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News 3/21/09

Posted: Saturday, March 21st, 2009 at 5:24 am
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Electric utility project resumes 
Work has resumed on an electric utility project in the city of Pella. The contractor, KLK Construction of Pella, is installing conduits and cable from north of the power plant to near Pella Regional Health Center. Electric Director Larry Peterson says this new feeder line is needed due to the hospital expansion. Peterson says KLK should be substantially complete with their work by mid-April and then city crews will finish the rest of the project, which he says should be done before summer. 

Program to offer history of Knoxville VA 
The Knoxville Historic Preservation Commission is hosting a program on the history of the Knoxville VA April 23rd from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Knoxville Public Library. That’s according to committee co-chair Tom Schmeh. He says the "Caring for America‘s Veterans: The History of the Knoxville V.A." program will include a narrative and pictures guiding viewers though the VA’s history. 

REC releases revenue projections 
The states revenue estimating committee released its spending projections Friday for both this and next year. Officials tell KNIA/KRLS News that there’s an over $100 million revenue loss projected for this year, and about $250 million in revenue losses projected for next year. The losses indicate how much less money the state has to spend.

Traffic stop leads to drug charge for Pella man 
A Pella man faces a drug charge in Audubon County. According to the Audubon County Sheriffs Office, 32-year-old Jeremy David Best is charged with gathering where drugs are used, methamphetamine, a Class D felony. Audobon County Sheriff Todd Johnson tells KNIA/KRLS News that the charge stems from a traffic stop on Thursday afternoon where two other men were also arrested. Johnson says Best has been ordered to appear in Audubon County District Court on March 23.

Residents looking to maintain vehicles longer 
Many Marion County residents are looking to maintain their vehicles longer in todays economy. Arvin Vander Linden is manager of Raceway Tire & Exhaust in Knoxville. He says more residents are fixing up their cars to last longer, even those which have a high number of miles on them. Craig Ford is owner of Pella Motors. He says he’s serving more people looking for ways to keep their vehicles in good condition longer.

Local governments putting more information online 
More local governments are using the Internet as a valuable communication tool. Pella City Administrator Mike Nardini says theyve found that many residents will use the city website first and call the city second. Marion County Auditor Jake Grandia says the county offers a relatively new comprehensive government website. Knoxville‘s website was launched earlier this year and is still being developed as content continues to be added. 

Streetscape committee to meet next week 
The Knoxville Downtown Streetscape Committee will continue discussion regarding possible grant and funding opportunities at its bi-monthly meeting Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. in City Hall, among other issues.

Catching fish in the spring  black face=Tahoma>
Spring has arrived and with it comes thoughts of casting a line in open water for many Marion County fishermen. Marion County Conservation Officer John Mertz says water temperature is the key to spring fishing as that dictates spawning season. He says two of the more popular species – crappie and white bass – start to spawn when the water temperature reaches 60 degrees. In early spring, Mertz says people below the dam are probably catching some walleye and carp. 

Community Chorus to hold 2009 Spring Concert 
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. 

Author to visit with local residents 
An Iowa author will share stories of her travels abroad at a special program this afternoon at the Pella Public Library. Nancy Harless is the author of "Womankind," a collection of individual pieces about her experiences as a world traveler and a health care professional. The reading is at 2:00 p.m. at the Pella Public Library meeting room.