Today's Local News

Riverside/County dispute continues

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:06 am

Attorneys for Riverside have sent a letter to Washington Supervisors indicating the city doesn't intend to make annual payments to the county as previously arranged. County Auditor Bill Fredrick says an urban renewal and TIF district was created to help the city pay for infrastructure when the casino was built. He says as a result, Riverside is supposed to pay the county $175,000 per year. Attorney's for the city say the agreement caused them to exceed their debt limit, and is therefore void under state law.

Construction to start at Lake Darling

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:05 am

Construction at Lake Darling State Park is expected to begin as soon as the ground is dry. Rachel Erb with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources,says this major renovation includes the construction of a new dam and spillway as well as sediment ponds, shoreline armament and fish habitat. Erb says they are hoping to start taking bids for construction around July with construction beginning shortly after. She says the projected completion date is the fall of 2010.

SEMCO Meeting

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:04 am

The Southeast Iowa Multi-County Solid Waste Agency will hold there next meeting this morning at 9am. On the agenda, the agency will Award contract for the abutment and temporary cover placement construction project as well as hear the landfill managers report. Anyone who wishes to address the board may do so. The meeting will be held at the SEMCO Landfill office in Richland at 9am.

Loebsack rep in Washington

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:04 am

A representative of Congressman Dave Loebsack will be in Washington today (5/20). Jared Hershberger will be at the public library from 10 am-12 pm to field questions and comments on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Hershberger says he can also help individuals who are having difficulty with a government agency, or have concerns or suggestions for Loebsack.

KFD Auction

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 4:03 am

There will be an Auction on Saturday, June 13th (Keota Fun Days weekend) at 1:00 pm under the Keota town water tower. Kris Lyle with Printers Workshop & Timeless Charm in Keota says the Keota Educational Foundation is putting on the auction as a fundraiser for local scholarships. If you have something you wish to donate, you can do so by calling Butch at 319-330-1964 or 641-635-2058, or you may bring your item into Timeless Charm Gifts during regular business hours.

BOS to consider personnel changes

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:25 am

Personnel changes are on the docket for Washington County Supervisors this morning (5/19). They're slated to approve requests from the environmental health and secondary roads departments, as well as the county attorney's office. Supervisors will also consider the withdraw of property from an agricultural district. They'll also discuss a formal response stemming from an on going legal dispute with the city of Riverside. The meeting starts this morning (5/19) at 9:30 in the lower level of the Washington County Courthouse. 

WCSD Board to hear facilities report

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:25 am

Washington School Board members tonight (5/19) will hear a report on the district's facilities. Superintendent Dave Sextro says the board requested the report from the Iowa Construction Advocate Team. Sextro says members of the public are encouraged to attend as there will be time for a question and answer session after the presentation. The meeting starts at 6:30 this evening in the Washington High School Auditorium.

Seatbelt enforcement stepped up

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:24 am

Police officers across Iowa are stepping up enforcement of the state's seatbelt law this week and next. Courtney Greene, with the state department of public safety, more than 14-thousand people who weren't wearing a seatbelt died in car accidents in the U-S in 2007. She says in Iowa, nearly half of those killed in in crashes weren't wearing a seatbelt. Greene says statistics indicates motorists are at higher risk during the evening and nighttime hours. The "Buckle Down on Those Not Buckled Up Day and Night" campaign runs through the end of this month. 

IFFAA scholarships available

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:24 am

The Iowa Foundation for Agricultural Advancement has scholarships available to soon to be college freshmen. IFFAA is a non-profit organization comprised of agricultural enthusiasts dedicated to encouraging 4-H and FFA livestock, poultry and agricultural project members to pursue ag-related careers. IFFAA manages the annual Iowa State Fair Sale of Champions and the Winners Circle Scholarship and Awards program. The lists of 2009 scholarships as well as the official application form are available to download at http://www.ifaa.org/scholarships.html. Applications are also available at the Washington County Extension Office, 319-653-4811. The deadline for incoming freshmen is June 1st.

Wet weather could spur more soybeans

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:24 am

More than 4-inches of rain fell in Washington last week, and some parts of southeast Iowa saw more. Washington County Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says the soggy conditions could force farmers to plant more acres to soybeans, as the optimum window for corn planting draws to a close. Mohling says soybeans yields don't drop as much as corn yields during a shorter growing season.

Brighton Chamber seeks food vendors

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:23 am

Kalona Days Bingo

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:21 am

Kalona Days will bring back activities that people have enjoyed in the past. Kalona Days Director Dave Finley says one activity people have mentioned they thoroughly enjoyed was Bingo. He says bingo games will start after the 9:30 AM parade finishes on Saturday June 20th sponsored by Freedom Security Bank of Kalona. Games can earn players Kalona Cash. He says these certificates are used like cash in Kalona businesses. Players may purchase bingo cards for $0.25 each for each game played. Half of the amount collected for each bingo game will be divided equally between the game winner(s). The winners will also be presented a raffle ticket that will enter them into a drawing after the last game of the day is played for a grand prize of $50 in Kalona Cash. Bingo games will be played in the Freedom Security parking lot.

WJHS Teacher thankful for Orange & Black

Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 5:20 am

A teacher at Washington Junior High says she's very thankful to all the local businesses who donated to their annual Orange and Black Day. Connie Hoffman Szenby says the event wouldn't have been possible without their help. Szenby says Orange and Black is a community service day, where students do yard work around town.

Washington Schools still figuring out stimulus money

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:52 am

The Washington School District is getting almost $370,000 in federal stimulus money. Superintendent Dave Sextro says the state has instructed them to use that money to backfill cuts made earlier this year. He says this poses a problem when the stimulus money runs out, if the state funding level remains the same. Sextro says they'll meet with the state board of education next month, and hopefully find out more information.

Washington Supervisors expected to discuss revenue sharing agreement

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:52 am

Washington County Supervisors plan to go into closed session at tomorrow's (5/19) meeting to discuss an ongoing dispute with Riverside over a revenue sharing agreement. County Attorney Barb Edmondson says the contract was forged when the Casino was built. Riverside has said it creates constitutional debt, which would make the agreement void under state law. Edmondson has said she believes the contract is legal and enforceable.

WMU looking for new superintendent

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:51 am

Winfield Mount-Union School District is looking for a new Superintendent. Current Superintendent Lynn Ubben says she is moving to another district to be closer to her family. Ubben says they have selected four candidates. Interviews are scheduled to be start this week. The board intends to make their selection late this month, with the new superintendent assuming duties beginning July 1.

Small business seminar

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:50 am

Small business owners and operators are meeting at the Pizza Ranch in Sigourney next week. Keokuk County Extension Education Director Gary Bickmeir says the group meets on the last Tuesday of every month. He says this month's speakers will be the owner's of Jody's Togs and the owners of the Country and More Store. They'll talk about increasing customer traffic by diversifying products and services. The program is at 6:00 Tuesday, May 26. Contact the Keokuk County Extension office for more information and to register.

ISU crop specialist: soybean to soybean OK

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:50 am

Last spring's flooding and wet weather forced many Southeast Iowa farmers to plant soybeans, where they had hoped to plant corn. Iowa State University Crop Specialist Palle Peterson says while planting that ground to soybeans again isn't desirable, it shouldn't pose a major problem. Peterson says the yield loss should be less than 5% as compared with a regular crop rotation.

WPD Dog earns national recognition

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:50 am

A search and rescue dog from Washington is receiving national recognition. WPD K-9 handler Brett Sorrell's says his partner Storm has been named the Search and Rescue Canine of the Year by the National Association for Search and Rescue. Sorrells says Storm's sense of smell is so keen, she's been able to identify unique scents through water.

4H clothing event deadline

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Washington County 4-Hers are reminded that June 1 is the sign-up deadline for the clothing event. All 4-Hers are eligible to participate. Kati Peiffer, 4-H/Youth Coordinator says youth may participate in the fashion revue, the clothing selection, $15 challenge or all three. She says the clothing event judging will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 3:30 p.m. at the Washington County Extension Office on the fairgrounds. Please contact the Washington County Extension Office by June 1, if you are interested in participating at 319-653-4811.