Today's Local News

Fundraiser planned for teen who drowned

Posted: Friday, September 11th, 2009 at 5:40 am

Friends and family of the late Clinton Fankhauser are having a fundraising dinner and dance tomorrow (9/12). Karen Minard says the event will be raising money for the family of the fifteen year old who drowned in the Iowa River in July. She says they will bring in four different bands to play and will have raffles throughout the night. Tickets can be purchased by calling her at 319-461-9051. 

Voter turnout lacking during bond referendum

Posted: Friday, September 11th, 2009 at 5:40 am

Around 40% of registered voters in the Washington school district cast ballot’s in this week’s election. County Auditor Bill Fredrick says that’s not the highest turnout for a bond vote. It was 29% in December of last year, roughly 46 % in April of 2006, and a little more than 42% in in April of 2003. 

Nature for toddlers program

Posted: Friday, September 11th, 2009 at 5:39 am

The Washington Conservation Board is hosting a nature for toddlers program tomorrow. The “Little Dippers: Silly Seeds” program is geared toward kids three and younger. It includes a short story, craft time and a hike to look for seeds. All children must be accompanied by an adult. To register contact the Kirkwood Washington Center at 653-4655. 

Picture day at WJHS

Posted: Friday, September 11th, 2009 at 5:39 am

Picture day is coming up at the Washington Junior High. All students and staff members will be photographed for school records on September 17. Picture packets were sent home with students earlier this month. If they choose to buy a package they need to have their coin envelope filled out with the money enclosed by next Thursday. For more information call the junior high office. 

218 down to one lane

Posted: Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 5:48 am

Drivers heading south on US-218 will encounter some roadwork through tomorrow (9/11). The Iowa Department of Transportation says the right lane of the southbound road will be closed south of the Highway 22 interchange. The DOT says drivers may experience slight delays due to maintenance work. Drivers are urged to use caution in roadwork areas.

Fairfield farmer announces candidacy for ag secretary

Posted: Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 5:48 am

A Fairfield based dairy farmer has officially tossed his hat into the ring for Iowa’s Agriculture Secretary in 2010. Francis Thicke formed an exploratory committee in March, and announced his candidacy yesterday (9/9). Thicke is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination, and is currently the only declared candidate making a run at incumbent Republican Bill Northey. 

Disease report: Washington Co. healthy overall

Posted: Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 5:47 am

The Iowa Department of Public Health released their annual disease report yesterday and Washington County looks pretty healthy. Public Health Director Edie Nebel says most of the reports in the county include isolated cases of food-borne illnesses. Nebel says whenever a case is reported in Washington, an investigation is set up to find out how and where the person got sick. 

Crop Update

Posted: Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 5:47 am

Below average rainfall last week combined with low humidity came as welcome news to many Iowa Farmers, especially those in low lying areas on the eastern side of the state. Greg Tahssen , with the U-S-D-A, says disease continues to be a concern. Tahssen says corn and soybean conditions statewide are still in good to excellent conditions, but progress is well behind. Two percent on corn in southeast Iowa is safe from frost, that compares with the five year average of 17 percent.

Bond vote more successful than previous years

Posted: Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 5:47 am

Even though the Washington School bond measure didn’t pass, it got more support than previous efforts. In 2006, two bond referenda fell short by roughly 20 percent. Then last year another proposal lacked about 12 percent. This time around, it needed nine percent more. It called for borrowing almost $12 million as part the first phase $36-million overhaul of the district’s facilities.

Family 4-H Program

Posted: Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 5:46 am

The Washington County 4-H program is trying to get more families involved. They’re hosting a session with their volunteers to teach them how to better encourage family involvement in 4-H, as part of the Iowa State University Extension Youth Development training. The statewide goal is to prepare volunteers who work with young people. The Washington session is September 16 at the County Fairgrounds. 

MSW SWEEP this Saturday

Posted: Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 5:46 am

Main Street Washington is having a SWEEP, or Support Washington’s Economic Enhancement Projects, event this Saturday. Executive Director Amy Vetter says it’s a celebration to recognize the completion of the sidewalks on East Washington Street. She says there will be a prize given for the most creatively decorated broom. The sweep is being held in conjunction with Washington’s annual Craft Show, which features more than 100 exhibits and vendors from across the Midwest. 

Louisa Extension offers smoking cessation

Posted: Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 5:46 am

The Louisa County Extension Office is offering a free smoking cessation class in October. The Extension’s Kaitlyn Wintermeyer says 83 percent of current smokers in Iowa say they wish they could quit. She says this program will help prevent and deal with cravings. The program October 14 through November 25. To register, call 319-523-2381. 

Roe Holds off Drown

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

Washington School Board member Patty Roe will be serving another term. Roe says voters likely chose her because of her experience. Roe captured 244 votes, topping her opponent’s Tsalika Drown who had 142. This will be Roe’s second term on the Board of Education. 

Lewis tops Frakes

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

Another woman is joining the Washington School Board. Voters in district 7 last night elected Sheryl Lewis to the post. Lewis Captured 220 votes, topping her opponent Harold Frakes. He grabbed 149 votes. The two had vied for the seat being vacated by Cathy Rich at the end of this term

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.