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Wed
13
Mar

Voters in Allamakee County give overwhelming approval to extending Local Option Sales and Service Tax, some with no further expiration

Voters in Allamakee County overwhelmingly approved the extension of the Local Option Sales and Service Tax (LOSST) in a Tuesday, March 5 special election. The one-percent LOSST had first been established in Allamakee County communities in the mid- to late 1990s and has been renewed on several occasions by voters throughout the county, with the last widespread extension vote coming in 2014 and that latest renewal having been scheduled to expire in several areas of the county at the end of this current year prior to the March 5 extension by voter approval.

Last fiscal year, cities and unincorporated areas in the state of Iowa received more than $600 million in proceeds collected through the one-percent sales tax measure. These funds are typically used to help relieve the burden on county and city general funds and are used for items such as roads, streets, water and sewer systems and public safety vehicle and equipment acquisitions.

Wed
13
Mar

Kasemeier pleads not guilty to charge of Murder in the First Degree, trial set for May 15; Cash bond set at $1 million

An arraignment hearing and bond review for Brandon Kasemeier, the 39-year-old man from Waukon charged in the January 21 death of his estranged wife, Jami Kasemeier, was held virtually Monday afternoon, March 11 in Allamakee County District Court. Kasemeier’s legal counsel, Waterloo public defender Aaron Hawbaker, had filed a written arraignment on his behalf that Monday morning, waiving Kasemeier’s right to appear in open court and allowing his appearance by Zoom video conferencing software from the Allamakee County Jail.

Wed
06
Mar

Iowa DOT Project Manager Clayton Burke provides further insight into cause and remedy of issues forcing Black Hawk Bridge closure

by Julie Berg-Raymond

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) closed the Black Hawk Bridge (Highway 82) at Lansing Sunday, February 25 because of safety concerns after hearing from the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Office of “suspected movement of the bridge,” according to Pete Hjelmstad, field services coordinator with the District 2 Office of the Iowa DOT.

The bridge is expected to remain closed for at least two months while the situation is further investigated and corrected. According to Clayton Burke, the Iowa DOT’s overseeing engineer on the new bridge construction project taking place next to the existing bridge, the DOT “is actively working on a van pool as well as a passenger ferry. We expect the ferry to be in operation for a couple months while the bridge is closed,” he said. Details of those transportation modes in an effort to assist area residents and businesses will be made available to the public once they have been finalized.

Wed
06
Mar

Meeting scheduled for March 12 to learn more about the Allamakee County Emergency Response Volunteer Program

Volunteers being sought to help in times of local disaster and emergency response

A new program for the Allamakee County Emergency Management Agency has been in the works in cooperation with the Northeast Iowa Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). It involves an Emergency Response Volunteer Program to assist in disaster and emergency response.

The Allamakee County Emergency Response Volunteer Program will include members from both the Northeast Iowa Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and volunteers aged 18 or older who are willing, if able, to respond at the request of the Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator when it is determined a disaster or emergency requires the support of trained volunteers to assist Allamakee County in response or recovery operations.

Wed
06
Mar

Evening accident along Great River Road claims life of Lansing man

Tuesday, February 27 at 10:15 p.m. the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a one-vehicle roll-over accident on Great River Road/County Road X52 near its intersection with Sweet Ridge Drive, approximately five miles north of Harpers Ferry. A report from the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Office indicated that the accident resulted in a fatality.

The report indicates that a vehicle driven by Jacob Carlton Johnson, age 40, of Lansing was traveling southbound on Great River Road/X52 and left the roadway. The vehicle entered the ditch, striking a tree, and rolled over. Johnson, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, was transported by ambulance to Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon. He was later pronounced dead as a result of injuries sustained in the accident.

Wed
06
Mar

Allamakee County Treasurer’s Office reminds property owners of tax due date coming up March 31

Allamakee County Treasurer Jennifer O’Neill would like to remind property owners the second installment of property taxes is due by March 31, 2024. Those tax payments can be made at the Allamakee County Treasurer’s office in the Allamakee County Courthouse at 110 Allamakee Street in Waukon between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Property owners are reminded to bring their tax stubs with their payment to ensure proper credit. To avoid penalty on the second installment, payment must be received in the Treasurer’s Office by Monday, April 1. Penalty will begin to apply April 2.

E-check and credit card payments are also accepted online at www.iowatreasurers.org. Property owners will need their receipt number to pay by E-check, and this can be found on their tax statement.

Wed
28
Feb

Black Hawk Bridge closed to inspect structural integrity ...


Photo by Susan Cantine-Maxson.

Submitted photo.

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) closed the Black Hawk Bridge (Highway 82) at Lansing Sunday afternoon, February 25 due to safety concerns after discovering suspected movement of the bridge following the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Department notifying DOT officials that something “didn’t look right” (the bend in the guard rail structure on the right side of the photo below providing the most visible evidence of the concerns on the east approach to the bridge from the Wisconsin side). Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick said the Allamakee County Dispatch Center received a call early Sunday afternoon from a Lansing resident, who had been contacted by another individual and then took their own look at the bridge before calling the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Mellick said a Deputy traveled to the bridge and then requested that DOT officials be contacted after witnessing what the photo below shows.

Wed
28
Feb

Friends of Pool 9 to present celebration in honor of 100th anniversary of Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge March 9


One iconic Mississippi River organization will help celebrate another ... In its early existence more than a decade ago, members of the Friends of Pool 9, Upper Miss Refuge, Inc. accepted the National Friends Group of the Year Award for 2009, at a recognition event in Washington, D.C. The award-winning Friends of Pool 9 group is now helping another Mississippi River icon, the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, celebrate its 100th year of existence this year, beginning with a March 9 event. Submitted photo.

Telling the story of the “Father of the Refuge” ... Steve Marking (photo above) will share the story of Will Dilg (photo below), considered to be the “Father of the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge”. Marking will perform “A Visit from Will Dilg and Scenes from our Mighty Mississippi” at a March 9 event hosted by Friends of Pool 9 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Refuge. Submitted photos.

“The true angler is more a lover of nature than a fish getter.”
   ~ Will Dilg, “father” of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

“You put together some sky and some cliff,
slash the bluffs with a glacial rift
Winds rise from that rocky shear
and witness the same peregrinations each year.
Going Driftless.
There’s magnetic force in this Paleozoic Plateau
Tugs at my spirit, it resonates in my soul.
Another ridge to climb - another valley to explore
A lifetime of looking – still I wanna find more.
I keep Going Driftless.”

    ~ Last verse of “Going Driftless,” lyrics by Jon Stravers Sr. and Jon Stravers Jr. The song appears on two Big Blue Sky recordings, “Bird Dance” and “River Dreams.”

by Julie Berg-Raymond

Wed
28
Feb

Kasemeier ordered to appear for arraignment on first-degree murder charges, bond review is continued

A pair of appearances in Allamakee County District Court for Brandon Kasemeier, the 39-year-old man from Waukon charged in the January 21 death of his estranged wife, Jami Kasemeier, did not take place as scheduled this past week. Action taken in regard to both appearances, however, has resulted in further court proceedings being scheduled in the case.

As Allamakee County Attorney Anthony Gericke had previously forecasted, the preliminary hearing scheduled for Friday, February 23 for Kasemeier did not take place after Gericke and State of Iowa Assistant Attorney General Keisha Cretsinger filed Trial Information in regard to the charge of Murder in the First Degree being brought against Kasemeier. Gericke had previously explained that the Trial Information and minutes of testimony lay out the charges, a brief explanation of fact as to why the charges were filed and a list of witnesses expected to testify at trial.

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