Archive for May, 2009

Free food stand literature at Extension

Posted: Saturday, May 9th, 2009 at 5:38 am

Community festival season is just around the corner, and the Washington County Extension Office wants to make sure food stand operators are ready. The extension’s Nancy Adrian says selling a variety of food and beverages can be an effective fundraising activity, however organizers and workers need to be aware of certain regulations. She says the extension office has the publication “Food Stand Operations-What you Need to Know” available for free. To obtain a copy, contact the extension office.

WCHC offers breast cancer seminar

Posted: Saturday, May 9th, 2009 at 5:37 am

Washington County Hospital and Clinics is having a free breast cancer public forum Monday. Dr Terri Howes from the Iowa City Cancer Treatment Center, Dr Abbie Thrower from Cancer Care of Iowa City and WCHC Radiologist Dr. Douglas Boatman will discuss breast cancer treatment and diagnosis. There will be a question and answer session. The seminar is this Monday afternoon from 1:30 to 3:00.

MP Baccalaureate

Posted: Saturday, May 9th, 2009 at 5:29 am

The Mid Prairie Baccalaureate Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 20th at 7pm. Scott Swartzendruber with the Kalona Mennonite Church says there will be many presenters and music for the seniors. He says the senior band and Choir will perform special music for the graduates and families. He says this service is sponsored by the council of Mid Prairie Churches.

Market sheep and goats weighed in

Posted: Saturday, May 9th, 2009 at 5:28 am

Washington County 4-Hers and FFA members this month weighed in market sheep and goats for the 2009 Washington County Fair on Saturday,. 4-H/Youth Coordinator Kati Peiffer says a total of 45 kids weighed & tagged a total of 259 head of sheep. This is a slight increase from last years numbers at weigh-in.She says Eighty-one sheep were nominated for the Iowa State Fair through retinal scans and two head were nominated for Ak-Sar-Ben through DNA hair samples

State funding cuts for higher ed

Posted: Friday, May 8th, 2009 at 4:49 am

The governmental relations director at Kirkwood Community College says using federal stimulus money to backfill state funding cuts for higher education could come back to haunt lawmakers. Steve Ovel says legislators reduced the base state funding level. He says that essentially gives them until 2011 to find new sources of revenue.

4-H safe in wake of restructuring

Posted: Friday, May 8th, 2009 at 4:49 am

A local ISU Extension official says area 4-H programs aren't in jeopardy as his agency undergoes a restructuring. Gene Mohling is the education director for Washington and Johnson counties. He says there is no reason to worry, because 4-H groups won't be affected. He says many groups that rely on the extension office won't be impacted.

Water Tower Park plans move forward

Posted: Friday, May 8th, 2009 at 4:48 am

Plans for the development of Washington's Water Tower Park are moving forward. Parks Superintendent Tim Widmer says using the area for athletics is still possible, but not on a large scale. He says that won't be a threat to the park's green space, or an existing visioning plan. Widmer says they continue to level off the area, and remove chunks of buried concrete.

Washington starts engineering on new sewer plant

Posted: Friday, May 8th, 2009 at 4:48 am

The city of Washington will borrow about $780,000 for a phase of engineering on the new wastewater treatment plant. The money is being borrowed interest free through the Iowa Finance Authority. Mayor Sandra Johnson has expressed frustration because they can only obtain such loans for the engineering phases of the project, not construction.

Kalona paving projects

Posted: Friday, May 8th, 2009 at 4:48 am

Kalona is undertaking some paving projects this summer. The city council has awarded contracts for the paving of 10th street and F Avenue, and a new sidewalk from J Avenue to K Court along the West side of 6th street. West Liberty based All American concrete was awarded bids for the two projects. The city council is postponing repairs to the Kalona Recreation and Community Center.

Sheriff holds open house

Posted: Friday, May 8th, 2009 at 4:47 am

Washington County residents are invited to get a look at the new sheriff's office today. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says he wants to give residents a chance to see the facility that was paid for with their tax dollars. The public is invited to the open house. It goes from 1:00 pm to 7:00 today, and again from 9:00 am to noon tomorrow (5/9).

Circle of Support starts up Washington branch

Posted: Friday, May 8th, 2009 at 4:47 am

A fairly new service organization is starting a Washington chapter. United Methodist Church Pastor Julie Pouslon says the Circle of Support group is aimed at ending poverty. She says its part charity, and part mentoring. To find out more, plan to attend the Circle of Support meeting this Tuesday (5/12) at 7:00 at the United Methodist Church.

Positive Parenting

Posted: Friday, May 8th, 2009 at 4:47 am

Louisa County's Iowa State University Extension service is offering several positive parenting seminars this summer. All courses are free and open to the public. The Keck Memorial Library will host "Off to a Good Start," kindergarten readiness program for families with children ages 3-5. Classes are every Monday evening from 5-6, at the library in Wapello. They run May 11 through June 29.

NEWS UPDATE – One arrested after break in at Washington business

Posted: Thursday, May 7th, 2009 at 6:23 am

A Washington man is facing a laundry list of charges after allegedly breaking in to a local restaurant. 36 year old Charles Miller Junior is charged with burglary, third degree theft, possession of burglary tools, and attempted burglary. According to 9-1-1 reports, officers were called to Unc and Neph's on the city's west side after receiving a report about a break in last night. Miller is considered innocent unless proven guilty.

Washington Council puts hotel tax on ballot

Posted: Thursday, May 7th, 2009 at 6:22 am

Washington residents will be voting on whether the city should impose a hotel tax this November. City Councilors unanimously approved the measure at last night's meeting. Residents on either side of the issue packed the public library during the discussion. They included hotel owners who say the tax will damage their business, and economic developers who say the measure is a great opportunity for extra revenue.

Wellman hires public works director

Posted: Thursday, May 7th, 2009 at 6:21 am

The Wellman City Council has hired their first public works director. This week, Aaron Shoemaker was appointed to the post. City Administrator Dave Ross says he has the experience and knowledge needed. Ross says the city council gave him the ok to hire Shoemaker but the council still needs to approve a resolution for his salary. He says Shoemaker started his new job on Tuesday.

Columbus Jct keeps a watchful eye on river

Posted: Thursday, May 7th, 2009 at 6:21 am

With the forecast calling for severe weather, many towns affected by last years flooding are preparing. Julie Hiendel, city clerk for Columbus Junction, says they have all their pumps ready and are keeping an eye on the Iowa river and making sure the same thing doesnt happen again. She says they are more prepared this year and learned a lot from last year's events.

Economic turnaround not significant for Midwest

Posted: Thursday, May 7th, 2009 at 6:21 am

A local banker says recent reports about the economy improving don't have a lot of bearing in the Midwest. Brandon Long is a loan officer at Washington State Bank. He says the local economy hasn't been significantly impacted by the recession, and isn't as influenced by the reported turnaround. He says the community banking model has kept many smaller institutions shielded from the downturn, as more aggressive methods have hurt larger ones.

Marek expects rail service in SE Iowa

Posted: Thursday, May 7th, 2009 at 6:20 am

A southeast Iowa legislator says this part of the state could see passenger rail service in the next two to three years. Riverside's Larry Marek says he's spoken with Governor Chet Culver about the possibility. Marek says Iowa would likely partner with Illinois on the project. He says they need to discuss the option with Amtrak and freight rail owners.

Washington engineer goes plastic

Posted: Thursday, May 7th, 2009 at 6:20 am

Cash or check? is a question seldom asked these days. It's now, what type of card? Washington County Engineer David Patterson says his office needs their own credit card, because they are doing more business online. The board of supervisors this week approved giving the engineer's office their own credit card. Patterson says this will reduce potential conflicts and confusion when other departments need to use the county credit card designated for use by all departments.

Local schools rank high in AP testing

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

Two area schools were among the top 50 schools in Iowa based on the opportunities for students to take advanced placement exams. Mid-Prairie High school ranked 9th while Iowa Mennonite School ranked 36th. The index assesses AP participation among public and private schools in Iowa, and ranks schools on ratios based on AP exams given and the number of graduates in a given year. The top 25 schools will be honored during the annual Belin-Blank Recognition Ceremony on Oct. 18 at the University of Iowa.