Archive for May, 2009

Washington School Audit

Posted: Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 4:54 am

An audit of the Washington School District shows declining enrollment and a falling solvency ratio. Mary Babinat, with Newton Based Nolte Cornman and Johnson, says a solvency ratio is an industry term for working capital. Her report indicates it dropped for the district by more than eight percent between 2006 and 2008. Babinat says part of that is related to the district's falling enrollment. Babinat delivered her report at last night's school board meeting.

WCHC CEO’s thoughts on health care reform

Posted: Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 4:54 am

The CEO at Washington County Hospital and Clinics says President Obama's goal to reform health care isn't going to be an easy task. Don Patterson says changes in the industry will have to be done little by little, because of it's complex nature. Patterson admits that not everyone in the U-S has adequate access to health care. He says Iowa, and Washington County in particular are probably above average.

Nursing shortage not seen in Washington

Posted: Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 4:54 am

A nursing supervisor at Washington County Hospital and Clinics says her facility is not experiencing a nursing shortage like some areas of the country. Pat Huber says the nationwide deficiency is two prong. She says skilled nurses are being lost to retirements, and the demand for nurses climbs as the Baby Boomers enter their golden years.

Bauer named to board of health

Posted: Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 4:53 am

The Washington County Board of Public Health is whole again. The supervisors this week appointed Lori Bauer to fill a vacancy left by Mike Christensen. Supervisor Chairman Jim Miksch says they were fortunate not to have to consider the recently enacted gender balance rule in their decision, because the board of health already has a good ratio.

Kalona Council adopts ID theft prevention

Posted: Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 4:53 am

The Kalona City Council is taking steps to reduce the chance for identity theft among their utility customers. Councilors recently adopted a resolution that adds 22 points in addition to precautions already in place under the Postal Information and Security System. Councilman Steve Lafaurie developed the additional information. He's researched the "red flag" procedures. City Administrator Dough Morgan will serve as the compliance officer.

Paperless Police

Posted: Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 4:52 am

A local police officer believes law enforcement will eventually go paperless. Greg Goodman is Chief of Police for the city of Washington. He says they've already reduced the amount of paper they use in their record keeping. Goodman also says they're also in the process of getting laptops for their squad cars so they can instantly access information while in the field.

Floral guru at Washington Farmer’s Market

Posted: Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 4:52 am

Floral guru Anita Davis will be the featured guest at tonight's Farmer's Market in downtown Washington. Market Master Bob Shepherd says Davis and others from the Louisa County Fair Flower Department will bring perennial divisions from their home gardens to sell. He says proceeds from this sale will go towards restoring display gardens outside Floral Hall, which were destroyed by last year's flooding. The Farmer's Market begins at 5:00 this evening in Washington's Central Park.

Kalona Cash at Kalona Days

Posted: Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 4:52 am

There will be several opportunities to win Kalona Cash at this year's Kalona Days. Director Dave Finely says there will be the usual games like bingo. He says there will also be competitions like the watermelon seed spitting, and a nail driving contest. Finley says there will also be a 50/50 drawings. KCII. will have the Big Red Radio on hand and will announce winners each hour.

Washington engineer anticipates hikes in fuel costs

Posted: Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 4:35 am

The Washington County Engineer is anticipating high fuel prices again this summer. David Patterson says demand goes up during warm weather as more people travel, and government agencies undertake the bulk of their construction projects. The board of supervisors yesterday (5/12) approved letting the annual fuel contract for Patterson's office.

Planting season much better than last year

Posted: Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 4:35 am

Despite a wet spring, farmer's are making good progress this planting season compared with last. Washington County Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says about 85% of corn is in the ground, and nearly 20% of soybeans have been planted. Mohling says the one drawback of this is a lower price. Last year delays and flooding drove the price of both commodities up significantly.

Advice from the chief of police

Posted: Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 4:34 am

Washington's police chief is advising residents to review their security measures in the wake of a recent string of break ins. Greg Goodman says taking simple steps like locking your home and vehicle can significantly reduce your risk. He says motion activated lights can also greatly deter potential intruders.

MP Sup. won’t receive raise

Posted: Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 4:34 am

Mid Prairie Superintendent Mark Schneider won't receive a pay increase as he effectively becomes superintendent of Keota this summer. Mid Prairie staff received a 2.2% pay increase recently, but Schneider turned down his raise. He'll begin his duties as dual superintendent July 30th.

Alliant warns of scams

Posted: Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 4:32 am

Alliant Energy is warning customers to beware of con-artists posing as utility workers. Alliant spokesman Dave Koch says workers in the field never collect money for any service. He says customers can always ask to see their Alliant Energy identification badge as well. Koch urges anyone who sees suspicious activity to call their local law enforcement agency.

Washington JH Band at Tulip Time

Posted: Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 4:32 am

Mediacom customers can get a look at the Washington Junior High Band performing at the Pella Tulip Time Festival Parade. Band Director Craig McClenahan says the cable provider has made the performance available on their on demand channel. He says the parade can be seen by going to channel one and selecting "Mediacom Local."

Louisa RFL teams forming

Posted: Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 4:31 am

The Louisa County Relay for Life event is a few months away, but a local American Cancer Society official says teams are starting to form. Kierstan Peck says the relay is on August first, when teams will gather at the L and M Elementary School. She says the event will go from noon on the first, until midnight on August second. For more information on how to start or join a team contact the American Cancer Society at 319-653-3768, 1-800-ACS-2345 or

4-H leadership opportunities

Posted: Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 4:31 am

The Iowa 4-H is looking for students to volunteer during the 2009 summer camp season. Washington County 4-H coordinator Kati Peiffer says current freshman can serve as leaders in training with day camp for 6-10 year olds. She says sophomores and juniors can be counselors in training, and assistant cabin counselors for a week. To find out more, or register, visit

Severe weather possible

Posted: Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Severe weather could be heading our way tonight (5/12) and tomorrow. The National Weather Service in the Quad Cities says rounds of thunderstorms will occur ahead of an approaching warm front. They say severe storms could occur in Southeast Iowa this evening and throughout the day tomorrow (5/13). Hail, and high winds are possible. In case of severe weather, stay tuned to KCII for Severe Weather Action Team coverage.

Schmitz says no to rate hike

Posted: Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 at 4:48 am

A southeast Iowa lawmaker is urging her constituents to air their opinions at this week's Iowa Utilities Board meeting. Senator Becky Schmitz says they'll be taking public input on a proposed rate hike by Alliant Energy. The meeting is tomorrow (5/13) evening at the Ottumwa High School. Schmitz says people can also voice their opinion at the Iowa Utility Board's website.

MP teachers change schedule, not jobs

Posted: Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 at 4:44 am

Three Mid Prairie Teachers have undergone a scheduling change. Luetaa Ropp, Norman Brooks and Collete McClellen resigned their schedule B duties, and switched to C. Superintendent Mark Schneider says the three have not resigned from their teaching positions at the school district as many have speculated.

Washington Sheriff seeks new K-9 car

Posted: Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 at 4:44 am

The Washington County Sheriff's Department is hoping to get a new squad car, specially designed for their K-9 officer. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says they use a regular cruiser right now. He says K-9's are an important tool in police work. Dunbar says they are applying for a grant, and are seeking public comment on the matter.