Archive for March, 2009

Washington Sheriff receives $30k grant

Posted: Saturday, March 28th, 2009 at 7:40 am

The Washington County Sheriff’s Department is getting $30,000 in grant money for equipment purchases. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says they usually apply for the grant, but don’t receive the full amount. Dunbar says they’ll use the money for radar units, portable breath testers for alcohol as well as overtime costs and mileage on their vehicles. The money is coming from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, or GTSB.

Intentional grass fire

Posted: Saturday, March 28th, 2009 at 7:38 am

If you see a fire near Marr Park this Friday night…don’t be alarmed. The Washington County Conservation Board will be holding a controlled prairie burn. Naturalist Pam Holz says prairie lands need to be burned off periodically. Holz says the burn also helps keep invasive species out. She says the event can be quite spectacular to see. The public is invited to an informational session Friday April 3 at the Park at 7:30 pm. The burn will take place at 8:00. Holz says it can happen very quickly, and urges attendees not to be late.

Your garden variety vegetables

Posted: Saturday, March 28th, 2009 at 7:38 am

Fruit bearing bushes and vines like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, are a staple of many midwestern gardens. However, they can present some challenges. Shelia Gerot is a Washington County Master Gardener. She says there are a few rules to follow. She says strawberries shouldn’t be planted too deep. She says they have a little crown that needs to be kept at the ground level. Gerot also says you shouldn’t pick any fruit during the first year first of the plant’s life, that way the roots can get established and put on a better crop the following year.

Your garden variety fruits

Posted: Saturday, March 28th, 2009 at 7:37 am

Fruit bearing bushes and vines like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, are a staple of many midwestern gardens. However, they can present some challenges. Shelia Gerot is a Washington County Master Gardener. She says there are a few rules to follow. She says strawberries shouldn’t be planted too deep. She says they have a little crown that needs to be kept at the ground level. Gerot also says you shouldn’t pick any fruit during the first year first of the plant’s life, that way the roots can get established and put on a better crop the following year.

Field Kayak and Canoe event

Posted: Saturday, March 28th, 2009 at 7:37 am

Pack a lunch and grab a friend. The Louisa County Conservation group is holding a kayak and canoe event on Saturday, April 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Lake Odessa. Katie Hammond, with the Louisa County Conservation says this guided trip on the Odessa Water Trail will be an adventurous paddle winding through the panoramic wildlife area. The paddling trip will start and end at Snively Campground. Participants of all ages and levels of experience are encouraged to attend though children under age 14 must be accompanied by an adult. She says all participants will need to register by April 20th. Online registration, maps and additional information are available at www.NaturallyLouisaCounty.com or call 319-523-8381.

Story times

Posted: Saturday, March 28th, 2009 at 7:36 am

During the month of April, on Wednesdays from 10:30-11:00am in the Childrens Area of the Kalona Public Library, Youth Services Librarian Marissa Tartaglia will be holding story times for preschoolers. She says story times help build early childhood literacy skills through listening, finger plays, rhymes and songs. The Story time themes for April are spring, Easter, wild about libraries, silly poetry, and dinosaurs. For more information, contact Marissa at 319-656-3501.

Family fun night

Posted: Saturday, March 28th, 2009 at 7:36 am

The Kalona Elementary Boosters are holding there 24th annual Family Fun night tonight. Ryan Schlabaugh says the purpose of the Family Fun Night is to provide a kid friendly activity and help raise money for the Kalona Elementary School. He says there will be a lot of fun games and activities for everyone. He says they have items donated to them by business throughout the area including some tickets both local and major sports team events. The Family Fun night will this evening from 5:30 until 8pm at the Mid Prairie Middle School.

Sounds of the 60s and 70s

Posted: Saturday, March 28th, 2009 at 7:35 am

The sounds of the 60’s and 70’s can be heard this Tuesday in Washington. Sound of Washington, which is a relatively new organization, is putting on the concert. Kim Ecklor helped co-found the choir for special needs adults. She says her and a friend got the idea from their workplace. She says they worked with a woman who was bedridden, who had a wonderful singing voice. Sounds of the 60’s and 70’s will be held this Tuesday at Hamakuah Place. A free will donation will be taken.

WCRF grants announced

Posted: Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 7:33 am

The Washington County Riverboat Foundation has announced their 9 first quarter city grants for this year. Jim Logan, Administrative Assistant with the WCRF says the awards total more than $171,000 The WCRF Municipal Grant program distributes 25% of its total revenues directly to the cities in Washington County based on population. Logan says in 2008, the WCRF distributed more than 819-thousand dollars to the nine cities in Washington County and has distributed almost two-million dollars since its inception. These funds are programmed by each City Council. Washington will receive more than $90,000, the City of Kalona will receive nearly
$30,000, Riverside will get more than $11,000, and Brighton will receive almost $9000.

Washington emergency communicator hosts awards ceremony

Posted: Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 7:33 am

The assistant supervisor for the Washington County 911 Dispatch center recently hosted the Iowa chapter of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials event in Des Moines. Teresa Todd says emergency communicators are the unsung heroes of emergency personnel. Todd was on a committee that selected award winners during the ceremony. She says there were seven teams and five single entries. She says it was difficult to choose because so many communicators do such a good job.

Safe Prom/Graduation

Posted: Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 7:33 am

Prom and Graduation season is just around the corner, and the Washington Police Department wants to make sure the celebrating is done safely and responsibly. Sergeant Sean Ellingson says his department will be coordinating with other agencies to have a stepped up presence during those times. Ellingson also says the city of Washington has a law on the books that provides stiff penalties for anyone who provides alcohol for minors. He adds that the Washington High School has a zero tolerance policy, meaning any student caught using drugs or alcohol will be ineligible for extracurricular activities.

Band members grateful for donation

Posted: Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 7:30 am

Members of Washington’s Municipal Band say they are very grateful for the recent donation of 175-thousand dollars to improve the Central Park Bandstand. Wayne Brock, and John Winga are two members of the band who have been playing for 60 years. They visited John Jackson in Fairfield to ask for help renovating the bandstand. Winga and Brock say they plan on having Mr. Jackson come to Washington for the opening night of Band season, which will be the first Thursday in June.

Local doctor expects macular degeneration to increase

Posted: Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 7:30 am

As the Baby-Boomers enter their golden years, a health issue is becoming increasingly common…macular degeneration. Doctor Rob Negrete, with Washington Eye Care Center, describes the affliction as the erosion of a part of the retina, which can cause vision loss. Negrete says one of the most difficult aspects of macular degeneration, is its difficulty to identify. He says it doesn’t cause any pain, which is why he recommends people over the age of 60 who experience changes in their vision should see an eye doctor. He says there is no cure for the disease, but studies suggest certain multi vitamins combined with a healthy diet can help.

Kalona looking to break the record

Posted: Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 7:30 am

This year Kalona Days will mark the community’s 130th birthday. Kalona Days Co-Director Susan Finley says they are attempting to construct the worlds largest quilt Cake. She says it will be a normal edible cake that will be decorated like quilt patterns. Finley says it will be a contest and anyone may enter. She says you can come to the Kalona General Store and pick up a pattern. Finley says they are hoping Kalona days will be put into the Guinness book of world records with this cake. Kalona Days will be June 19 – 21

Study shows 4-H’s positive impact

Posted: Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 7:29 am

A new study suggests 4-H can help make young people better citizens, leaders and communicators. 4-H Youth Development State Specialist Kelli Tallman says she asked a random selection 4-H’ers to rate themselves on those skills before, and after joining the program. Tallman says 4-H also helps hone conflict resolution skills through group projects and various presentations. She also says those who take part in the program also display less risky behavior such as underage drinking.

Columbus Junction Athletics

Posted: Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 7:29 am

Many students in Lousia County were impacted by last year’s record flooding. Mike Jay, Columbus Junction Athletics Director thinks sports programs gives students a good avenue to let loose. Jay says not only do athletics help students to vent any frustration they may have, but it helps them with their academics.

News Update: North Liberty man leads police on chase

Posted: Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 7:28 am

A North Liberty man is facing a laundry list of charges after allegedly leading police on nearly an hour long chase in Washington County last night. 20 year old Steven Lee Myers Junior is charged with Operating While Intoxicated, Driving Under Suspension, Failure to Yield to Emergency Vehicle, Eluding, and multiple traffic violations. According to a release from the Washington Safety Center, officers tried to stop Myers south of Riverside. Myers refused to do so. They say the chase ended with myers striking a patrol car and hitting a ditch at 230th street and Washington Avenue. Myers is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Congrats to Donna Rinner!

Posted: Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 7:27 am

KCII announced their radio active bingo winner this morning. Donna Rinner, of Wayland says she turned in four bingo cards per week since the contest started on January 26th. When informed of the news, Rinner was pleasantly surprised. Since the contest started, KCII gave away $800 in gift certificates to weekly bonus bingo Winners. Rinner’s name was randomly selected out of 2300 qualifying bingo cards. The contest had listeners fill out the cards when they heard sponsor’s commercials and programs on KCII. Congratulations to Donna, and thanks to all the sponsors who made our radio active bingo contest a huge success.

The city of Washington is going to start cracking down on people who leave trash in their yards. Ordinance committee chairman Mike Roth says the city

Posted: Thursday, March 26th, 2009 at 7:26 am

More than 200 area high-school students, and a few parents came to Washington High School yesterday for college prep day. Among them was W-H-S junior Joey Villalpando. He says despite the current economic environment, he’s confident he’ll find work after college. Villalpando says he’s interested in finding a career in computers. William Mcconnell is another student interested in electronics. He also says he’s not worried about finding a job. Washington High guidance counselor Kathy Stender described the event as an excellent showing. She says she’s very pleased to hear about the students optimistic attitudes. She also says they know if they can find the means to go to college, there will be a job for them when they graduate.

Washington to crack down on trash ordinance

Posted: Thursday, March 26th, 2009 at 7:26 am

The city of Washington is going to start cracking down on people who leave trash in their yards. Ordinance committee chairman Mike Roth says the city has been, quote too soft on nuisance abatement in the past, and it shows in several areas of Washington. Roth says the city will aggressively address complaints. He says property owners will first be contacted about addressing the problem. He says if they choose to ignore the notice, they could be subject to a $250 dollar fine. Roth says residents can file a complaint, and keep their identity confidential by calling 653-6584. There will be a chance to get rid of unwanted items during the city wide clean up the week of April 20th. Roth says they will also be notifying residents who own dangerous buildings, and informing them that arrangements need to be made to have the structure fixed, or demolished.