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News 3/2/09

Posted: Monday, March 2nd, 2009 at 6:53 am
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Cub Scouts hold annual banquet 
The Pella Cub Scouts held their annual Blue and Gold Banquet this past Friday. Pack 374 includes seven dens, or about 60 scouts, according to Pack Leader Tim Williams. Scouts were awarded different badges and Williams was recognized with the Wood Badge Award. Williams says a graduation ceremony will be held in May where scouts will advance in rank. 

Knoxville city council to meet 
The Knoxville City Council will consider the first ordinance reading establishing the Knoxville Downtown Streetscape Committee as a city committee this evening at 6:15 in city hall. The council will also review proposed city governing body rules, and consider a request to purchase lockers for the Recreation Center, among other issues. 

Legislators propose school consolidation study 
A bill introduced in the state house would study reorganization of school districts. This bill came after Democratic State Senator Matt McCoy raised the idea of forced consolidation of rural school districts with less than 750 students. Republican State Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven says he hopes they can look at the whole picture, as this proposal does raise transportation issues. He also stresses the importance of maintaining quality education in rural Iowa.

Deadline nears for naming of K-9 
Residents have from now until this morning at 8 to suggest a name for Knoxvilles new K-9 Police Dog. That’s according to Knoxville Police chief Dan Losada. He says he hopes to announce the winning name at Mondays City Council meeting. The department has received 87 names so far, and residents can call the police station or e-mail names to chief Losada at policechief@cityofknoxville.us. 

Business community undergoes changes 
Residents may have noticed some recent changes to the Pella business community. Chamber of Commerce Director Karen Eischen says several stores have relocated while other businesses have recently opened their doors. Eischen says this is a sign that despite the economy, some businesses are looking to take advantage of opportunities they have when costs are lower to expand or try new markets. 

Daylight saving begins Sunday 
It will be time to spring forward an hour as Daylight Saving time begins Sunday, March 8th at 2 a.m. Knoxville Police Chief Dan Losada says the change will mean darker mornings and more daylight in the evening, and urges drivers to watch out for pedestrians or cyclists on the road. He says despite some cars having automatic headlights, residents should manually turn them on if needed. Losada says pedestrians should wear bright colors or reflectors in dim lighting conditions. 

Metro Opera to perform at Pella school 
The opera is coming to Jefferson Intermediate School in Pella. Vocal teacher Lori Muller says the Des Moines Metro Opera will perform for fifth-graders on Wednesday morning. Students will see "A Dream Unfulfilled: The Saga of George Washington Carver." Muller says this gives children an opportunity to experience opera firsthand, which often changes their preconceptions about the art form. 

Residents required to have trash pick-up service 
Knoxville residents who do not have a trash pick-up service are in violation of the city code, and risk being fined. Knoxville Community Service Officer Arlene Worrall says the fines for residents who do not have a trash removal service are $100 for the first offence, with $200 and $500 for the second and third offenses, respectively. Worrall says to call her at 828-0541 with questions of for more information. 

Volunteers sought at Lake Red Rock 
Volunteer opportunities are still available at Lake Red Rock, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The corps says some volunteer positions come with a free campsite at Lake Red Rock. Volunteers perform a variety of duties such as assisting campers, collecting fees and cleaning the bike trail. For more information, contact Park Ranger Junifer Kruse at 628-8690 or 828-7522. 

Drivers encouraged to use caution as weather warms 
With spring just around the corner, local law enforcement says drivers should report any suspicious or unsafe behavior on the roads. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office says that on any given weekend in the evening, one in 10 drivers on the public roadway is legally impaired. Knoxville Police Chief Dan Losada says drivers should use caution as the weather warms up and more children, bicycles and motorcycles will be in the area.