News

Wed
11
Jul

Supervisors donate to UIU Rec Center Project

 

The Fayette County Supervisors agreed to donate $5,000 to the Upper Iowa University and City of Fayette Recreation Center Improvement Project. The Supervisors donation will allow UIU to submit an Iowa Economic Development Authority Community Attraction and Tourism Grant for the $1.15 million project.  Jerry Wadian photo

 

Supervisors donate to UIU Rec Center Project

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

At their regular meeting on Monday, July 2, the Fayette County Supervisors discussed a possible donation to the Upper Iowa University (UIU) and City of Fayette Recreation Center Improvement Project. 

The Supervisors met with Andrew Wenthe, UIU vice president for external affairs and mayor of Fayette.  Wenthe noted that UIU is seeking is seeking an Iowa Economic Development Authority Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) Grant. The grant typically awards 16 to 18 percent of the final negotiated cost of a project. With the renovation project estimated to cost $1.15 million, UIU could receive up to $230,000 from the grant. 

Wed
11
Jul

Davis updates Fayette council on deadly hit-and-run

Davis updates Fayette Council on deadly hit-and-run

 

 

By Meagan Molseed
mmolseed@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

Fayette Police Chief Ben Davis spoke to the Fayette City Council during its regular meeting Monday, July 2, regarding the deadly hit-and-run incident that occurred on Thursday, June 28.

“We arrived at the scene fairly quickly and unfortunately found very little to go on,” said Davis.  “Fayette County Sheriff Deputy Kristina Thyer is staying on top of the case and is following up on any and all tips we receive.” 

Davis added that any information is welcome in this ongoing investigation, which took the life of West Central student Kaiden Estling.  

Wed
11
Jul

Hawkeye's South Street vacation headed to litigation

 

These two hoop houses owned by K&K Gardens are located on what is called South Street, a right-of-way owned by the City of Hawkeye. Hawkeye had given Keith Kovarik, owner of K&K Gardens, until July 30 to move the hoop houses; however, Kovarik claims that he was given permission many years ago by the City to place them there. It was brought up last year, when Tim and John Bruihler thought the hoop houses were located on their farmland. Chris DeBack photo

 

Hawkeye's South Street vacation headed to litigation

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

The vacation of South Street has been before the Hawkeye City Council for little over a year now. It was up for discussion at the council’s last meeting on Monday, July 2. 

South Street is a city right-of-way along the southern border of Hawkeye that runs between John and Tim Bruihler’s farmland and K&K Gardens and Trinity Lutheran Church, among other Hawkeye residents.  

Mayor Don Kelly opened the meeting by asking if there was at least a 4-to-1 vote (supermajority) to pass the vacation of South Street as discussed at a special meeting in June. Councilmembers John Campbell and Josh Hanson both said they wouldn’t vote in favor of the vacation. When asked after the fact why neither would vote in favor of the vacation, both declined to comment due to pending litigation. The Bruihlers also declined to comment.

According to the minutes from the June special meeting, Councilmember Angela Weidemann asked for clarification on a land swap between the City and the Bruihlers. Mike Shimak of Shimak Surveying stated that in 1959, an easement was established with a previous property owner for the city to enter the old lift station where Scott Zell lives. When the City had the property surveyed, it turns out that the easement was actually on the Bruihlers’ land. The survey also discovered that the Bruihlers had been farming a portion of City property by the lift station and City shop bunkers. 

It was noted during the meeting that Tim Bruihler had sent the City a land-swap proposal that included property owners along South Street vacating any property currently on the City-owned land. After further discussion, the mayor asked that the City Attorney and Kovarik’s attorney, Jerem White, step outside to discuss the matter.

Wed
11
Jul

WU native kicks off Playin' on the Plaza

Steven Schroeder

 

 

 

 

It’s a homecoming for West Union native Steven Schroeder when he kicks off the West Union Chamber — A Main Street Community’s Playin’ on the Plaza Summer Concert Series at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, in downtown West Union. 

While the son of Brian and Barb Schroeder participated in choir during his time at North Fayette High School, it wasn’t until he started attending the University of Northern Iowa that Schroeder discovered his talent. 

“In college, I started singing a lot of karaoke,” he said. “My roommate, who played a lot of guitar, said I should take up guitar. He taught me a few notes, and the next thing you know, here I am today.”

Wed
11
Jul

Large crowd grills Grassley at WU town hall event

 

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley addresses a question from one of his constituents during a town hall event on Tuesday, July 3, in the third-floor courtroom at the Fayette County Courthouse in West Union. Grassley took a number of questions concerning the Supreme Court vacancy and trade, among other topics. 

 

Large crowd grills Grassley at WU town hall event

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

More than 160 people gathered in the third-floor courtroom at the Fayette County Courthouse in West Union for a town hall event with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley on Tuesday, July 3.

The crowd featured residents from Fayette County, neighboring counties, and other activists from across the state. Even with plenty of seating in the courtroom, it was standing-room-only as Grassley addressed those in attendance with an opening statement and thanked his constituents for attending the meeting. He then proceeded to take questions from the crowd for the next hour. 

Tue
03
Jul

How to keep an 'EyeOnWater'

 

Among the features of the new water meters installed at every Ossian residence and business since the start of 2018 is the ability to connect to an app called EyeOnWater. The app allows users to see their latest water usage, understand how much they use, detect leaks, and discover trends for when they use the most water. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

How to keep an 'EyeOnWater'

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

A new tool and piece of technology is now available to all Ossian residents and business owners. EyeOnWater, is an interactive computer and cell phone application that allows users to link up to their water utility account and see their latest water usage.

The application has multiple features built in that allow users to understand exactly how much water they use, detect water leaks, and discover trends for when their household uses the most water.

“The new water meters and the new application benefits not only the residents of Ossian, but also the City of Ossian,” said maintenance worker Brian Zweibohmer. “It makes sure that we are not wasting water and that we are saving money. We are able to monitor individual water usage from our end as well, so we are able to spot issues and potential leaks and bring them to the attention of a homeowner.”

Zweibohmer has noted that since it has been implemented, the water meter system, which uses a cellular device to transmit a signal and report water usage down to the hour to a cloud system, has detected several issues already in the community.

Tue
03
Jul

State 4-H award leads to sharper skills, bright future

 

Hard work and dedication have paid off for Valerie Boleyn of Elgin, who was recently honored with the Iowa 4-H State Project Award for her poultry project. Boleyn proudly holds her certificate along with one of her favorite Black Australorp exotic chickens.

 

State 4-H award leads to sharper skills, bright future

 

 

 

Brian Smith

Contributing Writer

 

 

Leadership, communication, and civic engagement are qualities that can make a huge difference in a young person’s life, both now and in the future. Last week, Elgin resident and North Fayette Valley student Valerie Boleyn was recognized for achieving the State 4-H Project Award. The award is given to youth throughout the state of Iowa who have exhibited exceptional skill in the areas mentioned above.

For Boleyn, however, being a part of 4-H means much more than any individual award.
   “I have really grown up with the idea of being involved in 4-H, especially with poultry. My mom grew up on a chicken farm, and my older siblings got into it. I grew up watching them and wanting to be a part of it, too,” explained Valerie, whose mother, Joan, is a 4-H leader and a member of the Youth Committee.

Tue
03
Jul

Witnesses sought in moped hit-and-run fatality

 

Kaiden Estling, 14, of Maynard was killed Thursday evening, June 28, in a moped hit-and-run accident two miles south of Fayette on Highway 150 near 118th Street. Fayette County Sheriff Marty Fisher is asking any potential witnesses with information related to the incident to please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (563) 422-6067. (submitted photo)

 

Witnesses sought in moped hit-and-run fatality

 

 

A 14-year-old Maynard boy was killed in a hit-and-run crash Thursday evening, June 28, and Fayette County Sheriff Marty Fisher is asking for information from any potential witnesses.

On Thursday, June 28, at approximately 10:08 p.m., the Fayette County Sheriff's Office received 911 calls of a moped accident on Highway 150 near 118th Street approximately two miles south of Fayette. 

Tue
03
Jul

West Union Rotary bids farewell

 

The West Union Rotary Club held its final meeting on Monday, June 25, with nine members in attendance, including (front, l-r) Melody Patrick, Julia Dessell, and Marlys Fink; (back) Don Leahy, Ron Saboe, Duane Willhite, Ron O’Kones, Clint Ambroson, and Franklin Reyner Jr. After 78 years, the club has disbanded due to low attendance at meetings.  Chris DeBack photo

 

West Union Rotary bids farewell

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

It was a bittersweet moment as members of the West Union Rotary Club gathered for a final meeting at noon Monday, June 25, in the basement of Kerndt Brothers Bank.

Ambivalent feelings huddled over the nine members in attendance as acting president Duane “Cub Fan” Willhite called the Rotary Club meeting to order one last time. It didn’t take long to get through the agenda. With the club disbanding after the meeting, the only real agenda item was to figure out what to do with the Rotary Fund, which is the philanthropic arm of the group. With $6,000 remaining in the club’s coffers, the group voted to form a committee to oversee any requests for funding. The money will remain available until it has been expended.  

Wed
27
Jun

Providing a spark to the 4th of July in NE Iowa

 

Since Festina Fireworks first opened in 2017 after fireworks sales in Iowa became legal for the first time, father and son Mike and Brad Reicks have taken great pride in providing northeast Iowa with plenty of Independence Day fun. Along with providing a tent full of merchandise that is sure to provide plenty of sparks and booms, they also coordinate the annual Festina fireworks display that has become a draw to the small community’s yearly Fourth of July celebration. (Zakary Kriener photo)

 

Providing a spark to the 4th of July in NE Iowa

 

 

Zakary Kriener

News Writer
zkriener@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

 

When a new law went into effect last year to allow for the sale of fireworks in Iowa, Festina’s Brad Reicks and father, Mike, saw an opportunity to light a new fuse.

“I’ve always loved just shooting off fireworks and seeing 

them every year,” stated Brad, a 24-year-old entrepreneur. “We saw a great opportunity to start selling them for ourselves and used it as a way to help pay for the show that we put on here in town every Fourth of July.”

Located in Festina along Highway 150, the local vendor of Class B (large, professional fireworks) and Class C (small, consumer fireworks) fireworks opened the tent doors for the 2018 season on June 13, the first legal date to sell from a temporary location, and it will remain open through July 8.

“There are quite a few regulations associated with running an operation like this, so we did a lot of research on what needed to be done to comply with all of the regulations,” stated Mike. “We have to be inspected by the fire marshal each year, have certain signage posted throughout the tent, and have fire extinguishers on the grounds. It’s very tightly regulated.”

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