Archive for April, 2009

How fit is the Wii?

Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 5:26 am

Video games don't really conjure thoughts of a healthy lifestyle. However a local health professional is using the Nintendo Wii as a rehabilitation tool. Andy Bishop is a physical therapist at Washington County Hospital and Clinics. He says the Wii Fit is a great tool for helping patients with balance and hand eye coordination. He says it's very beneficial for people recovering from a stroke, because it can help them realize that they may put more weight on one side of their body than the other. Bishop also says many people have decided to continue to use the Wii at home after their physical therapy, because they feel it helps them maintain mobility as they get older.

Spring Break

Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 5:25 am

Its that time of year again when students are screaming for a break. The Mid Prairie School District will give the students just that. This Friday is the first day of spring Break. The district will not be using any of spring break to make up for snow days. Spring break will go through Monday, April 13th and classes will resume on Tuesday, April 14th.

Movie Day

Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 5:25 am

When the Mid Prairie school district does not have any classes during the week the Kalona Library likes to hold a movie day to provide safe and fun activities. On Thursday, April 9th, the Kalona Public Library will be showing Kung Fu Panda from 1:30pm to 3:10pm. For additional information, please contact Youth Services Librarian at 319-656-3501.

Severe Weather Awareness Week

Posted: Sunday, April 5th, 2009 at 5:40 am

This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week. KCII will be highlighting the services and people who make it their job to keep us safe. We'll be airing special weather related news stories during our regular newscasts. We'll talk with local emergency officials and meteorologists from Weather Eye, and the National Weather Service. We'll also be participating in a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, April 8th. During that time the KCII Severe Weather Action Team will conduct an emergency equipment test, and demonstrate how severe weather coverage works at the station.

Karen Murphy

Posted: Sunday, April 5th, 2009 at 5:40 am

Washington State Bank recently announced the retirement of Karen Murphy as its Internal Auditor. Murphy was with the bank for 20 years. Her duties included control reviews, account verifications, procedural reviews and adherence to bank policy and regulatory compliance. She also worked closely with the bank's external auditor and reported directly to the audit committee. WSB has yet to announce her replacement. 

Recital at IMS

Posted: Sunday, April 5th, 2009 at 5:33 am

Samantha Beachy and Melissa Gingerich, seniors at IMS, will present a shared recital of piano and cello music on Saturday, April 11 at 7 p.m. in Celebration Hall. Pianists Joni Beachy, Midori Beachy, Maria Davis, Abbie Miller, and Hannah Bartel will be joining Beachy on selected piano ensemble pieces. Beachy and Gingerich will play collaborative works for cello and piano and Gingerich's teacher, Kate Vos, will also join her on a work for two cellos. A reception will follow the concert. 

Spring Break

Posted: Sunday, April 5th, 2009 at 5:27 am

Its that time of year again when students are screaming for a break. The Mid Prairie School district will give the students just that. This Friday is the first day of spring Break. The district will not be using any of spring break to make up for snow days. Spring break will go through Monday, April 13th and classes will resume on Tuesday, April 14th.

Gay Marriage

Posted: Saturday, April 4th, 2009 at 5:48 am

A local state senator doesn’t expect any immediate legislative action on yesterdays Supreme Court ruling which essentially allows gay marriage in Iowa. Becky Schmitz says they are very bogged down with the state budget and a proposed middle income tax break. Schmitz says lawmakers will take a careful look at 70 page ruling and possibly address it during the next session. Schmitz and State Representative Larry Smith are tentatively scheduled to be in Washington for a legislative briefing on April 18.

National Media Driven Recession

Posted: Saturday, April 4th, 2009 at 5:47 am

A loan officer at a local bank says bad times on Wall Street can actually be good for institutions like his. Brandon Long with Washington State Bank says their deposits have gone up as people begin to pull their investments out of the stock market. Long says like most small town banks, they have money to lend. He says people have begun to seek loans for home improvement projects as the weather starts to warm up. Long also says many Midwestern banks have been shielded from the mortgage crisis because they tend to be more financially conservative.

DHS Volunteers

Posted: Saturday, April 4th, 2009 at 5:47 am

The local volunteer coordinator for Iowa’s Department of Human Services is looking for some help in the Washington area. Janet Ford says they are looking for people to drive DHS clients to medical and therapy appointments. Ford says volunteer drivers will be reimbursed 34-cents per mile. She says they are also looking for clerical volunteers. To learn more contact Ford at 319-863-0049.

Sharing Superintendent

Posted: Saturday, April 4th, 2009 at 5:46 am

Boards for both the Mid-Prairie Community School District and the Keota Community School District voted unanimously Monday, March 30, to approve sharing a superintendent. Keota board president Jared Lyle says they first approached Mid-Prairie three months ago. He says they wanted someone who they felt would be a good fit with the Keota School District. Lyle says he is looking forward to the new school year and moving forward with Mid Prairie Superintendent Mark Schneider.

Relay for Life

Posted: Saturday, April 4th, 2009 at 5:46 am

The American Cancer Society urges local companies to take up the fight against cancer in their community by becoming sponsors of Relay for Life. Kierstan Peck with the American Cancer Society says cancer touches everyone, and involvement in Relay for Life is a great way to show that a company cares. Peck says 32,538 people will participate this year in 87 Relay for Life events across Iowa. If you would like to become a corporate sponsor or find out how to build a team for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Louisa County, call 319.653.3768 or visit

Kalona Days Celebration

Posted: Saturday, April 4th, 2009 at 5:45 am

The Kalona Days Celebration takes place on Friday and Saturday June 19 and 20 in Kalona. Dave Finley, Kalona Days Co-Chairperson says the streets will be filled with food, arts & crafts vendors, a parade, games, contests, rides and childrens activities. He says this year marks the celebration of Kalona’s 130th birthday, in honor of this occasion, and because Kalona is the Quilt Capital of Iowa as well as the largest Amish settlement west of the Mississippi we will be attempting to make the worlds largest quilt cake. Finley says a standard 9 x 13 decorated sheet cake will be used as individual quilt squares. The cake squares will be assembled into large quilt patterns. The Kalona Days team will seam the many cakes together with colored icing piped on to tie the quilt squares together. Finley says after assembling the quilt, judges will award 1st, 2nd and 3rd place cash awards to the most creatively decorated cakes.

New Doctor

Posted: Saturday, April 4th, 2009 at 5:45 am

Washington County Hospital and Clinics are saying goodbye to a doctor, but welcoming a new one. CEO Don Patterson says Nathan Thomas is leaving Women’s Health Care of Washington in July to move to Texas with his family. He says Lloyd Holm, who is an experienced and Board Certified OB/GYN, will be joining the hospital’s medical staff. Doctor Holm is from Omaha, where he is an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Nebraska, where he also received his education.

WHS Vocals

Posted: Saturday, April 4th, 2009 at 5:42 am

13 students from Washington High School’s Vocal Music Department brought home top marks at statewide competition recently. The results were announced this week. WHS also earned the second and third highest ratings. Categories included soloists, duets and Quartetts. Brad Crone, Brian Langr, Tyler Lynch and Jacalyn Walsh all scored a Division I rating for their solo performances. Division I is the highest rating. Darrale Ross and Gregory Schneider received a Division II ranking for their solos. While Kathleen Kennedy, and Ashley Roate were rated in Div. 3.

Sigourney man charged with killing father

Posted: Friday, April 3rd, 2009 at 6:19 am

A Sigourney man is facing voluntary manslaughter charges after allegedly killing his father. The Iowa Department of Public Safety says 32 year old Kenneth Lundy is being held in the Keokuk County Jail, pending an initial appearance before a district Judge. They say Lundy got into a heated argument with his father, 61 year old Kenneth Lundy early Thursday morning. The argument escalated and both men retrieved firearms. Authorities say Kenneth Lundy shot his father, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The State Medical Examiners Office plans to perform an autopsy later this week. Lundy is considered innocent unless proven guilty.

Volunteers: it’s time to clean up this town

Posted: Friday, April 3rd, 2009 at 6:18 am

A group of volunteers is going to be cleaning up downtown Washington tomorrow morning. Mayor Sandra Johnson says the group will meet at 8:00 am at Central Park. Those wishing to help out are encouraged to bring gloves, garbage bags, rakes and shovels. There will be coffee and donuts in Central Park after the clean up.

WHS ahead of state graduation rate

Posted: Friday, April 3rd, 2009 at 6:17 am

The number of high-school dropouts was up last year in Iowa. Washington High School Principal Shane Ehrsman says that isn't being reflected locally. He says WHS was ahead of the statewide graduation rate in 2007 by nearly seven percent. Ehresman says they have weekly meetings to identify at risk students. He says a measure being considered in Des Moines that would raise the dropout age from 16 to 18 is probably a good idea. He says even if a student is having trouble, they can still participate in the Assure Alternative School Program and receive their diploma.

Soccer becoming more popular

Posted: Friday, April 3rd, 2009 at 6:17 am

There's talk of a soccer field at Washington's East Creek Park. The idea was brought up at this week's city council meeting. Councilor Bob Shepherd says it's something that would have to be carefully considered. Shepherd says a recent study of the park also put the idea of a natural walking area on the table. He says utilizing the stream for a water feature has also been discussed. Parks Superintendent Tim Widmer brought up the soccer field idea because of the sport's growing popularity in Washington.

Mid-Prairie’s geothermal system

Posted: Friday, April 3rd, 2009 at 6:16 am

The Kalona Elementary School has had a geo-thermal heating system for 5 years. Superintendent Mark Schneider says the system is working very well. He says a lot of people say the system will pay for itself within 5 years, but he says thats different for them because it was a retro fit and not a new installation. Schneider says the geo-thermal system does a very good job in heating and cooling the school and they can see the difference in the utility bill.