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.