Voters in Pella have overwhemingly given the Pella City Council the green light to move forward with a telecommunications utility in a special election held yesterday. Unofficial results have 582 “yes” votes to just 48 “No” – 92% to 8%. Also coming to the Tulip City in the near future is a bike share program with VeoRide, which was recently approved by the City Council.
Assuming the thunder and lightning doesn’t rain on their parade, The race that kicks off Tulip Time in Pella will celebrate its silver anniversary tonight. The 25th Annual Klompen Classic begins at 6 p.m. with the kids classic and at 7 p.m. with the main event, all in downtown Pella. Director of Crossroads of Pella Jim Hibma says proceeds benefit the non-profit organization helping the community in a variety of ways. Raceday registration is $30 and can be done from 4:30-6:45pm along Broadway Street in Central Park.
An Odyssey of the Mind team from Pella is advancing to the world competition on May 23-26 in Ames. Pella Community School’s Division I team placed first at the state competition in April. Odyssey of the Mind is an international creativity competition that helps students develop skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork and subjects like math, language arts, among others. Pella’s teams began practicing last October; At the beginning of the season, teams are given five long-term problems to choose from. Pella’s Division I team chose, “A Stellar Hangout.” The team had to create a scenario centered on a science fiction hangout that included three original characters, foods and a search for space treasure. Pella Community School’s Division I team will compete against 800 other teams representing more than 26 countries at the worlds competition.
Governor Kim Reynolds stopped by recently to visit with the assembly workers at the C & C Manufacturing plant in Ottumwa. Company executives President Gaylon Cowan and Vice-President Geoff Cowan, told Reynolds C & C Manufacturing is bringing in plenty of business — but they could use more of the great workers they rely upon. Starting almost 25 years ago in a 10-foot workspace, C & C Manufacturing now occupies a 150,000 sq/ft production facility; One piece of equipment the governor asked about was the car crusher, or “logger,” which can turn an SUV into a refrigerator-sized package in roughly one minute. They also produce snow removal equipment is in use at such international airports as John F. Kennedy in New York.
The Hallmark store in Pella may be gone, but it’s former home won’t be empty for the big festival – An online boutique will take over the space at 635 Franklin Street during Tulip Time with a pop-up shop called The Pulse Boutique. Co-owner Mallory McClaflin said she and her sister, Mackenzie Schooley, wanted to host the pop-up store to expand and meet new people during Tulip Time. The Pulse Boutique was founded in 2012 by McClaflin and Schooley. Since then, the online shop has outgrown their parent’s basement and now ships over 5,000 orders a month to customers in the U.S. and Canada. The pop-up boutique will be open from Wednesday afternoon through Saturday afternoon during the festival.
Road construction will soon begin on a major Marion County roadway. Construction on Highway S45 from the intersection of Highway 5 and 92 to Melcher-Dallas, including a two mile stretch of G76, will begin the week of May 7th. During the 2-3 weeks of work the road will be limited to one lane so plan on delays.
According to Oskaloosa Fire Chief Mark Neff, Mahaska County is under a burn ban effective immediately. Due to high winds and dry conditions, no burning should be done until further notice.
A single vehicle car crash led to the driver being transported by Mercy One helicopter to Des Moines in rural Hamilton this afternoon. The driver, Dwight Bonnett, was driving westbound on Vermont St. before going off the road just before a bridge and overturning into a creek. Thankfully a passersby called 911; Bussey Fire Department was first to arrive on scene. Bussey firefighter Shantel Desplanque says Bonnett was conscious and talking with first responders, but was wedged in between the steering wheel and windshield. Additional emergency crews arrived on scene, as well as Mercy One helicopter, to help free Bonnett from the vehicle and out of the 10-15 foot ditch. Bonnett was transported to a Mercy Hospital in Des Moines and is in serious but stable condition.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Scott Randell Whitehead, age 54, and others with defrauding Vermeer Corporation. According to the indictment, Whitehead was Vermeer’s maintenance manager, and is alleged to have approved $3.6 million in invoices for products from two chemical companies, which were never received by Vermeer. Whitehead is also alleged to have received kickbacks from the two chemical companies: All Industrial Chemical of Hallendale Beach, Florida, and National Chemical Company of Davie, Florida. Whitehead is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
Spring-like weather finally arriving is now starting to show its impact on tulips in Pella ahead of the 83rd annual Tulip Time. According to city parks staff, multiple flower beds in the community are starting to show color, and they say many tulips will be blooming by next week if temperatures remain warm and the skies remain sunny. The National Weather Service has daytime highs in the 60s and low 70s expected over the next week, with little cloud cover anticipated.
Marion County Public Health is accepting diaper donations from residents to help serve families in Marion County. Rachel Garner with Marion County Public Health says diapers are often one of the biggest expenses for new parents struggling to pay bills or put food on the table, and often one of the first things cut which leads to stress on everyone in the household if the baby is not clean and happy. Donations of any brand, size, or style are accepted at Marion County Public Health located at 2003 N. Lincoln Street, Knoxville.