Archive for June, 2009

Severe thunderstorm causes minor damage

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 5:32 am

A severe thunderstorm rumbled through Marion County
Tuesday afternoon and chased away a heat advisory.
Temperatures that had reached the upper 90's quickly
dipped into the low 70's. The storm brought heavy
rainfall, strong winds and some reports of dime-sized hail
near Knoxville. The KNIA/KRLS Severe Weather Action team
was on the air from 4:15 p.m. until 6 p.m. Tuesday.
36-one-hundredths of an inch of rainfall was reported in
Knoxville while 57-one-hundredths of an inch was reported
in Pella. The Marion County Sheriff's Office reported
some minor damage in the county, and the Pella Police
Department reported no damage.

County unemployment rate creeps higher

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 5:31 am

The number of unemployed Marion County residents increased
slightly in May. According to new figures issued by Iowa
Workforce Development, the county unemployment rate was
5.8 percent in May compared to 5.7 percent in April. As a
state, the unemployment rate for May was 5.8 percent – up
from 5.1 percent in April. Despite the increase, Iowa
remains below the national average of 9.4 percent.

Robinson Street to reopen following ceremony

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 5:31 am

After months of planning and construction work, Robinson
Street between Roche and First Streets in Knoxville is set
to re-open at 9 a.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
That's according to Jody Meyer, co-chair of the Knoxville
Downtown Streetscape Committee. She says the newly-paved
section will feature colored concrete, new street lamps,
and other designs as part of a Streetscape plan for the
downtown. Public Works Director Jeff May says a few minor
items such as final grading and seeding remain but the
street is ready to be used.

Commission directs staff to draft wind energy ordinance

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 5:30 am

The Pella Planning and Zoning Commission has directed city
staff to draft an ordinance amendment that could loosen
restrictions on wind turbines. That's according to Pella
Planning and Zoning Director George Wesselfhoft. He says
the consensus of the commission was to have staff draft
language that would allow for wind turbines in areas of
the community besides those zoned agricultural while
differentiating between sizes of turbines.

Firefighters respond to cut gas line

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 5:28 am

Knoxville Fire & Rescue, and Knoxville Police Department
responded to a gas line Tuesday evening which was cut
during the continued construction of South 5th Street and
Competine. Traffic was rerouted through the area as
Alliant Energy crews repaired the break. The are was
cleared during the early evening hours Tuesday.

Failed ballast leads to fire department response

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 5:28 am

A malfunctioning light fixture caused a building on Main
Street in Pella to partially fill with smoke Tuesday
morning. Crews were called to 903 Main Street for a report
of smoke in the building. Pella Fire Chief Doug Van Gorkom
says firefighters determined that the cause was the
ballast in a fluorescent bulb. He says crews used a fan to
clear the smoke. The Pella Fire Department, Pella
Ambulance and Pella Police Department responded to the
scene.

Board adjusts mileage reimbursement

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 5:27 am

The Marion County Board of Supervisors approved adjusting
the county mileage reimbursement rate to 45 cents per mile
at their bi-monthly meeting Monday. The rate reimburses
county employees per mile if they use their personal
vehicles on county business. Marion County Auditor Jake
Grandia says this new rate is up four cents from last
year, but it still ten cents below the federal rate.

Aquatic Center welcoming record crowds

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 5:27 am

A hot start to summer has people seeking comfort at the
Pella Aquatic Center. Aquatics Supervisor Jan Bensink says
they've shattered previous attendance records and could
eclipse 1,400 visitors in a single day sometime this week,
weather permitting. According to Bensink, 1,395 people
used the Aquatic Center on Monday. That comes on the heels
of a record 1,398 visitors on June 17.

Celebration Iowa to perform in Knoxville

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 5:26 am

The Knoxville Alumni is sponsoring the 2009 Celebration
Iowa event, being held July 15th at 7 p.m. at Celebrate
Community Church in Knoxville. Sources tell KNIA/KRLS
News that former Knoxville resident Erin Taylor is the
tour choreographer, Robert Woodle of Knoxville high school
will be playing drums, and Josh Dale of Pella has also
been chosen to perform in the band, a select high school
touring ensemble. Advance tickets are $6 for adults, $3
for ages 5 to 12, and those four and under are free.
Advance tickets are on sale at Iowa State Savings Bank,
The Next Chapter and Celebrate Church Office, call
641-891-4230 for more information.

Safety seminar attracts pilots to Pella Airport

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 5:26 am

Pilots from the Midwest and even from as far away as
Maryland are coming to the Pella Municipal Airport for
safety training. Airport Manager Shane Vande Voort says
they held a seminar earlier this month for pilots of
technologically advanced aircraft, or those with autopilot
and GPS capabilities. Vande Voort says the training is
meant to reduce pilot error. The airport plans to hold a
similar event this fall.

Family Fun Fair is Saturday

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 5:25 am

The 2009 Knoxville Family Fun Fair is June 27th from 9:30
a.m. to 1 p.m. in Auld Park with a slew of activities for
children and parents alike. That's according to Loretta
Boughn, one of the committee members for the event. She
says clowns, a petting zoo, games, fire safety
demonstrations, prizes and more are all planned for the
event, which has the goal of offering families a local
outlet to have fun and enjoy the outdoors.

Vehicle chase ends in arrests

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 5:48 am

Two suspects are in custody after a vehicle pursuit
through Marion County ended on the northern end of
Knoxville Monday afternoon. Marion County Sheriff Ron
Goemaat tells KNIA/KRLS News that Marion County Sheriff's
Deputies and Knoxville Police Department officers were
able to pinpoint the moving location of the vehicle with
the help of the vehicle's On-Star system. The suspects
were then apprehended and taken to the Marion County Jail
and charged.

Utility work to close section of East Third

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 5:47 am

A section of East Third Street in Pella will be closed
much of this week. According to the Public Works Office,
East Third from Liberty to Franklin will be closed for
utility work starting at approximately noon today. If the
work goes as planned, Public Works says the section of
East Third should reopen by the end of the day Friday.

Some area residents lose power

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 5:47 am

Over 130 residents in the Pleasantville area lost power,
after a circuit on a pole across from the nursing home
melted. Reports are crews had the power restored in about
one hour. Also yesterday, 82 residents in the Knoxville
area were without power, and Mid-American energy crews
worked until early this morning until power was fully
restored.

Warning siren malfunctions

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 5:46 am

The Pella Police Department warning siren near Vermeer
Corporation activated at 3:30 this morning. Communications
Supervisor Marcia Slycord says she's already been in
contact with the technician regarding the malfunction,
which she described as similar to the problem with the
Westpoort siren last fall. KNIA/KRLS will bring you more
information as it becomes available.

State Republican chair speaks to Pella group

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 5:45 am

The chair of the Iowa Republican Party spoke to Marion
County Republicans at a meeting Monday in Pella. Matt
Strawn says Republicans need to start highlighting the
difference between the parties and aggressively
communicating their message. He also says state party
leadership is staying neutral in the gubernatorial primary
and that a competitive primary will be healthy for the
party.

Public Health issues heat safety reminder

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 5:39 am

Hot, muggy weather continues to grip Marion County during
the first official few days of summer. Judi Van Hulzen,
public health nurse for Marion County Public Health
Department says residents should try to stay inside during
peak hours of the day and make sure to drink lots of
fluids. She adds all residents, especially vulnerable
groups such as the elderly, need to check any medications
they use which may lessen sensitivity to heat, check on
neighbors during a heat spell, and limit their time in the
sun while wearing loose, light clothing.

Pets vulnerable in hot weather

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 5:39 am

Humans aren't the only ones suffering through an early
summer heat wave. Veterinarians say that pets are
susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Dr. Christie Carlo
with Tri-County Vet Clinic in Pella says animals need to
have plenty of fresh water and available shade. Carlo says
long-coated dogs may even need an air-conditioned area
during periods of extreme heat.

Cannon returns to Knoxville square

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 5:38 am

After over a month of being absent from the Knoxville
Square, a piece of Knoxville's history returned Monday
with a new shine and coat of paint. Knoxville resident
and American Legion member Conrad Nelson says Legion
members took the military cannon on the Knoxville square
to Weiler Industries last month, where it was sandblasted
and got a fresh coat of Army olive-green paint. Nelson
says a plaque and dedication ceremony for the cannon is
being set at a later date.

Screenwriter to speak in Pella tonight

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 5:38 am

The United Methodist Church of Pella welcomes an
award-winning screenwriter for a special program tonight.
Sources say author Jonathan Richard Cring along with
musician and conductor Janet Clazzy will present an
evening of music and monologue that will include readings
from Cring's book "Digging for Gold (in the rule)" The
performance is at 7:00 p.m. at the United Methodist
Church.