U.S. Senator Joni Ernst made a visit to Knoxville Tuesday to visit 3M and the new VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic. Senator Ernst was given a tour of the VA facility and met with VA staff to discuss the amenities the clinic has on hand that help treat local veterans. Ernst was particularly impressed with the telemedicine demo, saying that through technology the VA physicians and nurses are able to provide services either in the patient’s home or at a remote facility.
Summer fun is back on Thursday nights! – you’re invited to take part in family-friendly activities all summer long on the downtown square in Pella. Sarah Treft with the Pella Area Community and Economic Alliance says Thursdays in Pella are returning this week and every Thursday in June and July. This year includes some familiar themes at each event, along with some new ones as well, including a night for science projects and another featuring Christmas in July. This week’s activities are being organized by Families First of Pella and features programs for kids, including a magician, crafts and a bicycle rodeo.
Ottumwa residents will be able to launch fireworks this summer without leaving city limits, but the permission is not quite as expansive as what was passed by the state legislature. City Council members had spent the better part of a month reviewing options, even postponing a decision two weeks ago to fine-tune a proposal. The city’s actions allow fireworks on June 24-July 4 from 4-10 p.m., except for the Fourth of July itself, when the hours are 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fireworks are also allowed from 4 p.m. December 31 through 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1. Council members noted that enforcement may be tricky, as the city had plenty of fireworks in past year despite them being officially banned in the state.
Pella Christian’s fall 2016 production of “Peter Pan” came away with six awards at the Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards Showcase. Pella Christian’s fall production of Peter Pan earned the Outstanding Overall Technical and Creative Achievement award. Other honors from the production include: Jimmy Beyer (as Peter Pan) with Outstanding Performance in a Principal Role, Ryan Howey (as Smee) and Tyler Egesdal (as Michael Darling) with Special Recognition for a Performance in a Principal Role, as well as Special Recognition for a Cast Ensemble.
Golf fans get ready to tee up! On Friday, June 9th the Christian Opportunity Center will be hosting its 16th annual COC Golf Classic fundraiser at Bos Landen Golf Club. COC representative Jacob Deyer says with the end of sheltered employment and the transition to managed Medicaid, private funding efforts like this one are more important than ever. Registration includes 18 holes of golf, catered dinner and a silent auction, with the entry fee for individual golfers at $150 including additional gifts and a golf shirt.
Marion County Habitat for Humanity celebrated a very special milestone this past Saturday with the dedication of their 50th home built in the area. The Kennedy family received their key to their new home at a dedication ceremony that took place at 1103 East Robison in Knoxville. The ceremony featured speeches from Congressman Dave Loebsack, Habitat for Humanity representatives as well as Knoxville Mayor Brian Hatch. Director for Habitat for Humanity of Marion County Robin Pfalzgraf presented the Mike and Jen Kennedy with the key to their new home; Jen Kennedy says owning their own home is the greatest feeling in the world, and she’s glad the wait is finally over for her family.
Veterans in Wapello County are getting a boost thanks to the local chapter of 100 Men on a Mission. Last Thursday the Wapello County chapter of 100 Men on a Mission voted to give its initial offering to the Wapello County Veterans Affairs organization. 53 men attended the inaugural meeting of the newly formed 100 Men on a Mission chapter; Terry Bradley, director of Veterans Affairs, says the funds will be a big help with a number of projects, including helping a disabled veteran put a new roof on his home.
Just one day after she was sworn in as Iowa’s 43rd Governor, Kim Reynolds is naming a Central College graduate to be her Acting Lt. Governor. Reynolds announced yesterday that Adam Gregg, a 2006 Central alum, will serve in the ceremonial and administrative duties associated with the second highest position in the executive branch. Gregg was appointed by Governor Terry E. Branstad to serve as the Iowa State Public Defender in 2014, and previously served as the Governor’s legislative liaison and policy advisor. Reynolds says the ruling means the appointment does grant Gregg full duties and rights associated with the position, but he will not succeed Reynolds as governor if she is unable to perform her duties.
Oskaloosa Christian School employees Carol De Ronde and Cheryl Groenenboom celebrated milestones in their careers at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. De Ronde, a food service employee, has been on the Christian school staff for 30 years. Groenenboom has been recognized for 25 years of teaching at Oskaloosa Christian. She has taught kindergarten through fourth grade music for 18 years and previously taught English and art.