Our Own Meriden, Cleghorn
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The towns of Meriden and Cleghorn continue to thrive in Cherokee County, due to industrious and forwar-looking citizens.
Cleghorn Christian Church rejuvenated
By Nancy Hohbach
CLEGHORN - When Bob and Norma Blair returned to Iowa to retire, he never dreamed he'd end up being so busy. It's like, "once a minister, always a minister." It's like it's in one's blood to serve others and help out. That was the salvation of this small church that had about 8-10 people attend. They needed a speaker, a minister to stand behind the pulpit to serve their needs.
When asked in 1997, Blair went for it but a glitch occurred and it almost didn't happen. A church in Kingsley also needed someone for their pulpit. With some adjustments of service times, he was able to help out both churches. He has a 9 a.m. service in Kingsley and an 11 a.m. service in Cleghorn. It works out just fine and everyone is satisfied.
"The numbers have steadily increased to a point of around 40 on a special service day. What I really like about this church is the fact that we all work together to get things done. We have to and we have a good time in doing it. It is definitely a church family and is caused by our perseverance of our faith in God and each other," said Blair.
The new windows, fresh paint on new sheetrock and new lights make the Christian Church basement a cheerful room to eat and meet in. Lots of work went into transforming it from its previous condition. Photo by Nancy Hohbach
Bob Blair and Lorraine Mugge are two proud members of this church. The new kitchen is well laid out for a buzz of activity with gorgeous cupboards, countertops and new appliances. They have a service window between the kitchen and dining area as well. The off-white walls make the white even brighter. Photo by Nancy Hohbach
This beautiful antique stained-glass window will be a treasure to share for generations to come. Photo by Nancy Hohbach
C-M-L bringing forth technology
By Nancy Hohbach
MERIDEN - C-M-L Telephone Cooperative Association has been working on the installation of an advanced fiber-optic network to every home in the cooperative's area. C-M-L refers to it as FTTH (Fiber-To-The-Home) network.
Bruce Johnson, manager of C-M-L, explained they have laid 77 miles of fiber in Cleghorn and surrounding area and 56 miles in Larrabee and the surrounding area. Before all is done, they will lay 55 miles for Meriden and 52 miles for Archer. The latter two will be completed next year.
In the past, the company had used copper wiring which was fine for phones to talk to your friends and family over. Copper is good for carrying voice quality. But for computer users, they want the internet to come across at a high speed and also have the ability to carry cable TV to small towns and rural homes. Copper doesn't fit the bill. Therefore, the company has been busy digging and laying in fiber optic from their business to each and every home and business that wants it.
"It is our way to plan for the future to meet the upcoming broadband demands of their cooperative members. Our FFTH project will meet those demands and is smart and long-term solution for communications needs of today and the future. Having an all fiber optic path means that customers have today's most robust network for high-speed data and customers are also future-proofed for emerging uses." said Johnson. "One of the community benefits of a powerful band network is economic development. We recognize creating the next generation broadband networks is crucial to our area community's competitiveness. "
Another new service which started this year was the sales and service of cell phones and other wireless products by i-wireless. One may stop in at C-M-L office in Meriden or stop at Wilson TV & Appliances in Cherokee. Wireless was founded by T-mobile USA and Iowa Network Services.
C-M-L also has five towers to aid their network located in Cleghorn, Meriden, Larrabee and two will be in Cherokee.
C-M-L Telephone Cooperative is member owned headquartered in Meriden. In addition to Johnson, Dan Murphy and Karen Ferris take care of the plant while Tina Gordon and Tammy Millikan maintain the office. It has been a real plus for it's customers as the business is owned and controlled by people who use it, its members. It operated for the benefit of it's members for investors or a single owner. Members of the cooperative share in the profits.
The board of directors are Roger Smith and Neal Johnston of Meriden; Jay Fuhrman and Kyle Prunty of Cleghorn; Lorace Gregg and Rick Westphal of Larrabee; Dan Noteboom and Craig Akeson of Archer; and Jeff Lundquist is a board member at large.
The cooperative enables members to have reliable service at affordable rates in their service area.
In this photo, part of the C-M-L crew is shown - left to right,Dan Murphy, Tina Gordon and Bruce Johnson. Photo by Nancy Hohbach
Taylor Industries growing
By Nancy Hohbach
CLEGHORN - Michele Schnoes, presently the manager of Taylor Industries, has been with the company for 21 years now. She seen many changes over the years and has watched the company grow from being local to now a global company. For the last seven to eight years, the company changed with the ownership taken over by Hussmann and Ingersoll Rand.
"Slowly we have changed the focus of our business from doing the walk-in coolers and taking care of servicing them. We were focusing on reconditioning when we moved to Cleghorn back in 1996. We had coolers located all over here, inside and out. It was like a graveyard where we salvaged what we could and rebuild them," said Schnoes. "It has been a slow progression of what we now do with our time and efforts."
The business primarily works with Hy-Vee with a little work done for Walmart and Target. Hussmann and Ingersoll Rand has much stricter guidelines or policies to follow than most. They are very much aware of environment regulations and goes the extra mile to protect the environment.
One of their focuses is to go over used cases and salvage what can be salvaged. What is left goes to the salvage yards but that is now a minor role of the business. The second focus for the business is to provide service at job sites and get cases running as efficiently as possible. It's on the job site where a determination is made whether the case is a keeper and one to be salvaged.
"We keep track of all types of cases stored on hand," explained Schnoes. "The third portion of the business is to install new cases. Reconditioning cases was a major part of the business. Now we presently have three guys who do nothing but install cases while a couple of other guys are service techs. They can travel some good distances to get the task done. Last year, we were really kept busy. This year it is somewhat slower. At the very least, we keep the place humming with always something to do. Cleghorn was a good move for us and provides the space we need," said Schnoes.In this photo are installers and service techs for Taylor Industries- from the left, Cory Wolterman, Brent Nelson, Willis Carver and Chris Mann. Not available for the picture were Brian Porter and Al Kerns. Photo by Nancy Hohbach
Karla Prunty holds down the front desk at Taylor Industries, while Michele Schnoes has her office in the back. Both are familiar with the business and like their jobs. Sandra Donahue also helps out in the office, but was unavailable for this photo.Photo by Nancy Hohbach