Archive for August, 2009

Cheers and jeers at Loebsack’s town hall meeting

Posted: Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 7:21 am

Eastern Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack was greeted by a mix of cheers and jeers during a town hall meeting Saturday in Washington. Healthcare reform was at the center of the discussion, and one of the biggest concerns was that legislation currently on the table, would drive private insurers out of business. Those at the meeting in favor of healthcare reform says insurance companies already make life and death decisions for people, and spend too much on overhead costs.

Keokuk man killed in crash near Coralville

Posted: Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 7:21 am

A Keokuk man was killed yesterday in a single vehicle crash in Johnson County. The Iowa State Patrol says 20 year old Nathan J Bowden was northbound on 380, near Coralville at about 1:00 AM when he crossed the median and smashed into a light pole. Police say the accident remains under investigation.

Chamber holds informational meeting ahead of bond vote

Posted: Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 7:21 am

The Washington Chamber of Commerce is hosting an informational meeting on the upcoming school bond issue. Chamber Executive Director Tim Coffey says they want citizens to be as informed as possible before election day. Coffey says unlike some chambers, they’re not taking a position on the bond issue. The meeting is tomorrow night at 7:00 at the high school auditorium.

IASB offers advice on choosing school board members

Posted: Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 7:21 am

School elections are next week, and the Iowa Association of School Boards has some recommendations for choosing candidates. The IASB says while there is no “ideal” board member profile, they should have a “laser like focus on improving achievement for all students…act with professionalism and integrity when monitoring district finances…and understand the board’s roles and responsibilities.”

Kalona revitalization

Posted: Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 7:20 am

Downtown Kalona may be getting a facelift, depending on how a planning meeting goes tonight (8/31). Chamber board member Laurie Mostek says much of the attention is focused on street resurfacing and water draining issues. Mostek says an Iowa City-based firm will be on hand tonight during the meeting to discuss renovation plans and see what areas residents would like improved. She says community members are encouraged to participate in the meeting.

BOS Preview

Posted: Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 7:20 am

Washington County Supervisors are slated to accept the final plat for the English Valley Estates subdivision at this week’s meeting. They’ll also continue discussions on a property tax abatement request. Supervisors are also expected to approve a joint service agreement for the E-911 Service Board. The meeting starts at 9:30 tomorrow morning in the Washington County Courthouse.

IUB: winterize now

Posted: Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 7:19 am

As summer begins to fade, the Iowa Utilities Board is urging residents to get a jump on winterizing their homes. The IUB’s Rob Hillesland says that includes things like putting plastic over windows, replacing aging insulation and installing more efficient doors and windows. More information about weatherazation is available on the IUB’s website.

Moonlight Paddle

Posted: Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 7:19 am

Southeast Iowans will be able to enjoy a canoe ride under the stars this Friday (9/4) at Louisa County Conservations Moonlight Paddle. The groups Katie Hammond says the event will feature a leisurely cruise along the Odessa Wildlife Trail beginning at 9:00 pm. She says the event will run until 11:00 that night, and boats are available to rent for $10- per person for a double canoe and $15 for a kayak. Call 319-523-8381 for more information.

Small business loans

Posted: Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 7:15 am

Small business owners can get a hand recovering after certain natural disasters. Iowa State Universitys Small Business Development Center will offer support at no cost to business owners in recovering from floods, fires, and tornadoes. Center Director Jim Heckmann says the program has already assisted over three-thousand disaster victims and 350 companies.

Loebsack to visit Washington

Posted: Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 4:58 am

Congressman Dave Loebsack is in Washington tomorrow (8/29) for a town hall meeting at the high . One likely discussion topic is healthcare reform. Loebsack has told KCII many of the problems stem from issues with Medicare and other programs. He says while Americas quality of healthcare is one of the best, the problem is making it accessible to everyone. The Loebsack will be speaking at the high school auditorium Saturday morning at 9:30 am.

M-P Candidates take questions

Posted: Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 4:58 am

Candidates for Mid-Prairie School Board took questions last night during a public forum. Some areas of discussion included the new administration sharing agreement with Keota, the Home School Assistance Program, and the role of a board members. Incumbents Jim Hussey and Jack Dillon, are vying for three at large seats against newcomers Stacia Bontrager and Angi Wilson. To hear highlights from the Mid-Prairie Candidates forum, tune in to In Touch With Southeast Iowa all next week during the KCII Mid Day Magazines.

Final Satellite voting and Demon opener

Posted: Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 4:58 am

The Demon Football Team opens the season tonight (8/28), but those in attendance will be able to do more than take in football. Washington County Auditor Bill Fredrick says they will be offering the final satellite polling place ahead of school elections. Tonight’s polls will will be open from 4:30 to 9:00 at Case Field.

Season flu shots expected to be early

Posted: Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 4:57 am

Washington County’s public health administrator says they could be offering seasonal flu shots a little earlier than normal this year. Edie Nebel says that’s because they’ll be offering a vaccine for the H1N1 virus as well. She says nothing is definite at this point. She says it’s also unclear how much H1N1 vaccine Washington County will receive.

Supervisor hopes to lobby state on voting 911 commissioners

Posted: Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 4:57 am

A Washington County Supervisor hopes to lobby the state legislature to allow more voting members on the local 911 Commission. Steve Davis says Iowa law prevents contracted entities from having a vote on such commissions. He says they hope to be in contact with lawmakers to have the rules changed.

Keokuk, Wash, Jefferson Counties hardest hit by heavy rain

Posted: Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 4:57 am

Parts of southeast Iowa says more than seven inches of rainfall between Wednesday and early Thursday. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says parts of Washington, Jefferson and Keokuk Counties were hit the hardest Hillaker says while it’s been a very wet year, The state is still not on pace to set any precipitation records.

Home tax credits offered

Posted: Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 4:57 am

As the economy starts to recover, more incentives are becoming available for first time homebuyers. Iowa Association of Realtors President Terry Knapp says first time buyers can receive up to $8,000 in tax credits. Knapp says low mortgage rates and high inventory in Iowa have kept the state’s housing market stable. He says purchases must be made by November 30 to qualify.

Better communities program

Posted: Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 4:56 am

Washington residents will have a chance to learn how to better their community September 8. The YMCA will host Kent Zimmerman, CEO of the Wallace Centers of Iowa who will discuss building communities through dialogue, active learning, and citizen engagement. Zimmerman will also show participants how they can apply for certain grants to improve the community.

400 voters cast absentee ballots

Posted: Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 4:57 am

More than 400 voters in the Washington School District have cast absentee ballots so far ahead of next month’s election. County Auditor Bill Fredrick says 213 of them came from satellite polling places earlier this week. Fredrick says all absentee ballots are stored until they are ready to be tabulated on the actual election day. There will be one more satellite polling location this Friday at Case Field during the Demon Football home opener.

M-P meet the candidates night

Posted: Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 4:57 am

Mid Prairies Meet the Candidates night is this evening (8/27) at the high school. Education Association President Karri Bell says all candidates have been deeply involved in both the school district and surrounding communities. She says two candidates are incumbents with one being the current board president. Bell says the Meet the Candidates night will give participants an opportunity to better know all hopefuls and to find out which is the best choice for them. The event starts tonight at 6:30.

County to devise disaster mitigation plan

Posted: Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 4:57 am

Washington County is working on a hazard mitigation plan, with some financial help from Homeland Security. County Engineer David Patterson says they already have an emergency preparedness plan in place. He says this is what to do in the long term in the wake of a disaster. Patterson says they are working with the East Central Iowa Council of Governments to develop the plan. The total grant amount is around $38,000.