Archive for April, 2009

WHS Spring Art Show

Posted: Saturday, April 11th, 2009 at 4:15 am

The Washington High School Art Department’s Spring Show is now on display at the Helen Wilson Gallery in the Public Library. Art Teacher Bonnie Moothart says the display includes photography, paintings, drawings and pottery completed by students at the school. The works will be on display through April 30th.

Brighton Easter Egg Hunt

Posted: Saturday, April 11th, 2009 at 4:14 am

The Brighton Chamber of Commerce will be holding their annual Easter Egg Hunt today at 1pm at the Brighton Ball Park. Brian Arnold with the Brighton Chamber says it will be a day of fun and hunting. He says the age groups are for preschool through 6th grade. Arnold says there will be prizes and gifts and if you have any question give him a call at 319-694-5020.

Relay for Life

Posted: Saturday, April 11th, 2009 at 4:13 am

There will be a Relay for Life meeting on Monday at 6:30PM at the Columbus City, City Hall. Kierstan Peck, Community Relations with the American Cancer Society says anyone who is interested in helping with the Relay for life is invited to attend the meeting. For questions call Kiersten Peck at 319-752-0240.

Twilight Jazz

Posted: Saturday, April 11th, 2009 at 4:13 am

The YMCA of Washington will be all jazzed up later this month. Roger Adams, with the -Y- says the Twilight Dinner and Jazz Festival will be April 23 at the YMCA. He says there will be a five course meal, and of course music from the Washington Junior High and High School Jazz Bands. Adams says the gym at the -Y- will be transformed with stage lighting. Tickets are $20. They include dinner and the show. Proceeds will benefit YMCA programming.

WHS senior to carry Special Olympics Torch

Posted: Saturday, April 11th, 2009 at 4:12 am

A Senior at Washington High-School will carry the torch at the East Central Area Special Olympics Games next weekend at Coe College in Cedar Rapids. Rebbecca Enfield is the Daughter of Doug and Carol Enfield. “Becca” as she’s known to her friends, participates in Soccer Skills, Bowling, Basketball Skills, Snow Shoeing, Nordic Skiing, and Track & Field. She also volunteers at Up With Kids Day Care. Special Olympics mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities

Washington Schools Cut Custodians

Posted: Friday, April 10th, 2009 at 9:54 am

The decision to eliminate custodial positions at the Washington School District drew some complaints at this week’s board of education meeting. Superintendent Dave Sextro says its never easy to decide where to make cuts. He says their lawn care department was costing the district more than $40-thousand dollars per year. This week, board members approved a contract with a lawn care company for about $24-thousand dollars per year.

Groups Clash Over High School Rennovation

Posted: Friday, April 10th, 2009 at 9:53 am

Major renovations at Washington High-School are causing some conflict between the board of education, and a local citizens committee. The citizen’s committee wanted board members to commit to an architect at this week’s meeting, but school board President Eric Turner says they didn’t like the wording of the resolution. Turner says they’ve decided to wait on a report from the Iowa Construction Advocate Team, which is expected next month. The independent citizens committee wanted to put architect John Shaw’s plan on the ballot for voters to decide on. Turner says that’s still a possibility, but they want wait to see what ICAT has to say. 

E-911: the hub of communications

Posted: Friday, April 10th, 2009 at 9:53 am

It takes a carefully coordinated effort to mobilize emergency personnel during severe weather. The hub of that effort is emergency telecommunications. Cara Sorrells is the supervisor at the Washington Safety Center. She says they have a rigorous procedure for such situations. Sorrells says while emergency officials rely on her office to serve as a relay point for information, she says they rely on those officials to serve as their eyes and ears in the field.

Washington Construction

Posted: Friday, April 10th, 2009 at 9:52 am

Construction season is just around the corner, and the city of Washington is hoping to wrap up several projects this year. City Administrator Dave Plyman says they plan on finishing the new library, and the main street improvement project. He says they’ll also start looking at a new water tower Plyman says they’ll consider bonds this June to pay for the tower, as well as some of the initial costs of a much needed waste water plant. 

Kalona Roads

Posted: Friday, April 10th, 2009 at 9:52 am

The Kalona city council has approved many road repairs. City Adminstrator Doug Morgan says they are also working on broken asphalt and crack filled repairs consisting of 27 sq. yards in several places. That includes a parking lot at 6th Street and B Avenue, paving intersection of A Avenue and 6th Street, as well as chip seal coat repairs to 2nd Street and 3rd Streets south of J Avenue.

Keokuk Learn at Lunch

Posted: Friday, April 10th, 2009 at 9:51 am

With food prices on the rise, people are considering alternatives to the types of food they buy and where they eat. Gary Bickmeier, Keokuk County Extension Education Director, says the Iowa State University Extension has just launched the Spend Smart, Eat Smart website to help consumers make educated decisions on how and where they spend their food dollars. Keokuk County residents are encouraged to learn about the new interactive website at a Lunch and Learn program at the Keokuk County Health Center on April 28th in Sigourney. Reservations may be made by calling the Keokuk County Extension Office at 641-622-2680. The cost of the meal is $5.00 and reservations are limited to 30 and are due by Monday, April 20th.

Two cited under social host ordinance

Posted: Friday, April 10th, 2009 at 9:51 am

A fairly new Washington County ordinance addressing adults, who provide a place for minors to drink alcohol has yielded two citations. County Attorney Barb Edmondson says Gary Don and Mary Lou Miller, both age 38, of Wellman were issued civil citations last month for knowingly permitting underage drinking on their premises. The social host ordinance was passed by the board of supervisors last year. Edmondson says it’s aimed at “party houses” where adults host parties for underage drinkers, but may not directly supply the alcohol. Edmondson also says these are the first prosecutions under the ordinance.

Earth Day Louisa County

Posted: Friday, April 10th, 2009 at 9:50 am

Lundy waives preliminary hearing

Posted: Thursday, April 9th, 2009 at 5:34 am

A Sigourney man accused of killing his father has waived his preliminary hearing. Keokuk County AttorneyJohn Schroeder, says that means his office does not have to prove that they have enough evidence to continue with a trial. Schroeder says it is not uncommon for the preliminary hearings to be waived in cases such as this. Kenneth Lundy is accused of shooting and killing his father on April 2nd after getting into a heated argument over money. Schroeder says they have until May 17th to submit all pertinent Information for trial. Lundy is being held in the Keokuk County Jail on a $50,000 bond. Lundy cannot plead guilty or not guilty until the trial because of due process, he is considered innocent until proven guilty.

WCSD passes budget, tax levy

Posted: Thursday, April 9th, 2009 at 5:30 am

Washington Community School Board members approved a roughly $23-million dollar budget at last night's meeting. A major point of contention for members of the public who attended offer comment was the $1.58 increase in the district's tax levy. School board members pointed to the fact that the state is taking corrective action against the district for exceeding their budget during the 2007-2008 school year. They also says financial experts suggested increasing the levy by $1.90 to $2.00.

Code Red

Posted: Thursday, April 9th, 2009 at 5:29 am

Keokuk County has implemented the CodeRED Emergency Notification System. Larry Smith, the Keokuk county emergency managemet coordinator says it is known as a reverse 911 system. He says it is an ultra high-speed telephone communication service for emergency notifications. The system is capable of dialing 50,000 phone numbers per hour. It then delivers a recorded message to a live person or an answering machine, making there attempts to connect to any number. Smith says the system will only be used for emergency purposes. He says to be safe everyone needs to make sure they are in the database. Smith says Louisa County has been using this system for a while now and it has saved lives and is proud that Keokuk County has CodeRED. To make sure you are in the Database log onto the Keokuk county website at

Law enforcement cell phones

Posted: Thursday, April 9th, 2009 at 5:29 am

Severe weather strikes without regard to man made boundaries, so it's important for emergency personnel to work together. Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar say his agency uses cell phones to keep in contact with other emergency entities. He says that can present a problem if a cell tower is damaged, or the system is overwhelmed. He says law enforcement agencies do have a preferred channel that can override non emergency cell phones. He says they only use it if it's absolutely necessary.

Emergency Telecommunicators Week

Posted: Thursday, April 9th, 2009 at 5:28 am

In recognition of National Public Safety Communications week, the Washington Safety Center will have an awards banquet this weekend. Supervisor Cara Sorrells says being an emergency communicator can be a demanding job. She says they get a variety of calls…from the mundane…to the hysterical…and sometimes humorous. Sorrells says despite the challenges associated with her line of work, she and her colleagues enjoy what they do, and the fellowship they have. Sorrells says they'll be giving out awards for things like perfect attendance, and longevity at this weekend's banquet. It will be held at the Washington County Conservation Center at 11:00 Saturday Morning. She says the event is open to the public.

Wellman ready for severe weather

Posted: Thursday, April 9th, 2009 at 5:28 am

The City of Wellman is ready for severe weather. City Administrator Dave Ross says they bought a new tornado siren last year and has it connected to the Washington County Safety Center. He says they can also set it off manually if necessary. Ross says they have a storm shelter in the basement of city hall so when the weather is calling for severe weather including tornadoes they will open it up for anyone who wishes to use it.

Bill threatens HSAP

Posted: Thursday, April 9th, 2009 at 5:27 am

Legislation pending in Des Moines could threaten Iowa's Home School Assistance Program. Andrea Farrier is a teacher at Mid Prairie Schools and a lobbyist for HSAP. She says the measure would allow school district's to get rid of the program. Last year the state cut the amount of HSAP money district's get in half, but stipulated that they couldn't reduce funding. A measure pending at the State House would allow them reduce, and even eliminate their funding. While this worries Farrier about what the implications would be statewide, she doesn't feel any local school districts would pursue such action. Riverside State Representative Larry Marek has said he would oppose any such legislation.