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From start to finish, NICC Building Trades students have had one of the most valuable hands-on experiences available in northeast Iowa; building a home for Jay and Connie Haas at 505 North Jefferson Street in Calmar.
Construction on the 2900-square-foot ranch home is nearly complete as the students approach graduation this week. An open house is planned from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 18.
The main floor and basement each boast 1,450 square feet of living space, complete with a total of four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a great room, among many other features.
“The students were basically workhorses for this house. Completing both levels of this home is a tribute to the students’ work ethic, accountability, and desire to finish what they started,” said third-year carpentry instructor Brian Ondrashek.
Due to the Memorial Day holiday the Elgin Echo, Fayette Leader and Ossian Bee office will be closed on Monday, May 27. Please send all news items to email@example.com by Thursday, May 23 in order to be printed in the May 39 issue.
Storm Schmitt resisted the thought of attending college at Upper Iowa University. The Sumner native felt its 14-mile proximity to home was way too close for comfort. However, after dozens of college visits around the region, he could not find the right fit. Finally, a community leader strongly suggested he visit Upper Iowa. The Friday before high school graduation, Storm took a tour, talked to a professor, and ate lunch. He made his admissions deposit that day.
“I got a good vibe right away, one that I had not felt at any of the other college visits I’d been on,” he said. “Everyone I talked to was so down-to-earth. I’ve very glad I changed my mind about Upper Iowa.”
Elgin native Matt Dummermuth and his wife, Becky, witnessed history recently when they were invited to the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. Five living U.S. presidents were in attendance.
The Dummermuths now reside in Cedar Rapids. Matt is a lawyer and Becky is a stay-at-home mom with five children. Their lives were much different before they met and later married 10 years ago.
Matt is the son of Kim and Lois Dummermuth of Elgin. Just like his father, Matt quarterbacked the Valley football team for three years before graduating in 1991.
After he received his law degree, Matt got involved in politics. He was active in the 2000 general election, helping Bush get elected. Matt was in charge of the eastern third of Iowa.
North Fayette Valley, Iowa’s two newest schools to enter into a whole-grade sharing agreement for the next three years, has a new fight song. It was unveiled at the Valley All-Sports Banquet on May 7.
The tune was composed by Valley alumnus Alan Greener, who was a member of the Tiger band in 1980 when he graduated. Last Tuesday, to the delight of the crowd, he sat down at the piano in the Valley gym and played and sang it.
In 2013 Greener was part of history as he now directs the University of Louisville’s pep band. His Cardinals reached the NCAA championship game in both the men’s and women’s tournaments. The men won and the women were second.
He is now the only person in the 75-year history of the Upper Iowa Conference to wear a NCAA Division I championship ring on his finger.
Although the current whole-grade sharing agreement between the North Fayette and Valley Community school districts is not a consolidation, patrons of both school districts realize that the 2013 seniors could be the last graduating classes of the two respective school districts.
At North Fayette, a pair of families include members of the inaugural North Fayette Class of 1985 and Class of 2013. During Sunday’s commencement ceremonies, Darby Jellings will be watching his daughter, Rachel, while Jane (given name Delores Moritz) Gamm will be observing her son, Matthew, accept their respective diplomas in the Performing Arts Center.
“We (family) have talked about it quite a bit in recent weeks,” said Jane. “Matthew is the youngest of our (her and husband Mark’s) three children, so he could be the last North Fayette graduate of our family.”
Area dog owners cotinue to fetch ideas from the public in an ongoing effort to bring a dog park to West Union.
“We need an off-leash area in West Union where our dogs can explore and play with other dogs and dog owners. Like each of us, dogs also need to run and socialize,” said Brandy Schott, who along with her husband, Wade, is leading the local endeavor.
Wade explains that currently the couple typically walk their Boston terrier Hammy and/or Walker coon dog Dummy Dog on the city sidewalks to Dairy Queen or Subway from their West Union home, or on occasion along the banks of the Turkey River in Clermont.
The Green Pilot Streetscape general contractor was granted an extension Monday for substantial completion of the downtown project.
At the request of Gene Blazek of Blazek Corporation, the West Union City Council extended the substantial completion date to Thursday, June 6.
Blazek explained to the council during its regular meeting on Monday that due to the inclement weather in April, approximately three weeks of the construction season this spring had been lost.
The general contractor said the goal is for the entire downtown to be open to traffic by Memorial Day weekend. He acknowledged that a couple more weather-related delays, together with the Memorial Day weekend, would take construction into the first week of June.