Area News Stories
FORMER ASSISTANT COUNTY ATTORNEY FOUND DECEASED
Former assistant Mahaska county attorney Rich Scott has been found deceased at his
Centerville apartment. According to an Appanoose county sheriffs office press release, Scott was found deceased during a welfare check. The welfare check was ordered after Scott failed to show up to work as
Appanoose county attorney Friday morning. An investigation on the scene determined that Scott died of natural causes, according to the press release.
ROLL-OVER ACCIDENT CLAIMS LIFE OF AREA RESIDENT
One person is dead after a single vehicle roll-over accident in Mahaska County
early Sunday morning.
AREA FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE LARGE GRASS FIRE
Firefighters from three different agencies battled a grass fire Tuesday afternoon, April 8th. A call for service came into the Mahaska County 911 center around 1:05 pm reporting an out of control grass fire in the 1800 block of Highway 92 west of Oskaloosa.
Firefighters from Oskaloosa arrived and found a fire being driven by strong winds. Additional units were quickly dispatched to the scene as a result. Additionally, mutual aid from Eddyville Volunteer Fire Department and the New Sharon Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the scene. Emergency units were on the scene for approximately three hours Tuesday afternoon.
The cause of the fire has been determined to be from a controlled burn that got out of control. No injuries were reported in the fire. A total of seven apparatus and around 12 firefighters from three different fire departments battled the blaze.
Oskaloosa Fire Chief Mark Neff will be discussing the present burn conditions with area fire chiefs on Wednesday. From there a discussion and possible decision on a burn restriction will be considered.
SCHOOL BOARD DISCUSSES SCHOOL SAFETY
School security has become a hot button in many districts in Iowa and around the nation. Oskaloosa is no different and the board of education took the first steps to improve the access to the school buildings.
Superintendent Russ Reiter requested the board approve a bid from Strauss Security of Des Moines. Reiter told the board he would like to see the access project divided into two parts, the main campus, which includes the high school, middle school and Daily Auditorium. Reiter said the doors would be monitored from a single server. The current doors are different in each building and this will bring uniformity to them. Cost of the project will be $32,700. The elementary project will be budgeted and done at a later time.
Board member Nik Rule said this is one issue he has heard much concern about since coming onto the board and is glad to see the project begin.
The board agreed to the tentative agreement with the Oskaloosa Education Association. The agreement, which will be voted on the by the association later this week, will be a 3.6 percent increase and includes increases for insurance.
Two new teachers were hired in the special education department at the high school for 2014-15. Both served as student teachers in the district. The teachers, Noelle Hoover and Taya (Tay-Uh) Donovan, will be hired at BA step 1 at $33,615 each.
In other business:
Heard a presentation from YMCA Executive Director Dawn Collins regarding the YMCA annual report. The report is made to the district as part of the organization's report to stakeholders.
Held public hearing and approved the 2014-15 budget. No member of the public was on hand to speak. The district is asking a $14.95 per $1,000 evaluation.
Agreed to purchase two busses from Hogeland Bus Company for $97,488 each
Approved a resolution to support the Oskaloosa Blue Zone Certification
Approved specifications to receive bids for provision of milk
Approved increase of adult lunches by 10 cents to $3.35 for the 2014-15 school year.
Approved agreement with Iowa Education Purchasing for cooperative food purchases.
Approved a resolution to participate in the 2015 hazard mitigation with the multi-jurisdiction plan
Scheduled a public hearing for a budget amendment for current budget year. Hearing will be held on Tuesday May 13 at 7 p.m.
CITY COUNCIL RECEIVES REPORT ON BLUE ZONES PROJECT
The Oskaloosa City Council met in regular session Monday evening with Mayor Dave Krutzfeldt presiding. The main agenda item before the council Monday evening was a presentation on the Oskaloosa Blue Zones Project. Miranda
Cummings and Valin McReynolds presented to the Oskaloosa City Council on the Blue Zones project and highlighted some of the goals that are hoped to be achieved over the next 18 months in Oskaloosa. Cummings, Reynolds, and Spry also fielded questions from the City Council regarding City involvement in the project. A formal kickoff to the Oskaloosa Blue Zones project is planned for next Monday April 14th.
KOOL BUILDING EXPERIENCES PARTIAL COLLAPSE
A local apartment building
and downtown business declared uninhabitable by city officials has experienced
a partial collapse. On Sunday March 30th, the northeast corner of
the building collapsed partially into the alleyway. Due to concerns of a
larger collapse, city officials closed off
The K and K craft store building located at 219 High Ave East in Oskaloosa was declared uninhabitable by City Officials in late June 2013 due to concerns of the structural integrity of the building. The concerns arose from a structural engineers report filed June 21st.
On October 17th 2013, Magistrate Scott Campbell ordered all tenants to vacate the building by November 1. In addition, he ordered that the owner of the building obtain the necessary building permits to repair the building by January 17th of this year. Kim Kool, manager of the building, said that cold temperatures kept her from being able to make the necessary repairs to the building by the January 17th deadline.
Support beams had previously been installed within the inside of the building last year after the city declared the building uninhabitable.
A hearing is scheduled for April 17th at 9 AM before the Mahaska County Magistrate to discuss the status of the building.
CITY WIDE CLEAN UP SET FOR LAST WEEK OF APRIL
The following guidelines will be used for the pickup:
BUSINESS WASTE IS NOT ACCEPTED THROUGH THIS PROGRAM.
FIRE DEPARTMENT REMINDS RESIDENTS OF STORM SIREN PROCEDURES
The Oskaloosa Fire Department wants remind everyone that we are entering warm weather months and severe weather season.
Weather permitting, the storm sirens in Oskaloosa are tested at 2pm on the first Monday of each month from April through September.
The outdoor storm warning sirens will be activated if the national weather service has issued a tornado warning for Mahaska County and the tornado is headed in a direction that would likely affect the city of Oskaloosa. Also, if a trained storm spotter indicates to the 911 center that a severe thunderstorm contains damaging winds and or hail, the sirens can be activated.
CITY OF OTTUMWA TO TAKE BACK UNWANTED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
On April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Ottumwa Police Department, the Southeast Iowa Inter-Agency Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its eighth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to Center Court of the Quincy Place Mall located at 1110 N. Quincy Avenue. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or their family member or pet owner) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.
6TH ANNUAL LIVE UNITED 5K SET FOR APRIL 26TH
March 10, 2014– Oskaloosa, IA – The United Way of Mahaska County is holding its 6th Annual Live United 5K & YMCA Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 26th at the Penn Activity Center on the William Penn University campus.
OACDG SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE
The Oskaloosa Area Chamber & Development Group is happy to announce that scholarships will again be available through its Chamber Scholars program, now in its 17th year.
High school seniors living in Mahaska County and attending any high school are eligible to apply. Pick up an application from your school counselor, from the Oskaloosa Area Chamber office or at www.oacdg.org. Scholarships will be offered in the amounts of $500 and up, and are sponsored by area businesses and industries. Last year $7,000 was distributed to 14 students from North Mahaska, Eddyville/Blakesburg, Oskaloosa, and Pella Christian.
The application requests such information as participation in school and community activities, as well as short essays on "What do you value most about Mahaska County and calling it your Hometown" and "What do you see yourself doing in 6 to 8 years?" Typed Chamber Scholars applications and transcripts are due at the Chamber no later than Wednesday, April 16, 2014.
“Businesses and individuals are encouraged to contribute to the scholarship fund as well. Every little bit that we can do to make it easier for our youth to attend college is very important,” stated Deb Bruxvoort of the OACDG. “Perhaps you can contribute financially to the fund, or perhaps participate in the annual OACDG Golf outing set for Friday, May 9.”
For further information, to request an application form, or to contribute to the fund contact the Oskaloosa Chamber at 641.672.2591 or email email@example.com.
UNITED WAY LAUNCHES VOLUNTEER WEBSITE
wishing to donate their time and skills in Mahaska County will have a lot
easier time finding out about volunteering opportunities.
The United Way of Mahaska County has launched volunteermahaska.org,
available to all those wanting to get involved in our community. This
website is a user-friendly way for volunteers to access opportunities to
give, advocate and volunteer at local nonprofits.
volunteer opportunities should be easy,” says Amy Langdon, Executive
Director of the United Way of Mahaska County.
“The opportunities are out there, nonprofits are needing help,
but we didn’t have a unified way to find out about those needs.
We do now.”
organizations now have a place to give the details of the work they do as
well as the volunteer roles that they need filled.
These profiles can help raise awareness regarding an agency, what
they do, where they are located and any needs they have at the time. They
can also include in-kind needs
be able to see if a nonprofit is looking for a new desk or if they have a
client who needs an air conditioner. So
many of us have things that we would like to donate, but we don’t know
where they’re needed,” says Langdon.
of this information can be shared on social media sites and can be
responded to directly from the agency’s profile on volunteermahaska.org.
looking to get involved in the community can browse volunteer
opportunities, set up a profile, or “Become a fan” of different
nonprofits so they’ll be notified when new opportunities are available.
want everyone to have the chance to volunteer in Mahaska County,” says
Langdon. “Studies show
volunteers lead fuller and healthier lives.”
more information please visit volunteermahaska.org or contact Volunteer
Coordinator, Lindsey Sheets at 641.673.6043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.