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News 4/6/09

Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 6:37 am

Good turnout for Legislative Coffee Saturday 
A large crowd gathered at the Public Safety Complex in Pella Saturday morning for a Legislative Coffee. State Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven and State Senator Paul McKinley spoke to a crowd of over 40 people at the Public Safety Complex. In the wake of the Iowa Supreme Court decision Friday, much of the discussion centered on the issue of same-sex marriage. Other topics included the federal tax deductibility bill and funding for education. 


Grassfire spreads to trees near Knoxville residence 
The Knoxville Township Fire Department responded to a grassfire near a propane tank outside a residence on Highway 14 north of Knoxville Saturday, sending several trees on fire near the home. Crews quickly extinguished the blaze, with no injuries reported. 

Power outage strikes Pella Sunday night 
A power outage left many Pella residents without electricity for about three hours last night. The Electric Department reported a problem with Substation B at 8:08 p.m. Sunday. Electric Director Larry Peterson tells KNIA/KRLS News that a bad cable between the 800 Block of East First Street and the Power Plant was the culprit. 

This is Severe Weather Awareness Week 
Monday kicks off Severe Weather Awareness Week, and KNIA/KRLS will be carrying a series of stories informing Marion County residents on what they should do when severe weather strikes. KNIA/KRLS General Manager Jim Butler says the station plays an important role by giving the most up to date information to Marion County residents from County officials, the National Weather Service and the Weather Eye Weather Center. 

Knoxville city council to meet tonight 
The Knoxville City Council will consider adopting a resolution regarding wastewater treatment plant improvements and electrical control modification at their meeting at 6:15 in city hall. The council will also consider a resolution accepting engineering services for a sewer rehabilitation project from highway 14 to Grant Street and North of Pleasant Street., among other issues. 

Pella crews respond to grassfires Saturday 
Firefighters responded to two rural grassfires near Pella Saturday afternoon. Crews were dispatched to a grassfire that had gotten out of control at 598 Highway T-14. The fire burned a large area of land but firefighters were able to prevent any major damage to buildings. While at that scene, firefighters were dispatched to another grassfire at 2029 Carter Drive north of Pella. 

Another court furlough is Friday 
Its another state court furlough day this Friday in the Marion County Courthouse as the state court offices will be closed because of an expected $3.8 million budget cut. The state offices on the third and fourth floors of the Marion County courthouse will be closed, with the rest of the courthouse open as usual. In addition, the third and fourth floor courthouse offices are closed at 2:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.

Tulip Time expected to attract more regional visitors 
More area visitors are expected at Tulip Time this year. Pella Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Jill Vandevoort says many of the requests for Tulip Time information have come directly from within a 60-mile radius. As a whole, Vandevoort expects more local and regional tourism this season, which she says is a benefit to the area.

TRACES coming to Knoxville today 
A traveling museum is making a stop at the Knoxville Public Library today from 3 to 6 p.m. to detail the lives of the around 372,000 German prisoners of war, or POWs, held in camps across the United States during World War II. Library director Jan Behrens says the non-profit educational organization TRACES is featuring its retrofitted school BUS-eum which contains exhibits on the legacy of German POWs in the U.S. 

Iowa film industry grows 
The Iowa film scene continues to expand and a local resident has a prominent role. Ann Wilkinson of Pella teaches at Central College and operates PMS Casting. Wilkinson says shes currently working on a new film entitled Splatter, which is shooting in the Burlington area. In the past, Wilkinson says she was happy to cast one film every year or two. Splatter is her fourth film in a year with another set to start later this month.