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News 3/1/09

Posted: Sunday, March 1st, 2009 at 7:44 am

Knoxville Council Meets Monday
The Knoxville City Council will consider the first ordinance reading establishing the Knoxville Downtown Streetscape Committee as a city committee Monday evening at 6:15 in city hall. The council will also review proposed city governing body rules, and consider a request to purchase lockers for the Recreation Center, among other issues.

Business’ Growing in Pella
Residents may have noticed some recent changes to the Pella business community. Chamber of Commerce Director Karen Eischen says several stores have re-located while other businesses have recently opened their doors. Eischen says this is a sign that despite the economy, some businesses are looking to advantage of opportunities they have when costs are lower to expand or try new markets.

Deadline to Name Knoxville K-9 Cop
Residents have from now until Monday morning at 8 to suggest a name for Knoxvilles new K-9 Police Dog. Thats according to Knoxville Police chief Dan Losada. He says he hopes to announce the winning name at Mondays City Council meeting. The department has received 87 names so far, and residents can call the police station or e-mail names to chief Losada at

Opera Coming to Jefferson Intermediate
The opera is coming to Jefferson Intermediate School in Pella. Vocal teacher Lori Muller says the Des Moines Metro Opera will perform for fifth-graders this coming Wednesday morning. Students will see A Dream Unfulfilled: The Saga of George Washington Carver. Muller says this gives children an opportunity to experience opera firsthand, which often changes their preconceptions about the art form.

Knoxville School Board Tables Budget Cuts for Now
After a lengthy discussion earlier this week, the Knoxville School Board tabled a discussion on a proposed 6 to 6.5% general fund budget reduction to a special meeting on March 25th. Among some of the budget issues which could be reexamined include: maintaining the athletic director position for both the high school and middle school, modifying or retaining the contract for the districts energy manager, and to consider cutting the middle schools assistant principal position, among other issues.

Firm to Conduct Search for New Central College President
A Washington D.C. firm will conduct a nationwide search for a new Central College president. Thats according to Central College Board of Trustees Chairman David Wesselink. He says the firm Academic Search specializes in finding senior executives for private colleges and universities. Current President Dr. David Roe recently announced he will retire in June 2010. Roe says this is part of a long-term transition plan as the traditional retirement age for senior administrators is 65, which was extended by the Board of Trustees due to the colleges current capitol fundraising campaign. Roe will be 69 at the time of his retirement.

Knoxville Levy Rate Increases Slightly
The proposed levy rate for the 2009-10 Knoxville city budget is slightly higher than last year at $15.04 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. Knoxville City Manager Dick Schrad says the proposed general fund budget is $3.17 million, up $40,000 from last year. He says the increase is due to built in costs, including a 3.25% wage increase from a union labor contract for some city employees and increased fuel costs, among others.

Pella Man Accused of Sexual Assault
A Pella man faces a sexual assault charge. Lieutenant Dave Beukelman with the Pella Police Department says 46-year-old Andre M. Staples is charged with sexual assault in the third-degree, a class C felony. The charge stems from an alleged incident in October of 2008. Buekelman says a preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 6 at 9:30 a.m. at the Marion County Courthouse.