Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Louisa Sheriff's deputy makes daring rescue

The Louisa County Sheriff's office received a call of a person on the Iowa River Bridge on Highway 99 east of Wapello around 3:30 Monday afternoon. Chief Deputy Adam Claudle says he wasn't too far away when the call came in and responded. He says he watched as the person went off the bridge then went into the water and got her out to safety. Claudle says the Wapello Rescue Unit and Ambulance responded and the person was transported to Great River medical Center for observation, he says that she is doing well and getting treatment.

Former Washington resident makes generous donation to bandstand project

An effort to raise enough money to renovate the city of Washington's Central Park bandstand got a huge boost recently. Former Washington resident and Municipal Band member John Jackson has donated $175,000 to the effort. This, combined with money from the Washington Betterment Foundation, the City Park Board and the Washington County Riverboat Foundation puts the project in the realm of reality. John Jackson was a charter member of the Washington Municipal Band in 1932, and went on to be a member of the 34th Army Band, Iowa Army National Guard, where he served during World War-II. Organizers of the volunteer committee in charge of the fund raising effort say Mr. Jackson "now has the appreciation of 7,000 Washington city citizens and countless citizens throughout Washington County and beyond." They say they will continue to solicit funds to make further improvements to Central Park.

The rising cost of ambulance service

The director of Washington County's Ambulance Service says there needs to be some changes in certain laws, or many counties could find themselves doing without. Richard Young says they are mandated to do a lot of different things by the state and federal government, but are rarely given enough financial help. Young says this, combined with a lot of out of work people without insurance has created some hardships for the ambulance service. Right now counties in Iowa are not required to provide an ambulance. Young says if they were, it might take some of the burden off of individual counties, as the state might be more apt to help.

Washington County official thinks now is better than later for road repairs

Transportation serves as a lifeline, keeping industries of all types running. Many parts of Iowa especially rural areas, are facing a huge to pay for road improvements. Washington County Engineer David Patterson says wherever the money comes from, it would be wiser to act sooner than later. Many people are against issuing bonds to pay for improved infrastructure because it would drive the state further into debt. Patterson says it might actually save money in the grand scheme. He says if policy makers continue to wait, construction prices will continue to go up. Patterson says issuing bonds would lock in those prices.

Lone Tree starts its own stimulus program

The Lone Tree City Council has passed a resolution giving a $2500 grant to first time home buyers on the purchase of a home in Black Otter Creek Addition, known as Finley Addition. City Councilor Helen Lemley says she wants to get Lone Tree building again. Lemly says at this time Yakish Construction, M & R Construction and Magruder Construction have agreed to a $5000 building credit. This is in addition to the American Recovery Act giving first time home buyers up to $8000 in tax credits, essentially giving qualifying home buyers a $20,500 credit toward the purchase of a home in the Finley Addition.

Kalona Parks gearing up

The Kalona City Park and pool are getting ready to be used. Todd Fitzsenry , the Kalona Parks and Recreation supervisor says they are getting the parks ready for use by cutting grass and making sure everything is within there safety guidelines. He says the opening day will be April 15th.

Rain gardens

Spring is in the air, and many people are getting their gardens ready. But, if there's a spot on your property that always seems to hold water, and is too wet for even grass to grow, Linn County Master Gardener Judy Stevens can help. She will lead a program on rain gardens this Tuesday, March 24 at the Washington County Extension Office at 7:00 pm. She'll discuss what flowers and plants you can use in low places that will thrive and grow. The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact the Washington County Extension office at 319-653-4811.