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Hello everyone. This month’s JTTW is probably the most difficult newsletter that I’ve written in quite some time, because I have a really hard time trying to make people laugh when I know so many people are hurting. For those of you who might not know, the East Mills community lost a beautiful soul on October 21st, when senior Kennedy Haley was tragically killed in an automobile accident. The news of Kennedy’s passing sent shock waves through the entire school district, and I honestly don’t know how I can possibly crack jokes at a time like this. So, I think this month I’ll utilize this space to update all of on the myriad of projects that are taking place within the town of Malvern itself and throughout the entire school district as a whole. But I would like to add one more thing regarding Kennedy – I spoke to her dad earlier today and he indicated that the family will be using all of the money donated to her memorial fund that is set up at Malvern Bank to establish a scholarship in her name that will be given annually to an East Mills senior. So, for all of you who haven’t already given, please consider a donation to Kennedy’s memorial fund. Not only will you be helping a future Wolverine attain his or her dreams, but you will be ensuring that Kennedy’s story will continue to be told to future generations of East Mills graduates for years to come.

Boy, I don’t really know where to begin on the project front, so let’s start with the new housing subdivision that is coming to Malvern in 2023. As a result of the flooding in 2019, millions of dollars were allocated to Fremont, Mills, and Harrison counties to replenish the housing stock that was lost due to the floods. Thankfully, Malvern was able to secure a $10.3 million Community Development Block Grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to bring affordable housing to Malvern. The project consists of 60 lots, 40 of which will be earmarked for low-to-moderate income housing. Work has already begun on the project and I expect houses to start going up in early summer, 2023.

The next major project to discuss is SWITCH (Southwest Iowa Technical Career Hub), the career and technical education center that will be located at the current elementary school facility in Hastings. I am a member of the SWITCH advisory board and I’m really excited that recently we were able to hire Emerson resident Kattie Lewis as our director. Kattie grew up in southwest Iowa and graduated from Nishna Valley high school, and she brings a wealth of experience to the project. Obviously, fundraising will be a major part of her job, therefore if anyone reading this wants to contribute to a project that will literally change the lives of students both young and old, you can contact Kattie at

So, what is project number 3 you ask…well, I am also involved with a non-profit called East Mills Childcare Solutions (yeah, I attend A LOT of meetings). Our group has taken on the task of addressing our school district’s mind-numbing shortage of available daycare and pre-school options. Our group is working closely with Superintendent Hood and members of the East Mills School Board to solve this issue once and for all and I think we’re very close to announcing a plan that will get parents of young children excited about keeping their kids here versus looking for viable options elsewhere. Like SWITCH, this project will rely heavily on fundraising, so again, if anyone is interested in being part of this game-changing project, give me a call or email me at

By the way, for those of you with your calculators out, those 3 projects alone will probably total $18 million. Add that to the school bond issue of $22 million, and this school district will see an influx of roughly $40 million in capital improvements over the next 3 years. I know some of you probably think that’s ridiculous, but there are school districts our size that won’t see that much economic activity in 100 years. This is something for which everyone affiliated with this school district, both past and present, should be extremely proud of. And this isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning. We have to get more houses built in Emerson, Hastings, Henderson, and Malvern. The only thing keeping people from moving into the East Mills school district is a lack of affordable housing. As you know, Malvern Bank is all in when it comes to making things happen within our school district, so if anyone reading this has any ideas or suggestions on getting houses built, call me.

I know we have lots of Creighton basketball fans out there, and the bank just happens to have several season tickets. If anyone is interested in attending a game or two, email me at the email address I gave you earlier. First come, first serve.

And finally, I just read the other day that one of my all-time favorite bands, Journey, is going on tour with Toto. And I’m not going to lie…when I first heard the news, I was thinking to myself ‘Toto the band or Toto the dog’…because if it’s the dog, count me in because that thing has got to be 400-years-old in people years.

Until Next Time…don’t forget that November 19th is National Toilet Day…it’s your chance to savor those quiet moments alone…I know I do.


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