Roeder, Becker top vote-getters in Maquoketa school election

Kristi Becker
Kristi Becker

By KELLY GERLACH

News Editor

kgerlach@mspress.net

Two Maquoketa women who waged write-in campaigns will be sworn in when the Maquoketa Community School Board convenes Monday night.

Incumbent Tanya Roeder, 38, was elected to her second term on the board, receiving 200 votes in Tuesday’s school board election.

Kristi Becker, 47, the first person to announce a write-in campaign, received 224 votes. She will replace veteran board member Brian Tabor, who did not seek another term. 

A third candidate, Terry Creegan, 64, received 79 votes.

A total of 283 district residents voted in the election, which was the last time school board elections will be held in September. Beginning in 2019, the election will be held at the same time as city elections in November.

“It means a great deal to me to get elected to serve another four years on the Maquoketa School Board,” said Roeder, who works at Maquoketa State Bank. “I think people can see that I, as part of the current board, was part of a cohesive group that genuinely cares for our students and wants 

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Mitch Kelchen
Mitch Kelchen

STAFF REPORT

dnamanny@bellevueheraldleader.com

A Bellevue man was killed and two women were injured in a head-on collision Saturday morning just north of Andrew. 

Mitchell Roy Kelchen, 40, of Bellevue, an officer on the Anamosa Police Department, was killed in the accident, which occurred in the 16000 block of Highway 62 at about 7:40 a.m., according to a report from the Iowa State Patrol.  

 

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Volunteers replace wood walkways at Maquoketa Caves State Park

Mike Bock measured and cut boards in a unique, makeshift workshop last week. He set up his saw near the mouth of Dancehall Cave at Maquoketa Caves State Park. He and dozens of other volunteers ripped up and replaced some of the boardwalks along the trails
Mike Bock measured and cut boards in a unique, makeshift workshop last week. He set up his saw near the mouth of Dancehall Cave at Maquoketa Caves State Park. He and dozens of other volunteers ripped up and replaced some of the boardwalks along the trails

By KELLY GERLACH

News Editor

kgerlach@mspress.net

The aged, worn, nail-ridden piece of lumber in Leona Golladay’s hand could probably tell a lot of stories. 

Wood cannot talk, but Golladay can, and she had many stories to tell of childhood exploits at Maquoketa Caves State Park.

“I grew up around here, near Baldwin,” Golladay said last Tuesday, standing on a stair leading toward the popular Dancehall Cave as volunteers took apart the wood landing a few stairs away. 

“There were three generations of us trying to push over the Balanced 

 

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Record turnout for 2017 Jackson County Fair despite soggy start

(L-R) Sara Smithson, Lacey Homan and Cambrie Lane do their best to carry a hog from a mud pit and place it in a bucket. The fair royalty got dirty during the hug-a-hog contest at the Jackson County Fair.
(L-R) Sara Smithson, Lacey Homan and Cambrie Lane do their best to carry a hog from a mud pit and place it in a bucket. The fair royalty got dirty during the hug-a-hog contest at the Jackson County Fair.

By KELLY GERLACH

News Editor

kgerlach@mspress.net

Adapting to change is good. It means flexibility.

So said exhausted Jackson County Fair Manager Lanny Simpson Monday morning, after getting three to five hours of sleep per night last week.

“A lot of things happen by accident, but a lot of the time those accidents worked,” Simpson said, referencing Wednesday’s rainstorm and other unplanned changes.

Despite it all, a record number of people walked through the 2017 Jackson County Fair gates to experience fair life and to create new memories.

Paid attendance was 35,839 for the fair, which began during a rainstorm Wednesday and ended with a standing-room-only crowd at the Night of Destruction Sunday evening. That’s up almost 3,800 people from last year, despite dropping by 1,200 people on opening day. In neighboring Dubuque County, attendance numbers decreased by about 8 percent.

Rain postponed the parade by a day. The last time the parade was cancelled was about 1921, fair board member/historian Duane Hansen told Simpson. It was last postponed around 1961.

The 40-mph storm did not deter fairgoers. They found dry shelter until the rain ceased, then about 2,200 people 

 

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Casel family honored as 2017 Jackson County Fair Family

Tucker Veach reaches in to stroke Copper’s side while Cameron Casel holds the horse. They got their love of horses from Bill Casel, who passed it on to his wife, kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. MSP photo by Brooke Taylor
Tucker Veach reaches in to stroke Copper’s side while Cameron Casel holds the horse. They got their love of horses from Bill Casel, who passed it on to his wife, kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. MSP photo by Brooke Taylor

By KELLY GERLACH

News Editor

kgerlach@mspress.net

A secret, private, sort-of smile tilts Norma Casel’s lips as she watches her grandson, Cameron Casel, lead horse Copper into position for a group photo.

It’s a look of pride, pure and simple. He’s another generation carrying on a family legacy.

But the smile is tinged with sorrow. Norma’s husband of 59 years, Bill, isn’t there to see it. He taught his wife, children, and grandchildren the love of horses and the skills of horsemanship; however, he died on the day of the 2014 4-H/FFA Horse Show at the Jackson County Fair.

Still, Norma smiles as she sees her son, Rick, show his son how to hold Copper’s reins. And while watching son Tom hold grandson Tucker Veach as he rubs Copper’s nose.

With decades of involvement, the Bill and Norma Casel family was selected as the 2017 Jackson County Fair Family. They were honored Sunday during pre-fair festivities and will ride in Wednesday evening’s parade.

“I said, ‘No, uh-uh,’” Norma said when asked how she had learned her family would receive the title. It’s the same humble sentiment she and her husband echoed when they were named fair grand marshals in 2013.

Bill and Norma organized the fair’s Open Class Horse Show for 23 years. Tom is still rabbit superintendent for the fair, and Rick has been heavily involved with goats.

But the two sons (the Casels also have daughter Cindy Casel in Dubuque and son Mike Casel in Ankeny) are carrying on a family tradition of which they’re proud.

“Our parents were great..."

 

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Hidden graves to be restored at Poor Farm

Jackson County’s indigent population had a roof over their heads and work to  do while the county Poor Farm was open on 250th Avenue northwest of Andrew. MSP photo by Kelly Gerlach
Jackson County’s indigent population had a roof over their heads and work to do while the county Poor Farm was open on 250th Avenue northwest of Andrew. MSP photo by Kelly Gerlach

By KELLY GERLACH

News Editor

kgerlach@mspress.net

Ten grave markers – 11, if you count a 3-inch circle of concrete with the number 28 etched into it. Those and one generic monument dated 1886 are the only visible signs of a burial place.

County officials, local historians, and records show more than 200 burials should be at the Jackson County Poor Farm Cemetery, found off an abandoned county road a few miles northwest of Andrew.

The cemetery will be restored this year thanks to the efforts of the county’s Historic Preservation Commission and the blessing of the Board of Supervisors.

“It belongs to the county and should be maintained,” Commissioner Larry Ambrosy told supervisors July 5.

With the supervisors’ permission and money from the Poor Farm, the commission will cut down wild sumac bushes and trees, probe for buried grave markers, restore markers, and work on signage for the cemetery.

The commission needs the public’s help to...

 

 

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Squiers Manor for sale in historic district

Kathy and Virl Banowetz relax inside the welcoming parlor at Squiers Manor Bed & Breakfast, which they’ve operated since 1991. They are looking for a buyer who ‘will love it just as much as we do. We put our heart and soul in this place,” Kathy said.
Kathy and Virl Banowetz relax inside the welcoming parlor at Squiers Manor Bed & Breakfast, which they’ve operated since 1991. They are looking for a buyer who ‘will love it just as much as we do. We put our heart and soul in this place,” Kathy said.

By KELLY GERLACH

 

News Editor

 

kgerlach@mspress.net

 

Kathy Banowetz cannot count the number of times she has walked up and down the original wooden staircase at Squiers Manor. There were clean sheets to grab, candlelight desserts to serve, and guests to escort to their rooms or on a tour of the mansion’s eight suites.

 

Her husband, Virl, doesn’t recall all the meals served, the late-night check-ins, and building repairs.

 

But they remember their guests – many repeat guests who have become old friends – and their touching stories after 26 years of managing Squiers Manor Bed & Breakfast in Maquoketa.

 

That is why it will be so difficult to say goodbye.

 

The Banowetzes have listed Squiers Manor for sale with The Engel Agency. The asking price is $479,000, according to listing agent Abby Schueller.

 

The manor employs one full-time and five part-time workers.  

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