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Category Archives: Local News

Local News 7.6.2018

The home of Vermeer Corporation’s founder is being considered for the National Register of Historic Places.  The nomination for Gary Vermeer’s home, now called the Founders’ house, was recently approved by the State National Register Nomination Review Committee. The home, built in 1953 by Bats De Jong, was nominated by Vermeer’s children, Stan and Bob Vermeer and Mary Andringa.  The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation’s historic buildings, districts, sites, structures and objects worthy of preservation, according to the U.S. General Services Administration.  Accoring to Vermeer Corporation’s community relations manager Teri Vos Vermeer Corporation and the Vermeer family have been working to get the home located at 1688 Adams Ave on the National Registry for about two years; an answer is expected sometime this fall.

Republican candidate for US House of Representatives Dr. Christopher Peters toured the old VA campus in Knoxville yesterday, joined alongside state senator Amy Sinclair and candidate for Iowa House Jon Thorup.  Peters says the city of Knoxville deserves to have the campus serve the residents once again in a fair way

Local News 7.3.2018

Due to rising lake levels the South Overlook Boat Ramp and Volksweg Trail near the Red Rock Marina have been closed.  Whitebreast Beach has now been closed as well. Parking at the Marina Cove is very limited due to the high lake level. There is a moderate amount of floating debris in the lake, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reminds everyone to use caution while boating.  Today, the levels have risen to above 761 feet above sea level and are expected to crest at 767 feet by the middle of this month. Several roads have been closed in areas around the lake as well due to flooding.

Chair of the Pella 4th of July Committee Paul Kingma says celebrations begin in the morning downtown and at Caldwell Park, and continue through the evening’s fireworks display. Kingma says spots are open for the annual parade, and registration continues through the start of the parade on the 4th. The City Band will perform on the Tulip Toren at 7 p.m. that evening, and fireworks begin at Dusk near Madison Elementary. 

9:30-11:30 Free Fishing at Caldwell Park. (poles & bait provided)
9:30-1:00 games, activities, pony ride, inflatables all in Central Park
9:30-4:00 Food stands on Franklin Street
1:30 Parade down Franklin Street.  4-7:00 swimming at aquatic center

7:00 City Band at Tulip Toren

Local News 6.29.2018

A heat advisory is in place today, and another round of heavy rain is possible this weekend.  High temperatures are expected to reach the mid-to-upper 90s this afternoon, with heat index values approaching 110 degrees. Residents are reminded to stay hydrated, take plenty of breaks in shade, and to never leave any children or pets in a parked car for any reason.  The heat is expected to be short lived, as a round of strong thunderstorms is expected to pass through Saturday with a cold front. A slight risk of severe weather is in place throughout the day, with hail, wind, and heavy rain the primary threats.

A bike share program is coming to Pella next week.  Numerous community partners, including the City of Pella Community Services Department, Central College, Iowa Bike and Fitness, and the Pella Wellness Consortium, have partnered together to bring VeoRide to the city, which includes 50 bikes placed throughout the community to use for a small fee. The project started from an idea a group of Central College students had after studying in the sustainability education program.  Kris Van Gent with Iowa Bike saysthe new program will allow anyone with the VeoRide app over the age of 13 to rent bikes for use in the area community, as long as they return the bikes to designated parking areas when finished.

Local News 6.28.2018

Numerous emergency crews responded to a vehicle fire at Pella Middle School Wednesday evening.  Pella Fire, Pella Ambulance, and Pella Police all assisted as a car caught fire in the parking lot during the Pella softball game at approximately 6:55 p.m. The car was significantly damaged, but no injuries were reported.

As the holiday approaches, THRIVE Knoxville is finalizing preparations for the first annual 4th of July on the Square celebration in downtown Knoxville.  Pastor Brent Hanna with THRIVE says the theme is about keeping the community in Knoxville together; in previous years everyone in town had to go elsewhere if they wanted to participate in activities on the 4th of July. The day includes a flag raising ceremony beginning at 7:45 am in the city parking lot, with the Knoxville Police Department Freedom 5K to follow at 8am along with a pancake breakfast. Kids are encouraged to decorate their bikes for a parade beginning at noon, follwed by a best burger contest beginning at 1pm, and a dodgeball tournament, with live music and games throughout the day.  A fireworks show will take place at the Knoxville Municipal Airport beginning at dusk.

As several major road construction projects on Highway S45 and Highway T25 in Marion County wrap up, the Marion County Road Department will soon begin their county-wide projects of pavement marking and placing seal coat.  Marion County Engineer Tyler Christiansays the seal coat projects will focus on subdivisions and townships, while the pavement markings will be on all centerline paved roads. The projects are expected to last several weeks until completion, and will be hard to pinpoint when and where the construction will take place.

Local News 6.27.2018

 The South Central Regional Airport Agency held their quarterly meeting last week, and Mahaska County representative Joe Warrick rejoined the board, a move set in motion by Mahaska County Supervisors Chair Henry ‘Willie’ Van Weelden.  When asked why the Mahaska County representative was rejoining the board, Van Weelden said a recent court ruling was very clear that he probably shouldn’t have even been taken off of that board to begin with.  Van Weelden stated that Warrick was removed by then Mahaska County Board Chairman Mark Doland, a move that the SCRAA board never voted on.

The Pella School District will offer bus service for pre-school in the coming school year.  The board approved a $130 annual fee for families using the pre-school bus service.  Superintendent Greg Ebeling says one of the biggest barriers for parents of young students was the half-day schedule the preschool program offers, as transporting a child from school to daycare was difficult for parents who work out of town or couldn’t make their schedules match in the middle of the day. Additionally, preschool students are now allowed to use the bus to get to and from home or daycare in the morning and afternoon.


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