Archive for June, 2009

Severe Weather strikes again

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

A round of severe thunderstorms rolled through the area last night knocking out power to thousands of customers across southeast Iowa. KCII received scattered reports of downed trees and flooded out roadways. WeatherEye and National Weather Service personnel reported a majority of the most severe weather stayed north of Washington County, although there were local reports of motorists being pushed around roadways by high winds. The KCII Severe Weather Action Team went on the air at about 5:30 last night and finished their broadcast a little after 7:00.

Washington Co. roads suffer from severe weather

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

Washington County's road department has gone into recovery mode in the wake of recent severe weather. Engineer David Patterson says heavy rainfall and high temperatures have taken their toll on local roadways. Patterson says they've put other projects on hold while repairing weather damaged routes. Over the weekend, some parts of eastern Washington County saw four to five inches of rainfall.

Understanding flood insurance

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

Last year's record flooding has many thinking about flood insurance. However it's different than most other types of insurance. Paul Horak, with Horak insurance, says the federal government is the only provider of this type of coverage. He says if it were privately administered, the price would be sky high, because of there is a very small group of people to spread a high risk around on. Horak says most of Washington County does not participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. But he says there are some other options for those who want flood protection.

Crop update

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 4:52 am

Hot, summer like weather is coming as welcome news to Iowa farmers, however heavy rainfall and damaging winds and hail are not. USDA statistics show some parts of southeast Iowa are struggling with flooding, which is hampering hay harvest weed control efforts. While there were scattered reports of crop damage from severe weather, the start of summer brought more than favorable conditions for corn and soybean growers. Corn in the southeast part of the state should have no trouble reaching the knee high by the 4th of July benchmark. Its average height is at 18 inches, while the average tallest height is 32 inches.

Supervisors consider relocating health dept.

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 4:52 am

The Washington County Health Department could be moving. Supervisors have approved seeking an engineer to study a building at the Orchard Hill Complex as a potential new location. Many on the board say it makes financial sense to have a county agency in a county owned building. However, some residents say it's easier for people with disabilities to access a building in the city of Washington's downtown. The health department currently rents space in the Federation Bank Building.

Blood drive moved

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 4:52 am

The effect of weekend storms are still being felt in Washington. A blood drive was scheduled tomorrow (6/25) at the United Presbyterian Church. The church was also scheduled to have vacation bible school outside this week, but high winds damaged their tents and other outdoor equipment, forcing them inside. The blood drive will now be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall from 1:30 to 6:30 Thursday afternoon.

Loebsack rep to visit Wellman

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 4:52 am

The city of Wellman will be host to one of Congressman Dave Loebsacks top aides tomorrow (6/25). Sabrina Siddiqui, communications director for Loebsack, says the aide will be on hand to discuss issues such as healthcare, the recovery act, and any other concerns citizens might have. Siddiqui says Loebsack routinely sends aides out to hold these meetings in order to find out what issues matter most to Iowans. The meeting will be held in Wellman City Hall from 1-3 pm.

Support group at Lending Hands

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 4:51 am

Lending Hands Adult Day Care in Washington will be holding a support group this week. Bonnie Boshart with Lending Hands,Boshart says this months session will focus on Alzheimers and what kinds of things can be done to prevent the disease.

WCPH’s tips on beating the heat

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 4:09 am

A heat wave is hitting Iowa this week, and the director of Washington County's Public Health Department says it's important to avoid heat exhaustion and stroke. Edie Nebel says heat exhaustion is when the body can't cool down fast enough, while heat stroke is when the body's cooling system stops working all together. She says it's important to stop outdoor activities if you feel fatigued. She also says keeping hydrated is essential to beating the heat.

Extension restructuring could be advantageous for Washington County

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 4:08 am

The chair of Washington County's Extension Board says a statewide restructuring of the extension service could be benefical. Kathy Ebert says the plan will allow Washington, and several neighboring counties to pool their resources, which could increase access to field specialists. Ebert says Washington County's office staff, as well as the 4-H program will not be effected by the restructuring. A regional director is expected to be announced Friday. This person will oversee Washington, Johnson, Iowa and Keokuk Counties.

WCRF announces 2nd quarter grants

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 4:08 am

The Washington County Riverboat Foundation is allocating nearly $239,000 for the second quarter of this year through it's municipal grant program. WCRF distributes 25% of it's revenues directly to cities in Washington County, based on population. This quarter the city of Washington is getting almost $126,000. City Administrator Dave Plyman says all of the money is going towards the library project. He says the building is still on schedule to be completed by this August.

City collecting downed limbs

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 4:08 am

Weekend storms brought high winds, which downed many trees and tree limbs around Washington. The city's maintenance department is collecting tree material this week. They'll begin pickup today (6/23) on the northeast side of town and move in a counter clockwise direction. Residents are asked to bundle or box as much material as they can to aid in an efficient clean up. The city plans on finishing collections by this Friday (6/25). Questions can be directed to the maintenance and construction office at 653-2947.

Harkin announces transportation money

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 4:07 am

Senator Tom Harkin recently announced a $4.1 million grant to improve Iowas roadways and other transportation systems. Two southeast Iowa towns will benefit from these funds. Muscatine will receive $450,000 to conduct an environmental study and enhance U.S. Highway 61. Ft. Madison will receive nearly $900,000 to build a new intersection on a county road and a main highway bypass. Harkin says improvements to Iowas transportation infrastructure will provide a much needed boost to the states economy and improve quality of life.

Washington Schools continue mail in registration

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 4:07 am

The Washington School District is continuing mail in registration this year. Families with students currently enrolled will be mailed a registration packet next month. Parents can also access additional forms at the district's website. Packets can be dropped off at the school administration building or returned by mail. All registration packets need to be received by the end of July. Any families that are new to the district will have a chance to tour facilities, speak with guidance counselors and get registered on August 18 during registration day.

Summer Reading

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 4:06 am

Kalona kids will get the chance to show their artistic side this week with the Kalona Public Librarys Summer Reading Program. Marissa Tartaglia is in charge of the program this year and she says there are a number of different arts and crafts activities planned. Tartaglia says all are welcome to participate in these activities, whether they registered or not. She says the program focuses on encouraging kids to read during the summer. The program will run all this week at the Kalona Public Library.

Severe weather marks first day of summer

Posted: Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 4:54 am

The first day of summer in southeast Iowa was marked with several rounds of intense thunderstorms and reports of tornadoes. Storm spotters reported a tornado touch down between Wellman and Kalona. KCII also received numerous reports of funnel clouds. Heavy rainfall has also prompted several flood warnings in the area, which remain in effect this morning. KCII's Severe Weather Action Team went on the air a little after eight last night, and finished their broadcast just after ten. The National Weather Service says another series of storms could sweep through the area today and into this evening. In case of Severe Weather, stay tuned to KCII for Severe Weather Action Team coverage.

$36-million school facilities plan could be adopted this week

Posted: Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 4:53 am

Washington School Board members could adopt at $36-million dollar facilities plan this week. They’re having a work session Thursday 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.

Extension hopes to know who regional director is by Friday

Posted: Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 4:53 am

Washington County's ISU Extension expects to find out who the new regional director will be by the end of this week. Board president Kathy Ebert says she was told that a decision will be made by Friday. One candidate is Gene Mohling, who is Washington County's Extension education Director. Washington County is being grouped in with several other nearby counties as part of a statewide restructuring of the extension service. As a result, the extension education director position is being eliminated, and replaced with a regional director.

Regional housing trust fund

Posted: Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 4:53 am

A local economic development expert says Washington County should look at partnering with a neighboring county to create a regional housing trust fund. WEDG Director Ed Raber says such a collaboration would increase the chances of getting state money. Iowa created the housing trust fund more than a decade ago. It allows municipalities to create a publicly managed fund to support local housing needs.

New building for comm-center considered

Posted: Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 4:52 am

Washington County's E-911 Services Board is looking into the prospect of a new building for the communications center. Comm-center Supervisor Cara Sorrells says they're considering hiring a Minnesota based engineer to advise them. She says it's the same company that assisted them with their radio tower. Sorrells says one possible problem with a new facility, is the tower. She says if they move too far away, they'd have to get a new one. She says that can cost as much as $350-thousand dollars. The 911 board will meet next Monday (6/29)