By KELLY GERLACH
Kyle Simmons loves Master Aurora, the Skylander video game character who represents the speed of light.
So when Kyle peeled off the shiny wrapping paper on a gift and uncovered an Aurora figurine, the 8-year-old Delmar boy was ecstatic. He held the figurine 2 inches from his eyes to look at it, a huge smile on his face.
But Kyle’s excitement wasn’t enough to stir the 10-week-old black Labrador at his feet. The puppy slept deeply, even snored a bit.
The puppy’s name? Aurora – after Kyle’s favorite character.
“I always wanted to name a dog Aurora. I just did,” Kyle said.
And that figurine? It was a gift from Superstar Service Dogs’ Jackie Galvin, a Mount Vernon nurse and dog trainer who, only hours later, took home puppy Aurora to start her 18-month training as a service and therapy dog.
By TOM PANTERA
Jack Willey wants to see two changes at the Jackson County Senior Center: a full-time manager and better food.
But with a new executive director of the Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, which operates the center, and the impending retirement of current manager Gay Storlie, it’s uncertain how soon – or even whether – either will happen.
The county Board of Supervisors last week spoke by phone with NEI3A Executive Director Donna Harvey, who has been in that position about five weeks.
During the phone conversation, Willey told Harvey that Storlie “has really taken that senior center and made it a positive thing.
“What level of commitment are we going to find in our next go-around?” Willey asked. “Right now, I am extremely frustrated with what is going to happen.”
Harvey told supervisors that she considered it important to find someone who has an enthusiastic personality to run the center. But whether the manager works full time is a budgetary issue, and “the numbers [using the center] would not warrant a full-time position at this point,” she said. She said she was continuing to study the issue.
By KELLY GERLACH
Which to pick … which to pick. It was a key decision Saturday afternoon at Hurstville Interpretive Center.
The smell of melting coconut oil permeated the room as mother Katie Schnoor, son Quinn, and daughter Avery peeked inside coffee cups filled with ground oatmeal, paprika, coffee grounds, and tea leaves – all exfoliants.
“Can I put this one in?” Quinn asked, holding the cup of paprika.
“No, it might react with your skin,” his mother said, stirring other exfoliants into each child’s cup of cooling, freshly made soap.
More than a dozen people spent about 90 minutes Saturday morning in a natural soap-making class at the center.
Making soap requires the perfect combination of lye and the right amount of oils, according to instructor Jessica Wagner, education coordinator for Jackson County Conservation. She has been making her own natural soap for about three years and decided to teach a class
By KELLY GERLACH
Maintenance. Buildings, streets and equipment in good repair.
It has infiltrated the minds of Maquoketa City Council members as the downtown streetscape project draws to a close.
They discussed the topic at some length Monday night during a two-hour, 30-minute goal-setting session.
Other topics garnering much discussion were a new building for some city departments, an outdoor swimming pool, more housing, safer parks, and library funding, among others.
The mayor and council members are to select their top six long-term and six short-term goals and submit them at the Nov. 21 council meeting. They will then vote on the top two goals in each category.
Council members sat down with representatives from the city’s water, public works, library, police, fire and other departments to prioritize their goals for 2017 and beyond.
The group talked most about the need for comprehensive improvement plans for each department as well as the city’s streets. Those plans would develop some type of rotational maintenance and upkeep of the city’s buildings, parking lots, streets and equipment.
The plans ranged from simple – new carpet and paint at Maquoketa City Hall – to a new building for Public Works.
Police Chief Brad Koranda had parking lot sealant in mind.
“As department heads, I think we need to look at tackling at least one fix-up per year,” he said
By KELLY GERLACH
Plastic wrap rustles in the breeze, just enough to raise goosebumps across your skin.
Nearby, you hear a moan.
Cobwebs tug at your hair, and spiders tickle your cheek.
Beady eyes from severed doll heads follow your every move.
You leap where you stand, shivers traveling down your spine. You hope you’re not the next in the butcher room.
Dan and Crystal Martin and family hope to scare you into donating to the Maquoketa Community Cupboard.
The Maquoketa couple have erected a haunted house around their Western Avenue home and invite the public to walk through, enjoy a little fright, and donate a non-perishable food item or cash to the local food pantry.
The Community Cupboard, which provides food to people in need, is dear to Dan, who was a single father with three kids on his own before he married Crystal.