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Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2009 at 5:43 am
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Police investigate bank robbery 
Police are searching for a woman who robbed a bank in Pella Wednesday afternoon. The Pella Police Department received a report at 12:36 p.m. of an armed robbery at the MidWestOne Bank Branch Office at 500 Oskaloosa Street. Authorities describe the woman as a white female in her 40’s wearing glasses. Police Chief Michael Marcinkowski says the woman reportedly aimed a handgun at a teller, demanded money, and left the scene on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was injured in the incident. Marcinkowski says the FBI and the Department of Criminal Investigation were called in to assist in the investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Pella Police Department at 641-628-4921. 

Fire causes minor damage at Pella Hy-Vee 
The Pella Fire Department responded to a fire at the Pella Hy-Vee Wednesday evening, quickly extinguishing the blaze. Paper products in one of the aisles had caught fire, with the cause unknown at this time, according to Pella Fire Chief Doug Van Gorkom. He told KNIA/KRLS News on scene that minor damage occurred, and that one person was transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation. The store was evacuated while authorities attended to the scene.

Robinson Street project to resume this spring 
Once the ground completely thaws and is determined to be stable for roadwork, construction on Robinson Street in Knoxville will begin again, closing the street for 25 working days as crews finish the project and the road is then reopened. Knoxville City Manager Dick Schrad says the contractor has agreed to pay liquidated damages to the city for unfinished work past the Dec. 1 completion deadline it missed last year. 

Communications Center receives honor 
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center was named Team Telecommunicators of the Year for 2008 by the Iowa chapter of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials. Communications Director Martha Dykstra says the Center is honored to receive the award. The dispatchers and county officials are attending the award presentation being made in Des Moines March 24. 

Minnesota company has plans for hydroelectric power 
A Minnesota company wants to bring hydroelectric power to Marion County. A subsidiary of Nelson Energy has submitted a license application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a power plant at the Lake Red Rock Dam. Project Engineer Doug Spalding says the plant could produce 36 megawatts of electricity, or equal to the size of the city of Pella Power Plant. Officials say review of the application could take between 18 months and two years. 

Community Chorus to hold concerts this month 
The Knoxville Community Chorus is holding their 2009 Spring Concert March 27th at 7 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church. The concert will also be held March 28th at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. 

Firefighters respond to grassfire
 
Firefighters responded to a grassfire Wednesday afternoon on 2276 Dakota Drive north of Pella. While extinguishing that blaze, the Pella Fire Department was called to another grassfire at 112 Terrace Drive in Park Hills subdivision south of Otley. Both fires were extinguished quickly, causing no damage or injuries.

Girl Scout cookie sale extended 
Marion County residents can order Girl Scout Cookies through June. Iowa Girl Scouts official Wanda Armstrong says the deadline has been extended to help boost cookie sales. She says its $3.50 per box, with 50 cents from every box going towards the troop, while the rest goes to the Girl Scout council to help the girl scouts with summer programs and other items. 

Airman completes training 
A former Marion County student has completed basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Andrew P. Frye studied the Air Force mission and organization and received physical training, among other subjects. Frye is a 2001 graduate of Twin Cedars and is the stepson of Darwin Vos of Pella. 

Have coffee with the mayor today 
Area residents can voice whats on their minds at "Coffee With The Mayor" in Knoxville today. Mayor Harv Sprafka says the program is held the third Thursday of each month at 4 p.m. on the second floor of the Knoxville Public library.