Archive for May, 2009

Riverboat foundation awards $700k

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2009 at 4:57 am

38 local organizations are getting more than $700,000 in grant money from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation. Some of the biggest allotments include $90,000 for athletic facilities improvements at Mid Prairie Schools, more than $78,000 for the Washington Area Softball Association to build an indoor hitting facility and $75,000 for the Brighton Fire Department to purchase a pumper.

Washington to borrow $3.5 million

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2009 at 4:57 am

Washington is levying $3.5 million in bonds for a new water tower, and a new sewer plant. City Administrator Dave Plyman says the debt will be paid off over a 20 year period with property taxes. He says water rates will also have to be increased. Plyman says the money will also be used to purchase land for the new sewer plant to be located on. He says some of it might be used to expand Elm Grove Cemetery.

Vacancy on Kalona zoning commission

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2009 at 4:56 am

Kalona City Council members have yet to fill a vacancy on the city's planning and zoning commission. City Clerk Karen Christener says members tabled action on the matter at this week's meeting. She says the council is also considering quotes for roof and siding replacement at the community center. Councilors did approve street closures for Kalona Days. They tabled a request to serve alcohol at an outdoor area during the festival.

Washington Choral: "Let Freedom Ring"

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2009 at 4:56 am

The Washington Choral Society is kicking off the Memorial Day Weekend tonight (5/22) with the "Let Freedom Ring" concert. The organization's Mike Jewel says the event is a way to honor veterans, and those currently serving in the armed forces. The concert is this evening at 7:00 at Washington's United Methodist Church. Admission is 10 dollars for adults and five for students. Veterans and active military members get in free.

Entertainer this weekend at YMCA

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2009 at 4:56 am

Family entertainer Mike Presby will be at the Washington YMCA tonight and tomorrow. Presby describes himself as an illusionist and magician. His act includes comedy and live animals. Presby says his show is geared towards audience members of all ages. He'll put on his act at the -Y- this evening at 7:00 and again tomorrow afternoon at 12:30. For more information or to get tickets contact the YMCA of Washington.

KCII announces scholarships

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2009 at 4:56 am


Megan Adams of Mid Prairie and Riley Sheetz of Keota are the recipients of the 2009 KCII Business to Business scholarships. KCII General Manager Joe Nichols says these scholarships are especially important during these tough economic times. Nichols encourages area high school juniors to look for applications for the KCII Business to Business scholarships next spring.

RFL Meeting

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2009 at 4:55 am

Relay for Life of Louisa County is having a meeting June 1st to share the importance of the event with local residents. The meeting is at 7:00 pm at the L & M Elementary School cafeteria. For more information, or to volunteer contact Kierstan Peck at 319-653-3768.

News Update-Washington County Riverboat Foundation Releases Grant

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 7:31 am

The Washington County Riverboat Foundation board last night awarded $700,180.00 for their spring grant period. Below you can download the list of recipients.

More Information Click Here To Download List

Reaction to the $36 million proposal for WSCD

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 4:53 am

Reactions are mixed after a $36-million proposal for overhauling Washington School facilities was laid on the table this week. Washington County resident and former educator Bill Frakes says he likes the idea of preserving the high-school building, but not annexing the current junior high to a new facility. The biggest question remains funding. The Construction Advocate Team recommends using state sales tax money, and a few rounds of bonding.

New Stewart principal excited to start

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 4:53 am

The new principal at Washington's Stewart Elementary school says she's excited to start her job and evaluate the school. Rhoda Harris is coming from the Deep River Millersburg School District. She says taking a look at test scores will be her first goal. Miller's current position is being eliminated this summer as Deep River Millersburg is reorganizing with English Valley. Her first official day on the job in Washington will be August first.

Washington Council okays "Celebrate Your Senses"

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 4:52 am

The Washington City Council is green lighting an early August Celebration in the downtown area. Members have approved closing a portion of Main Street, and allowing alcohol to be served at "Celebrate Your Senses." The only resistance at last night's meeting came from at large Councilor Karen-Wilson Johnson. She feels the event can be just as successful without serving alcohol.

Miksch: Washington Co. legally correct

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 4:52 am

The chairman of the Washington County Board of Supervisors feels a revenue sharing agreement between Riverside and the county is valid. Jim Miksch says he doesn't see any reason why the city shouldn't continue payments. When the casino was built, a TIF and urban development district were created. As a result, the city agreed to make annual payments to Washington County.

MP Schools to receive $300k

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 4:51 am

The Mid Prairie School district will receive more than 300 thousand dollars for expansion of Title I and IDEA programs. Superintendent Mark Schneider says the Title I program provides funds to high risk students who are in even greater need during the economic downturn and IDEA is the major federal program that provides funding for special education and related services to students with disabilities. Schneider says he and his staff are exploring exactly how the money will be used.

SE Iowa Company looking to hire

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 4:51 am

Many companies are eliminating jobs during this recession, but a Southeast Iowa company is looking to hire. Steve Jennings is head of Grasshorse Production in Mt. Pleasant. He says they are looking for 2D and 3D film animators. Jennings describes Grasshorse as a visual effects and animation company. He says they've worked on films such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the TV show Powerpuff Girls. He says artists with a background and education in animation should contact Grasshorse for an interview.

Hospice Golf Tournament

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 4:51 am

Hospice of Washington County is holding their annual memorial golf tournament next month. Robyn Harvey-Smith, Director of Marketing with Hospice says they hold these tournaments every year but this year they are holding the event to honor a community leader and a fellow golfer; Short Peterseim. She says Short and his wife Jan ran the Peterseim Funeral Home in Kalona. She says Short passed away last year in June. The Tournament will be Thursday, June 25th, at 11:30am at the Kalona Golf Course and it will be a four person best ball scramble. For more information about cost and registration forms contact the Hospice of Washington County at 319-653-7321.

Master Gardeners

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 4:49 am

People are exploring the possibility of saving money by growing some of their own food. Gene Washington County Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says there's an increased interest invegetable gardening withthe decline in the economy. He says Master Gardeners can provide a good resource of information. Mohling says they are highly visible volunteers in their counties. He says the Master Gardener program is unique for its community emphasis and because it directly utilizes the broad research-based resources of Iowa State University. If you are interested in becoming an Iowa Master Gardener, contact your county extension office to find out more information about training in your area.

$36 million plan proposed for WCSD

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:07 am

Representatives from the Iowa State Association of School Boards recommend a $36-million multi year overhaul of the Washington School District's facilities. Construction Advocate Duane Van Hemert says the plan should be acceptable those who want to preserve the the district's historic buildings, and those who want students to benefit from newer facilities. It calls for building a new high school, and moving junior high students to the current high school.

Riverside/County dispute continues

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:06 am

Attorneys for Riverside have sent a letter to Washington Supervisors indicating the city doesn't intend to make annual payments to the county as previously arranged. County Auditor Bill Fredrick says an urban renewal and TIF district was created to help the city pay for infrastructure when the casino was built. He says as a result, Riverside is supposed to pay the county $175,000 per year. Attorney's for the city say the agreement caused them to exceed their debt limit, and is therefore void under state law.

Washington Council considers bonds

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:06 am

Washington City Council members will consider $3.5 million in bonds at tonight's (5/20) meeting. Mayor Sandra Johnson says some of the money is going toward an engineering phase of a new wastewater plant. She says many cities in Iowa are facing a similar problem as they decide how to upgrade infrastructure. Johnson says the general obligation bonds they plan on using carry a high interest rate, and often force municipalities to increase fees. Tonight's meeting starts at 7:00 in the public library.

Washington business owner awarded $227K

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:06 am

A jury awarded a Washington business owner more than $227,000 in a ruling on a civil trial this week. Iowa City based Apex Construction and Coralville based VJ Engineering were each found partially at fault for a 2006 building collapse on Washington's South Marion Street. The structure was owned by Alfonso Raymundo. Court documents show jurors found Apex 37% responsible for the collapse, while VJ was 63% at fault. At the time of the collapse, Apex was remodeling the building, and VJ had provided engineering services. Judge Dan Morrison will hand down the official ruling at a later date.