Year in Review: Highlights of Hancock County in 2019


A new year and a new decade is a time to look forward to the future and reflect on accomplishments of the past. Here are some of the people and events that made the headlines in Hancock County in 2019.


The oath of office was administered to elected county officials. Hancock County and cities squared off on how dispatch and communication services should be funded. Walker Rosenmeyer, 7, of Wesley, led a drive to collect blankets, toys and other items that were donated to the Children’s Hospital in Iowa City.

The Britt American Legion and VFW presented a U.S. Flag to Sophia Martinez, congratulating her on obtaining U.S citizenship. Martinez is the owner of the La Gaudalupana restaurant at Britt.

Ed Greiman, Garner, was inducted into the Iowa Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame.

Senator Charles Grassley was the guest speaker at a Garner Rotary Club meeting on Jan. 22. Grassley discussed the government shutdown, border security, and China trade/tariffs

Four Hancock County farmers, Brent Renner, Doug Thompson, Brian Thilges and Rusty Olson were interviewed by MSNBC about how tariffs and the partial shutdown of the federal government are affecting them. Filming was done at Thompson’s farm near Kanawha.


Hancock County experienced a “deep freeze” in February. A polar vortex swept though the Midwest early in the month and temperatures plunged to -25 F.

 The “Blizzard of 2019” came in February and dumped at much as 16 inches of snow. The weekend blizzard forced school and business cancellations, closures, and stranded motorists.

The government shutdown slowed down the timetable for the wastewater treatment plant project at Goodell.

A health and wellness Expo was held at the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in Garner on Feb. 16.

The “Pillar of the Community” award went to Robert and Marline Lewerke at the Garner Chamber of Commerce annual meeting.


State Senator Dennis Guth and State Rep. Terry Baxter met with constituents during legislative forums at Britt, Garner and Kanawha.

Hancock County was included in a disaster declaration by Gov. Kim Reynolds when the accumulated winter snowfall melted rapidly followed by rain over a 3-day period, causing areal flooding in low-elevation areas.

GHV vocal music students took a bite of the “Big Apple!” on a choir trip to New York City during spring break.

The Kanawha Youth Activity Committee hosted the second annual “Business Feud,” at the West Hancock Middle School. Funds raised from the event were used to make improvements to the stage at Kanawha’s City Park.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller filed a lawsuit to shut down a puppy laundering ring that included a “pet rescue” operation at Britt.

The Garner Pizza Ranch reopened under new leadership.

Comedian “Tim the Dairy Farmer” (Tim Moffett) entertained producers at the annual Ag Day breakfast at Duncan. The breakfast was hosted by the Iowa Farm Bureau and sponsoring businesses.

Read the complete feature in the Jan. 1 Leader. 

The Leader

The Leader (Garner Office)
365 State Street, Garner, IA 50438
Phone: 1-641-923-2684
Fax: 1-641-923-2685
The Leader (Britt Office)
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P.O. Box 321
Britt, IA 50423
Phone: 1-641-843-3241

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