Today's Local News

Home tax credits offered

Posted: Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 4:57 am

As the economy starts to recover, more incentives are becoming available for first time homebuyers. Iowa Association of Realtors President Terry Knapp says first time buyers can receive up to $8,000 in tax credits. Knapp says low mortgage rates and high inventory in Iowa have kept the state’s housing market stable. He says purchases must be made by November 30 to qualify.

Keokuk, Wash, Jefferson Counties hardest hit by heavy rain

Posted: Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 4:57 am

Parts of southeast Iowa says more than seven inches of rainfall between Wednesday and early Thursday. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says parts of Washington, Jefferson and Keokuk Counties were hit the hardest Hillaker says while it’s been a very wet year, The state is still not on pace to set any precipitation records.

Supervisor hopes to lobby state on voting 911 commissioners

Posted: Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 4:57 am

A Washington County Supervisor hopes to lobby the state legislature to allow more voting members on the local 911 Commission. Steve Davis says Iowa law prevents contracted entities from having a vote on such commissions. He says they hope to be in contact with lawmakers to have the rules changed.

Season flu shots expected to be early

Posted: Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 4:57 am

Washington County’s public health administrator says they could be offering seasonal flu shots a little earlier than normal this year. Edie Nebel says that’s because they’ll be offering a vaccine for the H1N1 virus as well. She says nothing is definite at this point. She says it’s also unclear how much H1N1 vaccine Washington County will receive.

Better communities program

Posted: Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 4:56 am

Washington residents will have a chance to learn how to better their community September 8. The YMCA will host Kent Zimmerman, CEO of the Wallace Centers of Iowa who will discuss building communities through dialogue, active learning, and citizen engagement. Zimmerman will also show participants how they can apply for certain grants to improve the community.

County to devise disaster mitigation plan

Posted: Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 4:57 am

Washington County is working on a hazard mitigation plan, with some financial help from Homeland Security. County Engineer David Patterson says they already have an emergency preparedness plan in place. He says this is what to do in the long term in the wake of a disaster. Patterson says they are working with the East Central Iowa Council of Governments to develop the plan. The total grant amount is around $38,000.

M-P meet the candidates night

Posted: Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 4:57 am

Mid Prairies Meet the Candidates night is this evening (8/27) at the high school. Education Association President Karri Bell says all candidates have been deeply involved in both the school district and surrounding communities. She says two candidates are incumbents with one being the current board president. Bell says the Meet the Candidates night will give participants an opportunity to better know all hopefuls and to find out which is the best choice for them. The event starts tonight at 6:30.

400 voters cast absentee ballots

Posted: Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 4:57 am

More than 400 voters in the Washington School District have cast absentee ballots so far ahead of next month’s election. County Auditor Bill Fredrick says 213 of them came from satellite polling places earlier this week. Fredrick says all absentee ballots are stored until they are ready to be tabulated on the actual election day. There will be one more satellite polling location this Friday at Case Field during the Demon Football home opener.

Watermelon Day

Posted: Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 4:56 am

The Washington YMCA’s Watermelon Day celebration is this evening (8/27). Y Executive Director Greg Woller says the annual event serves as a sort of end of summer party. He says many of the activities will center on watermelon. Woller says they’ll be closing down the block of East Main Street that the Y is on for the event. Things get started at 5:00. Admission is seven dollars. Kids under five are free.

WCRF fall grant cycle begins

Posted: Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 4:56 am

Applications are available for the Washington County Riverboat Foundation’s fall grant cycle. They can be downloaded on their website at, or picked up at the their office in Washington. They advise applicants to review all guidelines before filing the application because some procedures have changed. The deadline to file is October 9.

Wellman Community Center expected to be done by November

Posted: Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 4:56 am

Wellman will receive nearly $800,000 to help build a new community center thanks to the USDAs Community Facilities Program. Mayor Ryan Miller says the $6-million facility will fill many of the towns needs. He says the building will hold both workout and childcare facilities, and will be used by local schools. Miller says with the federal grants and funds raised from the community, they should have enough to finish and furnish the new community center. He says as of now the project is about 70-percent finished. He expects the center to open sometime in November.

Emergency planning to discuss H1N1

Posted: Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 4:56 am

The Washington County Emergency Planning Committee is preparing for the H1N1 Virus. Public Health Adminstrator Edie Nebel says they’re discussing planning and the forming of an ethics committee to deal with vaccination. Nebel says they’re also talking about a Regional Emergency Preparedness exercise that’s coming up in October. The Committee is meeting tomorrow (8/28) morning at the Sheriff’s Office at 10:00.

Riverside 4-Hers bring home Swin Showmanship Award

Posted: Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 4:55 am

Two Washington County 4-Hers earned top honors in livestock showmanship at the State Fair last week. Lexi and and Macey Marek of Riverside were named top showmen for the intermediate and junior divisions of swine showing. ISU Extension Director Gene Mohling says showmanship is different from other livestock competitions because it focuses on the presentation of the animal rather than the animal itself. Both Lexi and Macey are members of the Jackson Jets 4-H Club.

Orscheln to move to old Wal-Mart building

Posted: Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 5:15 am

Washington’s old Wal-Mart building will be occupied again by next year. Orscheln Farm and Home’s corporate office tells KCII their Washington store will be moving to the former Wal-Mart location sometime during the the 2010 calendar year. The store is currently operating in the 1600 Block of East Washington. Management at the local location say they are unable to comment at this time. The company specializes in outdoor, farm, ranch and rural lifestyle items.

Facilities committee continues architect screenings

Posted: Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 5:15 am

The Washington School Facilities Committee is moving to the next phase of architect screenings tomorrow (8/27). They’ll be interviewing Cedar Rapids based OPN at 3:30, Des Moines based DLR Group at 5:00, and West Des Moines’ SVPA at 6:30. Architects are being chosen to help with a proposed facility overhaul of all school district buildings, and construction of a new high school. Whether that happens is contingent upon voters approving more than $11-million in bonds during the September 8th Election.

ID thieves could use old medication bottles

Posted: Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 5:14 am

Simply throwing away prescription drug containers may be a dangerous way to get rid of them. Senior Medicare Patrol Planning Director Brenda Sayre says the user information on the labels can be used by identity thieves to retrieve valuable personal information. Sayre says any papers that have social security numbers or Medicare numbers should be shredded to avoid danger. She also says blacking out a persons name or other personal information on labels is also helpful.

Crop Update

Posted: Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 5:14 am

Cool, wet weather continues to keep Iowa crop development behind schedule. However, most corn and soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition. Gene Mohling is a regional director with the ISU Extension Service. He says pests and disease continue to be a concern. 93 percent of corn is in or past the milk stage, which is on par with the five year average. 88 percent of soybeans are setting pods, which is about eight percent behind average.

Washington Co. behind state, federal unemployment numbers

Posted: Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 5:14 am

Statewide unemployment numbers edged up to 6.5 percent last month, hitting a mark not seen since 1986. Iowa Work Force Development Director Elizabeth Buck says most jobs were lost in manufacturing. In Washington County, unemployment numbers dropped slightly from 5.3 to 5.2 percent last month. Local and statewide numbers are still favorable when compared with the nation as a whole. The U-S unemployment rate was at 9.4 percent in July.

Semi annual manure application traning

Posted: Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 5:13 am

The Washington County Extension Office is reminding confinement operators and commercial manure applicators that they are required to undergo regular training. Iowa law mandates two hours of continuing education annually, and or take and pass an exam once every three years. The continuing education and the test are available at local DNR offices. For more information contact the Washington County Extension.

ICA regional meeting

Posted: Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 5:13 am

New products and services will be the focus at the Iowa Cattlemens Associations regional meeting next Thursday (9/2). ICA Communications Manager Trent Wellman says the organizations executive vice president will be on hand to provide an ICA update, and a DNR representative will speak to the group about watershed programs for cow and calf operations. Wellman says the group will also hold an election for the Southeast Regional Vice President position. If you are interested in attending, call 1-800-888-1730.