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Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) is proud to announce Ryan Steinfeldt as the new regional manager for IFBF's region 13, which includes Audubon, Guthrie, East Pottawattamie, Cass, Adair and Union counties. Steinfeldt will work with county officers, committees and members to help develop and carry out program activities, organize and assist with annual membership campaign and supervise the operation of country Farm Bureau offices in the region.

"We are happy to have Ryan managing region 13," said Joe Johnson, director of IFBF field service. "His experience, knowledge and understanding of farm issues and rural Iowa will serve our members well."

Prior to this position, Steinfeldt, a graduate of Simpson College, worked in the insurance industry for 12 years. Steinfeldt grew up on a family farm in Wayne county, raising hogs, cattle and row crops. - Adair County Free Press Read more »


Dustin Fouch (right) of Fouch Agri-Service in Grand Junction received Channel brand Seed's "Seedsman of the Year" award November 11 at Monsanto's research and development site in Huxley. Fouch was one of four dealers in the state of Iowa to receive the top honor from Monsanto's national seed brand. The award is earned by displaying top volume sales and service, product and agronomic knowledge, and customer satisfaction.

Fouch is a 2006 graduate of Iowa State University's college of agriculture. He and his wife Megan started their Channel Seed business in Grand Junction in 2007 and have since grown to offer custom seed treating, seed tender sales and service, and crop insurance. The couple has a 1-year-old daughter Hanna Belle and resides in rural Jefferson. Pictured with Fouch are Channel brand area business manager Mike Schaffer (left) and Channel brand district sales manager Dave Altman (center). - The Bee Read more »


GCH Family Medicine completed 37 athletic physicals at GCH Family Medicine in Panora for local athletes this fall. Each athlete paid $5 for their physical and GCH Family Medicine donated all the proceeds back to the panorama athletic department.

Riley Lenz, outreach coordinator, presents athletic directors Shane Arp with a $185 donation to the Panorama Athletic Department. -Country County Vedette Read more »


One of the first local organizations to contribute to the Greene County Community Center (GCCC) sign fund in P.E.O. Chapter CZ. GCCC has launched a fundraising drive to raise over $21,000 for the purchase and installation of an electronic LED sign to replace the sign currently on the southwest corner of the center. The new sign will offer larger display, better visibility, and ease of updating the information to keep it current.

Vicky Lautner (left), Jefferson park and recreation director, accepted a check for $200 from P.E.O. Chapter CZ co-president Joyce Augsberger. Chapter CZ has held a spring salad luncheon each May and uses funds from the luncheon to support scholarships for local women returning to school and other local and P.E.O. educational projects. -Jefferson Herald Read more »


Delmer Walker, financial director for the Adair County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, presented a benefit check to the Adair County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary for $1,968.89. This was funds that were raised at the 2011 Adair County Health Foundation (ACHF) and Adair County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary's Tour of Trees and Holiday Gala.

Families, friends, Thrivent Financial members and other volunteers raised $1,368.89 with an additiona $600 coming from the Adair County Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Through its chapter programs, Thrivent Financial provides financial support of other resources for its members to come together and help their communities and congregations through fundraisers and service activities. -Adair News Read more »


Angela Mortoza joined the Adair County Health System staff in October 2011. Angela and her family reside in Peru, Iowa with plans to relocate to Adair County. Angela comes to us from Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines with an extensive background in both nursing and management. She is passionate about quality and patient satisfaction. While manager of the Children's Emergency Department she led quality improvement programs in patient and employee satisfaction which consistently scored in the top quartile.

Angela's family includes her husband, Rick, who is a registered nurse for Mercy Medical Center. Her oldest daughter Alexandra is a freshman at the University of Northern Iowa. Joseph is a junior at Winterset High School. And her twins, Nicholas and Victoria are in the 6th grade at Winterset. Much of Angela's free time is spent being active in her children's activities.

"I want the community to know that I am here to listen. I encourage patients, visitors and families to provide feedback regarding care and service received. My door is open to any of our current or future patients." Contact Angela Mortoza by calling her direct line at 641-743-7234 during business hours, her cell phone 515-745-3594 after business hours, or by email at Any feedback and comments are welcome !

Adair County Health System (ACHS) is pleased to announce Kevin Heinzeroth as the
Chief Financial Officer. Heinzeroth began his new position on December 12, 2011. He
comes to ACHS with years of experience with a BS from Iowa State University and a BA
from University of Northern Iowa. Kevin began his business career right after graduation
from Iowa State University, he farmed 400 acres along with farrow to finish operation of
around 2000 head of hogs a year. He returned to school and after graduation from
Northern Iowa he worked as an auditor at Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Denman
and Company L.L.P. He then went to work for the state of Iowa Communications
Network where he started as Accounting Manager before spending the last five year as
the Chief Financial Officer.
Heinzeroth came to Adair County Health System to back into the health care and to get
back into a rural community, as he grew up in a small town in Northeast Iowa. His
family includes his wife Patricia and four step children, Zeke, Kelly, Jacque and Jarrad.
Heinzeroth quoted, “The entire ACHS staff has been very helpful as I transition into the
position. I have been very impressed with the facilities as well as the professionalism of
the entire Health System staff. They have made me feel very welcome.” Read more »


Beta Tau Delta recently helped make the future a little "brighter and warmer" for the Webb House by making a contribution to cover the cost of the utility bills for December and January. Beta member Anita Van Horn presented the donation to Jim North, Webb House advisor/board member and some of our area youth.

Through their fundraising efforts, Beta Tau Delta has been supporting children's projects in Greene County for over 94 years. Historically, the Charity Ball has been the primary fundraising event for the organization.

Four years ago, the Betas switched from their annual Charity Ball event to a Virtual Ball when it became apparent that more and more people were opting to support Beta projects by purchasing tickets but were not attending the Ball. After much discussion, it was decided to go to a virtual Ball which meant that dollars previously spent for the band and decorating could now also be used to benefit Greene County youth projects.

"Whether we have an actual Ball or a Virtual Ball, the success of our efforts would not be possible without the support of this community," stated a Beta spokesperson. "All donations to our Virtual Charity Ball are directed to various programs and projects that benefit our area youth."

Last year's proceeds went to a variety of projects that included a trip to the Blank Park Zoo for all Jefferson-Scranton and East Greene second-graders, a TV/DVD prize for the JSHS After-Prom Party, dental screenings and follow-up dental work for area students, a Webb House utility bill, four college scholarships, performances by Simon Estes and his South African Music High School choir, the JSHS piano fund, a sugar printer for JSHS advanced baking class and a donation to a family that lost everything in a home fire.

It's not too late to make your tax-deductible contribution to this year's Virtual Ball- "It's a State Fair Christmas". Shopping guides available at The Printer's Box, HyVee Drugstore, Fudges Flowers, Henkel and Associates, and Home State Bank allow you to have fun while making your donation. Choose from strings of butter cow tree lights, the biggest boar or bull tree skirt, roller coaster garland, or ferris wheel table centerpieces. Contributions can be sent to Anita Van Horn, 102 East State St., Jefferson, IA 50129. -The Scranton Journal Read more »


Thursday, December 22, the Guthrie Center city council met in special session to decide the fates of two buildings.

Councilman Rob Paterson made a motion the city exercise its right to demolish the building at 301 North State Street, owned by former Guthrie Center resident Paul Christensen, who currently resides in the state of Washington.

In accordance with Guthrie Center City Code Chapter 145, the city served a dangerous building notice to Christensen on September 13, noting that he had 90 days to begin making improvements. According to City Administrator Laura Imerman, Christensen has made no effort to begin improvements on the property.

Councilman Craig Heckman seconded Paterson's motion, and remaining member Tim Benton voted "aye" passing the motion. Councilmen Duane Norgart and Dennis Patrick were absent from the meeting.

Discussion then turned to the possible purchase by the city of the recently vacated Alliant Energy building at 103 North First Street.

Alliant Energy had previously indicated to the city it felt fair market value of the property was $295,000. However, Commercial Appraisers of Iowa, based in Des Moines, recently appraised the site at $200,000.

Paterson made a motion authorizing Mayor Dennis Kunkle to enter into negotiations with Alliant Energy regarding possible purchase of the building. The motion was seconded by Benton and passed 3-0. If purchased, the building likely will be used by the fire department. -Guthrie Center Times Read more »


One of Jefferson's oldest family-owned businesses will close its big front door for the final time at the end of December.

When Bill Figenshaw turns the key in the 4 foot wide front door with the plate glass window and then slams the wooden screen door of Figenshaw Furniture, 120 N. Wilson St., on December 31, it will be the finale for a business that has been operated by his family since the late 1930s.

When he graduated with a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Iowa in June 1965, Figenshaw hadn't found the right match for a career. "I came home to help my dad in the store, arrange for some interviews and play a little golf," he says. "Never dreamed I'd still be here 46 years later."

Figenshaw's father became a partner with Harry King in the K and F Furniture Store in the late 1930s. When King died in 1948, Bill's dad assumed sole proprietorship of the business. At that time there were 225 retail businesses in Jefferson.

Business boomed after World War II's end and provided a good living for Paul and Mary Figenshaw and their five children.

"Dad would order 40 or 50 end tables, along with a lot of other items, and he'd sell them one after the other. There was a housing boom in Jefferson and people needed furniture. Sometimes, he couldn't keep up with demand," recalls Figenshaw.

During the boom years, Figenshaw Furniture's truck-load sale was an annual summer event on the courthouse square. "Dad would sell right out of a semi loaded with 70 or 80 pieces of Flexsteel furniture out of Dubuque," says Figenshaw. The store's three floors were packed with furniture: dinette and dining room sets in the basement; living room furniture, lamps and floor coverings on the main floor; and mattresses and beds on the second floor.

Paul Figenshaw eased into retirement in the late 1960w, and Bill Figenshaw bought him out in 1973.

"There's no secret to the difficulties of running a small business in a small town these days," says Figenshaw. He cites the decline in Green County's population (from 15,500 in 1950 to 9,300 today) and increased competition fueled by the mobility of today's customers.

"Years ago, there were three or four farmsteads on every square mile in Green County," he explains. "People lived here and people bought here. Our trade area extended about 20 miles out from Jefferson."

"Although we outlasted two other local furniture stores- Ryan's and Cudahy's- today, people think nothing of driving 65 miles to Des Moines for a cup of coffee, let alone a piece of furniture."

The store's motto is "Enjoy living at home," a phrase coined by Paul Figenshaw. His son Bill certainly has helped his customers do that, providing a lifetime of furniture and floor coverings to thousands of Greene County families.

"This store has had so many loyal customers over the years," says Figenshaw. "Jefferson is a great place to raise a family and run a business." He and his wife Mary, the parents of two sons, both of whom have families that include twins, plan to remain in Jefferson, while making time for travel. Figenshaw's third four-year term as a Jefferson city councilman ends in January 2013.

And, 46 years after he came home for the summer to help his dad in the furniture store, Bill Figenshaw plans to continue working on his golf game.

Editor's note: Jefferson's Masonic Lodge has purchased the Figenshaw Furniture building for its meeting space. -Jefferson Herald. Read more »


On the heels of a 19 percent increase in 2010, land values in Guthrie County surged 34.1 percent the past year, according to an annual survey conducted by Iowa State University. That was slightly above the state average.
The survey showed Iowa farmland value is estimated to average $6,708 per acre, an increase of 32.5 percent from 2010. The 2011 values are historical peaks.
After reaching $4,362 per acre in 2008, land values in Guthrie County fell back about five percent to $4,146 in 2009. They shot up to $4,933 in 2010 and escalated to $6,616 over the past year.
Local farmland increased in value 47 percent in 2007 and 2008. In the last five years, owners of Iowa farmland have watched their holdings more than double in value.
For 22 years, until 2003, the highest recorded value of farmland in Guthrie County was $1,763 in 1981. Five years later, in 1986, farmland bottomed out a $671 per acre. Since then it has increased 10-fold.
"The 2011 land value survey covers one of the most remarkable years in Iowa land value history," said Mike Duffy, Iowa State University economics professor and extension farm management economist who conducts the survey. "This is the highest percentage increase recorded by the survey, and the average land value of $6,708 per acre, when adjusted for inflation, is at an all-time high." The previous inflation adjusted high was in 1979.
Scott County, with an estimated $9,223 average value for all farmland, saw the highest percentage increase and highest increase in value, 37.7 percent and $2,524 respectively, of the 99 Iowa counties. However, O'Brien County farmland estimates of $9,512 were the highest average county values recorded by the Iowa Land Value Survey. The Northwest Crop Reporting District, which includes O'Brien County, reported the highest land values at $8,338, an increase of $1,983 (31.2 percent) from 2010.
"This rate of increase in 2011 has led to concerns that farmland may be the next speculative bubble," said Duffy. "Some people feel farmers are setting themselves up for a fall similar to the 1980s. Without a doubt, it's an interesting time and something to watch, but it isn't a time to panic."
Why Iowa farmland
values are increasing
Duffy said that examining some of the causes for the current increase in farmland values and the reactions is helpful in assessing the situation. Farmland values are highly correlated with gross farm income. As gross farm income increases, so will land values. In 2005, corn prices averaged $1.94 per bushel in Iowa. The preliminary estimated price for November 2011 is $6.05. Soybean prices changed from $5.54 to $11.40 over the same period.
There has been considerable variation in commodity prices over the past few years, but net farm income has increased substantially and is projected to increase even more for 2011. The Iowa State economist goes on to say, this increase in income has been the primary cause for the increase in farmland values, but not the only one.
"There are other causes for the increase," Duffy said. "Interest rates are at the lowest level in recent memory. Farmland purchased by investors went from 18 percent in 1989 to 39 percent of purchases in 2005, but investor purchases decreased this year to 22 percent."
Duffy pointed out another factor that should be considered, the relatively dismal performance of the stock market - people want to buy farmland or are not selling it because they don't know where else to put their money. The increase in farm income, the changes in investor demand and the changes in investment alternatives have all led to a volatile market. One area where the volatility is revealed is in the number of sales. Land value survey respondents have shown considerable variation over the past few years when queried about the number of sales. Sales decreased considerably in 2009. They improved somewhat in 2010 and based on the results reported in 2011, most people are seeing more sales or at least similar sales in 2011 relative to 2010.
One of the differences is in the use of auctions; respondents noted what appears to be a rapid increase in the use of this method of sale. Preliminary analysis of 2011 sales data shows an increase in price by using an auction. As one respondent said, economics may get the person to the auction but emotion often leads to the purchase.
Duffy believes farmland values should remain strong for the next several months at least. Beyond that there is a fair degree of uncertainty with respect to whether land values can maintain their current levels. The economist said there are several key components to watch:
* The amount of debt incurred with land acquisition
* Government policies - especially policies related to energy
* What happens to input costs - land being the residual claimant to any excess profits in agriculture
* The performance of the overall economy, especially with respect to income
* Government monetary policies as they relate to inflation and interest rates
* The performance of the U.S. economy and economies throughout the world - which impact commodity prices, which in turn impact land values
* Weather related problems - both here and around the world
The Iowa Land Value Survey was initiated in 1941 and is sponsored by the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, Iowa State University. Only the state average and the district averages are based directly on the ISU survey data. The county estimates are derived using a procedure that combines survey results with data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture.
The survey is based on reports by licensed real estate brokers and selected individuals considered knowledgeable of land market conditions. -Guthrie Center Times
Read more »


Guthrie County REC Board vice president Don Schwartz was recognized at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Region 5-6 meeting in Minneapolis, MN in mid-September for successfully completing the requirements for NRECA's Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD)Certificate.

The Program consists of five courses designed to provide the basic knowledge and skills required of cooperative directors. More than 1,000 electric co-op officials from six states were in attendance (Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota).

Co-op officials including Schwartz and Guthrie County Board president Ray Johnsen attended where they shared experiences and discussed the tough choices facing cooperatives as they work to keep electricity safe, reliable and affordable. Topics of the two-day meeting included power supply challenges, rural economic development and the landscape of federal regulation. -The News Gazette Read more »


December 20, 2011 heralds more than just the Christmas season, it marks the 60th anniversary of Johnie's Tap, the oldest sole-proprietor business in Stuart.

Johnie Gomez, the 91 year old owner, can still be found keeping things "ship shape" at 112 NE Second Street. "It's good to keep moving," is what he often tells family and friends.

Johnie bought the business in 1951, after walking into the bar to buy a beer with friends. He strolled out with the idea to buy the business, and he did.

Johnie and his wife, Goldie Jacobson Gomez, worked in the bar together, raising five children along the way: Charlene Beeson, Vickie O'Brien, Rickie Gomez, Debra Elliot, and Audrey Gomez. When Goldie died in 1987, Audrey became an integral part of the business and continues as manager today.

Johnie's daughters planned the reception, which was held on Tuesday, December 20. "We love to see our old friends and new customers come in and help us celebrate," they said. "The bar hasn't changed much." Several features have remained the same over the decades, including the walk-in beer cooler, an antique cash register that rings up only $9.99, and an old-fashioned bar with swivel stool and a worn spot where Johnie has stood for so many years.

Johnie's Tap serves a selection of beers, wines, mixed drinks and snack foods from 9 am to 2 pm Monday through Saturday.

His daughters reflected on his generosity sharing with the local food pantry, Sarah's Holiday Caring, Stuart Fire Department, the school, and various community charities and/or donations. And through it all, "He never asks for the pat on the back," said his daughters. When he made his most recent offering to Sarah's Holiday Caring, he kindly remarked "You can't beat helping kids," which is typical of his soft and gentle way.

Garage sales held at his home in Stuart have become a family tradition. It is often observed that he gives a little child some spending money so he/she can buy a little something. That is the Johnie Gomez they know and love. -The Stuart Herald. Read more »


Megan Kading, school board president for the Adair-Casey school district was honored November 17 by the Iowa Association of School Boards. IASB members Mike Sexton, left, and Scott Hansen, right, presented Kading with a certificate for completing the Better Boardsmanship requirements.

The Iowa Association of School Boards recognizes that learning and leadership on the part of school board members makes a difference at the board table and for students.

At IASB's 66th Annual Convention on November 17, Adair-Casey school board president Megan Kading was honored for making that difference. Through IASB's Better Boardsmanship Awards Program, Kading received an Award of Achievement certificate. This award recognizes board members who put forth extra time and energy to strengthen their boardsmanship abilities through formal in-service programs, workshops and other commitments such as advocating with legislators or serving on statewide committees or boards.

IASB board president Russ Wiesley commended Kading for her hard work. "Each individual in this select group of board members takes extra steps to make sure they are informed and capable as they strive to improve outcomes for students," Wiesley said.

More than 80 school board members were recipients of this acclaimed award. - Adair News Read more »


With grant fund received from the Guthrie County Community Foundation and the Guthrie County Soil and Water Conservation District, a total of 12 new signs were installed in Guthrie County to identify six waterway crossings. The installation was completed with in-kind labor from the Adair/Atlantic D.O.T. county crew.

The Guthrie County signs mark the locations of the following waterways (two signs per crossing): Middle Raccoon River hear Hwy 141 and Eel Lane, Hwy 25 and 158th, and Hwy 44 and Panorama Road; Brushy Creek near Hwy 25 and 190th and Hwy 44 and Pecan Avenue and South Raccoon River near Hwy 25 and Ashton Avenue.

The project was spearheaded by Missouri & Mississippi Divide Resource Conservation & Development Inc. (M&M Divide RC&D), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Glidden, that serves the six-county area of Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie and Sac Counties.

The purpose of the project was to "landmark" the road crossings of waterways within the area's watershed. "Some residents may drive over a crossing and not even know the creek's name. Awareness of the waterways in our watershed can help to increase our understanding of the connection we have to our water and how our land-use practices near those creeks ultimately impact water quality for those living in the watershed, as well as those living downstream," said a spokesperson for the M&M Divide RC&D.

For links to the videos or information regarding other M&M Divide RC&D projects go to or contact the organization at P.O. Box 357, Glidden, Iowa, 51443, 712-659-3799. -The Stuart Herald Read more »


The Guthrie County Conservation Board has appointed Ryan Steenblock of Panora, IA, to a three year term on the Prairie Woodland Conservation Foundation.

The Foundation is a five member non-profit corporation whose purpose is to accept gifts from person or organizations for the development and enhancement of environmental, educational and other conservation projects within Guthrie County. Additional members include: Jim Nelson, Dana Hansen, Bill Bump and Doug Frels.

Anyone with questions about the foundation or with an interest in donating a gift should contact a member of the foundation, the Guthrie County Conservation Board at 641-755-3061 or email -The Stuart Herald Read more »


At the Council meeting Tuesday, Bill Grabe, engineer with Clapsaddle Garber discussed the Capital Improvement Plan for the Greenfield Municipal Airport which is due January 12, 2012. The Federal Aviation Administration offers the Greenfield Airport $150,000 per year for four years. The airport will be at their cap of $600,000 of unused funds. The FAA has three prerequisites for funding for any revenue generating project- the approaches to the runway are clear, all the air side needs have been or will be met within the next three years and the airport has documented need. The proposed submission to the FAA is the plan for a projected new hangar in coming years after the immediate intention of an extension for turn-arounds of sixty-five feet each. The turn-around project that could be funded in federal fiscal year 2013 will be at a cost of $195,000 with the city's portion $9,500. The discussion will continue with a decision to be made next council meeting. -Adair County Free Press Read more »


Greene County Administrator Karen Bossard awarded the Greene County Medical Center Employee of the Year Award to Director of Quality Management, Connie Burkett at the Employee Recognition Gathering held on Saturday, December 3.

Burkett, of Grand Junction, has been with the medical center for more than 25 years, involving three separate employment periods. Burkett first joined Greene County Medical Center in 1972. She left the medical center in 1992, returned as a PRN in 1999, and returned full-time in 2007 to take the position she currently holds.

Employee of the Year is an honor bestowed on one who has been nominated by his or her peers. Nomination papers for Burkett included words and phrases such as "warm, caring, compassionate, respectful, supporting and accountable." She was noted for her professional handling of patients and their families, as well as her co-workers.

As Director of Quality Management, Burkett oversees quality improvements, infection prevention, utilization review and risk management. She is also a strong patient advocate. In her role as care management coordinator, she coordinates patient care management, patient transfers and other individual patient needs. Burkett is also trained in wound care management.

"Greene County Medical Center is fortunate to have many professional, caring and well-trained team members," said Bossard. "Burkett exemplifies all we expect of our employees in whatever position they hold at the medical center. It was an honor to give the Employee of the Year Award to Burkett this year," added Bossard. -The Scranton Journal Read more »


At its December meeting, the Guthrie County Conservation Board reappointed Alex Krueger of Bagley and Dale Grotjohn of Panora to three year terms on the Guthrie County Historical Village Foundation. Steve Kroeger of Menlo was appointed to fill the term of Linda Burgess, Panora, which will expire December 31, 2012. The foundation is a five member nonprofit organization whose purpose is to solicit and accept gifts from persons or organizations for the development of the Guthrie County Historical Village. Additional members of the Foundation are Curtis Thornberry, Panora, and Nancy Smith, Guthrie Center.

Anyone with questions about the Guthrie County Historical Village or with an interest in donating a gift should contact a foundation member, Kristine Jorgensen, curator, or the Guthrie County Conservation Board at 641-755-3061 or email

The Guthrie County Conservation Board appointed Ryan Steenblock of Panora to a three year term on the Prairie Woodland Conservation Foundation.

The Foundation is a five member nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to accept gifts from persons or organizations for the development and enhancement of environmental, educational and other conservation projects within Guthrie County. Additional members include Jim Nelson, Panora, Dana Hansen, Casey, Bill Bump and Doug Frels, Guthrie Center.

Anyone with questions about the foundation or with an interest in donating a gift should contact a member of the foundation or the Guthrie County Conservation Board at 641-755-3061 or email -Guthrie Center Times Read more »


C. W. Thomas, Guthrie Center, long-time member of the Guthrie County Fair Board, was presented the 2011 "Fairman of the Year" award by the Board of Directors of the Association of Iowa Fairs. The presentation was made at the Awards Banquet during the Association's 2011 Conference and Annual Meeting December 9, 10 and 11 at the Airport Holiday Inn, Des Moines. Also in attendance at the banquet were C. W.'s wife Kay and many board members and spouses of the Guthrie County Fair Board.

"One 'Fairman of the Year Award' is presented each year to a person, or persons," stated Tom Barnes, Executive Director of the Association of Iowa Fairs. "The person(s) that receives this award must have shown exceptional dedication to their county fair, and the fair industry in Iowa, and have exhibited distinguished service to their community in both fair and non-fair areas."

"C.W. devotes a lot of time and effort to insure the success of the Guthrie County Fair. He does everything a god fair board member must do to insure the success of his Fair, and he always goes the extra mile by taking on extra duties because he cares about the Fair. In addition to serving on his county fair board, C. W. had served on the Board of Directors of the AIF, having served all of the office of the Board, including Board President in 1998," added Barnes. Thomas also currently serves as the District Director on the Iowa State Fair Board. Her served as President of the Iowa State Fair Board in 2004 and 2005.

"I have known C. W. for many years and can truthfully say that he is a Fairman's Fairman. C.W. has experienced all the highs and lows of the business, and has learned to grow in the fair industry from his experiences. And, better yet, he uses his experiences to teach and lead others so that the Guthrie County Fair, and all others with it, will continue to grow and succeed in the future," Barnes said.

"The Board also sends its congratulations and appreciation to the Guthrie County Fair Board, their spouses, all the 4-H and FFA members, leaders and staff, and all others associated with the Guthrie County Fair for their involvement and commitment to their fair, Barnes added.

The Association of Iowa Fairs serves as the organizational body of the fair industry in Iowa. It has as its members all of the 106 county fairs plus the Iowa State Fair, and 150 or so associate members such as carnivals, entertainers, agencies, festivals, concessionaires, special attractions and suppliers to the industry. Together, the members of the Association work together to promote and strengthen the fair industry in Iowa.

Jim Mohr, of Coon Rapids will serve as 2012 President of the Association. -Guthrie Center Times Read more »


Audubon County Memorial Hospital was recently named to the list of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) in America by the National Rural Health Association. The Top 100 hospitals were determined by the use of the first-ever comprehensive rating system for rural facilities and CAHs, the Hospital Strength Index. The index was designed to help identify those hospitals that are best prepared for success under the new health care reform. Hospital Strength Index scores are based on fifty-six measures of performance taken from information available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Hospital Compare website, Medicare Cost Reports and Medicare Claims data. Key performance areas included in the rating system include quality outcomes, patient perspectives, cost and charge indicators, market strength and financial strength.

"It is an honor to be recognized for our efforts to provide quality, affordable care during this time of transition in the way care is provided," said Tom Smith, Administrator of Audubon County Memorial Hospital. "The rating reflects the initiatives we have implemented to provide quality care and remain strong financially. Our philosophy is to keep our equipment and practices state of the art, but not to be extravagant in our spending."

ACMH opened its doors in the fall of 1952 and is one of over 1300 critical access hospitals in the United States and one of 82 in Iowa. -Audubon County Advocate Journal Read more »

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