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Category Archives: Local News

Local News 5.23.2017

Pleasantville high school put on an outstanding production of “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” for their fall musical, and now their hard work is being rewarded – the school was recently notified the production will receive recognition at the 2017 Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards.  In their first year entering submissions to the awards show, Pleasantville High School will be receiving awards for distinguished scene, as well as outstanding achievement in stage management for stage manager Jack Lauer. The musical also received special recognition for performance in a leading role for Jack Ray for his performance as Snoopy.

Giving young people a different view of the world is something a new Big Brothers and Big Sisters program aims to do when it hopefully gets underway this coming school year in Oskaloosa.  Resident Steve Burnett says the new program will allow young men and women to become better prepared for life through relationships with mentors.  The Oskaloosa Big Brothers/Big Sisters program hopes to eventually serve up to 50 youth at a time; right now the program – which is partnering with the Mahaska County YMCA –  is in the initial fundraising stage – they need about $50,000 to get started and would like to have funding in place to cover the first 3 years of operation

Local News 5.22.2017

A Pella native is heading back to Washington, D.C., where she will serve as the third-highest ranking official in the U.S. Attorney General’s Office. Rachel Brand, a 1991 Pella Christian graduate, has been confirmed as the Associate Attorney General. U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and says Brand will do well in the role.  Brand has previously served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy in the George W. Bush administration and was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

The Oskaloosa Music Festival (OMF) is gearing up for its eighth year of show-stopping classical music from May 31st through June 9th. OMF brings two back-to-back weeks of music performance and education to the city of Oskaloosa.  The first week, “Mahaska Masterworks,” (May 31st – June 3) brings professional string players from across the country to Oskaloosa; some of their many activities include free lunchtime concerts.  The second week, the “String Chamber Music Camp,” (June 5 – June 9) offers an opportunity to students from across the region to work directly with Lux String Quartet in an intensive day camp.

Local News 5.19.2017

The estate of one of the victims in the Pella Walmart crash is suing the Walmart Corporation and the driver of the vehicle that slammed through the front of the store last December.  According to court records, Kristine Kohrs is the executor of the Lindsey Rietveld estate, and through an attorney filed a civil suit in Marion County District Court today against Walmart, Dennis Mockenhaupt, Transystems Corporation, and BRR Architecture.  The lawsuit claims Walmart and those in charge of designing the store were negligent in providing proper safety barriers. The document claims the bollards placed during the store’s construction were decorative in nature and spaced too far apart. It also says the design of the parking lot contributed to the speed the truck was able to gain before making impact.  The suit also alleges that Mockenhaupt negligently operated his vehicle.  The Rietveld estate is seeking monetary and punitive damage from the companies listed in the lawsuit.  A total of seven counts were submitted by the Rietveld Estate. The plaintiff also requested a trial by jury.


The 14th-ranked class 1-A Pella Christian girls soccer team edged #15 in class 2-A Newton last night, 1-0, allowing Pella Christian to tie the school record for most victories in a season.  The only goal of the game came in the 24th minute, when Lindsay Breon found a streaking Laura DeZwarte, who put the ball in the back of the net.  With eight wins in their last nine matches, Pella Christian is 11-4,  & 3-3 in the league. They’ll wrap up Little Hawkeye Conference play next Tuesday with a home match against Oskaloosa, then close out the regular season two nights later with another home contest against Des Moines Christian.  

Several local athletes will be running for a state title on Saturday as the first day of the State Track and Field Meet got underway yesterday. Two Pella runners will go for the gold in the 200 meters as Emily Vos and Annika Pingel were second and third respectively in their preliminary race. Also running in the 200 was Knoxville’s Abbey Jackson. Her time of :22.62 was 18th and did not qualify her for the final. Pella Christian’s Evie Armstrong was able to qualify for the final in the class 2A girls 100 with the seventh best time of :12.88.  Emily Vos will run for a state title in class 3A in the 100 as she set the sixth fastest time at :12.35. Knoxville’s Katie Keitges in her first career event at state nailed a tenth place in the 400 with a time of :59.75.  PCM will have some qualifiers as Noah Anderson will run for a state title in the class 2A 200. His time was the eighth best during preliminary action at :22.68. Pleasantville boys shuttle hurdle relay squad will run in the finals after a heat time of 1:00.89 in 2A and Pella will also run for a state title in 3A with a time of :59.86. Twin Cedars’ Jake Crozier was the only class 1A participant from Marion County as he placed fifth in the shot put with a throw of 50 feet 8.5 inches.

Local News 5.18.2017

Twenty-seven students from around the country won scholarships through Pella Rolscreen Foundation’s 2017 Sons and Daughters Scholarship Program. The winners were graduating high school seniors of Pella Corporation team members representing company sites and sales subsidiaries located in Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Texas. The students and their parents were honored at a dinner held at company headquarters in Pella on May 9.Four-year recipients received a $2,000 annual scholarship and two-year recipients received a $750 annual scholarship.

Numerous large severe thunderstorm warnings were issued as a fast-moving system brought strong winds to Marion County and the surrounding area – a line of strong storms triggered numerous warnings in the area between 3:50 and 5:30pm.  Wind gusts in excess of 60 miles per hour were reported west of Monroe, on Highway 163 in Pella, and at the Highway 92-5 interchange south of Pleasantville during the height of the storm from 4:30 to 5 p.m. Numerous power outages were reported near Prairie City as well.

On Sunday, May 7th, The Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont Concert Band competed in the Worlds of Fun Festival of Music in Kansas City, Missouri. The EBFHS Band placed 1 st in class 2A competition.  The band also earned a Division I rating for the 2 nd time in EBF Band history at this prestigious contest.  This is the 5th time that the EBFHS Concert Band has placed 1 st at this competition.


One of the highest honors given annually in Iowa High School football will stay in the Tulip City.  Pella Christian’s Levi Jungling received the 2016 Ed Thomas “Mr. Football” Award last night at the school’s annual awards night. Jungling follows 2015 winner Noah Clayberg and 2014 recipient Garret Jansen.  The honor, named for Legendary Aplington-Parkersburg head coach, is give by the Iowa Newspaper Association annually to recognize one high school player for his outstanding achievement on the football field and commitment to family and faith beyond the gridiron.  Jungling says he has family that attended Aplington-Parkersburg schools and had a connection with Coach Thomas, which made the honor extra special.  Levi is the reigning captain of the Class 1A Iowa High School Football team and finished as the state’s all-time leader in receiving yards. He’s headed to Dordt College this fall to play wide receiver for the upstart Defenders.

In Track, All seven area schools are represented at the Iowa State High School Track and Field Meet starting this afternoon at the Drake Blue Oval, and a total of 64 events are competing, 28 on the boys side and 36 on the girls. Here is the preview for the events going on day one.  Pella leads the way with a girls squad with their eyes on a state title, and have eight events to start the day today.  Knoxville Freshman Katie Keitges cleaned up at the state qualifiers and is running in four separate events.

Local News 5.17.2017

A swipe of a Marion County Bank debit card is earning high marks for local schools, as the Pella and Pella Christian Schools recently received $18,000 from the bank’s Report Card program.  Administrators at the schools were handed checks yesterday by bank staff as part of the program.  A total of 3372 Marion County Bank debit cards have earned $145,729.16 in donations to local schools through the life of the Report Card program, which allows debit card customers to support one of 13 local schools.

Knoxville elementary students got a taste of the farm yesterday as Knoxville High School students played host to Elementary Farm Day.  Knoxville High School Teacher Tiffany Johnston’s Advanced Animal Science students as well as FFA students brought farm animals to the high school lawn for West Elementary students to have a chance to see and pet as well as to learn more about them.  Knoxville High School Student Caleb Hall says the event gives elementary school students a chance to learn more about the animals and how they are used on the farm.

Two Oskaloosa residents are dead after a car crashed south of Grinnell; two other Oskaloosa residents sustained injuries as well.  The accident happened on I-80 near mile marker 146 – The initial report states that the northbound vehicle crossed the centerline striking the southbound vehicle head on.  Those killed include: Paul Randall, age 31, of Grinnell,  Rosa Santos, age 65, of Oskaloosa and Lourdes Taylor, age 67, also of Oskaloosa; Gloria Smallwood, age 59, and Thomas Taylor, age 69, both of Oskaloosa, were injured.


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