Archive for June, 2009

Riverside Farmer’s Market

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:45 am

The city of Riverside will be holding their monthly Farmers Market tomorrow (6/28) at the Riverside Casino. Public relations director Sharon Hazelhoff says although their event is only once a month, it still provides citizens with quality, home-grown produce and many other goods. She says the casino is proud to be a supporter of the Farmers Market because it is good for the community and a fun event for the public. Hazelhoff says the event will be held in the casino parking lot from 10 2 tomorrow.

Washington couple takes eyeglasses to Panama

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:44 am

A couple from Washington are heading to Panama with more than 20,000 pairs of eyeglasses. Craig and Barb Swift work with One Sight, a non profit group that aims to bring corrective eye-wear to under served areas of the world. They say there are many people in the world who have poor vision, and don’t have the means to do anything about it. Craig and Barb will spend the next week in the Central American country. There, volunteers keep a data base of donated eyeglasses and with the aide of optometrists, find one’s that best fit certain individuals. Their goals is to help eight thousand people

Washington School board approves $36-million plan

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:06 am

The Washington School Board is moving forward with a plan that proposes a $36-million overhaul of the district’s facilities. Members last night unanimously approved the undertaking which calls for voter approved bond issuance. The board will meet on June 30th to draft petition language. If that petition receives enough signatures, it’ll be put on the ballot this September. The measure would require at least 60% of voters to be in favor in order to pass.

DNR weighs in on Crawfordsville water

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:05 am

With the city of Crawfordsville under a boil order, much concern has been focused on keeping both city and private wells safe from contamination. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says once a well is subject to flooding or another source of groundwater, bacteria and viruses can enter the water supply making it unsafe for consumption and bathing. Groundwater can also damage the wells pump components. The DNR says only a certified drinking water laboratory and a certified well contractor can determine if water has become safe for use again. For information, call the Iowa DNR.

School safety in wake of Parkersburg shooting

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:05 am

The shooting death of a prominent high school football coach has gained state and national attention, and might have some wondering what precautions exist to prevent such a tragedy in Washington. High school principal Shane Ehresman says the public has limited access to the building. Eheresman says they also keep in close contact with law enforcement and sometimes request police presence at extra-curricular activities. Other school district facilities have similar policies in place. Superintendent Dave Sextro says they can’t go into too much detail about their emergency procedures, without jeopardizing their effectiveness.

New laws take effect July 1

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:05 am

The start of July marks a new fiscal year for Iowa. It’s also when laws passed during this year’s legislative session go into effect. Fairfield Senator Becky Schmitz says on of the biggest changes was to the state’s sex offender law. The change creates exclusionary zones where offenders aren’t allowed to loiter. It also prohibits them from being employed at places like schools, libraries and swimming pools.

Park board to discuss final bandstand plans

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:05 am

Washington Park Board members will be discussing final plans for the renovation of the Central Park Bandstand at a special meeting today (6/26). Park’s Superintendent Tim Widmer says the architect will be on hand. A volunteer committee this spring set out on a fundraising effort for the project. It didn’t take them long to reach their $330,000 goal. Former Washington resident and municipal band member John Jackson donated $175,000 in March. This combined with money from the Washington Betterment Foundation and a grant from the Riverboat Foundation helped them reach their goal in just a few weeks. Today’s meeting (6/26) starts at 2:00 in city hall.

Hot weather means high attendance at local aquatc center

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:04 am

Hot and humid weather this week has been good for attendance at Washington’s aquatic center. Manager Brendan McNulty says they’ve had roughly 300 to 400 swimmers each day in addition to sunbathers. He says during a regular day when the heat isn’t as oppressive they might see a maximum of 150 people. The Washington Aquatic Center is open seven days of the week from 1-8 pm.

Trekkies gather in Riverside

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:01 am

Riverside will be the center of the sci-fi galaxy today (6/26) and tomorrow (6/27) with the annual Trek Fest event. This year the city will host three members of the original Star Trek cast, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig. Carol Riggan, President of the Riverside Area Community Club, says both Trek fans and non-fans will have plenty of things to do and see at this years event, which is expected to be the biggest in its 25 year history. She says the community also received support from Paramount Pictures, owner of the Star Trek franchise.

Excavator operator escapes harm

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

The operator of this excavator was unharmed after it tipped over while demolishing a building next to Nu Cara Pharmacy on Washington’s E. Madison Street Thursday. The TC Tiling and Excavating employee says there was a hole in the basement that didn’t get compacted, and when the machine’s tracks got to close it pulled it in. At about 3:00 Thursday afternoon he said they were on their way to get another piece of equipment to tip the excavator upright. (Photo: KCII/Nick Wilkens)

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Crawfordsville under boil order until further notice

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 7:00 am

Crawfordsville is under a boil order until further notice after crews discovered a hole in the casing of the town’s well. City council member Michell Blum says workers replaced a pump, and when they turned it on, it churned up sludge. She says the community will need to drill a new well, which could take a month or longer. Blum says Crawfordsville uses roughly 25,000 gallons of water per day, and is currently hauling water from Olds to keep the water tower full. She says residents are urged to boil water for human consumption for at least one-minute.

Unemployment up in Washington Co. but still low compared to state numbers

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:56 am

Unemployment numbers were up across the board last month. However Washington County’s jobless claims are still down compared with the statewide average. Iowa Work Force Development statistics show Washington County’s rate for May was 4.6%, that’s up from 3.9% in April. The statewide average climbed to 5.8% compared with 5.1% in April. Iowa is still faring better than the rest of the country. The nationwide unemployment rate hit 9.4 % in May.

One injured after crash on 92

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:56 am

A Davenport woman was hospitalized after her Dodge Neon side-swiped a semi on highway 92, just east of Columbus Junction at about noon yesterday. The Iowa State Patrol says 21 year old Amanda Stocker was taken by Air Care to University Hospital in Iowa City. The accident report indicates she was westbound when her Dodge Neon drifted over the center line, and collided with the tractor-trailer. Neither the driver of the semi, or the driver of a third vehicle that was hit with flying debris were injured. Police say charges are pending and the accident remains under investigation.

Washington Schools could adopt $36 million plan tonight

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:56 am

Washington School Board members could adopt at $36-million facilities tonight. They’re having a work session to have a detailed discussion on the various facets of the plan. After that, they’re scheduled to have a special meeting to accept the proposal. The school district enlisted the help of the Iowa Association of School Boards in coming up with a facilities plan. Last month that plan was presented during a public meeting at the high school. Tonight’s work session starts at 6:30 in the administration building, with the special meeting scheduled at 8:00.

2009 a quiet year for severe weather

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:56 am

Southeast Iowa has seen it’s fair share of severe weather over the past few weeks, but overall things have been relatively quiet this year. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says the declining La-Nina event combined with a cool spring has kept violent weather occurrences down. Hillaker says rainfall is up slightly so far this year, with the far southeast corner of the state reporting the highest numbers.

Mohling says extra workload won’t be a problem

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:55 am

Newly appointed regional ISU Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says he’s ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work. Mohling was named to the position as part of a statewide restructuring of the extension service. Mohling is no stranger to this type of scenario. Before the restructuring he served as education director for Johnson and Washington Counties, and also oversaw Iowa County for a three year period.

Sheriff’s Reserve adds officer

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:55 am

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is adding an officer to it’s reserve unit. Supervisors this week approved the appointment of Crawfordsville resident Eric Long. Chief Deputy Darren Dennler says they hope to eventually have around 20 auxiliary officers in the unit. He says these officers can cut down on the department’s overtime costs and assist with special details. Dennler says anyone interested in joining should contact the sheriff’s office.

Farmers reminded to report acreage

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:55 am

With summer just beginning and the farming season well underway, farmers are reminded to report their crop acreage to the Farm Service Agency in Iowa by next Tuesday. Dennis Olson with the FSA says failure to report acreage by the appointed deadline may result in late-filing fees. He says the reports received will be used in a number of agricultural programs as well as used for tracking future crop history. Olson says the minimum late fee is $46 per farm.

Home inspection company coming to SE Iowa

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:54 am

One of the largest home inspection franchises in the country will be setting up shop in Mt. Pleasant. The HouseMaster company recently announced their plans to open an office in the southeast Iowa town and to give the controls to local resident Aaron Schuman. Schuman says owning the HouseMaster branch will give him an opportunity to give something back to the community, while running a business of his own at the same time. Company officials cited Schumans management skills as well as community connections as perfect qualities for a franchise owner.

Mohling named to regional Extension position

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 4:53 am

Washington County's Extension Education Director has been tapped to serve in a regional position for the extension service. Gene Mohling will serve Washington, Keokuk, Johnson and Iowa Counties. Iowa State is selecting 20 regional education directors as part of a statewide restructuring. University Vice President for Extension and Outreach Jack Payne says these positions were created to facilitate an issue based approach to delivering programming and resources.