Every year we get the honor to tell stories about businesses and organizations throughout Clarke County, Iowa that impact the community. From new housing developments to city planning and recreational improvements, 2018 had a plethora of amazing features.

As a “Snapshot of 2018,” our editors looked through dozens of features from 2018 and ranked the top 5 most impactful news items from ClarkeCountyLife.com. Rankings are determined by Web site traffic, online and social media discussions, as well as comments received by the Clarke County Development Corporation and its members.

So without further hesitation, here are the Top 5 Features for 2018 from ClarkeCountyLife.com.

#5 – Lakeside Progress Offers A Bright Future For Osceola & Clarke County:
For over a decade, Lakeside Casino has been an entertainment destination for south-central Iowa providing tremendous opportunities for employment and career growth in the community. The July 26th feature offered a little more insight to the Lakeside culture and featured Clarke County citizens that have made an impact for the casino and the community.

#4 – Clarity on Clarke Community Schools April 3rd Bond Vote:
Heated discussions and debate over a bond vote pushed this feature into the top 5. After years of research and consulting with developers and architects, the Clarke Community School Board brought a bond vote to the citizens of Clarke County for the improvement of numerous projects around the district. The article went into detail about the proposed developments, including increasing instructional spaces, security updates throughout the middle and high school facilities, updates to parking and street access as well as a much-needed improved bus barn.

#3 – Reynolds & Ernst Help Celebrate Clarke County Community & Business:
At the Osceola Chamber Mainstreet’s 2018 annual dinner, Clarke County’s favorite daughter Governor Kim Reynolds as well as Iowa State Senator Joni Ernst showed their support of Clarke County, the businesses, and the community that makes south-central Iowa so unique. The leaders helped the Chamber and the Development Corporation recognize local businesses that have impacted the community with jobs and rural Iowa growth opportunities. It was a unique occasion to engage with Iowa leadership and the evening was a true celebration of all that Clarke County has to offer.

#2 – Clarke’s Industrial Arts Spark Brilliance in First Annual Welding Competition:
The Clarke Community Schools Industrial Arts Advisory Board, comprised of Clarke Students, Clarke County manufacturers and members from the Clarke County Development Corporation held the first annual welding competition in the fall of 2018. With a tremendous showing from students and local manufacturers, the competition produced some truly inspiring pieces of art, showing the skills and the talent that can be found in Clarke County.

This story reached State-wide outlets through the Iowa Association of School Boards as well as many of the participating manufacturers like Miller Products Company, Salford, Iowa Steel, and Hormel.

#1 – Osceola Streetscape Project Gets Council Green Light:
The top ClarkeCountyLife Feature story from a web traffic and social / online discussion standpoint was, without a doubt, the vote by Osceola’s City Council to move forward with the proposed streetscape project. With strong opinions for and against, the project had the community a-buzz and still creates passionate discussions to this day. The feature received thousands of views through the ClarkeCountyLife network of Web sites as well as continued discussions through social media and around the square.

As we move into 2019, we look forward to working with the community to help tell stories about what makes Clarke County Life so rewarding – from improvements to the parks and trails systems around the county to the continued efforts from everyone to help make doing business and living in Clarke County better than ever.

If you have questions or comments or would like to submit your own news through the ClarkeCountyLife network, please feel free to reach out to us through the ClarkeCountyLife Web site or submit story ideas through the “Submit Your Story” link on ClarkeCountyLife.com