Wednesday, Oct. 7

Three local investors pool their resources, buy Delmar elevator


Area farmers already harvesting their grain need a place to sell or store that grain, and three Delmar-area men pooled their resources and experience to meet that need.

Allen Kloft, Paul Sterk and Rich Thola have purchased the Delmar grain drying, storage and sale business previously operated by AgVantage FS and renamed it Delmar Grain Services Inc.

“It seemed like a good idea a couple weeks ago,” Kloft laughed, thinking about the crop harvest already in progress as he sat behind his desk at the former AgVantage building at 502 S. Main St., Delmar. That grain includes corn and soybeans and possibly oats and wheat depending on demand.

“We’re going to continue to run a commercial grain elevator, buying and selling grain from farmers. We dump it in wet, dry it out, then store it dry,” explained Kloft, who has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business, was a loan officer and farms 55 acres near Miles.

Continue reading...

Problems with YMCA pool spur legal action - City seeks $900k 


Citing continuing problems with the swimming pool area and the mechanical equipment serving the pool at the Maquoketa Area Family YMCA, the City of Maquoketa has initiated legal action seeking nearly $900,000 from the facility’s architect, general contractor and other parties.

Patrick O’Connell, an attorney with the Cedar Rapids law firm of Lynch Dallas P.C., which serves as the city attorney, made the demand in a letter sent last month to six parties involved in the design and construction of the pool.


Continue reading...


Saturday, Oct. 3

Nickeson resigns from board


The Jackson County Regional Health Center Board of Trustees is seeking a new member with the resignation this week of Mike Nickeson.

Nickeson resigned Tuesday, effective immediately. He cited increasing demands on his time at his job and the logistics of working out of town as the reasons for his resignation, according to a hospital news release.

The rural Maquoketa resident joined the hospital board in June 2010.

Hospital board Chairman Kevin Burns expressed appreciation for Nickeson’s five years of service to the hospital.

“His knowledge in the management field and the experience from his service on other boards was a positive addition,” Burns said.

Burns said the board hopes to appoint a replacement for Nickeson, whose term expires in December 2016.

Nickeson was appointed on June 22, 2010 to fill a vacancy on the board created by the resignation of board member Robert Thomas of Maquoketa two months earlier. He was elected unopposed to a full six-year term in November 2010.

When he was appointed to the board, he was the hiring manager for Alliant Energy in Cedar Rapids. He later left that job and served two years and 2 1/2 months starting in June of 2011 as manager of Maquoketa Municipal Electric Utility. Little Bear Park and Ohnward Fine Arts Center.


Continue reading.


Osterhaus celebrates 50 years

Wednesday, Sept. 30


A 10-year-old paperboy sought shelter from the winter cold Dec. 27, 1941. He popped into his local drug store – Brinkmann’s in Dyersville, the first stop on his delivery route – to warm up a bit before once more trudging through the snow along his route.

The employees tallying inventory inside the store intrigued the youngster.

“‘That looks like fun,’ I told them. They laughed and asked me if I wanted a job,” Robert Osterhaus said last week, toying idly with his morning cup of coffee.

“I swept the floor, washed the windows, cleaned the spittoons. I waited on customers – that’s where I got my practice.” Interestingly, the store also sold wallpaper and farm chemicals.

Seventy-three years later, Bob, his family and staff at Osterhaus Pharmacy in Maquoketa are celebrating 50 years of dispensing medication, vaccines, advice and camaraderie.

Osterhaus Pharmacy remains a family affair, with wife Ann, son Matt and daughter-in-law Marilyn working in the pharmacy, medical supply and gift shop


Continue reading...


The Maquoketa City Council last week renewed its agreement with the Davenport-based Scott County Family Y for another four years and nine months starting Oct. 1. The pact, which includes operation of the city’s recreation programs, will extend through June 30, 2020.
The council, with no discussion, unanimously approved the agreement as proposed by its Finance Committee.
Although the amount is not set in the contract, the city has continued to allocate $175,000 per year to operate the recreational facility and programs. Of that amount, the city pays the Scott County Family Y a management fee of $84,000 per year for its services.
Finance Committee members had proposed in April that the management fee be based on a percentage of revenue rather than a fixed amount that is negotiated.

Continue reading...

Officials put signs on hold

The project to raise money for and erect wayfinding signs throughout Maquoketa is proceeding slower than expected. The Maquoketa City Council and Jackson County Board of Supervisors are taking a wait-and-see approach on donations and state approval for the signs pending.
The supervisors on Tuesday said they would consider the request from the Maquoketa Betterment Corp. as part of their deliberations on the 2016-17 budget early next year.
The Maquoketa City Council earlier had said it would delay a decision whether the city would donate to the project until seeing what the supervisors and the Maquoketa Community School Board will give.
Betterment is seeking donations of $10,000 apiece from the council, supervisors and school board to help pay for a nearly $200,000 project to construct and erect 42 wayfinding signs throughout Maquoketa.
The signs would direct motorists to city landmarks and public facilities such as the high school, Little Bear Park and Ohnward Fine Arts Center.

Continue reading.

Saturday, Sept. 26

Betterment Corp. purchases hotel to avoid auction


A Maquoketa group saved a city landmark from the auction block this week.

Maquoketa Betterment Corp. purchased the Decker Hotel 1875 from Quad Cities developer Chris Quilty, who had owned the historic hotel for two years.

“We’re just trying to save this institution,” Betterment President Chuck Current said Wednesday morning. “We owe a debt of gratitude to Chris. The hotel would not be here today if not for his passion in saving it.”

According to Current, Quilty was speaking with a couple of auction houses “who were very anxious to get their hands on [the Decker and its contents].”

Attempts to call Quilty for comment went unanswered as of press time Thursday.

Tiffany Mangler, Betterment board member, said the board had to act quickly on the deal. She said when the board heard about the possible auction, “we were panicking a little.”


Continue reading

County jobs disappearing; Medicaid system to change


Six case managers in Jackson County will lose their jobs in January, leaving more than 120 clients with various disabilities facing changes in how they will receive care.

“The future remains uncertain,” said Lynn Bopes, Jackson County mental health coordinator and case management administrator. “The uncertainty is coming from not knowing how the managed care organizations will choose to make the services available [under the new system].”

Jackson County’s six-person office, including Bopes, organizes and coordinates residential, medical and vocational services for 120 people with disabilities, particularly those with intellectual disabilities or brain injuries, said Bopes, who has been in her role for a decade.

The case managers are paid with county funds but receive reimbursement through Iowa Medicaid.

That will change Jan. 1.


Continue reading



of the Maquoketa




Click on the ad for a direct link to their website

Local Blogs

Bringing the
Emily Frances back to Life