Thursday, March 5, 2009

County Supervisors At State Workshop

Washington County Supervisors are off to Des Moines for a statewide convention. The Iowa State Association of Counties is putting it on. Washington Supervisor Chair Jim Miksch says there are various workshops and it's an opportunity to interact with other supervisors in the state, which sometimes can be as good as some of the workshops. Miksch says a couple of the workshops he feels will hit close to Washington will be one talking about alternative ways to fund county secondary road repairs and managing times when revenues are lower.

Federal Money Helps Move Up Paving Project

Some federal dollars coming from the stimulus package has Washington County doing a paving project on old 218 a little sooner than planned. Jacob Thorius with the County Engineer's Office says they anticipate receiving around $750,000 from the stimulus package. He says they will overlay old 218 or Vine Avenue with concrete from Highway 22 south to 160th Street which is about 4.5 miles. Thorius says originally the project was four years out but with this federal money they'll be able to do it this year.

Gambling Awareness Week

This is Gambling Awareness Week, and MECA of Iowa City is working to get information out about their services. Todd Morris works in the Gambling Treatment Division and he says Riverside Casino and Golf Resort has let them set up at their entrance this week to let people know what they offer. He says more often it's a loved one of a compulsive gambler seeking help than the actual person having the problem. Morris says you can find out what they offer by visiting their website

Direct Farm Payments Being Phased Out

President Obama's proposed budget for the USDA would phase out direct farm payments for operations generating more that half million dollars in revenue annually. Regional Manager of the Iowa Farm Bureau Jerry Anderson says direct farm payments are payments farmers received based on their production history for their crops. Anderson says while half a million in annual sales sound like a huge operation, last year with beans in the teens and higher prices it wouldn't take a huge operations to trigger that limitation. He says in years where prices are lower such as this year direct payments can help farmers not lose money. The savings from the cut would go to a child nutrition program.

Wind Energy Conference

There will be a Wind Energy Conference on Friday, March 20 at the Fairfield Fine Arts and Convention Center in Fairfield. Gary Bickmeier, Keokuk County Extension Education Director says in 2008, Iowa surpassed California to become the nations second largest in wind power generating capacity. Iowa State University Extension is presenting the 2009 Wind Energy Conference on Friday, March 20 at the Fairfield Fine Arts and Convention Center in Fairfield. To register for the 2009 Wind Energy Conference, contact the Jefferson County Extension office at (641) 472-4166. The cost is $20 per person and will be limited to the first 200 registrants.

Family Literacy Night

Kalona Elementary School wants to get the word out about the importance of children literacy. Kalona elementary held their Literacy night on Monday, march 2nd. Second Grade Teacher Kerri Bell says they had over 70 people attend and felt everyone had a great time. Bell says she had children coming up to her all night asking when they were doing it again because they had so much fun reading. Bell says it makes her proud to know the children still enjoy reading books.

Turkey Steak Meal

Iowa Mennonite School's Alumni Association, along with the Optimist Club of Washington Township, will prepare and serve a turkey steak meal on Saturday, March 14. Jane Miller with IMS says this is an annual event that both groups work together on. She says Proceeds from the meal will benefit the many programs of both groups. Miller says they will be serving Grilled Turkey Steak, baked potato, toss salad, dinner roll, homemade desserts and water or coffee. Tickets are available from members of both organizations, as well as from IMS 9th-grade students. Adults are $7.50; students are $5.00 and preschool and under are free.