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Last Eggs & Issues of the Season Announced

(OSKALOOSA, Iowa) – The last Eggs & Issues forum, hosted by the Oskaloosa Area Chamber and Development Group, will be held tomorrow (Saturday, March 24) at Smokey Row in Oskaloosa from 8:30-9:30 AM. This final session of the season will feature local residents running for elected positions in the Oskaloosa and Mahaska County community.

On the panel will be:

Holly Brink. Brink is running for Iowa House District 80. The area that is included in this district is East Mahaska, West Wapello, Monroe, and Appanoose County.

Henry “Willie” Van Weelden. Van Weelden is running for re-election to the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors.

Dustin D. Hite. Hite is running for Iowa House of Representatives District 79. The area that is included in this district is Western Mahaska County, all of Oskaloosa, University Park, and North East Marion, including Pella.

The final Eggs & Issues moderator will be Oskaloosa Mayor Dave Krutzfeldt.

After a brief introduction by each panel member, they will be open to take questions from those present, as this is an open forum.

Oskaloosa Area Chamber & Development Group Seeks Award Nominations

(MAHASKA COUNTY, Iowa) – The Oskaloosa Area Chamber & Development Group (OACDG) will again be presenting several civic awards at their annual meeting to be held Thursday, May 10 at the cafeteria located at William Penn University. Chamber members as well as area residents are urged to submit their nominations for these awards. The categories are as follows:

Retail Business and Service Business of the Year–The most outstanding retail or service business in the Mahaska community during this past fiscal year must be in business for minimum of two years, demonstrate success, with evidence of commitment and contribution to the community.

Industry of the Year–The most outstanding industry in the Mahaska community during the year will have a stable employment history, will have been in business for minimum of two years, showing evidence of commitment and contribution to the community and a commitment to sound management practices.

Business Person of the Year–This individual will have demonstrated those qualities which have distinguished him/her in business: proven commitment and contribution to the community, a commitment to ethical business practices, recognized within their profession, a Mahaska County resident, a history of success in their business.

Citizen of the Year–This individual will have demonstrated outstanding involvement in and support of his/her community over an extended period of time.

Community Improvement Award–This commercial or industrial property will have made improvements which enhance the appearance and /or economic vitality of the Mahaska community through new development or through the redevelopment of an existing property.

Educator of the Year–This individual from a Mahaska County school will display a true passion and devotion to the betterment of students.

To make any nominations or to contribute an innovative idea for a “special award” pertaining to exceptional achievement in a category not mentioned, call 641-672-2591, email dbruxvoort@oacdg.org with “OACDG Award” in the subject line, or fax 641-672-2047. Nominations must be received by Friday, April 6.

Next ‘Eggs & Issues’ to Feature Area Directors

(MAHASKA COUNTY, Iowa) – Eggs & Issues, a forum hosted by the Oskaloosa Area Chamber and Development Group, will again be held at Smokey Row in Oskaloosa this Saturday, March 10 at 8:30 AM.

The panel for this week’s Eggs & Issues will consist of Executive Director of MCDG Tom Flaherty, Main Street Director Emily Brown, and Oskaloosa Area Chamber and Development Group Director Ann Smith. According to a news release from the OACDG, the three will share updates about what is going on in Mahaska County and Oskaloosa. After the three are done sharing their respective updates, questions from the public will be welcomed by special moderator Andy McGuire. Free coffee will be provided by MidWest One Bank.

The final Eggs & Issues for 2018 will be Saturday, March 24 at Smokey Row from 8:30 – 9:30 AM. The panel will consist of anyone who is running for an elected office in the community, county or district.

Those interested in participating in the final Eggs & Issues who would like a seat on the panel, email Ann Smith at asmith@oacdg.org or call the OACDG at 641-672-2591.

ALICE Training Opportunity for Oskaloosa Businesses

ALERT is when you first become aware of a threat. The sooner you understand that you’re in danger, the sooner you can save yourself. A speedy response is critical. Seconds count.

LOCKDOWN might require you to barricade the room. Prepare to EVACUATE or COUNTER if needed. If EVACUATION is not a safe option, barricade entry points into your room in an effort to create a semi-secure starting point.

INFORM is to continue to communicate information in as real time as possible, if it is safe to do so. Armed intruder situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly, which means that ongoing, real time information is key to making effective survival decisions. Information should always be clear, direct and in plain language, not using codes. If the shooter is known to be in an isolated section of a building, occupants in other wards can safely evacuate while those in direct danger can perform enhanced lockdown and prepare to counter.

COUNTER is a strategy of last resort. Counter focuses on actions that create noise, movement, distance and distraction with the intent of reducing the shooter’s ability to shoot accurately. Creating a dynamic environment decreases the shooter’s chance of hitting a target and can provide the precious seconds needed in order to evacuate.

EVACUATION to a safe area takes people out of harm’s way and hopefully prevents civilians from having to come into any contact with the shooter.

This comprehensive and hands-on training opportunity is going to be available to businesses in Oskaloosa in mid-November.

If you or your business would like to participate in this event please register by November 3 by contacting the Oskaloosa Chamber at 641.672.2591 or email with total number of participants.

The Chamber will announce the date, time and location by November 3.

If you have any questions please contact the Chamber office.

Local Community Groups Looking to Work Together

An item on the agenda at both Mahaska County Board of Supervisors and City Council meeting yesterday included the discussion of the business plan for the Mahaska Development Partnership. The Chamber of Commerce, the Mahaska County Agricultural and Rural Development (MCARD), the Mahaska Community Development Group (MCDG) and Main Street Oskaloosa are four separate entities that have a desire to begin an appropriate partnership.

As the Board of Supervisors discussed this intended economic partnership for Oskaloosa and Mahaska County, it was a swift approval and acceptance of the memorandum.

Beth Danowsky, MCDG, approached the podium to speak about the organizations.

“The way we work right now, as economic development groups each group sets its own strategic plan, its own vision. And the idea behind this is, if we don’t take this first step to begin to work together then we’re going to continue to work in silos,” stated Danowsky. “And we don’t want to do that anymore, we want to begin to plan together; begin work together; begin to allocate our resources.”

A chair of each organization and a designee of the respective organization board would meet quarterly. There would be 8 members total on the board. After very little discussion, it was approved by the Board of Supervisors. The City Council, later in the day, discussed the business plan and the desire to work together

At-Large City Council member, Tom Walling, sat through the presentation of this plan.

“I strongly support the [plan] but there were several of us there that felt they still got a long way to go. I mean there’s some things to be worked out in our community about this and how we share and don’t duplicate, but grow it together,” Walling said. “They seem willing to work on that.”

With approval from both the City Council and Board of Supervisors, the partnership can now begin to move forward.


Chamber Business BEFORE Hours at Southern Iowa Fair

Pancakes, sausages and beverages will be served beginning at 6:30 am at the Southern Iowa Fair Pavilion, with the Buyers’ Auction starting at 8 am. Chamber members are encouraged to join the Diplomats and the Southern Iowa Fair Board in thanking all those involved in making the fair a success.


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