Geologists look to the Valley as a ‘world class location’ for study

Professor Michael Stewart (in the back of the group with a light colored vest) of the University of Illinois Geology Department, discusses a rock formation along Missouri Highway 21 with a group of students. The students are tasked to find a fault in the rhyolite - rock of volcanic origin that is some 1.6 billion years old. Stewart said this spot, and other geologically significant spots in the Valley, draw geologists and their students from all over the midwest year after year.

You probably drive by a “road cut” along Missouri Highway 21 near Main Street in Ironton every day. To most people it is an insignificant, dull rock formation. However others who visit the spot every year find it a vitual learning experience.

“The is a world class location,” said Michael Stewart, a professor at the University of Illinois Geology Department. Stewart was discussing the rocks with a group of geology students who were standing by the highway, notebooks and rock hammers in hand, on a recent cold and windy Saturday.

“Right now they are going to find a fault,” the professor said, breaking away from the group for a minute.  

He explained that the rock formation is volcanic in origin and was formed and estimated 1.6 billion years ago. 


Guided hike offered to PK Nat. Wildlife Refuge

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff will lead a guided hike to the top of Pilot Knob National Wildlife Refuge at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 5 

During the hike, staff  and volunteers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will discuss the importance of Pilot Knob to the endangered Indiana bats and the historical uses of Pilot Knob Mountain, and unique geologic features. 

Space is limited; participants must pre-register to reserve their spot for the hike by calling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge at 573-222-3589.  

The hike is strenuous, as the trail to the top will go up steep terrain with loose rock and uneven footing.  Participants must be physically able to make this hike.  Details on time and meeting location will be provided to registered participants.


Voters approve sales tax for ICMC

A majority of the voters turning up at the polls on Tuesday, April 3, gave approval for an additional .5 cent tax on retails sales and domestic utilities to assist the Board of Directors of the Iron County Hospital District with its financial difficulties.

County-wide the vote was 955 yes votes (62.30 percent) to 578 no votes (37.7 percent).

Out of 6767 registered voters, only 1,587 (23.45 percent) turned out at the poll.

The vote was affirmative in all precincts except Des Arc (26 yes/68 no), Viburnum (50 yes/105 no), and Vulcan (16 yes/39 no).

Iron County Medical Center (ICMC) Chief Executive Officer Josh Gilmore said his staff was ecstatic over the community’s response.

“We are just so overwhelming excited and appreciative of our supporters in the community,” Gilmore said. “We can’t say enough good things and thank yous to the community and to our staff.”


Library to recognize contributions of GFWC Mina Sauk

Ozark Regional Library is recognizing GFWC and the local GFWC club, Mina Sauk, for its contributions to libraries. The event will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24.

Arcadia Valley’s local GFWC club, Mina Sauk, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and we welcome everyone to join the celebration with us.


Did you know that women’s clubs have been credited by the American Library Association (ALA) for starting 75 perfect of public libraries in the U.S.A.? And internationally, GFWC serves libraries in crisis, including recent hurricane damage in Louisiana, Texas and Florida, as well as flooding damage in Marble Hill. The Arcadia Valley club has gathered books for Ozark Regional Library book sales, donated books for babies and has provided lots of volunteer service toward positive change in our community.



Casting call issued for movie to film here

A new Belleview company “Real Flaming Skulls, LLC,” will be shooting advertising videos for local businesses, but it also has bigger plans.

Samuel Johnson and his partner, Andrew Hotchkiss, have started production on an independent movie titled “Sanctum,” with local residents serving as actors and extras, and local businesses and scenic spots in The Valley as the setting for the story.

Johnson, 22, recently moved back to the Valley (his mom is Cody Long who used to run the Arcadia Cafe) after a two -year stint in Tucumcari, New Mexico working on paleontological digs while he was a student at Mesalands Community College. He also interned for a summer at the Mesalands Dinorsaur Museum and Natural Sciences Laboratory. 


Bismarck man dies in accident

A Bismarck man was killed in a head-on collision that occurred last Thursday afternoon, March 29, in Iron County.  Two others received moderate to serious injuries.

James C. Cash, 77, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at 3:51 p.m. by Iron County Coroner Tim Harbison, according to a report by the MO Highway Patrol.

The accident occurred at 2:37 p.m. on Missouri Route U, four miles north of Graniteville. 

Cash was driving a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan northbound on the roadway, crossed the center line and hit another vehicle head-on, the report stated.

The other vehicle, a 2005 Dodge Durango, was driven by Melissa Presley, 38, of Bismarck.  Presley received serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to St. Anthony’s Hospital.  

A passenger in the vehicle, Nicholas Presley, 10, also of Bismarck, received moderate injuries and was taken by ambulance to Iron County Hospital.

The report stated that Cash was wearing a safety belt, 


Green Advice: You can see these guys every week at the Farmers Market in Ironton

Steve Blanton of Dad’s Garden in rural Ironton (far right) and his friend Gene Austin of Ironton stand by a flourishing tomato plant in a greenhouse at Dad’s Garden.

Outside it is 40 degrees and windy, but inside the greenhouse, healthy tomato plants hold beautiful red and orange-yellow fruits, green onions stand ready to chop and lettuce overflows from a tower pot. A particularly striking tomato plant is six or seven feet high and pushes at the top of the greenhouse.

“That’s a Kellogg’s Breakfast, a really good-tasting variety,” said Steve Blanton, owner of Dad’s Garden on Highway 72 in rural Ironton. “I’ve cut him back several times and hauled wheelbarrows full of clippings out of here and he keeps going.”

The plant produces a yellow, low-acidic fruit. This particular plant was planted in November 2017.

Steve and his friend, Gene Austin are busy planting in the greenhouse and in their large outdoor garden plots. Both are anticipating the opening of the Ironton Farmers Market on Friday, May 4.


Ironton to annex land it already owns

The Ironton Board of Aldermen has begun a process to annex property into the city limits that was purchased some time ago.

“We are in the process of annexing property into the city limits that the city owns, specifically land on Shepherd Mountain and around Shepherd Mountain Lake,” said Ironton Mayor Bob Lourwood. “The city bought the property, but it was never annexed into the city. So, we own it, but we don’t govern it. That doesn’t make any sense.”

The land encompasses approximately 1,000 acres in 11 parcels. Shepherd Mountain Lake is actually within the city limits. However, there are two parcels just west of the lake that are not.


‘Chalk Trails’ theme of this year’s Chalk Fest

A hiker symbol


The organizers of this year’s Chalk Festival, held at The Arcadia Academy, have moved the date of the event and have announced this year’s theme.”

The Chalk Fest will be held this year on June 30 instead of Memorial Day, a bow to the unpredictable weather on the holiday.

“Our theme for the fest this year is ‘Chalk Trails,’” to draw attention to the area’s hiking trails, the Trail of Tears and the recently announced 9 mile bike trail,” said Bill Bennett, one of the organizers. “The Tourism Committee has ordered the signs for the bike trail, but they aren’t in yet.”

From now until the fest, organizers are hiding painted rocks around town.  All the rocks will have the letters CF painted on them.  Some will have Cherokee symbols, others might have a hiker or biker symbol.


Ironton Aldermen remove Pit Bull prohibition from city ordinances

Responding to requests from a number of people attending the Ironton Board of Alderman meeting last week (Monday, March 12), the board voted to remove the prohibition on Pit Bull dogs in the city limits.

A “Pit Bull” is the common name for the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

In 1987, the City of Ironton adopted the prohibition along with a new Municipal Code it adopted at that time.

Off and on since then, citizens have raised complaints about the restriction and about the “breed discrimination” inherent in it.

Last week, citizens again broached the subject with the aldermen during the regular meeting.  

In the end, the board voted to approve Ordinance 637- An Ordinance Repealing Section 205.140 of the Ironton Municipal Code with Respect to the Prohibition  of Pit Bulls Within the City of Ironton, Missouri.


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