Saturday, March 14, 2009

Making homes more efficient

The state of Iowa is receiving more than 121-million dollars to put towards efficiency grants. Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack says the money is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will support home weatherization and modernizing heating and cooling equipment through rebates. Mike Roe with Roe Heating in Washington says some simple ways to take advantage of the program and see a lot of savings is by insulating basements, and sealing any leaks in a home.

Rough times worse than they seem

Flooding, erosion and land and commodity values are all things that have southeast Iowa farmers worried. Washington County Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says economic tensions in other areas are now catching up with the agriculture sector. However, he feels the recent decision by Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to ramp up ethanol usage in blended fuels should help. He also says the recent decline in farmland values is probably not as bad as it sounds, because prices were artificially inflated.

Happy 130th birthday Kalona!

This year will mark the 130th Birthday of the city of Kalona. This year Kalona Days will be the celebration of the anniversary, and Mayor Jerry Kauffman says he knows the people of Kalona will make it another 130 years. Kauffman says Kalona days will be a great celebration and the people of Kalona deserve it. He says every day the people make Kalona a better place. Kauffman says he wont be around to see another 130 years but he will do his part to help make it as good as possible.

Washington Schools get safety grant

The Washington School District is getting a chunk of the nearly six-million dollars recently released by the Iowa Department of Education. Washington School's will get 100-thousand-dollars to to upgrade fire safety equipment such as smoke and heat detectors. The money will also help pay for improved emergency exits. The funds became available through a pilot program started by Democratic Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. Harkin says when teachers don't have to worry about the limitations of their classrooms, the opportunities for creative learning become easier to imagine.

Road Embargo not impacting Kalona

Washington County has placed a 5 ton vehicle embargo on certain roads to prevent damage from heavy loads during the spring thaw. County Engineer David Patterson explained that the embargo is intended to minimize damage to key roads as the frost comes out during the spring by encouraging heavy loads to use alternate, paved routes. As of right now there are no roads in the Kalona area that have been embargoed. The County Engineers Office may issue special permit to allow vehicles in excess of 5 gross tons to operate on the embargoed roads. Information needed for the permit includes vehicles and owner information as well as the product and dates being hauled. For more information, please call (319) 653-7731.

Wal-Mart donates to local playground

The Washington Wal-Mart has awarded the Kalona Elementary Playground Project committee $2,000. Kerri Bell, a member of the Improvement committee was at the Washington Wal-Mart on Friday to receive the check from Store manager Dennis parcel. Kerri Bell says this money brings them closer to there goal and she says they still have a lot of fundraisers coming up within the next few months and everything is looking good.

Paintball movie comes to SE Iowa

Southeast Iowa will be the location for a new movie about love, growing up and paintballing. The Iowa Film Office says "Splatter" will be filmed in locations all over the state, with several in this area. Production is scheduled to start in may, and the filmmakers are looking for actors. According to a summary released by the I-F-O, the movie is about a man who uses a paintball tournament to try to win back the love of his ex-wife, and the respect of his son. For more information contact the Iowa Department of Economic Development.