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The top 10 local news stories of 2017: #2 and #1

Posted: Mon, Jan 1, 2018 3:29 PM

( concludes its list of the top ten most significant local news stories in Decorah in 2017):

#2:  In May, a semi loaded with over 30 tons of grain feed almost made it across the Dahly Bridge over the Upper Iowa River--almost.  (  29-year-old Justin Hippen of Parkersburg later admitted to a judge that his semi was 54,700 pounds over the posted weight limit when he drove across the Dahly Bridge the morning of May 5th.  The bridge collapsed into the Upper Iowa River, but Hippen made it across--although the rear tires of his semi were spinning in the air.  Hippen later pleaded guilty to two traffic charges, but as of the end of 2017, an agreement on an insurance settlement had not been reached.

#1:  Less dramatic than the overweight semi, but likely to have a bigger long-term effect was September's announcement that Menard's wants to build a superstore in Decorah ( on property off Old Stage Road, behind the Walmart supercenter.  The store would be a typical Menard's, about double the overall square footage of the Decorah Walmart.  Menard's officials want to build the store in the floodplain behind Walmart, although they would need Iowa DNR and Army Corps of Engineers approval for that site--as well as the approval of the Decorah Planning & Zoning Commission and the Decorah City Council.  An alternate site across from the Decorah Ariport looked at by Menard's officials late in 2017 was purchased by Decorah Jobs and is available for purchase.

It's likely the Menard's proposal will be one of the big stories of 2018 in Decorah--and when it is, will cover the news!