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As we close in on the end of 2021, it’s time to reflect on all the people, places, things, and events that graced the pages of the Record-News over the past year.
This week we review January through June. Next week we’ll cover July through December
A front-page article details the six Ringgold County structures that are listed on the National Register of Historic places. They include the Lee Shay Farmhouse, the old County jail on Monroe Street, the Middlefork United Methodist Church, the county courthouse, the Buck Polygonal Barn, and the Beaconsfield Supply Store (the building in which the Hy-Vee food chain originated).
Ron Landphair is appointed chair of the County Board of Supervisors. Colby Holmes and Steve Knapp join the board as new supervisors elected in last year’s general election.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds lifts the restrictions on the number of fans who can attend school sporting events.
Jaixen Frost’s 38 points ties the Raider record for points in a game. He shares the record with Lance Brown from the 2005-2006 season.
The Raider wrestlers placed third in the Ron Scott Memorial Duals.
A single vehicle accident injures Jorge Alberto Verdgo Gomez, 35, and his wife Stephanie Rose Morales, 37.
The couple own and operate the El Vaquero restaurant in Mount Ayr.
Gordon Winkler announces his retirement as administrator of the Ringgold County Hospital.
A major winter storm dumps an estimated 7 inches of snow across the county.
A front-page article chronicles the odd occurrence of two different rivers named Grand River running through Ringgold and Decatur counties.
With plenty of action remaining in the wrestling season, Bryce Shaha’s 310th takedown breaks the school record for career takedowns. The former record was held by Hans Larson from 2003-2006.
The county’s COVID remains at or above the state average during the month of January.
After a short hiatus, recycling service returns to Mount Ayr.
Meggen Weeks is named the new Ringgold County magistrate, replacing longtime magistrate James Pedersen who retired in November 2020.
Senior wrestlers Trae Ehlen and Bryce Shaha each record their 150th career wins.
Raider basketball coaches Bret Ruggles and Jeff Levine are honored for becoming the winningest basketball coaches in Mount Ayr history.
The city of Mount Ayr and the Ringgold County Sheriff’s office finalize a plan for restructuring countywide law enforcement for the next four years.
The Mount Ayr schools finalize plans to offer full-day preschool beginning in the 2021-2022 school year.
The Raiderettes finish their regular season with a record of 15-5.
Bryce Shaha, Trae Ehlen, Jaydon Knight, and Drew Ehlen qualify for the state wrestling meet.
An arctic blast drops temperatures well below zero for several days.
The Raiders close their regular season with a mark of 11-2. Payton Weehler became the winningest Raider basketball player with 75 career wins while Jaixen Frost set the single-season scoring record with 437 points, eclipsing the previous record held by Drew Larsen.
A financial technology company reports Ringgold County ranks sixth in the state in the number of small businesses.
A survey of certified enrollments in area schools shows Mount Ayr dropped 31 students from last year while the Diagonal enrollment remained steady. Most schools reported declining enrollments.
US senator Joni Ernst visits Excel Engineering in Diagonal.
A front-page article reveals how many students open enroll in and out of area school districts. Mount Ayr had 60 students enrolling in and 57.9 students enrolling out. (Fractional numbers result from various weighting formulas in state aid.) Diagonal reported 38 students enrolling in and 22 enrolling out.
The Mount Ayr Sparks had four members chosen to participate in the All-Iowa Honor Dance Team. They include Maddie Stewart, Lindsey Jennett, Alexa Smith, and Kaylie Shields.
Brothers Trae and Drew Ehlen place sixth and eighth respectively at the state wrestling tournament.
The Raiderettes fall to AHSTW (Avoca, 59-29, to end their postseason hopes.
The Ringgold County COVID rate remains at or below state averages during February.
The new Hy-Vee food store opens in its new location Fillmore Street.
The city Council donates $12,600 to the Ringgold County Conservation Board to go toward a matching grant for improvements that Liberty Lake.
Montezuma ousts the Raiders from postseason play, 64-29.
Ryan Victor is hired as the new Raider head football coach and elementary physical education teacher.
The Ringgold County Sheriff’s office investigates a report of neglected livestock.
A trio of Raiderettes are named Pride of Iowa all-conference – Rachel Sobotka, first team; Maddie Stewart, second team; Alexa Anderson, honorable mention.
An unseasonable warm spell with strong southerly winds drives the ice from most County lakes and ponds.
A front-page article features the law enforcement career of 1989 MACHS graduate Jen (Schaefer) Bell.
Four Raiders earned Pride of Iowa all-conference nods – Jaxien Frost and Erik Trujillo – first team; Payton Weehler – second team; Cody Larson – honorable mention.
A pair of Texas residents are arrested by Ringgold County Sheriff’s officers on outstanding warrants from their home state.
Iowa Lieut. Gov. Adam Gregg visits the Werner Feed Efficiency Testing Center in Diagonal and headlines a Republican gathering in Mount Ayr.
“Murder on the 518” is the spring production by the Mount Ayr High School Drama Department.
A front-page article features first time author Kandi Hughes from Grant City. The former board secretary of the Worth County school district penned her novel while school was canceled due to COVID last spring.
The county’s COVID rate remains above average for most of the month.
As the month begins, approximately 25 percent of county residents are fully inoculated against COVID.
Ringgold County Sheriff’s Deputy Landon White resigns from the Department following a settlement with the county.
After their seasons were canceled in 2019 due to COVID, the Mount Ayr high school track and golf teams hold their first competitions.
Lindsey Jennett wins the MACHS Arion Award, given to the top student in the music program.
A Mount Ayr couple receives a vicious animal citation from the Ringgold County Sheriff’s office.
Kate Newton, a fifth grader at Mount Ayr elementary, is selected as the overall state elementary winner in the Youth Art Month competition sponsored by the Art Educators of Iowa Association.
The Ringgold County Conservation Board will sponsor a series of Picnic in the Park events throughout the summer.
After a year’s absence, Mount Ayr students enjoy their annual prom entitled “A Night Under the Stars.”
The annual H.E.L.P. Service Day involves 327 students and 41 teachers from Diagonal and Mount Ayr working with 38 community volunteers to complete over 2,000 hours of service at 43 sites throughout Ringgold County.
The county’s COVID rate remains below state averages for the month.
Mount Ayr High School ranks high on the latest U.S. News & World Report list of top high schools in the state.
Highway 169 south of Mount Ayr is closed for the replacement of a bridge. Plans are to reopen the highway later in the summer or early fall.
Vicki and Gene Ricker of Ankeny donate $10,000 to the Raider Education Foundation.
Construction begins on the installation of new pumps at Jerry’s Sinclair station in Diagonal.
US Sen. Charles Grassley holds a town hall in Mount Ayr as part of his annual 99-county tour of the state.
The Mount Ayr Community school board hires Aaron Comer as 7-12 band instructor, John Calahan as 7-12 vocal instructor, Kelly Shaffer as fifth-grade teacher, and Mike Gilliland as director of buildings and grounds.
Graduation ceremonies are held for 50 Mount Ayr seniors and six Diagonal seniors. Haley Plowman and Calli Herr are Diagonal valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. Haylee Fletchall is the Mount Ayr valedictorian with Lindsey Jennett earning salutatorian honors
Haylee Fletchall is recognized during the 19th annual Governors Scholar Recognition Ceremony.
The Raiderette golf team captures the Pride of Iowa tournament title.
Chad Hunt is sworn in as the newest Ringgold County Sheriff’s Deputy.
The Raider and Raiderette track teams both qualify seven events to the state track meet. The Raiders will eventually place ninth in the Raiderettes 12th in the meet. Siblings Addy and Ryce Reynolds will bring home four medals each.
Joseph Mangiameli is named new CEO at the Ringgold County Hospital.
A front-page article chronicles Ringgold County men who served with the famed Rainbow Division during World War I.
Third District Congresswoman Cindy Axne delivers four boxes of books to the Mount Ayr Public Library. The books had come from the collection of the Library of Congress.
Larry McNutt is named the new K-12 principal at Diagonal.
Three long time school employees retire at the conclusion of the current school year – Deb Yoder, 30 years; Deb Larsen, 29 years; and Clint Poore, 26 years.
The community garden continues to thrive thanks to the work of several local volunteers.
Ringgold County Sheriff’s deputies host a Safety Night in the Park where youngsters learned about bicycle safety, Internet safety, and the dangers of alcohol and drugs.
The body of an Adel fisherman is recovered from a pond near Ellston.
The county’s COVID rate remains well under state averages in May.
It is announced Ringgold County native and record-setting astronaut Dr. Peggy Whitson will return to the International Space Station as the commander of a private mission.
Veteran racer Paul Glendenning is inducted into the Adams County Speedway Hall of Fame.
The new Medicap Pharmacy at the Ringgold County Hospital opens for business.
The summer reading program at the Mount Ayr Public Library features presentations from the Blank Park Zoo, the Science Center of Iowa, and the Insect Zoo from Iowa State University. Each event attracted over 100 kids and adults.
The Family Resource Center seeks support for its major renovation project.
The city’s public brush pile is moved from the north end of Loch Ayr to near the wastewater treatment plant south of town.
The Small Business Administration reports 631 Paycheck Protection loans were approved in Ringgold County in response to the COVID crisis.
Matt Starmer is sworn in as the newest Ringgold County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Mount Ayr graduate Sara Winemiller and current Graceland University shotput athlete finishes 18th at the NAIA National Championships.
The city of Mount Ayr and the Ringgold County Sheriff’s office sign a contract for law enforcement services effective July 1.
The original tile roof on the century-old Mount Ayr Public Library is replaced with architectural concrete-coated steel tiles similar in style to the original tile.
The number of COVID cases in the county continues well below state averages in June.