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Category Archives: Local News

Local News 10.3.2017

If you love to run and don’t mind a bit – or a lot – of mud along the way, Wapello County 4H would love to have you join them for their 5K “Farm Crawl” on Saturday, October 14th.  The event is a fundraiser organized by the Wapello County 4H; registration starts at 8am Saturday morning at the Wapello County Fairgrounds – a kids fun run will kick off the races at 9am; the adults will then get their turn at slipping and sliding their way through the muck.  A local farmer with a water truck and a local fire department will help make sure there’s plenty of mud to go around – funds raised at the event will help support 4H programs for kids.  The race will be followed by the Fall Fun Fest – 25+ vendors with crafts, games, and activities will be on location at the fairgrounds for plenty of fall fun. 

October looks to be a busy month for road improvements and repairs in South Central Iowa – Beginning at 7:30 a.m. yesterday, Mahaska County Engineer David Shanahan said Mahaska County work crewsbegang pavement repair, widening and overlaying Old Highway 102/G-5T.  Shanahan said the project will begin north of the South Skunk bridge, south of 155th street and proceed north and easterly to a point approximately 1,320 feet east of the intersection of County Roads T-33 and Old Highway 102 or G-5T.  The second section of the project will begin at the intersection of T-22 and G-5T and proceed north to the south city Limits of Peoria.  The project is scheduled to be completed in 30 working days, which if weather conditions allow means the project will possibly be completed by Nov. 13 – Shanahan asked those residents that commute on the road to allow for extra time to deal with the one-lane traffic or the detour route is down Highway 63 from New Sharon to Highway 92 in Oskaloosa then west to Highway 163 and back to Pella.

Local News 10.2.2017

Habitat for Humanity of Marion County is in the process of finding a home for a family in an unconventional way.  Director Robin Pfalzgraf says Habitat for Humanity is moving a 1920s bungalow house currently on West 1st Street in Pella to a different lot at 402 East First Street for a new Habitat family to move into later this winter.  Pfalzgraf says Habitat for Humanity had been hearing more requests to restore existing homes as opposed to building new in order to breathe new life into historic structures throughout the community while helping find new homes for families in the Habitat program.  Habit hopes this new model is a win-win for everyone – a family in need gets a home and the historic character of neighborhoods is preserved at the same time.

Knoxville veterans who served during Vietnam will be recognized during a special recognition ceremony on November 8th at the Knoxville Performing Arts Center.  Any veteran who served on active duty anywhere in the world from November 1, 1955 until May 15, 1975 is eligible to be recognized. Post Commander for Baty Tucker Post 168 of the American Legion, Curt Froyen says the veterans will be presented with a special Vietnam lapel pin as well as a certificate of recognition. The recognition ceremony will also honor the surviving parents, spouses, siblings and children of the Knoxville residents who were killed in action in Vietnam. 

Local News 9.28.2017

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office believes they have found the remains of a rural Knoxville man that was reported missing.  Sheriff Jason Sandholdt says officers believe they have found Ted Richard Roberts, age 84, dead this morning, pending confirmation from the State Medical Examiner’s office. Sandholdt thanked everyone in the community that played a role in helping locate Roberts.  The Marion County Sheriff’s Office and numerous local agencies have been searching for Roberts since this past Sunday.

The Ottumwa High School marching band may get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to head overseas and be part of the 75th anniversary celebration of D-Day.  Director Troy Gerleman said the Pride of Ottumwa is one of 10 bands nationally who’ve been invited for the ceremonies. If the school board signs off on the trip early next month, the band and orchestra will spend June 3rd through the 10th of 2019 in France.  What might get in the way of this incredible opportunity?  Gerleman says money might be an obstacle – right now the cost for a triple-occupancy room is close to $4,000 for those dates, not counting travel and other expenses.  He hopes fundraising and corporate sponsors will help offset much of the cost; the school board will make a yes/no decision on the trip sometime in October.

Local News 9.27.2017

Good news is coming to Newton – Global Fiberglass Solution, Inc., of Bothell, Wash., has selected the Maytag Plant 2 building for its fiberglass recycling operation, and plans to invest $6 million in the community and create 57 new jobs in the process.  The company plans to create an innovative processing and manufacturing facility in Newton using recycled materials, mostly fiberglass, from decommissioned wind blades and other products. Liebl said instead of the waste ending up in landfills, the company repurposes the more than 15,000 pounds of fiberglass per blade into new, useful products including manhole covers, building panels and pellets.  The move is bolstered by a recent award of direct financial assistance and tax benefits from the Iowa Economic Development Authority board. GFS is one of five companies to receive more than $48 million in new capital investments in the state.

Oskaloosa company J Myers Trucking and Pella-based Vermeer are working together to help with clean-up efforts in Florida and Texas.  Jerry Myers, owner of J Myers Trucking, said his company has transported heavy equipment from the Pella-based Vermeer to locations in Florida, including Jacksonville, Fort Meyers and Boynton Beach.  Myers said the equipment such as stump chippers will aid in clean-up of the hurricane-ravaged areas. Vermeer is working to provide necessary equipment in a timely manner and J Meyers Trucking is helping get the equipment to where it’s needed.

Local news 9.26.2017

A former Spanish teacher for the Pella Community School District was sentenced last week to five years in prison for sexual exploitation, according to a statement released by Marion County Attorney Ed Bull.  Juan Carlos Munoz, 43 of Pella, had plead guilty to two charges of sexual exploitation by a teacher, pattern or practice or scheme in July. He received five year sentences for both charges, but they will run concurrently.  When Munoz is discharged from his sentence, he will be placed on parole for 10 years and placed on the sex offender registry, according to the county attorney’s office. Additionally, Munoz was ordered to not have any contact with his victims for five years and was fined for $750 for each count.

After a nearly 10-year absence, the Tracy Festival is making a return to south-central Iowa this Saturday.  On Saturday, October 30th the first Tracy Festival since 2008 will feature a 5K walk and run at 9 a.m.; at 10am the Kids Zone will open at the fire station ball diamond and be open until 4pm – for just $5 kids can get a wristband that allows them to use 2 different bounce houses along with other games and fun including the famous Balloon Darts trailer!  If you’re hungry you can enjoy a spaghetti lunch at the fire station from 11am to 1pm for a free will donation.  Community coffee time is at 2pm, and live music kicks off at 5:30 pm.  If you’d like more information check out the Tracy Festival Facebook page.


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