Thursday, March 19, 2009
The Washington Community School District is getting almost $140,000 dollars in Title I funds from the Economic Recovery package. According to a release from Senator Tom Harkin's office, the money can be used to hire teachers and teacher assistants, provide tutoring, create school computer labs, fund parent involvement activities, purchase instructional materials, host professional development for teachers and create pre-kindergarten classes. In all, Iowa schools are expected to receive more than $50 million in stimulus money. Washington Schools could see their slice of the pie as early as this month.
The Sigourney Schools are helping students to learn about starting and operating their own business. Superintendent Todd Abrahamson says they received money from the Harkin new construction grant. He says they will be opening Keokuk County Career Academy for high school juniors and seniors, and interested adults next fall. Abrahamson says they have a lot of students that are well on there way to becoming successful entrepreneurs. He says they already have one student who has developed and patented a product that has a company from West Des Moines looking at it and working with the student.
The Washington County attorney wants to cut down on paperwork. Barb Edmondson says her office will begin utilizing a computerized case management system. Edmondson says aside from being able to access local files more easily, it will also enable her to better communicate with other counties as well as police departments and other public agencies. She also says it will have a rather sizable startup cost but feels it will save money in the long run. Edmondson also says its hoped that one day every county in Iowa will participate in the program.
The Washington City Council wants some more time to consider a liquor license request. Cafe Dodici would like to serve alcohol at tables located on the sidewalk outside the establishment. Council members decided they would like to table the request at last night's meeting. Cafe Dodici co-owner Lori Williams says she understands their decision. She feels the sort of outdoor cafe she wants to establish would be a great addition to Washington's down town area. City council members say they want to make sure it wouldn't obstruct traffic. Mayor Sandra Johnson says they have to be mindful about what kind of precedent allowing the measure might set.
The Secretary of the Iowa Department of Agriculture says the recent decline in farm land values is probably a normal fluctuation. Bill Northey says property prices are locked up in a long term view. He says last summer's flooding probably didn't have much to do with the drop. Northey says the prices are impacted by yields, and the expense a farmer pays to utilize the land. To hear more from Northey tune in to KCII this afternoon at 1:00, and again at 6:00 this evening for a special edition agriculture news magazine.
The Kalona Public Library will be hosting an origami crafts event Friday, March 27 from 3:30 to 4:15PM in the Velma Skola Program Room. Youth Services Librarian Marissa Tartaglia says children ages 5 to 12 are invited to make a variety of origami crafts, such as a jumping frog, pinwheel star, and a flying crane. She says this program is free of charge and no registration is necessary. For more information call the library at 319-656-3501.
Mid Prairie schools have been hosting foreign exchange students for many years. One student, Katrina, came from the eastern part of Russia to live and learn in the Mid Prairie School District. Karina says she is really enjoying living here and getting to know many other kids but it is very different than the school she came from. She says it is very different than the part of Russia that she is used to because of the wide open spaces. Karina says this is an experience that she will take with her through out her entire life.