Editor’s note: Part two of the year in review covers April through June 2019

Black Oak Clays target of meeting

Black Oak Clays was a subject of a meeting of the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors. The range, utilized by local schools for shooting practice and tournaments, had made some improvements on the shooting range, without realizing authorization was needed. It was standing room only, as supporters of the range turned out in full force. Neighbors who felt the range negatively affected their quality of life were also present at the meeting. No decision was made by the supervisors. As of May, Black Oak Clays had two months to complete an application for the site improvements that had already been made.

City cleanup canceled

The Oskaloosa City Council decided to cancel the community-wide cleanup, citing costs and the already-poor condition of roads. The cost of operating the cleanup was around $13–14,000, according to council member Dianne Ottosson.

“[The clean-up was]taking every available staff person, every piece of equipment that the city owns out there to do this instead of fixing the streets or doing other things,”

County: No duty to pay for road

Supervisors say county not obligated to help relocate 220th Street.

During a meeting with the South Central Regional Airport Agency board, county supervisors were asked whether they would support the county contributing financially to the potential relocation of 220th Street – a farm to market roadway – to make room for the South Central Regional Airport.

Sanders campaigns in Osky

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a rally at William Penn University, drawing a large crowd. The U.S. Senator’s speech touchstones were on climate change, health care and finances.

Sanders said the mantra of his campaign was “Not me; us.”

Would-be landfill debris made into benches

The Friends of Mahaska County Conservation launched a campaign to gather and recycle the community’s plastic bags. The bags, throughout the year, were turned over to a recycling company that made benches out of recycled bags. The Friends group has been placing benches throughout the county and educating school children on the importance of recycling.

Van Hemert found guilty

Luke Van Hemert was found guilty of second-degree murder. Van Hemert was accused of killing William Penn University basketball player Marquis Todd.

First responders monument part of Eagle Scout project

Eagle Scout Gareth Stefanc, a member of BSA Troop 71, decided he wanted to create a monument to be dedicated to first responders of Mahaska County. Stefanc had been planning the project since August 2018, and raised funds for the project.

Best burger in Iowa

The best burger in Iowa can be found at Wood Iron Grille. According to the Iowa Beef Council and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, the competition had two phases. The first phase was based on votes from the public. The ten restaurants with the most votes went on the next round, which included anonymous visits from judges. The judges scored on taste, presentation and doneness.

Co-owners Matt Gunn and Michael Glesener were over the moon about the award.

Billee Davis recognized as “Iowa Woman of Achievement”

Oskaloosa veteran and attorney Billee Davis, who died in 1979, was recognized for her lasting contributions, impact and leadership. Davis was especially drawn to cases with strong community impact, such as protecting housing for low-income residents and assisting individuals with personal legal problems.

“She took a genuine and humane interest in those with problems... someone who paid more than lip service to the ideal of serving her fellow man.”

Community members react to documentary

Two huddles – The Iowa Huddle and a Rainbow Huddle created by Oskaloosa PFLAG in response to the film – had much different reactions to the documentary film ‘Fire and Brimstone.’ The independent biographical film was about David Arthur, who described himself as living for “32 years as a transgender homosexual prostitute,” who on his “deathbed” suffering from HIV and AIDs.

According to the documentary, he pleaded with God to not go to hell and became a “born again” Christian. PFLAG members said the film was transphobic and homophobic; others thought the film was powerful and enlightening.

Ground broken |at new hotel site

Shovels dipped into the ground at the site of the future Fairfield Inn and Suites, located at Gateway Drive and A Avenue West. The project should bring in $100,000 in tax revenue.

Elizabeth Warren campaigns in Oskaloosa

Democratic presidential candidate spoke to a crowd at a local house party, expressing her vision and plans.

OHS students take a once in a lifetime trip

In honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, OHS and Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont students had the opportunity to take a trip to Normandy and other important World War II sites in Europe.

Environmental Learning Center grand opening

After years of planning, the ELC opened on Friday, May 31. Visitors and employees were excited to experience the new center.

Oskaloosa has new set of sculptures

The third round of the Oskaloosa sculpture tour was set in place. Sculptures were placed throughout the community.

The project “fosters an all-inclusive art community, promoting both local artists and enriching the lives of every citizen in the Oskaloosa community.”

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