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News 3/8/09

Posted: Sunday, March 8th, 2009 at 8:18 am
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Knoxville School Board Meeting to Discuss Budget Review Plan
The Knoxville School District Budget Review Committee will report to the School Board at their bi-monthly meeting Monday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the administration building. Superintendent Dr. Randy Flack says the committee will review the original recommendation, which includes reconfiguring kindergarten through 8th grade. The review will also include a list of submitted suggestions to the original proposal, including: retaining the activities director position, retaining the energy manager position with an adjusted stipend, and consider retaining the reading specialist or reading associates, among others.

Legislative Coffee Discusses State and City Issues
Residents discussed state and city issues at a Legislative Coffee Saturday at the Pella Pizza Ranch. State Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven and Pella Mayor Darrell Dobernecker participated in the forum sponsored by the Pella League of Women Voters. The state budget and labor issues became major topics of conversation. Van Engelenhoven told the crowd of about 25 that additional state budget cuts are likely following the next quarterly forecast from the Revenue Estimating Conference. He also fielded questions about prevailing wage, fair share and the choice-of-doctor issue. On the city side, Dobernecker touched on issues ranging from Bos Landen Golf Course to a makeover of Caldwell Park.

Home Shopping Extravaganza Returns for One Day Only
Marion County residents will have a chance to make it a lucky day Wednesday as the KNIA/KRLS Home Shopping Extravaganza returns for one day with great savings. KNIA/KRLS General Manager Jim Butler says residents can call in from 1 to 5 p.m. and then starting back up at 6 p.m. as new food gift certificates have been added, with all food certificates being sold at 50% off, and all other merchandise will be sold at 60% off the retail price. Butler says residents can get an updated list of merchandise at kniakrls.com by clicking on the Home Shopping banner.

Bald Eagle Day Draws Visitors to Lake Red Rock
Bald Eagle Day drew between 800-1000 people to Central College Saturday. The celebration of the Bald Eagle featured live eagle and raptor programs, eagle viewing below the Lake Red Rock Dam, an environmental fair and more. Park Ranger Tracy Spry the turnout was comparable or even higher than previous years. Spry says the event helps remind us that we almost lost our national symbol due to poor decisions regarding pesticide usage and habitat destruction. This was the 21st annual Bald Eagle Day.

Marion County Springs Ahead
Daylight Saving time began earlier this morning, springing everyone an hour forward. Knoxville Fire Chief Mike Roberts says this is a good time for residents to change their smoke detector batteries. He adds changing batteries on carbon monoxide detectors is also encouraged during the change. Knoxville Police Chief Dan Losada says the change now means darker mornings and more daylight in the evening, and urges drivers to watch out for pedestrians or cyclists on the road.

Nardini Reviews Pella Budget
The city of Pella budget for next fiscal year contains funding for a number of major projects. City Administrator Mike Nardini says theyve allocated more than $4 million for a new Class C airport, a project awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. If approved, 95 percent of the cost of the new airport would be covered by federal funds. Nardini says the budget also includes $1.7 million for a major street reconstruction project on North Main. Nardini says federal funds will cover about $850,000 of the cost of the reconstruction.

Grass Fires in Marion County
For the second time in one day, the Knoxville Township Fire Department responded to grass fires on 108th Place Wednesday. First, a grassfire occurred over several acres on the 1700 block of 108th Place, then later in the day another blaze occurred at 108th Place and Perry Street, where smoke and orange embers on several fields greeted the crews. No injuries were reported in both instances. Columbia Fire Department and Melcher-Dallas Fire Departments also responded to the second fire.

Ag in the Classroom Visits Marion County
About 400 fourth-graders from Marion County had the opportunity to learn about agriculture at a special event this Thursday. Ag in the Classroom transformed part of the Vermeer Global Pavilion into a showcase for livestock, farm equipment and more. The event was organized by the Marion County Farm Bureau. Students went to different stations that focused on topics like farm safety.