River Valley

Wed
01
May

Friends of Pool 9 to offer boat tours as part of Refuge 100th Anniversary

As one part of celebrating the 100th Anniversary year of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, the Friends of Pool 9 organization will be offering the public 10 two-hour boat tours on the longest and one of the most beautiful and ecologically rich wildlife refuges in the nation.

These unique experiences are focused on informing all age levels about the wildlife, fishes, habitats, and rich history of this publicly-owned refuge. The tours will  be especially pleasing to families, the elderly, and anyone else who seldom, and perhaps never, get to explore, up close and personally, the Mississippi River.

The tour boat comfortably holds 49 passengers, and is Coast Guard inspected and certified. Captain Robert Vavra has a long and varied history as a Mississippi River man, and is an exceptional story-teller. He enjoys explaining everything passengers see, hear, and have questions about, while exploring secluded backwaters.

Wed
24
Apr

NE Iowa Community Connectors to host “Shop, Sip & Support Lansing”

Public invited to Lansing event this Saturday

The Northeast Iowa Community Connectors and Main Street Lansing are hosting a “Shop, Sip & Support Lansing” event Saturday afternoon, April 27, from noon-3 p.m. in Lansing. The event is open to the public, with a “pay your own way” shopping and dining experience in Lansing. Adults of all ages are welcome.

The day will kick off at “The Buck Stops Here” for quick introductions and lunch. The group will visit various businesses along downtown Lansing. A group photo will be taken by the new mural, painted by Erik Burke. At 3 p.m. the group will meet back at “The Safe House” for drinks and socializing.

Those attending should RSVP to neicommunityconnectors@gmail.com or text a message (563-379-3619) with how many are attending, so a head count can be taken for lunch.

Wed
24
Apr

Lansing City Council discusses status of speed camera ordinance

by Julie Berg-Raymond

During its regular meeting Monday, April 15, the Lansing City Council discussed the status of a speed camera ordinance in Lansing. The city council had earlier approved the installation of one or more speed cameras during its regular December 4, 2023, meeting.

Once the council had approved the installation of speed cameras in Lansing, its next task was to work on drafting a proposed ordinance involving their use; but there has been some delay in that process.

“There was a great deal of discussion concerning cameras and the contract for them,” Mayor Mike Verdon said in an email interview following the April 15 regular meeting. “There were some committee changes when the new council was seated that resulted in ‘handing off’ information between council members that resulted in delays in properly processing [that information]. That hand-off, coupled with the bridge situation, made for the delays.”

Tue
16
Apr

Read Across Iowa hosts “Egg”cellent celebration ...

Read Across Iowa launched March 1 and began a month-long celebration to bring the joys of reading to kids of all ages. Agriculturally-themed Read Across Iowa events were held in Allamakee County and across the state and featured books and materials about agriculture that appealed to all readers.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Allamakee County went into classrooms in New Albin Elementary and read an egg-themed book. As depicted in the photos here, students learned some fun facts about chickens and had an egg and spoon relay race to get the egg from the nest to the egg carton.

“When you read with children, you are making an investment,” said Becky Rea, K-12 Program Coordinator. “Early reading and talking with children gives them a strong start and a life-long return.”

Tue
16
Apr

Iowa PBS’s “Road Trip Iowa” episodes next week to feature visits to Lansing, Harpers Ferry

The Iowa PBS series “Road Trip Iowa” will feature some Allamakee County highlights in an upcoming episode to be aired next week. The Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center in Lansing, and Mohn’s Fish Market and Effigy Mounds National Monument near Harpers Ferry will all be featured in the same episode that will premiere Wednesday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m. and be rebroadcast Saturday, April 27 at 9 a.m.

In that episode of “Road Trip Iowa”, explore the history of river life in the Driftless Area. The episode will also highlight other stops along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway including the Lockmaster’s House Heritage Museum, Pikes Peak State Park, the Fenelon Place Elevator, Catfish Charlie’s, the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, and the Dubuque Street Art Trail.

Tue
16
Apr

“Drive High, Get a DUI”: Don’t take any chances this 4/20; Plan to use a sober driver

Saturday, April 20 marks an unofficial cannabis “celebration,” and there will likely be an increase in marijuana use. To help keep drug-impaired drivers off the roads, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Region 7, which includes Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, is teaming up with local law enforcement to spread the message that drug-impaired driving is dangerous and illegal. NHTSA wants to remind all drivers: “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. So don’t drive high, or you’ll get a DUI.”

“Even if you don’t feel impaired after partaking in drug use, do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle,” said Region 7 Administrator Susan DeCourcy. “Impairment from drug use can sometimes be delayed, or you can be fooled into thinking you’re of sound mind when you’re not. State laws vary within our region, but the one constant is that driving with recreational drugs in your system is illegal everywhere.”

Wed
10
Apr

New Albin among funding recipients through Community Tree Planting Alliant program

Alliant Energy named 41 Iowa communities to receive grants totaling nearly $145,000 through the company’s Community Tree Planting program, part of its One Million Trees initiative. Among those communities was the City of New Albin, which received $800 in funding for right-of-way planting with general volunteers.

“Our commitment to improving the environment and supporting the communities we serve is unwavering,” said May Farlinger, Vice President Customer and Community Engagement, Alliant Energy. “The Community Tree Planting program grants awarded will help these Iowa communities achieve tree restoration goals, improve energy efficiency and provide environmental benefits for generations to come.”

Alliant Energy partners with Trees Forever to help communities develop, select and plant a diverse mix of trees. A tree expert helps communities select the best species for their areas and create care and maintenance plans to ensure the new trees have long, healthy lives.

Wed
10
Apr

DNR seeking public input on draft of Impaired Waters List by Friday

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking public comment on the newly released draft impaired waters list (303(d) list). Data recently released by the Iowa DNR shows a reduction in 96 impairments relative to the 2022 303(d) impairment list, once the 2024 list is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Iowa’s 2024 303(d) list includes waterbody segments that are not meeting all applicable state water quality standards for their designated uses. A water on the 303(d) list is referred to as an impaired water. Once the DNR creates a water quality improvement plan for the segment (called Total Maximum Daily Loads, or TMDLs), the segment does not need to be included on future 303(d) lists.

Wed
03
Apr

Awards bestowed at MSL Annual Meeting


Steve Murray named Volunteer of the Year at Main Street Lansing Annual Meeting ... Submitted photo.

Red Barn Campground and Restaurant named Main Street Lansing 2023 Business of the Year ... Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

Steve Murray named Volunteer of the Year at Main Street Lansing Annual Meeting ...
During the Main Street Lansing (MSL) annual meeting Tuesday, March 26, MSL Executive Director Andrew Boddicker announced the 2023 Volunteer of the Year is Steve Murray. In his presentation of the award, Boddicker told attendees that “Steve is not able to join us tonight as he tends to much more important matters and takes care of (his wife) Sarah and his family. But that does not stop us from celebrating and recognizing him even at this difficult time. It is also likely that you all are aware that Sarah is a member of our Main Street Lansing Board, as the ex-officio voting board member representing the School District. The Murray family is an integral part of Main Street, and Steve - as Volunteer of the Year - is what I would call, our ‘on-call’ volunteer. There is almost nothing he isn’t willing to do - I’ve yet to hear him complain or say no to a request.

Wed
03
Apr

Upper Iowa Audubon Society to host program on Bluebirds Saturday at Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center

Join Upper Iowa Audubon Saturday, April 6 at 1 p.m. for a program on Bluebirds. The program will be held at the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center, Lansing. Brian Preston, director of Dubuque County Conservation, will be the presenter.

The program will include life history, house placement, management and general information about Bluebirds. Everyone is invited to come and learn how to bring Bluebirds to their own backyard. There will also be Bluebird house kits available.

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