Town Square Dental Reveals Restored Dental Space, Hidden Gems

Town Square Dental sits on the north side of the Oskaloosa downtown square and just last week unveiled their newly restored interior with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Many of the most fascinating aspects don’t just come from the first floor that has been renovated, but also what has been practically left untouched upstairs.

Upon entry into the main lobby the new front desk sticks out at you, along with all of the beautiful handcrafted woodwork that is milled from all Iowa native trees. The ceiling is the original stamped tin ceiling that is featured throughout the building.

Town Square Dental had once been under a smaller roof until the business took over the building that was previously Alan Adams photography building, the studio has since moved to the photographer’s personal property north of Oskaloosa.

Many of the exam rooms have exposed brick work and are equipped with the latest dental equipment.

In the reception area, a photograph of the original wallpaper that was beneath the stamped tin on the walls now hangs above the fireplace. A unique feature at the forefront of the area because the bricks that created the fireplace are original from the building. The walkway that connects the lobby to reception area was once a full brick wall, but the contractors had cut almost exactly where the brick was once laid when it was last patched up. The original slate flooring has been cleaned and polished in the southwest corner of the waiting room.



Dentistry cabinet from Dr. Bowie’s Grandfather
Dentistry cabinet from Dr. Tom Bowie’s Father



Family traditions and small pieces of the business’ history were restored and kept in the reception area. Historical photographs from Dr. Tom Bowie’s father and grandfather were preserved and found a home on each of their original dental cabinets, which still had original medicine and tools in their drawers.


Towards the rear of the office, the hallway connecting the from lobby and reception area to the dental rooms provides guests with a miniature museum tour of what was once housed in the building. Photographs of antique dental equipment taken by Rachel Venema photography graces the wall. A collage gallery of the original stamped tin wall coverings which were found throughout the office were created by Rachel Venema and Janel Campbell.



The climax in many tours throughout the office was found toward the end of the hallway where an exposed brick wall held many memories, historical moments and signatures of those from the 1880’s. It has been sealed with a graffiti sealant to avoid smudging of the signatures, and it is definitely a focal point of the office.

“Louis A. Hohn, the town of Oskaloosa was honored in the year 1880”
Many of the signatures on the wall date back to the 1880s.


Shayla Van Wyk said the office had a minor difficulty when it came to the paper trail between the old location of Dr. Tom Bowie’s office, which was house in the Mercy Medical building on North Market Street.  The offices officially culminated under one roof on April 3rd.

Town Square Dental has four staffed hygienists, three doctors – including Eric De Boef, Kara Weishaar, and Tom Bowie – three full time front desk employees, four assistants and Mary Beth, who is a part-time cross-trained employee.

Many of the staff actually had a personal hand in the renovations and final touches of the office space. Staff spent some of their own time to paint or stain various rooms and fixtures.


Cary Van Kampen guided representatives KBOE/KMZN representatives Kate Sterner and Miranda Keeler upstairs, curious as to what other pieces of history and secrets the walls held.

Vintage wallpaper, high ceilings, original wood work and flooring were some of the unique aspects of the second floor. Many of the upstairs rooms had large skylights to let natural light flood into the rooms. Many of the rooms had an exterior door that led to a long hallway which divided the two sides of the building that had since been converted into a single structure.


One of the most unique rooms was what could be described as the floral room*. Signified by the 1970’s themed wallpaper, this quaint, natural-lighted room overlooked the downtown square. Filled with furniture from the same decade, it was a room lost in time. In one corner of the room lay the same antique dental equipment that was photographed by Venema and hung downstairs.





Van Kampen has many plans for the nearly 12 rooms upstairs. Condensing and renovating many of them into suites.

“We’ve heard Musco say that sometimes they could really use a furnished studio place for a couple weeks or even up to a month,” said Van Kampen.

Van Kampen intends to have three to four units in the upstairs portion of the Town Square Dental building. Other plans include creating a fitness center for employees, a board room to hold staff meetings and a rooftop patio.

This room would ideally be featured as a studio apartment with walls on wheels, stated Van Kampen.

Without getting an architect involved, Van Kampen believes the space upstairs could be converted into two larger units, one small studio and a larger studio styled unit that is equipped with walls on wheels.

The last room Van Kampen seen on the tour was a large flat that currently holds the only access point to the roof. He hopes this large room would be converted into apartment with movable walls to offer versatility and uniqueness.


Though no renovation or contract date is set in place for the second floor of the Town Square Dental building, it comes to no surprise that much of the history was preserved and remembered within the building. With the minute details and decor touches within the dental office itself, it lends itself to be a modern with a historical flair.





– Miranda Keeler, News Director



* Editor’s depiction… if given the ability to name rooms. 

Subject Arrested in Sexual Assault Case in Fremont

On Sunday, February 12th, 2017, at approximately 3 PM, deputies from the Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to 218 North Kennedy Street, Fremont, Iowa, regarding the complaint of a Sexual Assault with had allegedly occurred earlier in the day at this location.

The victim (an adult female) was taken to the Mahaska Health Partnership Hospital where she was treated for an undisclosed injury and then released.

During the investigation into this report, deputies located and arrested 41-year-old Chad Michael Crosby (of 218 North Kennedy Street) within the Fremont City Limits. Crosby was charged with one count of Domestic Abuse Causing Injury (a serious misdemeanor) and one count of Sexual Abuse in the 3rd Degree (a class “C” felony). Crosby was incarcerated in the Mahaska County Jail.

Crosby made his initial appearance in the Mahaska County Magistrate’s Court on Monday, February 13, 2017. Crosby’s bond was set in the amount of $15,000 for the above two charges. After posting bond, Crosby was released from custody.

As a reminder, a criminal charge is merely an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


At approximately 7:06 a.m., Tuesday June 28 th , 2016 a citizen reported hearing gunshots in the 7000

block of Cliffland Road just east of Ottumwa. The caller also reported a description of the vehicle

departing the area. While responding to the call a Wapello County Sheriff’s Deputy observed a vehicle

matching the description just south of Agency Iowa at which time the suspect vehicle began to elude

the following Deputy. The Deputy followed the vehicle back into Ottumwa from Agency and then back

east out of Ottumwa by way of Cliffland Road. The Deputy continued to follow the vehicle to just south

of the Des Moines River Bridge in Eldon when the vehicle crashed into the ditch. The suspect vehicle

was occupied by four subjects all of which exited the vehicle and continued to elude the Deputy on foot.

Assistance began to arrive by this time and three of the four subjects were taken into custody, with the

fourth still at large. No persons’ were injured at the 7000 block of Cliffland Road where the original call

began. Assisting the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office on this investigation was the Ottumwa Police

Dept., Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Fairfield Police Dept. Iowa State Patrol and the Eldon Fire

Dept. The matter remains under investigation and further charges are anticipated. Taken into custody

at this time and charged is Joshua Pierce, age 27 of Ottumwa charged with Possession, Receipt,

Transportation, or Dominion and Control of Firearms, Driving while Barred and Eluding Law

Enforcement. Carl Penelton, age 29 of Ottumwa is charged with Interference with Official Acts as was

a 17 yr old Juvenile charged with Interference with Official Acts and released to their parent.

release2 release1

This criminal charge is an accusation and the Defendant is presumed innocent until

and unless proven guilty.


Bakken Pipeline Receives Permit

The Dakota Access Bakken pipeline has received approval from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) after months of deliberating, coming in the form of a 174-page order.

Not only did the IUB approve a permit for the pipeline, but the Iowa Department of Natural Resources did as well. The Iowa DNR found no long-term environmental impact from the pipeline where it crosses public land, such as the Des Moines and Mississippi rivers.

The pipeline will run from northwestern Iowa to southeastern Iowa, and will go through multiple area counties. Mahaska County will see the most of the pipeline, with 32.54 miles. It will travel more than 343 miles through 18 counties, from Lyon County in northwest Iowa to Lee County in southeast Iowa. Area counties affected are Jasper, Mahaska, Keokuk, Wapello, Jefferson, and Van Buren.

A series of informational meetings were held in area towns and cities prior to formal hearing before the IUB late last year. Those opposed to the Bakken pipeline say there are risks to having 500,000 barrels of crude flow through an underground pipeline. Those in support of the pipeline have cited economic impacts from its construction, which some estimate could be as much as $1 billion.

The IUB did not give a specific number for the pipeline’s impact on Iowa’s economy, although it did conclude about $800 million will be brought in during the construction phase. Dakota Access will also pay between $25 million and $27 million in property taxes per year. The board also said that revenue, as well as job creation, added weight in support of the project. It has been estimated 2,000 to 4,000 jobs will be created in Iowa during construction, although only 12-15 permanent jobs will be needed in Iowa once the pipeline is finished to operate it.

Dakota Access stated it would see eminent domain to construct the pipeline if it can’t come to an agreement with landowners.

According to state officials, the pipeline will be buried in farm fields so that the top of the pipe is either 2 feet below any drain tiles, or at least 48 inches deep, whichever is lower. Dakota Access has promised to repair damage to farm fields to crops can once again be planted in the field.

The last permit for Dakota Access to get is from the Army Corps of Engineers.

City Council 3-7-16

The Oskaloosa City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting Monday night at 6 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall.

Multiple topics were discussed, but the main topic of the night was the Brownfields Assessment Grant Project.

Scott Mattes of H.R. Green Company presented on the Brownfields Assessment Grant Project to kick off the regular agenda. Mattes gave an overview of the EPA Brownfields Program, and stated what a “Brownfield” is. He said that according to the EPA, a Brownfield is a property that might be hindered in redevelopment or reuse due to a potential presence of an environmental contaminate or hazard. Some examples Mattes gave of Brownfields are abandoned warehouses, old mining entrances, and incompatible land use, as in a residential structure next to a warehouse or a grain elevator.

Mattes went on to say that the City of Oskaloosa earned two assessment grants totaling $400,000. He said the city can use that money to improve or redevelop sites that might have environmental risks. Mattes said after an assessment of Oskaloosa, around 3,500 parcels had a potential environmental risk. He then said that the group of properties was narrowed down to 121, and then it was again narrowed down to around 30 properties by an advisory committee.

In other business, the Consent Agenda was unanimously approved, and a new 28E agreement for fire protection services was passed unanimously for Adams, Garfield, Harrison, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Scott, and Spring Creek Townships.

Budgets were also discussed and approved unanimously. It was noted that the average resident will see an additional $6.48 per month, or $77.76 annually for sewer rates, which will be effective April 1st, 2016.

Vacancies were also announced for the Airport Commission, Civil Service Commission, Historic Preservation Commission and Municipal Housing Agency.

The next meeting of the Oskaloosa City Council will be held on March 21st, 2016 at 6 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall.


Story by George Henry

Eggs and Issues 2-27-16

The fourth session of Eggs and Issues was held in a packed Smokey Row Coffee Shop in Oskaloosa Saturday morning at 8:30. This session highlighted local initiatives to discuss the Recreation and Early Childhood Development Center with Mark Willett, the community branding project with Aaron Riggs and Andrew Jensen, and the Caldwell Learning Center with Linda Fox and Dave Sedivec.

This session was handled differently, as the first half hour of discussion was dedicated to the three initiatives letting the community know what is happening with their respective projects.

Riggs and Jensen presented first, with Riggs stating one of the reasons as to why the Brand Leadership Team, or BLT, believes new branding would help Oskaloosa.

“Rather than people living here, earning a wage here, and then taking that money and spending it in a community outside of Oskaloosa, wouldn’t it be great if there were enough reasons and things to do in and around our town, that people could spend that money here locally and keep it here and grow our local economy as a result,” Riggs said.

Willett then spoke on the Recreation and Early Childhood Development Center. He said that losing the YMCA in the community would be devastating. He stated there are around 320 children in childcare between the YMCA, Webster, and Kids’ Corner in University Park.

Willett also described part of the plans for the new Recreation and Early Childhood Development Center. He said that it’s a nightmare to hold a swimming meet at the current YMCA because there are only four lanes. He said the new facility will have eight lanes in the competition pool, as well as areas to sit down and watch the meet. Willett went on to say that there will be a recreational pool in addition to the competition pool, so the competition pool can have cooler water and people can swim laps, and the recreation pool can have warmer water for those doing water workouts.

Fox and Sedivec spoke next on the Caldwell Learning Center. Fox said that kids learn the best by being able to experience, feel, and touch what’s around them. She then told the crowd what an Environmental Learning Center, or ELC, is.

“It’s a place where you can take nature, and you can make it work. You can show kids how to do things, and what things are in nature. They can have hands-on experience. They can go out in the field and come back into a mudroom, and experience what is going on,” said Fox.

Sedivec said that Mahaska County is a victim of its own success.

“We average over 12,000 program participants a year here in Mahaska County with one Naturalist and other staff helping out. To put that in perspective, that’s the same number of program participants that Linn County has with five Naturalists in the Cedar Rapids area,” said Sedivec.

Fox and Sedivec also said that the ELC is going to be larger than was first planned due to the mammoth bones that will be on display.

When it came time for the public to ask questions, there were some in the audience that were against the new branding of Oskaloosa.

Members of the community said that music has stood the test of time, and that Oskaloosa already has a brand and slogan. Jensen responded by saying that he believes Oskaloosa is more than just music.

“We absolutely celebrate our musical history, but Oskaloosa is much more than just music. In the time that I’ve been here, there are so many awesome things going on in Oskaloosa, and the question is how do we tie those things together,” stated Jensen.

Another member of the community broke the tension in the room.

“Granted I may have lived under a rock for the 27 years I’ve lived here, but I did not know this was known as the City of Music. Just saying,” said the community member.

One community member asked about the location of the ELC. Sedivec answered by saying it will be just to the east of Oskaloosa. He also said the ELC is in a great location, and he believes the location will help the local economy.

“You have the Lacey Sports Complex with all the kids and tournaments out there. In between games if people want to see the nature center and the mammoth bones, they have to go through town and they have to go past every restaurant, they have to go by gas stations and everything, so I think that’ll also help with the economic impact for the community,” Sedivec said.

There was also a question asked about whether or not the pool at Edmundson Park will be closed when the new Recreation and Early Childhood Development Center opened. Willett replied by saying it is all speculation, and also that there are no plans for an outdoor pool at the new facility.

The next session of Eggs and Issues will be with state officials, and it will be held on March 12th at 8:30 am at Smokey Row Coffee Shop in Oskaloosa.


Story by George Henry

Rand Paul Highlights Eminent Domain in Oskaloosa Visit

Presidential candidate Rand Paul visited Smokey Row Coffee Shop in Oskaloosa Friday morning. After being introduced by Mahaska County Supervisor Mark Doland, Paul spoke to around 100 people, highlighted by discussion on eminent domain.

Paul started out by joking about the wet weather in the area.

“Thanks everybody for coming out today, and thanks for sharing your snow with me. We’ve been driving up through what looks like a complete white-out. Now it’s turning to rain, which it’ll turn to slosh, but I did bring my snow boots, so I’m prepared for it,” stated Paul.

He then went on to talk about eminent domain. Paul stated that one of the worst powers one can give the government is the power to take property. He mentioned Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut, where the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the government can take private property from an owner and give the property to another private owner through eminent domain, based on which one of the property owners would pay more in property taxes.

Paul then related this to what has happened in California.

“They have actually gone to a church and said, ‘We’re going to take the church through eminent domain, because the church is not paying any taxes,’” Paul said.

Paul then explained how fellow presidential candidate Donald Trump has used eminent domain when attempting to build casinos.

“We have one candidate, Donald Trump, who’s made his living building casinos, but he doesn’t go to town and ask you to sell your land, he comes to town and he says to the local authories, ‘Condemn their land and give it to me.” You don’t believe me? Ask Vera Coking. She had lived in her house for thirty years. Donald Trump came to town, bought off the mayor. He said, ‘I’m building a casino.’ Vera Coking said ‘I’m not selling,’ and he said ‘Well we’re going to condemn your land,’ and took her to court. This little old lady had lived in her house for thirty years, she fought Donald Trump and she beat him,” stated Paul.

In 1998, the Superior Court of New Jersey ruled in favor of Vera Coking, stating that Trump and the local government could not use eminent domain to acquire the property.

As for eminent domain in our area, especially in regards to the new proposed airport in rural Mahaska and Marion Counties, Paul was clear in his intentions should he become President.

“I will not let the government take any of your property through eminent domain and give it to somebody else,” Paul said, to applause.

Paul also spoke on limiting government spending, taxes, debt, and war.

Oskaloosa was one of five stops on the campaign trail for the Kentucky Senator on Friday.

The campaign leads up to the February 1st Iowa Caucuses.



Story by George Henry


Stay updated, sign up for our newsletter.