Marion County Habitat for Humanity celebrated a very special milestone this past Saturday with the dedication of their 50th home built in the area. The Kennedy family received their key to their new home at a dedication ceremony that took place at 1103 East Robison in Knoxville. The ceremony featured speeches from Congressman Dave Loebsack, Habitat for Humanity representatives as well as Knoxville Mayor Brian Hatch. Director for Habitat for Humanity of Marion County Robin Pfalzgraf presented the Mike and Jen Kennedy with the key to their new home; Jen Kennedy says owning their own home is the greatest feeling in the world, and she’s glad the wait is finally over for her family.
Veterans in Wapello County are getting a boost thanks to the local chapter of 100 Men on a Mission. Last Thursday the Wapello County chapter of 100 Men on a Mission voted to give its initial offering to the Wapello County Veterans Affairs organization. 53 men attended the inaugural meeting of the newly formed 100 Men on a Mission chapter; Terry Bradley, director of Veterans Affairs, says the funds will be a big help with a number of projects, including helping a disabled veteran put a new roof on his home.
Just one day after she was sworn in as Iowa’s 43rd Governor, Kim Reynolds is naming a Central College graduate to be her Acting Lt. Governor. Reynolds announced yesterday that Adam Gregg, a 2006 Central alum, will serve in the ceremonial and administrative duties associated with the second highest position in the executive branch. Gregg was appointed by Governor Terry E. Branstad to serve as the Iowa State Public Defender in 2014, and previously served as the Governor’s legislative liaison and policy advisor. Reynolds says the ruling means the appointment does grant Gregg full duties and rights associated with the position, but he will not succeed Reynolds as governor if she is unable to perform her duties.
Oskaloosa Christian School employees Carol De Ronde and Cheryl Groenenboom celebrated milestones in their careers at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. De Ronde, a food service employee, has been on the Christian school staff for 30 years. Groenenboom has been recognized for 25 years of teaching at Oskaloosa Christian. She has taught kindergarten through fourth grade music for 18 years and previously taught English and art.
If you plan to hit the road this summer, local police have a bit of advice – make sure you buckle up. From May 22nd through June 4th, state and local law enforcement agencies across Iowa will be stepping up seat belt enforcement. Now fortunately here in Iowa the seat belt usage rate is 94%, one of the highest in the nation, but the remaining six percent of vehicle occupants account for approximately half of all traffic fatalities in the Hawkeye state. Nationwide, there were 12,797 traffic fatalities on rural roads compared to 8,262 on urban streets. Fifty percent of those killed in rural crashes were unbuckled compared to 46 percent in urban crashes.
Would you like to expand your child’s computer literacy beyond playing games, writing stories, and browsing the Internet? If so, there’s good news – William Penn University’s Computer Science Program is once again hosting two computer camp sessions on campus in June. Session I – where students will learn to create computer animations and simple games using Scratch visual programming – will be held Monday, June 19 – Friday, June 23 from 1:00–5:00 p.m., and is geared towards kids who’ve completed 2nd – 6th grades. Session II of the WPU Computer Camp is designed for students who have completed grades 7 & 8 or 6th graders with a good working knowledge of Scratch. Session II will be held Monday, June 26 – Friday, June 30 from 1:00–5:00 p.m. – This camp will teach children how to create mobile apps for android devices and make their own computing device using the BBC micro:bit microcontroller.
Residents in Pella and surrounding communities who are trying to stay cool this summer won’t have to wait too much longer to start swimming at the Pella Outdoor Aquatic Center – The facility opens on Memorial Day. New Aquatic Center Manager Alex Meyers says the city offers a wide range of programs throughout the summer as well – for more information check out cityofpella.com.
Students at Jefferson Intermediate recently completed their Water to Thrive fundraiser. This year, grades four through six helped raise $1,486.66 to fund a well in conjunction with Central College Students. The Water to Thrive committee from Central hosted an ice cream party for the winning 4th grade students, who collected $683.83.
The Mahaska County Conservation Board is trying to get families hooked on fishing – the morning of May 20th was cool and rainy, but that didn’t stop MCCB naturalist Laura DeCook, who welcome several people for her Fishing 101 class. The free class was an educational offering for adults or families to learn about fishing, whether by themselves or with their families. On Saturday, June 3, families will have a chance to try out their skills at the Family Fishing Day and Kids’ Fishing Derby from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Russell Wildlife Area. The free event will include a casting contest and T-shirt printing, a campfire picnic and family fishing. There will be a fishing derby for kids age 18 and younger, complete with trophies for the largest and smallest fish caught during the event.
Pleasantville high school put on an outstanding production of “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” for their fall musical, and now their hard work is being rewarded – the school was recently notified the production will receive recognition at the 2017 Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards. In their first year entering submissions to the awards show, Pleasantville High School will be receiving awards for distinguished scene, as well as outstanding achievement in stage management for stage manager Jack Lauer. The musical also received special recognition for performance in a leading role for Jack Ray for his performance as Snoopy.
Giving young people a different view of the world is something a new Big Brothers and Big Sisters program aims to do when it hopefully gets underway this coming school year in Oskaloosa. Resident Steve Burnett says the new program will allow young men and women to become better prepared for life through relationships with mentors. The Oskaloosa Big Brothers/Big Sisters program hopes to eventually serve up to 50 youth at a time; right now the program – which is partnering with the Mahaska County YMCA – is in the initial fundraising stage – they need about $50,000 to get started and would like to have funding in place to cover the first 3 years of operation