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Electrical short leads to small fire near a Knoxville residence 
An electrical short sent the top of a utility pole falling and hitting a transformer behind a residence in Knoxville Thursday, which fell into a pile of leaves, starting them on fire. Knoxville Fire and Rescue quickly responded to the scene and had the blaze extinguished within moments of arrival. The Knoxville Police Department also responded to the call. No injuries were reported. 

Pella students prepare for prom 
Pella High School students are preparing for prom this weekend. Assistant High School Principal Eric Nelson says the theme this year is "Atlantis: The Lost EmpireThe Journey Awaits You." Nelson says planning for this major social event starts in October. Prom will be held Saturday at the Pella Opera House. Nelson says an open house for the general public is from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Saturday. 

Ag land valuations increase locally 
Overall agricultural land valuations in Marion County are projected to increase by 48%, although the estimated taxable value residents will have to pay could range from 3 to 6% due to the projected state rollback from the Department of Revenue. That’s according to Marion County Assessor Drew Sanders, who adds that overall urban residential property tax assessments will be down 1.5 to 2% compared to last year. 

Stock market shows signs of rebounding 
The stock market is showing signs of recovery. Mark Ellingson with VSR Financial Services in Pella says March became the best month for the stock market in the past six years and added some comfort to what had been a dismal year-and-a-half. Ellingson says it remains to be seen whether this is the start of a bull market. Iowa State Investment Officer Joe Cunningham in Knoxville also sees some positive signs such as the resurgence in blue-chip stocks the past couple of weeks.

Knoxville resident faces marijuana charge 
The arraignment for a 29-year-old Knoxville resident charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver is set April 13. Marion County courthouse documents report Shannon Marie Fisher was charged with possession of over 42.5 grams of marijuana last year, and is also charged with failure to affix a drug tax stamp and maintaining a drug house, among other charges. 

Legislative Coffee set for Saturday 
Area residents can hear from two local legislators at a forum Saturday. The Pella League of Women Voters traditionally holds a Legislative Coffee with State Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven and State Senator Paul McKinley the first Saturday of the month during the legislative session. League President Kate Bearce says the meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. at the Public Safety Complex. 

Food Plot Seed available later this month 
Food Plot Seed from Marion County Pheasants Forever will be ready for pick up at the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District office the week of April 13th. That’s according to Jay Jung with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Marion County. He says to contact himself at 842-5314 or Jeff Nelson at 641-259-3103 to arrange a pick up time.

Library offers Food for Fines 
The Pella Public Library has planned a special program for National Library Week later this month. According to Library Director Wendy Street, the library will accept non-perishable food items in exchange for overdue fines the week of April 13. One food item is equal to $1.00 in fines up to a one-time maximum of $5.00. Street says patrons should bring only non-perishable canned goods and packaged items. 

Garden Club holds their Garden Gala Saturday 
The Knoxville Federated Garden Club is holding their 2009 Garden Gala on April 4th at Dyer-Hudson Hall, featuring guest speakers, vendors, giveaways and lunch. The cost is $30 to register, which includes lunch. To register and for more information, residents can call Sandra at 842-4591. 

Cub Scouts went racing 
The Pella Cub Scouts tested their racing skills this past weekend. According to Cub Master Tim Williams, seven groups and 54 cars took part in the recent 2009 Pinewood Derby. The event was held at the Madison Elementary in Pella. According to Williams, the next Pella Cub Scout Pack 374 event is an Earth Day project April 25 at Big Rock Park.