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Sarah Gomez


The citizens of the community of Rippey celebrated the completion of the building of the community room and the renovation of the former Masonic Lodge building into the Rippey Library with an open house held on November 3.

This has been a lengthy and arduous process supported by many. The list includes Rippeyites living away from the community and the efforts of the Friends of Rippey, the Rippey Library Board of Trustees, along with the mayor and city council members.

The Friends of Rippey, a not-for-profit group of volunteers, was formed in June of 2001. The group was formed "to develop and encourage educational, social and recreation facilities in Rippey." The original officers and board members who continue from the 2001 formation include Velda DeMoss, President; Mary Weaver, Vice President; Mary Hick, Secretary; Sharon Uhlrich, Treasurer, and Directors Jean Borgerson, Ned Johnston and Roger Norgren.

Activities completed by the Friends of Rippey have included: establishment of the Rippey News website; securing funding from Humanities Iowa for "Henry Wallace comes to Rippey"; an evening meal and bus trip to Des Moines to view the Christmas lights; purchase and erection of two "Welcome to Rippey" signs on Highway 144 at the north and south entrances of the town; painting of the shelter house at the city park; erection of playground equipment at the Osborn Park; placement of decorative flags on Main Street; building and filling of seasonal planters, and a bus trip during a snow storm to see a play at Hoyt Sherman Theater.

Fundraising for those projects included publishing two cookbooks, selling note cards with Various Rippey scenes, numerous breakfasts, a garden tour, and selling t shirts.

Funds were generated in 2006 from the Jefferson Area Chamber of Commerce to clean debris and apply crushed rock on the portion of the Galloping Goose Trail recreational trail within the town. The cleaning was done with the help of local 4-H clubs.

Friends of Rippey, when formed, initially expressed a desire to improve the community library and to build a community center, but it was not until September of 2009 when the People's Trust and Savings Bank provided the financing impetus to implement that vision that this became possible. The bank provided funds of $45,000 and two buildings. Following exploration and intensive discussion, it was determined to raze the two buildings and begin building a new library and community room.

In 2010, the Rippey Masonic Lodge chose to disband and to give up their building to the City of Rippey. Plans were developed, which included razing of the former Squeak's cafe, the building was converted into a library, with the social room of the building expanded into a 1,400 square foot community room.

(Rippey is) proud of the new kitchen as it is spacious with a new sink, plumbing, cabinets, and appliances. There is a large serving window for returning dishes. The cabinet levels and door width were rebuilt to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The appliances were purchased with assistance of the Greene County Community Foundation.

The bathrooms, which are shared with the Rippey Library, have been enlarged to include handicapped stalls to accommodate persons using wheelchairs.

A new entrance was completed at the alley for the community room that includes an overhang for ease in unloading people as well as equipment. The room will now accommodate more than 100 people, and through a grant from the Green County Community Foundation and donations, newly purchased round tables and very comfortable chairs are now a part of the room.

The floors throughout the building are now "poured" and they will be easily maintained, Two new furnaces were installed including air conditioning. These, along with a new roof on the entire building, will provide efficient use of energy for the future.

This was truly a community effort with nearly 135 different individuals who have donated $80,000. Some of these were persons who graduates from Rippey High School, or funds were given in memory of former Rippey citizens. There were 19 Rippey and Greene County businesses that donated funds for the project.

The State of Iowa awarded Friends of Rippey Vision Iowa funding, along with funds generated from the Roy J. Carver Foundation, Trees Forever, Keep Iowa Beautiful, Diamond Vogel Paints, Greene County Community Foundation, KCCI, and the Central Iowa Regional Library. The total cost of the project was $266,408.

The architectural firm for the project was FEH of Sioux City, Matt Basye, primary architect; construction completed by McConnell Custom Construction; electrical work was completed by Durlan Electric; materials were purchased from the Tri-County Lumber Mart, and razing of five buildings on the Rippey Main Street was done by Thorp Sawmill.

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West Central Cooperative is among the top 50 agricultural cooperatives in the United States, according to the USDA's annual "Top 100 Cooperatives" ranking. Ranked at No. 41, West Central was recognized as the second largest "gainer" on the list based on growth in revenue and assets by the United States Department of Agriculture.

A diversified portfolio of grain receipts, agronomy products and services, livestock feed as well as national and international SoyPLUS/SoyChlor dairy feed product sales contributed to the company's 50 percent revenue growth. From 2011 to 2012, West Central's annual revenues increased by more than $250 million.

"West Central is proud of our Top 100 Cooperative ranking because it highlights our customers' choice to do business with a diversified agriculture retailer," said Jeff Stroburg, President and CEO at West Central Cooperative. "At West Central, we continually add value to our members' crops by transforming them into products that are worth more in the local and world marketplaces."

The Ralston-based cooperative has more than 25 locations in 12 counties (with locations in Jefferson, Scranton and Paton) and more than 3,000 stockholders nationwide. "We offer a leading investment opportunity and a unique record of consistently allocating the maximum patronage-based earnings back to our stock-holders," added Stroburg.

The USDA publishes its Top 100 Largest Agriculture Cooperatives list annually, reflecting the sales accomplishments of these organizations for the previous year. Sixteen Iowa cooperatives were included on this year's list.

Established in 1933, West Central is a leading grain, agronomy, and value-added processing entity. With headquarters in Ralston, Iowa, this member-owned cooperative boasts a national and international agricultural presence. -The Jefferson Herald Read more »


Interstate Chevrolet has announced the grand opening of their state-of-the-art facility at 324 Southwest 8th Street in Stuart. Their all-new service equipment is designed to meet the needs and expectations of their clientele, according to Jason Simpson, owner and manager of the company. The facility is also equipped with a full service automated car wash with integrated dryer that will be open to the public. To help celebrate the grand opening, during the month of November the car wash will be completely free of charge. The grand opening began November 1 and will continue through the end of the months.

A meet and greet open house is scheduled for Saturday, November 16 from 11 am to 4 pm with refreshments, door prizes, local radio remote coverage and entertainment.

Sales and full service is available Monday through Saturday, 7 am to 7 pm. The downtown building, which had been leased until the new facility was completed, is now closed. All operations are being run from the new location. Simpson said the 15 employees of Interstate Chevrolet, most of them from the local area, are eager to provide prompt and efficient service to all customers.

After 83 years of being known as Morrison Chevrolet in Stuart, Interstate Chevrolet purchased the company with local management effective October 12, 2012. -The Stuart Herald Read more »


Grand Junction leaders are off to an encouraging start with fund-raising for a planned $350,000 community center in the downtown.

Peoples Trust & Savings Bank just announced a $25,000 lead gift for the 6,000 square foot center. Another $40,000 has been raised to this point as well.

"It will be the place everybody comes," said Diane Wise, a member of the community center committee.

The city of Grand Junction is removing six blighted buildings, including the current community center, to clear space for the new facility, one that will include a large meeting room with a 250 person capacity; small meeting room with 75 person capacity; patio, men's and ladies' restrooms; city offices and a free room for coffee groups and other small gatherings.

"I think it will improve everybody's spirits," Wise said.

The city will maintain ownership of the community center.

Larry Pote, market president for Peoples Trust & Savings in Grand Junction, said the project is part of a broader effort to rehabilitate downtown buildings in the city of 800 people. "The council is definitely behind it," said Pote, a member of the council.

Organizers hope to see construction start in the fall of 2014.

The presences of the new center will help attract new residents and keep many activities, such as family celebrations, in Grand Junction, helping to spark more housing and business development, organizers say.

"It would be nice to have a place when kids graduate," said Joan Dearborn, a member of the community center committee.

Advocates will be pursuing a number of grant applications and funding sources. They are asking for local private donations as well. Contributions can be sent to: Grand Junction Community Center, PO Box 383, Grand Junction, IA 50107. For more information call 515-370-1675. -The Jefferson Herald. Read more »


George Sperry, board member for Patrons Mutual Insurance Association in Stuart, has received Farm Mutual Director Certification designation from the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. He was among 128 farm mutual directors recognized during NAMIC's 118th annual convention in September.

The Farm Mutual Director Certification program was launched in 2007 to recognize farm mutual insurance company board members for their educational accomplishments and dedication to professionalism. To become a certified farm mutual director a participant must be an active director of a farm mutual company, complete four courses from each the of the three areas (Management, Operations and Insurance, and Finance and Accounting) and complete continuing education classes to maintain the designation. Since the beginning of the program more than 450 directors have become certified. -The Stuart Herald Read more »


After more than 10 years of co-branding planters with Bauer Built Manufacturing Inc., John Deere is looking to purchase the Iowa-based company's assets. Read more »

Bauer Built Daily Times Herald Greene County John Deere Paton


The Scranton Telephone Company is embarking on an upgrade of service for their cable customers. IPTV will utilize fiber optic cable to provide high definition television service with an increased number of stations available for viewing.

The television signals will be broadcast through INS (Iowa Network Services). This firm currently provides the internet services for Scranton Telephone co. The telephone service will also utilize the fiber optic lines.

Workers are busy installing fiber optic cable in the city of Scranton. The installation of fiber optic cable to rural Scranton customers has been completed.

The use of the new lines allows for faster internet service for computers, improved picture clarity on televisions and clear, dependable phone service.

Once the fiber cable is installed, STC employees will upgrade the necessary wiring in the homes of Scranton residents. A target date of early November is set for the home installation. It is hoped that most of the residents will be switched to the new system by the first of the year.

The STC Board is enthusiastic about the changes being made. "This is a big investment in our community," explained Steve Fengel, STC manager, "with the intent of providing better service, more speed to the internet and an improved picture clarity."

STC customers will receive a set top box with remote control on two televisions in their home. More tvs may be wired at additional cost. DVR service is also available. This allows residents to program their television to record their favorite shows daily, weekly or an entire series to be viewed at a later date.

A simple level of service includes local channels and music channels. The basic channel lineup includes sports and family channels, movie channels including Showtime and Starz/Encore are also available at an additional fee.

Customers must also have telephone service through STC to be eligible for internet service. A maintenance plan is offered to maintain the home wiring and boxes.

An open house is planned in the STC office on Wednesday, September 25. Employees will demonstrate the services and channels available and answer questions about the upgrade to the system.

"We're here in town. We're local," concluded Fengel. "We expect to do out own troubleshooting. We're excited to be offering this new service to our customers." The Scranton Journal Read more »


After nearly 62 years of owning Johnie's Tap in Stuart, John Gomez has announced his daughter, Audrey Gomez, became the new owner on August 1, 2013. Having been part of the business for 31 years, Audrey stated "I know the customers and have a good rapport with them. I will be happy to work with so many I have known for years, but will rely on my dad for advice and help along the way."

John expressed appreciation for the business of so many for so many years and said "I have made a lot of friends along the way." He will still be a frequent presence at Johnie's Tap from time to time. -The Stuart Herald Read more »


A nationally-renowned speaker and facilitator is coming to Greene County on September for a public community presentation on the topic of personal accountability and how to eliminate blame, complaining and procrastination. The event is being planned by the steering committee for the Greene Leadership 2013 Program, sponsored by the Greene County Extension.

The public is invited to attend, and employers in Greene County are encouraged to take advantage of the event as a professional development opportunity for employees. The presentation will be held at the Greene County High School auditorium on Thursday, September 19 beginning at 7:30 pm. Thanks to several sponsors, including primary sponsor Junction Hilltop Wind, the event will be offered free of charge to participants.

The facilitator for the 90 minute session will be Kristen Lindeen, who has spoken across the country to employees from a broad spectrum of companies and organizations, including banks, insurance companies, colleges, high schools and several Fortune 500 businesses. The local Greene Leadership steering committee spent several meetings reviewing potential guest speakers before selecting Lindeen.

Members of the community say Lindeen will deliver an impactful, motivational, and energetic presentation on how to practice personal accountability at work and at home, including how to better take ownership of your problems and solve them, rather than blaming, complaining, and procrastinating. The result is a strengthened teamwork, improved morale, trusting relationships, reduced stress and stronger leadership- both in the workplace and at home.

"The goal for this event is to provide a low-cost, yet top-notch professional development opportunity for employers in Greene County to provide their employees. Our committee discussed the idea that very few businesses in the county could bring somebody of the same caliber as Kristen, and the idea of a community professional development night was created," said Michael Cooley, County Extension Coordinator for the Greene County Extension.

An admission ticket will be needed to guarantee a seat for the evening, said Cooley. The free tickets, which are expected to go fast, will be available beginning August 26 with locations around Greene County, including banks, libraries, and the Greene County Extension office. Businesses interested in securing a large number of tickets should contact Cooley for more details.

For more information about the Greene County Extension, including other community and economic development programming, visit -The Scranton Journal Read more »


The Iowa-Advances Manufacturing (I-AM) Consortium and Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) jointly announce the launch of a new campaign to promote careers and educational pathways in advanced manufacturing. The "Elevate Advanced Manufacturing" campaign will begin by addressing the current public perception of manufacturing and educating Iowans on the opportunities that exist within this industry.

By 2018, there will be a shortage of 6.672 skilled workers in the advanced manufacturing sector. These available positions offer attractive pay and benefits packages. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis in 2011, the average manufacturing worker made $77,060 annually, including pay and benefits, while the average worker in other industries earned $60,168.

A website,, has been launched to support this campaign with the use of video testimonials, self-assessment career guides, job search tools and training information. -Adair County Free Press Read more »


Tom Smith, administrator of the Audubon County Memorial Hospital, recently announced that Dr. Maria Shue has joined the staff at Audubon County Memorial Hospital and at Audubon Family Medical Clinic.

Dr. Shue will be working along side Dr. James Cunningham at the clinic and will also volunteer at the free clinic located at the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira.

Dr. Shue hails from Oklahoma but has lived in Iowa for the last ten years and medicine is a "second career" for her.

"I was in sales and marketing for several years before going back to get a science degree, then on to medical school and my residency," she stated.

She has a Bachelor's of Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor's of Science from the University of Central Oklahoma. Her medical school training was completed at Des Moines University where she earned a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree. Her three years of residency training was at Mercy Medical Center Family Medicine Residency in Des Moines. Dr. Shue is board certified in family medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine.

She stated "I will be taking call in the emergency departments, and seeing patients in the hospital as well. I have been practicing for three years and have a lot of experience in pediatrics, geriatrics and women's health. I bought a house here in Audubon and look forward to serving the people of Audubon County."

Dr. Shue added "So far my neighbors have been absolutely super and everyone I have met has been very nice. I have never lived in a small town and am looking forward to getting to know everyone. I hope to continue to work alongside Dr. Cunningham for many years."

Shue is single. She enjoys gardening, nature, wildlife photography and a host of other hobbies, including taking care of her almost 20 year old cat. Dr. Shue plans to start seeing patients in September. An official welcome celebration will be held in the near future. -Audubon County Advocate Journal Read more »


209 Main in Paton first opened its doors in March of this year. Owners are Vaughn and Lori Bauer, of Paton. It is both a restaurant and bar that offers a casual atmosphere. Manager Jason Rogers said "We want everyone to feel welcome- from the guy working out in the field to the guy on a business trip that stops in for dinner."

The decor includes stone, wood and textures. Rogers, who gained his restaurant experience in Boone and Ames describes the restaurant as casual yet says it has a "big city look, small town feel."

Rogers said "When you walk inside you think WOW! We're in Paton, Iowa." He said the restaurant looks like it could be in Omaha, Des Moines, Chicago or Vegas.

209 Main's food is described as American, with a little bit of everything. The menu includes appetizers, steaks, pasta, seafood, burgers, a salad bar, etc. Rogers said the unique thing about 209 Main is the majority of its food is handmade. The restaurant grinds its own burger in-house from steak and serves only premium choice Angus steak. Executive Chef Bradford Robey and his crew take pride in making dishes from scratch using fresh, quality ingredients.

The restaurant will soon be rolling out new menu specials such as Burger and Mexican Nights. Rogers said the restaurant is rolling out sections of the menu at a time and does not have a full menu yet. Right now lunch mainly consists of sandwiches and dinners are entrees such as steak and seafood.

Goals for the future include adding a patio and possibly adding special event nights like a dance night in the reception hall. However, Rogers said the ultimate goal is to continually change the food, but to stick to the core menu. He realizes the restaurant is in a small demographic area but wants to give customers new reasons to come out.

The reception hall is large enough to hold 160 people for a small wedding, rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, anniversary party, graduation party, etc. Rogers said the business is just getting the doors open to the reception hall and it is available to rent. The reception hall is wired with a sound system and DirecTV, making it an ideal spot to host a Super Bowl or NASCAR party, Rogers said.

209 Main is open every day at 11 am and closes at 10 pm Monday through Thursday, and 2 am Friday and Saturday. The kitchen is open til 11 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Sunday's hours are 11 am to 7 pm. -The Jefferson Herald Read more »


Adair County Health System has announced that Liz Hensley, ARNP, will begin her family practice at the Adair County Medical Clinic in Greenfield, and will start seeing patients in mid-July 2013. She will also provide emergency room and inpatient services for Adair County Memorial Hospital.

Hensley recently graduated from Creighton University with her MSN. She has worked as a registered nurse in Des Moines in the emergency room and pediatric emergency room. She has worked for ACHS previously as the cardiac rehab nurse. She is married, has three boys, and lives east of Greenfield.

"It is so exciting to have the opportunity to work close to home. I love the friendly people of Adair County, and can't wait to get to know my patients and their families. Having worked for ACHS before, I know firsthand that this is a great place. The people there take pride in their community, and truly care about what they do. I am excited and honored to be a part of the ACHS team," said Hensley. -The Stuart Herald Read more »


A retirement open house at Rolling Hills Bank & Trust in Stuart was held on Wednesday, June 26 honoring Gene Richardson. He had spent the past 14 years with the company known as Security State Bank and Meta Bank as president, and as marketing president of Rolling Hills Bank & Trust. Having spent 41 years in the banking industry, he is looking forward to retirement.

The family photo was taken at the open house with, from left, daughter Michelle McFee; grandson Geno Benson; Gene Richardson; granddaughter Macy Benson; wife, Rose Richardson; daughter Molly Benson, and granddaughters Teely McFee and Tori Benson.

Gene and Rose make their home in Adel. He stated retirement plans include more involvement with the Patriotic Guard. -The Stuart Herald Read more »


RIADA, Inc. (Residents for Industrial and Agricultural Development in Adair) held their monthly meeting, conducted by John Fisher. president of the organization.

Guests were Chad Schreck, executive director of Midwest Partnership EDC, and a couple interested in re-opening the grocery store in Adair. Mr. Schreck talked about the work MWP is doing in its four county area (Adair, Guthrie, Greene and Audubon). He announced that West Central Cooperative has purchased the Trousch building on Hillcrest Street (commonly called the Wick Building) and plans to tear down the building and construct a larger one for grain storage. He also has been working with the family interested in re-opening the grocery store in Adair.

Plans are to open the store as a coop grocery store with shares being sold to local people. More information will be given as it is available. -The Adair News Read more »


The Audubon County Economic Development Corporation (ACED) purchased three city lots on Tracy Street to be used for a project that is planned to include the building of two duplexes and cleaning up the area during the Audubon City Council meeting.

A public hearing on the sale of the property with no written or in-person comments made.

The three properties, Lots 2,4,and 6, or 202, 206 and 210 Tracy Street were scheduled to go up for sale with the stipulation being that all three must be purchased together.

City Clerk Lora Hansen said one bid was received, and Council member Bob Jacobsen opened the bid. The purchase was approved by the ACED board and ACED officials bid $1,016 for the three properties.

At an earlier meeting, Brett Irlmeier had spoken to the council about plans for development in that area. "Ten months ago the ACED came to the council," he said, "to talk about plans to clean up an area on Tracy Street. Several lots in that area were either owned by the city or ACED, and a housing project was suggested for the area. Now 90 percent of the block is cleaned up," he said, noting one house has been burned down, a foundation needed to be taken out, and the land leveled up for building.

"We have plans to get up two duplexes, get the whole lot cleaned up," he said.

The Audubon City Council approved the bid from the ACED unanimously. -Audubon County Advocate Journal

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Are you interested in housing issues facing west central Iowa, in particular those facing moderate and low income persons ? Region XII COG is seeking representatives from these sectors to serve on the board of the new Region XII Housing Corporation (RHC). The RHC is being founded to serve as a Comprehensive Housing Development Organization (CHDO) for west central Iowa. CHDOs work work to improve and/or develop housing for low and moderate income individuals and families by accessing, in part, federal funds set aside specifically for their operations.

As a board member for the RHC, individuals will help to form and direct policy related to moderate and low income housing in the region. Meetings are expected to be no more than quarterly and will primarily occur in Carroll. While the position is volunteer, mileage will be covered for board members so that attending the meetings does not impose a hardship. The RHC is staffed by Region XII COG, an agency with 20+ years' experience in the maintenance and production of housing.

Persons eligible to be appointed on the vacant RHC board slots must be of low or moderate income and will need to certify this status. Generally, this means that a household of 4 cannot have an annual income exceeding $52,000, but this limit varies by county of residence and number of household members. Individuals interested in being appointed are encouraged Rick Hunsaker at 712-775-7800 or

Based in Carroll, Region XII COG serves the counties of Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie and Sac, as well as the cities of Adel, Minburn, Perry, Redfield and Linden in Dallas County. Region XII COG provides a variety of governmental services and management programs on a regional basis, including local government assistance, housing, the Western Iowa Transit, economic development and workforce development. The COG is a partner in Western Iowa Advantage, west central Iowa's regional marketing consortium. -Audubon County Advocate Journal Read more »

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