Today's Local News

Washington Council okays "Celebrate Your Senses"

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 4:52 am

The Washington City Council is green lighting an early August Celebration in the downtown area. Members have approved closing a portion of Main Street, and allowing alcohol to be served at "Celebrate Your Senses." The only resistance at last night's meeting came from at large Councilor Karen-Wilson Johnson. She feels the event can be just as successful without serving alcohol.

Hospice Golf Tournament

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 4:51 am

Hospice of Washington County is holding their annual memorial golf tournament next month. Robyn Harvey-Smith, Director of Marketing with Hospice says they hold these tournaments every year but this year they are holding the event to honor a community leader and a fellow golfer; Short Peterseim. She says Short and his wife Jan ran the Peterseim Funeral Home in Kalona. She says Short passed away last year in June. The Tournament will be Thursday, June 25th, at 11:30am at the Kalona Golf Course and it will be a four person best ball scramble. For more information about cost and registration forms contact the Hospice of Washington County at 319-653-7321.

SE Iowa Company looking to hire

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 4:51 am

Many companies are eliminating jobs during this recession, but a Southeast Iowa company is looking to hire. Steve Jennings is head of Grasshorse Production in Mt. Pleasant. He says they are looking for 2D and 3D film animators. Jennings describes Grasshorse as a visual effects and animation company. He says they've worked on films such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the TV show Powerpuff Girls. He says artists with a background and education in animation should contact Grasshorse for an interview.

MP Schools to receive $300k

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 4:51 am

The Mid Prairie School district will receive more than 300 thousand dollars for expansion of Title I and IDEA programs. Superintendent Mark Schneider says the Title I program provides funds to high risk students who are in even greater need during the economic downturn and IDEA is the major federal program that provides funding for special education and related services to students with disabilities. Schneider says he and his staff are exploring exactly how the money will be used.

Master Gardeners

Posted: Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 4:49 am

People are exploring the possibility of saving money by growing some of their own food. Gene Washington County Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says there's an increased interest invegetable gardening withthe decline in the economy. He says Master Gardeners can provide a good resource of information. Mohling says they are highly visible volunteers in their counties. He says the Master Gardener program is unique for its community emphasis and because it directly utilizes the broad research-based resources of Iowa State University. If you are interested in becoming an Iowa Master Gardener, contact your county extension office to find out more information about training in your area.

$36 million plan proposed for WCSD

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:07 am

Representatives from the Iowa State Association of School Boards recommend a $36-million multi year overhaul of the Washington School District's facilities. Construction Advocate Duane Van Hemert says the plan should be acceptable those who want to preserve the the district's historic buildings, and those who want students to benefit from newer facilities. It calls for building a new high school, and moving junior high students to the current high school.

Washington business owner awarded $227K

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:06 am

A jury awarded a Washington business owner more than $227,000 in a ruling on a civil trial this week. Iowa City based Apex Construction and Coralville based VJ Engineering were each found partially at fault for a 2006 building collapse on Washington's South Marion Street. The structure was owned by Alfonso Raymundo. Court documents show jurors found Apex 37% responsible for the collapse, while VJ was 63% at fault. At the time of the collapse, Apex was remodeling the building, and VJ had provided engineering services. Judge Dan Morrison will hand down the official ruling at a later date.

Washington Council considers bonds

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:06 am

Washington City Council members will consider $3.5 million in bonds at tonight's (5/20) meeting. Mayor Sandra Johnson says some of the money is going toward an engineering phase of a new wastewater plant. She says many cities in Iowa are facing a similar problem as they decide how to upgrade infrastructure. Johnson says the general obligation bonds they plan on using carry a high interest rate, and often force municipalities to increase fees. Tonight's meeting starts at 7:00 in the public library.

Riverside/County dispute continues

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:06 am

Attorneys for Riverside have sent a letter to Washington Supervisors indicating the city doesn't intend to make annual payments to the county as previously arranged. County Auditor Bill Fredrick says an urban renewal and TIF district was created to help the city pay for infrastructure when the casino was built. He says as a result, Riverside is supposed to pay the county $175,000 per year. Attorney's for the city say the agreement caused them to exceed their debt limit, and is therefore void under state law.

Construction to start at Lake Darling

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:05 am

Construction at Lake Darling State Park is expected to begin as soon as the ground is dry. Rachel Erb with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources,says this major renovation includes the construction of a new dam and spillway as well as sediment ponds, shoreline armament and fish habitat. Erb says they are hoping to start taking bids for construction around July with construction beginning shortly after. She says the projected completion date is the fall of 2010.

SEMCO Meeting

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:04 am

The Southeast Iowa Multi-County Solid Waste Agency will hold there next meeting this morning at 9am. On the agenda, the agency will Award contract for the abutment and temporary cover placement construction project as well as hear the landfill managers report. Anyone who wishes to address the board may do so. The meeting will be held at the SEMCO Landfill office in Richland at 9am.

Loebsack rep in Washington

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:04 am

A representative of Congressman Dave Loebsack will be in Washington today (5/20). Jared Hershberger will be at the public library from 10 am-12 pm to field questions and comments on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Hershberger says he can also help individuals who are having difficulty with a government agency, or have concerns or suggestions for Loebsack.

KFD Auction

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:03 am

There will be an Auction on Saturday, June 13th (Keota Fun Days weekend) at 1:00 pm under the Keota town water tower. Kris Lyle with Printers Workshop & Timeless Charm in Keota says the Keota Educational Foundation is putting on the auction as a fundraiser for local scholarships. If you have something you wish to donate, you can do so by calling Butch at 319-330-1964 or 641-635-2058, or you may bring your item into Timeless Charm Gifts during regular business hours.

BOS to consider personnel changes

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:25 am

Personnel changes are on the docket for Washington County Supervisors this morning (5/19). They're slated to approve requests from the environmental health and secondary roads departments, as well as the county attorney's office. Supervisors will also consider the withdraw of property from an agricultural district. They'll also discuss a formal response stemming from an on going legal dispute with the city of Riverside. The meeting starts this morning (5/19) at 9:30 in the lower level of the Washington County Courthouse. 

WCSD Board to hear facilities report

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:25 am

Washington School Board members tonight (5/19) will hear a report on the district's facilities. Superintendent Dave Sextro says the board requested the report from the Iowa Construction Advocate Team. Sextro says members of the public are encouraged to attend as there will be time for a question and answer session after the presentation. The meeting starts at 6:30 this evening in the Washington High School Auditorium.

Seatbelt enforcement stepped up

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:24 am

Police officers across Iowa are stepping up enforcement of the state's seatbelt law this week and next. Courtney Greene, with the state department of public safety, more than 14-thousand people who weren't wearing a seatbelt died in car accidents in the U-S in 2007. She says in Iowa, nearly half of those killed in in crashes weren't wearing a seatbelt. Greene says statistics indicates motorists are at higher risk during the evening and nighttime hours. The "Buckle Down on Those Not Buckled Up Day and Night" campaign runs through the end of this month. 

IFFAA scholarships available

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:24 am

The Iowa Foundation for Agricultural Advancement has scholarships available to soon to be college freshmen. IFFAA is a non-profit organization comprised of agricultural enthusiasts dedicated to encouraging 4-H and FFA livestock, poultry and agricultural project members to pursue ag-related careers. IFFAA manages the annual Iowa State Fair Sale of Champions and the Winners Circle Scholarship and Awards program. The lists of 2009 scholarships as well as the official application form are available to download at Applications are also available at the Washington County Extension Office, 319-653-4811. The deadline for incoming freshmen is June 1st.

Wet weather could spur more soybeans

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:24 am

More than 4-inches of rain fell in Washington last week, and some parts of southeast Iowa saw more. Washington County Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says the soggy conditions could force farmers to plant more acres to soybeans, as the optimum window for corn planting draws to a close. Mohling says soybeans yields don't drop as much as corn yields during a shorter growing season.

Brighton Chamber seeks food vendors

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:23 am

Kalona Days Bingo

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:21 am

Kalona Days will bring back activities that people have enjoyed in the past. Kalona Days Director Dave Finley says one activity people have mentioned they thoroughly enjoyed was Bingo. He says bingo games will start after the 9:30 AM parade finishes on Saturday June 20th sponsored by Freedom Security Bank of Kalona. Games can earn players Kalona Cash. He says these certificates are used like cash in Kalona businesses. Players may purchase bingo cards for $0.25 each for each game played. Half of the amount collected for each bingo game will be divided equally between the game winner(s). The winners will also be presented a raffle ticket that will enter them into a drawing after the last game of the day is played for a grand prize of $50 in Kalona Cash. Bingo games will be played in the Freedom Security parking lot.