2015 Year In Review News 1St Quarter

Written by Theresa Rose on December 28, 2015

January 8 Avaree Mae McMullin of Mt. Pleasant was born at HCHC, the first baby of the New Year. Her parents are Chad and Elisha.
Typical for January in Iowa…..subzero temps, windchill, blowing and drifting snow and unfortunately this January 2015 started off with a fatal car crash on January 8 just north of Mt. Pleasant. David Harris of Canton Missouri was killed in the multi-vehicle accident. Several other accidents occurred late that afternoon and evening due to the weather and road conditions.
The closure of the Mental Health Institute in Mt. Pleasant dominated local headlines during the first quarter after Governor Branstad announced at the beginning of the legislative session that the budget for the next fiscal year didn’t include funding for the Mental Health Institutes in Mt. Pleasant and Clarinda. The 47 patients currently served at that facility would either be allowed to complete treatment or be transitioned to Independence or Cherokee. Mt. Pleasant had a total of 9 adult psychiatric beds, 19 dual diagnosis beds and 50 general residential substance use disorder treatment beds. Approximately 42 jobs would be affected. Rep. Dave Heaton and Senator Rich Taylor both of Mt. Pleasant worked tirelessly to stop the closure process as did many others in the legislature and the region.
At the Annual Mt. Pleasant Chamber Banquet held in January, Dave and Carmen Heaton were presented with the Citizens of the Year award. Amy Becker was named the Chamber’s Volunteer of the Year.
1-27 Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance learned for sure that NCI parent company of CeCo would bring production back to CECO in Mt. Pleasant
1-30-15 Veyance Technologies in Mt. Pleasant become part of ContiTech following Continental’s acquisition of Veyance of Fairlawn Ohio. Continental is an international automotive supplier, tire manufacturer and industrial partner.
At the end of January…The Winfield Mt. Union School board approved a contract for a new superintendent. Jeff Maeder, principal at Columbus Junction accepted the position. The district had been looking for a new top administrator since Patrick Coen left the position the previous summer.
Feb 3 Old Threshers CEO and Adm Terry McWilliams announced that John Dunnegan had been hired for the Association’s public relations and marketing position. And that Kat Zeglen had been hired..as the administrative assistant.
Feb 3 Rural New London home destroyed by fire. Larry and Sindy Weir.
In February West Burlington police seized computers from an SCC student’s home looking for evidence connecting the computers and possibly the student to a threat against an SCC professor that appeared on the website ratemyprofessors.com.
The Harmony school district began serious consideration of a whole grade sharing plan with Van Buren School district. Whole grade sharing could move the two districts down the road to eventual consolidation into a county school district. The conversation between the two districts continued thru out the year. Harmony also looked at possible relationships with Central Lee and Mt. Pleasant but a survey indicated a majority favored some sort of county partnership with Van Buren.

March 24, 2015 the Yarmounth community lost a landmark to fire. The Yarmouth Cafe was destroyed in the blaze that was reported at about 9 pm. Fire departments from Yarmouth, Danville, Mediapolis, Wapello, Mt. Union, New London, Burlington, West Burlington, Mt. Pleasant, and Morning Sun all responded to the scene. The historical building was originally a buggy shop but over time has been a cafe. The restaurant was owned by Delight Kuisly. It was determined later that Kuisly set the fire.