SHEFFIELD | A historic building — and decades of memories — has been preserved in Sheffield.
That’s thanks to Holly and Randy Coffee, of Chapin, who purchased the 1921 City Memorial Hall, 309 Gilman St., and transformed it into a bustling coffee shop and events center in the city’s downtown.
“We brought it back to life,” said Holly, a Sheffield native.
The five-story, 12,000-square-foot building, now known as Block 10 at 1921 City Hall, offers a variety of coffee and beverages as well as hot and cold sandwiches, soups, salads and baked goods for breakfast and lunch.
“It’s quite the building,” Randy said. “There isn’t any part of it that we haven’t touched.”
The building, positioned on multiple lots on Block 10 in Sheffield, was originally home to the city’s council chambers, library and community center, including a basketball court, before moving to South Third Street.
Remnants of that history, as well as that of Sheffield, line nearly every inch of the coffee shop and events center in the form of photographs, blueprints and memorabilia that have been donated or purchased. Other items, like the old high school gym floor and the old city jail, have been repurposed and featured in the space.
“It means a lot to us for people to relive those memories,” Randy said.
In 2015, Randy, who is vice president of sales and marketing at Superior Grain Equipment, was attending an estate auction at the building, which was privately owned as a residence for nearly 20 years, for Holly who wanted two tables included in the sale for her antique home décor store in Chapin when he learned of its rich history and was inspired to purchase it.
“We had no idea what we were going to do, but these two tables started this massive investment that we put into this place,” he said.
After purchasing the building, the couple — with a lot of help from friends and family — began months of restoration.
Restored, the building features a coffee shop, dining space, a commercial kitchen, a bar area, restrooms, multiple meeting rooms, a reception hall and an old renovated gym to accommodate larger events, like wedding receptions and community events.
In April 2017, Randy and Holly opened Block 10 at 1921 City Hall offering hot and cold beverages and baked goods, before expanding their offerings to lunch in August 2017.
“We’re not here to compete,” Randy said. “We’re here to help support the community and help grow the community.”
In addition to offering breakfast and lunch, Block 10 at 1921 City Hall also caters on-site and off-site events.
Since opening, Block 10 in 1921 City Hall, which employees six to eight people, has hosted wedding receptions, Breakfast with Santa, Relay for Life, the Ducks Unlimited banquet, business meetings, class reunions, birthday parties, graduation parties and community events.
“From this weekend until late October we have events going on,” Holly said.
The couple, who also own the fire station next door, said they hope to expand their gathering space into that building as well as add a courtyard for dining in the future.
“We’re working toward it,” Holly said.
The Coffees said because of the building’s history, they are frequently asked to provide tours, which they are more than happy to do.
“It’s a preservation of history and in doing that it’s a preservation of memories for people,” Randy said. “Hopefully those memories get passed onto other generations. That means something to us.”
The coffee shop is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday for breakfast and lunch, and 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday for breakfast.
For more information about the coffee shop and events center, visit the Block 10 at 1921 City Hall Facebook page.
MASON CITY | A North Iowa man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for vehicular homicide in the death of a Hampton woman in 2016.
Paul Wood, 60, of Manly, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of felony homicide by vehicle -- reckless driving March 12 and was sentenced Monday to up to 10 years in prison.
Wood was also ordered to pay restitution to the legal heirs of Griselda Castaneda Tello -- about $7,600 for funeral and burial expenses, as well as $150,000 to two other family members. A fine of $1,000 was suspended.
Tello, 22, of Hampton, died from her injuries. She was a nurse at Mercy Medical Center--North Iowa.
A second motorist from Sheffield received minor injuries after her vehicle spun out after hitting debris from the crash.
Investigators found 0.11 grams of meth and 1.87 grams of marijuana inside Wood's pickup after the crash, according to court documents. Test results later indicated the two drugs were in Wood's urine and blood.
Wood was also sentenced to up to 10 years for felony possession of a controlled substance -- methamphetamine and felony possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, third offense. Fines of $1,500 were suspended.
He will serve the sentences concurrently, or at the same time, at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center, a medium security correctional facility in Coralville.
King said he likes how Trump has framed the national discourse on key issues, and shown the ability to change direction with a single tweet.
"My answer is going to incorporate tax cuts and foreign policy and economic growth and the negotiations, the way he has dealt with domestic enforcement of immigration, (getting) his public message out there, what he has done to the tone and culture of America... I would give him a nine," King said in an interview this week.
"I don't usually think about things like that, but that is my process -- I give him a nine."
In a Fox News interview April 26, Trump rated himself with the highest grade possible, saying, "I would give myself an A-plus. Nobody has done what I've been able to do, and I did it despite the fact that I have a phony cloud over my head that doesn't exist.”
The few down spots for the president, King said, comes with his proposal to raise tariffs on steel and by not sweeping aside the Obama-era initiative of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. King also lamented that a border wall with Mexico, a key immigration piece the congressman has long pushed, hasn't advanced.
King said Trump is an "enigma" who understands it is best to keep opponents and others guessing what he will do, which makes for a great way to negotiate with foreign leaders. The congressman contrasted the Trump approach with that of prior Democratic President Barack Obama, who he said gave away key moves the U.S. would take.
"I have been calling for a president who is successful at brinksmanship," King said.
"It is the geo-political chess game of, who is going to blink, who is going to blink first? You know, is he bluffing or isn't he? I don't think people have him figured out enough to know, ever, if he is bluffing or if it is real. And that is because he couples that with being an enigma. There is not a consistent ideological core that, that tells us what he is going to do."
King said the way Trump has messaged about North Korea is a prime example. Trump wants to stop Kim Jong-Un from developing nuclear weapons capability, and a mid-April military missile strike in Syria should be sobering to the North Korean leader, King said.
"Kim is wondering, well, what about, does Americas have enough guts to go nuclear on him," he said.
King said Trump helped move a tax cut plan that has become his all-time favorite vote. That change enacted in December was the most substantial change to the federal tax code in 30 years. It drops the personal income tax rates for most of the seven tax brackets, lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax.
King, who represents the Iowa 4th congressional district while living in Kiron, was first elected in 2002. He is running for re-election in 2018, and has a combined five opponents from the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian party.