A sensational season continues for the spring sports teams at Pella High School. On Saturday, the Pella boys soccer team won the program’s first Class 2A state championship, defeating Storm Lake 3-2, coming back from a 2-1 deficit in the final six minutes of the game. At the same time the soccer game was ongoing, the Lady Dutch tennis team was playing for a state championship for the first time, but they ultimately fell to Columbus Catholic in the finals, with the 2nd place team finish the highest ever for the program.
The Pella City Council will consider next steps in developing a telecommunications utility in the community; at their regular meeting Tuesday, the council will review a resolution to approve a consulting services agreement with Farr Technologies of Sioux Falls to create a short-term plan and long-term strategy for extending telecommunications services to the citizens of Pella. If you’re hoping to get TV and internet from the city soon, don’t get too excited – there’s a lot of work ahead. For step 1 the city will do an extensive survey of current needs and existing infrastructure; if Farr Technology gets the thumbs up tomorrow from the city council the telecommunications utility plan should be done by September for consideration by the Pella City Council in October.
The Vermeer Charitable Foundation has gifted Lake View Camp $500,000 to help fund its church camp expansion campaign, bringing total gifts to $2.7 million. Lake View Camp executive director Diana Brummel said that plans are underway to expand its camp facilities, located on Highway T17, south of Pella and near Tracy. Plans for phase one of the expansion include adding a main lodge with a multipurpose common area, two cabin sets, with each set having three buildings that holds two sleeper cabins with 13 bunk beds, staff housing and an underground storm shelter. The camp’s expansion campaign needs to raise $2.3 million more to meet its threshold of $5.5 million to fund phase one of the project. Two hoped for future development phases would bring the total project cost to $20mm.
Students from Knoxville, Pella Christian, and Pleasantville all were honored in the annual Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards. Performers from the three schools have been invited to perform at the annual Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards showcase on Monday, June 4th at the Des Moines Civic Center. A panel of adjudicators, including performing arts professionals and educators, awarded Pella Christian’s fall production of Les Misérables with an Outstanding Overall Technical and Creative Achievement Award. Other honors include Special Recognition for a Performance in a Principal Role for: Thomas Dykstra, Mara Juffer, Colby De Vries, and Emma Stravers. Pleasantville will be honored in a special video shown at the Showcase, in celebration of its receipt of an Outstanding Overall Performance Award – one of the program’s highest
honors. Pleasantville has the unique honor of placing three students – Chance Bender, Avery Lauer, and Jack Ray – in the “Outstanding Performance” medley
The City of Oskaloosa has a new chief of police; an announcement was made this week that Benjamin Boeke to serve as the city’s next Chief of Police. The appointment of Boeke, from Rockford, Illinois, will be presented to the Mayor and City Council for approval during their next regularly scheduled meeting, June 4, 2018 at 6:00PM. Boeke’s start date with the department is anticipated to be June 5, 2018.
A national event recognizing fallen service members will make its way through Marion County, as the Run for the Fallen will stop in Pleasantville on June 11th. The Run for the Fallen takes place over a five month period, running from San Diego to Arlington Cemetery, and aims to honor the nearly 20,000 fallen service members since the USS Cole incident in 2000. The runners will start the day in Winterset before stopping in Pleasantville and ending the night attending a banquet in Knoxville, stopping once every mile to honor a different fallen service member. Gordon Mecham with the Pleasantville American Legion Post 108 says runners, volunteers, and donations for the event are needed; if you’d like to help you can e-mail Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway hopes to have tracks back to normal after a Sunday derailment near Ottumwa. The derailment happened about 1:50 p.m. and shut down both tracks the railway owns. Track one was returned to service shortly after 4am this morning, according to a statement on the company’s website, while there is no estimate for reopening Track two. Investigators are looking into what may have caused the derailment. Some railroad ties caught fire after the accident, but the rail cars and their coal did not; Thankfully no one was injured.
A transformer blow out caused nearly 1,900 people to be without power in Knoxville and rural Marion County at approximately 3am this morning. Mid-American Energy was able to restore power within several hours; an official cause of the transformer malfunction has not yet been released, but staff say the company has dealt with several power outages across the Midwest recently due to heat related issues.