Folks who call the Tulip City their home would like to see more restrooms, parking, a dog park and zoning changes to allow for a brewery – that’s the word from the Pella Area Community and Economic Alliance, or PACE, who recently completed a survey of area residents. 768 people responded to the survey – 53% were between the ages of 26 and and 44. The purpose of the survey was to collect useful information so the alliance could recommend improvements to council on what the respondents stated they would like to see in Pella, and then give some requests to city staff to move toward those recommendations.
A second-straight state title was not to be, but the Oskaloosa Indian softball team still closed out its 2017 season with a third-place finish. Fourth-seeded Oskaloosa (31-13) opened its title defense with a 3-2 win over #5 seed Mount Pleasant Tuesday. The Indians unfortunately were then moved to the consolation side with a 3-1 loss to top-seeded and eventual state champion Winterset Thursday. OHS rebounded well, though, on Friday by crushing #7 seed Charles City 14-1 in the third-place contest.
Tasty BBQ is coming to Pella courtesy of Ottumwa-based restaurant Bubba-Q’s – the restaurant will be calling the Pella’s Bos Landen Golf Club it’s newest home. Originally starting as a catering business, Bubba-Q’s restaurant serves barbecued meat made with the restaurant’s homemade sauces, rubs and marinades. The two resolutions passed by council Tuesday evening will allow Bubba-Q’s restaurant to sublease the restaurant area in Bos Landen. Improvements will need to be made to the facility to accommodate for Bubba-Q’s business for equipment, like the barbecue smoker and meat cooler.
Oskaloosa High School graduate Leah Van Maanen was crowned the 2017 Southern Iowa Fair Queen, with Kara De Bruin selected as runner-up.. The Fair Queen candidates for the 2017 Southern Iowa Queen Pageant included Van Maanen and De Bruin, as well as Jessie Eveland, Megan Eveland and Alissa Newendorp. Van Maanen was selected after a brief interview and a question session with each of the candidates.
Class rankings are a thing of the past as Pella’s students will no longer have class rank on their transcript when they graduate from Pella Community High School. This decision was made during Monday’s school board meeting and was unanimous; staff recommended removing class rank after determining that the title was hurting, not helping, some of the high achieving students at Pella Community High School who had a 4.0 Grade Point Average, but still did not end up in the top 10 percent of their class. Superintendant Greg Ebeling said colleges concentrate more on GPA, ACT and SAT scores rather than class rank.
An unidentified Oskaloosa firefighter suffered unknown injuries Tuesday after falling through a hole at a residential house fire. Oskaloosa fire Capt. Daniel Hoy said the firefighter was transported to Mahaska Health Partnership for treatment. His condition was not known. There were no other injuries reported and the house in the 400 block of North Fourth Street was unoccupied at the time of the fire.
Things got a bit more smokey than they would have liked at In’t Veld’s Meat market last week as a fire broke out at the popular business in Pella. Pella’s fire department were called to In’t Veld’s Meat Market around 4 p.m. last Thursday in response to a report that the back of the business was on fire – thankfully emergency crews were able to extinguish the blaze in less than an hour. The fire was contained in the smokehouse, said Pella Fire Chief Doug Van Gorkom, which prevented the fire from moving to any other part of the business or damaging any other part of the business – no one was injured in the incident.
Students at Evans Middle School in Ottumwa won’t be allowed to use cellphones during lunch periods this year. In explaining the policy, school principal Steve Zimmerman says the administration is just being proactive in their efforts to teach young people proper use of technology. While the issue of cyber bullying was mentioned during discussion of the cellphone policy at the last school board meeting, Zimmerman said that prevention of bullying is more a byproduct of the change than the reason for it. Evans, which teaches students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades, is a PBIS school, Zimmerman said, and uses Positive Behavior Intervention Supports to help students learn proper behavior in person as well as online.
Oskaloosa was host to a very special visitor this past week, when former ABC News Anchor Steve Bell came back to visit the place he called home. Steve and his wife Joyce, the “Two kids from North B” were welcomed back to the town that gave them their start in life. Bell said his visit was great fun, and he feels its a privilege to come back to a place with so many good memories, including his time at radio station KBOE and WOI. Steve’s big break came in the summer of 1967 when he was called upon by ABC to report on the Newark Riots from July 12th – 17th, which led to a post as national correspondent for ABC radio in 1968.
Vermeer Chair Mary Andringa and her husband Dale received a special gift on a recent trip to a Vermeer facility in China. Mary says they were able to be a part of Vermeer’s family day celebration, where they met a special group of children from the Agape Family Life House, an orphanage focused on caring for children with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Over the past three years, the Vermeer China team has been working with the children, providing donations and hosting various events and activities. During the celebration, a few artists in the Agape House painted pictures of the Vermeer Job Buddies, which were presented to the Andringas as a gift to the children at Yellow Iron Academy in Pella.