Today's Local News

Ending Polio

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 4:30 am

Washington County residents are being invited to Bike to End Polio. Myron Graber from the Washington Rotary Club says the event has a ride for everyone, ranging from short rides to even a 56 mile trek along county roads. Graber says 100 percent of the 25 dollar entry fee goes to polio fighting efforts, and the entry cost covers both snacks and a t-shirt. The Biking to End Polio Now event will begin with registration at 6:30 am on June 6. For information contact Myron Graber at 653-1674.

Winter pushes back last day of school

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 4:30 am

With the ice and snow of winter the Mid Prairie School District had to cancel many days of school. Because of the canceled school days the last day of school for students was pushed back. The last day of school for students will be next Tuesday, June 2nd and they will be released one hour early. As it stands right now, the first day of school for the 2009-2010 school year will be Wednesday, August 26th.

WHS student receives Alliant scholarship

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 4:30 am

A student at Washington High School is getting a $1,000 scholarship from the Alliant Energy Foundation. Kelsey Bishop graduated this year and is one of twenty five students receiving the community service based scholarships. Bishop plans to study nursing at Mount Mercy College this fall. She's the daughter of Cameron and Kathy Bishop. Alliant says they considered leadership, volunteerism and the content of a 300 word essay when they selected the recipients.

Cash up for grabs at Kalona parade

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 4:29 am

There will be several ways to win money at this years Kalona Days. Kalona Days Director Dave Finley says cash prizes of $150, $75 and $50 will go to the top three entries in the Kalona Days parade. He says the parade will start at 10 a.m. and line up will be on the west ends of C and B Avenue and proceed east on B Avenue to 7th Street.

When to spray for bagworms

Posted: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 4:29 am

The Keokuk County Extension is urging property owners to hold off on spraying for bagworms. Education Director Gary Bickmeir says there has been considerable interest in Southern Iowa as people worry about the caterpillars defoliating their trees. For more information contact the Keokuk County Master Gardeners, or the Keokuk County Extension office.

Loebsack in Washington today

Posted: Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 4:12 am

Congressman Dave Loebsack will be in Washington this afternoon (5/26). The Mount Vernon Democrat will be at Washington County Hospital and Clinics at 2:15 as part of his Healthcare Reform Tour. He’ll be meeting with health care providers to get a better understanding of the services they provide and their payment delivery systems. Loebsack will also visit University Hospitals in Iowa City and Unity Healthcare in Muscatine. He says he’s gathering information for the upcoming health care debate in Washington D-C.

Washington BOS slated for closed session

Posted: Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 4:12 am

Washington County Supervisors are slated to go into closed session this morning (5/26) to discuss an ongoing legal dispute with the city of Riverside. County Auditor Bill Fredrick says they helped levy funds for several infrastructure projects when the casino was built, and as a result Riverside is supposed to pay the county $175,000 per year out of the revenue they receive from the casino. Attorney’s for Riverside say the contract caused the city to exceed its debt limit, therefore making in void under state law. The meeting starts at 9:30 this morning in the Washington County Courthouse.

Liquor request in limbo

Posted: Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 4:11 am

Whether a Washington restaurant can serve alcohol in an outdoor setting is still up in the air. City councilors have left the item tabled at the past couple of meetings. Mayor Sandra Johnson says the ordinance committee is looking into the request from Cafe Dodici. Johnson says if the ordinance committee drafts guidelines to allow the restaurant’s request the item will likely be un-tabled. She says if they don’t come up with anything she’ll ask councilors to take it off the table and put the issue to rest.

Washington Library update

Posted: Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 4:11 am

The fence blocking the street in front of the new library in Washington will be coming down next month. City Administrator Dave Plyman says they’ll still have to block traffic while a contractor works on the downtown improvement project. The library is expected to move into the new facility this summer. They say they’re taking inventory and making decisions about what will travel with them. As a result the Teen Advisory Board will be selling video and audiotapes at the Ridiculous Days celebration on June 6.

Teen pregnancy numbers stable in SE Iowa

Posted: Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 4:11 am

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Southeast Iowa says teen pregnancy numbers have been fairly static in this region. Terri Bonar says much of the country has seen an increase. She says part of the reason for the nationwide hike is the use of abstinence only education. Bonar says areas of the country that utilize such methods actually have higher rates of teen pregnancy.

Louisa Co to receive more disaster funds

Posted: Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 4:10 am

The Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) announced the state approved additional disaster recovery projects in seven cities affected by natural disasters in 2008. Louisa County will receive $1,557,000 through the CDBG and $11,865,000 through the EDA Disaster Relief Grant to. The City of Columbus Junction will receive $920,000 through the CDBG and $2,930,000 through the EDA Disaster Relief Grant. The funding sources are the Community Development Block Grant Contingency and Imminent Threat Funds.

Kalona Pool

Posted: Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 4:09 am

It feels like summer outside and many kids and parents are ready to start heading to the pool. Kalona Parks Superintendent Todd Fitzsenry says they have been working very hard to make sure that the Kalona City Pool is open and ready. Fitzsenry says they will be open from 1pm until 6pm on weekends until school is out for the summer.

Schmitz: legislative session good for military members

Posted: Monday, May 25th, 2009 at 4:15 am

As Americans observe Memorial Day, a Southeast Iowa state lawmaker says the 2009 legislative session did a lot for veterans and active military members. Fairfield Senator Becky Schmitz says they passed measures to help with everything from college education, to assisted living. One piece of legislation Schmitz is particularly pleased with protects active duty National Guard members by making it a misdemeanor to foreclose on or repossess their homes.

Memorial Day activities

Posted: Monday, May 25th, 2009 at 4:15 am

There are several local events to mark Memorial Day. At 8:00 am the Boy Scouts will conduct a flag raising at the Post Office. There will also be a ceremony at 8:30 at the Crooked Creek Bridge to honor Marines and Sailors. Retired Navy Chief Richard Goodall will be the speaker. At 10:00 am there will be a ceremony at Elm Grove Cemetery honoring all veterans, with Dave Stouffer speaking.

Two killed in three vehicle crash

Posted: Monday, May 25th, 2009 at 4:15 am

Two people were killed and five were injured in a three vehicle car accident in Washington County Saturday. The Iowa State Patrol says 30 year old Samuel Langstaff and 29 year old Jacqueline Langstaff, both of Indianola died after the crash at the intersection of Lexington Avenue and Highway 92. 17 year old Andrew Brock and 16 year old David Haifley both of Washington, along with 19 year old Travis Filben of Keota were taken to University Hospitals in Iowa City. 26 year old Jared Freel and 15 year old Spencer Miller of Washington were taken to Washington County Hospital. Police say Brock failed to stop at the intersection and smashed into the Langstaff’s vehicle pushing them in front of a semi driven by Freel. They say charges in the accident are pending.

WMU chooses new Supt.

Posted: Monday, May 25th, 2009 at 4:14 am

The Winfield Mount Union School District has chosen a new superintendent. A new contract has been extended to Patrick Cohen of Mt. Pleasant. Cohen has served as principal or assistant principal for the Mt. union schools for the past 7 years, where he also served as a teacher. The contract will be presented to the school board for approval on Wednesday. Mr Cohen will begin work as superintendent on July 1st.

U of I to poll Washington

Posted: Monday, May 25th, 2009 at 4:14 am

University of Iowa’s political science department is going to be conducting a survey of Washington. City Administrator Dave Plyman says he’s working with the mayor and U of I officials to formulate the questions. The survey is being conducted through the Mikva Challenge, which is a Chicago based service organization. Political science professors at U of I will bring inner city high school students from the windy city to teach them about public opinion polling.

Local vet’s thoughts on Memorial Day

Posted: Monday, May 25th, 2009 at 4:14 am

A local veteran says Memorial Day shouldn’t be a sad time, but rather a day that celebrates America’s armed forces. Dan McClure says it sometimes difficult for non-military people to understand what it was like to endure combat. He says for that reason it seems like the biggest supporters of veterans are often times other veterans. McClure says Memorial Day is more about honoring those who have passed on, than those that are still alive.

Grassley on credit card legislation

Posted: Monday, May 25th, 2009 at 4:13 am

One of Iowa’s Representatives on Capital Hill says recent credit card legislation will empower consumers. Senator Chuck Grassley says the measure will end the practice of allowing companies to make contractual changes without notifying consumers. The New Hartford Republican says Americans should be able to choose who they do business with, and this legislation allows them to make an informed decision when it comes to credit cards.

MP Reunion

Posted: Monday, May 25th, 2009 at 4:13 am

On June 26 to 27, 2009, the Mid Prairie Foundation is inviting all the Mid Prairie alumni from the past 40 years to attend the second All School Reunion. Jeffrey Swartzentruber with the reunion committee says the weekend kicks off with a doubleheader at the High School baseball field and the culmination of the weekend will be the Alumni Banquet at the high school from 6 to 8 with a lot of activities in between. Swartzentruber says there will be a lot more activities that they are planning and will keep everyone updated.