Effective on July 1, 2021, Poweshiek County will replace its current alert and notification system as part of the State of Iowa’s free Alert Iowa program to Rave Alert and Smart911. To sign up, visit: https: www.smart911.com/smart911/ref/reg.action?pa=poweshiekcosheriff or download the Smart911 App. Effective July 1, 2021, Poweshiek County, and Alert Iowa will no longer utilize the current system. To ensure that county residents receive the latest weather alerts and emergency notices, Poweshiek County Emergency Management personnel encourages county residents to re-register through the new system. As before, this system is a free opt-in service with no cost to county residents, though standard data and messaging rates may apply from your carrier.
With this switch, county residents will have access to new features and functions that will enhance how they receive alerts.
• The free Smart911 App allows county residents to receive push notification, including National Weather Service Warnings, and set up a user profile for county residents and their families that includes the option to add multiple addresses and numbers. The app also features many useful pieces of information that may be needed in a disaster or emergency.
• For those who do not want to use the app, a Poweshiek County opt-in page is available for county residents to sign up at the link above, or by visiting www.poweshiekready.org and clicking on the PCENS/Alert Iowa icon on the homepage. The opt-in page will now also allow county residents to create a user account profile, and sign-up multiple addresses and phone numbers.
• Users can now sign up and receive alerts in languages other than English. In fact, there are 56 languages available to receive alerts in.
• This app and account have the ability to provide information to access and functional needs registry, which will be used in the event of a disaster or emergency to effected groups as well as other information that may help emergency responders.
• Residents can now text to receive alerts and notifications also. County residents may text the following keywords to 672-83 to automatically be opted in to receive alerts.
For more information on the Alert Iowa program, please visit the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management website: https://homelandsecurity.iowa.gov/programs/alert-iowa/
For more information on Rave Alert and the Smart911 App visit: www.ravemobilesafety.com/public-safety-solutions.
The Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce announced last week that community-loved
traditions will be returning for the 2021 Fourth of July holiday. Both the parade and fireworks show will be held on Sunday, July 4.
“The Fourth of July festivities are important to the Grinnell community, and the Chamber hopes to work with additional organizations in 2021 and beyond to ensure they are successful,” noted Rachael Kinnick, President & CEO of the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce.
The 2021 parade will be held on Sunday, July 4 beginning at 5 p.m. Lineup will start at 3:30 p.m. on Hamilton Avenue, directly east of Davis Elementary. Due to road closures as a result of road construction, the route has been modified slightly. Pending final city council approval, the parade route will head north on Broad Street, turn right on 4th Avenue, and then head north on Park Street. From there, the route will turn right on 10th Avenue toward Penrose, and then head south on Penrose where floats will exit to the Grinnell College/Bayer parking lot. Interested organizations, businesses or individuals may sign up to participate in the parade at grinnellchamber.org.
Nominations for the parade’s Grand Marshal are also being accepted from now until June 13. To nominate an individual or group for recognition as the 2021 grand marshal, please visit https://www.grinnellchamber.org/en/events/grinnell_on_the_fourth/ to enter a nomination.
The City of Grinnell has assumed management of the fireworks show which will again be held at Ahrens Park (1510 Penrose St) at dusk on the 4th of July.
The 2021 Grinnell on the Fourth festivities are being sponsored by the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Grinnell and Grinnell College. If your business or organization is interested in becoming a sponsor of these activities, please contact the Chamber today at 641-236-6555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Country star Tyler Rich is coming to the Brooklyn Opera House for a live show on June 25.
Rolling Stone touted Tyler as “the newest member of country music’s radio-minded incoming class, with a homecoming king’s swagger and a valedictorian’s songwriting smarts,” and he has delivered 265+ million global streams to date. The 2019 Pandora Country Artist to Watch has performed alongside some of the genre’s top acts: Sam Hunt, Brett Eldredge, Justin Moore, Cole Swindell, Dan + Shay, Brett Young and LANCO.
With his latest single “Better Than You’re Used To,” Tyler shares a message of knowing your worth and waiting for the one who will love you for it. The sentiment has certainly resonated with fans, continuing to climb the Viral Top 50 all-genre chart on Spotify and amassing more than 10 million global streams to date. The track follows his TWO THOUSAND MILES album, which features two SiriusXM chart-toppers - GOLD-certified “The Difference” and “Leave Her Wild” - and is out now on The Valory Music Co.
“We are excited to welcome Tyler Rich to the Brooklyn Opera House,” said Laura Manatt, General Manager. “Having entertainers like Tyler make a stop in Brooklyn during their national tour is a great opportunity for our community to hear this caliber of live music at a historic, local venue.”
Seating is reserved and admission is $40. For tickets or more information, visit
www.brooklynoperahouse.com. Space is limited, reserve your seats today.
Grinnell FFA’s ‘Team Dirt’ finishes fourth at the 2021 Iowa FFA Soils CDE competition
Grinnell FFA’s “Team Dirt” is, from left: Jack Nickel, Ethan See, Ashton Hale, Jared Nickel, who was the fourth individual overall, and FFA Advisor Ashley Wolfe. The team finished fourth at state and qualified for nationals, which has been cancelled for second straight year due to COVID-19. Submitted photo
by J.O. Parker
The Grinnell FFA’s “Team Dirt,” as they are called, dug deep in the soil and brought home a fourth-place finish at the annual Iowa FFA Soils Evaluation Career Development Event (CDE) held at Iowa State University on April 30.
Members of the fourth-place team included: Jack Nickel, Ethan See, Ashton Hale and Jared Nickel, who was the fourth individual overall.
Grinnell was among 30 chapters from across the state comprised of 116 individuals who participated in this year’s CDE, which is designed to provide the students an opportunity to display their agricultural knowledge and skills in the area of soils evaluation. The Soils Evaluation Career Development Event included the evaluation of four soil pits, plus a written exam about soils in Iowa. The score card used to judge the soil pits is divided into five parts: Surface Features, Soil Features – The Profile, Land Capability Classification and Productivity Potential, Evaluation of Management Practices, and Sustainability of Soils for Non-Agricultural Uses.
The Grinnell agriculture education instructor and FFA advisor is Ashley Wolfe.
The top five team from across state qualify for nationals held in Oklahoma City, but due to COVID-19, the event was canceled in 2020 and again in 2021.
“This just tops the 2020-2021 FFA year off,” said Wolfe. “These four fine young men, also known as, “Team Dirt,” had their last hoorah. It was a beautiful day to be outside with these talented guys. Way to go!”
George Ducas, a Grammy-nominated country artist/songwriter that links the real country of the 90s to present day hits, and his band performed at the historic Brooklyn Opera House on Friday, May 7.
Ducas performed a number of hits from his four albums, including his latest, “Yellow Rose Motel,” which he recorded over a two year period in Nashville and released in 2019. The album draws its name from the title track “Yellow Rose Motel,” a song Ducas says is “inspired by and is an ode to Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger,” an album largely credited with the rise of country music’s outlaw movement.
His 90-minute set include a number of songs he wrote for other artists like Garth Brooks (Beer Run), Sara Evans, Eli Young Band, Randy Rogers Band, Gary Allan, Dixie Chicks, Trisha Yearwood and more, with one of his songs earning a Grammy nomination. He even played a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song.
“I’m excited to get back to Iowa after way too much time away,” said Ducas. “I have great memories of playing venues like the Iowa State Fair and am excited to not only play some memorable hits, but also to play some of my music from the current album “Yellow Rose Motel.”
The Friday May 7 show in Brooklyn was only the third for Ducas since returning to the stage following the pandemic. He performed at Wooly’s in Des Moines on Saturday night before heading back to Texas.
by J.O. Parker
The seventh annual Daddy/Daughter Dance at BGM Community Schools was a hit.
The family-friendly event was hosted by the SADD (Students Against Destructive Decision) group and sponsored by the Brooklyn Kiwanias Club.
“It is great having a local club support our students and families,” noted Neal VanErsvelde, BGM K-12 Guidance Counselor and SADD advisor.
The event was held on Saturday, May 8 and drew 70 couples who enjoyed an evening filled with music, dancing, food, fellowship and a live auction.
“That is a pretty steady number throughout the years,” said VanErsvelde. “One year, we had more than 90 couples.”
This year the dance raised more than $2,000.
“The funds raised will go towards supplies, activities and events for the BGM SADD (students against destructive decisions) group,” VanErsvelde said.
“I am so happy we were able to have this event this year,” noted BGM Elementary Principal Mary Sherwood. “We appreciate this opportunity for our students and it is great to see our older students providing this for our families. It sends such a positive message to our younger students and I hope they remember it and participate in the SADD group when they get older.”
VanErsvelde said this year has been a bit challenging for the SADD group to get out and do some of the things they would have liked to have done.
“The SADD Leadership group was able to go serve lunch at a homeless shelter in Des Moines,” VanErsvelde said. “This was a memorable and impactful event we were fortunate to participate in. We were the first group to get to volunteer since the beginning of the COVID outbreak. We plan to do this again.”
VanErsvelde said the SADD group is excited to do some outdoor adventure activities this summer.
“We are also looking forward to incorporating more service projects next school year,” said VanErsvelde
A ‘Welcome to Brooklyn’ ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the new Brooklyn Family Pharmacy, a telepharmacy at 101 E. Front St., on Friday, May 7. Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce members and staff at the Brooklyn Medical Clinic welcomed pharmacy owners, Derek Townsend, RPh, and his wife, Amy, to town. Derek has worked at the Toldeo Medicap Pharmacy for seven years, recently purchasing the business after the former owner retired Jan. 1. The deal also included the purchase of the Gladbrook Family Pharmacy, a telepharmacy, which was built and opened in 2018. Pictured are from left, Paula Rohach, Medicap marketing director; Sara Upah, telepharmacy manager; Amy Townsend, Derek Townsend, RPh; Dr. Brian J. Heineman, D.O., Brooklyn Medical Clinic; Andi Tribby, licensed pharmacy technician; Carla Kriegel, Brooklyn Chamber; Emily Wagner, PA-C, Brooklyn Medical Clinic; Carl Tubbs, Brooklyn Chamber; Deb Read, Brooklyn Chamber and Kyle Hawkins, PA-C, Brooklyn Medical Clinic. The ribbon cutting was followed by an open house at the pharmacy. The pharmacy is open Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The pharmacy phone number is 641-522-7222.
Members of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce welcomed Rick Maas, the new owner of the Brooklyn Building Center, 229 W. Front St., with a ribbon cutting on Friday, May 7. Joining Maas was Carla Kriegel, left, and Carl Tubbs, right, with the chamber and long-time Brooklyn Building Center Officer Manager, Mary Gropper. Maas, the former vice president at Garling Construction, purchased the business from Phil Kriegel, taking the reins of the company on March 1. Kriegel, who owned the business for 44-years, is staying on until the end of the year to help with the transition. The business is open Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., and 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday. The phone number is 641-522-9251.
The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce welcomed Brian Baumgartner, the new owner of Brooklyn Hardware, 118 W. Front St., with a ribbon cutting on Friday, May 21. Pictured are, from left: Rusty Clayton, former owner of the hardware store; Kristin Lastovka, employee; Brian Baumgartner, owner; Paulina Criswell, employee and Carla Kriegel, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Baumgartner, who owns hardware stores in Belle Plaine and Knoxville, purchased and took the reins of the business on March 29 from Clayton, who ran the business for 47 years. Baumgartner has been in the hardware business for 16 years. He also worked at Pamida and Kum & Go Convenience stores. Store hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and now on Sundays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The store number is 641-522-7712.
Rusty Clayton, left, former owner of Brooklyn True Value, is shown with the new owner, Brian Baumgartner, who purchased and took over the business on March 29. Since taking over the business, Baumgartner has changed the name to Brooklyn Hardware and is currently rearranging the location and adding merchandise.
by J.O. Parker
Brian Baumgartner was looking for other investments when the opportunity to purchase the Brooklyn True Value, “Kind of actually came out of nowhere,” he said.
“Rusty (Clayton) called me, said he was selling and wanted to know if I would be interested,” Baumgartner went on to say.
That call led to Baumgartner, owner of hardware stores in Belle Plaine and Knoxville, to purchase the Brooklyn True Value from Clayton, who had owned the business for 47 years.
“Things just quickly fell in line and here we are,” he said.
Baumgartner officially took over the business on March 29, with Clayton staying on for another month to help with the transition.
Baumgartner has been in the hardware business for 16 years. Before that, he spent 5.5 years as manager of Pamida, after graduating from college in December 1990.
He spent 10 years with Kum & Go Convenience stores, mostly supervising numerous stores, including time spent at the former Brooklyn location.
Along the way, Baumgartner took an interest in hardware stores, saying that it would be fun and a lower risk than owning a convenience store.
“So, during my travels with Kum & Go, I would stop at numerous hardware stores,” he said.
He purchased the Belle Plaine store, his first, in 2005 and added the Knoxville location in 2010.
“It has been a learning curve though,” Baumgartner said being an owner. “I wish 16 years ago I knew what I know today about hardware, paint, plumbing, etc. I have always been comfortable about managing and finances but it’s the product mix and staying in stock is what makes you successful, too. I think I have done okay but there are a lot of better hardware owners out there than me.”
One of the biggest changes since taking over the Brooklyn location is the name change. Baumgartner said he lost faith in True Value’s management about six years ago at his other two locations.
“I started looking to switch for a few years and then out of nowhere, True Value decided to sell the company to a private equity firm three years ago,” he said. “I switched my other two stores over to another hardware wholesaler, Do It Best, Inc., two years ago.”
Baumgartner said “Do It Best,” is a member owned company, which means he owns part of it, like it was previously with True Value.
“They are a nice company that I am having success with,” he said. “The other communities hardly noticed that I wasn’t True Value anymore. They actually have embraced the new paints and we hit the ground running. Think about it for a minute, we offer the same mix of product, just get it from someplace else. It has been a big win for us.”
When asked what changes are underway at the location, Baumgartner said he is committed to keeping everything that Rusty offered, including his extensive fabric selections, plus adding more.
“We have already started and will continue tightening the merchandise space up and actually add about 25 percent more merchandise,” said Baumgartner. “We gained a lot of space tearing out the old office and are just simply tightening space. I think it will actually be easier to shop too when done.”
“Change is part of the game,” he added. “I need to offer the public more items at fair prices to be successful. Rusty has done a nice job for 47 year. It is simply time for a new look and menu.”
When asked how important a store like his is to a small community like Brooklyn, Baumgartner said the COVID-19 outbreak proved just how valuable we are to the general success of a community.
“I just believe that, being a retail owner, I don’t expect everyone to buy everything I offer in the store. There are other hardware stores, big boxes, lumber yards, etc. Just try to buy some from everyone. Don’t just shut out your local store.”
Brooklyn Hardware currently has three employees. Baumgartner will be in the store every Sunday and Monday, plus another half day or two.
Store hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and now on Sundays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The store number is 641-522-7712.
“I love what I do or I would not have bought the Brooklyn store,” Baumartner said. “I am excited about working with the public on their needs that I can offer. We will make it better. We are going to widen the selection of merchandise, which will be a win for the community.”
Former owner of Brooklyn Building Center reflects on career, welcomes new owner
Phil Kriegel, right, is shown with Rick Maas, the new owner of Brooklyn Building Center. Maas took the reins of the business on March 1. Kriegel, who will stay on until the end of the year to help with the transition, owned the business for 44 years. He started in 1977 helping his father, Lawrence, who owned the old Fullerton Lumber yard in Brooklyn.
by J.O. Parker
Phil Kriegel, the long-time former owner of the Brooklyn Building Center at 229 W. Front St., takes a few moments from helping a customer.
“One of the things my dad told me,” he said, “People can buy anywhere they want. It’s the service that makes the difference.”
It’s a motto that has helped Kriegel grow his business and serve the area from the time he joined his father, Lawrence, at the old Fullerton Lumber yard in Brooklyn in 1977.
After 44 years in the business, Kriegel has sold the Brooklyn Building Center to Rick Maas, the former vice president at Garling Construction in Belle Plaine, and his wife, Heather.
Mass took the reins of the company on March 1. Kreigel said he plans to stay on until the end of the year to help with the transition.
“I will be here now and less as we go,” he said.
Kreigel specialized in helping customers with their home remodel and new construction projects, big and small.
“I’ve drawn numerous house plans, additions, pole barns and kitchens,” said Kreigel. “And about anything else people wanted.”
Kreigel said when Maas, who has done business with him for 15 years, approached him and asked if he had a successor plan, he admitted he hadn’t given it much thought.
“I figured I’d stay on for a few more years, then think about retirement,” Kreigel said. “The more he talked about it, the more I become interested.”
When asked, Kriegel said he got the most satisfaction out of helping people get the end result they wanted.
“I’ve worked a lot of hours,” said Kreigel. “It has been an enjoyable experience. When I look back, there wouldn’t be a thing I would change.”
“Phil has had a successful business for a number of years,” added Maas. “I want to try to provide the level of customer service that Phil has provided. I want to serve the members of the community. This community has been very loyal and I want to make sure and take care of them.”
“We are always going to try and be better than the day before,” Maas said.
The business is open Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., and 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday. The phone number is 641-522-9251.