Top 10 stories of 2021 | national news


1. Green bridge disappeared

Much of Waverly’s history is now in the history books.

After 20 years of struggling over what to do with the Third Street Southeast Bridge, also known as the Green Bridge, which was built in 1917, the Town of Waverly finally had it removed in December. During the last six years of its life, it was closed to traffic.

WHKS & Co., the city’s bridge inspector, ordered it closed in February 2015. As a result, the council first considered repairing the bridge, then converting it to a pedestrian bridge, and then converting it to a pedestrian bridge. replace it with a new two-lane bridge. , but all suggestions were either rejected or rejected. In the process, a million dollar grant from the Department of Transportation was turned down.

2. W-SR is preparing the construction of 2 new schools

Voters in the Waverly-Shell Rock School District overwhelmingly approved a bond issue that would help pay for the construction of two new elementary schools in Waverly as well as improvements to Shell Rock Elementary and W-SR High School March 2.

After a task force recommended additions and improvements to facilities to address space issues, voters confirmed the link with 73.32% voting yes. The W-SR School Board then decided to purchase two plots of land for the new schools, 17 acres of the Becky Winkey property along Northwest Fifth Avenue across from the Public Works building and land to the south. of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

The finalization of the plans is currently underway with a call for tenders on the construction to come.

3. Finishing of Cedar River Park

The second phase of Cedar River Park, which is the location of the new youth baseball and softball fields along Cedar River Parkway across from the Waverly Shell Rock football complex, is nearing completion.

The seven diamonds for the youth and the Miracle League field have been graded, the diamond-applied turf is intended for ball players of different abilities, and the turf seed has been planted in all the outer fields. The city is currently seeking donations to complete vertical structures, including washrooms and concession stands.

4. Return to “normal”

With the availability of COVID-19 vaccines and health and safety protocols in place, many events in the region that had been canceled in 2020 have resumed, and other facets of the community have returned to a sense of normalcy, but not 100% before pandemic practices.

Waverly City Council, after meeting virtually except for one study session since April 2020, resumed face-to-face meetings on June 7. However, a few members continue to wear masks to protect themselves and others from the spread of SARS-coronavirus CoV-2.

Meanwhile, events like Waverly Heritage Days, Shell Rock July 4th Celebration, Bremer County Fair and Oktoberfest have held their annual events over the summer. A state law passed in May prevented school districts from having masking rules, but an injunction in September suspends its application until courts determine the constitutionality of the measure. Local districts, however, have refused to strengthen mask mandates.

Meanwhile, the Iowa judiciary had reinstated a mask warrant for areas of courthouses it controls, even though the county does not have face covering rules.

5. Diversify Waverly

Over the past year, the Town of Waverly has taken steps to encourage diversity within the town.

In January, city council approved a measure to transform a working group on human equity and diversity created in 2020 into a full-fledged commission.

We also see the efforts within municipal services. For example, the Waverly Police Department hired their first black cop in June, James Johnson, and promoted their first female cop, Holly Jacobsen, to detective. Johnson recently graduated from the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and is now participating in the Officer Training Program.

6. New businesses are opening up in the city

Several new businesses have opened or are about to open soon in the city.

Some of those that started up in the last year include Root Spa / Karma House, the Junkery, Essence Aesthetics, the Hidden Acre, the Secret Garden Tea Room, Alternatives Pregnancy Center, Get Roasted Coffee Company, Families First Child Care and Learning. Center, the Center for Foundational and Relational Wellness, Twisted Fate Tattoos, Mindfullness BodyWork LLC, Bremer Brewing Company and TeeUp.

Meanwhile, Z’s Pizza and Restaurant will open soon, as the finishing touches are made, and Thinkwell Coffee is converting the former Spahn & Rose Lumber location at the intersection of West Bremer and Second Street Southwest for a future storefront. .

7. New constituencies planned for the 2022 elections

Every 10 years, the Iowa Legislature defines the legislative and congressional districts that will determine who represents where for the next decade in Des Moines and Washington.

After the Senate rejected the first set of cards in October, the Legislative Assembly overwhelmingly approved a second bill. In this version, Bremer County was divided between two House Districts, 57 and 58, while being transferred to Senate District 29.

The eastern third of the county, which would include the areas of Waverly, Janesville, Denver and Plainfield, is now in the District of House 57 with all of Butler County. The rest of Bremer County is in House District 58 with all of Chickasaw County and Floyd County except Rudd and Marble Rock areas.

State Representative Sandy Salmon, who lives in northern Black Hawk County, has been placed in House District 68 and is said to have clashed with State Representative Chad Ingels, R-Randalia. Instead, she plans to move to Bremer County and run for Senate District 29. House Speaker Pat Grassley, who is currently in House District 50, is said to be in Senate District. House 57, while State Representative Todd Pritchard, D-Charles City, who currently represents House District 52, would be in House 58.

8. Wild weather hits Bremer County

Two major weather systems affected Bremer County, resulting in it being included on the state’s disaster area declarations each time.

The first occurrence was two tornadoes, an EF-2 east of Shell Rock south of Waverly and an EF-1 near Readlyn, caused structural damage and trees, but no injuries or deaths. The second was a derecho that blew through the region on December 15 and also spawned tornadoes in the Midwest, a rare occurrence at this time of year.

The derecho brought gusts of up to 80 mph fueled by unusually high temperatures, which reached 73 degrees at Waterloo Regional Airport that day – an all-time high in December.

9. Marked birthdays

During the year 2021, several milestone anniversaries have been celebrated or will be marked.

On the campus of Wartburg College, the music department hosted its 75th Christmas edition with Wartburg both locally and in Des Moines. Also, starting this week, the chapel will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the installation of its current organ.

Across Iowa, the state began celebrating the 175th anniversary of independence on Tuesday. The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has held special events throughout 2021 to mark the half-centenary (which means the 175th anniversary in Latin).

Nationally, two notorious attacks were recalled. On September 11, the nation stopped to honor the 3,000 souls who perished in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, as well as the heroes who forced United Airlines Flight 93 to s ‘crash in Shanksville, Pa. They also paid tribute to the first responders who rushed to the rescue.

On December 7, the world marked the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II. Then-President Franklin Roosevelt called the underhanded offensive “A date that will live in infamy.”

10. Fair gets lease extension, Champions Ridge being sold

The Bremer County Fair Association is moving to the east side of town. He bought 50 acres from Hanawalt Farms in early 2020, but fundraising has struggled until the past six months. The BCFA is planning work on the new exhibition center in spring 2022.

The fair’s board of directors had requested a two-year extension to its Memorial Park lease from Waverly City Council on December 20, but only got one. The city plans to make its own improvements to the park at the same time.

Meanwhile, the former Champions Ridge site is being sold to a private development group. It was originally slated to be completed for the December 6 board meeting, but Waverly Holdings LLC outbid a local real estate agent, triggering another 30-day notice before a purchase contract could be approved. An offer of $ 1.86 million is expected to be voted on at the January 17 meeting.

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