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Oh, 2020, what a year it was!
This week we will review the people, places and things that made headlines in the pages of the Record-News in the months July through December.
The swimming pool at Judge Lewis Park reopens after all with some COVID-19 restrictions in place.
Clearfield holds its annual Fourth of July celebration with curtailed activities planned.
The Ringgold County Fair opens with a much-reduced schedule of events.
A front-page article features Justin and Kristen Akers and their newly established Iowa Farm Kitchen food service. The Akers are operating the concession stand at the Ringgold County Fair.
An examination of county property sales in Ringgold County reveals over $13 million in property changed hands at Sun Valley Lake in 2019.
A front-page article features the community garden established as a partnership between the Ringgold County Wellness Coalition and the Ringgold Outdoor Alliance.
U.S. senators Joni Ernst and Charles Grassley visit Mount Ayr on the same day in separate appearances.
In results from the Ringgold County Fair, Klayton Yoder shows the Champion market beef, James Shiflett exhibits the Champion market swine, and Kash Wasteney displays the Champion market lamb.
Ringgold County records its first death related to the COVID-19 virus.
“Cowboy” Bob Kohler reels in another big ol’ catfish at Loch Ayr.
Forty-eight members of the Mount Ayr Class of 2020 finally get their day in the sun (literally) as commencement exercises take place on the football field.
The Mount Ayr softball team qualifies for its second straight appearance in the State Tournament. The Raiderettes scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning for the come-from-behind 4-3 win over Earlham to advance to state.
A front-page article chronicles a local woman’s reunion with her “second family” years after a traffic accident claimed the lives of her parents and twin sister.
The Neowise comet shines prominently in the skies above Ringgold County.
Iowa farming from years gone by is on full display at the annual Blackmore Corner Antique Farm Show.
The Mount Ayr Raider baseball team closes its season with an 11-3 loss to Martensdale-St. Marys in the regional final.
The book “Trapping Trigonometry” by the late Tony Butler is published posthumously by his sister, Vicki Butler Pierce.
The Raiderettes bow out of the State Softball Tournament after falling to Ogden, 5-2.
Scott Giles is named the new Mount Ayr Community activities director following the retirement of Delwyn Showalter.
A new playground is erected adjacent to the Terry Howie Memorial Ballfield in Judge Lewis Park.
The Hy-Vee grocery chain announces plans to move into the former Shopko building pending an agreement to purchase the city-owned parking lot south of the building.
A rare “derecho” windstorm causes widespread severe damage in Iowa but as barely felt Ringgold County.
Students are welcomed back in the Mount Ayr schools after having been gone since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The wearing of masks will be required in classrooms in the middle and high school but only in the hallways at the elementary.
A new disc golf course is installed at Liberty Lake.
Dr. Keith Miller is inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame.
A good crowd attended the Benton Nationals tractor and truck pulling competitions.
The city council and Hy-Vee continue to wrangle over Hy-Vee’s list of business types they will not allow in their former building on Highway 2. Further negotiations result in Hy-Vee removing some of its earlier restrictions, and after receiving input from the public, the city council approves the sale of the city-owned parking lot adjacent to the former Shopko location to Hy-Vee.
The search continues for a missing Grant City woman whose abandoned car was discovered in Mount Ayr.
The Diagonal Lions Labor Day celebration features three full days of activities.
Forty Mount Ayr athletes are quarantined due to potential exposure to coronavirus.
A bomb threat at Mount Ayr High School forces the dismissal of classes.
The pandemic reduces many events in the annual Ayr Days celebration.
A ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony takes place at the new Tingley Memorial Park.
The body of a missing Grant City woman is found in Missouri.
Podium Ink is presented with a Renew Rural Iowa award by the Iowa Farm Bureau.
Rhett Larsen and Hope Whittington are named Mount Ayr Homecoming king and queen.
A front-page article features Peggy Wagenknecht’s efforts to bring cheer during the pandemic. To date she has sent out over 300 birthday, anniversary, get well, and “just thinking of you” greeting cards to the elderly, friends, and healthcare workers in Mount Ayr.
Jamie Stackhouse competes in the barrels for the Graceland University rodeo team.
Pam Poore announces her intention to retire as Mount Ayr city clerk effective at the end of this calendar year. She has served as city clerk since January 1, 2006.
Despite the pandemic, dozens of youngsters descend upon Judge Lewis Park for the annual Beggars’ Bash.
Ringgold County Conservation qualifies for a $100,000 one-to-one matching grant to go toward a shelter house and restrooms at Liberty Lake.
Elsa McAlexander Schmidt, a 1991 Mount Ayr graduate, is named Iowa Ag Teacher of the Year. Schmidt teaches at Mid-Prairie High School.
The Mount Ayr Raider football team captures another district championship.
A group of Mount Ayr students spearheads an after-school project to raise funds for the Neighborhood Center.
The annual Halloween celebration sponsored by the Tingley Lions Club draws a large crowd.
Karlie Larsen qualifies for the State Cross Country Meet.
In results from the general election, Ringgold County voters choose a straight Republican ticket by at least a two-to-one margin in all contested races. In addition, Colby Holmes and Steve Knapp are elected as new supervisors.
A new pain management clinic opens at the Ringgold County Hospital.
The Mount Ayr city council learns of a new development that will include a new USDA office and other retail and office space. The project will be located on Cleveland Street between Casey’s and Heartland Industries.
Veterans Day observances around the county are curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Mount Ayr Raider football team bows out of post-season play after a 42-17 loss to Underwood.
James Smith retires after serving 42 years as an assistant coach for the Raider football team.
After gathering input from county residents for two days, Deb Brown of the SaveYourTown organization offers options for county-wide economic development in a public meeting.
The Mount Ayr High School drama department presents the musical “Annie” as their fall production.
The Mount Ayr city council decides to end recycling pickup in the city. In subsequent discussions, however, options remain on the table to resume the service at some point.
The Mount Ayr elementary and secondary music departments are seeking donations of used instruments to bolster their programs.
Steve Taylor is the 2020 recipient of the Ringgold Outdoor Alliance Service Award.
Gov. Kim Reynolds announces spectator limitations at high school sporting events and cancels middle school and youth competitions entirely.
James Pedersen announces his retirement after 31 years as the Ringgold County Magistrate.
Ringgold County mourns the death of long-time sheriff Lyle Minnick. Minnick served as a deputy for eight years before being elected sheriff, a post he held for 14 years. He had served for the past four years as a County supervisor.
Ringgold Conservation holds its extravagant “Holiday Lights in the Park” event.
Fire destroys the home of Ron Fox in Kellerton.
Ringgold County Public Health terminates its participation in the Medicare program.
As part of the Christmas in the Ayr event, organizers chose to produce a “reverse” parade, with entries parked along the curb as spectators circled the square.
Amanda Cannon is hired as the new Mount Ayr city clerk effective January 1, replacing the retiring Pam Poore.
Braxton McAlexander and Jayden Doubleday are the top two popcorn salesmen in the 10-county Trailblazer District of Cub Scouts in Iowa.
Students in the Mount Ayr High School Industrial Tech class are constructing cabins at Liberty Lake.
Mount Ayr High School Spanish teacher Gilberto Castreje must return to his native Spain pending approval of a Green Card, which will allow him to work in the United States permanently.
Kids in Touch, Tingley’s newest preteen-teen organization partners with the Tingley Lions to host a Christmas celebration.
The first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are administered to staff at Ringgold County Hospital.
Mount Ayr Senior Payton Weehler signs an official Letter of Intent as a preferred walk-on with the University of Nebraska football team.
During its annual Holiday Lights in the Park display, Ringgold County Conservation raises over $5,000 with visits from over 1,500 people, 346 of whom came from out of county.
The Ringgold County Sheriff’s Office sponsors a “Shop with a Cop and Dispatcher” campaign to benefit county residents in need.