A Pella native came away with a blue ribbon for showing her goat at the Marion County Fair – in her first time showing livestock at the fair, Olivia DeHann-Burch said she was surprised to win class five in breeding doe kids. DeHann-Burch plans to show the goat again next year. Her advice to anyone thinking of showing livestock or pets for the first time – ask questions, learn from others, and work with your animals a lot.
Bears in south central Iowa? That’s the warning from the Mahaska County Sheriffs office, who say a black bear has been roaming in the area. The bear was initially sighted at the intersection of Highway-163 and 235th Street, walking through a bean field north of Oskaloosa. Over the past several weeks, the Iowa DNR noted there has been multiple reports of bear sightings in Iowa over the past several weeks; closest being in Tama and Iowa Counties. The DNR believes this bear is no danger to the public and will vacate the state eventually.
An environmental organization is encouraged by the sightings of two endangered snakes in Iowa. A massasauga rattlesnake in the Lower Cedar Valley Preserve in Muscatine, and a prairie rattlesnake in the Broken Kettle Grassland Preserve near Sioux City have both made appearances in the Hawkeye State.
Rain has been sparse here in the Hawkeye state, leading to drought conditions here in South Central Iowa. Moderate drought conditions are now in place throughout much of the area, with little relief in sight. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor Report, all of Marion County is rated either abnormally dry or in the moderate drought condition. Precipitation has been below normal during the past 90 days with deficits ranging from 3 to 6 inches. Dry conditions are expected to continue through the middle of next week, with potentially dangerous heat in the forecast late next week, so let’s all be praying for relief and rain.
The 4-H Expo grounds in Ottumwa went to the dogs yesterday afternoon as it hosted a dog obedience and dog agility show for youth. Previously held at the Bridge View Center, the new location has proved beneficial for the program, providing clinics for the kids to work with their dogs during the year leading up to the show. Elain Heisdorffer, supervisor of the dog obedience program, said about 24 young people participated in this year’s program.
An individual attempted to rob the Iowa State Savings Bank drive-up facility in Knoxville yesterday afternoon. Just before 1:30pm yesterday afternoon officers were called to the bank after a man brandishing a weapon attempted to enter the building by force. The suspect is a black male wearing dark clothing approximately 5’6 to 6’ tall wearing blue jeans and carrying a silver colored weapon; if you have any information about this incident, please contact the Knoxville police.
Adam Gregg is now over a month into his role as the acting Lt. Governor. The Central alum was recently in Marion County to tour storm damage, and says the education he received has played a big role in his life as a politician -Gregg said he’ll always be very thankful for the education he received at Central, which prepared him for a very rewarding career and also fostered his interest in public service.
VerMeer Development Inc. will be breaking ground on the first subdivision to be developed in Pleasantville in almost two decades. Springview will be located on the Northwest corner of the Pleasantville city limits just off Highway 5 – Groundbreaking is set for early August; phase 1 will be 9.5 acres and include 24 lots ranging in size from .25 to .66 acres. The first phase should be completed by the end of 2017.
Nearly $16 million of improvements to the city of Pella’s water system are approaching completion – Contractors have been working to complete a reverse osmosis treatment system at the Water Treatment Plant for a new Jordan well completed last year. The system is expected to be fully operational this fall.
Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg signed a pledge at their weekly press conference Monday to move over or slow down for utility maintenance vehicles on Iowa roads. Drivers who fail to heed Iowa’s Move Over, Slow Down law face a fine and the possibility of losing their driver’s license.
If you would like to sign the safety pledge, log on to www.MoveOverIowa.com.
In Ottumwa, the American Kennel Club has confirmed they investigated a professional dog handler after three dogs left in a hot vehicle during a weekend show at the Bridge View Center died. Ottumwa police have confirmed an investigation as well, though they have not said who is being targeted.
It’s taken nearly a decade, but plans for an environmental learning center in Mahaska County look like they are finally coming to life. The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors approved the expenditure of 3.675 million dollars or the center; funding will come from the sale of the old county farm, and the local option sales tax, which allowed for up to 20% to be used for the project. The delay in getting the project off the ground does mean it will cost more – Mahaska County Conservation Director Dave Sedivec says the plans are to have the building enclosed by this fall; Interior work on the new structure will take place over the winter months, with an official opening date slated for July 1st of next year. The Mahaska County Learning Center at Caldwell Park will become the primary nature center for the county, but some events will still be held at Russell Wildlife Center in the future.
Sarah Van Norden, a recent graduate of Pella Community High School, will participate in an international competition at the Kennedy Space Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida this month. She and a team of three other students from Pella Community High School competed in NASA’s Space Settlement Competition earlier this year. The project she will be working on for the competition at the Kennedy Space Station will be a secret until the actual event. In the fall, Van Norden plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa and study computer science.