The fourth quarter of 2011 began with Mt. Pleasant’s decision to apply to become a Bluezones community as part of the Governor’s wellness initiative for the state. The community passed the first hurdle and was invited to apply. The rest of the year has been spent in filling out the application and generating community support. Ten Iowa communities will be known as Blue Zones, a term that National Geographic researcher Dan Buettner has dubbed for regional hotspots for long life expectancies and healthy lifestyles. Blue Zones are a component of Governor Branstad initiative to make Iowa the healthiest state by the year 2016.
10/4 at about 2:45 amthe Henry County Sheriff’s office received a report that the Hillsboro Tap & Grill was on fire. The Salem Fire Department was called in to assist the Hillsboro Fire Department. The building is considered a total loss. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshall’s office.
October 12 Lori Glanzman celebrated 39 years of service to Mt. Pleasant as she retired from the Mt. Pleasant Utilities.isn’t just retiring from her position as manager of the Mt. Pleasant Utilities. She began as a part time purchasing agent and concluded her career as the manager, a position that was and still is male dominated. In 1994 Glanzman became the first woman utitilies mgr. in the state and only one of five in the nation. Currently there is only one other female mgr. in the state. Jack Hedgecock is the new manager. officially started with Mt. Pleasant Utilities on Monday. He has been hired to replace Manager Lori Glanzman. Glanzman will work with him until her last day, October 12. Hedgecock, his wife Heidi and their two young children live just south of New London where they moved in 2004 when Hedgecock took a position as senior operations manager with Alliant Energy.
United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and his wife Christie attended the annual Henry County Democratic party fall harvest rally October 8. Congressman Dave Loebsack and former candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Francis Tick-ee along with State Senator Gene Fraise addressed the crowd. That same day Henry County Tourism and the Red Flag Motor Tour held a publicity kickoff in Mt. Pleasant’s central park. In October 2012 the first New London to Brighton Iowa Horseless Carriage Endurance run will take place continuing a tradition that began in 1896 in England
County Fairs are about continuing traditions, training tomorrow’s agribusiness leaders and providing wholesome activities for families and friends to enjoy together. The Louisa County Fair Board is undertaking an expansion plan that will ensure their ability to do these things well into the future. The board has started a $500,000 fund drive to build a Youth Center at the Louisa County Fairgrounds in Columbus Junction.
Henry County Central Point Coordinator Sarah Kauffman has been working on one of the teams focused on the re-design of the mental health services delivery system in Iowa. This was and still is a continuing issue for Henry County and the entire state. In a related story…the county supervisors made the decision to close the Henry County Care Facility. As of June 30,2012 Henry County will cease operation of all county provided mental health services. Henry County will still pay for services needed by individuals but will no longer be in the business of providing them.
During the fourth quarter the Henry County Emergency Management Commission had to again search for a new emergency management coordinator. Deb Goettig took over the position from Ed Farley in spring but (get-ig) submitted her resignation in the fall. The commission hired Walt Jackson who had stepped back into a sergeant’s position with the New London police force after resigning as police chief. In November John Chaney was sworn in as the New London chief.
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During the 4th quarter two fatally bicyclist accidents occurred in Lee County. The accidents occurred on Hwy 61 near Montrose within a mile and a half of each other.
December 12 The Iowa State Patrol investigated a school bus accident. That morning a van that struck a Mt. Pleasant school bus head on. The accident occurred on an ice covered street in Linden Heights. The driver of the van was taken to HCHC and six of the 28 students on the bus were treated at the scene for minor facial injuries.
Soldiers from the 389th Engineer Company out of Middletown, Iowa, returned home from their eight-month deployment to Iraq just in time for Christmas. The 389th is a Vertical Construction Company, which deployed in April in support of Operation New Dawn.
The Washington Street reconstruction project from Haynes to Locust finished up after almost a year of work and the city appointed temporary Public Works Director Rick Mullin to the position permanently.
And….the week before Christmas candidates for the republican nomination for president…Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachman, Ron Paul and Rick Perry all made stops in Mt. Pleasant as they tried to sway Iowans who plan to take part in the January 3 first in the nation caucuses.
The upcoming caucuses are creating the most headlines right now as 2011 wraps up. And that wraps up the Year in Review Look at News. Brought to you by Two Rivers Bank.