The Knoxville Hospital and Clinics is getting a very welcome infusion of cash thanks to their local Rotary Club – a donation of $15,000 from the Knoxville Rotary Club will be used to help update the infusion center at the hospital. President elect for the Knoxville Rotary Club T. Waldman Williams says the donation is representative of the kind of projects Rotary Club is looking to support in the local community. CEO of the Knoxville Hospital and Clinics Kevin Kincaid says the funds will help purchase new blanket warmers and a new crash cart for the infusion center, as well as making the infusion center safer. The center provides outpatient infusions and injection services in a comfortable setting for patients who do not require hospitalization, but need to receive treatments.
If Tulip Time in Pella felt a bit more crowded this year than 2016, that’s because it was – that according to official estimates from the Pella Historical Society and Museums, who calculated that approximately 190,000 visitors passed through the Tulip City during the annual festival, compared to 150,000 last year. Val Van Kooten, director for the Historical Society, says about 40,000 people visited Pella on Thursday, 50,000 on Friday, and a whopping 100,000+ on Saturday.
Indian Hills College in Ottumwa is saying a big “thank-you” to the U.S. Soccer foundation, who recently awarded the community college a grant of $14,927. The funds will be used to install an irrigation system on the practice soccer field on the College’s North Campus. Indian Hills was one of just nine institutions to receive grant money from the U.S. Soccer Foundation; Athletic Director Brett Monaghan says the impact will be immediate, enhancing the practice field for the 75 players at the college and allowing increased soccer programming for area youth including camps, clinics and tournaments.
The U.S. House may have passed their version of healthcare reform legislation, but Joni Ernst says the US Senate will be taking a very thorough look at the bill to replace Obamacare. Because Sen. Ernst had not yet seen the bill, she said she was not sure how she would vote on a future healthcare bill from the Senate. She said in Iowa there’s an increased urgency for healthcare reform after the two health insurance companies – Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Aetna Health Insurance – will pull their coverage to individual under-65 policies that were taken out after Jan. 1, 2014 at the end of this year. Iowans will now have to take out a policy with Medica or Gunderson Health Plan under the Affordable Care Act. Ernst says she hasn’t been pressured by the White House to pass a bill, and says the Senate will take the time they need to pass the right legislation.
An attorney representing several families who own land that could possibly be taken through eminent domain for the proposed South Central Regional Airport has sent a letter to airport officials asking for a halt to the project. Gary Dickey, an attorney from Des Moines-based law firm of Dickey & Campbell Law Firm LLC, said he represents the Rempe Family, the Hasselman Family, John DeRooi, the Van Zomeren Family, the Barnard Family and the Prine Family, all of whom own land that is where the proposed airport would be theoretically built. The letter claims that since the land is in Mahaska County, and the county removed itself from the 28e agreement, the airport legally cannot take the land through eminent domain.
If you’d like to get a taste of life on the farm and get some hands-on experience using antique tools, Blue Gate farm will be the place to be on Sunday, 21st from 2-5pm. Jill Beebout, of Blue Gate Farm, will be hosting a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day event on her farm in southern Marion county. At the field day, Jill and nationally known antique implement expert Jeff Lauber, of Columbus Junction, will share their experience using vintage-era two-wheel tractors, a tool once common on small farms across the U.S. and still used in Europe. Beebout and Lauber will discuss their implements, as well as the benefits and challenges of specific models for vegetable production. Another exciting feature – the event will also feature a demonstration and hands-on portion where guests will get to try different models out in the field.
Picture-perfect weather helped drive attendance numbers up at one of the most highly-attended days ever during the 82nd annual Tulip Time celebration in Pella. Valerie Van Kooten with Pella Historical Society says the crowd Saturday was among the biggest she’s ever seen. The weekend parade included Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds as the dignitary of Saturday’s Volks Parade. This year’s festival also included a group of high school students from the Netherlands, who spent two weeks in the Tulip City thanks to a program organized by Central College Graduate Kate Van Wijck and host family coordinator Carrie Andringa. Van Wijck says the community’s Dutch hertiage made it a great fit for an educational opportunity.
Attempts to revitalize the downtown area of Oskaloosa are continuing as the city is about to embark on project that will rehabilitate the facades of 16 buildings in heart of the community. This project builds on the momentum of the many other revitalization efforts in the community, which include the development of “The Alley”, the “Christmas in July” celebration, and the holiday-themed “Painting with Lights.” Construction will begin on approximately May 10 and is expected to last through the end of the calendar year – the Sherwin Williams and Hunter’s buildings will be some of the first to get a much-anticipated face lift.
The first parade of Tulip Time was highlighted by surprised tears of joy as a military couple stationed in Germany made an unexpected visit to Pella for Tulip Time. Sgt. Brian Bushnell of the U.S. Army his wife Tiffany, and daughter Emma surprised Brian’s parents Ruth and Michael during the afternoon Volks Parade Thursday. Brian has been stationed in Germany since June 2014 and around the globe since 2010; this was the first time he’s been home for Tulip Time in seven years. The American Legion in Pella helped pull off the surprise on their parade float near the Pella Ambulance building, where Mike Bushnell serves as an EMT.
A Pella High School alumna, her friends, and family are rallying to find hope for those suffering from various blood disorders this Tulip Time. Isabelle Hall graduated from Pella in 2016 and started classes at the University of Northern Iowa this past fall. She began experiencing extreme fatigue, and over Christmas break she was diagnosed with Aplastic anemia, a condition that occurs when the body stops producing enough new blood cells. A marrow donor registry drive will be held today from 3 to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sequoia Fitness through emBellish on 605 Franklin Street in Pella. Family friend Lori Parisee says all that is needed is a cheek swab to begin the process of finding matches for those waiting for marrow donations.