The Blank Park Zoo brought a few animals to Pella Friday to show children the noises they make and to talk about their habitat. About 100 eager children received the opportunity to meet four animals, including Zoobie the parrot, Smiley the fox snake, Rachel the ferret and Bog the American alligator. The Pella Public Library held the event at the Pella Community Center – the zoo’s community program manager Samantha Collison talked about each of the animals: where they’re from, what they eat and how long they live. Kids looked in awe as she pulled out Bog the alligator, who is five years old and about 3 feet in length. Before leaving the kids were allowed to carefully pet the alligator using only two fingers.
As the 4th of July holiday approaches, residents are reminded about the restricted usage of fireworks in Marion County. The county allows fireworks to be fired on July 4th from 6pm to 11pm, and is restricted to personal private property by the property owner or with the permission of the property owner or with lawful tenant present. The use of fireworks is banned within the city limits of Knoxville with a penalty of $500 for an infraction, with fireworks also banned in the city of Pella. The City of Pleasantville allows consumer fireworks on July 4th from noon to 11pm. Monroe allows consumer fireworks between the hours of noon and 10pm on July 1st through the 8th and from noon to 10:30pm on July 4th. Melcher-Dallas will restrict the use of fireworks from July 1st to July 8th between the hours of am and 11pm. Bussey adheres to the county restrictions.
Knoxville Fire and Rescue and the Knoxville Police Department responded to a house fire at 1510 East Marion St. in Knoxville shortly after 9:00 a.m. this morning. The fire was extinguished in approximately 20 minutes, and the family occupying the home was able to get out safely. Unfortunately a dog in the building perished. No cause of the fire has been established, and an investigation is underway.
The victim in a June 22nd fire in New Sharon has been identified – 61 year old Karen Bunting of New Sharon died in a detached garage in the 100 Block of Elm Street. The cause of the fire, which remained isolated to the garage, remains under investigation, according to the New Sharon Fire Department.
Christian Opportunity Center Executive Director Rod Braun is retiring this week after 31 years of faithful service at the organization. Braun began his career as Executive Director of Christian Opportunity Center in 1987. During his tenure, the organization has grown from a small program in Pella to an organization serving over 250 people with disabilities; providing residential, vocational, and day services over a four-county area. Braun says he’s thankful for the time he spent working on behalf of individuals with disabilities and the people he worked with to support them. An open house to thank Rod for his service will be held this Friday from 11am to 1pm at the Pella COC office.
The Oskaloosa Hy-Vee is honoring and remembering one of its own with a day named after him – Monday was declared “Kevin Mitrisin Day” at the Oskaloosa grocery store. For 28 years, Kevin worked at the Osky Hy-Vee without missing a single day of work. He’ll be remembered fondly, having sent each customer away with a friendly “Thank you for your business!” Kevin passed away on June 13th.
A little more than 45 years have passed since Annie Robertson came to Pella as a foreign exchange student from South Africa. She’ll return to Pella this weekend for the 1973 class reunion. Robertson said the town and the people she met here in 1972 forever filled her heart, adding that Her host family, Bob and Nan Froelich and Heidi(Froelich) Slinkman, opened their homes and their hearts to her. Robertson attended a Catholic convent school in South Africa. When she came to Pella, she attended sports games she hadn’t seen in her home country, such as basketball or American football; she also didn’t have to wear a school uniform and found it interesting that Physical Education was a class. Robertson said she is looking forward to reconnecting with her classmates and seeing how Pella has changed.
Pella firefighters fought flames and smoke at 1006 Washington Street early Thursday morning. Numerous trucks responded at 1:23 a.m. to the house filled with smoke on both floors. Pella Fire Chief Doug Van Gorkom says crews had to do a thorough check of the house due to some unique structuring in the roof setup. The cause is under investigation; No people were injured, but a cat belonging to one of the tenants died.
A line of severe thunderstorms ripped through South Central Iowa yesterday afternoon, bringing heavy rains and high winds with them. Almost 1.5″ fell in downtown Pella, while Lake Red Rock received just over 1.5″. More rain is expected later today and overnight.
A pickup truck struck a bicyclist at approximately 10:15 a.m this morning at the intersection of West Jones and North McKinley streets in Knoxville. Knoxville Fire and Rescue and the Knoxville Police Department responded to the scene east of Youngs Park. As a precaution the older male bicyclist was transported to the Knoxville Hospital and Clinics – he received minor injuries in the incident.
A truck driver called the Mahaska County 911 Center at 2:15 pm on Tuesday afternoon, stating he observed a person jump off the bridge into the South Skunk River along Highway 92. Mahaska County deputies were on scene within minutes where they began the search for the individual. Footprint evidence on the bridge that indicated there were at least two people on the bridge. Mahaska County Sheriff Russ Van Renterghem said that deputies couldn’t find any evidence of where those individuals may have gotten out of the river. There were no vehicles or bicycles, or anything else around. An extensive search, which included numerous boats and a helicopter from Mercy Medical Center, came up empty handed – thankfully Van Renterghem reports that his department has spoken to a 17-year-old male who is the one that jumped off the bridge and then swam safely back to shore.
A vehicle fire shortened Dale Ozinga’s lunch Tuesday. Luckily, the fire was put out quickly. Ozinga was eating a sandwich in his truck, parked near Caldwell Park, when he heard something come from his hood. He got out of his truck to investigate, but couldn’t open the hood. As soon as he saw smoke, he left the truck as quickly as he could, he said. The front half of his truck caught on fire for a brief period of time before the Pella Fire Department swiftly put it out. The cause of the fire is unknown, and thankfully no one was injured.