It was a record making week for snow in South Central Iowa, with one of the busiest winter weather stretches in recent history. According to the National Weather Service, 3-5″ of snow blanketed Marion County Saturday morning, with a final total of 5″ in Knoxville and 3.5″ in Pella. Another 1-3” fell overnight into Sunday morning, with Knoxville officially reporting 2.3″. Last week overall, between 10-14″ of snow fell in the region. The Des Moines Airport recorded measurable snow each day from February 4th through the 11th, the most consecutive days (8) with snow since 1965 and 2nd most ever on record – A much drier and more mild week is in the forecast ahead.
Family-owned and operated Lee’s Hallmark Store is slated to close this spring upon the sale of the building at 635 Franklin St. to ATI Group, a real estate development company. Lee’s Hallmark Store offered greeting cards for special occasions, unique household items and gifts for nearly four decades. The building at 635 Franklin St. was first purchased by Lee and Mary Louise Vriezelaar in 1949. With hard work and perseverance, Mary Lou became a successful business woman. She continued to grow and expand beginning with Lee’s Variety and later opening Lee’s Hallmark Mary Lou’s daughter, Jan Vande Voort, and her husband Jim, purchased the Hallmark business in 1989. In recent times Jan tried selling the business, hoping to keep a Hallmark store in Pella, but to no avail. Vande Voort said she will miss all of her wonderful customers and treasured employees, but feels this is the right time to retire.