Vermont crew gets extra time

Josh Collister
Josh Collister

By DOUGLAS MELVOLD

Staff Writer

dmelvold@mspress.net

The contractor on the Maquoketa’s North Vermont Street reconstruction project was given until Tuesday to complete the job or face a $500-a-day penalty.

The Maquoketa City Council on Aug. 15 said it would not seek a penalty for time that the contractor, Drew Cook and Sons Excavating Co. Inc. of Dubuque, already had taken beyond the 40 working days allotted for the project.

The council approved the extension on a 6-1 vote with Councilman Josh Collister dissenting. Collister argued the council should impose the penalty starting on the first day the contractor was late completing the job.

 

The project involves the reconstruction of the two blocks of North Vermont Street between West Platt and West Quarry streets. The project involves excavating the street, replacing the water line under the street, 

 

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Alum questions selection  process

Tom Gruenwald
Tom Gruenwald

By KELLY GERLACH

News Editor

kgerlach@mspress.net

The same day a committee announced the first group of Maquoketa High School Hall of Fame inductees, a member of that committee voiced criticisms of the selection process.

Donald Davis Jr., a 1965 MHS graduate now living in Eldridge, said he is upset with the nominating criteria, the number of people – only six – to be inducted, the people he thinks were excluded from consideration, and other criticisms.

He shared those concerns with Maquoketa Community School Board members Monday night. The school board, however, has no decision-making authority over the Hall of Fame, according to district athletic director and committee member Tom Gruenwald, who is the object of one of Davis’ objections.

 

“I believe the way (the selection)
was done wasn’t right. It was done by 

 

That study found the hospital would have to spend $15.6 million over the next 10 years to correct the deficiencies, including $7.28 million of repairs and renovations seen as an “immediate need.”

 

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Local quilters honor 17 area veterans with Quilts of Valor

World War II  veteran Ben Loecke accepts a hug as he receives a Quilt of Valor pieced and quilted by Pat Tauke. MSP photo by Kelly Gerlach
World War II veteran Ben Loecke accepts a hug as he receives a Quilt of Valor pieced and quilted by Pat Tauke. MSP photo by Kelly Gerlach

By KELLY GERLACH

News Editor

kgerlach@mspress.net

Virgil Eggers of Bellevue sat in his wheelchair and watched as a group of strangers unveiled a quilt – a quilt handmade for him. 

A tear rolled down his cheek.

Through the oxygen tube at his mouth, the Vietnam veteran thanked all Town & Country Quilters. But he didn’t stop there.

“There’s a bunch of you who haven’t been thanked,” Eggers said. “I want to thank all you veterans. You all had a job to do and you did it. Some of you were volunteers and some were drafted, and when the call came, you went. 

“I want to thank all of those who came back,” he said, voice breaking. “I want to especially thank all of those who didn’t come back.”

Tears rolled down the faces of most of the 100 or more friends and family who packed the Jackson County Senior Citizens Center for the fourth annual Quilts of Valor presentation.

Members of the Town & Country Quilters presented 17 handmade, patriotic-themed quilts to local military veterans as part of the national Quilts of Valor Foundation program.

 

Northeast Iowa Coordinator Cyndy Billmeyer said the quilts are meant “to honor, to thank and to welcome home”

 

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Elmer brings new joy to young Maquoketa family

After only three weeks together, Eli Lemke and 10-year-old coonhound Elmer are best buds. The Lemke family adopted the dog from the Jackson County Humane Society in July and encourage others to adopt older pets.  MSP photo by Kelly Gerlach
After only three weeks together, Eli Lemke and 10-year-old coonhound Elmer are best buds. The Lemke family adopted the dog from the Jackson County Humane Society in July and encourage others to adopt older pets. MSP photo by Kelly Gerlach

By KELLY GERLACH

News Editor

kgerlach@mspress.net

Clunk! Sniff, sniff.

“ELLLMERRRRR!”

Clunk! Click, click.

It’s a fairly common pattern heard at the Lemke house in Maquoketa lately, and it’s all because of one thing – a coonhound named Elmer. 

The 10-year-old dog joined the Lemke clan only three weeks ago and already they have noticed changes.

“I remember how plain and sad his face was when we got him home,” said Eli Lemke, quickly becoming emotional about his new friend. “Then we took him outside and I remember how big his smile was.”

 

The sad face came from presumed years of neglect or mistreatment before the dog found its way to the Jackson County Humane Society seven mon

 

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Travis Law, left, celebrates with teammates after a successful stop during a pit crew competition. They are  two-time defending champions of the Indy 500 Pit Stop Competition. Law is a Maquoketa native. Photo contributed by Gregg Ellman.
Travis Law, left, celebrates with teammates after a successful stop during a pit crew competition. They are two-time defending champions of the Indy 500 Pit Stop Competition. Law is a Maquoketa native. Photo contributed by Gregg Ellman.

By NICK JOOS

Sports editor

mspsports@mspress.net

“Maquoketa, Iowa, Indianapolis 500 champion” has a pretty good ring to it. 

Travis Law sure thinks so. 

The Maquoketa native and current car chief and front tire changer for Helio Castroneves’ No. 3 IndyCar won America’s most prestigious racing prize in 2009 and 2015 as a member of the Penske Racing team. 

Like other sports, Indy car racing is a team sport, and the team Law is on stretches far wider than the team’s headquarters in Mooresville, North Carolina. 

Law’s passion and expertise for working on racecars have humble beginnings in Jackson County. 

 

“My stepdad [Scott Barten] raced for as long as I could remember,” Law 

 

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 8/24/16

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