May 29, 2020
Oneota Community Co-op Re-Opening Store to Public Beginning June 1
DECORAH, IOWA 5/27/2020
The Oneota Community Co-op in Decorah, Iowa has taken extraordinary measures to keep customers and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Since March 11, the store was closed to customer traffic and immediately launched an online and phone ordering system with curbside service. Beginning Monday, June 1 the Co-op will open its doors to the public and continue the online and phone ordering system to accommodate the needs of customers. Physical store hours will be 10:00 am to 7:00 pm every day.
“Since day one, we have offered the safest way to purchase groceries in our area,” said General Manager David Lester, “and that will continue with the re-opening of the store” he continued. The Co-op Deli will also re-open with many new options for take-home meals and other grab and go options that were previously not available.
For nearly 11 weeks we have been offering the safest way to buy groceries in northeast Iowa during the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, with our doors about to open, we will continue to offer the safest shopping environment for our staff and customers, but we need your help. We ask that you join in the effort to keep us all safe:
- Wear a mask. We will be requiring customers to wear a mask into the store. During the first two weeks of re-opening the Seamsters Union of Winneshiek County have provided us with enough masks to give out to customers who do not have one. A suggested donation of $3-$5 for each mask will be much appreciated to keep this group making masks for our community!
- Practice good hygiene. There are multiple hand sanitizing stations throughout the store – including in our entryway. Please use them, our employees are doing the same.
- Wash your hands. A portable hand washing sink will be placed in our entryway and we expect customers to wash and/or sanitize their hands before entering the sales floor. Public restroom access will not be available in-store.
- Limit the number of those shopping. To keep a safe number of customers shopping in the store, we ask that you try to limit your shopping group to yourself or one other person.
- Plan ahead. Keep your shopping trip as efficient and brief as possible. We want to make sure you find everything you are looking for and we will have some staff on the floor to help you find everything you need.
- Socially distance yourself. Please maintain physical distance between yourself and others. We recommend a minimum of 6 feet. You will also see floor decals and other signage to help remind you.
- Elevated cleaning procedures. Our employees adhere to strict CDC and National Cooperative Grocer cleaning standards. Additionally, we have enhanced these standards to clean and sanitize high frequency touchpoints like door handles, registers, trash receptacles, keypads and self-service dispensers.
- Pay by credit/debit. Please come prepared to pay with a bank/credit card or mobile pay, if possible. Cards are more hygienic than cash payment.
- These are only a few of the changes we are making. Please check out our latest store update post on our website – oneotacoop.com – for more information!
Storefront/Curbside Pick-up Continues
On Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday we will continue to fulfill online and phone orders with storefront/curbside pick-up. The deadline for online orders is 6:00 pm the prior day (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday). Phone orders will be accepted only from 9:00 am to 10:00 am Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday with same-day fulfillment. You may also email your order to email@example.com with the same 6:00 pm deadline as online orders.
About Oneota Community Food Co-op
Located in downtown Decorah, Oneota Community Food Co-op is a cooperatively-owned grocery store specializing in local, organic, and sustainably produced products since 1974. For over four decades, the Co-op has been the leading provider of whole foods at a reasonable cost, with an emphasis on organic, local and bulk foods. The Oneota Community Food Co-op was named the 2020 Outstanding Single Store by Progressive Grocer. Located at 312 West Water Street in Decorah, or online at www.oneotacoop.com.
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May 29, 2020
Winneshiek Medical Center takes steps to address financial stability
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a significant financial disruption for Winneshiek Medical Center. The medical center is projected to lose approximately $6 million from operations by the end of June 2020. Without intervention, between July and the end of December 2020, the medical center will experience up to an additional $1.4 million shortfall, putting the organization’s mission at risk.
Lisa Radtke, chief administrative officer, Winneshiek Medical Center, says “Our primary value, the needs of our patients come first, is and will continue to be our guide. It is essential we are able to serve our patients now and into the next century. We cannot compromise our future.”
Winneshiek Medical Center has already done much to respond to this crisis. They have continued their focus on reducing operating expenses by minimizing nonessential expenditures, deferring minor equipment purchases, reducing use of supplemental staff and consulting services and deferring construction and capital equipment purchases that can be stopped without compromising patient care. Staff have taken time off without pay. Mayo Clinic Health System doctors and administrators have taken salary reductions. The medical center has received significant funding from the CARES Act to reduce their losses and keep staff pay protected.
These actions will not be enough. Going forward:
- Annual wage adjustments for staff, normally occurring in July, will be deferred at this time
- Temporary salary reductions will affect all salaried exempt employees, beginning July 2, 2020
- Departments will return to “staffing to essential workload” upon completion of the Paycheck Protection Program
- Temporary voluntary and involuntary furloughs, reduced hours and FTE reductions will be instituted in some areas
- Staff benefits will remain intact
Radtke says, “We believe these difficult steps will allow us to maintain the financial stability to continue our mission without making permanent workforce reductions or adjustments. We expect these decisions to be temporary, and are confident Winneshiek Medical Center will rebound from this pandemic, emerge in-tact, mission-focused, true to our values and ready to resume our path to 2030 and our ten-year vision. We very much look forward to that day.”
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May 29, 2020
- Beginning on Monday, June 1st, area communities of faith will ring their bells for one minute at 11:00 am each Monday to mark lives lost and affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
This is part of a call for a National Day of Mourning and Lament. The ongoing bell-ringing each week recognizes all lives affected by the pandemic. People are invited to stand outside at this time each week in solidarity with our community and the world.
Initiated by the church leaders in the Decorah Area Faith Coalition, this one way is to express a community symbol of sympathy for the grief at the loss of over 100,000 lives in this pandemic and the grief for the many dimensions of loss and grieving that affect almost every household in this area. The US Conference of Mayors and National Governors Association have been issuing invitations to participate.
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May 28, 2020
Becky Idstrom, Communications and Marketing Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org • 563-382-9681
For Immediate Release
May 28, 2020
Join Vesterheim Online to Celebrate Heritage Park Groundbreaking
DECORAH, Iowa — Join Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, on Facebook (facebook.vesterheimmuseum) to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Heritage Park project with a live stream ceremony on Friday, June 5, at 1:00 p.m. The Heritage Park project will transform Vesterheim’s campus into an educational, interpretive, and public outdoor space in downtown Decorah. When completed, the museum’s unique collection of 12 historical buildings will be displayed within a fully accessible, landscaped park that will include gentle glades and a community amphitheater.
“Vesterheim’s Heritage Park Project is the first step in the museum’s plan to continue uniting cultures, generations, and communities in new, exciting ways,” Chris Johnson, Vesterheim’s President/CEO explained. “And how better to begin than by creating a public space where Vesterheim patrons, Decorah residents, and visitors to our town can relax, learn, and join together in a tranquil park-like setting?” Johnson added.
During Friday’s online event, museum staff Chris Johnson, Jennifer Kovarik, and Martha Griesheimer will give a brief tour of the park to view the construction progress and share some of the plans for reinterpreting the space for visitors. Johnson will launch the project using a ceremonial shovel painted by Sally Stromseth, the instructor for the museum’s popular “Rosemaling Klubb” for youth. A video of the event will be posted on YouTube later at youtube.VesterheimMuseum.
The park was designed by Damon Farber, the award-winning landscape architectural firm from Minneapolis, Minnesota, in partnership with Snøhetta, the renowned international architecture and landscape architecture firm with offices in New York City and Oslo. Heritage Park is part of an overall Master Site Plan created for Vesterheim by Snøhetta.
The primary contractor for the project is 2nd Nature Landscaping, Bloomington, Minnesota, and other contractors include Skyline Construction, Inc., Wicks Construction, Perry Novak Electric, and Stevenson Tree Care, all of Decorah.
This project has been made possible by a grant from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, with additional support from the Paul D. Pratt & Marguerite Olson Pratt Fund of InFaith Community Foundation and from Kate Nelson Rattenborg. The landscape will incorporate many environmentally sensitive elements, thanks to a grant from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Water Quality Initiative (WQI) Urban Conservation Project. Vesterheim has also received funding from Winneshiek County Community Foundation for interpretive signs.
Work on Heritage Park will continue through this summer and be completed in the fall. Vesterheim is currently closed through June 30 as a response to COVID-19. Further schedule adjustments due to either the Heritage Park work or COVID-19 will be announced when available.
Through 33,000 objects and 12 historic buildings, Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center in Decorah, Iowa, shares the most comprehensive collection of Norwegian-American artifacts in the world. This treasure is also a center for folk-art education, offering a wide variety of classes in authentic Norwegian folk art every year. For more information on the museum’s exhibitions, classes, events, membership opportunities, and ways to donate, check Vesterheim’s website at vesterheim.org, call (563) 382-9681, or write to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, 502 W. Water St., P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA, 52101-0379.
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May 28, 2020
Luther College receives $100,000 grant from The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation
The grant will fund educational opportunities for high-need students in honor of Arne Sorenson
DECORAH, Iowa – The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation awarded a grant of $100,000 to Luther College in honor of Marriott International CEO and Luther alumnus, Arne Sorenson ’80, who recently completed his third term and final year of service on the Luther College Board of Regents. During Sorenson’s final board meeting on May 8, news of this generous grant to Luther was shared with the full board.
“I was grateful to be asked to serve on Luther’s Board of Regents for the last 12 years. It is a special place to me,” said Arne Sorenson. “As my service as a Regent comes to an end, I was thrilled to hear about the Marriott Family Foundation’s grant. It will enable Luther to deepen the impact it has on its students, preparing many more for successful careers of meaning and impact.”
The $100,000 grant will be used to establish a Marriott Success Award Fund for students who are recipients of the Morris A. Sorenson Family Scholarship. Established by Arne’s father, Morris Sorenson, a distinguished Luther graduate, and generously endowed by Arne and his wife, Ruth, this scholarship supports some of Luther’s most high-need students throughout their four years of college.
“I am truly grateful for the Marriott Family Foundation’s generosity in honoring Arne Sorenson as he concludes his service to the Luther College Board of Regents, and for the wisdom and leadership Arne has offered to the Board over the years,” said President Jenifer K. Ward. “Both Marriott and Luther have benefited from his clear-eyed and passionate dedication to hospitality, in all senses of the word, and it is so very fitting that Luther students will continue to be welcomed to Luther with the assistance that these awards will provide.
This grant will help to ensure recipients of the Morris A. Sorenson Family Scholarship have the necessary financial resources to fully engage with experiential learning (e.g., internship, service learning trip, collaborative research fellowship) and other high-impact experiences as part of their liberal arts education. It will also be used to fund textbooks, lab supplies or other necessities that may be out of reach for high-need students.
“Our Foundation shares a passion for creating opportunities for those who may not have the means to achieve their educational goals,” said J.W. Marriott, Jr. trustee of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. “We were delighted to honor Arne with this special grant to assist students at his beloved alma mater. Creating Marriott Success Awards at Luther College is a meaningful way of connecting our family’s philanthropy to a student scholarship created by his family’s philanthropy.”
The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation is committed to sustaining vibrant, healthy communities where all people have the opportunities and means to achieve their dreams and make a positive difference in the world. Through its grants, the Foundation supports effective organizations that are creating significant, lasting and transformational change either through smart and innovative responses to today’s needs or through systematic solutions that address the root causes of economic and societal challenges.
Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.
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May 28, 2020
Gundersen updates Clinic, Surgery, Emergency Services visitor guidelines
Patients coming to Gundersen for emergency or urgent care and those who have an appointment will soon be able to bring one person with them.
Effective Monday, June 1, one person, 16 years old or older, may accompany a patient who has an appointment in a Gundersen Clinic, Surgery, Outpatient Surgery Center or Emergency Services location.
Pediatric patients at Gundersen clinic locations will continue to be allowed one person with them. And, as it was updated May 19, adult patients in Gundersen hospitals are allowed one visitor over the age of 18 per 24-hour period.
All patients and visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms when they arrive and must continue to wear a face covering whenever they are in a Gundersen facility.
Visitors who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted to enter any Gundersen facility.
Patients and visitors should not congregate in public areas within Gundersen and are asked to not bring any food or drinks into Gundersen facilities. They may purchase food or beverages in designated Gundersen food establishments.
A reminder that these guidelines are temporary. Gundersen continuously evaluates visitor guidelines and may update them as the COVID-19 response continues to evolve locally, regionally, and nationally.
Visit gundersenhealth.org/covid19 to read more details about our visitor guidelines and for information on face coverings, social distancing, hand hygiene and much more to help us continue to keep our communities healthy and safe.
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May 28, 2020
FEMA Extends Grace Period for Flood Insurance Renewal Premiums
March 29, 2020
WASHINGTON – FEMA continues to take proactive steps to address the COVID-19 pandemic. To help serve its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) customers who may be experiencing financial hardships, the agency is extending the grace period to renew flood insurance policies from 30 to 120 days. This extension applies to NFIP flood insurance policies with an expiration date between February 13-June 15, 2020.
To avoid a lapse in coverage, there is typically a 30-day grace period to renew policies. However, due to the widespread economic disruption arising from this pandemic, FEMA recognizes that flood insurance policyholders may not meet the standard policy renewal deadline.
“FEMA understands the sense of urgency related to financial hardships and wants to be proactive,” said David Maurstad, deputy associate administrator of FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, who oversees the NFIP. “We want to make sure that policyholders don’t have to worry that their policy will lapse during the spring flood season or into the start of hurricane season. We hope this extension will give policyholders some peace of mind and allow them extra time to renew their policies to ensure they are covered should a flood loss occur.”
For more information about renewing flood insurance policies or resolving an underpayment, policyholders can contact their insurance carriers or call the National Flood Insurance Program Call Center at 1-877-336-2627.
Corey P Snitker
Emergency Management Coordinator
Allamakee County Iowa
877 HWY 9
Waukon, IA 52172
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May 28, 2020
The Decorah Public Library will begin offering curbside materials pickup on Monday June 1.
Library books, books on CD, and DVDs will be available for curbside pickup from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Beginning June 8, interlibrary loan services will also resume, so items not owned by Decorah Public Library may be borrowed from other libraries across the state.
Anyone wishing to select items for curbside pickup may do so by using the library’s online catalog (see Facebook or the library website for step-by-step instructions) or by calling the library at 382-3717. If requested, Library staff will be happy to share reading recommendations. Brand new video recommendations for children’s and young adult materials are available on Facebook as well. Library phone lines are open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and voicemail is available after hours. Ten items may be reserved at once, and ten items checked out per pickup date.
Once reserved items become available, Library staff will contact individuals to schedule a pickup date. Items will be bagged and labeled on tables near the loading dock on the south side of the building (off Winnebago St.). Parking is available, or cars may pull in and drive downhill through the lower parking lot to exit. Rain location will be in the covered parking area located underneath the library. Checkouts are for 3 weeks, with one renewal available. No late fines will accrue during this time. Both exterior library book drops are now open for returns.
Returned materials are quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours before being reintegrated with the library collection.
Call the library at 563-382-3717 for more information.
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May 26, 2020
River-N-Ridge Outdoors has been announced as a semi-finalist in Main Street Iowa’s Open 4 Business competition. The business is one of twelve businesses to advance to the next round. Their next step is an online interview with the judging panel. If they advance again, they will receive $8,000 as a finalist, with the chance to win a further $20,000.
River-N-Ridge Outdoors previously won the Lansing contest, Open 4 Business: Fish Tank Edition, which awarded $2,000 (provided jointly by Kerndt Bothers Savings Bank, Kerndt Brothers Insurance Agency, Lansing Fitness Center, and Main Street Lansing).
River-N-Ridge Outdoors, owned by Mark and Amy Peterson, is a full service outdoor store in business for 4 years, providing a variety of products and services related to hunting, fishing, and boating. A small sampling of their products and services include firearms, ammunition, live bait, tackle, and gun repair. The wide variety of outdoor activities in the Lansing area allow them to capture the market of outdoor enthusiasts, both locals and visitors. Their location along the river allows for easy access from the street and from a dock, and their firearm products and services are unique to the business district.
River-N-Ridge plans to use any awarded funds to expand their services to include archery, clothing, and more boating supplies, as well as helping them reach the goal of opening a larger retail space in Lansing. They also hope to increase advertising, including the use of television. They want to draw new people into Lansing to help not only their business but all the businesses in the community.
Open 4 Business is an annual competition through Main Street Iowa that allows businesses from across Iowa to compete for the chance to win up to $28,000 in grant funds to be used for business expansion efforts. The competition is only open to designated Main Street communities, and each Main Street community can only send one business to represent them in the statewide competition. A 25% cash match is required in order to receive the state funds.
For more information about the Open 4 Business competition, reach out to Andy Kelleher, Executive Director of Main Street Lansing, at 563-538-9229 or email@example.com
Andy KelleherExecutive Director, Main Street Lansing563-538-9229P.O. Box 307, Lansing, IA 52151
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May 22, 2020
State of Iowa announces new Test Iowa locations as testing criteria expands
Fri, 05/22/2020 – 12:00
Schedule can be found on coronavirus.iowa.gov.
Today, the Office of Governor Kim Reynolds announced new Test Iowa locations will open next week in Marshalltown, Sioux Center, and Council Bluffs.
A schedule of sites, locations and times can be found below or on coronavirus.iowa.gov.
Test Iowa is a statewide initiative to expand COVID-19 testing. Testing criteria now allows any Iowan to be tested, regardless of symptoms or potential exposure to the virus. To be tested, Iowans must first complete an assessment at www.testiowa.com and schedule an appointment at a test site.
Test Iowa’s mobile testing model makes it possible to quickly operationalize a temporary test site in a community where virus activity is increasing or access to testing is limited. Testing is rapidly scaled up to identify positive cases, conduct contact tracing, and determine scope of the virus in the community. Over time when test volume decreases, sites are moved to other communities where there is a need.
The Test Iowa site currently in Sioux City will close when testing concludes at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 22. The site opened on May 4. Testing remains in Sioux City through local health care providers as well as the new Test Iowa Site in Sioux Center.
Test Iowa Sites/Schedule
Call Test Iowa with questions about testing: 515-575-2131 or 844-844-1561 (toll free)
Lines are open 8am – 8pm 7 days a week (except Holidays)
|County||Date/Time (Current and Upcoming Week)||Address|
|Polk||5/18-5/22 and 5/26-5/29; 8am-6pm||Iowa Events Center North Parking Lot, 301-499 Crocker St, Des Moines, Iowa 50309|
|Linn||5/18-5/22 and 5/26-5/29; 8am-6pm||Kirkwood Community College, Continuing Education Training Center, 101 50th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404|
|Crawford||5/18-5/22 and 5/26-5/29; 8am-6pm||1201 N 16th St, Denison, Iowa 51442|
|Scott||5/18-5/22 and 5/26-5/29; 8am-6pm||North Park Mall, 320 W Kimberly Road, Davenport, Iowa 52806|
|Wapello||5/18-5/22 and 5/26-5/29; 8am-6pm||Beach Ottumwa, 101 Church St., Ottumwa, Iowa 52501|
|Buena Vista||5/18-5/22 and 5/26-5/29; 8am-6pm||Storm Lake High School, 621 Tornado Dr, Storm Lake, Iowa 50588|
|Black Hawk||5/18-5/22 and 5/26-5/29; 8am-6pm||Crossroads Mall, 2060 Crossroads Blvd #124, Waterloo, Iowa 50702|
|Woodbury||5/18-5/22; 8am-6pm||Western Iowa Tech Community College, 4647 Stone Ave, Sioux City, Iowa 51106|
|Sioux||5/27-5/28; 12pm-6pm||Sioux Center Middle School, 950 4th Ave. NE, Sioux Center, IA 51250|
|Marshall||5/28-5/29; 12pm-6pm||Marshalltown Community College, 3700 S Center St, Marshalltown, IA 50158|
|Pottawattamie||5/29; 12pm-6pm||To Be Determined|
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