Archive for March, 2009

Washington water rates likely to go up

Posted: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 7:50 am

A new waste water plant for the city of Washington could eventually mean higher utility prices. The new facility is being constructed as part of an agreement with the state Department of Natural Resources. City Administrator Dave Plyman says given the scale of the project, a price increase is almost inevitable. Plyman says the facility is scheduled for completion in 2011. He says the city is in the process of acquiring land and working out the engineering proposals. Plyman also says construction could start as soon as this year. The Washington City Council will meet this Wednesday night at 7:00 in the Public Library.

SEMCO Update

Posted: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 7:49 am

The manager of the Southeast Iowa Multi-County Solid Waste Agency says things have been getting expensive lately. Bill Fluke says they are in the process of expanding their landfill, which can be pretty pricey. Fluke says they plan on adding about one-and-a-half acres to their facility this year, then an additional four to five acres down the road. He says according to the current plan, SEMCO has a little more than 26-years of permitted space left, however that can be expanded as necessary.

Wind energy confrence

Posted: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 7:49 am

Farmers, landowners, businesses, schools and homeowners interested in learning more about wind power are invited to take part in the 2009 Wind Energy Conference coordinated by Iowa State University on Friday, March 20 at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center in Fairfield. The day will include various exhibits, breakout sessions and panelists discussing the wind resources available in Iowa, the opportunities and threats related to the industry, and perspectives from current turbine owners and operators. Those wishing to participate should contact the Jefferson County Extension Office at (641) 472-4166. The cost is $20 per person and will be limited to the first 200 registrants.

Writing in School

Posted: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 7:49 am

With Computers and cell phones in everyones daily lives the art of writing is still an important topic in schools, Kalona Elementary School teacher Kerri Bell says they put a lot of time into teaching writing and making sure the students write as much as possible. Bell says technology has enhanced the way they teach and she believes that even though there are a lot of kids that would rather type an e-mail or text message, they make sure that the art of writing is not lost and it seems to working.

Girl Talk

Posted: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 7:48 am

Being a teenager can be a difficult time. Planned Parent of Southeast Iowa is hoping to make that time a little easier for young women and their parents in the Washington area. They’ll be having a special half day program entitled Girl Talk this Saturday morning from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Washington Public Library. It’s designed to help mothers and daughters communicate about puberty and issues associated with being a teen. Workshops will focus on Self-Esteem, Body Image and Communication. For registration call Amanda Swan at 319-795-6774. Cost is 19-dollars for mother and daughter. Registration is due by tomorrow.

4-H Dodgeball

Posted: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 7:48 am

The Washington County 4-H County Council held a 4-H Dodgeball Tournament on Sunday, March 8th at Washington High School. There was a total of 17 teams that competed, with an approximate 102 4-Hers. Kati Peiffer, 4-H-Youth Coordinator says The Riverside Ramblers 4-H club, Cody Schneider, Colton Schneider, Ryan Schneider, Kyle Schneider, Brad Lampe and Brett Walsh, placed first in the Senior/Intermediate Division. The Washington County 4-H County Council planned the event as a way for 4-Hers to have fun and meet other youth. Peiffer wishes to thank those who helped with the tournament and to Washington High School for the use of the gym.

Lane Closure on Hwy 1

Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 7:47 am

March 16, 2009 Traffic will be restricted to one lane on Iowa 1 southbound from Iowa 92 to Iowa 78 in Washington County because of a culvert replacement project, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation. Two-way traffic will be maintained at all times during construction. Flaggers will be used to assist traffic through the work zone. The project is expected to be completed by 3 p.m. today.

Washington Co. Supervisors continue road talks

Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 7:45 am

The Washington County Board of Supervisors will lay out how they plan on spending some federal stimulus money at this weeks meeting. They’ll be discussing, and possibly approving an agreement for the Federal Highway Stimulus Program Project. This comes as welcome news during a time when many agree local roads are in need of help. Recently the Washington County Iowa Farm Bureau held a workshop meeting with County Supervisors and the County Engineer to discuss possible solutions to the deteriorating secondary road problem. County Engineer David Patterson says these roads are most vulnerable this time of year as the ground starts to thaw. Patterson says this is why they’re putting an embargo on certain unpaved routes. The board of supervisors will meet this Tuesday morning at 9:30 at the Washington County Courthouse.

Flood legislation

Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 7:44 am

After signing disaster legislation as the first new law this year, Governor Culver announced that Iowans in 14 counties affected by last summers natural disasters can apply for unmet needs grants created by the legislation. Applications for the unmet needs grants are currently being accepted by Long-Term Recovery Committees for people in Benton, Buchanan, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Dubuque, Franklin, Fremont, Johnson, Linn, Louisa, Muscatine, Montgomery, Polk and Scott counties. Applicants have until June 30, 2010, to apply for any existing funds. Applicants may call the Iowa Concerns Hotline at 1-866-849-0323.

Local school boards might share superintendent

Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 7:42 am

The school boards of the Keota Community School District and Mid-Prairie Community School District have agreed to a joint meeting tonight. The Keota School Board informally approached the Mid-Prairie School Board members more than two months ago about sharing a superintendent. Mid-Prairie Superintendent Mark Schneider told school board members Monday, March 9, that he had met with the Keota Board the week before in closed session to discuss the matter. The Board will meet tonight in the media Center at Mid Prairie High school at 7pm.

Sigourney Schools receive grant

Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 7:42 am

Senator Tom Harkin announced that the Iowa Department of Education will award Iowa school districts $5.8 million in Harkin Grants to repair, modernize, and build new schools. Sigourney Community School District will receive $146,185. The grant will help purchase and renovate the former 10,000 square foot Wohler Building, currently used as an auction house, located on Highway 92 close to Sigourney High School and Alternative School.

4-H fair well in lean times

Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 7:41 am

While many government funded entities are struggling financially, one local group isn’t as strapped for cash as most. Kati Peiffer, with the Washington County Extension’s 4-H program, says while it would always be nice to have more money, they get plenty of help from local businesses and families who support the program. Be sure to tune in to KCII Monday March 16 at 1:00 pm for a special edition agriculture magazine featuring Peiffer. The topic is agriculture education.

The changing face of agriculture

Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 7:41 am

For someone outside the agriculture community, the industry probably doesn’t conjure thoughts of cutting edge technology. However, quite the opposite is true. GPS, genetic engineering and specialized drainage and irrigation techniques are just a few examples of major advances that have been made in ag technology. Despite this, Washington County Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says market awareness is one of the biggest changes hes seen in recent years. He says a few generations ago might not have paid attention to what was happening in other countries. However, that’s not the case today. Be sure to tune in to KCII Monday March 16 at 1:00 pm for a special edition agriculture magazine featuring Mohling. The topic is agriculture education.

Congratulations Washington Speech Team!

Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 7:39 am

Congratulations to the seven Washington High School students who participated in state-level individual speech competition in Vinton on over the weekend Of the eleven events that continued past the district contest, nine received Division I ratings from a panel of three judges, while two earned Division II. Each student had at least one event receive the Division I rating. Brian Langr, Mackenzie Roth, Andrew Schneider, Greg Schneider, Steffany Adrian, Nolan Breard, and Regan Loula are to be commended for their efforts! All-state nominations will be announced Monday March 16.

This week in city hall

Posted: Sunday, March 15th, 2009 at 7:31 am

Discussion on the city of Washington’s water treatment plant will continue at this week’s council meeting. The council will revisit a request for approval of a proposal from Fox Engineering to amend the facilities plan for the proposed wastewater plant. They will also consider purchasing a new pump at a cost of a little more than five-thousand-dollars. The council will also take up a request from the Washington High-School to close east Madison Street, and a liquor license request from the new Super Wal-Mart. The meeting starts at 7:00 Wednesday night in the public library.

4-H Update

Posted: Sunday, March 15th, 2009 at 7:30 am

While many government funded entities are struggling financially, one local group isn’t as strapped for cash as most. Kati Peiffer, with the Washington County Extension’s 4-H program says while it would always be nice to have more money, they get plenty of help from local businesses and families who support the program. Be sure to tune in to KCII tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 for a special edition agriculture magazine featuring Peiffer. Monday’s topic is agriculture education.

M-P School Board

Posted: Sunday, March 15th, 2009 at 7:29 am

The school boards of the Keota Community School District and Mid-Prairie Community School District have agreed to a joint meeting tomorrow. Keota School Board informally approached the Mid-Prairie School Board members more than two months ago about sharing a superintendent. Mid-Prairie Superintendent Mark Schneider told school board members Monday, March 9, that he had met with the Keota Board the week before in closed session to discuss the matter. The Board will meet tommorow in the media Center at Mid Prairie High school at 7pm

IMS Concert

Posted: Sunday, March 15th, 2009 at 7:29 am

IMS will host the annual Midwest Regional Mennonite Orchestra Festival. March 20-22. The Festival comprised of Bethany Christian, Central Christian, and Iowa Mennonite will culminate with a concert Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Each individual orchestra will perform a selection, followed by the Festival Orchestra combining all schools together directed by guest conductor Carey Bostian. A small jazz band conducted by guest conductor James Pisano will also perform. An offering will be taken to help defray festival costs.

Making homes more efficient

Posted: Saturday, March 14th, 2009 at 7:28 am

The state of Iowa is receiving more than 121-million dollars to put towards efficiency grants. Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack says the money is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will support home weatherization and modernizing heating and cooling equipment through rebates. Mike Roe with Roe Heating in Washington says some simple ways to take advantage of the program and see a lot of savings is by insulating basements, and sealing any leaks in a home.

Rough times worse than they seem

Posted: Saturday, March 14th, 2009 at 7:28 am

Flooding, erosion and land and commodity values are all things that have southeast Iowa farmers worried. Washington County Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says economic tensions in other areas are now catching up with the agriculture sector. However, he feels the recent decision by Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to ramp up ethanol usage in blended fuels should help. He also says the recent decline in farmland values is probably not as bad as it sounds, because prices were artificially inflated.