Today's Local News

SIDS Walk this weekend

Posted: Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 4:43 am

The annual Iowa SIDS Foundation Walk for the Future is being held tomorrow (8/22) in locations across Iowa, including Washington. Tricia Lipski is the local walk coordinator. She says SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is defined as the death of any child from one month to one year old, where no other cause of death can be determined. Registration for the walk starts at 8:00 am. The walk itself starts as 9:00 in Sunset Park.

Birth rate stays mostly stable locally

Posted: Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 4:43 am

Birth rates have historically dropped during recessions. The Center for Health Statistics says the recent downturn was no exception. The federal agency says there were 68,000 fewer births in the U-S last year, versus 2007. However, that hasn’t been the trend locally. Washington County Hospital CEO Don Patterson the number of births was up slightly this fiscal year, versus last.

Schmitz on healthcare

Posted: Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 5:23 am

A local state lawmaker says the federal government needs to take pointers from Iowa when it comes to healthcare reform. Fairfield Senator Becky Schmitz says the Hawk-I program should serve as an example. Schmitz points out that Hawk-I was started by a Republican governor, and supported by two Democratic governors.

Digital mammography will serve more patients

Posted: Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 5:23 am

New digital mammography equipment at Washington County Hospital should allow them to serve more patients. Radiology Director Denny Brown says they can capture and process images more quickly now. Digital mammography produces an almost instant image on a monitor. That allows technicians to see if it’s a good image right away, rather than having to process film and look at it on a view box.

Councilors talk food vendors

Posted: Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 5:23 am

Washington City Councilors are considering regulations that would apply to street vendors in the wake of a new barbecue stand operating on the square. John and Shelly Blakeney say they thought they had went through all the proper channels before they started serving food. The presence of John’s Barbecue in downtown Washington has at least one business owner upset. Mario Savaidis owns Dino’s Pizza. He says it’s one thing to open a restaurant, but another to operate a food stand right outside his place. City councilors have granted the Blakeney’s temporary permission to continue operating the barbecue stand until the issue is further explored in committee.

Amount of H1N1 vaccine unknown

Posted: Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 5:23 am

Washington County’s Public Health Administrator says they don’t know how much vaccine they’ll be receiving this fall for the H1N1 virus. Edie Nebel says they’ve been told to find out how many people fit the priority group, which would include children and healthcare workers. She says they’re also forming an ethics committee for when they have to make decisions about who does and does not receive the vaccine.

More flood money for E. Iowa

Posted: Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 5:22 am

Congressman Dave Loebsack recently announced more than $7-million in flood recovery for the city of Coralville. Loebsack says these funds will come directly from the Economic Development Agency in addition to funds already in place. He says much of this money will go to constructing flood walls and elevating the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway Company rail line.

New community guide

Posted: Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 5:22 am

The Washington Chamber of Commerce will soon publish a new community guide. Chamber Executive Director Tim Coffey says 5,000 total copies will be produced and distributed this winter. He says along with the printed guide, an electronic guide will also be produced and available to download from the Chamber website. Coffey says since 1996, the site has received 220-million visitors.

…on energy

Posted: Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 5:22 am

A local lawmaker wants to see more of southeast Iowa become energy independent. Fairfield State Senator Becky Schmitz says the state government has set aside funds for both for-profit and non-profit organizations to make improvements that would help save energy and money. Schmitz says when things like heating and cooling efficiency is improved, more money can be saved on both residential and public utility bills. She says these local grants can range from one thousand to fifty thousand dollars.

New Wal-Mart opens today

Posted: Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 4:51 am

Washington’s new Wal-Mart will officially open for business this morning (8/19). Their will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 7:30, and the public will be invited in after 8:00. The new store is a “super-center.” Wal-Mart officials say it will feature more products, and employ more people. The store is moving from it’s current location on highway 1, to the new building on highway 92, just east of Washington.

Semi rollover closes roadway

Posted: Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 4:51 am

A semi rollover at the intersection of G36 and US 218 caused some lanes of traffic to be closed yesterday. The Iowa Department of Transportation says the rollover closed the left turn lane from eastbound traffic on G36 onto southbound 218. No other information is official at this time.

$850k in local option sales taxes

Posted: Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 4:50 am

Washington County’s local option sales tax brought in more than $850,000 last fiscal year. Treasurer Jeff Garret says that’s down a little versus the last two years. Garrett says these funds go into the rural services fund, which lessen the amount of property taxes residents pay.

School board again looking at architect

Posted: Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 4:50 am

Washington School Facility Committee members will be interviewing architects again tonight (8/19). Last night (8/18) they held screenings for an architect to help with design work on a new high school. Tonight they are are looking for someone for renovations at Stewart and Lincoln. The meeting starts at 6:30 in the school administration meeting.

BOS hires architect for health dept. move

Posted: Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 4:50 am

Washington County has hired an architect to study potential new locations for the health department. Board Chair Jim Miksch says Cedar Rapids based Soluman Lang also conducted a space needs study for the health department. Miksch says they’ll be considering current county owned buildings, as well as building new. He says the evaluation should yield some “definite information” before the end of this year.

Washington judge nominated for appellate court

Posted: Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 4:50 am

A judge from Washington is in the running to fill a vacancy on the Iowa Court of Appeals. Michael Mullins is one of three who have been nominated. He was appointed to the bench in 2002. He got his law degree from Drake University Law School, and spent 19 years in private practice. Governor Chet Culver has a month to decide between Mullins, Bruce Zager or David Danilson.

Loebsack shuffles schedule

Posted: Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Congressman Loebsack has changed the locations of some of his town hall meetings in southeast Iowa this weekend. The Democrat will now hold his Columbus Junction town hall meeting Saturday (8/22) in the Columbus Community High School gym. The congressman will also be visiting the Washington Public Library next Saturday morning (8/29) from 9:30-10:30. Loebsack says he changed the locations of some meetings so more people would have the opportunity to attend.

IMS starts

Posted: Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 4:32 am

Iowa Mennonite School began its school year this week kicking off southeast Iowas back to school lineup. Principal Tony Miller began the year with an assembly in Celebration Hall where he welcomed 127 students including 20 freshman and 27 faculty and staff. IMS welcomes international students from Kazakhstan, South Korea, Albania, Georgia, and Serbia. Other area schools will begin their years in the upcoming weeks. Check our homepage for a complete list of start dates.

Tree removed for safety reasons

Posted: Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 at 4:48 am

A large tree had to be removed on the east side of the Washington High School yesterday. Superintendent Dave Sextro says a large limb came down Saturday, and the whole tree is rotting, and will have to be taken out for safety reasons. Sextro says they’re not sure if winds from weekend storms knocked the limb down, or if it simply fell victim to rotting.

…also at the fair

Posted: Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 at 4:47 am

Local residents are winning big at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Ryan Schneider of Riverside placed second in the animals, insects, and wildlife category of photography, while Karen Schafer of Brighton received first place in both the frosted chocolate layer cake and coffee cupcakes category. KCII will be bringing you updates on all local State Fair news this week.

5 from Washington Co. advance in Bill Riley Talent Contest

Posted: Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 at 4:47 am

Five young women from Washington County have advanced to the semifinal round of the Bill Riley Iowa State Fair Talent Search. Erin Sheets of Keota, Kelsey and Tara Gent of Wellman, Nikole Moeller and Courtney Kleese both of Washington, will perform again Friday.