Sign dedication Saturday; Chamber has 85th anniversary; Unemployment down in Jefferson County; Techel trial set
Sign dedication Saturday morning
Fairfield Beautification Commission is ready to celebrate and dedicate the limestone Fairfield entrance sign on Highway 1 south.
A ribbon cutting and dedication is at 10 a.m. Saturday, open to the public. Neighboring First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has given permission for parking in the church lot Saturday morning.
“It’s been a three-year project,” said Nancy Horras, a member of the commission. “Most of the funding was provided by Iowa Department of Transportation. The sign was finished last fall, but we wanted to wait until everything else was ready.”
That includes landscaping with trees.
“We had planned to plant trees last spring but then our weather got so dry, we decided to wait,” she said. “The trees were planted this fall.”
A limestone bench built behind the 8-foot by 20-foot sign and trees provide a rest spot for Jefferson County Loop Trail users.
A local mason, Dennis Kossow, built the bench with the same native Iowa limestone used for the sign, said Horras.
The beautification commission had Kossow add some limestone work to the city’s east and west entrance signs to tie them all together.
At Saturday’s ribbon cutting, Mayor Ed Malloy, Jefferson County supervisor Lee Dimmitt and Jerry Long, engineer at French-Reneker Associates Inc. are expected to give remarks. Fairfield Hy-Vee Food and Drug Store is providing refreshments.
“The south sign is wired for electricity because it’s lighted at night, and now with an evergreen planted, we plan to add holiday lights on the tree this year,” said Horras. “The city’s east entrance sign also will have holiday lights.”
— Diane Vance, Ledger staff writer
Fairfield chamber of commerce observing 85th anniversary
The Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce will be observing its 85th anniversary Thursday.
The Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce has played a vital role in promoting the community’s economic prosperity and high quality of life since 1927, and through the years, the chamber’s efforts and programs have built a strong foundation for business, according to chamber executive director Nancy Morrissey.
“The chamber has been working and pulling for Fairfield for 85 years,” said Morrissey. “There are so many businesses and citizens that love Fairfield. It is because of this love that 350 businesses and individuals support the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce and our wealth of chamber-sponsored events and activities with their membership, their sponsorships and their volunteerism.”
“The Fairfield chamber salutes our illustrious members and the many exemplary chamber presidents and board members who have volunteered many, many hours for the betterment of Fairfield,” she continued. “They are the ones that recognize that their membership cements the foundation by which the chamber functions. It is their involvement with the chamber that has added to their business’s success. It is their talents that have made the chamber’s endeavors successful.”
Unemployment declines in Jefferson County
Unemployment in Jefferson County declined one percentage point from 6.9 percent in August to 5.9 percent in September.
According to Iowa Workforce Development figures, in August, Jefferson County had a labor force of 7,520, with 6,990 employed and 520 unemployed. In September, the county had a labor force of 7,560, with 7,120 employed and 440 unemployed.
The Iowa Workforce Development figures show a decrease in unemployment in Van Buren County from 6.7 percent in August to 5.8 percent in September.
In August, Van Buren County had a labor force of 3,640, with 3,400 employed and 250 unemployed. In September, the county had a labor force of 3,630, with 3,420 employed and 210 unemployed.
Unemployment numbers in nearby Henry and Washington counties also dropped. In Henry County the unemployment rate declined from 6.5 percent in August to 5.6 percent in September, while the rate in Washington County went from 4.9 percent in August to 3.6 percent in September.
The lowest unemployment rate in Iowa during September was in Lyon County with 2.2 percent. The highest was in Wapello County with 7.9 percent.
The county employment numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 percent in September from 5.5 percent in August. The comparable rate for September 2011 was 5.9 percent.
The U.S. unemployment rate for September decreased by three-tenths of a percentage point, falling to 7.8 percent from 8.1 percent in August.
Techel murder trial starts Feb. 19
OTTUMWA (AP) — A February trial has been scheduled for a southeast Iowa man suspected of killing his pregnant wife.
Seth Techel has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and nonconsensual termination of a human pregnancy in the death of Lisa Techel. She was shot in May at their home near Agency.
The trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 19.
Both Techels worked in law enforcement. Lisa Techel was a reserve deputy with the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office. Seth Techel was a jailer.
He remains jailed pending $750,000 bail.