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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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