Fire at Bullock's Ag Service in La Motte
La Motte, Bellevue, Andrew, Bernard, Key West and Maquoketa fire departments were called to a large fire at Bullock Ag Services in LaMotte Thursday morning at approximately 8:15 a.m. According to officials the center section of the storage facility caught fire and fire fighters spent several hours on the scene. Thick black smoke could be seen from the top of the bluff as far away as Bellevue. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Look for more photos and information in next week’s Herald-Leader.
Way of the Cross
150 year-old tradition continues in St. Donatus
The annual Way of the Cross service took place in St. Donatus last Friday with hundreds attending the traditional march up the hill past the many stations to the old chapel above.
The Reverend Jerry Blake facilitated the event and recited prayers and bowed at each station, while guests and church members took turns carrying the large wooden cross.
Conducted for over 150 years, the outdoor stations in the Way of the Cross ceremony were built by Father Flammang and are said to be the first of their kind in the United States.
According to a book entitled the ‘Story of St. Donatus,’ the inspiration for this project was conceived by the great Jesuit missionary and author, Father Francis Xavier Weniger, while conducting a mission in St. donates parish in 1852.
At the beginning of the mission, according to his customary practice, he had a huge cross, 40 or 50 feet in height, erected in the most prominent place of the community, namely the hill behind the cemetery. The erection of a mission cross was very impressive according to Hoffman who gives the following description of such a ceremony.
“At this public gathering soldiers from nearby garrisons were invited to participate in the processions; the town common, often used by the local authorities in those days for civic and regional celebrations, was pressed into service to fire salutes at the erection of the outdoor mission cross. After this ceremony the zealous missioner suggested to the congregation the idea of erecting the stations on the hill as a “fitting path to that symbol of our Redemption.” READ MORE BY CLICKING ON E-EDITION AT RIGHT.
Major effort to fill Bellevue’s downtown storefronts
Bellevue Chamber of Commerce; BETA offering free rent to start-up businesses
Like many small rural Iowa towns, Bellevue has experienced the ups and downs of keeping main street storefronts full and attracting more shoppers.
And, in response to a recent retail trade analysis revealing that sales had declined about 3 percent in the community last year, the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce is taking a unique pro-active approach to attract new business.
In an effort to fill the remaining vacant storefronts in downtown Bellevue, the Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce and Bellevue Economic and Tourism Association (BETA) are working with private commercial property owners to offer retailers a no-cost, short-term lease in a downtown Bellevue storefront for the 2014 summer season.
Called the “Summer 2014 Pop Up Program,” BETA has agreed to pay half the monthly rent for the season, which will run from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and the building owners have agreed to waive the other half. The tenant will only be responsible for utilities.
In a unique riverfront community which also offers more tourism opportunities than most towns its size, leaders in Bellevue are poised for success and hope the new formula will grow the business district.
“BETA and the Chamber of Commerce are hoping this program will benefit everyone in the community by finding long-term tenants for the vacant storefronts downtown,” said Deanna Cook, Director of the Bellevue Chamber. READ MORE BY CLICKING ON E-EDITION AT RIGHT
Win a new car at 2014 Heritage Days Celebration
Ticket sales for the big Heritage Day Raffle are getting underway in Bellevue and those who enter will have the chance to win this year’s Grand Prize, a 2014 Chevrolet Sonic LT or $15,000 in
Tickets can be purchased at the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce office and at several local businesses. Cost is $25 each or five for $100.
All together, those who purchase a ticket have 10 chances to win from now until July 4 thanks to a series of “Early Bird Drawings.” The first of those $100 drawings will be held during the annual Chamber Golf Outing on May 30; then two drawings for $100 will take place at Heritage Days Dance on July 3; and five drawings for $100 will take place on July 4.
The Grand Prize drawing for the new cars from Till’s Auto will take place July 4 immediately before the Heritage Days fireworks in Bellevue.
New this year is, will also be a second place prize of $1,000 in cash, which will be given away immediately after the drawing for the new car.
As always, those who win one of the eight early bird drawings will remain eligible for the Grand Prize, as the ticket goes back into the bucket through July 4.
2014 makes the 25th year of the Heritage Days Raffle for a new car from Tills; and officials are reminding folks that tickets were $20 each for the first ever car raffle back in 1989, and if you choose to take the five for $100 option, they are still $20 each. The price of the car, however, has not remained the same.
As well as selling tickets early, volunteers are needed to help sell tickets along the parade route on July 4.
For more information on raffle tickets, Early Bird drawings or to volunteer to sell tickets, call Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Deanna Cook at 563-872-5830.
Bellevue’s Fab Five
Local FBLA Chapter headed to Nationals
Five members of the Bellevue Chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) are headed to the organization’s National Conference this June in Nashville, Tennessee.
This, after 16 students from Bellevue FBLA competed in various business-related events against 695 other high school students at the State Leadership Conference the last weekend in March.
Those five walking away as top finishers included Josh Sieverding, who took first place in Spreadsheet Applications; and Dalton Stephany, who finished second place in the same category.
The team of Allison Kilburg, Madeline Lyons and Alex Hinke placed second in Business Ethics; while Josh Sieverding also took home third-place honors in the category of Business Calculations. READ MORE BY CLICKING ON E-EDITION.
Boat fire causes big blaze at Smith’s Ferry
The Bellevue Fire Department responded to a boat on fire Monday, March 31 at 32671 Smith’s Ferry Road north of Bellevue approximately 4:38 p.m.
When fire crews arrived they found the small boat fully engulfed in flames. Fire fighters spent over 30 minutes putting out the blaze, which was intense due to the large amount of fuel on board. Crews utilized a special foam mixture to eventually snuff out the fire.
The boat’s owner, Tom Kunnert of Dubuque, told officials that he was charging the batteries and shortly thereafter noticed the boat was on fire. He added that he had just filled the boat with fuel as he was planning to fish on the Mississippi River that afternoon.
The boat and its motor are a total loss. The boat, which was insured, had an esti
Bellevue man recovering from lung transplant; stresses importance of organ donation
Bellevue’s Rick Klemme wants the public to know the importance of organ donation.
In fact, if it wasn’t for the National Donor Registry, he may not be alive today.
Klemme underwent a double lung transplant at the University of Wisconsin in Madison last spring and continues recover from the procedure.
Since the surgery on May 23, 2013, he has to be careful about being in public places with a lot of people, and sometimes has to wear a respiratory mask to protect himself against germs.
Back at his home in the Cheney-Wagner addition, Klemme and his wife Joan are thankful for the success of the surgery and are encouraging others to place their names on the Iowa Donor Network so other lives may be saved.
“April is National Donate Life Month, so we thought this would be a good time to make people aware of how important it is to save a life through organ donation. One donor can save up to eight lives,” said Rick
Coats for Kids campaign to help needy in Kosovo
Bellevue native and Iowa National Guard soldier Steven Moellers, who is currently stationed in Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, is asking the local community to help the needy in that country.
Moellers, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter mechanic arrived in Kosovo in January on his first deployment overseas. His unit’s mission is to ensure that peace is kept within the territory. He is also spearheading a project to help the less fortunate in the developing country, which was formerly part of Serbia.
Moellers, in conjunction with National Guard veteran Chuck Kueter and Bellevue American Legion Post #273, are collecting coats and school supplies for the children and families of Kosovo, who were devastated by years of conflicts, attacks and a struggling economy.
The drive has been dubbed “Coats for Kids,” and a similar program was conducted in 2007 and 2008 when Kueter was also stationed in Kosovo.
After hearing about what Chuck did when he was deployed over here, I knew I would like to get it going again to help the people of Kosovo,” explained Moellers.
Those who wish to donate coats and school supplies should drop them off at Bellevue City Hall from now through April 11. Monetary donations are also need to help pay for shipping costs.
When the coats and supplies arrive, Moellers, will help distribute them to the needy.
READ MORE by purchasing an e-edition.
Life on the Mississippi; spring arrives in Bellevue
Wildlife is flourishing at Lock and Dam 12 in Belleve this week as the ice is finally melting and the river is opening up. According Lockmaster William B. Hainstock, water traffic is already on the move in the Clinton area, but Bellevue won’t see any barges or tows for another week to week and a half. Hainstock said that water is up about three and a half feet since the river started melting, and his crews are preparing for another season of directing river traffic. See more in this week’s Herald-Leader or purchase an online e-edition by clicking at the top right.
Till's celebrates 100 years in Bellevue
In 1914, the automobile industry was exploding across America.
Henry Ford’s assembly line concept had made the American auto affordable to the masses while wages for autoworkers doubled from $2.40 per day to $5 per day that same year. Other car manufacturers such as Buick and Chevrolet followed suit and the country was quickly becoming mobile.
Here in Bellevue, the auto industry was kicking into high gear as well, as evidenced by the March 10, 1914 Bellevue Herald, which featured several advertisements annwouncing the opening of auto dealerships in Jackson County.
Among the most prominent was an advertisement was for Joseph J. Till of Bellevue. The ad read “Joseph J. Till has secured the local agency for the following 1914 cars: Imperial, Buick, Ford and Studebaker. Anyone wanting a car should place their order early as there is sure to be a great demand for cars.”
A century later, Till’s Auto is still in business and still owned by the Till family who are celebrating 100 years of serving customers across Jackson County and beyond. READ MORE BY CLICKING ON E-EDITION AT RIGHT:
Roeder Brothers, Inc. purchases Daque Equipment
A longtime Bellevue business is expanding its market in eastern Iowa and beyond.
Roeder Brothers Inc. of Bellevue, an agriculture equipment and parts dealer serving the eastern Iowa area for over 70 years, has purchased Dague Equipment in Maquoketa.
The sale, which was effective Monday, added a second major location in Jackson County for Roeder Brothers, a Massey-Ferguson dealership, which also offers many other farm equipment brands including AGCO, Bobcat, Demco, Kuhn and Featherlite.
“We are excited to have Dague Equipment, Inc. as part of our Roeder Brothers, Inc. family,” said Scott Roeder, who added that both locations will continue to provide reliable, family-friendly sales, parts, and service expertise which customers have come to value from both Roeder Brothers and Dague Equipment teams. “Having two locations will add better service and more convenience for parts and customer service.”
Roeder Brothers Inc. began in 1938 with the Roeder brothers, Harry, Floyd and Kenneth Roeder in Bellevue.
The family-owned operation is a third-generation business now owned by Scott and Nick Roeder. READ MORE BY CLICKING ON E-EDITION AT TOP RIGHT...
Bellevue Fire Fighters save own building from destruction
Fire fighters responded to a fire call at the Bellevue Fire Station Thursday morning at approximately 6:50 a.m. When responders arrived, a thick cloud of smoke was billowing out of the
Bellevue Police Chief Lynn Schwager, whose office is next door at City Hall, first spotted smoke coming from the rafters. While some of the volunteers battled the flames, which appeared to originate from the northwest end of the building, others rushed to remove trucks, racks of protective gear and other equipment.
A handful of Bellevue residents reported seeing smoke from several blocks away, including former Mayor Virgil Murry and Mike Hurley, who took a photo from his upstairs window just west of the fire station looking east.
Damage estimates to the building are not yet known, but look to be mostly soot and smoke damage. The department’s rescue boat was also damaged by the heat, as well as minor damage to two trucks. The building itself appears to have sustained minimal damage.
The fire was quickly extinguished, smoke was cleared and vehicles and equipment were moved into the street. Preston, Maquoketa and Springbrook Fire Departments were also called to the scene for back up.
State Street and Third Street were blocked with fire trucks and emergency vehicles for several hours. FOR MORE, CLICK ON E-EDITION AT RIGHT.
Ski Bellevue gearing up for 2014 season
While the snowflakes fell outside on a frozen river last Saturday, just a few blocks away, the Ski Bellevue Waterski Show Team conducted it’s first “dryland practice” of 2014 at the old Bellevue
Elementary School gymnasium.
It’s all part of the intense preparation for another exciting season on the water, as Ski Bellevue is one of only four waterski show teams in the state of Iowa and the only one performing on the Mississippi, which takes even more skills and talent.
“It is the way our ski team practices before we do our stuff on the water,” said Dave Valent, one of the main organizers of the famous Ski Bellevue shows. “We’ve got several shows lined up for this summer, so we need to be prepared.”
During dryland practice, ski ropes are attached to the gymnasium wall instead of a boat.
In this way, the team can practice pyramid building along with lots of other acts that make up a ski show. READ MORE BY PURCHASING AN E-EDITION.
Expensive winter in Bellevue
City’s snow removal costs already over budget
With significant snowfall amounts this winter – combined with the fact that several of the major snow events have occurred during the holidays and weekends – the City of Bellevue’s snow removal
budget is being pushed to the limit – especially when it comes to salt and sand.
City Administrator Loras Herrig reviewed the budget as it stands so far. While the overall amount spent for snow removal is already higher than last year, funds from the Road Use Department, which snow removal costs are taken from, have plenty of reserves to make up any difference.
When broken down into three different categories, however, including salaries, equipment and salt and sand, the overall picture of this winter is leaning toward the harsh side.
As for salt and sand used on the roadways, the City of Bellevue budgeted $8,000 and at the end of January we have spent $11,194.98 which is 139.94 percent of the total winter budget. Last year at this time the city had spent $4,055.51.
As for snow removal equipment, the City budgeted $5,000 for the winter, and at the end of January, had spent $7,394, which is 147.88 percent of the budget.
“We did purchase some equipment for snow removal earlier and I anticipate very little equipment expense during the remainder of this fiscal year,” said Herrig.
Caution: Freezing Water Lines in Bellevue
The City of Bellevue is notifying residents that due to the extreme cold weather in recent days and weeks, several water lines in Bellevue have frozen as the frost line has sunk to four to five feet deep.
Residents are advised that running a small stream of water constantly may prevent lines from freezing and help avoid costly repairs.
City officials say the additional water expense is the home owner’s choice, however would be less expensive in the long run than repairing a water line.
Sedgwick CMS purchased for $2.4 billion
Bellevue’s Dave North was busy on the phone with financial reporters from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times last Monday, just hours after the news broke that Sedgwick Claims
Management Services, Inc., a top provider of insurance claims processing, would be purchased by KKR (Kolberg, Kravis, Roberts).
The private equity giant agreed to purchase a majority ownership of the company for $2.4 billion from its current group of investors, which includes Hellman & Friedman LLC and Stone Point Capital LLC.
North, who is president and CEO of Sedgwick, which employs 42 people at its Bellevue location, said that the news was great for the company and that nothing would change in terms of Bellevue.
“There is no change in our commitment to Bellevue or offices in Iowa,” said North. “This is an investor change that brings a new depth of resources to Sedgwick for future growth.”
Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. is a leading provider of technology-enabled claims and productivity management solutions.
At Sedgwick’s Bellevue location, which has been in operation for over two years, employees often manage claims for long term disability claims and specializes in leaves of absences for large employers across the country.
Police searching for Baldwin Bank Robber
Today, (Friday, Jan. 31) at 9:11 a.m. the Jackson County Sheriff's Office received a call that the Baldwin bank had been robbed by a male subject. The subject is between 5'10" and 6'0" and
possibly wearing a fake beard. Police say the subject drove off in a white colored older truck with a red stripe heading southbound on 50th Avenue.
If you see vehicle or subject please call the Jackson County Sheriff's Office at 563/652-3312
Fast Times in North Sabula
The Snowmobilers of Jackson County are about to break the winter blues for themselves and everyone else who plans to attend the 10th annual Radar Run, which is slated for Saturday, Feb. 1 in the
famous Island City town of Sabula.
The event, which features runs over well over 100 miles per hour, will take place on North Sabula Lake, which registration starting at 8:30 a.m. and racing from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Sabula Community Club will also conduct a Pancake Breakfast at the Sabula Fire Station from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the Sabula Lions will be serving food and drink on the lake during the event.
“It should be a great time as the ice is thick and the weather should be fairly warm this year,” said event organizer Ryan Lott. “Last year, Matt Ernst clock a 150 mile per hour run – so everyone riding has something pretty fast to shoot for.” READ MORE BY PURCHASING AN E-EDITION:
On Track Fitness Center to open in Bellevue
A new business is opening in Bellevue which will serve the community with a healthy dose of workout and fitness equipment options.
“On Track Fitness,” created by Melissa Roeder and sister-in-law Tonya Roeder, is located right on the railroad tracks at 306 North Second Street, which is the former home of the Achen car dealership.
The Roeder ladies will host a public open house to show off the new Bellevue fitness center on Thursday, Jan. 30 from 6 to 8 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 31 from 5 to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Feb. 1 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Inside, patrons will find a newly remodeled workout area with dozens of pieces of high quality, state-of-the-art workout equipment, big screen televisions and a wall of new lockers for members. READ MORE BY CLICKING on E-EDITION.
Bellevue's Historic Elementary School
Probably not too many local folks give it a second thought.
They pick up their children or drop them off at the big brick building on the corner of Third and State Streets, which is the location of the Bellevue Elementary School.
According to local historians and school administrators, however, the old brick building has extreme historical significance.
First constructed in 1848 as the Jackson County Courthouse, a portion of the building was also used as a school at that time. This fact may make the structure the oldest active school building still in use in the state of Iowa.
While the building served as a county courthouse, it became the official K-12 school in 1861. Several additions were added over the years, but the original courthouse portion ha remained and has been in use now for 166 years.
Bellevue Superintendent Mike Healy, who will retire at the end of this school year, said one of his main goals during his time in Bellevue was to restore the original 1848 portion of the building, rather than seeing the district spend millions more building a new elementary school.
70 years later, Bellevue’s Reistroffer shares memories of Normandy invasion
After nearly 70 years, the memories and images are still fresh in LeRoy Reistroffer’s mind.
It was back in June of 1944, when the 19 year-old Bellevue youth was part of one of the most significant battles of World War II, which helped secure victory and freedom for the United States of America as well as Allied forces.
Now 89, Reistroffer recently shared his memories and experiences of WWII with his son and grandson, who recently came home to Bellevue for the holidays.
Just like the patriarch of the family, both are military men who served their country with honor. Son Jon Reistroffer, a 1985 graduate of Bellevue High School now living in Houston, Texas, served in the Marine Corps for 24 years and recently returned from a mission in Afghanistan. Grandson Brandon, age 20, recently joined the U.S. Marine Corps.
While they have their own experiences, LeRoy “Chris” Reistroffer was an integral part of the famous D-Day invasion on June 6 and June 7 of 1944, one of the most significant battles of World War II.
After graduating from St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Bellevue in the spring of 1943 (it wasn’t called Marquette until later), Reistroffer immediately joined ... READ MORE BY PURCHASING AN E-EDITION.
Jackson County Cattlemen Beef Banquet Jan. 11
There’s a lot of cattle around these parts.
In fact, according the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Jackson County ranks at the top of all Iowa’s 99 counties when it comes to the number of beef cows at 23,500; and seventh in the Iowa for all cattle and calves with about 85,000. That translates into an ecomonic impact of tens of millions of dollars, not to mention thousands of jobs related to the industry.
In celebration of the strength of the local beef industry, the Jackson County Cattlemen will kick off 2014 with the annual Beef Banquet Saturday, Jan. 11, at Pearson Memorial Center at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Maquoketa.
The banquet is open to the public. Everyone is encouraged to attend for great food and entertainment.
A meal will be served beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets are $20, but those who pay their 2014 Jackson County Cattlemen membership will receive one free meal. Membership dues for associate members are $60 for one year or $160 for three years; and $75 for one year or $200 for three years for producer members.
National Country Artist to perform at annual event
National Country Music Artist Brooke Byam, who is originally from Clinton, will perform at the Jackson County Cattlemen’s Beef Banquet Saturday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.
At an early age you could find Brooke singing along with Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline records. At 3 years old, Brooke had her first stage appearance at a supper club called Woody’s Rendevous. She sang “I Just Called To Say I Love You.”
From that moment on, Brooke knew what she wanted to be. Brooke discovered a passion not only for singing, but for song writing as well.
At the age of 16, one of her songs made it into a 20th Century Fox movie, in which Brooke had the opportunity to perform her song on the silver screen.
Through her music career she has performed for a Vice President of The United States, was Miss Clinton County 2000, Miss Iowa 2001 semi-finalist, performed one of her originals in a movie, was selected for American Idol, and opened for numerous national recording artists.
Her journey eventually led her to Nashville, where Brooke’s talents really began to shine. She has had the opportunity to perform with Nashville’s finest musicians.
Brooke’s new single “Thank You For Leavin’ “ was released to radio on October 1, 2013 and has received rave reviews and debuting at #14 on The Independent Music Network Country Charts.
Unique crucifix shines at Marquette's MEC
Marquette High School will have a special fan watching over Mohawk basketball games this winter.
A 9-foot tall 250-pound lighted crucifix, donated by Chris and Kathie Lampe of Bellevue, was blessed by Father Kruse of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church during Christmas Eve services Tuesday.
“This is an important symbol of the Church,” said Father Kruse of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. “Therefore, before we put in use any such symbol or sign we bless it.”
The crucifix was carved by Jr. Cadawas of Chicago, who was born and raised in the Philippines amongst a community of carvers. He has honed his craft for over 40 years and today, his artworks are considered collector’s items.
“In the Fall of 2012, I was in the Xavier High School gymnasium in Cedar Rapids and I noticed a beautiful lighted crucifix on the wall,” explained Chris Lampe. “On the drive home, I mentioned to my wife, Kathie, that I wasn’t even aware if Marquette High School had a crucifix in the gymnasium. I decided that the MEC (Marquette Education Center) should have a crucifix to express that Marquette is a religious institution.” READ MORE BUY CLICKING ON E-EDITION AT RIGHT.
A Christmas Miracle in Bellevue
Two sisters from Bellevue were united with a brother they didn’t even know they had this past weekend. Pam Moriarty and sister Gemma Still who both live in the Spruce Creek addition north of town, met their newly found brother Peter Joseph Lana, for the first time when he flew into Dubuque last Friday night. “To me, it is a Christmas Miracle,” said Moriarty, who explained that her mother gave birth to her older brother when she was only 17 and gave him up for adoption. “She hadn’t told us about him because we were all too young. She died of cancer in 1982, and the secret sort of went with her.” Now age 62, Peter Lana was given to Catholic Charities and sent to an orphanage after he was born in April of 1951. He was the first of eight children born to Mary Elaine Steinhoff. She named him Robert Joseph Steinhoff, but his middle and last name would change when he was adopted by a several months later. READ THE ENTIRE STORY by picking up a copy of the Bellevue Herald-Leader or clicking on e-dition at right.
A Christmas Tour for Brittany
Bellevue’s iconic Springside home is once again glowing with the spirit of the Christmas. And so are owners Dave and Penny North, who are inviting the public to tour the unique eye-catching 165 year-old historic structure located on the north bluff on Sunday, Dec. 15 from 2 to 6 p.m. Donations from the tour will benefit Brittany Moore, who underwent a bone marrow transplant in Wisconsin this past summer. The daughter of Brian and Kimberly Moore, Brittany is a sophomore at Marquette Catholic in Bellevue and currently recovering from the surgery at home. The Norths came up with the idea of a tour to help the Moore family defray medical expenses. “The Moore’s are our friends and that’s what friends do,” said Penny North. As well as this weekend’s Springside Tour, other events and prayer vigils have taken place at Marquette High School since Moore was diagnosed with “aplastic anemia” in November of 2010. Aplastic anemia is basically a bone marrow disorder that occurs when a person’s white cells are unable to fight infection.
Christmas open house well-attended
The weather was perfect, the turnout was excellent and Santa Claus said he appreciated all the well wishes he received from parents and children during his stay in Bellevue this past weekend
during the community’s holiday open house.
A fireworks display, lighted Christmas parade, wagon rides with Santa, Firemen’s Chili Supper and a Holiday Tour of Homes took place Saturday and Sunday as folks were invited to “Unwrap the Magic of Christmas in Bellevue.”
“I think everything went pretty well this year,” said Deanna Cook of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce. “Our events were well-attended and I think everyone is a little bit more in the Christmas spirit.”
With the weekend Christmas Open House, the holiday season in Bellevue is officially here – and Cook encourages everyone to keep shopping locally.
Unwrap the Magic of Christmas in Bellevue
The holiday season in Bellevue is officially here – and the local Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Bellevue merchants, have big plans to put everyone in the Christmas spirit this
A holiday fireworks display, lighted Christmas parade, wagon rides with Santa, Firemen’s Chili Supper and a Holiday Tour of Homes are all on tap Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 30 through Dec. 1 as folks are invited to “Unwrap the Magic of Christmas” in Bellevue.
The Wonderland of Trees is also open at the Great River Gallery on Riverview Street and the weekend events will culminated there on Sunday with the annual tree raffle and reception following the tour of homes.
On Saturday, Nov. 30, a series of non-stop holiday events and shopping opportunities will take place. Special appearances by Santa Claus will include the annual Breakfast with Santa event on Saturday, Nov. 30 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Water Street Market; and
Wagon Rides with Santa from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Bob Ernst Building on Riverview.
Other events on Saturday include a Ceramics Workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the art studio above the Happy Bean, a Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Shore Events Centre on the north end of town and the annual Firemen’s Chili and Pie Supper from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Bellevue Fire Station.
A Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair will also take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Shore Event Centre in Bellevue.
The big finale for Saturday will be a Christmas Fireworks Display over the Mississippi River at approximately 6:15 p.m., which is sponsored by Lampe’s True Value Hardware, followed by the annual Lighted Christmas Parade on Riverview.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30
• Breakfast with Santa 9-11 at Water Street Market
• Ceramics Workshop 10-2 in the studio above Water Street Market
• Holiday Craft & Vendor Fair 10-4 at The Shore Event Centre
• Wagon Rides with Santa 1-3 p.m. at the Bob Ernst Building
• Firemen’s Chili & Pie Supper
4-8 at the Fire Station
• Fireworks at 6:15 followed by the Lighted Christmas Parade
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1
• Holiday Open House Tour 12-5
• Wonderland of Trees Reception and Raffle at the Great River Gallery 5-6
Wonderland of Trees opens in Bellevue
The holiday season in Bellevue is officially here – and the local Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Bellevue merchants have big plans in store for area shoppers in the coming weeks. Currently, the Wonderland of Trees has opened at the Great River Gallery on Riverview Street. While several trees have already gone up, individuals, businesses and organizations are invited to decorate Christmas trees or Christmas wreaths with a theme or cause. The trees will be on display for two weeks and then raffled off which proceeds going to the Chamber and non-profit organizations. The raffle will take place following the annual Tour of Homes on Sunday, Dec. 1. On Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with local merchants invite the public to “Unwrap the Magic of Christmas in Bellevue,” with a series of non-stop holiday events and shopping opportunities. The weekend will be filled with fireworks, a lighted Christmas parade, a Chili and Pie Supper at the Bellevue Fire Department and more than one special appearance by Santa Claus himself. Special appearances by the Jolly Old Elf will include the annual Breakfast with Santa event on Saturday, Nov. 30 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Water Street Market; and Wagon Rides with Santa from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Bob Ernst Building on Riverview. Other events on Saturday, Nov. 30 include a Ceramics Workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the art studio above the Happy Bean, a Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Shore Events Centre on the north end of town and the annual Firemen’s Chili and Pie Supper from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Bellevue Fire Station. The big finale for Saturday will be a Christmas Fireworks Display over the Mississippi River at approximately 6:15 p.m., followed by the annual Lighted Christmas Parade on Riverview.
Dredging project underway at Spruce Harbor
Fish and fishermen alike will benefit greatly for years to come as a result of a water project currently underway at the north edge of Bellevue on the Mississippi River.
A $90,000 dredging project Spruce Creek Harbor, approved earlier this fall by the Jackson Country Conservation Board, will remove about 3,000 cubic yards of silt, soil and sludge from the bottom of the harbor, creating a better flow of water for boaters and easing flooding problems.
Perhaps more importantly, the project will be a major benefit to many species of fish during the winter months – which is the main goal of the project. READ MORE in this week's Herald-Leader. To purchase an online version, click on e-edition at right.
Feuerbach; Lawson and Heiar win election
Bellevue City Council incumbents Gary Feuerbach and Darla Lawson retained their seats in Tuesday’s municipal elections, while newcomer Jayson Heiar was also elected to one of the three open seats.
Feuerbach received the most votes with 279, while Lawson received 228.
Coming in with 227 votes was Heiar, who is employed as an officer with the Maquoketa Police Department.
Sabra Roling received 153 votes in the contest, while Bellevue Mayor Chris Roling came in last with 94.
All votes are unofficial until canvassed by the county. Look for officials results, comments and totals from all the races in eastern Jackson County in next week’s Herald-Leader.
Veterans Day to be observed in Bellevue
For 95 years, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month has been a remembrance of those who served America in time of war.
But the original Nov. 11 Veterans Day commemoration began as a day to celebrate peace - the silencing of the guns of World War I, “The Great War,” which claimed the lives of more than 15 million soldiers and civilians.
On that day in 1918, at the 11th hour, Germany signed an armistice with the Allied Powers - including the U.S., France, Britain, Japan and Italy - ending major hostilities in a war that nearly wiped out a generation of men.
A full peace was concluded the next year in France at the Palace of Versailles, and the first Armistice Day was proclaimed and celebrated by President Woodrow Wilson on the anniversary of the ceasefire: Nov. 11, 1919.
Known today as Veterans Day, traditional observances and events are held in memory of those who served our country from across eastern Jackson County.
Veterans Day ceremonies, conducted by Bellevue American Legion Post #273, will be conducted on Monday. Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. in the Bellevue High School gymnasium.
Featured speakers will include a handful of Bellevue-area Korean War veterans who recently participated in the Honor Flight program to Washington D.C.
The schedule of events for the Veterans Day program, which will be attended by both Bellevue and Marquette students along with the general public, includes a patriotic performance by the Bellevue High School Band, the advancement of flags by the Post #273 Color Guard, the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance and the traditional Armed Forces Salute by the Bellevue High School Band.
Opening remarks will be given by Post #273 veterans Leonard Ernst and John Bohy.
A Flock of Seagulls
The City of Bellevue has seen an influx of out-of-town tourists over the past few weeks.
They haven’t done a lot of shopping on Riverview, but they have spent a lot of time at the waters near Lock and Dam 12 catching fish and flying around over the Mississippi River.
Large flocks of seagulls, according to Lockmaster Bill Hainstock are not an unusual sight this time of year. He said the large birds will most likely be moving on in a few weeks and will be replaced by Eagles.
City elections slated next Tuesday
Voters in Bellevue will head to the polls next Tuesdsay, as five candidates are running for three open seats on the Bellevue City Council.
Candidates on the Nov. 5 ballot include incumbents Gary Feuerbach and Darla Lawson, as well as newcomers Sabra Roling and Jayson Heiar. Current Bellevue Mayor Chris Roling has also officially filed for one of the open council seats.
“Local government, at the city and county level, is the most important public relationship we have,” said veteran newspaper editor Lowell Carlson, who moderated a Bellevue City Election Forum on Monday. The forum was sponsored by the Herald-Leader.
Contents of Brandt’s machine shop donated to Mississippi River Museum
Bellevue century-old machine shop collection with a wealth of historical significance will be donated to the National Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque.
Jan Brinker, a first cousin to the late William Brandt (grandson of famous boat builder Joseph Brandt), has announced that the contents of the former Iowa Marine Engine and Launch Works building, located at 207 South Second Street, will be given to the national museum, which will build a separate display for the one-of-a-kind collection.
The building and its contents are extremely significant to Bellevue and the Mississippi River as the old limestone structure at the corner of Chestnut and South Second Street was the location where some of the first racing boat engines were built, and the location where the famous recording-breaking Red Top – which was the toast of racing boat enthusiasts from St. Louis to St. Paul in the early 1900s.
“We know there are people who wanted it to stay in here and be taken over by the Jackson County Historical Society, but we think this is the best way to pay tribute to the Brandt family ...
The Bellevue Rivervue Trail project, which will connect the local community with Spruce Creek Harbor and eventually connect with the Minnesota River Trail, took a big step forward last
With the first phase of the 10-foot wide walking and biking trail near the new Jefferson Ave. now completed, funding in the amount of $260,000 has been granted for the second phase of the project, thanks to a trail grant from Iowa Transportation Commission.
The successful grant was written by Daryl Parker, Director of Jackson County Conservation on behalf of Bellevue recreation trail backers.
“I was exactic when I heard the news,” said Bellevue’s Mark Rogge, a member of the Rivervue Trail Committee.
Reality TV star granddaughter of Bellevue’s Lombardi
It’s become the topic of much conversation at the Carwash Convenience Store in Bellevue, especially on Wednesday mornings.
And you can forget about the Car Wash Cowboys and Razor Ray for awhile, because the morning talk these days is all about Jessalynn and JoJo, the daughter and granddaughter of Kathy Lombardi, who works part-time the longtime Bellevue business with her sister Karen Thiesen.
You see, the 9 year-old Jojo and her mother Jessalyn Siwa of Omaha, Neb., have become major reality television stars, appearing on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, which airs at 8 p.m. each Tuesday night on the Lifetime Channel.
Farewell to a Riverboat Captain
A special memorial service for the late Terry Putman was conducted Sunday in Bellevue overlooking the river where the longtime Riverboat Captain and fisherman spent much of his life.
Bellevue American Legion Post #273 provided the traditional 21-gun salute for Putnam, who was a veteran of the Vietnam War, while the Tugboat River Rat floated below with flag at half-mast.
Putman, age 65 of Bellevue, passed away from cancer and on September 2, 2013. The special private service for family and friends celebrated his life in a unique way.
He was born September 30, 1947 in Bellevue, the son of Edward and Angeline Putman. In 1966 , he served in Vietnam, seeing action in some of the most important battles of the war.
Twice awarded Purple Heart, Putnam spent many months in the hospital recovering from his wounds.
After the war, he returned to Bellevue and spent the next 40 years raising a family, building businesses and fulfilling his life-long dream of becoming a Riverboat Captain and piloting tows on the inland waterways. After retiring from his many years on the river, the Putnam home would become the daily meeting place for a group of friends that would last for decades.
Full slate of candidates for Bellevue council
With the deadline now passed to file for this fall’s municipal elections, five candidates have emerged for three open seats on the Bellevue City Council.
Candidates who have filed papers to get on the Tuesday, Nov. 5 ballot include incumbents Gary Feuerbach and Darla Lawson, as well as newcomers Sabra Roling and Jayson Heiar. In a somewhat unique move, current Bellevue Mayor Chris Roling has also officially filed for one of the open council seats. READ MORE IN THIS WEEK'S HERALD-LEADER. (buy an e-edition or pick up a print edition today)
Backwaters Bicycle Shop brings 'em to Bellevue
When former Bellevue Mayor and longtime school administrator Virgil Murray took a test ride on a new bike from Backwaters Bicycle Shop a few years ago, he didn’t come back for over an hour and a
“I thought he stole it,” joked Mark Rogge, who has owned and operated the local bike shops now for about a decade. “But he came back with a huge smile and said it was the most comfortable bicycle he ever had the pleasure to ride – now that’s a great testimonial.”
Backwaters Bicycle Shop, located at 305 and a half South Second Street not only made an impression on Murray, but on hundreds of other folks from Bellevue and across the states of Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota over the years. READ MORE IN THIS WEEK'S HERALD-LEADER ... click on e-edition at right.
Fairy House Tour in Bellevue
If fairies were real (and many think they are), the beautifully wooded hills of the Bellevue are might just be the perfect habitat for the small magical creatures.
At least that what Mary Nevans-Pederson thinks.
In an effort to draw out the mythical creatures and raise funds for the Jackson County Humane Society at the same time, Nevans-Pederson is organizing the fourth annual Bellevue Fairy House Tour this weekend.
Her goal is to raise at least $2,000 for the private non-profit group that plays an important role in the community.
The event will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 20-22 from noon to 5 p.m. at the home of John Hoff at 702 Riverview.
Ten fairy houses created by local artists will be on display from in the expansive, park-like gardens of the Hoff home. Read more online by purchasing an e-edition - or purchase a print edition at most stores and business in eastern Jackson County.
Reed and Fahey win Bellevue School Election
Voters in the Bellevue Community School District on Tuesday elected Mike Reed and incumbent Paul Fahey to the school board. Reed received 185 votes and Fahey, 154. Challenger James Merki received 59 votes. Out of 3,395 registered voters in the district, only 212 voted for a turnout of 6.24 percent.
American Queen locks through Bellevue
The massive steamboat known as the American Queen rolled down the Mississippi River from Dubuque to Bellevue last Tuesday afternoon to lock through on its nine-day journey to the Port of St.
Lock and Dam #12 Lockmaster Bill Hainstock said the mighty paddle steamship, which was carrying 370 passengers, comes through Bellevue about twice each year and always turns a lot of heads.
On its journey through Bellevue, the music notes of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” wafted from the giant ship, and scores of passengers came out on deck to get a brief peek at Bellevue. Read this week's Herald-Leader for more photos and information or suscribe to an e-edition today.
Body of missing Bellevue man found in Mississippi River
The body of a Shawn Berthel of Bellevue, who disappeared after a snowmobile accident Jan. 22, 2011, was found early Monday afternoon the Mississippi River, north of Sabula.
Jackson County Sheriff Russ Kettmann said the U.S. Corps of Engineers was dredging the river and found the body at about 12:30 p.m.
Berthel, Brett Stalker and other snowmobilers were jumping the open water in the icy Maquoketa river in the winter of 2011 when Berthel and Stalker missed the ice and plunged into the frigid waters.
Stalker made it to shore, and Berthel did not. The snowmobiles were found Jan. 25, but Berthel was not. Searchers scoured the river for several weeks.
See next week’s Bellevue Herald-Leader for more on this story.
Jackson County's own "Duck Dynasty"
What started with a defective duck decoy has turned into a new and unique home business for Shannon Witt and her family of rural Bellevue.
A middle school math and computer teacher at Andrew, Witt created “Kaotic Ducks,” and sold her first dozen creations at the arts show on the river during Bellevue’s Fishtival Celebration just three weeks ago.
Now she has store owners in LeClaire and Galena who want to sell her creatively painted duck decoys, and she also has custom-made orders for various customers around Jackson County.
It all started when Witt’s husband Darryn, a federal wildlife refuge officer on Upper Mississippi River .... READ MORE by subscribing to our e-edition at right)
Michels and his Magnificent Model T
Bellevue’s Don Michels said it’s going to be tough, but once she turns 100 years old, it’s time to let her go.
He’s talking about his 1914 Model T, (of course), which he has owned now for the past 25 years. Most around these parts have probably seen he and the car regularly over past three decades driving in parades and town celebrations across eastern Jackson County.
“I always said when she turns 100, I’m selling,” said Michels, who found the old Ford on a farm near Andrew back in 1979 and spent years restoring the old machine. Read more on our e-edition ...
St. Donatus couple reign as Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg Fest
Windy and Helen Kalmes, owners of Kalmes Restaurant in St. Donatus, reigned as the 2013 Duke and Duchess at Luxembourg Fest of America in Belgium, Wis. earlier this month.
The couple was chosen by the Luxembourg American Cultural Society as this year's Duke and Duchess because of their Luxembourgish heritage and because of their commitment to strengthen Luxembourg/American relations through their restaurant and their involvement with the Luxembourg American Cultural Society and the St. Donatus Luxembourg Heritage Society.
Each year, the Luxembourg American Cultural Society chooses a senior couple as the Duke and Duchess at Luxembourg Fest to recognize them for their heritage and achievements.
Luxembourg Fest of America is held annually in Belgium, Wis. on the second weekend of August.
Island City brings summer visitors
Adam and Marsha Johnson’s Hop-N-Shop is a landmark, an institution and a hub for the Island City.
The young couple bought the business a little over a year ago. The business has 10 employees including long time members.
Days begin at 5 a.m. and end at 9:30 p.m. on week nights. On Friday and Saturday the store is open until 10 p.m.
“We keep gas prices competitive because that’s what drives business inside the store as well,” notes Adam.
Real broasted chicken, snacks, essential groceries, ice, fishing supplies, propane, air, the Hop-N- Shop is a must stop for travelers, campers and locals commuting to jobs.
Ribbon cutting for Baymont Inn and Suites
Photo by Emily Margeson
The new Baymont Inn and Suites is a long awaited, some would argue overdue, development for this river town.
The ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday, July 17, at 4 p.m. was followed by a reception from 4:30-6 p.m. Local officials representatives of Royal Oaks, the development firm owned by A.J. Spiegel, property owner, were on hand to meet visitors attending the official opening event.
Jackson County Pro Rodeo kicks off Thursday
Rockwell Collins celebrates 25 years
An anniversary celebration of 25 years for the Bellevue Rockwell Collins plant will be held on June 14 at The Shore Centre. Governor Brandstad will be attending this event at approximately 3 p.m.
Rockwell Collins is a plant that assembles radio devices for aircrafts. The employees of the plant create, test and send out these devices to popular aircraft companies.
Governor will cut ribbon on hotel
If Bellevueians want to see Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, their chance will be Friday, June 14.
At 3 p.m., Branstad is scheduled to attend a ribbon cutting for the Baymont Inn and Suites at the OffShore development north of town.
An event in downtown Bellevue is scheduled from 4-5 p.m., and other industry stops are being considered by the governor’s scheduler.
Time to remember
“I think this is one of the best turn-outs we’ve ever had,” said John Bohy, long-time organizer of Bellevue’s Memorial Day program. When the threat of inclement weather moved the community’s traditional program inside for the first time in recent years, attendees packed into Bellevue High School’s west auditorium. As many as 30 people stood outside the gym, and Boy Scouts lined the east wall.
The color guard prepares to retire the colors, led in by Roger Schladetzky, center, with John Pitlo at right. For more, purchase an e-edition at right.
Eldora Steines will be Heritage Days grand marshal
Eldora Steines will serve as grand marshal for this year’s Heritage Days parade.
The mother of seven, grandmother of 23 and great-grandmother of soon-to-be-25, Steines is best known in the community as a 39-year veteran server at the Riverview Restaurant and Hotel in downtown Bellevue.
“Server” might seem like a casual term, but its most basic meaning, “someone who serves,” is the perfect fit for Steines, who volunteers at the senior center and shares her winnings as generously as she passes out orders of bacon and eggs, omelets and more. (Breakfast items, especially bacon, are her favorites, she admits.)
Steines will be 81 on July 14, just 10 days after she helps lead the Heritage Days parade with her family.
For more, purchase this week's e-edition at right.
New economic alliance hires Heiar as director
The Jackson County Economic Alliance (JCEA) has hired its first director, a Jackson County native who serves as economic development director for the city of Dubuque.
David J. Heiar looks forward “to building on this public-private partnership to promote growth and development in my home county,” he said.
Heiar served as Bellevue city administrator from 1978 to 1985 and Manchester city manager from 1985 to 2005, when he began his position in Dubuque. “It is exciting to see the collaborative effort that has begun in Jackson County,” he said.
JCEA is inviting local residents to meet and greet Heiar in two public receptions on consecutive Thursdays in the Maquoketa and Bellevue city hall council chambers. Heiar will be in Maquoketa 4:30 to 6 p.m. May 9 and in Bellevue 4:30 to 6 p.m. May 16.
For more, pick up a paper or puchase an e-edition at right!
Baymont Hotel could open first week of June
If there are no delays, the Baymont Inn & Suites currently under construction north of town will open the first week of June, says developer A.J. Spiegel.
For more, pick up this week's paper or purchase the e-edition at right.