If you get an e-mail saying a US Postal Service package delivery failed, watch out! It could very well be a scam. Officials say scams like these have recently been targeting residents in Marion County – Scammers send fake emails with the subject line: USPS Delivery Failure Notification, or a similar variation. It then instructs the recipient to click on a link, which actually installs malicious software on their device that can access sensitive information like addresses, bank accounts, and social security numbers. If you get an e-mail like this, the post office says the best thing to do is just delete the message and contact them if you have any questions or concerns.
If you live in Oskaloosa and love chili, you’ll want to head over to William Penn University tonight, where the first ever “Party and Chili” event is being held at the PAC. There’ll be free chili dogs, drinks, kids’ activities, popcorn and movies at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Although the event is free, donations will be taken to benefit the New Hope Community Center, which hopes to open a soup kitchen in the near future. A call also goes out to anyone who has a great chili recipe – A competition will be held to see who can create the best chili and have a chance to claim the “Golden Ladle” prize.
Most of us woke up to just a light dusting on snow here in South Central Iowa, but up north folks got walloped with the white stuff, with Mason City reporting 15″ falling in big storm yesterday. Emmetsburg and Dakota City saw around 10 inches, while the corridor from Fort Dodge to Waverly received between 6 to 8 inches. Some “thundersnow” — a rare instance of heavy snowfall alongside lightning and thunder — was reported late Tuesday night in northern Iowa, in areas along Interstate Highway 35 between Ames and Mason City. The Iowa State Patrol responded to 43 crashes between noon Tuesday and noon Wednesday across the state, said Sgt. Nathan Ludwig, patrol spokesman. Since that time, 13 more accidents occurred as of 6 p.m., he said.
A family in Marion County is hoping their business can rise from the ashes after a devastating fire – Lambirth Enterprises in Attica burned to the ground Tuesday night, with flames shooting 20 feet into the air at times. One employee trapped in the fire had to leap from a second story window; he landed on his father on the way down and both were injured. Lambirth Enterprises, an auto shop which Curtis Lambirth’s dad and grandfather helped create, is now unrecognizable. Owner Curtis Lambirth now hopes to rebuild and keep the family business going.
Fewer high school students in Pella are going to college, but the ones that do are getting more degrees – that’s the word from Principal Eric Nelson, who shared a Clearinghouse Student Tracker Report as part of his update on the high school. 71% of the Class of 2016 attended any two-year or four-year institution the fall immediately following commencement, down from 84% in 2010. However, the number of students completing degrees is moving up, with 67% of the class of 2010 getting a degree; 91% of college freshman from Pella are staying for their second year as well.
Firefighters from around South Central Iowa rushed to fight a blaze last night at Lambirth Parts and Trucks in Attica, but unfortunately fire ended up destroying much of the building. Crews from Knoxville Fire and Rescue, Knoxville Township Fire Department, Bussey Fire and Rescue, Melcher-Dallas Fire, Pella Fire and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office got the call when the fire started around 8pm; Witnesses report multiple explosions, possibly from gasoline and other flammable materials in the shop. Two people were injured – one while jumping from an upper window and the other from trying to catch the jumper – and taken to the hospital for treatment.
Many Hands for Haiti is getting out of the frozen yogurt business – that’s the word from MH4H executive Tim Brand, who says The Mango Tree locations in Pella and Oskaloosa have shut their doors for good. The reason? Brand says difficulty in finding volunteers to staff the locations and struggles to maintain profitability ultimately forced them to make this difficult decision – the Pella location is now for sale. Anyone interested in purchasing the business can contact Tim via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Central Iowa will be well represented at the State High School Speech competition this year after a number of performers received “I” ratings at district competition this past weekend. Pella High School head coach Suzi Jones says 71 students in large group competition are advancing in 15 categories. Pella Christian advanced seven of ten entries as well, including one act play and reader’s theatre. Knoxville advanced an improv group, including students Asa Leonard, Quinlin Robuck, Shelby Isidore, Mary Keary, and Brooke Willardson. Pleasantville’s musical theatre, choral reading, radio news, and improv I all earned division I rating, and four entries from PCM are headed to state competition as well. Performers at Twin Ceders did some great work as well – their improv group received the highest ranking possible, joining the other schools at the upcoming state competition February 4th at Cedar Rapids Washington High School.
A section of riverbank along the Des Moines River has collapsed near City Hall in Des Moines. City engineer Pam Cooksey described it Monday as looking like a sinkhole. She and her staff are working on repair plans. Cooksey says the collapse doesn’t imperil the historic City Hall, which opened in 1910. The building has been closed for more than six months for a renovation project.
It was a packed house Saturday night at the Knoxville/Pella Christian high school basketball game, where another successful Coaches vs. Cancer event racked up some impressive totals. Between the boys and girls games cancer survivors Barry Smith and Sue Pelong shared their stories with the crowd, followed by check presentations from Bushels for a Cure, which raised $3,800 this year, and the Cancer Relay, which added $19,000 to the till – new records for both organizations. The fundraiser is hoping to match last year’s total of $80,000; coach Jim Uitermarkt estimates this year’s total is currently around $50,000.
Oskaloosa’s Musco Lighting once again took center state at the inauguration of our 45th President Donald Trump last week Friday – This is the 8th time the south central Iowa company has provided lighting at the swearing in event.
The Oskaloosa Indians boys basketball team took it to the Pella Christian Eagles once again, completing a sweep of the #1 ranked team this past Friday night at the Oskaloosa gym. Both teams were ice cold the first quarter, but the Indians dominated in the second, outscoring PC 16-9. Their hot streak continued in the 3rd quarter, leading by 10; the Eagles pulled within six with three minutes in the 4th quarter but that’s as close as they got as the Indians pulled off another huge upset.