Two of the biggest stories of the year were literally orchestrated by the same person. Albia Community High School vocal music instructor Alex Steines and a large number of volunteers, students and friends brought the 100-member UNI Men’s Varsity Glee Club to perform at the King Opera House in February and seven months later had the incomparable opera sensation, Simon Estes perform in his Roots and Wings Tour in the “A” Gym.

Both performances saw packed crowds enjoy two very different kinds of music, the UNI Varsity Men’s Choir with perfect harmony in its 100-voice choir and the solo performance of Simon Estes, who also made room for the ACHS Mixed Choir and ACHS Concert Choir.

Another story that started out as a disaster and turned heart-warming going viral statewide, was Denny Roby having his three-wheeled bicycle stolen and the community responding by raising money within a day to buy him a new bike.

The announcement of a new factory, Camp 365, created quite a buzz in Albia and perhaps the RVTV visit with the Welcome Home Soldier Monument at center stage was an explosion of local and statewide media exposure. It might well rank as the greatest party ever thrown in Albia.

There is better man, no more true gentleman than St. Mary’s Father Mike Volkmer and the entire community celebrated his 50 years as a priest.

January

Ryan Ammons is named president of the Albia Area Chamber of Commerce. The Veterans Peace Quilters receive the Citizens of the Year Award, Dave and Lois Mick receive the Community Service Award, Wes Aeschliman is named Business of the Year and Carol Sovern receives the Merit Service Award.

John Hughes is elected chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

Melrose announces it will bring back the St. Patrick’s Day party.

Record cold gripped Monroe County from the end of December through the first week of January. For 10 days temperatures dipped to -25 degrees. Albia students returned to school as temperatures returned to a “balmy” five degrees.

Retiring Albia firefighter, Gary Stephens receives his commemorative ax after 26 years of service. Mike Shroyer was honored for 40 years of service.

The Monroe County Hospital and Clinics unveil a cardboard replica of a planned $19 million expansion and remodeling of the hospital at the former L&S Tools building.

A quarter century mystery involving Miss Wild West Chyrle Rowles Bacon is solved by some detective work by Marlene Newman Rousch, a relative of Bacon’s.

It has been 50 years since wild turkeys were reintroduced into Monroe County by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The ACHS Speech Team sends 15 different performances to the state Large Group contest.

February

The Albia Show Choir directed by Alex Steines earns a Division I rating at state.

The old jail, built in 1941, is razed by Lathrop Farms.

Monroe County Hospital and Clinics applies to the USDA for a $20 million loan to do new construction and remodeling on the hospital, including a new rural health clinic.

The Albia Large Group Speech Team receives four perfect I scores including Cole Folkerts and Katrina Sample, Katrina and Taylor Sample, Victoria Kent and Cole Folkerts and Joseph Birchmeir and Victoria Kent. Valerie Beary, Bradley Yenger, Behruz Gharibov and Joe Birchmeier received overall I ratings.

Stephanie Dowdy shows her English Mastiff “Winter” at the Westminster Dog Show in New York City.

The Albia City Council wrestles with how to get the old hotel torn down.

The University of Northern Iowa Men’s Varsity Glee Club performs at the King Opera House to a jam-packed auditorium.

Incumbent Republican Representative Larry Sheets announces he will not run for re-election. Holly Brink of Oskaloosa announces she will seek Sheets’ House seat.

March

Dr. Greg Mobley and Bill Henderson are inducted into the Monroe County Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame.

Richard Keilig enters the House 80 race on the Republican ticket as Susan McDanel announces her candidacy for House District 80 on the Democrat side.

Another full house is entertained at the Barbary Coast Opera House by the cast of the Bob Reed Country Music Showcase.

Evan Bennett opens a new gun shop in Blakesburg.

Active Shooter training is held in Albia, taught by Don Powless.

ACHS drama puts on “A High Schooler’s Guide to the Galaxies.”

The ACHS Academic Bowl Team wins the small school state qualifying bowl to qualify for the state meet.

Rathbun Rural Water earns the title of “Best Tasting Water in Iowa” at the Iowa Rural Water Conference in Des Moines.

Melrose throws a blow-out St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Jeriann Ritter, WHO meteorologist, is the guest speaker at the annual JDRF Benefit Bash.

The Georgetown Irish win Best Overall Parade Float in the annual Des Moines St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Fletcher Mick comes home with the top honors in the annual Pinewood Derby.

Albia foreign exchange student Behruz Gharibov raises over $1,000 for children in his home of Tajikistan.

Zach Briggs is a State FFA champion in proficiency in veterinary medicine.

Hannah Curry wins silver in beef entreprenuership.

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