Today's Local News

How to keep EAB at bay

Posted: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 at 5:09 am

The Emerald Ash Borer has devastated tree populations in many Midwestern states, but a local wildlife expert says Iowa has been spared thus far. The Department of Natural Resources' Don Pfeifer says in order to keep it that way, people need to use local firewood. He says the borer lays eggs under the bark of Ash trees and can be transferred to along with firewood. Pfeifer says anyone who has guests coming to the area needs to remind them to get firewood here, and not bring it from places effected by the beetle. 

Fee increases ease scheduling

Posted: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 at 5:09 am

Washington County Clerk of Court Julie Johnson says increases in court costs have cleared up a "scheduling nightmare." Johnson says before the hike, her office, and others across the state, were forced to take furlough days, which often backed up court schedules. The state legislature approved the increases this spring.

Two wheeled safety

Posted: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 at 5:08 am

Warmer weather means more two-wheeled vehicles on the roads. Washington Police Chief Greg Goodman says bicycles and motorcycles can be more difficult to see than passenger cars. He's urging drivers to use extra caution. Goodman says bikers can do their part to stay safe as well. He says there is no helmet law on the books in Iowa, or Washington. However, he encourages those who ride to wear one to add another level of protection.

PQAPlus training set

Posted: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 at 5:08 am

Iowa State Extension offices and the Iowa Pork Center are teaming up to offer Pork Quality Assurance Plus training sessions. In Washington County, swine field specialist Tom Miller is conducting the program. Miller says it's designed to certify safe pork products. He says it covers everything from proper use of medical equipment to humane treatment The Washington P-Q-A Plus session is June 16. It costs $25 and pre-registration is required.

Flood warning continues today

Posted: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 at 4:50 am

Portions of Eastern Iowa remain under a flood warning today as heavy rainfall continued in the area yesterday. The National Weather Service says the Iowa River was nearly half a foot above flood stage yesterday, and could rise high enough to effect agricultural land in Johnson and Iowa counties today. Motorists are reminded to never drive through flooded out roadways and bridges.

FEMA videos document flood, tornadoes

Posted: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 at 4:50 am

FEMA has complied a video documentary of last year's Iowa natural disasters. Videographer Mike Mancino says the "Triumph over Tragedy" series captures the recovery efforts in areas hit by flooding and tornadoes last year. They include such efforts in Iowa City, Muscatine and Cedar Rapids. They also feature first responders and a one year anniversary slide show. The videos can be viewed at FEMA's website.

Riverside could get new trails

Posted: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 at 4:49 am

The city of Riverside may be getting some brand new trails. At their Community Visioning meeting last week, representatives from various development organizations discussed the possibility of adding a trail that connects Riverside with Vine Avenue north of Highway 22. This trail would also link up with the Riverside Casino just east of town. Enthusiasm for the proposal was high from the various attending organizations, which included such groups as Trees Forever, the Iowa DOT, and city representatives.

Washington Park Board

Posted: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 at 4:49 am

Washington Park Board members will be discussing a new sound system for the Central Park Bandstand at tonight's (6/2) meeting. They'll also continue talks on whether the city's aquatic center should be renamed after former YMCA swim coach Milo Steele. Also on the docket is a progress report on construction at Water Tower Park. The meeting starts 6:30 this evening in Washington City Hall.

Wellman City Council

Posted: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 at 4:49 am

Council members, as well interested members of the general public, met for the Wellman City Council meeting yesterday (6/1). One of the highlights of the meeting was a proposition to enter into a contract agreement for law enforcement with Washington County for the 2009-10 fiscal year. Other topics included the sheriffs report, approval of the agenda, Aprils financial statement, and an approval to close a city road. The meeting was held yesterday at the Wellman Municipal Building.

Iowa’s housing market still positive

Posted: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 at 4:49 am

With news of big bailouts, corporate reorganizations, and layoffs all over the country, its hard to find a light at the end of the economic tunnel. But Steve Olson with West Chester Savings Bank says the housing loan situation in Iowa is quite positive. He says a recent 8-thousand dollar tax credit as well as low mortgage rates makes now an ideal time for first-time buyers to start looking to buy a home. He says both of these factors make Iowa unique from the rest of the nation when it comes to finding a loan.

WJH report cards

Posted: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 at 4:48 am

Report cards for Washington Junior High Students are available. The school's Cathy Kleese says they can be picked up during regular office hours from 8-noon and 1-4 until June 19. Questions can be answered by calling the junior high office at 653-5414.

How to avoid Ticks

Posted: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 at 4:48 am

As the weather warms up, and schools let out, more people are enjoying the great outdoors. Outdoor activities do pose certain risks, one of which is ticks. Don Pfeiffer with the southeast Iowa district DNR says it's important to check for ticks after venturing into the woods. Pfeiffer says it's best to use insect repellents that contain DEET in order to ward of ticks and other bugs. He also says vanilla extract, Absorbine Junior and Avon Skin So Soft work to deter the pests.

Cheese maker to establish milk transfer station in Washington

Posted: Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 11:18 am

Washington's Industrial Park is getting a new business. The Washington Economic Development Group says Wisconsin based Montchevre produces goat cheese and is establishing a transfer station for milk in Washington. Montchevre President Arnaud Solandt says Washington is a good location because it's in the middle of their milk routes. Solandt says they hope to one day make a full scale production facility in Washington. Construction on the 2.75 acre site is expected to start this summer. To learn more about the company visit:

School’s out safety

Posted: Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 4:17 am

Area schools will be out for the summer soon and that means more kids out during the day. Washington Police Chief Greg Goodman is reminding residents to use extra caution as there will be increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Goodman says it’s easy to get distracted by cell phones and car stereos. He urges drivers to focus on driving while behind the wheel.

Kewash Enhancement

Posted: Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 4:17 am

An enhancement project is being proposed for the Kewash Trailhead. The plan would revamp the landscape of a two block section of trail at north Avenue D and west to north F. It would remove some or all of the second growth trees and replace them with a preferred. The effort could take place over the next year or two.

Washington Pork

Posted: Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 4:17 am

The H1N1 virus and a slumping economy haven’t been kind to the pork industry. However some Washington County hog farmers seem to be growing. Board of Supervisors Chairman Jim Miksch says they’ve seen a lot of expansion requests lately. Supervisors this week are slated to sign off on such an expansion. The meeting starts tomorrow (6/2) morning at 9:30 in the Washington County Courthouse.

Riverside Council

Posted: Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 4:16 am

The Riverside City Council will be holding a meeting the city hall today at 5:30. The council will begin with a closed session with an open meeting beginning at 6:30. Items to be discussed include approval of the agenda, the sheriffs report, painting the water tower, and an update from the city administration. There will also be a public hearing in order to discuss the Elimination of Sanitary Sewer Inflow Program and the SRF Loan. The public is invited to give input, however due to time constraints all comments will be limited to three minutes.

Hamakuah needs volunteers

Posted: Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 4:16 am

Summer vacation is near, and teens will be looking for something to do. Hamakuah Youth Center Director Deb Bodenstiener says that means expanded hours for them. She says that also means they need extra help. She says anyone interested in volunteering should contact Hamakuah Place in Washington.

Washington Co. Historical Society launches website

Posted: Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 4:16 am

Washington County’s Historical Society is launching a website. Board member Terry Oneill says they decided to put some of their content online so tourists can plan a trip through Washington County’s historical landmarks. Oneill says there’s no real centralized archive of historical information about Washington County. He’s hoping this website will change that. The site can be visited at

Summer reading

Posted: Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 4:15 am

With so many activities taking place this summer, the Kalona Public Library reminds you that one of the best activities is simply reading a book. Their Summer Reading program will be starting up June 9 and the theme this year is Be Creative. Marissa Tartaglia with the library says the program will also incorporate music and art activities. She says the program has events and activities for all ages from kindergarten to teens. Information on the Be Creative Summer Reading Program can be found at 319-656-3501.