Flags in the state of Iowa are flying at half-mast today in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks 16 years ago. Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered all flags in Iowa at half-staff from sunrise to sunset as part of Patriot Day; Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex; they’ll also be half-staff on all public buildings, grounds and facilities throughout the state.
Thistles Floral & Accent Shop is growing as work began recently to expand the business into the entire space at 832 Main Street. The historic location celebrates its 120th birthday this year; when work is complete in addition to its current location Thistles will also occupy the once-popular Soda Jerk ice cream shop. According to owner Lois Vermeer, the expansion will allow for more room to design floral arrangements for weddings and funerals, the possibility of demonstrations or classes and creating a more do-it-yourself friendly atmosphere.
Fall colors may arrive early this year thanks to drought conditions in the Hawkeye State – dry conditions haven’t gotten worse, but they haven’t improved either- that’s the word from the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report. Crops are being hit hard, and there are signs of stress with other plants as well. That could have an effect on when the best colors show up this fall. This year, official predictions show fall color in Marion County will nearly peak by about Oct. 1 and should peak by Oct. 8. That’s two to three weeks earlier than normal.
The driver of the tractor in Mahaksa County that ran into a farm building on Tuesday morning after a medical incident occurred has died. On Wednesday, September 6th, Jerry Allen Barrickman passed away while in the care of the Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. Barrickman was 54 years old.
The devastation in the Houston area brought on by Hurricane Harvey set off an outpouring of support from all over the country, including a local effort at William Penn University. Last week, WPU sent off two large shipments containing hundreds of t-shirts and other clothing items to the University of Houston. Their efforts came about after University of Houston head basketball coach Kelvin Samson made a general request for schools to send 20 t-shirts and a few pairs of shoes – the response at William Penn was overwhelming, with over a thousand clothing items and dozens of shoes donated to help the relief effort.
During a quick meeting Tuesday evening, Pella’s City Council approved the special event permit for Pella Christian High School’s Reunion Fun Run. The event will take place on at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30. Approximately 100 attendees are expected to participate in the run.
An accident involving a farm tractor running into a building in Oskaloosa is thought to be the result of medical condition – that’s the official word from the Mahaska County Sheriff’s office, who were dispatched to 1833 Indian Way on Tuesday morning after the incident occurred. A Mahaska County Secondary Roads employee was driving the tractor when the medical issue took place; the employee was extricated from the tractor, transported to the Mahaska Heath Partnership Emergency Room and air lifted to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines in critical condition. Damage to the tractor is estimated at $5,000; about $25,000 in damage occurred to the farm building.
The Knoxville High School was excited to show of their newly renovated gym at a grand re-opening celebration this past Tuesday. Knoxville High School Activities Directory Ryan Rump saysthe gym floor was stripped and repainted for the first time in 20 years ; the school added new scoreboards and a new panther mural as well. A ceremony was held just prior to the start of the varsity volleyball game in which the school gave thanks to everyone who contributed to the renovation.
Pella-area homeschooled students Ethan Poulter and Adam Houtz are back in the States after serving alongside missionaries in Zambia for the past six weeks. Poulter and Houtz had wanted to go on a mission trip this summer, and with a connection from their uncle and help from Liberty Evangelical Free Church were able to spend time with children at an orphanage, help build a church, and also lend a hand to a woman who was starting her own business. Both young men hope to be missionaries someday, and felt the trip was a great way to get some first-hand experience of missionary life.
The blades will soon be turning north of Oskaloosa as Blattner Energy from Avon, MN wraps up construction on a new wind farm. A total of 84 turbines can now be seen on both sides of Highway 63 between Oskaloosa and New Sharon; MidAmerican Energy will purchase the turbines from Blattner, which will provide about 168 megawatts of renewable energy to Iowa customers.
Their 42-game winning streak is tied for the 3rd longest in Iowa high school football history, but this past Friday night that streak came to an end for the Pella Dutch football team, as they lost to Dallas Center-Grimes 10-7. Pella was shut out for the first half–the first time that had happened since their last loss against Washington in 2013. Head Coach Jay McKinstrey says hat while the winning run was fun, it’s time to focus on district play and bouncing back when they return to their home field after four quarters of hard fought football.
Another Pella team experienced a less than glorious landmark this past weekend as well, as the Central College football team suffered the second worst defeat in the program’s history. Whitworth jumped to a 49-0 lead Saturday over the Central College football team and rolled to a 56-13 victory; it was the second largest margin of defeat in Dutch football history, behind only Central’s 61-6 loss to St. Ambrose in 1951. Central hopes to right the ship next weekend when they face off against Augustana of Illinois.
An Ottumwa group is saddling up as they prepare to ride horseback all the way to a rodeo in Fort Madison. The Ottumwa Saddle Club has made the annual trek for the past quarter century; about 20 people will ride by horse this year, with an equal number in vehicles carrying all the necessary equipment. The group set out around 8:30 on Labor Day, and will need to travel about 25 miles each day in order to reach their destination on time this Thursday.