Dick Richards

Dick Richards, 88, of Mount Pleasant, died Friday, May 26, 2023, at Savannah Heights.

Dick was born September 23, 1934, in Fort Madison, the son of James and Mable (Ross) Richards. He attended Fort Madison High School. Dick proudly served in the United States Navy during the Korean War. After he had concluded his service, he joined the Army Reserves. On August 16, 1958, Dick was united in marriage to Cecelia Hogan at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Fort Madison, to this union the couple was blessed with three children. Dick worked as a deputy sheriff for Des Moines County before becoming an electrician. Prior to retirement, Dick owned and operated Industrial Motors in Burlington. Dick was a member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, New London VFW Post 7641, and the Moose Lodge. He enjoyed woodworking, fishing, photography, and making jewelry.

Dick is survived by his wife Cecelia; daughter Barbara (Randy) Brown of Mount Union; two sons David (Cathy Sanders) Richards of Montrose, Mark Richards of Danville; eight grandchildren, Mitch (Julie) Brown, Sarah Edwards, Kevin (Kelsey) Brown, David Richards, Mary Richards, Curtis (Mary) Richards, Trent Richards, Miranda Richards; and seven, soon to be eight, great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Jim Teel, sister Betty McMillian, and daughter-in-law Michelle Richards.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 1, 2023, at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Father Paul Connolly as celebrant. Burial will be in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Burlington, with Military Rites conducted by the Henry County Honor Guard. Visitation will be held 9:00 a.m. at the church until the time of service on Thursday. Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and New London VFW Post 7641. The Olson-Powell Memorial Chapel and Crematory is caring for Dick and his family. ww.powellfuneralhomes.com

Stride Into Summer Family Walk Coming June 4th

Healthy Henry County Communities is excited to announce their Stride Into Summer Family Walk will be held on Sunday June 4th from 1-4pm at East Lake Park. This free family event focuses on summer health and safety. Stop at fun activity and educational stations as you walk a loop around the lake. There will be bubbles, a variety of kids games, kindness rock painting, a healthy snack and more. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office will be there to fingerprint kids and provide parents with an ID kit. They will also be giving away some kid’s bike helmets and have a raffle for 5 free bikes donated by Walmart Distribution Center. The Mt. Pleasant Police Department, Mt. Pleasant Fire Department, Iowa DNR, and Henry County EMS will also have activities promoting summer safety topics. Sign in and pick up your goodie bag at the tent by the tennis courts. In case of rain, the event will be postponed until Sunday June 11th. For more information and updates visit Facebook.com/HealthyHenryCounty or call Kelly at 319-385-0779. Healthy Henry County Communities is the community wellness coalition for Henry County Public Health.

Cash Rents Reach New High in Iowa, Survey Shows

Annual survey shows rates increased an average of 9% over previous year

AMES, Iowa – Average cash rents in Iowa are the highest on record, according to the Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2023 Survey conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The survey shows an increase of 9% in 2023, for a state average of $279 per acre. The new record is 3.3% higher than the previous record set in 2013, when rent was $270 per acre. The increase in rent since 2013 compares to a 2.8% increase in the non-inflation adjusted price of corn, and a 4.4% decrease in the price of soybeans.

Results of the survey are summarized in the May edition of Ag Decision Maker, in an article written by Alejandro Plastina, associate professor in economics and extension economist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

The survey is based on 1,306 usable responses about typical cash rental rates in Iowa counties for land producing corn and soybeans, hay, oats and pasture. Of the responses, 42% came from farmers, 37% from landowners, 9% from professional farm managers and realtors, 7% from agricultural lenders, and 5% from other professions and respondents who chose not to report their status.

Across the state

There was considerable variability across counties in year-to-year changes, as is typical of survey data, but 91 out of the 99 Iowa counties experienced increases in average rents for corn and soybeans. Only Des Moines, Jefferson, Lucas, Muscatine, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren and Woodbury counties saw declines in their overall average cash rents. The complete 2023 summary by county, along with surveys from previous years, can be accessed on Ag Decision Maker.

Average cash rents increased proportionally more for higher quality lands. Low quality land experienced a 6% increase, from $217 per acre in 2022 to $230 in 2023.

Medium quality land saw an 8.6% increase, from $255 per acre in 2022 to $277 in 2023. High quality land saw an 11.1% increase, from $297 per acre in 2022 to $330 in 2023. Corn and soybean yields are provided as a baseline for determining high, medium and low quality acres. These yields, along with five-year average yields for corn and soybeans, are included with the survey results.

Plastina says that survey information can serve as a reference point for negotiating an appropriate rental rate for next year. However, he reminds Iowans that rents for individual farms should be based on productivity, ease of farming, fertility, drainage, local price patterns, longevity of the lease, conservation practices and other factors.

Future projections

Although rents are at a record high, Plastina notes that farm income projections are expected to decline over the next couple of years, putting downward pressure on cash rents.

However, he says landowners who rent their land will also continue to evaluate their own investment, including their rate of return, cost to maintain their land and the conditions surrounding the farmland market.

Additional resources

Additional resources available for estimating cash rents include the Ag Decision Maker files “Computing a Cropland Cash Rental Rate (C2-20),” “Computing a Pasture Rental Rate (C2-23)” and “Flexible Farm Lease Agreements (C2-21).”

These fact sheets and more are on the Ag Decision Maker Leasing web page and include decision tools (electronic spreadsheets) to help analyze individual leasing situations.

Farm management field specialists can help with general questions about leasing. Also, an online tool is available to visualize the cash rents by land quality in each county by year, and compare trends in cash rents for a county versus its Crop Reporting District and the state average.

In July and August, ISU Extension and Outreach will hold Farmland Leasing and Management Workshops, with additional opportunities to learn more on leasing trends and topics impacting farmland owners and tenants. The Ag Decision Maker events page will post details as the workshop dates approach.

Elissa D. Chaney

Elissa D. Chaney, 56, of Douds, Iowa, passed away at 1:34 a.m. Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at Van Buren County Hospital in Keosauqua, Iowa.

Born on November 11, 1966, in Fort Madison, Iowa, the daughter of Arnulfo Becerra and Sandra Hatfield. In November of 1984, she married John Chaney Sr. He preceded her in death.

She is survived by her three children: Crystal Becerra of Fort Madison, Iowa, John Chaney Jr. of Davenport, Iowa and James Chaney of Burlington, Iowa; seven grandchildren: Kaylee Wynn, Madison Wynn, Ariana Padgett, Mallory Chaney, Lathan Chaney, Lexus Chaney and Angel Chaney; sister: Melissa (Mike) Boyd of Athens, Alabama; step brother: Mike (Nina) Finley of Port Richey, Florida. Also surviving are two nephews: Tyler Trueblood and Orion Boyd and niece: Mariah Boyd.

She was preceded in death by her mother; step father: James Finley; daughter in infancy: Jennifer Chaney; sister: Angel Becerra and significant other: Raymond Williams.

She loved her family, especially her grandchildren. She was a great friend to all, loved her kids, animals, especially her dog Diesel, and was a loving sister.

Lisa was a kind and compassionate soul to all She met. Her best quality being her huge heart. This could also be her biggest downfall as she loved people and would help them out to the point of denying herself.

She cared for many people in her lifetime as a caretaker. She was diligent with their care and took great measures to ensure they were taken care of properly and most of all that they were loved.

Her greatest honor was to take care of her ailing grandmother, Delores while she battled stomach cancer.

Lisa was an animal lover of all species. She often tried to nurse kittens and birds as she could never stand to see anyone or anything suffer.

Delores’s passing along with her infant daughter, Jennifer, and the love of her life, Raymond, forever affected Lisa deeply.

Her body has been entrusted to the crematory of Schmitz Funeral Home for cremation.

The family wishes to extend a very special thank you to her great friends Colt Simerl and Tanisha Blakely who helped and loved her dearly in her last days.


A celebration of life will be announced in the coming days.

Any donations are graciously welcomed and are to be made to PAW Animal Shelter in Fort Madison or the Iowa Donor Network in Lisa’s name.


Online condolences may be made to the family at www.schmitzfuneralhomes.com. Schmitz Funeral Home of Farmington is assisting the family with arrangements.

Memorial Day Observance in Mount Pleasant

On May 29, the Mount Pleasant Memorial Day Observance will be held at the Mount Pleasant High School Gymnasium at 10:30 am. The observance will begin with the presentation of the colors by members of the VFW, American Legion Posts and Auxiliaries. Avenue of Flags Chair and Honor Guard Commander, Dean King will serve as Master of Ceremonies.  The Rev. Trey Hegar, pastor at the Mount Pleasant First Presbyterian Church and a veteran of the United States Marines, will deliver the Invocation and the Benediction. The MPCHS Band under the direction of Jim DePriest will play patriotic music prior to the beginning of the program. The band will also perform the National Anthem.  General Logan’s orders, directing the establishment of Memorial Day as we know it today, will be read.  A special music selection will be performed by Summer Schroeder.  She will be accompanied by members of the MPCHS Jazz Band.  The featured speaker will be Iowa Senator Jeff Reichman.  He is Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee for the State of Iowa. Sen. Reichman is also a Marine Corps Veteran. Twelve names will be engraved on the Veterans Memorial marker on the Henry County Court House lawn bringing the total to 1,505. Those individuals and their families will be recognized. Following the Benediction the Honor Guard will fire a 3 volley salute followed by Taps played by members of the High School Band.

These are the names being added:

Alan D. Huisinga

Henry E. Tompkins

Michael D. Noel

Delbert Duane Prottsman

Stanley E. Hill

Ronald  K. Fye

Robert D. Batey

Raymond L. Daniel

J. Michael Kitch

Dennis John Fitzpatrick

Warren Kendig Rogers Jr.

Steven Rae Vogeler

Cindy Hiatt Tisdale

Cindy Hiatt Tisdale, 60 years old, formerly of Mt Pleasant and Cedar Rapids, passed away May 23, 2023 at the Citrus Care Center in Lecanto, Florida. A Celebration  of Life will be held in Cedar Rapids at a later date.

Share the fun of fishing during free fishing weekend June 2-4

Iowa residents can try fishing without buying a license on June 2, 3 and 4, as part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) free fishing weekend. All other regulations remain in place.

Free fishing weekend is a great time to share the fun of fishing with a kid, your family or a friend. Outdoor fun awaits at hundreds of Iowa lakes, thousands of miles of rivers or a neighborhood pond.

“A summer of family fun is just a short drive and a fishing pole away,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa DNR’s Fisheries Bureau. “The water is waiting. Get your lines in the water and put your worries behind you.”

Find a list of stocked lakes and ponds that are easily accessible in parks and along trails on the Iowa DNR’s interactive Iowa Community Fisheries Atlas at www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/Fish-Local.

Fun, hands-on fishing events will be offered across Iowa to help families new to fishing get started. Check the general fishing calendar on the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/fishing for a list of free fishing events.

Keep the fun going all summer long by buying a fishing license. It’s easy to buy a fishing license with the DNR Go Outdoors Iowa online licensing system at https://license.gooutdoorsiowa.com/Licensing/CustomerLookup.aspx. You can download the public Go Outdoors IA mobile app for iPhone and Android devices to buy and store your fishing license, so you will always have access to your license no matter where you are. Yearly, seven-day, or 24-hour fishing licenses are available.

Enticing a fish to bite your hook is fun for all ages. Get tips for taking kids fishing and catching crappie and bluegills on the DNR website at


Fawning season is here, deer are on the move

The calls have been coming in to field offices and conservation officers for the past few weeks and will only increase as the first few weeks of June marks the peak of the deer fawning season.

Callers report finding an “abandoned” fawn in an unusual place, like a flowerbed or small patch of cover. Rest assured this is normal deer behavior.

“The doe searches out an isolated location where she feels safe and on occasion those places are not what we may think of as ideal. She chose that location because it made sense to her,” said Jim Coffey, forest wildlife research biologist with the Iowa DNR. “The worst thing someone can do is to ‘rescue’ the fawn. Mom is likely nearby and watching you. Leave it be or if you did handle the fawn, return it to where you found it and walk away.”

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will not be rehabbing or co-mingling fawns with other deer to avoid the potential of spreading chronic wasting disease – or other disease – to new areas.

The spindly legged newborn fawn is designed with a few survival tools built in –its spots are cryptic camouflage that emulates the sunlight spots on the leaf litter on the forest floor and its lack of movement the first two weeks helps to reduce scent patterns. This combination is its best chance at survival until it is able to follow the doe.

After the fawns are born, the doe will return to fairly normal behavior – sleeping, feeding – but returning to nurse and care for the fawn.

The fawning season also coincides with an increase in deer vehicle collisions.

“There is a lot of movement this time of year that is part of the social structure of deer. The doe is on the move looking for the safe isolated place to have the fawns.  In addition last year’s fawns – teenagers now – are starting to venture out to find new space. These yearlings have to make their own decisions for the first time, encounter other adult deer and build new social structures,” Coffey said. “This movement behavior can occur during all times of the day. Once it settles out, the active time will return to dawn and dusk.”

Drivers are reminded to drive defensively, avoid distractions, and slow down and not to veer for deer. If they hit a deer, drivers can get a salvage tag by calling either the local conservation officer or local law enforcement. There is no fee for a salvage tag it does require that the entire deer is taken.