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Category Archives: Local News

Local news 3.6.2017

The Knoxville Hospital & Clinic is receiving a gift thanks to Peoples Bank in Pleasantville – the organization is donating their old building in downtown Pleasantville to the hospital.  This is great news for the hospital, which was been running a medical clinic in the city of Pleasantville for the past 12 years.  Knoxville Hospital and Clinics CEO Kevin Kincaid says he couldn’t be more happy about the donation, which he says came about all because of a simple idea that someone suggested to the bank.  Peoples Bank will soon break ground on a 4,000 square foot facility at the intersection of Highway 5 and West Jasper Street.

A single engine plane made an unexpected emergency landing in rural Mahaska County on Thursday evening.  A small single engine Piper Warrior 2 registered to Indian Hills Community College took off Thursday evening with an instructor and a student aboard. When the aircraft began to experience trouble, the instructor took control, landing it at the intersection of Osburn Avenue and 305th street, between 4 and 5pm on Thursday. Thankfully according to Mahaska County Sheriff Russ Van Renterghem, no one was injured in the incident and the airplane suffered no damage due to the forced landing.

Pella senior Kiara Bradley and Indianola junior Grace Berg were named to the all-tournament teams Saturday at the girls state basketball tournament.  Bradley scored 18 points in a 4-A first round game as the Lady Dutch beat Lewis Central 47-43 before scoring 6 points in a semifinal loss to Marion.  Berg put up a class 5-A record 36 points in a 77-67 victory over Johnston in the quarterfinals then scored 11 as the Indians were beaten for the first time this season by Cedar Falls in the semifinals, 48-44. She played all 64 minutes in Indianola’s two game.

Joe Burch has resigned as Pella High wrestling coach.  Burch wrestled for the Little Dutch under the late Bill Van Horn, spent three years as an assistant coach while at Central College, and has been the head coach the past nine seasons.  Burch cited family reasons for his resignation, as his wife is pregnant with their second child. He’ll continue to be the gym teacher at Jefferson Intermediate, and plans to continue coaching eighth grade football.

Local News 3.3.2017

The Marion County Attorney’s Office will not file charges related to the crash at the Pella Walmart that killed three and injured two others this past December.  County Attorney Ed Bull says the decision was made based on reports completed by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Iowa State Patrol.  Bull felt there was no evidence to suggest Dennis Mockenhaupt intended to drive into the store, and that he was not under the influence of alcohol or any legal or illegal drugs when the truck slammed through the front doors of the Pella Walmart at approximately 48 MPH.  After speaking with witnesses, investigators also concluded that there was no evidence Mockenhaupt was in an agitated state at the time.  On December 1st, 2016, a silver Ford pickup driven by Mockenhaupt accelerated through the front of the store at 9:53 a.m. Carrie Zugg, 31, of Leighton; Lindsey Rietveld, 29, of Bussey; and Ruth Jean DeJong, 76, of Pella were all killed in the accident. The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office conducted autopsies of the three victims and determined all three died from trauma as a result of the collision with the truck.

Local News 3.2.2017

Hearts are getting bigger as a fundraiser aimed at supporting Hospice of Pella grew once again this year.  Pella Regional Health Center Community Foundation Director Jesse Underwood says 280 people raised more than $135,000 at the event to directly impact hospice programs and offset operational losses the hospital incurs to maintain a high level of care in the program.  Manager of Hospice Karol Watson says Pella Regional aims to provide great hospice care, and the February 18th Hearts for Hospice event allows them to continue their mission.

A teacher at Twin Cedars High School is being recognized for her innovative approach to teaching science – Mauree Haage has been named a district winner in the Shell Science Lab Challenge.  The competition involves middle and high school science teachers who’ve found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources – schools involved have the chance to win a $20,000 science lab makeover.  Haage is one of 18 district winners named, next five national finalists will be chosen, and then a grand prize winner will be selected.

A Grinnel psychiatrist was sentenced to two months in prison for charges related to health care fraud.  Prosecutors say Dr. Richard Hauser was sentenced Tuesday in Des Moines after pleading guilty last October; Hauser operated a clinic under the name Prevention Systems Inc. – he submitted false claims to Iowa Medicaid and Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa for more expensive services that weren’t performed.

Local News 3.1.2017

The warmest February ever recorded in South Central Iowa ended with a bang yesterday as a severe thunderstorm warning for part of the area was declared around 4pm.  The warning affected east central Marion County and western Mahaska County as a storm fired up ahead of a cold front.  Small hail was reported east of Melcher-Dallas as a thunderstorm passed through the affected area just before 4 p.m.. February ended as the warmest in Marion County on record, with an average of 49.9 degrees, according to climate data provided by the National Weather Service.

It was a heartbreaking night for the Oskaloosa boys basketball team yesterday, who were one win away from their first trip to the state basketball tournament since 1996.  The Indians faced off against #4 Mount Pleasant in the class 3A substate final in Fairfield – the Indians led their opponents for most of the 1st quarter before Mt. Pleasant pulled even.  Unfortunately after that it was all Panthers, who held the Indians to just 26 second half points, eventually winning 70-40.  Mt. Pleasant finishes the season with a 22-2 record; the loss broke a 5-game winning streak for the Indians, who finish the season with a very respectable 15-9 record.

A group of Iowans is hoping to save the monarch butterfly – Nearly 40 agriculture, conservation, business, utility and government groups, calling themselves the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium, have created a 135-page plan providing farmers, backyard gardeners and others with a road map for boosting monarch butterfly habitat in Iowa.  About $4 million has been invested in building research, adding demonstration habitat plots and other initiatives since 2014.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering protecting monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act. Supporters of the protection say farming in the Midwest is among the reasons for monarch’s decline.

Local News 2.28.2017

Joan Kuyper Farver, who served as Chair of the Board at the Pella Corporation from 1981 to 1995, passed away yesterday in her home at the age of 97.  Joan was well known for her philanthropy work in the community, including the Pella Community Center auditorium that bears her name and her numerous contributions to Central College and other organizations throughout the community.  She and other descendants from the Kuyper and Farver families have maintained private ownership of the Pella Corporation since its inception.

A bedrock member of the Knoxville community was lost yesterday as well as Sprint Car racing Legend Ralph Capitani passed away.  A long-time promoter of the race track, Capitani was born in 1932 in the coal mining town of Oralabor, south of Ankeny. He was an all-conference halfback for UNI in 1953 and held school records for the number of passes attempted, and the number of passes completed for many years. A beloved teacher of social studies at the Knoxville High School, Capitani took over as the track’s race director and promoter in 1978. He retired from the track after the 2011 season.

It was a nail-biter, but after trailing by 4 points coming into the 4th quarter the Pella boys basketball team kept their composure and emerged victorious over Grinnell 55-53, earning them a spot once again in the state tournament.  Ryan Van Wyk led Pella with 14 points, Drew Pringle added 13 and Donovan Holterhaus scored 11 to go along with his game high 9 rebounds.  Pella improves to 22-2 and advances to next week’s state tournament. The brackets will be announced tomorrow afternoon.

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