Firefighters respond to blaze at American Wood Fibers
Authorities responded to a fire at American Wood Fibers in Pella late last night. The blaze was reported at about 11:23 last night. Pella Fire Chief Doug Van Gorkom says a small fire occurred in one of the facilities hoppers. Workers were able to extinguish the blaze with assistance from the Pella Fire Department. The Pella Fire Department, Pella Ambulance and Pella Police Department all responded to the scene.
Snow to return
After two weeks of mostly warm temperatures, the snow is expected to make a return to Marion County today. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory which goes in effect at noon today and runs through midnight, with snowfalls in the watch area expected in the 2 to 4 inches, while thunder-snow could also occur.
Hospital celebrates heart month
Knoxville Hospital & Clinics is holding its annual Love Your Heart: A Guide to a Healthy Heart event Tuesday from 6- to 9 a.m. in the lobby. Hospital spokesperson Katrina Nelson says lipid profiles and blood sugar will be drawn and blood pressures will be checked at the event. The cost is $22 and adults are asked to not eat or drink anything after midnight before the event.
Bos Landen for sale
Recent warm weather has residents turning their thoughts to spring and many are wondering about the future of Bos Landen Golf Course in Pella. The course is for sale, according to Real Estate Broker Jerry Jensen of Jensen Real Estate Services Inc., a firm that specializes in golf course sales. He says they’re actively marketing Bos Landen and several parties have looked at the facility in the past couple of months.
County applies for stimulus funding
Marion County has applied for approximately $670,000 in federal economic stimulus funding for road pavement projects. That’s according to Marion County Engineer Roger Schletzbaum. He says although no numbers are final, the federal dollars would be used to help paving on highway G-76 from highway 14 to the Dallas Township line, and on highway G-71 from Highway 5 to Bussey. Schletzbaum says since each of the projects costs roughly $400,000 the rest of the non-federally awarded money would be drawn from the county’s Farm to Market road fund, with construction set to begin in late February or early March.
Plenty of new signs approved in Pella
The city of Pella started 2009 with a bevy of new sign permits. Planning and Zoning Director George Wesselhoft says the city issued 21 sign permits last month due in part to several business re-locations. He says this is a good number for any year. According to Wesselhoft, they typically issue around 100 sign permits annually. New signage is approved through the Community Development Committee.
Airport awarded grant
The Knoxville airport received a grant of over $66,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation yesterday. Sources say the funds will be used to construct a conventional hangar to accommodate the need for more hangar space.
Students "Discover Engineering"
More than 200 students and parents discovered engineering last night at Pella Corporation. The company hosted an event for fifth-through-eighth grade students from Marion and Mahaska counties in partnership with the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa. Vice-President of Engineering Robert Jablonski says studies have shown the need to develop future engineers as many in the current workforce near retirement age in the next five to ten years.
Board proposes salary freeze
The Knoxville School Board proposed a salary freeze for the district’s 2009-2010 Master Contract this week. Superintendent Dr. Randy Flack says the freeze is part of an effort to minimize any budgetary impact on personnel and programs for 2009-2010 and beyond. Chris Bern is president of the Iowa State Education Association. He says offering competitive salaries is one of the best ways to attract and keep quality educators.
Schlotterback to present check at halftime
The 1990 Knoxville high school alumnus who ran 100 miles last year to raise money for the schools football stadium is presenting a nearly $4,500 check to the Save Our Stadium Committee today. Bryan Schlotterback will present the check during halftime of the boys’ basketball game.
Schools receive environmental grants
Environmental grants were recently awarded to Pella and Pella Christian High Schools. The grants were funded through donations collected at last year’s Community E-Cycling event, according to Vermeer Corporation Environmental Manager Fred Earley. The electronics recycling event is a partnership between Vermeer Corporation, Pella Corporation and the City of Pella. Each school received a grant of $637.50 to be used for environmental education.
After-Prom Committee offers spaghetti dinner
For $5 residents can enjoy a spaghetti dinner and help the Knoxville After Prom Committee raise money for their April event. Melody Walters, one of the committee chairs, says the dinner is today from 5 to 7 p.m. at the high school before the varsity games. The proceeds will help pay for prizes, entertainment and food for the party, which Walters says offers students a fun, drug-free atmosphere after prom.