Local News

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Mon
18
Nov

Making holidays brighter for kids

There’s a lot more than stretching and stepping going on at a local fitness class. Several members are also involved in service project designed to brighten the holiday season for kids in need.

The Fit and Flex group, which meets weekday mornings at the Elkader Fitness Center, has embraced projects launched by two of its members. The first is an effort led by Debbie Crane to make kids’ pajamas.

“I went to a garage sale in Cedar Rapids and there was a table with a stack of new flannel on it, probably 15 or 20 yards,” Debbie said. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it but I knew I had to buy it.”

Mon
18
Nov

Renovation project is completed


The kitchen and cafeteria - now known as the Commons - have been moved to the main floor. The former kitchen is now a fitness area. Pictured is Central superintendent Nick Trenkamp.

The middle and high school media center moved from the main floor to the second floor. Prior to the $6 million capital project, this part of the school didn't exist.

The $6.8 million renovation project at Central Schools, Elkader, is complete.

Central Superintendent Nick Trenkamp did a final walk-through with contractors last week noting some minor cosmetic work that needed to be addressed. The really “big stuff,” however—like the new middle/high school media center, science classroom, fitness area, commons and other spaces—have been finished for some time.

“We haven’t seen much of a crew in here for a while,” said Trenkamp. “It’s been a long, exhausting process—and I can’t say enough about how the staff and students dealt with the reality of the construction work—but everyone is in agreement that the end results are worth it.”

And it’s not just students and staff who are impressed with the results. Trenkamp has heard from parents, Central alumni and visitors. An open house in late September drew a large crowd and many took time at the end of the tour to share their favorable impressions.

Mon
18
Nov

Museum gets ready for holiday season


Cathryn Chancellor hangs ornaments created by area artists on one of several trees at the Carter House Museum.

The calendar might say November 20th but inside the Carter House Museum, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

The museum is being readied for the annual holiday open house Friday, November 22, from 5 to 8 p.m., and each room—plus the Annex—will reflect this year’s theme: Gifts.

“This year’s theme has come together beautifully, and I think our guests will enjoy the house and how each room celebrates a gift—from music to nature, food, friendship, poetry, pets, humor, and community service,” said Carter House board member LaVonne Augustson.

Tue
12
Nov

Chef offers extra serving of gratitude


Michael Ellison, far right, owner of Dotzy’s Restaurant and Saloon, Elgin, is shown with some of the veterans who attended his appreciation breakfast last week. They are, back row, left to right: Ralph Clausen, Bob Rothlisberger, Dave Christen, Mark Benson, and Ron Soppe; and front row: Duane Strong and Don Sutter

No immediate member of Michael Ellison’s family has served in the armed forces and yet as Veterans Day approached, Ellison felt compelled to do something to say “thanks” to those who have served. Since feeding people is what he’s does best, Chef Mike, as he’s better known, decided to offer breakfast at his Elgin business, Dotzy’s Restaurant and Saloon. Veterans and their spouses enjoyed a free buffet Monday morning, a time when Chef Mike and his staff are usually recovering from a hectic weekend. Non-veterans were welcomed, as well. They could make a freewill offering, which was given to the Elgin American Legion. “I’ve had friends in the military and I really appreciate those who serve,” Chef Mike said. “I feel a debt to them, and this seemed like a good what to repay a bit of that.” Chef Mike admitted he wanted to do an appreciation breakfast last year, but the thought occurred to him too late. This year, planning started earlier, and he got some help.

Mon
04
Nov

New Snow Ordinance for Elkader Residents

Last week’s snowfalls were moderate but we all know bigger storms are coming. And when they do, Elkader residents will have a new snow ordinance to follow.

Approved last April by City Council, the ordinance prohibits parking between 2 and 6 a.m. on public streets whenever snow has accumulated on the paved portion of the road. This part of the ordinance covers snowfalls that are not significant enough for a snow emergency declaration. Motorists will be fined $20 per violation.

A snow emergency adds another layer to the ordinance: For up to 24 hours after an emergency has been declared, parking is prohibited on all streets. If snow removal efforts take less time than that, the parking ban will be lifted. Downtown parking lots will be cleared early so anyone who needs to be downtown will still have a place to park.

The ordinance does not say how much snow must fall before an emergency is declared but “generally this will be reserved for six inches or more.”

Wed
30
Oct

Training dogs to serve others


A local kennel is training dogs to work with veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder as well as youngsters with autism. Read their remarkable story in next week's issue of the Clayton County Register.
Mon
14
Oct

2019 City Election

No candidates for two open seats
As the November 5 city election approaches, Elkader finds itself in a unique position: No one has filed to run for two open positions.

 

Tue
01
Oct

Update given on Keystone Bridge project

Keystone Bridge Project
The City of Elkader has received two grants to cover the cost of rehabilitating the historic Keystone Bridge.

 

Tue
13
Aug

Art in the Park Area artists collaborate on unique work

Retired art teacher Ken Balk created this tree using cattle markers, rope and other medium. Eighteen members of Clayton County Artists contributed the smaller canvases. The piece will be auctioned off as part of the Art in the Park festivities this weekend in Elkader.
Retired art teacher Ken Balk created this tree using cattle markers, rope and other medium. Eighteen members of Clayton County Artists contributed the smaller canvases. The piece will be auctioned off as part of the Art in the Park festivities this weekend in Elkader.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

A product often found in barns was integral a painting that will be auctioned off this weekend during Art in the Park.

Retired art teacher Ken Balk of West Union formed the painting’s central element—a large, dramatic, 3-dimensional tree—using cattle markers. These oversized paint sticks were originally made to mark animals for identification purposes. Artists have been using the medium for years, citing the inexpensive cost, array of colors, consistency and fast drying times as their reasons for turning to this unusual product. One artist likened it to painting with a large tube of lipstick.
Cattle markers are also the reason Balk became involved with Clayton County Artists, who are sponsoring the work.

Tue
06
Aug

Reworked program Planting seeds of conservation in NE Iowa

A new cooperative program will look at a number of conservation topics, including tallgrass prairies. The program combines on-line sessions with field experiences.
A new cooperative program will look at a number of conservation topics, including tallgrass prairies. The program combines on-line sessions with field experiences.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

A 20-year-old program for people who want to be more connected to the land has been redesigned to leverage state and local specialists on topics ranging from tallgrass prairies to aquatic ecosystems.

The Iowa Master Conservationist program for Northeast Iowa begins Thursday, August 22, and continues through October 3. It combines online lessons led by Iowa State University researchers with with local conservation leaders and citizens.

“There will be a number of a-ha moments,” promises Jenna Pollock, Clayton County Conservation Director. “And everyone involved will learn from the program. Those with an interest in nature, water quality, soil health, forestry and eco-systems will gain skills that can be applied to their own property, workplace and volunteer opportunities. The knowledge shared by a diverse group of specialists will help participants make educated decisions in their everyday life.”

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