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May 11th

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hy-Vee Food Store Director

Chariton Leader, March 11, 2014
Bill Howes, Associate Editor

Minnesota native Phil Hammermeister is the new store director of the Hy-Vee Food Store in Chariton.  Hammermeister started as the new store director March 3rd and has been with Hy-Vee for 13 years.  It's his first job as a store director for Hy-Vee and he is very much looking forward to being part of the Chariton community.  He replaces former store director, Tim Michael, who is now the store director for the Hy-Vee in Albia.
Hammermeister, 29, found out about the opening in Chariton internally through Hy-Vee's web site.  Before coming to Chariton, he was with Hy-Vee in Winona, Minn., for 10 years where he served as manager of general merchandise most recently.
Hammermeister started at Hy-Vee in Austin, Minn., where he was 16 and was there about two and half years.  He began as a front-end courtesy clerk there and then worked as a clerk and in stocking positions in various departments.  His last position in Austin was as shift manager.  
Hammermeister is currently renting a place in Lucas until his wife, Jana and two children, get down to Lucas County.  They have plans to purchase a home in Chariton as soon as possible.  He and Jana will have been married for eight years this April and have three year old twins including a boy, Maxtyn and a girl, Molly.  Jana currently works at the Hy-Vee in Winona and is planning to find a job with Hy-Vee somewhere in the area down here.
While growing up, Hammermeister attended Southland Schools in rural Mower County.  He graduated from Southland Schools in 2003.  While working at Hy-Vee, he also attended Riverland Community College in Austin for a year and a half.  He then began working full-time at Hy-Vee and pursued that as his career.  He has completed his Hy-Vee operation degree.

Joe Gaa Takes the Helm as Chariton City Manager

Chariton Leader, March 11, 2014
Kris Patrick, Staff Writer

Jo Gaa, hit the ground running as Chariton's new city manager March 3rd just as the Budget proposal for next fiscal year was being finalized ad city council.
Gaa comes to Chariton from Woodbine, Iowa, another Main Street community.  Gaa was city administrator in the town of 1,459 from December 2010 until last month overseeing a total of 12 full-time employees and 20 part-time/seasonal employees  "I am ready for a larger community," said Gaa.  "I was very comfortable in Woodbine, but was looking to move to a community between 3,000 and 7,000 people."
Gaa was born and raised in Maryville, Missouri.  His dad, Tom, is the retired Grounds Maintenance Supervisor for Northwest Missouri State University.
Gaa earned a bachelor's degree in Public Administration and a master's degree in Recreation Administration from Northwest Missouri State University.
From 2005 through 2008, he was a teaching assistant in the recreation program at the University of Arkansas.  Gaa was teaching and working on his doctorate in recreation administration when he realized as much as he loved teaching, his passion was being "in the field" and he needed to "get back to work."
Gaa took a job, as the Sebastian County, Arkansas Parks Administrator from 2008 until 2010.  The system operated three parks with 1,800 acres.  The largest park had been a previous military base.  The park system had operated for five years without an administrator prior to his being hired.  Gaa credits the Sebastian County administrator as his mentor.  "That was the first job that reconnected me to what I love to do."
" I hope things happen here," said Gaa.  "The beautiful thing about downtown is you can take an eyesore and turn it into high demand housing (as done with the Hotel Charitone)."
Gaa succeeds Corey Goodenow, who had taken a job in Pella as City Chief Financial officer.  Gaa was the unanimous pick by the city council with council members saying they liked his experience in general and in particular his commitment to rural communities and his work with Main Street.
Gaa will spend his first week getting to know the community.  As the professional manager of the city's daily operation, the city manager carries out the policies that are made by the mayor and council and directs and coordinates the work of all city departments.  The primary responsibility of the city manager is to implement the policies of the elected city council.  In addition, Gaa assumes responsibility for preparing the annual budget, hiring and firing personnel, directing day-to-day operations, recommending policies or programs to the city council and the financial and other conditions of the city.
"We're excited for Joe to be here and help continue our momentum," said Bisgard.  He will make Chariton stronger financially and as a whole community."

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Chargers to State

Chariton Herald-Patriot, March 6, 2014



For the first time since 1972 a Chariton boys basketball team is in the state tournament.  The Chargers beat 9th ranked Bondurant-Farrar 63-61 in the sub-state final to qualify for the Class 3A tournament which begins Tuesday, March 11th at the Wells Fargo Arena.
Bondurant-Farrar had upset second ranked Dallas-Center Grimes to earn a spot in the sub-state final.
Chariton will play Dubuque Wahlert in the first round 2 p.m. game.  A send off for the Chargers will be Sunday, March 8, 5 p.m. at Johnson Auditorium.
More at the Children's section at:  http://russellchildren.blogspot.com/

Why the Name Was Selected-Charitone

Herald Patriot, March 6, 2014
Letter to the Editor

It Preserves the Sentiment of History, is Pleasing and Romantic

Ninety years later, I thought this article may be of interest.
"The question may be asked why did W.D. Junkin select the name 'Charitone' for the new hotel.  And the answer would be for the best of reason, in the first place it is a monument to local history, and in the second place because it identifies itself with the town in which it is built without sounding prosy and commonplace.  Could you have picked out a prettier name than "Charitone"?  Note the rhythm and soft accent.  It is a French name and has been associated with this part of Iowa and northern Missouri ever since civilization began to push farther out into the wilderness - when yet the tribes inhabited the wild lands bordering the stream making its grand sweep thru Lucas County, and thence to the southeast, emptying into the Missouri and thence its waters are carried to the sea.  Many generations ago, even at the dawn of the new west, an adventurous trapper and trader among the Indians by the name of Pierre Charitone first penetrated these whilom wilds and the river bore his name, except that the English version pronounced it "Chariton", dropping the final "e", but the origin has never been lost sight of.  And finally when the capitol of Lucas County was located it was a happy thought to designate it by the name of the river, which bore its tidewaters toward the gulf.  And so now that the new hotel is christened the return is made to the original historic "Charitone".  When it is opened to the public there will be this romance of history cling about it and the traveler who seeks its comforts and hospitality will be linked to the past as though it were a voice that had spoken.
From the June26, 1923 Chariton Leader
Submitted by Ruth Morgan

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Veterans Monument in Albia

Chariton Native and Vietnam War Vet, Jim Keller, 
Speaks about Building Veterans Monument in Albia

Chariton Leader, March 4, 2014
Bill Howes, Associate Editor

Vietnam War veteran, Jim Keller, was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Chariton's meeting, February 21st.  Keller is a native of Chariotn, a CHS graduate and a former store director of Hy-Vee in Chariotn.  He currently resides in Albia and at the Rotary he spoke about the Veteran's Monument up in Albia called the "Welcome Home Soldier Monument.  The monument is a quarter mile west of Albia along Highway 34.
The idea for the Welcome Home Soldier Monument came about with something that happened to Keller 34 years after he got back from Vietnam.  He read a book called "Beyond Survival" written by author and speaker Gerald Coffee, also a Vietnam veteran who was a prisoner of war (P.O.W.) for six and a half years in Vietnam.
"I was so impressed with the book that I wrote him a letter and said, 'If you're ever around this area, I'd love to come to listen to you speak.'  Coffee notified Keller when he was going to speak one time in Springfield, Ill., and invited Keller and his wife as guests.
"I met him before he spoke and introduced myself.  He shook my hand and said, 'Welcome home soldier, thank you for serving your country.'  For 34 years no one had ever done that to me and he was the first one who did.  Imagine, he was a prisoner of war for six and a half years in Vietnam and he was thanking me for my service.  That's when the whole idea for the monument got started." Keller said.
The venture for building the monument got started nine and a half years ago.  It's a monument that sits on eight acres of land and is meant to honor all veterans, living and dead, for their service no matter where they live.
Keller said he wants the monument to be a history lesson where people can learn about every war the United States has been involved in.  He mentioned his respect for military service and his love for his country.
Three hundred tons of dirt were donated to create a driveway for the monument.  In 2012 a total of 31 pieces of granite weighing 5,000 pounds each were purchased.  In June 2012 they were erected at the site with almost 1,000 men and women's names etched on them.  The men and women either served their country with an honorable discharge or were currently serving in the military at the time.
There are also three flags including the American flag, the POW/MIA flag and the Iowa flag.  Keller said the goal this year is to have 100 American flags flying at a place at the monument called Humble Hero Hill.  Each flagpole will have a different veteran's name on it.
For those who would like to donate to it, Welcome Home Soldier is a 501©(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization.  Donations to it are all tax deductible.  To donate to it, people can call Keller directly at 641-777-1663.
"I am a better human being for doing this project.  I take it very seriously," Keller said.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Charger Boys Are SCC Champs

The Chariton varsity boys shown above are all smiles after winning the South Central Conference title outright with a 65-50 win over Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont at Eddyville Feb 15th.  It was the first SCC title for the Chariton boys since 1999.  It was Chariton's 14th win in a row, moving them to 17-3 overall and giving them a final SCC record of 9-1.  (Bill Howes photo) 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kerns Shares the History of Piper's

Chariton Leader, February 11, 2014
Kris Patrick, Staff Writer

Piper's Candy becomes prime tourist attraction
What is striped, lined in tin, a sweet treat, and one of the largest bust tour destinations in Lucas County?  Of course, it's Piper's Candy and Grocery Store.  Pipers is one of the longest established businesses in Chariton.  Actually, Piper Brothers Grocery opened in Chariton in 1903, just to the northwest of the town square.
Jill Kerns, current owner of Piper's enticed Rotarians to hold their meeting February 7th with the lure of chocolate.  Kerns is a graduate of Chariton High School and the University of Iowa with a Political Science degree  After graduation Kerns lived in Alaska for several years where she was a reporter for a national public radio station.  Kerns moved to Iowa in 1998 and purchased the Piper's store in 1999.
As residents of Chariton, it is easy to take for granted the great ambiance and delicious candies found behind the original door at the "local grocery."  The story behind the sweets and successful business strategies kept Rotarians focused on a special part of Chariton's history.  Of course the distinct Piper's Easter Eggs and turtles displayed on the table didn't go unnoticed.
Anyone who has worked in a family business understand the dynamics behind Joe L. Piper's desire to strike out on his own in 1905 and purchase the current building, which was built in 1888.  Joe L, bought the building from Mr. Stanley, who also owned a foundry.  Stanley gave Joe a little brass pig that still lives at Piper's.  Joe L. and his family expanded the business to include a bakery and slaughterhouse.
Farmers traded their wares for groceries, bread was shipped by train to the surrounding smaller towns, goods were hauled out to the then-thriving mining towns, and groceries were delivered several times a day to area homes.  Joe had the first delivery truck in the area and bread was delivered daily to Derby, Lucas and Williamson.
Joe L. left his business to two of his six sons.  Bob, took over the store after his brother's death.  He continued to offer the top quality products and excellent customer service.  In 1947 he and his wife Ruth added top quality homemade candy.  Bob learned his candy making skills from his brother John, who owned Piper's Candy in Iowa City.  Kerns continues to use the same recipes and techniques.
The 70's, 80's and 90's were hard on corner grocery stores.  
Ruth Piper passed away in 1978.  Kern's mother Anne worked for Bob, who developed his own candy recipes.  
Bob was adamant they were his own recipes, but Anne did learn his secrets.  Anne and her husband purchased the store in 1987 when Bob passed away.  
Anne brought in more gift items, but kept home deliveries, the same staff and the same products.  Kerns credits her mother for identifying what is so special about Piper's.  They kept the tin ceilings and original floors, added antiques and cultivated what it already was.  Anne started the tourism aspect with bus tours.  More and more people out of Des Moines and surrounding areas out on a day trip stop in the store commenting on how beautiful the area is with rolling hills and historic buildings.  
Kerns purchased the store in 1999 from her parents.  Anne is still an active part of the store.
The volume of candy has increased over the years and it has now made its way to every continent.  They still make the candy in small batches, work the chocolates by hand, and take pride in every piece made.  No preservatives are used and candy can only be made so far ahead.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Deadline Nears for Three Scholarship Opportunities

Lucas County Farm Bureau will be awarding a minimum of 2, $750 scholarships to 2014 graduating high school senors.  The only requirement on the application is that the senior's parents are currently Lucas County Farm Bureau members.  Applications are available at the Lucas County Farm Bureau office, 811 S. 4th St., by emailing lucas.county@ifbf.org, visiting our Facebook page "Lucas County Farm Bureau" or students may contact Sue Curnutte at the Chariton High School.
The deadline to return applications to the Lucas County Farm Bureau office is March 3, 2014.  The winners will be notified by the end of March/early April.  Certificates of recognition will be presented at the Senior Award banquet held in May.
The $750 will be paid directly to the college of choice for the student's second semester with submission of first semester grades to LCFB.
Lucas County Farm Bureau members can also find the Ruth B. Sayre scholarship application on the Members only side of the www.iowa-farmbureau.com/website under Members Benefits, then Scholarships.
The County Women's Council (CWC) offers the Ruth B. Sayr scholarships for the purpose of fostering educational development of women.  Scholarship awards of $500 shall be paid to the educational institution where student recipient is attending.
Appluications do not have to be Farm Bureau members, as this is an award from the Country Women's Council organization.  IFBF has agreed to make the applications available to our members as IFBF supports this scholarship in honor of Ruth B. Sayre.  The deadline for submission is March 1, 2014.
The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation will award 54, $1,000 scholarship awards to students pursuing the completion of a two - or four-year degree.  Sons and/or daughters of Iowa Farm Bureau members are eligible to apply.
Six district winners will be selected in each of the nine Iowa Farm Bureau Federation districts for the fall tuition awards.
Applications for the 2014 IFBF Scholarship are due March 3, 2014 in the Lucas County Farm Bureau office.  Members should log on at www.ioafarmbureau.com to access the online 'fillable' scholarship form as handwritten forms will not be accepted.  If you have any questions or need assistance please call us at 641-885-5984.
Emails Needed
Lucas County Farm Bureau will soon be sending out its annual opinionaire via email to our members.  The opinionaire is one way for you, our members, to voice your views about issues affecting your farm and for us to collectively gather that information.  This can help shape future Iowa Farm Bureau Federation policy.
We'd like members to send us an email at lucas.county@ifbf.org using your current email address.  This will allow us to update our records and ensure that future opionionaires reach your inbox.
Please call us at 774-5984 if you have any question.

Nearly $100,000 Available to Lucas County

The Lucas County - South Central Iowa Community Foundation grant deadline is approaching.  To be considered for a grant, applications must be postmarked by March 1st.  Organizations must be tax-exempt, non-profit entities classified by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization or a government body (school, city, county) providing services within Lucas County, Iowa.  Applications may be obtained at the Foundation website www.scicf.org under the Lucas County tab, or by contacting the Foundation office at 108 N. Grand in Chariton, IA 50049, 641-217-9105.
Lucas County SCICF Board of Directors are Adam Bahr, Betty Hansen, Mary Stierwalt, Ray Thurlby and Jim Wright.