Today's Local News

Extension restructuring could be advantageous for Washington County

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 4:08 am

The chair of Washington County's Extension Board says a statewide restructuring of the extension service could be benefical. Kathy Ebert says the plan will allow Washington, and several neighboring counties to pool their resources, which could increase access to field specialists. Ebert says Washington County's office staff, as well as the 4-H program will not be effected by the restructuring. A regional director is expected to be announced Friday. This person will oversee Washington, Johnson, Iowa and Keokuk Counties.

Washington Schools continue mail in registration

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 4:07 am

The Washington School District is continuing mail in registration this year. Families with students currently enrolled will be mailed a registration packet next month. Parents can also access additional forms at the district's website. Packets can be dropped off at the school administration building or returned by mail. All registration packets need to be received by the end of July. Any families that are new to the district will have a chance to tour facilities, speak with guidance counselors and get registered on August 18 during registration day.

Harkin announces transportation money

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 4:07 am

Senator Tom Harkin recently announced a $4.1 million grant to improve Iowas roadways and other transportation systems. Two southeast Iowa towns will benefit from these funds. Muscatine will receive $450,000 to conduct an environmental study and enhance U.S. Highway 61. Ft. Madison will receive nearly $900,000 to build a new intersection on a county road and a main highway bypass. Harkin says improvements to Iowas transportation infrastructure will provide a much needed boost to the states economy and improve quality of life.

Summer Reading

Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 4:06 am

Kalona kids will get the chance to show their artistic side this week with the Kalona Public Librarys Summer Reading Program. Marissa Tartaglia is in charge of the program this year and she says there are a number of different arts and crafts activities planned. Tartaglia says all are welcome to participate in these activities, whether they registered or not. She says the program focuses on encouraging kids to read during the summer. The program will run all this week at the Kalona Public Library.

Severe weather marks first day of summer

Posted: Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 4:54 am

The first day of summer in southeast Iowa was marked with several rounds of intense thunderstorms and reports of tornadoes. Storm spotters reported a tornado touch down between Wellman and Kalona. KCII also received numerous reports of funnel clouds. Heavy rainfall has also prompted several flood warnings in the area, which remain in effect this morning. KCII's Severe Weather Action Team went on the air a little after eight last night, and finished their broadcast just after ten. The National Weather Service says another series of storms could sweep through the area today and into this evening. In case of Severe Weather, stay tuned to KCII for Severe Weather Action Team coverage.

Regional housing trust fund

Posted: Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 4:53 am

A local economic development expert says Washington County should look at partnering with a neighboring county to create a regional housing trust fund. WEDG Director Ed Raber says such a collaboration would increase the chances of getting state money. Iowa created the housing trust fund more than a decade ago. It allows municipalities to create a publicly managed fund to support local housing needs.

Extension hopes to know who regional director is by Friday

Posted: Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 4:53 am

Washington County's ISU Extension expects to find out who the new regional director will be by the end of this week. Board president Kathy Ebert says she was told that a decision will be made by Friday. One candidate is Gene Mohling, who is Washington County's Extension education Director. Washington County is being grouped in with several other nearby counties as part of a statewide restructuring of the extension service. As a result, the extension education director position is being eliminated, and replaced with a regional director.

$36-million school facilities plan could be adopted this week

Posted: Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 4:53 am

Washington School Board members could adopt at $36-million dollar facilities plan this week. They’re having a work session Thursday 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.

Wear pink today

Posted: Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 4:52 am

Area residents are being encouraged to wear pink today (6/22) to show support for a four year old Ainsworth girl with liver cancer. Jenna Waters is the daughter of Jared and Christina Waters. She was diagnosed with liver cancer in January. She's undergoing a long and high risk surgery today.

National History Day

Posted: Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 4:52 am

Students from across Iowa got the chance to meet one of the top Iowa lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Nearly 600,000students from middle schools and high schools visited Washington, D.C. for National History Day and Senator Chuck Grassley had the chance to meet with the Iowa group. Grassley says he enjoys meeting with the students because they share a passion for history. He says having such a passionate group of students make the trek to the nations capitol shows Iowas commitment to quality education.

New building for comm-center considered

Posted: Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 4:52 am

Washington County's E-911 Services Board is looking into the prospect of a new building for the communications center. Comm-center Supervisor Cara Sorrells says they're considering hiring a Minnesota based engineer to advise them. She says it's the same company that assisted them with their radio tower. Sorrells says one possible problem with a new facility, is the tower. She says if they move too far away, they'd have to get a new one. She says that can cost as much as $350-thousand dollars. The 911 board will meet next Monday (6/29)

Wear Pink

Posted: Sunday, June 21st, 2009 at 6:40 am

Area residents are being encouraged to wear pink tomorrow (6/22) to show support for a four year old Ainsworth girl with liver cancer. Jenna Waters is the daughter of Jared and Christina Waters. She was diagnosed with liver cancer in January. She’s undergoing a long and high risk surgery tomorrow.

Hamakua Fundraiser

Posted: Sunday, June 21st, 2009 at 6:40 am

Hamakua Place youth center in Washington is taking pre-orders for its Schwan’s fundraiser until the end of this week. Center Director Deb Bodensteiner says you can also stop by the Washington Kum this Saturday (6/27) to order items off the truck. She says Hamakua will receive a percentage of the sales. Bodensteiner says if you want to pre-order you can stop by the center and take a look at a catalog. She also says people can buy through this fundraiser and still give credit to their local Schwan’s driver.

Kalona Special Meeting

Posted: Sunday, June 21st, 2009 at 6:39 am

The Kalona City Council will be meeting for a special session Monday (6/22) at 5:00 pm. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss a Use of Highway Right of Way for Utilities Accommodation for the Kalona Telephone Cooperative. A Use of Highway application allows for utility work on busy roads and highways across Iowa. The Kalona City Council will hear the proposal in the Kalona Community Center.

National History Day

Posted: Sunday, June 21st, 2009 at 6:39 am

Students from across Iowa got the chance to meet one of the top Iowa lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Nearly 600-thousand students from middle schools and high schools visited Washington, D.C. for National History Day and Senator Chuck Grassley had the chance to meet with the Iowa group. Grassley says he enjoys meeting with the students because they share a passion for history. He says having such a passionate group of students make the trek to the nations capitol shows Iowas commitment to quality education.

REAP Funds

Posted: Saturday, June 20th, 2009 at 6:20 am

Washington's Economic Development Group is encouraging the city to seek Resource Enhancement and Protection money through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. WEDG Director Ed Raber says the state legislature this year appropriated a record amount of money for the program. He says the city could use the money on a number of projects including improvements at Water Tower Park.

Severe Weather

Posted: Saturday, June 20th, 2009 at 6:20 am

A round of severe thunderstorms tore through Washington County and much of southeast Iowa yesterday evening bringing strong winds, intense lightning and heavy rainfall. KCII received numerous reports of downed power lines and trees as well as damage to vehicles and and buildings. WeatherEye reports winds in excess of 70 miles per hour, while we recorded nearly in inch of rainfall in a little more than an hour's time at our downtown Washington Studio. The KCII Severe Weather Action Team went on the air at about four-thirty and concluded coverage at about 5:40.

Teaching Career

Posted: Saturday, June 20th, 2009 at 6:20 am

The Iowa Board of Regents has approved a program that will make it easier for people to enter into a teaching career. The Teacher Intern License Program provides training for people with bachelor's degrees who want to get into teaching. Diana Gonzales works in the Board of Regent's office. She says This is program is not for recent college graduates, but rather a way to entice people who considered teaching, but went a different direction after college. To find out more visit the board's website.

Kathy Ebert elected to the State Extension Board

Posted: Saturday, June 20th, 2009 at 6:19 am

Washington County's ISU Extension has a friend in high places. Kathy Ebert is the local Extension Board president. She was recently elected to the State Extension Board. Ebert says she's also serving as treasurer for the state board. She's one of 15 members who serve across the state. That could change as the Extension undergoes a restructuring. Ebert says the new system will create 20 regions, which might merit additional representatives.

Mid Prairie Meeting

Posted: Saturday, June 20th, 2009 at 6:19 am

The Mid Prairie School Board will be meeting on Monday for their regular session and headlining this weeks meeting is a discussion of FLAP grants. The Foreign Language Assistance Program is a federal 3-year grant given to schools to help advance kindergarten through high school foreign language classes and resources. Also on the agenda is a discussion on bread, milk, and gas bids, and maintenance of the elementary playground.