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News 4/4/09



Officials weigh in on court ruling 
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state’s same-sex marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples. Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley says he disagrees with the ruling, saying he sees marriage as just between a man and a woman. McKinley is calling on Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal to allow a constitutional amendment to be voted on in the Iowa Senate next week. Gronstal says the unanimous ruling allows all Iowa couples to the same marriage rights and responsibilities of all Iowans.

Central holding marriage meeting 
A town hall meeting on marriage is set for next week at Central College. Sources say the meeting will be led by One Iowa Campaign Director and Central College Alumnus Brad Clark. The event is scheduled for April 7 at 7:00 p.m. in van Emmerik Studio at the Maytag Student Center and is open to the public. In a unanimous ruling Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court declared the states same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. 

Legislative session held in Knoxville yesterday 
Possibly overhauling the states income tax system and controlling state spending were some issues state legislators discussed at the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce Friday. State senator Paul McKinley and State Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven attended the event in Knoxville, which is held the first Friday of each month during the legislative session at 4 p.m. to update residents on the legislative issues and answer questions. 

Pella Highs Prom tonight 
About 350-400 Pella High School students will participate in prom today, according to Assistant High School Principal Eric Nelson. Officials are encouraging students to make sure this is a safe event for everyone involved. Pella Police Officer Paul Haase says its important for parents to talk to their children about making good decisions on prom night. He says the police department encourages participation in the school-sanctioned after-prom party. 

Motorcycle accident in Knoxville
A Knoxville resident was transported to the hospital with minor injuries yesterday, after falling from his motorcycle. Knoxville Fire & Rescue quickly responded to the scene, and fire chief Mike Roberts says the patient was not wearing their helmet when they were riding. 

Legislative Coffee in Pella
Two area legislators are scheduled to visit with constituents Saturday morning. The Pella League of Women Voters will hold a Legislative Coffee with State Senator Paul McKinley and State Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven at 9:30 a.m. at the Public Safety Complex. The Pella League of Women Voters traditionally holds a Legislative Coffee the first Saturday of each month during the legislative session. 

Knoxville students heading to D.C. 
50 Knoxville eighth grade Students are heading to Washington D.C. for the schools annual trip to the capital next Thursday. Knoxville Middle School History Teacher Chris Hudson says the students will tour the U.S. Capitol, Gettysburg, Smithsonian and other sight seeing locationsall with the purpose of giving students a first hand experience of national history. Hudson says this is his 12th trip to the nations capitol through the school and at least the 18th trip for the school itself.

Pella to test warning sirens 
Pella residents will likely hear the outdoor warning sirens today. According to Pella Police Department Communications Supervisor Marcia Slycord, the system is tested on the first Saturday of each month at noon. The system includes eight sirens strategically placed in different parts of the community. Slycord notes the warning sirens are designed to be audible outdoors. 

Garden Club holds their Garden Gala today
The Knoxville Federated Garden Club is holding their 2009 Garden Gala Saturday at Dyer-Hudson Hall, featuring guest speakers, vendors, giveaways and lunch. For more information, residents can call Sandra at 842-4591. 

Next week Spring Clean Up Week in Pella 
A reminder that next week is Spring Clean-Up Week in the city of Pella. According to the Public Works Office, this collection is for residential customers whove been issued the city of Pella authorized tote. Officials note that items must be placed curbside by 7 a.m. on a residents normal garbage collection day. Public Works says a number of items will not be accepted such as electronics, appliances, automobile batteries, waste oil and others.