Today's Local News

Kalona City Council

Posted: Sunday, February 15th, 2009 at 10:49 am

The Kalona City Council will be holding their meeting tomorrow. Carri Bell, Representative from the Kalona Elementary will be present to give an update on the Kalona Elementary Playground Project. Also at the meeting Todd Fitzsenry, Parks & Recreation Superintendent, will be giving a proposal for upcoming improvements in park. The Kalona City Council will be held at the Kalona Public Library meeting room tomorrow at 7:30pm.

Government Offices Closed

Posted: Saturday, February 14th, 2009 at 7:16 am


Local government offices will be closed Monday for the President's Day holiday. The county courthouse and county offices will not be open. Also Washington city offices will be closed and the Post Office will be closed. They will reopen Tuesday.

Wellman Fire

Posted: Saturday, February 14th, 2009 at 7:16 am

The Washington County Public Safety Center received a 911 call yesterday around 6:50pm for a house fire in Wellman. No one was inside the residence. The Washington County Public Safety Center says the home sustained considerable damage and the fire is still under investigation. The fire was at 1756 120th St in Wellman. Wellman Fire department, Kalona Fire Department, Washington County Sheriff and Washington County secondary roads were called to the scene as well as Eastern Iowa Light & Power along with the Red Cross.

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Hunter education courses

Posted: Saturday, February 14th, 2009 at 7:15 am


Hunter education courses will be offered in Washington in just a little over a week. The DNR puts on the class. Anyone born after 1972 has to have a hunter education certificate when they purchase a license. The seven session class will be at Washington Junior High February 24th, 25th, and 26th and March 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Class will be from 3:30-5pm each day. Participants should be at least twelve years old. Registration forms will be available at Washington Junior High and are due February 23rd. You can call Jim Cuddeback for more information at 319-653-4789.

Mid Prairie Snow Day

Posted: Saturday, February 14th, 2009 at 7:15 am


The Mid Prairie School District is making up snow days. Superintendent Mark Schneider says Monday was normally scheduled to be a day off for students for Presidents Day but with the many cancellations that the snow has caused they will be holding school to make up for those cancelled days. Schneider says it will be a normal school day with school starting and stopping at regular hours. He says making up the snow days through the year helps to keep the last day of school from getting pushed back too far.

Senator Becky Schmitz

Posted: Saturday, February 14th, 2009 at 7:15 am


State Senator Becky Schmitz says the primary focus so far this session has been on dealing with the current economic climate and it's impact on state government. Schmitz says she knows the deepening national recession puts a strain on the budgets of Iowa middle-class families. She says that's why she is wanting to hear constituent suggestions for balancing the state budget without raising taxes. Schmitz asks that comments be sent to becky.schmitz@legis.state.ia.us.

Singing Valentines

Posted: Saturday, February 14th, 2009 at 7:14 am

The Metro Mix Chorus of Sweet Adelines International is taking orders now to sing for your special someone. Abby Dodd with the group says arriving unannounced, a quartet will search out the recipient in an office, home, restaurant, school or almost any setting. Reservations for singing valentines can be made by calling 319-361-8509

Crawfordsville Lions Supper

Posted: Saturday, February 14th, 2009 at 5:12 am

Have breakfast for supper and help a good cause. The Crawfordsville Lions are having their pancake, sausage, and egg supper this evening from 4-7pm at the WACO Elementary School in Crawfordsville. Tickets for adults are six dollars at the door and tickets for kids 12 and under are three dollars and preschoolers are free. Half of the proceeds benefit Jenna Waters.

Valentines Day Cards

Posted: Saturday, February 14th, 2009 at 5:12 am

The Kalona Post office has seen an increase in Valentines Day cards being sent out. Post Master Gae Walton says this year she has seen more people sending and receiving Valentines Day Cards. Walton says she believes that it is due to the economy that people are just sending cards to show there love and affection rather than sending out bigger bulkier gifts.

School Stimulus

Posted: Friday, February 13th, 2009 at 5:35 am

It appears the removal of the school construction item in the economic stimulus package Congress has been working on, has a direct impact on Washington. Iowa U-S Representative Dave Loebsack plans to visit the Washington School District at ten o’clock Tuesday morning. Interim Superintendent Dave Sextro says his understanding is that Loebsack was going to discuss the spending of around $800,000 the district was going to get as part of the package, but that was removed. Sextro says Loebsack still plans to visit and discuss green schools and green construction.

Keota School board looking for a change

Posted: Friday, February 13th, 2009 at 5:31 am

The Keota School Board is talking about a change in superintendents. Board President Jared Lyle says they have been talking to different school districts about sharing a superintendent and last week met with the Mid Prairie board president and vice president about the possibility of sharing a superintendent starting with the 2009-10 school year. Mid Prairie Superintendent Mark Schneider says this is strictly a discussion item at this time. Schneider says this will be on the agenda for the next board meeting on Monday, February 23rd.

Speech All-State

Posted: Friday, February 13th, 2009 at 5:28 am

The Washington High School Speech Team is sending three events to the All-State Speech Festival in Ames a week from Saturday. Speech Coach Jan Gallagher says you have to score high at a state competition to be invited. She says they received all-state recognition before but have never been invited to perform at the festival. Gallagher says they are going to put on a performance for residents next Thursday at 7:30pm in the high school auditorium to raise money for the trip.

Paws and More Micro-chipping

Posted: Friday, February 13th, 2009 at 5:28 am

Paws and More is encouraging you this Valentine’s Day to keep your pet close to your heart with a micro-chipping event. A micro-chip with your contact information is implanted just under the skin around the neck of your pet and can be scanned to retrieve contact information. The micro-chipping is being offered for $25, which is a reduced rate. You can stop by Paws and More behind Casey’s today, tomorrow, or Sunday between noon and four. No appointment is needed.

IMS Singing Valentines

Posted: Friday, February 13th, 2009 at 5:27 am

IMS Students are selling singing valentines on Saturday. Kristen Brenneman with IMS says the students travel around the area such as Wellman, Washington, Iowa City, and other communities, singing valentines to people. She says they have been doing this for over 5 years. For those interested you can call IMS at 319-656-2073 and speak with Mary Lou. The cost to sing to a single person is $35 and to sing to a group of people is $65. They’ll be singing from 8am to 4pm.

County Engineer Award

Posted: Friday, February 13th, 2009 at 5:26 am

The Washington County Engineers’ office has received recognition from the Iowa Concrete Paving Association for a recent project. County Engineer Dave Patterson says it was for an overlay project they this past summer on old Highway 218 north of Highway 22. Patterson says they replaced a deteriorating asphalt road with a nice concrete overlay. He says they were also able to add paved shoulders. He says a team reviewing projects around the state deemed it the Best Concrete Overlay Award.

Keokuk County Salt supply

Posted: Friday, February 13th, 2009 at 5:24 am

Keokuk County salt supplies are looking fine. Keokuk County Supervisor Ernie Griener says they were prepared this year. According to Greiner the Keokuk County Highway department had over 700 tons of salt ready. Griener says they should have plenty for the rest of the season.

On Demand Audio

Posted: Friday, February 13th, 2009 at 5:23 am

Washington Page
7:30 a.m. & 12:55 p.m. Mary Wienand, ISU Extension
Listen to the interview on the Radio Plus page.

In Touch With Southeast Iowa
12:50 p.m. Darrel Hysler, US Census Bureau
Listen to the interview on the Radio Plus page.

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Parent/Teacher Conferences

Posted: Thursday, February 12th, 2009 at 5:41 am

Washington High School is hosting parent/teacher conferences this evening. The conferences will be held in the varsity gym. Parents can pick up their student's schedule and mid-term grade cards at the door. Parents are encouraged to visit with each teacher. The parent/teacher conferences will be from 4:30-8pm this evening in the high school gymnasium.

School Budget Cuts

Posted: Thursday, February 12th, 2009 at 5:41 am

The Washington Schools Interim Superintendent is advising the board cut $612,000 from the budget. The recommendation comes after the district went $63,000 over it's spending authority last fiscal year and in the midst of anticipated cuts coming from the state. Interim Superintendent Dave Sextro says going in they wanted to stay away from cutting teachers that had direct student contact. The district will have six early retirements at the end of this school year, under this proposal those positions would either not be filled or the anticipated salary would be lower. Also the custodial staff would be reduced and some services contracted out. Sextro has asked the board to act on the recommendation at their March board meeting.

Washington County Riverboat Foundation Grants

Posted: Thursday, February 12th, 2009 at 5:28 am

Washington County Riverboat Foundation has posted application for their spring grants. Executive Director Jim Logan says they anticipate a large number of applications judging from their past experience. He urges first time applicants to refer to their website for guidelines as to what they are looking for and the actual application. He says they can only award grants to truly non-profit groups or governmental bodies. Applications will be due April 10th.