Today's Local News

Common Ground for Washington Schools kicks off campaign

Posted: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 at 4:53 am

Around 50 people last night (7/28) attended a public meeting on a long range plan for Washington School Facilities. Some of the biggest question areas included city infrastructure, a timeline and financing. The overall response from those in attendance was positive. The meeting was put on by the “Common Ground for Washington Schools” political action committee. Co-chair Joe Mcconnell says he was happy with the turnout. A vote on issuing bonds which would pay for the first phase on the plan is set for this September.

Crop update

Posted: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 at 4:52 am

Iowa’s farming season started out too wet, but now some producers are asking for rain. The USDA says cool temperatures have kept most crops healthy. In southeast Iowa, 85 percent of topsoil moisture is in the adequate range, while 91 percent of subsoil moisture is adequate. 55 percent of local corn has silked, that’s about 20 percent behind average. 20 percent of southeast Iowa soybeans are setting pods, that’s nearly 26 percent behind normal.

Supervisors hold off on tax suspension

Posted: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 at 4:52 am

Washington County Supervisors are holding off on making a decision on whether to allow a tax suspension. County Treasurer Jeff Garrett says the request was made under a state law that allows suspension if a person is “unable to contribute to the public revenue.” Supervisors agreed to delay making a decision so they could further investigate the issue. Garrett says last year’s taxes for the petitioner are paid, and this would allow them to have a sort of forebearance on paying property taxes this October.

Marek on high speed rail

Posted: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 at 4:52 am

Officials in several Midwestern states, including Iowa, are lobbying the federal government for a high speed rail system. Riverside State Representative Larry Marek says the rail link between Chicago and Iowa City would be a great asset for commuters and travelers who frequent the Windy City. He says in the days of high gas prices, a 40-dollar round trip train ticket is a significant advantage over driving to Chicago. Marek says while some switch tracks need to be repaired, they are hopeful the project can be completed in the next two years.

Vietnam Memorial rolls through Washington County

Posted: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 at 4:52 am

A mobile memorial to those who lost their lives during the Vietnam War was escorted through the area by the Washington Patriot Guard Riders yesterday (7/28). The wall is a half scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. It met up with Washington’s Patriot Guard Riders in Ainsworth, went through the city of Washington on its way to Richland. It’ll be set up there until Sunday (8/2).

Main Street needs crayons

Posted: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 at 4:51 am

Main Street Washington’s Celebrate your Senses event is coming up this weekend, and they’re looking for some crayons. Executive Director Amy Vetter says they’ll use them for children’s activities in Central Park Saturday. She says donations need to be dropped off at the chamber building by 4:30 Friday afternoon. Celebrate your Senses is a day long street festival featuring art displays and live music.

U of I rated high on green list

Posted: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 at 4:51 am

The University of Iowa is getting high marks for being environmentally minded. The Environmental Protection Agency recently honored the Big Ten school as being one of the top 20 organizations which runs on its own green power. The Universitys Liz Christiansen says they strive to integrate renewable energy and sustainability with education. One hallmark of the Universitys green program is the use of oat-based hulls in its boilers. The oat hulls reduce the amount of CO2 emissions and remove the need to use coal.

Lobesack: more flood recovery needed

Posted: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 at 4:51 am

Congressman Dave Loebsack wants to see more money go towards disaster relief in Iowa. Loebsack says the current system presents too many problems and hurdles for individuals looking for relief and flood recovery. He says confusing regulations, slow response times, and inadequate help are making it hard for individuals to receive proper funds. Loebsack says while many Iowans have done well in restoring many neighborhoods, there is always room for more help.

"Common Ground" committee chair: it’s time

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:38 am

A co-chair for a citizens committee advocating an update of Washington School facilities says the overhaul is long over due. Joe Mcconnell is with the “Common Ground for Washington Schools” group. Mcconnell says in addition to being important for educational reasons, having quality school facilities is also important to economic development. The organization is having an informational meeting tonight (7/28) at 7:00 in the high school auditorium.

Headliner for "Celebrate your Senses" chats with KCII

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:38 am

The headlining act for this “Celebrate your Senses” says he’s excited to perform in Washington. Bob Dorr of Bob Dorr and the Blue Band will play in downtown Washington this weekend. Dorr says their music covers a wide array of genres. Dorr says the band includes horns, harmonica and four vocalists. The “Blue Band” will be accompanied by the winner of this weekend’s battle of the bands. For more information, contact Main Street Washington. Tune in to the KCII Morning Magazine on Wednesday (7/29) for the Washington Page which includes the full interview with Dorr, and a song off one of his CDs.

Agronomist to speak on hail damage

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:38 am

Eastern Iowa farmers whose crops have sustained hail damage are being encouraged to attend the Crop Technology Tour this evening (7/28). Iowa State University agronomist Jim Fawcett will be on hand to answer questions about hail damage loses. There will also be information on bean aphids, soybean rust and nitrogen and manure management. The event starts at 6:00 tonight (7/28) at the Jeff Bermel farm, just outside Keota. For more information contact the Keokuk County Extension.

Acreage report deadline pushed back

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:37 am

With July nearly over, the Iowa Farm Service Agency wants to remind all farmers that the deadline to report acreage for this year is fast approaching. FSA Executive Director Dennis Olson says due to extreme weather conditions this year, the deadline has been pushed back to August 14. Olson says this deadline applies to producers who wish to report failed acreage as well. For more information contact your local county FSA office or visit

Supervisors talk tax suspensions

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:37 am

Washington County Supervisors will be looking at two property tax suspensions at today’s meeting. County Treasurer Jeff Garret says one deals with a property owner who receives government aide, while the other is trying to show a financial hardship. Garret Iowa law allows for suspension in either situation. He says it doesn’t lessen the amount of taxes due, but is a sort of forebearance on payment. The meeting starts at 9:30 this morning (7/28) at the Washington County Courthouse.

Harkin greets FFA members

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:36 am

Two FFA members were recently invited to Washington, D.C. to take part in the FFA State Presidents Conference. The members were also able to meet with U.S. Senator Tom Harkin during their stay. Harkin says FFA exemplifies the strong character traits and qualities Iowa farmers should look up to. FFA represents nearly 12-thousand students in 230 high schools across the state.

Louisa Co. Fair this week

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:36 am

The Louisa County Fair is being held this week and like all Midwest fairs, livestock is the main attraction. Louisa County Extension Director Kathy Vance says the livestock showings are as much for non-agriculturists as they are for enthusiasts. Vance says the Louisa Fair is almost a smaller version of the Iowa State Fair . She says its a good way to have fun with the entire family without spending too much money.. The fair will run all this week at the county fairgrounds in Columbus Junction.

4-H post season approaching

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:34 am

What some consider the post season of 4-H is just a few weeks away. The Iowa State Fair runs August 13 through the 23. Marketing Director Laurie Chapel says the 4-H exhibits are a staple of the fair. Chapel says this year’s fair will also feature a variety of music acts, including Kelly Clarkson, Shinedown and Big and Rich. She encourages people to visit the fair’s website for package deals on tickets and events.

Wayland woman wins Disney Getaway Giveaway

Posted: Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 6:22 am

A Wayland woman is the winner of KCII’s Disney Getaway Giveway contest. Donna Yoder was randomly selected among 700 qualifiers. Yoder is receiving a four day three night trip to Disney World, airfare and accommodations at a Disney property, along with a four day pass for two adults and two children. KCII has been qualifying listeners since April on the air, with Goofy Gatherings, and registration boxes.

Washington Co. to get $1.7 million from I-JOBS

Posted: Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 4:52 am

More than $1.7 million dollars are coming Washington County’s way. The funds are coming from Governor Chet Culver’s I-JOBS program. A little more than a million dollars will go towards overhauling the Highway 1 bridge over Crooked Creek. The remaining funding is being dolled out the various communities in Washington County, and the county government itself.
Ainsworth – $5,077
Brighton – $6,657
Crawfordsville – $2,126
Kalona – $22,219
Riverside – $8,992
Washington (City) – $68,284
Wellman – $13,498
West Chester – $1,201
Washington (County) – $221,778
TOTAL: $349,833
DOT Funding for Hwy 1 Bridge: $1,441,000

Second tall corn monument underway

Posted: Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 4:51 am

A monument to the world’s tallest corn stalk stands at the Washington County Fairgrounds, and soon another will, go up at the Iowa State Fair. Wayne Zieser is son in law to the late Don Radda. Radda grew the record in 1946. Zieser says all the coverage will likely spur more interest in competition corn growing. Zieser says he’s having Evan’s Welding in Washington make the individual pieces of the structure. He says he’ll take it to his shop at home to assemble the monument. Zeiser says construction on the project started yesterday.

Loebsack in Washington

Posted: Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 4:51 am

U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack will be in Washington tomorrow (7/25). Loebsack will be at the Blair House from 4:00 to 5:30 for a meet and greet. The event is being organized by the Washington County Democratic Party. Loebsack is in his second term in the U.S. House. He’s serves Iowa’s second district which includes fifteen counties in the southeast part of the state.