High school girls from Albia, Centerville, Davis County, Eddyville-Blakesburg and Cardinal school districts will swim for Ottumwa High School during the 2018-2019 school year, the Ottumwa school board decided Monday night. Two weeks ago Athletic Director Scott Maas brought the issue of sharing agreements before the board after rumors that OHS would no longer have a cooperative activity sharing agreement with other districts for the swim team raised the ire of some parents. At issue was a concern that students from other districts would prevent swimmers from Ottumwa from being on the team. Despite some concerns the sharing agreement was approved unanimously; Ottumwa currently has eight students from other districts competing on its swim teams.
Do you have unused prescription medication sitting around the house that you’d like to dispose of safely? If so mark you calendars – this Saturday multiple local law enforcement agencies will participate in a national program aimed to curb pill abuse and theft. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Pella Police Department, Monroe Police Department, and Melcher-Dallas Police Department are all collecting expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Pella Police Lt. Paul Haase says the program is intended to keep prescriptions from falling into the wrong hands.
Mahaska Health Partnership Keokuk County Hospice Nurse Lisa Uphold has been named to the 2018 listing of “100 Great Iowa Nurses.” Since she joined MHP in 2013, Uphold has proven to be an outstanding example for fellow nurses. In the winter of 2017, Uphold was assigned to care for a patient who had a unique situation and had no electricity at home. Johnson applauded Uphold’s willingness to go above any beyond for the patient; she says she loves what she does and feels honored to be recognized.
The official mascot of the 2018 Drake Relays lives in Pella. The winner of the Drake Relays Beautiful Bulldog contest is Bow-Z. The two-year-old was adopted by John Hill of Pella last summer.
Paige Dickel will never forget her first tour of the Vermeer Windmill where her boyfriend, now fiancé, proposed to her at the top of the structure. On Saturday, Jeremy Shannon planned a fake tour of the Vermeer Windmill for Dickel. When Dickel got to the end of the tour, Shannon proposed – she said yes! The Pella Historical Society and Museums staff met the couple – both Central College students – to take them on a tour. Shannon said he needed to use the restroom and said he’d catch up with the tour later. Instead, he went to the top of the windmill and waited for Dickel. Along the way, Dickel read two letters Shannon had written, leading her to the real reason for the tour.
Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered all state flags be lowered to half-staff until sunset on Saturday, April 21, in honor and remembrance of former First Lady Barbara Bush. The governor’s order is issued in conjunction with President Donald Trump’s proclamation to lower all United States flags to half-staff for the same length of time. Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex. Flags will also be half-staff on all public buildings, grounds and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.
Mahaska County third graders enjoyed Ag Day at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds Friday, April 13, where they learned the importance of agriculture from local farmers, businesses, and students who all volunteered to help. Loren Bokema volunteered his time from Fremont Farms Egg Production facility helped educate the students. owa Honey Queen Joy Westercamp was on hand as well to teach the kids about bees. She drove over an hour to be with the third graders Friday. Westercamp lives outside of Farmington in Van Buren County. Karen Adams from Ag in the Classroom said the help from the community has been awesome.
Pella Community High School students have shared a letter with peers organizing local participation in the national walkout on Friday, April 20. PHS students will join the national walkout scheduled on the anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999. The letter detailing the walkout was sent Monday, April 16 and is signed by five PHS students. The letter states that the goal of the walkout is to show that the students are a part of something bigger than themselves, their opinions and their political views. At 10 a.m. the students will stand in silence on the lawn in front of the main entrance of the high school for 13 seconds to remember the students killed in the Columbine shooting. The students will stand for another 17 minutes to represent the 17 lives lost during the shooting at Stoneman Douglas. PHS Principal Eric Nelson and Assistant Principal Jon Muller responded to the letter on Monday sending an email to teachers and staff – they said their primary concern was student safety, and that they would not support the walkout by altering the daily schedule but would allow students to participate per the guidelines outlined in the student letter.
Former Iowa State Cyclone basketball star Marcus Fizer was back in Iowa on Sunday. He spoke at a youth event in Pella called “Never Alone”, focusing on topics like depression, mental health, and suicide. Fizer said even though these issues are difficult to talk about, it’s important to let the younger generation know they’re not alone, adding that young kids are very impressionable and peer pressure is tough. Grace Fellowship youth leader Colby De Vries acknowledged how hard it can be for young people to open up about issues like depression and suicide, and hopes the event was a gateway for his peers to open up.
Newton may not be large enough to have its own television news station, but that isn’t stopping students at Berg Middle School. Students in technology teacher Chas Beeler’s classroom have been producing their own news segments for the past two years, covering everything from school events to profiles on the student of the month. Students can sign up for the class, which runs in one-week sections and was made possible by a grant from the Newton Community Education Foundation. Beeler said he’s been offering the class to give students a chance to be creative, while also learning the technical skills behind producing a news broadcast.