KILJ news and Two Rivers Bank are pleased to bring you the news portion of our annual Year in Review….a look back at the old as we move forward into the new.
April 2 voters in the Fairfield school district, overwhelmingly passed a $10 million bond issue. The general obligation bonds will be used to renovate, remodel and build an addition to the Fairfield High School.
Also in in April the Mount Pleasant Board of Directors announced the selection of Mike Wells as the next superintendent. Wells taught and coached in Nebraska before coming to Iowa. He served as secondary principal in Corning, Iowa for three years before being promoted to superintendent. He then served six years as superintendent in Corning before accepting the superintendency in Winterset, Iowa. He served as superintendent in Winterset for three years before accepting the same position in Cedar Falls.
Dr. Pam Ewell was named Van Buren Community School District’s superintendent. Ewell is currently Mount Vernon superintendent, a position she has held since 2009. She previously taught at Pella, Newton and Central College and served as principal at Twin Cedars, Saydel and Grinnell. She replaces Lisa Beames, who will be superintendent at Anamosa. Beames had been Van Buren’s superintendent since the 2010-11 school year.
Winfield Mt. Union school district announced Gabe Wylder had been hired to replace Aimee Wedeking who accepted a position elsewhere. Wylder had been with the Cedar Rapids school district as a teacher and principal.
“The essence of Iowa Wesleyan College”…That’s how college president Jay Simmons described Carol Nemitz when asked to comment on her announcement to retire from IWC. The college community learned in early spring that Nemitz planned to retire at the end of the academic year. Carol Nemitz graduated from IWC and ,after leaving to teach, she returned in 1963. Since then she has held almost every major position at the college. Mostly, she has served as Vice President and Dean of Student Life. But Nemitz has also been VP of Institutional Relations and before Bill Johnston was hired, she was Interim President. Nemitz told Simmons in the future she will still be available to help with IWC events and projects. Farewell receptions for Nemitz and outgoing college president Jay Simmons were held in May.
As the college celebrated and appreciated the service of both individuals it also learned Dr. Steven Titus had been selected as the new president. Titus would begin his duties in July coming to Mt. Pleasant from St. Mary’s University in Minnesota.
Henry County Engineer Bill Belzer announced he would be moving on. Belzer, who has been with the county for 12 years announced his resignation in a letter to the supervisors. Belzer accepted a similar position in Iowa County. Before coming here he served as the Clinton County engineer. His career in the private sector prior to that included a position with CECO in Mt. Pleasant.
The Iowa Senate voted in favor of Mt. Pleasant as the new home for the statue of Senator James Harlan that has stood as one of Iowa’s two statues in the capital in Washington DC. The vote saves the statue of the Iowa Wesleyan College president from being relagated to the capital basement. The Harlan statue has stood in the National Statuary Hall since 1910. It will be replaced by a statue of Norman Borlaug
High winds the night of May 30th brought down power lines and caused outages. Utility crews, both local and regional, worked thru the night to restore power. High water hampered some efforts as the high winds hit during flooding. Access Energy had to use a boat to reach wires in the back water of the Skunk River near Ketchum Bridge.
Mt. Pleasant did well in the annual Iowa Main Street awards. Mount Pleasant received the following awards: Best Fundraiser for the Penn Dinner, Best Interior Design for the renovation of Main Street Cinemas, and Pat White was honored as Volunteer of the year at the 27thannual Main Street Iowa Awards celebration which was held on Friday, May 17 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center at Veteran’s Auditorium in downtown Des Moines. The event was attended by approximately 400 individuals representing communities across the state. Competitive nominations were submitted for 105 projects; 26 were selected for awards and six received honorable mention.
Sargent First Class Frank Jacobs had to be father and mother to his two boys for almost a year while his wife Sarah was deployed to Afghanistan with the National Guard. And this year he was also the KILJ Fantastic Father. Sergeant Jacobs, who works fulltime for the guard in Mt. Pleasant, gave his wife a lot of praise and credit. Jacobs had previously served two deployments but it wasn’t until his wife deployed that he realized how much she did in his absence. He was sure she did it better but from the letter we received it sounds like the sergeant did a pretty good job.
The second quarter of 2013 was marred by the loss of one of our own. May 13, with great sadness, KILJ Radio reported the death of Bob Mattocks. Dr. Bob, as he was known to our listeners, died in a two vehicle accident that day at about 8:15 am. According to the State Patrol report a Kenworth driven by Dale Loving of New London and owned by the Pepstop was stopped on Old Hwy 34 at the intersection of Franklin Avenue west of Mt. Pleasant. Loving failed to yield from the stop sign and the Kenworth struck the southbound Mattocks pickup. The pickup rolled and came to rest in the west ditch of Franklin Avenue. As we remember 2013, we remember Bobby.