Archive for April, 2009

News 4/25/09

Posted: Saturday, April 25th, 2009 at 7:33 am

Funeral home participates in procession honoring fallen soldiers 
Bybee & Davis Funeral Home in Knoxville participated in a funeral procession to honor the seven unclaimed remains of soldiers from America’s past wars Friday. Funeral Home Director Ray Bertrand says they worked with the Missing in America Project and the Patriot Guard Riders to escort the soldiers remains, six of which were cremated at Bybee & Davis, from the funeral home in Knoxville to the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter west of Des Moines. Escorts from county and state law enforcement also accompanied the procession. For full video of the procession, visit kniakrls.com and Click on Radio Video Viewer on the main page.

Tulips beginning to bloom 
Tulips are starting to bloom in Pella. Community Services Director Kevin Vos says it seems that the tulips are on schedule for the annual festival, which is good news for visitors. He notes that cooler temperatures next week could help slow some of the growth. About 300,000 tulips call Pella home and Vos says the city plants around 73,000 of those. Tulip Time is May 7, 8, 9. 

Same-sex couples prepare to file for marriage licenses 
Reports are in many counties across the state, same-sex couples are filling out marriage license paperwork at their county Recorders Office. KNIA/KRLS News has received reports of at least one same-sex couple in Marion County who went to the Marion County Recorder’s Office Friday, filling out marriage license paperwork. County Recorder Karen Schwanebeck tells KNIA/KRLS News she could not confirm the reports because marriage applications are not public record until the marriage takes place and is recorded. However, she says that any filled-out paperwork cannot be processed until Monday, after it officially becomes legal for same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses. An Iowa Supreme Court ruling earlier this month stated that the state’s same-sex marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of same-sex couples. 

Three Corps campgrounds open 
The camping season is fast approaching now that three U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds at Lake Red Rock are welcoming visitors. Whitebreast, Wallashuck, and North Overlook opened for the season on Thursday. Park Ranger Tracy Spry says the first large influx of visitors happens around Tulip Time. Spry notes the flood repair work continues at Howell Station with the hope to reopen the campground for Memorial Day weekend on a first-come first-serve basis. It’s unknown when Ivans Campground could reopen. Both sustained flood damage. 

Racing season gets underway tonight 
The 2009 Sprint Car racing season kicks-off Saturday at the Knoxville Raceway. Brian Stickel, director of marketing for the Knoxville Raceway, says the 360′s and 410 sprint car races will be exciting for fans, as well as having new drivers from Nebraska and Missouri. KNIA/KRLS has pre-racing coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, with flag to flag racing coverage starting at 7:30 p.m. 

E-Cycling event is being held this morning in Pella 
Pella residents can dispose of their obsolete electronics at a special collection Saturday morning. The 5th Annual Electronic Waste Recycling event is being held from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Pella Corporations parking lot at the Clark and South Street intersection, according to the Pella Public Works Office. The event is a partnership between the city of Pella, Pella Corporation, Vermeer Corporation, PPI, Van Gorp and Pella Wal-Mart. Acceptable items include computers, televisions and video game systems, among others. 

Library hosts Wolf Center display 
A local organization has partnered with the International Wolf Center in Northern Minnesota to bring a display to the Pella Public Library. Ron DeArmond is CEO of the Pella Wildlife Company. He says the North American Gray Wolf once called Iowa home. Residents can learn more about wolves at presentations today at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. at the Pella Public Library. 

Bookstore hosts poetry slam 
Marion County residents immersed themselves in the oral tradition of poetry Thursday night at a Poetry Slam event at the Next Chapter bookstore in downtown Knoxville. Residents gathered to hear each other read their poetic compositions in a tournament-style. The nationally-known oral poet, Joe Plum from Lovilia, also shared his poetry at the event.

Knoxville Chamber to hold annual awards ceremony tonight 
The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce is having its annual awards ceremony from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Knoxville Raceway. Doug Wilson received the 2009 Community Service Award, the Swamp Fox Pub & Grill is Business of the Year, Lois Reichert is Businesswoman of the Year, Dave Spowart is Businessman of the Year, Susan Prather is Educator of the Year, Ted Eller, George Andrews, and Chuck Day are the 2009 Ambassador Hall of Fame inductees, and the recipients of the Matthew C. Job Pride in Knoxville Award are the 2008 Knoxville Boys and Girls High School Cross-Country Teams & Coaches.

Volunteer group organizes clean up effort 
The Knoxville volunteer group Nexus, organized by community youth leaders, will be working to clean up Knoxville. That’s according to Bruce Crozier, youth minister at Celebrate Community Church in Knoxville. He says around 40 youth will meet at Auld Park at 9 a.m. and work until 3:30 p.m., cleaning up residents yards, parks and offering help where needed, with the goal of making Knoxville a cleaner, and better place. Crozier says should it rain, youth will paint the interior of memorial hall in Knoxville. 

PRHC announces Shining Stars 
Pella Regional Health Center
recently announced their Shining Stars for the month of April. According to the hospital, Ron Farnum of Spiritual Services and Triage Nurse Bernice Farnum were selected by a group of their co-workers as the employees of the month. The Farnums will receive a $100 gift, a plaque and will automatically be included in the Shining Star of the Year award.
 

News 4/25/09

Posted: Saturday, April 25th, 2009 at 7:33 am

Funeral home participates in procession honoring fallen soldiers 
Bybee & Davis Funeral Home in Knoxville participated in a funeral procession to honor the seven unclaimed remains of soldiers from America’s past wars Friday. Funeral Home Director Ray Bertrand says they worked with the Missing in America Project and the Patriot Guard Riders to escort the soldiers remains, six of which were cremated at Bybee & Davis, from the funeral home in Knoxville to the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter west of Des Moines. Escorts from county and state law enforcement also accompanied the procession. For full video of the procession, visit kniakrls.com and Click on Radio Video Viewer on the main page.

Tulips beginning to bloom 
Tulips are starting to bloom in Pella. Community Services Director Kevin Vos says it seems that the tulips are on schedule for the annual festival, which is good news for visitors. He notes that cooler temperatures next week could help slow some of the growth. About 300,000 tulips call Pella home and Vos says the city plants around 73,000 of those. Tulip Time is May 7, 8, 9. 

Same-sex couples prepare to file for marriage licenses 
Reports are in many counties across the state, same-sex couples are filling out marriage license paperwork at their county Recorders Office. KNIA/KRLS News has received reports of at least one same-sex couple in Marion County who went to the Marion County Recorder’s Office Friday, filling out marriage license paperwork. County Recorder Karen Schwanebeck tells KNIA/KRLS News she could not confirm the reports because marriage applications are not public record until the marriage takes place and is recorded. However, she says that any filled-out paperwork cannot be processed until Monday, after it officially becomes legal for same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses. An Iowa Supreme Court ruling earlier this month stated that the state’s same-sex marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of same-sex couples. 

Three Corps campgrounds open 
The camping season is fast approaching now that three U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds at Lake Red Rock are welcoming visitors. Whitebreast, Wallashuck, and North Overlook opened for the season on Thursday. Park Ranger Tracy Spry says the first large influx of visitors happens around Tulip Time. Spry notes the flood repair work continues at Howell Station with the hope to reopen the campground for Memorial Day weekend on a first-come first-serve basis. It’s unknown when Ivans Campground could reopen. Both sustained flood damage. 

Racing season gets underway tonight 
The 2009 Sprint Car racing season kicks-off Saturday at the Knoxville Raceway. Brian Stickel, director of marketing for the Knoxville Raceway, says the 360′s and 410 sprint car races will be exciting for fans, as well as having new drivers from Nebraska and Missouri. KNIA/KRLS has pre-racing coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, with flag to flag racing coverage starting at 7:30 p.m. 

E-Cycling event is being held this morning in Pella 
Pella residents can dispose of their obsolete electronics at a special collection Saturday morning. The 5th Annual Electronic Waste Recycling event is being held from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Pella Corporations parking lot at the Clark and South Street intersection, according to the Pella Public Works Office. The event is a partnership between the city of Pella, Pella Corporation, Vermeer Corporation, PPI, Van Gorp and Pella Wal-Mart. Acceptable items include computers, televisions and video game systems, among others. 

le-span>Library hosts Wolf Center display 
A local organization has partnered with the International Wolf Center in Northern Minnesota to bring a display to the Pella Public Library. Ron DeArmond is CEO of the Pella Wildlife Company. He says the North American Gray Wolf once called Iowa home. Residents can learn more about wolves at presentations today at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. at the Pella Public Library. 

Bookstore hosts poetry slam 
Marion County residents immersed themselves in the oral tradition of poetry Thursday night at a Poetry Slam event at the Next Chapter bookstore in downtown Knoxville. Residents gathered to hear each other read their poetic compositions in a tournament-style. The nationally-known oral poet, Joe Plum from Lovilia, also shared his poetry at the event.

Knoxville Chamber to hold annual awards ceremony tonight 
The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce is having its annual awards ceremony from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Knoxville Raceway. Doug Wilson received the 2009 Community Service Award, the Swamp Fox Pub & Grill is Business of the Year, Lois Reichert is Businesswoman of the Year, Dave Spowart is Businessman of the Year, Susan Prather is Educator of the Year, Ted Eller, George Andrews, and Chuck Day are the 2009 Ambassador Hall of Fame inductees, and the recipients of the Matthew C. Job Pride in Knoxville Award are the 2008 Knoxville Boys and Girls High School Cross-Country Teams & Coaches.

Volunteer group organizes clean up effort 
The Knoxville volunteer group Nexus, organized by community youth leaders, will be working to clean up Knoxville. That’s according to Bruce Crozier, youth minister at Celebrate Community Church in Knoxville. He says around 40 youth will meet at Auld Park at 9 a.m. and work until 3:30 p.m., cleaning up residents yards, parks and offering help where needed, with the goal of making Knoxville a cleaner, and better place. Crozier says should it rain, youth will paint the interior of memorial hall in Knoxville. 

PRHC announces Shining Stars 
Pella Regional Health Center
recently announced their Shining Stars for the month of April. According to the hospital, Ron Farnum of Spiritual Services and Triage Nurse Bernice Farnum were selected by a group of their co-workers as the employees of the month. The Farnums will receive a $100 gift, a plaque and will automatically be included in the Shining Star of the Year award.
 

News 4/24/09

Posted: Friday, April 24th, 2009 at 5:43 am

Chamber launches shop local campaign
The Pella Chamber of Commerce is launching a year-long shop local campaign. Residents will start noticing the "Go Local, Grow Pella" logos around the community after Tulip Time, according to Chamber Director Karen Eischen. She says this will include avenue banners and window clings. Eischen says shopping local will help keep your favorite local businesses open.

Crews respond to fire near Knoxville 
The Knoxville Township Fire Department quickly responded to a fence and tree on fire on a property on Highway 14 north Thursday, just outside the city limits. Marion County Sheriffs Deputies also responded to the scene. No injuries were reported.

Progress continues on VA transition 
Progress continues on the Knoxville VA Campus transition process. That’s according to Knoxville Mayor Harv Sprafka. He says the meeting last month with U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki helped to facilitate discussion with federal officials on building a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic, or C-BOC. Recent progress this week included meetings held by local VA Taskforce and community leaders. Sprafka adds more details regarding C-BOC construction and bidding process are expected from federal officials May 15th. 

Special deer hunt to return 
The special city of Pella deer hunt will return for the 2009-2010 season but with a slightly different schedule. Assistant City Administrator Michael Marcinkowski says bow hunting in Big Rock Park will have a shorter timeframe; from around Thanksgiving to sometime toward the end of January. He notes that the Iowa DNR has yet to set the start and end dates for special hunts. The program began last season in an effort to control the deer population. 

Local funeral home participates in procession to honor soldiers 
Bybee & Davis Funeral Home in Knoxville is participating in a funeral procession to honor the eight unclaimed remains of soldiers from Americas past wars Friday. Funeral Home Director Ray Bertrand says they’re working with the Missing in America Project to escort the soldiers remains from the funeral home in Knoxville to the Cemetery in Van Meter west of Des Moines. Those wanting to follow the procession should be at Bybee & Davis at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

Pella Christian holds annual banquet tonight 
Pella Christian High School Juniors and Seniors have their annual banquet tonight. Head Sponsor of the Junior Class Larry Hessing says the event features an underwater theme this year called "Into the Depths." Students will enjoy dinner and entertainment at the Pella Christian High School. Hessing says the dance will start at 9:15 p.m. at Vermeer Global Pavilion with an After-Banquet Party to follow the dance also at the Global Pavilion. 

Another furlough day for court workers 
The next furlough day for the Marion County Courthouse is Friday as the state court offices will be closed due to state budget cuts. The state offices on the third and fourth floors of the Marion County courthouse will be closed Friday, with the rest of the courthouse open as usual. 

Pella High School to perform childrens show 
An old Southern folk tale comes to life on the Pella High School stage tonight. Director Suzi Jones says "Wily and the Hairy Man" is about a boy overcoming his fears of a creature called the Hairy Man who lives in a swamp. Performances are tonight and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at the Pella High School Auditorium. Admission is $3.

Sprint car racing season starts tomorrow
The 2009 Sprint Car racing season kicks-off Saturday at the Knoxville Raceway. Executive Director for the Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum, Bob Baker, encourages residents and visitors alike to attend the races this season, and to check out the museums new 42-seat sprint car movie theater, library and research center, and hall of fame pictures, all on the 2nd floor with a museum ticket purchase. 

Library book sale exceeds expectations 
The Friends of the Pella Public Library spring book sale made almost $1,200 this year. That’s according to Library Director Wendy Street. She says the typical book sale makes between $200 and $250. Funds will go to the Friends of the Pella Public Library. Street says the organization gives money for the collection, purchases equipment and pays for some of the online services, along with other aid.

News 4/24/09

Posted: Friday, April 24th, 2009 at 5:43 am

Chamber launches shop local campaign
The Pella Chamber of Commerce is launching a year-long shop local campaign. Residents will start noticing the "Go Local, Grow Pella" logos around the community after Tulip Time, according to Chamber Director Karen Eischen. She says this will include avenue banners and window clings. Eischen says shopping local will help keep your favorite local businesses open.

Crews respond to fire near Knoxville 
The Knoxville Township Fire Department quickly responded to a fence and tree on fire on a property on Highway 14 north Thursday, just outside the city limits. Marion County Sheriffs Deputies also responded to the scene. No injuries were reported.

Progress continues on VA transition 
Progress continues on the Knoxville VA Campus transition process. That’s according to Knoxville Mayor Harv Sprafka. He says the meeting last month with U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki helped to facilitate discussion with federal officials on building a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic, or C-BOC. Recent progress this week included meetings held by local VA Taskforce and community leaders. Sprafka adds more details regarding C-BOC construction and bidding process are expected from federal officials May 15th. 

Special deer hunt to return 
The special city of Pella deer hunt will return for the 2009-2010 season but with a slightly different schedule. Assistant City Administrator Michael Marcinkowski says bow hunting in Big Rock Park will have a shorter timeframe; from around Thanksgiving to sometime toward the end of January. He notes that the Iowa DNR has yet to set the start and end dates for special hunts. The program began last season in an effort to control the deer population. 

Local funeral home participates in procession to honor soldiers 
Bybee & Davis Funeral Home in Knoxville is participating in a funeral procession to honor the eight unclaimed remains of soldiers from Americas past wars Friday. Funeral Home Director Ray Bertrand says they’re working with the Missing in America Project to escort the soldiers remains from the funeral home in Knoxville to the Cemetery in Van Meter west of Des Moines. Those wanting to follow the procession should be at Bybee & Davis at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

Pella Christian holds annual banquet tonight 
Pella Christian High School Juniors and Seniors have their annual banquet tonight. Head Sponsor of the Junior Class Larry Hessing says the event features an underwater theme this year called "Into the Depths." Students will enjoy dinner and entertainment at the Pella Christian High School. Hessing says the dance will start at 9:15 p.m. at Vermeer Global Pavilion with an After-Banquet Party to follow the dance also at the Global Pavilion. 

Another furlough day for court workers 
The next furlough day for the Marion County Courthouse is Friday as the state court offices will be closed due to state budget cuts. The state offices on the third and fourth floors of the Marion County courthouse will be closed Friday, with the rest of the courthouse open as usual. 

Pella High School to perform childrens show > 
An old Southern folk tale comes to life on the Pella High School stage tonight. Director Suzi Jones says "Wily and the Hairy Man" is about a boy overcoming his fears of a creature called the Hairy Man who lives in a swamp. Performances are tonight and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at the Pella High School Auditorium. Admission is $3.

Sprint car racing season starts tomorrow
The 2009 Sprint Car racing season kicks-off Saturday at the Knoxville Raceway. Executive Director for the Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum, Bob Baker, encourages residents and visitors alike to attend the races this season, and to check out the museums new 42-seat sprint car movie theater, library and research center, and hall of fame pictures, all on the 2nd floor with a museum ticket purchase. 

Library book sale exceeds expectations 
The Friends of the Pella Public Library spring book sale made almost $1,200 this year. That’s according to Library Director Wendy Street. She says the typical book sale makes between $200 and $250. Funds will go to the Friends of the Pella Public Library. Street says the organization gives money for the collection, purchases equipment and pays for some of the online services, along with other aid.

Breaking News: Car/deer Accident with Injuries Near Pella

Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 6:12 am


A 29 year old Pleasant Hill man was transported to Pella Regional Health Center early this morning following a deer/car accident on HWY 163. Authorities report Joel Overton was eastbound on 163 near exit 40 when his vehicle collided with a deer. Pella Police Department, Fire Department, and Ambulance responded.

News 4/22/09

Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 6:06 am


2009 Knoxville Chamber winners announced
The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce is having its annual awards ceremony Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Knoxville Raceway, and the 2009 award winners have been announced. Roxanne Johnson is executive director of the Knoxville Growth Alliance. She says Doug Wilson received the 2009 Community Service Award, the Swamp Fox Pub & Grill is Business of the Year, Lois Reichert is Businesswoman of the Year, Dave Spowart is Businessman of the Year, Susan Prather is Educator of the Year, Ted Eller, George Andrews, and Chuck Day are the 2009 Ambassador Hall of Fame inductees, and the recipients of the Matthew C. Job Pride in Knoxville Award are the 2008 Knoxville Boys and Girls High School Cross-Country Teams & Coaches. racetrack makes to the area.

Fire damages garages in Pella
A small fire left two garages damaged in Pella Tuesday. Firefighters say some small flames were visible upon arrival but crews were able to quickly extinguish the blaze with the help of the police department. A police officer did suffer a minor burn while taking a fire extinguisher to burning leaves. The Pella Fire Department, Pella Police Department and Pella Ambulance all responded to the scene.

Marion County unemployment increase
The unemployment rate in Marion County increased in March. According to Iowa Workforce Development, county unemployment was at 6.7 percent in March compared to 6.2 percent in February. As a state, Iowas rate of 5.2 percent remains substantially below the national average of 8.5 percent.

New Police Chief in Pleasantville
Pleasantville has a new police chief. Mayor Aaron Hurt tells KNIA/KRLS News that Duane Bates, former chief deputy of the Clay County Sheriffs Department, accepted the police chief position, and is set to start the second week in May. Bates replaces former chief Dave Roberts, who submitted a letter of retirement to the Pleasantville City Council in February.

Earth Day Activities
President Barack Obama will be in Newton for Earth Day. The president is scheduled to receive a tour of a manufacturing facility that makes towers for wind turbines. Other activities are taking place throughout the area this week to mark Earth Day. Central College participated in a celebration held this past Sunday at Valley Junction in West Des Moines. Pella Cub Scout Pack 374 has an Earth Day project planned for Saturday at Big Rock Park.

Pettyjohn pleads guilty
The mayor of Marysville pled guilty last week to one count of prohibited actsprescription drug violations. Marion County courthouse documents report Sherri Pettyjohn has sentencing set for May 29th at 9:30 a.m. Law enforcement charged Pettyjohn in January after pursuing reports of false prescriptions being given at multiple pharmacies.

Tracy to be awarded $1.2 M
A USDA representative will be at the Marion County Courthouse in Knoxville at 10 a.m. Wednesday to present Mahaska Rural Water Systems with $1.2 million in funds for the construction of a wastewater treatment facility in Tracy. In addition to the $1.2 million from the USDA, the state has also awarded $255,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for constructing a network of sewer service lines and a lift station, which would serve 112 homes.

Pella City Council Awards Bid
The Pella City Council awarded the bid for a fuel handling improvement project at the Pella Power Plant at their meeting Tuesday night. The low bid was in the amount of $320,050 to replace an existing bucket elevator in the coal yard. In other business last night, council approved a resolution to continue the city deer reduction program in the 2009-2010 season.

Kindergarten Round-Up in Knoxville
Kindergarten Round-Up for Knoxville Schools is April 28th through May 1st, and parents should bring their childs birth certificate and social security number during their scheduled times next week. The Round-Up is a time for kindergarteners and parents to meet their teacher and learn what some of the expectations for them will be as they enter the new learning environment.

National Merit Scholar recognized in Pella
A Pella Homeschool student is recognized as a National Merit Scholar. Sources say Sonia T. Han was awarded a National Merit Cargill Scholarship. The Cargill Merit Scholarships are awarded annually to children of Cargill employees. Han is one of over 1,000 students to receive corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships this year.

Fire damages garages in Pella

Posted: Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 5:49 pm

A small fire left two garages damaged in Pella Tuesday. Pella Assistant Fire Chief Joel Braafhart says no one was injured in the fire at 300 Independence Street. Firefighters say some small flames were visible upon arrival but crews were able to quickly extinguish the blaze with the help of the police department. According to Braafhart, the cause was a burn pile that had gotten out of control. The fire was reported at 5:39 p.m. The Pella Fire Department, the Pella Police Department and Pella Ambulance all responded to the scene.

East First Street and Independence Accident

Posted: Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 3:32 pm

A two-vehicle accident briefly disrupted traffic on East First Street in Pella this afternoon. The incident was reported at 3:38 p.m. at the intersection of East First Street and Independence. Lieutenant Shane Cox with the Pella Police Department told KNIA/KRLS News on scene that no one was injured. Both vehicles had to be towed.

News 4/21/09

Posted: Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 5:53 am

Murder trial postponed 
The trial for a 39-year-old Knoxville resident charged with murder in the first degree was delayed until August 25th at a hearing Monday. Both the lawyers for Steven Dean McGinnis and the state told Judge Martha Mertz more case preparation time involving medical evaluations, defense pleas and other issues was needed before the trial, which was originally scheduled for May 5. McGinnis is charged in the shooting death of Knoxville resident Robert Ohl. 

Historic Pella Trust has annual meeting tonight 
This is Historic Preservation Day in the city of Pella. Historic Pella Trust President Wayne Stienstra says the purpose of this day is to showcase some of the historic houses in the community. According to Stienstra, 14 buildings in Pella are on the National Register of Historic Places. The annual meeting of the Historic Pella Trust is at 7:30 p.m. at the Pella Opera House.

One person hospitalized after crash 
One person was hospitalized following a two-vehicle accident Monday afternoon in Pella. Authorities say 51-year-old Pamela Brown of Pella was transported by ambulance to Pella Regional Health Center. The accident occurred at 3:02 p.m. at the intersection of East First Street and Independence. 

Knoxville City Council considers golf court ordinance 
The Knoxville City Council considered the first reading of an ordinance requiring all golf carts operated on city streets to have liability insurance at their meeting Monday. The council also considered a first reading of an ordinance amendment removing the $525 fee that out-of-town vendors pay during the week of the Knoxville Nationals, and going back to the annual fee of $105 charged to all vendors excluding non-profit groups.

Pella City Council to hold hearing on power plant project
The Pella City Council will hold a public hearing tonight on a fuel handling improvement project at the Pella Power Plant. In a policy and planning session to follow the regular meeting, council is scheduled to review the city solid waste contract, among other items. The Pella City Council meets at 7:00 p.m. at the Public Safety Complex.

Electronics collection offered in Knoxville 
Earth Day is tomorrow, and residents are encouraged to bring electronic waste items to the Knoxville High School before or after school for a recycling program by environmental science students. Ryan Richardson, Knoxville high school science teacher, says e-waste includes electronic items no longer used, broken, or otherwise which would end up in a landfill. Richardson says some items will require a fee to have them recycled, which could range from $5 to $20.

Central holds Community Service Day 
Central College
students, faculty and staff are taking time to give back to their communities. The college is holding their annual Community Service Day. Director of Community-Based Learning Cheri Doane says more than 800 people are participating this year in a variety of projects that cover six counties. This includes everything from helping to prepare for Tulip Time to eliminating invasive species at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge.
 

Pre-trial conference set for man facing cocaine and weapons charge 
A 44-year-old Knoxville man charged with Delivery of a Schedule II Controlled Substance, cocaine, and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon has pre-trial conference set for April 27th. Larry Darnell Muldrew was arrested earlier this year by officers with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Knoxville Police Department, South Central Iowa Drug Task Force, Mid-Iowa Narcotic Enforcement Drug Task Force, and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.

Special Olympians compete in spring games 
Eight Marion County Special Olympic Athletes competed at the Spring Games held at Simpson College last week. Maureen Schletzbaum, head coach of Marion County Special Olympics, says five athletes- Cameron Cross from Melcher Dallas, Joe Cunningham from Monroe, Jacob Hindman from Knoxville, Chase Robbins from Pleasantville and Marissa Schletzbaum from Pleasantville – advanced to the State Summer games on May 22. 

USP prepares for Tulip Time production 
A local community theatre group plans to share some local history with their 2009 Tulip Time production, Letters from Pella. The play, written by current Union Street Players President Tom Vander Well, is based on actual letters by the first Pella residents. The production opens May 6 with performances daily during Tulip Time.

News 4/21/09

Posted: Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 5:53 am

Murder trial postponed 
The trial for a 39-year-old Knoxville resident charged with murder in the first degree was delayed until August 25th at a hearing Monday. Both the lawyers for Steven Dean McGinnis and the state told Judge Martha Mertz more case preparation time involving medical evaluations, defense pleas and other issues was needed before the trial, which was originally scheduled for May 5. McGinnis is charged in the shooting death of Knoxville resident Robert Ohl. 

Historic Pella Trust has annual meeting tonight 
This is Historic Preservation Day in the city of Pella. Historic Pella Trust President Wayne Stienstra says the purpose of this day is to showcase some of the historic houses in the community. According to Stienstra, 14 buildings in Pella are on the National Register of Historic Places. The annual meeting of the Historic Pella Trust is at 7:30 p.m. at the Pella Opera House.

One person hospitalized after crash 
One person was hospitalized following a two-vehicle accident Monday afternoon in Pella. Authorities say 51-year-old Pamela Brown of Pella was transported by ambulance to Pella Regional Health Center. The accident occurred at 3:02 p.m. at the intersection of East First Street and Independence. 

Knoxville City Council considers golf court ordinance 
The Knoxville City Council considered the first reading of an ordinance requiring all golf carts operated on city streets to have liability insurance at their meeting Monday. The council also considered a first reading of an ordinance amendment removing the $525 fee that out-of-town vendors pay during the week of the Knoxville Nationals, and going back to the annual fee of $105 charged to all vendors excluding non-profit groups.

Pella City Council to hold hearing on power plant project
The Pella City Council will hold a public hearing tonight on a fuel handling improvement project at the Pella Power Plant. In a policy and planning session to follow the regular meeting, council is scheduled to review the city solid waste contract, among other items. The Pella City Council meets at 7:00 p.m. at the Public Safety Complex.

Electronics collection offered in Knoxville 
Earth Day is tomorrow, and residents are encouraged to bring electronic waste items to the Knoxville High School before or after school for a recycling program by environmental science students. Ryan Richardson, Knoxville high school science teacher, says e-waste includes electronic items no longer used, broken, or otherwise which would end up in a landfill. Richardson says some items will require a fee to have them recycled, which could range from $5 to $20.

Central holds Community Service Day 
Central Colleg
e
students, faculty and staff are taking time to give back to their communities. The college is holding their annual Community Service Day. Director of Community-Based Learning Cheri Doane says more than 800 people are participating this year in a variety of projects that cover six counties. This includes everything from helping to prepare for Tulip Time to eliminating invasive species at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge.
 

Pre-trial conference set for man facing cocaine and weapons charge 
A 44-year-old Knoxville man charged with Delivery of a Schedule II Controlled Substance, cocaine, and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon has pre-trial conference set for April 27th. Larry Darnell Muldrew was arrested earlier this year by officers with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Knoxville Police Department, South Central Iowa Drug Task Force, Mid-Iowa Narcotic Enforcement Drug Task Force, and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.

Special Olympians compete in spring games 
Eight Marion County Special Olympic Athletes competed at the Spring Games held at Simpson College last week. Maureen Schletzbaum, head coach of Marion County Special Olympics, says five athletes- Cameron Cross from Melcher Dallas, Joe Cunningham from Monroe, Jacob Hindman from Knoxville, Chase Robbins from Pleasantville and Marissa Schletzbaum from Pleasantville – advanced to the State Summer games on May 22. 

USP prepares for Tulip Time production 
A local community theatre group plans to share some local history with their 2009 Tulip Time production, Letters from Pella. The play, written by current Union Street Players President Tom Vander Well, is based on actual letters by the first Pella residents. The production opens May 6 with performances daily during Tulip Time.

News 4/19/09

Posted: Sunday, April 19th, 2009 at 9:14 am

Hearing for McGinnis set for Monday
A 39-year-old Knoxville resident charged with murder in the first degree has a conference/hearing date set Monday. Marion County courthouse documents report Steven Dean McGinnis motion to suppress statements made to law enforcement is set Monday afternoon. McGinnis is charged in the September, 2008 shooting death of Knoxville resident Robert Ohl.

Central College Holds Community Service Day
About 800 Central College students, faculty and staff are expected to participate in Community Service Day this year. Thats according to Director of Community-Based Learning Cheri Doane. Members of the Central College community had 65 different projects to choose from this year. Doane says this includes everything from outdoor work at youth shelters to environmental stewardship projects at places like the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. Volunteers will also help remove trash at from Lake Red Rock and help with preparations for Tulip Time. The Central College Community Service Day is April 21.

City Council to Review Ordinances at Bi-monthly Meeting
The Knoxville City Council will consider the second reading and waiving the third readings for multiple ordinances at their bi-monthly meeting Monday evening at 6:15 in city hall. Separate ordinances include amending provisions for peddlers, solicitors, and transient merchants, provisions pertaining to the electrical code and electricians. The council will also consider a first reading amending an ordinance requiring golf carts operated on city streets to have liability insurance, among other issues.

Pella set to Flush Water Main System
City of Pella residents can expect to see fire hydrants spouting water in the coming days. The city will flush the water main system by opening fire hydrants throughout town. The Public Works Office tells KNIA/KRLS News that this helps to clear out buildup and circulate chlorine into dead-end water mains. Public Works notes that during this process residents may notice cloudy water. They also suggest that residents avoiding doing laundry as cloudy water can stain clothing. The city flushes the water main system every spring and summer.

Suspects Arrested in Melcher-Dallas Burglary
Two suspects were arrested earlier this week in connection with a reported February burglary in Melcher-Dallas. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office tells KNIA/KRLS News that Knoxville resident Jeffrey Dean Rankin and Rodney Lee Cormeny of Newton have both been charged with 3rd Degree Burglary after allegedly stealing money, checks, commemorative coins, and documents in February from D&S Grocery in Melcher-Dallas.

Site Plan to be Considered for Pella Applebee’s
The Pella Community Development Committee recently approved a design permit for the new Applebees Restaurant. Architect Rodger Brooks told the committee that the building should be able to seat 187 people. As far as a construction timeline, Brooks said work might be able to start within 60 days of site plan approval. The Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the site plan at a meeting April 27.

Mahaska Rural Water Systems Recieves Funds
The unincorporated Marion County town of Tracy comes one step closer to the construction of a wastewater treatment facility. Sources tell KNIA/KRLS News Mahaska Rural Water Systems is receiving $1.2 million in loan and grant funds to assist in constructing a network of sewer service lines and a lift station, which would serve 112 homes by eliminating odor and sewage in area yards and ditches.

Pella Community High School Addition Ahead of Schedule
The addition to the Pella Community High School is ahead of schedule. Superintendent Mark Wittmer says the contractor, Jensen Builders, got an early start on the project and benefited from good weather. The approximately $1 million project includes a technology area, two regular classrooms and two family consumer science rooms. In addition, one classroom is being converted into a science lab.

News 4/18/09

Posted: Saturday, April 18th, 2009 at 5:26 am

Curious Savage performances continue 
The Knoxville Area Community Theatres production of The Curious Savage was held yesterday and is being performed tonight at 7 p.m. and again April 24th and 25th at 7 p.m. at Knoxville Middle School. Doors for the humorous showwhich explores themes of greed and finding the true appreciation for moneyopen at 6:30. Tickets are available at Radio Shack in Knoxville for $7 each and are $8 at the door.

Pella Christian High School football and soccer players gathered Friday morning to roll out the first length of turf for the new football field. Athletic Director Verlan Nikkel says the goal is to have the field, track, grandstands and press box all ready for the fall. Nikkel says its great for students to finally have a home field. 

$1.2 million awarded for Tracy facility construction 
The unincorporated Marion County town of Tracy comes one step closer to the construction of a wastewater treatment facility. Sources tell KNIA/KRLS News Mahaska Rural Water Systems is receiving $1.2 million in loan and grant funds to assist in constructing a network of sewer service lines and a lift station, which would serve 112 homes by eliminating odor and sewage in area yards and ditches. A USDA representative will be at the Marion County Courthouse at 10 a.m. Wednesday to present Mahaska Rural Water Systems with the funds. In addition to the $1.2 million from the USDA, the state has also awarded $255,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the project. 

Trial set for Pella resident charged with sexual assault
A trial date is set for a Pella man charged with third-degree sexual assault. According to Marion County Courthouse documents, a pre-trial conference for 46year-old Andre M. Staples is scheduled for May 29 with the trial set to start June 30. An arraignment hearing was held Friday. The charge stems from an alleged incident in October of 2008. Sexual assault in the third-degree is a Class C felony and if convicted Staples could face up to 10 years in prison. 

Student selected for Celebration Iowa
A Knoxville high school student will be playing drums with a select state touring ensemble for the second year in a row. Robert Woodle tells KNIA/KRLS News that hes excited to be playing percussion again with the Celebration Iowa Singers and Jazz Band in more that 30 shows across the state this summer. 

Willful injury investigation in Pella 
Authorities are investigating a willful injury case after a teenage male reported being assaulted by two unknown individuals Wednesday evening. According to the Pella Police Department, the incident occurred near East 13th Street and East Independence at approximately 10:25 p.m. Wednesday. Lieutenant John Van Haaften says this seems to be an isolated incident. 

Knoxville Chamber awards ceremony to be held 
The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce is having its annual awards ceremony April 25th from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Knoxville Raceway. The event takes place just before the first night of races at the Knoxville Raceway. Roxanne Johnson is executive director of the Knoxville Growth Alliance. She says one of the goals of the event is to help highlight the contribution the racetrack makes to the area.

Central College alum in Boston Marathon 
A Central College alumnus is running the Boston Marathon next week. According to Central, Morgan Parker of Pella graduated in 2000 and lettered in both track and cross-country. Parker will likely join more than 20,000 fellow athletes in the worlds oldest annual marathon. The 113th annual Boston Marathon is April 20. 

Knoxville prom tonight 
Knoxville High School is holding its 2009 prom tonight from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Knoxville High School with a Mardi Gras Mambo theme. Kelly Garrington, head junior class prom sponsor, says residents can view a prom open house from 5 to 6 p.m. with the main student walk-in from 7 to 8 p.m. 

Extra produce can go to food shelf 
As the growing season approaches, gardeners with extra produce are welcome to donate to the Pella Food Shelf. Director JoNes Van Hecke says last year they were very fortunate to receive produce courtesy of a Pella Church along with donations from a handful of individuals. For more information about donating produce, Van Hecke says she can be reached weekdays at 628-5249.

News 4/18/09

Posted: Saturday, April 18th, 2009 at 5:26 am

Curious Savage performances continue 
The Knoxville Area Community Theatres production of The Curious Savage was held yesterday and is being performed tonight at 7 p.m. and again April 24th and 25th at 7 p.m. at Knoxville Middle School. Doors for the humorous showwhich explores themes of greed and finding the true appreciation for moneyopen at 6:30. Tickets are available at Radio Shack in Knoxville for $7 each and are $8 at the door.

Pella Christian High School football and soccer players gathered Friday morning to roll out the first length of turf for the new football field. Athletic Director Verlan Nikkel says the goal is to have the field, track, grandstands and press box all ready for the fall. Nikkel says its great for students to finally have a home field. 

$1.2 million awarded for Tracy facility construction 
The unincorporated Marion County town of Tracy comes one step closer to the construction of a wastewater treatment facility. Sources tell KNIA/KRLS News Mahaska Rural Water Systems is receiving $1.2 million in loan and grant funds to assist in constructing a network of sewer service lines and a lift station, which would serve 112 homes by eliminating odor and sewage in area yards and ditches. A USDA representative will be at the Marion County Courthouse at 10 a.m. Wednesday to present Mahaska Rural Water Systems with the funds. In addition to the $1.2 million from the USDA, the state has also awarded $255,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the project. 

Trial set for Pella resident charged with sexual assault
A trial date is set for a Pella man charged with third-degree sexual assault. According to Marion County Courthouse documents, a pre-trial conference for 46year-old Andre M. Staples is scheduled for May 29 with the trial set to start June 30. An arraignment hearing was held Friday. The charge stems from an alleged incident in October of 2008. Sexual assault in the third-degree is a Class C felony and if convicted Staples could face up to 10 years in prison. 

Student selected for Celebration Iowa
A Knoxville high school student will be playing drums with a select state touring ensemble for the second year in a row. Robert Woodle tells KNIA/KRLS News that hes excited to be playing percussion again with the Celebration Iowa Singers and Jazz Band in more that 30 shows across the state this summer. 

Willful injury investigation in Pella 
Authorities are investigating a willful injury case after a teenage male reported being assaulted by two unknown individuals Wednesday evening. According to the Pella Police Department, the incident occurred near East 13th Street and East Independence at approximately 10:25 p.m. Wednesday. Lieutenant John Van Haaften says this seems to be an isolated incident. 

Knoxville Chamber awards ceremony to be held 
The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce is having its annual awards ceremony April 25th from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Knoxville Raceway. The event takes place just before the first night of races at the Knoxville Raceway. Roxanne Johnson is executive director of the Knoxville Growth Alliance. She says one of the goals of the event is to help highlight the contribution the racetrack makes to the area.

Central College alum in Boston Marathon  >
A Central College alumnus is running the Boston Marathon next week. According to Central, Morgan Parker of Pella graduated in 2000 and lettered in both track and cross-country. Parker will likely join more than 20,000 fellow athletes in the worlds oldest annual marathon. The 113th annual Boston Marathon is April 20. 

Knoxville prom tonight 
Knoxville High School is holding its 2009 prom tonight from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Knoxville High School with a Mardi Gras Mambo theme. Kelly Garrington, head junior class prom sponsor, says residents can view a prom open house from 5 to 6 p.m. with the main student walk-in from 7 to 8 p.m. 

Extra produce can go to food shelf 
As the growing season approaches, gardeners with extra produce are welcome to donate to the Pella Food Shelf. Director JoNes Van Hecke says last year they were very fortunate to receive produce courtesy of a Pella Church along with donations from a handful of individuals. For more information about donating produce, Van Hecke says she can be reached weekdays at 628-5249.

News 4/16/09

Posted: Thursday, April 16th, 2009 at 5:58 am

CDC approves Applebees design permit 
The Pella Community Development Committee approved a design permit for the new Applebees Restaurant at a special meeting Wednesday. Architect Rodger Brooks told the committee that the building should be able to seat 187 people. Brooks said work might be able to start within 60 days of site plan approval. The Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the site plan at a meeting April 27.

Rally shows support for keeping VA open
Approximately 100 veterans and supporters gathered at Youngs Park in Knoxville yesterday to hear speakers present arguments in support of keeping the Knoxville VA hospital open. The rally was organized by the Iowa Veterans Task Force. Among the speakers who addressed the audience was Ellen Omvig, mother of Josh Omvig, whose suicide resulted in the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act of 2007.

Economists see signs of improvement 
Economists are seeing some optimistic signs, according to a recent survey. Eighty-six percent of respondents to a recent Blue Chip Economic Indicators survey believed that the economic downturn will end in the second-half of the year. Central College Professor of Economics Brian Peterson says were starting to see some leveling out of recessionary activity. However, Peterson says unemployment is still likely to increase as it takes time for the economy to regain lost jobs. 

Mayor meets with residents 
Knoxville Mayor Harv Sprafka updated residents about happenings in the city, and answered questions and concerns at Coffee With the Mayor yesterday at the Knoxville Public Library. Among those topics discussed was the upcoming completion of the Robinson Street road work, the closing of the VA Hospital, and the new policy of waiving city fees for vendors that operate on the square during special events.

Weekend of Wheels set for next weekend 
Knoxville is revving up for the Weekend of Wheels being held April 25th and 26th at the Marion County Fairgrounds. That’s according to event coordinator Bob Colbert and volunteer Craig Kelley. They say the event starts Saturday at 10 a.m. with a car show on the fairgrounds expected to have around 200 participants. Sunday features a celebrity auto cross, with cars traversing a miniature road course. 

School Board awards bond bid to Marion County Bank 
Financing is now in place for some athletic facility improvements at Pella Community Schools. The Pella School Board awarded the purchase of approximately $2.1 million in tax revenue bonds to Marion County Bank at a special meeting Wednesday. Superintendent Mark Wittmer says the project includes upgrades to the track, bleachers and a new field turf, among other improvements.

Boswell staff member to meet with residents 
A representative for Congressman Leonard Boswell will be in Knoxville April 17th to answer questions from residents. Sources tell KNIA/KRLS News that Cathy Lewis will be at Knoxville City Hall from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. to work with individuals having difficulty with a government agency or who would like to share their concerns. 

City to continue with alternative fuel tests 
The second phase of alternative fuel tests at the city of Pella Power Plant is drawing near. Electric Utility Director Larry Peterson says emission tests of wood products will start sometime in the next thirty days. In related news, Congressman Leonard Boswell is set to visit the Pella Power Plant this afternoon and receive a tour of the facility. 

Stamp price to increase next month 
The stamp price for first class letters is increasing to 44 cents May 11th, but Marion County residents can still by the 42 cent Forever Stamps up until then. Knoxville Postmaster Jack Moorhead says the 42 cent Forever Stamp can be used anytime after the May 11th switchover date, even though the price increases. He says residents can purchase the Forever Stamps by stopping into the post office. 

High School addition takes shape 
The addition to the Pella Community High School is ahead of schedule. Superintendent Mark Wittmer says the contractor got an early start on the project and has benefited from good weather. At this point, he says the addition should be ready for the start of the next school year. The approximately $1 million project includes a technology area, two regular classrooms and two family consumer science rooms. In addition, one classroom is being converted into a science lab.

News 4/16/09

Posted: Thursday, April 16th, 2009 at 5:58 am

CDC approves Applebees design permit 
The Pella Community Development Committee approved a design permit for the new Applebees Restaurant at a special meeting Wednesday. Architect Rodger Brooks told the committee that the building should be able to seat 187 people. Brooks said work might be able to start within 60 days of site plan approval. The Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the site plan at a meeting April 27.

Rally shows support for keeping VA open
Approximately 100 veterans and supporters gathered at Youngs Park in Knoxville yesterday to hear speakers present arguments in support of keeping the Knoxville VA hospital open. The rally was organized by the Iowa Veterans Task Force. Among the speakers who addressed the audience was Ellen Omvig, mother of Josh Omvig, whose suicide resulted in the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act of 2007.

Economists see signs of improvement 
Economists are seeing some optimistic signs, according to a recent survey. Eighty-six percent of respondents to a recent Blue Chip Economic Indicators survey believed that the economic downturn will end in the second-half of the year. Central College Professor of Economics Brian Peterson says were starting to see some leveling out of recessionary activity. However, Peterson says unemployment is still likely to increase as it takes time for the economy to regain lost jobs. 

Mayor meets with residents 
Knoxville Mayor Harv Sprafka updated residents about happenings in the city, and answered questions and concerns at Coffee With the Mayor yesterday at the Knoxville Public Library. Among those topics discussed was the upcoming completion of the Robinson Street road work, the closing of the VA Hospital, and the new policy of waiving city fees for vendors that operate on the square during special events.

Weekend of Wheels set for next weekend 
Knoxville is revving up for the Weekend of Wheels being held April 25th and 26th at the Marion County Fairgrounds. That’s according to event coordinator Bob Colbert and volunteer Craig Kelley. They say the event starts Saturday at 10 a.m. with a car show on the fairgrounds expected to have around 200 participants. Sunday features a celebrity auto cross, with cars traversing a miniature road course. 

School Board awards bond bid to Marion County Bank 
Financing is now in place for some athletic facility improvements at Pella Community Schools. The Pella School Board awarded the purchase of approximately $2.1 million in tax revenue bonds to Marion County Bank at a special meeting Wednesday. Superintendent Mark Wittmer says the project includes upgrades to the track, bleachers and a new field turf, among other improvements.

Boswell staff member to meet with residents 
A representative for Congressman Leonard Boswell will be in Knoxville April 17th to answer questions from residents. Sources tell KNIA/KRLS News that Cathy Lewis will be at Knoxville City Hall from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. to work with individuals having difficulty with a government agency or who would like to share their concerns. 

City to continue with alternative fuel tests 
The second phase of alternative fuel tests at the city of Pella Power Plant is drawing near. Electric Utility Director Larry Peterson says emission tests of wood products will start sometime in the next thirty days. In related news, Congressman Leonard Boswell is set to visit the Pella Power Plant this afternoon and receive a tour of
the facility.
 

Stamp price to increase next month 
The stamp price for first class letters is increasing to 44 cents May 11th, but Marion County residents can still by the 42 cent Forever Stamps up until then. Knoxville Postmaster Jack Moorhead says the 42 cent Forever Stamp can be used anytime after the May 11th switchover date, even though the price increases. He says residents can purchase the Forever Stamps by stopping into the post office. 

High School addition takes shape 
The addition to the Pella Community High School is ahead of schedule. Superintendent Mark Wittmer says the contractor got an early start on the project and has benefited from good weather. At this point, he says the addition should be ready for the start of the next school year. The approximately $1 million project includes a technology area, two regular classrooms and two family consumer science rooms. In addition, one classroom is being converted into a science lab.

News 4/15/09

Posted: Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 at 6:00 am

Grand Opening set for HOF upgrades 
Area residents are invited to the Grand Opening of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fames new Library & Research Center and Sprint Car Theatre in Knoxville May 1st from 7 to 9 p.m. The museums executive director, Bob Baker, says the Pella Rolscreen Foundation and US Smokeless Tobacco Theatre will show select sprint car-related films, while the Library & Research Center will be a chance for residents to research sprint car history. 

Former City Hall to become ministry center 
The old Pella City Hall at 717 Main Street will eventually become a ministry center. That’s according to new owner Neil Wilson, who says they’ve begun the process of renovating the building. Wilson says the ministry center could include bible study, prayer events, and marriage mentoring. He says they hope to open by the fall. The landmark dog statues will remain per the conservation easement that came with the building. 

Assessor’s office keeps inspection schedule 
The Marion County Assessor’s Office is working to re-inspect all Marion County properties every five to six years. That’s according to Marion County Assessor Drew Sanders. He says the purpose of the re-inspections is to keep both property assessments and Assessors Office information as up to date as possible. Sanders say he and his staff have already completed one of the county townships and some of the unincorporated towns and continue to cycle through the county. 

Another court furlough is April 24 
The next furlough day for the Marion County Courthouse is set for April 24th as the state court offices will be closed due to state budget cuts. The state offices on the third and fourth floors of the Marion County courthouse will be closed on the 24th, with the rest of the courthouse open as usual. 

Normal post office hours for Tax Day 
Procrastinators take note – local post offices will have regular hours on Tax Day. Both the Pella and Knoxville Post Offices tell KNIA/KRLS News that they won’t have extended hours today. The Pella Post Office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. while the Knoxville Post Office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Knoxville Postmaster Jack Moorhead says taxpayers also need to make sure the mailing has enough postage and suggests using more rather than less. 

Combating spring allergies 
The melting of snow and budding of trees can mean many things in Marion County: including spring allergies for residents. That’s according to Katie Todd, nurse practitioner at Knoxville Hospital & Clinics. She says Knoxville Hospital & Clinics has a variety of treatment for residents experiencing a seasonal runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing and more allergy symptoms. 

School Board to hold special meeting 
The Pella School Board will hold a special meeting this afternoon. According to the agenda, the board will consider bids for sale of about $2.1 million in tax revenue bonds. The district is looking to fund improvements to athletic facilities by bonding against sales tax revenues. Other items on the agenda include a financial advisory services agreement and an agreement with the Ottumwa School District for boys swimming. The Pella School Board meets at 4:30 p.m. at the administration office.

Hoffman graduates from Law Enforcement Academy 
The newest member of the Pella Police Department recently completed the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. Officer Eric Hoffman graduated from the program this past Friday, according to Police Chief Michael Marcinkowski. Hoffman received the Top Gun Award while at the academy but Marcinkowski says hopefully he’ll never need to use his marksmanship skills.

Knoxville prom is Saturday 
Its a Mardi Gras Mambo theme with a casino flavor this Saturday for the Knoxville High Schools 2009 prom from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. That’s according to Kelly Garrington the head junior class prom sponsor. She says residents can view a prom open house from 5 to 6 p.m. with the main student walk-in from 7 to 8 p.m. 

Leadership group tours Marion County 
Tourism is vital to the economic success of Marion County. That was the message during a special tour last night done through the Leadership Red Rock program. Attendees had the opportunity to see the Lake Red Rock Visitor Center, tour the Vermeer Mill in Pella and visit the Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum in Knoxville. This was the last Leadership Red Rock class before graduation May 19. 

News 4/15/09

Posted: Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 at 6:00 am

Grand Opening set for HOF upgrades 
Area residents are invited to the Grand Opening of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fames new Library & Research Center and Sprint Car Theatre in Knoxville May 1st from 7 to 9 p.m. The museums executive director, Bob Baker, says the Pella Rolscreen Foundation and US Smokeless Tobacco Theatre will show select sprint car-related films, while the Library & Research Center will be a chance for residents to research sprint car history. 

Former City Hall to become ministry center 
The old Pella City Hall at 717 Main Street will eventually become a ministry center. That’s according to new owner Neil Wilson, who says they’ve begun the process of renovating the building. Wilson says the ministry center could include bible study, prayer events, and marriage mentoring. He says they hope to open by the fall. The landmark dog statues will remain per the conservation easement that came with the building. 

Assessor’s office keeps inspection schedule 
The Marion County Assessor’s Office is working to re-inspect all Marion County properties every five to six years. That’s according to Marion County Assessor Drew Sanders. He says the purpose of the re-inspections is to keep both property assessments and Assessors Office information as up to date as possible. Sanders say he and his staff have already completed one of the county townships and some of the unincorporated towns and continue to cycle through the county. 

Another court furlough is April 24 
The next furlough day for the Marion County Courthouse is set for April 24th as the state court offices will be closed due to state budget cuts. The state offices on the third and fourth floors of the Marion County courthouse will be closed on the 24th, with the rest of the courthouse open as usual. 

Normal post office hours for Tax Day 
Procrastinators take note – local post offices will have regular hours on Tax Day. Both the Pella and Knoxville Post Offices tell KNIA/KRLS News that they won’t have extended hours today. The Pella Post Office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. while the Knoxville Post Office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Knoxville Postmaster Jack Moorhead says taxpayers also need to make sure the mailing has enough postage and suggests using more rather than less. 

Combating spring allergies 
The melting of snow and budding of trees can mean many things in Marion County: including spring allergies for residents. That’s according to Katie Todd, nurse practitioner at Knoxville Hospital & Clinics. She says Knoxville Hospital & Clinics has a variety of treatment for residents experiencing a seasonal runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing and more allergy symptoms. 

School Board to hold special meeting 
an>The Pella School Board will hold a special meeting this afternoon. According to the agenda, the board will consider bids for sale of about $2.1 million in tax revenue bonds. The district is looking to fund improvements to athletic facilities by bonding against sales tax revenues. Other items on the agenda include a financial advisory services agreement and an agreement with the Ottumwa School District for boys swimming. The Pella School Board meets at 4:30 p.m. at the administration office.

Hoffman graduates from Law Enforcement Academy 
The newest member of the Pella Police Department recently completed the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. Officer Eric Hoffman graduated from the program this past Friday, according to Police Chief Michael Marcinkowski. Hoffman received the Top Gun Award while at the academy but Marcinkowski says hopefully he’ll never need to use his marksmanship skills.

Knoxville prom is Saturday 
Its a Mardi Gras Mambo theme with a casino flavor this Saturday for the Knoxville High Schools 2009 prom from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. That’s according to Kelly Garrington the head junior class prom sponsor. She says residents can view a prom open house from 5 to 6 p.m. with the main student walk-in from 7 to 8 p.m. 

Leadership group tours Marion County 
Tourism is vital to the economic success of Marion County. That was the message during a special tour last night done through the Leadership Red Rock program. Attendees had the opportunity to see the Lake Red Rock Visitor Center, tour the Vermeer Mill in Pella and visit the Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum in Knoxville. This was the last Leadership Red Rock class before graduation May 19. 

News 4/13/09

Posted: Monday, April 13th, 2009 at 5:53 am

CDC announces Dutch Architecture Awards 
The Pella Community Development Committee recently handed out their 2008 Dutch Architecture Awards. According to Planning and Zoning Director George Wesselhoft, the recipients include Franklin Street Clothing for alteration, Hooyer Construction for new construction and Sterling Professional Plaza by Ewing Land Development for new construction. The annual awards are designed to recognize projects that emulate Dutch Architecture.

Community theatre to perform Curious Savage 
The Knoxville Area Community Theatres production of The Curious Savage is being held April 17th and18th and April 24th and 25th at 7 p.m. at Knoxville Middle School. Doors for the humorous show open at 6:30. Tickets are available at Radio Shack in Knoxville for $7 each and are $8 at the door.

County Board to discuss environmental health regulations
The Marion County Board of Supervisors is set to discuss and take action on several changes to county environmental health regulations during their meeting at 9:30 in the Marion County Courthouse. Some of the regulations include an ordinance to define and regulate environmental health hazards and nuisances, as well as implementing state standards for non-public water, among others. 

School Board to hold budget hearing 
The Pella School Board will hold a public hearing on the budget for the 2009-2010 school year at their meeting today. Another item on the agenda is consideration of an athletic facility improvement project. If approved, a public hearing would be scheduled for May 11. The Pella School Board meets at 4:30 p.m. at the Administration Office. 

School to consider budget and discuss physical plant projects 
The Knoxville School Board is set to approve the district’s 2009-10 school budget at their meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the administration building. The board is also set to discuss summer and long term physical plant projects, and discuss the Energy Manager position’s roles and responsibilities among other issues. 

Streets set for an asphalt overlay 
A few Pella city streets will receive an asphalt overlay this month. The Public Works Office tells KNIA/KRLS News that the contractor, Norris Apshalt, will likely start milling work this Thursday or Friday with the overlay to be done next week. The asphalt overlay project includes sections of West Fourth, Edgewood, Brook Circle, Boone and Carson streets. 

Recognizing our public safety dispatchers 
Its National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, and a time to recognize the important role the dispatch officers have at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center. Communications Director Martha Dykstra tells KNIA/KRLS News the 7 fulltime and 5 part time dispatchers are vital in connecting law enforcement and emergency departments, handling emergency and administrative calls, and many more duties. 

Local athletes to compete in Special Olympics Spring Games 
Members of Marion County Special Olympics are participating in the 2009 Special Olympics Spring Games Wednesday at Simpson College. That’s according to Maureen Schletzbaum, head coach of Marion County Special Olympics. She says the special Olympic athletes are from the Knoxville, Pleasantville, Melcher-Dallas and Twin Cedars school districts. 

Library marks National Library Week 
This is National Library Week. Officials are noticing an increase in use of the Pella Public Library. Director Wendy Street says circulation is up about 10 percent so far this fiscal year, which she attributes to the economic downturn. To mark National Libaray Week, the Pella Library is offering a Food for Fines program that allows patrons to donate a non-perishable food item for each dollar of overdue fines up to a maximum of five dollars. 

Officials stress boating safety 
Officials are stressing safety as the boating season approaches. Marion County Conservation Officer John Mertz says this is the time of year where many people start prepping their boats. Mertz says this is an opportunity to check the condition of lifejackets. He adds that residents with larger boats are required by Iowa law to carry a fire extinguisher. He says this applies to every boat with a motor greater than 10 horsepower.

News 4/13/09

Posted: Monday, April 13th, 2009 at 5:53 am

CDC announces Dutch Architecture Awards 
The Pella Community Development Committee recently handed out their 2008 Dutch Architecture Awards. According to Planning and Zoning Director George Wesselhoft, the recipients include Franklin Street Clothing for alteration, Hooyer Construction for new construction and Sterling Professional Plaza by Ewing Land Development for new construction. The annual awards are designed to recognize projects that emulate Dutch Architecture.

Community theatre to perform Curious Savage 
The Knoxville Area Community Theatres production of The Curious Savage is being held April 17th and18th and April 24th and 25th at 7 p.m. at Knoxville Middle School. Doors for the humorous show open at 6:30. Tickets are available at Radio Shack in Knoxville for $7 each and are $8 at the door.

County Board to discuss environmental health regulations
The Marion County Board of Supervisors is set to discuss and take action on several changes to county environmental health regulations during their meeting at 9:30 in the Marion County Courthouse. Some of the regulations include an ordinance to define and regulate environmental health hazards and nuisances, as well as implementing state standards for non-public water, among others. 

School Board to hold budget hearing 
The Pella School Board will hold a public hearing on the budget for the 2009-2010 school year at their meeting today. Another item on the agenda is consideration of an athletic facility improvement project. If approved, a public hearing would be scheduled for May 11. The Pella School Board meets at 4:30 p.m. at the Administration Office. 

School to consider budget and discuss physical plant projects 
The Knoxville School Board is set to approve the district’s 2009-10 school budget at their meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the administration building. The board is also set to discuss summer and long term physical plant projects, and discuss the Energy Manager position’s roles and responsibilities among other issues. 

Streets set for an asphalt overlay 
A few Pella city streets will receive an asphalt overlay this month. The Public Works Office tells KNIA/KRLS News that the contractor, Norris Apshalt, will likely start milling work this Thursday or Friday with the overlay to be done next week. The asphalt overlay project includes sections of West Fourth, Edgewood, Brook Circle, Boone and Carson streets. 

Recognizing our public safety dispatchers 
Its National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, and a time to recognize the important role the dispatch officers have at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center. Communications Director Martha Dykstra tells KNIA/KRLS News the 7 fulltime and 5 part time dispatchers are vital in connecting law enforcement and emergency departments, handling emergency and administrative calls, and many more duties. 

Local athletes to compete in Special Olympics Spring Games 
Members of Marion County Special Olympics are participating in the 2009 Special Olympics Spring Games Wednesday at Simpson College. That’s according to Maureen Schletzbaum, head coach of Marion County Special Olympics. She says the special Olympic athletes are from the Knoxville, Pleasantville, Melcher-Dallas and Twin Cedars school districts. 

Library marks National Library Week 
This is National Library Week. Officials are noticing an increase in use of the Pella Public Library. Director Wendy Street says circulation is up about 10 percent so far this fiscal year, which she attributes to the economic downturn. To mark National Libaray Week, the Pella Library is offering a Food for Fines program that allows patrons to donate a non-perishable food item for each dollar of overdue fines up to a maximum of five dollars. 

Officials stress boating safety 
Officials are stressing safety as the boating season approaches. Marion County Conservation Officer John Mertz says this is the time of year where many people start prepping their boats. Mertz says this is an opportunity to check the condition of lifejackets. He adds that residents with larger boats are required by Iowa law to carry a fire extinguisher. He says this applies to every boat with a motor greater than 10 horsepower.

News 4/12/09

Posted: Sunday, April 12th, 2009 at 7:17 am

Marion County Board of Supervisors to Meet Monday
The Marion County Board of Supervisors is set to discuss and take action on several changes to county environmental health regulations during their bi-monthly meeting Monday morning at 9:30 in the Marion County Courthouse. Some of the regulations include an ordinance to define and regulate environmental health hazards and nuisances, as well as implementing state standards for non public water, among others. There will be public hearings on each of these issues during the meeting.

Pella to Begin Asphalt Overlay on Several Roads
Crews will likely begin preparing a few Pella city streets for an asphalt overlay in the coming days. The Public Works Office tells KNIA/KRLS News that the contractor Norris Apshalt will likely start milling work on Thursday or Friday with the overlay set for the following week. Public Works Director Denny Buyert says the asphalt overlay project includes sections of West Fourth, Edgewood, Brook Circle, Boone and Carson streets.

Knoxville School Board Meeting on Monday
The Knoxville School Board is set to approve the districts 2009-10 school budget at their bi-monthly meeting Monday evening at 6:30 in the administration building. The Board is also set to discuss summer and long term physical plant projects, and discuss the Energy Manager positions roles and responsibilities among other issues.

Pella School Board Meets Monday
The Pella School Board will hold a public hearing on the budget for the 2009-2010 school year at their meeting Monday. Another item on the agenda is consideration of an athletic facility improvement project. If approved, a public hearing would be scheduled for May 11. In a carryover from the previous meeting, the board will consider technology expenses for the 2009-2010 school year. The Pella School Board meets Monday at 4:30 p.m. at the Administration Office.

Apartment Fire Injures One in Knoxville
Plumes of smoke greeted first responders at an apartment building near the corner of Marion and 4th Streets in Knoxville earlier this week, where an apartment fire sent one resident to the hospital with burn injuries. Knoxville Fire Department Chief Mike Roberts tells KNIA/KRLS News that the cause of the fire remains under investigation, although a possible electrical cause has been ruled out. Roberts says the Red Cross found temporary shelter for displaced residents after the fire.

Pella Community Development Committee Special Meeting
The Pella Community Development Committee will hold a special meeting April 15 to consider a design permit for a new Applebees Restaurant. The permit was originally on the agenda for a meeting on April 8, but Planning and Zoning Director George Wesselhoft says the architect was unable to attend. He says this wont delay the city permitting process. A site plan for the restaurant remains on the agenda for the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting April 27.

Former Knoxville Resident Dies in Plane Crash
A former Knoxville resident William Piesen died in a plane crash near Edinburg, Texas. Sources tell KNIA/KRLS News that Bill Pieson, a 1976 graduate of Knoxville High School, was the pilot of the plane, and the only person aboard. Federal investigators are reportedly looking in to the cause of the crash. Pieson and his family also had a long history of involvement with the McAllen Independent School district in Texas, according to McAllen Superintendent Mike Barrera. He says Piesen will be greatly missed, and the district is planning a moment of silence during morning announcements when students return from Easter break on Wednesday, April 15.

Lake Red Rock 40 Year Anniversary
Forty years ago a lake was born. Officials are planning a celebration to recognize the 40th anniversary of Lake Red Rock. Marion County Development Commission Executive Director Carla Eyesink says festivities will be held June 13 at Cordova Park. Eyesink says theyre planning a day of arts, recreation and education. The Marion County Development Commission, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Marion County Conservation Board are working together to organize the event.