Today's Local News

Washington Schools slated to pass $23-million budget

Posted: Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 at 5:20 am

The Washington Community School Board is slated to pass a roughly $23-million dollar budget at tomorrow night's meeting. Superintendent Dave Sextro says their on the right path to correct some of the district's past financial problems. Sextro says recent budget cuts at the state level haven't helped the situation. He says the district has been able to save money through early retirements. The school board will take public comment on the budget at tomorrow's meeting. It's at 7:00 pm in the school administration building.

Senior Medicare Patrol

Posted: Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 at 5:19 am

Education Programs through the Senior Medicare Patrol program are available in Des Moines, Henry, Lee and Louisa Counties. Senior Medicare Patrol is sponsored by Southeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, Inc. and it is a nationwide program administered in part through the U. S. Administration on Aging. Brenda Sayre with the SE IA Area Agency on Aging says trained retired professionals provide community education programs about Medicare fraud, waste and abuse along with identity theft and scams to elders and their caregivers, local banks, home health agencies and service groups. She says community education is free and they like to set-up informational booths at health fairs, seminars and other places the public would gather. To schedule a program or ask questions: call SE IA Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-292-1268 or 319-752-5433.

Washington Aquatic Center could get new name

Posted: Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 at 5:17 am

The Washington Aquatic Center could be getting a new name. Parks Superintendent Tim Widmer says a group of people want the center named after Milo Steel, who used to coach the YMCA Swim Team and recently passed away. He says they are looking for public input on the matter and will be discussing it at this evening's meeting. They'll also be talking about the Central Park Bandstand renovation project. The meeting begins at 5:00 tonight in Washington City Hall.

Florida family donates land in SE Iowa

Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 5:29 am

A family from Florida is being honored today for donating land in southeast Iowa. Clemencia and Martin Nolan will be among those recognized during the "Gift to Iowa's Future" ceremony in Des Moines. The Nolans donated a portion of their Iowa property's value through a bargain sale. The 160 acres of wetland are near a tributary of the English River and are enrolled in the USDA Wetland Reserve Program. The property will be funded and managed by the conservation boards of Washington, Keokuk and Iowa Counties.

Corridor Career Fair

Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 5:28 am

As the unemployment rate continues to climb, here's a bit of welcome news. The Corridor Career Fair will be April 25 at Kirkwood Community College's main campus in Cedar Rapids. Brenda Dodge with Iowa Workforce Development says more than 60 employers are expected to participate. Dodge says job seekers will be able to meet with employers from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. She says there will also be resume critiquing available and an internet cafe for online applications. The career fair will also feature a variety of workshops. Visit for more information.

Severe Weather Week

Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 5:28 am

When severe weather descends, it takes a carefully coordinated effort to keep the area safe. It involves a multitude of government and private entities, one of which is the Washington Police Department. Sergeant Sean Ellingson says their job is to keep the city running smoothly during a severe weather situation. Ellingson says they maintain radio contact with the city's maintenance department, and serve as first responders to areas where utility conduits may have been damaged. Ellingson says other city departments do their jobs very well, which allows them to continue to focus on law enforcement during severe weather. This is part of our ongoing Severe Weather Awareness Week. Check back here every day for more weather related coverage.

Washington County B.O.S.

Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 5:27 am

Washington County Supervisors will get an update on agricultural valuation assessments at this week's meeting. They'll also be checking off on applications for Washington County Riverboat Foundation Grants. They are also slated to approve a resolution for a fireworks permit and application fee. The meeting is this Tuesday morning at 9:30 in the lower level of the Washington County Courthouse.

How fit is the Wii?

Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 5:26 am

Video games don't really conjure thoughts of a healthy lifestyle. However a local health professional is using the Nintendo Wii as a rehabilitation tool. Andy Bishop is a physical therapist at Washington County Hospital and Clinics. He says the Wii Fit is a great tool for helping patients with balance and hand eye coordination. He says it's very beneficial for people recovering from a stroke, because it can help them realize that they may put more weight on one side of their body than the other. Bishop also says many people have decided to continue to use the Wii at home after their physical therapy, because they feel it helps them maintain mobility as they get older.

Gambling addictions

Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 5:26 am

With the casino so close to many cities in the area there may be people who are having trouble with gambling addiction. Sharon Hazelhoff with the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort says they make sure that they have plenty of material handy for anyone who might think they have a problem. If anyone has a Gambling addiction or knows someone who might have gambling addiction the number to call is 1-800-BETS-OFF

Movie Day

Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 5:25 am

When the Mid Prairie school district does not have any classes during the week the Kalona Library likes to hold a movie day to provide safe and fun activities. On Thursday, April 9th, the Kalona Public Library will be showing Kung Fu Panda from 1:30pm to 3:10pm. For additional information, please contact Youth Services Librarian at 319-656-3501.

Spring Break

Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 5:25 am

Its that time of year again when students are screaming for a break. The Mid Prairie School District will give the students just that. This Friday is the first day of spring Break. The district will not be using any of spring break to make up for snow days. Spring break will go through Monday, April 13th and classes will resume on Tuesday, April 14th.

Karen Murphy

Posted: Sunday, April 5th, 2009 at 5:40 am

Washington State Bank recently announced the retirement of Karen Murphy as its Internal Auditor. Murphy was with the bank for 20 years. Her duties included control reviews, account verifications, procedural reviews and adherence to bank policy and regulatory compliance. She also worked closely with the bank's external auditor and reported directly to the audit committee. WSB has yet to announce her replacement. 

Severe Weather Awareness Week

Posted: Sunday, April 5th, 2009 at 5:40 am

This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week. KCII will be highlighting the services and people who make it their job to keep us safe. We'll be airing special weather related news stories during our regular newscasts. We'll talk with local emergency officials and meteorologists from Weather Eye, and the National Weather Service. We'll also be participating in a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, April 8th. During that time the KCII Severe Weather Action Team will conduct an emergency equipment test, and demonstrate how severe weather coverage works at the station.

Recital at IMS

Posted: Sunday, April 5th, 2009 at 5:33 am

Samantha Beachy and Melissa Gingerich, seniors at IMS, will present a shared recital of piano and cello music on Saturday, April 11 at 7 p.m. in Celebration Hall. Pianists Joni Beachy, Midori Beachy, Maria Davis, Abbie Miller, and Hannah Bartel will be joining Beachy on selected piano ensemble pieces. Beachy and Gingerich will play collaborative works for cello and piano and Gingerich's teacher, Kate Vos, will also join her on a work for two cellos. A reception will follow the concert. 

Spring Break

Posted: Sunday, April 5th, 2009 at 5:27 am

Its that time of year again when students are screaming for a break. The Mid Prairie School district will give the students just that. This Friday is the first day of spring Break. The district will not be using any of spring break to make up for snow days. Spring break will go through Monday, April 13th and classes will resume on Tuesday, April 14th.

Gay Marriage

Posted: Saturday, April 4th, 2009 at 5:48 am

A local state senator doesn’t expect any immediate legislative action on yesterdays Supreme Court ruling which essentially allows gay marriage in Iowa. Becky Schmitz says they are very bogged down with the state budget and a proposed middle income tax break. Schmitz says lawmakers will take a careful look at 70 page ruling and possibly address it during the next session. Schmitz and State Representative Larry Smith are tentatively scheduled to be in Washington for a legislative briefing on April 18.

DHS Volunteers

Posted: Saturday, April 4th, 2009 at 5:47 am

The local volunteer coordinator for Iowa’s Department of Human Services is looking for some help in the Washington area. Janet Ford says they are looking for people to drive DHS clients to medical and therapy appointments. Ford says volunteer drivers will be reimbursed 34-cents per mile. She says they are also looking for clerical volunteers. To learn more contact Ford at 319-863-0049.

National Media Driven Recession

Posted: Saturday, April 4th, 2009 at 5:47 am

A loan officer at a local bank says bad times on Wall Street can actually be good for institutions like his. Brandon Long with Washington State Bank says their deposits have gone up as people begin to pull their investments out of the stock market. Long says like most small town banks, they have money to lend. He says people have begun to seek loans for home improvement projects as the weather starts to warm up. Long also says many Midwestern banks have been shielded from the mortgage crisis because they tend to be more financially conservative.

Relay for Life

Posted: Saturday, April 4th, 2009 at 5:46 am

The American Cancer Society urges local companies to take up the fight against cancer in their community by becoming sponsors of Relay for Life. Kierstan Peck with the American Cancer Society says cancer touches everyone, and involvement in Relay for Life is a great way to show that a company cares. Peck says 32,538 people will participate this year in 87 Relay for Life events across Iowa. If you would like to become a corporate sponsor or find out how to build a team for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Louisa County, call 319.653.3768 or visit

Sharing Superintendent

Posted: Saturday, April 4th, 2009 at 5:46 am

Boards for both the Mid-Prairie Community School District and the Keota Community School District voted unanimously Monday, March 30, to approve sharing a superintendent. Keota board president Jared Lyle says they first approached Mid-Prairie three months ago. He says they wanted someone who they felt would be a good fit with the Keota School District. Lyle says he is looking forward to the new school year and moving forward with Mid Prairie Superintendent Mark Schneider.