Administrators at the Pella School District are taking aim at the amount of sugar kids consume at school with their new wellness policy. The plan will use nutrition education and promotion, physical activity and other school based activities to promote overall wellness. The third goal within the plan – what foods and drinks are allowed in the classroom – caused the most debate, according to Lowell Ernst, director of instruction for the district. There will now be an approved list of foods and beverages that can be brought into the classroom; the school is also promoting alternative celebration items for things like birthdays, which includes things like school supplies, a paperback book, extra recess, playing their favorite non-electric game, and eating lunch with the teacher.
Foul play has been ruled out in the death investigation of the body located at 1895 290th Street in Oskaloosa, Iowa last week. The preliminary investigation indicates that this male subject died of natural causes. The identity of the subject has not been confirmed, pending dental and x-ray comparisons. An autopsy has been conducted on this subject, results are expected in four to six weeks following toxicology results.
Crews are hard at work clearing streets and restoring power after a stormy night in south central Iowa last night. MidAmerican Energy staff have been on the job in Knoxville since about midnight last night, when a strong storm cell knocked down a power line and caused damage to a transformer, resulting in about 1,000 people losing power in Marion County. Other damage was primarily to lines running to individual houses – at one home a car was completely crushed by a downed tree branch – cleanup in Knoxville continues as we speak.
Bible reading marathons are kicking off all over the state next week – in Ottumwa, men and women will be gathering to read God’s Word aloud from June 26th to the 28th at Ottumwa Central Park and City Hall. Rick Bick, pastor of New Life Center in Ottumwa, was involved in last year’s event – he said nearly 30 different churches were involved in the 2016 Bible Reading marathon – if you’d like to participate this year, Bick says to give him a call at 641-680-9850.
New recreation opportunities may be coming soon to the community of Knoxville – Monday evening the Council heard a presentation from City Manager Aaron Adams, who informed the council about a potential partnership with the Knoxville Community School District for tennis courts to be built, which would replace the current skate park in front of the Knoxville High School. Adams says the school district would pay for construction of the new tennis courts, and that the city would construct improvements to the south side of Youngs Park that would include the addition of a new skate park.
The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors has voted again to leave the 28E Agreement for the Regional Airport Project. A vote was held at their meeting Tuesday on a resolution that removed the language asking the Cities of Pella and Oskaloosa for permission to leave the agreement, which passed 2-1. That amendment passed in Mahaska County this past January was shut down by both city councils the next month. The board also voted 2-1 to direct their attorney to arrange a meeting with representatives from the cities of Pella and Oskaloosa. The next SCRAA board meeting is Tuesday, June 27 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Oskaloosa City Hall.
For someone on the job barely a month, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand was already facing plenty of incoming fire from her critics. Her big problem now: Her ultimate boss, President Donald Trump, could soon be among them. Senate Democrats who opposed her nomination to the No. 3 job at the Justice Department said her legal career reflected a tendency always to support Big Business against the little guy, and they questioned her commitment to civil liberties during her years in the department under President George W. Bush. And now, the Michigan-born, Iowa-raised Brand, the daughter and granddaughter of Dutch dairy farmers, faces the prospect of scrutiny—and criticism—on a scale that few Washington officials could ever imagine. ABC News reported that Rosenstein, a career prosecutor before joining the Trump administration, has privately conferred with Brand about the possibility that she will need to take over the department’s oversight of Mueller, who took charge of the Trump-Russia investigation when the president fired his successor as FBI director, James Comey. Should Rosenstein step aside—or Trump fire him in a fit of pique—Brand is next in line as Mueller’s supervisor.
Downtown Ottumwa is getting a boost thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, as the organization has selected the city as one of 89 recipients of a $50,000 “Our Town” grant. The funds will help support Main Street’s Better Block project, according to Director Fred Zesiger.
Traveling along Vermeer Road in Pella? Your trip might take a bit longer – patching work started today along the busy road; Traffic will be reduced to one-lane throughout the day as crews fix portions of the road from East 6th Street to 250th Place. Work is expected to last through the end of the month.
Many of us probably got sunburnt more than once as a kid – it might be a good reason to stop by the Knoxville Hospital and Clinics this week for a free skin cancer screening. The screenings will take place from Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. each day; they’ll place in a private setting and consist of a brief skin assessment by a medical professional. If you’d like to make an appointment, give the hospital a call or visit their website knoxvillehospital.org.