Today’s Local News

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.

Farmers reminded to report acreage

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:55 am

With summer just beginning and the farming season well underway, farmers are reminded to report their crop acreage to the Farm Service Agency in Iowa by next Tuesday. Dennis Olson with the FSA says failure to report acreage by the appointed deadline may result in late-filing fees. He says the reports received will be used in a number of agricultural programs as well as used for tracking future crop history. Olson says the minimum late fee is $46 per farm.

Sheriff’s Reserve adds officer

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:55 am

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is adding an officer to it’s reserve unit. Supervisors this week approved the appointment of Crawfordsville resident Eric Long. Chief Deputy Darren Dennler says they hope to eventually have around 20 auxiliary officers in the unit. He says these officers can cut down on the department’s overtime costs and assist with special details. Dennler says anyone interested in joining should contact the sheriff’s office.

Mohling says extra workload won’t be a problem

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:55 am

Newly appointed regional ISU Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says he’s ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work. Mohling was named to the position as part of a statewide restructuring of the extension service. Mohling is no stranger to this type of scenario. Before the restructuring he served as education director for Johnson and Washington Counties, and also oversaw Iowa County for a three year period.

Home inspection company coming to SE Iowa

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 4:54 am

One of the largest home inspection franchises in the country will be setting up shop in Mt. Pleasant. The HouseMaster company recently announced their plans to open an office in the southeast Iowa town and to give the controls to local resident Aaron Schuman. Schuman says owning the HouseMaster branch will give him an opportunity to give something back to the community, while running a business of his own at the same time. Company officials cited Schumans management skills as well as community connections as perfect qualities for a franchise owner.

Understanding flood insurance

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 4:53 am

Last year's record flooding has many thinking about flood insurance. However it's different than most other types of insurance. Paul Horak, with Horak insurance, says the federal government is the only provider of this type of coverage. He says if it were privately administered, the price would be sky high, because of there is a very small group of people to spread a high risk around on. Horak says most of Washington County does not participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. But he says there are some other options for those who want flood protection.

Washington Co. roads suffer from severe weather

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 4:53 am

Washington County's road department has gone into recovery mode in the wake of recent severe weather. Engineer David Patterson says heavy rainfall and high temperatures have taken their toll on local roadways. Patterson says they've put other projects on hold while repairing weather damaged routes. Over the weekend, some parts of eastern Washington County saw four to five inches of rainfall.

Severe Weather strikes again

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 4:53 am

A round of severe thunderstorms rolled through the area last night knocking out power to thousands of customers across southeast Iowa. KCII received scattered reports of downed trees and flooded out roadways. WeatherEye and National Weather Service personnel reported a majority of the most severe weather stayed north of Washington County, although there were local reports of motorists being pushed around roadways by high winds. The KCII Severe Weather Action Team went on the air at about 5:30 last night and finished their broadcast a little after 7:00.

Mohling named to regional Extension position

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 4:53 am

Washington County's Extension Education Director has been tapped to serve in a regional position for the extension service. Gene Mohling will serve Washington, Keokuk, Johnson and Iowa Counties. Iowa State is selecting 20 regional education directors as part of a statewide restructuring. University Vice President for Extension and Outreach Jack Payne says these positions were created to facilitate an issue based approach to delivering programming and resources.

Loebsack rep to visit Wellman

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 4:52 am

The city of Wellman will be host to one of Congressman Dave Loebsacks top aides tomorrow (6/25). Sabrina Siddiqui, communications director for Loebsack, says the aide will be on hand to discuss issues such as healthcare, the recovery act, and any other concerns citizens might have. Siddiqui says Loebsack routinely sends aides out to hold these meetings in order to find out what issues matter most to Iowans. The meeting will be held in Wellman City Hall from 1-3 pm.

Blood drive moved

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 4:52 am

The effect of weekend storms are still being felt in Washington. A blood drive was scheduled tomorrow (6/25) at the United Presbyterian Church. The church was also scheduled to have vacation bible school outside this week, but high winds damaged their tents and other outdoor equipment, forcing them inside. The blood drive will now be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall from 1:30 to 6:30 Thursday afternoon.

Supervisors consider relocating health dept.

Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 4:52 am

The Washington County Health Department could be moving. Supervisors have approved seeking an engineer to study a building at the Orchard Hill Complex as a potential new location. Many on the board say it makes financial sense to have a county agency in a county owned building. However, some residents say it's easier for people with disabilities to access a building in the city of Washington's downtown. The health department currently rents space in the Federation Bank Building.