Today's Local News

School Bond Issue Fails

Posted: Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 at 6:08 am

Voters in the Washington School District have said no to the first phase of a massive facilities overhaul. 51 % voted for issuing almost $12-million in general obligation bonds during yesterday’s election. The measure required at least 60% to pass. School Board President Eric Turner says their next step is to explore their options. Turner says he felt it was one of the best plans that’s been laid before voters for Washington School facilities. 

GOP calling for special session

Posted: Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 at 6:07 am

A GOP gubernatorial hopeful wants to see a special legislation called to solve the states budget problems. Rod Roberts is a member of the state House of Representatives and seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Roberts says the state needs leadership in dealing with economic issues. Roberts says Gov. Chet Culver needs to stop ignoring budget shortfalls and call the state legislature back to session. He says the governor and legislature need to take responsible steps in correcting both current and future budget projections.

2 incumbents; 1 new comer join M-P Board

Posted: Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 at 6:07 am

The Mid Prairie School Board will soon have a new member. Last night voters elected Stacia Bontrager to the board with 199 votes. The two incumbents, Jack Dillon and Jim Hussey will retain their seats on the board with 215 and 202 votes respectively. The members will all serve three year terms.

Hispanic Heritage

Posted: Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 at 6:06 am

Columbus Junction will be kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month with some south of the border music. Community Development member Mallory Smith says the cultural event will feature the music of Las Guitarras de Mexico on September 18. Smith says the Des Moines-based group specializes in traditional Mexican ballads played with authentic instruments. She says the band will play during the Farmers Market from 4:30-6:30 and at Hacienda Restaurant from 8-10.

Clarinetist featured at Learn at Lunch

Posted: Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 at 6:06 am

The September Learn at Lunch will feature music from a blind clarinet player. Dick Ramberg lost his sight to retinal cancer as a child. However, Ramberg still found success as a musician, financial advisor and advocate for people with disabilities. He’ll be sharing his story in Washington this month. The Learn at Lunch is on September 21st. Ramberg will also be preforming with the Barbary Coast Dixie Land Band at the Washington Community Center. Contact the chamber of commerce for more information or to make a reservation.

11 tickets issued during alleged underage drinking party

Posted: Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 at 6:06 am

An alleged underage drinking party resulted in 11 citations in Washington County over the holiday weekend. 911 reports indicate police were called to 2471 Palm Avenue just after ten Sunday night. Officers issued possession tickets to 10 people whose ages range from 17 to 20. 43 year old Richard Redlinger was cited under Washington County’s social host ordinance, which provides penalties to those who knowingly allow underage drinking on their property. 

Absentee taxpayers

Posted: Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 4:36 am

Washington County is having some trouble with absentee taxpayers. Treasurer Jeff Garrett says his office has run into numerous situations where they attempt to collect property taxes, and find out that there is no longer a home at the location, or the structure is uninhabitable. Garrett says this often happens with mobile homes. He says the county is pretty limited in these types of situations because the structures aren’t worth much at a tax sale.

Election Day

Posted: Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 4:36 am

Voters across Iowa head to the polls today to elect school board members. In Washington, they’ll decide on a different school issue as well. Voters will be asked if the district should levy nearly 12 million dollars in general obligation bonds for the first phase of a massive facilities overhaul. The plan calls for the building a a new high school, renovating the current one, and turning it into the junior high. The polls are open until 8:00 this evening.

Republican gubernatorial candidate says SC overstepped bounds on gay marriage ruling

Posted: Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 4:36 am

A Republican gubernatorial hopeful says one of his top priorities is allowing Iowans to vote whether to allow same sex marriage. Rod Roberts is from Carroll. He’s currently serving in the Iowa House of Representatives. He says the State Supreme Court overstepped it’s bounds in making the ruling that allows same sex marriage.

Sheriff warns of potential scam

Posted: Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 4:35 am

Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar is warning residents about a potential phone scam where the caller claims to be raising money for law enforcement. Dunbar says the local sheriff’s organization and the Iowa State Sheriff’s and Deputy Association no longer solicit by phone, and rely on direct mail. He says the best way to tell if a letter is legitimate is to look for his signature and the acronym ISSDA. He says the phone scammers claim to be with the United States Deputies Association. He says they are looking into what can be done with the organization and it’s claims.

Conservation grants available

Posted: Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 4:34 am

The Washington Soil and Water Conservation District is encouraging residents to apply for conservation grants. WSWC Secretary Teresa Munn says they want to get residents interested in improving and maintaining the natural beauty of Washington County. Applications must be postmarked by December 1. For more information, call 653-6654.

Leadership Washington

Posted: Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 4:34 am

Leadership Washington celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. Main Street Executive Director Amy Vetter says the 20th anniversary class includes seventeen individuals representing a wide range of organizations in Washington County. She says Leadership Washington covers a number of important issues to Washington such as economic development, industry, and agriculture. Vetter says a special luncheon will be held tomorrow (9/9).

School Board preview

Posted: Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 4:34 am

Washington School Board members will be going over election results at tomorrow’s (9/9) meeting. They’ll also be selecting a delegate for the 2009 Iowa State Association of School Boards Assembly, and sign off on a Riverboat Foundation Grant Proposal. Members are also slated to approve an architect recommendations from the facilities committee. The meeting starts at 7:00 in the school administration building.

Harkin hopes to prevent healthcare related infections

Posted: Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 4:33 am

One of Iowas US Senators wants to help prevent healthcare-associated infections. Senator Tom Harkin recently announced more than $880,000 to help persons infected with these conditions after entering a hospital for another problem. Harkin says 1.7 million people are affected annually by HAIs which results in about 99,000 deaths.

Heidie Vittetoe

Posted: Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 6:51 am

A Washington School Board candidate up for reelection tomorrow says her experience is one of her biggest assests. Heidie Vittetoe is running unopposed in district 6. Vittetoe was initially scheduled as a guest on the Washington Page for KCIIs Candidates series last week, but requested her time be given to the Common Ground for Washington Schools group.

School Elections

Posted: Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 6:51 am

Voters across Iowa head to the polls tomorrow to elect school board members. In Washington Five candidates are seeking three open seats. There are contested races in districts five and seven. In Mid Prairie, four candidates are seeking three at large seats. Two of them are incumbents. In Highland there are no contested races, and all running are incumbents.

Transit Officers

Posted: Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 6:51 am

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is hiring some transportation officers. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says they’ve been asked to house more federal inmates than initially expected in the new jail. Dunbar says they were unable to find enough certified officers for the job. He says that’s why they’re creating a pool of candidates who will undergo training and work for the department on a part time basis.

Labor Day

Posted: Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 6:51 am

Government offices, financial institutions and many businesses are closed today in observance of Labor Day. The Washington County Mini Bus will also not be running. Labor day was first celebrated in1882 when workers in New York City marched from city hall to Union Square in the first ever Labor Day Parade. Congress declared it a legal holiday 12 years later.

Operation ReLeaf

Posted: Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 6:50 am

Alliant Energy is encouraging residents to promote resource conservation by planting trees this fall. Allaints Nancy Craig says in the Operation ReLeaf campaign offers three-thousand landscaping trees to residents for as low as $25. She says planting trees is an appealing and cost-efficient way to reduce home heating and cooling costs. Craig says order forms are available on Alliant Energys website or by calling the DNR at 515-281-6749.

Energy Expo

Posted: Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 6:50 am

The Beach Boys arent the only ones focusing on renewable energy in southeast Iowa this week. The Iowa Renewable Energy Association, or I-Renew, will hold a renewable energy and sustainability expo this Saturday. I-Renew Executive Director Mike Carberry says the group will cover everything from solar to geothermal energy and ways to make buildings energy efficient. Carberry says they will also discuss green jobs and how to live a healthier lifestyle.