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.