Today's Local News

WCHC CEO: health coverage shouldn’t be a problem

Posted: Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 4:48 am

Just over two-thousand Washington County residents under the age of 65 are without health insurance according to the U-S Census Bureau. Washington County Hospital CEO Don Patterson says there are a wide array of options for the uninsured. He says that includes HAWK-I for kids, MEDICARE for seniors and a charity care program at the hospital for those in between. he Census Bureau report indicates nearly 11 percent of Iowans are without coverage.

Farmer protests land acquisition

Posted: Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 4:48 am

A local farmer involved in a legal dispute with the city of Washington says he wants to sit down with councilors and settle things outside of a courtroom. The city is trying to obtain about 60 acres of land from John Berdo to relocate the municipal airport’s runway. City attorney Craig Arbuckle says there is a legal process they must follow.

Harking pushes medical device safety

Posted: Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 4:47 am

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is pushing legislation that would allow people injured by medical devices to seek damages against their manufacturer. Harkin says Last year, in Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., the Supreme Court held that FDA approval of these medical devices essentially immunizes manufacturers from liability under state tort causes of action. He’s advocating SR512, or the Medical Device Safety Act.

WPD getting new radar devices

Posted: Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 4:47 am

The Washington Police Department is getting some new radar devices for their marked patrol cars. Chief Greg Goodman says the old ones are in dire need of replacement. He also says the new ones are much more advanced. Goodman says the radars are being purchased with money from a federal stimulus grant. He says they are also getting new tactical and duty vests. In all, the department got a little more than $25,000.

VA Commissioner urges vets to sign up for benefits

Posted: Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 4:47 am

Washington County’s Veteran’s Assistance Office is urging local men and women who’ve served in the armed forces to register for benefits. VA Commissioner Terry Phillips says even if you don’t feel you need the benefits, it’s still important to get your information in the system. Phillips says a lot of the paperwork involved in registering can be rather cumbersome. He says VA Director Sue Rich is well versed and can help veteran’s fill it out. He’s especially encouraging younger veterans to sign up.

National Farmers Market Week

Posted: Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 4:46 am

Washington’s farmers market master is encouraging people to attend tonights market in recognition of National Farmers Market Week. Bob Shepherd says the Farmers Market is important because it celebrates local producers rather than large companies from far away. He says Muscatine is usually the farthest place from which they accept produce, but they still aim to keep the money and market local. The Market opens at 5:00 in Central Park

Johnson Co. looks to replace flood damaged armory

Posted: Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 4:44 am

Johnson County is looking to replace a flood damaged National Guard building in Iowa City with funds from Gov. Culvers I-JOBS program. Facilities Manager David Kempf says since the floods of last June, the building has become unusable and dilapidated due to flood damage. He says its location near a main thoroughfare calls for a more appealing facility. Kempf says they want to replace the building with a parking lot and green area for public use. He says the total cost would be around $1.3 million, but the new space would be more welcoming and useable to residents.

H1N1 vaccination expected by October

Posted: Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 4:28 am

Washington County’s Public Health Director says the first death in Iowa from H1N1 will likely lead to more interest in vaccination. Edie Nebel says they expect to have such a vaccination available by this October. Nebel says there will be a priority list. She says it will likely include children under 18 and pregnant women. She reminds residents to cover their cough, wash their hands frequently and stay home if they feel sick.

Councilors to talk airport land deal

Posted: Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 4:28 am

Washington City Councilors are looking for public input on a potential land deal that would accommodate moving the municipal airport’s runway. Mayor Sandra Johnson says they would make the landowner an offer for the property, but might have to seek condemnation. The city and property owner John Berdo have been engaged in an ongoing legal dispute. Tonight’s (8/5) public hearing will gauge support for using tax dollars to buy roughly 60 acres of Berdo’s farmland. The meeting starts at 7:00 in the Washington Public Library.

Conservative investments still impacted by downturn

Posted: Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 4:28 am

Wall Street wasn’t the only investment arena hit by the economic downturn. Washington County Treasurer Jeff Garrett manages investments for the county. He says conservative options like CD’s also suffered. Garrett says state law puts strict limits on how municipalities invest tax dollars. He delivered his investment report to county supervisors at yesterday’s (8/4) meeting.

CJ 4-Hers get scholarships

Posted: Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 4:27 am

Two Columbus Junction 4-Hers have been awarded 1000-dollar scholarships from the Iowa Foundation for Agricultural Advancement. Sandra Dion and Elyssa McFarland are both nine-year members of 4-H and are both freshmen at Iowa State University. Dion says being involved in 4-H has given her a good work ethic as well as a sense of responsibility. McFarland says 4-H has taught her to work hard and has fueled her interest in agriculture.

Iowa gets top marks for finance

Posted: Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 4:27 am

A state senator from southeast Iowa is touting national recognition for the Hawkeye state’s financial status. Fairfield Democrat Becky Schmitz says this is the second year in a row Iowa has received a Triple-A rating from Standard and Poor’s. Iowa is one of only 11 states to receiving top marks from the the rating company. Iowa has also been rated as the fourth best state to do business in by CNBC. Schmitz feels”It says a lot about the bipartisan efforts by legislators to foster a pro-business climate”

Crop update

Posted: Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 4:27 am

What was likely the coolest July on record in Iowa has contributed to a lag in crop development. The USDA says the amount of corn silked in southeast Iowa is 10 percent behind the five year average, while the amount in or beyond the milk stage is more than 20 percent behind. Local soybean blooming is more than 10 percent behind normal, while pod setting is nearly 30 percent behind. However, the majority of both top and subsoil moisture in southeast Iowa is rated in the adequate range.

Boswell to stop in Sigourney

Posted: Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 4:27 am

Congressman Leonard Boswell will be making a stop in Sigourney next week to hold a listening post style meeting. Boswell will listen to concerns about health care and take questions regarding the Americas Affordable Health Care Choices Act. Boswell says while there is no easy solution to solving the health care question, he is still committed to making coverage more affordable. He says he would also like to maintain quality and value of coverage.

Keokuks 4-H Hall of Fame inductee

Posted: Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 4:25 am

A Keokuk County woman will be inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame this month. Marie Atwood joined 4-H in 1934 as part of the Adams Hustlers club and was leader of the Stick-To-It club from 1965-1982. Keokuk County Extension Director Gary Bickmeier says Atwood has passed down that dedication to 4-H to her children and grandchildren who have been deeply involved as well. Bickmeier says Atwood, along with other inductees, will be honored during the Iowa State Fair, August 23.

Coldest July on record

Posted: Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 at 4:43 am

Preliminary findings from the National Weather Service indicates parts of Iowa saw the coldest July on record this year. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says an unusual jet stream is one reason for the cooler weather. Hillaker says this has been good news for corn and soybean crops. He says the best yields come during cooler weather. The lowest July average temperature in Iowa was in 1891 at 68.3 degrees. This July the average has been 68.1 degrees. But Hillaker says more temperature reports could alter that number.

Riverside man killed in S.D. crash

Posted: Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 at 4:43 am

A Riverside man was killed Friday evening after being involved in a motorcycle crash in South Dakota. The South Dakota State Patrol says 36 year old James Ingersoll was traveling with friends on his way to the Sturgis motorcycle rally. They say he failed to note traffic slowing down in front of him on highway 90, just outside Mount Vernon, and struck a camper. Police say Ingersoll was thrown from the bike and sustained head injures. They say he was not wearing a helmet. Funeral services for Ingersoll are at 1:30 this afternoon at Stacy Lewis Home for Funeral and Cremation Services in Columbus Junction.

Davison to be inducted to 4-H Hall of Fame

Posted: Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 at 4:42 am

A Washington County man is being inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame. Donald Davison will be inducted during a ceremony at the 4-H Exhibits at the Iowa State Fair later this month. Davison has served as a 4-H leader and fair board member for two decades. 90 counties in Iowa have selected inductees for outstanding service and dedication. The Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame was created in 2002 to commemorate the program’s 100th anniversary.

Back to School

Posted: Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 at 4:42 am

Summer is winding down it will soon be time to for schools to start. Mid Prairie and Keota Superintendent Mark Schneider says although vacation is ending, being optimistic about the school year will make the transition much easier. Schneider is juggling two districts. He says he wants to make himself visible at both schools so students and parents wont see him as a stranger. He expects this time of year to be a very busy. Mid Prairies school year starts the 26 and Keota starts the 27.

Second Nature

Posted: Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 at 4:42 am

Alliant Energy is encouraging its industrial customers to purchase energy from renewable sources through the “Second Nature” program. Alliant’s Eileen Parker says the voluntary contribution helps support a variety of “green” power sources including wind and solar. Parker says money paid to the “Second Nature” program will allow the utility to buy more energy from such sources. For more information or to enroll, contact Alliant Energy.