Today's Local News

Teens arrested for burglary

Posted: Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 4:35 am

Three area youth have been charged for a burglary at the Kalona BP convenience store that occurred early yesterday morning (6/18). The Washington County Sheriffs Office reported that cigarettes and an undisclosed amount of money was taken from the store. Aaron Bender, Miles Coppes, and Katelyn Davis were all charged with possession of tobacco under age. Bender and Coppes were also charged with burglary and theft. The stolen items have since been recovered.

Kalona halts Rec Center project

Posted: Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 4:35 am

The roofing and siding touchups on the Kalona Rec Center will be put on hold for a while. Kalona City Council members recently received a petition arguing that the city did not follow state law during the bidding process for contractors. According to Iowa Code, if a public improvement project bid exceeds 100-thousand dollars, the city government cannot divide it into two parts. The filer of the petition says they are not seeking any damages from the city, but only wants the city to follow the proper channels and follow the law.

Fairfield man killed in motorcycle crash

Posted: Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 4:35 am

The Iowa State Patrol is investigating a Jefferson County crash that resulted in the death of a Fairfield Man. Police say 50 year old Robert Daley II was killed when his motorcycle slammed into a pickup truck driven by 17 year old Jordan Bradfield, also of Fairfield. They say Bradfield was turning into a private drive off Libertyville Road, when Daley, who was traveling in the opposite direction, struck the passenger side of the truck. No other information was immediately available.

Severe weather possible today, tonight

Posted: Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 4:35 am

The National Weather Service says severe thunderstorms are likely to occur in Southeast Iowa today, and this evening. They say the atmosphere is very unstable and well organized thunderstorms will be capable of producing strong straight line winds and intense rainfall. Minor flooding and flash flooding could happen in certain areas. In case of severe weather stay tuned to KCII for Severe Weather Action Team Coverage.

Engineer prepared for gas hikes

Posted: Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 4:34 am

The Washington County Engineer says higher fuel costs this summer shouldn't hinder any of their projects. David Patterson says they usually expect, and budget for the increase, but do have plans in place if the price skyrockets like last year. He says that might include holding off on rock hauling until the price comes down. The Iowa Department of Energy Independence reports the price for a gallon of unleaded gas with 10% ethanol was up 40-cents this month compared to May.

County Zoning

Posted: Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 4:34 am

Washington County is considering a zoning ordinance, which could interfere with local cities' ability to grow. Without such an ordinance, cities are allowed to claim a two mile radius outside their limits. However, if the county implements zoning, that land would fall under their jurisdiction. The contractor working with the county recommends towns declare "urban reserve districts" in areas they want to see future growth. The county zoning commission, and the city of Washington have a joint meeting scheduled July 14, to discuss such districts.

WEDG says more industrial space needed

Posted: Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 4:34 am

The director of the Washington Economic Development Group says the city is in need of more industrial land. Ed Raber told councilors this week most most of the industrial park is spoken for. Raber says Washington does own additional land that’s zoned for industry, but isn’t obligated or part of an industrial park. He says in the long term he’d like to see WEDG and the city partner to create a new designated industrial area.

WEDG says more industrial space needed

Posted: Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 4:34 am

The director of the Washington Economic Development Group says the city is in need of more industrial land. Ed Raber told councilors this week most most of the industrial park is spoken for. Raber says Washington does own additional land that's zoned for industry, but isn't obligated or part of an industrial park. He says in the long term he'd like to see WEDG and the city partner to create a new designated industrial area.

Local businesses benefit from Father’s Day

Posted: Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 4:33 am

Father's Day is this weekend and that means gifts for dad. Washington Hy-Vee Store Director Chuck Underhill says they usually see an increase in sales in their meat department around this time. Underhill says they also see a rise in gift card and greeting card sales. He also says there's more traffic through their garden center, as people shop for dads with green thumbs.

Summer food service

Posted: Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 4:33 am

Columbus Community School District is participating in the USDAs Summer Food Service Program. The objective of the program is to ensure that children in the community receive the same nutritious meals that they receive under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs during the school year. Serving locations are at Roundy Elementary and Conesville Community Center. Meals will be provided to all children of the area free of charge and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Sheriff prepared for high fuel costs

Posted: Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 4:38 am

The Washington County Sheriff's Office says they're ready for higher summertime gas prices. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says they usually try to budget for it. He says last summer when prices were over four dollars a gallon, they did things like take extra weight out of their cars and turn them off when running radar to check for speeders. Dunbar says if prices get high enough they would consider cutting patrols or asking the board of supervisors for additional money. At this time, he says it probably won't be necessary. The state Office of Energy Independence says the price for a gallon of unleaded gas with 10% ethanol was up 40-cents this month compared to May.

G-36 opens

Posted: Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 4:38 am

Getting from Washington to Iowa City will now be a little easier. The Iowa Department of Transportation office in Mt. Pleasant announced yesterday (6/17) that the U.S. 218 and G-36 interchange in Washington County is finished and open to traffic. The DOT thanks motorists for their patience and cooperation while the improvement was underway.

Washington Aquatic Center gets new name

Posted: Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 4:38 am

Washington's Aquatic Center is getting an extra word in it's title. Council members last night voted to add Steele, in honor of former YMCA swim coaches Maxine and Milo Steele. The committee that drove the renaming effort say the Steeles had a profound impact on area youth. Opponents say the Steele's coached the Y team, not the city team and that it would have been more appropriate to name just the pool after them not the entire aquatic center.

"Birdies for Charity"

Posted: Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 4:37 am

Golf enthusiasts can keep track of birdies and help a local non-profit group during this year's John Deere Classic. The "Birdies for Charity" asks people to pledge either a one time donation or commit a certain amount for every birdie made. Proceeds this year will benefit Lending Hands Adult Day Care in Washington. To pick up a pledge card or find out more contact Lending Hands 653-2661.

Local vets seek funds for memorial

Posted: Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 4:37 am

A collection of local veteran's organizations are on a fundraising campaign for a memorial park in Washington County. Roger Hanson is part of that group. He says the park will be located on two acres of donated land near the Sheriff's Office. Hanson says the memorial will honor all military branches including the Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. He says they're having a golf tournament tomorrow (6/19) to help raise money for the project. It starts at noon at the Kalona Golf Club. It's $50 per golfer and open to everyone.

Lake Darling construction expected to start in August

Posted: Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 4:37 am

The Lake Darling restoration project is expected to get underway as soon as the ground is dry. The project engineer says they hope to be ready for project bidding by next month, and start construction in August. Some of the restoration highlights include a new dam and spillway, dredging and beach work as well as restocking the fish population. Another new feature is sediment ponds. These are designed to help capture runoff and keep the lake from silting in the lake in the future.

M-P’s all school reunion

Posted: Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 4:36 am

Mid Prairie High School will see alumni from many past years return for the All School Reunion on June 26 and 27. Superintendent Mark Schneider says the event will include many activities from a baseball game and golf tournament to a banquet. He says teachers from years past will be honored on a Wall of Fame and participants can also take part in a live and silent auction. Schneider says all are invited to the event, and all proceeds will fund scholarships for future Mid Prairie graduates.

Bike with the mayor

Posted: Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 4:36 am

The third annual "Mayor's Bike Ride" is this weekend in Washington. The trek will tour the new pavement on Filmore Street, and head down the Kewash Trail to the bridge. Participants are meeting in Central Park this Saturday (6/20) at 9:00 am. The ride will also end in the park with refreshments. The cost is $10 which benefits local non-profit groups. Organizers say it's a relatively easy ride, and everyone is invited to join in.

Keeping cool…and efficient

Posted: Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 4:36 am

As the temperature heats up, many across southeast Iowa are concerned with maintaining a cool, comfortable home without raising utility bills. Gary Bickmeier with the Keokuk County Extension says there are many federal tax credits available for people looking to become energy efficient. He says these tax credits can be used to purchase items to make the home greener, which will pay off even more due to lower utility bills. To find a list of available credits and qualifications, visit energystar.gov/taxcredits.

Dense fog advisory in effect

Posted: Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 at 5:08 am

Washington County and much of Southeast Iowa are under a dense fog advisory this morning. The National Weather Service says visibility will be reduced to less than a quarter mile in areas. They advise that motorists slow down, use their headlights and leave plenty of stopping distance in front of them. The fog advisory is expected to expire at 8:00 this morning (6/17)