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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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