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Sarah Gomez


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

Read more »


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 »


Retired Jefferson-Scranton teacher Jim North was honored with the 2013 Friend of Education award by the Jefferson-Scranton Education Association and the Iowa State Education Association.

The presentation was made at a dinner May 8 at the Carrollton Inn in Carroll. Tammy Mohr presented the award.

North taught seventh and eighth grade English and literature in Jefferson for 38 years before his retirement a year ago. He has been a driving force in the Webb House, which provides a positive and safe place for young teenagers. He has spent nearly every Friday night for the past 15 years at the Webb House. He also opens it Wednesday afternoons to provide a place for 40-50 youngster when school dismisses early for teacher professional development.

North received the Jefferson Area Chamber of Commerce's ABC Award in 2001 in recognition of his efforts with the Webb House.

He is also a Golden Apple Award recipient.

In his retirement he volunteers as a group discussion leader at Greene County Middle School.

For many years North has provided students with their first paid employment with his lawn mowing business. Some students have worked several summers, indicating the respect and fun they share.

North earned a bachelors degree from the University of Northern Iowa and then served in the Air Force for four years. He earned a masters degree from Truman State College in Kirksville, MO.

Jim and his wife Karen have three daughters and five grandchildren. -The Jefferson Herald Read more »


Participants in a community-wide visioning meeting held see a downtown Jefferson in five years as a "colorful and modernized historic district brimming with art, shopping, dining and activities that people can't wait to get to and can't stop talking about because it's a great space that's part of a great place."

Picturing downtown in the future involved 35 participants who gathered at Jefferson City Hall on Tuesday, May 7, for a Visioning process conducted by Main Street Iowa and Jefferson Matters: Main Street.

Participants were divided into small groups and asked by Main Street Iowa facilitators Michael Wagler, state coordinator, and Terry Poe Buschkamp, a Main Street district specialist, to answer a series of questions about downtown Jefferson and the Jefferson Matters: Main Street program.

The first three questions asked about the assets, challenges and opportunities of downtown Jefferson and the fourth question asked participants to list reasons why downtown Jefferson is important to the community.

The next series of questions asked about the top three issues facing each of the four points of the local Main Street program: organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring.

Each small group provided responses to the questions, which were copied on to flip chart paper by the facilitators.

The final exercise for the evening asked the groups to provide a one-sentence description of how they envisioned downtown Jefferson in five years.

All of the responses to the eight questions and the five-year outlook were posted around the room. Each participant was given three votes in each of the eight question categories and one vote from among six five year outlook statements.

Based on votes received, the clearest consensus pertained to issues about the design, economic restructuring, and organization components of Jefferson Matters: Main Street. Funding sources for projects got 16 votes (design), new businesses had 15 votes (economic restructuring), and keeping volunteers engaged (organization) tallied 13 votes.

The group had solid consensus that the downtown "square is compact and established" (19 votes) as an asset of downtown, and 12 participants said developing a Welcome Center downtown was the greatest opportunity. Eleven listed "potential to be a destination town" and "bike trail" as other great opportunities. -The Jefferson Herald Read more »


Keep a close eye on that mail and listen to that telemarketer. The region is again gathering workforce data and needs cooperation from businesses and citizens alike for a successful project.

Western Iowa Advantage (WIAD), the region's eight-county economic development marketing consortium, has signed a contract to work with the Iowa Workforce Development's (IWD) Regional Research Bureau to complete a Laborshed employment study for the WIAD region. This study will identify the potential labor force from which WIAD employers and potential employers may draw their employees based upon commuting patterns into the region. The study will assist existing and potential new businesses in better understanding the region's labor force and characteristics regardless of political boundaries.

The Laborshed boundary is based on the place of residence of individuals working in the study area. For the success of this study, IWD has asked employers in the Laborshed area to provide aggregate counts of their employees by ZIP code by place of residence. This reporting will give IWD a good understanding of where each community's workforce resides.

Once that Laborshed area is determines, a confidential household telephone survey will be conducted in those areas. The questions will cover topics such as employment status, wages, benefits, education, and occupation. Survey results were then applied to demographic data to develop a total potential labor force of the Laborshed area as well as estimates for various labor force characteristics.

Laborshed studies have been conducted over the past two decades. Information received through the survey is critical to WIAD's ability to compete for business expansion or relocation. "Cooperation from businesses and individuals in the past provided Western Iowa Advantage with information businesses need, and answering the survey, should you be contacted, is critical," said Rick Hunsaker, a partner in the effort and Executive Director at Region XII COG. "Accurate information is our gateway to more projects, and more projects means more jobs."

Previous results for each county and the entire regional analysis may be found at, where the 2013 study will be located once it is complete. Those with questions about the Laborshed employment study project may contact IWD's Ryan Murphy at 515-281-7505 or Greene, Guthrie, Adair and Audubon Counties- Chad Schreck at 515-523-1262. -The News Gazette Read more »


Tuesday evening the Guthrie County Arts Council signed a check to commission Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II, Greenfield, to paint a Freedom Rock in Guthrie County in 2014.

Bubba has pledged to paint a Freedom Rock in each of Iowa's 99 counties with an annual Freedom Tour schedules to promote tourism.

"This is an extremely worthwhile project to honor our vets and promote the arts at the same time," commented GCAC Freedom Rock coordinator Phyllis Wakefield.

However, she added, GCAC does not at this time have the funds available to complete the project.

"We are hopeful organizations and individuals in the county will partner with us to complete the project."

The GCAC gave $1,000 to Sorensen for the commissioning, and will need an additional $4,000 in final payment at completion of the painting.

However, that is not the only expense.

"We need to acquire a large rock fitting for this project," continued Wakefield. "We hope someone will step forward and donate it."

"There will also be significant costs transporting the rock if needed," commented Wakefield.

The GCAC is still open to suggestions for a location of the monument.

Groups or individuals wishing to donate to this project are asked to contact Wakefield at 641-332-2299. -Guthrie County Times Read more »


An Arizona man, Patrick J. Peters, is the new CEO at Guthrie County Hospital in Guthrie Center.

The announcement was made by Rodney Carr, acting board chair for the Guthrie County Hospital Board of Trustees. Carr told hospital employees Peters' appointment will be effective July 1.

Carr said "Pat is a seasoned and knowledgeable healthcare professional. We look forward to the experience he will bring to Guthrie County Hospital to assist us in moving out organization to a higher level of performance."

Peters is currently the President/Chief Executive Officer of Mount Graham Medical Center, a 49 bed hospital in Stafford, AZ, a position he has held since 2007. Previously he was CEO at Keokuk County Health Center, a 25 bed critical access hospital in Sigourney, Iowa. His educational background includes a law degree from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, MN, a master's degree in Healthcare Administration from Saint Louis University, and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Ambrose University in Davenport. He is originally from Solon, Iowa.

Peters and his wife May have one daughter, Maiti, 16.

GCH has been run by committee since the resignation of Gerald Neal in December 2012. -Guthrie Center Times Read more »


Flint Hills Resources announced Todd Benton has joined the company's Menlo ethanol facility as plant manager. Benton, who comes to Flint Hills with more than 20 years of industry experience, will oversee plant operations and manage personnel.

Prior to joining Flint Hills Resources, Benton spent 20 years at Aventine Renewable Energy, Inc., in Pekin, IL. in a variety of operations and ethanol production roles.

"Todd is a great addition to Flint Hills Resources," said Sheryl Corrigan, Senior Vice President of Renewables Operations for Flint Hills Resources. "We expect our Menlo operations will continue to excel under Todd's leadership."

Benton holds a bachelor of science degree in biology from Eastern Illinois University, and he completed graduate studies in business administration at Bradley University.

Flint Hill Resources, LLC, through its subsidiaries, is a leading refining, biofuels and chemicals company. Flint Hill operates ethanol plants in Fairbank, Iowa Falls, Menlo and Shell Rock, Iowa, and Fairmount, Nebraska. - Guthrie County Vedette Read more »

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