Community News

Wed
01
May

Supervisors schedule May 1 special meeting for consideration of federal Community Project Fund application regarding Veterans Memorial Hospital

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, April 29 to address a full agenda of matters including the discussion and consideration of the hourly pay rate for township officials, consideration of approving the detour route for the Allamakee County Dairy Days Parade, and consideration of adopting the North Iowa Juvenile Detention Services 28E Agreement. The meeting was called to order by Board of Supervisors Chairperson Dan Byrnes with Supervisors Mark Reiser and Dennis Keatley present.

Wed
24
Apr

Supervisors discuss solar project at County Farm, approve funding for libraries and salary/wage increases for elected officials, other employees of the county

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, April 22 to address a full agenda of matters including the Public Hearing for the proposed Fiscal-Year 2025 Allamakee County Budget, the consideration of Adopting the Resolution approving Fiscal-Year 2025 compensation increases for elected officials and the discussion and consideration of a potential solar project at the County Farm. The meeting was called to order by Board of Supervisors Chairperson Dan Byrnes with Supervisors Mark Reiser and Dennis Keatley present.

Wed
24
Apr

Black Hawk Bridge back open to traffic after repairs are completed, bridge tested

As evident in the surrounding photos on this page, the Black Hawk Bridge at Lansing was opened to traffic by Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) officials Saturday, April 20 at approximately 11 a.m., bringing to an end a nearly two-month closure that involved an extensive repair process and rigorous safety testing and inspection. The bridge had been closed since February 25 of this year after discovery of an unexpected buckling of the bridge that was then determined to be the result of two of the bridge piers shifting on the eastern end of the structure.

“Our contracting partner, Kraemer North America, worked diligently to replace the piers,” Iowa DOT officials said. “The new piers are supported by steel pipe pilings reaching more than 100 feet into bedrock compared to the previous pilings that were placed more than 90 years ago and reached approximately 40 feet deep.”

Wed
24
Apr

The Toe Tappers to celebrate 50th Anniversary as they join Bandmates, Brothers and Friends May 10 for Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation fundraiser


The Toe Tappers of today ... Pictured above are the current members of The Toe Tappers, including, left to right, Joe Sweeney, Dean Mielke, Sis Stemper and Lyle Hanson. While Dean and Sis are newer members of the band, Lyle has been with The Toe Tappers since 1992 and Joe is an original founding member. Submitted photo.

The beginning of the beats ... Joe Sweeney has always been the one concrete member of the Toe Tappers throughout the band’s 50-plus year history of entertaining northeast Iowa. He is pictured here with his trap set in his living room, shortly after beginning his musical career with Luigi and the Troubadours in 1965. Submitted photo.

The Toe Tappers in their early years ... The Toe Tappers will be celebrating their 50th anniversary at the Allamakee County Fairgrounds Pavilion in Waukon Friday, May 10, beginning at 6 p.m. The current members of the band will join Bandmates, Brothers and Friends (BBF), who are reuniting for their second consecutive year to benefit the Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation. Pictured above are The Toe Tappers in the early years of the band, including Gordy Tangen at left, Joe Sweeney in the middle and Lloyd Weber at right. Submitted photo.

The Toe Tappers will be celebrating their 50th anniversary at the Allamakee County Fairgrounds Pavilion in Waukon Friday, May 10, beginning at 6 p.m. They will join Bandmates, Brothers and Friends, members of several former local bands who are reuniting for their second consecutive year to benefit the Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation. This year the event will be held at the Allamakee County Fairgrounds Pavilion in Waukon to allow for more room for dancing, additional seating, food (cash sales), and beverages.

The Toe Tappers have been entertaining the tri-state area for over 50 years, but due to COVID never had the opportunity to celebrate that milestone, until this event. They will take the stage first, at 6 p.m., followed by two different sets of the 11 musicians who are once again reuniting for the night, forming Bandmates, Brothers and Friends (BBF).

Wed
24
Apr

Waukon Chamber of Commerce holds its first ribbon cutting with new Chamber Ambassadors, welcomes Hello Sunshine to its new location


Hello Sunshine ribbon cutting with Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors ... The Waukon Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon cutting event at the new location of Hello Sunshine on Main Street in Waukon, and this ribbon cutting was the first to feature the Chamber’s new Ambassador Program. Pictured above at that ribbon cutting are: Left to right - Front row: Waukon Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors Amber Mezera of People’s State Bank, Denise Wullner of Veterans Memorial Hospital and Sandy Halverson of S&D Cafe, Hello Sunshine Owner Lara Berryman, Waukon Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Wendy Bucheit of Veterans Memorial Hospital, and Waukon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors member Paige Cota of FreedomBank; Back row Waukon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors members David Mark of R.W. Pladsen and Chad Curtin of Waukon State Bank, Waukon Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors Jackie Barz of Waukon Family Chiropractic and Adam Hooten of Teddy’s Auto Sales, Colin Berryman of Hello Sunshine, and Waukon Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors Jamie Bieber of Veterans Memorial Hospital, Erin Berns of Veterans Memorial Hospital and Barb Shull of FreedomBank. Submitted photo.

The year 2024 is a year of firsts for the Waukon Chamber of Commerce. It is the first full year for Executive Director Mandy Halverson, the first time the organization secured an Iowa Tourism Grant, and it also marks the launch of the Chamber’s new Ambassador program. The Waukon Chamber of Commerce is nearing its 70th year of incorporation, and it’s safe to say that the organization has been a labor of love for the Waukon business owners, employees and residents who have been a part of the Chamber over the years.

In this year of new beginnings for the Waukon Chamber of Commerce, the current Chamber staff and board of directors identified increased visibility and enhanced member interactions as organizational goals. Specifically, the group wanted to improve the celebration of member milestones through more scheduled ribbon cuttings as a way to draw attention to Waukon businesses and community growth in general.

Tue
16
Apr

April session of “Let’s Talk Bridges!” provides updates on bridge repairs and answers to commonly asked questions, demonstrates how to make the concrete used on new bridge


Providing concrete evidence ... The activity the engineers had planned for the monthly bridge talk held April 11 involved making concrete - using the exact materials being used for the concrete on the new bridge project. “Croell was nice enough to let us use samples of those materials from their plant,” bridge project engineer Clayton Burke said. Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

“Wood” you believe it? ... Clayton Burke, overseeing engineer on the bridge replacement project with the Iowa DOT, explained to Bridge Talk attendees why the new piers are better than the piers they replaced during repairs to the Black Hawk Bridge. “The pile (the new piers) are founded on extend all the way down to bedrock and they meet modern design standards,” Burke said. “The original piers were only founded on 40- to 50-foot-deep wooden pile and constructed in the late 1920s.” Burke is shown here holding some of the wood pieces retrieved when the original piers were demolished. Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

by Julie Berg-Raymond

Repair of the Black Hawk Bridge is moving along right on schedule, according to a statement posted on social media Monday, April 15, by the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT).

Most encouraging is the fact that all the spans are back in place on the existing bridge. While contractors still have to install approximately 400 bolts, and a thorough inspection needs to be undertaken to make sure the bridge is safe, the DOT statement concludes, “we are on pace to meet our goal of having the bridge back open by the end of (April).”

During the sixth monthly “Bridge Talk,” held Thursday, April 11 at the Meehan Memorial Lansing Public Library, spirits were higher among attendees than they had been in recent weeks, since the unexpected closing of the Black Hawk Bridge Sunday, February 25 because of safety concerns after reports were confirmed that the bridge had moved.

Tue
16
Apr

Cub Scout Pack 64 does some Painting in the Park as part of its April Pack meeting ...

April 9 was a beautiful night for the Waukon Cub Scout Pack 64 to hold its monthly Pack meeting. This month, the Scouts had the privilege of having Val Miller from Steel Cow help them paint. Val showed the Scouts how she starts her paintings with the background and layers on as she paints. There were many different colors and themes in the paintings by the Scouts, including beautiful blue skies and green rolling hills, and even an ocean and pond made their appearance. The Scouts enjoyed their art lesson in the Waukon City Park and look forward to using their painting skills on the projects they do for Scouts as they progress. Submitted photo.
 

Tue
16
Apr

Supervisors approve third reading and adoption of Local Options Sales and Service Tax Ordinance, approve health insurance renewal recommendation

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, April 15 to address a full agenda of matters including the consideration of the Third Reading of Ordinance LXIV establishing Local Option Sales and Services Tax within Unincorporated Areas and Cities, a presentation of the Fiscal-Year 2025 Health Insurance Committee recommendation, and consideration of the Resolution obligating ARPA funds for election laptop computers. The April 15 meeting was held at the Allamakee County Veterans Museum in Waukon as part of the Supervisors’ annual schedule of library and alternate meeting locations within the county.

The meeting was called to order by Board of Supervisors Chairperson Dan Byrnes with Supervisors Dennis Keatley and Mark Reiser present. There was no Public Comment during the time allotted for that matter.

Wed
10
Apr

Senator Grassley meets with students at Waukon High School


U.S. Senator Charles Grassley meets with students at Waukon High School ... United States Senator from Iowa Charles Grassley visited Waukon High School Thursday morning, April 4 to talk with high school juniors and seniors. Senator Grassley fielded questions from students and discussed a variety of items that included infrastructure, term limits, helping dairy farmers and small business, the national debt, political corruption, a balanced budget amendment, finding more common ground, and the Senator’s education and salary, among other matters. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

by Joe Moses

Wed
10
Apr

Friends of Pool 9 Mississippi River Clean-Up taking place this Saturday

Those who are concerned about preserving the Mississippi River as a host for recreation and nature-lovers, both now and in the future, should consider participating in the Friends of Pool 9 River Clean-Up scheduled for Saturday, April 13 from 8 a.m. to noon.

People interested in helping with this clean-up should contact the group leaders at the following towns to get their assignments and sign-up sheets. Those group leaders are:
• De Soto, WI - Jerry Boardman, 563-419-7968
• Ferryville, WI - Larry Quamme, 920-948-2245
• Lynxville, WI - Mark Schneden, 608-412-0483
• New Albin - Jim Erbe, 563-419-1085
• Lansing - Alex Galema, 563-568-7294.

Each individual must sign a liability waiver. Those under the age of 18 must have signed parental permission to participate. Volunteers will receive gloves, garbage bags and water when they arrive. Dumpsters will be placed at strategic places on both sides of the river.

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