The holidays can be a difficult time for those who have lost a loved one, and Hospice of Pella is doing something to help those who are struggling – Hospice of Pella, along with Pella Regional Health Center, will host the annual Light up a Life ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5. This year, the street in front of the Comfort House will be closed to allow the program to be held on the north side of the facility at 505 Union St. Following the memorial service and tree lighting, the group will have refreshments and fellowship in the lower level of the Comfort House. Light up a Life provides an opportunity for families and friends to remember loved ones throughout the holidays. The lighted tree by the Comfort House symbolizes and supports hospice work by providing a visual reminder of those who have died.
A home in Tracy is a total loss after a fire. At approximately 1:30 a.m. this morning crews from Clay Township Fire and Rescue were called to 304 Lawson Street where a house was fully engulfed in flames. Shortly after, Knoxville Township Rural Fire Department and Bussey Fire were called for additional manpower and tanker trucks. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office also responded; right now authorities don’t known if anyone was at home at the time of the fire. Marion County real estate records show the owner of the home is Chad Reed.
More housing is coming to Bos Landen in Pella – the City Council approved a final plat for a new subdivision near Bos Landen Golf Course at their meeting this week. City Administrator Mike Nardini says 14 new single-family attached homes will be built along Bos Landen Drive near T-15. Nardini says the plat approved has provisions for the developer to ensure infrastructure and new plots conform to city code. Vermeer Development will be building the new homes; construction should begin in Spring 2018.
Local teenager Kaelie De Heer hasn’t let cerebral palsy get in the way of leading an active lifestyle at Pella Community High School. Now, she is raising funds for a service dog that she will receive next year. The family had applied for a service dog several years ago and were placed on a waiting list; they were notified by Domesti-PUPS in October that they would be able to get a pup from a class will graduate in June 2018. De Heer said she is looking forward to gaining confidence when she receives the dog. Her mother is looking forward to her daughter not only gaining confidence, but more independence.
KNX Fitness and Training in Knoxville will host a Turkey Day 5k on Thanksgiving. Chris Gordon, owner of KNX Fitness and Training, says the route will take runners down Main Street and Montgomery Street with the whole run staying downtown. Gordon says anyone can participate in the run, they just need to show up, and if possible bring a food donation for the Food Bank of Iowa. The run starts at 8am on Thanksgiving at the KNX Fitness and Training location on the square in downtown Knoxville.
Could Pella residents soon get their internet service right from the City? It might happen – at a meeting tomorrow night the City Council will discuss a feasibility study for a potential municipal telecommunications utility. The move comes from feedback from citizens and local businesses who are concerned about both access and cost of high speed internet. The timeline for the study would begin later this month, with full results coming sometime in Spring 2018.
A gymnasium at William Penn was set on fire recently, and police have apprehended two juvenile suspects in the incident. On Saturday, November 11th, smoke was reported coming from the old upper basketball gymnasium on the William Penn Campus. Emergency responders discovered a fire had been deliberately set in an air vent; three days later Oskaloosa police charged two 12-year-old male suspects with 2nd degree arson; by law both have been referred to Juvenile Court Services.
The new skatepark in Pella’s Caldwell Park is nearing completion. Work began several days ago, and according to crew member DJ Parker has gone smoothly. Construction workers installed two, four foot bank ramps, a four foot quarter pipe, a box obstacle in the center with a rail attached, a “Homer Simpson” couch and a 20 foot rail for skaters to skip, flip and slide on.
Christmas is just around the corner, and that means Sinterklaas is making his annual visit to Pella on Saturday, December 2nd. Traditionally, Sinterklaas would arrive in Pella the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year he will come to Pella one week later;t he new date for Sinterklaas’ arrival more closely aligns with his arrival in the Netherlands, which is Dec. 6. The Sinterklaas parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the Scholte Church at the Pella Historical Village. Any children who want to participate in the parade are encouraged to dress up like their favorite Christmas character and begin lining up for the parade at 9:45 a.m. at the Scholte Church.
The South Central Regional Airport Agency met this past Wednesday to consider approval of an airport engineer services contract with HDR Engineer Inc. The agreement will guide the SCRAA through the next phase of the project, which will include land acquisition and design of the airport. The meeting began with a statement from Mahaska County resident John Bandstra, speaking on behalf of a Pella resident who could not attend, who addressed issues with the current 28e agreement and the lawsuit to force Mahaska County to cooperate with the project.