Archive for July, 2009

Sub-drain added to downtown enhancement

Posted: Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 at 4:29 am

Washington’s downtown enhancement project recently got a little more expensive. City engineer Rob McDonald told councilors they’d need to spend as much as $10,000 on a sub drain. He says the drain is necessary to keep water from accumulating under the pavement and causing damage when it freezes during the winter months. The third ward’s Mike Roth wanted more time to consider approving the expenditure, but didn’t want to hold up the project. He says the downtown enhancement and new library projects are both coming along on schedule and will hopefully be done around the same time.

I-DOT gets $3 million for SE IA roads

Posted: Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 at 4:28 am

Southeast Iowa will receive more help for recovery efforts for last years floods. The Iowa Department of Transportation will soon receive over $3-million to repair and maintain traffic routes that were damaged after the June floods of last year. Funds such as these will be of great importance to area communities, including Columbus Junction which has an important bridge on Highway 92 over the Iowa River and saw severe damage by floodwaters.

92 bridge work starts today

Posted: Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 at 4:28 am

The bridge over the Iowa River in Columbus Junction will be reduced to one lane today (7/7) as crews begin approach repair. The Iowa Department of Transportation’s website says traffic will be guided by temporary signals. A 12-and-a-half foot width limit on the span also goes into effect today. The DOT’s website says they expect to lift the restriction by the end of August.

RR crossing work in Washington

Posted: Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 at 4:05 am

The City of Washington Engineers office reports that 12 Avenue will be closed to traffic beginning this morning due to construction on IC&E Railroad crossings. 12 Avenue joins B Avenue as the two roads affected by the construction. City Engineer Rob McDonald says detour routes will be available for both north and southbound traffic.

Washington School Board slated to call for special election

Posted: Monday, July 6th, 2009 at 4:50 am

Washington School Board members this week are expected to to pass a resolution calling for a special election in September. The purpose of the election is to have residents vote on whether the school district should issue nearly $12-million in general obligation bonds to get started on a massive facilities plan. The overall proposal calls for spending around $36-million to build a new high school and renovate other district buildings. The bonding proposal would require 60% of voters to be in favor to pass. The meeting starts at 7:00 Wednesday night (7/8) in the school administration building.

Chicago teens visiting Washington this week

Posted: Monday, July 6th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Washington residents will be getting phone calls from a group of Chicago high school students this week. These teens are working with the University of Iowa’s political science department to conduct a public opinion poll. Mayor Sandra Johnson says she leaped at the opportunity when the university first contacted her. She says the survey will have around 30 questions. The students are conducting the survey through the Mikva challenge. It’s designed to engage low income Chicago youth in politics. It’s named after former White House Counsel, judge and U-S Congressman Abner Mikva.

BOS preview

Posted: Monday, July 6th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Washington County Supervisors will soon be taking public comment on ordinances that will go into effect this year. They’re slated to set a public hearing date at this week’s meeting. They’ll also sign off on a pickup truck purchase by the secondary roads department. Supervisors are also expected to approve a contract for rural solid waste disposal services with Marks Sanitation. The meeting starts at 9:30 Tuesday (7/7) in the Washington County Courthouse.

Lake Darling won’t fill up this summer

Posted: Monday, July 6th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Lake Darling won’t be filling up this summer as initially planned. A news release from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources indicated the state agency had planned to suspend construction, and allow the basin to fill through labor day. However, The Cedar Rapids Gazzette reports that the DNR will keep the gate outlet open and allow runoff to exit the lake. The DNR State Parks Bureau Chief tells the newspaper they decided the best course would be to stay with the original construction plan.

Preventing lyme disease

Posted: Monday, July 6th, 2009 at 4:48 am

Summer is insect season, and with more bugs comes the threat of diseases. Kathy Cuddeback with the Iowa Lyme Disease Association says hikers should be very aware of ticks and the dangers of lyme disease. She says all kinds of ticks have the possibility to carry the illness, not just deer ticks, and common symptoms may include head and muscle aches, fever, and a rash near the bite area. Cuddeback says ticks tend to live in long grass near forest edges, so it is a good idea to wear long clothing when going near these areas.

Loebsack visits Afghanistan

Posted: Monday, July 6th, 2009 at 4:48 am

Iowa National Guard troops in Afghanistan were recently paid a visit by southeast Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack. Sabrina Siddiqui says Loebsack was able to meet with top US military leaders as well as Afghan officials, but says his main reason was to meet with the troops. With him, Loebsack brought care packages from family and friends back in the Hawkeye State. Loebsack says there is no better way to celebrate Independence Day.

Fundraising at Hamakua

Posted: Monday, July 6th, 2009 at 4:48 am

A recent fundraiser brought in more than $235 for Hamakua Youth Center in Washington. Center director Deb Bodensteiner says teens sold more than $1,500 in Schwans food. Bodensteiner says says they’re next fundraiser will be July 28. She says the teens will be grilling pork burgers and hot dogs for a free will offering. Proceeds are being used for upcoming fall youth programs and a new slushie machine.

4th of July

Posted: Saturday, July 4th, 2009 at 6:18 am

There’s a birthday party going on today, and everyone in the U.S. is invited. The country is 233 years old today, and several area communities have celebrations planned. Some kicked off the festivities with fireworks last night, but there’s still some local displays set for tonight. The city of Washington’s are at dusk at the county fairgrounds. Wellman’s will be at 9:35 in the downtown area. Wayland’s are at dusk at the football field. Richland’s are at 9:30 at Alumni Park. Sigourney’s are at dusk at the expo. Shiloh’s fireworks were postponed from last night, they will now be tonight at 9:00. For patriotic music this holiday weekend keep it tuned to KCII.

June Fatalities

Posted: Saturday, July 4th, 2009 at 6:18 am

The number of fatal crashes on Iowa highways this year was the lowest in almost three decades. District 13 Trooper Jason Marlow says one possible reason for the decline was an increased police presence on the Hawkeye State’s roads. Marlow hopes motorists will continue to make good decisions. Marlow expects increased traffic throughout this holiday weekend and reminds drivers to be alert, obey the speed limit and never operate a vehicle while impaired.

Campfire Safety

Posted: Saturday, July 4th, 2009 at 6:18 am

The 4th of July is a popular weekend for outdoor activities, which often includes bonfires. The Iowa State Fire Marshall’s office says it’s important to keep fires safe and controlled. Assistant Fire Marshal Jeff Quigle says you need to be able to put out campfires if necessary. He recommends a 5 to 10 pound ABC fire extinguisher. He also recommends keeping a shovel handy to bury fire pits to make sure they don’t re-ignite after you’ve left. He also says to never light a fire using gasoline or other combustible liquids.

New Accountant

Posted: Saturday, July 4th, 2009 at 6:18 am

The city of Washington has a new accountant. Council members this week approved hiring Joe Myers of West Liberty. According to his resume, Myers has worked in accounting for more than 30 years. He received his bachelors in accounting from Northeast Missouri State. A memo from city administrator Dave Plyman says the interview committee received 35 applications for the position. It also says civil service tests were given to potential candidates.

Stay-Cation

Posted: Saturday, July 4th, 2009 at 6:17 am

Lt. Governor Patty Judge is encouraging Iowans to take a stay-cation this year and enjoy the sights and destinations of Iowa. Steve Reif with the Kalona Historical Village says in tough economic times people recognize the importance of tourism in eastern Iowa. He says the Historical Village is one of the top tourist destinations in Iowa, boasting two quilt galleries and a number of historical buildings. Reif says tourism is important to places such as the village because it keeps the culture and heritage of Iowa alive.

Kids Day

Posted: Saturday, July 4th, 2009 at 6:17 am

Kids Day at this year’s Washington County Fair will have some south of the border flare. The theme is fiesta fun. The day will feature activities like maraca making, the cactus limbo and the fiesta duck dive. Kids day is July 22 from 9:30 ’till noon at the Washington County Fairgrounds. All kids are welcome to attend, and come and go throughout the morning.

Workforce Grant

Posted: Saturday, July 4th, 2009 at 6:16 am

The severe weather that swept through southeast Iowa last year has left a positive note. The Department of Labor recently awarded Iowa Workforce Development over 11-million dollars to create almost 650 temporary jobs to aid in cleanup efforts from last years tornadoes and floods. Senator Tom Harkin says this grant will kill two birds with one stone, rebuilding Iowa communities and creating more jobs for Iowans.

Washington Gets a Jump on the 4th

Posted: Friday, July 3rd, 2009 at 6:43 am

Washington residents kicked off 4th of July festivities last night with patriotic music from the municipal band, and blasts from a homemade cannon. Retired Army Artillery Commander Wayne Gamon constructed the cannon. He says it’s in his blood, and was fun to build. The cannon fire accompanied the “Stars and Stripes Forever.” Municipal band conductor Tom Macnimar says their annual “Liberty Concert” just wouldn’t be complete without it The festivities continue this weekend in Washington County. Our website has a listing of Fireworks displays, and stay tuned to KCII for patriotic music this 4th of July weekend.

State Patrol on Special Detail

Posted: Friday, July 3rd, 2009 at 6:43 am

AAA expects fewer motorists out on the roads this holiday weekend. However, the Iowa State Patrol will still have an increased presence. Safety education officer Jason Marlow says the nice weather forecast will likely mean a higher volume of traffic. Marlow says they’ll be keeping an eye out for speeders, aggressive drivers, and motorists under the influence. The Iowa State Patrol’s special holiday detail kicked off yesterday (7/2) and runs until Monday (7/5)