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Wed
22
Oct

Allamakee County Courthouse employees undergo ALICE Training in defense of "single-killer" event


Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick (left in above photo) supervises a volunteer "gunman" in a simulated attack on the Allamakee County Courthouse during a training session to prepare courthouse employees for the possibility of a "single-killer situation." The ALICE training (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) conducted at the courthouse emphasizes taking action in such situations rather than just waiting for law enforcement to arrive at the scene. Standard photo and report by Bob Beach.

by Bob Beach

Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick recently led employees at the Allamakee County Courthouse in an afternoon of training and instruction on how to handle what Mellick called a "single-killer situation." Mellick said that such situations had previously been referred to as "single-shooter situations," but recent attacks with knives changed that. He told the group that until recently, the standard response to a mass shooting situation had been to lock everyone down, hiding under desks, until law enforcement could arrive.
Mellick said that the training given to courthouse employees takes into account the motives of mass killers, the natural instincts of bystanders and the reality of law enforcement response time. The result is a response system (as opposed to response plan) to reduce casualties. The training program has been named ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.

Wed
22
Oct

Dorchester area native Tara Nichols discovers passion for mountain climbing, ascends to a lifelong dream, and beyond


Dorchester area native Tara Nichols, now a middle school math teacher in Loveland, CO, shares her view from Capitol Peak of the Elk Mountains near Aspen, CO, described by some as the most dangerous mountain in Colorado. Nichols' move to Colorado three years ago has helped her live out a newly-discovered passion for mountain climbing, having climbed more than 20 mountains this year alone. Submitted photo.

Tara Nichols, a 2008 Waukon High School graduate and the daughter of Rod and Diane Nichols of Dorchester, lived out a dream come true this past summer when she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest point on the continent of Africa. Following graduation from high school, Nichols completed a teaching degree at Wartburg College in Waverly in early 2011 and two months later began her career as a middle school math teacher in Loveland, CO. " It was the best decision I’ve ever made for my life," Nichols said of her move to Colorado.
Nichols was no stranger to Colorado, as she had done her student teaching there prior to graduating from Wartburg. It was during that student teaching stint that she also took her first steps, literally, toward an ever-since developing passion for mountain climbing, summiting one of the highest mountains in the United States just two weeks after first arriving in Denver.

Wed
15
Oct

Allamakee Public Safety Committee to host variety of public information meetings

The Allamakee County Public Safety Committee will be  holding a series of informational meetings for the general public in regard to the proposed construction of a new Allamakee Public Safety Center. Committee members will present information on the proposed project, the costs and bond referendum to fund the project, as well as the alternatives for providing jail services.
Upcoming meetings currently scheduled include the following dates, times and locations:
- Sunday, October 19 at 6 p.m. at Wings Supper Club,  Dorchester
- Tuesday, October 21 at 7 p.m. at Kerndt Brothers Community Center,  Lansing
- Wednesday, October 22 at 7 p.m. at Farmers & Merchants Savings Bank Community Room, Waukon
 - A date and time for a public meeting in the New Albin area will also be announced once details are finalized.
 

Wed
15
Oct

Allamakee County Conservation Board tours recent park projects

Allamakee County Conservation Director Jim Janett recently led members of the County Conservation Board on a tour of several of the many sites established and maintained by Allamakee County Conservation. The first stop on the tour was Stonebrook Park (pictured), located across the road from the former location of the Old Stone House on the banks of the Yellow River in southern Allamakee County. Construction of a new shelter house was recently completed at the site, along with an information kiosk, outhouse and handicapped-accessible walkways connecting them. The group also visited the Volney Conservation Park, located at the junction of Bear Creek and the Yellow River, where playground equipment purchased with funds from a Carver Grant was installed several years ago. The final stop on the tour was the Kolsrud Memorial Park near Waterville, which was donated by the Robert and Eunice Kolsrud family in memory of Helmer and Emma Kolsrud.

Wed
08
Oct

Allamakee County Public Safety Committee presents proposed jail/public safety center plans to city officials, township trustees

by Bob Beach

The Allamakee County Public Safety Committee invited city officials and township trustees to a public meeting Thursday evening, October 2 regarding the proposed construction of a new jail and public safety center and the $4.9 million bond referendum to fund the project. Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick opened the meeting by saying that his job is to operate the County's jail, not to tell people how to vote.
That said, Mellick went on to give a detailed presentation covering the history of the proposed project, the deficiencies of the current jail facility, the options reviewed by the Public Safety Committee and associated costs. He concluded his presentation with a review of the layout of the proposed facility.

Wed
08
Oct

Inaugural Waukon Community Meal deemed "a successful, well-received beginning"

The first of what is anticipated to be many Waukon Community Meals was held at First Presbyterian Church in Waukon Monday, September 29, and event organizers say that "by all signs, it was a successful, well-received beginning." It was estimated that approximately 175 people were served at the inaugural event, not including the kitchen and dining room workers. Zion United Church of Christ in Waukon provided, prepared and served this first meal, with a broad cross-section of ages witnessed as both attending the event and helping with preparation, serving and clean-up.

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