Today's Local News

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 http://www.ifaa.org/scholarships.html. 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.

WJHS Teacher thankful for Orange & Black

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:20 am

A teacher at Washington Junior High says she's very thankful to all the local businesses who donated to their annual Orange and Black Day. Connie Hoffman Szenby says the event wouldn't have been possible without their help. Szenby says Orange and Black is a community service day, where students do yard work around town.

Washington Schools still figuring out stimulus money

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:52 am

The Washington School District is getting almost $370,000 in federal stimulus money. Superintendent Dave Sextro says the state has instructed them to use that money to backfill cuts made earlier this year. He says this poses a problem when the stimulus money runs out, if the state funding level remains the same. Sextro says they'll meet with the state board of education next month, and hopefully find out more information.

Washington Supervisors expected to discuss revenue sharing agreement

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:52 am

Washington County Supervisors plan to go into closed session at tomorrow's (5/19) meeting to discuss an ongoing dispute with Riverside over a revenue sharing agreement. County Attorney Barb Edmondson says the contract was forged when the Casino was built. Riverside has said it creates constitutional debt, which would make the agreement void under state law. Edmondson has said she believes the contract is legal and enforceable.

WMU looking for new superintendent

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:51 am

Winfield Mount-Union School District is looking for a new Superintendent. Current Superintendent Lynn Ubben says she is moving to another district to be closer to her family. Ubben says they have selected four candidates. Interviews are scheduled to be start this week. The board intends to make their selection late this month, with the new superintendent assuming duties beginning July 1.

Small business seminar

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:50 am

Small business owners and operators are meeting at the Pizza Ranch in Sigourney next week. Keokuk County Extension Education Director Gary Bickmeir says the group meets on the last Tuesday of every month. He says this month's speakers will be the owner's of Jody's Togs and the owners of the Country and More Store. They'll talk about increasing customer traffic by diversifying products and services. The program is at 6:00 Tuesday, May 26. Contact the Keokuk County Extension office for more information and to register.

ISU crop specialist: soybean to soybean OK

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:50 am

Last spring's flooding and wet weather forced many Southeast Iowa farmers to plant soybeans, where they had hoped to plant corn. Iowa State University Crop Specialist Palle Peterson says while planting that ground to soybeans again isn't desirable, it shouldn't pose a major problem. Peterson says the yield loss should be less than 5% as compared with a regular crop rotation.

WPD Dog earns national recognition

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:50 am

A search and rescue dog from Washington is receiving national recognition. WPD K-9 handler Brett Sorrell's says his partner Storm has been named the Search and Rescue Canine of the Year by the National Association for Search and Rescue. Sorrells says Storm's sense of smell is so keen, she's been able to identify unique scents through water.

4H clothing event deadline

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Washington County 4-Hers are reminded that June 1 is the sign-up deadline for the clothing event. All 4-Hers are eligible to participate. Kati Peiffer, 4-H/Youth Coordinator says youth may participate in the fashion revue, the clothing selection, $15 challenge or all three. She says the clothing event judging will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 3:30 p.m. at the Washington County Extension Office on the fairgrounds. Please contact the Washington County Extension Office by June 1, if you are interested in participating at 319-653-4811.

Clothing Event

Posted: Sunday, May 17th, 2009 at 6:38 am

Washington County 4-Hers are reminded that June 1 is the sign-up deadline for the clothing event. All 4-Hers are eligible to participate. Kati Peiffer, 4-H/Youth Coordinator says youth may participate in the fashion revue, the clothing selection, $15 challenge or all three. She says the clothing event judging will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 3:30 p.m. at the Washington County Extension Office on the fairgrounds. Please contact the Washington County Extension Office by June 1, if you are interested in participating at 319-653-4811. 

Pork Scholarship

Posted: Sunday, May 17th, 2009 at 6:38 am

Natalie Friese has been awarded the 2009 winner of the Washington County Pork Producers Scholarship. Friese is the daughter of Dennis and Angie Friese. She's a senior at Washington High, and plans to pursue a degree in nursing after graduation. Friese has served as Pork Queen of Washington, and went on to claim the title of Pork Queen of Iowa. 

NASAR Award

Posted: Sunday, May 17th, 2009 at 6:38 am

A search and rescue dog from Washington is receiving national recognition. WPD K-9 handler Brett Sorrell's says his partner Storm has been named the Search and Rescue Canine of the Year by the National Association for Search and Rescue. Sorrells says Storm's sense of smell is so keen, she's been able to identify unique scents through water.

IMS Graduation

Posted: Sunday, May 17th, 2009 at 6:37 am

IMS alumnus Firman Gingerich, currently the pastor of Blooming Glen Mennonite Church, near Blooming Glen, PA, will deliver the commencement address, "Friends, in a Facebook World", to 33 graduating seniors this evening at 7:30 p.m.

Historic Preservation Commission

Posted: Saturday, May 16th, 2009 at 4:18 am

The Washington Historic Preservation Commission and its national parent organization will release the results of a planning for preservation project next week. The effort aimed to identify historic properties in Washington. According to the National Register of Historic Places, a property must be at least 50 years old, and possess significance and integrity to be listed on the register. The public is invited to see what steps need to be taken to earn the recognition this Monday (5/18) at 7:00 pm at the Blair House.