Today's Local News

Skunk River canoe trip

Posted: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 at 5:32 am

The Washington County Conservation Board is having a canoe trip this month. Naturalist Pamela Holz says they'll travel down the Skunk River from McKain's River access, to the Brighton access. Holz says they'll canoe through some scenic woodland tracts including Brighton Timber. The trip is May 16, and costs $5. Holz says canoeists must be at least 10 years old and have some prior experience. To register call the Washington Kirkwood Center. For questions call the Washington County Conservation Board. 

Keeping A/C running properly

Posted: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 at 5:32 am

As the mercury rises, many Iowans might be kicking on their air conditioners. A local heating and cooling company says its important to keep A/C units in proper working order. Denise Wiles, with J and S Heating and Air Conditioning says you need to keep the unit's air filter clean. She says many people don't even realize there is an air filter. Wiles says the filter will needed to be changed periodically, depending on where you live. She says it will be more often if you live near gravel or dirt roads. Wiles also says air conditioners should be inspected and given a "tune up" at least once a year.

Economy down…crime up

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:47 am

A local law enforcement official says there has been a slight crime increase in Washington County. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says the economy is partially to blame. He says some turn to crime as they struggle to pay bills and put food on the table. Dunbar says as pressure mounts on people, they are more likely to commit crime of passion, rather than a planned out act of violence. The Sheriff encourages all residents to check their security measures. He also urges anyone who sees suspicious activity to contact his department, or the appropriate law enforcement agency. 

Washington Council to revisit hotel tax

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:47 am

Voters in Washington could be given a hotel tax option at tomorrow's city council meeting. The Chamber of Commerce is hoping councilor's will put the item on the ballot for the next election. City council members tabled the request at the last meeting in the midst of strong opposition from local hotel owners. The meeting begins tomorrow (5/6) night at 7:00 in the Washington Public Library. 

Fatal crash remains under investigation

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:47 am

A car accident near Wellman that resulted in the death of a local man remains under investigation. Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says his department and the Iowa State Patrol are looking into whether or not charges will be filed against 15 year old Jared Gent. Dunbar says Gent failed to yield at the intersection of 170th and Juniper Avenue, and collided with a vehicle driven by 24 year old Ryan Detweiler. Detweiler was taken to University Hospitals in Iowa City, where he remained until he passed away Sunday. 

Positive parenting

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:46 am

The Louisa County Extension office is offering several positive parenting seminars this summer. Spokeswoman Kaitlyn Wintermeyer says the "Great Beginnings for Families" five part session will focus on growth and development, as well as building confidence in children. It's being offered through the Stork's Next of Louisa County. Wintermeyer says classes will be held from 4-5 pm on Tuesdays at the Methodist Church in Columbus Junction. In Wapello, the sessions are on Wednesdays from 4-5. Wintermeyer says anyone interested in participating should contact the Stork's nest at 319-527-6378, or the Extension Office at 319-653-2371.

Letter carriers hope to "Stamp out Hunger"

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:46 am

Washington letter carriers are participating in the "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive this weekend. Andy Miller, with the Washington Post office, says they're asking residents to put non perishable food donations outside their house this Saturday morning to be picked up along with the mail. This is the 17th year the National Association of Letter Carriers has conducted the food drive. 

MP takes steps to avoid H1N1

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:46 am

Area schools are reviewing their preparedness in the wake of the swine flu outbreak. Mid Prairie Superintendent Mark Schneider says they are taking the necessary actions. Schneider says he has spoken with the school nurses and sent a letter home with students detailing there plan. He says they are doing everything they can to keep the H1N1 virus out of the Mid Prairie School District.

Cinco De Mayo, not Mexican Independence Day

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:45 am

Today is Cinco De Mayo, and contrary to popular belief, it's not Mexican Independence Day. It actually commemorates a battle in 1862 that pitted French and Mexican forces against each other. At the time, Mexico was in financial debt to France, and Napoleon the Third used the opportunity to seize Mexican territory. On May fifth, French troops stormed the city of Puebla. The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers while fewer than 100 Mexicans were killed. Today, Mexicans celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla as Cinco de Mayo, a national holiday in Mexico. 

IBNA recognizes KCII

Posted: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 5:45 am

KCII is being recognized by the Iowa Broadcast News Association for farm and agribusiness reporting. The station is receiving an award from the trade group. IBNA President Jim Mertens says awards in this category went to "programming that demonstrates the station's commitment to farm and agribusiness issues." 

Keota man passes away following crash near Wellman

Posted: Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 4:28 am

A 24 year old Keota man has passed away after being involved in a car accident near Wellman last week. Ryan Detweiler passed away yesterday (5/3) at University Hospitals, in Iowa City. Detweiler taken by ambulance to the hospital after being involved in a crash at the intersection of 170th and Juniper Avenue. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says 15 year old Jared Gent, of Wellman failed to yield and collided with Detweiler. The two were taken University Hospitals, where Gent was treated and released. Funeral services for Ryan Detweiler are being handled by Powell Funeral Home in Keota. Police say charges are pending.

Secondary roads funding a continued concern

Posted: Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 4:27 am

Many people in Washington County were hopeful the state legislature would provide funding to improve secondary roads during the recent session. Ed Raber, with the Washington Economic Development Group, says the governor's bonding plan does provide some money, but not as much as many had hoped.

Wind energy in Washington Co.

Posted: Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 4:27 am

A southeast Iowa lawmaker says Washington County could be come the wind energy capital of the state. Representative Larry Marek says he and other local government officials have been working with Kansas based Trade Wind Energy to develop a plan. Marek says the wind farm would likely be located in the northern part of Washington County. He says it would stretch from Riverside to the Keokuk County line, and could well be the largest wind farm in Iowa.

Wellman could hire public works director tonight

Posted: Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 4:27 am

The city of Wellman has been looking for a public works director for a few weeks now. City Administrator Dave Ross says they have interviewed many people. Ross says he would like the public works director to start working as soon as possible. He says the Director will be in charge of many different operations in Wellman including water, sewer and parks. Ross says they will know by this evening if the applicant has passed all background checks and then the city council can appoint that person into the new public works director position.

Washington BOS talks roads

Posted: Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 4:26 am

Washington County Supervisors are talking roads at this week's meeting. They're slated to approve an agreement to provide inspection services for the state department of transportation. They'll also discuss purchasing right of way easements for highways. The supervisors are also expected to give a credit card to the county engineer's office. The meeting begins at 9:30 tomorrow morning in the lower level of the Washington County Courthouse.

Story time at Kalona Public Library

Posted: Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 4:24 am

The Kalona Public Library is having story times for kids each Wednesday in May. Youth Services Librarian Marissa Tartaglia says story times help build early childhood literacy skills, through listening, finger plays, rhymes and songs. Themes include jungle animals, Cadecott winners, transportation and aliens. For more information contact Tartaglia at 319-656-3501.

Volunteers needed for Kalona Days Fun Run

Posted: Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 4:24 am

Volunteers for the are needed to help the annual Kalona Days Fun Run. Kalona Days Director Dave Finley says they need people to coordinate publicity, mailings and advanced registration. Finley says they are also looking for help with the many activities during the evening of the run. He says without such volunteers, the fun run wouldn't be possible. The 1 or 5-k run is scheduled for June 19. For more information contact Finley at 319-656-3535.

Open meetings laws

Posted: Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 4:23 am

Open government meetings and transparency in policy making are considered crucial to democracy. Yet Iowa's open meeting laws are sometimes unclear, especially in the face of changing technology. Kathleen Richardson is the executive secretary of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council. She says whether or not things like email, online social networking or even phone calls are covered by the law is a murky area. KCII's news team recently participated in an open meetings webinar conducted by Richardson.

Combination Art Show and Piano Recital

Posted: Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 at 4:29 am

IMS senior Abbie Miller, daughter of Tony and Diane Miller, will present a combination art show and piano recital in Celebration Hall Saturday evening, May 9th at 7 p.m. The program will feature several two piano works as well as a trio consisting of piano, violin and cello. A special arrangement of the old hymn, Softly and Tenderly, written for strings, tin whistle, piano and vocalist will also be performed. Miller will be assisted by her classmates, friends, and family. The public is invited to this event, art gallery, and the reception which follows.

WSB Financial Fair

Posted: Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 at 4:29 am

Washington State Bank is having their fourth annual financial fair this week. WSB Vice President Sue Basten. She’ll be discussing strategies for a volatile market and how the banking industry has changed. Basten will also discuss the Federal Deposit Insurance Company’s transaction guarantee program. To find out more, or register for the seminar visit Washington State Bank’s website. The financial fair is this Tuesday from 2 to 5 pm at the bank.