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Wed
28
Jun

Former Blumenthal building in Lansing is alive and well with industry once again


A sign indicates the new home for a satellite facility for Prairie Industries in the former Blumenthal building on the west side of Lansing. Following closing about a year ago of the longtime button factory, as it was more locally referred to, the Blumenthal facility was purchased by Tumbleweed Welding, whose owners not only occupy a portion of the building with their business but also reached out to Prairie Industries in Prairie du Chien, WI to offer the remaining portion of the building to potentially meet that company's expansion needs, thus gaining back some of the jobs and other economic and community benefits lost by the Blumenthal closing. Photo by Susan Cantine-Maxson.

Both "sight" and "site" are appropriate for the above caption headline, as seeing the former Blumenthal facility on the west end of Lansing with a full parking lot is, indeed, a welcome sight to community and county residents following closure of the Blumenthal facility just over a year ago. The site, itself, has also proven to be welcoming to a pair of businesses new to the Lansing area, as Tumbleweed Welding had originally purchased the facility and has been utilizing about one-third of it before reaching out to Prairie Industries of Prairie du Chein, WI with an invitation to accommodate its expansion needs in the remaining two-thirds of the building, a proposition that has proven to be a nice fit, according to industry and local officials. Photo by Susan Cantine-Maxson.

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

Two businesses have filled the gap left by the closing of the Blumenthal-Lansing button factory in 2016 in Lansing. Tumbleweed Welding and Prairie Industries have both started operations in the former button factory within this past year.

When news of the closing of the button plant hit the local area, it was the end of an era. Many people in Lansing and the surrounding area, along with generations of their families, had worked at the facility all of their lives. There had been button factories in Lansing since the 1800s, and the building sat idle following announcement of the Blumenthal closing next to a vacant lot where the Northern Engraving building had once been as well.

Many wondered if this building would meet the same fate, including the 70 employees who were left without jobs. The future seemed grim.

Sat
24
Jun

UPDATE: Stolen vehicle found, residents advised to maintain awareness

The Waukon Police Department reports that a red 1999 Dodge Neon bearing Iowa license plate EKJ 091 was stolen from Waukon between 11 p.m. Friday, June 23 and 10 a.m. Saturday, June 24 in the 500 block of West Main Street. The department also received a report of another vehicle on Clinton Street in Waukon that was broken into and the ignition mechanism removed. Both vehicles were locked and the keys were not in the ignition at the time.

In an updated report, the Waukon Police Department advises that the stolen vehicle has been located in Dubuque, but also warns that there is obviously still a concern of future break-ins due to the method used and that there were two vehicles affected.

Wed
21
Jun

New book tells Harpers Ferry native's tale from becoming an orphan to creating a mission to help them and others


Jeff (JT) Olson ...

JT Olson returning to native Allamakee County to share story June 29 at Old East Paint Creek

by Kelli Boylen
freelance writer

Jeff (JT) Olson knows what it is to be an orphan.

He clearly remembers the day his parents died. He was 12 year old, and his parents had been away for their 16th wedding anniversary. He was excited to be reunited with his brothers, sisters and parents.

He then learned his parents, Othello and Lora Mae Olson, had been killed in a car accident on their way back to their rural Harpers Ferry home on the Lansing-Harpers Road.

He also remembers the family members who took care of him and his four siblings, John, Jim, Julie and Jerene. A widowed aunt took care of the three oldest children so they could finish out the school year at Waukon Junior High, and then all five children moved to Brookfield, WI with their aunt and uncle, Ralph and Marie Ann Seifert.

Wed
21
Jun

RAGBRAI® in Allamakee County

Waukon RAGBRAI hosting Town Meeting June 28; All are encouraged to attend

The Waukon RAGBRAI Committees will be hosting a Town Meeting Wednesday, June 28 from 6-7 p.m. at Iron Ridge Church, located at 512 Ninth Street SW in Waukon. Residents and others interested from all communities in the Allamakee County area, including the pass-through and final destination towns, are invited to attend the meeting.

More specific details will be presented about RAGBRAI's overnight stay in Waukon, including information about road closures and layout of the entertainment and other venues in downtown Waukon. Additional information will address volunteer and rider hosting opportunities, as well as funding and other logistical information. Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to ask questions in regard to RAGBRAI and its July 28-29 visit to Allamakee County.

Wed
21
Jun

Lori Egan begins campaign for District 56 seat of Iowa House


Lori Egan ...

Lori Egan, a nurse from Waukon, has announced her candidacy to represent the Iowa House of Representatives 56th District, which includes all of Allamakee County and parts of Clayton County.

“I’m running for the Iowa House because Clayton and Allamakee counties are being forgotten by the politicians in Des Moines,” Egan said. “As a 30-year resident of Waukon and a nurse, I'm concerned about the future of working families and our community. I’m running because economic opportunity should not be limited to those in Des Moines. We need living wage jobs with benefits right here in Clayton and Allamakee counties. We need health care that is affordable and accessible and we need an education system that provides our kids with the skills they’ll need to land a good job."

Egan is currently the Health Programs Director at the Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation (NEICAC). Previously she served as a nurse with the Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, WI.

Wed
14
Jun

Supervisors approve amendments to County's ATV/UTV Ordinance following Monday's public hearing

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, June 12 to address a full agenda of items. Among those items were the Public Hearing for amendments to the ATV Ordinance LV, the signing of the revised Solutions Information Technology (IT) Services Agreement for Fiscal-Year 2018 and approval of the revised 28E agreement for the issuance of drivers licenses.

Wed
14
Jun

RAGBRAI® in Allamakee County


A very small sampling of what's to come in late July ... Approximately three dozen riders associated with the RAGBRAI® organization (a small sampling of which are pictured above coming down the hill of West Main Street in Waukon) made their way into Waukon Friday afternoon, June 9 as part of the RAGBRAI Pre-Ride route inspection that took place this past week across the state along the route RAGBRAI XLV will be traveling July 23-29. Along with inspecting the route, the riders were also treated to a small sampling of the hospitality and amenities that will be available to riders as they travel Allamakee County Friday, July 28 through Saturday, July 29, making their way from Postville to Waukon for the Friday overnight stop before heading through Waterville and Harpers Ferry to this year's official ride ending destination in Lansing. In her blog about the pre-ride inspection event (available at www.ragbrai.com), RAGBRAI marketing and media manager Andrea Parrott described the final day route of 44.9 miles and 3,200 feet of climb through the hills and valleys of Allamakee County as "a lovely but challenging ride," further describing the final day's route as "perhaps the most beautiful ride ever on RAGBRAI." Further blog posts and photo galleries of the RAGBRAI Pre-Ride through Allamakee County and along this year's route can also be found at www.ragbrai.com. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

Waukon RAGBRAI seeking volunteers to host riders in homes or yards overnight

Wed
14
Jun

Annual Dairy Parade held in Waukon ...

The 2017 Allamakee County Dairy Parade traveled the streets of Waukon Monday, June 5, with a number of area businesses, families and organizations providing entries to pay tribute to the dairy industry. The annual celebration brings together those representing the industry in whatever way they can, such as the Allamakee County Dairy Ambassadors pictured above who walked the parade route promoting the industry they intend to continue to be a part of in the future, or local business owners who know the value of the dairy industry within their own business and were "spotted" acknowledging that benefit and thanking industry producers in their own unique way. View these photos and more by clicking on the Photo Galleries link on this website.
 

Wed
14
Jun

End of an era: Locals attend Reserve Center closing as 322nd Engineer Company makes move to Nevada


Members of the 322nd Engineer Company based in Decorah stand at attention while officers case their Company flag in preparation for the unit's move to Sloane, NV and the closing of the Army Reserve Center in Decorah. The "Casing of the Colors" is an important aspect of a Company's move. Photo by Lissa Blake.

SPC Michael Roth, Jr. (right), a 2011 Waukon High School graduate, along with his fiancée Jordyn Enyart, who is holding their daughter, Gabriella Roth, attended the June 4 closing ceremony of the PFC Lloyd C. Wohlford, Jr. Army Reserve Center in Decorah. Roth was stationed at the Center with the 322nd Engineering Company that is now moving to Sloane, NV and says he is "sad to see it closing." Photo by Lissa Blake.

Gabe Feuerhelm (far right), a 1996 graduate of Waukon High School, is pictured with his parents, Ross and Regina Feuerhelm of Decorah, and his daughter, Chloe (far left), a 2015 MFL/MarMac graduate who was leaving for the Air Force last week. The family attended the June 4 closing ceremony of the PFC Lloyd C. Wohlford, Jr. Army Reserve Center in Decorah, where Gabe Feuerhelm served out of with the 322nd Engineering Company that is now moving to Sloane, NV. Photo by Lissa Blake.

Christine Bolson (left) of Lansing and her sister, Margaret Walter (right) of Decorah, attended the June 4 closing ceremony for the PFC Lloyd C. Wohlford, Jr. United States Army Reserve Center, which is named for their younger brother. PFC Wohlford was the first Winneshiek County fatality during the Vietnam conflict. Photo by Lissa Blake.

by Lissa Blake

It was with mixed emotions many area residents bid farewell to the 322nd Engineer Company Sunday morning, June 4.

Over 100 people attended a special ceremony marking the closing of the PFC Lloyd C. Wohlford, Jr. United States Army Reserve Center in Decorah, which is closing due to the fact the Company is relocating to Sloan, NV located near Las Vegas. The unit received its orders earlier this year; the majority of Company members have been reassigned to new units, according to Commander Captain Douglas O’ Brien of Darlington, WI.

Soldiers assigned to the 322nd Engineer Company had the options of transferring to another unit in the area, changing their military occupation in order to transfer to a unit that may be closer, or transferring to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR).

Wed
07
Jun

REMEMBERING: Area Memorial Day celebrations ...


In Waukon...

In Harpers Ferry ...

In Lansing ...

In New Albin ...

In Waukon...
The annual Memorial Day Observance held May 29 in Waukon featured delivery of the Memorial Day Address by Rev. Dr. William Reese (pictured at far left), a Vietnam Veteran from Viroqua, WI. Along with the more traditional Memorial Day Observance that included the parade through Waukon and the program held at Oakland Cemetery, a surprise was sprung on Waukon area native and 1984 Waukon High School graduate Andrew Lonning, who was honored for his retirement from the U.S. Army following a career spanning nearly three decades and featuring ascension to the rank of Command Sergeant Major. In the photo at right, Lonning's high school classmate, Master Sergeant Kevin Herman, U.S. Army, Retired (right in photo) presented Lonning (left in photo) with a certificate plaque commemorating his retirement. Quilts of Valor were also bestowed on several local veterans (pictured at immediate left) during Monday's observance program. Photos by Robin Johnson.

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