Archive for June, 2009

Marek: no special session necessary

Posted: Friday, June 12th, 2009 at 5:13 am

A Southeast Iowa state lawmaker says holding a special legislative session to trim the budget isn't necessary. Riverside Democratic Representative Larry Marek says even though revenues have been down, the state still has reserve money that can carry them through to the next fiscal year. This week a panel of lawmakers voted to cut the legislative branch's budget by 10-percent, or four-million-dollars. They also approved pay freezes and travel restrictions. Republicans back the plan but have said it doesn't go far enough. They want to see a special session to "get a handle on the budget."

Meet the new YMCA director

Posted: Friday, June 12th, 2009 at 5:13 am

The new director at Washington's YMCA is almost through is first week, and he says one of the biggest things he's noticed so far is the weather. Greg Woller came from Rhinelander in northern Wisconsin, where he worked for ten years at a YMCA. Woller says one of his first goals is to survey the Washington facility and programs, and see if there is anything that can be improved. He says one of the interesting things about the Washington -Y- is it's history. He says it's intriguing to know that several generations of a family might have used the same building. 

Savor Washington

Posted: Friday, June 12th, 2009 at 5:13 am

Washington residents can sample food from around the world, without leaving the square this weekend. Main Street's Amy Vetter says tomorrow's Spring Forward, and Savor Washington event will feature cuisine from five downtown restaurants. Vetter say they elected to have the event tomorrow, because it will be a busy time on the square with Relay for Life and the Corn Country Cruise night also going on.

RFL tomorrow

Posted: Friday, June 12th, 2009 at 5:13 am

The Washington Relay for Life is tomorrow, and one of the organizers says they're expecting a good turnout. Sherry Renoux says they have more than 30 teams signed up for the event, which is close to average. However, she says many of the teams have more than the usual 15 members. Renoux expects a record number of walkers. The event starts tomorrow (6/13) at noon in downtown Washington. 

Riverside Hover Rally

Posted: Friday, June 12th, 2009 at 5:12 am

The future home of Captain Kirk will take another step towards the future June 19-21 as Riverside will host hovercraft races. The Hoverclub of America will be bringing their "Hoverally" to Riverside Casino and their vehicles will be demonstrated on the waters of the Iowa and English Rivers. Hoverclub of America's designers and pilots have been featured on the Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel and they will be on hand to demonstrate the hovercrafts to the public.

Washington School Board holds off on $36 million proposal

Posted: Thursday, June 11th, 2009 at 4:37 am

Washington School Board members last night chose to hold off on approving a $36 million proposed overhaul of the district's facilities. They want time to hold a work session to gather input on the plan. They'll have that session on June 23, followed by a special meeting to adopt the plan on the 25th. In order to put a bonding proposal on the September ballot, more than 100 signatures need to be gathered and submitted to election officials by July 14.

Gender balance a challenge for VA

Posted: Thursday, June 11th, 2009 at 4:37 am

A new state law requiring appointed boards to be gender balanced could prove troublesome for the Washington County Veteran's Affairs Commission. Commissioner Terry Philips says there are simply fewer female veterans than males. However, he says this will give them an opportunity to identify women who have served. The gender balance law goes into effect in 2012.

Arborist: 25% of Washington trees ash

Posted: Thursday, June 11th, 2009 at 4:37 am

About 25% of street trees in the city of Washington are ash, which could be bad news if the Emerald Ash Borer makes it's way to this area. Andy Dahl is the arborist at University of Iowa, and a member of Washington's Tree Beautification Committee. He says the destructive insect would have a devastating impact on Washington. Dahl says other states have had limited success controlling the Emerald Ash Borer. He says the best approach is to limit its spreading. He says that's why it's important to use local firewood, and not transport it.

Tyson says products are safe in wake of Russia ban

Posted: Thursday, June 11th, 2009 at 4:35 am

A spokesperson for Tyson Foods says his company is "confident about the safety" of their pork products in the wake of Russia refusing products from two Iowa plants. Gary Mickelson tells KCII their fresh pork operation's are federally inspected. He also says they have an in house quality assurance staff. He says they'll be working with the USDA and Russian officials to resolve the trade situation as quickly as possible. The Des Moines Register reported the Russian meat plant oversight group said E. coli bacteria was found in some meat from the Waterloo and Columbus Junction plants.

Municipal band kicks off season

Posted: Thursday, June 11th, 2009 at 4:34 am

The Washington Municipal Band's first performance of the 2009 season is this evening (6/11) in Central Park. Wayne Brock is one of the band's most experienced musicians. He says there's no greater experience than being on stage and seeing the park filled with people. The band will perform this evening (6/11) at 8:00 as part of Washington's Thursday Night Live festivities. The event also features music from guitarist David Moore and a farmer's market.

Family gathers to remember car accident victim

Posted: Thursday, June 11th, 2009 at 4:33 am

Family and friends of the late Travis Filben will be celebrating the life of the 19 year old in a rather unconventional way. Scott Young, father of Filben, says they will be having a celebration of life party, in addition to the more formal funeral. He says they will be honoring Filben by playing some of his favorite games and eating some of his favorite foods. Young says all are welcome to this event and welcome to share in their memory of Filben. The event will be at the east pavilion in Wellman City Park at 3:00 pm today (6/11).

Whoopee Days

Posted: Thursday, June 11th, 2009 at 4:33 am

The city of Brighton will be letting loose this weekend with their annual celebration of Whoopee Days. Brighton Chamber President Brian Arnold says they use a tried and true formula of events that always brings in a good crowd. Arnold says participants will be treated to a variety of events and activities, including the always popular mud run and armband night where an armband will allow you to ride as many rides as you like for two hours. Arnold says hes also excited for the country/western band Lockren to perform on Saturday night during the street dance.

Highway 22 down to one lane

Posted: Thursday, June 11th, 2009 at 4:32 am

Highway 22 in Riverside is reduced to one lane again today (6/11) for road maintenance. The Iowa Department of Transportation says motorists should watch for crews and equipment and obey traffic control signs. They say both lanes of the roadway should be reopened by this afternoon at about 3:30 pm.

More flood relief

Posted: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 4:33 am

Some southeast Iowa communities may soon be getting more help from the government for flood recovery. Congressman Dave Loebsack recently announced over $24 million in recovery act funds that will be used to rebuild devastated communities and protect Iowa farmers and landowners from future natural disasters. These recovery act funds will protect against more than just flooding, as the money will also go to protecting communities against droughts and erosion.

Bio-Security Workshops

Posted: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 4:33 am

Six workshops focusing on bio-security are being offered this month and next in Southeast Iowa. Washington and Keokuk County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Smith says the sessions train people how to respond to foreign animal diseases. Smith says the programs are free of cost and are sponsored by Homeland Security, The Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. For more information or to register contact your local emergency management coordinator.

Weekly crop update

Posted: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 4:33 am

Southeast Iowa farmer's are in need of a different type of weather than the rest of the state. State Climatologist Harry Hilaker says statewide rainfall was up about 50% last week, which came as welcome news in may places, but was excessive locally. USDA statistics show almost 90% of Southeast Iowa's corn emerged, with 63% of soybeans above ground. There is still some soybeans to be planted in Southeast Iowa, but statewide progress is ahead of last year.

Finding a job

Posted: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 4:32 am

National unemployment numbers were up again last month, and many are looking for work. Kirkwood Washington Center Director Nancy Rash says one of the most important tools a job seeker has is their resume. She also says it's important to follow any directions and employer gives regarding the application process. Kirkwood offers a number of college credit and continuing education courses centered around employment and career development. Contact the Kirwood Washington Center for more information.

Tire Safety

Posted: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 4:32 am

This is National Tire Safety Week, and as Benjamin Franklin said "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure." Joe Greiner owns Greiner Discount Tires in Washington. He says it's important to keep an eye on air pressure, and tread condition. Greiner says during hot weather, it's important to check tire pressure when the tires are cool, not after driving around all day. He also says keeping tires in proper working order can also save money, because under-inflated tires cut down fuel efficiency.

Underwood Bridge open

Posted: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 4:32 am

Construction on the bridge over Long Creek on Underwood Avenue in Washington County is done. The county engineers office says $428,000 project was completed on time by Winfield based Schmidt Construction. They say the new three span concrete bridge replaced the 90 year old "pony truss bridge" and provides increased serviceability for local residents.

Summer Pests

Posted: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 4:31 am

Along with warm summer weather comes the inevitable nuisance of summer pests. Ken Holscher with the ISU extension says the most common insects during the summer months are black flies, mosquitoes, and ticks. Holscher says that a common misconception about ticks is that they live in trees when in reality they wait in tall grass and short bushes. He says ticks cant survive in sunny areas, so keeping your lawn mowed and short is a good way to control the tick population. Holscher says the record flooding of last year has given many pests extra breeding grounds to build bigger populations.