Today's Local News

Supervisors talk wind energy

Posted: Monday, June 29th, 2009 at 4:16 am

Washington County Supervisors are talking wind energy at this week’s meeting. They’ll hear a presentation from Assessor Lil Perry on how land that wind turbines go on will be valuated. Kansas City Based TradeWind Energy has been working with local officials on developing a plan for what could be the largest wind farm in Iowa. It would most likely be located in the northern part of the county and stretch from Riverside, to the Keokuk County line.

4-H Alumni

Posted: Monday, June 29th, 2009 at 4:15 am

Although the Washington County Fair is about a month away, preparations are already well underway to make this years event something special. 4-H Youth Coordinator Katie Peiffer says one event she is very excited for is the alumni steer show, where the past and present of 4-H will come together. Peiffer says the event is not just beneficial for the youngsters in the organization. She says current members can share stories and helpful advice to the alumni as well. Even though some of the alumni may not have dealt with cattle during their years, she still says it will be a fun way to get past members interested and involved with 4-H again.

Tristate Local Food Conference

Posted: Monday, June 29th, 2009 at 4:15 am

Southeast Iowa will be host to this year’s Tri-State Local Food Conference. Elizabet Humbe is a local food coordinator for Hometown Harvest. She says this year’s conference will focus on sustainability. The event is a collaborative effort by a range of educational institutions, local food proponents, and economic and financial entities. It’ll be held this September in Fairfield. To find out more visit www.travelfairfieldiowa.com.

Washington in high compliance with SmokeFree act

Posted: Monday, June 29th, 2009 at 4:15 am

Nearly a year after the passing of the Smokefree Air Act, many Washington area businesses say the law has had an overall positive effect. In the past year only three businesses have received a notice of violation from the Iowa Department of Public Health, none of those three has received a second notice. Sarah Yoder with Washington County Tobacco Use and Prevention says businesses who do allow smoking see higher costs, higher insurance premiums, and lower employee productivity.

10 positions up for election on school boards

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:49 am

Ten board positions in three school districts will be up for election this September in Washington County. Three of those are in Highland, three in Mid Prairie and Four in Washington. Every position is for a four year term that ends in 2013, with the exception of Washington’s district 5, which is to fill a vacancy ending in 2011. The first day for candidates to file with school board secretaries is July 6. The deadline to file is July 30. Each position requires a certain amount of signatures to file, although the county auditor’s office suggests exceeding that minimum.

Washington Superintendent worked with Parkersburg football coach

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:49 am

Washington’s Schools Superintendent says the death of Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas is a great loss to Iowa’s education system. Dave Sextro worked with Thomas on the state high school athletic association. Sextro says Thomas “was an icon for the school, and will be greatly missed.” Thomas was shot to death this week by a former player at a weight room facility next to the school. He’d served as football coach for Aplington-Parkersburg for 34 years.

Bandstand project moves forward

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:47 am

Architectural plans for renovating Washington’s Central Park Bandstand are complete, and almost ready for city council approval. Moline, Illinois based architect John Mahon presented the blue prints at yesterday’s (6/26) park board meeting. He says maintaining the structure’s historic charm will be one of the biggest challenges. The city council is expected to set a public hearing date at their next meeting. After that they would approve the plans. Construction could start as early as this August.

Lone Tree subdivision home buyers to receive tax credit

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:47 am

First time homebuyers may be getting some help in finding a house in Lone Tree. A meeting will be held on Tuesday to discuss $20,000 in tax credits for buyers in the citys Black Otter Subdivision. These tax incentives range from a $2,500 loan from the city itself, and an eight-thousand dollar grant from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The USDA is currently holding similar meetings across the state in an effort to encourage the growth of rural homeowners in Iowa.

Riverside Farmer’s Market

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:45 am

The city of Riverside will be holding their monthly Farmers Market tomorrow (6/28) at the Riverside Casino. Public relations director Sharon Hazelhoff says although their event is only once a month, it still provides citizens with quality, home-grown produce and many other goods. She says the casino is proud to be a supporter of the Farmers Market because it is good for the community and a fun event for the public. Hazelhoff says the event will be held in the casino parking lot from 10 2 tomorrow.

30,000 kids to enter Hawk-I program

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:45 am

Laws passed by the Iowa Legislature go into effect next month. Fairfield State Senator Becky Schmitz says one of the most sweeping changes provides health insurance to more children through the Hawk-I program. Hawk-I is partially funded through the federal State Children’s Health Insurance Program. It provides coverage based on income.

Washington couple takes eyeglasses to Panama

Posted: Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:44 am

A couple from Washington are heading to Panama with more than 20,000 pairs of eyeglasses. Craig and Barb Swift work with One Sight, a non profit group that aims to bring corrective eye-wear to under served areas of the world. They say there are many people in the world who have poor vision, and don’t have the means to do anything about it. Craig and Barb will spend the next week in the Central American country. There, volunteers keep a data base of donated eyeglasses and with the aide of optometrists, find one’s that best fit certain individuals. Their goals is to help eight thousand people

Washington School board approves $36-million plan

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:06 am

The Washington School Board is moving forward with a plan that proposes a $36-million overhaul of the district’s facilities. Members last night unanimously approved the undertaking which calls for voter approved bond issuance. The board will meet on June 30th to draft petition language. If that petition receives enough signatures, it’ll be put on the ballot this September. The measure would require at least 60% of voters to be in favor in order to pass.

Park board to discuss final bandstand plans

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:05 am

Washington Park Board members will be discussing final plans for the renovation of the Central Park Bandstand at a special meeting today (6/26). Park’s Superintendent Tim Widmer says the architect will be on hand. A volunteer committee this spring set out on a fundraising effort for the project. It didn’t take them long to reach their $330,000 goal. Former Washington resident and municipal band member John Jackson donated $175,000 in March. This combined with money from the Washington Betterment Foundation and a grant from the Riverboat Foundation helped them reach their goal in just a few weeks. Today’s meeting (6/26) starts at 2:00 in city hall.

New laws take effect July 1

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:05 am

The start of July marks a new fiscal year for Iowa. It’s also when laws passed during this year’s legislative session go into effect. Fairfield Senator Becky Schmitz says on of the biggest changes was to the state’s sex offender law. The change creates exclusionary zones where offenders aren’t allowed to loiter. It also prohibits them from being employed at places like schools, libraries and swimming pools.

School safety in wake of Parkersburg shooting

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:05 am

The shooting death of a prominent high school football coach has gained state and national attention, and might have some wondering what precautions exist to prevent such a tragedy in Washington. High school principal Shane Ehresman says the public has limited access to the building. Eheresman says they also keep in close contact with law enforcement and sometimes request police presence at extra-curricular activities. Other school district facilities have similar policies in place. Superintendent Dave Sextro says they can’t go into too much detail about their emergency procedures, without jeopardizing their effectiveness.

DNR weighs in on Crawfordsville water

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:05 am

With the city of Crawfordsville under a boil order, much concern has been focused on keeping both city and private wells safe from contamination. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says once a well is subject to flooding or another source of groundwater, bacteria and viruses can enter the water supply making it unsafe for consumption and bathing. Groundwater can also damage the wells pump components. The DNR says only a certified drinking water laboratory and a certified well contractor can determine if water has become safe for use again. For information, call the Iowa DNR.

Hot weather means high attendance at local aquatc center

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:04 am

Hot and humid weather this week has been good for attendance at Washington’s aquatic center. Manager Brendan McNulty says they’ve had roughly 300 to 400 swimmers each day in addition to sunbathers. He says during a regular day when the heat isn’t as oppressive they might see a maximum of 150 people. The Washington Aquatic Center is open seven days of the week from 1-8 pm.

Trekkies gather in Riverside

Posted: Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 4:01 am

Riverside will be the center of the sci-fi galaxy today (6/26) and tomorrow (6/27) with the annual Trek Fest event. This year the city will host three members of the original Star Trek cast, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig. Carol Riggan, President of the Riverside Area Community Club, says both Trek fans and non-fans will have plenty of things to do and see at this years event, which is expected to be the biggest in its 25 year history. She says the community also received support from Paramount Pictures, owner of the Star Trek franchise.

Excavator operator escapes harm

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

The operator of this excavator was unharmed after it tipped over while demolishing a building next to Nu Cara Pharmacy on Washington’s E. Madison Street Thursday. The TC Tiling and Excavating employee says there was a hole in the basement that didn’t get compacted, and when the machine’s tracks got to close it pulled it in. At about 3:00 Thursday afternoon he said they were on their way to get another piece of equipment to tip the excavator upright. (Photo: KCII/Nick Wilkens)

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Crawfordsville under boil order until further notice

Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 7:00 am

Crawfordsville is under a boil order until further notice after crews discovered a hole in the casing of the town’s well. City council member Michell Blum says workers replaced a pump, and when they turned it on, it churned up sludge. She says the community will need to drill a new well, which could take a month or longer. Blum says Crawfordsville uses roughly 25,000 gallons of water per day, and is currently hauling water from Olds to keep the water tower full. She says residents are urged to boil water for human consumption for at least one-minute.