State Representative Greg Heartsill has announced that he will not run for re-election to a fourth term. Heartsill said after experiencing many changes within his family in recent years and consulting with them, he has decided to shift his focus to his family. Heartsill went on to say that he has enjoyed building relationships on both sides of the aisle, and it was truly an honor to serve as representative. State Trooper Jon Thorup has declared his intentions to run for the open seat. Thorup says he is running because there are several things that he thinks need to be improved urgently including safety preparedness, the Knoxville VA Campus, and mental health care. Thorup will be at the Marion County Republican Convention tomorrow at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum should anybody wish to meet and discuss issues.
National Geographic’s Iowa State Bee champion is returning to participate in his final bee this year. Grant Pedersen, from Cardinal Middle School in Eldon, brought home a victory last spring. George Kuhter, Iowa State Bee’s director, said he definitely remembers Pedersen from last year, saying it was great to see such a confident young man. National Geographic’s bee is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject and increase public awareness about geography.