Northeastern Swim Team Registration

Registration for the Northeastern Swim Team (NST) Short Course swim season will open August 19 through September 2nd for all interested swim team participants. A four-month option will be available for high school swimmers.  Information about the upcoming season can be found on the NST TeamUnify website: . NST is a USA certified swim team that practices at Luther College in Decorah, IA and serves many communities in the Northeast Iowa area.  Any questions about the upcoming season can be directed to:

The Library Offers Rest During Nordic Fest

Ready for a weekend of festing? Feel free to stop in to the Decorah Public Library to get off your feet, or out of the weather.

Are the kids restless? Need a cool place to sit down?
It can be tough to be on your feet all day, in the heat and the sun,
but you don’t want to go home and miss all the fun.

The library offers:

  • Comfy seating
  • Free mobile quick-charging station
  • Public WiFi and computers
  • Restrooms
  • Air-conditioning
  • Children’s play area
  • New collection of Norwegian heritage materials
  • and a friendly staff to help with many other needs

Comfy seating at the library

Free public quick-charging station

Now Registering for Green Iowa AmeriCorps Children’s Programs at Decorah Public Library

As part of Decorah Public Library’s  “A Universe of Stories” Summer Reading Program, Green Iowa AmeriCorps will be partnering with the library to offer hands-on classes for children entering 2nd – 5th grades.


Join us at 10:30 am on July 16th, 23rd, and 30th for Enviro Storytime. Come listen to stories about nature and our environments. Then, use your imagination to invent a story and create your own book!


Children are also invited to come to the library on July 17th at 10:30 am to make solar cars and learn how to run with the sun!


Programs will be held in the Public Program Room of the library. Pre-registration is required at For additional information, please contact Joan Roach, Children’s and Youth Librarian, at (563)382-3717.


Registration Open for Girls Science Camp

Calling all GIRLS who want the opportunity to explore science and the outdoors at science day camps hosted by Luther College, 4-H, and and Iowa State Extension. The week-long, half day (9 am – Noon) camps will be held during the last two weeks of July in Postville and Decorah. Transportation between sites will be provided.  Camp fees are covered by scholarships through a generous grant by the AAUW (American Association of University Women).  Registrations will be accepted in July until camps are filled.

Science Detectives Girls camp:
4th – 6th graders: July 22 – 26, 9 am to 12 pm
7th – 9th graders: July 29 – August 2, 9 am to 12 pm

Registration forms are available by request via email or in person at Iowa State Extension office, 325 Washington Street, Suite B, Decorah, IA 52101.  For more information or a registration form, contact Molly McNicoll at or (563) 387-1257.  Formulario de solicitud en Espanol estan disponible.

Driftless Brain Injury Support Group located in Decorah

The Driftless Brain Injury Support Group is scheduled for August 19th from 1:00PM to 3:00PM at 1014 S Mill St #9, Decorah, IA 52101 (CHOICE Employment Services.)  The Driftless Brain Injury Support Group plans on meeting monthly beginning July 15th and on the 3rd Monday each month after.

We will meet in the CHOICE Employment Services Meeting Room.  Wheelchair accessible.

I am a Certified Brain Injury Fundamentals Specialist.  I am also a member of the Brain Injury Alliance-Iowa.  I am also a Brain Injury Survivor.

If you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact me at

I look forward to meeting on August 19, 2019 from 1:00PM to 3:00PM. Thank you.  Merit


Fair Fun Run Pre-Registration Deadline is Fri June 28

The Decorah Parks and Recreation Fair Fun Run will be held Saturday, July 13.  This event for the whole family consists of a 3/4 mile distance for children 12 and under and a 3-mile distance for older children and adults.  Each participant is eligible for a prize drawing held during the awards ceremony (must be present to win).  Refreshments are also provided.  Awards to 1st-3rd place in each age division.

Pre-registration must be made in the Park-Rec. Office or online ( by Friday, June 28.  Entry fee is $10 with shirt included (only pre-registered paying $10 will receive a shirt), $5 without a shirt.

Late registration will be at the Variety Tent at the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds from 7:15 to 7:45 am on race day.  The 3/4 mile run starts at 8:00 am; 3 mile at 8:30 from the fairgrounds.  The awards ceremony will be held in the Variety Tent shortly after the last participant finishes (approximately 9:30 am)

This event is made possible with the support of the Winneshiek County Fair Board and these sponsors:  Collins Aerospace, Deco Products Company, Gundersen Health System, Oneota Valley Family Eye Care, Stanley Engineered Fastening, and The Family Table.

Luther College graduate, Chris Norton, returning to Decorah to spread inspirational message

Luther College graduate, Chris Norton, returning to Decorah to spread inspirational message

DECORAH, Iowa – Luther alumnus Chris Norton is returning to Decorah to speak about his new book, “The Seven Longest Yards.” He and his wife, Emily Norton, co-authored the book. You can meet the couple and get a signed copy at 7 p.m. Monday, July 1 at Carrie Lee Auditorium.

 Norton, a first-year student athlete, was injured in a 2010 football game. He saw an opening for a tackle but mistimed his jump and collided with the ball carrier.

“In an instant I lost all feeling and movement from my neck down. I was told I would never be able to move again,” said Norton.

Since then he has continued to defy the odds. First at his Luther College commencement ceremony in 2015. With the help of his then fiancé, Emily Summers, Norton walked across the stage to receive his diploma.

“I was incredibly nervous and anxious. However, right from the beginning of the walk, the gym erupted with cheers and applause, which was really encouraging,” said Norton. “Then to conquer one of my biggest goals with the help of Emily, who I was going to spend the rest of my life with and in front of people who have been so supportive like family, friends, and my college community was a moment I’ll forever cherish.”

The video of that moment has been viewed more than 300 million times. His next big walk came in 2018. After the couple said their wedding vows, Summers helped Norton out of his wheelchair, they sealed the deal with a kiss and walked seven yards down the isle as husband and wife. Norton says it took seven years to prepare for that moment with Summers helping him each day.

Since graduating from Luther College, Norton has dedicated his life to empowering others to overcome their obstacles.

“It was at Luther College that I discovered how compassionate people are and the power of community.”

Norton says he has seen far too many people go without necessary therapy equipment and assistance to achieve their recovery goals so he started the Chris Norton Foundation. The non-profit works to help people with spinal cord and neuromuscular disabilities lead their best lives. Norton also speaks across the nation and was named a “2018 Hottest Event Keynote Speaker” by ITA Group.

To register for the July 1 event, visit

Luther College is home to more than 2,000 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at

Luther College students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

Luther College students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

DECORAH, Iowa— Luther College announces the induction of 36 seniors into the Luther chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa national academic honor society. Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most respected undergraduate honors organization in the United States. The society has fostered and recognized excellence in the liberal arts and sciences since 1776, and the society’s distinctive emblem, a golden key, is widely recognized as a symbol of academic achievement.

2019 inductees include:

Karl Badger of Duluth, Minnesota

Kaitlyn Buls of Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Creger Jae of Prior Lake, Minnesota

Jacob Domogalla of Askov, Minnesota

Mason Donnohue of Eagan, Minnesota

Ananda Easley of Dubuque, Iowa

Kelli Emerson of Huxley, Iowa

Maya Evans of Ankeny, Iowa

Anneleise Frie of Fountain City, Wisconsin

Emily Fuller of Bettendorf, Iowa

Jonah Gehrt of Byron, Minnesota

Kyle Gilberg of Mendota Heights, Minnesota

Deanna Grelecki of Oakwood Hills, Illinois

Elyse Grothaus of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

Benjamin Haerther of Atkins, Iowa

Genevieve Heimer-Lang of Iowa City, Iowa

Zane Kittleson of Westfield, Wisconsin

Lauren Knuckey of Galena, Illinois

Payton Knutson of Owatonna, Minnesota

Matthew Lagus of Lake Elmo, Minnesota

Quang Anh Lee of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Zachariah Martin of Boone, Iowa

Katrina Meyer of Mount Prospect, Illinois

James Miller of New Richmond, Wisconsin

Rebecca Mullenbach of Osage, Iowa

Claire Palmquist of Cloquet, Minnesota

Allison Peters of Mankato, Minnesota

Annika Rotto of Ames, Iowa

Lauren Sather of Spencer, Iowa

Gavin Schaeferle of Chanhassen, Minnesota

Cristina Schuetz of Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Jacob Schulz of Minnetonka, Minnesota

Mareda Smith of North Liberty, Iowa

Haley Steffen of North Liberty, Iowa

Sarah Webb of Shoreview, Minnesota

Marta Williams of Woodberry, Minnesota


Luther College is one of a select group of private liberal arts colleges in the United States with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Each year, Luther honors outstanding seniors with selection to Phi Beta Kappa at a ceremony held in the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther campus. Members are elected on the basis of broad cultural interests, scholarly achievement and good character.

Spruiell White, Luther class of 1967, gave the address at this year’s induction ceremony. The title of his address was “Bait and Switch: The Unexpected Career Journey of an English Major.”

White’s visit helped to mark the 50th anniversary of the Black Student Union at Luther College. White retired in 2011 from the MacArthur Foundation as a senior program officer in the U.S. Program after fifteen years of service. Prior to his foundation appointment, he served in a number of executive leadership positions at the Chicago Jobs Council, the Illinois Area United Negro College Fund and Urban League affiliates in San Francisco and Seattle. White said that what seemed to be instances of “bait and switch” ended up creating important opportunities in his career and personal life.

Luther College is home to more than 2,000 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at


Luther College Alumna Amalia Vagts pastoral intern with Luther College student congregation

Luther College Alumna Amalia Vagts pastoral intern with Luther College student congregation

DECORAH, Iowa— A well-known woman of worship will be leading the Luther College student congregation on her path to pastoral work. Vicar Amalia Vagts, a 1995 Luther graduate, is a candidate for word and sacrament ministry in the Northeastern Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran church in America (ELCA.) Her candidacy is sponsored and supported by her home congregation, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah, Iowa.

All candidates studying to become pastors in the ELCA complete a year of pastoral internship. Vagts’ internship is a collaboration between the Luther College student congregation with supervisor Pastor Anne Edison-Albright and two area congregations: Bethany Lutheran Church in Elkader, Iowa and Emanuel Lutheran Church in Strawberry Point, Iowa with supervisor Pastor Susan Friedrich. “It’s been a few decades since we’ve had a pastoral intern at Luther,” said Pastor Edison-Albright, “Vicar Amalia’s time with us will be renewal of an important aspect of ministry at the college.”

At Luther, Vagts will plan, preach and lead worship as well as intentionally connect with students who are looking for ways to add spiritual practices into their daily lives. “Vicar Amalia brings creativity, curiosity and outstanding communication and leadership skills to every team she’s on,” said Pastor Edison-Albright. “I’m excited to get to continue to work with her in this new way, and to accompany her in everything she’s going to learn and experience about ministry on internship. She brings so much to the campus context and the parishes she’ll be serving this year.”

Vagts graduated from Luther College with degrees in religion and English. She then spent a decade working for reproductive and sexual health as a community organizer, lobbyist and campaign field manager for Planned Parenthood. From 2006 – 2017, Vagts served as executive director of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, working in support of LGBTQ ministry leadership in the Lutheran church.

Pastors Edison-Albright and Friedrich expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work with a pastoral intern who is openly LGBTQ. “It’s increasingly possible for diverse leaders to answer the call to serve in ministry leadership, and that’s a real blessing for the church,” said Pastor Edison-Albright. “As a member of the LGBTQ community, Vicar Amalia will bring valued new diversity to our ministry teams.”

When describing herself Vagts said, “I love to listen, work, and figure out how to invite people into their true selves. I believe God is alive in the world and seek to live my live in such a way that shows this is true.”

After Vagts’ internship year, she will return to Wartburg Theological Seminary School for a final year of study before beginning the process of ordination and seeking a first call as a pastor.

Luther College is home to more than 2,000 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at


Slide into Summer Family Fun Night

Sponsored by DECORAH BANK & TRUST in cooperation with Decorah Parks and Recreation

On TUESDAY, JUNE 18, slide into summer at the Decorah Municipal Pool! This free, family fun night will be from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, and will include free pool admission, a bouncy house, face painting, and other fun activities. Popcorn will be given away and pizza and other refreshments will be available for purchase.


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