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Category Archives: Local News

Local News 5.16.2018

Police found a 2-year old boy walking alone near Vermeer Road and East 6th Street earlier this morning.  Thankfully the child was soon reunited with his family and the police department thanked the community for their help.

The Knoxville VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) participated in the eighth annual nationwide VA 2K walk today from 10am to 12pm to raise awareness for homeless veterans.  This was the second year the Knoxville VA CBOC participated in the event, which also serves as a way to donate much needed health items to veterans in need. 

Standing water and electricity don’t mix, but that’s precisely what the city found when inspecting electrical access at Bridge View Center.  City Engineer Dwight Dohlman said the city needs to install “new conduit, conductors, and receptacles to replace the failed electrical system.”  The fix will route the power distribution system through ceiling trusses instead of the floor where water can seep in.

Local News 5.15.2018

Today is National Peace Officer Memorial Day, and the family of a Pella officer killed on duty 38 years ago continues to remember his legacy.  John E. Van Haaften was shot and killed in April of 1980 while conducting an undercover drug bust in Knoxville.  His daughter Tricia Van Zee says her father loved the community and serving and protecting the public, as the many officers around the country do every day, including those who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice.  Sharyl Hanthorn was married to John when he was killed, and she honors him annually with a scholarship given to graduating high school seniors. She hopes his legacy lives on through those students.

The Avenue of Flags will go up at Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville on the morning of May 25th and stay up for Memorial Day to remember those who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.  More than 250 flags will be raised, with a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps following the raising ceremony at 7 a.m. on the 25th. Mike Kuhn with Marion County Veterans Affairs says a large number of veterans and volunteers help with the event because they’re patriots, love their country, and many have served or had a relative who served, or have lost a loved one and the event is a way to honor their memory.

Local News 5.14.2018

The Volksweg Trail is stretching its legs once again as construction kicks off this week – Josh Conrad, Assistant Operations Manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, says the expansion includes 2.6 miles from the trailhead at Robert’s Creek west to Cordova Park. A new trailhead with a parking lot is also planned at Cordova.  According to the Marion County Road Department, work begins along G28 on Thursday, May 17th. Little traffic impact is expected, however, there may be slow or turning trucks and equipment associated with the project, and the south shoulder of the road between Roberts Creek & Cordova will be closed, so please use caution if you’re in the area. 

The threat of rain didn’t scare the men and women determined to take to the streets of Ottumwa this past Saturday in the fight against breast cancer.  Over 1,000 participants showed up for the annual Race for the Cure.  Gayla Harrison, an organizer for the event, said numbers for this year’s race were event stronger than in the past when weather was better – she said a public that is passionate about the fight against breast cancer is what makes this event such a success.

Local News 5.11.2018

Marion County Bank debit card holders raised over $20,000 for Pella schools through the bank’s report card program.  The Pella Community School District received $13,103.68, Pella Christian High School received $4,193.97 and Pella Chrisitan Grade School received $3,038.15.  he program allows Marion County Bank card holders to support a local school of their choice when they use their debit card. Through the life of the program, about $168,608 has been raised for 13 area schools.

A site plan for Fellowship Bible Church in Oskaloosa was approved by the City Council this week with some stipulations.  Two existing buildings will become one as the site will add an approximately 9,700 square foot sanctuary building to the church, and will include new curb and gutter work and sidewalks. According to city council information, there will be two driveways instead of the current five driveways. Plans also provide for 125 total parking spaces, with 55 on-site and 70 off-site. The stipulations? Easement rights for utilities must be maintained, and the church needs a lighting plan for the on-site parking lot. 

Local News 5.9.2018

After nearly 44 years, Christian Opportunity Center (COC) has closed the doors to the Sheltered Employment Program for the final time.  COC’s Sheltered Employment Program began in 1974 when the organization recognized a need for adult vocational services. On April 27th ,COC employees, persons supported, and families joined together to honor its success.  Executive Director Rod Braun says the closing of the Sheltered Employment Program is part of state and federal regulations encouraging persons with disabilities to be fully integrated into community employment.  What will COC do next?  They’ll be opening a Life Skills program in Knoxville this month – Life skills is a non-work-oriented day habilitation program that focuses on teaching independent living skills, social skills and communication skills in an integrated community setting. COC will also expand its residential services in Oskaloosa this summer with a new group home.


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