Archive for August, 2009

IMS grad receives ag award

Posted: Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 4:49 am

An IMS graduate recently received one of the nations highest agricultural awards. Jocelyn Marner is the daughter of Ken and Mary Marner and a 2009 graduate of Iowa Mennonite School. Marner received the DeKalb Agricultural Accomplishment Award after taking eight semesters of agricultural education at IMS. She joins more than 160,000 students who have won the award nationwide.

Grassley talks about "bipartisan" healthcare effort

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:49 am

A key player in the ongoing healthcare debate is Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. Grassley is a ranking minority member on the Senate Finance Commitee, and has been a leading voice in the “Gang of Six.” Grassley has countered claims that he’s abandoned a bi partisan healthcare bill. He says “three Republicans and 58 Democrats is not bipartisan”

Satellite voting this week

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Voters in the Washington School district have to chance to vote ahead of next month’s election at three locations this week. County Auditor Bill Fredrick says voters can cast absentee ballots from 3:30 to 7:00 tomorrow (8/25) night at the Lincoln Elementary Gym, and from 4:00 to 7:30 at the Stewart Gym. There will be another polling place from 4:30 to 9:00 this Friday at Case Field during the Demon football home opener.

M-P meet the candidates night

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Mid Prairie School Board candidates will be taking questions during a forum this . Education Association President Karri Bell says four candidates will compete for three vacancies on the board, and this process will help voters make the best choice for them. Bell says they hope people will leave the meeting knowing all candidates want to make a better school and community. The meeting is at 6:30 Thursday (8/27) night in the high school.

Architects selected for Washington School facilities

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:48 am

The Washington Facilities Committee has selected three design firms for the proposed school bond issue. School Board Secretery Jeff Dieleman says OPN Architects of Cedar Rapids, DLR Group of Des Moines, and SVPA Architects of West Des Moines have all been chosen to be reviewed for the plan, which would build a new high school and convert the current school into the new junior high.

Many schools starting this week

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:48 am

Students in Washington are heading back to the classroom this week. Police Chief Greg Goodman wants to remind people to be more alert, especially during the mornings and afternoons. Washington, Mid Prairie and Saint James all start classes this Wednesday (8/26). Lone Tree, Winfield Mount Union and WACO all start today (8/24). Highland starts tomorrow (8/25). Sigourney and Keota begin Thursday (8/27).

Farm storage loans available

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:48 am

Changes are coming to Iowas Farm Storage Facility Loan program. State Farm Service Agency Director John Whitaker says with the changes, producers of certain crops will be able to get financing to upgrade storage facilities. He says participants must pay a down payment of 15 percent and the maximum loan amount is $500,000.

Circle of Support

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:47 am

The Washington County chapter of Circle of Support meets tonight. United Methodist Church Pastor Julie Poulson says the group got started in Washington earlier this year. She says it’s their goal to end poverty. Poulson says everyone is welcome at these meetings. Tonight’s starts 5:30 at the United Methodist Church in Washington.

Men’s Fun Day

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:47 am

The Washington Chamber of Commerce’s annual Men’s Fun Day is this Wednesday. Chamber Executive Director Tim Coffey says it will be a day of golfing, socializing and fundraising. The day starts at the Washington Golf and Country Club with a two person best shot golf outing. Tee times are available between 9:00 and 4:30. Coffey says there’s a social hour at 5:00 followed by dinner. He says proceeds will help fund the chamber scholarships.

911 Sup. talks about emergency texts

Posted: Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 4:46 am

The first ever emergency text message was sent this month in Iowa during a test in Black Hawk County. Washington County 911 Supervisor Cara Sorrells says it’s the next logical step in emergency communications. Sorrells says the desire to be able to send text messages stem from campus shootings, and other situations where a person can’t actually talk on a phone. Sorrells attended the test in Black Hawk County as part of her duties as president of the Iowa National Emergency Number Association.

Pheasant count completed

Posted: Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 4:44 am

A local wildlife expert expects the pheasant population to be down again this year. Don Pfeifer with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says part of that is to blame on harsh weather, and diminishing grassland. Pfeifer just got done with the DNR’s annual pheasant count. The numbers are expected to be out soon. The first day of pheasant hunting is October 31.

Ag land assessments unchanged in Washington County

Posted: Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 4:44 am

Many counties in Iowa have seen a jump in the assessed value of farmland. Washington County Assessor Lil Perry says that’s not the case here. She says the reason for increases elsewhere comes from state equalization orders. She says her office applied those at the beginning of the year. Perry says ag land assessed values increased by 46-percent this year, but she expects the rollback to be in the 30-percent range

Absentee voting available

Posted: Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 4:44 am

The Washington County Auditor is encouraging residents to vote early for the upcoming school board election. Bill Frederick says people will have the option to vote absentee by using satellite polling locations around town in the coming weeks. He says polling locations will be setup beginning next Tuesday at Lincoln and Stewart Elementary and later at Case Field during a football game. Frederick says the his office is accepting applications for absentee ballots by mail if residents are unable to go to the polls.

Birth rate stays mostly stable locally

Posted: Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 4:43 am

Birth rates have historically dropped during recessions. The Center for Health Statistics says the recent downturn was no exception. The federal agency says there were 68,000 fewer births in the U-S last year, versus 2007. However, that hasn’t been the trend locally. Washington County Hospital CEO Don Patterson the number of births was up slightly this fiscal year, versus last.

SIDS Walk this weekend

Posted: Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 4:43 am

The annual Iowa SIDS Foundation Walk for the Future is being held tomorrow (8/22) in locations across Iowa, including Washington. Tricia Lipski is the local walk coordinator. She says SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is defined as the death of any child from one month to one year old, where no other cause of death can be determined. Registration for the walk starts at 8:00 am. The walk itself starts as 9:00 in Sunset Park.

4-Hers bring home state fair ribbons

Posted: Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 4:43 am

Seventeen Washington County 4-Hers are bringing home ribbons from this years State Fair. Projects cover a range of subjects such as livestock, photography, cooking, and horticulture. 4-H Youth Coordinator Kati Peiffer says the participants have shown exceptional learning and ability. A full list of State Fair participants is available on our homepage.

Pork youth confrence

Posted: Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 4:43 am

The Iowa Pork Producers Association will hold its Pork Youth Team Leadership Conference next month. Washington County 4-H Youth Coordinator Kati Peiffer says the conference gives youth a head start in becoming a leader in Iowas pork industry. She says all junior and high school students are welcome. To register for the program, call the Washington County Extension Office at 653-4811.

Amount of H1N1 vaccine unknown

Posted: Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 5:23 am

Washington County’s Public Health Administrator says they don’t know how much vaccine they’ll be receiving this fall for the H1N1 virus. Edie Nebel says they’ve been told to find out how many people fit the priority group, which would include children and healthcare workers. She says they’re also forming an ethics committee for when they have to make decisions about who does and does not receive the vaccine.

Councilors talk food vendors

Posted: Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 5:23 am

Washington City Councilors are considering regulations that would apply to street vendors in the wake of a new barbecue stand operating on the square. John and Shelly Blakeney say they thought they had went through all the proper channels before they started serving food. The presence of John’s Barbecue in downtown Washington has at least one business owner upset. Mario Savaidis owns Dino’s Pizza. He says it’s one thing to open a restaurant, but another to operate a food stand right outside his place. City councilors have granted the Blakeney’s temporary permission to continue operating the barbecue stand until the issue is further explored in committee.

Digital mammography will serve more patients

Posted: Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 5:23 am

New digital mammography equipment at Washington County Hospital should allow them to serve more patients. Radiology Director Denny Brown says they can capture and process images more quickly now. Digital mammography produces an almost instant image on a monitor. That allows technicians to see if it’s a good image right away, rather than having to process film and look at it on a view box.