Today's Local News

Washington Co. behind state, federal unemployment numbers

Posted: Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 5:14 am

Statewide unemployment numbers edged up to 6.5 percent last month, hitting a mark not seen since 1986. Iowa Work Force Development Director Elizabeth Buck says most jobs were lost in manufacturing. In Washington County, unemployment numbers dropped slightly from 5.3 to 5.2 percent last month. Local and statewide numbers are still favorable when compared with the nation as a whole. The U-S unemployment rate was at 9.4 percent in July.

Semi annual manure application traning

Posted: Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 5:13 am

The Washington County Extension Office is reminding confinement operators and commercial manure applicators that they are required to undergo regular training. Iowa law mandates two hours of continuing education annually, and or take and pass an exam once every three years. The continuing education and the test are available at local DNR offices. For more information contact the Washington County Extension.

ICA regional meeting

Posted: Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 5:13 am

New products and services will be the focus at the Iowa Cattlemens Associations regional meeting next Thursday (9/2). ICA Communications Manager Trent Wellman says the organizations executive vice president will be on hand to provide an ICA update, and a DNR representative will speak to the group about watershed programs for cow and calf operations. Wellman says the group will also hold an election for the Southeast Regional Vice President position. If you are interested in attending, call 1-800-888-1730.

SE Iowans bring home big rabbit prizes

Posted: Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 5:10 am

Two southeast Iowans won big at the State Fair this past week with a little help from some unusually large rabbits. Marge Westercamp of Batavia won top honors in the Largest Rabbit contest on Friday with Fawny, her 20 lb. 4 oz. pet. Westercamps rabbit easily stood above the next largest one by more than four pounts. Brightons Jennifer Wharton placed second with 16 lb. 2 oz. rabbit Jack.

Miller House considered for Natl. Historic Places

Posted: Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 4:51 am

The Washington City Historic Preservation Commission is lobbying to have a piece of property added to the National Registry of Historic Places. The commission is meeting tomorrow (8/26) at 7:00 at the public library to review nomination papers. Individuals who are curious about the National Register of Historic Places nomination process are encouraged to attend.

Mt. Pleasant woman injured after rollover

Posted: Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 4:51 am

A Mt. Pleasant woman was hospitalized last night after a crash on a Henry County road near highway 34. The Iowa State Patrol says 79 year old Sarah Hassenfritz lost control of her SUV near 260th and Nebraska Avenue when she entered the road ditch causing the vehicle to overturn. They say she was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash. Hassenfritz was taken to Henry County Hospital, and later transferred to University of Iowa Hospital. The State Patrol says the accident remains under investigation.

Redbrick School becomes museum

Posted: Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 4:51 am

A new museum to the area’s country schools has been established just outside Washington. Carlton Mangold, with the County Historic Preservation Commission, says the Red Brick School House was one of nearly 150 that once operated in Washington County. Mangold says about eight thousand dollars was donated to renovating the Red Brick School House. He says a great deal of historical items were also given to the effort. There will be an open house the last weekend in September.

Slain couple’s estate sells for $1 million

Posted: Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 4:51 am

The estate of a southeast Iowa couple killed by their son has been auctioned off to seven buyers for nearly one million dollars. Sandra and Michael Bentler, and their three daughters we’re killed in 2006 at their home in rural Bonaparte. Their son Shawn was convicted of the slayings in 2007. The 445 acre estate was divided into seven tracts of land. One included the Bentler home and 28 acres of surrounding land. State law prohibits those convicted of murder from benefiting from their victims’ deaths.

CJ Woman named to Natl. Auxilary post

Posted: Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 4:50 am

A Columbus Junction woman recently participated in a national VFW conference in Arizona. Kathy Schreiber of the Riverside Auxiliary 6414 traveled to Phoenix where she began her role as National Veterans and Family Support Director. The Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW nationally raised over $2.5-million to fight cancer and support research. The convention was held earlier this month.

AGTRAI this weekend

Posted: Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 4:50 am

The annual Ainsworth Antique Tractor Ride is this weekend. Organizer Paul Tobin says the cross-county ride will take participants from Ainsworth, to Columbus City, and back again through the country. He says while the ride is the main event, its also an opportunity for Ainsworth residents to celebrate their community.

Northey to visit SE Iowa

Posted: Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 4:50 am

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey will be swinging through the area next week. He’s hosting town meetings at the Farm Bureau Offices in Washington and Sigourney. Northey will also attend an event recognizing Iowa football coach Hayden Fry in Coralville. All of the visits are set for Friday September fourth. He’ll be in Coralville at 10:00 am, Washington at 1:00 pm and Sigourney at 3:00 pm.

IMS grad receives ag award

Posted: Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 4:49 am

An IMS graduate recently received one of the nations highest agricultural awards. Jocelyn Marner is the daughter of Ken and Mary Marner and a 2009 graduate of Iowa Mennonite School. Marner received the DeKalb Agricultural Accomplishment Award after taking eight semesters of agricultural education at IMS. She joins more than 160,000 students who have won the award nationwide.

M-P meet the candidates night

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Mid Prairie School Board candidates will be taking questions during a forum this . Education Association President Karri Bell says four candidates will compete for three vacancies on the board, and this process will help voters make the best choice for them. Bell says they hope people will leave the meeting knowing all candidates want to make a better school and community. The meeting is at 6:30 Thursday (8/27) night in the high school.

Satellite voting this week

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Voters in the Washington School district have to chance to vote ahead of next month’s election at three locations this week. County Auditor Bill Fredrick says voters can cast absentee ballots from 3:30 to 7:00 tomorrow (8/25) night at the Lincoln Elementary Gym, and from 4:00 to 7:30 at the Stewart Gym. There will be another polling place from 4:30 to 9:00 this Friday at Case Field during the Demon football home opener.

Grassley talks about "bipartisan" healthcare effort

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:49 am

A key player in the ongoing healthcare debate is Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. Grassley is a ranking minority member on the Senate Finance Commitee, and has been a leading voice in the “Gang of Six.” Grassley has countered claims that he’s abandoned a bi partisan healthcare bill. He says “three Republicans and 58 Democrats is not bipartisan”

Farm storage loans available

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:48 am

Changes are coming to Iowas Farm Storage Facility Loan program. State Farm Service Agency Director John Whitaker says with the changes, producers of certain crops will be able to get financing to upgrade storage facilities. He says participants must pay a down payment of 15 percent and the maximum loan amount is $500,000.

Many schools starting this week

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:48 am

Students in Washington are heading back to the classroom this week. Police Chief Greg Goodman wants to remind people to be more alert, especially during the mornings and afternoons. Washington, Mid Prairie and Saint James all start classes this Wednesday (8/26). Lone Tree, Winfield Mount Union and WACO all start today (8/24). Highland starts tomorrow (8/25). Sigourney and Keota begin Thursday (8/27).

Architects selected for Washington School facilities

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:48 am

The Washington Facilities Committee has selected three design firms for the proposed school bond issue. School Board Secretery Jeff Dieleman says OPN Architects of Cedar Rapids, DLR Group of Des Moines, and SVPA Architects of West Des Moines have all been chosen to be reviewed for the plan, which would build a new high school and convert the current school into the new junior high.

Men’s Fun Day

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:47 am

The Washington Chamber of Commerce’s annual Men’s Fun Day is this Wednesday. Chamber Executive Director Tim Coffey says it will be a day of golfing, socializing and fundraising. The day starts at the Washington Golf and Country Club with a two person best shot golf outing. Tee times are available between 9:00 and 4:30. Coffey says there’s a social hour at 5:00 followed by dinner. He says proceeds will help fund the chamber scholarships.

Circle of Support

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 4:47 am

The Washington County chapter of Circle of Support meets tonight. United Methodist Church Pastor Julie Poulson says the group got started in Washington earlier this year. She says it’s their goal to end poverty. Poulson says everyone is welcome at these meetings. Tonight’s starts 5:30 at the United Methodist Church in Washington.