Category Archives: News

Union 7th at Battle of the Books Competition

A Union High School team, “That’s What She Read,” placed 7th in the final round of the Battle of the Books (BOB) competition on April 26. Team members included Taylor Short, Weston Krug, Abby Johnson, Audrey Powers, Emma Peters and Allison McLaren
BOB is a reading competition designed to encourage students to read. Teams of five or six students read novels from a pre-selected list of 28 award-winning books. Books include the genres of fiction, non-fiction, realistic fiction, science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, biography/memoirs, and graphic novels. Students on the BOB teams have each read five or more books since October.
In February, 71 teams from Iowa “battled” on-line by identifying authors’ names and answering fact-based questions about the book. The top 14 teams were invited for the final battle at Marshalltown High School in April.
The BOB team members are students in the SAILS gifted program with Mrs. Vada Elliott and Mrs. Jennifer Gassman.

 Volunteers Sought to Raise, Lower Avenue of the Flags

With a Memorial Day service to be conducted at West View Cemetery, members of American Legion U.S.S. San Diego Post #207 are seeking assistance with the raising of the “Avenue of the Flags.” Volunteering for this important task is one way to make Memorial Day a more meaningful holiday and honor those who have served their country.
The raising of the flags will commence at 6 PM at West View Cemetery on Friday, May 27. Volunteers need not be a Legion or VFW member. Silver cord service hours are also available for Union Community School District students.
Help will also be needed to lower the flags at 6 PM on Tuesday, May 31.

Blueprints for a Main Street Facelift

Several downtown buildings in La Porte City are about to get some much-needed attention. Work behind the scenes over the past several months by architects and the State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO) has local officials preparing to take bids for the construction work that will transform the façades of several Main Street businesses.
The work is made possible by a federal Façade Improvement Grant the City received, which will fund approximately half the cost of façade improvements made to qualifying buildings on Main Street. With the City committing matching funds that will pay roughly one quarter of construction costs, property owners of qualifying buildings will be responsible for the remaining balance.
Not every building on Main Street will benefit from the program, however. To determine eligibility, a checklist was used to rate each building in the qualifying business district, the 200-500 blocks of La Porte City’s Main Street. Those judged to be in fair or poor condition were eligible for funding, provided the property owners opted to participate in the program and agreed to pay their portion of construction costs. Two properties, the Wasson Building (201 Main, owned by Mayor David Neil) and La Porte City Printing & Design (213 Main, owned by City Clerk Jane Whittlesey) are exempt from participating because of their owners’ roles in managing the grant’s distribution of funds.
All told, 13 buildings along Main Street are presently enrolled in the grant program. The owners have met with architects to discuss the façade improvements to be made to their respective properties. Before bids for construction work can be let, each building’s plan had to be reviewed and approved by the State Historical Preservation Office.
The City recently received notification of SHPO’s approval and is moving forward with the process of securing a general contractor to oversee the project which is estimated to cost more than $630,000. Local officials are hopeful that construction can begin later this summer, with much of the construction work to be complete by July 2017.

Annual Audit Completed for Union Schools

Nolte, Cornman & Johnson P.C. recently released an audit report on the Union Community School District in La Porte City, Iowa.
The District’s revenues totaled $15,178,888 for the year ended June 30, 2015, a 1.44% increase from the prior year. Revenues included $4,547,673 in property tax, $593,095 in income surtax, $1,144,220 in statewide sales, services and use tax, $6,420,012 in unrestricted state grants, $1,252,974 in charges for service, $1,122,735 in operating grants, contributions and restricted interest, $5,942 in unrestricted interest and $92,237 in other general revenues.
Expenses for District operations for the year ended June 30, 2015, totaled $14,782,267 a 0.16% increase from the prior year. Expenses included $5,122,628 for regular instruction, $1,681,021 for special instruction and $1,658,620 for other instruction.
A copy of the audit report is available for review in the District Secretary’s Office, in the Office of Auditor of State, and on the Auditor of State’s web site at

Sukup Recognizes P & J Equipment

P&J Equipment of rural La Porte City has been recognized by Sukup Manufacturing Co. for outstanding sales and customer service for 2015. The company received the Silver Sales Award during the recent dealer meetings at Sukup headquarters in Sheffield, Iowa.
Dealers were recognized with sales achievement awards for high volume sales of Sukup grain handling and storage equipment and/or Sukup Steel Buildings.
Diane Hughes, sales supervisor for Sukup Manufacturing, said award recipients have worked closely with their customers to meet their needs for better grain handling and storage solutions. This year’s awards also included sales of Sukup Steel Buildings.
“P&J Equipment has provided years of superior customer service. We are delighted to recognize their success with this award,” Hughes said.
Sukup Manufacturing Co. is a family-owned business that has been providing top-quality grain handling and storage products to agricultural producers since 1963.


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