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News 3/31/09

Posted: Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 12:49 pm
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Pella Corporation to increase production
Pella Corporation plans to ramp up production toward the end of April. Corporate spokeswoman Kathy Krafka Harkema says the company will return to a five-day work week beginning April 27. The company went to a four-day week late last year in an effort to cut costs while maintaining their workforce. Krafka Harkema says with the arrival of spring the company is hopeful that consumers will begin to reinvest in their homes.

One person injured in crash
One person was sent to the hospital with injuries Monday after a vehicle collided with a power pole in Bussey. Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies, Iowa State Patrol, and Mid-American Energy all responded to the scene. Mid-American crews worked to remove the power pole, which was balancing on the hood of the vehicle.

NWS predicts a normal spring flood season
A near normal spring flooding season is expected in Marion County, according to the latest flood forecast from the National Weather Service. The chance of flooding is near normal for both the Des Moines River and the Cedar Creek near Bussey. However, the National Weather Service predicts a seven to 10 percent greater than normal chance of flooding for the South Skunk River near Oskaloosa.

Mayor Sprafka meets with VA Secretary
The U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, assured Knoxville Mayor Harv Sprafka during a trip to Washington D.C. last week that the VA Campus in Knoxville is closing. Sprafka says that Shinseki proposed that Knoxville build a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic, or C-BOC, in exchange for Knoxville to receive the VA Campus after it’s closed. Sprafka says although there’s no concrete timeline for building the C-BOC, he stresses that all of the planning and development would be from local leaders.

Local company plane suffers glitch before landing
A plane registered to a local company had a scare in Webster City Monday morning. Officials say a plane registered to Pella Building Systems was preparing to land at the Webster City Airport when a light that signifies the planes landing gear is down failed to illuminate. Emergency crews responded to the scene but the plane was able to land safely as the gear had properly deployed.

School Board sets budget hearing date
The Knoxville School Board set the district’s 2009-10 school budget hearing date for April 13th at 6:30 p.m. at their meeting Monday. The proposed levy rate is $16.45 per $1,000 taxable valuation, slightly down from last years rate of $16.47. The board also voted to levy over $89,000 in property taxes to receive one percent allowable growth for the district, among other issues.

Pella Cooperative Electric holds annual meeting
Pella Cooperative Electric holds their annual meeting tonight. CEO John Smith tells KNIA/KRLS News that rural electric cooperatives face a number of challenges, including the need for greater capacity, new environmental standards, and maintaining affordable and reliable energy. Smith says maintaining affordable and reliable energy is important for economic development.

City crews flushing hydrants
If you see Knoxville Water works crews flushing hydrants in the city this week, they’re conducting their bi-annual test of the hydrant system. Steve Inskeep, general manager of the Knoxville Water Works says crews typically flush the hydrants in the spring and fall to get water flowing which may have become stagnant and to see if the entire system is operating properly.

Legislative Coffee is Saturday
The Pella League of Women Voters has announced a change in location for their April Legislative Coffee. League President Kate Bearce says it will be held April 4 at 9:30 a.m. at the Public Safety Complex. The league traditionally holds a Legislative Coffee the first Saturday of each month during the legislative session and invites State Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven and State Senator Paul McKinley.

Property tax payments due
The second half of Marion County residents 2008-2009 property tax payments become delinquent Wednesday, and residents must make their payments before then to be on time. Thats according to Marion County Assessor Drew Sanders. Residents can pay their property taxes by coming into the Marion County Treasurer’s Office in the courthouse or online at Iowatreasurers.org.