Archive for June, 2009

Ridiculous Book Sale

Posted: Saturday, June 6th, 2009 at 5:08 am

As part of today's Ridiculous Days celebration, the Washington Public Library is selling reduced price books as well as audio and videotapes. They say as they prepare to move into their new facility this summer, they have to decide what items will travel with them. Proceeds from this sale will go towards teen summer reading club prizes and teen programming. The sale begins this morning at 9:00 in the Helen Wilson Gallery at the Library, and runs until 1:00 this afternoon. 

Grassley Pork Market

Posted: Saturday, June 6th, 2009 at 5:08 am

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he doesn't expect a ban on U.S. pork products in several foreign countries to have a chilling effect on trade relations. Grassley says safety scares have happened in the past and the market always rebounds. He says other countries might be using the ban as a way to boost their local pork industries. The New Hartford Republican says domestically, the department of agriculture can buy up U.S. pork to stabilize the price. 

Flight Breakfast

Posted: Saturday, June 6th, 2009 at 5:07 am

The Flight Breakfast at Washington's municipal airport is tomorrow morning from 7-11. It's being hosted by the American Legion. Organization member Terry Philips says this is the first year theyre hosting the annual event. Philips says in addition to pancakes and sausage, the Flight Breakfast also features a variety of aircraft that can be seen landing and taking off. He says youngsters will also have an opportunity to go on a free plane ride through the Young Eagles Cedar Rapids chapter. 

Fireworks Safety

Posted: Saturday, June 6th, 2009 at 5:07 am

While everyone knows that firework displays are fun to watch, many dont know the risks that are involved. Kalona Fire Chief Steve Yotty says when mishandled or used without proper training, fireworks can cause serious injury including hearing loss, physical loss of limbs, and worse. He says fire departments know the proper way to handle them and set them off. Fireworks are illegal in Iowa, and Yotty says when unqualified users try to set them off they can also start fires as well as explosions due to the hot and dry summer weather. 

Severe weather possible

Posted: Friday, June 5th, 2009 at 4:36 am

The National Weather Service says isolated thurnderstorms are possible late this afternoon and into this evening. They say a complex system is developing in Nebraska, and could reach eastern Iowa by midnight. Severe weather is possible throughout the weekend and into next week. The National Weather Service says it's too early to identify specific threats, but they say there is potential for heavy rainfall and flash flooding. In case of severe weather stay tuned to KCII for Severe Weather Action Team Coverage.

Washington Council votes down liquor request

Posted: Friday, June 5th, 2009 at 4:36 am

A downtown Washington restaurant will not be able to serve alcohol in an "outdoor cafe" setting. Washington Council members voted to deny the request from Cafe Dodici at this week's meeting. At large councilor Merle Hagie was the only yes vote. He says the matter at least deserved further research.

Downtown construction to begin

Posted: Friday, June 5th, 2009 at 4:36 am

Construction crews are expected to start milling this morning (6/5) as part of Washington's downtown enhancement project. City Administrator Dave Plyman says work will be done on Washington Street, between Marion and Second Avenue. Plyman says in addition to a new street surface, the project also includes new brick work on the sidewalks, and new curbs and gutters. The city engineer's office says they will not allow crews to block any of the parade routes for tomorrow's Ridiculous Days celebration.

MP hires asst. business manager

Posted: Friday, June 5th, 2009 at 4:35 am

The current business manager at Mid Prairie schools will be getting some new help in the coming months. Cindy Steege of the Solon School District was hired during a special school board meeting to become the new assistant business manager at Mid Prairie. Superintendent Mark Schneider cited her professionalism, initiative, and communication with the public and faculty as big selling points. He says Steege is already familiar with the system at Mid Prairie because Solon uses many of the same software programs they do.

Grassley on Obama speech

Posted: Friday, June 5th, 2009 at 4:35 am

A U.S. Senator from Iowa is hopeful President Barack Obama's call for a peace accord with the Muslim world is a success. Republican Chuck Grassley says it's a relationship that's been strained for far too long. While Grassley, and other U-S leaders are hopeful Obama's message spawns more dialog, Al-Jazeera reports mixed reactions from the Arab World. Grassley says any amount of insight the east and west can give each other is a step in the right direction.

"Kidzfest" opens tonight

Posted: Friday, June 5th, 2009 at 4:35 am

Washington County Hospital and Clinics "Kidzfest 2009" is this evening (6/5) in downtown Washington. Hospital spokeswoman Carrie Garman says now that schoos is out, it's a good time to promote healthy ideas like regular exercise and a balanced diet. Garman also says there will be a variety booths, demonstrations and activities. She says the event is free and open to the public. "Kidzfest" runs this evening from 4:30 to 8:30 in Downtown Washington.

Kalona rockers at Hamakua this evening

Posted: Friday, June 5th, 2009 at 4:34 am

Hamakua Place youth center in Washington is having a free concert this evening (6/5). Center Director Deb Bodensteiner says the show will feature Kalona based Christian rockers The Ransom Project, as well as the Washington Faith Baptist Band. The show starts at 8:00 pm. Bodensteiner also says they'll be be kicking off a new program Tuesday (6/9) of next week at 7:00 pm called The Venturing. She says it's a young adult division of Boy Scouts, designed to help young people mature become responsible adults. For more information contact Hamakua Place.

Engineering is Elementary

Posted: Friday, June 5th, 2009 at 4:34 am

Today (6/5) marks the last day of a special event taking place at Lincoln Elementary in Washington. This week, the school paired up with the U of I College of Engineering to teach kids the ways in which engineering principles can be used in daily life. The project has been running all this week for 3-4 graders in the Washington School District. While today marks the end of Washingtons session, Ed Raber with the Washington Economic Development Group says similar programs will be held in Wellman, Kalona, and Riverside.

One injured after Riverside crash

Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2009 at 5:19 am

One person sustained minor injures after a two vehicle car crash in Riverside last night. 911 records show a vehicle driven by Jesse Fry of Muscatine failed to yield at the intersection of in front of the Travel Mart, and collided with Charles Scheer of Cedar Rapids. One of the two was transported to University Hospitals in Iowa city. It's unclear at this time which one. 

Dispute over airport runway continues

Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2009 at 5:18 am

Washington City Council members are again seeking public input on a possible land acquisition that would accommodate a new runway at the airport. Mayor Sandra Johnson says that would entail purchasing farmland from the Berdo family. There has been an ongoing legal dispute between the city and the Berdos. Public comment on whether tax payer money should be spent on the roughly 60 acre parcel of land will be taken at the July 15 council meeting. 

Washington Schools to receive $147K

Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2009 at 5:18 am

Washington Schools are getting more than $147,000 in federal stabilization money. The funds are being allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The money is earmarked for improvements in teacher effectiveness, establishing pre-k to college data systems and gearing classes more towards college and career preparedness. Washington Schools could receive an additional $760,000, if the funding is approved by the federal government. 

Car dealer talks about auto bankruptcies

Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2009 at 5:18 am

A local car dealer says the restructuring of Chrysler and G-M shouldn't have a big impact on his business. Tom Buckwalter, with Buckwalter Motors in Wellman says concerns were high at first, but subsided when a formula for how the restructuring would work was developed. Buckwalter says he's keeping a closer eye on fuel prices. He says that often has a larger impact on the used car business. 

Washington pork producers utilize wind energy

Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2009 at 5:17 am

Being environmentally and financially mindful can go hand in hand. ISU extension swine field specialist Tom Miller says many large scale pork producers are finding wind energy to be a viable way to cut down on electrical costs. Washington County pork producers, Andy McCall and Wayne Zeiser each use a wind turbine capable of producing 60-70 thousand kilowatt hours per year.

Washington Co. to crack down on "mudrunning"

Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2009 at 5:17 am

Washington County is cracking down on "mudrunners." Engineer David Patterson says the joyrides down class B and C roads create ruts that are costly to repair, and can make it difficult for farmers to access their fields. Patterson says people who go on "mudruns" could be charged with criminal mischief, failure to maintain control of their vehicle or trespassing, depending on what type of road is damaged. Anyone who sees "mudrunning" is encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Office. 

Wild Edibles

Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2009 at 5:17 am

Healthy nutrition may be found right outside your door. Naturalist Pam Holz with the Washington County Conservation Board says there are many common Iowa plants that, if prepared properly, provide an excellent source of nutrition. She says things such as thistles and dandelions, while commonly seen as a nuisance, are actually quite healthy. Holz says knowing what is healthy and what isnt is important should an emergency be encountered in the wild. Holz says more can be learned about nature nutrition at the Wild Edibles Program on June 27 at Marr Park.

Program explores Iowa Underground Railroad

Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2009 at 5:17 am

The Johnson County Senior Center recently received a grant to host a seminar on Iowas participation in the Underground Railroad. Questions surround Iowas involvement in the 1800s movement which helped escaped slaves find their way to free northern states and Canada. The seminar looks to answer questions such as whether or not Iowa participated at all, how the slaves were concealed from their pursuers, and whether or not some of these hideaways exist today. The seminar will be held on June 9 and is sponsored by Humanities Iowa.