Funeral home participates in procession honoring fallen soldiers 
Bybee & Davis Funeral Home in Knoxville participated in a funeral procession to honor the seven unclaimed remains of soldiers from America’s past wars Friday. Funeral Home Director Ray Bertrand says they worked with the Missing in America Project and the Patriot Guard Riders to escort the soldiers remains, six of which were cremated at Bybee & Davis, from the funeral home in Knoxville to the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter west of Des Moines. Escorts from county and state law enforcement also accompanied the procession. For full video of the procession, visit and Click on Radio Video Viewer on the main page.

Tulips beginning to bloom 
Tulips are starting to bloom in Pella. Community Services Director Kevin Vos says it seems that the tulips are on schedule for the annual festival, which is good news for visitors. He notes that cooler temperatures next week could help slow some of the growth. About 300,000 tulips call Pella home and Vos says the city plants around 73,000 of those. Tulip Time is May 7, 8, 9. 

Same-sex couples prepare to file for marriage licenses 
Reports are in many counties across the state, same-sex couples are filling out marriage license paperwork at their county Recorders Office. KNIA/KRLS News has received reports of at least one same-sex couple in Marion County who went to the Marion County Recorder’s Office Friday, filling out marriage license paperwork. County Recorder Karen Schwanebeck tells KNIA/KRLS News she could not confirm the reports because marriage applications are not public record until the marriage takes place and is recorded. However, she says that any filled-out paperwork cannot be processed until Monday, after it officially becomes legal for same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses. An Iowa Supreme Court ruling earlier this month stated that the state’s same-sex marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of same-sex couples. 

Three Corps campgrounds open 
The camping season is fast approaching now that three U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds at Lake Red Rock are welcoming visitors. Whitebreast, Wallashuck, and North Overlook opened for the season on Thursday. Park Ranger Tracy Spry says the first large influx of visitors happens around Tulip Time. Spry notes the flood repair work continues at Howell Station with the hope to reopen the campground for Memorial Day weekend on a first-come first-serve basis. It’s unknown when Ivans Campground could reopen. Both sustained flood damage. 

Racing season gets underway tonight 
The 2009 Sprint Car racing season kicks-off Saturday at the Knoxville Raceway. Brian Stickel, director of marketing for the Knoxville Raceway, says the 360’s and 410 sprint car races will be exciting for fans, as well as having new drivers from Nebraska and Missouri. KNIA/KRLS has pre-racing coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, with flag to flag racing coverage starting at 7:30 p.m. 

E-Cycling event is being held this morning in Pella 
Pella residents can dispose of their obsolete electronics at a special collection Saturday morning. The 5th Annual Electronic Waste Recycling event is being held from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Pella Corporations parking lot at the Clark and South Street intersection, according to the Pella Public Works Office. The event is a partnership between the city of Pella, Pella Corporation, Vermeer Corporation, PPI, Van Gorp and Pella Wal-Mart. Acceptable items include computers, televisions and video game systems, among others. 

Library hosts Wolf Center display 
A local organization has partnered with the International Wolf Center in Northern Minnesota to bring a display to the Pella Public Library. Ron DeArmond is CEO of the Pella Wildlife Company. He says the North American Gray Wolf once called Iowa home. Residents can learn more about wolves at presentations today at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. at the Pella Public Library. 

Bookstore hosts poetry slam 
Marion County residents immersed themselves in the oral tradition of poetry Thursday night at a Poetry Slam event at the Next Chapter bookstore in downtown Knoxville. Residents gathered to hear each other read their poetic compositions in a tournament-style. The nationally-known oral poet, Joe Plum from Lovilia, also shared his poetry at the event.

Knoxville Chamber to hold annual awards ceremony tonight 
The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce is having its annual awards ceremony from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Knoxville Raceway. 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.

Volunteer group organizes clean up effort 
The Knoxville volunteer group Nexus, organized by community youth leaders, will be working to clean up Knoxville. That’s according to Bruce Crozier, youth minister at Celebrate Community Church in Knoxville. He says around 40 youth will meet at Auld Park at 9 a.m. and work until 3:30 p.m., cleaning up residents yards, parks and offering help where needed, with the goal of making Knoxville a cleaner, and better place. Crozier says should it rain, youth will paint the interior of memorial hall in Knoxville. 

PRHC announces Shining Stars 
Pella Regional Health Center
recently announced their Shining Stars for the month of April. According to the hospital, Ron Farnum of Spiritual Services and Triage Nurse Bernice Farnum were selected by a group of their co-workers as the employees of the month. The Farnums will receive a $100 gift, a plaque and will automatically be included in the Shining Star of the Year award.