Archive for September, 2009

School Elections

Posted: Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 6:51 am

Voters across Iowa head to the polls tomorrow to elect school board members. In Washington Five candidates are seeking three open seats. There are contested races in districts five and seven. In Mid Prairie, four candidates are seeking three at large seats. Two of them are incumbents. In Highland there are no contested races, and all running are incumbents.

Heidie Vittetoe

Posted: Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 6:51 am

A Washington School Board candidate up for reelection tomorrow says her experience is one of her biggest assests. Heidie Vittetoe is running unopposed in district 6. Vittetoe was initially scheduled as a guest on the Washington Page for KCIIs Candidates series last week, but requested her time be given to the Common Ground for Washington Schools group.

Kalona City Council

Posted: Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 6:50 am

The Kalona City Council will decide on a number of city revitalization plans during their meeting this Tuesday. Chamber member Laurie Mostek says much of the focus of the project has been improving the streets and infrastructure in town. The council will also discuss approval of 53-thousand dollars for the lift station project among other issues. The public is invited to come and voice their opinion, but will be limited to five minutes per person.

Energy Expo

Posted: Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 6:50 am

The Beach Boys arent the only ones focusing on renewable energy in southeast Iowa this week. The Iowa Renewable Energy Association, or I-Renew, will hold a renewable energy and sustainability expo this Saturday. I-Renew Executive Director Mike Carberry says the group will cover everything from solar to geothermal energy and ways to make buildings energy efficient. Carberry says they will also discuss green jobs and how to live a healthier lifestyle.

Operation ReLeaf

Posted: Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 6:50 am

Alliant Energy is encouraging residents to promote resource conservation by planting trees this fall. Allaints Nancy Craig says in the Operation ReLeaf campaign offers three-thousand landscaping trees to residents for as low as $25. She says planting trees is an appealing and cost-efficient way to reduce home heating and cooling costs. Craig says order forms are available on Alliant Energys website or by calling the DNR at 515-281-6749.

Doggie Paddle

Posted: Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 6:49 am

The third annual Washington Dog Park’s “Doggie Paddle” is this Wednesday. Before park officials drain the pool in Sunset Park, dog owners are invited to let their pooch have a dip. Admission is five dollars per dog, and they must be current on their shots. Proceeds benefit the Washington Dog Park. Paws and More will also be on hand offering microchipping. The Doggie Paddle runs from 4-8 this Wednesday.

KCII and Hy-Vee Great Grab Giveaway Grand Prize Winners

Posted: Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 6:29 am

Congratulations to Ruth Bellinger, Orbie Brown, Connie Reed, Rose Streff and Aimee Vayan, our  KCII and Hy-Vee Great Grab Giveaway grand prize winners.  They all won a 3-minute/$100 shopping spree at the Washington Hy-Vee that starts this morning at 10am.  They also get to get inside the Great Grab Box to collect other prizes and time certificates to ad time and money to their shopping spree.

NEWS UPDATE – Area Schools Below Standards

Posted: Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 6:20 am

The Iowa Department of Education reports that a record number of Iowa schools are failing to meet the standards of federal No Child Left Behind legislation. Approximately 20%–293 of Iowas 1,442 schools fail to meet the legislative targets on test scores, attendance and graduation rates. Schools that fail to meet goals for 2 years in a row fall into the category of in need of assistance. Area schools include Washingtons Stewart and Lincoln Elementary, Mid Prairie Middle School, and Columbus High School.

Beach Boys in Fairfield

Posted: Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 6:20 am

Fairfield will become the green energy capitol of America this Labor Day when the rock band the Beach Boys will hold a benefit concert at the middle school. The citys Ken Chawkin says Fairfields mayor will also award lead singer Mike Love the title of Energy Czar for the day. Chawkins says the band is one of the most vocal advocates for energy independence. He says Mondays concert will be one of the nations first green concerts.

US Cellular Tower

Posted: Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 6:19 am

US Cellular customers in Pleasant Plain received a boost recently with the completion of a new signal tower south of town. US Cellulars Kevin Schuster says the new tower will give customers access to their 3G broadband network, giving them high-speed internet access on their cell phones. Schuster says with cell phones so important these days, the new tower will help local residents receive quality service.

Iowa Soil

Posted: Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 6:19 am

A Naturalist at the Washington County Conservation Center says much of what Iowa is famous for can be credited to what’s under our feet. Pam Holz says soil that makes for rich farming is also ideal for wetlands. Holz says that’s because it contains a high percentage of clay, which holds water very well. She says this is why farmers often need to till their fields. On the other hand, she says it’s not ideal for septic tanks. She says they need to be above the water table.

Heritage Reports

Posted: Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 6:19 am

The Heritage Area Agency on Aging is looking for more representation from Washington County. Max Lewis is Chairman of the Washington County Taskforce. He told supervisors this week they are looking for at least two people to serve three year terms. Heritage is a division of the Iowa Department of Aging. Anyone interested in serving should contact the Washington County Board of Supervisors.

Childrens Foundation

Posted: Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 6:19 am

A couple from Washington is embarking on a fundraising tour for the Children’s Foundation next week. Steve and Diana Stout had initially decided to buy a retirement home in Mexico. They later decided to sell they’re home and travel the US to raise money for the foundation which aids abused and abandoned children. The Stouts are getting ready to travel all over the US in their motor home to solicit money from Rotary organizations in various communities. Steve has been involved in Washington’s Rotary. They plan to leave on Wednesday.

Piano Wiz Kids

Posted: Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 6:18 am

The Iowa Mennonite School’s Fine Art Series kicks off this month with “Piano Wiz Kids.” Instructor Susan See says the event will feature kids as young as 11 playing some of the most difficult piano pieces ever created. The IMS Fine Arts series will also feature music from Carrie Newcomer in February, and It’s About All Reunion which is program made in the spirit of old time radio in March. “Piano Wiz Kids” is September 12.

Vets Picnic

Posted: Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 6:18 am

Military men and women are being invited to the third annual Washington County All Veteran’s Picnic. Post 29 American Legion Vice Commander Barb Duder says vets have unique bond. The picnic starts with a social hour at Marr Park tomorrow afternoon at three with a social hour. Duder says people should bring a side dish for the potluck.

Sports Clinic

Posted: Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 6:18 am

Iowa Mennonite School will be offering a free sports clinic this month for students wishing to participate in athletics. The schools Larry Swartzendruber says the September 19 event will be a joint girls softball and basketball clinic. He says the softball portion of the day will be from 9-11 am with basketball from noon-2 pm. Swartzendruber says a boys clinic for similar sports will be held in November. For more inforation, call 319-656-2073.

NEWS UPDATE – 1 killed in rollover accident

Posted: Friday, September 4th, 2009 at 4:52 am

A 16 year old Tiffen girl was killed, and two other teens were hospitalized after a rollover accident on I-380, near North Liberty last night. The Iowa State Patrol Says Alyssa Benedict was a passenger in the van, and that she was not wearing her seatbelt. Another passenger, 16 year old Rachel Petersen of Tiffen, and the driver 15 year old Rachel Stewart of North Liberty were taken to the University of Iowa Hospital. Police say Stewart lost control when the van entered the median and overturned, coming to rest on its top. They say the accident remains under investigation.

Greiner pulling for Brandstand’s return

Posted: Friday, September 4th, 2009 at 4:49 am

A former state lawmaker from Keota is lobbying hard to see former governor Terry Brandstad return to office. Sandy Greiner says Brandstand’s previous experience dealing with the farm crisis in the 1980s would be helpful in the current economic climate. Greiner says Brandstads experience with the Flood of 93 will also help him with recovery efforts after last summers floods. She says the Draft Brandstad PAC is currently encouraging him to run again. More information can be found at

To till, or not to till

Posted: Friday, September 4th, 2009 at 4:49 am

A U.S. Department of Agriculture study suggests conventional tillage practices could actually hold back more carbon than a no-till operation. Researchers have found that below the surface, plowed fields hold just as much, if not more carbon than no till. However, they say no till fields will contain more carbon, if they are left that way. A common practice is to plow one year, and no till the next. Iowa State University Soil Scientist Mahdi Al-Kaisi says leaving crop residue has many other benefits, including a reduction in erosion.

Supervisors approve English Valley Estates

Posted: Friday, September 4th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Washington County Supervisors have given the green light to a subdivision near Kalona. English Valley Estates will be located just west of town. Assistant County Engineer Jacob Thorius told supervisors this week, the last thing developers will have to do, is raise the elevation of the site. Supervisors approved the final plat for the project. That means construction can begin as soon as all DNR specifications are met.