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Fantastic February worth celebrating!

Around here, it isn’t just February, it’s “Frantic February” as we here at the Tribune try to keep up with our area high school athletes as they partake in the postseason.And this year was even crazier than most for two reasons: We had plenty to celebrate and “Frantic February” extended into March.But it’s more than sports that makes the past month so exciting, and as we put together our monthly “tip-of-the-hat” piece, we are reminded once again that in and around Chickasaw County remains a great place to live, work and play.A tip of the hat ...To State Sen. Waylon Brown, R-St. Ansgar, and State Rep. Todd Prichard, D-Charles City, for their willingness to take part in monthly legislative forums. We think it’s vital that lawmakers reach out to have good, honest contact with their constituents, and we’d also tip our hat to the Chickasaw Farm Bureau for continuing to sponsor these forums.A tip of the hat ...To the New Hampton Light Plant Board and its general manager, Brian Quirk, for doing their best to make sure New Hampton not only has a reliable source of power but stays on the cutting edge of technology. We applaud their work on the community broadband issue.A tip of the hat ...... and congratulations on a job well done to Judy Knoll, who has faithfully served the New Hampton Public Library for more than 30 years.A tip of the hat ...... and congratulations to Ethan Rosonke and Abby Robinson, the two New Hampton High School freshmen who were crowned king and queen at the school’s annual Sweetheart Dance.A tip of the hat ...To the Quilts of Valor local chapter for its work on a program that gives veterans a “welcome home” and “thank you” for their service. The chapter recently held a “sew-in” as it prepares to present 15 to 20 quilts to Vietnam War veterans in May.A tip of the hat ...To the New Hampton wrestling team for giving its fans a week they will in all likelihood never forget. Coach Nick Hemann and his Chickasaws powered through the Class 2A state dual meet tournament to claim the school’s first state title in a dozen years. And New Hampton followed that up with a brilliant run that came up just a half-point short of another state title at the traditional tournament. Still, having two state champs in Micheal Millage and Keaton Geerts, a state runner-up in Ryan Gorman and three other placewinners in Noah Hopp, Noah Glaser and Noah Fye is one heck o a way to end a memorable season.A tip of the hat ...... and welcome to AJ Seely, Chickasaw County’s new emergency management director. And a big tip of the hat and thank you to the man he is replacing, Ken Rasing, who has served our area with passion and distinction for the past 38 years.A tip of the hat ...To our area florists for their work in making Valentine’s Day a little extra special for countless area residents. Yes, Feb. 14 helps the bottom lines each year for flower shops but we appreciate that our florists go the extra mile — and do so with a smile — every year.A tip of the hat ...To the New Hampton basketball teams who put together solid seasons this past winter. Coach Chad Sweitzer and the boys went 14-9 and rallied from an 0-2 start in the Northeast Iowa Conference to finish in sole possession of second place in the league standings. Coach Matt Schult and the girls went 15-8 and finished third in the always-tough NEIC.A tip of the hat ...To Chickasaw Chat, which consisted of a group of New Hampton Middle School students, for doing a whale of a job chronicling the school’s unique Midmester Academy that was held in late January and early February.A tip of the hat ...To the New Hampton High School students who showed that civility can be a part of politics during Sen. Charles Grassley’s visit to the school late last month. Although a number of students asked pointed questions of Iowa’s veteran senator, they did so without the shouting and anger that has marked so many of Grassley’s recent town-hall meetings.A tip of the hat ...To Justin and Jenny Adam for their work in growing the band programs at New Hampton Community Schools. From holding an in-school Solo Festival to bringing all band students together for tonight’s Parade of Band Concert, the two young directors definitely have New Hampton band on the right track.A tip of the hat ...To Fareway for celebrating its 25th anniversary in New Hampton recently and a special shout out to two of the store’s “originals” — Tammy Miller and Eileen Eichenberger — who began work at the store two weeks before it opened to the public on Feb. 25, 1992.A tip of the hat ...To the Turkey Valley girls basketball team, which is led by coaches Carla Nymeyer, Dan Stepan and Jordan Bakula for giving its fans another wonderful ride this season. Although the Trojans came up short of their ultimate goal, winning a state championship, there are scores of schools around Iowa who would love to have Turkey Valley’s record the past two years. In 2016, the Trojans finished 26-1 and advanced to the state championship game, and this season,  Turkey Valley was 23-3 and once again advanced to the state tournament finals. And we want to take a moment to salute a group of talented seniors — Morgen Kuennen, Sadie Nymeyer, Shelby Reicks, Kayla Gebel, Abbey Ott, and Sloan Huinker — who led this program to some dizzying heights the past two seasons.

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