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Wed
06
Jul

Inspired by its beauty, Iowa musician wants to give back to Yellow River State Forest


Moved to music ... Musician Brandon Propes of Webster City says Yellow River State Forest in Allamakee County felt familiar from the first time he visited, bringing back happy memories of trout fishing with his dad. The State Forest has inspired some of the music that he writes and performs. Submitted photo.

View inspires musician to want to give back ... Brandon Propes, a musician from Webster City, found inspiration this foggy summer morning at the Paint Creek Overlook at Yellow River State Forest in Allamakee County. He ended up composing and recording an original song, “Lookout Point: Early Morning,” reflecting how that experience made him feel and has declared he will donate, to the Friends of Yellow River State Forest, revenue generated from people listening to the song through online streaming services. Submitted photo.

Brandon Propes of Webster City is a musician who plays guitar, bass, piano and drums. He records his own original instrumental songs, and he recently found inspiration at the Yellow River State Forest in rural Allamakee County.

“For inspiration through the pandemic, I turned to hiking and writing a composition to audibly describe how I felt in that moment,” Propes said. “I have grown proud of these songs. One song in particular was inspired by the Scenic Overlook of Big Paint Campground. I put the album cover for that single as the picture I took that morning. I have the songs under my old band’s name, The Coming Tides, and they are available on all platforms.”

Propes was born in northwest Indiana. His parents split up when he was young, and he ended up moving to Iowa.

“One of my fondest memories as a kid was fishing for trout in Indiana. We lost my dad too young, he was just 48,” Propes explained.

Wed
06
Jul

Auditor’s Office offers clarification on some area voters receiving new Voter Registration Cards after Primary

The Allamakee County Auditor’s office would like to clarify an issue that impacted some local voters when importing vote credit for those who voted in the June 7 Primary Election.

Voters in Precinct 2 (French Creek, Jefferson, Ludlow, Makee and Union Prairie Townships) who voted at the Waukon Banquet Center in that June 7 Primary Election have since received two new Voter Registration cards addressed from the Allamakee County Auditor’s Office following the election. The first card was issued due to a clerical error - the wrong box was inadvertently checked in the State of Iowa voter registration system during the auditor’s import process to give voters credit for voting in the Primary.

Wed
29
Jun

Flag etiquette: What to do with older American Flags

by David M. Johnson

Old Glory, the Flag, the Stars and Stripes, are monikers or other names for the flag of the United States. As this nation has observed, or will soon observe, at least one recent or upcoming holiday or designated day in recent months - Memorial Day in May, Flag Day in June and Independence Day in July - much attention is drawn to that symbol of this nation.

History tells the tale that this nation’s flag began its storied history during the 1775-1776 time period.  Betsy Ross is historically noted to have been given the responsibility to sew a flag that would best represent her emerging country from the colonial grip of England.

Wed
29
Jun

Allamakee County Veterans Museum to recognize WWII Veterans, share story of Jim Bristol at July 6 event

B-29 Bomber ...
B-29 Bomber ...

Wednesday, July 6 at 6:30 p.m., the Allamakee County Veterans Museum will recognize World War II Veterans with a presentation at its new museum in the former Vet’s Club building at 105 Allamakee Street in Waukon. A video interview with U.S. Army Air Corps veteran, the late James Bristol, will be presented.

This long-time Waukon attorney was interviewed by the 5 Sullivan Brothers Museum in 2005. A member of Bristol’s family will also be present to share memories. Jim Bristol was a crew member on a B-29 Superfortress bomber and flew 26 missions over Japan. A short video about the B-29 bomber will also be shown.

The public is invited to attend. There is no admission or membership charge. The facility is handicapped accessible. Light refreshments will be served at the program.

Wed
29
Jun

Thursday is final day to provide local input through Community Health Needs Assessment Survey

Input is still needed for the community health needs assessment survey. This is required every three years of Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH) to survey the residents of Allamakee County and the surrounding areas served by the hospital. The hospital is still conducting that survey through this Thursday, June 30 and more input is needed from all the area communities.

The intent is to collect a list of the health needs the residents feel are most important. Community Health Needs Assessments gather information to help guide and direct health planning activities.

Information from this survey is compiled and used to update and improve the health plan for this entire service area of the hospital.   The hospital encourages everyone to take a few minutes to complete this important survey so the results can be used to develop a plan to address the outlined health needs.

Wed
22
Jun

Lansing to receive $50,000 grant from T-Mobile for renovation of downtown Plaza


Granting a wish for Lansing’s Main Street Plaza ... Lansing has been announced as a T-Mobile Hometown Grant Recipient for 2022 and was recently presented with a ceremonial check for $50,000 that will go towards renovating the Main Street Plaza. Pictured above at that check presentation are, left to right: Christopher Hird, T-Mobile rural indirect sales manager; Andy Kelleher, Main Street Lansing Executive Director; Maryann Baldwin, owner of Lansing Works + Innovation Lab; Sarah Updegraff, Kee High School/Middle School Principal; Amy Stracener, Kerndt Brothers Bank Marketing Manager and Main Street Lansing Volunteer of the Year for 2022; Melissa Hammell, Mayor of Lansing; Bruce Palmborg, Main Street Lansing Board President; and Melissa Wulf, T-Mobile rural market manager. Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

Sketch of the Plaza improvements ... The image above is an artist’s rendering of what the improvements to the Plaza in downtown Lansing will include that have been made possible by the awarding of a $50,000 T-Mobile Hometown Grant. The improvements include a canopy, new fencing, riser seating and cement work, landscaping, lighting and a large mural painted on the wall of the adjacent building. Submitted image.

by Julie Berg-Raymond

Lansing has been named one of 25 small towns awarded T-Mobile Hometown Grants to jumpstart vital community development projects. The $50,000 grant will go towards redeveloping the Plaza in the historic downtown district, to include a mural, canopy, landscaping, lighting, benches and new cement surfaces.

Announcement of the grant award was made during a community celebration Wednesday, June 15 at Lansing Office Works (the announcement - and the celebration - would have been held in the Plaza, but stormy weather intervened), with T-Mobile representatives in attendance for the check presentation.

Wed
22
Jun

Harpers Ferry Fireflies are Granny Basketball State Champions once again ...

The Harpers Ferry Fireflies have won the Granny Basketball State Championship for the fourth time in the last seven years, adding this year’s title to those won by the team in 2016, 2017 and 2019. The Fireflies shined their way through four games at this year’s State Tournament held June 11-12 at the Valley High School Fieldhouse in Des Moines, first defeating a team from Indianola, 60-46, before doing likewise with a Prairie Storm team from Kansas, 53-32. After defeating the Ankeny Honeybees, 60-46, the Fireflies clinched their State Tournament Championship with a 47-46 triumph over the Model T’s of Center Point in the championship game.

Thu
16
Jun

Intermittent lane closures on Hwy. 76 South until November for repaving project

A hot-mix asphalt pavement resurfacing project on Iowa Highway 76 South from the Clayton/Allamakee County line to Allamakee County Road X-32 (Dry Hollow Road, located east of Waterville Road) will require intermittent lane closures that are scheduled to begin Monday, June 20 and last until mid-November, weather permitting, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation’s (DOT) New Hampton construction office. During this project, motorists will be directed through the work zone with flaggers and pilot cars when workers are present. The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey the posted speed limit and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles, and wear seat belts. The latest traveler information is available anytime through the DOT 511 system.

Wed
15
Jun

More room with a view: Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge McGregor District offices moving to Luster Heights Prison Camp site


Demolition of Luster Heights buildings ... Demolition of the former Luster Heights Prison Camp in rural Harpers Ferry began Monday, June 6 and did not take long to progress, as evident in the photo above taken by Scott Boylen Tuesday, June 7. The demolition is in preparation for the construction of the new headquarters of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge McGregor District after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased the former Luster Heights property in March 2020. Submitted photo.

Refuge headquarters within Yellow River State Forest ... Pictured above is the Yellow River State Forest Luster Heights Unit Trail Map, with the former Luster Heights Prison Camp facility now owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) outlined in the center right of the map. The former Luster Heights facility area will soon be home to the Upper Mississippi River National Fish and Wildlife Refuge headquarters. Map courtesy of Friends of Yellow River State Forest through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

(Editor’s Note: The following article was originally printed in February of this year by JBR web magazine, https://juliebergraymond.com, and is being reprinted here with permission by JBR web magazine. Since the original article was printed, demolition began Monday, June 6 at the former Luster Heights facility and is expected to be completed by June 26.)

by Ellen Modersohn

The former Luster Heights prison camp in rural Harpers Ferry will become the headquarters of the McGregor District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge by 2025. Preliminary plans called for replacing the buildings of the minimum-security prison, extending trails from the surrounding Yellow River Forest through the property and constructing an ADA-compatible river overlook as part of the overall project.

Wed
15
Jun

Clark Tire Pros donates to Building New Traditions Campaign at Allamakee County Fairgrounds...

Clark Tire Pros of Waukon - owners Dave, Dawn and Carter Clark, along with Firestone Ag, recently donated $20,000 to the Building New Traditions Campaign at the Allamakee County Fairgrounds in Waukon. The Building New Traditions Campaign is dedicated toward constructing a new, larger all-species youth livestock show barn centrally located at the Allamakee County Fairgrounds, a project that also involves relocation, elimination and transformation of some of the other livestock buildings at the Fairgrounds, with that project nearing completion. Pictured above at the donation presentation at the site of the new building construction are, left to right: Adam Bieber of the Allamakee County Fair Board, Taylor Wood and Carter, Dave and Dawn Clark of Clark Tire Pros, and Bobbi Baxter and McKayla Rethamel of the Allamakee County Fair Board.

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