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2015 Leon Year in Review

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Monday, January 11, 2016


Information Compiled by The Leon Journal-Reporter, Inc.

January 7 ...
The Decatur County Hospital acquired a MCI trailer that could be used for natural disasters, multi-car wrecks, etc. that might occur in the county. MCI (Mass Casualty Incident) was defined as any incident which overwhelms the capabilities of our local responders. The trailer is available to the surrounding area as well.
County officials Gale Norman, recorder; Gary Boswell, supervisor; and Lisa Jeanes, county attorney received the oath of office from Traci Tharp, county clerk of court, during the organizational meeting of the Board of Supervisors.
January 14 ...
GRM Networks informed their customers about false computer maintenance calls.
Decatur County 4H and FFA members weighed in 30 steers and 10 market heifers for the 2015 county fair.
CD basketball girls continued their winning streak.
January 21 ...
After receiving a petition with the correct number of signatures, County Auditor Daughton set March 17 for a special election to fill the vacancy of the county treasurer.
GRM Networks announced that "Skitter TV" Internet protocol will serve the subscribers of Grand River Mutual Telephone.
Simon Estes, Leah McIntire-Barnett and Lamoni and Central Decatur choirs will perform at Graceland's Shaw Center on April 19 in Lamoni.
January 28 ...
The 98 year old Leon Presbyterian Church became a part of history as the beautiful all building was reduced to a pile of bricks. Declining membership and high maintenance costs forced the members to make a very difficult decision to demolish the beautiful building and attend church elsewhere.
Iowa Representative Joel Fry and Senator Amy Sinclair were in Leon to discuss various legislative issues.
The CD Academic Bowl members were storming their brains as they continued to participate in various Academic Bowls of the 2014-15 school year. Placing 5th out of 19 teams were members: Raegan Boothe, Annalise Minnick, Lily Simon, Kaleb Ogier, Monica Irving, Hallie Linhart, Peyton Pedersen, Carter Boothe, Noah Simon, Kade Kelso, Matthew Cooper, Haylee Horn, Lydia Buckingham and Paul Brenizer.
February 4 ...
A mid-winter storm covered the area in heavy, wet snow leaving amounts of upwards of 10 inches.
Dr. Roark Horn accepted the position of Executive Director of the school administrators of Iowa.
Lawrence Vogle of Lamoni celebrated his 102 birthday.
Plans were being made to re-introduce the Jefferson Highway and its significance in history.
February 11 ...
Four CD Cardinal wrestlers: Wyatt Dale, Colton Ranney, Trenton Wells and Trace Carson, advanced to Districts held at Atlantic.
Contents from the time capsule of the Presbyterian Church were examined by church members. The items found in the box, a Bible, communion bread and wine and church records were in a state of extreme brittleness.
Central Decatur Lady Cardinal, Hallie Linhart, eclipsed several goals during her senior basketball year by breaking multiple school records.
February 18 ...
Central Decatur basketball teams both won the Pride of Iowa Conference championship.
Jacky Kuster, operator of restaurants in Lineville, Decatur and Davis City, died as the result of a single vehicle accident on County Road J-66.
Kyle Sheetz accepted the position of water/waste water director for the City of Leon. Sheetz replaced Jr. Jennings who recently retired.
February 25 ...
Trenton Wells and Colton Ranney both finished 5th at the State Wrestling Tournament.
Gabe Roberts and Hanna Mendenhall both advanced to district FFA competition.
Eighth grader Eliott Ness became the first paid member of CD's Middle School FFA Chapter. Twenty-two members were enrolled in the pilot program.
March 4 ...
Maggie Lindsey was named 2014 Leon Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.
The Central Trail FFA received a $2,500.00 donation from the Noah Yoder family and America's Farmers Grow Communities sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The chapter chose to use the funds to help sponsor their Meals From the Heartland project.
The Decatur County Hospital was transitioning inpatient rounds from the CHCSI physicians to doctors provided by the hospital.
March 11 ...
The students at South Elementary celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday by reading lots of his books and dressing up as various characters in his books.
The state-wide Alert Iowa notification system became operational in Decatur County advised Emergency Management Coordinator Rich Erke. The system was to enable local officials to send emergency related alerts to the public in a quick and efficient manner through different channels of communication.
Gilbert Home Comfort, located north of Leon, received an award for being the number 1 Water Furnace Geothermal Dealer in Iowa.
March 18 ...
Junior Jennings was named 2014 Community Operator of the year by the Iowa Rural Water Association.
Peyton Pederson, f junior at Central Decatur eclipsed the 1000 point mark during the 2014-15 basketball season.
March 25 ...
Mayor Rob Kilgore, Chief of Police Ron Zeiss and Officer Andy Woods all resigned from their City of Leon positions.
After 37 years of service to the Decatur County Hospital as an ambulance driver and paramedic, Kevin Frost retired.
Aaron Linhart was selected as a finalist in FFA's Star over Iowa Pageant.
Central Decatur's Jazz Band competed in the State Jazz Competition.
April 1 ...
Keith Hinds retired after 43 years as assistant county engineer.
The Leon Lions Club recognized the following 4 year Honor Roll students at CD: Hanna Mendenhall, Hallie Linhart, Annalise Minnick, Marleah Headrick, Lydia Martin, Cierra Clark, Mathew Cooper, Jacey Masters, Morgan Kofoid, Noah Bishop and Gabe Roberts.
The new Decatur County Jail was beginning to take shape as preformed walls were being lowered into place by a large crane.
April 8 ...
Trenton Wells was selected to play on the South Squad of the 43rd Annual Iowa Shrine Bowl on July 24 at the Uni-Dome in Cedar Falls.
CD senior Annalise Minnick received an Outstanding Soloist Award at the state jazz band competition.
Leon community clean-up and Project Day was scheduled for April 25.
April 15 ...
40,000 meals were packaged at Central Decatur in three hours for Meals from the Heartland.
Hanna Mendenhall received the DEKALB Award presented at the Central Trail FFA banquet.
Beth Andrew was sworn in as the new Decatur County Treasurer.
April 22 ...
Construction was progressing on the new Decatur County jail as work was beginning on the interior of the structure.
Decatur County's Freedom Rock was being painted by Ray "Bubba" Sorensen, II.
The newly organized Leon Optimist Club received its charter certificate.
April 29 ...
The Decatur County Freedom Rock was unveiled.
Tim Hutchison and Tyler Reed opened Dark Dream Tattooing on Main Street in Leon.
Roberta Stanford retired from Great Western Bank.
Eighth grader Emma Atwood jumped 5 feet 2 inches at the CD junior high track meet held at Graceland University breaking the record of 5 feet 1 inch set by Tierney Eaton and Amanda Leeper.
May 6 ...
Allen Simmonds assumed the role of mayor of Leon. He was appointed to the office after the resignation of Rob Kilgore.
The Law Office of Verle Norris moved to its new location at 201 E 1st Street across from the Dairy Queen.
Bryce Johnson was chosen to attend the International Sustainability World Energy, Engineering, Environment Olympiad held in Houston, Texas. His project was "Biofuels: Creating a Cost Effective Biofuel."
May 13 ...
The Decatur County Rotary Club presented the Arion Awards to Cierra Clark for chorus and Annalise Minnick for band. Both recipients were CD graduates.
Marleah Headrick was recognized by Governor Branstad for outstanding academic achievement.
Peyton Pedersen won the Pride of Iowa long jump with a leap of 21 feet .75 inches.
Lydia Martin signed a letter of Intent to play golf for Simpson College in Indianola.
May 20 ...
Fifty-eight seniors graduated from CD High School.
National Honor Society president Hanna Mendenhall presented 4th grade teacher Curtis Boothe with the Teaching excellence Award.
Mickey Norman of Decatur was recognized for his 60 years of service to the American Legion.
Joe Stephens was appointed to fill the vacant city council position in Leon.
May 27 ...
Hallie Linhart tied for third in the State High Jump event. She jumped 5 feet 3 inches.
The Lady Cardinal Golf Team won the regional finals advancing them to the state tournament. The team consisted of Hanna Mendenhall, who placed 5th; Lydia Martin, Cierra Clark, Lily Simon, Hallie Linhart and Raegan Boothe.
A head on collision north of Leon resulted in injuries to Lindsey Freeman of Leon and Justin Gibson of Mercer.
June 3 ...
Dan Christensen, Cindy Boyd and Mike Weston retired from Central Decatur Schools.
Thirteen swimmers braved the chilly opening day at the Leon Swimming Pool.
Mrs. Amy Tharp's 5th grade class held a food drive for the local food pantry.
June 10 ...
Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds held a round table discussion in Leon at From the Ground. She was promoting Iowa's female leaders.
Jared Miller, auctioneer, was on his way to Texas to compete in the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship in Clifton, TX.
Gilbert's True Value, located north of Leon on Highway 69, announced they were open for business.
CD's Lady Cardinal golf team placed 4th at the State Golf Tournament. Members of the team were Cierra Clark, Hanna Mendenhall, Lydia Martin, Lily Simon and Hallie Linhart.
June 17 ...
Cauy Spidle and Alli Masters qualified to represent the state of Iowa at the National Junior High School Finals Rodeo to be held in Des Moines.
Aaron Linhart and Sara Andrew were injured when the 4-wheeler they were riding was struck by a deer on county road J-20.
June 24 ...
Plans were being finalized for the 53rd annual Leon Rodeo for its four day run over the fourth of July holiday.
Decatur County Hospital CFO, Tara Spidle, received a volunteer award from Governor Terry Branstad.
July 1 ...
Loring Miller, member of the Decatur County Rotary Club, became the District Governor of Rotary District 6000 during a gavel passing ceremony held at the Miller farm southwest of Leon.
Buck Naked Sporting Goods received a fresh coat of paint on their store front as part of one of Leon's Visioning Community goals.
The Leon Swimming Pool life guards were presented an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) from the Iowa Heart Foundation.
July 8 ...
Jessica Meseck from Charter Oak was crowned the 2015 Leon Rodeo Queen and Jacee Bixenman was crowned the 2015 Rodeo Princess.
Jacey Masters and Chance Masters qualified to compete at the 67th annual National High school Rodeo finals held in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
The 2015 Fourth of July Parade float winners were: The Leon and Lamoni Optimist Clubs, first; Westview Acres Care Center, second; and The Leon Journal-Reporter, third place.
July 15 ...
Leon Rodeo committee member Denny Hearron was inducted into the Rodeo's Hall of Fame. Hearron was recognized for 35 years of dedicated service.
A retirement reception for Judge Sherman Phipps of Lamoni was held at the Decatur County court house. Judge Phipps served over 12 years as Iowa's Fifth District Judge.
Dr. Michael Foote signed an agreement with the Decatur County Hospital to begin employment as a Hospitalist-Internal Medicine physician beginning on October 12.
July 22 ...
Monica Irving, daughter of Bill and Okalena Hill was crowned queen of the 2015 Decatur County Fair. Raechel Scudder, daughter of Steve and Angie Scudder was chosen princess. They were crowned by last year's queen and princess Hanna Mendenhall and Alayna Link.
Supreme Beef and Champion Market Steer was shown by Luke Parmer; Champion Market Lamb was shown by Trista Waddell and Champion Market Swine was shown by Kaylee Parmer.
July 29 ...
Andy Sullivan joined the CHCSI as a Physician's Assistant and began working out of the Lamoni office.
Eugene Yoder, ARNP, became a full-time Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner in the Emergency Department of the Decatur County Hospital.
Hazel Ventling, 107 year old, attended her high school reunion at her alma mater in Davis City.
August 5 ...
Frederick Smith was named Leon's new police chief.
Work was progressing on preparing both the external and internal surfaces of the blue water tower for future repainting.
Lady Cardinal catcher Hallie Linhart was named to the Second Team All-State softball team in Class 3A.
Taylor Smith Clark graduated from Iowa State University with a Master of Science in Agricultural Education. She accepted a position at Odebolt, Arthur, Ida Grove and Battle Creek as an ag educator and FFA advisor.
August 12 ...
The Leon Public Library was closed as a new computer system was being installed.
Representing Decatur County on the Bill Riley stage at the 2015 Iowa State Fair was Cadence Clark in the junior division and in the senior division, Annalise Minnick, Mary Lindsey, Brianna Keeney and Cierra Clark.
CD School held their annual football camp.
August 19 ...
Volunteers completed construction of the playground/workout equipment at the Masonic Park in northwest Leon.
Brandon Pierson hit a hole in one on hole number 7 at the Leon Country Club.
Terrace Park Assisted Living remained deficiency free for the second inspection in a row and was awarded an Assisted Living Program Certificate by the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals.
August 26 ...
Jerick Miller of Leon was named the 2015 Iowa State Champion Auctioneer at the Iowa Auctioneers Association Bid Calling Finals held during the State Fair.
The Leon Public Library re-opened with a new automated system for checking out books and looking for resources on material located in the library or on the internet.
Recognition for an Outstanding Agriculture and Natural Resources exhibit was presented to Decatur County 4-H'er Riley Thomas of the Lamoni Livewires. Riley's project was a poster about soil health that he exhibited at the State Fair.
September 2 ...
Leon native, Nick Vogel, began his new position at the Decatur County Hospital as the pharmacy director.
Newly hired Leon Chief of Police Fredrick Smith, resigned his position due to personal reasons and returned to Arizona.
New teachers and support staff at CD for the 2015-2016 school year were: Tracy Martin - 3rd grade; Janae Crabtree - high school science; Chelsey Greed - Head Start pre-school; Deanna Stone, elementary nurse; Tara Gott, kindergarten; Chris Gillham - bus driver; Kyle Peta - 5th grade; Emilie Jones - 3rd grade; Cassie Lowden - custodian and Turner DeVore - special education.
September 9 ...
Terrace Park was observing Assisted Living Week.
Rob Rolfe retired after 22 years as Decatur County Magistrate.
CD School was celebrating Homecoming week.
Dale Dykes, local businessman and farmer, passed away after a short illness.
September 16 ...
Alex Graham and Hunter Smith reigned over CD's 2015 Homecoming activities.
Dr. Nathan Allen went as a volunteer on a medical trip to Kyrgyzstan.
Decatur County Soil and Water Conservation District was recognized for exemplary use of cost share funds.
September 23 ...
Brice Kelso, CD graduate and now living at Bolivar, MO, spent several weeks in August fighting wildfires in Montana.
District 6000 Rotary Governor Loring Miller made his official visit to the Rotary Club of Decatur County.
September 30 ...
Decatur County stargazers experienced history Sunday, September 27, when a Supermoon was combined with a lunar eclipse for the first time since 1982.
The Leon Public Library held an open house in honor of their newly automated library updating to a 21st Century library.
The Decatur County Hospital welcomed Dr. Michael Foote, DO, to their staff.
October 7 ...
Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa was one of 160 health centers from across the country whose application for facility renovation, expansion or construction was funded. CHCSI received $999,999.00.
AFS 1980-81 student Alan Millward of Australia was visiting his American family Mr. and Mrs. Rod Eccelston.
A rash of thefts were reported in Leon over several weeks.
October 14 ...
Mostly dry conditions allowed Iowa farmers to begin harvesting the state's estimated 10 million acres of soybeans.
Dustin Fickes of Leon was arrested and charged with several counts of burglaries and thefts in Leon.
Central Decatur schools and the Leon community welcomed Rotary Exchange student Petra Kolembusova from Slovakia.
October 21 ...
Central Decatur student count showed a slight drop from the 2014-2015 school year.
First place in the Fall festival scarecrow contest went to Great Western Bank.
Near perfect weather for construction allowed for the work on the new Central Decatur track and field complex to move along as scheduled.
October 28 ...
Dr. Larry Richard, MD, was presented the prestigious Outstanding Provider award. The award was given at the Iowa Primary Care Association meeting held at the Jordan Creek Marriott in Des Moines.
Jack Van Laar was inducted into the Pheasants Forever Hall of Fame.
Lady Cards volleyball advanced to the second round of Districts with a win over Interstate-35.
November 4 ...
The home of Nancy Griffin on South Main was damaged by fire.
The Rotary Club of Decatur County presented dictionaries to the fourth grade classes at Central Decatur and Lamoni.
November 11 ...
Joe Stephens and Darlene Fuller earned council seats on the Leon City Council. Allen Simmonds was re-elected mayor.
City of Leon returned to a three-man police force with the hiring of Chris Lane, Jason Weir and Dan Cox.
The CD Drama Department was presenting the musical "Bye Bye Birdie" at the SCIT Theatre.
November 18 ...
The annual Veterans Day Assembly was once again held at the CD school gym.
Strong winds fanned a fire that caused the loss of a shed and damage to the rural home of Kyle and Gayle Raemaker and their three children.
Kevin Frost was inducted into the Iowa EMS Hall of Fame.
November 25 ...
Derek Head, Central Trail FFA Chapter member, was awarded the American FFA Degree at the 2015 National Convention held in Louisville, KY.
Shaun Schaff was named new director of Public Works for the City of Leon.
CD North Elementary and South Elementary were designated as a School in Need of Assistance or SINA according to Federal guidelines.
December 2 ...
Families were flocking to Lapland Christmas tree farm for that special tree.
Leon Police Department was collecting items for the local food pantry.
The Leon Journal-Reporter launched its new website.
December 9 ...
Another successful year for Leon Noel. Tree winners were the Decatur County Achievers 4-H Club, 1st place; Portable Corral Rental, Alysha and Travis Van Laar, 2nd place; and 3rd place to the Wranglers 4-H Club depicting Charlie Brown and his gang.
The Decatur County Jail moved into its new facilities at 206 NE 2nd Street in Leon. Prisoners held in other counties were relocated back to Decatur County.
David Fuller graduated from Saba University of Medicine.
December 16 ...
The site of Central Decatur's new football field looked like a lake after the area received several inches of late fall rain.
Decatur County Farm Bureau received an outstanding recognition award for its 2015 programs which help further the story of agriculture.
Four local businesses were noted for putting up new signage: Decatur County Sheriff's Office, Agri-Vision, Hour Place 2 and the Law office of Verle Norris.
December 23 ...
Winners of the 2015 Christmas Lighting contest were first place, Bob and Elizabeth Hamilton; second, John and Jane Chaillie and third, Lila Deemer.
Darlene Fuller was administered the oath of office as a newly elected council member by Mayor Allen Simmonds. Her 4 year term began January 1, 2016.
December 30 ...
Those that were dreaming of a "white"Christmas didn't get their wish as Mother Nature missed it by three days. Snow plows and snow blowers were a buzz working to clear roadways, driveways and sidewalks of around 5 inches of snow.
The City of Leon in conjunction with the Leon Visioning Committee was awarded a $50,000 DEKKO Foundation grant for improvements at Leon's Noel Park. The City needs to raise $25,000 more for the matching grant.