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Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Top Stories
CLUSTER MAILBOXES PROPOSED
 Winterset Postmaster Ira Dickman says he’d like to beat a federal mandate and install cluster mailboxes in Winterset.
 He says he’d like to start with the downtown business district, installing about four clusters, one on each block in front of downtown businesses.
 It is something Dickman says he’d like to do yet this year, because it is coming down the pike.
 “It’s one of the points in the postal reform,” he said.
 He approached the city council with the idea Monday night, saying there is more leeway for the city, residents and merchants to be involved, rather than just doing it when he’s instructed to.
 Dickman said the postal service would pay for the cluster postal boxes, but getting merchants to go along with it is one of the next hurdles. He said he could start by consolidating residential mailboxes into clusters, but “everybody’s going to be mad.”
RESIDENT: CITY SHOULD DO MORE TO DEAL WITH NUISANCE PROPERTIES
 The city of Winterset should step up its efforts to deal with nuisance property, said a California transplant and admitted “newcomer to Winterset”.
 Dave Freligh (pronounced FREE-lee), a retired private investigator, says he and his wife choose Winterset in which to relocate.
 “This is where we decided to retire,” Freligh told the city council Monday.
 Even though he has lived in town for a relatively recent nine years, Freligh says things are changing.
 “There’s a great increase in apathy and complacency,” he says.
 And it is starting to show.
COST FOR LIBRARY FIX JUMPS BY $44,000
 Work ground to a standstill on the Winterset Public Library project about two weeks ago.
 The architect and construction crews were awaiting some answers, and some costs to present to the city council for a formal decision.
 The issue is the exterior of the library. Plans were to spray an adhesive insulation barrier on the building, install panels and then attach the new limestone to the panels.
 But officials have become concerned about the shape of the underlying clay block, saying the existing surface might not be able to support the new course of stone.
 “It’s not a really good existing structure,” OPN architect Joe Feldman told the city council Monday.
WINTERSET ASKED TO HOST 2015 CONVENTION
 The city of Winterset has been asked to host a statewide convention in June of 2015 that will draw dozens of people town.
 Because of its work on the Downtown Historical Commercial District over the past several years, the Madison County Historical Preservation Commission was asked to host the 2015 summer convention.
 Statewide conventions in recent years have been held in eastern Iowa, and this is the first time in a number of years that the statewide convention will be in central Iowa.
REQUEST FOR FESTIVAL INFORMATION
 The Winterset Madisonian is once again compiling information for the annual Madison County Covered Bridge Festival, held the second full weekend of October.
 Information for the flyer is due by mid-September from individuals, groups and organizations.
 Contact the Winterset Shopper or the Winterset Madisonian for information on ad rates.
 Look for the 45th Festival details in upcoming issues of the Madisonian.
 Contact us at 515-462-1535.
FIRST PAYDAY FOR SPILLWAY CONTRACT COMPANY
 The Winterset Utility Board approved the first payment on the Cedar Lake spillway renovation project Tuesday.
 The monthly utility board meeting, usually held on Mondays, was postponed one day, with two trustees, Gerrit Vrieze and Kendal Kerns, in attendance. Patty Weeks was absent from the meeting.
 The $3.53 million spillway project is being handled by the Grimes-based Cramer & Associates Inc.
12TH PAYMENT MADE ON LAKE DREDGING PROJECT
 Indicating that somewhere over 70 percent of Cedar Lake has now been dredged, city utility board trustees approved the 12th in a series of pay requests for Kansas City-based Dredge America.
 A payment of nearly $438,723 was approved, all of it for dredging.
 To date, just over $3.8 million has been paid out on the $5.4 million project.
CITY OFFICIALS SELECT ALEXANDER CONSTR. FOR SIDEWALK PROJECT
 Winterset city officials says the city will go with Alexander Construction of the city sidewalk project.
 Both Alexander and Stromax bid to put new sidewalks in.
 Alexander turned out to be the lowest bidders, if demolition of existing sidewalks is needed.
 Residents have until mid-September to arrange for their own sidewalk work. If no arrangements have been made, Alexander Construction will do the work.
BUSINESS REQUESTS MORE LAND FROM CITY FOR PROJECT
 A firm seeking to put a new business in Winterset is asking for the same consideration the city gave two other businesses.
 Officials with the Pizza Ranch franchise have asked the city to provide some city right-of-way for their project.
The  Pizza Ranch will be located in the former Godfather’s Pizza building. Plans are to build a parking lot to the east of the existing building, and also to have parking to the west after the building is expanded somewhat.
CITY SEARCHES FOR MONEY TO DEAL WITH ASH BORER ISSUE
 The time has not come yet, but experts say it is simply a matter of time before the emerald ash borer invades Madison County.
 The insect already is in neighboring Union County, and officials say it is probably already in Madison County, but hasn’t yet been verified.
 There are a number of ash trees in Winterset, and that is part of the reason why a five-member tree commission was formed. The panel eventually will make suggestions to deal with the EAB.
MADISON COUNTY BEGINS RESEARCH ON AREA UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, ABOLITIONIST INVOLVEMENT
 The Underground Railroad Workshop / Research Orientation Session held on Aug. 13 at the Madison County Historical Museum had 48 in attendance for the morning sessions.
 Doug Jones, Iowa Freedom Trail Project Manager at the State Historical Society of Iowa, discussed the Underground Railroad in Iowa and, particularly, in Madison County. Linda Smith presented samples of information we have available locally along with one of several paths that have been traced across Madison County.
LEADERSHIP GROUP INTRODUCES NEW CHANGES FOR 2015
 The Madison County Leadership Institute (MCLI) is pleased to announce some new changes that are in store for the 2015 class. To enhance and improve the program, a expanded schedule will include increased time spent learning leadership and team building skills and gaining practical hands on experience. Students also will continue to learn about the importance of leadership in Madison County.
 Through a unique nine months, students will engage in interactive classroom sessions and networking opportunities designed specifically to assist emerging leaders. Each of the 10 sessions will focus on teaching a wide variety of leadership skills including personality traits, effective communication, conflict resolution, business budgeting, business etiquette, and parliamentary procedures.
THE MAKING OF AN HISTORIC DISTRICT: 119 N. JOHN WAYNE DRIVE
  This week, we return to the east side of the square, on the east side of John Wayne Drive across from the Madison County Courthouse to the building which presently houses the bakery: Bakery Unlimited.
 The Bakery Building, originally known as the C.D. Bevington Building, is an Italianate-style building, a very popular, and contemporary for the time, style building. It was built in 1883. It was two-stories, and built from brick and stone. and replaced a frame building, owned by Chalen Danforth, that had been on the site.
ART GARDEN BLOOMS IN I-35 CLASSROOMS
 Gardens have been the subject of many artists over the years, like Monet and his gardens at Giverny and the many masterpieces they inspired. Copies of van Gogh’s sunflowers have been reproduced on things like refrigerator magnets and cell phone cases. O’Keeffe particularly loved the macro view of flowers, often depicting the center stamen of a flower, while the petals run off the page.
 Floral art brings natural beauty into the home that lasts and lasts without the need for water or fertilizer. Flowers have been painted, drawn, sculpted and immortalized in every medium possible in every genre thinkable.
 Hannah Ludwig, art instructor at I-35 Schools, has taken floral art to a new level – an Art Garden. She, and others like her, says that we owe much of the scientific knowledge known about plants to the artists who have been drawing and observing plants for hundreds of year.
MADHAUS PLANS SATURDAY FIBER EVENT
 Madhaus Gallery, a rich educational resource for art in the community, is holding another day-long event. This time the theme is fibers.
 Beginning at 9 a.m. on Aug. 23, the day has been broken into a series of seven projects and demonstrations, starting with a felted wool art piece made with a variety of fibers and a needle punch tool. At 10 a.m. participants learn to make wool beads, followed by a Nuno felted art piece which is the technique of bonding loose fiber onto another lightweight fabric. The fiber design can completely cover the backing fabric or serve as a decorative design incorporating the background fabric into the design. The purpose is to use a variety of differing fibers to build up color, texture and design elements into a unique finished product.
 Lunch is available for full-day guests, during which Paul will demonstrate warping and weaving on a rigid heddle loom.
BUSINESS BYTES
 Who missed this truck? Didn’t see it posted in Facebook? You can thank Jared McDonald for the tasty, mystery appearance of the Scratch Curbside Cupcakery this past Monday.
 According to McDonald, he had recently visited the Scratch Cupcake web site and noticed the “Curbside” location in the drop down menu.
 Curious, he clicked and read the following announcement: “If you’d like to book Curbside for your town or event (think outside the box! Curbside can make an appearance at your prom, wedding, corporate event, and more!), send a note to curbside@scratchcupcakery.com and we’ll get you on the calendar!”
YEARS IN THE WORKS, REDEEMER CHURCH TO OPEN DOORS
 After several years of “yes”, “no”, “maybe”, Redeemer Church is finally a “YES” in Winterset. And Pastor Jaysson Gurwell says he is glad to be staying.
 The new fellowship will open officially to the public on Sept. 14 on the south side of the square in the building next to Ben Franklin, at 68 Court Ave.
 Gurwell studied accounting at Iowa State University and worked for over ten years as a CPA before taking a part-time youth pastor position at Crossroads Evangelical Free Church in Earlham.
 Four years ago, a long-time friend of Gurwell contacted him about a new mission – a new church plant in Altoona – and he needed Gurwell’s help. He decided to take the lead and take a leap of faith in that direction, with the plan to move his family closer Altoona.
NORTHEAST DOG EAR TOUTS A BLUE HAZE
 The northeast dog ear on our tour around the square is tended by Jim Nelson, another Madison County Master Gardener. Early in the spring, Nelson could be found tilling the space with his rototiller and was excited about the planting plan with a giant, yellow “W” in the center. The “W” was planted with yellow marigolds, the surrounding space filled in with violet annual salvia. Unfortunately – or fortunately depending on how you look at it – the marigolds have been completely obliterated by the salvia, blooming heavily all season.
LOCAL GYMNASTS COMPETE AT JUNIOR OLYMPICS
 Hundreds of competitors from around the country met in Des Moines this past July for the AAU Junior Olympics. The four-day event, hosted by the US Amateur Athletic Union, drew not only gymnasts but young enthusiasts in other sports as well, like baton twirling, field hockey, jump rope, karate, kung fu, taekwondo and weightlifting, just to name a few.
 Known  as the largest national multi-sport event for youth in the United States, 22 aspiring gymnasts left from Winterset as members of the Winterset Gymnastics Club to participate in the Trampoline and Tumbling event, hoping to be the next champion in one of three events: trampoline, double mini trampoline or tumbling.
 The AAU has been hosting the Junior Olympics since 1967 with just two sports offered and 523 athletes participating that first year. It has grown immensely with upwards of 20 sports and more than 15,000 participants in the last few years.
CURTAIN CALL ON STAGE’S FIRST SEASON
 The opening season of the Winterset Stage’s Main Stage has been a rousing one, starting with the successful run of “Always ... Patsy Cline.” Up next? An End of Summer Bash benefit concert on Aug. 23 from 1-5 p.m. at the Madison County Fairgrounds. Featuring eight bands, this outdoor music concert promises lots of fun while raising funds for a good cause.
 “We will be celebrating all we have accomplished our first year while showcasing amazing talent and raising money for building improvements and programming,” commented Cindy Stanbro, co-founder of The Winterset Stage.
 Topping off a great summer, the benefit concert will feature Hot Tamale and the Red Hots, Scott Lemon, the O’Neal Family, Brenda and Phil Holt, Ashton Mount and Jerod Faux, Cameron Botting, Acid In Furs, Maggie Bonecher, and a special guest. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available online.
INCIDENTS OF EARLY TRANSPORTATION IN IOWA
 I am pleased to meet and greet you. You are sustaining the reputation of Iowans.
 An authority says “From the foundation of Iowa, the character of Iowans is such as was rare to meet in a new Territory; with few exceptions there was not a more orderly, industrious, energetic, or intelligent people; they were not surpassed, as a body, by any equal number of citizens in any country in the world.” Our symbolic name is “Hawkeye”. From the name of one of the noblest Indian chiefs, and our state very appropriately named, “This is the Land!” Our Territorial birth was July 4, 1838; but eight years before that our birthday, we built a schoolhouse – 1830 – where Keokuk now stands.
NEW MINI-SHELTERS AT CRISS COVE
 A crew from Madison County Conservation work on the construction of a new mini-shelter at Criss Cove, south of Winterset on Highway 169. A lot of work has been done in recent years to this once primitive, undeveloped park. It now has a modern campground and will soon sport these new shelters for day campers, picnickers and fishermen. The lake was stocked earlier in the spring with a large crop of rainbow trout. The park features a 9-acre pond, two fishing jetties, one of which is handicapped accessible, groomed shoreline fishing locations, a boat landing and docks for small boats with electric motors and canoes, pit-vault bathrooms and a scenic grassland hiking trail with many native red cedars.
 Criss Cove is located approximately 8 miles south of Winterset. From Winterset travel south on U.S. 169 approximately 8 miles. Park is located at the southwest corner of the intersection of U.S. 169 and County Road G-61.
INSTANT CONCERT
Sunday concert. Members of the Winterset Community Band performed a brief Sunday afternoon concert at the Madison County Historical Complex for Stanley Siegel, host of the cable television show “Stanley on the Go”. Siegel was in Iowa and filmed at the Iowa State Fair, and then came to do a segment on the covered bridges and John Wayne. The band played selections from Mason City native Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man”.
SPILLWAY DEMOLITION CONTINUES
Looking downstream from Cedar Lake. The view of the former spillway, now under renovation.
WFD GETS GRAIN RESCUE TUBE
It could save lives. The Winterset Fire Department was able to obtain a Grain Bin RES-Q tube, thanks to a group of individuals and organizations. The tube is assembled and put around a victim trapped in a grain bin. An auger is inserted into the tube to extract the grain, allowing the victim to climb or be hoisted to safety. Nine groups put up about $400 each to go toward the purchase. Benefactors included the Winterset Rotary Club (Larry Corkrean), the Madison County Pork Producers (Dale Lents), the Madison County Cattlemen (Dan Hanrahan), Agriland F.S., Inc (John Knobloch), Heartland Cooperative (Dan Lauer), Agri Vison-John Deere (Brian Binns), BB&P Feed & Grain (Steve Chandler), Dave and Gina Robinson and E&R Enterprises (Don Eyerly). The Earlham Fire Department also has a rescue tube. The tube is made from separate metal panels which can be quickly assembled.
MACKSBURG AREA SKYLINE CHANGES
Like pieces of a giant erector set, parts of the 48 turbines for the Macksburg area wind farm are being hefted into place. The wind farm is north, east and south of Macksburg, forever changing the skyline of the southern Madison County community. A total of 52 wind towers had been planned, but final plans call for 48 giant wind turbines to be erected across nearly 8,500 acres of both Monroe and Grand River townships. The turbines are physically located on a combined total of nearly 35 acres. Turbine sites were planned in sections 1-3, 10-15, and 22-27 in Grand River Twp., and in sections 7-8, 17-19, and section 30 of Monroe Twp. More than a dozen of the turbines are located in the Winterset School District. The district will receive a tax benefit, which Madison County also will receive. The turbines should create enough electricity to power more than 30,000 homes each year. The Macksburg project is one of four wind turbine projects in Grundy, Madison, Marshall, O’Brien and Webster counties.
REMEMBERING AN ARTISAN
One of the men who helped carve the entrance stone to the Madison County Historical Complex, Wilbur McNichols of Winterset, passed away last week at age 94. McNichols and Larry Johnston spent weeks carving the stencil for the monument with hand tools back in 1980. One edge of the nearly five-ton chunk of limestone was cut off to create a smooth surface. They used a rubber stencil on the smooth surface until it was sandblasted. The stencil design was cut by hand. Prepping the stone with the stencil took nearly three weeks. Sandblasting the piece took nearly six hours, done by the Winterset Monument Company. The monument foundation was made by Ed Jensen, along with the Rev. Charles Updike and Mike Beeler. The limestone came from the Penn-Dixie Quarry east of Winterset, and was, at the time, the largest single piece of limestone ever taken out of the Winterset quarry.