Friday, July 31, 2009

Breadeaux closes after two decades in Washington

After more than two decades, Washington's Breadeaux Pizza has served its last slice. The restaurant officially closed its door's last night. Bobbie Schiebel, who's run the business since 1993, says she's made a lot of good memories and friends through Breadeaux. Schiebel says they'll auction off their equipment and make way for the next business. Breadeaux was forced to leave when the downtown building they occupied was sold. Schiebel says she wouldn't be surprised if someone else decided to open a Breadeaux in Washington.

IA DNR investigating fish kill in SE IA

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is investigating a fish kill in Southeast Iowa. The state agency responded to a report of dead crayfish in Flint Creek near New London Tuesday. Wednesday Morning the DNR found numerous dead fish. They took water samples to identify possible pollutants responsible for the fish kill. A spokesperson says theyll conduct a fish count and try to identify the source of the kill.

IA ranks 4th in doing business

A recent survey of 12 factors ranks Iowa as the fourth best state to do business in. It evaluated things like access to capital, cost of living and transportation. Washington Economic Development Group Director Ed Raber says the rating should be a good tool for them. Raber says Washington County is in a good location to access markets in neighboring states. He says infrastructure improvements such as the Avenue of the Saints have added to the transportation network that allows for easy movement of people and goods through the area.

Schmitz touts entrepreneur website

A lawmaker from southeast Iowa is touting a new website for business startups. Fairfield Democrat Becky Schmitz says the Iowa Entrepreneur Network will serve as a one stop shop for people looking for resources in the Hawkeye State. The new website www includes links to investment resources, organizations that assist entrepreneurs and self-teaching aids.

Johnson Co. mock election

As the Johnson County Fair rolls on this week, participants are making their voices heard by participating in the county auditors mock election. Auditor Tom Slockett says as of 11:00 am yesterday (7/30) a total of 346 people have participated and spoken about a number of important topics facing the nation. Slockett says 127 voters support increasing troops in Afghanistan while 175 oppose it. In health care, 160 voters support reform with a public option.

Louisa RFL tomorrow

The Louisa County Relay for Life is tomorrow (8/1) and committee members are putting the focus on survivors. Committee member Karen Varnum says the Relay is an opportunity to see all the hard work that has gone into fighting cancer and to celebrate those who have won the fight. Varnum says much of the money raised by Relay for Life goes directly to the University of Iowa. She says the event will kick off tomorrow at 12:00 pm in the L&M school gym.

Homes of the stars

The Washington City Preservation Commission is hosting a "Homes of the Stars" tour this Sunday. Commission member Mike Kramee says they'll take a mini-bus to historic homes, where an actor will portray a historic figure from the Washington area. Kramee says that includes people like Alex Miller, Stacie Powelson and Percival Pollard The tour will depart from the Blair house at 2:00 and 2:30 Sunday. Contact the Washington city clerk's office to reserve a seat on the mini-bus.

Hunter safety

For southeast Iowas hunters, time is running out to take Washington County Conservations hunter safety course. Naturalist Pam Holz says three class sessions will be held and attendance at all three are required to obtain a license. Holz says anyone born after January 1, 1961 is required to take a safety course before hunting and anyone at least 11 years old is eligible. The first class begins next Tuesday (8/4). If you would like to register, call the Kirkwood Washington Center at 653-4655.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ag banker expects good net revenue for corn crop

The Iowa Farm Bureau says the state could be heading for a record corn crop this year. Nick Beinhart is the ag representative at Farmer's Savings Bank of Keota. He says a higher yield generally means lower prices. Beinhart still expects a good net revenue despite an increase in input costs over the last few years. The USDA estimates Iowa corn yields could be between 175 and 185 bushels per acre. The record is 180.

Cross country runner talks to Great Places Washington

A woman on a quest to run across the country made a stop in Washington yesterday (7/29). 23 year old Katie Visco started her journey in Boston, and plans to end it in San Diego. Visco talked to Great Places Washington at Cafe Dodicci before she and her father made got back on the road. Her dad, Jim Visco, serves as the support team. He drives a van creates pit stops for her to rest at. To learn more, visit

Three SE IA counties cut waste

Washington, Jefferson and Keokuk Counties have been able to cut waste by 25-percent since 1988. Bill Sloop is manager of the Southeast Iowa Multi County Solid Waste Agency. He says the reduction is in line with goals set by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Sloop credits increased recycling as one of the main reasons for the reduction. He encourages residents in the three counties to continue follow the "reduce, reuse, recycle" motto.

FSA Starts wetlands program

The Iowa Farm Service Agency has announced a program to help protect clean water sources. State FSA Executive Director John Whitaker says the Farmable Wetlands Program is a volunteer program that will work to restore wetlands, control soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitats. Whitaker says there are added incentives for producers to take part in the program, including a 100-dollar bonus per acre and a 120 percent rental rate. Interested producers should contact their local FSA office.

Special two hour TNL

A special two hour Thursday Night Live is being held this evening (7/30) in downtown Washington. Entertainment includes "Talent Education of Washington." and "Ola Babckock Miller" portrayed by Rosemary Harris. Miller was born and raised in Washington County. She was Iowas first female Secretary of State and without money, authorization or the blessing of the legislature started what became the Iowa Highway Patrol. Harris will have photos and memorabilia to share. There will also be a current state trooper and car on hand to demonstrate how the agency has changed. Thursday night live starts at 5:00 with the Farmer's Market. Entertainment will start at 5:30, the Municipal Band takes the stage at 8:00

One act play for Celebrate your Senses

Celebrate Your Senses this year will feature some old fashioned comedy for a modern day audience. The 30-minute comedy Box and Cox will be performed in the State Theater in downtown Washington at 12:15 pm, and director Lynn Loula says the historic building will add a great atmosphere for the play, which takes place in the 1840s. Loula says the play centers on a woman who rents an apartment to two men who work at different times, one in the day and one at night, who ultimately discover her plot. She says the older style of comedy adds to the humor and novelty of the show, which will make it even funnier to a modern audience.

Louisa Co. to host Lewis and Clark program

Louisa County was recently selected by Humanities Iowa to host Lewis and Clarks Perilous 1804 Journey in the countys historical center. Museum Manager Connie Street says the program will give residents the opportunity to experience and learn about the pairs trek west. She says this program will also focus on some often overlooked chapters in their journey. Street says the event will be held this Sunday at the Heritage Center and admission is free.

Door prizes needed for ladies fun day

The Washington Chamber of Commerce is looking for donated items for door prizes at the upcoming Ladies Fun Day. They can be dropped of at the chamber building, or be picked up. Ladies Fun Day is August 4th at the Washington Golf Course and Country Club. It's a nine hole best ball tournament. Tee times are available from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Carts need to be reserved by Friday (7/31). Contact the chamber of commerce for more information.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Common Ground for Washington Schools kicks off campaign

Around 50 people last night (7/28) attended a public meeting on a long range plan for Washington School Facilities. Some of the biggest question areas included city infrastructure, a timeline and financing. The overall response from those in attendance was positive. The meeting was put on by the "Common Ground for Washington Schools" political action committee. Co-chair Joe Mcconnell says he was happy with the turnout. A vote on issuing bonds which would pay for the first phase on the plan is set for this September.

Vietnam Memorial rolls through Washington County

A mobile memorial to those who lost their lives during the Vietnam War was escorted through the area by the Washington Patriot Guard Riders yesterday (7/28). The wall is a half scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. It met up with Washington's Patriot Guard Riders in Ainsworth, went through the city of Washington on its way to Richland. It'll be set up there until Sunday (8/2).

Marek on high speed rail

Officials in several Midwestern states, including Iowa, are lobbying the federal government for a high speed rail system. Riverside State Representative Larry Marek says the rail link between Chicago and Iowa City would be a great asset for commuters and travelers who frequent the Windy City. He says in the days of high gas prices, a 40-dollar round trip train ticket is a significant advantage over driving to Chicago. Marek says while some switch tracks need to be repaired, they are hopeful the project can be completed in the next two years.

Supervisors hold off on tax suspension

Washington County Supervisors are holding off on making a decision on whether to allow a tax suspension. County Treasurer Jeff Garrett says the request was made under a state law that allows suspension if a person is "unable to contribute to the public revenue." Supervisors agreed to delay making a decision so they could further investigate the issue. Garrett says last year's taxes for the petitioner are paid, and this would allow them to have a sort of forebearance on paying property taxes this October.

Crop update

Iowa's farming season started out too wet, but now some producers are asking for rain. The USDA says cool temperatures have kept most crops healthy. In southeast Iowa, 85 percent of topsoil moisture is in the adequate range, while 91 percent of subsoil moisture is adequate. 55 percent of local corn has silked, that's about 20 percent behind average. 20 percent of southeast Iowa soybeans are setting pods, that's nearly 26 percent behind normal.

Lobesack: more flood recovery needed

Congressman Dave Loebsack wants to see more money go towards disaster relief in Iowa. Loebsack says the current system presents too many problems and hurdles for individuals looking for relief and flood recovery. He says confusing regulations, slow response times, and inadequate help are making it hard for individuals to receive proper funds. Loebsack says while many Iowans have done well in restoring many neighborhoods, there is always room for more help.

U of I rated high on green list

The University of Iowa is getting high marks for being environmentally minded. The Environmental Protection Agency recently honored the Big Ten school as being one of the top 20 organizations which runs on its own green power. The Universitys Liz Christiansen says they strive to integrate renewable energy and sustainability with education. One hallmark of the Universitys green program is the use of oat-based hulls in its boilers. The oat hulls reduce the amount of CO2 emissions and remove the need to use coal.

Main Street needs crayons

Main Street Washington's Celebrate your Senses event is coming up this weekend, and they're looking for some crayons. Executive Director Amy Vetter says they'll use them for children's activities in Central Park Saturday. She says donations need to be dropped off at the chamber building by 4:30 Friday afternoon. Celebrate your Senses is a day long street festival featuring art displays and live music.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Agronomist to speak on hail damage

Eastern Iowa farmers whose crops have sustained hail damage are being encouraged to attend the Crop Technology Tour this evening (7/28). Iowa State University agronomist Jim Fawcett will be on hand to answer questions about hail damage loses. There will also be information on bean aphids, soybean rust and nitrogen and manure management. The event starts at 6:00 tonight (7/28) at the Jeff Bermel farm, just outside Keota. For more information contact the Keokuk County Extension.

Headliner for "Celebrate your Senses" chats with KCII

The headlining act for this "Celebrate your Senses" says he's excited to perform in Washington. Bob Dorr of Bob Dorr and the Blue Band will play in downtown Washington this weekend. Dorr says their music covers a wide array of genres. Dorr says the band includes horns, harmonica and four vocalists. The "Blue Band" will be accompanied by the winner of this weekend's battle of the bands. For more information, contact Main Street Washington. Tune in to the KCII Morning Magazine on Wednesday (7/29) for the Washington Page which includes the full interview with Dorr, and a song off one of his CDs.

"Common Ground" committee chair: it's time

A co-chair for a citizens committee advocating an update of Washington School facilities says the overhaul is long over due. Joe Mcconnell is with the "Common Ground for Washington Schools" group. Mcconnell says in addition to being important for educational reasons, having quality school facilities is also important to economic development. The organization is having an informational meeting tonight (7/28) at 7:00 in the high school auditorium.

Supervisors talk tax suspensions

Washington County Supervisors will be looking at two property tax suspensions at today's meeting. County Treasurer Jeff Garret says one deals with a property owner who receives government aide, while the other is trying to show a financial hardship. Garret Iowa law allows for suspension in either situation. He says it doesn't lessen the amount of taxes due, but is a sort of forebearance on payment. The meeting starts at 9:30 this morning (7/28) at the Washington County Courthouse.

Acreage report deadline pushed back

With July nearly over, the Iowa Farm Service Agency wants to remind all farmers that the deadline to report acreage for this year is fast approaching. FSA Executive Director Dennis Olson says due to extreme weather conditions this year, the deadline has been pushed back to August 14. Olson says this deadline applies to producers who wish to report failed acreage as well. For more information contact your local county FSA office or visit

Louisa Co. Fair this week

The Louisa County Fair is being held this week and like all Midwest fairs, livestock is the main attraction. Louisa County Extension Director Kathy Vance says the livestock showings are as much for non-agriculturists as they are for enthusiasts. Vance says the Louisa Fair is almost a smaller version of the Iowa State Fair . She says its a good way to have fun with the entire family without spending too much money.. The fair will run all this week at the county fairgrounds in Columbus Junction.

Harkin greets FFA members

Two FFA members were recently invited to Washington, D.C. to take part in the FFA State Presidents Conference. The members were also able to meet with U.S. Senator Tom Harkin during their stay. Harkin says FFA exemplifies the strong character traits and qualities Iowa farmers should look up to. FFA represents nearly 12-thousand students in 230 high schools across the state.

4-H post season approaching

What some consider the post season of 4-H is just a few weeks away. The Iowa State Fair runs August 13 through the 23. Marketing Director Laurie Chapel says the 4-H exhibits are a staple of the fair. Chapel says this year's fair will also feature a variety of music acts, including Kelly Clarkson, Shinedown and Big and Rich. She encourages people to visit the fair's website for package deals on tickets and events.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wayland woman wins Disney Getaway Giveaway

A Wayland woman is the winner of KCII's Disney Getaway Giveway contest. Donna Yoder was randomly selected among 700 qualifiers. Yoder is receiving a four day three night trip to Disney World, airfare and accommodations at a Disney property, along with a four day pass for two adults and two children. KCII has been qualifying listeners since April on the air, with Goofy Gatherings, and registration boxes.

Washington Co. to get $1.7 million from I-JOBS

More than $1.7 million dollars are coming Washington County's way. The funds are coming from Governor Chet Culver's I-JOBS program. A little more than a million dollars will go towards overhauling the Highway 1 bridge over Crooked Creek. The remaining funding is being dolled out the various communities in Washington County, and the county government itself.
Ainsworth - $5,077
Brighton - $6,657
Crawfordsville - $2,126
Kalona - $22,219
Riverside - $8,992
Washington (City) - $68,284
Wellman - $13,498
West Chester - $1,201
Washington (County) - $221,778
TOTAL: $349,833
DOT Funding for Hwy 1 Bridge: $1,441,000

Fair wraps up today

While much of the Washington County Fair involves competition among 4-Hers, its also a time for participants to come together. This years Beef Princess Janelle Erwin says while everyone is in different clubs, it seems once fair time rolls around, everyone comes together. She says at the fair, it seems like all the participants become part of a single club. Erwin, who has been involved in 4-H for eight years, says its not just meeting other 4-Hers that makes the fair so special. She says its interesting to see the all the different projects that others have worked on as well.

Livestock auction

The Washington County Fair wraps up today. 4-H youth coordinator Katie Peiffer says it's a bittersweet time for 4-Hers. She says the last livestock related aspect of the fair is the auction. That starts at 9:00 this morning. Proceeds will help the 4-Hers get started on next year's projects. Peiffer says overall, it's been a pretty good fair week. She says the inclement weather they had early on didn't hinder things too much. She says they usually expect it to rain at least on day every year.

Share the Fun

Five area 4-Hers are on their way to the Iowa State Fair after participating in Washington County Fairs Share the Fun event. Youth Coordinator Kati Peiffer says Brian Langr, Kelci Eakins, Nikole Moeller, Courtney Kleese, and this years Fair Princess Tara Gent performed various solo and ensemble musical numbers. Peiffer says Share the Fun saw twenty-five participants and the finalists who will represent the clubs of Washington Hustlers, 76 Progressives, Prairie Pride, Limecreek Livewires, and the Washington Go-Getters.

Loebsack in Washington

U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack will be in Washington tomorrow (7/25). Loebsack will be at the Blair House from 4:00 to 5:30 for a meet and greet. The event is being organized by the Washington County Democratic Party. Loebsack is in his second term in the U.S. House. He's serves Iowa's second district which includes fifteen counties in the southeast part of the state.

Second tall corn monument underway

A monument to the world's tallest corn stalk stands at the Washington County Fairgrounds, and soon another will, go up at the Iowa State Fair. Wayne Zieser is son in law to the late Don Radda. Radda grew the record in 1946. Zieser says all the coverage will likely spur more interest in competition corn growing. Zieser says he's having Evan's Welding in Washington make the individual pieces of the structure. He says he'll take it to his shop at home to assemble the monument. Zeiser says construction on the project started yesterday.

Turtle populations

An increase in demand in Asian markets has some environmental groups concerned about Iowa's turtle population. Department of Natural Resources biologist Scott Gritters says Iowa's turtle populations are at a healthy level but, they are always weary of over harvesting. Gritters says turtles are unique from other wildlife in the fact that they live longer, and take longer to reproduce. He says the DNR has been kicking around the idea of stricter regulations on turtle trapping.

Running Wild

Louisa County will hold its only trail race next month during the fifth annual Running Wild event. County Conservation Board Director Julie Ohde says the event will feature a number of categories for groups and individuals to participate in, with many prizes to be won. She says while the event is billed as a race, there are also a number of more leisurely routes available. Ohde says both the races and walks will take participants through the countys vibrant wildlife areas. More information on the Running Wild event can be found by calling 319-523-8381.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

County engineers receive license

Washington County's two assistant engineers have reached a milestone in their careers. Jake Hotchkiss, and Jacob Thorius have each passed their licensure exams. Head engineer David Patterson says its akin to an attorney passing the Bar. Both Thorius and Hotchkiss are Iowa State graduates. Hotchkiss has been with Washington County since 2002, Thorius was hired in 2005.

2,300 entries in 40 categories at this year's fair

The Washington County Extension office expects around 2,300 entries in 4-H and FFA competitions in this year's fair. Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says that's fairly consistent with past year's fairs. Mohling says there's around 40 different categories that participants can enter in. He says in addition to livestock contests, there's also a number of static competitions. He says that includes things like wood working, photography and cooking. To hear more from Mohling tune in to KCII for the Morning Magazine when he'll be our guest during the Washington Page.

Rain doesn't damper fair

Despite rain and cloudy skies, day two of the Washington County Fair continued as planned. 4-H Youth Coordinator Kati Peiffer says the many kids participating in the fair have put in a tremendous amount of effort in preparing for the fair. Peiffer says they have many volunteers that have done a great job in making the events and activities run smoothly. She says while they are focusing most of their attention on this year, they are always making notes on what could be changed for next year. She says no matter how smoothly things run, there is always room to make improvements.

Wednesday at the Fair

The Washington County Fair continues today (7/22). Livestock shows start at 8:00 am with swine, at 9:00 it's the rooster crowing contest. At 3:30 pm the bucket bottle calf show starts, and at 7:00 pm the dairy and meat goat show kicks off. It's also "Kidz Day" at the fair, with a number of activities scheduled throughout the day. The State Fair Talent Search starts at 6:30 pm. Then at 8:00 country singer Jake McVey takes the stage at the grandstand. Stay tuned to KCII all week for live updates on the fair from the Big Red Radio

Unemployment up, but still behind the rest of the country

Iowa's unemployment rate hit a 22 year high at 6.2 percent last month. That's compared with 5.7 percent in May. Iowa Work Force Development Coordinator Kerry Koonce says the numbers are a reflection of the lingering economic recession. She says the numbers are still favorable when compared to the nationwide average of 9.5 percent. Washington County's unemployment rate was up nearly a percentage point in June, to 5.4 percent, but is still behind the statewide average.

Crop Update

Iowa crops are making good progress despite what has been one of the coolest Julys on record. USDA statistics show 51 percent of corn in the southeast part of the state has tasseled, that's slightly behind the average. The federal agency says 23 percent of corn has silked, that's compared to the 45 percent average. Soybeans are lagging behind a little as well. In southeast Iowa 46 percent are blooming, the average for this time of year is 71 percent. 14 percent of soybeans are setting pods, compared to the average which is 24 percent.

Pleasantview admin: firing wasn't arbitrary

The recent termination of an independent living nurse at Pleasantview Home in Kalona has been protested by some residents. Pleasantview Administrator Ray Poe says the termination of employment was by no means arbitrary and he understands the attachment some people had to the employee. Poe says he has been in dialogue with upset residents and their families and is working on getting things back to normal. He says whenever a sudden change is made, it can always be a little upsetting, but he says hes just praying they can get back to a positive attitude at Pleasantview Home.

River cleanups

Iowas rivers and waterways will soon be receiving funds to give them a good cleaning. The Iowa Whitewater Coalition recently announced the Clean Rivers Team Stewardship Program which will allow community groups to clean up local rivers. Rivers in southeast Iowa that could benefit from this program include the Iowa and Cedar Rivers, Crooked Creek, the English River, and the Skunk River.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fair Queen, Princess stop by Big Red Radio

This year's Washington County Fair Queen has been involved in 4-H for almost a decade. Shelby Sieren is a senior 4-Her from Keota. She grew up on her family farm raising hogs, sheep and growing corn and soybeans. Sieren and Fair Princess Tara Gent stopped by the KCII Big Red Radio during the fair yesterday (7/20). To hear more tune in to the KCII Morning Magazine at 7:00, when Gent and Sieren will be our guests on the Washington Page.

Tuesday at the fair

The Washington County Fair continues today (7/21). 4-H and FFA Live Stock shows start at 8:00 am with Sheep. At 9:00 there's the Horse and Pony Show, as well as the Rabbit Show. At 2:00 the 4-H Clover Kids have their Sheep Show. At 4:00 it's the Breeding Beef Show and at 6:30 it's the Dairy Cattle Show. Other events include the round hay bale decorating contest at noon, the Clover Kids Style Revue at 6:00 pm and Mutton Bustin' and Rodeo starting at 7:00. For a complete listing of events head to KCII-Radio-Dot-Com, and stay tuned to KCII all week for live updates from the Big Red Radio.

Park board to consider capital plan

Washington's Park Board is working on a capital development plan. Parks Superintendent Tim Widmer says it's contingent upon whether or not voters favor a proposed hotel-motel tax. City councilors in May voted to send the hotel-motel tax proposal to the ballot. It's been a polarizing issue between hotel owners who say it will hurt their business, and economic development proponents who say it would be a good opportunity for extra revenue.

Supervisors consider code of ordinances

Washington County Supervisors will take public comment on a revised code of ordinances at this morning's meeting. They hired a company to review the code, and make sure there were no conflicts with state law. The meeting starts at 9:30 morning in the Washington County Courthouse.

IA River part of federal study

The Iowa River is on a long list of waterways that will be studied as part of the federal Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. Congressman Dave Loebsack says the money will help identify measures to minimize flood risks and preserve water quality. He says reports will be completed to determine the need for additional projects to restore and enhance wetlands, buffer zones around streams and rivers and stream habitat conditions. In all, $23-million in federal money is being dedicated to Iowa waterways.

Flaming Prairie Rec Area to get facelift

One of Louisa Countys many recreation areas will be getting an extreme makeover soon. Louisa County Conservation Director Julie Ohde says volunteers from across the county will gather this September to give Flaming Prairie Recreation Area a facelift. Ohde says the volunteer group will repaint the shelters and restrooms and will plant some new trees as well. She says the reason they use volunteers is because it gives the community a sense of pride in the area and people tend to care more for the parks appearance and well-being.

Group fights for historic church

A 111-year old church in Keokuk County is getting some much-needed help from some historic-minded residents. County Supervisor Michael Berg says the Clear Creek Township Church has been important to residents not only for religious reasons, but for sentimental ones as well. Berg says their organization bought the church from the diocese in Davenport and is currently raising money to save it from demolition. He says their group will fight as far as it takes to save the church, and is currently seeking grants from the historical society and Vision Iowa. Berg says hes very confident in their progress and feels they will be successful in their efforts.

Iowa ranks high in quality of life

A recent study by Congressional Quarterly Press indicates quality of life in Iowa is one of the nations best. The annual release indicates Iowas life standards are second highest in the country. Fairfield State Senator Becky Schmitz says Iowas commitment to quality education and safe neighborhoods are two major factors for Iowas high rating. Schmitz also says the states natural resources and many recreational opportunities make Iowa a leader in family and outdoor activities.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sieren named 2009 Fair Queen

Shelby Sieren has been named as the 2009 Washington County Fair Queen. She was selected from 13 other young women from throughout the area last night. The event at the Washington Community Center and was emceed by last year's Miss Iowa, while last year's Washington County Fair Queen Served as one of the Judges. KCII will be catching up with Sieren at the fair later today during our live coverage.

Today's fair events

The Washington County Fair Continues today. Livestock weigh in for 4-H and FFA members starts at 8:00. Today's shows are pet, poultry and dog agility. At 1:00 this afternoon there's the livestock judging contest, the scavenger hunt runs from 2-3, at 5:00 there's the 4-H working exhibits, and the silliest decorated cake contest. At 5:30 the 4-H Clover Kids "Great Gardeners Fest" starts. Tonight's grandstand entertainment is sanctioned tractor and truck pull. It starts at 7:00.

Narcotics team receives JAG grant

The Washington-Louisa Narcotics Enforcement Team is getting a little more than 96-thousand dollars from the Federal Byrne Justice Administration Grant. Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says this allows them to continue to fund an officer that focuses on drug enforcement. This officer is shared between the cities of Washington and Columbus Junction, as well as Louisa and Washington Counties. Dunbar says they are seeking additional funds through the JAG program for overtime expenses.

U of I prof. Remembers moon landing

40 years ago today, human beings made their first visit to the moon. University of Iowa physics professor Stephen Spangler was a college student at the time. He says he watched news coverage of the event from his family's farm in Henry County. Spangler says the moon landing was one of those events where people remember exactly where they were at the time. He says it was special because it's usually great tragedies that capture the world's attention, while this was a great triumph.

Washington business owner on RAGBRAI

A Washington business owner is making a trek across Iowa the annual RAGBRAI event. Rodney Stogdill owns Rider Sales. While he's not peddling across the state, he will be peddling items to keep bicyclists on the road. Stogdill is serving as one of a number of official bike shops providing service to RAGBRAI riders. He's not the only local connection to the statewide event. A number of Washington County teams are making the journey. Bicyclists are also rolling through Brighton later this month.

Hunter safety

One of the most popular activities for Iowans is hunting, but as all seasoned hunters know safety is crucial. For those wishing to obtain hunting licenses, the Washington County Conservation Board will be holding a hunter safety class August 4, 6, and 8. Naturalist Pam Holz says state law requires all those born after January 1, 1967 to take a safety course before obtaining a license. Holz says the class is open to anyone age 11 and over, though certification wont become valid until ones twelfth birthday.

LT Farmer's Market honored

The city of Lone Trees Farmers Market has caught the attention of some people in high places. The market will be pairing with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to celebrate the 10th annual Farmers Market week. Market Manager Helen Lemley says August 3 had been proclaimed Lone Tree Farmers Market Day and there will be many perks for shoppers. Lemley says they will be distributing $1.00 coupons to shoppers and 150 lucky shoppers will receive a free market tote bag.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Washington State Bank Wins Award

The leading bank rating firm in the country has given high marks to a Washington financial institution. Washington State Bank received five stars, which is the highest rating given out by Bauer Financial. It's a level only reached by three percent of the nation's banks. Bauer Financial President Karen Dorway says "(WSB) has avoided the lending and underwriting problems that have plagued much of the banking industry." For more information on institution ratings visit Bauer-Financial-Dot-Com.

Kalona Residents Visit Senator

A Kalona family recently vacationed in Washington, D.C. and their visit included more than just sightseeing. Becky and Marlin Bontrager and their family were able to meet with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley during their trip to the nations capital. Grassley says he enjoyed the time he got to spend with the Bontragers. The Senator says he always appreciates when Iowans take the time to visit with him.

School Land

The Washington School district is in negotiations to purchase land for a new high school. Board President Eric Turner says they can't disclose too much information without putting themselves at a disadvantage. Turner says they are in the process of having 90 acres of school owned property appraised. He says that land could be used as part of the bargaining.

New Crop Technologies

Local farmers will get the chance to hear some new ideas for managing and protecting their crops next week. Keokuk County Extension Director Gary Bickmeier says the New Crop Technology Field Day on July 28 caters to all those interested in agriculture and keeping Iowas crops healthy. Bickmeier says experts from Iowa State University and Dow Chemical come and discuss things like soybean aphids, protecting against excess moisture, and helping keep nutrients in the soil. He says one of the biggest problem he sees in agriculture this year has been the lack of nitrogen in the soil.


A Washington business owner is beginning a trek across Iowa this weekend for the annual RAGBRAI event. Rodney Stogdill owns Rider Sales. While he's not peddling across the state, he will be peddling items to keep bicyclists on the road. Stogdill is serving as one of a number of official bike shops providing service to RAGBRAI riders. He's not the only local connection to the statewide event. A number of Washington County teams are making the journey. Bicyclists are also rolling through Brighton later this month.

Cool July

Iowa is on pace to record its fifth coolest July since 1872. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says extended forecasts indicate the trend will continue for the rest of the month. He says Iowa has been missing some of the warmer jet streams. Hillaker says the lower temperatures shouldn't have too much effect on Iowa crops. He says 1992 was the second coolest July on record. He says the Hawk-Eye state set record yields that year.

Road Problems

A Washington County road is still suffering from last year's flooding. County Engineer David Patterson says 133 Street near the English River flooded last year causing it to settle. He says if it settles too much, it could collapse into the river. Patterson says they are considering a couple of options that would brace the road. He says if neither prove to be viable options, they may have to reroute the road.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Washington County Fair Information

KCII will be broadcasting live updates from the Washington County Fair Monday-Thursday from 10am-4pm and Friday from 10am-12pm. Come see us at the Big Red Radio!

Kids, make sure to pick up a KCII Coloring Contest sheet at KCII, the Washington Hy-Vee, Archer Appliance and Electronics, other participating businesses around the county or the Big Red Radio at the fair. Drop it off completed at the Big Red Radio or KCII by 4pm Thursday. There is a $50 and $25 prize for first and second place in each of three age divisions.

Click here for a fair schedule

Click here for admission, evening entertainment and fair hours

Services set for teen that drown in IA River

Funeral services have been set for a Washington teen who drowned in the Iowa River. 15 year old Clinton Fankhauser was swimming with friends in the river near Columbus Junction this week when he was lost underwater. Firefighters from Wapello and Columbus Junction later pulled him from the water. Fankhauser was a student at Washington Junior High. Funeral services are tomorrow (7/18) morning at 10:30 at the United Presbyterian Church in Washington.

Monument to worlds tallest corn stalk at fair grounds

A metallic replica of the world's tallest corn stalk is one of the first things people coming to the Washington County Fair will see this year. The nearly 32 foot tall stalk commemorates Don Radda's 1946 world record. His daughter Julie Zieser went up in a boom lift yesterday to place the re-bar tassel. Zieser says her husband Wayne is going to start working another replica to be placed at the Iowa State Fair next month.

Schmitz named to education commitee

A local state senator will be helping the Iowa legislature to evaluate how schools use their funding. Fairfield Senator Becky Schmitz says, by law, they are required to meet every five years and make sure every school is getting its fair share. Schmitz says not all of the issues at the meeting will be about financing. She says one important issue that has been raised recently has been the cost of transportation of students and property tax percentage. Schmitz says she feels the biggest need is equitability and making sure the system is stable in a tough economy.

M-P registration

It seems like summer just started, but it's getting close to the next school year. The Mid Prairie School District will be making registration easier this year with mail-in forms being sent out to parents. Judy Goodrich says this will make registration easier for people by allowing them to stay home. Goodrich says registration packets will be mailed to families this month and must be returned to the high school office by August 1. She urges parents to return the information in a timely manner as it will greatly help faculty in preparing for the upcoming year.

Fillmore speed limit

The Speed Limit on Washington's Fillmore street has been adjusted slightly. Councilors voted this week to reduce the limit from 35 to 25 miles per hour near south 12th. City Administrator Dave Plyman says its not uncommon for municipalities to adjust speed limits according to residential areas. Plyman the streets committee decided to pursue the limit adjustment because of development in the area.

Fair starts Sunday

The Washington County Fair kicks off this weekend (7/19). The festivities start Sunday afternoon at 4:00 with the 4-H and FFA Dog Obedience Show, followed by the garden tractor pull at 6:00. At 7:00 the Washington County Fair Queen contest starts. The fair continues all next week with 4-H and FFA events throughout the day, and grandstand entertainment in the evening. Weeklong passes are $15, a one day pass is $6 For more on the fair tune in to todays Washington page at 7:30 during the morning magazine. Well be talking with fair board member Don Lewis. Or, check later today on the Radio Plus section of this website to hear the interview on demand.

Leadership Washington seeks past member information

Leadership Washington is looking for information from its alumni. The group's Denise Erpelding says they lost a good portion of their records during the fire at the chamber of commerce building. Erpelding says you don't have to donate the items. She says they just want to borrow them, and scan them onto their computers. To find out more contact the Washington Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Washington teen drowns in Iowa River

A Washington teen is dead after drowning in the Iowa River near Columbus Junction yesterday. According to a press release from the Louisa County Sheriffs Office, 15 year old Clinton Fankhauser was swimming with friends in the river when he went missing underwater. Fankhauser was later found by Wapello and Columbus Junction Fire Departments. There will be grief counseling available to students at Washington Junior High today from 1-3 pm.

Council approves non union pay hikes

The city of Washington's non-union employees are getting a pay raise. Councilors voted 3-2 last night in favor of the hike. Mayor Sandra Johnson says it would be difficult not to offer some kind of increase. Non union employees making less than $40,000 per year will see a two percent increase, those making more than $40,000 will get a one percent raise.

Tall corn monument

A monument to the world's tallest corn stalk will be erected at the Washington County Fairgrounds this morning (7/16). In 1946 local farmer Don Radda captured the record at just over 31 feet. His daughter, Julie will be joined by a number of community supporters at the fairgrounds at 10:00 to set up a metallic replica of the monster corn stalk.

Thursday Night Live

Tonight's (7/16) Thursday Night Live activities in Downtown Washington will have a double feature. "Second Hand Toes" is described by the chamber of commerce as a group of "mature" ladies who love to tap dance. They'll tell the story of their dreams and goals. They'll be tapping to some old favorites. Gary McCurdy, also known as "The Tubador" will also be entertaining with his 100 year old tuba. The festivities kick off tonight with the farmer's market at 5:00 in Washington's Central Park. Entertainment begins at 6:30, with the municipal band on stage at 8:00.

Methodist Church to serve Iowa favorites

Two Iowa favorites are on the menu tonight (7/16) at the Methodist Church in Washington. Pork sandwiches, and a buffet of sweetcorn are being served from 4-7. Organizers say there will also be chips, bar desserts and drinks. Tickets are six dollars in advance or seven dollars at the door. For more information or to get advanced tickets call 653-5466.

Meditation seminar

If youve ever been interested in different treatments for stress-related illnesses, you may be a perfect candidate for transcendental meditation, or TM. Dr. Serena Grosswald, an expert on TM and ADHD will be in Washington today (7/16) to tell residents about the benefits of this effortless and highly beneficial treatment. She says meditation helps clear the mind and relax the patient. Grosswald says there has been nearly 27-million dollars in research of TM and the treatment is also highly beneficial for things like ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder. The meeting will be at the library at 7:00 pm tonight.

Earwigs, don't actually attack ears

Contrary to popular belief and the urban legend, one summer pest is more interested in your plants than your ears. ISU Extension insect clinician Laura Jesse says earwigs have begun their feast of southeast Iowas plants. Jesse says while there is probably no way to completely rid a yard of earwigs, there are still some methods of containing the bugs. She recommends placing boards or newspapers on the ground and daily collecting the earwigs that gather underneath. Jesse says insecticides should only be a last resort and advises avoiding flowers so as not to harm the helpful pollinating insects.

U of I Prof recalls Apollo 11

Today (7/16) marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 mission, the first to put a human being on a planetary body other than the earth. Stephen Spanlger is a professor of astronomy at the University of Iowa. He doubts there will be another event that captures the world's attention like the mission to the moon did. Spangler says he watched the Apollo 11 mission from his family farm in Henry County. He says interest in the space program has wained since the moon landing as the human race has become more people centered.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Richmond resident protests sewer system

A proposed dual lagoon sewer system in Richmond has some community residents concerned. Bonnie Knutsen says it will be costly to scrap individual septic systems and hook on to the proposed lagoon operation. Knutsen says she favors allowing home owners to keep individual septic systems, and mandating that those who aren't in compliance update their systems. County officials say while the lagoon was not mandated by DNR, it is the system recommended by the engineering firm they hired.

Washington identifies urban reserve district

The city of Washington is identifying where they want, and expect future growth. The city council and planning and zoning commission held a special joint meeting last night. Mayor Sandra Johnson expects expansion towards Iowa City. The city is devising an urban reserve district as Washington County moves forward with a zoning ordinance. The district serves as an area set aside for expansion, and would be put in place as to not conflict with the counties zoning.

City council preview

Washington City Council members will hear about a proposal for Highway 1 and 92 intersection tonight (7/15). They're having a special work session with representatives of the Iowa Department of Transportation. They could also reopen talks on setting cost of living salary adjustments for non union employees. This has been a contentious issue among councilors. They're also expected to set a date for a public hearing for the Washington Bandstand renovation project. The workshop the DOT starts at 6:00. The regular meeting starts at 7:00 in the public library.

Washington business owners invited to hear consultant

Washington business owners are invited for a brown bag lunch with a little advice tomorrow (7/16). Business consultant Margie Johnson is will address a number of issues including sales and marketing, customer retention and team building. Johnson is being brought in through Main Street Washington's downtown revitalization effort. She'll be speaking at the Presbyterian Church from noon to 1:00. It's free and open to the public.

Crop update

It's been a very cool wet July which is exactly what Iowa farmers don't need. The USDA says producers continue to struggle with bailing hay and draining excess water from low lying cropland. In southeast Iowa, 43% topsoil is listed as having surplus moisture, while 42% of subsoil moisture is in the excessive range. The federal agency says crop conditions are still in decent shape. Locally 19% of corn has tasseled, compared with 14% statewide. 23% of southeast Iowa soybeans are blooming, compared with 32% statewide.

Policy changes at WACO

The WACO School Board will have their hands full with a number of policy changes at next weeks meeting on Monday (7/20) at 7:00 in the high school library. The board will consider a grand total of four policy changes that will cover topics from home school assistance programs to even the schools policies on bomb threats. The public is invited to attend, however those wishing to speak must submit their request in writing to the superintendent no later than noon on Monday.

Summer travel not hindered by economy

Despite a tough economy, it seems people still want to get out and see the world. Barb Arnold with Paradise Travel in Washington says while families are trying to budget their vacations, she has still seen interest in places like Italy, Mexico, and Hawaii. Arnold says even with internet travel booking popular, people still turn to travel agents to find the best overall deal when it comes to flights and hotels. She says summer is also a popular time for business travel and honeymoons.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Washington poll reached more women, elderly

A public opinion poll indicates Washington residents are, for the most part, satisfied with their community. The numbers a preliminary at this point, and pollsters from the Mikva Challenge say they could be misleading. Nearly 67% of the more than 600 people surveyed were women, while more than half were over the age of 65. They say that compares with US Census numbers that indicate a median age of 42, with 30% of the population over the age of 65. The data is being processed by the University of Iowa, and will be adjusted to make it more representative.

County updating ordinances with state law

Washington County is in the process of reviewing it's code of ordinances. Auditor Bill Fredrick says they've hired a company to review the ordinances, and make sure there is no conflict with state law. The board of supervisors will have a public hearing on adopting the new ordinances at next week's meeting. Fredrick says ordinances are usually only implemented for situations unique to Washington County.

Land shift leads to more cash rentals

A recent study indicates a majority of Iowa's farmland is owned by people close to retirement. ISU Extension Farm Management Specialist Jim Jensen says this is leading to a decrease in share crop leasing, and more cash rentals. Jensen says as farmland values decline, more producers see leasing as a viable option. He says they're are some things to keep in mind when considering leasing. Jensen will be having a series of seminars across eastern Iowa this month. Contact the Johnson County Extension Office for more information and to register.

Brighton Visioning

Officials in Brighton are asking for the publics opinion on what changes should be made in the city. City Clerk Linda Burger says there are surveys now available for residents to complete and turn in by July 31 which will give planning committees an idea of where some areas of concern are. Burger says the Horizons project is in its third stage and has already worked on city beautification and child safety projects as well as a city resource guide. Surveys can be found at Brighton City Hall.

4-Hers receive grants

Four Washington County youth were recently honored with $2,000 scholarships from Hills Bank. Seneca Cuddeback of Brighton, Ryan Gent of Wellman, Lauren Moeller and Shelby Sieren of Keota were awarded the scholarships as part of the Hills Bank 4-H Leadership Grant program. ISU Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says the four recipients will receive $500 for each semester for two years. He says they can be used at any of Iowas accredited universities and colleges.

14 vie for Fair Queen title

Fourteen young women from around the area will compete in this year's Washington County Fair Queen Contest. Coordinator Shirley Greiner says in addition to the competition, there be other entertainment. Greiner says this year's contest will be emceed by Anne Michael Langguth, who was Miss Iowa 2008. She says one of this year's judges is last year's fair queen, Natalie Friese. The contest starts at 7:00 this Sunday (7/19) at the Washington Community Center.

PAWS & More-Pizza Hut fundraiser

Pizza lovers and animal lovers will have something in common in Washington this evening (7/14). From 5-8 the Washington Pizza Hut will donate a portion of it's proceeds to PAWS and More Animal Shelter. If you can't make it out for dinner, the non profit group is always looking for volunteers and animal foster homes. They also have a long list of items such as cat food, paper towels and pet taxis, they are in need of. For more information contact PAWS and More.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Watercraft explodes in eastern Iowa

Two eastern Iowans escaped serious injury Saturday when a personal water craft exploded on the Mississippi River near Muscatine. A news release from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says 42 year old Robert Baenziger of Blue Grass and his 9 year old daughter Emily were boarding the 2001 Polaris Wave Runner on the ramp at the Shady Creek Recreation area. The DNR says Robert Baenziger was starting the craft at the time of the explosion. The two received only minor injuries, the Wave Runner was destroyed. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation, but Conservation Officer Tom Campbell says "it is believed that gas vapors collected under the cowling of the Wave Runner and were ignited by a spark as the vessel was being started."

Corn acreage estimates up

USDA corn supply estimates for the end of next crop year are up sharply compared to last month. The federal agency predicts there will be nearly half a billion more bushels than initially forecast. Iowa State University economist Chad Hart says the increase is due to more reported corn acreage. Hart says demand has been adjusted down, especially on the sweetener side. Hart says producers should take this into consideration as they decide whether or not to enter into the ACRE Farm Revenue Program.

BOS Preview

Washington County Supervisors will get an overview of Richmond's new sanitary sewer system project from Oskaloosa based engineering firm Garden and Associates at this week's meeting. They're also slated to approve a memorandum of understanding for substance abuse funding from the state department of public health. The meeting starts at 9:30 Tuesday (7/14) morning in the Washington County Courthouse.

Sextro has less than 1 year left

The Washington School District will soon be looking for a new Superintendent. Dave Sextro has been serving in the position on an interim basis. He has less than a year left. Sextro says now that the board's policies have been updated, and the district's business practices have been revised, he feels like he's just about done with the tasks he was hired to perform. Sextro's last school board meeting is in June of 2010.

M-P School Board

Maintenance and money will be the primary areas of discussion at todays meeting of the Mid Prairie School Board. The board will hear reports of general maintenance of district facilities as well as consider hiring a board treasurer and secretary. Other items on the agenda include a finance report, open enrollment requests, and administrator reports. The meeting will be held at 7:00 tonight (7/13) in the high school media center.

Remember livestock during hot weather

During summer months when the mercury can rise to almost unbearable levels, the Iowa Cattlemens Association urges farmers to think of the safety of their livestock. ICA Communications Manager Trent Wellman says some reports of cattle deaths due to heat this year have been as high as 40-80 head in some parts of the state. Wellman says with market-ready cattle selling for a relatively low price in the tough economy, unexpected loss of livestock can make matters even worse. He urges anyone who has experienced loss of cattle due to adverse weather to call the ICA at 515-296-2266.

Washington Co. Fair starts this weekend

The Washington County Fair starts this Sunday (7/19). The festivities start Sunday afternoon at 4:00 with the 4-H and FFA Dog Obedience Show, followed by the garden tractor pull at 6:00. At 7:00 the Washington County Fair Queen contest starts. The fair continues all next week with 4-H and FFA events throughout the day, and grandstand entertainment in the evening. Week-long passes are $15, a one day pass is $6.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Audit shows revenue up, spending down

A report from State Auditor David Vaudt shows Washington County brought in nearly $26 million in tax revenue during the fiscal year that ended June 30th. The report shows the county retained 7.5% more revenue for county operations versus the last fiscal year. Washington County spent $15-million, down a little more than 16% versus last year. Transportation, public safety along with health and social services were the biggest expenses identified in the state report.

Four Republicans vie for gubernatorial nomination

Four Republicans have declared they will seek the governor's office in Iowa next year, and the executive director of the Iowa GOP says there could be even more. Jeff Boeyink tells KCII it's better to have too many candidates, than not enough. So far, Sioux City businesses man Bob Vander Plaats, state Senate minority leader Paul McKinely, western Iowa State Representative Christopher Rants and Cedar Rapids businesses man Christian Fong have all tossed their hat in the ring for the Republican nomination in 2010.

Loebsack holds small business workshop

Eastern Iowa small business owners are invited to chat with U.S. Representative Dave Lobesack today (7/11). Loebsack is having a workshop to discuss provisions and avenues that could provide aid for struggling small businesses. The Mount Vernon Democrat says many businesses were hit hard by last year's floods, and the declining economy. Loebsack says a number small business advocacy groups will be on hand. The workshop starts at 1:00 (7/11) this afternoon at the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce Building.

Washington Co. Dive and Rescue

Firefighters, EMT's and police officers are all recognizable rescue workers. There is another group of individuals who serve in a different sort of environment. Tim Wells is head of Washington County's Dive and Rescue team. He says they undergo rigorous training. Wells says they have a six person team, and are deployed to any situation that involves a body of water. He says they've also been deployed to neighboring counties.

WMU School Board

The Winfield-Mt. Union School Board will have their hands full during their upcoming meeting (7/13). The board will face a number of issues ranging from bids for milk, bread, and fuel contracts for the upcoming school year, and even an early retirement policy for district employees. Other items on the agenda include the superintendents report, approval of substitute teacher pay for the upcoming year, and approval of the high school handbook. The meeting will be held at 6:30 Monday eveing in the media center.

Corn Country Cruisers roll into Washington

The Corn Country Cruisers are back in Washington this weekend. Tonight they'll have an Elvis impersonator along with a number of classic cars on display. The show runs from 6-9 this evening on the north side of the square. The pre-cruise is at the former Pamida parking lot on the east side of town. The next cruise night in Washington is August eight. For more information call Randy at 319-694-5603.

Celebration Iowa

The city of Lone Tree will be celebrating what it means to be an Iowan next Monday. The traveling show group Celebration Iowa will make a stop in the southeast Iowa town and treat residents with a mix of singing, dancing, and a tribute to the people and history of the Hawkeye State. Celebration Iowa is a collection of high school students who tour the state and perform all summer long. The program started in 1982 and has grown into a non-profit outreach organization dedicated to helping residents in need across the state.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mikva Challenge Survey: Washington a pretty good place to call home

Overall, Washington residents feel they have a pretty good place to live. That's the assessment of a survey conducted by a group of Chicago high school students. The conducted the survey in conjunction with the Mikva Challenge and the University of Iowa's political science department. Some concerns expressed include employment, shopping and street conditions. The results of the survey are preliminary at this point. The U of I will tabulate them and come back with more representative numbers. Mayor Sandra Johnson says they hope to take the survey questions and put them on the city's website.

First sweet corn of the season

Area residents came out in droves to last night's (7/9) farmer's market in downtown Washington to get a hold of an Iowa favorite. Tom Vittetoe was one of the first local growers to have sweet corn this year. He says the first four of five days of the season are the best for sales. Vittetoe says the first picking wasn't as good as usual due to cool wet weather. He says they also had some wind damage. The buyers didn't seem to mind. Vittetoe says around 1,100 ears of corn were sold in less than 20 minutes.

Mohling to have office in IC

The recently appointed ISU regional director serving this area will have his offices located in Iowa City. Gene Mohling was appointed to the position as part of a statewide restructuring of the extension service. Prior to the shift, he was already serving as education director for Washington and Johnson Counties. He'll now also be responsible for the Keokuk and Iowa County Extension Councils. His first official days as regional director will be August first.

Special election set

Voters in the Washington school district will be asked if almost 12-million dollars in bonds should be issued. School board members this week approved calling for the special election in September. Board President Eric Turner says if approved, the money will be used for the first phase of a massive facilities overhaul. Turner says this plan has helped mend divisions between groups that wanted to build a new high school, and those who wanted to renovate the old one. He says a citizens committee that's campaigning for issuing the bond is comprised of both groups of people.

Habitat for Humanity seeking volunteers

The Washington area Habitat for Humanity is looking for some volunteers. The organization's Lynette Seivers says they can use everyone from the most skilled carpenters, to those with no construction experience. She says if your not comfortable swinging a hammer, you can help by bring food and beverages to other volunteers. To find out more contact the Washington area Habitat for Humanity.

Poet Laureate to visit Kalona

The Poet Laureate of Iowa will be stopping by her summer home, Kalona, to share some of her newest poetry. Mary Swander makes her home in an Amish schoolhouse during the summer months and will be at the Kalona Library telling the story of a mother and daughter trapped on a roof during the flood of 1993. Swander says the story is a fun and funny tale of personal discovery, but one that is not geared towards children. Swander will be at the library Thursday, July 23.

Road closure update

There are more road closures in Washington due to construction on the IC&E Railroad. City Engineer Rob McDonald says the Marion Avenue crossing between 3rd and 5th Streets are now closed. McDonald says they are attempting to improve ride quality by replacing the pavement near the crossing area. He says motorists should use the Iowa Avenue crossing as an alternative route. McDonald says theyre hoping to have all construction done by Wednesday.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

WCEMC legal representation questioned

Some members of the Washington County Emergency Management Commission are expressing concern over how quickly county attorney Barb Edmondson can fulfill their legal needs. Edmondson says she is obligated to serve as their counsel, but also has a number of other responsibilities. Commissioners at last night's (7/8) meeting wanted to know if they could seek other another attorney if Edmondson's schedule prevented her from completing something in a given time frame. Edmondson says the only time they could legally hire outside counsel, is if Washington County and the emergency management commission found themselves on differing sides of a legal disagreement.

Results of poll of Washington to be released tonight

The group of Chicago teens that have been conducting a survey of Washington are taking in the sights this evening (7/9). Mayor Sandra Johnson says in addition to presenting the results tonight, they'll also experience the farmer's market and other Thursday Night Live activities. The Windy City high school students conducted their survey through the Mikva Challenge, which aims to involve inner city youth in politics. They worked with the University of Iowa's political science department. They'll announce the results during a special city council meeting this evening 6:30 at the YMCA.

M-P/Keota Supt: So far so good

With the upcoming school year, Mid Prairie Superintendent Mark Schneider will face the unique task of managing two schools at once. On July 1, Schneider took over as superintendent for both Mid Prairie and Keota districts and says so far his experience has been quite good. He says one of the most drastic changes is the size of the two schools, but he also says a good education is just as important for a smaller school as a big one. Schneider hopes his eight years of experience as a superintendent will give him an edge for managing the two schools.

New septic rules take effect

Washington County's environmental health director says new regulations on rural septic systems should help bring more homes into compliance. Jeff Thoman says the rules require property owners to disclose whether or not a home's septic system has been inspected by a person certified by the Iowa Department Of Natural Resources, before they could sell it. Thoman has previously told KCII that more than two thousand Washington County homes were using un-permitted septic systems.

Livestock Indemnity Program

Area farmers will soon be getting some help in protecting their livestock from natural disasters. Eligible farmers will be able to register for the Livestock Indemnity Program which will provide assistance to farmers who lose livestock due to floods, tornadoes, and other severe weather. State Executive of the Farm Service Agency Dave Olson says livestock deaths must be in excess of normal mortality and must have occurred between January 1, 2008 and October 2011.

Washington woman wins $25k from lottery

A Washington woman is $25,000 richer. Faye Scott won the Iowa Lottery's "Wild Bingo" instant scratch game. She bought the ticket at the Corner Stop on east Madison Street in Washington. A news release from the Iowa Lottery says Scott claimed her prize this week in Cedar Rapids. She's not the first Washington resident to get lucky with the lottery. In 1992, then Mayor Ed Brown split a $10.4 million Powerball prize with a woman from Missouri.

"Prairie Serenade" at TNL tonight

The sights and sounds of "Prairie Serenade" will fill Washington's Downtown this evening (7/9). The musical group is performing for the weekly Thursday Night Live event. The chamber of commerce describes the music as a blend of American fiddle tunes, Irish and Celtic Melodies as well as French-Canadian pieces. The concert starts at 6:30. Other Thursday Night Live events include the farmers market starting at 5:00 and the Washington Municipal Band which takes the stage at 8:00.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Brighton braces for RAGBRAI

As hundreds of bike riders gear up for the upcoming RAGBRAI, Brighton is preparing itself for the flood of people. Chamber President Brian Arnold says while the bikers wont be staying in Brighton for very long, the city still has plenty of entertainment and vendors for both participants and residents to enjoy. Arnold says the city has turned down a number of larger companies wishing to have booths during the event in favor of smaller, local vendor in an effort to help put money back into the community.

Supervisors renew garbage contract

Washington County Supervisors yesterday (7/7) voted to renew the solid waste contract with Mark's Sanitation. The per ton fee increased by less than a dollar. County Auditor Bill Fredrick reminded supervisors that such contracts need to be occasionally let for a bid. Fredrick says they don't always seek bids when a contract expires because it can be a cumbersome process. He says there is a provision that allows them to simply renew as they did yesterday. He says they might look into creating multi-year contracts that would require bids when they expire.

Trails network envisioned

Many Iowans are training for the annual RAGBRI event this month. Bicyclists in Washington County have plenty of places to practice. Lyle Moen, with the recreational trails committee says they get a lot of compliments. Moen says it's their goal to link all the trails in the county and create a network. He says that could make the area a sort of bicycling vacation spot. Moen says the trails are also used by hikers, bird watchers and other nature enthusiasts.

Land shift expected to hinder conservation

A joint study by Iowa State and Drake Universities shows a majority of Iowa's farmland is owned by people on the brink of retirement. Richard Simms with the Natural Resource Conservation Service says the potential for a land shift could mean a a smaller number of people managing more acres. He says it would be challenging for NRCS because fall and spring are the times whens such techniques need to be implemented.

Crop Update

Southeast Iowa farm fields finally got a chance to dry out last week, but were hit with another round of rainfall on Independence Day. USDA statistics show this part of the state's corn stand at 90% as it enters the tassel stage, while 16 % of soybeans are blooming. Local alfalfa harvests continue to lag behind the rest of the state. The first cutting is at 77%. That's compared with 94% statewide.

Sheriff warns drivers about tall vegetation

The average corn height in southeast Iowa is just over four feet, and it's approaching a level where it can obstruct motorists view. Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says people traveling in rural areas need to be extra cautious as roadside vegetation continues to get taller. Dunbar says even though many countryside intersections don't have traffic control signs, it's still a good idea to treat them as if there was a yield sign. He also says drivers need to be wary of slow moving farm implements such as hay racks and tractor driven mowers.

4-H Grant

A new super-center on the east side of town isnt the only addition Wal-Mart is making in Washington. The Wal-Mart Foundation recently donated 1-million dollars to youth organizations in fifteen states, and in southeast Iowa that means 4-H clubs will begin new community wellness programs. National 4-H Councilman Kyle Jones says the new Youth Voice: Youth Choice program will get 4-Hers out into the local area to promote healthy living, nutrition, wellness, and physical activities. Jones says Iowa will receive $50,000 to implement the program.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tipping fee hike spurs Washington to push reycling program

An increase in the tipping fee at SEMCO Landfill has Washington's Mayor urging residents to utilize the city's recycling services. Sandra Johnson says it can save both the city and its residents money. She's urging people to keep things like paper, clear glass and milk jugs separated from regular trash. Johnson says the city can provide a recycling cart to property owners free of charge. SEMCO's tipping fee recently went from $45 to $50. The city of Washington and Washington County share the cost of the local recycling facility.
(Photo: SEMCO Landfill KCII stock photo)

Work release areas of jail to be completed soon

The new Washington County Jail is nearly completed. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says the two work areas that were purposely left unfinished should be completed by the end of the month. He says the contractors have done an excellent job and come in under budget. Dunbar hopes the new facility can serve as a place where 45-50 federal inmates can be housed. He says it could bring in more than one million dollars per year for Washington County.

Kalona tourism benefits from "Stay-cations

As July kicks off, many families are beginning to think more about this years summer vacation. Nancy Roth with the Kalona Historical Village says the rough economy encourages travelers to stick close to home, and the village has seen a higher number of visitors due to this. Roth says tourism at the village was a little slow towards the beginning of the summer, but July is typically the hot month. She says tourism at the village helps the local economy by helping other area businesses see a greater number of visitors as well.

Washington Co. Fair 2 weeks away

The Washington County Fair is less than two weeks a way, and organizers say this year's entertainment should be one for the record books. Fair board Vice President Don Lewis says Washington County's Fair has been named as a "blue ribbon fair" by the Iowa Association of Fairs. This year's grandstand events include sanctioned tractor and truck pulls, rodeo riders, a demolition derby and up and coming country musician Jake McVey. The fair starts July 19 and runs through the 24th.

Sub-drain added to downtown enhancement

Washington's downtown enhancement project recently got a little more expensive. City engineer Rob McDonald told councilors they'd need to spend as much as $10,000 on a sub drain. He says the drain is necessary to keep water from accumulating under the pavement and causing damage when it freezes during the winter months. The third ward's Mike Roth wanted more time to consider approving the expenditure, but didn't want to hold up the project. He says the downtown enhancement and new library projects are both coming along on schedule and will hopefully be done around the same time.

I-DOT gets $3 million for SE IA roads

Southeast Iowa will receive more help for recovery efforts for last years floods. The Iowa Department of Transportation will soon receive over $3-million to repair and maintain traffic routes that were damaged after the June floods of last year. Funds such as these will be of great importance to area communities, including Columbus Junction which has an important bridge on Highway 92 over the Iowa River and saw severe damage by floodwaters.

92 bridge work starts today

The bridge over the Iowa River in Columbus Junction will be reduced to one lane today (7/7) as crews begin approach repair. The Iowa Department of Transportation's website says traffic will be guided by temporary signals. A 12-and-a-half foot width limit on the span also goes into effect today. The DOT's website says they expect to lift the restriction by the end of August.

RR crossing work in Washington

The City of Washington Engineers office reports that 12 Avenue will be closed to traffic beginning this morning due to construction on IC&E Railroad crossings. 12 Avenue joins B Avenue as the two roads affected by the construction. City Engineer Rob McDonald says detour routes will be available for both north and southbound traffic.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Washington School Board slated to call for special election

Washington School Board members this week are expected to to pass a resolution calling for a special election in September. The purpose of the election is to have residents vote on whether the school district should issue nearly $12-million in general obligation bonds to get started on a massive facilities plan. The overall proposal calls for spending around $36-million to build a new high school and renovate other district buildings. The bonding proposal would require 60% of voters to be in favor to pass. The meeting starts at 7:00 Wednesday night (7/8) in the school administration building.

Chicago teens visiting Washington this week

Washington residents will be getting phone calls from a group of Chicago high school students this week. These teens are working with the University of Iowa's political science department to conduct a public opinion poll. Mayor Sandra Johnson says she leaped at the opportunity when the university first contacted her. She says the survey will have around 30 questions. The students are conducting the survey through the Mikva challenge. It's designed to engage low income Chicago youth in politics. It's named after former White House Counsel, judge and U-S Congressman Abner Mikva.

BOS preview

Washington County Supervisors will soon be taking public comment on ordinances that will go into effect this year. They're slated to set a public hearing date at this week's meeting. They'll also sign off on a pickup truck purchase by the secondary roads department. Supervisors are also expected to approve a contract for rural solid waste disposal services with Marks Sanitation. The meeting starts at 9:30 Tuesday (7/7) in the Washington County Courthouse.

Lake Darling won't fill up this summer

Lake Darling won't be filling up this summer as initially planned. A news release from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources indicated the state agency had planned to suspend construction, and allow the basin to fill through labor day. However, The Cedar Rapids Gazzette reports that the DNR will keep the gate outlet open and allow runoff to exit the lake. The DNR State Parks Bureau Chief tells the newspaper they decided the best course would be to stay with the original construction plan.

Preventing lyme disease

Summer is insect season, and with more bugs comes the threat of diseases. Kathy Cuddeback with the Iowa Lyme Disease Association says hikers should be very aware of ticks and the dangers of lyme disease. She says all kinds of ticks have the possibility to carry the illness, not just deer ticks, and common symptoms may include head and muscle aches, fever, and a rash near the bite area. Cuddeback says ticks tend to live in long grass near forest edges, so it is a good idea to wear long clothing when going near these areas.

Loebsack visits Afghanistan

Iowa National Guard troops in Afghanistan were recently paid a visit by southeast Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack. Sabrina Siddiqui says Loebsack was able to meet with top US military leaders as well as Afghan officials, but says his main reason was to meet with the troops. With him, Loebsack brought care packages from family and friends back in the Hawkeye State. Loebsack says there is no better way to celebrate Independence Day.

Fundraising at Hamakua

A recent fundraiser brought in more than $235 for Hamakua Youth Center in Washington. Center director Deb Bodensteiner says teens sold more than $1,500 in Schwans food. Bodensteiner says says they're next fundraiser will be July 28. She says the teens will be grilling pork burgers and hot dogs for a free will offering. Proceeds are being used for upcoming fall youth programs and a new slushie machine.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


The Wellman kiddie parade has been moved to 12pm and the parade has been moved to 12:30pm

Shiloh's Fantastic Fireworks display was postponed until tonight at 9:00 pm.

The tractor pull in Morning Sun has been moved until 4pm.

The Morning Sun basketball tournament has been cancelled.

4th of July

There's a birthday party going on today, and everyone in the U.S. is invited. The country is 233 years old today, and several area communities have celebrations planned. Some kicked off the festivities with fireworks last night, but there's still some local displays set for tonight. The city of Washington's are at dusk at the county fairgrounds. Wellman's will be at 9:35 in the downtown area. Wayland's are at dusk at the football field. Richland's are at 9:30 at Alumni Park. Sigourney's are at dusk at the expo. Shiloh's fireworks were postponed from last night, they will now be tonight at 9:00. For patriotic music this holiday weekend keep it tuned to KCII.

June Fatalities

The number of fatal crashes on Iowa highways this year was the lowest in almost three decades. District 13 Trooper Jason Marlow says one possible reason for the decline was an increased police presence on the Hawkeye State's roads. Marlow hopes motorists will continue to make good decisions. Marlow expects increased traffic throughout this holiday weekend and reminds drivers to be alert, obey the speed limit and never operate a vehicle while impaired.

Campfire Safety

The 4th of July is a popular weekend for outdoor activities, which often includes bonfires. The Iowa State Fire Marshall's office says it's important to keep fires safe and controlled. Assistant Fire Marshal Jeff Quigle says you need to be able to put out campfires if necessary. He recommends a 5 to 10 pound ABC fire extinguisher. He also recommends keeping a shovel handy to bury fire pits to make sure they don't re-ignite after you've left. He also says to never light a fire using gasoline or other combustible liquids.

New Accountant

The city of Washington has a new accountant. Council members this week approved hiring Joe Myers of West Liberty. According to his resume, Myers has worked in accounting for more than 30 years. He received his bachelors in accounting from Northeast Missouri State. A memo from city administrator Dave Plyman says the interview committee received 35 applications for the position. It also says civil service tests were given to potential candidates.


Lt. Governor Patty Judge is encouraging Iowans to take a stay-cation this year and enjoy the sights and destinations of Iowa. Steve Reif with the Kalona Historical Village says in tough economic times people recognize the importance of tourism in eastern Iowa. He says the Historical Village is one of the top tourist destinations in Iowa, boasting two quilt galleries and a number of historical buildings. Reif says tourism is important to places such as the village because it keeps the culture and heritage of Iowa alive.

Kids Day

Kids Day at this year's Washington County Fair will have some south of the border flare. The theme is fiesta fun. The day will feature activities like maraca making, the cactus limbo and the fiesta duck dive. Kids day is July 22 from 9:30 'till noon at the Washington County Fairgrounds. All kids are welcome to attend, and come and go throughout the morning.

Workforce Grant

The severe weather that swept through southeast Iowa last year has left a positive note. The Department of Labor recently awarded Iowa Workforce Development over 11-million dollars to create almost 650 temporary jobs to aid in cleanup efforts from last years tornadoes and floods. Senator Tom Harkin says this grant will kill two birds with one stone, rebuilding Iowa communities and creating more jobs for Iowans.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Washington Gets a Jump on the 4th

Washington residents kicked off 4th of July festivities last night with patriotic music from the municipal band, and blasts from a homemade cannon. Retired Army Artillery Commander Wayne Gamon constructed the cannon. He says it's in his blood, and was fun to build. The cannon fire accompanied the "Stars and Stripes Forever." Municipal band conductor Tom Macnimar says their annual "Liberty Concert" just wouldn't be complete without it The festivities continue this weekend in Washington County. Our website has a listing of Fireworks displays, and stay tuned to KCII for patriotic music this 4th of July weekend.

State Patrol on Special Detail

AAA expects fewer motorists out on the roads this holiday weekend. However, the Iowa State Patrol will still have an increased presence. Safety education officer Jason Marlow says the nice weather forecast will likely mean a higher volume of traffic. Marlow says they'll be keeping an eye out for speeders, aggressive drivers, and motorists under the influence. The Iowa State Patrol's special holiday detail kicked off yesterday (7/2) and runs until Monday (7/5)

Local Fireworks

Fireworks are a staple of any 4th of July celebration, and there are many displays in the area this weekend. The city of Washington's will be at Dusk tomorrow (7/4) at the county fairgrounds. Wellman's will be at 9:35 in the downtown area. Wayland's are at dusk at the football field. Richland's are at 9:30 at Alumni Park. Sigourney's are at dusk at the expo. There will also be fireworks in association with races as the Columbus Junction Speedway this evening (7/3). Shiloh Church near Kalona will also have a display tonight. The gates close at 8:45 and the cost is five dollars per car.

Fireworks Safety

Most types of fireworks are illegal in Iowa, unless part of an organized display with properly trained personnel present. Assistant State Fire Marshal Jeff Quigle says things like sparklers and snakes are legal, but can still pose a safety hazard. He recommends keeping a coffee can, or a can of water nearby so remnants can be disposed of and extinguished properly.

IFB on Cap and Trade

The Iowa Farm Bureau says the current cap and trade bill moving through Congress could have a devastating impact on Agriculture. IFB national policy advisor Marty Schwager says higher energy prices, would lead to increased production costs. Schwager says the Farm Bureau estimates that if the cap and trade bill passes, U-S farmers will see production costs go up by five-billion dollars by the year 2020. He says they would favor a voluntary, market based way to reduce greenhouse gases.

Walmart Hiring for New Facility

Washington's Walmart is relocating to it's new facility on the east side of town soon, and looking to make some hires. According to the company's website, both full and part time positions will be available. There will be openings for cashiers, as well as in the grocery and photo lab departments. The store is also in need of overnight associates temporary setup crews. Those interested can apply at Walmart's current location, or online at

Smoking Ban 1 year later

A year after the passing of the Smokefree Air Act, reports from Louisa County say businesses are enjoying the clean air. Kaitlyn Wintermeyer with the county extension says while less than two percent of businesses have violated the law, they are still open to changing policies in order to comply. Since the law applies to outdoor public areas as well, Wintermeyer says shes interested in seeing how Louisa County residents act during the summer festivals in public parks. She says her department has had no trouble in responding to further violations from businesses.

RR Xings closed in Washington

Railroad crossings on Avenue B and 12 Avenue will be under construction beginning Monday most likely causing road closures. Rob McDonald, Washington City Engineer, says motorists should expect to run into road closures on Avenue B, as work will be done there first, followed by 12th Avenue later in the week. He says the work may not be fully completed until the following week.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Crop Duster Crashes Near Ainsworth

A Mt. Pleasant man was hospitalized yesterday (7/1) after a crop duster he was piloting went down north of Ainsworth. 39 year old John Koehn Newton was taken to University Hospital in Iowa City by Washington County Ambulance personnel. 911 supervisor Cara Sorrells says officials from the Sheriff's Office, Ainsworth Fire Department and the Ainsworth First Responders were also called to the scene. Sorrells also says the fuel was reported to be leaking from the plane, and a hazardous materials crew was called to assist.

Alliant: Cap and Trade Means Higher Energy Costs in Midwest

Alliant Energy says the current cap and trade bill moving through Congress could mean double digit bill increases for their customers. Company spokesman Scott Drzycimski says Midwesterners are very dependent on coal, which means companies like Alliant won't receive as many carbon credits. He says this will force them to purchase these credits from other utilities, ultimately driving energy prices up.

County Engages IC Law Firm

The stage has been set for a legal showdown between Washington County and the city of Riverside. Supervisors this week formally engaged Iowa City based Meardon, Sueppel and Downer as their representative in the revenue sharing dispute. The conflict stems from an arrangement forged when the Riverside Casino was built. Attorney's for the city have said the contract is void under state law, because it creates constitutional debt. County Attorney Barb Edmondson has said she feels the agreement is legal and enforceable. The deadline for Riverside to make an annual payment was yesterday (7/1).

911 Commission Moves Forward With Building Study

Washington County's 911 Board is moving forward with a study that will explore a new location for the communications center. Their splitting the cost with the Communications Commission. Minnesota based engineer Leonard Kohnen (cane-inn) will conduct the study. The communications center is currently located in the old jail. Center Supervisor Cara Sorrells says one potential hang up is the radio tower. She says if they move too far away from it, they'd have to build a new one.

Washington Council Approves 2 Downtown Events

The Washington City Council has approved two downtown events for next year. Relay for Life, and The Corn Country Cruisers are again making the square their home. Mayor Sandra Johnson says it's important to maintain activity in the city's heart. Johnson encourages any organization planning a special event to put together a proposal and visit with the council about it. Johnson says when the new library and the downtown enhancement project are completed, it should make the area even more attractive for such events.

Harkin Touts Student Loan Measure

Iowa students and college graduates will be getting some much-needed help in repaying student loans. Senator Tom Harkin announced as of yesterday (7/1) the income-based repayment option will become available. Students who chose to pay their loans using this method will make smaller payments if their income is less, and larger payments when their income increases. Harkins says this option will be very helpful for students struggling to find employment after graduation.

4th of July Closures

The 4th of July falls on a Saturday this year, but many government offices will be closed tomorrow (7/3) in observance of the holiday. Most Post Offices will close at noon, and the Washington County Mini Bus will not be running. The 4th of July has been celebrated since 1776. It commemorates the first Continental Congress adopting the Declaration of Independence. Although the signing of the Declaration was not completed until August, the 4th of July holiday has been accepted as the official anniversary of U.S. independence and is celebrated in all states and territories of the U.S.

Lake Belva Deer Expecting Large Crowds For 4th of July

The Fourth of July weekend has always been a popular weekend for fishing, boating, and swimming. Dave Long with the Keokuk County Conservation Board says this year is no exception. He says Belva Deer Recreation Area outside Sigourney has seen a high number of visitors due to the nice weather and upcoming holiday. Long says the lake always hosts a great deal of visitors around this time, and even heavy road construction was not enough to deter patrons this year.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wind Farm Could Bring $5-million annually to Washington Co.

A proposed wind farm could eventually bring $5 million in property tax revenue to Washington County per year. Assessor Lil Perry told supervisors this week that would be the case if they adopted a special valuation ordinance that increases the tax rate annually by 5%. Perry recommends supervisors look into the special ordinance, as it would help keep the revenue local. They appointed a special committee this week to do just that. This year the Iowa legislature approved allowing wind farms to enjoy both the special valuation and a state tax credit.

Crop Update

Crops in southeast Iowa are doing well after last week's heat wave, but some areas still need to dry out. USDA statistics show 37% of area topsoil moisture at a surplus, with 41% of subsoil moisture in the excessive range. The corn stand is at 90% with an average height of 36 inches, while 90% of soybeans have emerged. Southeast Iowa's alfalfa crop has been hard hit by heavy rains and high humidity. The first cutting is more than 25% behind the statewide average.

Washington Council to Talk Personnel

Personnel issues are on the table for Washington City Council members tonight (7/1). They're slated to continue discussions on setting cost of living salary adjustments for non union employees. This was a contentious issue at the last meeting. They'll also consider establishing a new supervisory position in the water and waste water departments, and confirm an appointment to a city accountant position. The meeting starts 7:00 tonight (7/1) in the Washington Public Library.

Marek: More Cuts Likely

An Iowa lawmaker from Washington County expects more state cuts this fiscal year. Representative Larry Marek says all arms of government are exploring ways to save money. He says the legislature is trying to keep next year's session as short as possible, while the judicial branch is looking at more furlough days. Iowa's new fiscal year started today (7/1).