Today's Local News

County engineers receive license

Posted: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 at 5:37 am

Washington County’s two assistant engineers have reached a milestone in their careers. Jake Hotchkiss, and Jacob Thorius have each passed their licensure exams. Head engineer David Patterson says its akin to an attorney passing the Bar. Both Thorius and Hotchkiss are Iowa State graduates. Hotchkiss has been with Washington County since 2002, Thorius was hired in 2005.

Unemployment up, but still behind the rest of the country

Posted: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 at 5:36 am

Iowa’s unemployment rate hit a 22 year high at 6.2 percent last month. That’s compared with 5.7 percent in May. Iowa Work Force Development Coordinator Kerry Koonce says the numbers are a reflection of the lingering economic recession. She says the numbers are still favorable when compared to the nationwide average of 9.5 percent. Washington County’s unemployment rate was up nearly a percentage point in June, to 5.4 percent, but is still behind the statewide average.

Wednesday at the Fair

Posted: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 at 5:36 am

The Washington County Fair continues today (7/22). Livestock shows start at 8:00 am with swine, at 9:00 it’s the rooster crowing contest. At 3:30 pm the bucket bottle calf show starts, and at 7:00 pm the dairy and meat goat show kicks off. It’s also “Kidz Day” at the fair, with a number of activities scheduled throughout the day. The State Fair Talent Search starts at 6:30 pm. Then at 8:00 country singer Jake McVey takes the stage at the grandstand. Stay tuned to KCII all week for live updates on the fair from the Big Red Radio

Rain doesn’t damper fair

Posted: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 at 5:36 am

Despite rain and cloudy skies, day two of the Washington County Fair continued as planned. 4-H Youth Coordinator Kati Peiffer says the many kids participating in the fair have put in a tremendous amount of effort in preparing for the fair. Peiffer says they have many volunteers that have done a great job in making the events and activities run smoothly. She says while they are focusing most of their attention on this year, they are always making notes on what could be changed for next year. She says no matter how smoothly things run, there is always room to make improvements.

2,300 entries in 40 categories at this year’s fair

Posted: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 at 5:36 am

The Washington County Extension office expects around 2,300 entries in 4-H and FFA competitions in this year’s fair. Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says that’s fairly consistent with past year’s fairs. Mohling says there’s around 40 different categories that participants can enter in. He says in addition to livestock contests, there’s also a number of static competitions. He says that includes things like wood working, photography and cooking. To hear more from Mohling tune in to KCII for the Morning Magazine when he’ll be our guest during the Washington Page.

Crop Update

Posted: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 at 5:35 am

Iowa crops are making good progress despite what has been one of the coolest Julys on record. USDA statistics show 51 percent of corn in the southeast part of the state has tasseled, that’s slightly behind the average. The federal agency says 23 percent of corn has silked, that’s compared to the 45 percent average. Soybeans are lagging behind a little as well. In southeast Iowa 46 percent are blooming, the average for this time of year is 71 percent. 14 percent of soybeans are setting pods, compared to the average which is 24 percent.

River cleanups

Posted: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 at 5:34 am

Iowas rivers and waterways will soon be receiving funds to give them a good cleaning. The Iowa Whitewater Coalition recently announced the Clean Rivers Team Stewardship Program which will allow community groups to clean up local rivers. Rivers in southeast Iowa that could benefit from this program include the Iowa and Cedar Rivers, Crooked Creek, the English River, and the Skunk River.

Pleasantview admin: firing wasn’t arbitrary

Posted: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 at 5:34 am

The recent termination of an independent living nurse at Pleasantview Home in Kalona has been protested by some residents. Pleasantview Administrator Ray Poe says the termination of employment was by no means arbitrary and he understands the attachment some people had to the employee. Poe says he has been in dialogue with upset residents and their families and is working on getting things back to normal. He says whenever a sudden change is made, it can always be a little upsetting, but he says hes just praying they can get back to a positive attitude at Pleasantview Home.

Tuesday at the fair

Posted: Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 4:40 am

The Washington County Fair continues today (7/21). 4-H and FFA Live Stock shows start at 8:00 am with Sheep. At 9:00 there’s the Horse and Pony Show, as well as the Rabbit Show. At 2:00 the 4-H Clover Kids have their Sheep Show. At 4:00 it’s the Breeding Beef Show and at 6:30 it’s the Dairy Cattle Show. Other events include the round hay bale decorating contest at noon, the Clover Kids Style Revue at 6:00 pm and Mutton Bustin’ and Rodeo starting at 7:00. For a complete listing of events head to KCII-Radio-Dot-Com, and stay tuned to KCII all week for live updates from the Big Red Radio.

Fair Queen, Princess stop by Big Red Radio

Posted: Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 4:40 am

This year’s Washington County Fair Queen has been involved in 4-H for almost a decade. Shelby Sieren is a senior 4-Her from Keota. She grew up on her family farm raising hogs, sheep and growing corn and soybeans. Sieren and Fair Princess Tara Gent stopped by the KCII Big Red Radio during the fair yesterday (7/20). To hear more tune in to the KCII Morning Magazine at 7:00, when Gent and Sieren will be our guests on the Washington Page.

Flaming Prairie Rec Area to get facelift

Posted: Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 4:38 am

One of Louisa Countys many recreation areas will be getting an extreme makeover soon. Louisa County Conservation Director Julie Ohde says volunteers from across the county will gather this September to give Flaming Prairie Recreation Area a facelift. Ohde says the volunteer group will repaint the shelters and restrooms and will plant some new trees as well. She says the reason they use volunteers is because it gives the community a sense of pride in the area and people tend to care more for the parks appearance and well-being.

IA River part of federal study

Posted: Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 4:38 am

The Iowa River is on a long list of waterways that will be studied as part of the federal Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. Congressman Dave Loebsack says the money will help identify measures to minimize flood risks and preserve water quality. He says reports will be completed to determine the need for additional projects to restore and enhance wetlands, buffer zones around streams and rivers and stream habitat conditions. In all, $23-million in federal money is being dedicated to Iowa waterways.

Supervisors consider code of ordinances

Posted: Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 4:38 am

Washington County Supervisors will take public comment on a revised code of ordinances at this morning’s meeting. They hired a company to review the code, and make sure there were no conflicts with state law. The meeting starts at 9:30 morning in the Washington County Courthouse.

Park board to consider capital plan

Posted: Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 4:38 am

Washington’s Park Board is working on a capital development plan. Parks Superintendent Tim Widmer says it’s contingent upon whether or not voters favor a proposed hotel-motel tax. City councilors in May voted to send the hotel-motel tax proposal to the ballot. It’s been a polarizing issue between hotel owners who say it will hurt their business, and economic development proponents who say it would be a good opportunity for extra revenue.

Group fights for historic church

Posted: Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 4:37 am

A 111-year old church in Keokuk County is getting some much-needed help from some historic-minded residents. County Supervisor Michael Berg says the Clear Creek Township Church has been important to residents not only for religious reasons, but for sentimental ones as well. Berg says their organization bought the church from the diocese in Davenport and is currently raising money to save it from demolition. He says their group will fight as far as it takes to save the church, and is currently seeking grants from the historical society and Vision Iowa. Berg says hes very confident in their progress and feels they will be successful in their efforts.

Iowa ranks high in quality of life

Posted: Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 4:36 am

A recent study by Congressional Quarterly Press indicates quality of life in Iowa is one of the nations best. The annual release indicates Iowas life standards are second highest in the country. Fairfield State Senator Becky Schmitz says Iowas commitment to quality education and safe neighborhoods are two major factors for Iowas high rating. Schmitz also says the states natural resources and many recreational opportunities make Iowa a leader in family and outdoor activities.

U of I prof. Remembers moon landing

Posted: Monday, July 20th, 2009 at 7:43 am

40 years ago today, human beings made their first visit to the moon. University of Iowa physics professor Stephen Spangler was a college student at the time. He says he watched news coverage of the event from his family’s farm in Henry County. Spangler says the moon landing was one of those events where people remember exactly where they were at the time. He says it was special because it’s usually great tragedies that capture the world’s attention, while this was a great triumph.

Narcotics team receives JAG grant

Posted: Monday, July 20th, 2009 at 7:43 am

The Washington-Louisa Narcotics Enforcement Team is getting a little more than 96-thousand dollars from the Federal Byrne Justice Administration Grant. Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says this allows them to continue to fund an officer that focuses on drug enforcement. This officer is shared between the cities of Washington and Columbus Junction, as well as Louisa and Washington Counties. Dunbar says they are seeking additional funds through the JAG program for overtime expenses.

Today’s fair events

Posted: Monday, July 20th, 2009 at 7:43 am

The Washington County Fair Continues today. Livestock weigh in for 4-H and FFA members starts at 8:00. Today’s shows are pet, poultry and dog agility. At 1:00 this afternoon there’s the livestock judging contest, the scavenger hunt runs from 2-3, at 5:00 there’s the 4-H working exhibits, and the silliest decorated cake contest. At 5:30 the 4-H Clover Kids “Great Gardeners Fest” starts. Tonight’s grandstand entertainment is sanctioned tractor and truck pull. It starts at 7:00.

Sieren named 2009 Fair Queen

Posted: Monday, July 20th, 2009 at 7:43 am

Shelby Sieren has been named as the 2009 Washington County Fair Queen. She was selected from 13 other young women from throughout the area last night. The event at the Washington Community Center and was emceed by last year’s Miss Iowa, while last year’s Washington County Fair Queen Served as one of the Judges. KCII will be catching up with Sieren at the fair later today during our live coverage.