New Life Church in Ottumwa is hoping to add some sparks to their efforts to fund a new building – the church is selling fireworks as part of an effort the raise the $600,000 needed for the project. Youth pastor Nathan White says New Life has outgrown their current facility; the head pastor Jay Allen has family in Maryland who have experience with fireworks sale, so they’re following in their footsteps, selling fireworks in a tent at the local Wal-Mart in Ottumwa. New Life has partnered with TNT Fireworks, a network of locations in the U.S. and U.K.; according to White they give the church 20 percent of all cash sales and 17 percent of all credit and debit card transactions.
The City of Pella is hosting activities throughout Independence Day tomorrow – Fourth of July Committee Chair Paul Kingma says celebrations begin in the morning and continue through the evening’s fireworks display. Kingma says spots are open for the annual parade, and registration continues through the start of the event. You can call 780-6785 to sign up.
Oskaloosa resident Hubert Dwight Hough is one of several Americans included in the new book ‘As Good As Dead’ by Stephen L. Moore, which describes the daring escape of American POWs from a Japanese Death Camp during World War II. Lynhon Nanette Hough Stout presented a copy of the book to Oskaloosa Library Director Marion Gaughan in honor of her father Hubert, who was one of the Americans depicted in the book.
At least one official in South Central Iowa is “very optimistic” after Fairfield Casting LLC was sold Wednesday night. Joshua Laraby, executive director of the Fairfield Economic Development Association, felt that overall the sale was the best possible outcome for the community of Fairfield. In a release to the general public, Laraby warned information is still coming in with many unknowns. What he does know for sure is the operation will remain in Fairfield, and the local investment group is passionate about the long-term success and sustainability of the foundry.
A new owner has taken over the Iowa Bike and Fitness store located on Main Street. Kris Van Gent transitioned into his new role after the previous owner, Marty Doane, decided to retire after 40 years of selling and repairing bikes and bike parts. Van Gent began working for Doane his sophomore year at Central College. Van Gent’s love for biking began when he was 16-years-old after he received a ticket for speeding on his way to work. The ticket cost him about two days of work, which was a minimum wage job as a lifeguard. He decided to try riding a bike to work. Van Gent is a passionate advocate for bicycling – This year Iowa Bike and Fitness visited Pella Christian Grade School where about 75 children brought their bikes to be serviced. Iowa Bike and Fitness employees helped kids put air in their tires and made sure gears and brakes worked.
Multiple tornadoes touched down throughout Marion County during an active night of severe weather in the area yesterday. A tornado warning went over the air shortly after 6pm; Trained weather spotters confirmed tornado or funnel cloud sightings near Pleasantville, west of Knoxville, and near Lake Red Rock. Significant damage to power lines, buildings, and trees was reported near Pleasantville, with more damage spotted near Otley, rural areas west of Knoxville, and Melcher-Dallas. Widespread power outages were also reported by Mid American Energy, with more than 1300 customers reportedly without power for hours as crews worked to restore power.
Wind power is coming to south-central Iowa – Blattner Energy out of Avon, MN is setting up camp in farm fields north of Oskaloosa. Just off the west side of Highway-63 headed to New Sharon, residents can see the breaking of ground for approximately three wind turbines. Blattner Energy specializes in various forms of renewable energy such as solar power and wind energy. The date upon completion of the small wind farm has not been released yet.
The seventh annual Lake Red Rock Balloon Fest will take place on July 7-9 in the Red Rock Lake area. Thirty hot air balloons, pilots and their crew will soar over the Red Rock Lake area, painting the sky with a landscape of color. From the launch sites around the Red Rock Lake, the goal of the hot air balloon crew is to float directly over the dam and the viewing crowd located at the North Overlook Beach. Balloon launches will take place at approximately 6:30 p.m. on July 7-8 and at approximately 6:30 a.m. on July 8-9. The event is hosted by the Red Rock Lake Association, Red Rock Army Corps of Engineers, Pella Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Knoxville community; For more information go to www.redrocklakeballoonfest.com.
A farm experiment on how to protect water in Wapello County is getting a big financial boost – after receiving an initial grant of $288,000, Dustin Vande Hoef, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Agriculture, announced on Monday an additional $460,000 grant for continuing the study. The experiment revolves around the “Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy” – finding ways to keep nutrients on farmers’ land where they can be put to good use vs. ending up in Iowa’s waterways.
The South Central Regional Airport Agency (SCRAA) will meet for the first time since the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors voted to leave a 28E agreement with Pella and Oskaloosa to build an airport in northern Mahaska County. On the posted agenda, no specific bullet point is listed to address the move by the board, however, there is time scheduled for a public forum. Mahaska County Board of Supervisors Chair Mark Doland said last week he informed the county’s SCRAA representative Joe Warrick that his services are no longer needed. Also on the agenda is a review of the final drafts of the Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact documents as well as staff reports from legal, design, and engineering services. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. tonight in the Oskaloosa City Hall council chambers.
The Oskaloosa Indian baseball team took care of its rivals this past week as it remained in contention for a Little Hawkeye Conference title. Oskaloosa, 17-8 overall and 12-4 in the LHC, opened the week with a 7-3 win over Dallas Center-Grimes Monday. The squad then dropped its lone contest, falling 11-9 to non-conference foe Knoxville Tuesday. On Wednesday, OHS swept Newton 5-1 and 7-5 and concluded the week with a 9-6 win (eight innings) against Norwalk Friday.