Author: Alex Foltz

Register now to Race for the Schools

The Muscatine Community School District will hold the sixth annual Muscatine Community School District Race for the Schools on May 5. This event includes a 5K race and a one-mile race known as the Muskie Mile. The Muskie Mile will be timed this year and will be held at 8 a.m. at  Muscatine High School. The 5K will follow the Muskie Mile starting at 8:30 a.m. Students running the Muskie Mile will be eligible for overall and age group awards. Adults who enter the Mile race will not be eligible for awards. All participants in the 5K will be...

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Gilda’s Club program goes online

April 21 marks the beginning of the online program offered by Gilda’s Club. This new online program will help those diagnosed with cancer as well as those currently undergoing treatment. The program is made possible in part by a grant that Gilda’s Club received from the Iowa Cancer Consortium and support from the Iowa Department of Public Health. The program offers weekly group sessions that are aimed at teaching effective strategies and techniques for managing the stress related to cancer. The grant received is intended to be aimed towards adults ages 18 to 39. The program will be tailored...

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Nichols City Council considers wastewater, equipment, and rates

The Nichols City Council held a regular meeting on April 11. Before the meeting was called to order, the Pledge of Allegiance was said by all in attendance. Mayor Cyle Geertz was absent. Councilman Russ Grim acted as mayor for the meeting, calling it to order at 6:58 p.m. All other council members were present. The council approved the consent agenda, which included the meeting’s agenda, the March 14 meeting minutes, the treasurer’s report, and expenditures of $14,743.15. Council member Kelsie Lampe moved for approval and John Hudson seconded. There were no comments made from the public regarding the public forum. Wastewater Manager Tim McCleary gave his report on the NanO2 technology that the city has been looking into. The city lagoons are getting to the point where they must reduce the sludge. NanO2 injects oxygen into the lagoons, which helps to reduce ammonia and sodium levels organically. Currently, this idea to use the technology is only in its planning stages in Nichols and does not warrant any action from the council or engineer. Police Chief Jeff Jirak informed the council that with the warm weather comes an increased risk of stolen vehicles. Jirak also stated that items that are in vehicles can be stolen if they are in the open, as a burglar may simply break in. “Don’t think it’s secure just because it’s in your garage,” Jirak...

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Departments give reports at council meeting

The Muscatine City Council met for an in-depth meeting April 12. There were three items on the agenda: a discussion of courtesy sidewalks, a presentation on flood preparation, and a building division review. City Engineer Jim Edgmond informed the council that the city enacted the courtesy sidewalk policy around May 2015, during phase three of the West Hill Sewer Separation project. Edgmond stated that the city had been replacing sidewalks in various locations, unbeknownst to Edgmond’s department. During phase four of this project, the city will not provide courtesy sidewalks in an effort to adhere to city code. The courtesy sidewalks that are currently in place are the homeowner’s responsibility. Public Works Director Brian Stineman stated that flood season is approaching. The Public Works Department utilizes the National Weather Service to monitor possible flood risk. This system generally gives a week’s notice of possible floods. Muscatine County has two separate gauges to help determine flood risk. The official flood stage is at 16 feet, but precautions are made well before waters reach that level. Once waters reach 20 feet, the Iowa Department of Transportation is alerted. Most closures are in place at 21 feet and the railroad is no longer in use at 22 feet. At 27 feet, water has reached the top of the Muscatine flood wall. Community Development Director Dave Gobin introduced his predecessor, Steve Baka, and...

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Musser Library set to move

The Musser Public Library project has been making great progress and anticipates a summer opening. From repurposed furniture to new uses for the rooms inside, the donated building has seen new life with this project. The new Musser Library has been made possible in part due to a donation from HNI that amounted to around $5 million. HNI also left many items of furniture for the library to repurpose. This includes their main conference room, which the library has used for board meetings and will allow others to use. There are four floors in the building. The ground floor...

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