Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chamber Annual Banquet February 8

2009 Banquet Highlights

2008 President Howie Drees
2009 President Mike Franey

Nick Badding, 2007 Community Service Award winner, presents Jim Auen the 2008 Community Service Award and congratulates him for being honored as Citizen of the Year.

Don't miss the 2010 Annual Banquet - call the Chamber office 792-4383 to order your tickets.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Carroll Chamber of Commerce Legislative Forum Saturday, January 30

Plan to attend the Carroll Chamber of Commerce Legislative Forum Saturday, January 30 from 10-11 AM at the Manning High School Auditorium, 209 10th St. Senator Steve Kettering and Representative Rod Roberts will give their response to Governor Culver's budget proposal as well as discussion on the state's "Race to the Top" grant application to the U.S. Department of Education. This forum along with all forums will prove to be interesting and thought provoking.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


It is always nice to get a thank you note. It was especially welcome to received this note from the co-pilot of the DC-3 that safely landed in a cornfield in Carroll 50 years ago. Below is his letter.

Chamber of Commerce

I simply cannot find words to express my gratitude to you and the citizens of Carroll who turned out to help us celebrate a night that will be forever etched in my memory as will be the night of Jan 18 , 2010 .

Having traveled across the entire US many times and to many other far away places I have not encountered an outpouring of genuine kindness, attentiveness and generosity, which created a sort of down home feeling.

I am especially thankful for Mayor Jim Pedelty, John Steffes , Norm Hutcheson, Doug Burns of the Times Herald and Jeff Blankman of KCIM for all they willingly contributed to MAKE MY DAY as well as that of Carroll and my gang from MN.

If the Fly-in of autumn becomes a reality we will be eagerly anticipating another trip to Carroll.

At my age I feel that I am perceptive enough to realise that you have a truly great team going for you in Carroll from the Mayor, who really loves Carroll, the Chamber, John Steffes and above all the extreemly capable and talented media .

As a by product of the activity you all have generated I have some new discoveries to reveal to to Doug and Jeff about some,until recently unknown players in the gaggle of 50 years ago involving a retired air traffic control operator and the fellow who helped recover the aircraft and arranged for the construction of the Carroll Auxiliary airstrip. Please tell Doug Burns that I promise to make that flight up 71 when the weather CAVU .

Goodby for now and many thanks to all of you wonderful kindred spirits . I hope to see you again!

Harold Gifford

Monday, January 25, 2010

Power nearly restored - cleanup proves troublesome

Updates will appear at the top of this post.

MidAmerican Energy has 6,070 customers in the city limits of Carroll. Even in a crisis, Carroll's hospitality shines. Read a comment from Marion Burns, MidAmerican Energy, with what the power crews from out of town are saying:

"I’ve got to tell you that Carroll has a reputation for friendliness that is going nationwide. As our contract crews leave here , they are bearing tales of how great the people of Carroll and Audubon Counties have been to them and how nice they are. The crews couldn’t believe how people brought in food and offered assistance everywhere they went."
updated January 25 @ 12:54 p.m.

MidAmerican Energy lineman Jerry Pieper holds a power line coated with ice.
He estimates a three-foot length of this ice-coated wire would weigh approximately 80 pounds.

The sound of chain saws and wood chippers filled the air in Carroll over the weekend as businesses and residents began to dig out from an ice storm last week that left 80% of MidAmerican Energy customers out of service.

MidAmerican Energy advised Monday morning that all but one of its 7,155 customers in Carroll County had power restored. However some homes and businesses are still without power awaiting an electrician to connect service from MidAmerican to their property. There is no estimate of how many customers this involves.

At peak, MidAmerican Energy had 30,000 customers out of service. There were 400 MidAmerican Energy linemen and just under 2,000 extra contractors working to restore power. Currently there are still 120 contracted linemen expected to  remain in Carroll througout the week in addition to 22 local MidAmerican linemen.

Carroll City Hall has issued 30 Transient Business permits to tree trimming companies that are going door-to-door and working for customers to remove debris. There are an estimated 30 additional companies who are working without the permit. Businesses and residents are encouraged to have anyone who they hire to work on storm debris to get contact information, ask for the transient business permit and proof of insurance.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Power restoration, Ice Storm Cleanup Continues

More than 30 utility rigs were staged at Depot Business Center in Carroll before
deployment Saturday morning to restore power to Carroll and Western Iowa.

The Chamber office was open briefly Saturday morning to accommodate power crews
from Chicago who were waiting for their assignments.

By far one of the least dramatic photos of Carroll's ice storm damage.
For more coverage and photos visit The Carroll Daily Times Herald

Drees Company came to the rescue of Carroll County Emergency Management Services Friday. They had a generator but were having difficulty reaching an electrician to hook it up. A Chamber staff person who happened by reached Drees Co. and workers were on the scene in 15 minutes to connect the generator at the ambulance garage.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Iowa Governor Culver Responds to Carroll Ice Storm

See coverage of Iowa Governor Chet Culver's visit to Carroll to assess damage and designate Carroll County a disaster area:

KCIM radio interview with Governor Culver and Carroll County Emergency Management Coordinator

Carroll Daily Times Herald coverage of Culver's visit

Future Health, Inc. of Carroll to add 48 jobs

Carroll Area Development Corporation announced today that Future Health, Inc. will create 48 jobs in Carroll over the next three years at an average hourly rate exceeding $14.22 per hour plus benefits.

The hard work of the folks at Future Health is paying off with new markets opening in the electronic health records field. CADC is delighted with the addition of 48 quality jobs in Carroll and looks forward to assisting the company with their growth plans going forward.

An excerpt from the Iowa Department of Economic Development news release:
DES MOINES - (January 21, 2010) Governor Chet Culver announced today that advanced manufacturing and technology companies are planning expansions that will create 135 jobs and retain an additional 24 jobs, with total capital investment of nearly $40 million in the Iowa economy. The four projects were approved for economic stimulus programs by the Economic Development Board and the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) for Ames, Carroll, Council Bluffs and Des Moines.

"As we move into a new year, we will continue to work tirelessly to take advantage of every opportunity to build a stronger economy in Iowa," said Governor Culver. "We have some very innovative people growing new businesses. When that is combined with the skilled workers and excellent business climate in Iowa, we have everything we need to build a more vibrant economy to move Iowa forward."
Growth occurs in Carroll company
Future Health Inc. (FHI) will be creating 48 new jobs in Carroll to provide technical assistance and training in support of the electronic health record (EHR) adoption of qualifying physicians in the state of Iowa and nationally. Additional project outcomes will result in customization of software to provide interface with existing systems and provide the infrastructure to support quality reporting mechanisms for compliance. The Iowa Economic Development Board approved an award of $144,000 from the Grow Iowa Values Financial Assistance Program (GIVFAP) to support this project. The hiring is scheduled to begin as early as February 2010.

Local match for the state's financial assistance package came in the form of a 5 year zero percent interest loan in the amount of $29,000 from Region XII Development Corporation's Revolving Loan Fund.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Packed House for "Miracle Cornfield Landing" 50th Anniversary Reception

Photos courtesy Omaha World Herald
Co-pilot Harold Gifford wowed the roomful of attendees Monday night at the 50th Anniversary of the "Miracle Cornfield Landing" a DC-3 carrying the Minneapolis Lakers was forced to land in a snowy cornfield in the early morning hours of January 18, 1960. Gifford who traveled from Minnesota for the reception; told harrowing stories of the plane trip from St. Louis to Carroll. He gave vivid accounts of the landing and incidents immediately following. Commented on Carroll's hospitality in 1960 and 50 years later is still impressed with with Carroll's welcoming spirit.

A 16 milimeter film strip, shot by Frank Balk of Carroll, was converted on DVD. There was footage of the distressed aircraft, accounts of a bulldozer operated by Paul Lenz clearing a makeshift runway in the cornfield and the DC-3 taking off.

The reception, first hand accounts and DVD made for quite and exciting evening in Carroll.

Watch this space for links, video, photos and news articles like the one this morning in the Omaha World Herald:

Coverage of the Anniversary Reception:

Omaha World Herald

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Miracle Cornfield Landing

See updates including web links and radio clips below:

The public is invited to attend a reception to recognize the 50th anniversary of the forced landing of the Minneapolis Lakers plane in Carroll. The reception will be 50 years to the day of the miracle landing, Monday, January 18, 2010 at the Harold Bierl Community Room at the Carroll Chamber of Commerce. The reception will be from 5-7 p.m. with a short program at 6 p.m. Harold Gifford, co-pilot of the aircraft is scheduled to appear. Hear accounts from local residents and the unveiling of a monument that will later be placed in Veterans Memorial Park. Refreshments will be served.

January 18, 1960 the DC-3 left St. Louis destined for Minneapolis, carrying 23 passengers; which included the Minneapolis Lakers basketball team. As soon as they were airborne, they experienced problems. This caused them to make an emergency landing in a cornfield north of Carroll. Carroll residents came out in full force to helped the unharmed passengers through the snow storm and to the Burke Hotel where the passengers spent the night. Within a few days the plane was repaired, a bulldozer created a make-shift runway and the DC-3 returned to Minneapolis.


See Friday's Carroll Daily Times Herald for coverage of the 1960 events and a preview of the 50th Anniversary reception coming Monday.

Hear co-pilot Harold Gifford's account of the landing in a radio interview with KCIM 1380 in Carroll.

Read Minneapolis Laker Bobby "Slick" Leonard's recollection of the events here.

Kevin White, Omaha World Herald sportswriter, digs out even a few more details and some "small world" anectdotes.

National coverage by Associated Press Sportswriter Luke Meredith picked up nationwide. Search "The Lucky Lakers" to see where and read comments.

Carroll Mayor Jim Pedelty will read a letter sent by Los Angeles Lakers Executive Vice President Jeanie Buss. An excerpt from the letter:

"The citizens of Carroll should take pride in their role of sheltering the Lakers team so that they could become the universally known and celebrated World Champions that exist today. The Los Angeles Lakers and Carroll, IA will be bound together in history for the rest of time. Please accept our heartfelt appreciation for being there in the Lakers greatest time of need. GO LAKERS! GO CARROLL, IOWA!"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sixty-Five attend Chamber Legislative Forum

Rep. Rod Roberts and Sen. Steve Kettering joined 65 Carroll County residents for an hour-long Legislative Fourm this morning at New Hope in Carroll. Topics ranged from the legislators take on Governor Culver's State of the State address Tuesday to the Iowa's budget woes, tax credits and much more.

Time for questions from the public in attendance are always welcome a the Carroll Chamber of Commerce Legislative Forum. The next forum will be at Manning High School from 10-11 a.m. at Manning High School. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

View video of Rep. Rod Roberts visiting with attendees before the forum here

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Carroll Chamber of Commerce Legislative Forums

Senator Steve Kettering and Representative Rod Roberts will attend the Carroll Chamber of Commerce Legislative Forums for the 2010 legislative session. The first forum will be held Saturday, January 16, 2010 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at New Hope Village, 1211 East 18th St., Carroll. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Carroll Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee Chair Gary Schroeder comments “The Chamber Legislative Committee conducts forums throughout the legislative session so Carroll County citizens can be informed of action in Des Moines and voice their opinion. I encourage everyone to attend this week’s forum at New Hope Village.”

The forum will include opening comments from legislators and ample time for questions from the audience.

Schedule of future forums
(Future forums will be held from 10-11 a.m.)

Date Location

Saturday, January 30 Manning High School Auditorium
Saturday, February 13 Carroll County Farm Bureau
Saturday, February 27 Lidderdale
Saturday, March 13 St. Anthony Regional Hospital Education Center
Saturday, March 27 Breda
Saturday, April 10 Kuemper Catholic High School

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Worldcolor (Quebecor) announces Carroll Plant to close in March

Word came to City Hall and Iowa Workforce Development this morning that Worldcolor (formerly Quebecor World) will close their Carroll facility in March 2010.

Worldcolor employs 55 in Carroll. The Canadian-owned company printed short-run two-color phone books. The niche market was strong, according to information obtained from the company in 2008 through Carroll Area Development Corporation's Existing Industry Visitation program.

Clearly this is a blow to the good people working at Worldcolor and to the community. We are hopeful what with Carroll County's low unemployment rate (4.7% in November, 2009) there will be opportunity for Worldcolor employees to find work that matches their skills here.

The company name became Worldcolor in 2009 after Quebecor World emerged from bankruptcy. The company's Waukee, Iowa facility apparently was not affected by the recent developments.

Watch this post for updates.