Archive for May, 2009


Posted: Thursday, May 7th, 2009 at 6:19 am

A non profit group in Iowa is trying to raise awareness about dental-phobia. Dr. Ed Schooley, with Delta Dental of Iowa says some studies indicate there are 30-40-million people who harbor a fear of the dentist. Schooley says the industry is developing guidelines to ease dental-phobia. He says oral care is vital, because many health problems have been linked to a lack of proper mouth care.

Building collapse lawsuit resumes

Posted: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 at 5:45 am

Testimony continues this morning in a civil trial centered around a 2006 building collapse in Washington's downtown area. Eight jurors are hearing cases against Iowa City based Apex Construction and Coralville based VJ-Engineering. Alfonso Raymundo owned the South Marion street property at the time of the collapse. The law suit he filed in 2007 alleges fault against the two eastern Iowa businesses. Yesterday, jurors heard testimony from city building inspector David Bruns, and Apex co-owner Steve Schmidt. One point of contention is how preliminary, and more advanced plans for structure's remodeling were handled by the city, and the two defendants. At the time of the collapse, Raymundo had hired Apex to overhaul the building. The city required Apex to submit the plans, with a certified engineer's approval. At that point, Apex consulted-VJ Engineering. The city later approved the plans. Testimony in the trial will continue at 9:00 this morning (5/6) at the Washington County Courthouse. 

Severe weather possible today

Posted: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 at 5:45 am

Severe weather could be in Washington County's future today. The National Weather Service says intense thunderstorms are possible from mid afternoon through early evening, along and ahead of an advancing cold front. The storms could bring quarter sized hail and wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour. Stay tuned to KCII during severe weather for Severe Weather Action Team Coverage. 

Washington Council revisits liquor request

Posted: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 at 5:45 am

Washington City Council members are again revisiting an outdoor liquor license request at tonight's meeting. Cafe Dodicci co-owner Lorraine Williams says she's been trying to obtain such a permit for a long time, and feels she should get it. Some city council members have expressed concern over what kind of precedent allowing the license would set. The meeting begins tonight at 7:00 in the Washington Public Library. 

Washington Co to help DOT

Posted: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 at 5:44 am

Washington County's engineering department is helping out the Iowa Department of Transportation on a couple of local construction projects. County Engineer David Patterson says they'll provide inspection services on the repaving of old Highway 218, as well as the bridge at Coppock. He says both of those projects are expected to be completed by this summer. He says the state will reimburse Washington County for these services. 

Federal deductibility tough for economic development

Posted: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 at 5:44 am

Economic development officials say Iowa sometimes gets a bad wrap because they say taxes look higher than they are. Ed Raber, with the Washington Economic Development Group, says since businesses and individuals can claim federal taxes as a state deduction, it often makes Iowa's tax rate look high, and might scare away potential businesses.

Marek pleased with historical tax credits

Posted: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 at 5:33 am

A Southeast Iowa lawmaker says he was glad to see Governor Chet Culver sign into law, a measure that more than doubles the amount of tax credits available for renovation of historic sites. Representative Larry Marek says it should help invigorate small town Iowa. The city of Washington recently took a number of awards home from Main Street Iowa, an organization that helps orchestrate historical renovations. 

Keeping A/C running properly

Posted: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 at 5:32 am

As the mercury rises, many Iowans might be kicking on their air conditioners. A local heating and cooling company says its important to keep A/C units in proper working order. Denise Wiles, with J and S Heating and Air Conditioning says you need to keep the unit's air filter clean. She says many people don't even realize there is an air filter. Wiles says the filter will needed to be changed periodically, depending on where you live. She says it will be more often if you live near gravel or dirt roads. Wiles also says air conditioners should be inspected and given a "tune up" at least once a year.

Skunk River canoe trip

Posted: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 at 5:32 am

The Washington County Conservation Board is having a canoe trip this month. Naturalist Pamela Holz says they'll travel down the Skunk River from McKain's River access, to the Brighton access. Holz says they'll canoe through some scenic woodland tracts including Brighton Timber. The trip is May 16, and costs $5. Holz says canoeists must be at least 10 years old and have some prior experience. To register call the Washington Kirkwood Center. For questions call the Washington County Conservation Board. 

Fatal crash remains under investigation

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:47 am

A car accident near Wellman that resulted in the death of a local man remains under investigation. Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says his department and the Iowa State Patrol are looking into whether or not charges will be filed against 15 year old Jared Gent. Dunbar says Gent failed to yield at the intersection of 170th and Juniper Avenue, and collided with a vehicle driven by 24 year old Ryan Detweiler. Detweiler was taken to University Hospitals in Iowa City, where he remained until he passed away Sunday. 

Washington Council to revisit hotel tax

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:47 am

Voters in Washington could be given a hotel tax option at tomorrow's city council meeting. The Chamber of Commerce is hoping councilor's will put the item on the ballot for the next election. City council members tabled the request at the last meeting in the midst of strong opposition from local hotel owners. The meeting begins tomorrow (5/6) night at 7:00 in the Washington Public Library. 

Economy down…crime up

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:47 am

A local law enforcement official says there has been a slight crime increase in Washington County. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says the economy is partially to blame. He says some turn to crime as they struggle to pay bills and put food on the table. Dunbar says as pressure mounts on people, they are more likely to commit crime of passion, rather than a planned out act of violence. The Sheriff encourages all residents to check their security measures. He also urges anyone who sees suspicious activity to contact his department, or the appropriate law enforcement agency. 

MP takes steps to avoid H1N1

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:46 am

Area schools are reviewing their preparedness in the wake of the swine flu outbreak. Mid Prairie Superintendent Mark Schneider says they are taking the necessary actions. Schneider says he has spoken with the school nurses and sent a letter home with students detailing there plan. He says they are doing everything they can to keep the H1N1 virus out of the Mid Prairie School District.

Letter carriers hope to "Stamp out Hunger"

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:46 am

Washington letter carriers are participating in the "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive this weekend. Andy Miller, with the Washington Post office, says they're asking residents to put non perishable food donations outside their house this Saturday morning to be picked up along with the mail. This is the 17th year the National Association of Letter Carriers has conducted the food drive. 

Positive parenting

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:46 am

The Louisa County Extension office is offering several positive parenting seminars this summer. Spokeswoman Kaitlyn Wintermeyer says the "Great Beginnings for Families" five part session will focus on growth and development, as well as building confidence in children. It's being offered through the Stork's Next of Louisa County. Wintermeyer says classes will be held from 4-5 pm on Tuesdays at the Methodist Church in Columbus Junction. In Wapello, the sessions are on Wednesdays from 4-5. Wintermeyer says anyone interested in participating should contact the Stork's nest at 319-527-6378, or the Extension Office at 319-653-2371.

IBNA recognizes KCII

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:45 am

KCII is being recognized by the Iowa Broadcast News Association for farm and agribusiness reporting. The station is receiving an award from the trade group. IBNA President Jim Mertens says awards in this category went to "programming that demonstrates the station's commitment to farm and agribusiness issues." 

Cinco De Mayo, not Mexican Independence Day

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:45 am

Today is Cinco De Mayo, and contrary to popular belief, it's not Mexican Independence Day. It actually commemorates a battle in 1862 that pitted French and Mexican forces against each other. At the time, Mexico was in financial debt to France, and Napoleon the Third used the opportunity to seize Mexican territory. On May fifth, French troops stormed the city of Puebla. The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers while fewer than 100 Mexicans were killed. Today, Mexicans celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla as Cinco de Mayo, a national holiday in Mexico. 

Keota man passes away following crash near Wellman

Posted: Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 4:28 am

A 24 year old Keota man has passed away after being involved in a car accident near Wellman last week. Ryan Detweiler passed away yesterday (5/3) at University Hospitals, in Iowa City. Detweiler taken by ambulance to the hospital after being involved in a crash at the intersection of 170th and Juniper Avenue. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says 15 year old Jared Gent, of Wellman failed to yield and collided with Detweiler. The two were taken University Hospitals, where Gent was treated and released. Funeral services for Ryan Detweiler are being handled by Powell Funeral Home in Keota. Police say charges are pending.

Wellman could hire public works director tonight

Posted: Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 4:27 am

The city of Wellman has been looking for a public works director for a few weeks now. City Administrator Dave Ross says they have interviewed many people. Ross says he would like the public works director to start working as soon as possible. He says the Director will be in charge of many different operations in Wellman including water, sewer and parks. Ross says they will know by this evening if the applicant has passed all background checks and then the city council can appoint that person into the new public works director position.

Wind energy in Washington Co.

Posted: Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 4:27 am

A southeast Iowa lawmaker says Washington County could be come the wind energy capital of the state. Representative Larry Marek says he and other local government officials have been working with Kansas based Trade Wind Energy to develop a plan. Marek says the wind farm would likely be located in the northern part of Washington County. He says it would stretch from Riverside to the Keokuk County line, and could well be the largest wind farm in Iowa.