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News 3/10/09


Board discusses budget proposal again 
It was another round of public comments, presentations and questions Monday as the Knoxville School Board continued discussion of the 2009-2010 budget, and how best to meet a $900,000 to $1.3 million cut target. The discussion centered on how best to restructure the kindergarten through 8th grade classes. Knoxville school board secretary Craig Mobley says at least $1 million must be cut from this years budget to avoid making similar cuts next year. The budget review committee will meet Tuesday at 5 p.m. to develop final budget recommendations which will be presented March 25th. 

School board sets hearing date on energy efficiency improvements 
The Pella School Board sets March 23 as the public hearing date on a project to help make the school district more energy efficient at their meeting Monday. The school board originally commissioned a study by the engineering firm Energy Services Group in August of 2006. Superintendent Mark Wittmer told the board some federal funds may be available for these HVAC improvements through the economic stimulus package. 

Pella man enters guilty plea in kidnapping case 
A Pella man arrested for kidnapping this past January has pled guilty to a lesser charge. According to Marion County court documents, 40-year-old Shannon Wayne Krivanek entered a plea of guilty last week to an amended charge of extortion. Krivanek is accused of holding another male at gunpoint in a vehicle with a fake handgun. A pre-sentencing conference is set for April 17 with sentencing immediately to follow. 

County looks to access federal funds for severe weather projects 
The Marion County Emergency Management Commission is taking steps to access FEMA dollars reserved for severe weather preparation projects. Marion County Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Anderson says the committee supported Anderson in applying for a $40,000-$50,000 grant to hire a contractor to conduct a series of interviews with city and county officials and power companies. 

Severe weather spotter training offered 
Marion County residents are invited to join first responders and emergency officials for severe weather spotter training today at 6:30 p.m. at the Knoxville Rural Fire Department on 102 West Main Street. That’s according to Jeff Anderson, Marion County Emergency Management Coordinator. 

Lots of asphalt to be poured in Pella 
This could be a busy year for asphalt overlay projects in the city of Pella. Public Works Director Denny Buyert says the city will receive about $354,000 in federal stimulus funds, which will be put toward an overlay project on Main and Oskaloosa. While the hope is for the project to be complete this fall, Buyert says actual construction could be in the spring of 2010. Meanwhile, Norris Asphalt is under contract for an asphalt overlay postponed from last fall. 

Knoxville housing agency receives federal funds 
Federal dollars will be used for a variety of projects for the Low Rent Housing Agency in Knoxville. Executive Director Janice Kerner says the over $105,000 received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be used for tuckpointing projects, installing energy-efficient toilets and replacing aging windows in some of its units. 

Pella Christian begins state tournament 
The Pella Christian boys basketball team begins state tournament play today in Des Moines. The Eagles will play Sumner-Fredericksburg in the first round of the Class 2A state tournament. Pella Christian enters as the number three seed with a record of 24-1. Coverage begins at 1:30 live on 92.1 KRLS. 

Another chance for home shopping 
Marion County residents will have a chance to make it a lucky day Wednesday as the KNIA/KRLS Home Shopping Extravaganza returns for one day with great savings. KNIA/KRLS General Manager Jim Butler says residents can call in from 1 to 5 p.m. and then starting back up at 6 p.m. as new food gift certificates have been added, with all food certificates being sold at 50% off, and all other merchandise will be sold at 60% off the retail price. 

Library hosts local CSI program 
Residents can learn more about crime scene investigation at a presentation at the Pella Public Library. Lieutenant Shane Cox with the Pella Police Department says hell discuss some of the processes the department uses when investigating a crime. The program is at 7 p.m.