North Iowa Times

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Tue
08
Aug

Free or reduced school meals are an option for local families

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The new school year will begin at MFL MarMac on Wednesday, Aug. 23, bringing with it new schedules, new teachers and new supplies. But for some parents, it also brings a sense of worry, as they consider whether they’ll be able to afford their child’s school meals.

Fortunately, through the district’s participation in the National School Lunch Program, eligible families who are unable to pay the full price of meals can sign up for free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches.

Tue
01
Aug

Emergency management asking residents, business owners to report tornado damage


Two weeks after an EF-1 tornado ripped through McGregor, leaving a path of destruction in fallen trees and damaged or destroyed homes and buildings, Clayton County Emergency Management continues to seek residents’ and business owners’ help in compiling a comprehensive list of damages in the community. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Two weeks after an EF-1 tornado ripped through McGregor, leaving a path of destruction in fallen trees and damaged or destroyed homes and buildings, Clayton County Emergency Management continues to seek residents’ and business owners’ help in compiling a comprehensive list of damages in the community.

Those with damage to their homes, businesses or other properties during the July 19 tornado, as well as others in Clayton County who suffered damage from torrential rains and flooding July 21-22, are asked to call Great River 211, by dialing 211.

Tue
01
Aug

Restore McGregor Fund has raised $14,000


The McGregor Achievement Club plans to sell T-shirts like this to raise money for tornado recovery.

The Restore McGregor 2017 Tornado Fund, which was established by the Clayton County Foundation for the Future to help victims and their families affected by the July 19 tornado, has already raised over $14,000, according to MJ Smith, director of affiliate foundations for the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.

This fund is still accepting contributions from individuals and corporations, and will allocate those funds to the city of McGregor and area non-profits whose efforts actively address the most critical community needs and provide assistance to households impacted by the tornado.

To make a contribution, people can do so

Tue
01
Aug

James resurrects skills from high school class for her Silver & Stones jewelry


Joy James shows off one of the silver disks—a key component of many of her earrings—that she recently formed with special tools. Her jewelry is available at The Left Bank Shop and Gallery, in McGregor. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Joy fashions her jewelry in her McGregor apartment.

Each of her tools helps her do something different when creating jewelry, Joy said.

Joy makes a bit of everything—earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings—typically using silver. Earrings are her favorite.

When making jewelry, James said she has a variety of stones, beads and pieces of silver from which to choose.

“I try to never make two of the same thing,” Joy noted. “If someone buys something, there’s not another one like it.”

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Joy James was first exposed to jewelry-making in high school, when she learned how to solder (joining metal) jewelry in a class. Like many people, though, she left the skill behind, going on to pursue other interests.

“After high school, I didn’t do it again for many years,” said Joy, a mental health specialist for 25 years who moved to McGregor from Seattle in November, to live with her boyfriend, Dan.

The skill was always in the back of her mind, however. When Joy began beading 15 years ago, she thought, “I wonder if I can still solder?”

Tue
01
Aug

New swine/sheep complex in the works for Clayton County Fairgrounds


The new swine and sheep complex at the Clayton County Fairgrounds is expected to be more functional and versatile.

By Rachel Mergen, North Iowa Times Intern

“This is an exciting time for the Clayton County Fair,” the Clayton County Fair Board stated in a letter to residents of the county. “After a year of planning and knowing something had to be done to replace the old swine barn that was built in the 1930s, the fair board has decided to construct a new swine and sheep complex before the 2018 fair, if we receive enough funding.” 

Tue
01
Aug

Three Bulldog softball players receive all-conference recognition


Kyleigh Picha (Photo by Grant Langhus)

Jordan Schubert (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Hannah Schutte (Photo by Grant Langhus)

Three MFL MarMac softball players have received Upper Iowa Conference all-conference honors. Sophomore Kyleigh Picha was named to the first team, while freshman Jordan Schubert and sophomore Hannah Schutte earned honorable mention status.

Picha, an outfielder, played in 29 games this season, amassing a .337 batting average and .392 on-base percentage. She picked up 30 hits and walked 5 times, scored 33 runs and had 9 RBIs. Picha also tore up the base paths, swiping 43 bags in 44 attempts.

Schubert played in 29 games for MFL MarMac, starting 18 of those on the mound, where she had a 9-11 record with a 3.78 ERA. She held opponents to a .232 batting average, racking up 91 strikeouts and allowing 47 walks. 

Tue
01
Aug

Johanningmeier, Drahn earn honorable mention nods


Nathan Johanningmeier (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Cedrick Drahn (Photo by Audrey Posten)

MFL MarMac baseball players Nathan Johanningmeier and Cedrick Drahn have earned Upper Iowa Conference all-conference honors, with both receiving honorable mention nods.

Johanningmeier, a sophomore, had a .299 batting average and .405 on-base percentage in 28 games this season. He racked up 20 hits and walked 9 times, while driving in 10 runs and scoring 11 times. He also stole five bases. In the outfield, Johanningmeier had a .922 fielding percentage.

Drahn, a freshman infielder, also played in 28 games for the Bulldogs, hitting .288 with a .366 on-base percentage. He accumulated 21 hits and 8 walks, scored 12 runs, picked up 5 RBIs and stole 8 bases.

Mon
31
Jul

Roger Dale Witter

 

Roger Dale Witter, 72, of McGregor, Iowa died Friday, July 21, at his home. 

 

Roger was born May 17, 1945, to Herman and Mae (Voegeding) Witter in McGregor. He graduated from Mar-Mac High School and attended trade school for heavy equipment operating for one year in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Tue
25
Jul

Spirit of McGregor’s people on full display

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The clock said 6:18. My windshield wipers beat furiously, no match for the sheets of rain blowing sideways against my car as I drove across the Marquette/Joliet Bridge, toward Iowa, last Wednesday, July 19. Everything around me was white, my only bearings the taillights of the truck in front of me and my memory of the road, having driven over it nearly daily for the past four years.

Tue
25
Jul

'Dented, but not broken'


The top level of the building that housed INKspiration Tattoo was completely obliterated, as was much of the level below it, which was INKspiration owner Crystal Scarff’s apartment. Scarff was working in the tattoo shop at the time the tornado hit, but no one was injured.

The Main Street Mall Antiques building, once the Goedert Meat Market, collapsed as a result of the EF-1 tornado that swept through McGregor on July 19.

McGregor’s Main Street was hardest hit by the tornado. Countless trees were down and many buildings and homes were severely damaged or destroyed.

This large tree toppled onto the Lamp Post Inn and Gallery.

Cannon Park (shown here) and Gazebo Park lost several trees between the two.

McGregor’s city hall had noticeable damage to its roof. One of the columns framing the front door fell atop a car next door.

The tornado left behind mangled trees and damaged homes and buildings at the corner of A and Ann Streets.

The iconic tooth from Jim Arvidson’s dental office hung precariously following the tornado.

McGregor Pharmacy owner Dennis Alcorn (right) and Larry Brummel (left, middle), the former pharmacist who still owns the building, were among those who examined the pharmacy’s iconic mortar and pestle last Thursday morning, the day after an EF-1 tornado tore through McGregor.

This graphic from the National Weather Service’s La Crosse office shows the EF-1 tornado’s path, from Highway 18, through McGregor, to the riverfront.

McGregor recovering from strong EF-1 tornado

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

It was something mayor Harold Brooks admitted he’d never seen the likes of in his 50 years of living in McGregor—something many residents said they never thought could happen. 

A tornado.

Yet, just after 6:15 p.m., on Wednesday, July 19, that’s exactly what occurred, as an upper-end EF-1 tornado, with winds of 110 miles per hour, ripped through the historic river community. No one was injured, but the twister left a path of destruction in fallen trees and damaged or destroyed homes and buildings that will forever be felt in McGregor.

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