Archive for March, 2009

Bank Robbery in Pella

Posted: Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

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.

News 3/18/09

Posted: Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 at 6:21 am

Firefighters respond to multiple grassfires 
A grassfire spanning several acres on highway G-76 southwest of Attica affected approximately a dozen vehicles and other property in a salvage yard Tuesday afternoon, where crews from Columbia Fire Department, Indiana Township and Knoxville Rural Fire Departments brought the flames under control within an hour. While this fire was still being extinguished, Columbia Fire Department was called to another grassfire just south of Columbia on 103rd Street, where crews extinguished the blaze before it reached an abandoned building. 

Weather Service releases flood outlook 
Major flooding in Marion County is unlikely this spring, according to the latest flood outlook released by the National Weather Service in Des Moines. Senior Hydrologist Jeff Zogg says an early snow melt has left rivers at or near normal levels. According to Zogg, there’s a 30-40 percent chance of flooding on the Des Moines River and about a 10-20 percent chance of flooding at Cedar Creek near Bussey. However, he says there’s about a 60-80 percent chance the South Skunk River near Oskaloosa could surpass flood stage in the next three months. 

Leaf fire damages garage 
The Knoxville Fire & Rescue responded to a burning leave pile which caught onto a nearby garage Tuesday evening on Park Lane Drive, with no injuries. Knoxville Fire Department Chief Mike Roberts says residents must always be present during an open burn, and have a continuous source of water.

New completion date set for I-80 study
The Pella City Council approved a 60-day contract extension for the I-80 feasibility study at their meeting Tuesday. Officials had hoped that the study examining routes from the Pella area to Interstate 80 could be complete by March 1. The new completion date is now April 30 as officials are still waiting on traffic modeling data from the State of Iowa. 

County to participate in mock drill 
Marion County is joining 16 other counties in a four-hour emergency preparedness exercise March 25th. Marion County Public Health Director Kim Dorn says the exercise will center on a fictional biological event around the RAGBRAI route, involving more than 90 organizations from 12 disciplines. Dorn says the exercise tests the ability of agencies to correctly respond to emergencies and cooperate with other organizations.

Lincoln School receives grant for literacy efforts 
Lincoln Elementary in Pella is expanding their literacy efforts thanks to a recent grant award. The school received $1,000 courtesy of Heartland Tire and Auto, among other sponsors. Funds will be used to purchase devices called WhisperPhones, which first-grade teacher Donita Smith says are headsets that allow students to hear themselves while they read. She says with this grant they’ll be able to purchase a unit for each first-grade student. 

Have Coffee with the Mayor 
Area residents can voice whats on their minds at Coffee with the Mayor in Knoxville Thursday. 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. Residents are encouraged to bring their questions, comments and ideas for discussion.

Work to resume on Pella Christian athletic fields 
Pella Christian plans to resume work on their outdoor athletic complex this spring. Athletic Director Verlan Nikkel says if the weather cooperates crews will begin installing the turf for the football field next month. The school also hopes to complete the track and have the football grandstands ready for the fall season. 

Construction to start soon on new Habitat for Humanity home 
Construction on a Habitat for Humanity Home will begin soon for a Knoxville family, and volunteers will be needed to help build the home. Executive Director of Marion County Habitat for Humanity Lisa Houser says the home for Julia Jones and her two daughters will be funded through Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity and Marion County Habitat for Humanity. Those interested in volunteering can call 828-8844. 

Two PRHC nurses receive state honor 
Two nurses from Pella Regional Health Center are among Iowas 100 Great Nurses. According to the hospital, RN Janet Naset-Payne and RN Dan Schreur were selected as two of the 100 Great Iowa Nurses for 2009. The annual program recognizes outstanding nurses in the state of Iowa. 

 

News 3/18/09

Posted: Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 at 6:21 am

Firefighters respond to multiple grassfires 
A grassfire spanning several acres on highway G-76 southwest of Attica affected approximately a dozen vehicles and other property in a salvage yard Tuesday afternoon, where crews from Columbia Fire Department, Indiana Township and Knoxville Rural Fire Departments brought the flames under control within an hour. While this fire was still being extinguished, Columbia Fire Department was called to another grassfire just south of Columbia on 103rd Street, where crews extinguished the blaze before it reached an abandoned building. 

Weather Service releases flood outlook 
Major flooding in Marion County is unlikely this spring, according to the latest flood outlook released by the National Weather Service in Des Moines. Senior Hydrologist Jeff Zogg says an early snow melt has left rivers at or near normal levels. According to Zogg, there’s a 30-40 percent chance of flooding on the Des Moines River and about a 10-20 percent chance of flooding at Cedar Creek near Bussey. However, he says there’s about a 60-80 percent chance the South Skunk River near Oskaloosa could surpass flood stage in the next three months. 

Leaf fire damages garage 
The Knoxville Fire & Rescue responded to a burning leave pile which caught onto a nearby garage Tuesday evening on Park Lane Drive, with no injuries. Knoxville Fire Department Chief Mike Roberts says residents must always be present during an open burn, and have a continuous source of water.

New completion date set for I-80 study
The Pella City Council approved a 60-day contract extension for the I-80 feasibility study at their meeting Tuesday. Officials had hoped that the study examining routes from the Pella area to Interstate 80 could be complete by March 1. The new completion date is now April 30 as officials are still waiting on traffic modeling data from the State of Iowa. 

County to participate in mock drill 
Marion County is joining 16 other counties in a four-hour emergency preparedness exercise March 25th. Marion County Public Health Director Kim Dorn says the exercise will center on a fictional biological event around the RAGBRAI route, involving more than 90 organizations from 12 disciplines. Dorn says the exercise tests the ability of agencies to correctly respond to emergencies and cooperate with other organizations.

Lincoln School receives grant for literacy efforts 
Lincoln Elementary in Pella is expanding their literacy efforts thanks to a recent grant award. The school received $1,000 courtesy of Heartland Tire and Auto, among other sponsors. Funds will be used to purchase devices called WhisperPhones, which first-grade teacher Donita Smith says are headsets that allow students to hear themselves while they read. She says with this grant they’ll be able to purchase a unit for each first-grade student. 

Have Coffee with the Mayor 
Area residents can voice whats on their minds at Coffee with the Mayor in Knoxville Thursday. 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. Residents are encouraged to bring their questions, comments and ideas for discussion.

Work to resume
on Pella Christian athletic fields
 
Pella Christian plans to resume work on their outdoor athletic complex this spring. Athletic Director Verlan Nikkel says if the weather cooperates crews will begin installing the turf for the football field next month. The school also hopes to complete the track and have the football grandstands ready for the fall season. 

Construction to start soon on new Habitat for Humanity home 
Construction on a Habitat for Humanity Home will begin soon for a Knoxville family, and volunteers will be needed to help build the home. Executive Director of Marion County Habitat for Humanity Lisa Houser says the home for Julia Jones and her two daughters will be funded through Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity and Marion County Habitat for Humanity. Those interested in volunteering can call 828-8844. 

Two PRHC nurses receive state honor 
Two nurses from Pella Regional Health Center are among Iowas 100 Great Nurses. According to the hospital, RN Janet Naset-Payne and RN Dan Schreur were selected as two of the 100 Great Iowa Nurses for 2009. The annual program recognizes outstanding nurses in the state of Iowa. 

 

Fire Crews Respond to Grassfires

Posted: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 1:20 pm


A grassfire spanning several acres on highway G-76 southwest of Attica affected approximately a dozen vehicles and other property in a salvage yard Tuesday afternoon, where crews from Columbia Fire Department, Indiana Township and Knoxville Rural Fire Departments brought the flames under control within an hour. While this fire was still being extinguished, Columbia Fire Department was called to another grassfire just south of Columbia on 103rd Street, where crews extinguished the blaze before it reached an abandoned building.

News 3/17/09

Posted: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 5:33 am

Three police officers honored at council meeting 
Three Knoxville Police Officers were honored Monday for applying life-saving techniques and helping save the life of a 62-year-old male suffering a heart attack last week. Darrell Brown, Randy Puyear, and Eric Orr were honored at the Knoxville City Council meeting for stabilizing the male before he was transported to the hospital. The council also received an Iowa Communities Assurance Pool check of $5,427 from Dan McKay of McKay Insurance. He says the check is a refund of excess premiums of a financial pool the city partly owned. 

Grassfires continue 
The Knoxville Township Fire Department responded to a grassfire on the 1600 block of Newbold Drive south of Knoxville Monday afternoon, putting the blaze out in minutes with no injuries. Also Monday, the Bussey Fire Department responded to a grassfire in Mahaska County in the morning.

Central College sees increase in applications 
Applications are up at Central College. Dean of Admission Carol Williamson says they’ve seen about an 18 percent increase in applications compared to this same point last year. In addition, she says admissions are up about 15 percent so far. The typical size of an incoming freshman class over the past 10-15 years is about 405 students, according to Williamson. 

Bridge project begins next month 
Construction will begin in April on the bridge mile south of Pierce Drive on Highway T-17, and Marion County residents will not be able to directly access the landfill from the south. The Marion County Engineer’s Office says traffic will be detoured on Highway 5 and Highway 92, with the project expected to take around 2.5 months to complete. 

Pella City Council to meet 
The Pella City Council will consider another extension for completion of the I-80 feasibility study at their meeting tonight. The study explores more direct routes from the Pella area to Interstate 80. Officials had hoped to have it complete by March 1. In other business, the council will consider a resolution accepting the fiscal year 2007-2008 annual audit. The Pella City Council will meet at 7:00 p.m. at the Public Safety Complex. 

Corps continues to design flood recovery projects 
Some major flood recovery efforts at Lake Red Rock remain in the design phase. Lake Red Rock Assistant Operations Manager John Holt with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a number of projects are planned including work on the Lake Red Rock Dam, renovation of the North Overlook Beach and improvements in the Marina Bay. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Red Rock project received $21 million in federal flood recovery funds. 

Knoxville band in New Orleans 
Performances and sightseeing have marked the Knoxville High School Band’s trip to New Orleans so far. Band Director Ross Leeper says the trip features tours of the Mardi Gras Museum, a private performance from a jazz group, while the high school band is also giving two performances. Leeper says 53 students and seven adults are in attendance.

Local residents receive state appointments 
A Pella resident will serve on the Iowa Emergency Response Commission. Terry Butler of Vermeer Corporation was recently appointed by Governor Chet Culver, according to the governor’s office. In addition, PCM School Superintendent Jane Babcock was reappointed to the School Budget Review Committee. 

Court furlough starts Friday 
The Iowa Supreme Court is ordering all court offices closed for select days in coming months because of an expected $3.8 million budget cut. The first scheduled furlough day is Friday: the state offices on the third and fourth floors of the Marion County courthouse will be closed, with the rest of the courthouse open as usual. In addition, the third and fourth floor courthouse offices will be closed at 2:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday beginning March 24th, with the rest of the courthouse open with usual hours. 

Firefighters respond to grassfire near Otley 
Firefighters responded to a report of a grassfire near Otley Monday afternoon. The fire was reported at 119 Terrace Drive. Pella Assistant Fire Chief Joel Braafhart says the blaze was extinguished before firefighters arrived and that no real damage was done. According to Braafhart, fireworks were to blame for the incident. No one was injured. 

 

 

News 3/17/09

Posted: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 5:33 am

Three police officers honored at council meeting 
Three Knoxville Police Officers were honored Monday for applying life-saving techniques and helping save the life of a 62-year-old male suffering a heart attack last week. Darrell Brown, Randy Puyear, and Eric Orr were honored at the Knoxville City Council meeting for stabilizing the male before he was transported to the hospital. The council also received an Iowa Communities Assurance Pool check of $5,427 from Dan McKay of McKay Insurance. He says the check is a refund of excess premiums of a financial pool the city partly owned. 

Grassfires continue 
The Knoxville Township Fire Department responded to a grassfire on the 1600 block of Newbold Drive south of Knoxville Monday afternoon, putting the blaze out in minutes with no injuries. Also Monday, the Bussey Fire Department responded to a grassfire in Mahaska County in the morning.

Central College sees increase in applications 
Applications are up at Central College. Dean of Admission Carol Williamson says they’ve seen about an 18 percent increase in applications compared to this same point last year. In addition, she says admissions are up about 15 percent so far. The typical size of an incoming freshman class over the past 10-15 years is about 405 students, according to Williamson. 

Bridge project begins next month 
Construction will begin in April on the bridge mile south of Pierce Drive on Highway T-17, and Marion County residents will not be able to directly access the landfill from the south. The Marion County Engineer’s Office says traffic will be detoured on Highway 5 and Highway 92, with the project expected to take around 2.5 months to complete. 

Pella City Council to meet 
The Pella City Council will consider another extension for completion of the I-80 feasibility study at their meeting tonight. The study explores more direct routes from the Pella area to Interstate 80. Officials had hoped to have it complete by March 1. In other business, the council will consider a resolution accepting the fiscal year 2007-2008 annual audit. The Pella City Council will meet at 7:00 p.m. at the Public Safety Complex. 

Corps continues to design flood recovery projects 
Some major flood recovery efforts at Lake Red Rock remain in the design phase. Lake Red Rock Assistant Operations Manager John Holt with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a number of projects are planned including work on the Lake Red Rock Dam, renovation of the North Overlook Beach and improvements in the Marina Bay. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Red Rock project received $21 million in federal flood recovery funds. 

Knoxville band in New Orleans 
Performances and sightseeing have marked the Knoxville High School Band’s trip to New Orleans so far. Band Director Ross Leeper says the trip features tours of the Mardi Gras Museum, a private performance from a jazz group, while the high school band is also giving two performances. Leeper says 53 students and seven adults are in attendance.

Local residents receive state appointments 
A Pella resident will serve on the Iowa Emergency Response Commission. Terry Butler of Vermeer Corporation was recently appointed by Governor Chet Culver, according to the governor’s office. In addition, PCM School Superintendent Jane Babcock was reappointed to the School Budget Review Committee. 

Court furlough starts Friday 
The Iowa Supreme Court is ordering all court offices closed for select days in coming months because of an expected $3.8 million budget cut. The first scheduled furlough day is Friday: the state offices on the third and fourth floors of the Marion County courthouse will be closed, with the rest of the courthouse open as usual. In addition, the third and fourth floor courthouse offices will be closed at 2:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday beginning March 24th, with the rest of the courthouse open with usual hours. 

Firefighters respond to grassfire near Otley 
Firefighters responded to a report of a grassfire near Otley Monday afternoon. The fire was reported at 119 Terrace Drive. Pella Assistant Fire Chief Joel Braafhart says the blaze was extinguished before firefighters arrived and that no real damage was done. According to Braafhart, fireworks were to blame for the incident. No one was injured. 

 

 

Knoxville Township Responds To Grassfire, No Injuries

Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

The Knoxville Township Fire Department responded to a grassfire on the 1600 block of Newbold Drive south of Knoxville Monday afternoon, putting the blaze out in minutes with no injuries.  Also Monday, the Bussey Fire Department responded to a grassfire in Mahaska County in the morning, and the Pella Fire Department responded to a grassfire early afternoon. 

 

News 3/16/09

Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 5:42 am

Historical Village opens for season 
A sure sign that spring is near – the Pella Historical Village and Interpretive Center open for the season today. This begins what is a very busy month for the Pella Historical Society. Historical Village Director Patsy Sadler says activities this month include a retirement party for six staff members, the Tulip Court Royalty Party on March 24 and the Dutch Costume Sale on March 28. All of this leads up to Tulip Time, which begins May 7. 

Knoxville FFA chapter holds banquet 
Hundreds of residents turned out for the Knoxville FFAs 72nd annual banquet Saturday at Knoxville High School. Brent Hanna, FFA advisor for Knoxville High school, says the banquet is meant to recognize and honor the FFA students and members for their work on programs over the past year. There are more than 135 students involved in the Knoxville FFA branch.

Court reviews medical records of murder victim 
The medical records of the man 39-year-old Knoxville resident Steven Dean McGinnis is accused of killing were received and reviewed by the courts last week. In January Marion County District Judge Martha Mertz granted the request of McGinnis’s attorneys to subpoena the medical records of Robert Ohl. Mertz ordered McGinnis’ pre-trial conference for April 14th at 9:30 a.m.

Repairs continue at Howell Station 
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hopes to re-open their largest campground on Lake Red Rock by the end of May. Assistant Operations Manager John Holt says the goal is to have Howell Station Campground open on a first-come first-serve basis by Memorial Day. The campground suffered significant damage in the flood last year and has remained closed ever since. Holt says repairs were needed to underground electric and sewer utilities, including the installation of a new lift station. He says many of the utilities already were in need of an upgrade. 

Knoxville man sentenced on meth charge 
A 49-year-old Knoxville resident was found guilty of manufacturing less than five grams of methamphetamine Friday, and was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Marion County Courthouse documents report Jimmy Lee Dabb must also pay a $1,000 fine plus surcharge and court costs. Dabb pled guilty to the September 2008 charge last month.

Law enforcement emphasizes motorcycle safety 
Drivers need to start watching for motorcycles as the weather begins to warm. Lieutenant John Van Haaften with the Pella Police Department says motorcycles tend to be less visible to other motorists especially coming out of the winter season. In addition, he says motorcyclists should use caution as sand from the past winter can accumulate at intersections, which can lead to a loss of traction. 

Knoxville City Council to meet 
A public hearing on leasing city-owned farmland for hay ground use is set during the Knoxville City Council’s meeting at 6:15 in city hall. Considering the approval of an agreement between the city and the Iowa Department of Transportation for financing a street overlay project with federal funding, and considering support of a grant application by Hormel Foods is also set, among other issues. 

Plenty of activities for students on spring break 
Pella and Pella Christian students are enjoying a week of vacation as both schools have spring break. The Pella Public Library has scheduled some activities for students who could be looking for something to do this week. Youth Services Librarian Katie Dreyer says they’ll have open gaming on Tuesday from 1-3:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. Dreyer says three Nintendo Wii systems will be available. 

Rec Center offers spring break activities 
Knoxville students are on spring break all this week, and the Knoxville Recreation Center has activities for students who could be looking for something to do. Program supervisor Brandon Nemmers says theyll have open swim times from 1 to 4 p.m. each day, with basketball games in the gym from noon to 1 p.m. The Knoxville Public Library also has a Chess Game day for 3rd through 5th graders on Wednesday from 1 to 2 p.m. 

PRHC announces Shining Star 
Pella Regional Health Center
has announced their Shining Star for the month of March. According to the hospital, Steve Scull of Fair Haven East and Pella Manor was selected by a group of his co-workers as the employee of the month. Scull will receive a $100 gift, a plaque and will automatically be included in the Shining Star of the Year Award.
 

News 3/16/09

Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 5:42 am

Historical Village opens for season 
A sure sign that spring is near – the Pella Historical Village and Interpretive Center open for the season today. This begins what is a very busy month for the Pella Historical Society. Historical Village Director Patsy Sadler says activities this month include a retirement party for six staff members, the Tulip Court Royalty Party on March 24 and the Dutch Costume Sale on March 28. All of this leads up to Tulip Time, which begins May 7. 

Knoxville FFA chapter holds banquet 
Hundreds of residents turned out for the Knoxville FFAs 72nd annual banquet Saturday at Knoxville High School. Brent Hanna, FFA advisor for Knoxville High school, says the banquet is meant to recognize and honor the FFA students and members for their work on programs over the past year. There are more than 135 students involved in the Knoxville FFA branch.

Court reviews medical records of murder victim 
The medical records of the man 39-year-old Knoxville resident Steven Dean McGinnis is accused of killing were received and reviewed by the courts last week. In January Marion County District Judge Martha Mertz granted the request of McGinnis’s attorneys to subpoena the medical records of Robert Ohl. Mertz ordered McGinnis’ pre-trial conference for April 14th at 9:30 a.m.

Repairs continue at Howell Station 
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hopes to re-open their largest campground on Lake Red Rock by the end of May. Assistant Operations Manager John Holt says the goal is to have Howell Station Campground open on a first-come first-serve basis by Memorial Day. The campground suffered significant damage in the flood last year and has remained closed ever since. Holt says repairs were needed to underground electric and sewer utilities, including the installation of a new lift station. He says many of the utilities already were in need of an upgrade. 

Knoxville man sentenced on meth charge 
A 49-year-old Knoxville resident was found guilty of manufacturing less than five grams of methamphetamine Friday, and was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Marion County Courthouse documents report Jimmy Lee Dabb must also pay a $1,000 fine plus surcharge and court costs. Dabb pled guilty to the September 2008 charge last month.

Law enforcement emphasizes motorcycle safety 
Drivers need to start watching for motorcycles as the weather begins to warm. Lieutenant John Van Haaften with the Pella Police Department says motorcycles tend to be less visible to other motorists especially coming out of the winter season. In addition, he says motorcyclists should use caution as sand from the past winter can accumulate at intersections, which can lead to a loss of traction. 

Knoxville City Council to meet 
A public hearing on leasing city-owned farmland for hay ground use is set during the Knoxville City Council’s meeting at 6:15 in city hall. Considering the approval of an agreement b
etween the city and the Iowa Department of Transportation for financing a street overlay project with federal funding, and considering support of a grant application by Hormel Foods is also set, among other issues.
 

Plenty of activities for students on spring break 
Pella and Pella Christian students are enjoying a week of vacation as both schools have spring break. The Pella Public Library has scheduled some activities for students who could be looking for something to do this week. Youth Services Librarian Katie Dreyer says they’ll have open gaming on Tuesday from 1-3:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. Dreyer says three Nintendo Wii systems will be available. 

Rec Center offers spring break activities 
Knoxville students are on spring break all this week, and the Knoxville Recreation Center has activities for students who could be looking for something to do. Program supervisor Brandon Nemmers says theyll have open swim times from 1 to 4 p.m. each day, with basketball games in the gym from noon to 1 p.m. The Knoxville Public Library also has a Chess Game day for 3rd through 5th graders on Wednesday from 1 to 2 p.m. 

PRHC announces Shining Star 
Pella Regional Health Center
has announced their Shining Star for the month of March. According to the hospital, Steve Scull of Fair Haven East and Pella Manor was selected by a group of his co-workers as the employee of the month. Scull will receive a $100 gift, a plaque and will automatically be included in the Shining Star of the Year Award.
 

News 3/15/09

Posted: Sunday, March 15th, 2009 at 6:03 am

Medical Records of Murder Victim Released
The medical records of the man 39-year-old Knoxville resident Steven Dean McGinnis is accused of killing were received and reviewed by the courts last week. In January Marion County district Judge Martha Mertz granted the request of McGinnis’s attorneys to access the medical records of Robert Ohl. Mertz ordered McGinnis pre-trial conference for April 14th at 9:30 a.m.

Howell Station Campground Hopes to Be Open by Memorial Day
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hopes to re-open a popular campground on Lake Red Rock by the end of May. Assistant Operations Manager John Holt says the goal is to have Howell Station Campground open on a first-come first-serve basis by Memorial Day. The campground suffered significant damage in the flood last year and has remained closed every since. Holt says repairs were needed to underground electric and sewer utilities, including the installation of a new lift station. He says many of the utilities already were in need of an upgrade.

Knoxville City Council to Meet on Monday
A public hearing on leasing city-owned farmland for hay ground use is set during the Knoxville City Councils bi-monthly meeting Monday evening at 6:15 in city hall. Considering the approval of an agreement between the city and the Iowa Department of Transportation for financing a street overlay project with federal funding, and considering support of a grant application by Hormel Foods is also set, among other issues.

Pella Historical Center Opens Monday
A sure sign that spring is near the Pella Historical Village and Interpretive Center open for the season Monday. This begins what is a very busy month for the Pella Historical Society. Historical Village Director Patsy Sadler says activities this month include a retirement party for six staff members, the Tulip Court Royalty Party on March 24 and the Dutch Costume Sale on March 28. All of this leads up to Tulip Time, which begins May 7.

Knoxville School District Budget Review Committee to Propose Cut
The Knoxville school district budget review committee is set to propose an around 6% cut for the 2009-10 general fund budget at a special meeting March 25th. The proposal includes cutting four teaching positions and having six sections for kindergarten through fifth grade, cutting and reassuming duties for one reading teacher, one custodial position, and the middle school drama and technology position, while combining the high school At-Risk position with a science teaching position, among others.

Marion County Unemployment Rises to 5.8 Percent
The county unemployment rate climbed to 5.8 percent in January, according to the latest figures released by Iowa Workforce Development. However, that still remains below the national average for January of 7.6 percent. Iowa Workforce Development spokeswoman Kerry Koonce says about 200 more people in Marion County began collecting unemployment in January compared to December. She says this is a combination of typical seasonal layoffs and the current economy.

Verista Imaging May Not be Coming to Knoxville
Medical company Verista Imaging, Inc., may not be coming to Knoxville, almost a year after announcing it would move into the Old Farm & Home building to produce nuclear imaging cameras. Marion County Court documents report a contractor with Verista Imaging is seeking payments for unpaid labor, material and equipment costs. A separate filing issued a notice of foreclosure on the property mortgaged to Verista.

Pella Community Schools Move Forward with Major Energy Efficiency Project
The Pella Community School District is moving forward with a major energy efficiency project. The school board is likely to award the bid for upgrades to some of the districts HVAC systems following a public hearing on March 23. This project stems from a study conducted by the firm Energy Services Group of Minnesota. Superintendent Mark Wittmer says much of the work will focus on computerizing the HVAC systems, which Wittmer says should allow staff to better manage them.

Grassfire South of Lake Red Rock

Posted: Saturday, March 14th, 2009 at 5:04 pm


The Knoxville Township Fire Department responded to a grassfire at 1722 Inwood Drive Saturday afternoon, with no injuries. The blaze, which affected several acres, was extinguished within 25 minutes, as crews doused the fields by truck and on foot (photo). In related news, the Indiana Township Fire Department responded to a grassfire North of Attica on 130th Place, extinguishing the blaze quickly. Also Saturday, the Columbia Fire Department monitored a controlled burn on CRP land.

Breaking News 3/14/09

Posted: Saturday, March 14th, 2009 at 6:04 am

A 41-year-old Knoxville resident pled guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms yesterday, according to United States Attorney Matthew G. Whitaker. He says that Daniel Lawrence Fisher could receive to up to 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine, among other penalties. Fisher was arrested on gun and drug charges in September 2009, after an investigation by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, South Central Iowa Drug Task Force, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

News 3/14/09

Posted: Saturday, March 14th, 2009 at 5:37 am

Pella Christian falls to Solon, finishes strong season 
Pella Christian lost to Solon in the class two-A boys state championship game last night 55-to-41. The Eagles finish the season with a record of 26-and-two. Pella Christian’s Cliff Warner was named to the all-tournament team and Tyler Klyn was awarded the Student/Athlete Achiever title. Eli Gronendyk led Pella Christian scoring 12 points.

4H students visit state capitol 
Marion County 4H students visited the state capitol this past Thursday and had the opportunity to visit with their local legislators. State Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven says the students represented themselves well and that the smaller group setting allowed time for conversation. He says another small group of students may visit the capitol this coming week. 

Marion County receives more FEMA reimbursement 
Marion County has received $492,000 in FEMA reimbursement recovery dollars for the 2008 area floods and tornadoes. Thats according to Tom Wadle from the Marion County Engineers Office. He says the county was also approved for a total of $655,000 of reimbursement, although he stresses the total amount of money applied to Marion County is subject to change depending on FEMA administrative procedures. 

Deer harvest numbers down 
The Iowa DNR says that the 2008-2009 reported deer harvest was down slightly. Hunters harvested more than 142,000 deer, or about 4,000 fewer than the previous season. In Marion County alone, 2,319 deer were harvested. Of those, over 1100 were does. Marion County Conservation Officer John Mertz says in recent years more does have been taken than bucks, which helps to manage the population. The DNR says statewide deer populations have been reduced an estimated 25 percent. 

Arraignment set for cocaine charge 
A 44-year-old Knoxville man charged last month with Delivery of a Schedule II Controlled Substance, cocaine, and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon has arraignment set for March 23rd at 9:30 a.m. Larry Darnell Muldrew was arrested by officers with the Sheriffs Office, Knoxville Police Department, South Central Iowa Drug Task Force, Mid-Iowa Narcotic Enforcement Drug Task Force, and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.

Tree/shrub ordering deadline approaches 
Marion County residents have until April 1st to order trees and shrubs from the Marion County Soil & Water Conservation Office. Thats according to Marcia Grimm from the Office. She says residents can call 641-842-5314 to order a brochure, which lists all the different trees, shrubs, potted items and more, which come in bundles of 25. However Grimm says residents can also purchase single-potted trees or buy a bundle of five trees. 

Book Bash in Knoxville, Pella 
Early childhood literacy is the emphasis of a special event Saturday at both the Pella and Knoxville public libraries. Families First will hold a Book Bash centered on the book, Is Your Mama a Llama? According to Director Jodi Bokhoven, the first 100 families with a child age 0-5 in Pella and the first 75 in Knoxville will receive a free copy of the book. The Book Bash is from 10:00 11:30 a.m. Saturday. 

Knoxville FFA Banquet tonight 
The Knoxville chapter of the FFA is having its 72nd annual banquet Saturday at 6 p.m. in Knoxville High School. Brent Hanna, FFA advisor for Knoxville High school, says the banquet is meant to recognize and honor the FFA students and members for their work on programs over the past year. There are more than 135 students involved in the Knoxville FFA branch.

Preparations for Klompen Classic continue
Organizers are already preparing for the 2009 Klompen Classic. The unofficial kick-off to Tulip Time is May 6 and serves as a fundraiser for Crossroads of Pella. Race Director Julie Johnson says last year over 1800 people participated in the 5K Walk/Run, and their hoping for greater numbers this year. 

District hires new guidance counselor 
Spring is right around the corner, bringing many bird species back into the area. Thats according to Marion County Naturalist Marla Mertz. She says the turkey vultures are beginning to move into Marion County along with Killdeer, Red-wing blackbirds, snowgeese, pintails, mergansers and a slough of others. Mertz says the birds returning is a sure sign of spring.
)

 

News 3/14/09

Posted: Saturday, March 14th, 2009 at 5:37 am

Pella Christian falls to Solon, finishes strong season 
Pella Christian lost to Solon in the class two-A boys state championship game last night 55-to-41. The Eagles finish the season with a record of 26-and-two. Pella Christian’s Cliff Warner was named to the all-tournament team and Tyler Klyn was awarded the Student/Athlete Achiever title. Eli Gronendyk led Pella Christian scoring 12 points.

4H students visit state capitol 
Marion County 4H students visited the state capitol this past Thursday and had the opportunity to visit with their local legislators. State Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven says the students represented themselves well and that the smaller group setting allowed time for conversation. He says another small group of students may visit the capitol this coming week. 

Marion County receives more FEMA reimbursement 
Marion County has received $492,000 in FEMA reimbursement recovery dollars for the 2008 area floods and tornadoes. Thats according to Tom Wadle from the Marion County Engineers Office. He says the county was also approved for a total of $655,000 of reimbursement, although he stresses the total amount of money applied to Marion County is subject to change depending on FEMA administrative procedures. 

Deer harvest numbers down 
The Iowa DNR says that the 2008-2009 reported deer harvest was down slightly. Hunters harvested more than 142,000 deer, or about 4,000 fewer than the previous season. In Marion County alone, 2,319 deer were harvested. Of those, over 1100 were does. Marion County Conservation Officer John Mertz says in recent years more does have been taken than bucks, which helps to manage the population. The DNR says statewide deer populations have been reduced an estimated 25 percent. 

Arraignment set for cocaine charge 
A 44-year-old Knoxville man charged last month with Delivery of a Schedule II Controlled Substance, cocaine, and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon has arraignment set for March 23rd at 9:30 a.m. Larry Darnell Muldrew was arrested by officers with the Sheriffs Office, Knoxville Police Department, South Central Iowa Drug Task Force, Mid-Iowa Narcotic Enforcement Drug Task Force, and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.

Tree/shrub ordering deadline approaches 
Marion County residents have until April 1st to order trees and shrubs from the Marion County Soil & Water Conservation Office. Thats according to Marcia Grimm from the Office. She says residents can call 641-842-5314 to order a brochure, which lists all the different trees, shrubs, potted items and more, which come in bundles of 25. However Grimm says residents can also purchase single-potted trees or buy a bundle of five trees. 

Book Bash in Knoxville, Pella 
Early childhood literacy is the emphasis of a special event Saturday at both the Pella and Knoxville public libraries. Families First will hold a Book Bash centered on the boo
k, Is Your Mama a Llama? According to Director Jodi Bokhoven, the first 100 families with a child age 0-5 in Pella and the first 75 in Knoxville will receive a free copy of the book. The Book Bash is from 10:00 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
 

Knoxville FFA Banquet tonight 
The Knoxville chapter of the FFA is having its 72nd annual banquet Saturday at 6 p.m. in Knoxville High School. Brent Hanna, FFA advisor for Knoxville High school, says the banquet is meant to recognize and honor the FFA students and members for their work on programs over the past year. There are more than 135 students involved in the Knoxville FFA branch.

Preparations for Klompen Classic continue
Organizers are already preparing for the 2009 Klompen Classic. The unofficial kick-off to Tulip Time is May 6 and serves as a fundraiser for Crossroads of Pella. Race Director Julie Johnson says last year over 1800 people participated in the 5K Walk/Run, and their hoping for greater numbers this year. 

District hires new guidance counselor 
Spring is right around the corner, bringing many bird species back into the area. Thats according to Marion County Naturalist Marla Mertz. She says the turkey vultures are beginning to move into Marion County along with Killdeer, Red-wing blackbirds, snowgeese, pintails, mergansers and a slough of others. Mertz says the birds returning is a sure sign of spring.
)

 

Breaking News 3/12/09

Posted: Thursday, March 12th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

The medical-imaging company Verista Imaging, Inc., may not be coming to Knoxville, almost a year after announcing it would move into the Old Farm & Home building to produce nuclear imaging cameras. Marion County Court documents report a contractor with Verista Imaging is seeking payments for unpaid labor, material and equipment costs. A separate filing issued a notice of foreclosure on the property mortgaged to Verista. Verista officials did not immediately return phone calls for comment. 

News 3/12/09

Posted: Thursday, March 12th, 2009 at 5:32 am

Crash injures three 
A single-vehicle crash sent three Marion County residents to the hospital yesterday, with non-life threatening injuries, after the driver lost control of the vehicle, which went into a ditch around 6 p.m. The Melcher-Dallas Fire Department, Columbia Fire & Rescue and Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene northeast of Melcher-Dallas on 60th and 61st Place.

Cordova Center receives federal funds 
Federal funding is now approved to continue design of the Cordova Center near Lake Red Rock. According to Senator Tom Harkin’s Office, funds included in the 2009 omnibus spending bill will be used to continue pre-construction engineering and design activities. The project was unveiled in March of last year and called for a 70,000 square foot environmental learning center, performing arts amphitheatre and events plaza, among other features. The Cordova Center will receive a share of $3.8 million allocated for the Des Moines River Green Belt. 

Unemployment rate rises 
The Marion County unemployment rate climbed to 5.8 percent in January, according to figures released by Iowa Workforce Development. However, that still remains below the national average for January of 7.6 percent. Iowa Workforce Development spokeswoman Kerry Koonce says about 200 more people in Marion County began collecting unemployment in January compared to December. She says this is a combination of typical seasonal layoffs and the current economy.

Mayor visiting state capitol to discuss VA 
Knoxvilles mayor is traveling to the state capitol Thursday morning to speak with the chair of the House Iowa Veterans Committee about the future of the VA Campus. Mayor Harv Sprafka tells KNIA/KRLS News that both he and Knoxville city councilwoman Lori Beary are meeting with committee chair Ray Zirkelbach, as well as other legislative leaders and groups with an interest in veterans affairs.

City Council approves budget 
The Knoxville City Council approved the 2009-10 city budget earlier this week. Next years levy rate is slightly higher than last year at $15.04 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. Thats according to Knoxville City Manager Dick Schrad. He says the general fund budget is $3.17 million, up $40,000 from last year. Schrad says the increase is due to built in costs, including a 3.25% wage increase from a union labor contract for some city employees.

Pella Christian play for a spot in the championship 
Pella Christian continues state tournament play this afternoon. The Eagles will play Fort Dodge-St. Edmund in the semifinals of the Class 2A state boys basketball tournament. Tip-off is at 3:45 at Wells Fargo Arena with coverage starting at 3:30 on 92.1 KRLS. Pella Christian is 25-1 on the year.

Officials determine cause of Pleasantville illness 
An illness which affected over 70 Pleasantville residents last week was determined to be the norovirus, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and fever to up to 48 hours, with no long term effects. That’s according to Kim Dorn, Marion County Public Health Director. She says the virus was spread by infected people not staying home from school or washing their hands, which transmitted the virus quicker. 

Pella FFA held their banquet this week
The Pella FFA held their banquet Tuesday night. FFA Advisor Mark Williams says about 124 students and parents attended the event held at the Pella Community High School cafeteria. He describes the banquet as a celebration of FFA and says students were recognized with various awards. Williams notes the meal was catered by the family and consumer science classes. 

Students donate blood 
137 Knoxville high school students volunteered to donate blood at a drive Monday, smashing school and regional student donation records. With a total of 124 units collected, sources say the drive saw the most high school students ever to donate within a six-county area for the Southeast Iowa Blood Center. 

Friday is deadline for Dollars for Scholars applications 
Friday is the deadline for Pella Dollars for Scholars applications. According to the scholarship organization, applications must be mailed to Pella Dollars for Scholars by tomorrow. Last year, 177 graduating seniors received a total of $70,000 from Pella Dollars for Scholars. Awards are given to students at Pella Community High School and Pella Christian High School.

News 3/12/09

Posted: Thursday, March 12th, 2009 at 5:32 am

Crash injures three 
A single-vehicle crash sent three Marion County residents to the hospital yesterday, with non-life threatening injuries, after the driver lost control of the vehicle, which went into a ditch around 6 p.m. The Melcher-Dallas Fire Department, Columbia Fire & Rescue and Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene northeast of Melcher-Dallas on 60th and 61st Place.

Cordova Center receives federal funds 
Federal funding is now approved to continue design of the Cordova Center near Lake Red Rock. According to Senator Tom Harkin’s Office, funds included in the 2009 omnibus spending bill will be used to continue pre-construction engineering and design activities. The project was unveiled in March of last year and called for a 70,000 square foot environmental learning center, performing arts amphitheatre and events plaza, among other features. The Cordova Center will receive a share of $3.8 million allocated for the Des Moines River Green Belt. 

Unemployment rate rises 
The Marion County unemployment rate climbed to 5.8 percent in January, according to figures released by Iowa Workforce Development. However, that still remains below the national average for January of 7.6 percent. Iowa Workforce Development spokeswoman Kerry Koonce says about 200 more people in Marion County began collecting unemployment in January compared to December. She says this is a combination of typical seasonal layoffs and the current economy.

Mayor visiting state capitol to discuss VA 
Knoxvilles mayor is traveling to the state capitol Thursday morning to speak with the chair of the House Iowa Veterans Committee about the future of the VA Campus. Mayor Harv Sprafka tells KNIA/KRLS News that both he and Knoxville city councilwoman Lori Beary are meeting with committee chair Ray Zirkelbach, as well as other legislative leaders and groups with an interest in veterans affairs.

City Council approves budget 
The Knoxville City Council approved the 2009-10 city budget earlier this week. Next years levy rate is slightly higher than last year at $15.04 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. Thats according to Knoxville City Manager Dick Schrad. He says the general fund budget is $3.17 million, up $40,000 from last year. Schrad says the increase is due to built in costs, including a 3.25% wage increase from a union labor contract for some city employees.

Pella Christian play for a spot in the championship 
Pella Christian continues state tournament play this afternoon. The Eagles will play Fort Dodge-St. Edmund in the semifinals of the Class 2A state boys basketball tournament. Tip-off is at 3:45 at Wells Fargo Arena with coverage starting at 3:30 on 92.1 KRLS. Pella Christian is 25-1 on the year.

Officials determine cause of Pleasantville illness 
An illness which affected over 70 Pleasantville residents last week was determined to be the norovirus, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and fever to up to 48 hours, with no long term effects. That’s according to Kim Dorn, Marion County Public Health Director. She says the virus was spread by infected people not staying home from school or washing their hands, which transmitted the virus quicker. 

pple-style-span>Pella FFA held their banquet this week
The Pella FFA held their banquet Tuesday night. FFA Advisor Mark Williams says about 124 students and parents attended the event held at the Pella Community High School cafeteria. He describes the banquet as a celebration of FFA and says students were recognized with various awards. Williams notes the meal was catered by the family and consumer science classes. 

Students donate blood 
137 Knoxville high school students volunteered to donate blood at a drive Monday, smashing school and regional student donation records. With a total of 124 units collected, sources say the drive saw the most high school students ever to donate within a six-county area for the Southeast Iowa Blood Center. 

Friday is deadline for Dollars for Scholars applications 
Friday is the deadline for Pella Dollars for Scholars applications. According to the scholarship organization, applications must be mailed to Pella Dollars for Scholars by tomorrow. Last year, 177 graduating seniors received a total of $70,000 from Pella Dollars for Scholars. Awards are given to students at Pella Community High School and Pella Christian High School.

News 3/10/09

Posted: Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 at 6:00 am

Board discusses budget proposal again 
It was another round of public comments, presentations and questions Monday as the Knoxville School Board continued discussion of the 2009-2010 budget, and how best to meet a $900,000 to $1.3 million cut target. The discussion centered on how best to restructure the kindergarten through 8th grade classes. Knoxville school board secretary Craig Mobley says at least $1 million must be cut from this years budget to avoid making similar cuts next year. The budget review committee will meet Tuesday at 5 p.m. to develop final budget recommendations which will be presented March 25th. 

School board sets hearing date on energy efficiency improvements 
The Pella School Board sets March 23 as the public hearing date on a project to help make the school district more energy efficient at their meeting Monday. The school board originally commissioned a study by the engineering firm Energy Services Group in August of 2006. Superintendent Mark Wittmer told the board some federal funds may be available for these HVAC improvements through the economic stimulus package. 

Pella man enters guilty plea in kidnapping case 
A Pella man arrested for kidnapping this past January has pled guilty to a lesser charge. According to Marion County court documents, 40-year-old Shannon Wayne Krivanek entered a plea of guilty last week to an amended charge of extortion. Krivanek is accused of holding another male at gunpoint in a vehicle with a fake handgun. A pre-sentencing conference is set for April 17 with sentencing immediately to follow. 

County looks to access federal funds for severe weather projects 
The Marion County Emergency Management Commission is taking steps to access FEMA dollars reserved for severe weather preparation projects. Marion County Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Anderson says the committee supported Anderson in applying for a $40,000-$50,000 grant to hire a contractor to conduct a series of interviews with city and county officials and power companies. 

Severe weather spotter training offered 
Marion County residents are invited to join first responders and emergency officials for severe weather spotter training today at 6:30 p.m. at the Knoxville Rural Fire Department on 102 West Main Street. That’s according to Jeff Anderson, Marion County Emergency Management Coordinator. 

Lots of asphalt to be poured in Pella 
This could be a busy year for asphalt overlay projects in the city of Pella. Public Works Director Denny Buyert says the city will receive about $354,000 in federal stimulus funds, which will be put toward an overlay project on Main and Oskaloosa. While the hope is for the project to be complete this fall, Buyert says actual construction could be in the spring of 2010. Meanwhile, Norris Asphalt is under contract for an asphalt overlay postponed from last fall. 

Knoxville housing agency receives federal funds 
Federal dollars will be used for a variety of projects for the Low Rent Housing Agency in Knoxville. Executive Director Janice Kerner says the over $105,000 received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be used for tuckpointing projects, installing energy-efficient toilets and replacing aging windows in some of its units. 

Pella Christian begins state tournament 
The Pella Christian boys basketball team begins state tournament play today in Des Moines. The Eagles will play Sumner-Fredericksburg in the first round of the Class 2A state tournament. Pella Christian enters as the number three seed with a record of 24-1. Coverage begins at 1:30 live on 92.1 KRLS. 

Another chance for home shopping 
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. 

Library hosts local CSI program 
Residents can learn more about crime scene investigation at a presentation at the Pella Public Library. Lieutenant Shane Cox with the Pella Police Department says hell discuss some of the processes the department uses when investigating a crime. The program is at 7 p.m.

News 3/9/09

Posted: Monday, March 9th, 2009 at 5:34 am

Rain pelts Marion County over the weekend 
2.3 inches of rainfall hit Marion County over the weekend. Streams and Creeks overflowed their banks by several feet, including English Creek south of Knoxville, Cedar Creek south of Bussey and the South Skunk river north of Pella. Rains also damaged the 400-block of Quebec Street near Melcher-Dallas, closing one lane of traffic. Also for much of the weekend Highway 92 between Oskaloosa and Knoxville was closed or down to one lane, but it is now open. 


Pleasantville FD responds to fire early this morning 
The Pleasantville Fire Department responded to a fire in the 400 block of North Douglas in Pleasantville early this morning. No injuries were reported, and the situation was secured quickly.


Legislative Coffee generates lively discussion 
Residents discussed state and city issues at a Pella League of Women Voters Legislative Coffee Saturday. State Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven and Pella Mayor Darrell Dobernecker participated in the forum. The state budget became one topic 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. On the city side, Dobernecker touched on issues ranging from Bos Landen Golf Course to Caldwell Park. 

School board to set hearing date on energy proposal 
Greening the school district is one topic on the Pella School Board agenda today. The board is scheduled to set a public hearing date on a proposal that aims to make the district more energy efficient. This has become an ongoing issue for the school district since a study was commissioned in August of 2006. In other business, the board will consider a staff development proposal and receive a legislative update. The Pella School Board meets at 4:30 p.m. at the administration office. 

Board to review budget recommendation 
The Knoxville School District Budget Review Committee will report to the School Board at their meeting today 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. A summary of alternative cuts will be presented at the March 25th school board meeting if the board does not approve the reconfiguration of grades K-8. 

Bald Eagle Day a success 
Organizers estimate that between 800-1000 people attended Bald Eagle Day this year. The 21st annual celebration of the Bald Eagle featured live eagle and raptor programs at Central College, eagle viewing below the Lake Red Rock Dam, an environmental fair and more. Park Ranger Tracy Spry says the turnout was comparable or even higher than previous years. Spry says the event helps remind us that we almost lost our national symbol. 

New electrical permits required 
Any Marion County residents doing major electrical work in their homes which are not in areas already conducting electrical inspections need to apply for an electrical permit for inspection. The Marion County Zoning Department says residents can check to see what kind of projects require a permit by visiting iowaelectrical.gov or calling 515-725-6147.

Choir students perform at Pella Cabaret Night 
Pella Cabaret Night drew large crowds to the high school Saturday as students performed two sold out shows. The catered candlelit dinner featured soloists, ensembles, choirs and show choirs. Director Michelle Chaplin says the event is a fundraiser for the vocal music department and helps pay for registration fees, music, platforms and more. 

Council to hold budget hearing tonight 
A public hearing for the 2009-2010 city budget is set during a special Knoxville City Council meeting this evening at 5:15 in City Hall. The budget must be submitted to the state by March 15th. 

Tassel Ridge Winery receives two awards 
Tassel Ridge has two more award-winning wines. The winery has announced that their 2007 Edelweiss won double-gold and their Prairie Snow won gold in the Best of Appellation Evaluation. According to Tassel Ridge, 20 wines from seven Iowa wineries were submitted in the competition. Appellation refers to winegrowing regions with officially recognized boundaries. 

News 3/9/09

Posted: Monday, March 9th, 2009 at 5:34 am

Rain pelts Marion County over the weekend 
2.3 inches of rainfall hit Marion County over the weekend. Streams and Creeks overflowed their banks by several feet, including English Creek south of Knoxville, Cedar Creek south of Bussey and the South Skunk river north of Pella. Rains also damaged the 400-block of Quebec Street near Melcher-Dallas, closing one lane of traffic. Also for much of the weekend Highway 92 between Oskaloosa and Knoxville was closed or down to one lane, but it is now open. 


Pleasantville FD responds to fire early this morning 
The Pleasantville Fire Department responded to a fire in the 400 block of North Douglas in Pleasantville early this morning. No injuries were reported, and the situation was secured quickly.


Legislative Coffee generates lively discussion 
Residents discussed state and city issues at a Pella League of Women Voters Legislative Coffee Saturday. State Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven and Pella Mayor Darrell Dobernecker participated in the forum. The state budget became one topic 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. On the city side, Dobernecker touched on issues ranging from Bos Landen Golf Course to Caldwell Park. 

School board to set hearing date on energy proposal 
Greening the school district is one topic on the Pella School Board agenda today. The board is scheduled to set a public hearing date on a proposal that aims to make the district more energy efficient. This has become an ongoing issue for the school district since a study was commissioned in August of 2006. In other business, the board will consider a staff development proposal and receive a legislative update. The Pella School Board meets at 4:30 p.m. at the administration office. 

Board to review budget recommendation 
The Knoxville School District Budget Review Committee will report to the School Board at their meeting today 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. A summary of alternative cuts will be presented at the March 25th school board meeting if the board does not approve the reconfiguration of grades K-8. 

Bald Eagle Day a success 
Organizers estimate that between 800-1000 people attended Bald Eagle Day this year. The 21st annual celebration of the Bald Eagle featured live eagle and raptor programs at Central College, eagle viewing below the Lake Red Rock Dam, an environmental fair and more. Park Ranger Tracy Spry says the turnout was comparable or even higher than previous years. Spry says the event helps remind us that we almost lost our national symbol. 

New electrical permits required 
Any Marion County residents doing major electrical work in their homes which are not in areas already conducting electrical inspections need to apply for an electrical permit for inspection. The Marion County Zoning Department says residents can check to see what kind of projects require a permit by visit
ing iowaelectrical.gov or calling 515-725-6147.

Choir students perform at Pella Cabaret Night 
Pella Cabaret Night drew large crowds to the high school Saturday as students performed two sold out shows. The catered candlelit dinner featured soloists, ensembles, choirs and show choirs. Director Michelle Chaplin says the event is a fundraiser for the vocal music department and helps pay for registration fees, music, platforms and more. 

Council to hold budget hearing tonight 
A public hearing for the 2009-2010 city budget is set during a special Knoxville City Council meeting this evening at 5:15 in City Hall. The budget must be submitted to the state by March 15th. 

Tassel Ridge Winery receives two awards 
Tassel Ridge has two more award-winning wines. The winery has announced that their 2007 Edelweiss won double-gold and their Prairie Snow won gold in the Best of Appellation Evaluation. According to Tassel Ridge, 20 wines from seven Iowa wineries were submitted in the competition. Appellation refers to winegrowing regions with officially recognized boundaries.