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Category Archives: Local News

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.

Local News 5.16.2017

You can get some exercise and support a great cause at the same time tomorrow morning in Knoxville at the 7th annual VA2K Walk and Roll.  The event will start in front of the Knoxville VA Clinic located at 1607 North Lincoln street and runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – participants will get a chance to come together and help homeless veterans in Marion County.  Some of the things our homeless veterans need include Laundry Detergent, Alarm Clocks, New Bike Helmets
Men’s clothing, Pillows, Raincoats, Umbrellas, Ponchos, Cleaning Supplies, Backpacks, and Laundry Bags – so if you plan to participate, try to bring one of more of these items on that list. 

Roads across Marion County are improving as construction crews work on several projects in the area.  Marion County Engineer Tyler Christian says construction crews have been working diligently on Lisbon Drive and Highway G40 – crews just completed asphalt patching on Libson Drive, and have now moved on the asphalt surface overlay – if weather cooperates that project should be done by the end of the week.  Christian says Highway G40 will be closed beginning next week for about a month; after that it will operate with one lane for 2-3 weeks until work is completed – those estimates of course depend on a stretch of nice weather here in South Center Iowa.  


The 14th ranked Pella Christian girls soccer team made it eight wins in their last night match with a home victory over Ottumwa last night, 7-0.  Sophomore Lindsay Breon continued her impressive play with four goals in just 22 minutes, Cailey Terpstra chipped in a goal and two assists, Laura DeZwarte tallied a goal and an assist, Anna Van Zee added a goal and Annika Terpstra assisted twice.  Coach Mike Buchheit says the most impressive part of the evening was that all roster eligible players played heavy minutes in a balanced team effort.  The shutout was their sixth of the season, tying a school record. They’ll have a chance to break that record, and tie the school record of 11 victories, when they travel to Newton for a tough Little Hawkeye Conference match on Thursday. The Eagle girls are 10-4 this season. The Eagle boys improved to 9-5 on the season with a 2-1 road win over Albia last night.  The Blue Demons struck first, putting their first shot of the night into the back of the net in the 11th minute.  But Pella Christian answered with a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half, both scored by Alex Brouwer on assists from Eddie Pringle.  Coach Gerritt Brouwer says his club had many chances to extend the lead in the second half, but were thwarted by a talented Albia keeper. However, the defense played well enough to keep the Blue Demons at bay and preserve the victory.

Local News 5.15.2017

More than 300 people gathered at the Vermeer Pavilion Saturday night to celebrate individuals with special needs at the first annual “Night of Stars” prom.  The event was created by the Launching Arrows organization; Director of Launching Arrows Keslie Sheets says the Night of Stars prom was meant to recognize those that are often overlooked in our community and bring them together to celebrate their value and worth as unique individuals; The Pella Knights of Columbus held a special red carpet event prior to the dance as another way to make the night extra special.  

As citizens we owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women who work to keep our communities safe, and today is a day set aside to remember those who paid the ultimate price to do so – in 1962 President John F Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which the date falls as National Police Week.  Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.  Here in Marion County Knoxville Officer M.A. “Bert” Conrey, Officer Virgil Behrens, Marion County Deputy Harold Gates, and Pella Police Officer John Van Haaften all died on duty.

Local News 5.12.2017

Workers in the waste, recycling, and utility industry will hopefully be safer on the job thanks to legislation enacted by Governor Terry Brandstad, who recently signed the  Slow Down to Get Around law.  Lyle Vander Meiden with Midwest Sanitation and representatives from Pella Cooperative Electric helped create Iowa’s version of this law, which categorizes waste, recycling, and service vehicles as “utility vehicles” and thus requires motorists to slow down and move out of the way or face penalties.  Vander Meiden says the law goes into effect on July 1, 2017, and requires motorists to slow down, safely change lanes if possible and operate with caution around waste and recycling trucks when safety lights are flashing, similar to traveling through a construction work zone or passing a stopped public safety or emergency vehicle.  Vander Meiden says he was prompted to contact local legislators after two crashes involving Midwest Sanitation trucks happened in Pella last summer.

A dozen giddy Oskaloosa Middle School sixth grade students tumbled off their school bus the afternoon of Tuesday, May 2nd, after emerging victorious in the Great Prairie Area Education Agency (AEA) Sixth Grade Math Bee in Fairfield.  A team comprised of Anderson Keough, Lucy Roach, Cael Butler and Jack Rothfus won first place in the competition. The third place team included Elliot Nelson (who won third place overall), Dylan Patzel, Zane Isley and Lawson Morris.  Math Bee coaches Brett Doud and Molly McCaulley seemed almost as excited as their pupils; McCaulley said the key to their success was lots of practice and meeting with the students one-on-one regularly.


Marion County will be more than well represented when local schools travel to Drake Stadium next week for the State Track and Field meet.  Numerous athletes from Pella, Knoxville, Pella Christian, PCM, Pleasantville, and Twin Cedars have their sights set on competing at the famous Blue Oval after a successful night in the district meets Thursday.  The evening–and their home track – belonged to Pella, as the Lady and Little Dutch swept up their respective district titles. The Lady Dutch scored 201 points and had 18 automatic state qualifying events, while Pella’s boys racked up 137 team points to take home the team banner, with ten automatic bids.  Pella’s girls also broke school records with Emily Vos in the 100 meters (12.12), Emma Thoreson in the 100 hurdles (14.69), 4×100 (49.38), and 4×200 (1:44.55) races.  Senior thrower for the Lady Dutch Elizabeth Jansen threw her way into her first ever state appearance in the shotput, and says she looks forward to the challenge.  Junior Sprinter and Hurdler Avery Van Zee will compete in four events next week, and his performance last night helped the team earn the district crown.  Van Zee tells says he didn’t expect the amount of success they achieved, but looks forward to see how it translates at state.  Knoxville was also at the Pella site and will be sending athletes from the boys and girls teams to state. Freshman Katie Keitges earned trips to the Blue Oval in all four races she competed in, including the 400, 800, and 1500 meters, as well as the distance medley relay. Trent Davis was 2nd in the 110 meter hurdles, long jump, and the distance medley for the Panthers boys.