Archive for May, 2009

County unemployment rate drops

Posted: Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 5:44 am

Marion County‘s unemployment rate fell nearly a point in April. That’s according to new figures from Iowa Workforce Development. The county unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in April compared to 6.7 percent in March. Iowa Workforce Development spokeswoman Kerry Koonce says about 100 less people were on unemployment in April.  As a state, the average was 5.1 percent in April, which was down from 5.2 percent in March.

Council approves budget amendment

Posted: Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 5:44 am

The Knoxville City Council approved a budget amendment for the current fiscal year at a special meeting Tuesday.  City Manager Dick Schrad says the amendment included bond and interest payments not previously budgeted, increases in nuisance abatement costs, and an increase in maintenance costs in city facilities, among other issues. 

Pella Chamber plans relocation

Posted: Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 5:43 am

The Pella Chamber of Commerce is relocating. Director Karen Eischen says the Chamber along with the Pella Convention and Visitors Bureau and Positively Pella will be moving to the former Red Ribbon Antique Mall at 812 Washington Street. She says the new location will give the organizations about three times more space. This will allow for an information and visitor center, larger board room, public restrooms and more storage. Eischen says they plan to open the new location in early fall.

Local athletes compete in Special Olypmics

Posted: Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 5:42 am

Seven Marion County Special Olympic Athletes participated at the 2009 Summer Games last week at Iowa State University in Ames.  That’s according to Maureen Schletzbaum, head coach of Marion County Special Olympics.  She says Jacob Hindman, Andrew McMulin, Chase Holmes, Marissa Schletzbaum, Michelle Turnage,  Chase Robbins, and Cameron Cross took home a slew of gold, silver and bronze medals in events including bocce ball, cycling, walk and run events. 

Pella Christian graduate receives National Merit Award

Posted: Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 5:41 am

A Pella Christian High School graduate is recognized as a National Merit Scholar. Sources say Bethany Van Kooten received the National Merit Calvin College Scholarship. Van Kooten is one of approximately 8,200 high school seniors to receive a National Merit Award this year.

McKay Insurance announces memorial golf outing

Posted: Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 5:41 am

McKay Insurance announces the Mike McKay Memorial Golf Outing schedued for July 10. That's according to Megan McKay-Ziller. She says all proceeds this year will go to Stepping Stones Early Learning Center, with a goal to present them a check worth at least $3,000. She says spots are filling up fast, and to call her at 842-2135 to register or for more information on volunteering opportunities.

Shop local banners going up

Posted: Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 5:32 am

Banners encouraging residents to shop local are being hung in different areas of the community as part of the Pella Chamber Of Commerce’s yearlong shop local campaign called “Go Local/Grow Pella.” Officials tell KNIA/KRLS News that the 67 banners will be going up today and tomorrow, weather permitting. Each banner was adopted by a local business.

Nominations sought for Chamber election

Posted: Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 5:30 am

There will be an election of a new Knoxville Growth Alliance Board to be held June 16th. The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce tells KNIA/KRLS News that nominations are being accepted through 5 p.m. June 2nd for people interested in serving on the Board. Then ballots have been distributed to Chamber members and will need to be returned by 5 p.m. June 16th.

Officials hope pheasant population rebounds

Posted: Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 5:30 am

The Iowa pheasant harvest was historically low this past season. According to the Iowa DNR, only about 383,000 rooster pheasants were harvested in 2008-09. Hunters typically harvest more than 500,000 birds. Marion County Conservation Officer John Mertz says the season was poor in Marion County but hopefully there are signs of recovery. He says a strong nesting season, good weather and more available habitat will help the pheasant population rebound locally and statewide.

Bos Landen prepares for June 8 opening

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 5:43 am

Bos Landen Golf Course is still on schedule for a June 8 opening date. That’s according to one of the new owners, Scott Reuter. One of the hurdles was assembling a staff in a short time. Reuter says last week they reviewed over 250 applications and interviewed 60 people. In related news, the Pella City Council approved the golf course ground lease agreement with R&R Management Company and a new Class C liquor license for Bos Landen at a special meeting Tuesday night.

Students meet district improvement goals

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 5:43 am

Students in the Knoxville school district met their improvement goals for reading, math and science overall this year.  That’s according to curriculum director Jill Van Woerkom, who presented the standardized test results to the Knoxville school Board during their bi-monthly meeting Tuesday.  The Board also approved an agreement for football field repair specifications from Bush Turf, Inc. for $5,000.  If approved for bid, the project would be initiated after the 2009 football season.

Board approves improvements to athletic complex

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 5:42 am

Athletic facilities and polling sites were two main topics at the Pella School Board meeting Tuesday. The board awarded concrete and storm sewer work at the athletic complex to TK Concrete of Pella while the bid for the concession stand went to Pro-Line Building Company. In other business, the board discussed whether to close the Otley and Leighton polling places for Pella Community School District school board elections. After a significant amount of discussion, a motion to close the two polling sites failed by a 3-2 vote.

HOF seeks inductee photos

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 5:41 am

Thirteen names made the 2009 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum  list.  Sources tell KNIA/KRLS News that among this year’s names include Jac Haudenschild and Fred Rahmer, and owner Jack Elam., among others.   Sources say the museum is seeking digital photos of its “Class of 2009″ inductees for use on twin large screens in the banquet hall.  All photos need to be e-mailed by their original photographers, amateur and professional, by Noon Thursday to tschmeh@sprintcarhof.com and need to be in a .jpg format.

Pella students compete in Odyssey of the Mind

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 5:41 am

A group of Pella fifth-grade and sixth-grade students are at Iowa State University in Ames for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. Coach Lori Parisee says about 800 teams from about 40 states and 25 countries are expected to take part in this international problem-solving competition. Students from Pella are competing in a functional engineering category called “Teach Yer Creature.” World Finals continue through Saturday. The creature, a pigeon, is named "Rex."

Kincaid qualifies for state golf

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 5:38 am

Knoxville Senior Kaurie Kincaid has qualified for the Class 3A State Girls Golf Tournament.  Kincaid finished second at the Regional Meet in Knoxville Tuesday.  This is Kincaid's fourth straight trip to the state meet as an individual.  Kincaid will play in the state meet next Monday and Tuesday in Marshalltown.

Summer Art Center registration underway

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 5:33 am

Registration is underway for summer programs at the Pella Art Center. Director Andi Mitchel says they offer programs for adults, youth, children and families. Mitchel says some of the new classes this year include reversible aprons and printmaking. Adults can also take classes in painting and ceramics, among others. The summer programming season begins June 15.

McKinley mum on gubernatorial ambitions

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 5:31 am

Rumors continue to circulate about names of potential Iowa gubernatorial candidates, and Republican Senate Leader Paul McKinley is one of the names frequently mentioned.  McKinley tells KNIA/KRLS News although he isn’t confirming that he is throwing his name in the hat, he is keeping his options open.  He adds he has been approached in the past to run for governor because of previous experience in the private sector. 

Hershey’s Track and Field Meet is Friday

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 5:30 am

The annual Hershey’s Track & Field Meet is Friday in Pella. According to Pella Recreation Manager Thom Summit, participants have until at 4:30 p.m. today to register at the Pella Community Services Office. The free event is open to children between the ages of 7-14 with boys and girls ages 9-14 being able to advance to the state meet in Marshalltown June 13. Officials note that a birth certificate is needed at the time of registration.

Hershey's Track and Field Meet is Friday

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 5:30 am

The annual Hershey’s Track & Field Meet is Friday in Pella. According to Pella Recreation Manager Thom Summit, participants have until at 4:30 p.m. today to register at the Pella Community Services Office. The free event is open to children between the ages of 7-14 with boys and girls ages 9-14 being able to advance to the state meet in Marshalltown June 13. Officials note that a birth certificate is needed at the time of registration.

Farmers expected to plant more soybeans

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 5:30 am

Marion county farmers have nearly wrapped up corn planting this season, and progress continues on the soybeans.  That’s according to Marion County ISU Extension Education Director Dale Miller.  He says although no numbers are final, there is likely to be more soybeans planted than last year, and the recent showers in the area have helped that crop grow.  Miller adds farmers will then turn their attention to hay and alfalfa crops later this season.