Category Archives: News

The Doctors Are In: Tour Stop to Visit Cedar Falls

The Doctors Are In will be making a tour stop in Cedar Falls on Friday, May 1. The event, sponsored by USANA, a science and research company that develops and manufactures health supplements and health care products, will focus on ways to help promote a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Brian Dixon, Executive Director of Health and Science Education at USANA, will be the featured speaker of the evening. Dixon has authored manuscripts on topics such as cancer, the aging process and stress coping mechanisms.

The event will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, 7213 Nordic Drive in Cedar Falls from 6:30 – 9 PM. Single tickets cost $10 in advance or $20 at the door. To purchase tickets or register for the event, logon to

For additional information about The Doctors are In tour, contact Angela Gray at 319-269-8710 or send e-mail to

Festival of Trails Parade: Celebrating the Classics

The 2015 Festival of Trails Parade on June 19 will be a classic- literally. Now is the time to dust off the old vinyl records and kick the tires of that car from years gone by, as the Festival parade takes La Porte City back in time with a “Celebrating the Classics – TV, Cars, Tunes and Movies” theme.
This year, prizes will be awarded in three categories: Most Theme Related, Most Entertaining and Most Creative. There is no entry fee to join the Festival of Trails parade, so local businesses and organizations are encouraged to join the parade lineup with their own creative “classic” look and sound.
The deadline to submit a parade entry is June 15, 2015. For additional information about the 2015 Festival of Trails Parade, contact Deb Yordt via email at
In the event of inclement weather, the parade will be held on Saturday, June 20 at 11 AM.

Ride LPC 7-23: Health Inspection Information for Vendors


Food and beverage vendors serving RAGBRAI riders in La Porte City on July 23, 2015 may be required to obtain a temporary vendor permit from the Iowa Department of Health and pass an inspection before they can operate.

It is the vendor’s responsibility to make sure their booth meets all Health Department requirements. To assist vendors in that effort, the following documents posted below can be viewed and downloaded.

pdf-iconTemporary Food Service Establishment Guidelines


Temporary Food Vendor Application

Picking the Good Life


Second in a Series – By Mike Whittlesey

Last Week: As the La Porte City FFA Historical and Ag Museum transitions from one season to the next, the museum’s design team uses artifacts from a variety of sources to tell an exhibit’s story. When a display is disassembled, great care must be taken to properly pack artifacts for storage or shipment back to their rightful owners.

When the La Porte City FFA Historical and Ag Museum ushers in a new season for the twelfth time at 408 Main Street, visitors will discover a number of interesting stories awaiting them. The museum’s new season officially opens on May 1, and the facility will be open 10 AM – 4 PM. In honor of May Day, the admission price is just one dollar.

Like any good book or riveting movie plot, the displays museum patrons will enjoy in 2015 are all about the storytelling. Museum Director Jan Erdahl noted the staff and volunteers have been hard at work in preparation for opening day.

“We’re going to have so much fun telling the stories of this exhibit. It really is very interesting,” she stated.

At the heart of the 2015 theme, “Picking the Good Life,” are displays featuring artifacts on loan from the personal collections of Junior and Peggy McBride. Longtime La Porte City residents, the McBrides have graciously shared a number of artifacts from a unique variety of collectibles they have accumulated over the years. A visit to the museum this year will offer a peek at several rarely seen collections. While the individual items certainly are unique, it’s the stories behind them that make for excellent exhibits, Erdahl explained

“How can we put together a tour that’s going to be interesting that will talk about clocks, pocket watches and school bells? What’s the story behind it and who is our audience?” When developing displays true to the museum’s theme, these are the questions the museum’s design team seeks to answer.

In addition to timekeeping and bells, museum patrons will also enjoy viewing a collection of wedding dresses that illustrate fashion trends ranging from the late 1890s to the 1960s. Perhaps most surprising about this collection is the depth of colors they represent. A brown wedding dress is not something typically seen at weddings today.

Other items of note include Junior McBride’s collection of cigar box openers. Back in the day when cigar boxes were nailed shut, a special tool was used to crack them open. In 2015, cigar boxes are a somewhat rare commodity; dedicated openers for them even more so.

Another collection of interest is Peggy McBride’s sewing machines, including one that sews sideways. Complementing them are a series of ornate Avery brass needle cases, rare finds indeed, in today’s collectibles market.

On the museum’s lower level, patrons will find an area devoted primarily to agriculture. It is also a space that illustrates the important relationship the museum enjoys with the students that make up the local La Porte-Dysart FFA Chapter. Each year, using museum displays as inspiration, local FFA students work together to create an informative presentation for museum patrons to enjoy. In 2015, separate displays featuring corn and chicken have been enhanced by the work of students. Stories related to these projects include the answers to the questions “How can you tell what color of egg a chicken will lay?” and “How do hogs oil themselves to help keep bugs away?” In addition to these projects, FFA students are also actively involved with horticulture and landscaping projects on the museum’s grounds.

A trip to the museum’s lower level will also have patrons marveling at Junior McBride’s collection of unusual hammers, from the petite and almost fragile set of jewelry hammers to a distinctive one adorned with the head of a goat.

As the 2015 season kicks off, the museum’s calendar is rapidly filling up with special events and programs. Groups interetsed in scheduling a tour or special program are encouraged to call 342-3619. Those interested in learning more about the museum and how they can lend their time and talents as a volunteer can logon to the museum’s website at

The La Porte City FFA Historical and Ag Museum is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 AM – 4 PM and Saturdays 10 AM – 2 PM from May 1 – December 5.

Retirement Reception to Honor Sheryl Petersen

La Porte City Elementary School will honor Sheryl Petersen with a retirement reception at the La Porte City Community Center on Friday, May 1, from 4-6 PM. Petersen, a 1994 recipient of the Gold Star Award for Teaching, taught 39 years in the La Porte City and Union Community School Districts. The public is invited to attend the reception in her honor.

Looking back at a career devoted to La Porte City area elementary students, Petersen had these words to share:

“After graduating from UNI in May of 1976, I started teaching in August of that year. I have been teaching for 39 years-all of those years at La Porte City Elementary School in the same classroom! I started as a transition room teacher for three years. Transition room was a full day classroom for students who had completed kindergarten but weren’t quite ready for first grade. After those three years, I became a first grade teacher and I spent the rest of my career there. I am now the employee who has worked the longest for this district in any position!

“I have seen many changes in my career. I’ve seen many different administrators and teachers. I’ve taught many many students and am now teaching many many second generation students. I haven’t reached third generation students yet! :-)

“I’ve experienced many changes in curriculum over the years from basal reading groups to whole language to Daily 5 to guided reading; from math workbooks to totally manipulative math to an emphasis on thinking and problem solving. I’ve gone from the days when technology was a record player and an overhead to the days of the first computer (only one for the entire building!) to these days of computers, labs, laptops, iPads….

“I sweltered in the hot hot days of August, September, May and June in a building with no air conditioning but a wall full of windows that opened to let in the outside air and the bugs! Now I am enjoying the geothermal heating and cooling and climate controlled rooms and no unexpected wasps and bees to add some excitement to a classroom.”

“My classroom started with very few materials and furniture and now I feel like I am in the Taj Mahal because I am surrounded with more books and activities to use with my students than I have time for. I am so lucky!”

“Through it all, the one constant has been the students and people of this community! No matter what-the people have been WONDERFUL!!”