Today's Local News

"Common Ground" committee chair: it’s time

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:38 am

A co-chair for a citizens committee advocating an update of Washington School facilities says the overhaul is long over due. Joe Mcconnell is with the “Common Ground for Washington Schools” group. Mcconnell says in addition to being important for educational reasons, having quality school facilities is also important to economic development. The organization is having an informational meeting tonight (7/28) at 7:00 in the high school auditorium.

Headliner for "Celebrate your Senses" chats with KCII

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:38 am

The headlining act for this “Celebrate your Senses” says he’s excited to perform in Washington. Bob Dorr of Bob Dorr and the Blue Band will play in downtown Washington this weekend. Dorr says their music covers a wide array of genres. Dorr says the band includes horns, harmonica and four vocalists. The “Blue Band” will be accompanied by the winner of this weekend’s battle of the bands. For more information, contact Main Street Washington. Tune in to the KCII Morning Magazine on Wednesday (7/29) for the Washington Page which includes the full interview with Dorr, and a song off one of his CDs.

Agronomist to speak on hail damage

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:38 am

Eastern Iowa farmers whose crops have sustained hail damage are being encouraged to attend the Crop Technology Tour this evening (7/28). Iowa State University agronomist Jim Fawcett will be on hand to answer questions about hail damage loses. There will also be information on bean aphids, soybean rust and nitrogen and manure management. The event starts at 6:00 tonight (7/28) at the Jeff Bermel farm, just outside Keota. For more information contact the Keokuk County Extension.

Acreage report deadline pushed back

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:37 am

With July nearly over, the Iowa Farm Service Agency wants to remind all farmers that the deadline to report acreage for this year is fast approaching. FSA Executive Director Dennis Olson says due to extreme weather conditions this year, the deadline has been pushed back to August 14. Olson says this deadline applies to producers who wish to report failed acreage as well. For more information contact your local county FSA office or visit

Supervisors talk tax suspensions

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:37 am

Washington County Supervisors will be looking at two property tax suspensions at today’s meeting. County Treasurer Jeff Garret says one deals with a property owner who receives government aide, while the other is trying to show a financial hardship. Garret Iowa law allows for suspension in either situation. He says it doesn’t lessen the amount of taxes due, but is a sort of forebearance on payment. The meeting starts at 9:30 this morning (7/28) at the Washington County Courthouse.

Harkin greets FFA members

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:36 am

Two FFA members were recently invited to Washington, D.C. to take part in the FFA State Presidents Conference. The members were also able to meet with U.S. Senator Tom Harkin during their stay. Harkin says FFA exemplifies the strong character traits and qualities Iowa farmers should look up to. FFA represents nearly 12-thousand students in 230 high schools across the state.

Louisa Co. Fair this week

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:36 am

The Louisa County Fair is being held this week and like all Midwest fairs, livestock is the main attraction. Louisa County Extension Director Kathy Vance says the livestock showings are as much for non-agriculturists as they are for enthusiasts. Vance says the Louisa Fair is almost a smaller version of the Iowa State Fair . She says its a good way to have fun with the entire family without spending too much money.. The fair will run all this week at the county fairgrounds in Columbus Junction.

4-H post season approaching

Posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 5:34 am

What some consider the post season of 4-H is just a few weeks away. The Iowa State Fair runs August 13 through the 23. Marketing Director Laurie Chapel says the 4-H exhibits are a staple of the fair. Chapel says this year’s fair will also feature a variety of music acts, including Kelly Clarkson, Shinedown and Big and Rich. She encourages people to visit the fair’s website for package deals on tickets and events.

Wayland woman wins Disney Getaway Giveaway

Posted: Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 6:22 am

A Wayland woman is the winner of KCII’s Disney Getaway Giveway contest. Donna Yoder was randomly selected among 700 qualifiers. Yoder is receiving a four day three night trip to Disney World, airfare and accommodations at a Disney property, along with a four day pass for two adults and two children. KCII has been qualifying listeners since April on the air, with Goofy Gatherings, and registration boxes.

Washington Co. to get $1.7 million from I-JOBS

Posted: Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 4:52 am

More than $1.7 million dollars are coming Washington County’s way. The funds are coming from Governor Chet Culver’s I-JOBS program. A little more than a million dollars will go towards overhauling the Highway 1 bridge over Crooked Creek. The remaining funding is being dolled out the various communities in Washington County, and the county government itself.
Ainsworth – $5,077
Brighton – $6,657
Crawfordsville – $2,126
Kalona – $22,219
Riverside – $8,992
Washington (City) – $68,284
Wellman – $13,498
West Chester – $1,201
Washington (County) – $221,778
TOTAL: $349,833
DOT Funding for Hwy 1 Bridge: $1,441,000

Second tall corn monument underway

Posted: Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 4:51 am

A monument to the world’s tallest corn stalk stands at the Washington County Fairgrounds, and soon another will, go up at the Iowa State Fair. Wayne Zieser is son in law to the late Don Radda. Radda grew the record in 1946. Zieser says all the coverage will likely spur more interest in competition corn growing. Zieser says he’s having Evan’s Welding in Washington make the individual pieces of the structure. He says he’ll take it to his shop at home to assemble the monument. Zeiser says construction on the project started yesterday.

Loebsack in Washington

Posted: Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 4:51 am

U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack will be in Washington tomorrow (7/25). Loebsack will be at the Blair House from 4:00 to 5:30 for a meet and greet. The event is being organized by the Washington County Democratic Party. Loebsack is in his second term in the U.S. House. He’s serves Iowa’s second district which includes fifteen counties in the southeast part of the state.

Share the Fun

Posted: Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 4:51 am

Five area 4-Hers are on their way to the Iowa State Fair after participating in Washington County Fairs Share the Fun event. Youth Coordinator Kati Peiffer says Brian Langr, Kelci Eakins, Nikole Moeller, Courtney Kleese, and this years Fair Princess Tara Gent performed various solo and ensemble musical numbers. Peiffer says Share the Fun saw twenty-five participants and the finalists who will represent the clubs of Washington Hustlers, 76 Progressives, Prairie Pride, Limecreek Livewires, and the Washington Go-Getters.

Livestock auction

Posted: Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 4:51 am

The Washington County Fair wraps up today. 4-H youth coordinator Katie Peiffer says it’s a bittersweet time for 4-Hers. She says the last livestock related aspect of the fair is the auction. That starts at 9:00 this morning. Proceeds will help the 4-Hers get started on next year’s projects. Peiffer says overall, it’s been a pretty good fair week. She says the inclement weather they had early on didn’t hinder things too much. She says they usually expect it to rain at least on day every year.

Fair wraps up today

Posted: Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 4:51 am

While much of the Washington County Fair involves competition among 4-Hers, its also a time for participants to come together. This years Beef Princess Janelle Erwin says while everyone is in different clubs, it seems once fair time rolls around, everyone comes together. She says at the fair, it seems like all the participants become part of a single club. Erwin, who has been involved in 4-H for eight years, says its not just meeting other 4-Hers that makes the fair so special. She says its interesting to see the all the different projects that others have worked on as well.

Running Wild

Posted: Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 4:50 am

Louisa County will hold its only trail race next month during the fifth annual Running Wild event. County Conservation Board Director Julie Ohde says the event will feature a number of categories for groups and individuals to participate in, with many prizes to be won. She says while the event is billed as a race, there are also a number of more leisurely routes available. Ohde says both the races and walks will take participants through the countys vibrant wildlife areas. More information on the Running Wild event can be found by calling 319-523-8381.

Turtle populations

Posted: Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 4:50 am

An increase in demand in Asian markets has some environmental groups concerned about Iowa’s turtle population. Department of Natural Resources biologist Scott Gritters says Iowa’s turtle populations are at a healthy level but, they are always weary of over harvesting. Gritters says turtles are unique from other wildlife in the fact that they live longer, and take longer to reproduce. He says the DNR has been kicking around the idea of stricter regulations on turtle trapping.

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