THE TOP 5 of 2015 for

Clarke County Iowa Osceola Life2015 was a spectacular year for Since our official launch in July, we’ve seen over 6,500 unique users and 16,500 page views on the site alone. And the reach doesn’t stop with those digital connections. The Osceola Sentinel and the Advertiser have helped us by publishing and delivering dozens of articles and flyers throughout the community, helping spread inspirational stories and important news about living in Clarke County, Osceola, and Southern Iowa.

If that wasn’t enough, the reach of extended to out-of-state publications from Massachusetts to Arizona, Florida and California to help shine the light on local businesses like Salford Inc. and Altec as well as spread the great news of Clarke Community Schools spectacular staff, curriculum changes and achievements.

Much of the most successful content was centered around the Clarke Community Schools, Clarke County Business Development and, of course, The Clarke County Reservoir Project. But hands down the most successful article posted in in 2015 was:

#1 – Clarke Schools Teacher Wins Golden Apple

Golden Apple Award, Clarke Community Schools, WHO TV13, Nationwide InsuranceIn December we had the honor of shadowing WHO Channel 13 as they gave the Golden Apple Award to Clarke’s very own Michelle Lee. This award is not only a spectacular honor for the recipient, but also directly reflects the quality of the teachers and staff at Clarke Community Schools.

Miss Lee’s award was unique in that she was nominated by over 60 current and past students, all in one month, to receive the nomination.  According to Nationwide and WHO13, this number of nominations broke the past record for a teacher’s votes by an overwhelming amount.

Not only was Miss Lee’s article’s most popular article with over 1,400 hits in the first two days after the story was posted, but it also received over 800 shares through social media.

You can read more here.

#2 – Your #ClarkePride Kicks Into High Gear

If anything, Clarke Community Schools has support from their students and community. On October 19th, the Clarke Indians Football team, with new coach and new drive, pulled out the first Win in 24 games. The dry streak had ended and the result of that win was nothing short of spectacular.

clarke community schools footbal winThrough social media and around the Osceola square, the true pride of Clarke Community Schools and their sports and activities like Band and Volleyball made the Fall season one to remember!

The post from was a sheer result of the activity seen on Facebook and other social outlets, but the article received our #2 ranking for its high traffic volume and sharing throughout the community.  Traffic to the post was 1,014 unique hits and it was shared directly over 130 times.

It is surely an experience we won’t forget.  Go Indians!

You can see how the community reacted here and read more about the #ClarkePride we saw and experienced here.

#3 was a TIE With:
A – More Info As Clarke County Reservoir Project Proceeds
and B – Oversight Committee Letter Oversteps According to Some

Mention the Clarke County Reservoir Project in a crowded room and you’re bound to get quite the debate on its viability, its necessity, its purpose, and more. Within 2 weeks and 2 short articles, witnessed a conversation that truly shows the passion the community has for (or against) the project.clarke county reservoir committee

We saw a volume of traffic to these articles that topped 1,200 unique hits combined and a conversation online that reached 120 or more people JUST on Facebook. But the conversations didn’t stop there. As we dove deeper into the reports for the articles we saw over 100 comments and retorts about the two articles on Facebook as well as LinkedIn shares.

The process for the reservoir Project has been looked at, evaluated, interrogated, and debated a hundred times through social media, the Osceola Sentinel’s articles, as well as The two articles that hold our #3 spot (at the time) are the most current information as to where the project stands as well as the reactions to some of the antics taking place at the State House.

You can read more about them here (More Info As Clarke County Reservoir Project Proceeds)
And here (Oversight Committee Letter Oversteps According To Some)

#4 – Meet The Candidates for The Osceola City Council Mayoral Race

kedley-mayor-candidateMany times, we’ve heard, “Change is good.” With the recent elections, that idiom rings louder than ever. With vibrant conversations throughout the community and online, the City Council elections saw a few seats turn over as well as the Mayor’s seat taken by a “New generation” with a unique vision and direction.

With the City Council Election article, just prior to voting day, hoped to facilitate further discussions about the platforms for each candidate and improve the voting numbers for the local election. While turnout was slightly higher at the voting booths, the online conversation about the candidates and their potential, with 437 unique views of the article as well as a dozen or more hits on the candidate profile pages shot the article and subsequent candidate profile pages to the top of the list.

You can read more here.

#5 – Clarke County Labor Study Reveals Higher Income Potential

employment income opportunities southern iowaIn August, published an article citing the growth and potential for higher incomes through the manufacturing industry in Osceola and Clarke County, Iowa. This article brought attention to the tremendous potential Clarke County has for becoming a Manufacturing center for not only Southern Iowa, but the Midwest and the Nation. With companies like Altec and Salford looking to hire responsible, trainable staff, the opportunities for establishing a stable income in Osceola is greater now more than ever.

The article was a mid-ranker from a traffic standpoint with only 213 direct hits, but the online conversation about the opportunities offered over 143 comments and was shared by over 125 people on Facebook. The social media reach alone would have made this article reach into the top 5 easily, but with a national push to media outlets, we had republishing rights provided to sites from Boston to Phoenix. Traffic on that came from outside our community jumped 73% showing a true interest in doing business in Osceola. Other articles were subsequently reached from external sources because of this national reach.


Articles that we wanted to mention that just didn’t have the numbers to make our Top 5 are:

Osceola Continues Setting The Path for a Healthier Future – the article about the new paths being laid throughout the city inspiring healthier lives and community.
Clarke Grad Recognized By President for Excellence in Math & Science Teaching – just showing, again, the spectacular educational opportunities Clarke County students have.
Osceola’s Clarke County Hospital Featured on WHOTV13 and Fern Is My Friend A Beautiful Feature By KCCI –  support and recognition from external media noticing the tremendous quality of life in Clarke County and Osceola, Iowa.

Hey, Clarke County, you have a winning community!

From the perspective of, our authors, and the stories that have been submitted, life in Clarke County is good.  Sure, economy climbs affect rural areas slower than the larger communities, but based on what we see through, the “Quality of Life” in Clarke County and Osceola is pretty darn good and getting better.  Take a step back. Read the articles we’ve cited in our Top 5, and take heed of the fantastic opportunities that surround you. Your community IS growing and you’re at the onset of making Osceola and the surrounding areas a true focal point for Southern Iowa.

Be proud of that.

The Writers and Staff

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