Today’s Local News

10 positions up for election on school boards

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:49 am

Ten board positions in three school districts will be up for election this September in Washington County. Three of those are in Highland, three in Mid Prairie and Four in Washington. Every position is for a four year term that ends in 2013, with the exception of Washington’s district 5, which is to fill a vacancy ending in 2011. The first day for candidates to file with school board secretaries is July 6. The deadline to file is July 30. Each position requires a certain amount of signatures to file, although the county auditor’s office suggests exceeding that minimum.

Washington Superintendent worked with Parkersburg football coach

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:49 am

Washington’s Schools Superintendent says the death of Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas is a great loss to Iowa’s education system. Dave Sextro worked with Thomas on the state high school athletic association. Sextro says Thomas “was an icon for the school, and will be greatly missed.” Thomas was shot to death this week by a former player at a weight room facility next to the school. He’d served as football coach for Aplington-Parkersburg for 34 years.

Bandstand project moves forward

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:47 am

Architectural plans for renovating Washington’s Central Park Bandstand are complete, and almost ready for city council approval. Moline, Illinois based architect John Mahon presented the blue prints at yesterday’s (6/26) park board meeting. He says maintaining the structure’s historic charm will be one of the biggest challenges. The city council is expected to set a public hearing date at their next meeting. After that they would approve the plans. Construction could start as early as this August.

Lone Tree subdivision home buyers to receive tax credit

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:47 am

First time homebuyers may be getting some help in finding a house in Lone Tree. A meeting will be held on Tuesday to discuss $20,000 in tax credits for buyers in the citys Black Otter Subdivision. These tax incentives range from a $2,500 loan from the city itself, and an eight-thousand dollar grant from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The USDA is currently holding similar meetings across the state in an effort to encourage the growth of rural homeowners in Iowa.

30,000 kids to enter Hawk-I program

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:45 am

Laws passed by the Iowa Legislature go into effect next month. Fairfield State Senator Becky Schmitz says one of the most sweeping changes provides health insurance to more children through the Hawk-I program. Hawk-I is partially funded through the federal State Children’s Health Insurance Program. It provides coverage based on income.

Riverside Farmer’s Market

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:45 am

The city of Riverside will be holding their monthly Farmers Market tomorrow (6/28) at the Riverside Casino. Public relations director Sharon Hazelhoff says although their event is only once a month, it still provides citizens with quality, home-grown produce and many other goods. She says the casino is proud to be a supporter of the Farmers Market because it is good for the community and a fun event for the public. Hazelhoff says the event will be held in the casino parking lot from 10 2 tomorrow.

Washington couple takes eyeglasses to Panama

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:44 am

A couple from Washington are heading to Panama with more than 20,000 pairs of eyeglasses. Craig and Barb Swift work with One Sight, a non profit group that aims to bring corrective eye-wear to under served areas of the world. They say there are many people in the world who have poor vision, and don’t have the means to do anything about it. Craig and Barb will spend the next week in the Central American country. There, volunteers keep a data base of donated eyeglasses and with the aide of optometrists, find one’s that best fit certain individuals. Their goals is to help eight thousand people

Washington School board approves $36-million plan

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:06 am

The Washington School Board is moving forward with a plan that proposes a $36-million overhaul of the district’s facilities. Members last night unanimously approved the undertaking which calls for voter approved bond issuance. The board will meet on June 30th to draft petition language. If that petition receives enough signatures, it’ll be put on the ballot this September. The measure would require at least 60% of voters to be in favor in order to pass.

Park board to discuss final bandstand plans

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:05 am

Washington Park Board members will be discussing final plans for the renovation of the Central Park Bandstand at a special meeting today (6/26). Park’s Superintendent Tim Widmer says the architect will be on hand. A volunteer committee this spring set out on a fundraising effort for the project. It didn’t take them long to reach their $330,000 goal. Former Washington resident and municipal band member John Jackson donated $175,000 in March. This combined with money from the Washington Betterment Foundation and a grant from the Riverboat Foundation helped them reach their goal in just a few weeks. Today’s meeting (6/26) starts at 2:00 in city hall.

New laws take effect July 1

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:05 am

The start of July marks a new fiscal year for Iowa. It’s also when laws passed during this year’s legislative session go into effect. Fairfield Senator Becky Schmitz says on of the biggest changes was to the state’s sex offender law. The change creates exclusionary zones where offenders aren’t allowed to loiter. It also prohibits them from being employed at places like schools, libraries and swimming pools.

School safety in wake of Parkersburg shooting

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:05 am

The shooting death of a prominent high school football coach has gained state and national attention, and might have some wondering what precautions exist to prevent such a tragedy in Washington. High school principal Shane Ehresman says the public has limited access to the building. Eheresman says they also keep in close contact with law enforcement and sometimes request police presence at extra-curricular activities. Other school district facilities have similar policies in place. Superintendent Dave Sextro says they can’t go into too much detail about their emergency procedures, without jeopardizing their effectiveness.

DNR weighs in on Crawfordsville water

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:05 am

With the city of Crawfordsville under a boil order, much concern has been focused on keeping both city and private wells safe from contamination. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says once a well is subject to flooding or another source of groundwater, bacteria and viruses can enter the water supply making it unsafe for consumption and bathing. Groundwater can also damage the wells pump components. The DNR says only a certified drinking water laboratory and a certified well contractor can determine if water has become safe for use again. For information, call the Iowa DNR.

Hot weather means high attendance at local aquatc center

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:04 am

Hot and humid weather this week has been good for attendance at Washington’s aquatic center. Manager Brendan McNulty says they’ve had roughly 300 to 400 swimmers each day in addition to sunbathers. He says during a regular day when the heat isn’t as oppressive they might see a maximum of 150 people. The Washington Aquatic Center is open seven days of the week from 1-8 pm.

Trekkies gather in Riverside

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:01 am

Riverside will be the center of the sci-fi galaxy today (6/26) and tomorrow (6/27) with the annual Trek Fest event. This year the city will host three members of the original Star Trek cast, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig. Carol Riggan, President of the Riverside Area Community Club, says both Trek fans and non-fans will have plenty of things to do and see at this years event, which is expected to be the biggest in its 25 year history. She says the community also received support from Paramount Pictures, owner of the Star Trek franchise.

Excavator operator escapes harm

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

The operator of this excavator was unharmed after it tipped over while demolishing a building next to Nu Cara Pharmacy on Washington’s E. Madison Street Thursday. The TC Tiling and Excavating employee says there was a hole in the basement that didn’t get compacted, and when the machine’s tracks got to close it pulled it in. At about 3:00 Thursday afternoon he said they were on their way to get another piece of equipment to tip the excavator upright. (Photo: KCII/Nick Wilkens)


Crawfordsville under boil order until further notice

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 7:00 am

Crawfordsville is under a boil order until further notice after crews discovered a hole in the casing of the town’s well. City council member Michell Blum says workers replaced a pump, and when they turned it on, it churned up sludge. She says the community will need to drill a new well, which could take a month or longer. Blum says Crawfordsville uses roughly 25,000 gallons of water per day, and is currently hauling water from Olds to keep the water tower full. She says residents are urged to boil water for human consumption for at least one-minute.

2009 a quiet year for severe weather

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:56 am

Southeast Iowa has seen it’s fair share of severe weather over the past few weeks, but overall things have been relatively quiet this year. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says the declining La-Nina event combined with a cool spring has kept violent weather occurrences down. Hillaker says rainfall is up slightly so far this year, with the far southeast corner of the state reporting the highest numbers.

Washington Schools could adopt $36 million plan tonight

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:56 am

Washington School Board members could adopt at $36-million facilities tonight. They’re having a work session to have a detailed discussion on the various facets of the plan. After that, they’re scheduled to have a special meeting to accept the proposal. The school district enlisted the help of the Iowa Association of School Boards in coming up with a facilities plan. Last month that plan was presented during a public meeting at the high school. Tonight’s work session starts at 6:30 in the administration building, with the special meeting scheduled at 8:00.

One injured after crash on 92

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:56 am

A Davenport woman was hospitalized after her Dodge Neon side-swiped a semi on highway 92, just east of Columbus Junction at about noon yesterday. The Iowa State Patrol says 21 year old Amanda Stocker was taken by Air Care to University Hospital in Iowa City. The accident report indicates she was westbound when her Dodge Neon drifted over the center line, and collided with the tractor-trailer. Neither the driver of the semi, or the driver of a third vehicle that was hit with flying debris were injured. Police say charges are pending and the accident remains under investigation.

Unemployment up in Washington Co. but still low compared to state numbers

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:56 am

Unemployment numbers were up across the board last month. However Washington County’s jobless claims are still down compared with the statewide average. Iowa Work Force Development statistics show Washington County’s rate for May was 4.6%, that’s up from 3.9% in April. The statewide average climbed to 5.8% compared with 5.1% in April. Iowa is still faring better than the rest of the country. The nationwide unemployment rate hit 9.4 % in May.