Today's Local News

Safety Manual

Posted: Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 6:32 am

Washington County is updating its employee safety manual. Safety committee member, and sheriff’s deputy Darren Dennler says the county’s insurance carrier told them they need to have a manual in place, or rates would be increased. Dennler says the manual applies generally to all county employees. He says the various departments are developing more specific ones.

Heat Wave Health

Posted: Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 6:32 am

With weekend temperatures expected to reach the upper 90s, residents are advised to take precautions when going outside. Washington County Public Health Administrator Edie Nebel says high temperatures combined with low hydration can result in some serious health problems. Nebel says the two most frequent problems encountered are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. She says exhaustion is characterized by a rapid pulse and stomach or headaches, while stroke can even result in death if ignored. Nebel says its important to get inside and cool off and drink liquids if you begin to feel too hot.

Rescue Drill

Posted: Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 6:32 am

Emergency personnel will be sweeping an area near Washington today on a search and rescue mission. The STAR-1 team is conducting a simulation to test their skills and qualify new members. Washington Police Officer and STAR-1 member Brett Sorrells says they can’t specifically disclose where it will take place. STAR-1 is an Iowa based search and rescue training operation. They hold exercises such as this one to train their members and other emergency officials on how to handle a missing person situation.

Highway Crash

Posted: Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 6:32 am

Two people were transported to University of Iowa Hospital after a collision at the Highway 92 and US 218 intersection on Thursday. According to the Iowa State Patrol, James Butner of OFallon, Missouri failed to stop when exiting the southbound lane of 218 when he struck Bruce Heckhart of Ottumwa heading east on Highway 92. Two other individuals in Heckharts vehicle were uninjured.


Posted: Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 6:31 am

Some familiar tunes with a different message will be featured at Hamakua Place in Washington tonight. The Apologetix is a band that takes popular rock songs and adds lyrics with a Christian message. Lead Singer J Jackson says it’s something a lot of people can get in to. The Apologetix will perform at 7:00 tonight at Hamakua Place. Tickets are $15 at the door.

4-Hers at State

Posted: Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 6:31 am

Twenty 4-H’ers from Washington County will have non livestock exhibits at the Iowa State Fair this month. Categories include things like educational exhibits, working exhibits and public speaking. 4-H Youth Coordinator Katie Peiffer says livestock entries don’t advance from the county level the way these projects do. She says 4-H’ers with livestock simply following a nominating process. To see a full list of non livestock projects at the fair, head to KCII Radio Dot Com.

Wellman Community Center

Posted: Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 6:31 am

Wellman has been given the go-ahead to build a new community center for the town and surrounding area. Wellman YMCA branch director Angie Boyse says the city has never had a facility like this before despite support for it. Boyse says the new facility will have all the amenities associated with a YMCA such as weight rooms, a gymnasium, and fitness classes. She says while the project is being supported by the YMCA in Washington, the facility will serve as a community center for Wellman and smaller surrounding communities.

Road Closure

Posted: Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 6:31 am

190th Street will be closed from Cedar Ave. to Dogwood Ave. due to construction next Thursday. According to the Washington County Engineers Office, a bridge will be replaced with a triple box culvert on G26. The Engineers Office advises residents to use Highway 92 to W38 as a detour. No completion date has been set.

Mayor reflects on Lt Governor Visit

Posted: Friday, August 7th, 2009 at 4:54 am

Kalona officials say they’re pleased with how Lt. Governor Patty Judges visit went this week. Mayor Jerry Kauffman says they are very interested in promoting tourism in Kalona and having the Lt. Governor stop by was a learning experience. He says one aspect Judge really liked was the glass exhibits at the historical village. Kauffman says Kalona is one of the top tourist destinations in the state and they try to actively promote that throughout Iowa.

Four arrested on meth charges

Posted: Friday, August 7th, 2009 at 4:54 am

Four southeast Iowans are facing drug charges after police uncovered a meth lab in Jefferson County. Officers from three different agencies responded to a chemical smell in Batavia this week. Janice Kay McVey, Kenneth Francis McVey, Daniel David Sels, and Michael Anthony Nulph are charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. Janice McVey, Sels, and Nulph are also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and a controlled substance.

Search and Rescue Drill this weekend

Posted: Friday, August 7th, 2009 at 4:54 am

Local public safety entities will hone their search and rescue skills in Washington this weekend. Washington Police Officer and canine handler Brett Sorrells says they’re hosting a drill. He says it will consist of both classroom and field training. Sorrells says the Star 1 Search and Rescue Team, of which he is a member, will take part in the search. He says he’s unable to release the specifics of where the drill will take place, but wants residents to know about so they won’t be alarmed by an increased law enforcement presence.

Engineer gets NRCS grant

Posted: Friday, August 7th, 2009 at 4:53 am

The Washington County Engineer’s Office is getting a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Head Engineer David Patterson says the money is being spent to repair a road that’s in danger of sliding into the English River. Patterson says the grant would cover 80 percent of the overall project with a 20 percent match. He estimates the repair would cost around $85,000.

Downtown nearing completion

Posted: Friday, August 7th, 2009 at 4:53 am

Washington’s downtown is getting closer to being completed. City Administrator Dave Plyman says portions of Washington Street on the south side of the square are now open. Plyman says the project is on schedule from a contractual perspective. He says it’s still expected to be completed this month.

Schmitz hopeful transportation spending will spur economy

Posted: Friday, August 7th, 2009 at 4:53 am

A state senator from southeast Iowa says an increase in transportation funding should help boost the state’s slumping economy. Fairfield Democrat Becky Schmitz says she hopes the program will improve infrastructure, put people to work and cycle more money through her district. Opponents of the plan says it’s unwise to spend more money when revenues are down.

Brighton residents invited to visioning meeting

Posted: Friday, August 7th, 2009 at 4:53 am

Brighton residents will meet Monday (8/10) to discuss what needs improvement in town. Nancy Adrian with the Washington County Extension says these visioning meetings have been held since last August and residents have already come up with some ideas. She says some of these have been establishing health clinics in town, carpooling, and local housing renovations. She says the meetings are an informal session where participants vote on which three areas they feel need the most attention.

Apologetix in Washington

Posted: Friday, August 7th, 2009 at 4:52 am

Popular music meets a Christian message tomorrow (8/8) in Washington. The Apologetix is a parody band that takes rock music, and changes the lyrics to a spiritual message. They’re playing tomorrow night at (8/8) at Hamakua Place in Washington. Their songs include titles like Born Again Child which is a parody of Born to Be Wild.

Lt. Governor swings through Kalona

Posted: Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 4:49 am

After swinging through Kalona Historical Village Tuesday, Lt. Governor Patty Judge says everyone should stop by for a visit. Judge has been touring eastern Iowa towns in an effort to promote local tourism and the heritage of Iowa. She says the Historical Village is a great glimpse of the areas Mennonite heritage and life 100 years ago. Judge says she only wishes she had more time to spend in the village and she advises all visitors to give themselves ample time for enjoyment.

WCHC CEO: health coverage shouldn’t be a problem

Posted: Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 4:48 am

Just over two-thousand Washington County residents under the age of 65 are without health insurance according to the U-S Census Bureau. Washington County Hospital CEO Don Patterson says there are a wide array of options for the uninsured. He says that includes HAWK-I for kids, MEDICARE for seniors and a charity care program at the hospital for those in between. he Census Bureau report indicates nearly 11 percent of Iowans are without coverage.

Farmer protests land acquisition

Posted: Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 4:48 am

A local farmer involved in a legal dispute with the city of Washington says he wants to sit down with councilors and settle things outside of a courtroom. The city is trying to obtain about 60 acres of land from John Berdo to relocate the municipal airport’s runway. City attorney Craig Arbuckle says there is a legal process they must follow.

Harking pushes medical device safety

Posted: Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 4:47 am

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is pushing legislation that would allow people injured by medical devices to seek damages against their manufacturer. Harkin says Last year, in Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., the Supreme Court held that FDA approval of these medical devices essentially immunizes manufacturers from liability under state tort causes of action. He’s advocating SR512, or the Medical Device Safety Act.