2022 2nd Quarter Year in Review

As second quarter began the Van Buren County Community School district board of directors set plans in motion for a new activity center. The School Board met in special session and voted to build the center estimated to cost approximately 6 million dollars. The activity center will be an addition to the existing school building. It will include a second gymnasium, a new wrestling room, 2 classrooms, an area for batting cages and turfed flooring for athletic practices, 2 restrooms and an office with a meeting room. The project will begin late this summer and is expected to be finished by August of 2023.

The highlight of the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance Annual Banquet was the announcement of Robb Gardner as the 2022 Citizen of the Year. Other awards this year included The Fellowship Cup receiving the Humanitarian Award; Melinda Huisinga receiving the Ambassador of the Year; and Lori White as the Volunteer of the Year. This was the 80th Annual Banquet for the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce.

Interviews began in April for a new director of curriculum and instruction for the Mount Pleasant School District.  Current director Katie Gavin announced the month before that she would be moving on.  Supt. John Henriksen received 21 applications for the position.

Mount Pleasant Municipal Utilities Manager Jack Hedgcock informed his Board of Trustees of his plans to retire before the end of the year.

MD Orthopaedics in Wayland announced the company had been acquired by OrthoPediatrics Corp, an Indiana-based public company founded to serve the unmet needs of children with orthopedic conditions. The Mitchell family said this is an exciting opportunity for them to join forces with another company equally focused on pediatric orthopedics.


A fight, two shots fired and one person injured in an incident that began around 8:30 pm April 12 near the Iowa Wesleyan University campus. On 4/12/22 at approximately 20:33 hours, the Mt Pleasant Police Department was dispatched to the W Broad St. and N Jackson St area for a call of a large fight. While enroute officers were notified of shots fired.

a Mt. Pleasant High School student not an Iowa Wesleyan student, was injured but it appears his condition is not life threatening.

As a result of the investigation the following people have been charged:

Decobi Davis age 19 formerly from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. –

Reckless Use of a Firearm resulting in serious injury, a Class C felony and Participating in a Riot, an Aggravated Misdemeanor.

Joseph McNeese age 19, formerly of Texas,- Participating in a Riot, an Aggravated Misdemeanor.

James Williams age 21, formerly of Chicago IL,- Participating in a Riot, an Aggravated Misdemeanor.

De’kunta Mason Jr age 19, formerly of New Orleans, LA, -Disorderly Conduct a simple Misdemeanor

J’cauri Morris age 19, formerly of Houston, TX. -Disorderly Conduct a simple Misdemeanor

Vernell Trent age 18 of Mt Pleasant. – Disorderly Conduct a simple Misdemeanor

There will also be four local juveniles charged with Disorderly Conduct a simple Misdemeanor.



During the second quarter of 2022 it was decided both Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale will be tried in adult court for the murder of Fairfield High School teacher Nohema Graber. Judge Shawn Shower denied requests from both to be tried as juveniles. The teens are charged with first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. In his ruling in the reverse waiver hearings for each Judge Shower said“the Defendant has the potential for rehabilitation. However, the juvenile court simply has too little time to rehabilitate the Defendant for a crime of such magnitude and of the nature described in the minutes of testimony.”  Goodale’s trial was set for August 23. Miller’s trial was scheduled for November 1. At the time the two trials were planned for the Jefferson County Courthouse. However, before the year was over trial dates and locations would change.


Week of 5-23

During a May meeting the New London School Board presented three Friend of Iowa Public Education awards. Receiving the awards were Janni Fitzpatrick, Senator Jeff Reichman and Representative Joe Mitchell.  The New London School Board hopes to make the award presentation annually.


June 21 at 8 am a grain silo collapsed at the AgriWay Grain Elevator in Yarmounth killing one person. Rescue operations continued all day thru the night into the next day as first responders worked to find the body of the missing employee.