Community News

Welcome to this Unique Swim Season!

Decorah Park and Rec 2020 Swimming Info Decorah Parks and Recreation will follow guidance from the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health to protect swimmers, staff, and patrons. The 2020 pool experience will be completely different in Decorah and across the nation. The health and safety of patrons and staff will be our highest priority. Below you will find a summary of actions Decorah Parks and Recreation pledges to initiate to help lower COVID-19 risk as much as possible while also allowing swimmers and patrons to enjoy the water. All staff and swimmers will be screened and temperatures will be taken before admittance. No one with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater will be allowed into the facility. When not in the water all staff and patrons are encouraged to wear masks when interacting with others. The 2020 Decorah Swimming Pool capacity will be limited to 388 people to allow for social distancing. Capacity was determined by a formula using the area of the pool and is 37% of the facility’s normal operating capacity. The facility will be cleaned and sanitized above and beyond CDC guidelines. Efforts will be made to help with social distancing through signage and markings that note where patrons should stand when waiting in line to enter the facility, to use diving boards and to go down the slide. Staff will mark out areas on the deck and grass to help patrons to spread out. The Decorah Municipal Swimming Pool will be open 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily for public swim. Family time has been added for this season and will run from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm daily. Children must be accompanied by an adult to come during this time. This is an excellent time for parents wishing to work on teaching some basic swimming techniques with their children or bring younger children to enjoy the pool in a quieter setting. Lap swim and water walking hours have been expanded to safely accommodate and maximize the number of patrons served. Lane reservations will be taken online. Season passes can be purchased online. Prices have been prorated. Daily admission prices will remain the same as previous years. Concessions will not be provided and food will not be allowed in the pool area. Staff and patrons are encouraged to bring their own water bottle with their name on it. Swimming lessons will not be provided by Decorah Parks and Recreation this season (this includes both private and group lessons). Effective lessons require close contact between instructors and participants, which is not feasible while social distancing. Pool parties will not be scheduled this year. A new group of adult volunteers, Decorah Swimming Pool Ambassadors, is being formed to help Decorah Parks and Recreation navigate the pool season. The Decorah Swimming Pool Ambassadors will help pool staff by answering questions, assisting with registration at the front door and educating patrons about social distancing out on the pool deck. This will allow the life guards to concentrate on guarding. If you are interested in volunteering as part of this program please direct any offers or questions to the DPR office, 382-4158 or email Volunteers must be adults. The status of the pool will be reviewed daily and guidelines will be updated as needed.

Read Full Article

2020 Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show Information

2020 Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show Information In the spirit of tradition, the Iowa State Fairgrounds are excited to host the 2020 Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show. Held with the same prestige and competition found at the Iowa State Fair, this 2020 Special Edition will showcase the superior showmanship, hard work, and determination of Iowa’s 4-H and FFA youth. This Special Edition show will follow all Iowa Department of Public Health and CDC recommendations for social distancing, hand washing and sanitization, so although it will be held in August and on the Iowa State Fairgrounds, you may notice some “special” considerations for this stand-alone event. Purpose: To support the mission statement of the Iowa State Fair by providing an opportunity for Iowa 4-H and FFA youth to showcase their hard work and livestock projects. Eligibility: Open to Iowa 4-H and FFA exhibitors that have nominated livestock projects for the 2020 Iowa State Fair. Shows will be available for the following: FFA Beef FFA Horse FFA Meat Goat FFA Poultry* FFA Rabbit* FFA Sheep FFA Swine FFA & 4-H Dairy Cattle FFA & 4-H Dairy Goats 4-H Beef 4-H Horse 4-H Meat Goat 4-H Poultry* 4-H Rabbit 4-H Sheep 4-H Swine *nomination not required Schedule: The attached schedule allows more room for exhibitors to obey social distancing recommendations. The separation of the shows allows for the Fairgrounds to be cleaned thoroughly between sessions. **Some shows and competitions will not be offered for 2020. This includes the 4-H Dog Show, all carcass and/or performance contests including FFA Performance Beef, 4-H Beef of Merit, Sheep and Swine Carcass Contests, Livestock Skillathons, and non-show competitions (no poster presentations, etc.) and no Showmanship classes will be conducted this year. Just simply the livestock shows themselves. Attendees: For crowd control purposes each exhibitor will receive 3 wristbands total. A limited number of wristbands will be available to show supporters. A $100 donation to the show will grant the donor 2 wristbands good for all three sessions August 6-22. Click here to donate. Wristbands will be required to access the Fairgrounds. Wristbands will not be available on site. No additional fees for admission or parking will be charged. Entry: 4-H exhibitors will enter thru 4-H Online. FFA exhibitors will work with their advisor to enter thru the Fair entry system. Both systems will open on Monday, June 22. Entry Deadline: July 10, 2020 Entry fees are as follows: FFA Beef $35 FFA Horse $25/head + $5/class FFA Meat Goat $15 FFA Poultry $5 FFA Rabbit $5 FFA Sheep $15 FFA Swine $15 FFA & 4-H Dairy Cattle $30 FFA & 4-H Dairy Goats $15 4-H Beef $35 4-H Horse $25/head + $5/class 4-H Meat Goat $15 4-H Poultry $5 4-H Rabbit $5 4-H Sheep $15 4-H Swine $15 Exhibitor Communication: Follow show information on Facebook under 2020 Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show or text SHOW to 75782 Generators: No auxiliary generators will be provided. Parking: Parking will be allowed on the fairgrounds in designated areas at no cost. All persons in the vehicle must have a wristband to enter the Fairgrounds. Wristbands will not be available on site. Trailer Parking: Trailers parking will be available on grounds in designated areas at no cost. Premiums and Ribbons: The Danish Ribbon systems will still be used – exhibitors will receive the typical Purple, Blue, Red, White in each class. However, monetary premiums will be paid only to the top 3 placings in each class across all divisions. Rules: Premium books with full rules will be available by end of day June 19 at Exhibitors will notice some key changes for 2020 in certain species. For instance, due to no market outlet, market swine will not be loaded out for harvest. All shows will be non-terminal with the exception of the following animals that will be processed at Iowa State University Meat Lab: Grand and Reserve Grand Champion 4-H Market Steer; Grand and Reserve Grand 4-H Champion Market Heifer; Grand and Reserve Grand Champion 4-H Market Hog; Grand and Reserve Grand Champion 4-H Market Lamb; Grand and Reserve Grand Champion 4-H Broiler (Special); Grand Champion 4-H Market Meat Goat; Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion FFA Market Lamb; Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion FFA Market Hog; Grand Champion FFA Market Meat Goat. Due to physical distancing requirements, reduction of interactions and lack of resources, carcass classes will not be available. Other Amenities: A small variety of food and show supply vendors will be available. No overnight accommodations will be allowed in the barns or the Youth Inn. Camping is available in the Fair campgrounds. More information may be found here: COVID-19 Precautions: All employees, exhibitors, vendors, and patrons must closely follow all rules, guidelines, and advice set forth by the United States Federal Government, CDC, State of Iowa Governor’s Office, Iowa Department of Public Health, ESA (Event Safety Alliance), and the IISC (Iowa Illinois Safety Council). It is strongly encouraged that volunteers, participants, and families use face coverings and practice physical distancing. Some rows or sections of seating may be blocked off in order to space people at least 6 feet apart. Lines or queues will be eliminated where possible or people will be encouraged to stay at least 6 feet apart by providing signs or other visual cues such as tape or chalk marks. Frequent hand washing with soap and water is greatly encouraged. If soap and water is not available hand sanitation stations will be placed throughout the barns and show arenas. Cleaning and sanitization of all frequently touched surfaces will occur during the set-up and throughout the duration of the events. For further information, please contact the Competitive Events Department at or 515.262.3111 x207

Read Full Article

2020 Governor’s Charity Steer Show Will Go On

Plans are underway for the 38th Annual Governor’s Charity Steer Show (GCSS) to be held on August 15, 2020. The event, which raises money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa, would typically be held at the Iowa State Fair. However, with the postponement of the 2020 fair, show organizers are actively making adjustments to plans. “The Governor’s Charity Steer Show is a long-standing tradition and benefits a very good cause,” says Tanner Lawton, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association staff member and co-chair of this year’s GCSS. “We’ve known for the past few weeks that the show and auction probably wouldn’t be the same as it has been in years past, but our priority is making sure that we have a successful fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Iowa.” This historic philanthropic event has raised over $3.8 million to help provide a home away from home for families of children who are being treated in nearby hospitals. Ronald McDonald Houses are located in Des Moines, Iowa City, and Sioux City. The location for this year’s show is yet to be determined, but we should have more information in the coming weeks. Twenty-five steers from across the state will compete for the championship designation, showmanship honors, and the People’s Choice award. Each of the steers has been raised by an Iowa youth involved in the cattle industry, and celebrities will accompany the young steer owners. Immediately following the competition, the steers will be sold at auction with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa. Last year’s auction raised more than $284,000.
-30- About the Iowa Beef Industry Council:  Producer-directed and consumer-focused, the Iowa Beef Industry Council is funded by the $1.50-per-head beef checkoff. Checkoff dollars are invested in beef promotion, consumer information, research, industry information and foreign market development, all with the purpose of strengthening beef demand. For more information visit About the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association:  The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association represents nearly 10,000 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa’s beef industry. ICA’s mission is “Grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education.”
Read Full Article

Winneshiek County 4-H with Initial Plans for 2020 Fair

June 2, 2020 Dear 4-H and FFA members, families, and volunteers, Recently the Winneshiek County Fair Association cancelled the 2020 grounds and entertainment activities due to continued restrictions of Covid-19. We appreciate the support provided by the Winneshiek County Fair Association to support decisions of Winneshiek County Extension/4-H staff and the 4-H committees when determining plans to provide a ‘4-H Fair’ in 2020. The Winneshiek County Extension Council, Youth Development Committee along with 4-H and Extension staff have made the difficult decision to shift all efforts and resources to a limited audience Show and Go Livestock Exhibition and contact-free Static, Clothing, & Communication Exhibit Judging. The health and safety of our 4-H members, families, volunteers, staff, and animals are the primary concern in making this decision. Winneshiek County Extension and Outreach must follow the guidance of Winneshiek County Public Health and Iowa 4-H. This year has been full of difficult decisions and learning experiences. This is not a decision we ever imagined we would need to consider. We ask for your patience and kindness as we prepare materials and information for 4-H and FFA members who still choose to participate in the modified events. Some may choose that these events are not what they would like to participate in this summer and others will choose to participate. Like every year, fair is not a requirement to be a 4-H member. What is next? • FairEntry is currently closed. Fair Entry will open on the new date of June 10 and close on June 30. • Updates regarding schedule and classes will be shared on June 9 to your 4HOnline email. We thank you in advance for your patience and support. Questions can be sent to or by phone at 563-382-2949. Additional updates may be found on our website in the weeks to come. The Winneshiek County 4-H Staff Team, Youth Development Committee and Winneshiek County Extension Council.

Read Full Article

Winneshiek County Fair Announcement!

The Winneshiek County Agricultural Association has made the difficult decision to cancel grounds and entertainment activities for the 2020 Winneshiek County fair. This cancellation includes Fair Races, Rodeo, Tractor Pull, Joe Stamm Band for Friday night, and Saturday night acts Gabby Barret and Jordan Davis. All carnival and grounds entertainment are also cancelled. The Nitty Gritty Dirt band, scheduled for Friday night, had already canceled their appearance at the 2020 Fair. Public Health comments, CDC guidelines, along with legal guidance from the County Attorney were considered throughout this decision making process, in addition with the concern to keep residents of Winneshiek County safe and healthy. Should the CDC guidelines still be in place at the time of the fair, it was felt that the 6 foot social distance rule would be virtually impossible to enforce in most, if not all scheduled activities. The rule also severely limits the Fair’s ability to remain financially viable. Due to the requirement of only 50% capacity at any event, revenue deficits are simply too great to overlook. The Fair Board is working with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to find a workable solution to schedule the 4-H and FFA shows. Details will come in the near future. A great amount of time and thought was put into this decision. While it is deeply disappointing the Fair Board looks forward to 2021. We are all very grateful for the great community support we receive each year to be able to put on the “Biggest Little Fair in Iowa.” Thank You to each and every one of the businesses and individuals who help make this fair what it is. June 1, 2020

Read Full Article

NEICAC to manage Eviction Prevention Program

For immediate release – Decorah, Iowa June 1, 2020 Northeast Iowa Community Action, in collaboration with Iowa Community Action Association and the Iowa Finance Authority, is implementing a rent assistance program for COVID-19 related housing issues. Current renters that are at risk of eviction due to a documented COVID-19 related loss of income after March 17, 2020 may be eligible for rent assistance. For more information on how to apply, please contact NEICAC Housing, your local NEICAC Family Services Outreach Office, or visit Household income at the time of application may not exceed 80% of the median family income, which varies by household size and county. Those receiving the $600 per week additional unemployment payment are not eligible to receive assistance through the EFP program. NEICAC Housing – , or call 563-387-4959 Family Services Outreach Offices Waukon Family Services 563-568-4224 Waverly Family Services/Food Pantry 319-352-4532 New Hampton Family Services 641-394-2007 Elkader Family Services 563-245-2452 West Union Family Services 641-394-2007 Oelwein Family Services 319-283-2510 Cresco Family Services/Food Pantry 563-547-4413 Decorah Family Services/Food Pantry 563-387-4958 XXX For more information, please contact: Karli Schmelzer, Operations & Development Director Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation 563.387.4936

Read Full Article

Stay Connected