catalyst Program, which provides grants up to $100,000, assists communities with the redevelopment, rehabilitation or deconstruction of buildings to stimulate economic growth or reinvestment in the community. In order to proceed with the official grant application, the city first had to have its pre-application approved.

Tue
27
Feb

Building vulnerability assessment aids school district’s safety measures

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

It never hurts to be prepared. That’s why, earlier this school year, MFL MarMac completed a vulnerability assessment of its buildings, helping to assure the district is doing all it can to keep staff and students safe.

“We have safety systems in place. We know what we’re going to do,” said high school principal Larry Meyer, “but it’s good to revisit and check to see we’re current with all the facets of safety, that there aren’t any gaps.”

Tue
27
Feb

Have fun for a good cause at annual Friends Helping Friends Winter Triathlon and Benefit


Have some fun for a good cause at Mar-Mac Friends Helping Friends’ 14th annual Winter Triathlon and Benefit, held Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3, in McGregor. (NIT file photo)

Mar-Mac Friends Helping Friends will hold its 14th annual Winter Triathlon and Benefit on Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3, in McGregor. This year’s proceeds will go toward Casey (Ruff) Evanson, Andra (Prew) Meana and Denny Regal Jr.—three families with major medical needs.

Festivities will kick off at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 2, with bar bingo at Pocket City Pub.

On Saturday, March 3, the bake sale will begin at 9 a.m. at Backwoods. If you would like to donate fresh baked goods, please call Von Redemske at (563) 873-2238, or you may drop your baked goods off at Backwoods beginning at 8:30 a.m.

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?

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