Archive for April, 2009

H1NI found in SE Iowa

Posted: Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 6:41 am

Two probable cases of swine flu have been discovered in Southeast Iowa…one in Des Moines County and one in Clinton County. Washington County Public Health Administrator Edie Nebel says her agency and counterpart agencies across the state have a plan to deal with such a situation. Nebel says that might include identifying people with the virus, and determining where and how they contracted it. Governor Chet Culver tells the Des Moines Register. tests will be done today to determine if the cases are in fact the HINI virus. He says if that’s the case, he will declare a public health disaster.

Schmitz looks back on ‘09 legislative session

Posted: Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 6:41 am

Despite the volatile economy, Iowa lawmakers this session were able to balance the budget and put 400-million dollars in the state’s rainy day fund. Fairfield State Senator Becky Schmitz says one area she was glad they were able to sustain, is education. Schmitz says she’s disappointed they weren’t able to do more for mental health funding. She says Iowa has had a hard time providing funding and keeping mental health professionals in the state. Schmitz says one of her personal goals was to provide some sort of health insurance for mental illnesses.

Marek’s take on legislative session

Posted: Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 6:40 am

Mid Western states such as Iowa have been some what shielded from the recession, but have not been invincible. State Representative Larry Marek of Riverside says one item he was glad to see pass in the legislature was a bonding plan. Marek says federal stimulus money will help them leverage the more than 700-million dollars in bonds. One thing that disappoints Marek is the lack of funding for county secondary roads. He says the answer to the problem was a fuel tax, which was taken off of the table by the governor.

Same sex marriage issue mostly quiet

Posted: Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 6:40 am

Throughout Iowa the different counties are having different reactions gay marriage. In Keokuk County, Recorder Melissa Bird, says they have had no problems. She says no one has protested or called her. Bird says she has received an online petition that many other recorders around the state have gotten. She says she has had a few calls asking for information on registering but can not divulge whether they were same sex couples or not. Bird says no matter what she will continue to do her job as mandated by the state.

Dust control deadline Today (4/30) is the deadline to obtain a dust control permit in Washington County. The cost for such a permit is $25, but will g

Posted: Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 6:40 am

Dust control deadline
Today (4/30) is the deadline to obtain a dust control permit in Washington County. The cost for such a permit is $25, but will go up to $75 after today’s deadline. Residents must keep their dust control locations marked with green flags provided by their contractor until November first. For more information visit www.washingtonroads.org

Financial seminar

Posted: Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 6:40 am

Being a parent can be a difficult task during these tough economic times. Melissa Myers with West Chester Savings Bank is conducting a financial education seminar for Parents as Teachers this evening (4/30). The event is tonight from 6:30 to 7:30 at the Washington Presbyterian Church. To register contact Parents as Teachers at 653-7758.

Sheriff to use speed trailer

Posted: Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 6:39 am

The Washington County Sheriffs office is going to be using their speed trailer again this year. Dunbar says with the computer up and running, they can record traffic count as well as speeds.He says this has been very useful and the information has been requested by several city councils as well as the county’s secondary roads department. Dunbar says with this type of information, they can get an accurate count and speed of traffic on certain roads.He says the trailer will be put up in random spots through out Washington County.

Day camps

Posted: Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 6:39 am

The Washington County Extension Office is having summer day camps this year. 4-H Youth Coordinator Kati Peiffer says this year’s camps include Oceans of Fun. She says this is for youth who have completed kindergarten and first grade as of this June. She says the camp will explore water and ocean life. She says space is limited to 20 people. Visit the extension’s website for more information and to get registered. Or call 319-653-4811

Local vet: it’s okay to eat pork

Posted: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 5:23 am

With swine flu in the news, a local veterinarian says its perfectly safe to eat pork. Doctor Terry Mangold, at Town and Country Vet Clinic, says people don’t need to worry about catching swine flu by coming in contact with pigs either. Mangold says pork producers should watch their animals for symptoms of the disease which include heavy cough and pneumonia. He says swine flu is essentially a new strain of influenza that’s mutated from other strains that effect humans, birds and swine.

WHS gets $50k grant

Posted: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 5:23 am

Washington High School is getting $50,000 in grant money for its engineering academy program. Principal Shane Ehresman says the money will be used to purchase equipment and software. He says engineering provides a multitude of important skills. The money is coming from the Iowa Community College System, the Iowa Department of Economic Development and the Kern Family Foundation.

Washington Police make burglary arrest

Posted: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 5:23 am

A 16 year is facing felony charges in connection with three burglaries in the city of Washington. Sergeant Sean Ellingson says they will file three counts of burglary and three counts of theft in connection with break ins at the Washington Junior High, Griggs Music Shop and Rider Sales. Ellingson says its difficult to put a dollar amount on all the items taken from the three locations, but feels all of them will fall under second degree theft which is between one and ten thousand dollars. He says computer items taken from the Junior High are valued at at least seven thousand dollars. He says there are other burglaries being investigated and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Washington Police.

Bringing Washington Co’s septic systems into compliance

Posted: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 5:23 am

About 2,500 homes in rural Washington County are using un-permitted septic systems. That’s according to Environmental Health Administrator Jeff Thoman. He says discharging wastewater without the proper septic system in place can present a major health hazard. Thoman says there are grants and low interest loans available to help homeowners bring their septic systems up to date. To find out more contact the Washington County Department of Environmental Health.

Tracking stimulus money

Posted: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 5:22 am

Congressman Dave Loebsack launched a new Recovery Act map that charts where and how Recovery Act funds are being spent in the second district. According to a new report released by the US Government Accountability Office, Iowa intends to effectively and efficiently tracking the federal funds. Loebsack says Iowa is one of 16 states being monitored by the GAO on the implementation of the Act.He encourages people to review the Recovery Act Map, which is being updated as each new project is announced. Residents of the second district can visit Congressman Loebsacks website to see where Recovery Act dollars are being spent.

3 new events at Kalona Days

Posted: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 5:22 am

Kalona Days organizers have announced 3 new events for the early summer celebration. Kalona Days Director Dave Finley says the new events are nail driving contest which is a competition for the fastest time in driving 43 nails into a 4x 4 section of wood. Finley says there will also be a salsa judging as well as a watermelon seed spitting contest. The winners of each contest will receive various amounts of Kalona Kash. Kalona Days is sponsored by the Kalona Chamber of Commerce. For more information contact Dave Finley at (319)656-3535

Be safe this Cinco de Mayo

Posted: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 5:22 am

Cinco de Mayo is next week and most people celebrate the weekend before. Deputy Caudel with the Louisa County Sheriff’s office says in the past they have not had too much of a problem with people taking there parties to the streets. He says they wont be doing anything different this year. Caudel says if people plan to drink to always be responsible. He says have a designated driver with you or take a taxi. He says being safe can not only save your life but the lives of those around you.

Call before you dig

Posted: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 5:21 am

April is considered the beginning of construction season in the Midwest. Ben Booth, with Iowa One Call says something everyone from professional contractors to back yard handymen need to do, is call before they dig, to avoid impacting underground utilities. Booth says if you don’t contact Iowa One Call 48 hours before digging, and disrupt a service, you can be held liable for it. He says their service is free and the best way to get a hold of them in Iowa is by dialing 8-1-1. For more information visit the Iowa One Call website.

WPH monitoring for swine flu

Posted: Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 at 5:21 am

A local health official says her department is monitoring reports on swine flu from state and federal agencies. Washington County Public Health Adminstrator Edie Nebel recommends, as with any influenza, frequent hand washing and covering your mouth when you cough. She also says if you do feel ill, to stay home. There have been no cases of swine flu reported in Washington County or Iowa.

Columbus Jct man home after Friday crash

Posted: Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 at 5:21 am

A Columbus Junction man is back home after being hospitalized over the weekend following a car accident on the Highway 92 bridge over the Iowa River. University of Iowa Hospital officials say 50 year old Manuel Martinez was discharged, after being airlifted to their facility Friday. According to a report from the Iowa State Patrol, Martinez’s vehicle smashed into a trailer being pulled by a tractor, driven by 27 year old Benjamin Lacina of West Branch. The report indicates Martinez’s vehicle then collided with a pickup truck driven by 52 year old Peggy Griffin of Lets. Police say charges are pending.

Washington Recorder receives anti-gay marriage petition

Posted: Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 at 5:20 am

At least 100 area residents believe the Washington County Recorder shouldn’t issue same sex marriage licenses. That’s how many signatures were on a series of petitions left at Connie Pence’s office yesterday (4/27). Pence says things have been quiet despite the fact that yesterday was the first day that gay couples could obtain marriage licenses in Iowa. She says no one came in to apply for such a license, and there have been no protesters. Pence has previously said she will issue same sex marriage licenses to those who seek them, in accordance with the law.

Mostly quiet on first day of gay marriage

Posted: Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 at 5:20 am

The Louisa County Recorder says things were quiet yesterday, despite it being the first day that recorders could issue same sex marriage licenses. Recorder Leanne Black says she’s heard of problems in other areas. Black says if any couple wishes to obtain a marriage license, she will do her job. She says they don’t have any hard copies of the licenses, but do have digital copes ready to print out. Black says she has yet to see the first same sex marriage license request.