U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack stopped by Lincoln Elementary this past Friday morning to tour the school with Principal Rich Schulte and to meet staff and students. Schulte said he hoped Loebsack enjoyed the building and all it has to offer the students. Loebsack was impressed with the layout of the elementary school and said he liked that Pella cares about its student’s education.
Pella’s Clothing Bank will permanently close its doors at the end of September. With all the thrift stores now open in the Tulip City, volunteer Ruth Huyser said the 31-year-old organization has served its purpose.
A chemical reaction between cleaning supplies on an old mop last Tuesday night caused the downtown Oskaloosa Pizza Ranch to fill with smoke before fire officials arrived to extinguish the chemical reaction. Thankfully there were no injuries – fire chief Mark Neff a cotton mop had some cleaning solution on it, which reacted with other chemicals, causing the restaurant to fill with smoke. Neff said had the incident occurred when the business was closed things could have been much worse.
It’s a girl! Sydnie Noelle Boender is officially the first baby to be born in the new Family Birthing Center at Pella Regional Health Center. Syndie, daughter of Oskaloosa residents Karl and Kristin Boender, made her grand entrance at 7:37am Tuesday morning. Chief Nursing Officer Yvonne O’Brien-Evans says the new space includes more rooms for labor/delivery and postpartum — 7 labor rooms, 3 postpartum rooms and 2 triage rooms, additional space in the nursery and expanded nursing station and waiting areas. It also offers a wide range of amenities for moms, families and visitors.
The Central College basketball teams are pitching in to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. University of Houston Head Men’s Basketball Coach Kelvin Sampson sent out a challenge to basketball coaches of all levels across the country to send t-shirts, shoes and other gear to Houston to provide for those in need. Dutch women’s basketball coach Joe Steinkamp took notice and started gathering program T-shirts, alongside Men’s Coach Craig Douma.
Hurricane Harvey may have left a mess in Texas, but Iowans are stepping up to the plate to help, including folks here in South Central Iowa. Convoys of equipment to help with the cleanup are coming from Iowa, including environmental gear like brush chippers and skid steers from the Vermeer Corporation in Pella. Liz Sporrer from Vermeer says the company has been in close contact with state and local officials to make sure the equipment gets to where it is needed most.
Students from Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont are breathing a sigh of relief after a school bus lost a wheel yesterday morning. An EBF bus was traveling northbound on County Road T-61, just south of the Cargill plant in Eddyville, when two of the four wheels supporting the rear of the bus suddenly broke off. The driver of the bus was able to bring the vehicle to a safe stop on the side of the road; none of the 12 students on the bus were injured.
The music and band program at Pella Christian High School got a boost recently thanks to US Bank – the music departments benefited from the US Bank “Community Possible Grant” program – Megan Joos, assistant relationship manager at US Bank in Pella, presented principal Dan Van Kooten with a grant check for $1,000.
The Oskaloosa School District has lots of smiling new faces this fall – at a recent event with current staff and community members 18 new instructors were welcomed to the Oskaloosa schools. Superintendent Russ Reiter said the new teacher orientation event was a great success.
Renewable energy is a hot topic in Iowa, and if you’d like to learn more about solar energy, Creation Care of Pella would love to have you join them on Sunday, September 10th for a tour of Pella’s three solar arrays. The tour starts at 2pm – it begins at Central College in the Roe Center parking lot and will visit Vermeer Corporation and Central College’s solar array and Central Iowa Power Cooperative’s Zon Veld, or solar field.
The city of New Sharon will be getting a new ambulance soon – the city council gave their approval last week to purchase the $142k vehicle, which will be registered in the city’s name. The New Sharon Fire and Ambulance Association will be responsible for payments; they’ll get some help with the final price of the vehicle thanks to a $6,500 trade-in credit and nearly $54,000 in funding from local businesses and grants.
Wappello county may need to get out the checkbook after a window inspection at the county courthouse revealed a number of problems. The Board of Supervisors knew the building needed new windows, but a review of the structure also revealed the need for new fire escapes and sprinklers to bring the building up to code. Supervisor Greg Kenning says an architect is reviewing the inspection engineers findings – the county will have a better idea of the cost once those recommendations have been received.
A field day is planned at the Logan Abandoned Mine Land Site east of Bussey on Sept. 7. Randy Cooney, abandoned mine land program project coordinator, and Seth Applegate from the Iowa State University Monarch Work group, will be guest speakers at the event. The field day will last from 10 a.m. to noon. Elizabeth Juchems, events coordinator and educator for Iowa State University, said the Logan site is one of the largest reclaimed areas in the state; she said a lot of work has been done to make the area safer including moving leftover materials that were left behind from the mining process.
Robots appear to be the wave of the future, and the Pella Career Academy is making sure students in South Central Iowa will be on the cutting edge. The Academy has added a new robotics course for students this fall; In a continued push to provide students with opportunities to experience real world jobs with connections to real world business, Pella Community High School is partnering with Vermeer Corporation to provide the class. Pella Community High School principal Eric Nelson says students with robotics experience will have no problem finding good paying jobs in the modern economy; he says the robotics course is also a good fit with classes like industrial technology and agriculture offered at the Career Academy. For its first year, two sections of Robotics I will be taught; one section each semester; Next year a Robotics II class will also be offered. Instructor Brent Bambrook says over 40 students are already enrolled in the class.
Agriculture secretary Bill Northey made a visit to South Central Iowa last week; he visited Oskaloosa last Tuesday as part of an effort to visit unique food or agriculture sites throughout the year. His destination? SHARE Iowa on South 7th Street, where he toured the facilities and learned about the packaged food distribution. SHARE Iowa started 18 years ago as a non-profit organization. Today, it is ran, maintained and labored by a large volunteer base. SHARE contacts food buyers from around the county to purchase high quality food at wholesale prices in large quantities. Volunteers come into the SHARE warehouse to sort, bag and assemble the food to ship out to our many SHARE distribution locations.