Today's Local News

IDNR Report

Posted: Friday, April 24th, 2009 at 8:26 am

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources released its first ever environmental report card this week addressing issues such as water quality, wildlife and air pollution. Dennis Ostwinkle is Regional Superintendent for DNR’s District 6, which covers southeast Iowa. He says water quality is a concern in this area. Ostwinkle says the city of Washington’s waste water plant is one example of a situation they deal with. He says the plant is essentially too small for the community to grow any larger. He says there are sometimes run off issues when the area receives heavy rainfall. City officials have said they hope to start looking at bonds to build a new facility this year.

More spring like weather expected

Posted: Friday, April 24th, 2009 at 8:26 am

Fog and heavy rainfall are expected in Washington County and much of Southeast Iowa today. A dense fog advisory remains in effect until 10:00 this morning. This means visibilities will be reduced to less than one quarter of a mile. If driving, slow down, and leave plenty of distance ahead of you. The National Weather Service expects thunderstorms to roll into the area this evening. In the event of severe weather, stay tuned to KCII for Severe Weather Action Team coverage.

Kalona Rotary helping playground

Posted: Friday, April 24th, 2009 at 8:25 am

On Saturday, May 2 the Kalona Rotary will be hosting their annual omelet breakfast fundraiser at the Kalona Methodist Church from 6:30 11:00 a.m. Jan Knebel, Kalona Elementary Playground Improvement Committee Chairperson says all the proceeds from the breakfast will go towards the Kalona Elementary playground improvement project. She says this is the second year the Kalona Rotary will be helping with the project.

Special Columbus Jct Farmer’s Market

Posted: Friday, April 24th, 2009 at 8:25 am

The City of Columbus Junction is having a special Farmers Market today. Mallory Smith with the Columbus Junction Community Development Center says this market will feature bedding plants, baked goods and some fresh produce. She says In case of rain the market will be held inside. The market will run from 4:30 to 6:30pm at the American Legion parking lot, 22 Second St., in Columbus Junction. The regular Columbus Junction farmer’s market season begins May 15 and runs until October 9th.

Columbus Jct moving forward with levy

Posted: Friday, April 24th, 2009 at 8:25 am

Raising Columbus Junction’s levy has become a team effort. Federal, state and local officials have been enlisted to asses the project and its costs. Columbus Junction city council member Harold Prior says they hope to lessen the roughly $600,000 price tag by using local soil. One snag in the process is the impact it might have on local wildlife. The Army Corp of Engineers requires a wetland charting, which could take several weeks. A review of the charting by the Corp of Engineers might not be completed until late this summer.

4-H Pancake Breakfast successful

Posted: Friday, April 24th, 2009 at 8:24 am

Nearly 400 people came to the Washington County 4-H’s pancake breakfast fundraiser over the weekend. Youth Coordinator Katie Peiffer says money raised from the event will help improve the Washington County Fairgrounds. She says that includes new non livestock project displays and a livestock barn with a small show ring included.

Financial Literacy

Posted: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 6:29 am

April is Financial Literacy Month, and you don’t have to be a Wall Street Banker to participate. Anne Black with Iowa AARP says there a simple things you can do to review your finances, and make better decisions. Black says there are a whole host of resources to help consumers spend smarter. She says that includes the AARP, ISU Extensions and local banks. To find out more visit the AARP’s website.

Washington Schools to receive $180k in stimulus money

Posted: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 6:29 am

The Washington Community School District is receiving more than 180-thousand dollars in federal economic stimulus money. That’s according to an estimate released yesterday by the Iowa Department of Education. The money is intended to create and retain jobs, improve student achievement and ensure transparency. IDE Director Judy Jeffery says. The success of the education portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will depend on the shared commitment of school officials, parents and students. She says during this time of great opportunity, they must be responsible, in their actions, wise in their decisions and clear in their intentions.

ACS recognizes volunteers

Posted: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 6:28 am

In celebration of the 36th annual National Volunteer Week, the American Cancer Society recognizes and celebrates the efforts of its more than three million volunteers nationwide who are making a difference for people facing cancer every day. Kierstan Peck with the American Cancer Society, says in Louisa County more than 30 volunteers give their time and talent to fight back against the disease. She also says as we recognize this special week, she wants to thank each of the volunteers in Louisa County for dedicating their time and energy to their cancer-fighting mission. She says volunteers impact the community in ways that could not be done without their personal commitment.

Health clinic changes

Posted: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 6:28 am

The Washington County Public Health Immunization Clinic scheduled for today has been changed. Brenda Slabaugh, Office Manager & Immunization Clerk with the Washington County Public Health & Home Care says it is normally held at the Kalona Community Center. She says the clinic will instead be held in the basement community room of the Freedom Security Bank, 402 B Avenue, Kalona, from 10 to 11 a.m. She says if there are any question to call 319-653-7758

Video game addiction like any other

Posted: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 6:28 am

A recent study by Iowa State University shows eight-and-a-half percent of kids surveyed are addicted to video games. The researcher used the same model for evaluating gambling addictions. Steve Stine, with MECA in Iowa City says what someone is addicted to isn’t as important as why. Stine says addiction is a way people deal with other emotional issues. He says to truly treat the addiction, you have to uproot their underlying problems. Stine says he’s heard of an instance where a young man played video games for 27 hours straight without eating or sleeping. He says that’s similar to what some drug addicts go through.

MP ranks high in placement

Posted: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 6:27 am

Mid Prairie ranks high in advanced placement. High School principal Gerry Beeler told the M-P School Board that the High School ranked 7th in the state in Advance Placement program. Beeler said this is the third straight year that Mid Prairie has ranked in the top 10 in AP rankings. Superintendent Mark Schneider said the next board meeting will be on May 11 at 7 p.m. at the Alternative Learning Center in the Wellman Community Building. Reports will include at risk program and the math program. The board will also act on a 28E agreement concerning sharing the business manager with Keota. Schneider said he hopes to have an assistant business manager in place by July 2 to work with Doug Slaubaugh who plans to retire at end of this year.

1st ever Miss Latina Washington

Posted: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 6:27 am

The first ever Miss Latina Washington will be this weekend. Planning committee member Carlos Rich says it will be similar to a Miss USA event. He hopes Miss Latina Washington will serve as an bridge building opportunity. Rich says Miss Latina contestants are high school students from Washington, and will be judged in a variety of categories. The event is this Saturday (4/25) evening at eight in the Knights of Columbus Hall and Event Center. The public is invited. There is an admission charge.

1 hospitalized after Ainsworth crash

Posted: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 6:25 am

A 48 year old Winfield man was hospitalized briefly Tuesday after a traffic accident in Ainsworth. According to a report from the Iowa State Patrol, Kenneth Hunt was transported by ambulance to Washington County Hospital and Clinics after his vehicle collided with another car at the four corners interchange. Police say Hunt was treated at the hospital and released. The driver of the other vehicle, 72 year old Kenneth McNeill of New London, was cited for failure to yield.

Washington recorder will issue same sex marriage licenses

Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 5:13 am

The first same sex marriage licenses can be issued next week in Iowa. Some groups opposed to gay marriage are offering to pay county recorders' legal expenses if they refuse to issue the licenses. Washington County Recorder Connie Pence says she's received no such offer, and will issue the the licenses, as required by law. Pence says they are still waiting on new forms that don't include the words bride and groom, but instead party A and party B. She says the appropriate paperwork for same sex marriage licenses are supposed to be at her office by Monday. 

Washington Safety Center becomes Comm Center

Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 5:13 am

The Washington County Safety Center is expanding, and getting a new name…sort of. Right now the emergency communications department is the only agency occupying the old sheriff's building, and there using only a fraction of the space. The board of supervisors yesterday approved allowing them to utilize other parts of the building and changing the name to the communications center. Supervisors say they are between a rock and a hard place because it seems wasteful to not use the space, but would cost too much to renovate. They also say it is too risky to interrupt 911 service with any major renovations.

Washington Recycling

Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 5:12 am

Today is Earth Day. Some will plant a tree, others might try to conserve energy. Washington County Supervisor Jim Rosien says local residents need to keep recycling in mind. He says the materials the county collects aren't worth as much as they used to be, but its better to recycle rather than see trash accumulate in road ditches, or in a landfill. He urges anyone with recycling questions to contact the Washington Recycling Facility at 653-6373.

Washington Farmer’s Market

Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 5:12 am

This spring's cold and wet weather is putting a damper on local gardening. Washington Farmer's Market Master Bob Shepherd says the selection at this year's first farmer's market could be a little slim. Shepherd expects a good showing of early spring produce. He says there's always a good selection of baked goods that aren't dependent on the weather. The first Washington Farmer's Market will be Thursday May 14 in Central Park.

Avoiding scams

Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 5:11 am

Avoiding online scams seems to be getting more difficult. Con artists are becoming more sophisticated, and technology makes it easier for them to be convincing. Bob Brammer, with the Iowa Attorney General's Office, says its best to err on the side of caution. Brammer says its best to never give out personal information such as social security or bank account numbers over the phone, or internet. He says if you feel you've been the victim of a scam, to contact his office.

Wellman city clean up

Posted: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 5:11 am

The City of Wellman will be holding their city wide clean up the second weekend of May. City Clerk Donna Wade says they are getting volunteers to man the collection site. Wade says residents still need to buy a ticket for 5 dollars and then they can take all the trash they want to the collection site. Again the clean up days will be Friday and Saturday May 8th and 9th in Wellman, for more information or to purchase a ticket contact the Wellman City Hall.