Media Contact

Sarah Gomez


At a special meeting on Monday, February 27, the Stuart City Council opened discussions with a Growmark representative about a request from them for two variances to the city code concerning Growmark's Fertilizer Terminal Project. The first variance would allow Growmark to use a gravel driveway for the trucks that will be using the facility, rather than using concrete. Growmark would then cover the gravel surface with a sealant to reduce the dust from the gravel. The second variance would be for the architectural finish to the building. The plant will be located 1,000 feet north of Southwest Seventh Street. The building will be 230 feet long, and the driveway will be over 1,200 feet long.

A number of concerned south side residents were at the meeting to question the council and Growmark about the project. Concerns were expressed about the dust that will be caused by traffic on that driveway.

Councilman Wade Chafa indicated to the homeowners that he had seen this type of sealant used at another location. "I have seen this applied and used at a location in Grimes. Once it is applied and maintained, the amount of dust caused by the driveway will be reduced greatly and should not be a concern," he explained.

The council was asked why they would consider allowing Growmark to have this variance. "They are a large company, and they can afford the expense; it is part of doing business," responded Councilman Neal Crawford. "We are trying to work with both the company and the residents to come up with the best solutions. Our city engineer said that if we require them to use concrete, it would add several thousands of dollars to their cost, and it would be possible they would move to another city that would be willing to allow them to do that. We believe the sealant that will be used will eliminate a large amount of the dust problem."

The property line on the east side of the Growmark property will be 700-800 feet from the residential area, and discussion have been held concerning the planting of trees and building a berm on the edge of the Growmark property to reduce dust even more.

"The city code does not require this, but Growmark has indicated they will be willing to plant the trees and the possibility of building a berm is being discussed," stated Councilman Bryan Belden.

The effects on the value of the homes in the area were also discussed. There was discussion of whether Growmark will be storing anhydrous at this facility.

"We have been informed by Growmark that they will not store anhydrous at this facility," answered Belden.

City Attorney Bill Bump stated that a final decision will not be made on the site plan at this meeting. "Growmark has not presented a final site plan to the council; we hope that might be available at the council's next meeting. The planning and zoning committee will also be involved in this process." After the discussion, the council voted to approve the two variances for the project. -The Stuart Herald Read more »


A local insurance agency has donated land that will become part of the Thomas Jefferson Gardens, one of several pending renovation projects around the courthouse square in Jefferson.

The donation comes from the owners of Kingsgate Insurance of Fort Dodge, Ed and Denise Smith, and from Sheryl McDonald and Denny Goshon of Jefferson, who are in the process of selling their Advantage Insurance and Financial Services business to the Smiths. The Advantage building is located at 201 E. Lincolnway. The donation is a 30 by 70 foot wide strip of land on the west side of the Advantage Insurance building.

"We are excited about the developments here in town," said Ed Smith. "The Jefferson Gardens and the Main Street designation will bring advantages to the community."

The donation to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation of Greene County increases the area that will be planted to honor Thomas Jefferson, third U.S President, who believed that the agricultural life and the families who live that life are the fundamental basis of democracy.

"We appreciate such a generous gift from the Smiths, and Sheryl and Denny," said Don Orris, a member of the Foundation board. "This corner across from the courthouse will be in bloom before we know it."

The Foundation has purchased three decrepit buildings south of the insurance building and is awaiting their demolition. Plans call for grading and planting of the site this spring and for placement in the gardens of a sculpture of Jefferson and a replica of a plow he invented. Eventually, the Foundation hopes to have the entire quarter block devoted to the gardens, which will include planting of historic Iowa crops as well as flowers, shrubs and trees.

"We expect the gardens will be a site for outdoor events such as weddings and receptions, as well as a tourism draw," said Foundation president Tom Polking. -Jefferson Herald Read more »


What started as a local community project in 2007 has turned into a $22,000,000 11 mega watt wind power investment opportunity. Shares are available to own the wind generators that generate part of the daily power needs and receive government incentives and profits from this unique opportunity, according to Randy Caviness, senior manager of the wind projects. Warren Varley is the project attorney. First State Bank of Stuart is financing the Wiota and Greenfield project, and several investors are committed from the Menlo area.

Two 1.5 MW turbines were constructed in 2010 with the foresight of 14 original local investors; one turbine south of Menlo, and one north of Orient on the Farmers Electric System. Since that time, two more projects were added, one for the town of Fontanelle and another for Farmers Electric System near the Cass County town of Wiota, each with 34 shareholders.

All of these projects are owned by people in their respective communities with all the power being used by the people in those communities.

Today there is another opportunity to invest in a turbine in the Menlo area (the Meadow Ridge project near Meadow Lake), with that power going to Central Iowa Power Co-op (CIPCO) to be sold to the local community. Shares are also available for another project near Greenfield, and one near Orient.

Each turbine can supply about 6,000,000 kWh's of power per year. Each turbine qualifies for a federal tax-free grant of around $900,000 that goes back to the equity of the shareholders; also an additional federal "bonus depreciation" adds another $450,000 in federal tax depreciation.

The State of Iowa has added a $300,000 seven-year 0% interest loan. The state has a 1.5 cent per kWh tax credit that the investors will share in, about $90,000 a year for 10 years (another $900,000 total).

Each turbine project costs about $3,000,000; the 34 shares owned by local investors, each share costing $35,000, bringing the shareholders investment to almost $1,200,000.

The federal government as part of the 2009 stimulus package offers a 30% tax-free grant worth about $900,000 that is paid to the investors after the project is completed and in operation for 60 days. With that grant, the project is now two-thirds paid for, the project also gets the $300,000 0% interest loan from the State of Iowa (which has been approved) and now interest is paid only on $582,000 of a three million dollar project. The 34 shareholders get to depreciate $2,500,000 of the project against future earnings (some depreciation could possibly be used against current non-turbine income).

Shares are also available for the turbine north of Orient for CIPCO, and one near Greenfield that will serve the town of Greenfield.

For information, contact Caviness at or phone 515-250-8200. -The Stuart Herald Read more »


Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds are scheduled to visit the Adair plant of Owner Revolution Inc. on March 8.

Owner Revolution Inc. is a 100% employee-owned ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) company with plants in Adair and Atlantic. The company manufactures a wide variety of plastic products for the lottery, consumer, marine, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and point of purchase markets. The company has had significant growth through a continuous flow of new products, rapid production and a willingness to take some risks.

"Ours is a company that you probably never heard of," said Don Hudak, President and CEO of Owner Revolution. "Yet we make a wide variety of terrific products, do business in all 50 states and 70 countries and are vital to the economic vitality of rural Iowa. As an ESOP, we are particularly proud of our employee owners who through their hard work and dedication give us a competitive advantage that helps us differentiate ourselves and serve our customers better."

"I hope that our visit will draw attention to this growing and successful Iowa company," said Gov. Branstad. "We need to spread the message to all Iowa industries to learn more about and consider our own Iowa companies first when seeking plastic OEM parts and other plastic supplies."

"We must share the urgency of Iowans to revitalize our economy," said Lt. Gov. Reynolds. "Owner Revolution Inc. is a wonderful example of an employee-owned Iowa company that is growing and creating jobs for today and careers for the future."

Owner Revolution Inc. (ORI) is an Iowa based holding company for four wholly-owned subsidiaries. Schafer Systems is a recognized leader in the production of lottery ticket dispensers and promotional displays worldwide. A second business is Connect-a-Dock which sells floating modular dock and personal watercraft float systems in the worldwide marine industry. A third subsidiary is The Plastic Professionals which produces a wide variety of rotationally molded plastic products serving the needs of many industries and customers. A fourth subsidiary is Schafer Solutions providing eye--catching, complete, turn-key point of purchase plastic displays, dispensers and products and solutions designed around our customers' special needs. -Adair News Read more »


Plans are underway for the fifth annual John James Audubon Festival to be held April 28 in Audubon. This year's committee is planning a day full of activities focusing on the arts in Audubon and the city's connection to John James Audubon. Included in this year's event will be: Breakfast with the Birds, a ladies tea, entertainment in the park, a beverage tasting at the Memorial Building, a historical tour of the downtown area, a fun mosaic hunt, art expo, plant sale, story time at the library, a visit from the Great Plains Pointer Rescue Dogs and festival will conclude with a dinner featuring a speaker at the Memorial Building.

Organizational meetings began Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 pm at the Hometown Cafe and will continue on this day and time weekly. Those who would like to help plan the event or would like to volunteer for the event are encouraged to attend. -Audubon County Advocate Journal Read more »


Owner Revolution Inc announced that its subsidiary, Schafer Solutions Inc., headquartered in Adair, has opened its brand new showroom at 1000 Flag Road in Adair and showcases over 30 new products introduced by Schafer Solutions in the last 22 months.

Schafer Solutions is a supplier of custom fabricated plastic products for point of purchase displays and dispensers at convenience stores, restaurants, delis, bakeries and dairy stores.

The showroom is open Mondays through Thursdays (except for holidays) from 8 am to 5 pm and from 8 am until noon on Fridays. Visitors are asked to call 877-691-9768 to set up an appointment.

Since Day One, the goal of Schafer Solutions has been add "wow" to retail customers' product displays. -Adair News Read more »


The Greene County Medical Center's "Welcome Home Baby" reception, planned for Saturday, March 31, is ready for a large crowd of those born at the medical center over the past 75 years.

The reception for all 15, 500 plus babies born at the medical center, is part of a full year of 75th Anniversary plans. The idea was "born" from discussions on how to best capture the history of the medical center from its very beginning.

Mary Ann Wright, reception committee member reported that reservations for the event are coming in at a slow pace. Wright said "The expectation is that many more will be notifying us in the next few weeks. Taking advantage of the many ways to let the medical center know you are planning to attend is important. We want to make this a special day, so knowing how many we will be here will help make that possible."

Reservations can be made by calling the special "Welcome Home Baby" hotline at 515-386-9891; sending an email message to or by clicking the special reception icon on the medical center's website,

The event promises to be a special one. There will be live music, and special foods and desserts. All medical center babies will be recognized with special buttons, and special recognition will be given to the oldest baby present, the youngest baby present, multi-generational families present, and more. The medical center will be a festive, lively place for the afternoon event.

The reception committee is also encouraging any special birth stories to be shared when making reservations. All those reading this should share this information with others outside of the area who were born at Greene County Medical Center so they can make plans to attend. While state-wide media plugs on the event are being done, word-of-mouth may be the best tool.

The event is part of a full year of celebrations for the medical center. Events are planned all year long to recognize those served by the medical center over the years. Greene County community picnics are planned throughout the summer to honor those who have, and continue to use medical center services.

Administrator Karen Bossard noted "We've been providing health care to Greene County and the surrounding communities for 75 years. This year, we want to thank all of those who have and continue to use our services in special ways- the baby reception and community picnics will do that." -Jefferson Herald Read more »


Kevin Devilbiss of Jefferson was among nine volunteers inducted into the Iowa Pheasants Forever Hall of Fame at the 2012 Iowa state meeting held in Des Moines last month. A total of 42 persons have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

According to Devilbiss the award is as much for the Greene County Pheasants Forever Committee as for him personally. "It's the committee that has organized and helped with our projects for the last 25 years. Without them, the award wouldn't be possible," he said.

The Greene County chapter over the past 25 years has conducted 117 food plot projects involving 639 acres; six land projects involved 2,626 acres; 445 nesting projects involving 7,674 acres; and 132 shelterbelt projects that involve 195 acres.

Pheasants Forever has a long history of dedicated volunteers who spend countless hours working on habitat improvements and youth education projects locally. "Iowa has been blessed with folks who care about the community more than themselves. The years's Hall of Fame class exemplifies that more than words can say," said John Lindquist, western Iowa regional representative. "These nine new members have improved our state to the tune of 100,000 acres and over 50,000 youth passed through programs they helped provide."

Iowa's 105 Pheasants Forever chapters account for over 22,000 members statewide. Iowa chapters have spent more than $36.8 million on habitat and youth education projects since the first PF chapter in Iowa formed in 1984. In turn, those funds have completed over 82,000 habitat projects, benefiting more than 1 million acres for Iowa wildlife, soil and water along the way.

In the past 27 years, Iowa PF chapters have established 184,989 acres of winter food and cover plots; 443,473 acres of nesting cover; and 12,897 winter cover plantings (9,456,919 trees) on private lands. Additionally, Iowa PF chapters and partnerships resulted in the sign up of over 214,000 acres in the Conservation Reserve Program, practices that have benefited both water quality and wildlife. Iowa PF chapters have also helped purchase more than 340 public wildlife areas (over 80,000 acres). -The Bee
Read more »


New to the area and Guthrie County Hospital is Susan Hanson, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP). Originally from Humboldt, she has over 20 years of nursing experience, most recently at McFarland Clinic, PC in Ames.

While at McFarland she was their leading provider for Urgent Care and also a Family Care provider, while working part-time in the Emergency Care at Mary Greeley Medical Center. Hanson comes with 21 years of nursing experiences, prior to getting her ARNP. She has worked in various rural health clinics treating patients with acute and chronic illness and ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics.

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) have been part of the medical community in the US for more than 40 years. They provide primary and acute care and are qualified to meet the majority of patients' health care needs similar to that of a physician. ARNPs provides high-quality, cost-effective and individualized care for patients, families and communities. ARNPs promote a comprehensive approach to health care that emphasizes patient education and wellness.

Hanson is practicing in Stuart at GCH Family Medical Clinic and in Guthrie Center at Guthrie County Hospital's Emergency Care Department, where she already has connected with many patients and their families. -Guthrie Center Times Read more »


Staff and board members representing Adair County for Midwest Partnership EDC will begin visiting leading employers in Adair County in March as part of the Business Connections program. This initiative provides employers the opportunity to weigh in on the pros and cons of doing business here and the issues that affect their ability to be successful in Adair County.

The information helps MWP and allied partners to address specific issues for local companies, ranging from employee training opportunities and available financial incentives to working with community officials to solve problems. Upon completion of the visits, responses are aggregated to assess the overall business climate of the county, identify common issues and provide community and business decision-makers with the data they need to make sound policy.

"The Business Connections program is an integral part of Midwest Partnership's mission to serve the needs of our business community" said Chad Schreck, Midwest Partnership EDC Executive Director. "Since the visits were completed in Adair County in 2008, over 150 issues have been identified to help leading employers. This round of visits will show us how well we have responded to those issues, and how we can improve our responsiveness moving forward."

Visits will be conducted throughout March. Individual company responses are confidential, but aggregated results will be reported in April.

Midwest Partnership EDC is the collaborative, professional, non-profit economic development organization for the counties of Adair, Audubon, Greene and Guthrie in west central Iowa. -Adair County Free Press Read more »


The City of Stuart recently received $1,000 from MidAmerican Energy as part of its Trees Please! program. The donation was presented to Audrey Wells on behalf of the Stuart Chamber of Commerce, by MidAmerican Energy employee Deanna Harwood, who serves as the company's volunteer community contact in Stuart.

This is the fourth year Stuart has been a recipient of the grant with matching funds provided by the City of Stuart, Stuart Municipal Utilities, and the Stuart Chamber of Commerce, which brings this to a total of $2,000.

MidAmerican Energy Company is providing $239,000 to 97 cities and community organizations throughout its Iowa service territory in support of this program.

Trees Please! funds are distributed to local communities each year to promote energy efficiency and improve the physical appearance in communities through the planting of trees. With the Trees Please! program, customers benefit from beautification and environmental enhancements in their communities.

"MidAmerican Energy offers the Trees Please! program to enhance a community's appearance, help the environment, and promote energy conservation," said Hardwood. -The Stuart Herald Read more »


The White Pole Road Development Corporation has announced that its series of souvenir postcards have won a silver ADDY award from the American Advertising Federation of Des Moines. The postcards were produced by the Des Moines agency, Saturday Mfg.

The six postcards feature "another curious story from the White Pole Road" and highlight an attraction in each of the five communities, along with the road itself. They are packaged together accordion-style which contributes to their retro theme.

The postcards can be found at Stuart Flowers & Gifts and Morrison Chevrolet in Stuart, the Dexter Museum and Community Roundhouse in Dexter, Menlo Cafe in Menlo, Rolling Hills Bank in Casey, and Fay Pharmacy in Adair.

In addition, the White Pole Road Development Corporation celebrates its tenth anniversary this month. The non-profit corporation was founded in 2002 by the communities of Adair, Casey, Menlo, Stuart and Dexter. Its mission is to create a tourism industry that brings new visitors and related revenues to each community and improves the quality of life with its residents. The organization recreated the White Pole Road along the old Highway 6 corridor between Interstate 80 exits 76 and 100. The name was selected as a tribute to the original dirt road that began in the area in the early 1900s and went on to become Iowa's first certified state route, according to spokesperson Liz Gilman. -The Stuart Herald Read more »


Governor Terry Branstad’s welcome address at 9 a.m. April 10th will officially open IWEA’s 5th Annual Wind Conference Event April 9-11th, 2012 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. The theme for the conference is Iowa Wind Power: A Model for America! U.S. Representatives Steve King, Leonard Boswell and Tom Latham have confirmed their attendance and will speak at 10:30 on April 10th with Senators Grassley and Harkin and Representatives Braley and Loebsack invited. A reception for members of Iowa’s Legislature is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday April 9th.
Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, will provide a Keynote Address on Tuesday, April 10, 2012. AWEA has over 2,500 member companies and is the most influential wind industry trade group in the United States. Many wind industry leaders will be presenting other sessions!
Many other presentations will be provided with a wide variety of topics including storage and alternative uses for wind energy, updates from regulatory agencies, electrical transmission project updates, small & community wind projects, and new developments in turbine and tower technology. Displays of energy research projects from Iowa’s universities and colleges will also be included during the conference.
The conference has already attracted many conference sponsors and those companies are listed on this press release. A few additional conference sponsorships remain available! Many exhibitors will be present and there are still a few exhibit booths left in excellent locations. This will be the best wind energy show in the Midwest, and there is still time to select a booth for your company!
If you are involved in the wind industry or just interested and want to learn more, this conference is a must! IWEA members receive a 50% registration fee discount! More information about the program, IWEA membership and registration forms can be found on the Iowa Wind Energy website at or call our office at 515-320-4057.

Mike Prior
Director of Business Development
Iowa Wind Energy Association
Read more »


Mary (Irlbeck) Ebert began work as Guthrie County program coordinator on February 20, 2012. This is a newly-created position by the Guthrie County extension council. In this position she will have the responsibility of coordinating new programs in the county delivered by Iowa State University extension and outreach. Coordination of family and agricultural programming will be major focuses for her.

"I am excited for the opportunity to be working for Guthrie County extension, and look forward to helping demonstrate to the people of Guthrie County all of the services ISU extension and outreach has to offer," said Ebert.

She has a strong background in agriculture, having most recently worked for a swine production company. She is a graduate of Iowa State University where she earned a bachelor's degree in animal science. Her background is strong in livestock, 4-H, FFA and communications. She is a former Carroll County 4-Her as well as a past state officer with the Iowa FFA Association. She and her husband Adam live on an acreage south of Coon Rapids. -The Stuart Herald Read more »


Within the Bell Tower Festival steering committee work is well underway for the 33rd annual Bell Tower Festival as everyone prepares to "Roll Out the Red Carpet."

Many favorite activities will return this year, but several new activities are being planned as well, including the Bell Tower's Funniest Home Videos. This event will be hosted at the Sierra Theatre and the committee is looking for area residents' funniest videos. Home footage can be submitted to the Greene County Chamber of Commerce and Development office at 220 N. Chestnut in Jefferson.

Check out Bell Tower Festival 2012 on Facebook to see this year's logo, share memories and ideas and stay updated. -The Bee Read more »


In its 2011 "CropLife 100 Report" CropLife Magazine named West Central number 40 among the nation's top 100 agronomy retailers. CropLife publishes its annual top 100 report at the close of each year, along with its annual State of the Industry report.

Agrium Retail of Colorado topped the 2011 list, with Foster-Gardner in California rounding it out at number 100. This is the 12th year West Central has made the prestigious list.

"We're very excited to see our name on the top 100 list, and even in the top 50. Looking at the challenges the industry is facing, rising input prices, weather pressures and an increasingly competitive marketplace, it's an honor to be ranked among these national leaders. Streamlining and centralizing our business has been vital to West Central's success in agronomy . Improved customer service, timeliness and efficiencies help us deliver our products to our customers, at their farm or in the field, when they need them," said J. Paul Konrad, West Central's executive vice president of agronomy.

In 2011, due to an unseasonably warm fall and winter, West Central's agronomy department applied a record amount of dry fertilizer and anhydrous, and posted a record number of custom applied acres. The division also introduced a new product to the marketplace, Balanced-P, an "all-in-one-package" fertilizer that supplied nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur in the sulfate form and zinc oxide.

The CropLife 100 Report can be found online at -The Bee Read more »


The law firm of Wilcox, Polking, Gerken, Schwarzkopf, Copeland & Williams, P.C. announces the addition of Rodney W. Kleitsch as an attorney. Kleitsch earned his bachelor of arts in political science and juris doctorate degrees from the University of Iowa. He comes to the law firm with 10 years of legal experience, practicing primarily in the areas of family law, employment law, commercial law, real estate, estate planning, social security law and litigation and will continue to have a general practice with the firm. He comes to Jefferson from Cedar Rapids, where he practiced with Iowa Legal Aid.

Kleitsch was raised in Monticello, and his wife Suzanne is a native of Boone. They have two small children and are expecting a third. The Kleitsch family has recently purchased a home in Jefferson and are looking forward to getting to know the community.

"My family and I are excited about our move and have been really appreciative of how friendly and welcoming everyone we have met in Jefferson has been," Kleitsch said. -The Bee Read more »


Peoples Trust & Savings Bank president and CEO Mike Segner announced the hiring of Larry Pote as market president for the Grand Junction office of Peoples Trust & Savings Bank.

Pote graduated from Panora Linden high school and then went on to get his degree in natural resource management from Tarkio College in Tarkio, MO.

Pote's 26 year career includes work as a senior lender with First National Bank, Manning; branch manager of the offices in Coulter, Alexander, and Latimer for First Citizens National Bank in Franklin county; branch management and lending in the Carroll and Coon Rapids area; and assistance county supervisor experience with Farmers Home Administration in Carroll and Greene counties.

Pote and his wife Mary Clancy are the parents of three grown sons who all work in law enforcement. Clancy is the program director for Boone county extension. They currently live near Coon Rapids and have a small row crop and cow/calf operation. He and his wife are looking forward to relocating to Grand Junction and being involved in the community. -The Bee Read more »


The Greene County Medical Center unveiled its new logo, color scheme and message to its staff on Friday, February 10.

The concept, color, scheme and message were the result of several intake sessions last fall with staff members, community members, and a team of professionals from ME&V Healthcare Marketing of Cedar Falls.

Community relations director Carla Offenburger said "This process was a long and thoughtful one. We wanted to capture the essence of the medical center in a refreshing and holistic way. We think we've done that with this new image."

The design consists of a leaf encircling the medical center name and message. The flowing lines of the leaf surrounding the text represent the comprehensive care provided to patients. The leaf serves as a symbol of life, growth, endurance and happiness. It also shares elements of a heart, a symbol of compassion.

The green, light green and blue colors leave a nurturing, healing and revitalizing effect on the viewer.

The message "Always Here. Always Caring." is the promise the medical center makes to the public. Administrator Karen Bossard said "It reminds the public in a bold way that we are always available to meet their needs, and we care about their wellbeing. This is who we are and who we promise to be." - The Bee Read more »


LifeCare Pregnancy Center at 212 South Division Street next to Lawbaugh Park in Stuart will begin seeing clients on Monday, March 5. Services include pregnancy tests, options counseling, maternity/baby clothes and supplies, limited ultrasound, educational classes, and referrals to social and medical agencies. All services are free and confidential.

Hours are Monday 9 am to 1 p; Tuesday and Thursday 6:30 to 8:30 pm; and Saturday 8 am to noon. Appointments can be made by calling the center at 515-523-1173. Walk-ins are welcome.

For information, email Ruth Fennessey at or visit the website Read more »

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