65 young men and women donned their caps and gowns recently as the Pella Christian High School class of 2018 was reminded to stay vigilant in their soul care as they begin the next chapter of their life after high school. As guest speaker Lois Vermeer read through the class’ Bible verse, 1 Timothy 4:12, she said she was reminded of Timothy’s faith journey, as he was brought up in the Christian faith by his mother and his grandmother, Lois. When things get difficult, Vermeer said it may feel like you’re faced with challenges that are beyond your capability to handle. But relying on God will help you fill the deficit, she said. In conclusion she reminded the graduates to acknowledge God in everything as they achieve their goals.
A Pella native is currently serving with the U.S. Navy as a civil engineer corps (CEC) officer, overseeing construction projects that support the Navy’s high-tech fleet of ships, aircraft, equipment and personnel around the world. Ensign Jon Verhoef completed the Civil Engineer Corps Basic Qualification Course at the Naval Civil Engineer Corps Officers School (CECOS) May 11; he’ll be heading to Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa, Japan, and will serve as assistant public works officer.
During a special Pella City Council meeting, a Policy and Planning session was scheduled to talk about a proposed microbrewery ordinance. During a presentation, City Administrator Mike Nardini addressed many of the concerns posed by Planning and Zoning members, most revolving around the size and location of the proposed Gezellig Brewing Company. Prior to the presentation and council discussion, audience members spoke about microbreweries during a public forum, with the vast majority backing the use in the city and highlighting the benefits. Overall, the entire Pella City Council expressed support to allow microbreweries in Pella as long as they produce no more than 10,000 barrels a year, are not in the Central Business District, and require at least one person over the age of 21 if other youth are on the premises as part of a family-friendly atmosphere.
Newton Christian School will be offering a free parenting seminar from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 31 at the school. Jeanetta Nieuwsma, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Pine Rest Mental Health, will present the seminar entitled, “A Parent’s Guide to your Child’s Screen Time.” Nieuwsma will share practical parenting advice, including a time for questions and answers.
The Pella Lady Dutch claimed their first-ever team championship in Class 3A on the third and final day of the Iowa High School State Track and Field meet. Senior Emily Vos won a state championship in the 200 meter dash, with teammate Annika Pingel finishing 3rd to net the Lady Dutch 16 points. Pella’s girls weren’t the only local athletes to win gold: Noah Anderson of PCM was the fastest boy in Class 2A in the 200 meter dash, and Avery Van Zee of the Pella boys was an individual champion Friday in the 400 meter hurdles. Athletes from Pella, Pella Christian, Knoxville, PCM, Pleasantville, Twin Cedars, and Melcher-Dallas all competed at state track this year as well.
Helping Hands in Knoxville recently received a helping hand themselves with a new roof free of cost from Hopkins Roofing in Pella. Chuck Galeazzi with Helping Hands says he was researching local businesses in the fall to receive a quote on a much needed new roof, when Hopkins Roofing said they would provide one for free. Galeazzi said this gift has a snowball effect on how much it helps the organization because now they can fundraise for more food, more clothing, and spend their time on other projects to help the community.
Pella Christian’s Hayden Vroom has been selected as the Class 1A recipient of the Ed Thomas Award – Each year, the Iowa Football Coaches Association recognizes one young man from each football playing classification with the Ed Thomas Award. Coach Thomas was tragically taken from our coaching ranks in 2009. He was a man of character and integrity. He worked just as hard to teach his players how to be great young men as he did to be great football players. Applicants are selected on the basis of the three things that were the most important to Coach Thomas: FAITH, FAMILY, and FOOTBALL.
Despite a hot and sunny first day at the 2018 State Track and Field Meet many area athletes were not phased and generated numerous top finishes. Pella’s Emily Vos had herself a day qualifying for the finals in both the 100m and 200m dashes with a pair of top three finishe, including a new school record in the 200m; Teammate Annika Pingel was right behind in the 200m placing second. For a squad that is looking for a team championship, the Lady Dutch got a big boost in points from the 4x800m relay team placing fifth when they had the 10th fastest time coming into the day. Pella Christian’s Allison Van Gorp has a promising future ahead, as the freshman placed sixth in the shot put. A notable finish for Knoxville yesterday was Abbey Jackson placing eighth in the 400m dash. PCM’s Noah Anderson also had a big day as he finished first in the preliminary round in the 200m and third in the 100m. Teammate Preston Van Wyk also qualified in both events including cracking the top eight in the 200m dash by .02 seconds.
Two people were injured in a single-vehicle crash on Main Street in Peoria late Wednesday. Numerous agencies from Pella and Mahaska County responded after a white SUV heading northbound left the roadway at the intersection of Main and Cross just after 9 p.m. at a high rate of speed. Mahaska County Sheriff Russ Van Renterghem said the vehicle went up the hill, snapped a utility pole, and came to a rest on its top about 15 yards from the edge of the street. Skid marks were visible at the point in which the SUV veered off the road. Both occupants inside were injured, including an unidentified male passenger who was transported via helicopter to a Des Moines area hospital with serious injuries. The female driver was transported to Pella Regional Health Center. The cause is unknown at this time but drugs or alcohol are possibility, based on witness statements to police about the condition of the occupants. The injured male passenger was found outside of the SUV by witnesses, but the sheriff was unsure if the injured man climbed out on his own or was ejected during the rollover.