Friday, April 18, 2014

Russell News April 22

Museum Hours Revisited, Again!

Due to illness of our faithful worker, Grace, the Museum will be open only on Monday from 1-3, Wednesday from 2-5 and Friday 2-5 until further notice. We wish her well in her treatment and recovery.
Council Meeting Highlights
April 7, 2014

The first reading of Ordinance 141 regarding charges for meter repairs was approved. The second reading will be at the next scheduled council meeting.
Members of the Russell Community Club were in attendance to discuss the sewer dump station at the campground. According to city ordinance, The Community Club is responsible for all sewer lines from their property line plus 100’.
The Chariton Schools did not hire a bus monitor for Russell. Jay will take on the bus stop project and come up with an acceptable site by the beginning of next school year.
A property line issue was determined to be a civil issue, not a city issue. A resident was instructed to call the law center with any dog issues. There is complaint of a semi-trailer and signage on his property. He was asked to bring all his permits and licenses to city hall so the city can be assured he has the correct documentation to act as a business.
A resident wants to move a 1948 Kaiser from their garage so they can have room for their business. Resident was instructed that the car needs to be licensed before it can be parked outside.
Cody Carroll was approved as a member of the fire department.. Jim Carroll will be retiring from the department after 54 years of service. The city sincerely thanks him for his dedicated service to the community.
Larry is working to repair the streets. It was approved to hire Stan McDonald to work on getting our gravel streets into better shape.
Gene Wright’s higher bid for the hay ground was approved.
The election to determine how our local option will be disbursed is on Tuesday May 6. Be sure and vote!
Council members in attendance were Susan Beecher, Duane Bedford, Crystal Moore, Dana Blue and Jay Pierschbacher . Others in attendance were city employee Larry Mitchell and Fire Chief Craig Alexander. Visitors in attendance were Clare Davis, Robert and Sharon McCurdy, Deb Mason, Sarah Peek, Larry Templeton, Karen Werts, Brain Beaty and Jesse Clark, along with Mayor Ed Scheel and City Clerk Wendy Nickell.
Please note that the next council meeting will be on Tuesday May 13 at 7pm.

Saturday, May 3rd, Russell Clean-up Day, 8 a.m. to noon, $15 for car or pick-up load. There will be a scrap person taking these items at cleanup day. He will accept for free: washer and dryers, refrigerators (must be empty of all food), air conditioners, small propane tanks, water heaters, stoves and computer towers (no monitors or TV's).
Country trash will take TV’s $10.00 each, computer monitors $10.00 each and standard size tires $5.00.
Saturday, May 3, 7:30 to 10 a.m. The Museum will be holding a breakfast fundraiser at the Museum to help pay for repairs on the the furnace/air conditioner. Items available will be pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, juice, coffee and rolls. This is a free-will offering. Come enjoy the meal and fellowship on your way to the Russell Clean-up Day that morning.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Russell Sale Barn Lunchroom Revival

It is hard for anyone from Russell, Iowa to try and tell people from other parts of Iowa just where you are from or where Russell, Iowa really is. Sometimes we have to say you have probably heard of Chariton, Iowa.
Then in your talking with them you mention the Russell Sale Barn (now known as the Russell Livestock Market) it seems like most people come alive and say, oh yes, we have heard of that or yes, we have been there many times.
So when the kitchen at the Russell Sale Company was gutted by fire in October, 2013 everyone around the area was very sad. Most all farmers around this area have sold livestock at this sale barn for years. The sales kept going on but the food was very limited through out the winter months.
So when we started seeing a structure being built next to the barn we were very excited. The new kitchen and dining area opened on March 31, 2014. It has a large modern kitchen, and a large dining area where you can sit and watch the sale going on a TV as you eat your lunch . They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner (if the sale goes late in the evening) which includes sandwiches of all kinds, a special of the day, and of course pie. The kitchen is only open on sale days and also on any day they are having a special sale.
We, in the Russell area, would to say a big THANK YOU to Tony & Meshara Ballanger, Shawn and Jana Murphy, the owners of the Russell Livestock Market, for all your hard work. We know that Russell will stay on the map with the sale barn being so popular.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Russell Historical Society Museum and LIbrary News

Have you checked out the Russell Museum/Library lately?  There are newer books available in the Library and Grace has put out some attractive displays and has more planned.  Internet access is still available along with other media.  There are on-going new items on display in the Museum, thanks to contributions from the community. 
New hours for the building are:  Monday 1-5, Tuesday 2-5, Wednesday 1-5, Thursday closed, Friday 2-5 and Saturday 10-3.  The hours the museum/library is open is based on volunteer availability.

On Saturday, May 3rd from 7:30 to 10 a.m., the Museum will be holding a breakfast fundraiser at the Museum/Library to help pay for repairs on the furnace/air conditioner.  Items available will be pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, juice, coffee and rolls.  Free-will offering will be accepted.
Come enjoy the meal and fellowship on your way to the Russell Clean-up day that morning.  
Russell Clean-up day, 8 a.m. to noon, $15 for car or pick-up truck load.  

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Russell Fire Department's Annual Ham Dinner

The Russell Fire Department will hold their annual ham dinner on Saturday, April 19th from 4:30-7:00 p.m at the Russell Community Center.  This is their fundraiser and meals are $9.  If you would like a home delivery, call Brian Beaty at 641-203-3217 or the Community Center that afternoon at  641-535-4737.
The Volunteer Fire Department is an essential part of the community and deserves our ongoing support.  Please show up to thank them and bolster their efforts.

Around Town April 1

The Russell Volunteer Fire Department will hold their annual ham supper fundraiser on Saturday, April 19 at 4:30 p.m. at the Community Center. For delivery call Brian at 641-203-3217 or the Community Center that afternoon at 535-4737.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Around Town March 25th

The Carroll family would like to thank everyone who participated in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. It was a beautiful day and there was a large crowd of spectators as well as many parade participants, including organizations, businesses, churches and 2 Fire Departments. Brandon Carroll led the parade in his Purple Heart Marine truck which was presented to him by the Wounded Warriors program.

Friday, March 14, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Parade

The parade will be, Saturday, March 15 at noon.  Entries will line up west of the bank.  Everyone is invited to enter the parade or participate as an onlooker.  An Irish breakfast will be served beginning at 9 a.m. in the Southside Dining Room.  We encourage everyone to celebrate their heritage whether it is Irish or other.

Winners of their chili-cook-off were: 
1st place-Piperman, 2nd place - Ashley Bedford, 3rd place - Jo Carroll.  We appreciate all seven who entered and congratulate them on their originality and culinary skills.

Around Town March 18th

Highlights to Council Meeting, March 3, 2014

Mayor Ed Sheel called the budget hearing to order at 7 p.m.  Duane Bedford made the motion to accept the FY2015 budget as printed with a second by Dana Blue.  Motion carried 4-0.
The Mayor called the regular meeting to order at 7:03 pm.  
Police Chief Jeff Johnson informed the council that Officer Luke Rich had not been able to be down here due to them being short-handed in Chariton.  He didn't know if Officer Rich would be putting in any more hours here.  Chief Johnson thought he could cover the needed hours himself.
Mike Beaty gave the council an update on the City's Insurance Policy.  Total premium is $11,575 with Workmens' Compensation Premium, $7,500, making a yearly total of $19,212.  The representative from McCune and Reed Insurance did not show up for the meeting.  The Council approved a motion to remain with Beaty Insurance for the City's insurance needs.  Carried 4-0.
The Fire Department will have their annual Ham Supper on Saturday April 19th.
Several parents were in attendance to talk about the bus stop situation.  It was requested that the parents get on the agenda for the next Chariton School board meeting and express the need for a bus monitor in Russell.  When the bus stop was on Shaw St., damage was done to the bandstand that cost the city quite a bit of money for repairs.  There have been no damages to the bandstand since the bus stop was moved.  A school bus monitor will need to be hired before the council will consider moving the bus stop back to Shaw St.
The streets will be an ongoing repair situation.  The winter ice, snow and frost  causes a lot of damage. Residents will need to be patient until the streets dry at which time our city employee will make the needed repairs.  Trying to repair streets when they are soft and muddy is futile.
Duane made the motion with second by Susan to approve Larry to attend a water distribution conference on March 12 in Newton.  Motion carried 4-0.
The Mayor will take a look at the culvert on E. Shaw, as water is blocked and doesn't drain, to see what type of work needs to be done to correct the situation.
Ryan Atwell spoke to the council about the Community Club putting in a dump station at the campgrounds.  There was discussion about who is responsible to get the sewer to the property line.  The Mayor will check ordinances and let Mike Beaty know.
The Council approved a request for Beaty Insurance to redo a portion of sidewalk in front of their building.  
Susan made a motion to send letters to attorneys to find out their fees.  Seconded by Duane.  Motion carried 4-0.
Also approved 4-0, was the purchase of safety supplies for our city employees, including a chainsaw helmet and chaps, to be worn when using the chainsaw.
The city will put an ad in the paper for bids on the city hay ground.  Larry has vacation scheduled so Duane or the Mayor will read meters in June.
Clean up day is Saturday, May 3rd from 8-noon.  Susan made the motion to increase the charge to $15 per car or pickup load. Dana seconded it.  Motion carried 4-0.
On a motion by Susan with a scond by Duane, Resolution 2014-06 was approved.  This will increase the rental for the COmmunity building by $5 per room.  The north room rent will be $55 and the south room rent will be $35.  The total building rent will be $90.  New fees will begin April 1, 2014.  Motion carried 4-0.
Council members in attendance were Duane Bedford, Susan Beecher, Dana Blue and Crystal Moore along with Mayor Ed Scheel and City Clerk Wendy Nickell.  Jay Pierschbacher was absent.  Police Chief Jeff Johnson and Fire Chief Craig Alexander were also in attendance.  Visitors were Ryan Atwell, Brian Beaty, Mike Beaty, Jesse Clark, Corey Paige, Sarah Peek, Niki Shounkwiler and Larry Templeton.
The next meeting will be on Monday April 7, 2014.
For Russell news check out the page numbers listed to the right of this article.
For Lucas County information try their blog at
If you have comments or suggestions for this column, please e-mail or call 641-535-2402.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Around Town March 11th

Around Town

The Russell Community welcomes new faces, Jessica at the Post Office and Beth at the bank. Jessica will be working on Saturday from 8-10 a.m. Beth is at the bank from 9-noon Monday -Friday. New faces, new friends. 

Put on your calendar; Saturday, May 3, Russell City-wide clean-up and Tuesday, May 6, Russell City election. 

March Calendar

Tuesday, March 11, SHARE sign-up, call Joann at 535-2601. Packages for March include the Best Value package, produce, meat only, breakfast slider, pork chop box, steak strips, seafood box, Farmland spiral ham and other specialty items. Pick-up is Saturday, March 29. 

Saturday, March 15, Breakfast at 9 a.m., Southside Dining Room, St. Patrick's Day parade at noon 

Saturday, March 15, 5-7 p.m. Homemade soup, salads and pies supper at United Methodist church. Everyone is welcome.

Sunday March 16, 2 p.m. Russell Sportsmen's Club Turkey gun sight-in and match

Monday, March 17, 5:15 p.m. Museum Board Meeting 

Saturday, March 22, Pheasants Forever (a supporter of Russell Sportsman's Club) Fund-raising Banquet at Carpenter Hall, doors open at 5:30, supper at 7 p.m. 

Thursday, March 27, 6:30 p.m. Russell Community Club meeting at the Community Center 

Sunday March 30, 2 p.m. Russell Sportsmen's Club Handgun instruction clinic 

For Russell news updates try the Russell Historical Society Blog at

For Lucas County information try their blog at 

If you have comments or suggestions for this column, please e-mail or call 641-535-2402.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Around Town - February 25th

City Council Meeting February 3rd
1.  The Southside Liquor license was approved along with Delores Carroll's request to have the St. Patrick's Day parade on March 15th at noon and to have the street blocked off on that day.
2.  Discussions:
     a.  A report was given on the progress for the culvert repair on South Prairie.  There was discussion about responsibility for care and maintenance of that portion of highway.  
     b.  Also discussion took place regarding junk vehicles and trailers on private property.  
     c.  Street repair needs to be done on South Prairie over some of the manhole covers.
     d.  The West Ames leak has re-appeared.  
     e.  A chlorine test on the water will be done to determine if it is a water leakage or waste water. 
   f.  A fee of $35 per call and $35 per hour after initial fee plus parts or new meter to fix any water meters that are the resident's responsibility to keep from damage or freezing.
3.  Clean up day will be on Saturday May 3 from 8 a.m. to noon.
Council members in attendance were Susan Beecher, Dana Blue, Crystal Moore and Duane Bedford, along with Ed Scheel,  Mayor; Wendy Nickel, City Clerk; Larry Mitchell, City Employee.  Jay Pierschbacher was absent.  Also in attendance was Delores Carroll, visitor. 
4.  The next meeting will be on Monday, March 3, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.   The Budget Hearing will be held prior to the regular council meeting.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Russell Volunteer Fire Department Texas Hold 'Em Tournament

The Russell Volunteer Fire Department presents a Texas Hold 'Em Tournament on January 25, 2014.  The tournament starts at 7:00p.m. at the Russell Community Center.
There is a fee for buy-in.  Cash Pay Back.  If you have any questions please call Brian at 203-3217, Chris at 203-0951 or Shawn at 203-3164.

Around Town January 21

Russell City Council Highlights 

January 9, 2014 7 p.m. 

(Postponed from January 6-weather related)

The first meeting for the year 2014 led to the department heads as follows; Duane Bedford-Parks and Recreation, Jay Pierschbacher -Streets, Susan Beecher-Community Building, Crystal Moore-Water/Waste water and Dana Blue-Police. The appointment of Duane as Mayor pro tem was approved. 

Resolution Directing the Acceptance of a Proposal to Purchase $60,000 General Obligation Capital Loan was approved, after receiving no written or oral objections.

Also, the council approved levying a tax to pay the notes.

A Resolution passed to hold a Special Election on May 6, 2014 to change our Local Option money disbursement to 60% road use and 40% General Fund for General Municipal purpose.

The council department heads are:  Duane-Parks and Rec.; Jay-Streets; Susan-Community Bldg; Crystal-Water/Waste-water and Dana-Police.  The council approved the appointment of Duane Bedford as Mayor Pro Tem.

The motion to approve the second reading of the Electric Franchise Fee (to replace loss of funding) was approved. Motion was approved to waive the 3rd reading. 

Harley Haven liquor license was approved. Vickie Jordan spoke about having a poker run in May to benefit one of the non-profit organizations in our community.  More about this in the future.

Chris Knust has retired from the FD. We greatly appreciate His dedication to the Russell Volunteer Fire Department these past many years. 

There have been several water leaks with the severe cold. Larry will get more parts to have on hand in case future needs. 

The South Prairie project (replacing the tube) was rejected by FEMA. The City is appealing that decision. FEMA did approve replacing the culvert on South Main. 

Council members present for the meeting were Duane Bedford, Susan Beecher, Dana Blue, Crystal Moore and Jay Pierschbacher, along with Ed Scheel, Mayor and Wendy Nickell, City Clerk. 

Others were city employee Larry Mitchell and Fire Chief Craig Alexander. Visitors were Vickie Jordan. 

There was some discussion about legal counsel.

The next meeting will be on February 3, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Around Town - January 7th

The Senior Citizens wish to thank the Community Club for the excellent turkey and all the trimmings meal, which they enjoyed, along with the fellowship on December 14th.  Marilyn Reynolds on the accordion and Jeanette Shreck on the auto-harp added to the festivities.  It all helped to brighten the holiday season and a good time to check up on fellow citizens rarely seen in the winter time.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Around Town December 31

As we approach the beginning of a New Year, the Russell News committee wishes you well for the new year.  We have made an effort to keep you informed about community activities, sharing good news and bad, old memories and making new ones.  We can always use input in what should be included.  If you have any suggestions for articles, events, people interviews, please contact Marilyn at or call 641-535-2402.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Around Town Dec 10th and Dec 24th

There will be no Russell News in the December 24th issue of the Chariton paper.  We will resume again on December 31st with the January calendar and other interesting tidbits of news.

Highllights of December Council Meeting

Ordinance for animal control in the City of Russell was passed and will be in effect after publication.  Copies of the new ordinance can be obtained at City Hall.
The campground sewer dump installation was discussed and it was determined a group will meet at the campground to further discuss the best option for the dump station site.
A mobile home was moved into the city without approval by the City Council according to the city ordinance.  Since they did not approve him using the trailer to make an addition to his existing home, Wayne made the motion with second by Jay for him to move the trailer out of town.  He had 20 hours to move the trailer beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday December 3rd.
Police Chief Jeff Johnson is working with a commercial property owner to comply with the laws of the city concerning junk and debris.
The Mayor asked that cleats be installed on the roof of the fire station where the old and new building meet to prevent snow and ice from sliding off the roof in large chunks and to prevent injury.
Mayor Scheel expressed his thanks to Jeremy Blue, Don Sellers and Wayne Riggs for their service to the city as council members.
Council members present were Duane Bedford, Jeremy Blue, Jay Pierschbacher and Wayne Riggs.  Don Sellers was absent.  Also in attendance were city employee Larry Mitchell, Police Chief Jeff Johnson and Fire Chief Craig Alexander, along with Mayor Ed Scheel and Wendy Nickell, City Clerk.
Visitors were council members-elect Susan Beecher and Dana Blue.  Other visitors were Craig Gooder, Ryan Atwell, Larry Templeton and Josh Jensen.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Around Town November 26, 2013

Russell Sportsmen’s Club Yearly Report 

Russell Sportsmen’s Club held the Annual Member Meeting November 18, 2013 .

President Ted Williams opened the meeting. The 20 members present were Andy Brink, Duane Bedford, Curt Catron, Paul Goldsmith, Christopher Holtzinger, Dean Jones, Jon Lund, Steve Mikesell, Tim Miller, Dan Morrett, Dr. Randall, Mark Richardson, Ed Scheel, Bob Sims, Stan Steenhoek, Richard Stickley, Jeff Wesley, Ted Williams, Sue Williams, and Jim Wooley.

Jon Lund reported on the progress of starting a High School trap team. 

A DNR range development specialist will inspect the property this month to give advice on a longer rifle range. Jim Wooley thanked the Club for providing youth firearms programs and presented a check for $350 from Pheasants Forever to cover the cost of the 2014 youth events. 

Mark Richardson, Scoutmaster of Troop 149, noted that the Boy Scouts used the range this month and thanked the Club for the use of the range and lodge and for their tradition of supporting Scouting.

The election of Officers and Board; President: Ted Williams Vice-president: VernVogel Secretary/Treasurer: Dan Morrett.

At Large Board Members: Curt Catron, Paul Goldsmith, Jon Lund, Steve Mikesell, Rick Moore, Stan Steenhoek, and Sue Williams.

Submitted by Dan Morrett, secretary/treasurer. 

Community Club Summary

The campground has closed for the season, but we are still working on getting a dump station installed at the campground. 
We were so pleased with the participation for trunk or treat and are looking forward to coming up with more fun ideas to draw the community together.
We are very pleased that we have had new members join in the last couple of months and look forward to having more new members join. Just a little reminder how the club works. This is not a club that you have to be asked to join. Anyone with an interest in Russell is welcome to join. With more members we have more ideas and that works out to be more good things we can do for our community. If anyone is interested or has questions they can talk with any club member or call Deb at 641-203-0681.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Russell Volunteer Firemen

Chariton Leader, November 5, 2013
Sharon Knebel, Staff Writer

Russell Volunteer firemen have 542 years of Accumulated Service

The Russell Fire Department currently has 30 dedicated volunteers who have accumulated 542 years of fighting fires and saving lives as first responders.  The Department averages 70 to 80 calls a year.  About half are grass and other fires.  The other half are EMT/First Responder calls for health emergencies.  The most recent fire extinguished by the Department was the kitchen fire at the Russell Sale Barn.
In addition to answering 911 calls, the members are busy throughout the year raising money for their various needs.  Expanding the facility has been the focus of fundraising for the last few years.  Two years ago the work began with the pouring of the cement floor.  Last year the shell of the building was erected.  This year work has begun on the inside, including electric, heating, insulation and liner steel.
Three grant awards from South Central Iowa Community Foundation helped with funding the expansion.  The Department also held a cook-off at the Fall Festival, held their annual ham supper in April and conducted several raffles throughout the year.
Department Officers:  Craig Alexander, Fire Chief; Brian Beaty, Assistant Chief; Jeff Neer, Captain; Mark McCurdy, Lieutenant; Chris Feehan, EMS Captain; Corey Paige, Secretary and Shawn Werts, Treasurer.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wilma Reynolds Obituary

Our dear friend Wilma Reynolds passed away on November 7. We will miss her very much.

Wilma Ruth Reynolds
Wednesday April 10, 1918 - Thursday November 7, 2013

Visitation: 4-6 p.m., Sunday, November 10, 2013
Fielding Funeral Home Chariton, IA

Service: 10:30 a.m., Monday, November 11, 2013
Fielding Funeral Home Chariton, IA

Interment: Russell Cemetery
Russell, IA

Go to the obituary page for a complete Obituary.

Around Town - November 12

Around Town

Garbage pickup for November 28 (Thanksgiving) will be on Saturday, November 30. 

Congratulations to Council member winners; Susan Beecher, Dana Blue and Crystal Moore.

A familiar face is missing from the bank in Russell.  We thank her for her service to the community and the friendly place she provided.  Deb is still visible  in the community and her smiling face now appears at Last Chance. 

More pictures and write-up of the Truck or Treat event is available on the Russell blog

Abbreviated Council minutes
The 1st reading of an ordinance establishing animal control for the city of Russell
was approved. 
Areas concerning property owners was discussed. A resident has a week to clean up area and if no improvement is made then charges will be filed. Jeff will  talk to other property owners of  concern.

Streets -  Research will be done on pricing a snow blade for the city pickup.

Water/wastewater - Several leaks have been identified and fixed.

When weather warms next spring it will be determined if any repairs need to be made on the Community building siding.

Jay will talk with transportation officials at the school about the issue of school buses unloading in an unsafe ares across the tracks.

The Community Club has decided to put an RV dump at the south end of the campground.
The Mayor is to proceed with obtaining information about the property donation at 803 S Prairie.

Council members in attendance were Duane Bedford, Jeremy Blue, Jay Pierschbacher, Don Sellers, Wayne Riggs along with Mayor Ed Scheel and City Clerk Wendy Nickell. Also attending were city employee Larry Mitchell, Fire Chief Craig Alexander. Visitors were Craig Gooder and Jim Neer.

The next meeting will be held on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Around Town Nov 5th

City Council Elections today- Be sure to vote today for three City Council members.  Hours are from  noon-8 p.m.  Russell residents in the running are Craig Gooder, Crystal Moore, Dana Blue and Susan Beecher.
We send best wishes to Lynne Wilson as she has moved to Arizona to be with family.  Also thanks for being instrumental in her many hours of work, developing the indexing system for the Russell Historical Society and other computer instruction. She will still be doing the Russell Blog.
If you have been by 803 S. Prairie, you may have noticed the former old Garland Pyle house has been torn down and the lot leveled. Another part of history gone. 

Trunk or Treat Event

On a October cold and windy afternoon, the Russell Community Club held its first Trunk or Treat Event at the Russell Trojan Campground . There were approximate 20 trunks opened up and full of candy, pop, and etc. to be given away to any child who wanted to come down and go Trick or Treating. At one count there were over 40 kids who did just that. They were then divided up into age groups and judged. Prizes were given to the first three winners in each age group. 

All of a sudden a red pick-up came pulling into the campground, driven by two strange looking gentlemen and a terrible sound coming from a beast that was caged in the back and wanting out. The kids gathered around this pick-up to see if they could get a closer look at what was in the cage and all of a sudden the back window of the pick-up flew up and the beast stuck his head out and the kids scattered. The beast was finally secured back in the cage and left the campground. There were hay rides going on, hot dogs, drinks, and cupcakes were enjoyed by all. Be sure and watch the Russell News in October 2014 for another Trunk or Treat Event and to see if they will be able to contain the Beast until then.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lucas County Girl Scouts Annual Fright Night

On Saturday, October 26th, the Lucas County Girl Scouts and their families attended the annual Fright Night that was held at the home of Pam Davis in rural Chariton.  Prior to the celebration, a few of the Girl Scout Leaders and some of their family members decorated Pam's horse barn to provide a fun and spooky place for the girls.  Eleven registered Girl Scouts and seven registered adults attended with a few family members.  The children enjoyed playing beanbag toss, ring toss on two liter soda bottles and a hay scavenger hunt with all kinds of goodies hidden as well as winning prizes.  Everyone enjoyed the meal, hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows.  When the sun went down, and the barn was dark, a few helpers hid in the barn to frighten the little and big ones when they went through.  It was a good time for everyone.

Around Town

City Council Election

The Russell Community will be voting on Tuesday, November 5, for three new City Council members.  The term is up for the following members:  Don Sellers, Jeremy Blue and Wayne Riggs. Russell residents running for these open positions are Craig Gooder, Crystal Moore, Dana Blue and Susan Beecher.  Having two more years in their terms are Ed Scheel, Mayor; Duane Bedford and Jay Pierschbacher, council members.

Russell Sportsmen's Club Board Meeting

The Sportsmen's Club Board met at 1:00 on October 20, 2013.  Present were Ted Williams, Vern Vogel, Dan Morrett, Jon Lund, Steve Mikesell, Stan Steenhoek, Bill Thompson and Sue Williams.  Paul Goldsmith and Curt Catron were absent due to Sheriff Baker;s retirement party.
Ted called the meeting to order.  The minutes and treasury report were approved as read.  
The Board set the 2014 season of events.  It will be similar to the current season.  The main changes were combining the service rifle match with the center-fire rifle event and adding two handgun instruction clinics.  These instruction clinics will be open to anyone.
2014 annual dues will remain the same at $25 for individuals and $40 for family memberships.  Non-member event fees will remain the same at $5 per event.
Instruction clinic fees were discussed.  There will be fees for instruction on top of event fees. Instruction fees will be left up to the instructors.
Jon Lund reported on the progress of a possible High School Trap Shoot Team.  He completed the shotgun certification class and encouraged others to get certified also.  He and others will meet with school administration with a proposal.
Submitted by Dan Morrett, Secretary/Treasurer

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fire Destroys Kitchen at Russell Sale Barn Cafeteria

Herald-Patriot, October 24, 2013
Bill Howes, Associate Editor

A fire destroyed the interior of the kitchen and cafeteria of the Russell Sale Barn along Highway 34 October 21.  No one was injured and the fire was contained to the kitchen and cafeteria area, it didn't spread to the sale arena.  The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time and will be determined by the insurance company.
The Russell Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire and the Chariton Volunteer Fire Department was called for mutual aid.
According to Russell Assistant Fire Chief, Brian Beatty, their department was dispatched to the fire at 8:15 a.m.  Beatty said that the fire started in the storage room of the kitchen.  No one was in the kitchen area at the time and when they arrived there was fire in the kitchen area..  There was heavy smoke coming from the eaves as well.   Asst. Chief Beatty said he didn't know who called the fire in.
Beatty said that they had the main fire knocked down within 10 minutes of being at the scene.  They were there for two hours.  He also said that the interior of the kitchen and cafeteria were a total loss but the outside part of the building that houses the kitchen and cafeteria wasn't damaged very much.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Around Town

Information from October 8 Council Meeting

Deb Mason representing the Community club presented their plans for the October 26 Trunk or Treat event which is listed in the left hand column of this blog. 
Jeff will get council members a copy of the City of Chariton’s new dog ordinance. 
A discussion was held on the use of 4-wheelers on the streets. These types of vehicles are not street legal and that is by state law. No action taken by the council. 
Street repairs are ongoing. Danny Pfeifer asked about tree trimming on Smith St. for clearance for his farm equipment.
It was approved for Larry to purchase a ½” drive impact wrench set and for Jeremy to purchase new tires for the city pickup and a heater will be purchased for the skidloader. 
Vicki Jordan requested guidance on events at Harley Haven.
Russell’s Beggars night will be Thursday Oct. 31 from 5-8 p.m. 
It was approved for the city clerk to attend software training in Des Moines on October 16 and budget training in Ottumwa on November 12. 
The property at 803 S. Prairie will be demolished by Level Construction The city will provide the dirt needed to fill the hole and level the site. The city approved to accept the land donation after all paperwork is completed, all fees and costs are paid and there is proof of no cost to the city.
Council members present were Wayne Riggs, Duane Bedford, and Jeremy Blue, along with Ed Scheel, Mayor and Wendy Nickell, City Clerk. Jay Pierschbacher and Don Sellers were absent. Also present were city employee Larry Mitchell and Police chief Jeff Johnson. Fire Chief Craig Alexander arrived later. Visitors were Deb Mason, Vicki Jordan. Craig Gooder and Delores Carroll. .
The next meeting will be Monday November 4, 2013 at 7pm. 

Community Club Activities

The 1st annual Russell Community Club Trunk or Treat event will be held on Saturday October 26 at Trojan field starting at 2 p.m. The community is invited to decorate your car trunk and hand out candy. There will be a costume contest at 3 p.m., a hay-rack ride at 4 p.m. followed by hot dogs and lemonade. The Community Club has captured a wild beast and are working hard to tame it enough to show at the Trunk or Treat event.
Contact Amanda Atwell (203-1723) or Katie Werts (203-3163) with questions. 
The regular Trick or Treat night will be held on Thursday, October 31st from 5-8 p.m.

City Council Elections

The Russell Community will be voting on Tuesday, November 5, for three new City Council members. The term is up for the following members; Don Sellers, Jeremy Blue and Wayne Riggs. Russell residents running are Craig Gooder, Crystal Moore, Dana Blue and Susan Beecher. Having two more years in their term is Ed Scheel, mayor, Duane Bedford and Jay Pierschbacher.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Community Club News

The Russell Community Club met on Sept. 26th at the Community Center with fourteen members present.  The group talked about upgrades at the campgrounds, which included the dump station hookup, picnic table repairs, restroom seat improvements, rock base slabs for campers and looking into playground equipment.
The Club has tentatively set Saturday, September 13, 2014 for the Fall Festival and BBQ Contest.  The annual Senior Citizens Christmas dinner has been set for December 7, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.
The Community Club is also planning (following discussion with the City Council) a fun time for all ages and members of the community at the First Annual Trunk or Treat Day from 2 - 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 26 at Trojan Field.  More information to follow in coming weeks.
Mystery beast found by the Community Club
They have captured a wild beast and are working hard to tame it enough to show at Trunk or Treat events planned for Saturday, October 26th.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Russell's Entry into the Hay Bale Contest

Russell's entry into the Lucas County hay bale contest is the Pfeifer family.  It looks so real from a distance.  It is on the way into Russell from the south, which many won't see.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

BEST IN SMOKE BBQ Competition Results

The Russell Volunteer Fire Department sponsored its 3rd Annual BEST IN SMOKE BBQ competition on Saturday, September 14th and a large crowd gathered in the park to cook, watch and enjoy the days festivities, including a parade, pie contests, BBQ contests, a tractor pull contest and later in the evening a street dance at The Southside Bar.
The Firemen did an excellent job again by bringing the community together. Thanks go to many, including the 26 sponsors; the judges; the Chariton Middle School Band; Mike and Dawn Beaty, who served as Grand Marshals, for both their contributions to the Community; Tony Irving, who sang the National Anthem; Bud Welch with his pedal tractors, which was enjoyed by many children and other parade participants; and to all who came and made it a great day.  The weather was great.  
The following are the results of the BBQ competitions:
Dessert Competition Winners:
BBQ Chicken Competition Winners:
BBQ Pork Competition Winners:
BBQ Brisket Competition Winners:

Overall BBQ Champions:

Champions not pictured:

BBQ Ribs Category Winners:

1st Place  $100 - Poling BBQ Pit - Ethan Poling, Steve Poling  of Chariton, IA
2nd Place  $50  - Gothic Town Grillers - Randy and Roxy Kern of Eldon, IA
3rd Place  $25  -  Smokin' Mike's - Mike Sherrick of Chariton, IA

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Council Minutes Excerpts, Sept. 12, 2013

Council members attending were Duane Bedford, Jeremy Blue, Wayne Riggs and Don Sellers.  Jay Pierschbacher was absent.  Also in attendance were:  Ed Scheel, Mayor and Wendy Nickell, City Clerk; City employee Larry Mitchell; Police Chief Jeff Johnson and Fire Chief Craig Alexander.  Visitors were: Josh and Aarin Jensen, Larry Templeton, Vicki Jordan, Dustin Davis, Ed Sellers, Craig Gooder and Delores Carroll.

Aarin and Josh Jensen want to put up a 6' wood lattice fence that will be 10' back from sidewalk, and they will angle the corner so there is clearance for traffic at stop sign.  Council gives OK as long as there is no interference with public access to sidewalk and sight to stop sign and cross traffic is clear.
Signage will be put up that states no parking between signs  at the 100 block of North Prairie.
Delores Carroll was given permission to close the street for dance in front of the Southside Tavern for a street dance from 9 p.m.- 1 a.m. on Saturday September 14th.
Last Chance was given approval for a liquor license.  They also approved a cigarette permit for Harley Haven.
Harley Haven will be having an event on September 21st with a band from 3-7 p.m.  Permission from property owners has been obtained.
The Russell Iowa Historical Society will be bringing in some dirt to fill in the area in front of their new building.
Congratulations to our Russell Volunteer Fire Department on their 3rd place finish at the State Fire Convention.
Council approved to accept Agriland FS propane quote at $1.25 per gallon for the 2013-2014 heating season.  The fire Department will take care of hanging the AED at the Community Building.
Funding is in process to replace the current fire rescue truck.  Work continues on the new addition to the fire station.
Lagoon Design engineer recommended removal of all the trees from the south side of the lagoon.
The issue with junk cars was discussed.  Every car has to have a junk permit from the DNR.
There was discussion as to the best site for a dump station at the campground.